Atheism is dangerous for children

I don’t expect professing Atheists to agree.  However there is, to a degree, a sense of abuse — in the ultimate sense — in teaching children that God doesn’t exist.  Mind you, I don’t consider it abuse because (which) God’s existence is obvious, though I believe it is.  It’s because atheism inoculates the child from the only possible means of salvation — if indeed we need it.

Here I am invoking Pascal’s Wager after a fashion, but not even to the extent where Atheist parents should be teaching their children that God exists.  If there is a responsible view non-believing parents should be instilling in their children, it is agnosticism.  At least in teaching agnosticism, the child would not have the bias against theism that atheism erects and investigation with a more open mind that atheism doesn’t allow for is possible.

Comments

  1. From the Atheists that I do know, none of them teach that God doesn’t exist. They don’t teach that at all. You have to be taught about God in order to believe. Many would argue that indoctrination is abuse, as you’re merely teaching a child what to think instead of how to think, and there is always a heavier bias on religious people’s part towards their children. Atheists don’t normally lean towards a bias point of view.

  2. I have no intention of teaching any children that I have atheism. I just won’t teach them to believe in a god. If they ask, I’ll share what I know. I’ll tell them what I believe. I’ll let them explore and learn. And, hopefully, they won’t end up believers. If they do, then hopefully not harmful believers.

    • Nas

      By “teach them what we know” do you mean that God doesn’t exist? And I must say I have a hard time believing you’d let them investigate unmolested. You mock and ridicule the religious and religious belief here, are you saying you’d be more respectful to children?

      • “By “teach them what we know” do you mean that God doesn’t exist?”

        No. I mean, we’ll teach them what we know about religion. Honestly, not meant to be mean. And we’ll include the reasons why we don’t believe they’re true…but if, say, I have a child that wants to go to a church or a mosque, I’ll take them so they can see what it’s right.

        “You mock and ridicule the religious and religious belief here”

        If something is ridiculous it deserves ridicule. I’m not going to avoid telling my child what I find ridiculous. But I’m not going to make up her mind for her.

  3. I only teach my children that christians believe that they should be stoned to death for disobeying me or any other elder.

  4. I’m sure you give Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism a fair shake when discussing them with your children, right John? After all, you’ve got to be part of the right religion in order to have the proper salvation.

  5. So you would discuss those religions with your children with your bias against them.

    That doesn’t bode well for your argument.

  6. I’m speaking off the cuff a bit, so I haven’t fully thought this through, BUT…

    I would almost rather a child be taught a rational atheism (ie Dawkins, Hichens, Carrier etc) that be raised as a “nominal Christian”. I think that Dawkins, Carrier, etc are utterly wrong, of course. But at least they (seemingly) have taken a good hard look at the facts and thought and encountered the rational basis for belief (or disbelief). We live in a materialistic culture today where so many people seem not to even CARE about the important issues of life. I think a child would stand a better chance of gaining a relationship with God by growing up in the home of Richard Carrier than growing up in the home of a myriad of non-thinking materialist today.

    A C.S. Lewis quote comes to mind, as it often does: “A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere . . . God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”

    Exposure to arguments for atheism (and their rebuttals) is actually a good foundation for Christian faith. How many of the great Christian thinkers of the last century are actually former atheists? Quite a few.

  7. Sorry, should have written: I would almost rather a child be taught a rational atheism (ie Dawkins, Hichens, Carrier etc) THAN be raised as a “nominal Christian”.

  8. Interesting, Tumeyn, that you think that Dawkins and Hitchens have given a good hard look at the facts and used rational thought, yet you think they’re “utterly wrong”.

    Assuming that you’ve looked at the same facts and used rational thought yourself, why do you think that you’ve reached such a different conclusion?

    Also, what “arguments for atheism” make a good foundation for your Christian faith?

  9. We teach kids what to think all the time. Frankly, I don’t want my kids to find out for themselves that certain activities and attitudes will serve them poorly. Are drugs bad? “Well, son. You should find out for yourself. Don’t listen to anyone’s advice on the subject, or even first hand accounts. Just ‘learn’ for yourself. Let me know what you find out”.

    It’s our duty to tell kids what to think about all manner of subjects. It’s only bad when there’s no explanation. I tell my kids all the time why I believe in God and why His law is good for humanity. Not simply that I do and it is.

    But, if you believe that there is a road to salvation, then yes, keeping it a secret from your own kids is as wrong as keeping the “look both ways” rule from them. And if in fact there is such a road, then atheists are harming those they convince.

  10. Z, the classic one is the existence of evil in the world. It seems very clear to most people that this world is full of moral evil. At first glance this is a great argument for atheism – until you recognize that the presence of OBJECTIVE evil is not rational at all under atheism. (any more than objective beauty or objective tastiness – it is all just a preference.) Lurking underneath the most common “argument” for atheism is actually good grounds for theism. Logic demands that true atheists must abandon either their concept of objective evil or their atheism. This is a very tough pill to swallow either way.

    This is the argument that drove Lewis from atheism to theism. And in more recent times it seems to have been the trigger for other atheist conversions including J. Budziszewski (philosophy prof @ UT Austin) and Leah Libresco.

    Yes, I think I’ve looked at the same facts as Carrier and Dawkins, if they are accurately representing the facts in debates. (I haven’t actually read their works – only listened to them speak) There are credible reasons for being an atheist. But I’ve taken Carrier’s and Dawkin’s claims and pondered them and researched them and found them lacking explanatory power. (I hope you have done the same with the likes of William Lane Craig and John Lennox) As I’ve said before, when I look at the cumulative case of the cosmological, teleological, and moral arguments – theism makes a lot of sense. Any well-respected atheist better have thoroughly thought those arguments through, so I think a well-studied atheism is actually a good framework for theism. You see, both well reasoned atheist and theists (like you and me) actually thinks through the issues and exposes themselves to arguments that work against their worldview. It is far more dangerous, in my opinion, to be a materialist who neither thinks about or cares about the validity of religious claims.

  11. @ C2C

    There is a distinct difference between fact and opinion.

    A parent can easily give facts with regards to the dangers of drug use. It is quite different to subjugate the child to the opinions of religious ideology and using fear to convince them of the dangers of thinking otherwise.

    @ Tumeyn

    I notice you have a tendency to create false dichotomies (well, if it’s not A, then it must be B), and just because the “whys” are not often explained to your liking, you insert your deity to fill the reasons. There is no “cumulative case” to consider. Each argument must stand on its own merits.

    As for raising children, it is vital that we teach them how to think, not what to think.

  12. Z writes:

    I notice you have a tendency to create false dichotomies (well, if it’s not A, then it must be B)

    Well, let’s start here: If it’s not A, then it must not be A. There are good reasons for thinking that atheism isn’t correct. The presence of objective evil in the world is one of those facts. Sure, that doesn’t necessarily lead strait to Christianity – but it leads strait AWAY from atheism.

    I’m convinced that atheism isn’t true. That leaves me with the question: well, then, what IS true? Christianity isn’t the perfect explanation. But it is by far the best one I have found.

    Z writes:

    There is no “cumulative case” to consider. Each argument must stand on its own merits. (cosmological, teleological, moral)

    Agreed. Except that each of the arguments independently seem reasonably likely to be true. To prove atheism, you must disprove EACH of the arguments. To prove theism, I only have to prove that ONE of them is sound. I actually find that all 3 are sound. There are fundamental realities about this world that cannot be explained by naturalism. That doesn’t mean that my answer is correct. But it does mean that naturalism is incorrect.

  13. Sorry for the screwed up blockquotes – I’m new to HTML…

  14. tumeyn

    I agree with zqtx: you are proposing a false dichotomy since christianity isn’t the only alternative to atheism.

  15. (let’s try this one more time… sorry)
    Z writes:

    I notice you have a tendency to create false dichotomies (well, if it’s not A, then it must be B)

    Well, let’s start here: If it’s not A, then it must not be A. There are good reasons for thinking that atheism isn’t correct. The presence of objective evil in the world is one of those facts. Sure, that doesn’t necessarily lead strait to Christianity – but it leads strait AWAY from atheism.

    I’m convinced that atheism isn’t true. That leaves me with the question: well, then, what IS true? Christianity isn’t the perfect explanation. But it is by far the best one I have found.

    Z writes:

    There is no “cumulative case” to consider. Each argument must stand on its own merits. (cosmological, teleological, moral)

    Agreed. Except that each of the arguments independently seem reasonably likely to be true. To prove atheism, you must disprove EACH of the arguments. To prove theism, I only have to prove that ONE of them is sound. I actually find that all 3 are sound. There are fundamental realities about this world that cannot be explained by naturalism. That doesn’t mean that my answer is correct. But it does mean that naturalism is incorrect.

  16. Tumeyn,

    I guess you’re in the same camp as John when it comes to atheism, in that you believe it is a firm position asserting that no gods exist. I make no such claim. Do you have the same attitude towards the deities you don’t believe in? Do you go around making assertions that Zeus and Odin don’t exist?

    My position is that I simply do not see the validity of the claim that any gods exists, let alone the god of the bible.

    Please provide me with an example of absolute evil in the world to give me a better understanding of your position.

    As far as the cosmological, teleological and moral arguments you refer to, each are riddled with subjectivity. They are certainly NOT “fundamental realities” and have nothing to do with naturalism.

  17. Z, the classic example are the various Nazi atrocities. Of course we could lump in actions such as child rape and torture as well. Most people would call those “objectively wrong”. (ie, they are wrong EVEN IF the people committing those acts are convinced that they are right)

    It seems that we all have two choices:
    1) Accept that these deeds are indeed objectively wrong. But this directly leads to the question of authority: if these deeds are wrong, then this fact must be derived from some sort of non-material reality. (morality is immaterial, after all) This seems to me to be good evidential ground for belief in some sort of “supernatural” reality.
    2) Reject that these deeds are objectively wrong. But this goes against the grain of our conscience. Most people cannot swallow this pill.

    See, when you say that you are looking for evidence, it appears that you are looking for PHYSICAL evidence. When I look at evidence, I am looking at seeming meaning and purpose. Our moral compass seems to strongly suggest purpose and meaning. The various physical parameters that have been “finely tuned” to allow for the existence of complex matter points towards purpose and meaning. When I think about what appears to be my own free-will, I see something mysterious that “rises above” the tide of naturalism and points towards purpose and meaning. This is the evidence for theism.

    Once I arrive at theism, then (and ONLY THEN) does it make sense to examine the claims of various religions and see which one makes the most sense. As an agnostic, of course the claims of all religions look equally silly. But through the lens of theism, I find that the claims of Christianity make a lot of sense. Not complete sense, mind you. But far more sense than believing that the whole shebang is just a chance accident. (The universe, free-will, my sense of morality, my sense of beauty, the information-laden complexity of DNA, and on and on)

  18. Tumeyn, your own words unravel your entire argument.

    “Most people cannot swallow this pill” – which means that what you consider objective is actually subjective. Definitions of rape and torture can be subjective. Some might actually claim that mass genocide only accelerates the victims’ passage into their perceived heavenly afterlife which would make that subjective as well.

    When you search for meaning and purpose you often enter the world of speculation. The “fine-tuning” argument has been thoroughly examined and still gets us no closer to proving the existence of your deity. Life’s complexity and your feelings of “something mysterious” are not evidence for theism.

    I’m pretty sure that I’ve referred you to this link before to examine many of your rationalizations for belief, but maybe it’s worth another look. (http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Arguments_for_the_existence_of_god)

    Consider this: The earth is just 1 planet in a starsystem out of 100 billion starsystems in 1 galaxy out of 100 billion galaxies. It seems a bit crazy to think that a god created all of this just for you, right? Even you must realize that the odds were good that the conditions were right for something to evolve to what we see today. I would think that odds are good that there’s life somewhere else out there as well. Unfortunately, because of the sheer size of it all, all we can do right now is speculate. Meanwhile, we’re surrounded by people who tell us how significant they are and religion gets us no closer to understanding anything.

  19. The earth is just 1 planet in a starsystem out of 100 billion starsystems in 1 galaxy out of 100 billion galaxies. It seems a bit crazy to think that a god created all of this just for you, right?

    It does seem crazy. And I don’t believe it. The Bible doesn’t claim it. This isn’t any sort of tenant of Christian faith. You are attacking something I don’t believe.

    Even you must realize that the odds were good that the conditions were right for something to evolve to what we see today.

    Two points:
    1) Even if this statement were true, that does NOTHING to get over the HUGE challenge faced by why planets and galaxies formed in the first place. Surely you have considered the fact that the cosmological constant, the exact force of gravity, and the strong and weak atomic forces are tuned JUST RIGHT to allow for the coalescence of matter itself. If these parameters were not tuned JUST RIGHT, our universe would be a homogeneous blanket of hydrogen.
    2) Have you ever taken a good look at the process of DNA replication? After studying this for a few hours, let’s chat about whether this could have arisen even if there were trillions upon trillions of possible habitable worlds. The chances are very much against spontaneous formation of self-replicating molecular structures such as we know here on Earth.

  20. Nobody is born an atheist. But I do think people are born with a sense that there is something higher than themselves and when they’re taught differently, that is dangerous. I agree, John.

  21. I see you have gotten a lot of responses here, so I am not going to add anything new. Nonetheless, I still want to put in my two cents.

    First of all, what if teaching Christianity is not the path to salvation, because the Muslims are right? Or what if God doesn’t judge us on something as petty as faith, but instead on our actions and intentions?

    Second, where in school do you imagine children are being taught “there is no God”? Where does that fit in? It doesn’t belong in a maths class, or a literature class, or a geography class. In fact, the only place the issue must come up is in the science class. And in the science class we must insist that the topic being taught is science. So if there is bit on Big Bang cosmology we cannot expect a teacher to say “God did it”. If there is a bit on evolution, we should expect the science to be taught, and not for the teacher to succumb to the pressures of religious groups.

    And in teaching the science, as the science is, is not claiming that there is not God. There is no appropriate place in school to teach that there is not God, and it’s not happening. It’s just that science is a discipline that, much to disappointment of many, never has to call on a god.

  22. Allallt

    “It’s just that science is a discipline that, much to disappointment of many, never has to call on a god.”

    No wonder since God is out of its scope.

  23. Tumeyn,

    I never said that the bible did claim that. The authors were way too ignorant to address the vastness of the universe. (They were ignorant enough, however, to propose the existence of the firmament.)

    I wrote that to illustrate our infinitesimally small role in the universe – a thought that seldom enters the self-aggrandizing religious mind.

    As for why planets form, we have astrophysics to help understand how and why, but any attempt to explain a motive is pure speculation. There really is no reason to think that if these constants varied at all that some other variation of life would not have evolved. Organic matter delivered by colliding asteroids could have easily delivered the building blocks for amino acids that led to RNA and DNA development. Our discovery of extremophiles should clearly illustrate the biodiversity and adaptability of life.

    That sounds a lot more plausible to me that the ridiculous bible stories of all life being spontaneously created from absolutely nothing.

    You’ve made it abundantly clear after all of our discussions, Nathan, that you cannot seem to think that everything that exists today wasn’t all by design. You seem to be very good at speculation, so here’s one for you –Why is all of this here? Why do you think a creator would make such an incomprehensibly large universe and populate our itty-bitty planet with life as we see it?

  24. That we are born without believing in a specific thing is only attributable to our having very little knowledge at all.

    “Born atheist” is one of the silliest concepts in the whole debate.

    I was born without a belief in penguins. This says nothing of the existence of penguins.

  25. That sounds a lot more plausible to me that the ridiculous bible stories of all life being spontaneously created from absolutely nothing.

    So instead it’s plausible to assume that all these natural materials behaved supernaturally by always existing? And then it all collided to create earth. And then an inorganic pool of sludge was struck by lighting, magically formed organic material, which then magically transformed itself into a single cell that is more complex than the computer on which I write this…

    Yep. Makes perfect sense.

  26. Why do you think a creator would make such an incomprehensibly large universe and populate our itty-bitty planet with life as we see it?

    If God is love, which the Bible says, then God would have wanted someone to share that love with, so He created us. And why is the universe so vast? To show His power and glory.

    And maybe to give human beings something to do. I don’t think people realize how boring life would be if God had created a simple little world with a simple little universe, et cetera….God has given us so much to explore and so much with which to expand our minds. So much, in fact, that humanity could never attain all the knowledge there is to attain.

  27. Yes, Terrance, your wealth of ignorance is astounding.

    Go read a science book and let the grown-ups speak…

  28. TerranceH says:

    Zqtx

    You’re behaving like an indignant little child because you realize how scandalously asinine your view is when its simplified for the audience. If you had anything other than puerile insults you would have offered it…

    I don’t know who you think you’re saving face for, but most of us, I’m confident, recognize the emptiness that is zqtx. You’re an arrogant little man whose only objection to God, it seems, can be summed up in one sentence: “Um, er, dur, I don’t believe the Bible stories, uhhhhh.”

    Now you run along and let the grown-ups talk.

  29. TerranceH says:

    Come on, zqtx. Tell everyone what you believe. Stop writing in generalities (e.g., astrophysics) and explain to people your view on the origin of the universe and life.

    Do you have an affinity for the Big Bang? Is that the origin of universe theory you fancy most? And if so, then you believe the universe was once very hot and dense. But wouldn’t such a state result in low entropy? How do you get around that, zqtx? Wouldn’t it be improbable, nearly impossible, for a universe in such a state to expand into what we have today?

    Yes, is the answer. And since you believe something just as improbable as “God,” aren’t we allowed to belittle you and your beliefs? Aren’t we allowed to pick on you? To call you a self-aggrandizing ignoramus of elephantine proportions? Why are you allowed to pick on us Christians for what you perceive to be an improbable philosophy, but we have to take everything you say as pure gospel?

    It doesn’t work that way, buddy. Believers are expected to explain every little thing, but atheists like you aren’t? No. I don’t think so.

  30. Z has said in the past that his view (atheism) is the correct view by default and therefore needs to defend nothing. He also has said in the past that as a skeptic, he can simply dismiss any arguments in favor of Christianity or theism and declare them nonsense without providing his rationale for doing so. He is as intellectually dishonest as anyone I have encountered here, and it’s unfortunate because for as much time as he spends here, the discussions could be exciting and interesting if he actually engaged instead of just hand-waving dismissal and mockery.

  31. Z,
    Your comment above illustrates that you really don’t grasp the fine tuning argument. I am *NOT* arguing that life would have taken some other form if the universal constants were somehow different. (that’s the “mud puddle” fallacy – see your Iron Chariots website)

    Rather, the fine tuning argument is that life *IN ANY FORM WHAT-SO-EVER* would not be able to exist if the physical constants of the universe were not tuned to an extraordinary degree. (ie the mud puddle wouldn’t exist) I’ll give you a few examples. Please check my facts. These are widely known. Note that these are universal constants – they apply to the entire universe (not just to Earth). These are the factors that controlled the outcome of the early stages of the Big Bang.

    1) Strong nuclear force: (the force that holds protons and neutrons together) A decrease in this force by 5% would result in a universe of only hydrogen. A decrease of 1% would not allow for carbon to exist. A 1% increase in the force would have resulted in all carbon of the universe burning to oxygen in stars. An increase by 2% would prevent even hydrogen from forming.

    2) Ratio of the electromagnetic force to the gravitational force: This is an important ratio. If it decreases by about 1 part in 10^40, only red dwarf stars would form. An increase by 1 part in 10^40, only blue giants would form. The problem is that BOTH sorts of stars are needed in our universe. The heavier elements are only formed in the blue giant stars. But smaller stars, like our sun, are needed in order to have any chance for planets that allow life.

    3) Ground state energy of carbon, oxygen, helium, and beryllium. The ground state energies of these 4 elements MUST all be within 4% of each other in order for significant amounts of carbon and oxygen to form. The odds of all four of these being within 4% are ~1 in 100,000. Fred Hoyle, the man who discovered this uncannily odd coincidence, was an outspoken atheist. But about this discovery, he wrote: “Would you not say to yourself, ‘Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.’” He became a sort of deist after this discovery.

    4) The force of gravity. If the force of gravity were different by about 1 part in 10^21, no life would exist. If it were weaker, stars would not get sufficiently dense to allow for fusion. (ie no heavy elements) If it were stronger, fusion would take place so rapidly that stars would have a lifetime of only around 1 year. (never allowing for the timeframe for any sort of evolution)

    5) The rate of expansion in the initial Big Bang: if it were slower (by about 1 part in 10^55), the universe would have collapsed back onto itself. If it were larger (by about 1 part in 10^55) would have been so dispersed that the universe would simply be a blanket of hydrogen.

    I could go on. I haven’t mentioned the properties of water. The weak nuclear force. The electromagnetic constant. The speed of light. And on and on and on. I’m going to reiterate. IF THESE CONSTANTS WERE DIFFERENT, NO LIFE WOULD FORM. PERIOD. NO CHANCE. NADA. I haven’t even brought up the concept of the information content of DNA. Do you know that there are about 10x more “letters” in the SIMPLEST bacterial genome (Mycoplasma genitalium) than there are letters in any of Shakespere’s plays? This is the simplest life form we know!

    Now, I remember watching a World War II movie a while back. A priest was to be executed by the Nazis. They put him in front of a firing squad. They fired. No bullet hit him. The captain ordered them to fire again. No bullet hit him. Now, at this point the priest might think “wow, I’m lucky!”. But is that really a rational response? There was a reason that the soldiers all missed the target. They valued his life. You can throw your arms up and say “I’m here, I don’t know why I’m here, but that’s Ok.” I think that is foolishness. You should ask yourself WHY you are here. Modern science clearly shows that it wasn’t by accident.

  32. Teaching atheism is silly.

    I say teach science and world religions(Christianity, Greek mythology, Islam, Wiccan, Mormon, Buddism, Taoism) Then they will realize on their own that all religions are man-made.

  33. TerranceH says:

    M. Rodriquez,

    Is it your belief, then, that no practicing Christian has studied science, Greek mythology, Islam, Paganism, Mormonism, Buddism, or Taoism?

    You must believe that, because of what you say next: Then they will realize on their own that all religions are man-made.

    Therefore, by your logic, no educated Christian could be a believer after studying these other religions, because, you say, he would have come to the conclusion that religion is man-made…

    Interesting. I am an exception to the rule, I guess. And so is my Pastor, who has a Ph.D in Religious Studies.

  34. “Is it your belief, then, that no practicing Christian has studied science, Greek mythology, Islam, Paganism, Mormonism, Buddism, or Taoism? ”

    I think it is his belief, as it is mine, that unless you teach Christianity from birth then the child is no more likely to choose Christianity than any other religion.

    • NAS

      or atheism for that matter, right? I wasn’t taught to be a Christian and was raised in a secular home in a pretty secular and even hostile to religion area of the country. How does your belief jive with me coming to Christianity at an age where more people are likely to be skeptics?

      • “How does your belief jive with me coming to Christianity at an age where more people are likely to be skeptics?”

        I said no more likely, not less likely or unlikely.

        People take many positions for any number of reasons, some good and some bad. I don’t know your particular reasons for becoming a Christian. But in a country where the vast majority are some kind of Christian, it’s not surprising. A little sad, but not surprising.

        • So you think I could have just as easily become Shinto? It was a random discovery? And you also apply this to yourself, of course? You’re only an atheist by chance?

          • Are you deliberately misreading what I wrote? I said you could have any number of reasons. By no means is it random. And in a country where the majority of people are one type of religion, it isn’t surprising that you are also that type of religion.

            However, if you don’t teach a person a religion from birth, they are less likely to be that religion you didn’t teach them later in life. It depends on their particular experiences and what they think are good reasons.

            If you researched Shinto and knew a lot of good, Shinto people and were near a Shinto community…yeah, you could have just as easily have been Shinto.

  35. NaS writes: ” But in a country where the vast majority are some kind of Christian, it’s not surprising. A little sad, but not surprising.”

    Why is this sad? Would you be sad if the majority of people in the US believe that the Earth rotates around the Sun because they were taught so from an early age? (obviously young kids know this from school – but I doubt that any of them have examined the evidence themselves!)

    What matters is whether or not a belief is true. If a belief is true, should we really care whether or not they were taught it from an early age? I could easily say that I don’t want to taint my kid’s mind about mushrooms. I’ll let him eat whatever mushrooms he finds. He’ll learn sooner or later WHY he shouldn’t eat mushrooms. Until then, I’ll let him fend for himself.

  36. I think it is his belief, as it is mine, that unless you teach Christianity from birth then the child is no more likely to choose Christianity than any other religion.

    I wasn’t raised in a religious home. I was raised by a Catholic father who never went to church, and a Lutheran mother who never went to church. Many summer nights they would get drunk and argue about religion.

    “Martin Luther was just a disgruntle Catholic,” my father used to say.

    “Catholics commit idolatry,” said mother.

    Other than that, religion was foreign to me.

  37. @TerranceH

    It is actually just a general observation of those who are taught science and are exposed to other religions. are usually not religious in general.

    There is a reason that Christian George Barna wrote a book about how young adults feel like that they can’t have religion and science. And feel like they must choose between the two.

    There is a reason why when kids go off to higher education, they tend to become less religion.

    There is a reason why cities and countries with high level of religious diversity, don’t see that same level of fundamentalism as one would see in a small town in the american mid-west.

    there is a reason why there the majority of scientist are non-religious.

    There is a reason why the church has a tendency to combat science in different areas.

    there is a reason why we have deep sociological patterns in areas of little to no diversity that are engrained into group think

    there is a reason for these things and sayings as such, because in places where everyone thinks alike, no one thinks at all.

    There is a saying that goes like this “give a man one religious book, he will be a devote follower for life. Give him two, he will be done in an hour.

  38. M. Rodriquez,

    The results of Barna’s research are easily explained by simply looking at the public school system and society in general. Evolution is pushed as absolute, 100% pure fact – though it is not. Alternatives (e.g. Intelligent Design) aren’t even offered as an elective philosophy course…Why? If we can’t teach it alongside evolution because it doesn’t “qualify” as science, then why not as a philosophical course? What is wrong with expanding young minds with new ideas and different perspectives?

    You don’t see it but the public schools aren’t educating people. No, not really. They’re churning out sheep.

  39. I have a feeling you will come back to God one day, M. Rod. You’re wishy-washy as it is – and that is not an insult.

    I think you’re simply unsure. You have a lot of questions that you want answers to, so I advise you write them down, toss them in a jar, and pick one out each week and pursue it to the ends of the earth if you must. Talk to pastors, priests, theologians, regular Christians, et cetera, and try to find an answer to your question…That’s what I do. I do it still because I still have unanswered questions.

  40. “Why is this sad?”

    Because Christianity isn’t true. And it’s sad when people are indoctrinated things that aren’t true. It’s sad when people are indoctrinated at all, but especially when it’s not true.

    “If a belief is true, should we really care whether or not they were taught it from an early age?”

    It depends how you’re taught.

    If you’re taught “this is true because I say so!”, you’re setting up a child for mistake after mistake the first time you’re wrong about something.

  41. Because Christianity isn’t true.

    You think you’re annoying us Christians with this sort of silliness, but really you’re just showing how petty you truly are. Of course you know you cannot prove that statement, but you make it anyway because you want to anger, enrage, and possibly hurt the feelings of believers. That’s what’s sad.

  42. @ TerranceH

    I have a feeling you will come back to God one day
    Thats the same thing my wife says to me, but I had to have the conversation with her saying I’m not coming back.

    If there is one thing I am sure of; its that the CHRISTIAN GOD of the BIBLE does not exist. And yes certain of that because the God of the Bible is a walking Contradiction.

    God is Love, but God kills children
    God is Just, but he punishes David’s kingdom for the sin of David
    God is not the author of confusion, but he is the creator of all things.
    God is Good, but he created Satan
    God sins people to an eternal infinite hell for finite sins

    And these are not even the reasons main why I questioned the bible and God. Really, if you choose to honestly want evaluate your own faith for truth and not your personal belief. You will come to the same conclusion as me.

  43. TerranceH says:

    If there is one thing I am sure of; its that the CHRISTIAN GOD of the BIBLE does not exist. And yes certain of that because the God of the Bible is a walking Contradiction.

    I have clearly shown that your definition of contradiction is confined, solely, to that which you find disagreeable. Silly.

    God is Love, but God kills children

    First, it’s somewhat ironic that you would use Judeo-Christian morality to prove the Judeo-Christian God is immoral. 

Anyway…

    So God can either let the Canaanite children grow up in filth and sin – if they grow up at all, since child sacrifice was quite common in the Canaanite culture – and eventually wallow in that sin themselves (the alternative was elusive in such a debauched culture), which resigns them to hell, or He can call them back as comparatively innocent children. In the grand-scheme of things, which option is the better option? Which one shows more love?

    
You’re objection is silly because of the assumption. It’s also silly because it doesn’t follow that if “God is Love, but God kills children” God must not exist.

    God is Just, but he punishes David’s kingdom for the sin of David

    Are you familar with the temporal effects of sin?

    God is not the author of confusion, but he is the creator of all things.

    I have no idea what this means.

    God is Good, but he created Satan

    Freewill. Satan chose his own path.

    God sins people to an eternal infinite hell for finite sins.

    Consider the temporal effects of sin and then tell me sin is finite.

    And these are not even the reasons main why I questioned the bible and God. Really, if you choose to honestly want evaluate your own faith for truth and not your personal belief. You will come to the same conclusion as me.

    I was an atheist. I shan’t be again.

  44. TerranceH,

    I have clearly shown that your definition of contradiction is confined, solely, to that which you find disagreeable.

    but that is the definition of a contradiction, when two or more propositions when both proposed to be true are disagreeable to each other.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contradiction

    it’s somewhat ironic that you would use Judeo-Christian morality to prove the Judeo-Christian God is immoral.

    Christians are not the owners of morality, just ask any person with half a brain and regardless of the culture or society or religious belief most will say that killing children is immoral.

    God is not the author of confusion, but he is the creator of all things….1 Corinthians 14:33
    http://bittersweetend.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/is-the-god-of-the-bible-confused/

    As for the lame excuse of freewill being the reason for evil and satan. Makes no sense. Not only does it make no sense, because a Good God, would never allow evil to flourish with society. Maybe an impotent god would.

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