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So, I recently lost my faith. I raised my son before with the whole god idea. He's only six but he still has a bit of that whole jesus/god did such and such ideas. 

 

Being as he is only six I don't know what to do. Do I try to explain to him how I feel about it now and break down that line of thought? Or do I just not even talk about it anymore? If asked about it, explain then? 

 

I've already influenced him enough by the initial push towards that mindset. I don't want my views or beliefs to influence his own now. 

 

Have any of you who are parents gone down this path already? What did you do if so?

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3 hours ago, FallenEnlightenment said:

Being as he is only six I don't know what to do. Do I try to explain to him how I feel about it now and break down that line of thought? Or do I just not even talk about it anymore? If asked about it, explain then?

There are several big questions that will change how best to handle the situation; what does his mother think? Is he going to a Christian school? Is he forced to go to church? 

If there is external forces pushing him towards religion then you set yourself against that. Depending on those circumstances will change if you approach lightly or openly. Being at odds with your wife could lead to conflict as it did for my uncle (an atheist) and his Christian wife. They were brought to divorce by fighting over schooling, tithing, church attendance and lifestyle. 

 

If you have control then absolutely lead your son away from religion. If you don't have sole control then you can plant doubt but avoid destroying relationships if it can be helped. 

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Thanks for the reply. My wife is maybe a weak agnostic at best. She isn't convinced there is a god but not convinced there isn't one. My song doesn't go to Christian School or church. I have been subtly trying to steer away from it but my wife IS against flat out telling him it's not real or it's wrong. So, we have some distance between us there in those views. 

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33 minutes ago, FallenEnlightenment said:

 My son doesn't go to Christian School or church. I have been subtly trying to steer away from it but my wife IS against flat out telling him it's not real or it's wrong. So, we have some distance between us there in those views. 

 

I don’t think your wife is wrong here.  You don’t have to tell him it’s not true.  Kids are likely to come to that conclusion if they are not indoctrinated with religious beliefs and they are guided to think critically about all kinds of claims.  Promoting atheism per se risks backfiring.  If at some point your son ASKS what you think, you can say that you don’t find the religious claims credible, but that he will need to make up his own mind. 

 

I would recommend the books by Dale McGowan....

https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/author/ref=dbs_P_W_auth?_encoding=UTF8&author=Dale McGowan&searchAlias=digital-text&asin=B001JS5YU8

 

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Agnosticism would be the safest bet. A position which claims that we dont really know for sure and hence we are open to new ideas and expanding our realms.

Theism and Atheism on the other hand lock you down with not much scope of evolving when you have a hard set of beliefs.

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Always keep the burden of proof on the one making the claim. Until such proof is offered you have no reason to believe them. That position is by definition, "Atheist." 

 

There are no agnostics, in my view. Does the agnostic believe in God? The answer is "No." You can't believe and not believe at the same time. That does not mean that one's mind is impervious to evidence, it's just that none has been forthcoming for thousands of years.
 

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I should have said - Agnostic Atheist.

 

Wikipedia defines it as - Agnostic atheism is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact.

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4 minutes ago, Karna said:

I should have said - Agnostic Atheist.

 

Wikipedia defines it as - Agnostic atheism is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact.

 

I think that is the most intellectually sound, honest position to hold, and the one held my most of us here, regardless of what labels - if any - we use for ourselves. 

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Guys, I can't thank you enough for the insight provided here. It is all worth considering and I will take time to mull it over. I am more comfortable in allowing him to continue in his current mindset as I believe at his Young age he will naturally move away from it in time given I will no longer be influencing it. Our other family members may try to push that idea but his interaction there is minimal so, also probably negligible. 

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37 minutes ago, Karna said:

I should have said - Agnostic Atheist.

 

Wikipedia defines it as - Agnostic atheism is a philosophical position that encompasses both atheism and agnosticism. Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact.

So for whatever reason, they do not hold a god belief. Why complicate it?

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20 hours ago, florduh said:

So for whatever reason, they do not hold a god belief. Why complicate it?

There is a difference between not believing and "I don't know". I think its a valid position to hold and distinct from any atheistic claim. 

 

I also think different groups use different definitions. Most gnostic atheists simply hold to knowledge beyond a reasonable doubt, while many agnostic atheists use an absolute definition of knowledge, the philosophical definition that you must know everything to know anything, which simply means knowledge is impossible. 

I like the courtroom analogy. Christians and atheists have presented their evidence and closing statements. The agnostic atheist would say the religious have failed to prove their position but the atheist side has no conclusive proof either, but reality is innocent until proven guilty so case dismissed unless new evidence can be found. 

The gnostic atheist says the atheist position has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. An appeal could be lodged but if there has been no new evidence in 2000 years it is reasonable to say case closed. 

End of the day its all semantics. Not like protestants vs Catholics, or sunni vs shitte where the difference is worth killing and warring over. 

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1 hour ago, Wertbag said:

I like the courtroom analogy. Christians and atheists have presented their evidence and closing statements.

Atheists need not present any evidence because they make no positive claim. They must merely show that no evidence has been presented by the theists. Faith based beliefs by definition have no evidence. I don't see this as complicated or even nuanced though others obviously do.

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Son to @FallenEnlightenment: "Thank God I did not leave my math book at the bus stop again!"

Fallen to Son: "I'm not so sure there is a God, Son."

"Why not? You told me before there was."

"I was mistaken, son. Adults and parents make mistakes."

... "Okay"

 

Done deal.

I had no children so I could be over simplifying here. :jerkit:

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4 hours ago, florduh said:

Atheists need not present any evidence because they make no positive claim. They must merely show that no evidence has been presented by the theists. Faith based beliefs by definition have no evidence. I don't see this as complicated or even nuanced though others obviously do.

Absolutely, the burden of proof lays with the religious, but you can take that stance as the end of the conversation "show me or we have nothing to talk about" or you can take the next step and provide evidence that counters their position.  We don't have to prove a global flood didn't happen but we certainly can with physical evidence.

I have plenty of friends who are apathetic atheists, they simply couldn't care less about the subject and any such claims.  But if the subject interests you enough to look into the claims, the debates and understand both sides then you can make a clear argument to support your chosen position.  We are all still atheists, just a question of whether you enjoy counter-apologetics as well. 

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On 7/24/2019 at 6:37 PM, FallenEnlightenment said:

 

On 7/24/2019 at 6:37 PM, FallenEnlightenment said:

 

I've already influenced him enough by the initial push towards that mindset. I don't want my views or beliefs to influence his own now.

My wife and I raised 3 children the youngest being 32 and all are atheist. I tried to be oh so respectful of the beliefs of others in allowing my children to make their own choices and believe in any gods they might want to but if I did it again I wouldn't much worry about that aspect. Children pick up on what their parents position is on really everything and pretty much start off with that as their position only moving away from those positions one at a time as they may come to question them. The point to keep in mind though is that although our Christian society wants us to be extra careful about not unduly influencing our children against Christianity the churches (definitely the evangelical fundamental varieties) consistently use every scare tactic, logic fallacy, deceitful manipulation, etc. to push their beliefs on our children regardless of how young they might be. The whole Christian argument about letting children decide for themselves is as phony an argument as you're ever likely to hear. I would be very afraid of letting a 6 year old of mine attend any non liberal christian church without quite a bit of forewarning about hell, original sin, the immorality of punishing the innocent for crimes of the evil doers, claims that myths are reality, etc. In fact I do not believe young children should be allowed to go to these churches because of the damage they can and often do inflict on children who take their messages to heart. If you do allow your child to receive this kind of indoctrination treatment I think you have an obligation to provide equal time explaining how wrong and harmful those messages are. I think you should always keep up with what your son is being exposed to and protect him appropriately from anyone actively trying to influence his thoughts. 

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There are many gods you could introduce to the boy.  The Hindu deities are Redneck Jr's favorites, though he has recently grown fond of the Norse gods.

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Nothing wrong with teaching your children now to be humble enough to admit when they might have been wrong, in my opinion. That's such an important thing to learn. If you phase out religious teachings in favor of more vague things, they might just fade with time. You could even discuss the use of metaphor when he's older. "God", "Satan," "Sin" "Redemption" can all be beautiful stories and learning tools instead of taking it literally and to the extreme.

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