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Information Zone => Introductions => Topic started by: Wasserbuffel on October 22, 2013, 12:56:51 PM

Title: Greetings
Post by: Wasserbuffel on October 22, 2013, 12:56:51 PM
Hello all.

I'm 31 and have been an atheist since I was about 13 or 14 years old.  I was brought up to be a Christian, by my Protestant mother, but my "indoctrination" was paltry at best. The only times I remember my mother taking any of us to a church was a few random times for Christmas Eve services.  When I was around six-years-old my parents divorced, and on his weekends to have us my father took us to church.  Following my older brothers' example, I ran away to play in the parking lot more often than not.  I only have three strong memories of these churches. Strongest is a martial arts exhibition, which if they connected it to the Bible in any way, I cannot now remember.  Second is being the new kid at a Sunday school class, and the teacher frowning at me for not knowing the passages the other kids had studied.  Last is being given a coloring sheet depicting people worshiping the golden calf. I knew worshiping it was seen as a bad thing, and was at a loss to understand why I was coloring a picture of it. I was not forward enough to ask, plus for the first time in my life I had my grubby little hands on gold and silver crayons, and I intended to use them for all they were worth. 

So, there is my Church upbringing: People breaking blocks with their heads is cool, teachers expecting new students to know last week's material are unreasonable, OMFG,THEY MAKE GOLD AND SILVER CRAYONS!!

My mom just told us what she knew of bible stories, god, and Jesus, and simply expected that we would be Christians. We didn't really talk about religion much, it was just something that was.  There was no room for questions.  I could just as easily have questioned the fact that I was a girl, I was a Christian, and that's the way of it.  Her strategy worked well enough it seems, as all four of my siblings are theist. One of them has actually been baptized Catholic. I think if my eldest brother put enough care into thinking about it, and didn't have to worry about how his Catholic wife would receive it, I'm pretty sure he'd be an atheist too.  We've only had a few conversations, but I get the impression he leans strongly toward non-belief. 

Like I said, though, religion just wasn't something we discussed.  In fact it was only a couple months back that my older sister even found out about my atheism. Not that I've been hiding it at all, just that religion matters so little in our family that it had just never come up.  I'm pretty sure my mom doesn't know either, because we never have conversations where it would make sense to bring it up, and I don't think it's a big enough deal to make it some sort of pronouncement.

My coworkers do know. I've worked with the same three people for 8-13 years. Two are Catholic, but the one whose religion is strongest is some other type, I don't really know which. They don't treat me differently because of it, except the one has learned to ask me to "keep him/her/ in your thoughts" instead of asking me to pray for someone she wants people to pray for. My boss loves a good conversation about anything, and is open-minded enough to not be offended when his position is questioned.  I can't say we've ever had an actual debate, because he's a compulsive liar and will ALWAYS have just spoken to some expert or other on whatever topic we're discussing whose views happen to coincide with his. I don't say that to be disparaging, I truly think he can't help himself and there's no malice in his lies, just constancy.

Like many others here, it was the act of reading the bible that turned me away from belief.  Thinking I should strengthen my understanding of what my mom had taught me, I decided to read the stories for myself. I was horrified beyond belief at what the bible actually contained.  I stopped believing in god right then, and decided that even if he were real that I could not, and would not follow such a deity.

That was a bit of a ramble, I'm not generally so verbose.

Edited: Because I can't use parentheses.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: One Above All on October 22, 2013, 01:10:49 PM
Welcome to the forum. Glad to see a female atheist joining. We don't have many of those around here (when compared to the male numbers).
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Wasserbuffel on October 22, 2013, 01:28:38 PM
That's a reverse for me. I'm a member on a couple other web forums and they're overwhelmingly female. Although, those center around pets, hobbies, and childfreedom - which tends to be more of a social issue for women than men.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Nam on October 22, 2013, 02:08:52 PM
Stay away from Nam -- he's a real asshole. Only advice I can give on being a member here.

-Nam
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: William on October 22, 2013, 02:33:09 PM
Although, those center around pets, hobbies, and childfreedom - which tends to be more of a social issue for women than men.
We have done those sorts of topics here  :)  Mostly in "Chatter" but children and freedom comes up a lot when we talk about how it's child abuse to brainwash kids into religion, and how certain religious beliefs run in families and cultures as a result.  There are a few threads discussing raising kids as free thinkers, and the challenges for them in society and in family life when not everybody is atheist.  Plenty for you to read and contribute to.  Plus a whole universe of other interesting topics.

Enjoy your stay and I look forward to seeing you on the forums.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Benny on October 22, 2013, 03:14:24 PM
Good to see you, and welcome!  I think you'll enjoy it here.

Stay away from Nam -- he's a real asshole. Only advice I can give on being a member here.

-Nam
I second this  ;)

i'm sorry nam i was just making a joke i didn't mean it literally don't kill me please you are spectacular hugs and love forever
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Wasserbuffel on October 22, 2013, 05:00:44 PM
Quote
Mostly in "Chatter" but children and freedom comes up a lot when we talk about how it's child abuse to brainwash kids into religion, and how certain religious beliefs run in families and cultures as a result.  There are a few threads discussing raising kids as free thinkers, and the challenges for them in society and in family life when not everybody is atheist. 

I think you misunderstand. Childfree is how those of us who have actively chosen to not have children describe ourselves. Most people would call us childless, but many take issue with that term as the "less" part denotes a lack of something desirable. Since we don't desire children, we don't feel we're lacking anything.  I say this is generally more of a female social issue because societal pressure on women to have children is many times greater than it is on men. That's not to say there aren't plenty of childfree men in the world, but people don't generally treat a man as a thing against nature if he doesn't have children. 

I felt very at home when I saw mention of BINGO cards here in reference to common phrases uttered by theists when confronted with atheism. We have our own cards.  If you think godbotherers are bad, pronatalists are at least equally so.  People say things like:

It's different when it's your own. -- Yeah, I can't get away from it.
You'll change your mind.  -- What happens if my mind were to change AFTER it's born?
Who will take care of you when you're old? -- My big, fat bank account that I haven't spent raising kids.

I'm what we call an early adopter. I've known since I was quite young that I had no desire to have children, although I pretty much expected I would for a long time because I didn't know there was an option. Even as a young girl my desire to not have children was so strong that becoming a nun actually looked appealing, because in my limited world they were the only adult women I knew of that did not have children.  In middle school my girlfriends and I planned to buy a farm together when we were adults. In our dream each of us had a house on the same property, they with their husbands and children, I with my cats.

My childfreedom has been a greater social obstacle than my atheism. My in-laws never breathed a word to me about my non-belief, but we've gone rounds about my non-babies. My father-in-law was the most persistent. After husband and I bough our house, FIL pointed to the swings hanging from the tree and said all they need is a couple of (his) grandkids on them. I replied that I would invite his daughter and her kids over sometime to use them. That's one of many indirect appeals he made, but I'm not concerned. If he wanted more grandkids than his daughter has provided, he should have had more kids of his own.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: One Above All on October 22, 2013, 05:05:16 PM
<snip>

Childfree you say? How old are you? Maybe we could grab dinner some time. ;)[1]
 1. Kidding.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: William on October 22, 2013, 05:13:30 PM
I think you misunderstand. Childfree is how those of us who have actively chosen to not have children describe ourselves.

Yes wow! My mistake not reading "Childfreedom" the right way. Glad we cleared that up  ;D

Let me repeat my welcome. You add an interesting voice and dimension here - I'm now even more keen to hear your points of view :)
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: ParkingPlaces on October 22, 2013, 05:41:40 PM
Welcome Wasserbuffel. I can almost spell that one.

The site has its ups and downs. On some days we get free theists to eat, on others, we have to scrounge for food amongst ourselves. But over all, it can be fun. If you can call voluntarily exposing oneself to whacko variations on religion fun.

All religions are whacko, and there are so many of 'em…

Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Nam on October 22, 2013, 06:14:19 PM
Welcome Wasserbuffel. I can almost spell that one.

The site has its ups and downs. On some days we get free theists to eat, on others, we have to scrounge for food amongst ourselves. But over all, it can be fun. If you can call voluntarily exposing oneself to whacko variations on religion fun.

All religions are whacko, and there are so many of 'em…



I thought I was the entertainment when theists weren't around. :'(

(I hate you!!!!)

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: wright on October 22, 2013, 10:36:53 PM
Thanks for the background, Wb. Love the story about crayons; I still remember the delight I felt at getting a BIG box of them when I was about that age.

Thanks for the education about childfreedom, as well. I'd heard the term before but like William, misunderstood it. Interesting that your in-laws had a bigger problem accepting that than your atheism.

Looking forward to seeing you around the forum.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: magicmiles on October 22, 2013, 10:55:07 PM


All religions are whacko, and there are so many of 'em…

As opposed to Montanans, who are whacko but thankfully thin on the ground.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Jag on October 22, 2013, 11:11:08 PM
Welcome Wasserbuffel, looking forward to your input on the boards.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Nam on October 22, 2013, 11:29:15 PM
Welcome Wasserbuffel, looking forward to your input on the boards.

You didn't say this on my Intro? Do I have an Intro?

I can't remember...

-Nam
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Jag on October 22, 2013, 11:47:36 PM
^^^If you ever posted one, it was long before I arrived I imagine.

If you wrote one now, I'd have to think about an appropriate greeting for a while.  8)
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Nam on October 23, 2013, 12:02:41 AM
^^^If you ever posted one, it was long before I arrived I imagine.

If you wrote one now, I'd have to think about an appropriate greeting for a while.  8)

It's on page two along with grammatical errors, and positions and thoughts I no longer hold. Of course it's copy/pasted from the old wwgha in 2007.

-Nam
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: ParkingPlaces on October 23, 2013, 12:53:44 AM
Welcome Wasserbuffel. I can almost spell that one.

The site has its ups and downs. On some days we get free theists to eat, on others, we have to scrounge for food amongst ourselves. But over all, it can be fun. If you can call voluntarily exposing oneself to whacko variations on religion fun.

All religions are whacko, and there are so many of 'em…



I thought I was the entertainment when theists weren't around. :'(

(I hate you!!!!)

;)

-Nam

I'm not really a fan of myself either. But I love you, Nam... :-*

(Sorry Wasserbuffel, a few of us are trying to have issues in case we run out of theists and we end up having to hassle each other.  ;D)
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Nam on October 23, 2013, 12:56:40 AM
What the hell is with all the "I love you's" lately. I hope you people are joking 'cause that shit's sick. Next thing you know you'll be calling me by my birth name.

I might have to leave if that happen.





"might" -- just to be clear.

-Nam
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Wasserbuffel on October 23, 2013, 09:24:22 AM
Thanks for the welcome all!

Thanks for the tip about staying away from Nam, Nam.  I'll be sure to keep from talking to that asshole.

Quote
(Sorry Wasserbuffel, a few of us are trying to have issues in case we run out of theists and we end up having to hassle each other.  ;D)

I doubt we'll run out of theist, but I understand. I have taken up a similar issue with a member on my CF board. He and I commonly disparage each other over our handedness. Me being a lefty and him a righty, we just can't seem to see eye to eye. ;)

Quote
Thanks for the education about childfreedom, as well. I'd heard the term before but like William, misunderstood it. Interesting that your in-laws had a bigger problem accepting that than your atheism.

Having been part of the CF culture for so long I tend to forget the term isn't widely known or used! It's ingrained in my lexicon and personal identity, and well known to those who know me because of it. There are also a surprising number of CF on my greyhound message board.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Jag on October 23, 2013, 09:35:23 AM
What the hell is with all the "I love you's" lately.
We took junebug's words to heart.

Wasserbuffel, I'm not surprised to hear that you get more nonsense of choosing to be childless than over your non-belief - people seem perfectly willing to mind everyone else's business over the most personal matters. Has anyone ever suggested that the two are related? Just curious.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: neopagan on October 23, 2013, 09:37:43 AM
Welcome aboard, Wb!

Had I not just read a post from Mar on here a couple days back about him pursuing antinatalism, I would have been thrown by the CF comment as well.

I've had a hand in[1] spawning 3 new earthlings, so I should be on your bad list... :)



 1. Don't take the phrase literally
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on October 23, 2013, 10:55:01 AM
Hi WB and welcome - I used to be the crazy theist but I stopped believing so now I'm just plain crazy.   ;)
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Nam on October 23, 2013, 10:56:52 AM
Hi WB and welcome - I used to be the crazy theist but I stopped believing so now I'm just plain crazy.   ;)

I believe it.

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Wasserbuffel on October 23, 2013, 11:07:43 AM
Quote
Wasserbuffel, I'm not surprised to hear that you get more nonsense of choosing to be childless than over your non-belief - people seem perfectly willing to mind everyone else's business over the most personal matters.


Isn't that the truth of it?  Nobody cares that I don't want to be an astronaut, or a tap dancer, but it matters to them if I don't make babies.

Quote
Has anyone ever suggested that the two are related? Just curious.

So far I haven't had anyone make the association to me, but I think there might be one. Just as most atheist have put more though into their position, the CF have generally done the same.  It's easy to just follow along with the Life ScriptTM. Graduation, college, job, marriage, babies, minivan, retirement, death; all the while following the religion you were indoctrinated into as a child. Society approves, no trouble.

I think the type of person who is able to break the mold in one aspect, is more likely to be able to in another.  Most of my CF friends are also atheist, one or two are pagan, and two are Jewish.

Quote
I've had a hand in[1] spawning 3 new earthlings, so I should be on your bad list...

Nah, spawn all you like. You're only on my bad list if you think your life choice is more valid than mine.  ;) Or if you're pushing one of the 15,000 damned strollers in the tunnel of the aquarium at the zoo. That place is gridlocked more often than not with those things!  ;)
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Nam on October 23, 2013, 11:09:15 AM
If it makes you feel comfortable here, I'm 36 and have no children....I think.

-Nam
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: neopagan on October 23, 2013, 11:12:48 AM
Nah, spawn all you like. You're only on my bad list if you think your life choice is more valid than mine.  ;) Or if you're pushing one of the 15,000 damned strollers in the tunnel of the aquarium at the zoo. That place is gridlocked more often than not with those things!  ;)

Ha - as long as there are enough warm bodies to keep Starbucks stocked with a fair amount of baristas, I could care less about peoples' reproductive choices (quiver-full, folks excluded!)   ;)
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Wasserbuffel on October 23, 2013, 12:23:01 PM
I just did some googling on antinatalism, no wonder you thought you might be on my bad list!  I suppose some childfree might be anitnatalist, but it's definitely not most. I think I might have come across the term years back, but had forgotten it.

My position isn't that having babies is a bad thing in general. It's just a very bad thing for ME.

I do think there are some situations in which giving birth is not a good idea, but I also think it's not my business to push my opinion on someone.  I've got a friend whose family has a genetic kidney disorder. It's one of those that's passed down with a 25% chance of being active in a given child, but 100% chance of being passed down.  It's inactive in her and her sister, but their brother had to be in dialysis by the time he was 16 (Friend was completely torn up at her brother's suffering).  The sister decided she would not have children, and thus have zero chance of causing such suffering in any of her descendants.  I believe she made a good and honorable decision.  Friend has had two babies, and despite my thinking it's an incredibly stupid thing to do, she'll NEVER know my opinion.

Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Jonny-UK on October 23, 2013, 01:17:13 PM
Welcome WB. I have not been on here long myself but already feel part of it all.
I too look forward to reading your input on the threads.
Enjoy :D
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: LoriPinkAngel on October 23, 2013, 02:02:30 PM
WB - I totally relate to and understand the childfree position.  I never intended to have children but caved to conformity and a shark jumping attempt to save a hopeless marriage and had a son when I was 36.  Now I am in a situation where I can barely take care of myself, let alone a kid so I am not only ruining my life and future but his as well.  Even though I love my son with all my heart if I had had the courage to stand my ground and not have him this horror would not be occurring.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Nam on October 23, 2013, 10:49:01 PM
Welcome WB. I have not been on here long myself but already feel part of it all.
I too look forward to reading your input on the threads.
Enjoy :D

That Nam dude -- sscccaarryyy.

-Nam
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Nam on October 23, 2013, 10:50:44 PM
WB - I totally relate to and understand the childfree position.  I never intended to have children but caved to conformity and a shark jumping attempt to save a hopeless marriage and had a son when I was 36.  Now I am in a situation where I can barely take care of myself, let alone a kid so I am not only ruining my life and future but his as well.  Even though I love my son with all my heart if I had had the courage to stand my ground and not have him this horror would not be occurring.

Think of me in your life on a daily basis (in person and online) -- your life just got better.

;)

-Nam
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Fiji on October 24, 2013, 03:00:11 AM
Hello and Welcome Wasserbuffel,
I'm the token European around here (Actually, haven't got the foggiest how many Europeans we have ... "not a lot" is probably a good aproximation)
But I'm definitely the only Belgian!
Which brings me to the following question ... whence the German username?
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Jonny-UK on October 24, 2013, 08:43:33 AM
Welcome WB. I have not been on here long myself but already feel part of it all.
I too look forward to reading your input on the threads.
Enjoy :D

That Nam dude -- sscccaarryyy.

-Nam
sscccaarryyy or just reaching out for more love and hugs?
you know you love it ;)
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Wasserbuffel on October 24, 2013, 08:56:16 AM
Quote
I never intended to have children but caved to conformity and a shark jumping attempt to save a hopeless marriage and had a son when I was 36.  Now I am in a situation where I can barely take care of myself, let alone a kid so I am not only ruining my life and future but his as well.  Even though I love my son with all my heart if I had had the courage to stand my ground and not have him this horror would not be occurring.

Situations like yours are exactly what people ignore when they spout off and pressure those who don't want kids into having them.  To them it's all supposed to be rainbows and butterflies, but they don't stop to think that a person who really doesn't want to raise a child will probably not be fulfilled by doing so. Not only will this cause them problems, but the child will suffer too.

It's also part of the reason I'm vocal about it. I want to be an example to those around me that a fulfilling life can certainly be lived without kids.  I want my nieces to know that they have value in themselves whether they have kids or not, nephews too, but again it's not as big an issue for a man.  I had no CF adults to look up to, and had to go it alone against everything and everyone telling me otherwise.  I was very glad of the support of CF online communities.

Quote
whence the German username?

In 8th grade my school required us to take foreign language. (In 7th we were exposed to each of the choices.) Along with several of my friends I chose German.  Early on we used our dictionaries to choose nicknames. We chose words we thought were fun to say. One friend was Ausländer (we didn't know enough to know it only meant foreigner, not extraterrestrial), another was Kartoffel (potato).  We liked both wasserbuffel and wassermelone (watermelon), but since I was tall and rail thin at the time we figured naming me for a broad, stumpy waterbuffalo would be much funnier.

The name stuck, and even throughout high school I signed all my assignments as Wasserbuffel instead of with my name.  When my family got internet for the first time, and when choosing a username for my first email account, I went with the nickname I was already using.  I really should have spelled it wasserbueffel, since the word has an umlaut over the U, but I hadn't learned that yet.  It works well enough, though, as I very rarely can't get the username I want without adding numbers.

Now I must ask, if you're the resident European, why named for an island in the Pacific?
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Boots on October 24, 2013, 09:17:24 AM
Welcome, WB.

Allow me to say that I'm always impressed with folks who chose not to have children, for what I arrogantly call "The Right Reasons" (or, rather, who refrain from having children for "The Wrong Reasons").  My wife is a teacher, and I constantly hear stories about students whose parents don't give a rat's arse about what's happening in their kids' lives, and I can't help but think "then why the phluck did you ever have kids?!?!"

My wife and I deliberated for 2 years before we decided we actually wanted children, then we waited a few more before we decided we were "ready," despite my Roman Catholic family continually asking "soooooo, when are you two going to start having kids???"  We had multiple discussions on our parenting philosophies, and decided that since they were compatible we would make a good team.  We agreed early on that we would never undermine each other's parenting, and would only bring up disagreements NOT in front of the kids--and we've been almost 100% successful with that.  We also decided that we wanted kids so that we could try to make the world a better place for the future, by instilling our paltry wisdom and as open-thinking as we could manage--and not because it was expected of us.  If any of these discussions hadn't turned out satisfactory answers, we'd have not had children.

so, I salute you.  *salut*  <--pronouncing that SALOO of course

even though my opinion is worthless, I opine you're doing the right thing.  :-)
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: naemhni on October 24, 2013, 10:04:24 AM
Hi, WB, welcome.

I've been childfree all my life, but I haven't very often received any static about it.  It cropped up occasionally when I was younger, of course -- typical breeder-bingo "you'll change your mind when you get older" garbage -- but now that I actually am older, it doesn't seem to come up anymore.  The last time I remember someone getting on me about it was when I was 34, although she was actually pretty polite about asking me about it, unless most breeders.

It's becoming more acceptable these days to be childfree, but as you say, some people, especially women, still get flak over it.  When I first met the woman who would later become my girlfriend, for example, she told me that she was also childfree and had never met anyone else, until me, who was the same way, and she said she was constantly getting crap over it from family and friends, which led to her also becoming part of the CF movement (although she later left it for unrelated reasons).

Stick to your guns.  It's becoming increasingly acceptable to be CF, and eventually, with any luck at all, people will finally shut the hell up about.  :-)
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Wasserbuffel on October 24, 2013, 11:15:54 AM
Quote
My wife and I deliberated for 2 years before we decided we actually wanted children, then we waited a few more before we decided we were "ready," despite my Roman Catholic family continually asking "soooooo, when are you two going to start having kids???"  We had multiple discussions on our parenting philosophies, and decided that since they were compatible we would make a good team.  We agreed early on that we would never undermine each other's parenting, and would only bring up disagreements NOT in front of the kids--and we've been almost 100% successful with that.  We also decided that we wanted kids so that we could try to make the world a better place for the future, by instilling our paltry wisdom and as open-thinking as we could manage--and not because it was expected of us.  If any of these discussions hadn't turned out satisfactory answers, we'd have not had children.

I salute you as well, you and your wife went about it the "right" way. Putting thought and deliberation into your decision rather than just becoming parents just because it's expected of you.  Because you want them is really the only good reason to have kids.


Pianodwarf,

You're right, it is becoming more acceptable now, but it's still not overly common.  The questions are still asked, "When/how many kids?" instead of "Are you planning on kids?".  I don't think "You'll change your mind" will go away anytime soon.

Parents aren't necessarily even exempt from the "you'll change your mind" bingo.  My younger sister got it when she was about to have her tubes tied. She already had two kids with her ex husband and was adopting out the one she was pregnant with when she made the decision to be sterilized. The doctor seriously asked her if she was sure about it, because "what if something happens to one of your other kids?" 
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Jag on October 24, 2013, 11:22:15 AM
Not trying to focus entirely on the CF choice but it's an interesting topic, so I'm gonna.  :angel:

I really don't know if the pressure to reproduce is common everywhere or if it's largely a US phenomenon. Anyone from other continents or countries who can speak for their part of the world?

Also, is the pressure truly related to religion, or is it just a knee-jerk answer for most people due to our culture (which admittedly is heavily influenced by religion). Is it even possible to separate the two and still have a valid answer? Maybe this should go into a thread of it's own...

Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Nam on October 24, 2013, 11:37:07 AM
Welcome WB. I have not been on here long myself but already feel part of it all.
I too look forward to reading your input on the threads.
Enjoy :D

That Nam dude -- sscccaarryyy.

-Nam
sscccaarryyy or just reaching out for more love and hugs?
you know you love it ;)

Ick.

-Nam
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Graybeard on October 24, 2013, 11:41:14 AM
, OMFG,THEY MAKE GOLD AND SILVER CRAYONS!!

I see this as the best reason yet for being a temporary Christian. Welcome.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Wasserbuffel on October 24, 2013, 12:53:10 PM
Quote
I really don't know if the pressure to reproduce is common everywhere or if it's largely a US phenomenon. Anyone from other continents or countries who can speak for their part of the world?

I know people from around the world who identify as CF.  No Kidding has chapters in Canada and New Zealand as well as the US.

I think pressure to reproduce is actually stronger in many other countries. Women in many countries face social stigma and abuses just for being infertile, never mind choosing not to have kids in such a culture! 

Even in the US, women of color have a harder time gaining acceptance and choosing to be CF. The social pressure for Latinas especially is enormous. Hell, even whites are pressured to make babies by racists thinking it's the end of the world if brown people begin to outnumber them. They try to be subtle about it, and it's more common in the south, but the do it none the less.

As educational rates for women rise in a country birthrates drop, women have fewer kids and the number who have none will increase too.

Quote
Also, is the pressure truly related to religion, or is it just a knee-jerk answer for most people due to our culture (which admittedly is heavily influenced by religion). Is it even possible to separate the two and still have a valid answer? Maybe this should go into a thread of it's own...

I think the two can definitely be separated, and still have a valid answer.  There are a lot of pressures that are religion based, but I think more of it is cultural. One common bingo is that parenting is "the most important job in the world".  Think of how many advertisements you see for attractions and events that describe them as "family friendly" which actually means "for those with small children friendly".  How many pop culture magazines track "baby bumps" of celebrities? Grocery stores occasionally providing parking stalls for "new and expecting mothers" (why not new fathers?). All these are secular examples of society elevating parenthood over non-parenthood, and there are plenty more.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Jag on October 24, 2013, 01:12:12 PM
^^^Thank you for the additional insights.

I recognize the secular pressures you identified. I was just thinking that if pushed, people might be surprised at their actual reasons for believing that baby-making is a given. Reasons that wouldn't be the first that come to mind on the topic, more what they would think if they, well, actually stopped and thought about it. It's really difficult for me to isolate cultural assumptions from religious assumptions - I know some of what influences my thinking but certainly can be surprised by realizations about my positions on things. Sometimes it turns out to be leftover from beliefs or opinions that I no longer hold, and sometimes it turns out to be complete crap based on nothing whatsoever.

Advertising is all about the money and doesn't really reflect the values of individuals so much as it reflect what advertisers want from consumers. I have a love-hate attitude toward marketing. I find the psychology behind it absolutely fascinating (if extremely manipulative and somewhat evil) while simultaneously being horrified at how well it often works. Marketing tells us what to think and far too often we blindly agree.

I'm mostly just speculating. I have no stake in this and it's not my experience so any opinion I have is purely speculative. I can waste days on end contemplating people's motivations based on their behaviors and actions. It's a good way to avoid the homework I should be doing as well, so I best get back at it.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Fiji on October 24, 2013, 02:51:14 PM
Now I must ask, if you're the resident European, why named for an island in the Pacific?

Well, when I was in the second year of middleschool[1] our Dutch/English/history/religion teacher had a leave of absence because of a distended abdomen and inflamation of the mammary glands due to infection with a chimeric tumor ... ie. she was pregnant. So, we got a substitute for History and religion (the other two subjects were reassigned internally). And OF COURSE we just had to have a bit of a go at her. Nothing mean, mind you. A staple in such circumstances is to change names. This being a Catholic school, we had easy access to bibles. What better place to find peculiar names.
However, while we knew about the endless list of begats ... none of us knew where exactly they were located ... and this was that dark and mystical time in human history known as "before Google"[2]
After discarding the names we couldn't pronounce ourselves and the names that were too common we actually ran out of names (or rather, the will to trudge through any more of the damn bible). What other book 12/13 year olds have easy access to could contain peculiar names. The Atlas of course[3]! And that's how I ended up as Fiji. And, like you, I kept using the name, partially because I wasn't too fond of my actual name at the time. And, when Al Gore finally got around to inventing the Internet[4] I too used the name as a UID/handle/nick.
And since we appear to be on a forum on the subject of religion ... Fiji happens to be the promised land of the Cat people from Red Dwarf that Dave Lister will lead them to. ;)
 1. which translates to eighth grade on your side of the pond, right?
 2. hell, it was before Internet even
 3. staying with the topic of ancient flight of fancy
 4. yes, yes, I know
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Wasserbuffel on October 24, 2013, 02:57:41 PM
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Advertising is all about the money and doesn't really reflect the values of individuals so much as it reflect what advertisers want from consumers. I have a love-hate attitude toward marketing. I find the psychology behind it absolutely fascinating (if extremely manipulative and somewhat evil) while simultaneously being horrified at how well it often works. Marketing tells us what to think and far too often we blindly agree.

True, and that's why I specified that these were ads for attractions and events, which tend toward more of an announcement of what's available than an ad for a consumer product might. Farmer's markets, malls, historical sites. My boss does some advertising, and despite knowing me he gets stuck in the "family friendly" thought process. Once I had to stop him from calling a river "family oriented".  How exactly does a river orient itself around the needs of canoeing families, it's a river!  He ended up saying it was fun for all ages instead.

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I was just thinking that if pushed, people might be surprised at their actual reasons for believing that baby-making is a given. Reasons that wouldn't be the first that come to mind on the topic, more what they would think if they, well, actually stopped and thought about it.

This is a really good thought, and just as valid a question for parents to answer as non-parents. I think a lot of it has to do simply with the rather recent availability of effective contraception and independence for women (it's been less than 100 years since we gained the right to vote in the US).  My own mother is only a few years older than the birth control pill. Even with effective contraception there are accidental pregnancies, both of my sisters have had pregnancies while on BC.

Society still hasn't caught up to these developments in a lot of ways. Being just a generation removed from those whose choice in the matter was little more than non-existent, it's not surprising people don't really give their assumptions much thought.

When I was a little girl there was never any indication that it was a choice. My sisters and I were given dolls to play with. All the adult women in my world were mothers, or if they were young teachers expected to be. In school sex ed classes birth control was used to prevent pregnancy until you're ready.  Anything interesting or worldly was "something to tell your kids about".

Having not had a very strong religious background, I know my assumptions were cultural.

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I'm mostly just speculating. I have no stake in this and it's not my experience so any opinion I have is purely speculative. I can waste days on end contemplating people's motivations based on their behaviors and actions. It's a good way to avoid the homework I should be doing as well, so I best get back at it.

You do have a stake though! Your opinions and experience are just as valid as mine here. What assumptions regarding parenthood have you grown up with? Do you have kids?  If you do, what were your reasons? If not, what is your plan, and the reasons behind it?  (I suppose we might need a new thread!)

To have kids or not is one of the most important decisions of our lives, and affects every aspect. Raising kids is a huge commitment of time, energy, emotion, and money. It's also permanent[1], unless you screw up royally and get your kids taken away. For a woman there are permanent changes to your body, and - although it's less common - there is a risk of death with pregnancy. Your relationships with your partner (marital happiness takes a deep downturn while children are in the home, and swings back up once they leave), family, friends, and coworkers will be different depending on your choice. Where you live will be influenced by school districts, and how many bedrooms you need. Even the car you buy will be influenced. Kids will bring home lots more germs to get you sick with more colds etc., and you'll have less leave time from work (assuming work) because some will have been used to take care of sick kids instead of sick you.


 1. I'm assuming parenting here, not giving it up for adoption.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Dr H on October 24, 2013, 02:59:37 PM
What the hell is with all the "I love you's" lately. I hope you people are joking 'cause that shit's sick. Next thing you know you'll be calling me by my birth name.


Your birth name?

Jesus?  Is that really you, son?

 ;D
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Benny on October 24, 2013, 03:07:35 PM
sscccaarryyy or just reaching out for more love and hugs?
you know you love it ;)

DID SOMEBODY SAY LOVE AND HUGS I GOT HERE AS FAST AS COULD DID I MISS ANYTHING
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: neopagan on October 24, 2013, 03:12:07 PM
What the hell is with all the "I love you's" lately. I hope you people are joking 'cause that shit's sick. Next thing you know you'll be calling me by my birth name.


Your birth name?

Jesus?  Is that really you, son?

 ;D

This should be a whole (<=== auditory pun alert) new thread - Nam's birth name!
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Wasserbuffel on October 24, 2013, 03:13:37 PM
Fiji,

Fun how similar our stories are. You're right, second year of middle school is eight grade over here. Locally we used to call our middle schools "junior high", and the transition happened between my 7th and 8th grade years. So I actually went to both a Jr. High and a Middle School, even though they were the same school.

I remember the list of endless begats when I was reading the bible, I'll admit I skimmed that portion once I cottoned on to what was happening (mostly that it wasn't about to end).

Ah, I remember the days before Google, what a backward time it was!  ;)
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: neopagan on October 24, 2013, 03:19:14 PM
I remember many a cold and lonesome night spent spent roaming dusty, dank corridors in the college libraries BG[1].  It was virtually impossible to find copies of Sports Illustrated swimsuit editions back then!   ;)
 1. Before Google
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Nam on October 24, 2013, 04:22:25 PM
What the hell is with all the "I love you's" lately. I hope you people are joking 'cause that shit's sick. Next thing you know you'll be calling me by my birth name.


Your birth name?

Jesus?  Is that really you, son?

 ;D

Yes, it is. I'm an american, born an' raised.

-Nam
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Dr H on October 24, 2013, 05:01:53 PM
What the hell is with all the "I love you's" lately. I hope you people are joking 'cause that shit's sick. Next thing you know you'll be calling me by my birth name.


Your birth name?

Jesus?  Is that really you, son?

 ;D

Yes, it is. I'm an american, born an' raised.

-Nam

As Ma Ferguson is alleged to have said, ""If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for me."

And American English, no less.  :)
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Mrjason on October 25, 2013, 07:18:12 AM
And since we appear to be on a forum on the subject of religion ... Fiji happens to be the promised land of the Cat people from Red Dwarf that Dave Lister will lead them to. ;)

Heretic  >:( What happened to Fuchal? Next you'll be telling me the people who serve at the Temple of Food wear BLUE hats.

Anyways, welcome Wasserbuffel.
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: SnagDaddyQ on October 25, 2013, 02:51:38 PM
Well this is going to sound ridiculous, but can anyone tell me how to start a new topic please?
Title: Re: Greetings
Post by: Dante on October 25, 2013, 02:58:04 PM
Well this is going to sound ridiculous, but can anyone tell me how to start a new topic please?

I think you have to have a minimum number of posts prior to starting a new one. 3 is the magic number.