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  • Raising children

    Why do so many religious people feel it so necessary to raise their children to follow the same religion? Why wouldn't they just let their children decide when they're old enough to think and make decisions for themselves?
    Last edited by Wug; 04-14-2017, 06:07 AM.

  • #2
    Because it's natural to raise your children that way. Parents teach their children what they have been taught. In everything, not just in their religion.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Wug View Post
      Why do so many religious people feel it so necessary to raise their children to follow the same religion? Why wouldn't they just let their children decide when they're old enough to think and make decisions for themselves?
      I agree, in many religions it is said that we are free to choose what we believe in, but many times we are told from very young age which religion is right and not following it make us face criticism. Probably people do it because they think making their children believe the same religion, confirms their stong faith and they are scared for their children.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Monika331 View Post
        I agree, in many religions it is said that we are free to choose what we believe in, but many times we are told from very young age which religion is right and not following it make us face criticism. Probably people do it because they think making their children believe the same religion, confirms their stong faith and they are scared for their children.
        Nope. I was raised atheist. Like it or not, atheism itself is a faith - not a religion - but a faith. Within atheism there are distinctions (or quasi-religions!) depending on your worldview.

        Don't go looking for any religious conspiracy here. None is warranted. Parents naturally bring up their children in their own faith & religion because that's what they know and what they think is best for their family. You don't have to be Einstein to understand that!


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        • #5
          I agree. Better let the children just decide on their own. My own parents are completely in denial about me being agnostic and while it doesn't bother ke daily, it's not always pleasant either.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Monika331 View Post
            I agree, in many religions it is said that we are free to choose what we believe in, but many times we are told from very young age which religion is right and not following it make us face criticism. Probably people do it because they think making their children believe the same religion, confirms their stong faith and they are scared for their children.

            Baptists, the church I was raised in, differ from many other Christian denominations in that they don't believe a person should be be baptized as a baby but instead they should wait until they are old enough to make the decision to get "saved" by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior on their own. Theoretically I agree with this. But the reality is that young people are expected by the church and their families to be baptized when they reach the right age. If someone decides that they don't believe in the religion then Baptists believe that they will go to Hell and, in some extreme cases, the family might disavow their non-believing son or daughter altogether.

            If that is "freedom of choice" then it is an extremely messed up version of it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by loony-moonchild View Post
              I agree. Better let the children just decide on their own. My own parents are completely in denial about me being agnostic and while it doesn't bother ke daily, it's not always pleasant either.
              My situation is similar. My mom no longer follows the fundamentalist Christianity she was brought up on. But she still very much believes in God and is bothered by the fact that I'm an atheist. It's not something we debate about. But that's partly because I avoid bringing up the topic as it clearly makes her uncomfortable.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ChrisShiva View Post


                Baptists, the church I was raised in, differ from many other Christian denominations in that they don't believe a person should be be baptized as a baby but instead they should wait until they are old enough to make the decision to get "saved" by accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior on their own. Theoretically I agree with this. But the reality is that young people are expected by the church and their families to be baptized when they reach the right age. If someone decides that they don't believe in the religion then Baptists believe that they will go to Hell and, in some extreme cases, the family might disavow their non-believing son or daughter altogether.

                If that is "freedom of choice" then it is an extremely messed up version of it.

                Your experience is equally true of atheist parents whose child becomes a believer. Or of Jewish parents whose child becomes a Christian. And so on. There is pressure on a child to conform to how he was brought up. That expectation may be imposed - as in your example - but the child also willingly submits.

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                • #9
                  Culture, like genes, is transmitted vertically from parents to children and religion is a huge part of culture. You're supposed to want the best for your children, why wouldn't that include one of the most important parts of your life? Besides, I don't see how someone could raise their children to be informed enough so as to make the decision of whether or not they believe in a god and which in a completely unbiased manner.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RogerCarmel View Post


                    Your experience is equally true of atheist parents whose child becomes a believer. Or of Jewish parents whose child becomes a Christian. And so on. There is pressure on a child to conform to how he was brought up. That expectation may be imposed - as in your example - but the child also willingly submits.

                    As an atheist I would expose my child to a wide range of beliefs and let them make their own decisions. If they chose to believe in some fundamentalist religion I would think they were believing in something that wasn't true. But I certainly wouldn't think that they were going to Hell because of it. That's an obvious difference between non-believers and religious fanatics.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ChrisShiva View Post


                      As an atheist I would expose my child to a wide range of beliefs and let them make their own decisions. If they chose to believe in some fundamentalist religion I would think they were believing in something that wasn't true. But I certainly wouldn't think that they were going to Hell because of it. That's an obvious difference between non-believers and religious fanatics.
                      You say this now and it sounds so fair and balanced but wait until you have children. Theory is one thing, practice is another!

                      As sweet tears said in her post, "...you're supposed to want the best for your children, why wouldn't that include one of the most important parts of your life [religion]..." Go back and read her post just above yours. Think about what she said.

                      So, you and your wife will naturally raise your children atheist because that is your belief. Atheism is the best you have to offer your (future) children, and you will naturally hope they continue in that belief as they become adults. I wouldn't expect atheist parents to bring their children to synagogues, churches, temples and mosques on a rotating basis in order that they have a solid understanding about which religion they might choose later in life. That would be crazy! Of course, I'm exaggerating to make a point: you won't expose your child to a wide range of beliefs. You say that now, but the realities of day-to-day life will take over and you just won't have time for the useless teachings of various religions.

                      Your child, like you, will learn about other faiths on his own...and that's OK.


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                      • #12
                        No one explained it to me, if Adam and Eve had two sons, Kane and Abel, one murdered the other where did we the human race originate from?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by thinker06 View Post
                          No one explained it to me, if Adam and Eve had two sons, Kane and Abel, one murdered the other where did we the human race originate from?
                          A big question,,, as an aside,,while no one was explaining it to you adam and eve had three sons who are named..

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by thinker06 View Post
                            No one explained it to me, if Adam and Eve had two sons, Kane and Abel, one murdered the other where did we the human race originate from?

                            One of the many contradictions in the Bible that fundamentalists are unable to offer a rational explanation for.

                            What the Bible says is that Cain was exiled by God to the land of Nod. He was worried about being killed by the people living there. But God put on him "the mark of Cain" to protect him. He then met a woman and had a child named Enoch. Obviously neither this woman or the other people living in Nod descended from Adam and Eve.

                            This can make sense if you read the Genesis stories as metaphorical folk tales with their roots in ancient Mesopotamia - which is what they are. But those who insist on taking them literally refuse to accept this and end up making fools of themselves in the process.
                            Last edited by ChrisShiva; 04-28-2017, 02:30 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Elishar View Post

                              A big question,,, as an aside,,while no one was explaining it to you adam and eve had three sons who are named..

                              Adam and Eve did have a third son named Seth and Seth is said to have become the father of a son name Enosh. But was the mother Seth's sister or a woman not descended from Adam and Eve? The bible doesn't explain this but either this means they committed incest or all of humanity is not descended from Adam and Eve as the fundies claim.
                              Last edited by ChrisShiva; 04-28-2017, 02:37 AM.

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