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  #11  
Old 25th April 2012, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Bible stories for children and raising free thinkers.

My parents aren't religious, but they supported any interest I expressed. They also bought me a ton of books, many of which I still haven't thrown away.
Some of the few books I got rid of were my scripture books.

Books. Best way to help children. If you can, try to get a bunch of mythology books like Greek myths. They are on the same line as Christian stories.

Heh... Just thought of something...
Your mother said you wouldn't be sharing religion in your children's life... so do her will... and share ALL the religions. Methinks she just wanted to share her own religion, nothing else.
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  #12  
Old 26th April 2012, 10:08 AM
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Default Re: Bible stories for children and raising free thinkers.

I grew up without a religious education, I went to a Catholic schools with religious students while I was educated on the religions that existed, I had non of the indoctrination. I think it's possible to educate your kids on the various religions without any harmful effects. You don't have to give them the absolute specifics but you can give them an overview of what the religions believe and why some believe different things are right and wrong and allow them to educate themselves further when they grow up. That way they can be introduced to science and religion while still having the freedom to research more.
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  #13  
Old 26th April 2012, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: Bible stories for children and raising free thinkers.

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Originally Posted by reddix View Post
Another related factor that has made things difficult was that I was taught that those in authority over me could not be wrong.
It's interesting you mention this as it was the first (seemingly innocent) plea for 'reason' from my mother to me. My ex-girlfriends father was a leading business figure in Australia, very successful financial millionaire businessman. She tried to convince me that if a man of his intelligence believes in god then surely I would have no reason not to (given I am miles out of his league). Not quite the way to win points.

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This is when you can guide them to start looking for reason and asking for evidence. This can then be applied to everything, not just religion.
Seems like the common theme from this thread already, suggesting the most sensible.

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My point in all this is to say that as long as you are teaching critical thinking- in all things; that nothing and no one should be exempt from honest questioning, I wouldn't be too concerned by the (inevitable and ongoing in my case) attempts to indoctrinate. Bible stories are just stories and Cinderella is the best, or so my 6 year old* insists.

Just my opinion.
And a valid one thank you

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Well, I just ask Bugalugs to explain what he thinks people mean when they tell him about ideas like God and the like, then ask him why he thinks he should believe what they say about them. Whilst not being backward about the fact that I see no reason to believe them.
At the end of the day I feel that in most family situations children will tend to follow their parents' lead, even if there is no pushing going on. Which obviously works for me, but if you give them the opportunity to explore and discuss then no one can turn around and blame you of coercion (convincingly).

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1) The very act of trying to explain something to someone else means that you have to think, often quite deeply, about the thing you're trying to explain. Can't explain it if you don't understand it, and it often becomes readily apparent that the person who told you about it in the first place didn't know what they were talking about, or that the idea itself is bollocks.
I think this is where, in my mothers case, she might fall down a little. Every time she has engaged conversation about religion with me (since I have been part of this forum community and expanded my own knowledge) I challenge her to go deeper in to detail or challenge a rebuttal by me, but she just folds, blaming her lack of intelligence (quite frustrating really... you feel like it is the 'Just cos' argument half the time). I can imagine a child asking 'Why?' and getting the 'well it says so in the bible' standard response.

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2) Sets the little blighter up with a sort of sceptical viewpoint from the outset - he knows that it's perfectly valid to not take everything at face value and ask if what someone is telling him is true.
I think this is very achievable, as long as he/she doesn't drive the teachers nuts

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Originally Posted by Iseeyouthere View Post
Books. Best way to help children. If you can, try to get a bunch of mythology books like Greek myths. They are on the same line as Christian stories.
Indeed. It would probably help me to be ahead of the game by seeking out my own selection of books and stories so that the balance is there.

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Originally Posted by Iseeyouthere View Post
Heh... Just thought of something...
Your mother said you wouldn't be sharing religion in your children's life... so do her will... and share ALL the religions. Methinks she just wanted to share her own religion, nothing else.
Hrmm I am on the verge of throwing a Richard Dawkins quote her way as it is:
We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further. ” —Richard Dawkins

She might have to chew on that for a few days

She wouldn't be able to give a fair representation of all religions and would most certainly just focus on her own brand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayne View Post
I think it's possible to educate your kids on the various religions without any harmful effects. You don't have to give them the absolute specifics but you can give them an overview of what the religions believe and why some believe different things are right and wrong and allow them to educate themselves further when they grow up. That way they can be introduced to science and religion while still having the freedom to research more.
I also believe that it is very achievable. I was talking to a colleague today who is non religious, her daughter is so fascinated by the worlds religions she is considering taking up theology. She has no intention to get involved in any religion, just to study.

Thanks again all for the input
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  #14  
Old 1st May 2012, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Bible stories for children and raising free thinkers.

To echo other posters, one of the books I remember growing up with was a big book of mythology from around the world. It included retelling of many Greek, Norse, African, Native American, and Christian stories. You'd read about Prometheus in one story, and then Joseph with his many coloured coat in the next. This was probably my introduction to Christian stories, as far as I recall. The consequence of being exposed to many religious stories from different religions was that it was always obvious to me that such stories were just stories.
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  #15  
Old 6th May 2012, 02:08 AM
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Default Re: Bible stories for children and raising free thinkers.

I have a 3 yr old, who hopefully won't be getting any religious indoctrination from anyone. But I have been getting kids books on Philosophy to read with him when he is old enough.
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  #16  
Old 6th May 2012, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Bible stories for children and raising free thinkers.

"There are many religions with many stories in the world. I don't mind if you teach your stories, but you need to teach at least 10 other versions"

That way, you aren't excluding, you are taking a holistic approach. Religion is important, it was a stepping stone that stopped the human race from infighting, and instead discriminating against others who weren't us (whoever the us was) by painting 'us' as the perfect human being. We are past those times now of self reverence, but to ignore the influence of religion on society would be akin to ignoring Einstein's contribution to science via Relativity. Einstein never developed a GPS, but we use mathematics that he and Lorentz developed/popularized as being descriptive of physical facts that allow us to use GPS.

Acknowledge that religion had importance in the development of the human race. Admonish that we are now learned enough to know that myriad belief systems exist in a population of 6.7billion, and to teach but one version would be shortsighted.
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  #17  
Old 6th May 2012, 11:17 PM
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Default Re: Bible stories for children and raising free thinkers.

How else do you learn to move towards a better future if you don't learn about the bad ways of the past (and present)
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  #18  
Old 9th May 2012, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Bible stories for children and raising free thinkers.

When I was younger, I was fascinated by the Titanic. I'd recommend it. Mainly because it teaches a lot about the mistakes of the past.

I mean... it practically changed shipping regulations and rules to this day (enougn lifeboats, proper emergency procedures, iceberg patrols).
So you don't need to just stick to the religious books.
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  #19  
Old 16th April 2013, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Bible stories for children and raising free thinkers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by owheelj View Post
To echo other posters, one of the books I remember growing up with was a big book of mythology from around the world. It included retelling of many Greek, Norse, African, Native American, and Christian stories. You'd read about Prometheus in one story, and then Joseph with his many coloured coat in the next. This was probably my introduction to Christian stories, as far as I recall. The consequence of being exposed to many religious stories from different religions was that it was always obvious to me that such stories were just stories.
I think this is an excellent idea. I've always planned to teach our future children about as many religions as possible, for cultural reference and history etc, but once they are old enough to think about them critically. I've since become worried about where that line is and when they can take things on board without inadvertantly becoming indoctrinated.

But this idea, of just sharing a variety of stories, as stories, is great. And leaving out the dangerous bits like the idea of sin, as also mentioned in this thread. Again, I can teach them later about these concepts that some people believe in, once they are old enough to analyse them objectively. This way they can know about the religions, but not be dragged into the ingrained 'fear of god' that I ended up with.
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  #20  
Old 17th April 2013, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Bible stories for children and raising free thinkers.

This is why I like The Magic of Reality by Richard Dawkins. Lots of myth and magical tales and then the science right next to it. And the science is better than the mythology!
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