Go Back   AFA Forums > Secularism and Social Issues > Family Matters

Family Matters Family Matters... Parenting, partners, the rellies... if it's family, it's here

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #31  
Old 10th May 2017, 07:33 PM
142857's Avatar
142857 142857 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,081
Default Re: When to tell a child there is no god ?

I have two children, aged 8 and 12.

I have no intention of telling either of them that there is no God. At any stage. Although I'll be honest about it whenever the subject of belief comes up.

I do, however, try to encourage them to think critically and to be skeptical. And I will continue to do so. Whether they are atheists or not is purely up to them.

My wife was telling me last night how it's important that they believe in Jesus (even though she herself wavers in her faith these days) and how I shouldn't talk about God not existing in front of them. I told her that I've been telling both of them for about the past 5 years that I don't believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny and they just think I'm silly, how much luck does she think I'm going to have convincing them that God is pretend as well? She just laughed.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 10th May 2017, 07:45 PM
Darwinsbulldog's Avatar
Darwinsbulldog Darwinsbulldog is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Perth
Posts: 17,930
Default Re: When to tell a child there is no god ?

Quote:
142857 said View Post
I have two children, aged 8 and 12.

I have no intention of telling either of them that there is no God. At any stage. Although I'll be honest about it whenever the subject of belief comes up.

I do, however, try to encourage them to think critically and to be skeptical. And I will continue to do so. Whether they are atheists or not is purely up to them.

My wife was telling me last night how it's important that they believe in Jesus (even though she herself wavers in her faith these days) and how I shouldn't talk about God not existing in front of them. I told her that I've been telling both of them for about the past 5 years that I don't believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny and they just think I'm silly, how much luck does she think I'm going to have convincing them that God is pretend as well? She just laughed.
But you can tell them there are all sorts of problems with all the gods thus far described, and that the nature of the evidence for gods is actually very weak.

In critical thinking there can be no "sacred cows", figuratively or literally. because if there are sacred cows, then it is not critical thinking.
__________________
Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifyable hypotheses to destruction.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 10th May 2017, 08:58 PM
Madame Tarot Madame Tarot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 78
Default Re: When to tell a child there is no god ?

We never told our kids there was a God, so there was no need to tell them there was not a God.

In fact, to my recollection, the subject of God's never came up.

I was never told by my mother or father that there was a God, and was never told there was not a God.

My older brother and I were christened in 2 churches to make both grandmothers happy.

My mother, after my father died said he went to church every Sunday after they were married and then one day never went again. Twenty years after that she asked him why he stopped going to church and he said, "They asked too much of me." (he was Catholic and his mother was a mail order bride from County Armagh Ireland)

When my father was dying the nurse asked him what his religion was and he said "none".

The nurse asked, "What will I write on the form?"

He said. "Write down Church of England".

He requested an unattended funeral.

My sister visits his grave on his Birthday and there is always fresh flowers, but no one from our family has been there.

The Church of England Minister used to borrow our wheelbarrow much to my father's disgust Wheelbarrows were a rare item in the East Subs of Sydney. I had to get it back many times and it rattled down the street with its steel wheel.

Maybe there is a moral to my God story, but I doubt it.
__________________
God was a giant Queensland Blue Pumpkin. He was lonely and got bored so he blew himself up (aka the big bang) The pumpkin skin fragments became planets, the orange flesh vaporised into gasses and the seed fragments started life when conditions were right.
Reply With Quote
Like pipbarber liked this post
  #34  
Old 11th May 2017, 01:00 PM
142857's Avatar
142857 142857 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,081
Default Re: When to tell a child there is no god ?

Quote:
Darwinsbulldog said View Post
But you can tell them there are all sorts of problems with all the gods thus far described, and that the nature of the evidence for gods is actually very weak.
True, but I wouldn't put it in quite the same way.

Training them to think critically starts at a young age. When my son was about 9 years old I remember watching one of those famous magicians on TV. During and after each trick I would ask him if he thought it was a trick or real magic. Some of the tricks he thought had to be real magic.

I didn't make fun of him, I simply stepped him through how each of the tricks were done. I could actually figure out how each of the tricks were done that time, although obviously in a lot of magic tricks I can't.

I explained to him that even when you don't know how something was done, it doesn't mean it was magic. I guess we will have similar discussions about religion some day.

I'm trying to raise smart, confident, happy kids who aren't easily deceived. I got lucky on the smart side of the equation. I try to provide them with an environment where they can be confident and happy. Now I just need to continue to encourage them to think critically and to question what is presented to them as truth.

At this point in their life they think that I am infallibly smart and that I know everything. I know that won't last too much longer, and I don't want it to. I want them to question everything they are told, including what I tell them. Rather than try to guide them towards the truth, I'd rather guide them towards being able to find the truth themselves.
Reply With Quote
Like MarkFL liked this post
  #35  
Old 11th May 2017, 01:58 PM
Madame Tarot Madame Tarot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 78
Default Re: When to tell a child there is no god ?

Quote:
142857 said View Post
True, but I wouldn't put it in quite the same way.

Training them to think critically starts at a young age. When my son was about 9 years old I remember watching one of those famous magicians on TV. During and after each trick I would ask him if he thought it was a trick or real magic. Some of the tricks he thought had to be real magic.

I didn't make fun of him, I simply stepped him through how each of the tricks were done. I could actually figure out how each of the tricks were done that time, although obviously in a lot of magic tricks I can't.

I explained to him that even when you don't know how something was done, it doesn't mean it was magic. I guess we will have similar discussions about religion some day.

I'm trying to raise smart, confident, happy kids who aren't easily deceived. I got lucky on the smart side of the equation. I try to provide them with an environment where they can be confident and happy. Now I just need to continue to encourage them to think critically and to question what is presented to them as truth.

At this point in their life they think that I am infallibly smart and that I know everything. I know that won't last too much longer, and I don't want it to. I want them to question everything they are told, including what I tell them. Rather than try to guide them towards the truth, I'd rather guide them towards being able to find the truth themselves.
My ploy for making the kids independant thinkers started at an extremely young age. First I offered them a choice and did not just give them things.

But when they were getting older, I always asked for their "opinion" rather than tell them what needed to be done. Kids are in shock when you first ask for their "opinion" because everyone tells them what to do.

Kids love it, they pick up on the idea of being asked their "opinion", and sometimes it leads to a conversation about pros and cons but overall it was a winner, for me, at least.
__________________
God was a giant Queensland Blue Pumpkin. He was lonely and got bored so he blew himself up (aka the big bang) The pumpkin skin fragments became planets, the orange flesh vaporised into gasses and the seed fragments started life when conditions were right.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 11th May 2017, 02:22 PM
cravingescape's Avatar
cravingescape cravingescape is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 37
Default Re: When to tell a child there is no god ?

I don’t know how you can have conversations with your kidsand NOT tell them what you think (and I definitely did not say what TO thinkwhich is different). The questions aboutexistence, death, afterlife, god, religions, myths etc have been coming formany years (my 3 are aged 12, 11 & 10). As part of the many discussions, I am definitely up front with what Ithink, but I always ask “what do you think?”, “why do you think that” etc. My parents are extremely religious, so mykids are exposed to that religion and I have an awareness of ensuring they arerespectful that people are different and there are different ideas out there.
As with any ethical/existential/biological question, Ialways figure if they ask, then I will answer (at a level that is appropriateto their development). Dealing with death was an interesting one forme, having been brought up with the platitudes of heaven, an afterlife and “we’llmeet again”. One of my sons wasdevastated and took years to process the idea that when people/animals diedthat was it. In our discussions, he sooften held on to that idea of heaven (and it is amazing how many messages kidsget about the existence of heaven even if you don’t introduce it as a parent). When I said I didn’t think that was the case,he went through quite a process of dealing with that. I am also careful to say, I haven’t died andI don’t know for sure, but here is what I think and why.
I am really curious what it would be like in a family wherethe parents have different views on this. I am sure it would be a wonderful example of how to show respect in action!
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 21st May 2017, 01:56 PM
DanDare's Avatar
DanDare DanDare is offline
Religion or Reality, choose...
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 7,324
Default Re: When to tell a child there is no god ?

Quote:
Gravaar said View Post
I was more concerned with when to start showing him an alternate worldview
As soon as they start adopting a theistic one or hear about it. The difficulty is that as quite young children they are hard wired to respect adult authority. That's why telling them fairy tales is GOOD. It is something you can conclusively tear down later so they can see a prime example of why not to accept whatever adults or authorities tell them.
__________________
"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government".
-Thomas Jefferson

Burden of proof is the obligation on somebody presenting a claim to provide evidence to support its truth (a warrant). Once evidence has been presented, it is up to any opposing "side" to show the evidence presented is not adequate. If claims were accepted without warrants, then every claim could simultaneously be claimed to be true.

History isn't written by the victors. It's written by the people with the time machines.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 21st May 2017, 02:54 PM
Darwinsbulldog's Avatar
Darwinsbulldog Darwinsbulldog is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Perth
Posts: 17,930
Default Re: When to tell a child there is no god ?

There are no real fairies, there are no real gods. Done. When they are older, bring in nuances, like the epistemological difficulty absolute truth statements have. But for all practical purposes, gods an' fairies aren't real.
__________________
Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifyable hypotheses to destruction.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +11. The time now is 03:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.