I've always tried to be open about my kids having their own beliefs, but can't help but feel pride when they sneak me WTF looks when someone starts talking about God and Jesus, or the woman at the new age store starts talking about the special powers their rocks have (DS has a rock collection) It's a lot easier just teaching them how to know when to be polite and when to back away slowly.
This is a difficult subject to broach with kids, whether you are atheist, agnostic, or identify with a religion or philosophy. I am not atheist, but I have uncertainty about whether my explanations or lack of were helpful to my kids, too decisive considering I really don't know, or not confident enough to be reassuring. Gee, what else can I think of that I might screw up? Your answers sounded wonderful, and you'll have plenty more opportunities to speak more specifically about it.
"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."
I'm not atheist, but I am very scientifically minded, questioning, skeptical, etc. (Basically I believe in the positive social impact of belonging to community through religion, and in exploring ethics with the support of a group, but my views of the mechanics of the world and how it was created is more in line with atheism. I'm OK with being a bit of a hypocrite, and I admit it to my kids).
Anyhow, my son has an answer about afterlife that I think is very in line with what atheists believe. He says that we live on by doing two things: Passing on our genes, and creating things (inventions, art, ideas, friendships) that we leave behind. It's very literally true from a scientific perspective, and it also says what does happen rather than getting into complicated discussions about what doesn't happen.
Busy keeping up with three children and an awful lot of chickens!
yeah. i don't know what i am, it depends upon the mood i'm in when i'm asked. sorry if i responded as a non-atheiest, but i'm not really a non-non-athiest either...
Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?
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