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Is it possible for an atheist parent to not force the same belief on their children?

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posted on Sep, 7 2012 @ 10:25 PM
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reply to post by RedParrotHead
 


You know what, don't be giving christians any ideas..lol

They mayy start to think that non-christian family values are wrong..hahaha

Hell you gotto watch out these days, they could start calling for children in non-christian families to be removed for the protection of their souls and sent to live with good christian families..

Hey, it could happen..!!




posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 12:36 AM
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Sit back and let your kids make their own decision. No one can force someone to believe in God/Jesus, you can't even come to him on your own, he has to draw you to him. I grew up in a "christian" home, and my dad was a royal bastard 6.5 days a week and abusive enough to drive me away from wanting anything to do with Jesus. I spent the next 14 years (ran away from home at 17) as an agnostic, trying all kinds of different religions, then fell into ancient astronaught theory and towards the end gave up and became atheist. The hate and rage from my upbringing caused me to persecute christians because i figured if my dad was a royal asshat and a hypocrite all christians had to be and if i had to be a hypocrite to be a christian then i didn't want to be a christian, so i made war on them and the hatred and anger festered in me and poisoned by soul. I got to the point to where i was going to blow my brains out because i could find no peace, nothing could make the pain, hate and anger go. I threw drugs, alcohol and sex addiction at it and nothing filled that empty hole. I just wanted to die and get it done with.

Statistically christian homes raise more atheists and atheist homes raise more christians, damned if i know why it's the opposite except to say christian homes tend to breed rebelliousness within their children because they chaffe at all the rules and children see the hypocrisy of their parents when those parents do not live the life Christ commanded and it's a huge turnoff. My dad would always throw that "do as i say and not as i do" at me (as if that really works
) whenever i'd see him showing his ass, which was on a daily basis. Anyways, i remembered from my sunday school classes that Jesus is a healer and he can fix anything, and all i wanted was to find some peace from the never ending hell that was my life. That was 2 years ago and now i am a christian. I guess i had to live in hell for my entire life (31 years old at that time) to realize i didn't want to spend forever in hell. You wouldn't understand the roads i walked down unless you had been there yourself, but all that hell led me back to Jesus. I did alot of things i couldn't forgive myself for, things i couldn't take back while in the throws of my rage. Only one option offered total redemption and the chance to say i'm sorry to the people i hurt in my life. I can't take back the things i said or did, but Jesus will wipe those memories from our minds and there will be no more tears. That's what i want, no more tears.
edit on 8-9-2012 by lonewolf19792000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 12:43 AM
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reply to post by lonewolf19792000
 


That's because all the Christian parents are so zealous, children see right through it... and all the atheist homes reduce the children's' options to either create a source of hope and love in their mind or succumb to the darkness in their mind.



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 01:28 AM
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reply to post by RedParrotHead
 


Actually vegetarian lions are a reality... In any case the beliefs of the parents are likely to rub off on the child and influence them regardless of the parents behavior. The only thing we can do is teach them to find there OWN truth. To discover for themselves what they believe to be true.



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 02:31 AM
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Originally posted by AfterInfinity
reply to post by RedParrotHead
 


It's easy for an atheist parent to allow their children to dabble in spirituality.

It's not easy for a spiritual parent to allow their children to refrain from spirituality.

An atheist parent will think it doesn't matter, they'll learn eventually. Kind of like drugs and bad music. A spiritual parent will fear for the soul of their child.

So yes, an atheist parent has a lot less to fear in letting their child have free reign as regards religion, because they have a lot less to lose. Sure, they might never be able to discuss the topic, but life is full of stuff like that. And really, if a parent can't love their child despite the child's beliefs, then they never should have had children.


Thats the biggest pile of crap I have ever read

Blatant lie



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 02:43 AM
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i have a slightly different view on this subject then some of the other folks on here,
to me you cant force someone to be an atheist, it is a base line, like it or not we
are all born as atheists, a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
thats the definition of that word, now your child asked about god and seems to disbelieve
what he or she had been told about this supreme being therefore technically
already an atheist, truth is we all start off not having any clue there is this
crazy idea of a supreme being controlling everything, so in reality i say
its the default state to be an atheist.

the promise of everlasting life and forgiveness for wrongdoings being given
by someone other than the victim of said wrongdoings is what keeps
religion in power, the idea that someone could truly forgive you for something
you didnt even do to them, its all such a logical fallacy i find it sad that adult
humans cant simply see the truth.

i have an off topic but funny theory lol what if god did actually make us but
only gave us one rule, get along and dont kill each other, then satan came
along and created all religions and bam his work was done. not that i believe
in either but wouldnt that be ironic as heck. oh i forgot to add the part that
in this theory god wouldnt be omnipresent and would be off seeding other
worlds right now to return and see his beautiful creation turned to ash
in his name.
edit on 8-9-2012 by bloodreviara because: to add



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 08:09 AM
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reply to post by RedParrotHead
 


LOL I've read a few comments on why the animals didn't eat each other. They leaned more on miracles for answwer.

My suggestion, seeing as you don't want to crush the bible, why not say that some stories are just fables to teach mankind something. It's a story about...?...hope? Maybe Noah's story is about not worrying about the end of the world; that life will always find a way to survive.

This is just off the top of my head.



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 08:44 AM
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Most people I know, athiest or theist say that they're going to let their child grow up and decide for themselves if they want to believe in a specific religion or not. Personally I think organized religion should be afraid of that. Religion should be a personal belief.






posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 09:37 AM
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I'm mildly amused how most of these replies are along the lines of, "Oh, it's so good of you that you didn't push your views on them and are allowing them to explore their own beliefs...". Lets look at the reality.

First of all, those kids are, in all likelihood, going to grow up to be atheist/heathens. Period. Why? Because the basic foundation is formed by the time kids are 8 years old. Many of their values and expectations are set. Now, how exactly is a child, from birth to 8 years of age, going to "explore" spirituality, Christianity, Sunday School, Church on Sunday, etc? Should they hitch hike? Take Dial-a-Ride? It's clear the parent isn't going to facilitate it.

Like most things in life, your spirituality is something that needs guidance and nurturing. You don't just go out and pick up a bible and call it good. It's not something you go and do in the privacy of your bedroom; it's a way of life. Something you ARE, not something you do. So to suggest that these kids are being given a "choice" is preposterous. They have no choice; they are surrounded by atheism in their household and in schools.

Saying they have a choice would be like saying they can choose to go to Harvard just because it's there yet they have no tuition. Furthermore, it's a parent's job to make choices for our children; that's why they're children. To suggest prepubescent kids are capable of making that "choice" is naive at best and dangerous at worst.
edit on 8-9-2012 by axslinger because: (no reason given)
edit on 8-9-2012 by axslinger because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by axslinger
 




Like most things in life, your spirituality is something that needs guidance and nurturing. You don't just go out and pick up a bible and call it good. It's not something you go and do in the privacy of your bedroom; it's a way of life. Something you ARE, not something you do. So to suggest that these kids are being given a "choice" is preposterous. They have no choice; they are surrounded by atheism in their household and in schools.

Saying they have a choice would be like saying they can choose to go to Harvard just because it's there yet they have no tuition. Furthermore, it's a parent's job to make choices for our children; that's why they're children. To suggest prepubescent kids are capable of making that "choice" is naive at best and dangerous at worst.


so - people have be taught to believe?

otherwise - they wouldn't believe?

just wondering

:-)
edit on 9/8/2012 by Spiramirabilis because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 01:16 PM
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Originally posted by axslinger
I'm mildly amused how most of these replies are along the lines of, "Oh, it's so good of you that you didn't push your views on them and are allowing them to explore their own beliefs...". Lets look at the reality.

First of all, those kids are, in all likelihood, going to grow up to be atheist/heathens. Period. Why? Because the basic foundation is formed by the time kids are 8 years old. Many of their values and expectations are set. Now, how exactly is a child, from birth to 8 years of age, going to "explore" spirituality, Christianity, Sunday School, Church on Sunday, etc? Should they hitch hike? Take Dial-a-Ride? It's clear the parent isn't going to facilitate it.

Like most things in life, your spirituality is something that needs guidance and nurturing. You don't just go out and pick up a bible and call it good. It's not something you go and do in the privacy of your bedroom; it's a way of life. Something you ARE, not something you do. So to suggest that these kids are being given a "choice" is preposterous. They have no choice; they are surrounded by atheism in their household and in schools.

Saying they have a choice would be like saying they can choose to go to Harvard just because it's there yet they have no tuition. Furthermore, it's a parent's job to make choices for our children; that's why they're children. To suggest prepubescent kids are capable of making that "choice" is naive at best and dangerous at worst.
edit on 8-9-2012 by axslinger because: (no reason given)
edit on 8-9-2012 by axslinger because: (no reason given)



Agreed. These little future heathens need the fear of God BEAT into them.

They're natural born unbelievers and original sinners.

Disgusting!






posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 01:16 PM
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reply to post by axslinger
 


My search of spirituality didn't start till I was about 32. Before that, I was trapped in the beliefs that my parents indoctrinated into me. A working understanding of spirituality isn't something a child is capable of.

Religion is indoctrination of a specific belief. It's done while the child is young in hopes that it will stick. But many times, it actually has the opposite result.



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 03:27 PM
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I am agnostic...as agnostic as a person can be.

And every person in my family, including my wife, children and parents, are Christian.

My children learned Christianity by the tried and true method of early indoctrination
and occasional church visits. I do not dissuade them...I do not coerce them.
Rather I take the high ground and when asked, simply state that believing that
a man who has been dead for two thousand years is the God of the entire universe
is ridiculous to me.

I'm usually not challenged further and I don't push it...While I believe that the group-think
of our world's religions are dangerous to mankind I do feel spiritual, or perhaps I'm just
hoping really hard, I don't know, like I said, I'm agnostic. But I was was able to raise and
influence my children as a non-religious person and still have them reject my beliefs (or lack of)
for the highly popular and peer-reviewed group-think local superstition.

BTW, I believe atheists belong in the same category as theists...both groups draw
conclusions with scant evidence. To me, singular consciousness itself is a compelling enough
enigma to stop me short from simply dismissing it as happenstance occurrence....that is why I
stop short of throwing in with atheists...



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 03:35 PM
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Originally posted by lonewolf19792000
Sit back and let your kids make their own decision. No one can force someone to believe in God/Jesus, you can't even come to him on your own, he has to draw you to him. I grew up in a "christian" home, and my dad was a royal bastard 6.5 days a week and abusive enough to drive me away from wanting anything to do with Jesus. I spent the next 14 years (ran away from home at 17) as an agnostic, trying all kinds of different religions, then fell into ancient astronaught theory and towards the end gave up and became atheist. The hate and rage from my upbringing caused me to persecute christians because i figured if my dad was a royal asshat and a hypocrite all christians had to be and if i had to be a hypocrite to be a christian then i didn't want to be a christian, so i made war on them and the hatred and anger festered in me and poisoned by soul. I got to the point to where i was going to blow my brains out because i could find no peace, nothing could make the pain, hate and anger go. I threw drugs, alcohol and sex addiction at it and nothing filled that empty hole. I just wanted to die and get it done with.

Statistically christian homes raise more atheists and atheist homes raise more christians, damned if i know why it's the opposite except to say christian homes tend to breed rebelliousness within their children because they chaffe at all the rules and children see the hypocrisy of their parents when those parents do not live the life Christ commanded and it's a huge turnoff. My dad would always throw that "do as i say and not as i do" at me (as if that really works
) whenever i'd see him showing his ass, which was on a daily basis. Anyways, i remembered from my sunday school classes that Jesus is a healer and he can fix anything, and all i wanted was to find some peace from the never ending hell that was my life. That was 2 years ago and now i am a christian. I guess i had to live in hell for my entire life (31 years old at that time) to realize i didn't want to spend forever in hell. You wouldn't understand the roads i walked down unless you had been there yourself, but all that hell led me back to Jesus. I did alot of things i couldn't forgive myself for, things i couldn't take back while in the throws of my rage. Only one option offered total redemption and the chance to say i'm sorry to the people i hurt in my life. I can't take back the things i said or did, but Jesus will wipe those memories from our minds and there will be no more tears. That's what i want, no more tears.
edit on 8-9-2012 by lonewolf19792000 because: (no reason given)



HOOLY
I had no idea of the background behind your story. Very powerful that you came to Christ after all that.

First he patches the cup, fills it up, and then it overflows. God bless
edit on 8-9-2012 by HamrHeed because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 03:52 PM
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Originally posted by axslinger
I'm mildly amused how most of these replies are along the lines of, "Oh, it's so good of you that you didn't push your views on them and are allowing them to explore their own beliefs...". Lets look at the reality.

First of all, those kids are, in all likelihood, going to grow up to be atheist/heathens. Period. Why? Because the basic foundation is formed by the time kids are 8 years old. Many of their values and expectations are set. Now, how exactly is a child, from birth to 8 years of age, going to "explore" spirituality, Christianity, Sunday School, Church on Sunday, etc? Should they hitch hike? Take Dial-a-Ride? It's clear the parent isn't going to facilitate it.

Like most things in life, your spirituality is something that needs guidance and nurturing. You don't just go out and pick up a bible and call it good. It's not something you go and do in the privacy of your bedroom; it's a way of life. Something you ARE, not something you do. So to suggest that these kids are being given a "choice" is preposterous. They have no choice; they are surrounded by atheism in their household and in schools.

Saying they have a choice would be like saying they can choose to go to Harvard just because it's there yet they have no tuition. Furthermore, it's a parent's job to make choices for our children; that's why they're children. To suggest prepubescent kids are capable of making that "choice" is naive at best and dangerous at worst.
edit on 8-9-2012 by axslinger because: (no reason given)
edit on 8-9-2012 by axslinger because: (no reason given)


I grew up in a religious Christian family that didn't attend church. But I was curious, and at about age
six or seven I called up local churches and had them pick me up for for Sunday School. I attended
Baptist, Church of Christ, and I can't recall what the other one. Later in life I chose Episcopalian. I went
thru catechism, read the entire bible, served as an altar boy and was baptized.

I can clearly recall the moment my belief in religion took a nose-dive. Even after all the time and energy
I spent, one simple question about the origin of God, and one esoteric answer, and I was pretty much
done. After that I started researching other religions, in depth. I finally came to the conclusion that
organized religion was nothing more than organized superstition. A panacea for weak, or for the
fearful---those too afraid to think for themselves....and I gave it all up.

So I went thru quite a bit religious teaching, moreso than most I believe and cane out the other side
as non-religious. While on the other hand, I am the parent of five Christian children....



posted on Sep, 8 2012 @ 07:29 PM
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For starters, people don't find God. God finds them. Nothing a parent, or anyone else for that matter, can say or do will stop a person who belongs to God (not all humans are God's children) being saved. God is the one taking the initiative and the parent really has no say in it.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 12:21 AM
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I grew up similarly and I am now agnostic as an adult, actually have been since I was in jr. high. We have never actively taught religion, but when questions come up we keep it more along the lines of the tenets of Christianity are xyz.. or whatever religion they are talking about. My 11 year old recently decided he was Christian, catholic specifically. We sat down and had a talk with him, had him explain what it meant to be Christian, what they believed, ect.. Turned out he had no clue, but he was in boy scouts at the time and prayer/god/ect... is pushed in that group being that it is a faith based organization. He has since decided he doesn't actually believe what they believe.

We are not actively spiritual either so it isn't something we discuss or practice in any way. When spiritual topics come up or any religion and or faith based topics come up, half the time we get into discussions about it and typically end up with "I just don't know, maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but I don't know what I believe to be true about it". The only thing that both my husband and myself have told the boys is that we believe that there is probably a higher power of some sorts, but we simply don't know and have no way to prove anything one way or another. We hope there is a higher power or something else, but we simply don't know.

If one of my boys became a Christian, I won't lie, I'd be very disappointed, but I would support them. I just do my best to not push anything and address each thing as it comes up as openly, honestly and without bias as much as I am able. Of course we all have our own bias in everything we say, think and act on, but I'd like to think that I am open minded enough to accept there are other possibilities besides just my own. I'm hoping that this comes through in my parenting.



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 12:36 AM
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Why don't you try and learn from your kids? Or now that you're an adult you understand everything in the universe and no longer need to learn a thing?



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 07:44 AM
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Originally posted by RedParrotHead

So, now I have kids and don't want them to feel like I'm forcing my beliefs on them. They frequently ask questions about god and such and I try to always say thing like "many people believe so-and-so...I believe so-and-so ...etc." But how can I be impartial when I can't find a logical answer to their questions? For example...

"Dad, how did that guy on the boat keep tigers and alligators alive for 40 days? Don't they eat zebras?"

Without and answer I looked online and found this answer on a www.answersingenesis.org... a site aimed at kids:


One possible answer to your question is that God could have miraculously stopped animals from eating each other. There is another possibility. We know that before sin, animals only ate vegetation. By the time of the Flood, a number of animals may have become vicious because of the effects of sin. But we notice today that even with animals like wolves—which are of the dog kind—there are other dogs that are not vicious. So God could have chosen the more friendly ones to represent a kind. God could also have supernaturally caused the animals to hibernate much of the time.


So, it was either vegetarian tigers or magic? How can I tell my kids people believe things like this without telling them that those people are delusional? If I send them to a priest (which isn't happening) I'm afraid they will get the same answer I did when my mom sat me with one with my questions..."put logic aside and have faith, we can never understand fully, trust in God..." in other words "just believe what I say, because that's way it is"
edit on 9/7/2012 by RedParrotHead because: (no reason given)



OP, are you really an atheist?

If your children asked how Zeus was born, or where did the flying horses live, you would probably have
a simple answer like: Thats mythology.

So why isn't your answer the same for any difficult questions arising from bibles or any other religious books?

But ok, regarding your Noah's ark example. In these situations I think its a good opportunity for you, with your children to actually conduct research projects. A good opportunity for them to read the text directly. So they can interpret it themselves. Maybe they have a new way to look at it? And, to expose your children to the fact that there are more versions of history.

For example, the great flood myth and noah:

THE BABYLONIAN VERSION
states

O man of Shurrupak, son of Ubara-Tutu; tear down
your house and build a boat, abandon possessions and look for life, despise worldly goods and save
your soul alive. Tear down your house, I say, and build a boat. These are the measurements of the
barque {boat} as you shall build her: let her beam equal her length, let her deck be roofed like the
vault that covers the abyss; then take up into the boat the seed of all living creatures.


vs

THE HEBREW VERSION:

I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the
breath of life from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall die. But I will establish my
covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives
with you. And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep
them alive with you; they shall be male and female.


Which version would make more sense? Is it easier to carry the seed or the whole animal?



posted on Sep, 9 2012 @ 09:41 AM
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There are no easy answers on how to educate your child but I would say come from a point of open mindedness and learning.

If your children asked the question on how did the animals stay alive together for 40 days on a boat then rather than give a definitive answer maybe point them in the direction of how to think on the question and let them come to their own conclusions. This is what I do with my child. If I myself have no definitive answer to the question as in this case no one really can unless they were there so to speak either when the story was written or the event took place.

I would tell my child this.

No one can know for sure what happened or whether the story is real or a analogy for something else. What is important to understand is that some people teach this story as a real event and some as an analogy. Then ask my child what they thought happened and if they could think of ways that the animals could have survived like that.

Also let them know that they do not have to have an answer for everything all the time, sometimes it is ok to wait to make your mind up until you feel that you are sure. Maybe if they are really interested they could ask different people what they think happened (which will teach them both to find evidence and also that there can be many answers to a question.)


If your child comes to the conclusion that the story is impossible then leave it as that. There is no need to add a personal opinion of people who believe other than yourself. If you are teaching your children to be tolerant and understanding that everyone thinks in different ways. Some might believe a story like that for one reason and others for another. If they want to know why a person believes ask them, every time, do not make assumptions about a person based on one story.

If they ask I also think it is ok for you to tell them what you believe happened or could have happened and why. That will also help them reason. If you do not believe the story tell them. Again you can do this without saying anything about people who believe something else.

But in the end as a parent your believes will undoubtedly shape the believes of your children no matter how much you try to let them be their own.

These are just my thoughts of course. I think you will do well in teaching your children just for the sheer fact that you are willing to hear other peoples opinions and putting the question out there. See our children do as we do not as we say.


Much love






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