posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 12:55 PM
Everyone above makes perfect sense in their presented cases, which just shows how we have pretty diverse ideas on things -- without necessarily a
consensus -- yet still have this constructive (not destructive) forum for debating our ideas.
It can be convivial; it can be ugly. That's life (and life in the online forums).
In response to the OP: I think you should get the parents' permission before exposing your young cousin to this site. They are his parents; you are
not. There is -- rarely, but at times -- some subject matter that is arguably adult in nature. I say that if you are inclined to expose him to this
site, then you are of a bent that your cousin's parents already know. Is this cousin someone who's been like a 'little brother' to you? And how,
exactly, are you thinking of exposing him to ATS?
If you just want him to open his mind a little more, I'd just talk to him about whatever it is (on ATS) that's important to you... and then tell him
about it.... and then, if he seems interested, then suggest a couple of related sites -- based on his interests (#conspiracy; #UFOs, #weather, etc.)
-- and then let him start searching for sites and answers on his own. You might suggest ATS as one of those sites, but other than mentioning it, I'd
maybe let him find it on his own.
I have a 12-going-on-20 year old boy. He's always been too big for his britches. Sharp as a tack (but who's kid isn't, right?).
He's been exposed to ATS looking over my should as I've read posts, looked at subject headers, etc.
And he's asked me questions: 'Daddy, what do they mean by X....?'; 'Daddy, are aliens really ruling the world governments?'; 'Daddy, what is
You get my drift.
I tend to explain to him that -- on this site -- there are various views on these subjects. I try to explain to him the basics of, say, what HAARP is,
both in terms of the official explanation *and* what others propose it may be.
And then I send him out on the web (with my guidance, looking over his shoulder), to find out some info on his own. I guide him to the more mainstream
scientific sites. I discourage (but don't prevent) him from some of the nonsense extremist/alarmist sites (those that have no basis in any kind of
fact). I let him come here.
I expose him to the wide range of views on topics (I just used HAARP as an example).
In the end, he has a lot of info to sift through. And we discuss it. And he considers it. And he forms his own opinions.
As he is too young to have been exposed to enough of the world to be able to sift the wheat from the chaff, I do dissuade him from certain sites and
opinions where I think there's an overwhelming irrational -- and more emotional -- response.
In concluding this long explanation, this is just an overview of the kind of critical thinking to which I try to expose my own son.
I don't control his web browsing 24-7. But I would not allow him to be exposed to everything on ATS without giving him my parental/adult context to
what he would see here. To paraphrase that famous line uttered by Jack Nicholson's character: 'He just can't handle the truth.'
I want him to decide for himself what the truth is. But he is still young enough to need some guidance to figure out what that is for himself, as a
12-year old's mind still exists in the imaginative and fantastical and the possibilities of the improbable. I don't want to stifle that; yet, I also
don't want him to form his opinions from this site by simply reading the headlines and going off half-cocked as if everything on here is fact.
I am still a seeker of the truth, not a holder of it. And as such, I try for now to guide him to try to also be a truth seeker.
I try to not let him enter the 'web of lies' alone.