10 users responded " My apologia broadcast, and new atheists’ kids’ songs "

"My apologia broadcast, and new atheists’ kids’ songs" was posted by and 10 users commented
mygif
Jim said,         
June 25 2009

I suspect, but no more, that some children are more accepting of authority or the envirnoment or what-have-you in looking for explanations. I also think it may have to do with how questioning a child is and whether once they have an answer if they continue to test it or not. I also suspect that telling them “Things are this way ’cause God/Odin/”The Goddess” made it so” is also handy for parents who don’t know or don’t want to deal with explanations. 😉
Is there an idea in psychology of binding such acceptance of explanations with trust in the parent? So that to question one is to question the other and some people may find that easier to do than others?

Songs…hmm…more healthy all around might be treating “Judeo-Christian” mythology the same as Greco-Roman, Indian or Norse myths: as culturally important tales but whether or not to actually believe in them (or, if they are echoes of real events, to accept the diety/ies ascribed to them) is a seperate matter. It is a matter of debate, for example, how much the Norse actually believed in their gods, versus using the tales of Odin, Thor and so on as a cultural and literary backdrop.

mygif
Michelle Bell said,         
June 25 2009

I don’t believe I ever truly bought into the religion thing — my mother took me to quite a few different churches before she went back to the Catholic chuch. I was seven, so I went through the RCIA (Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults) and was baptised/first communionised/ first confessioned/ confirmed all in one fell swoop. It meant I didn’t have to be afraid of asking questions. They don’t really revoke your membership once you’re in. I couldn’t tell you if this relative immunity to damnation enhanced my inquisitive nature, or if I would have just questioned myself out of a religion regardless of what rituals I had participated in to gain entry into Catholicism.

This has meant I’ve spent the majority of my life looking at what ethics and morality have value and what is worthless. I would probably be considered a “New Atheist” (at least as defined by the wikipedia page), but I don’t think that indoctrinating blind hatred for things religious is the “value” I would teach my children. A valuing of basic human rights, a valuing of intelligence, learning, compassion, empathy, discussion and debate, things that celebrate life and preserve it — not things that devalue or dismiss life as something trivial. Blind hatred is just as flawed a foundation for life as blind faith is.

I will teach my children to learn, investigate, evaluate, reason, and question question question! If we don’t know the answer, we go and find it. At least in my (limited) experience, learning and questioning along with having reality-based answers seems to be the way to extricate the need for religion.

mygif
Hellbound Alleee said,         
June 25 2009

I guess it all depends on your philosophy of parenting. I mean, it could be said that anything we teach is a form of indoctrination into our own worldview. After all, the parent has the heaviest/strongest hold on a child’s will, and it is the most unbalanced power/submission relationship in existence (including prisoner/guard).

If one owns up to and believes in this kind of indoctrination, then one accepts he indoctrinates his child. All one can do as a parent is teach a child how to think, and understand this is another kind of indoctrination. We send them to various institutional learning facilities (of our choice and to those into which they are forced), and we hold them in the institution of “the family,” a model that is not necessarily the only game in town, but rather a specific, modern cultural institution. Because that’s what we want. It’s not for any altruistic reasons to help another person–we perceive they have all of our same wants and same desires and are actually the same person as us because we are sort of trained to believe it, and the beat goes on.

My feeling is, we own up to the fact that we “create” and use force against helpless individuals for our own desires, and then try very hard to make up for it, or we just don’t parent at all.

mygif
Andy said,         
June 25 2009

I don’t appreciate the “and we hate him” line. Teaching children to hate is not a good thing.

From my point of view it’s not Jesus doing the hating. Jesus was apparently a nice guy who got nailed to some lumber by the Romans for suggesting to be nice to other people for a change.

Anyway, this stuff has not come up with my daughter in conversations I have had with her. I suppose I am just waiting for her to ask me questions and I’ll tell her what I honestly think. I spend time teaching her about geography and science (as well as watching silly movies).

mygif
Andy said,         
June 25 2009

The Apologia podcast episode is also on Itunes, I’m downloading it as I type this…:)

mygif
Sarah said,         
June 26 2009

It belatedly occurred to me that David Miller was being sarcastic to make a point that new atheists *don’t* espouse hating religion in this manner. In other words, he may have been kidding. It’s often hard to tell!
I have a psych background and think that in general, kids (and adults, too!) will often accept at face value what people tell them, esp. a person in authority, such as a parent. Many kids believe in Santa bc this is what their parents told them. I’ve never heard of a kid whose parents told him about Santa and then responded, “I dunno, mom and dad…how does Santa brings gifts to all the kids in one night?” Think about it. I’m a skeptical person and even I’ve been duped a bunch of times bc someone in authority told me something. Mind you, many kids do question these things, such as Michelle here, and this says a lot about their intelligence and resistance, but I doubt that most do.
I agree with Jim that the correct thing to do is lump Christian mythology with every other kind of mythology; I studied Greco-Roman myths in school *as* mythology, not as fact. Think of many kids who are taught Christian myth *as* fact. If I were to refer to the Bible as mythology, a lot of people would get mad!
In my own experience, and what I have heard from other peoples’ atheist bios, religion may provide you with a setting in which to ask questions, but not to question. That way leads to free thought.
There are many issues about child-rearing and secularization here that I could write a lot about! Hellbound made a great point in saying that “the parent has the heaviest/strongest hold on a child’s will, and it is the most unbalanced power/submission relationship in existence (including prisoner/guard).” This mirrors how, in the U.S., children have less protection from physical violence than murderers on death row (and less guaranteed health care, might I add).
Andy, was Jesus a nice guy? Well, he did allegedly tell people to leave their families (of non-believers) to follow him. Today, we would consider that abusive and one of the criteria of a cult.
There is so much to talk about here!

mygif
Andy said,         
June 26 2009

Sarah, I was paraphrasing a reference from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy about the nice guy bit. What is attributed to what Jesus said was probably not written by him, and in many cases I think was written in the New Testament long after (decades) he was dead. It’s possible he was just an asshole who talked a good game looking for handouts because he hated his job as a carpenter. Hey, who picked up the tab at that last supper? I think in da Vinci’s painting they’re arguing over how to split the check…hey I think I’m providing you some material for your stand up act at the talent show!

mygif
Sarah said,         
June 27 2009

Hi Andy,
I didn’t get the reference. Sometimes I’m just not as nerdy as I wanna be, darnit!
Assuming Jesus existed, I don’t know if we have any way of knowing if the stories about him are true. I imagine many people would argue that the truth of the stories doesn’t matter so much as the message. OK, then what?
A lot of sacrilegious (and sacrilicious) comments there, Andy!:)

mygif
Jim said,         
July 2 2009

I refer you to some of Bart Erhman’s books (“Misquoting Jesus” & “Jesus, Interrupted”) on layman-friendly NT scholarship and analysis. In the latter are some intersting discussions of Jesus-as-apocalyptic-preacher and possible development of some key theological points that aren’t actually from Jesus’ teachings but derived later. (ex. the Trinity, Heaven & Hell, etc).
While not exactly new to me, it was interesting to see laid out some of the things that show Christianity as a very human (and human-made) religion. Which is really no surprise, and a reminder of something Joseph Campbell mentioned in “Power of Myth” about a meeting of Monks & Priests of various faiths: that those who have had a mystical experience or understanding (Monks) generally get along easily because of this common experience, while it was the functionaries who are oriented towards dogma & codifying that experience (Priests) who were the ones to have difficulty with common understanding.

(But, as a caution, it is not necessary to be mocking or disrespectful to hold a different opinion.)

mygif
Sarah said,         
July 2 2009

Hi Jim,
I read some, I confess not all, of Misquoting Jesus. It’s interesting how things get lost in translation, human error, etc.
I respect what you mean about being mocking and disrespectful and that’s the kind of thing atheists do discuss, but I believe that in the context of this site, it’s acceptable. Posters on this site often mock religion and so do I. I do hold a bit of antipathy towards religion, but it’s not as though I scream into a megaphone “You’re all idiots!” outside of church services.

Please leave your comments below

  Username (required)

  Email (required)

  Website

leave your comments below

Subsribes to this topic Comment Rss or TrackBack

Welcome to Gabbin' About God, sponsored by Ace Religious Supplies, where they say, “If we don't got it, it ain't holy.”

Just kidding. This is Not My God, a site for the personal aspect of atheism. I'm putting together a book with that title, having already 20 interviews lined up, but I still want to hear from more of you.
I've expanded the blog to include material not related to atheism, including rants, raves, consumer issues, curmudgeonly matters and other miscellany.
Read more about Not My God on the About page
The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism