A-fucking-men to this:
Atheism and children By Natalie Angier.
Of particular interest is the distinction she makes between being an atheist and an agnostic. She says something to the effect that given the Gods that current relgions let us choose from, she is undoubtedly an atheist. Yet she doesn’t shy from the possibility that there may be a lot we don’t know or can’t know about the true nature of the universe. I think that is a pretty fair way to put it.
As a father, I’ve wondered how to raise my child(ren) in light of my non-religious nature. People always say things like “You need to give them a foundation in faith from which they can explore, etc.” I wonder if it is not better to give a child a foundation of rationality with a wide open sense of what may be possible. I think regligious dogma is not a particularly great foundation for children to start from. The purpose of life, in my opinion, is to forever search to answer these questions. Once you think you know the answer you stop looking and that is a sort of death.
I’m not scared of the word atheist but I still don’t think it adequately says what I am. I don’t want to put limits on what may be possible. I am leaving myself open to anything. It’s just that the mythological religions of this world are, to me, among the least probable explanations.
One thought on “Atheism And Children”
We’re facing a bit of the same dilema. Saoirse, our oldest(7), has been showing intrest in the whole god/Jesus thang. We decided we best sate it now before it becomes a forbidden fruit. She went to bible school last summer and goes to Sunday school now. It’s actually worked out pretty well. She will come home with statements or questions that we can either expand on or tell her that, that is just one point of view.
As you probably know, I have some sort of spiritual belief, just doesn’t fit in with any organized western religion. I do remember, while being taught in a Lutheran School, that the story just didn’t jive. Questioning the exclusive rights to get to heaven, and that was without any encouragement. So my hope is that with the more she is exposed to the western belief, the more she will find that it just doesn’t practice what it preaches. We, of course, will give her every bit of evidence to support it!
The other thing we’re hoping, is that by giving her the basics, she will have a more educated argument when the zealots come knocking at the door. rrobin