Author Topic: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"  (Read 2040 times)

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Offline hickdive

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2013, 04:37:33 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.

You finding it so is not really a logical explanation though is it?

If you were being fair and logical in educating a child then surely you would have to look at each version of creation and explain why it isn't convincing in comparison with your preferred belief.

What, specifically, would you say is accurate in the biblical account of creation and what is your basis for determining the accuracy of that account?

Stupidity, unlike intelligence, has no limits.

Offline Dante

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2013, 04:39:23 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.

Oh, so the same thing we might do with regards to atheism, which you tried to admonish us about. Got it.

edit: spelling.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 04:56:14 PM by Dante »
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline Jag

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2013, 05:12:20 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.
Which other religious belief systems have you studied? I only ask because what you say in the quote above sounds like you've researched, and then rejected, multiple religions other than christianity, and concluded THEN that christianity is right. Is that the case?
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2013, 05:16:07 PM »
If I start responding to the last few posts, I think we might be effectively "hijacking" this thread.
Agree? Disagree?

Offline Bagheera

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2013, 05:19:57 PM »
If I start responding to the last few posts, I think we might be effectively "hijacking" this thread.
Agree? Disagree?

If you are concerned about thread-hijacking, you can start a suitably titled thread in the appropriate discussion forum. I think you may have enough posts under your belt to do so.

Offline Quesi

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2013, 05:21:06 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.

That is what I do.  I teach my daughter that there are many myths that many different people believe, and that sometimes these myths tell us great stories, and sometimes there are wonderful celebrations around these myths.  My daughter loves stories about Zeus and Jesus and she loves celebrations like Lunar New Year and Diwali.  She loves the pagan tradition of putting lights on an evergreen during the darkest days of the year, to remind us that the light will return, and so will the green.  And she loves going to light Hanukah candles with friends, and hearing about the lamp oil that lasted so long, and she loves going to an elderly neighbor's house for three kings day, and moving the little king statuettes around close to the little baby Jesus in the manger.   

She knows that many people believe that these stories are true, and that I do not believe that they are true, but that sometimes it is fun to tell the stories and enjoy the celebrations. 

She also knows that some people think that their religion is true, and that some religions think that some families are bad, and some families are good.  This makes her very indignant.   She also knows that some people think that they do good things because of their religion, but that I think it is important to do good things all of the time.  And if you are not sure if something is good or bad, you should think about how other people feel.  Empathy.  How will your actions impact on other people?  Sometimes the answers are easy.  Don't hit.  Don't steal.  Don't exclude someone from your group because they are different.  Sometimes the answers are harder.  What if telling the truth hurts someone else's feelings?  What if telling the truth gets someone else in trouble?  What are your responsibilities, as an empathetic person, and as an ethical person? 

I tell my daughter that many years ago, people did not know the answer to many questions.  So they made up stories to answer those questions.  Different cultures made up different stories.  Some people still believe the stories, even when science has provided answers to many of those questions.  Most people don't think that they live on a flat plane that is being balanced on the back of a giant turtle anymore.  But some people still think that a caucasian-looking god, with a white beard, created the earth and the sun and the whole solar system and the whole galaxy and all of the galaxies in the universe in one week.  These are both interesting stories, but she has been to the planetarium, and she knows that neither of these stories are true.

I do not tell my daughter that gods do not exist.  I tell my daughter that I do not believe that any gods exist.  She can make up her own mind. 


Offline mrbiscoop

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2013, 06:18:32 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.
  Chances are you believe what you believe because you were raised by people that believe the same thing.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2013, 07:01:26 PM »
If your 19 or 20 year old child came to you one day and said, "mom/dad, I have decided to place my faith in Jesus and am denouncing my athiest beliefs", would you tell them that they are a deluded lunatic?

Offline William

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2013, 07:11:13 PM »
If your 19 or 20 year old child came to you one day and said, "mom/dad, I have decided to place my faith in Jesus and am denouncing my athiest beliefs", would you tell them that they are a deluded lunatic?

Well I would say that but leave off the word "lunatic"  :) 
I know for sure she's not a lunatic and I even had a period of my life around that age where I prayed my arse of to the imaginary skydaddy to: "show me a sign".  After that I certainly did start seeing "signs" (think RAS) - but they were all signs of the stupidity and trickery involved in religion.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2013, 07:15:01 PM »
If your 19 or 20 year old child came to you one day and said, "mom/dad, I have decided to place my faith in Jesus and am denouncing my athiest beliefs", would you tell them that they are a deluded lunatic?

I didn't have to do that, but if such a thing had happened, I most certainly would have questioned them as to why. If you god can strike folks dead any time he wants, the least I can do, if necessary, is call my suddenly religious child a deluded lunatic.

At least I wouldn't be allowing someone to shoot up a classroom to make my point, as several theists here have claimed. Name calling is relatively benign in comparison.

Actually, what I did was make sure my kids were never so much in the dark about reality that they felt a need to make stuff up. That is what we called in the Air Force "preventative maintenance".
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Offline Quesi

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2013, 09:24:03 PM »
If your 19 or 20 year old child came to you one day and said, "mom/dad, I have decided to place my faith in Jesus and am denouncing my athiest beliefs", would you tell them that they are a deluded lunatic?

I think that is a great question.

I am certain that I would have many questions for her.  And I admit that I would be a bit disappointed.  But I would make sure that she knew that I loved her unconditionally, in spite of the fact that I had hoped for something else for her.

If she told me that she had embraced Jesus or Allah or that she was moving to a Buddhist monastery and taking a vow of silence, or if she told me she was dropping out of college and going on tour indefinitely with some rock band, or if she told me that she had decided that her calling in life was to be the city's greatest graffiti artist, or if she told me that her greatest ambition was to accumulate wealth, or if she told me that she had joined the teaparty, or if she told me that she wanted to renounce all worldly possessions, and hang out in ParkingPlace's neighborhood and simply raise goats, my reaction would be about the same.

Lots of questions.  A bit of disappointment.  Unconditional love.  And probably many years of searching within myself, and wondering if there was something that I had done that had caused her to take this unexpected path.  Hope that it was a phase.  And if it wasn't just a phase, probably, ultimately, acceptance. 

How about you, Biblestudent?  What would you do if your 19/20 year old came to you, and announced his/her atheism?


Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #40 on: January 17, 2013, 09:33:38 PM »
Quesi

Please tell me that you would be at least a little bit happier if your daughter joined goats then if she joined the tea party. I have all these pleasant preconceived notions about you and they need to stay intact.  ;)
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Offline Quesi

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #41 on: January 17, 2013, 10:04:28 PM »
Quesi

Please tell me that you would be at least a little bit happier if your daughter joined goats then if she joined the tea party. I have all these pleasant preconceived notions about you and they need to stay intact.  ;)

Ok, ok.  The goats would not be as disappointing as the tea party. I was actually going to add something to the "give up all worldly possessions and raise goats" thing and say something about her pledging lifelong celibacy or going in the other direction and indulging in mindless promiscuity, but I decided I didn't know enough about the goat herding lifestyle to even speculate which one was more likely.  So maybe I left that portrait of a disappointing reality a bit unfinished. 

And even if she gave up all worldly possessions and didn't even Skype me, I'd feel better if she were in your neighborhood and you could check in on her from time to time and send me updates.

Edited to add:  Ok.  Now that I think about it, if she were to live lightly off the land, and lead a futuristic Thoreau-esqe life, I guess I'd be proud and happy.  Scratch the goat raising part. 
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 10:14:25 PM by Quesi »

Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #42 on: January 17, 2013, 10:11:57 PM »
How about you, Biblestudent?  What would you do if your 19/20 year old came to you, and announced his/her atheism?

A couple of years ago, my son informed me that what he had learned in school about evolution satisfied his need to understand life and the universe. We talked about it. He explained what he had learned and I explained why I believed what I did and it was pretty much left at that. He is loved as much today as he ever was. We have not spoken about it much, if any, since then. It makes no sense to me or his mother to press the matter and try to MAKE him believe something. Besides, we have much faith that he will ultimately come to know the Truth. 


Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #43 on: January 17, 2013, 10:21:34 PM »
  Chances are you believe what you believe because you were raised by people that believe the same thing.

While that may be partially true, it makes little difference at this point. Over the past 4-5 years, I have substantially challenged my beliefs and examined opposing views in great depth.....and, frankly, my belief in God has only become stronger and more meaningful.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2013, 10:24:11 PM »
Quesi

Please tell me that you would be at least a little bit happier if your daughter joined goats then if she joined the tea party. I have all these pleasant preconceived notions about you and they need to stay intact.  ;)

Ok, ok.  The goats would not be as disappointing as the tea party. I was actually going to add something to the "give up all worldly possessions and raise goats" thing and say something about her pledging lifelong celibacy or going in the other direction and indulging in mindless promiscuity, but I decided I didn't know enough about the goat herding lifestyle to even speculate which one was more likely.  So maybe I left that portrait of a disappointing reality a bit unfinished. 

And even if she gave up all worldly possessions and didn't even Skype me, I'd feel better if she were in your neighborhood and you could check in on her from time to time and send me updates.

Edited to add:  Ok.  Now that I think about it, if she were to live lightly off the land, and lead a futuristic Thoreau-esqe life, I guess I'd be proud and happy.  Scratch the goat raising part.

Thank you for keeping my preconceived notions intact. If she shows up here, I'll tell her to go back home and work on that astronaut thing. Nicely, of course.
Never trust an atom. They make up everything!

Offline Quesi

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2013, 10:32:25 PM »
Thank you for keeping my preconceived notions intact. If she shows up here, I'll tell her to go back home and work on that astronaut thing. Nicely, of course.

Why thank you.  But I just want to be clear, I'm not really hoping for the astronaut thing.  I mean, at a certain point Neil Degrass Tyson is going to have to retire, and there is going to be an opening at that cute little planetarium over on the Upper West Side.  If she took that job....

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2013, 10:37:42 PM »
Thank you for keeping my preconceived notions intact. If she shows up here, I'll tell her to go back home and work on that astronaut thing. Nicely, of course.

Why thank you.  But I just want to be clear, I'm not really hoping for the astronaut thing.  I mean, at a certain point Neil Degrass Tyson is going to have to retire, and there is going to be an opening at that cute little planetarium over on the Upper West Side.  If she took that job....

Astrophysicist. That's what I  meant to say. Astrophysicist.
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Offline hickdive

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #47 on: January 18, 2013, 02:55:51 AM »
If I start responding to the last few posts, I think we might be effectively "hijacking" this thread.
Agree? Disagree?


Disagree, showing your reasoning is central to educating a child, anything less is simply the 'because I say so!' school.

Stupidity, unlike intelligence, has no limits.

Offline Bagheera

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #48 on: January 18, 2013, 05:26:43 AM »
Easy: "Behave or you'll burn in Hell forever."

Hard: "Find ways to contribute to your society."

More or less.

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #49 on: January 18, 2013, 09:45:22 AM »
If she told me that she had embraced Jesus or Allah

But I doubt Mrs Screwtape and I even have the genes necessary to produce a human that stupid.  You'd have to mate me with someone like Jessica Simpson[1] or Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin to get a religious offspring. And it would probably require taking all of my worst genes. You know, both of them.

...or that she was moving to a Buddhist monastery and taking a vow of silence,

I could live with that.

...dropping out of college and going on tour indefinitely with some rock band,

I could live with that, but I would not be happy.

... to be the city's greatest graffiti artist, or if she told me that her greatest ambition was to accumulate wealth,

I could live with those, to a point.

or if she told me that she had joined the teaparty,

I might not resort to murder, but violence would definitely be called for. But again, I doubt Mrs Screwtape and I together have enough "stupid" genes required to produce a teabagger.

to renounce all worldly possessions, and hang out in ParkingPlace's neighborhood and simply raise goats,

I could live with that.


edit - removed the stupid
 1. the hot one from 10 years ago.  Not the current tubby version.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 09:07:11 PM by screwtape »
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Offline Jag

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #50 on: January 18, 2013, 11:51:53 AM »
Hi again Bible Student,

I don't see a response t this question:

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.
Which other religious belief systems have you studied? I only ask because what you say in the quote above sounds like you've researched, and then rejected, multiple religions other than christianity, and concluded THEN that christianity is right. Is that the case?

Of course, you don't have to answer me, but I'm even more curious now, as you indicated in a later post that your personal beliefs have evolved quite a bit in the last few years. More information on that would be appreciated.

Also, you asked: If your 19 or 20 year old child came to you one day and said, "mom/dad, I have decided to place my faith in Jesus and am denouncing my athiest beliefs", would you tell them that they are a deluded lunatic?

Much like Quesi (although with considerably less forethought) I raised my kids without formal religion being part of our lives. I was ambivalent about the entire concept of God during those years. I was raised Catholic, but had not attended church for several years by the time my firstborn came along, and was seriously questioning my beliefs. At that point, I could best be described as agnostic, and became quite adept at explaining to my kids that "some people believe A, but other people believe B, and still others think that C is probably the case." When asked what I thought, I usually responded that I was still looking for answers (if the topic was religion - we used these phrases to talk about a lot of things over the years).

Now, my 26 YO son is an atheist, but he's mostly quiet about it to the outside world (unlike his mother who can't seem to shut up about it). My daughter, on the other hand, recently told me that she sees some value in the deist position - she'll be 22 on Saturday. We talked about it a bit, and I'm sure it will come up again, but the simple fact is she's welcome to believe whatever she wants to. That's how belief works - I could no more talk her out of her belief (if it's an actual belief, as opposed to an idea) than I could fly under my own power. And I can live with that quite easily. She's a kindhearted person who typically only gets worked up over matters of injustice or intolerance. If she's happier with a belief in a non-participatory creator god, it hurts no one, including her. If she shifts further into a theist position, we'll discuss it, and yes, I would be concerned, mostly because it would represent a major shift in her personality, and I would want to know what prompted it.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #51 on: January 18, 2013, 12:01:13 PM »
But I doubt Mrs Screwtape and I even have the genes necessary to produce a human that stupid.  You'd have to mate me with someone like Jessica Simpson[1] or Michelle Bachman or Sarah Palin to get a religious offspring. And it would probably require taking all of my worst genes. You know, both of them.
 1. the hot one from 10 years ago.  Not the current tubby version.

PLEASE! I'm eating...
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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #52 on: January 18, 2013, 12:31:50 PM »
what? 
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #53 on: January 18, 2013, 01:12:47 PM »
Hi again Bible Student,

I don't see a response t this question:

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.
Which other religious belief systems have you studied? I only ask because what you say in the quote above sounds like you've researched, and then rejected, multiple religions other than christianity, and concluded THEN that christianity is right. Is that the case?

Of course, you don't have to answer me, but I'm even more curious now, as you indicated in a later post that your personal beliefs have evolved quite a bit in the last few years. More information on that would be appreciated.


<snipped to conserve space>

I don’t mind you asking what other religions or beliefs I have examined but I am curious to know why you ask.

I settled on Christianity because of what I see as the authenticity of the Bible coupled with the life of Jesus. I can find no other worldview that so comprehensively accounts for the world we exist in and the life we live. My comments in post #23 elaborate a bit further on this.

Offline Jag

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #54 on: January 18, 2013, 01:35:36 PM »
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.

Well, this does elaborate on your specific beliefs, and talks about your issues with the TOE, but it doesn't discuss any other beliefs or religious traditions that you considered and rejected, which is what I asked you about.

As to why I'm asking the question, it's because of the way you worded the post I asked about. I'm trying to avoid making assumptions about you and your beliefs. As I indicated, I became even more curious when you stated that your beliefs have evolved over the last few years, which is why I brought it up again.
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Offline BibleStudent

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #55 on: January 18, 2013, 02:37:08 PM »
Well, this does elaborate on your specific beliefs, and talks about your issues with the TOE, but it doesn't discuss any other beliefs or religious traditions that you considered and rejected, which is what I asked you about.

As to why I'm asking the question, it's because of the way you worded the post I asked about. I'm trying to avoid making assumptions about you and your beliefs. As I indicated, I became even more curious when you stated that your beliefs have evolved over the last few years, which is why I brought it up again.

In all honesty, I don’t know if I could list ALL of the various belief systems, worldviews, and religions I have carefully examined. Since, however, you asked specifically which “religious beliefs” I have researched, I can easily recall examining some of the more predominately practiced ones such as Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witness, Islam, Judaism, Naturalism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Scientology.

Hope that answered your question.

Offline Jag

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2013, 02:47:20 PM »
Thank you. You answered part of it, about which other beliefs you considered, but missed this part: I only ask because what you say in the quote above sounds like you've researched, and then rejected, multiple religions other than christianity, and concluded THEN that christianity is right. Is that the case?

So yes, you answered the first question, but didn't really address the second one I asked, which was if I have the sequence of events correct.

My tolerance for BS is limited, and I use up most of it IRL.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: On CNN: "Why I Raise My Children Without God"
« Reply #57 on: January 18, 2013, 02:57:18 PM »
what?

Your mention of Sarah and Michelle put me off my meal.
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