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Do you care whether your children believe in G-d? - Page 11

post #201 of 240
Of course I care I want my kids with me in heaven.
post #202 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nankay
Methinks they doth protest too much and are secretly afraid that the believers might be right. "

Sheesh, using that logic I could say every person who has approached me trying to convert me is "protesting too much" much and is secretly thinking the non believers are right.:
Basically what it comes down to, time and again, is that many believers don't believe in atheists.
post #203 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca
Certainly, not all the atheists I know are like this. But some are. Methinks they doth protest too much and are secretly afraid that the believers might be right. :
They are probably strong atheists/rationalists who can't grok the cognitive dissonance that believers practice on a daily basis. It can be very frustrating. I get frustrated with Christians in that way sometime, but my experience with my parents shoving religion down my throat from day one has made me very hands off in terms of what others believe. Just like you will find Christians who don't talk about their religion to others, you will find atheists who want to convert everybody. That's just life.
post #204 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxie
Heheh, Xaloxe, that's not quite my situation! I think you will understand what I wrote a lot better if you keep in mind that when I say "atheists, agnostics, and theists" I am referring to pretty much everybody... a theist is someone who believes in God or gods.


Ok, ok... I know what a theist is, yet somehow I managed to read over it in your post and still use it in mine! It all makes much more sense to me now that you have so clearly pointed out my flawed interpretation.

Note to self: there's a reason you wake up an hour before the kids, because it takes you that long to wake up. Don't reply to posts until you've achieved that goal. I've learned a valuable lesson today. Oh, and re-read them, for once.

I will still stand by my post, excluding the addition of theist.
post #205 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca
I almost agree with you, except for the "not believe" part. I agree that people who don't believe in God are opposed to anyone, including themselves, telling anyone what to believe. But I know several atheists who are quite happy to tell everyone that they SHOULD NOT believe in God. In fact, they feel compelled to shout down anyone who is trying to speak about h faith and to criticize that person as stupid, immature, guided by mushy feelings rather than correct thinking, illogical, and/or brainwashed. Certainly, not all the atheists I know are like this. But some are. Methinks they doth protest too much and are secretly afraid that the believers might be right. :
It's an intersting thought, and as Nankay pointed out, are those who are most vocal and feel qualified to adauciously tell someone else what to or not to believe the most insecure in their belief system? It could very well be insecurity, but for some I know it can also be a struggle for acceptance and understanding in a society so inundated with symbols and thoughts from a select few religions.

Trying to take this back to the topic at hand... it does bother me that at certain times of the year it seems a large number of USAmericans make assumptions that everyone and their children hold the same religious views as they do. I have vivid memories of being wished specific holiday greetings and feeling very alienated as a child and youth because we didn't celebrate theirs.

Again, I want to raise confident, intelligent, kind, creative, empathetic, critical thinkers. They will find their own path and hopefully take responsibility for themselves and their own actions. If they can do this, with or without religion, it doesn't matter to me if in the end I've accomplished my goal.
post #206 of 240
Nankay wrote:
Quote:
Sheesh, using that logic I could say every person who has approached me trying to convert me is "protesting too much" and is secretly thinking the non believers are right.
Oh, absolutely! I grew up in an area with lots of fundamentalist Christians, and not only were they zealous about wanting to convert everyone, they were determined to prevent anyone from explaining other beliefs (even if those were not the speaker's own beliefs, for example when we learned about Islam in order to understand medieval history) because they were terrified that if their children heard about other beliefs, they would adopt those beliefs. Their faith is in fact so weak that it is threatened by the mere knowledge that anyone believes anything else!

Lisac77 wrote:
Quote:
They are probably strong atheists/rationalists who can't grok the cognitive dissonance that believers practice on a daily basis.
Cognitive dissonance is a conflict between one's actions and one's beliefs. I can understand pointing that out to a person: "You say you believe nonmarital sex is wrong, yet you keep doing it!" The kind of atheist harangue I'm talking about is when someone responds to a person who mentions belonging to a church by saying, "You go to CHURCH?! I thought you were smart! What, do you believe there's a big sky-monkey controlling everything you do?!" That is a direct quote. These are not people who are interested in finding out my actual beliefs and practices; they stereotype all people who believe in God as dimwits and make no distinctions among us.

But like I said, most of the atheists I know are not like that. If EnviroBaby grows up to be an atheist, I'll be okay with it as long as he's not a bigoted and rude atheist. I don't want him to be bigoted or rude no matter what belief system he adopts.

Edited to add: I think the above atheist harangue actually reflects the ATHEIST's cognitive dissonance: She respected me and considered me intelligent (action) but she believes that Christians are stupid and unpleasant (belief), so now that she knows I am a Christian she has to change her actions (disrespect me) to bring them into line with her beliefs. I do understand that many atheists think belief in God requires cognitive dissonance because science "disproves" the possibility of God, but those who bother to ask me how I deal with that question will learn that I don't, in fact, live in a state of cognitive dissonance about it: I believe that the laws of science were written by God, who is not a physical entity, so not only is there no scientific finding that could prove to me that there is no God, but the continual revealing of the wonders of the universe continually increases my amazement at God's design.
post #207 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by bright
What would happen for you if someday one of your children doesn't believe what you believe?
Answering the question you posed to Kidzaplenty... It would be very heartbreaking and sad for me. I want my children to know the joy and peace of salvation and having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I'm not the absolutely literal type who believes that there is an exact, precise set of doctrinal facts and musts that someone has to either accept or not. But I want very much for my children to have faith. Ultimately it is their choice, of course. All people must make that decision for themselves. And you cannot force it or require it. Such is the nature of faith. But, as to whether I care, of course I do. A lot!

Perhaps it would be easier for the non-religious folks to understand it by considering a parallel from their own beliefs. Think of something that is important to you? Might it be environmentalism? Human rights? Something that is central to the core of who you are and that you feel is vital for you to pass on to your children. Then ask how you would feel if your child grew up and became head of a company that was destroying the environment or if s/he grew up to participate in a racist group or one that fought against gay rights. Would you care? Of course.

All of us do have deeply held beliefs and ideals about right and wrong. We try to share them with our children and raise them accordingly. I don't think anyone here would say that they want their kids to grow up and decide for themselves whether or not to be racists, and whatever they decide is OK with them... (Said with tongue planted in cheek, but to illustrate a point.)

Religious faith is a vital thing. Teaching our children and sharing our faith as they grow is as important as anything we teach them and raise them to be. I'd venture to say it's the most important thing, since it's the only one we believe to be eternal.
post #208 of 240
Monkeys4mama you seem to be equating my atheism with someone bent on destroying something. If I am uber-enviromentalist and my dd works for an oil company drilling in Yellowstone, she is trying to destroy what I am trying to protect. If I believe in god, but dd doesn't , what is she destroying exactly? How is she working directly against what I believe ?
post #209 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeys4mama
...
Religious faith is a vital thing. Teaching our children and sharing our faith as they grow is as important as anything we teach them and raise them to be. I'd venture to say it's the most important thing, since it's the only one we believe to be eternal.
*wonders why I'm not dead, then*
post #210 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeys4mama
Religious faith is a vital thing. Teaching our children and sharing our faith as they grow is as important as anything we teach them and raise them to be. I'd venture to say it's the most important thing, since it's the only one we believe to be eternal.
Interesting post. I actually agree with you, from a slightly different perspective.

It is vital to me and my dh that our children require a certain level of evidence from any authority which purports to represent truth. This authority could be the government, a teacher, a community leader or a religious figure. I do not want my children to believe something *just because*. I want them to live a thoughtful life, meaning they have questioned and thought and researched about their beliefs - be they religous, scientific, ethics, etc.

My major issue with religion as a concept is that religion often claims exemption from standards of evidence we regularly apply to every other facet of our lives. Religions often claim truth, but then offer only faith as proof - and then claim that faith itself without proof is the core of truth(!).

I have no issue and in fact embrace the times when religious authorities discuss the more esoteric/abstract philosophical issues surrounding human existence. What I take issue with are those individuals who claim that their religion has facts and figures to back up the religious philosophy and those facts are not supported by peer reviewed evidence based scientific approaches.

THis issue, for me, is CORE to how we think, make judgements on who to believe and trust, and frankly, live our lives. It is how we actually think (vs what we actually think). So in fact, it is an important lesson I want my children to learn - and would be very very disappointed if they didn't learn it.

Siobhan
post #211 of 240
Siobhan,
You rock!
post #212 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca
I do understand that many atheists think belief in God requires cognitive dissonance because science "disproves" the possibility of God,
I agree with the rest of your post about cognative dissonance. I did want to say that, to me, atheism isn't about proving God doesn't exist. Atheism is the statement that there is no evidence of a God -i.e. the universe, as we understand it at this moment, does not require a God in order for it to be the way it is.

We have an imperfect understanding of the universe. If someone were to find replicable, verifiable, scientifically measurable evidence for a deity, I fully trust that scientists, even "devout atheists", would fall over themselves to get that information published - heck it would lead to a Nobel Prize!!!

The scientific method is imperfect as a way of verifying what we know to be objectively true - BUT it is the best we have right now. The major flaw isn't the method, but rather the individuals implementing the method.

For me, the statement that "there is no evidence for a God" requires me, to be intellectually honest, to behave as though there isn't one. After all, if there is no evidence, why should I believe that there is?

Of course, your definitions of evidence may vary. Mine are strictly scientific because that is what I trust. I do not trust other authorities because I do not believe them to be objective. I do not believe what feels right since, frankly, human perspective (especially my own) has been shown to be plenty flawed when actually investigated.

Your mileage may vary.

Siobhan
post #213 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca
Nankay wrote: they were determined to prevent anyone from explaining other beliefs (even if those were not the speaker's own beliefs, for example when we learned about Islam in order to understand medieval history) because they were terrified that if their children heard about other beliefs, they would adopt those beliefs. Their faith is in fact so weak that it is threatened by the mere knowledge that anyone believes anything else!

.
Why would this mean that the person's faith is weak? If they don't want their children taught other beliefs it seems to me that it it simply because it is extremely important to them that their children not be led away from the belief system they are being brought up in. It's no reflection at all on the amount of faith they have. Instead it reflects how strongly they feel about raising their children in their faith. If a person believes that the only way to get to Heaven is through faith in their God, then it would be of the utmost importance for them to ensure that their children learn the way to Heaven.

Note, this is not an argument for or against any religion (although I am a Christian myself). I just had to comment on the notion that not wanting to teach your kids about other religions means you're lacking faith.
post #214 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by boingo82
*wonders why I'm not dead, then*
Huh? That doesn't make any sense at all.

I said that to me, the faith I share with my children is the only thing that I believe is eternal. What does that have to do with you being alive or dead???

post #215 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeys4mama
Huh? That doesn't make any sense at all.

I said that to me, the faith I share with my children is the only thing that I believe is eternal. What does that have to do with you being alive or dead???

Vital means necessary for life.
post #216 of 240
Monkeys4mama,

I didn't write that, but I DO agree with it.
If a person's belief/faith can be swayed by merely learning about another set of beliefs, how strong was that belief to begin with? It seems like not wanting your child to learn of other beliefs, you are scared they might THINK (important word here)..that something else makes more sense to them.
post #217 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nankay
Monkeys4mama you seem to be equating my atheism with someone bent on destroying something. If I am uber-enviromentalist and my dd works for an oil company drilling in Yellowstone, she is trying to destroy what I am trying to protect. If I believe in god, but dd doesn't , what is she destroying exactly? How is she working directly against what I believe ?
Nope. I'm not equating atheism with trying to destroy something. I'm equating my faith (something I feel very strongly and passionately about) with your enviromentalism (something you feel very strongly and passionately about). Seeking an example of how we all want to pass on to our children those beliefs and values which we hold most dear.
post #218 of 240
Perhaps you used poor examples then as you used VALUE X with dc adopting VALUE Y which would work to destroy said VALUE X

IE: enviromentalist vs. head of company destroying environment

human rights vs. person working against gay rights

I can feel passionate about my atheism, but if dd decides to believe in a god , her belief (HOPEFULLY) would not work to destroy my own. Likewise, if i were a Christian, my childs atheism would not work to destroy Christianity.
post #219 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by boingo82
Vital means necessary for life.
Not necessarily. There are several definitions of "vital", including "of the utmost importance".

The original post asked for our opinions. This is mine. Religious faith is a vital part of my life and something I very much want to pass on to my children.

Why do people have such a problem with me wanting to share this with my kids? It's not like I've come after you, your beliefs or your children. Why the snarky comments at all, when I simply wrote a sincere response to the question. Saying stuff like "wonders why I'm not dead yet" is a cut on *my* faith. I have not criticized your beliefs. Actually, I've tried to be respectful of them.
post #220 of 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nankay
I can feel passionate about my atheism, but if dd decides to believe in a god , her belief (HOPEFULLY) would not work to destroy my own. Likewise, if i were a Christian, my childs atheism would not work to destroy Christianity.
But if you look around online and even throughout MDC, you see plenty of evidence of atheists working against religion. Arguing against it. Attempting to limit its influence. Criticizing it. Etc.
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