While poking around on the Hatetheist post I ran across the Robin Schumacher response to TXBlue08’s Why I Raise My Children Without God post. And I figured that we need an answer.
CNN’s iReport recently carried a blog post entitled “Why I Raise My Children Without God” (which CNN says is the 2nd highest viewed post ever on their iReport site) by an atheist Texas blogger named TXBlue08. Her blog site, “Kids Without Religion”, is all about “raising kids as independent, logical thinkers”. In her post, she put forth seven reasons why she’s decided to bring up her children without a belief in God. Being a Christian and a parent, I thought I’d work through each one of her arguments and explain why, as opposed to TXBlue08, I’ve decided to raise my children with God.
There are more than seven reasons, the most important one I feel is that belief in the supernatural causes adults to be easier to con and to believe in things with a less critical eye. But let’s deal with each one as we go along shall we?
Argument #1 – God is a bad parent and role model.
The first argument is that God is a bad moral role model. She complains that good people “don’t condone violence and abuse” and anticipates the often-used free will argument of Christians for explaining evil by proactively responding, “Our children have free will, but we still step in and guide them.”
Except “The Christian God” has encouraged violence in the Bible. He OUTRIGHT encourages slavery, rape and genocide. It’s “why the hell did you spare them? Kill the dirty unbelievers!” kind of stuff. In fact he does get mad that early Jews showed “mercy” rather than behaving like genocidal fuckheads. She wasn’t talking about the believers so much as the god that would encourage the kind of violence in the early Bible.
And God hasn’t? The Bible says, “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). God has shown Himself to us personally in Jesus Christ, who can easily be analyzed as to His role model “worthiness”.
Who he had killed in a Rube Goldbergian Deus Ex Machina to solve the issue of sin. Yes I heard. Still think it’s as stupid as Buddha giving us Dharma only more so because Jehovah is a terrible model of a loving god. He is hateful, omnicidal and a gives love conditionally and abusively as a character.
When is Jesus – the second Person of the Trinity and God incarnate – ever recorded as condoning violence or abuse? Isn’t He the one who tells us to love our enemies and turn the other cheek? Doesn’t His teaching serve as a perfect guide for living and treating others with love and compassion? What possible atheist role model would be better than Jesus?
He was more violent than Siddartha Gautham and Gandhi since Gandhi never kicked people out of places like he did. And yes! Kicking moneylenders out was violence. His teaching serves as a guide? No. It does not, no more than Shiva worship destroys your selfishness. And by that logic we can analyse Christian History as a series of events where no one turned the other cheek and instead raped, pillaged, murdered and otherwise harmed people who “didn’t happen to be Christian”. And you can LEARN from a book without believing in it’s veracity. Harry Potter teaches kids the value of friendship, courage and education. Yet one doesn’t need to believe in Hogwarts or magic to get it’s message. You can read the Bible as pure allegory and examine it and get the alleged benefits of Jesus’s actions without having to physically believe in a supernatural theory. He also says “Render Unto Caesar” but Christians in the west keep trying to NOT do that. Also he says it’s easier for the poor to get to heaven than the rich but wouldn’t you know it, right wing Christians keep supporting laws that actively harm the poor. So an Atheist Role Model better than Jesus? Why not a HUMAN role model better than Jesus. Well? I have helped cure more lepers than Jesus. I have stopped diseases (that if you believe in a “created universe” are the products of a god) such as measles and pneumonia. I have helped stamp out Polio. There are people who have fed millions, there are people who do ACTUAL work with sweat and blood and skill and intelligence rather than the magic of Jesus. Jesus may have existed but he was no more the son of a god than the notion that Mohammed had a flying horse. If you live in a world where you are more enthralled by the achievements of arguably fictitious characters or if you are enthralled by the fictitious achievements of characters then you will never see or appreciate the achievements of humans. There are humans like Stephen Fry whose wit and knowledge are astonishing. There are those like Stephen Hawkings whose thirst for knowledge and whose determination and sheer brass monkeys gave us so much understanding. There are humans whose compassion will move you and there are humans who love. And if you cannot find a single such person in the world so have to invent someone then it is just sad.
Contrary to what TXBlue08 says, Christ is the finest – dare I say “sinless” – role model ever, with His life having more positive moral impact on the world than any other in history, and this is one reason I choose to raise my children with God.
Only a blind man would think that the impact of Christ on the world is a positive and moral one. We can talk about genocides, religious war, intolerance, rice conversion, colonialism, cultural destruction, anti-science, anti-women, homophobia, racism and a whole variety of things that have been excused by the “impact of Christ”. Large parts of the world were raped by the mechanism of Christianity as a chain to suppress and dominate people. The fact that you ignore the absolute savagery of Christianity and claim it to be some sort of “moral” force is to completely ignore human history from the Dark Ages to events that are happening to this very day. That is the major problem of raising your children with the notion of a god. That you are willing to twist reality or plain ignore it to substitute this fantasy.
Argument #2 – God is not logical.
Her second argument is really a repeat of the first. She says that, in the face of so many tragedies such as the recent Newton murders, God is just not logical. If the Christian God existed, then (a la Scottish skeptic David Hume’s famous argument) evil wouldn’t. Some atheists like TXBlue08 complain a lot about evil, which I find interesting, because with atheism, there really is no way to concretely identify good or evil. This assertion usually causes a visceral reaction among atheists, however it shouldn’t. It’s something that has been clearly and correctly articulated by a number of key atheist spokespersons down through history, including thinkers such as Nietzsche and Richard Dawkins. What you have in atheism is emotive human opinion regarding good and evil, and nothing more. Such isn’t the case with God. As C. S. Lewis observed, “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line.” With God and His Word, we have a clear, transcendent source and standard of objective moral values and duties vs. nothing of the kind with atheism, and this is another reason why I choose to raise my children with God.
No. That’s not why god is not logical. That’s the argument from the existence of evil and the unwillingness to intervene thus voiding the concept of perfection… Every concept has some postulates. Things you take on faith and build your concept from. Let’s take science for example. Science works on two main postulates. We live in a natural universe where everything occurs according to real interactions of nature. The second is the idea that our senses provide a realistic albeit incomplete view of the world around us. Based on these two concepts we have created modern scientific progress. You can analyse these articles of faith heavily and indeed philosophers have and even scientists have and found out that the second one is infact extremely limited. I can be confident enough to say that without our technology we are effectively blind to the universe. The width of our biological detection is so narrow compared to the breadth of electromagnetic wavelength that exists in the universe. So we built devices that convert the data from the biologically undetectable parts of the EM Spectrum to visually understandable readings. Now for a god to logically exist you have to make a lot of such postulates and NEVER test them. The philosophy behind those postulates are often based on a lack of knowledge and flawed understandings of how the world functions. That is why a god is illogical. Now as for good and bad actions? Seriously? The majority of actions that are good affect society positively while the majority of actions which are bad affect society negatively. The way atheists decide whether an action is good or bad is based on the effect it has in society and we all do this to some extent. It’s why we respect (and often revere) soldiers who often have “killed people” but demonise murderers. Who they kill and in the name of what is important. Murder isn’t a sin, murdering the wrong people is. The soldiers job is to “defeat” the enemy. Which is an euphemism, the soldier’s job is to kill our enemies as a proxy for our society while the enemy’s soldiers are there to kill our proxies. The soldier is effectively a state sponsored murderer. But we still consider them to be heroes because the murders they commit are for the good of society. And indeed many soldiers struggle with this moral choice and suffer for it. If Christians can eschew a commandment and apply it subjectively for the benefit of the society they live in then Christians themselves know that society is what dictates morality rather than the blind morality of the Bible.
Argument #3 – God is not fair.
Her third complaint is, again, a repeat of the first two. She argues that if God existed then all prayers would be answered in the way that people want, human deformities would not exist, and evil people would not flourish here on earth. Regarding the persistent atheist complaint about evil, I’ve had the following exchange with atheists a number of times that helps them think about the thing for which they’re really asking: Me: You think God should remove all evil from this world? Atheist: Yes, if God existed He should rid the world of evil! Me: What if He starts with you? Atheist: <silence> But let’s return to the subject of fairness.
1. There are worse people than me. I have met them
2. If someone bringing care and relief to people who are often forgotten is evil then your god is more wicked than any man on this planet. If such a god considers me wicked then you my friends are “royally fucked” because you are going to be punished right alongside me.
3. The Jewelled wasp exists. It is a beautiful flightless wasp named for it’s shimmering colours. It kills cockroaches. But you see it’s busy. So how do you “Store” a cockroach to be devoured at leisure or by your offspring? Well the Jewelled wasp first finds a cockroach and poisons it with it’s sting to the head. Now this poison is peculiar because in effect it eliminates the free will of the cockroach. It turns them docile and mobile. The wasp then cuts off one of the antennae of the roach and then grabs the other and leads the roach away. It lays it’s eggs inside the roach and then leads the roach into a tunnel it has dug. It then seals the roach in. Now as I said, how do you store a cockroach? Well the larva eats the least necessary bits of the cockroach first working its way up until eventually it has grown enough to escape which it does killing the roach. The new wasp is strong enough to unseal the tunnel and make it’s way to perpetuate the cycle. Evolution as we know is a bastard and produces things that survive often at the cost of others. But a loving creator would not create something like this. If a god exists he is not good and not a source of morality, he is a creator of tiny monsters. We have long exceeded this sheltered and childish view of morality. And because we know evolution has no morality, only winners and losers. In this game the jewelled wasp wins when it captures a roach and the roach loses if it gets captured by the wasp before it lays it’s eggs. That is the truth of life, there is no evil or good in the actions of the wasp no matter how horrific you think the scenario sounds. There is only survival. And our survival is linked to our society. Good is what makes our society stronger, bad is what makes it weaker.
4. There are evils out there that have no blame. The hurricane is blameless for the devastation it causes after all. If a god exists but is unwilling to intervene against humans because of “free will” then why isn’t he intervening against natural disasters and things like Cancer which are evils that are not related to “wicked people”.
5. Never mind the fact that the same “perfect and loving god” if he exists is the loving creator of the mechanisms by which disease and natural disasters occur.
First, what standard does the writer appeal to for fairness? Atheism’s framework consists only in survival of the fittest, which knows nothing of fairness. According to atheism, mindless matter and blind impersonal forces accidentally produced a hostile and meaningless environment that cares nothing for its offspring. You certainly don’t get equality and fairness from that.
Yes. And society makes us fit. Society is how we protect the weakest humans. You vs. a tiger is a poor fight with a victorious tiger. You with a gun made by a gun manufacturer backed up by trained dogs and more people like yourself is the reason why tigers are going extinct. Human survival has always been due to the technology we possess rather than what we evolved. We are “unfit” to survive separate from our technological capacity. And we recognise this and use our technology to cover for the weakness inherent to our evolution. And as I said, survival of the fittest means protecting your offspring because you cannot “survive” without offspring. In these 3 lines and a word you realise that the author’s view of how the world works is warped.
The universe is not fair, humans have tried to impose their will upon it to MAKE it fair. You are confusing atheism for Randian libertarianism and while there may be Randian Libertarians within atheism most of us think social equality is a pretty good thing.
The environment doesn’t care for it’s “offspring”, the environment isn’t a thing or an entity to care. We fit into our environment and we have pretty much made it fit us either by modifying our behaviour with technology or modifying it. Can’t swim? Here is a ship! Now you move faster on the ocean than any animal! Can’t fly? Here is a plane? Need to move goods from A to B? Here is a train! None of these things come about by “prayer” but by the realisation that we have imposed our will and intellect on the world.
But what you do get is something that is responsible for the overwhelming majority of human suffering and brutality in history. Contrary to popular atheist rhetoric, it is not religion but secular regimes and their naturalistic philosophy that have consistently steamrolled over human life and dignity in the past.
Historical revisionism is the poison of modern Christianity. Just a simple list of conflict due to religion?
Let’s take a 1000 years.
1. African Slave Trade
2. American Slavery
3. British and Irish Sectarianism
5. An atheist accepts no men as gods. Cults of personality are no different to a cult of a god, Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin and North Korea are ALL cult’s of personality. They are proto-religious movements. North Korea is demonstrating the changes from that kind of attitude as their ruler’s achievements get more and more mythical.
6. Facism rose under faith. Both Christianity and Shinto were the driving force of early facism and Nazi Germany only dropped it’s religious aspect towards the very end. After nearly all the damage was done. And indeed the hatred of Jews was entrenched in the Christian faith of the day.
7. Catholics still consider St. Xavier a “Saint”, rather than the man who brought the Catholic Inquisition to Asia (Killing an unknown number of “heretics”).
Seriously? The only way religious society actually beats secular nations is if we actually ignore actual history.
Second, no, God is not fair. Believe me, none of us wants God to be fair. If God were fair and we all got what we deserved then we would have a repeat of something like the universal flood where God actually did choose to rid the world of evil. But even though Jesus said we are all evil (Matthew 7:11), God “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). He offers His gift of salvation to unworthy people as well, which includes all of us (John 3:16). No, God is not fair – He is incredibly merciful and forgiving instead. God’s kindness and goodness teaches my children mercy and grace, and instructs them to extend such things to undeserving people and forgive as God has forgiven us. This is another reason why I choose to raise my children with God.
Remember all those postulates you had to make to accept the existence of Jehovah? Add one more. Can talk to this postulated entity and intimately knows what he wants to do. Why do I say postulate? Because no god has ever been proven to exist let alone the one called Jehovah.
Jesus doesn’t understand how the Sun works, neither does Christianity. You can pray to whatever gods you may chose but the Earth’s rotation will not stop tomorrow. We have had historical trials that prove Christian grasp of astronomy to be shaky at best and dangerously dogmatic at worst. Also his meteorology generally sucks too. No god is in charge of rain. Otherwise you may as well start sacrificing infants to Tlaloc for all the good that would do. If god is in charge of rain then the hurricanes that kill countless people are his fault too. If such an entity existed he would be a serial terrorist and it would be in humanity’s best interest to kill that mass murdering wanker. Lucky for us he is an imaginary entity, but his philosophy is just as dangerous because it makes people think like this. That the only reason for suffering is to absolve rich western blokes of the hypothetical sin of “enjoying themselves” at the cost of poor people.
We had a term for this. It’s a whipping boy. You see since the Prince couldn’t be beaten for discipline the Prince’s commoner friend would take the beatings in his stead with the notion that the prince would “feel bad” for his friend and therefore behave. By this notion the absolute horrors your “merciful god” perpetrates on others seems to be delineated between third and first world nations and often between “white people” and “people of colour”.
Somehow he seems so merciful that he is willing to starve millions (roughly 600 million functionally starving people in India) because of his “fairness”. Don’t worry he starves Christians in Africa in roughly equal numbers. Because it teaches them mercy and grace to rich, fat white guys in the USA? HOW? How many hoops do you have to jump through to even get to this notion that god is somehow merciful.
And the alternative to this world is omnicide? And you want to teach your CHILDREN this? In Blackest Night! That is a stupid plan! Hey here’s a thought? Why not teach your kids that the world is unfortunately not very nice because it’s not “made for us”. That pretty much everything we have is a product of human endeavour and that we should try and share that progress with others rather than just pray to god and hope that someone else does the job.
Argument #4 – God does not protect the innocent.
Her next argument is that God “does not keep our children safe” and “Why can’t God, with all his powers of omnipotence, protect the innocent?” It’s yet another rehash of the God and evil line of reasoning in a different key.I find this rhetoric interesting as almost all atheists I’ve encountered champion the right of abortion.
Abortion is not the destruction of innocent lives, a foetus is not yet a rational thinking human being and is incapable of unique existence. It is essentially part of the mother until it’s 6th month when survival rates increase to near universality. It’s why the western barrier for survival is at 24 weeks while in most developing nations it’s 28 weeks. Because of our technology rather than “god”. If potential for life is all we are working on then Menstrutation is mass murder and Sex is Genocide since the loss of eggs in a woman’s lifetime roughly works out assuming a 30 year fertile period 360 deaths minus however many children are born and since the average male sperm count is around 25 million per ejaculate you are killing that many everytime you orgasm. That’s how moronic that argument is if we are discussing “potential”.
And i think it’s a stupid argument. We may as well ask why Santa didn’t use his powers to capture Osama Bin Laden.
No if you possess the ability to help someone by the simplest of gestures and you refuse to do so then it makes you apathetic or lazy or an arsehole.
I wonder if TxBlue08 does? If so, then it would be interesting to see her reconcile this complaint with the fact that you can’t find another being more innocent than a baby in its own mother’s womb.
Not really no. However banning abortion just leads to illegal abortion as humans and indeed animals control their reproduction this way too. Just that animals just leave their offspring to starve or straight up kill and eat them themselves to not waste calories.
And it is simple. It is the calculus of suffering.
If you have 3 children and enough food for 2 children then 3 children will starve. If you aborted one (It doesn’t matter) and had control over your birth cycle as we do, you wouldn’t have had 3 children because the vast vast majority of parents are actually pretty sensible. They use condoms and the like to cut down on such births. Abortion is a last ditch effort to stop a child from being born. If we didn’t have it we would have a lot more poor people who are a lot more poorer on average.
And it is not innocent it is just cells. At that stage in life you may as well weep for the skin you shed and the hair you cut. The only reason you are so torn up about it is because you buy into the old haemonculus hypothesis (people believed that there was a tiny human being in either the man’s semen or woman’s blood that grew into a baby). It’s a perfectly formed “human”. Now we know about DNA and cell division but the old rhetoric is still there.
A lot of pro-life theory is based on universal consciousness which was a factor in that. Ironically we now know that babies are born “premature” (due to massive heads) and develop outside the body too. True human consciousness is attained outside the body. It is why a Giraffe can walk in minutes from birth while we learn to do so nearly 9 months to a year later.
Regardless, I would argue that God does indeed protect the innocent and those in need through His people and moral law. God’s Word says that pure religion is to “look after widows and orphans in their distress” (James 1:27) and that God hates “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17).History bears this truth out in stark clarity for all to see. When the Greeks and Romans were tossing their unwanted babies off bridges, it was Christians in boats rescuing the children from their otherwise certain death.
Really? Funny how Christians seem to forget that when they vote for Republicans who are more interested in stopping gays from marrying each other than Helping Widows and Orphans.
And if Jehovah hates hands who shed innocent blood then how come Jehovah is out there telling Jews in the early parts of the Bible to commit genocide and rape people (well virgins)?
And no, Greeks and Romans were not throwing unwanted babies off bridges, you are referring to the practice of killing deformed babies by the Spartans. A practice which was also done by “Christians” who feared “witch craft” and the “devil”. There is no reference in Greek or Latin to any such practice. I fear this is more historical revisionism.
The countless Christian hospitals, food kitchens, homeless shelters, orphanages, adoption agencies, and other like institutions founded on the desire to show God’s compassion toward those in need is a clear testimony of God protecting the innocent.But what about such places founded on the atheist worldview; charitable institutions purely guided by the naturalistic/evolutionary philosophy? If they exist, the numbers pale in comparison to those started, run, and motivated by a belief in a loving God.When you contrast the teachings of Christ with those of atheist thinkers like Nietzsche who despised religion precisely because it cares for the weak, it’s not hard to understand why I choose to raise my children with God.
No it’s not. It’s a sign of humans doing good.
Ah! This is my time to shine.
The secular wing of charity is mainly in the hands of humanists. The world’s largest medical charities are the Red Cross (named after the reverse of the Swiss flag which was an emblem of neutrality) and Medicin Sans Frontier (Doctors without Borders). They are not Christian organisations they are secular organisations because REAL charity doesn’t flog religion. We may be outnumbered but we outgun every charity out there for size, scale and achievement.
We killed smallpox. DEAD. The creation of a loving god was killed not by prayer but the hands of man. Wars stopped so we could punch the living daylights out of smallpox. And we did it. A disease that was estimated to kill hundreds of millions of lives was stopped in living memory of many people.
Do you know what the symbol of medicine is? Not the American Symbol (that’s actually the symbol of alchemists BTW. The only reason it is used is because the american army made a mistake and used it for their medical corps and when paramedics became a civilian force they took the symbol with them) but the actual symbol is a treatment for the guineaworm. Dracunculus is however extinct in Europe and India. We killed the symbol of medicine.
Leprosy? Effectively dead outside Africa and India. And we will kill it too.
Polio? We will make it extinct in my lifetime if we don’t let anti-vax win.
Avoidable blindness? The biggest schemes on the planet helped drop xeropthalmia.
And while Christian charities may have been part of the effort they did not do so by prayer but by the achievements of human science.
There are plenty of “Christian” charities that came to third world nations only to be more interested in spreading Bibles than bread. There are many who actually have made charity harder because they were more interested in making people read Bibles. Or pushing quack agendas like abstinence only education, AIDS denialism and often flogging Bibles rather than giving out bread.
I have even recorded an individual PROUD of her achievements in “helping” people. And experiences with charity work have led me to believe that you should do charity in specific ways and not just let “any old person” try their hand because often people who try and help end up making it worse.
Argument #5 – God is not present.
This argument takes a detour from the first four that focused on evil and asserts, “Telling our children to love a person they cannot see, smell, touch or hear does not make sense.” It doesn’t? I’ve lost a number of loved ones in my life that I can’t see or hear right now, but I still love them. But, in general, what she seems to be saying is that God is imaginary, something not real and created by humanity’s fears and hopes. In essence, this isn’t really an argument at all but more of a personal assertion that cannot be proven at all and something driven by her naturalistic worldview.
There is absolutely no evidence of ANY god out there let alone Jehovah. If you have physical evidence of Jehovah then please prove it. You will win a Nobel Prize in Science. I don’t know which one. Probably all 3.
However to date there has been no proof so we are going to have to go with “There is No Evidence to Suggest the Existence of a god”.
You lost real people, the people you lost were once flesh and blood and did things that make you remember the bonds you made with them. Jehovah is not such an entity.
The onus of proof is on the Christian to prove the existence of his fantastic god, not on the people to disprove the existence of such because a lack of evidence for a god is a poor reason to believe in one.
If you can produce such a god I will believe in it after appropriate testing, however so far no such god has appeared so I must decline and put your god on the millions of “dead” gods that came before him.
However, I would argue that God is indeed present. The Psalmist said, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there” (Psalm 139:7-8). Further, God has indeed been present with us in tangible form. Jesus, as God, took on human form and became like us so that we could see could experience Immanuel, “God with us” (cf. Matthew 1:23, 1 John 1:1-3, Philippians 2:6-8). But God is also present today in His followers. Christians who have been changed from the inside out by Christ’s life reflect Jesus back to the world so that they can see God in action. This fact was captured well by C. S. Lewis in his Screwtape Letters where a devil is complaining about God and says: “He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself– creatures whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because he has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His.” So because God is real and not imaginary, and because I want my children to reflect Christ’s goodness to the world, I make sure I raise my children with God.
Biblical scripture is no more supportive of the existence of Jehovah than the Gita is supportive of the existence of Krishna. It is not proof of anything otherwise we can argue that Action Comics 1 is supportive of the existence of Kal El. Quoting verse and paragraph doesn’t make your point stand clear it just makes you argue from circular logic (God is real therefore book is true, book is true therefore god is real). All of your arguments not only work on the gargantuan series of assumptions that are needed to assume the reality of a Christian god but also the extension of that list to give veracity to the Bible as canonical gospel when we KNOW that the Bible is incorrect. The Bible claims there was a flood around 4000 years ago, the reality says the Bible is wrong. My culture apparently can breathe water.
It is fitting that the most dangerous thing in the Mythical Garden of Eden was Knowledge. Because it is true.
Knowledge burns religion. So in order to survive religion must make fools of it’s followers. Fools seldom question. Education kills religion. The biggest fear the Christian has is that his faith will die if it doesn’t make enough fools to follow it. Same for all faith. It is why religion seeks to insert itself into schools. To create the next generation of people who are to be fooled into believing this.
Argument #6 – God Does Not Teach Children to Be Good
On the surface that seems like an unreasonable argument as God’s Word clearly contains instructions on right/wrong. But her primary complaint here is that God uses threats to make people obey.
Jehovah’s word also includes exhortions to commit genocide, rules for owning slaves (rather than say a law banning the owning of slaves) and straight up treats women as property.
We are BETTER than Jehovah’s “right and wrong”. And his threats are the threats of an abusive person, not of love.
She says it’s “like telling a child to behave or Santa won’t bring presents”. Indeed, the Bible does say, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). But what kind of fear are we talking about?
No. It’s not like telling a child to behave or Santa won’t bring you presents.
It’s like saying “behave or Santa will torture you for eternity”, of and if you don’t behave and rat out others who don’t behave Santa will just have to drown you like a sack of unwanted kittens.
With small children, all parents use some form of consequence to get their child’s attention and help motivate them to do what is right and what keeps them safe.
We use real consequences. Not mythological ones. While “the bogeyman” is funny to us it is not to the child who we scare. There are real monsters in this world without having to make up fake ones.
Very young children just aren’t mature enough yet to understand why, from a reasoning perspective, they should and shouldn’t do something, so some form of consequential training is employed.
Bollocks. Fucking bollocks.
This here is fucking terrible parenting. Not explaining to children why something is bad and why they shouldn’t do it is terrible parenting because kids are made to behave in x way with no idea why they should. They are children, not dogs.
Very young children are reliant on a survival mechanism of gullibility. It is tempered by two behavioural developments.
Ever wonder why a baby calms down on hearing mummy and daddy’s voices? That’s called imprinting. Even human babies do it, not just cats and dogs and birds. Secondly? Ever wonder why children who were normally quite social aged 7 months suddenly become shy and reserved around others aged 9 months? It’s the development of stranger phobia. They fear people who aren’t their mummies and daddies because it is a SURVIVAL MECHANISM. As is childhood gullibility.
While Santa is fun to believe in because he doesn’t really demand anything but good behaviour and cookies and we don’t grow up to keep believing in him, god is not because we NEVER really grow out of that belief. We are abusing the mechanisms of survival to warp our children into faux obedience through fear of eternal punishment.
Consequential training is not even used in dogs these days. (WHAT?) I have worked with trained dogs before (Body and Sniffer Dogs for example are trained to receive praise not to fear mistakes. It’s the basis of clicker training. We actually treat our dogs better than our children which is fucking terrifying!
But as we get older and mature, there’s a different type of fear that motivates us where those we love are concerned. For example, my wife might make me a wonderful dinner, and during the meal she might ask me, “Do you like it?” “Yes, I love it!” I say (as I always do). To which, she responds, “Oh good, I was afraid you wouldn’t…” Was the type of fear my wife articulated something based on her worry that I would beat her if the meal didn’t taste good? Not at all. Rather, she loves me and was hoping to please me with what she had done.
No your wife was using the term “afraid” to mean “worried” or “anxious” rather than say “fear”. Unless you hit your wife if she doesn’t cook properly that is what she means.
She wasn’t articulating fear she was articulating an interest in your perception of the quality of the food.
This can be handily written as “What do you think of the food?” rather than “I Fear the consequences of sub par cookery”.
This is the mature fear Christians have of God. The Bible says, “God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance” (Romans 2:4). I obey God not out of the worry that His hammer will come down on me if I sin (if that happened, I’d be on the ground all day long), but out of gratitude for His patience and love towards me and because of what Christ went through on the cross for those He loves. Also, don’t forget that, as stated earlier, atheists cannot call anything truly ‘good’ because they have no transcendent standard or objective moral framework to use for the definition other than what a particular culture might prescribe for the moment. Because of this, and because I want my kids living their lives for the right reasons, I choose to raise my children with God.
Oh? Two can quote from fucking scripture mate… You aren’t the only one with a religious text in their head.
Most parents tend to foster good values in kids, it does however become hard to uphold these values in society. Pressure from peers, other parents and teachers may sway children into doing things that are not necessarily correct. The tendency to cheat and hurt others comes to play in this way.
You can teach your kids to be more moral by teaching them about moral examples and to examine the values of stories. Blind dogma is death to morality, one must carefully judge their actions and the consequences of them in order to be a moral person.
Teach your kids the value of things around them. When they learn the importance of food, money, clothes and possessions their wants will diminish. They will learn to share and have responsibility of the things that they own.
The means however are important. Do not teach a child that the possession of these things is as important as how they come to get them. Do not reward achievement without awarding methodology. Reward fair play and hard work and team play. Encourage the truth, children lie to avoid punishment and to make others happy or to be accepted. If you reward the truth then the child will find acceptance in truth and learn to tell the truth more than lie. Teach your children to value experiences rather than items. To seek joy in achievements rather than pure items. While they may not immediately understand the lofty ideal of experience rather than possessions they will soon see the value of it particularly as they grow up.
Be careful of your own conduct. You are the first teachers of your children and children learn from your behaviour. Be the person you wish your child to be. Speak calmly and be dharmic. Do your duty. Your traits will be second nature to your children. These are acquired qualities
– The Bhagavad Gita
This is wrong in some parts (My Gita is actually pretty weak, when I was younger I could recite the whole Mahabaratha) but this is the effective translation of advice on how to be a good parent in a book older than Jesus.
The funny thing about why the Gita i so beloved? It’s because while it has some stupid bits the advice it gives isn’t bad.
You don’t need to know that the advice is coming from Krishna to realise it is GOOD advice. Teaching your kids VALUE, teaching your kids to respect themselves, integrity and being a role model for your kids? THAT is good parenting!
You don’t beat your child to make them behave! You don’t terrify them. What? Are we to throw out this advice because it comes from a non Christian god?
Atheists can call things good or bad depending on how those things affect society. Lying is harmful to ourselves. If we keep telling lies then we trade the trust people have in us for minor benefits now. And a loss of faith is deadly.
Let’s use me as an example. I lost my laptop to a hard drive crash. While I was trying to fix it, various other bloggers suggested I run a fundraiser to make up the money for a decent laptop since I was already saving for one. If I abused the trust of my donors and spent the money on “Whiskey shots and Faberge Eggs”, I would have lost the faith my readers had in me that I would (A) spend that money on a laptop and (B) give the remainder to charity. They would not trust me again. I would lose a lot of readers. My name would mean NOTHING.
Lying hurts me. I would teach my children that the short term gains in lying are nothing compared to the long term. In addition it makes society less trust worthy and a less trust worthy society is less cohesive and more prone to division and schism. It is why lying is bad outside approved context. If you refuse to tell a lie even to save the life of another then you aren’t “honourable” you are stupid at best and have no moral compass at worst.
Argument #7 – God Teaches Narcissism
“Telling kids there is a big guy in the sky who has a special path for them makes children narcissistic”.It does? On the contrary, it is our current, secular “me-first” driven culture that is producing a generation of narcissists as Dr. Keith Ablow recently argued in a convincing manner. I’m not sure why she believes that purpose and meaning are bad for children.
I think she meant that the entire universe was created solely for humanity is an extremely narcissistic view. It would be like suggesting that the Eiffel Tower was constructed to hold up a flag pole.
And atheists have purpose and meaning in our lives. We just think that the purpose and meaning to life is entirely based on experience rather than denial of reality.
Atheism’s alternative is to teach the young that there is no rhyme or reason to their lives, no real purpose or meaning, and that we’re just some big cosmic accident whose only goal as one evolutionist said is to slither along like a snail as far as we can until we die.
I don’t think you have read any atheist literature or you would not believe in something as patently moronic as that.
The purpose of life is to LIVE. There is no heaven except that which we can make for ourselves. The people who we interact with, the challenges and the achievements that we undertake make heaven right here.
And there is no such thing as an evolutionist, it’s called SCIENTIST. There are no creationist biologists because creationism requires the existence of “MAGIC”. I understand this is a hard concept for you to understand but the purpose of life is to SURVIVE. It’s just that humans have the ability to survive with “A Lot of Style”. We enjoy our existence on this planet. It may not be long enough but it is there. It is up to us to set our own goals in life and try and do them. The bar is not set by religion but by mankind. If you want to live in heaven you have to make it with your own effort.
And that is reason to get out of bed in the morning. What’s not a reason to do anything is the notion that praying to Jesus and reading a book somehow makes you “good”.
Not exactly a motivator for getting out of bed each morning.Regarding egotism, the Bible tells us, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3), which is the absolute opposite of narcissism.
The Bible can go fuck itself. That is the possibly worst kind of bullshit you can teach your kids.
There is a medical school question. “Why do you want to be a doctor?” If you lie about it, they will throw out the question “Why not be a health volunteer instead or a nurse?”
The difference is ambition. Doctors provide better rewards for ambition than nurses or indeed volunteers. They want to hear the words “Security, Money, Challenge and Responsibility”. And that is selfish but here is the thing.
If you don’t help yourself then you cannot help others. If you are satisfied and happy you can afford to make others satisfied and happy.
The words written are the words used to stamp out endeavour. One man’s confidence is another man’s arrogance. One man’s ambition is another man’s selfishness. One man’s endeavour to improve himself is another man’s lack of humility. It is the words of the crab bucket. It is the Shove. I know what it’s like, I escaped it. And to escape it I had to set a lot of bridges on fire. And the words I was often told were the same ones here.
Be proud of your REAL achievements or those of your friends and family. Endeavour to do things, accept no defeat but when defeated take it in your stride. Accept your limitations and either live with them or seek to stop them being limitations. Do not give up. If you want something fight for it. Most things that are worth a lot are not easy.
And that is better advice than Philippians. Those are the words of the crab bucket, designed to drag down those who seek to escape the bucket.
So because I want my children to have real meaning in their lives and live a life that is opposite of a narcissistic one, I choose to raise my children with God.The Main Reason I Choose to Raise My Children With God At the outset of her essay, TXBlue08 describes her internal conflict about answering her children’s questions about God this way: “Like most parents, I love my child so much that I didn’t want him to be scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved and full of hope.”For an atheist, I have to admit that I love the way she describes how a Christian feels with God: “safe and loved and full of hope.” By contrast, the atheist lives in a world that is anything but safe, where love is nothing more than a chemical reaction, and where there really is no hope that humankind will ever be any better than it is now, and certainly no hope of life beyond the grave or that anything better is coming.
No. The atheist world is safer.
Because it is humans who have killed the monsters you no longer fear. Not prayer.
But to her credit, she says this: “But the trade-off was that I would have to make stuff up, and I would have to brainwash him into believing stories that didn’t make sense, stories that I didn’t believe either.”She and I do agree on one thing: the only reason to believe something is because that particular ‘something’ is true.
Not really, you can teach stories as allegory.
Some of the oldest stories we have are based on Aesop’s Fables which have allegorical morals in them. Hindus have similar stories.
This is the main reason I choose to raise my children with God.You want to talk about evil? I watched my wife die at a very young age in a terrible way, leaving me alone with our baby daughter. I know all about injustice and the pain that goes with it. If there was anyone ready to throw in the towel where God was concerned, it was me.But I didn’t.I’m a Christian today not because of any Freudian wish-fulfillment factor or because I can’t cope with life. I follow Christ today because I am firmly convinced that God is real, and that belief in His existence is backed by very compelling philosophical, empirical, and historical evidence for anyone to investigate and embrace if they’re willing. This is why, for my children, I “bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). It’s my hope and prayer that you will too.
Empirical evidence? Oh my! Why is it that every person who claims empirical evidence for a god has never really demonstrated that empirical evidence. In which case I can cure AIDS. I have empirical proof! You just need to believe in me!
Your wife died because humans die. Sometimes in tragic ways. If you believe that she is gone to heaven then why are you calling her death Evil? Is it not “reaching the goal faster”? Two can build stupid strawmen… The atheism stuff Robin Wrote was just as stupid as my above sentence.
Wait your statement is that you are Christian because you cannot manage without Jehovah? That’s the words of an addict, not a sensible person.
Oh as for quotes? Two can play at that game mate. After all? What is Worth Mr. Nutt?
“It means that you leave the world better than when you found it”