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Do you expect your children to be atheist?

Posted by on Dec. 14, 2011 at 2:30 PM
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I believe that my children should make their own decisions regarding religion (when they are old enough to make that informed decision) therefore I don't push my beliefs on them the same as I would not want anyone else pushing their religion on them. When my son asks questions about things I just always say "well some people believe this or that but mommy doesnt believe that". I try to give him the information he asks for without making him feel like I am telling him what to believe. 

My question is I guess, do you expect that your child will be atheist as you are? I always cross my fingers that my son will be but I also feel like forcing him to believe what I believe makes me no better than the religions I despise. 

by on Dec. 14, 2011 at 2:30 PM
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FrogSalad
by Susie K-M on Dec. 14, 2011 at 2:35 PM
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I don't think we have the ability to force another to think a particular way; past a certain age, our children will make up their own minds what they believe.  For now I try to foster critical thinking skills so that as he grows he will keep questioning.  Yeah, I hope he grows up to be an atheist but if he doesn't, then I hope his religion brings him happiness and not heartache.

Ashley4584
by on Dec. 14, 2011 at 2:35 PM
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Im going to raise a free thinking daughter. She will hopefully find it natural to question things as I did that lead me down the path of non theism. Of course, its totally up to her. All I can do is educate and stress science as much as I can. People who really believe in a higher being or beings don't let science stand in their ways anyway. My husband believes in some sort of higher power but isn't very religious. We will have conflict of course in raising her but better she hear our opinions first before the outside world. Our society is becoming more and more secular, so hopefully in a few years, this won't be as challenging as I suspect it to be.
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psuedonym
by on Dec. 14, 2011 at 9:51 PM
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I expect them to be atheists as a result of my parenting, that is, not forcing it on them but stressing and modelling critical thinking and rational thought processes and teaching them about all the world's religions (based on how interested they are).   If someone asks them "Do you believe in god" I would like them to automatically respond with "which one" not a simple "no" becaue they'll have knowledge of the whole world and it's beliefs not just the WASP god.

iSarah
by on Dec. 14, 2011 at 10:55 PM
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Very good. I hope for the same. When my daughter (4) talks about god or asks a question, I never just answer it with my belief ever. I ask her what she thinks, then I ask why... And it continues until she's bored. Her little wheels are turning. She has already decided she doesn't want Jesus in her heart (my mom tells them about Jesus) because "that's silly". The most I've ever said is, "Santa is just as real as Jesus." Then one day, she will realize I never lied about it. A little sneaky, I know. But I hope to raise intelligent, free-thinking kids.


Quoting psuedonym:

I expect them to be atheists as a result of my parenting, that is, not forcing it on them but stressing and modelling critical thinking and rational thought processes and teaching them about all the world's religions (based on how interested they are).   If someone asks them "Do you believe in god" I would like them to automatically respond with "which one" not a simple "no" becaue they'll have knowledge of the whole world and it's beliefs not just the WASP god.


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SWasson
by Sara on Dec. 15, 2011 at 1:25 PM
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I just hope that I am correct in my assumption that atheism is so vastly superior a logical position that no rational person, when given a choice, would ever choose otherwise.

mommy2myles
by on Dec. 15, 2011 at 1:38 PM
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I don't see my atheism as a belief so I don't think I'm pushing a belief.  It would be like saying I was pushing a lack of belief in the Invisible Pink Unicorn or in Zeus or whatever. Not believing in something ridiculous should just be the default. I know that's not how people think though because Christianity is so popular.  I hope he doesn't believe in ridiculous things like a magic sky daddy, but I love him unconditionally, so although I may not agree with the choices he makes, whatever he chooses to do in life or believe, I will always love him and be there for him when he needs me.

conejoazul
by on Dec. 15, 2011 at 2:09 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting psuedonym:

I expect them to be atheists as a result of my parenting, that is, not forcing it on them but stressing and modelling critical thinking and rational thought processes and teaching them about all the world's religions (based on how interested they are).   If someone asks them "Do you believe in god" I would like them to automatically respond with "which one" not a simple "no" becaue they'll have knowledge of the whole world and it's beliefs not just the WASP god.

I would be very pleased if DS grows up atheist or at least agnostic.

(ABOVE) This basically sums up the approach I am *planning* to take.   I have to say though, that given where my son is starting out his life (Mexico) and that he is likely to always own a residence here, I know he is going to be exposed to tremendous social pressure to take-on Catholicism as the "right" belief system. I'd be lying if I said today that I would be content if he comes home one day and tells me he has signed-on to Catholicism or one of the other faith-systems I find to be ridiculous.  I know I can't make his mind-up for him, but I feel obligated to give him sufficient (worldly) education and to sow critical thinking skills that he doesn't grow-up to succomb to such choices and then a lifetime of decision-making that follows the rules of the/a Church. I will be discussing with him from an early age how people not only invest their "hopes" and "destiny" in a faith that may be baseless, but I will be pointing out the financial burdens and lifestyle decisions that follow by becoming overly invested (mentally) in such things.  I haven't made up my mind yet whether I will let him reach dating-age while living in this country or not either ... While there is lots I can say good about Mexico, lately I have been reconsidering my long-range financial planning to consider returning to a more secular society for at least 5 of his pre-college years. I've considered it, and I genuinely shudder at the idea of him coming home with a sweet little Catholic girl (by Mexican standards that is - my Catholic friends in the States were never so robotic-like in their adherance to the Church) who I have to adopt as a daughter-in-law along with all the religious trimmings. 

Label me intolerant if you like, but after living in a society that is basically a slave to the Catholic church, I feel no need to pretend that it will be okay for me to see my child get lost to its religious influence  - to be honest, I would feel I had failed DS in a major way if that happens.

iSarah
by on Dec. 15, 2011 at 2:45 PM
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We all agree we will continue to love and accept our children no matter what they decide. Too bad all of our parents (the "Christians") can't do the same with us and our atheism. :-( What happened?
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lilangilyn
by on Dec. 15, 2011 at 2:47 PM

I don't care. As long as they are good people, good parents themselves, and treat my grandchildren right, they can worship or not worship as they please. Whether they believe in something or not is up to them. I will love them anyway.

DangerDarling
by on Dec. 15, 2011 at 11:48 PM

This is how I think. Although I do tell him that people like to believe that God and Jesus and Santa are real, I always tell him exactly what I think about the subject and why. Of course, I live in much too religious a state to just leave it to chance. About 98% of the people in his life are frantically pushing baby Jesus on him.

I have two kids, but only one is full of questions about God right now. I'll take the same tactic with the younger, too.

Quoting mommy2myles:

I don't see my atheism as a belief so I don't think I'm pushing a belief.  It would be like saying I was pushing a lack of belief in the Invisible Pink Unicorn or in Zeus or whatever. Not believing in something ridiculous should just be the default. I know that's not how people think though because Christianity is so popular.  I hope he doesn't believe in ridiculous things like a magic sky daddy, but I love him unconditionally, so although I may not agree with the choices he makes, whatever he chooses to do in life or believe, I will always love him and be there for him when he needs me.


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