Raising Kids Without Religion... A cop-out?

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posted on Oct, 10 2008 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by Grandma
 


Grandma thats a nice story.
I think the point about children being more in tune with their spirituality is
a good one.
The question is ,which religion do you teach them?
Why choose one of the abrahamic sects?
Why not go for Pagan,Rastafarian,Olmec,Eskimo,Polynesian,Hindu,Korean or Viking relgion?
Due to the fact of there being no evidence whatsoever for the various claims of all organised religious institutions,isn't one religion just as plausible,credible and feasible as the other?
Regards Karl




posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 01:49 AM
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reply to post by karl 12
 


Actually you are right but not completely on the right track (IMO).. Here is the dilemma with religion in my view..

Let's say one day Joe Shmoe has an "awakening" of some kind. He decides to focus his attention on catholicism because of what good things he's heard about it from family and friends. Joe becomes introduced and "indoctrinated" into his new faith.

The problem with Joe is the same problem everyone in every other religion has. Statistically, any one religion you decide to believe in is going to be a false religion. Once Joe Shmoe devotes himself to a specific faith-based belief system, he is instantly involved with a religious faith that is a tiny percentage/fraction of all religions and faith-based beliefs around the world. The numbers are stacked against Joe from the very start because the majority of the world thinks their own faith is the "true" faith while all others are "false".

Also, the problem you are talking about in your post doesn't really have anything to do with "choosing" a religion as if religions are boxes of cereal at the supermarket (although its disturbingly true since any religion will usually welcome new believers with open arms. People can, technically, change religions anytime they want. There is big, tax-free money to be made through religion!! "God" could always use a little more of it too.). The problem is how people look at religion like some kind of teenage craze sweeping the nation. Religion should not be about someone one day saying "Hey, I'm going to be catholic today". In fact, IMO, religion is irrelevant when it comes to a human faith-based belief in God. YES.. You can believe in God without being religious. You can be perfectly humble, teach your kids good ethical values, and be a good person without having to subscribe to any form of organised religion at all. If people have some kind of assumption that without religion you are lost, then they, themselves, have no idea what they're talking about.

It's almost as if religion is the stupid man's belief system in which Joe Shmoe can't really decide what he wants to believe in, so organised religion is the answer because that religion tells Joe Shmoe what is right, wrong, expected of him, and they put a very ominous-looking carrot in front of his face called eternal damnation. But why can't we just "believe" what we want to believe by making up our own damn minds? Is everyone so mind-numbingly stupid that the only way they can find god is by being religious? Well, maybe some people are.. but I know for a fact that there are alot of really intelligent religious people out there who probably constantly question the very faith they subscribe to...And I know some very intelligent, non-religious people who are completely content with what they believe..

The problem is that if you believe in something enough, any other viewpoint or opinion that doesn't agree with what you believe in sounds completely absurd. Maybe even "blasphemous". But regardless of "who is right" and "who is wrong" where god is concerned, noone can ever honestly KNOW whether or not:

1- They are even right in believing their faith is the one "true faith" while all others are "false" (which, in reality, is scarily ethnocentric).
2- Religion/faith in God even matters to God in the first place.

Most religions view god as an omnipotent being. The catch is that humans have free will right? Well, so much for an omnipotent God.. If God has no power of free-will, then God really isn't all powerful. We are.. The decisions we make have a direct affect on everything around us.

Here's another hypothetical scenario to think about..
In this hypothetical world, the earth exists in a universe created by an all-powerful, omnipotent God. God writes a book, teleports it down to earth, and it later becomes known as the bible. A bible written by God alone and within this book are guidelines, rules, and principles that, if lived by, could create a blissful world for humanity free from all evil.

People believe in what is in the book. The belief in this system eventually becomes called a "religion" among mortals here on earth. But, eventually, people break off from the norm. Humans eventually create thousands of other religions and faith-belief systems separate from the afformentioned "true faith" originally created by the one true God.

Eventually, a massive portion of society believes in spiritual beliefs other than this one true faith. Honestly, if God is all powerful, then God would have already known that people would eventually create their own thousands of religions free from God's influence and that the "one true faith" created by God would eventually become not so important in the grand human scheme of things here on earth. Perhaps the system, created by god, would eventually become so unimportant to humans on earth it would eventually be forgotten for all time over a period of a few million years.

But now, in this hypothetical scenario, the entire population of the earth doesn't even know that there is one true god-created system in the first place. Long ago, God made a pact with humankind. If people believed in his system, he would allow them to go to heaven when they died. If people did not believe in his system, he would send them to burn and suffer for all eternity in the firey pits of Hades when they died. But now, noone believes in his system and, as God can now see, noone has any knowledge that it ever existed in the first place.

God would then either have to send all humans to suffer and burn in Hades for all eternity OR God would have to cut them some slack and allow them into heaven regardless of their religious beliefs.
HOWEVER, God would already have known all this would happen before even creating humankind in the first place right? Because although God may not be able to control free will, God probably would have a pretty good idea of what would eventually happen..

THIS is the problem as I see it. God would NOT have created humanity in the first place if God already knew that all or most of humanity would be sent to hell one by one.. In fact, God would have already known that thousands of spiritual beliefs, religions, etc.. would eventually take a foothold on earth and spread like wildfire. So here is the big question..Why would god create humankind if we are basically in this situation RIGHT NOW? Believers in any one religion are a tiny fraction of the bigger whole of global spiritual beliefs. Is god really willing to allow the majority of the people he created to suffer and die for all eternity because they don't believe his way when noone honestly knows what that "one true faith" is in the first place? THAT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE....


-ChriS

[edit on 11-10-2008 by BlasteR]



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 03:57 AM
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reply to post by BlasteR
 


Gotta stop you at "awakening" there, Blaster, because everything from that point onwards is subject to fractal wrongness.

Just because this bloke has an "awakening" doesn't make it true or valid. It just means he thinks something one day. This is not proof, this is not divine inspiration, it's just rubbish.



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 11:22 AM
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Originally posted by asmeone2
If they[my children] were to follow any religion, I want it to be because they have a conviction to do so, not because some family member follows it or someone has pressured or scared them into it.

I would think that God would want true converts, not drones.

Thoughts?

I have not read all the posts in this topic so I'm just going to reply to the OP, hope you don't mind.

That said, I believe a good parent teaches their children objectively no matter which religion they follow. Because, if they are in the "right" religion, they should have nothing to fear about their children falling prey to another belief system when they go out into the world one day, as long as they showed them the "right" belief system as an option.

I disagree with teaching children they will go to Hell if they choose NOT to believe as you do. This puts pressure on their minds and they will, of course, follow your beliefs...for a while. But as soon as they step out into the world, unguarded, they'll have the opportunity to learn all the other beliefs and religions available and they may decide their parents were wrong.

If their parent's message was forced into their head using the fear-tactic of damnation in Hell if they dare not believe, this young person will hold resentment due to the post traumatic stress and unrealistic guilt they feel every time they try to open their mind to other teachings. This will produce bitterness in them which will lead to hate.

It's better to teach children the "gist" of all religions and let THEM decide which one they will choose, if any(which should also be an option).



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 12:34 PM
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It takes an above average intelligence in a family to instill good moral values in children. If you don't have that, then I suggest you use religion. Please use something.



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 05:59 PM
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Originally posted by earthman4
It takes an above average intelligence in a family to instill good moral values in children. If you don't have that, then I suggest you use religion. Please use something.

"Use something" if you feel you're below average intelligence? Any religion?

That's a VERY narcissistic thing to say and very below intelligent, because what they may find may end up being some suicide cult and it will all be your fault for suggesting they go find "something". It would have been better to suggest a specific religious group because, as you said, below average people would not possibly be able to make such a decision, after all, they don't have enough intelligence to be moralistic, why would they be intelligent enough to avoid being trapped in a suicide cult before it's too late and there's a gun to their head making them drink poison Cool-aid®?!

Your logic is flawed.



[edit on 11-10-2008 by mmariebored]



posted on Oct, 18 2008 @ 12:55 AM
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reply to post by mmariebored
 


There is a point to be made with regards to earthman's post though.

It can easily be argued that morals, values, ethics, all these things have to be taught (nurter, not nature)... I think most parents, regardless of whether or not they are religious, know that teaching their kids good moral values is important.. Because noone wants their children growing up to be a stupid, arrogant, hateful people with no regard for other people. Now with regards to ethical and moral values, religion simply acts as the source. Ultimately, the parents have the responsibility of teaching their children those things. Whether or not the parents are religious doesn't make a difference though..

There are a couple more things that can be said about this though..

1- Some parents are idiotic and have no idea what they are doing. Religious or not, it doesn't matter. Some people are just bad parents. In these cases, religion doesn't matter. Some of the craziest, most dimented, evil human beings on the planet are some of the most religiously devoted people on earth. There is a pretty big difference between religious belief and a true understanding of morality and ethics.

2- Non-religious parents are some of the best parents in the world.. I can say this from my own personal experience. Is it possible that religious children are taught not to question moral and ethical principles because they are in the scripture? IMO, Absolutely.. And only teaching children about ethics and morality verbally "because it is in the scripture" doesn't make any sense. These things transcend all religious/biblical meaning because THIS is the real world, not the bible. Parents are kidding themselves if they think they are raising good kids because they themselves are "good religious people".. Please..

3- Some people take religious devotion to such ridiculous extremes that they, themselves, are unable to see their own faults and flaws because they are too brainwashed and twisted to think clearly about the very real world unfolding around them. Some religious followers might even see themselves as flawless in the eyes of god because of their religious devotion and that they can "do no wrong". Therefore, anything they teach their children is going to be seen as "correct" in their eyes.. Then, Little Bobby grows up brainwashed in a Catholic concentration camp of a school and is released into a fast-paced world where "right and wrong" only exists in distant memory.. People don't become successful by being ethical and nice all the time.. Little Bobby might find himself as a manager of fast food chains for the rest of his natural born life.

4- Teaching kids about ethics and moral principles are extremely small parts of what parents should really be teaching their kids.. Parents who do their best to prepare their children for this unforgiving, exciting, fast-paced world we live in are the parents who are most likely to raise good, decent kids who are knowledgeable enough to make a good life for themselves. I, myself, grew up in a non-religious househould. One of my brothers is now extremely religious. But 5 out of the 6 of us grew up to go to college, get college degrees, and move on to a rewarding middle class lifestyles or better. Some of us are raising families and we pretty much all have extremely rewarding, well-paying careers and we all love what we do. Religon doesn't make any difference.. It's the parents who have the ultimate power separate from any religious ideals, teachings, or "values".

-ChriS

[edit on 18-10-2008 by BlasteR]



posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 05:00 PM
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Originally posted by BlasteR
It can easily be argued that morals, values, ethics, all these things have to be taught (nurter, not nature)... I think most parents, regardless of whether or not they are religious, know that teaching their kids good moral values is important.. Because noone wants their children growing up to be a stupid, arrogant, hateful people with no regard for other people. Now with regards to ethical and moral values, religion simply acts as the source. Ultimately, the parents have the responsibility of teaching their children those things. Whether or not the parents are religious doesn't make a difference though..

There are wise people and there are foolish people. What makes some people believe a "leader" of a group(a religion) is any more wise just because they have a following?! It makes no logical sense. EVERYONE should be ABLE to think for themselves, or they shouldn't even be having children.



There are a couple more things that can be said about this though..

1- Some parents are idiotic and have no idea what they are doing. Religious or not, it doesn't matter. Some people are just bad parents. In these cases, religion doesn't matter. Some of the craziest, most dimented, evil human beings on the planet are some of the most religiously devoted people on earth. There is a pretty big difference between religious belief and a true understanding of morality and ethics.

2- Non-religious parents are some of the best parents in the world.. I can say this from my own personal experience. Is it possible that religious children are taught not to question moral and ethical principles because they are in the scripture? IMO, Absolutely.. And only teaching children about ethics and morality verbally "because it is in the scripture" doesn't make any sense. These things transcend all religious/biblical meaning because THIS is the real world, not the bible. Parents are kidding themselves if they think they are raising good kids because they themselves are "good religious people".. Please..

Exactly, again. You articulated this wise observation beautifully.


3- Some people take religious devotion to such ridiculous extremes that they, themselves, are unable to see their own faults and flaws because they are too brainwashed and twisted to think clearly about the very real world unfolding around them. Some religious followers might even see themselves as flawless in the eyes of god because of their religious devotion and that they can "do no wrong". Therefore, anything they teach their children is going to be seen as "correct" in their eyes.. Then, Little Bobby grows up brainwashed in a Catholic concentration camp of a school and is released into a fast-paced world where "right and wrong" only exists in distant memory.. People don't become successful by being ethical and nice all the time.. Little Bobby might find himself as a manager of fast food chains for the rest of his natural born life.

This is why I say that if you are unable to think for yourself, it's unwise to even have children. Because how will you be able to know if you and your family are being led into a trap or led to do things that are wrong, from a universal and humain point of view?


4- Teaching kids about ethics and moral principles are extremely small parts of what parents should really be teaching their kids.. Parents who do their best to prepare their children for this unforgiving, exciting, fast-paced world we live in are the parents who are most likely to raise good, decent kids who are knowledgeable enough to make a good life for themselves. I, myself, grew up in a non-religious househould. One of my brothers is now extremely religious. But 5 out of the 6 of us grew up to go to college, get college degrees, and move on to a rewarding middle class lifestyles or better. Some of us are raising families and we pretty much all have extremely rewarding, well-paying careers and we all love what we do. Religon doesn't make any difference.. It's the parents who have the ultimate power separate from any religious ideals, teachings, or "values".

My inlaws are not religious in the least bit and all of them are far more decent human beings than the extremely religious people I myself grew up with.
I don't base my opinions on this, though. I've been observing the differences my whole adult life, trying to maintain a nonbiased point of view and understanding that some bias is unavoidable and should be factored into a final conclusion. My conclusion is pretty similar to yours and you say you didn't grow up religious.



posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 05:11 PM
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IMO No one religion should be taught over others in school instead theology should be taught for a more general school of thought, however i'm not a teacher but the ones i've talked to say it's a great idea.



posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 05:12 PM
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Im not religious what so ever, I would hope to bring my kids up to make their own decisions about religion. If they chose it so be it, but Id want to talk about all the facts with them without imposing my own will.


However, I dont think its a must to bring any child up in a religious way, give them morals, teach them how to respect others and teaching them values can all be achieved without religion.

Tell them about your own experiences and mistakes, give them all the information neccessary to make solid judgement and point them in the direction of knowledge and understanding.

And let them grow without the chains of following some book to its core and forming opinions based on blind faith alone.



[edit on 19-10-2008 by Horus12]



posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 06:04 PM
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Children HAVE the right to know where they came from (God) and that they are going to meet Him again.
They HAVE the right to know that He loves them, because His love is greater than anyone elses.
AS someone who grew up without my Dad(He and my mom divorced then he died), it was important to me and no one addressed it.
God is a
Father to the fatherless!
He always has time for us. He doesn't get drunk and yell at or molest us.
He directs our paths for His Righteousness sake!
Some children don't even KNOW what they are missing, because no one told them.



posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 06:37 PM
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reply to post by Clearskies
 


Which is why it so important to raise up a child in the way he should go and it will never depart from them.

The problem with parents these days (Whether religious or not) they tell the child not to do this that or the other and they DO IT ALL THEMSELVES ..(they are not being an example ) therefore anything they may tell them is not gonna sink in and they will not even care if they are not WATCHING YOU DO what you are telling them they NEED TO DO ( Moral and Values )
You have to be an EXAMPLE of what you teach your child ..plain and simple.


[edit on 19-10-2008 by Simplynoone]



posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 09:26 PM
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reply to post by Simplynoone
What does that have to do with whether or not to bring them up religious?

Are you saying having a religion makes them better parents?

Because the last time I checked all humans, no matter what they believe, have "sinned" and come short...

Religion doesn't make you better, it just makes your sins "forgiven"...
(according to certain beliefs)



posted on Oct, 19 2008 @ 11:36 PM
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reply to post by mmariebored
 


Marie I dont believe that was what I said ..

Unless you consider morals and values a religious thing ...do you ?

I believe that morals and values are not a religious thing but a LOVE thing which if you have LOVE then you have GOD ..


{Religion doesn't make you better, it just makes your sins "forgiven"...
(according to certain beliefs) }

Well then they are not serving the same Lord I am ..because my Lord has not only forgiven me but he has made way better than I could ever dream of being ...inside my heart soul and mind which has made a huge difference in the way I live and the way I treat others ..and how I care just as much for others as I do for myself now (after finding out what love really was through Jesus Christ our Lord in my heart )
Those are the things that ALL BELIEVERS should be better at once they allow the Lord in their life ..If they have not had a total change in heart soul and mind ... then they do not really know him ....
Really forgiven is the last thing I think about ....past is past ...so I dont dwell on it ...I am very thankful for Gods mercy and that he forgives me ..But most of all I am THANKFUL that he LOVES me enough to have mercy on me enough to forgive me ...


[edit on 19-10-2008 by Simplynoone]



posted on Jan, 14 2009 @ 08:22 AM
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There's a big difference between forcing one's religion on one's children and modeling faith (notice I didn't say religion) as important to one's own life and sharing that in the family.

I don't actually care if my children share my religion in the sense that they will choose to worship in the same denomination when they are grown -- I would like them to choose to share our faith, since for me it's the most important thing in my life.

But the way our faith (Evangelical) is set up, the most important moment is when an individual makes a decision to accept Jesus Christ as one's Lord and Savior. And that's actually not something you can DO on behalf of another person -- that's the whole point of the European missionary voyages to the New World and the whole history of colonialism and to some degree why the effort was flawed and failed. Ultimately, the decision to place one's trust in the Creator or not is a personal and individual decision. Not to be silly, but it's basically like that old adage about how you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

ON the other hand, my children see my husband and I modelling our faith and why it's important every day. When I'm asked to provide insight regarding peer pressure, the recent drug bust in our middle school, why girls can be so mean sometimes and a whole host of other adolescent concerns, the kids pretty much know that I think that everything you really need to know about ANYTHING is found in the Bible. So chances are that at some point in our conversation, we're going to talk about Job or Paul's letter to the ROmans or Ephesians, or how the Song of Solomon helps us to understand why sex is sacred and not something to be taken lightly. In our family, Bible commentary fits into our everyday conversations along with the article I read in the Wall STreet Journal or the recent Time magazine article. It's simply another source that we turn to when we need wisdom and information on a particular subject. I don't think that's the same as forcing my "religion" on my children -- but I think it would be equally strange to censor myself and leave it out. They have Christian and non-Christian friends, they socialize with youth group and also in other venues, and they waver on a day to day basis regarding their interest in Christian colleges.

And perhaps most importantly:

Believe it or not, sharing your faith with your children doesn't mean forbidding them to question it or requiring them to swallow it. I wouldn't want to do that and I'm also pretty sure it wouldn't work.



posted on Jan, 14 2009 @ 09:21 AM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


I have not read all 19 pages. My reply here is to the OP.

You are in for a bumpy road friend. I speak from experience. Here is my story.

I firmly believe in God. Not in the same way many churches do, but I am extremely spiritual. I have watched churches do more damage than good, and I really tried to find one that I agreed with. I was disapointed in everything I found. So, we do not go to church. Because of that, my children have had to face constant uglyness from their peers at school. Those who called themselfs "Christians" belittled my sons. Said they were going to hell, that they did not believe in God, and hounded them every freggin week to go to church with them. The parents who found out that there were two boys whose parents did not take to church, were like pirranahas. It was disgusting. Honestly.

I have always been open and honest with my children about it all. Every time they would come home all irritated and upset, we would sit down and talk about it. I would ask them if they believed in God - "well, yea!" they would say. I would ask them if they believed in Jesus - "yea" they would say, looking at me like I had 4 heads. I would then ask them what they though a Christian was. To make a long story short, I would talk to them until they were secure enough with themselves that they would not be rattled and be able to politely stand up for them selfs.

We pray every night. We go to our church. The boys call it our family church. We go out in the middle of nature. We dont want fancy buildings, or gold plated statues. We dont want to go to a show. We dont want to put on a fancy clothes, fancy hair, and make an apperance.

We want to be surounded by everything that is God made. We want to be reminded that most of what we get bombarded with every day, is not important. We want to remember the beautiful miricle of life. How everything has been provided for us. It is humbling to be reminded how much mankind has screwed it up. It encourages us to do better. We talk, and walk for hours. Most of the time, its the kids talking. My husband and I are always amazed at how much they come up with on their own. We learn just as much from them as they learn from us.



posted on Jan, 14 2009 @ 09:46 AM
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There is nothing wrong with letting your child make his or her decision but you can let them try church and let them make there own they will either like it or won't . my Brother
and I were forced to go every week and as I Got older I quit going and when I had kids
I went back the best thing is to let them try it but dont force them. God know if you love him or you dont you cant hide that from him its your choice. I knew kids that went to church with me growing up and on the week days they were playing with witch craft. you cant really force a child to believe any way.



posted on Feb, 25 2011 @ 04:43 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 





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