Author Topic: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"  (Read 3358 times)

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Offline curiousgirl

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On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« on: January 16, 2013, 11:39:43 PM »
Haven't been on in awhile, but I found a great piece on CNN's iReport that I wanted to share. As a mom, I found myself agreeing with what the author said:

http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-910282?hpt=hp_c3

I wanted to share this excerpt:

Quote
And so I thought it was only right to be honest with my children. I am a non-believer, and for years I’ve been on the fringe in my community. As a blogger, though, I’ve found that there are many other parents out there like me. We are creating the next generation of kids, and there is a wave of young agnostics, atheists, free thinkers and humanists rising up through the ranks who will, hopefully, lower our nation’s religious fever.

I was really glad to read this. It brings me hope that a paradigm shift will eventually occur, and religious folks will realize that they are spoonfeeding their impressionable, vulnerable children disappointment, and (dare I say it) delusion. Maybe one day people will leave their comfort zones and have the strength to imagine a world where they create their own purpose and control their own behavior rather than relying on an imaginary being to do it for them. Many people seem to be afraid to question their beliefs, and I feel sympathy for them because I have been there. I have decided to raise my 4-year-old son to eventually be a free thinker and to question things, so that he won't have to feel the fear of losing his security blanket (if you will) like I did when I deconverted.
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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2013, 01:28:13 AM »
Both of my kids were raised atheist, though my oldest, growing up with his mom, attended a Unitarian Church, where atheism is common. So no harm done. Both ended up fine as adults, clearheaded, intelligent and actually educated. And I didn't have to lie to either one of them about god. I felt bad enough doing it about Santa for a few years though.

And lets see. Neither has ever been in trouble with the law. Neither abuses alcohol or uses drugs. Neither son has had to deal with awkward pregnancies (of course, the oldest, being gay, voluntarily disqualified himself from that option), and both seem to be dealing well with reality. So, from my point of view, as long as a parent is as honest about the rest of life as they are about the lack of gods, good things can come from kids.

Except for the part where they grow up so darned fast. Enjoy your four year old son, curious girl. When he hits 18 you'll find yourself swearing he grew older at the speed of light and you'll wonder where the time went.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2013, 12:12:30 PM »
ParkingPlaces, that's how I was raised, and that's how my brother's kids were raised. All of us are doing very, very well on all fronts. My extended family on one side is very religious (literal bible, young earth creationists, etc). Many of them  have a lot of issues. Teen pregnancies, drug addiction, a few with legal issues, abusive relationships ... the list goes on. It's sad. I remember one aunt asking me how we ended up so well when we hadn't been spanked. She believes in the "spare the rod spoil the child" philosophy so popular amongst religious conservatives. My immediate thought was, "perhaps that's WHY we ended up so well."
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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2013, 12:53:28 PM »
My children were never spanked either. My other friends who also knew not to spank their kids ended up with good ones too. And though one can draw no accurate conclusions from personal anecdotal evidence, my friends who are religious seem more often to have kids with drug, alcohol, pregnancy and legal issues than the kids of less religious or non-religious parents.

I was once at a birthday party with another non-religious friend whose kids were about the same age as my oldest when a woman we were talking to started lamenting about the problems her daughter was having with drugs. She couldn't understand how the counseling her pastor was giving the daughter wasn't working. She asked us how we were handling our own kids drug problems. She clearly assumed everyone had them. When we told her that none of our kids were involved with such things, she said they must be pretty good at hiding it.

Two of our combined three children were National Merit Scholars and all three had at least a 3.9 GPA. All three were subsequently successful in college and are doing fine. Within a year of our conversation her 13 year old daughter was pregnant and her 17 year old daughter was in jail for dealing drugs. Fifteen years later I'm still pissed that she assumed all kids, including mine, have such problems.

She was a baptist, of course.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2013, 01:31:06 PM »
I was really glad to read this. It brings me hope that a paradigm shift will eventually occur, and religious folks will realize that they are spoonfeeding their impressionable, vulnerable children disappointment, and (dare I say it) delusion.

Not to offend, but how is it that you KNOW we are feeding them disappointment? You label yourself an agnostic atheist but your comments do not seem to bear that out.

Maybe one day people will leave their comfort zones and have the strength to imagine a world where they create their own purpose and control their own behavior rather than relying on an imaginary being to do it for them. Many people seem to be afraid to question their beliefs, and I feel sympathy for them because I have been there. I have decided to raise my 4-year-old son to eventually be a free thinker and to question things, so that he won't have to feel the fear of losing his security blanket (if you will) like I did when I deconverted.

Same here. You speak as though the matter of God’s non-existence has been settled once and for all.

The idea that someone can KNOW there is no God is, at this point in time, impossible and thus illogical.

Offline hickdive

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 01:42:30 PM »
The idea that someone can KNOW there is no God is, at this point in time, impossible and thus illogical.

Indeed, no-one can be absolutely certain but in the complete absence of any evidence to support the existence of any god(s), let alone the one mentioned in the bible, then we can reasonably assume that there aren't any as a matter of practicality if not strict logic.

As a 'biblestudent' you take exactly the same approach to Thor, Zeus, Ra, Quetzlcoatl et al.
Stupidity, unlike intelligence, has no limits.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 02:05:41 PM »
Indeed, no-one can be absolutely certain but in the complete absence of any evidence to support the existence of any god(s), let alone the one mentioned in the bible, then we can reasonably assume that there aren't any as a matter of practicality if not strict logic.

It is fine to make a reasonable assumption but, by your own admission, that would make teaching a young impressionable mind that God definitely DOES NOT exist illogical and, in my opinion, unfair to the child.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 02:13:43 PM »
It is fine to make a reasonable assumption but, by your own admission, that would make teaching a young impressionable mind that God definitely DOES NOT exist illogical and, in my opinion, unfair to the child.

It is also reasonable to assume that the Loch Ness Monster does not exist.  The way I see it, the best way to raise a child is to explain the reasons that that is the most logical conclusion to draw, and also teach the child how to think clearly so he can figure out for himself whether there is any flaw in the information that he is given about why the Loch Ness Monster does or does not exist.  An analogous approach with Yahweh is not at all unreasonable or inappropriate, any more than it would be unreasonable or inappropriate with Zeus or Guanyin.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 02:38:56 PM »
The way I see it, the best way to raise a child is to explain the reasons that that is the most logical conclusion to draw, and also teach the child how to think clearly so he can figure out for himself whether there is any flaw in the information that he is given about why the Loch Ness Monster does or does not exist. 

You seem to be agreeing then that intentionally teaching a child that God does not exist would be an unprovable statement and unfair to the child's learning?

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 02:45:26 PM »
You seem to be agreeing then that intentionally teaching a child that God does not exist would be an unprovable statement and unfair to the child's learning?

Well, it isn't really necessary.  A child given a quality education and trained to think clearly will figure that out for himself.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 02:53:46 PM »
BibleStudent,

Please address hickdive's point.  I've quoted his post for you.  Thanks.

The idea that someone can KNOW there is no God is, at this point in time, impossible and thus illogical.

Indeed, no-one can be absolutely certain but in the complete absence of any evidence to support the existence of any god(s), let alone the one mentioned in the bible, then we can reasonably assume that there aren't any as a matter of practicality if not strict logic.

As a 'biblestudent' you take exactly the same approach to Thor, Zeus, Ra, Quetzlcoatl et al.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 02:59:21 PM »
BibleStudent,

Please address hickdive's point.  I've quoted his post for you.  Thanks.

The idea that someone can KNOW there is no God is, at this point in time, impossible and thus illogical.

Indeed, no-one can be absolutely certain but in the complete absence of any evidence to support the existence of any god(s), let alone the one mentioned in the bible, then we can reasonably assume that there aren't any as a matter of practicality if not strict logic.

As a 'biblestudent' you take exactly the same approach to Thor, Zeus, Ra, Quetzlcoatl et al.

I already responded to his post. Perhaps you just overlooked it?

Offline Morgan

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 03:01:38 PM »
It's also pretty likely any hypothetical children wouldn't be molested by a tentacle creature when they sit down on the toilet, the sidewalk they walk on won't suddenly become elastic like rubber and they'll bounce off it, and when they're on their way to McDonald's they probably won't get be abducted by a Hello Kitty themed UFO. Well, they all could happen and not only to children, but what's the likelihood of it? Should we teach that anything with even the tiniest fraction of a chance to happen is real, we would definitely run out of time.

Oh wait, as long as it's a delusion shared by a sizable segment of the population it's only sensible we give in to said delusion and forgo logical thought. One shouldn't hold the same thought regarding Big Foot because, well, not as many people think he exists.  &)

Offline Dante

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2013, 03:05:35 PM »
The way I see it, the best way to raise a child is to explain the reasons that that is the most logical conclusion to draw, and also teach the child how to think clearly so he can figure out for himself whether there is any flaw in the information that he is given about why the Loch Ness Monster does or does not exist. 

You seem to be agreeing then that intentionally teaching a child that God does not exist would be an unprovable statement and unfair to the child's learning?

Sorry, maybe I overlooked it, but I didn't see anywhere, in any of the above posts, advocating teaching a child that gods absolutely do not exist.

That being said, I have a question for BS. Do you teach, or advocate teaching your children that every unprovable god, leprechaun, mermaid, bigfoot, etc. do exist? Or just your particular god?

edit: added the last question.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 03:10:46 PM by Dante »
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 03:12:55 PM »
It is fine to make a reasonable assumption but, by your own admission, that would make teaching a young impressionable mind that God definitely DOES NOT exist illogical and, in my opinion, unfair to the child.

At best, this argument could only apply to the god of deism.

If it's "fair" to teach yahweh to children, then it would be equally fair to teach them about Ra, Thor, Apollo, Zeus, and all the other possible gods out there (how many is that? 3,000?).  Hope there's plenty of time to give equal treatment to each and every one of them.
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Offline hickdive

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2013, 03:15:35 PM »
Indeed, no-one can be absolutely certain but in the complete absence of any evidence to support the existence of any god(s), let alone the one mentioned in the bible, then we can reasonably assume that there aren't any as a matter of practicality if not strict logic.

It is fine to make a reasonable assumption but, by your own admission, that would make teaching a young impressionable mind that God definitely DOES NOT exist illogical and, in my opinion, unfair to the child.

So if you were teaching a young, impressionable child you would give equal credence to Zeus etc? If not, why not? Not to do so would be, by your own admission, illogical and unfair.
Stupidity, unlike intelligence, has no limits.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2013, 03:37:42 PM »
The point I am making is that teaching a child that God or Zeus or Thor, etc. does not exist would be an inaccurate and illogical statement since that cannot be proven.

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2013, 03:40:48 PM »
The point I am making is that teaching a child that God or Zeus or Thor, etc. does not exist would be an inaccurate and illogical statement since that cannot be proven.

Indeed.  A better approach would be to teach the child about the concept of burden of proof, how to determine where that burden lies on any particular matter, and why rejection of a claim in the case of someone who fails to meet their burden is not the same thing as insisting that they're wrong.
[On how kangaroos could have gotten back to Australia after the flood]:  Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water? --Kenn

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2013, 03:42:11 PM »
I already responded to his post. Perhaps you just overlooked it?

So I did.  My apologies.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 03:54:07 PM »
The point I am making is that teaching a child that God or Zeus or Thor, etc. does not exist would be an inaccurate and illogical statement since that cannot be proven.

Indeed.  A better approach would be to teach the child about the concept of burden of proof, how to determine where that burden lies on any particular matter, and why rejection of a claim in the case of someone who fails to meet their burden is not the same thing as insisting that they're wrong.

In addition to this, and perhaps more importantly, it is important to encourage a child to use their “reasoning” abilities when answering questions such as: why am I here, where did I come from, is there an afterlife, etc.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2013, 03:54:53 PM »
I already responded to his post. Perhaps you just overlooked it?

So I did.  My apologies.

No problem  :)

Offline Dante

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2013, 04:04:09 PM »
why am I here,


Cuz mommy and daddy did the nasty!

where did I come from,

Mommy's vagina? Eeewwww....

is there an afterlife,

Is there a beforelife? What does the evidence say?

 ;)
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline hickdive

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2013, 04:06:47 PM »
The point I am making is that teaching a child that God or Zeus or Thor, etc. does not exist would be an inaccurate and illogical statement since that cannot be proven.


So why do you choose to worship your particular deity? If it cannot be proven that Ra or Freya or Jupiter don't exist what logic leads you to worship the christian god?*


*this is an assumption based on your username, my apologies if you're not christian.
Stupidity, unlike intelligence, has no limits.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2013, 04:16:46 PM »

So why do you choose to worship your particular deity? If it cannot be proven that Ra or Freya or Jupiter don't exist what logic leads you to worship the christian god?*


*this is an assumption based on your username, my apologies if you're not christian.

Yes, I am a Christian.

Christianity logically satisfies my need to understand:

How we got here.
Why we’re here.
Where we’re going.
How the universe and ‘life’ came to be.

In a nutshell, for me, the incredible complexity of life and the vastness of the universe point to an Intelligent Designer (the God of the Bible). The naturalistic worldview and the theory of evolution and the various hypotheses about abiogenesis attempts to explain this but comes up way too short to convince me. There are so many assumptions guesses, dishonesty, and floating variables behind crucial areas of it. Phylogenetics, for me, only demonstrates that different species have similar DNA which could point to an Intelligent Designer just as easily as it could to a common ancestor. Convincing evidence of beneficial random mutation is virtually non-existent. Evolution cannot explain our desire to create things like art and music. Evolution cannot explain why animals have been known to flee an area just before a tsunami occurs. The TOE cannot account for why or how sexual reproduction evolved….and on and on I could go. These may seem like trivial issues but attempts to explain how the processes of evolution would/could account for them does not fit. Also, I could add dozens and dozens of more unanswerable questions to the list. And this says nothing of the BIG blank that discussions about abiogenesis creates. Do I think the ToE is a complete farce? No, I do not….and I have said this numerous times so please don't start flaming me for making these comments.

I find the Bible to be an exceptional, accurate, and convincing account of why the world and life exists.

Offline hickdive

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2013, 04:23:48 PM »
fubar post, trying again
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 04:26:35 PM by hickdive »
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Offline hickdive

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2013, 04:25:14 PM »

You can reject the ToE but it isn't really relevant to the question, "why the god of the bible and not Zeus?"

What makes the bible more convincing than any other theological explanation for creation?
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2013, 04:26:35 PM »

You can reject the ToE but it isn't really relevant to the question, "why the god of the bible and not Zeus?"

What makes the bible more convincing than any other theological explanation for creation?

Again, because I find the Bible to be an exceptional, accurate, and convincing account of why the world and life exists. I do not find this to be true in any other religious or mythical belief.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 04:28:36 PM by BibleStudent »

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2013, 04:27:52 PM »
Again, because I find the Bible to be an exceptional, accurate, and convincing account of why the world and life exists. I do not find this to be true in any other religious or mythical belief.

Do you, or would you, teach children that xianity is true?
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2013, 04:30:28 PM »
Again, because I find the Bible to be an exceptional, accurate, and convincing account of why the world and life exists. I do not find this to be true in any other religious or mythical belief.

Do you, or would you, teach children that xianity is true?

I would teach them that that is what I believe and why.