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Parenting and Religion, a Philosophical Question

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posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 06:05 PM
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reply to post by jkrog08
 


That certainly is...wasn't trying to pick on you.
I just felt like i needed to say it.
No hard feelings my friend.




posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 06:07 PM
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Me and my wife (common law), are not religious at all and do not beleive in any sort of religion. We have three sons all of which are being raised without religious interference or influence.

My eldest son who is 6 has asked me on many occations about god and jesus because he hears it from kids at school or on tv. I just tell him that there are many beliefs out there and many people believe in a god who created them and that there are many people who believe in many different gods and that he can choose to believe whatever it is that he wants. He asked me if me or his mother believe in god and I told him no. He then asked me if it is ok if he believes in god and I said yes. He then told me that he doesnt believe in god but that he does believe in aliens.

In our house Christmas is celebrated without the religious aspects but still includes Santa Claus and it is taught that it is a time where family comes together. We do tell our kids that some people believe in the birth of Christ on christmas eve but me and their mother do not. We do celebrate the solstace.

Easter is when the easter bunny comes for some apparent reason but the religious reason will still be mentioned should the question be asked.

I do not care whether or not my children believe in religion as it isnt my place to tell them what to believe in. I think it is more wrong for a parent to force a certain belief on their child rather than allowing them to make their own choice. After all deciding what you want to do in the afterlife is a pretty big decision if you ask me, why make it for them?



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 06:12 PM
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reply to post by metaldemon2000
 


I like your style.

" I just tell him that there are many beliefs out there and many people believe in a god who created them and that there are many people who believe in many different gods and that he can choose to believe whatever it is that he wants. He asked me if me or his mother believe in god and I told him no. He then asked me if it is ok if he believes in god and I said yes. He then told me that he doesnt believe in god but that he does believe in aliens. "

That made me smile.

But honestly I guess that's how I would approach it. I know once (and I've told this story before somewhere on ATS) I was babysitting my neighbor who is 8 and she had a friend over. The friend was very sweet but explained that her house had only one phone, no computer, she couldn't watch TV, couldn't read Harry Potter, the whole bit. Her mother worked a lot for the church. And she said something about which church I go to, to which I replied "Well, I don't go to Church." And she got these huge eyes and was like "WHY!?" so I explained I wasn't Christian. She looked weird and was like, oh, well what religion are you? So I said I was an athiest. "What's that?" "I don't believe in God." And she looked really disgusted.

This little teeny kid.

That's not right.

I like how you do Christmas as a Yule-type Solstice holiday. That's sweet.

[edit on 7/13/2009 by ravenshadow13]



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 06:15 PM
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reply to post by jkrog08
 


Church is too deep for most kids. I think they go, there's singing and food and their friends, and it's not... I think it's conditioning them. If their parents want them to learn good things, send them to a local YMCA program or something. There are better ways to teach children good morals than bringing them into a religious institution.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 06:22 PM
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Oh man... I just remembered a book that my (commonlaw as well) husband's 'Bible Belt' Baptist grandmother sent our daughter for Christmas a couple years ago about Noah and the Ark. She was about 3 and 1/2.

She was interested in it, because of the pretty cover with a smiling Noah, a boat full of animals, and a rainbow, so she asked me to read it to her.

I opened it up to the first page which went something like "Once upon a time, everyone was bad and no one believed in God..."

So, I handed it back to her and said, "Let's just look at the pictures and you can make up a story for me!"

I wonder, what would you all do?


[edit on 7/13/2009 by eMachine]

[edit on 7/13/2009 by eMachine]



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 06:28 PM
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reply to post by ravenshadow13
 


Unfortunately there are many who do not teach their kids good morals these days.

I dont think religion teaches the kids the morals but rather it gives them something to be afraid of should they break these rules. This probably worked well in the past when science wasnt as advanced or accepted. To me it seems, that teaching people to behave or fear an eternity in fire and brimstone makes people behave for all the wrong reasons, its teaching them to do so for self preservation.

We should be teaching our children morals for the purpose of being a better human being and to further the advancement of the human race.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 06:34 PM
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reply to post by eMachine
 





I wonder, what would you all do?


The flood story is indeed an important one as there are stone tablets with the same story of noahs ark (Utnapishtim) that predate the bible by thousands of years. There is much evidence that such a deluge happened and is a very good story to be telling children. I do not agree with her sending you a bible biased version of the book though and would have retold the story omitting the religious aspects of the story.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
Would a child take the religion of their parents had they not been brought up in that specific religion?

Some related questions-

Do children feel an attraction to a religion, or religion in general, because they grew up with their parents feeling the same way? Or is there some genetic component?

This is a learned behavior


If two parents have different religious beliefs, why might a child feel a preferance to one towards another if they are raised equally with both?

That never happens. There are no 2 parents that can raise a child 100% equally. That being said, the child would tend toward the religion of the parent he/she is closest to.


If a child is brought up in a household that is religious but does not attend religious services, is the child more or less likely to seek such services in their adulthood?

Less likely


Do parents who provide more religious options for their children ultimately have better relationships with them?

To many variables to consider this question.


With the widespread internet and more world travel, is it appropriate to allow a child to investigate and try other religions before choosing one? Or traditionally should the child follow what their parents follow.

Well, in general, the reason a parent has a child is to promote their values. That being said, it's almost inevitable that the parent will guide the child to the parents values.


Is there a conspiracy regarding parenting and religion which ensures the continuation of specific religions in the future?

I don't know that I'd call it a conspiracy but YES, the goal of all religions is to ensure that it continues and the only way to do this is to pass it from generation to generation.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 06:42 PM
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Originally posted by metaldemon2000
reply to post by eMachine
 





I wonder, what would you all do?


The flood story is indeed an important one as there are stone tablets with the same story of noahs ark (Utnapishtim) that predate the bible by thousands of years. There is much evidence that such a deluge happened and is a very good story to be telling children. I do not agree with her sending you a bible biased version of the book though and would have retold the story omitting the religious aspects of the story.


It's a fun little story but no evidence to suggest a world wide flood ever happened.

Noah's ark as stated at least in the bible, is impossible on many, many levels.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 06:53 PM
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Religion does not harm a human being.


Interesting statement. Think about it.

I find it fascinating that, with the exception of a couple of posts referring to Judaism, there are now four pages, basically, bashing Christianity. No other religion is mentioned. How about extremist Islam? Those children are learning to hate those who do not follow their faith, to the point of wanting and feeling compelled to annihilate them all. Yes, the Christian Crusades, were similar in their actions, but not modern day Christianity.

While I do not consider myself "Christian", I never discuss my spiritual beliefs with anyone. No matter what you say, someone will tell you you are wrong. That comes from people of all religious faiths and "non-believers". (I don't use the term "atheist", as I think everyone believes in something spiritual.)

Raven, consider this. Raise your children how you wish, but, don't judge others on how they do. But, realize you will be judged on your decision, by someone. People seem to get some sick satisfaction in trying to demonstrate their superiority over others, by judging them and putting down their beliefs.

If a Christian believes he/she is doing what is right and gains some spiritual peace, from that belief, how does that hurt you or anyone else? Regardless of our own beliefs, we should be happy for any fellow human being who achieves spiritual peace.

Here is my statement to anyone who bashes any religion. If a Christian has led their life according to the Bible and just ceases to exist, when they die...what have they lost? However, if a non-believer dies and finds the Christian was right...won't they feel silly? There is only one way to find out and we will all get to that point, eventually.

In summary, as a bit of advice to a young person. Seek your own spiritual path and don't concern yourself about what path others are on.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 06:53 PM
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I'd bet 90% of people follow a faith based on habit and conditioning from childhood, it's what they know. Of those 90%, I'd say 10% have any genuine affinity for that faith. The people who don't follow the faith of childhood, 50% likely saw the inhumanity and hypocrisy and where repelled by that the other 50% just didn't relate to it. People follow a faith whether that is called a religion or agnostic or atheist, because of there particular karmic state. They are either driven by materialism and comfort or indifference or some genuine need and sincerity. Affinities will guide them to the path that is right for them whether they call it science or religion or philosophy. Their karmic fortune will determine whether their is a spark that is worthy of being fanned by the grace of the Supreme Being or by the interests of the Devil or not at all.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:08 PM
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Originally posted by WTFover

Raven, consider this. Raise your children how you wish, but, don't judge others on how they do. But, realize you will be judged on your decision, by someone. People seem to get some sick satisfaction in trying to demonstrate their superiority over others, by judging them and putting down their beliefs.


Indeed. I think ultimately it is the child who will judge your parenting when they become an adult and have their own kids. They can't help it. Anyone else judging someone's parenting is wasting their time and energy.

In these kinds of topics, it's sometimes easy for people to say what others should and should not do (or be "allowed" to do), because it is about "the children". As a general rule though, if you want to enjoy liberty yourself you must not try to deny the liberty of others.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:09 PM
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I think there are two options to ensure that the kid is willing to follow a religion.
1. first, try to make him/her understand what a religion is, and especially underline the fact that a lot of people just don't believe anymore in those things.
2. if he's interested in a religion, let him find what he wants in sthat spirituality without trying to interfere. If he gives up, or if he wants to be a preist, then so be it.

religions caused way too much trouble for me to be objective, but a world without spirituality is one step towards uniformism...and this i don't want



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:14 PM
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My personal opinion is that the house and religion you are raised with will most definately effects the choices they make religiously as adults.

I was raised in a christian home my parents attend church regularly. As a young child i attended with them and was dissapointed when something came up that prevented attendance.

Then as a teenager when i got my first real insight into the fact that the world was bigger than my life, I began to question faith in a specific religion.

It wasn't that i felt reproachful towards the ideal of a creator. It was more the idea of a church itself and following a book written by men that can't even really be proven to have written them (several religious texts are actually of unkown author but we try and label them anyway based on writing style from known texts of certain well known authors *cough John cough*) to explain creation.

So as an adult I've made real effort to understand creation from a scientific but open minded point of view.

So from the point of view of the child i would say in my case growing up in a religious home definatley affected my opinions about organized religion.

As a parent i haven't forced my kids to church ever but do allow them to attend with my mother if they wish. They ask alot of questions about god and the universe. For now th e simplest answers i can give them seem to safice as they are only 7 and 8.

I will not ever force them to church or push any religious doctrine on them. I will however tell them my opinions and explain to them that its really a mystery from both a philisophical and scientific view.

I don't think believing in a creator is bad, but i do believe that organized religion fosters divides among people. Its a personal choice that shouldn't be forced on anyone.



[edit on 13-7-2009 by constantwonder]



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:30 PM
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The reality is that the children are victims of their parents demons (aka religion). They are basically brainwashed by their parents into believing whatever their told.

Here's a great example:





The second video actually shows the poor brainwashed child spewing their parents hatred and the poor little guy doesn't even understand what he's saying. And when the little guy doesn't get it right, the nutjob mom steps in and corrects him thus improving his brainwashing.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:32 PM
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reply to post by ReelView

Not to pick on you, but where did you get those figures?

Never mind, it's not important. The one point I want to make here (before I retire to the house for a bit of relaxation), is that many on this thread have made statements about Christianity in particular and organized religion in general. These observations appear to come from the same place as those percentages: thin air.

There are as many different levels of Christians as there are members of the faith. There are those who never question anything, but simply live their lives exactly as the preacher tells them to. They are not following Christianity, but rather a preacher, who is a man and definitely not divine. Yet, ask them and they will be adamant that they are a Christian.

There are some who actually try to follow Christ, but for one reason or other, they find themselves derailed at every turn. Sometimes it is the people they hang out with, lingering reputation from a previous life era, or force of habit that keeps drawing them back into the world.

There are those who faithfully go to church every Sunday, then conduct their lives like everyone else the other 6 days of the week. It is almost like they go to church to get a 'fix' of their religious 'drug'.

There are those who call themselves Christian, but never go to a church, never read a Bible, never pray... unless of course they are in pain or trouble.

There are those who have taken a 'jihadist' view of the religion, making it their life's goal to force everyone to believe as they do. Nowhere in the religion is this ordered, or even encouraged. Rather, the bible teaches us to spread the message rather than forcefully convert others. The former is simply offering our lives to be a testimony to the faith and being ready to offer information; the latter is militant and unfruitful, as no one can be forced to believe something they do not want to believe.

And then there are some who are seriously trying to live their lives by the example and teachings of Jesus.

There are Catholics, Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Amish, Mennonites, Church of God, Church of Christ, Pentacostals, and Lutherans (and quite probably a few more that I missed). All of these are called 'Christian'. That does not mean they are all alike, any more than being an 'American' means I like Boston clam chowder or wear chaps when I ride my horse. It is soooooo easy for someone from another country to watch our antics on TV and make a statement that generalizes all Americans; but that generalization is wrong, and does not tell the whole story. If someone really wanted to know what it was like to live in America, the only sure way to find out would be to move to America and experience it for themselves.

As with Christianity. It is far too easy to lump everyone together as a bunch of hypocrites who whoop and holler on Sunday and then do the very thing they whooped and hollered against the rest of the week. It is easy to look at some of the art that has been produced over the centuries and assume that everyone who calls themselves 'Christian' believes in some dude sitting on a cloud pouring wrath down on his creation. But when you do, you simply show your lack of knowledge.

My congratulations to the OP: this has been a wonderful thread, and I have enjoyed contributing. A flag for your hard work.


TheRedneck



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:37 PM
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Being a dad Ive often wondered the implications of me not actively raising my kids to follow my catholic up bringing even though Ive abandoned the faith later in life.
I let my kids make up their own beliefs I teach them about nature and how it works in big ways. The basic underlying concept to most practiced religions is live a good life and be a good person. Furthering themselves to further everyone..... eventually



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:37 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
This question has been bantered about in one form or another for centuries.

The actual answer, IMHO, is that yes, to some extent a child will gravitate toward their parents' religious values.

That does not mean that a child will necessarily keep their parents' viewpoints, however.

When we are born, we are born with no knowledge of how the world we find ourselves in works.

This extends to religious beliefs as well.

So at some certain age, children will begin to question things for themselves.

The most dangerous of these traps is the idea that one must be right and no other viewpoint can be tolerated

But let's examine the practical aspects of this idea: how does one enforce such a program? Who is deemed able and unable to properly raise a child? Is it the ones who pray before every meal? Or perhaps the ones who do not pray at all, but who regularly get drunk and beat each other? Should someone who ambles be prevented from passing this habit on? How about someone who smokes? Perhaps someone who does not agree with the political party in power at the time? And don't forget about the guy who spit on the sidewalk in front of your house, or the neighbor who let his yard get too high. Neither should we forget to make sure that the old man down the block who drives an older car should never be allowed to pass on such a ridiculous habit to his offspring!

I think everyone can see where I am going with this: when we even consider the possibility that societal ills can be attributed to parental involvement, we consider removing that one thing most important to the children we wish to protect: the love and support of a family. And we can even consider doing so for the most asinine reasons imaginable. Now I know no one on this thread has suggested such a thing, but it is an inherent integral part of such a discussion. Whenever one begins to focus on a potential problem, someone will demand it be "solved" regardless of the totalitarian means necessary to do so.


You are a liar. Why do I say such a thing; simply because there is just NO WAY that you can be a Redneck and be the smartest human that ever lived!

Ok, that was over the top, sure, but that's just my way of saying KUDOS TO YOU on writing a darn good piece.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by JustMy2Cents
 


No calling people liars either. Please.

Just try and be respectful.

I am reading, everyone. Small crisis happening on my end.



posted on Jul, 13 2009 @ 07:55 PM
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Originally posted by ravenshadow13
reply to post by JustMy2Cents
 


No calling people liars either. Please.

Just try and be respectful.

I am reading, everyone. Small crisis happening on my end.


Uh, that was an attempt at humor. Read again and note that I gave the person high praise AFTER poking a little fun at the name
Geesh



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