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#51 Weavile

Posted 10 September 2019 - 11:03 PM

View PostOh Peanuts!, on 10 September 2019 - 12:28 PM, said:

We’ve been reading ‘how did I get here’ by Philip Bunting. A great book that discusses the science behind everything in a way that 4/5 year olds understand.

I’m just introducing the kids to what I believe, with the hope that it’ll make conversations about religion etc easier to address when they crop up. Not sure if that approach works just yet, but it’s the plan at this stage.

I have this book as well and love it. DD is one of those kids who has to know and question everything and it's perfect for her. I must also confess that I have encouraged her to take it to school more than once on "bring a book" days. We're in a very religious area and it's me passively trying to get some balance.

With DS who is older and a bit more nuanced I've had more indepth conversations, but like others I don't hide my feelings. Some people believe... and then let logic and common sense do the rest.

Both kids have had death explained as your body stops working and you stop being you. You are buried or burnt and the bits that were your body get recycled through the environment, by being eaten, decomposing and providing nutrients into soil etc. Life goes on. DD is very matter of fact about it and I know some people find it confronting.

Edited by Weavile, 10 September 2019 - 11:03 PM.


#52 lizzzard

Posted 11 September 2019 - 12:36 AM

Most children don’t develop the cognitive capacity to genuinely conceptualise and think through issues related to faith and spirituality until their early teens - it’s one of the last stages of cognitive development. This really limits the opportunity for guidance in the early years to brainwashing (God exists or doesn’t). I think most people are fooling themselves if they think they’re giving their kids ‘choice’ - the deep seated bias that can be seen in this thread is evidence of how beliefs colour everything from language to logic. Kids pick this up and take their lead from it, completely unconsciously (like all the other biases and baggage we pass on as parents). So for the atheists on here - i really  don’t think you have to worry - the natural brainwashing that occurs for every child by their parents over an entire childhood  is usually far more more effective than what can be achieved by a few random comments in the playground...or even a few lollies handed out by rogue scripture teachers.

#53 purplekitty

Posted 11 September 2019 - 01:27 AM

View Postlizzzard, on 11 September 2019 - 12:36 AM, said:

So for the atheists on here - i really  don’t think you have to worry - the natural brainwashing that occurs for every child by their parents over an entire childhood  is usually far more more effective than what can be achieved by a few random comments in the playground...or even a few lollies handed out by rogue scripture teachers.

Those comments can cause fear and distress in little hearts though,something I have never been guilty of as an atheist when dealing with other peoples children.

#54 lizzzard

Posted 11 September 2019 - 01:49 AM

View Postpurplekitty, on 11 September 2019 - 01:27 AM, said:

Those comments can cause fear and distress in little hearts though,something I have never been guilty of as an atheist when dealing with other peoples children.
See, I am not so sure kids understand the concept of spirituality in the same way adults do. I suspect adults project their own meaning onto situations and therefore see far deeper 'fear and distress' than the kids do. Even concepts like death and afterlife are hard for kids to really grasp so saying you'll go to 'hell' doesn't mean much to a 5 year old. I'm not saying they don't get the insulting nature of comments....but I would say they put them in the same category as any other nasty comment about being part of an 'out-group' - eg based on skin colour, family make-up, etc...

Absolutely - nasty comments amongst kids should be addressed whatever the nature of them. But I just don't buy the argument that nasty comments of a religious nature will cause special harm (other than regular distress caused by any other kind of bullying) to atheist kids - or (to my above point) will convert them.

So as to your comment about atheists not causing fear and distress ....I'm pretty sure you're not saying that regular bullying is only the domain of kids who believe in God, right....?

#55 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 11 September 2019 - 06:32 AM

no bullying comes in all forms, from all types of kids - religious or not. but when kids come home from school - not necessarily distressed - confused? inquisitive? - saying “jimmy said i’m going to hell because i don’t go to church/believe in god/pray to god” i don’t give jimmy the courtesy of “well some people ...” i just tell them “there is no god. there is no hell. it’s a myth like trolls and dragons” - as you say, god either exists or he doesn’t. and he doesn’t.

#56 BadCat

Posted 11 September 2019 - 06:48 AM

Yes, if anyone had hit my kids with the "you're going to hell because..." rubbish I would have been much more definite in telling them it's a myth.

But since nobody did that (as far as I know), I just told them about certain beliefs, pointed out the massive discrepancies, and let them do the rest.  To be fair, they didn't really raise religion until they were about 7 or 8 so it didn't take much to make unbelievers of them.  I found that by telling them some religious stories but leaving out the mystical and worshipful language they come to atheism all by themselves.

I don't pretend to be unbiased.  I raised them to be atheist.  And I'm good with that.

#57 Anonforthistime

Posted 11 September 2019 - 07:43 AM

On the flip side, I’ve seen kids from atheist families tell kids who go to church that they are “stupid”, and even upthread we had a parent who was proud that her child had told a children of faith that they had been “brainwashed”.
Respect and tolerance must go both ways.

#58 AliasMater

Posted 11 September 2019 - 08:09 AM

I have no time for adults or children who speak to my children about their God. Like above, we also don't give believers the courtesy of 'some people believe...' as though there are two equal truths. There aren't.

I tell my kids that God and the associated fables are a man made lie. That the stories range on a spectrum from absurd to abusive, oppressive, and dangerous. That it's a lie that their parents told them because they were also lied to... and a lifetime of lies is hard even for adults to undo, and the cycle continues. I also tell them that some adults use their book of untruths as justification to oppress and abuse others with their words, their actions, and their vote.

My goal as a parent is to raise critical thinkers. For my children to form opinions and beliefs supported and proven by evidence, research and best practice. That they should challenge their opinions and views if they can't be verified by the former.

That is what I am teaching them to think. What I am teaching them to say is 'sorry, but it isn't true, let's talk about something else.'

Mid sentence if need be.

efs

Edited by AliasMater, 11 September 2019 - 08:28 AM.


#59 Ellie bean

Posted 11 September 2019 - 08:47 AM

^^ geez alias mater that’s not what I would do to raise critical thinkers, you’re just telling your kids what to think

#60 seayork2002

Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:09 AM

I can't say God is man made because I have no proof, I also have no actual proof that science have all the answers either.

I don't feel the need to have an actual way to raise my son so I can't say I am raising him as as atheist or religious as I am neither (same for DH really)

DS was christened in the CofE and I am sure the religious will call this hypocritical as other than weddings and funerals and sightseeing he has never been to any church services nor Sunday school. He did scrirpture for 1 or 2 years in FYOS/Y1 then ethics after that

I guess I put myself in the 'I have no flippin idea how it all works' category so I just answer DS's questions as best as I can but he goes to an very multicultural school and loves everything he learns from his friends about their lives and beliefs, I have no desire to correct any of this

#61 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:24 AM

but there’s no room for critical thinking in religious dogma...if a child comes to you and says “you’re going to hell” - there’s really no where to go with that - i thought maybe that’s what Alias Mater was getting at. there’s certainly plenty of scope to critique religion - why it exists, why it prevails, how it is used by those in power, how it mirrors cultural norms and expectations. they’re interesting discussions to have.

but it’s like the climate change issue - certain broadcasters thinking that for a panel discussion we need a climate change scientist plus a climate change denier for “balance” - why? there is no balance, there is no need to give validity to the deniers - it doesn’t help fix the crisis. it’s not critical thinking


#62 SeaPrincess

Posted 11 September 2019 - 09:44 AM

View PostAnonforthistime, on 11 September 2019 - 07:43 AM, said:

On the flip side, I’ve seen kids from atheist families tell kids who go to church that they are “stupid”, and even upthread we had a parent who was proud that her child had told a children of faith that they had been “brainwashed”.
Respect and tolerance must go both ways.

I agree. To me, the anti-religious attitudes expressed here are just as offensive and intolerant as those of devout believers. I tell my children that the bible is full of stories that are supposed to help people learn to be good, kind, generous people, but that people don’t always interpret them that way. Good people don’t have to be religious, and religious people aren’t always good. If they choose to follow a religion when they grow up, that’s their decision, and I will continue to love them.

I was brought up catholic, and I did 10 out of 12 school years in catholic schools. I have no time for the Catholic Church now. I’ve got friends with children in catholic schools, including the one that I attended, and my perception is that there has been a massive return to very fundamental catholic beliefs and much higher emphasis on religion in schools compared with what I experienced. That’s not what I want for my children, but they also don’t need to know how much disdain I have because those children in catholic schools are their friends.

#63 AnythingGoes

Posted 11 September 2019 - 10:10 AM

To me it's not an anti-religious attitude - it's just a religious isn't relevant to us attitude.

We spend us much time talking about god/religions in our household as I imagine the average christian household spends talking about scientology with their kids. It just doesn't come up.

I figure DS will learn about religions in history and cultural studies etc. His school is very multi cultural and he knows some friends go to church on the weekend, some go to language school, some have auskick, etc. I don't think that god is much of a topic in the playground.

I'd imagine if another student told him he was going to hell because he doesn't believe in god he'd return with 'well I'll give him a karate chop and follow it up with a knee strike' because that is his general response to a threat of someone trying to make him do something.

#64 Drat

Posted 11 September 2019 - 10:43 AM

I am a hard core atheist. My kids will not be enrolled in any sort of scripture or religious education. (I won't teach at, nor will my children ever attend a religious school).

I had religious friends throughout primary and high school who continually pestered and pressured me to convert to Christianity. I respected their right to believe in what ever they wanted and never said anything further than I don't believe in god, but it seemed to come up quite frequently that they tried to push it on me. It caused me a great deal of distress as a primary kid because I did not believe in god but was made to feel like there was something wrong with me or that I wasn't as 'good' as them.

I will tell my children that the stories in the bible etc. bring happiness and comfort to other people and that there are different beliefs etc.
I will also later tell them my beliefs (my husband is also the same) that I do not believe in god.

#65 purplekitty

Posted 11 September 2019 - 11:10 AM

View Postlizzzard, on 11 September 2019 - 01:49 AM, said:


So as to your comment about atheists not causing fear and distress ....I'm pretty sure you're not saying that regular bullying is only the domain of kids who believe in God, right....?
I'm saying that my young primary school children were distressed by being told their parents would burn in hell because they didn't believe in God.

And no,my children weren't simply mildly insulted.
They weren't insulted at all.
They were upset.

#66 IamtheMumma

Posted 11 September 2019 - 11:19 AM

View PostAnonforthistime, on 11 September 2019 - 07:43 AM, said:

On the flip side, I’ve seen kids from atheist families tell kids who go to church that they are “stupid”, and even upthread we had a parent who was proud that her child had told a children of faith that they had been “brainwashed”.
Respect and tolerance must go both ways.

For centuries, as in over 20 of them, people who didn't subscribe to a faith were tortured, abused, set on fire, drowned, beheaded, excommunicated and goodness knows what else. Legitimate, documented, proven beyond a doubt evidence and it is still happening today but no....respect and tolerance must go both ways.

No it doesn't. When faced with an abusive force, you call it out. You bring it into the light and hold it accountable. Some brave people have done this through Royal Commission.

I get that the faithful are scared atheists will get into power. They know how horrifically atheists/non faithful were treated and are terrified that the atheists will do the same in kind. Being called stupid or brainwashed is a flipping kindness.

Pretty sure this will be the post that gets the thread locked. My apologies to those enjoying it.

Edited by IamtheMumma, 11 September 2019 - 11:21 AM.


#67 purplekitty

Posted 11 September 2019 - 11:50 AM

View PostSeaPrincess, on 11 September 2019 - 09:44 AM, said:

I agree. To me, the anti-religious attitudes expressed here are just as offensive and intolerant as those of devout believers.  
They are impolite.
We are bombarded with religion in our schools,politics and everyday life and sometimes I can see that people think enough is enough.
Atheists are generally minding their own business.
We would prefer theists left ourselves and our children alone with respect to belief.

I would have been disappointed if either of my children spoke that way in any conversation but let's face it being called stupid would be not unusual in quite a few playground interactions.

Eternal damnation and burning in the fires of hell not so much and then being reinforced by RE.

I don't see why religion expression gets a pass as being benign.
Threatening someone with dying by being burnt alive in any other context would cause more than raised eyebrows.

#68 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 11 September 2019 - 11:59 AM

and also, to any given religious person, i really only believe in one less god than you do. if you’re a christian you’re not going to be believing in Shiva, Krishna or Lakshmi - as examples. and yes - to get in first - i know it is said that the three abrahamic religions all believe in the one god....but drill down ....a muslim will see Jesus as a prophet, but they do not accept he is divine, if a christian thinks jesus is “of the same substance as god” - a muslim would not believe that - so they are fundamentally different, and - at odds with each other. there is this tendency to see religious folk as one glorious happy tolerant lot with the atheists railing against them but the reality is all religions are at odds with one another - you cannot both accept that jesus is the messiah and yet adhere to a faith that says he is not.

#69 gettin my fance on

Posted 11 September 2019 - 02:13 PM

View Postpurplekitty, on 11 September 2019 - 11:10 AM, said:

I'm saying that my young primary school children were distressed by being told their parents would burn in hell because they didn't believe in God.

And no,my children weren't simply mildly insulted.
They weren't insulted at all.
They were upset.

My 5yo non-scripture attending DD was very upset after being told by a scripture attending kid that god was going to kill her for not believing.

It wasn't a case of wipe her tears and she'd forgotten about it.  She was too afraid to go to sleep or not be in the same room as DH or I when at home.

#70 Mollyksy

Posted 11 September 2019 - 02:19 PM

View PostEllie bean, on 10 September 2019 - 09:45 PM, said:

I tried to discuss comparative religion with my 6yo but he drew the unfortunate (and presently unshakeable) conclusion that the genie from Aladdin is God. I’ve given up, I’ll try again in 6 months...

Lol! My DS at about 3 or 4 asked who made the trees. I explained some people believe God etc. All good. Some time later a totally random 'mummy, did Bob make the road'. Huh? Bob? Kid was increasingly frustrated. 'Bob, who made trees'!! Got it! God!

He also someone is convinced Christmas is Santa's birthday (yeah, the son of Bob story didnt quite stick!).

Its hard with death as my mum and dad and his paternal grandma and grandad and numerous pets are dead, some within his lifetime. Heaven is a convenient answer to 'but where are they exactly' until he can process a bit better.

#71 AliasMater

Posted 11 September 2019 - 02:54 PM

View PostMollyksy, on 11 September 2019 - 02:19 PM, said:

Heaven is a convenient answer to 'but where are they exactly' until he can process a bit better.

I find it intriguing that filling a child's head with stories about celestial kingdoms in the sky where people go if they are 'good' and grow wings, is somehow convienient.

Mine have always accepted the more scientific approach just fine -  that conciousness fades and we cease to exist, just as we were before we were born.. and we live on in the memories of those who knew and loved us.

We don't teach our kids platitudes either like 'better place now', or 'looking down upon us'. So burdensome.

#72 Lucrezia Borgia

Posted 11 September 2019 - 03:23 PM

View PostAliasMater, on 11 September 2019 - 02:54 PM, said:



I find it intriguing that filling a child's head with stories about celestial kingdoms in the sky where people go if they are 'good' and grow wings, is somehow convienient.

Mine have always accepted the more scientific approach just fine -  that conciousness fades and we cease to exist, just as we were before we were born.. and we live on in the memories of those who knew and loved us.

We don't teach our kids platitudes either like 'better place now', or 'looking down upon us'. So burdensome.

and ultimately, so meaningless. an eternity based on the absence of change obliterates who we are - it’s the end of anything meaningful.


#73 aquarium2

Posted 11 September 2019 - 03:30 PM

View PostLucrezia Borgia, on 11 September 2019 - 03:23 PM, said:

and ultimately, so meaningless. an eternity based on the absence of change obliterates who we are - it’s the end of anything meaningful.

And that's where the real crunch is for me. Human life is beautiful, meaningful and complex enough, without having to believe in the super natural.

For me believing in a higher power diminishes what we are and what we are capable of.

#74 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 11 September 2019 - 03:39 PM

You know, I get the hate of 'big religion', along the lines of 'big phama' and 'big business' and the negativity of all that goes with a monolith organisation.  But does that mean that we intensely dislike everyone who works for those companies?

I find the generalisations that start in these threads quite upsetting.  Yes, I get that any child would be upset being told that they are going to 'burn in hell', just as I was upset at that idea as a child.

But as a child who grew up catholic in the 70's, even we were told back then that it was an outdated idea that not many Catholics beleived in.  I am also VERY anti the types of scripture that is taught in public schools, generrally by zealots and extremists - my Baptist neighbour a few years ago was one.

As much as I hate to say it, there is a need for #notallchristians  here.  Not me, for one.  Not my kids.  Not any of the people that we associate with.  

To hear that some of you are happy for your kids to be rude or disrespectful to those they know to be religious because 'religious people are disrespectful of you" - that makes me sad.  I find it hard to read some of the vitriolic statements here and not take them personally.

So many of us who are 'religious' or 'spiritual' find the intolerance of many Christians just as abhorrent as you do.  It is not the black and white, us-and-them world that some of you seem to think it is.

I am lapsed catholic.  My kids attend Anglican schools.  When DD approached me in year 6 to say that she wanted to do her first communion, my first questions was "do you even believe in God?"  (She's not even Baptised!) I had no idea whether she did or not.    She didn't bother in the end - with no pressure for against from me.  Turns out she just wanted to go up for communion with some of her friends because she was curious - not because she'd developed some further belief in God.  Bu I would have supported her to do it if she'd wanted to.  

Both of my kids attend chapel and RAVE (Religious and Values Education) classes at their schools, where they learn about world religions and culture, and tolerance for difference.  Including 'tolerance' for those who don't believe - which happens to be most of them, from what I can gather now they are all around 15-16.  I do not know a single one who attends church - either because they don't or they don't talk about it.  But the tolerance is there.  The understanding is there.  

Do those of you who are so anti-christian and happy for your kids to call people out on their belief in 'sky fairy' also promote them to react with intolerance to someone wearing a tuban or niqab/burqa?

Oh, and my kids also believe in evolution and science.  It is not taught any differently in their schools...... creationism is not a Christian thing.  It's believed by some people - who most christians I know think are wrong.

Call out bullying.  Call out bad behaviour.  But tolerance needs to go both ways.  The NSW Liberal Party would be a great place to start this.

#75 *Nasty*Squeekums*

Posted 11 September 2019 - 03:46 PM

View PostAnonforthistime, on 11 September 2019 - 07:43 AM, said:

On the flip side, I’ve seen kids from atheist families tell kids who go to church that they are “stupid”, and even upthread we had a parent who was proud that her child had told a children of faith that they had been “brainwashed”.
Respect and tolerance must go both ways.

My bold
Like the same respect and tolerance religion has given gay people, women, unmarried single mothers, pro choice folk?

Respect is earned, religion has decades of abuse to counter and apologize for to earn back any form of respect




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