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You are proof that god exist
Posted: 13 October 2007 08:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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Thanks for the great list, erasmusinfinity.  You are a fountain of knowledge and great links!

I assume these are books for parents, not children, to read? 

Vanessa

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Posted: 13 October 2007 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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The first four are actually children’s books, for children to read.  Although the language is more grown up than a six year old could read alone, they are illustrated and would be great for reading together.  The first one, What about the Gods, is more so atheistic than the others.  It actually says that gods are made up and not real.  If that’s not your view you might not want it.  The other three say nothing so direct.  The Humanism book is about humanism, not atheism.  And the other two are skeptic type books that encourage children to think critically, weigh evidence and make decisions for themselves based on those skills.

The fifth book is a book for adult/parents and deals with strategies for dealing with the sorts of topics that you mentioned.  It gives a variety of perspectives and provides anecdotes that you might even find interesting outside of the parenting arena,

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Posted: 13 October 2007 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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Vanessa,

Oh yeah, I probably should’ve linked you to Prometheus Books rather than Amazon.  They have an online catalog with a section for “Young Readers.”

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Posted: 14 October 2007 07:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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Thanks again.  I actually found a friend who had “Parenting Beyond Belief” so I’ll check it out and probably have something to say when I’m done!

Vanessa

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Posted: 15 October 2007 01:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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Thank you Erasmus.  smile  Why didn’t I think of looking for Dan Barker books??  Now that guys got a good head on his shoulders.

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Posted: 15 October 2007 09:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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I appreciate all the varied responses.  I haven’t heard from too many other parents out there

I’m the parent of four.  They are now ages 27 down to 18.  I’m not saying this is advice, but rather just relating my experience and, Vanessa, you can do with it what you will.

First of all, probabilities notwithstanding, one cannot prove that there IS a God, and equally one cannot prove that there IS NOT a God.  That being the case, I do not presume to tell anyone that one or the other is correct.  Nobody knows. 

My parents were both Roman Catholics and therefore raised me in that faith, sort of.  It was presented to me more as “Here’s what some people believe.  When you’re 18, you decide for yourself.”  I actually remember in 2nd Grade being told in class by a priest about how Jesus died for our sins and that I couldn’t make any sense out of the story (and still can’t).  My parents never pushed anything on me and basically taught me that everyone must figure it out for themselves.  It was OK to be skeptical.

When I was in high school, I learned in “US History” about the so-called “Founding Fathers” and that many of the most significant ones were more Deist than Christian in philosophy.  I looked it up and it made more sense to me than anything I’d learned in cathecism class.  Nearly 40 years later I haven’t found anything better.  And discussions with my mother indicate she pretty much believes the same things, although she has no specific label for it.

At any rate, I raised my children basically the same way.  I may be biased, but I think they and I turned out OK.  I don’t think it’s bad to tell them that no one knows for sure whether or not God exists (because that is true).  We DO need to know right from wrong, and some people use religion for their “moral compass”.  If believing in God and following the dogma of a specific religion provides that for some people, good for them.  If not believing and something else provides that, that’s OK too.  That’s what they taught me was important.  Oh, and not to make fun of what other people believe.  They may not have used that precise language, but that’s the way I understood the message.

My sister left the Catholic Church to become an Evangelist Fundamentalist (or whatever the correct term is).  THAT, if nothing else, shows that my parents method didn’t force any particular philosophy down our throats.  And I’m rather pleased with the way my parents raised me.

Hope there’s a nugget of something in there.

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“If there is no sufficient reason for war, the war party will make war on one pretext, then invent another… after the war is on.” - “Fighting Bob” La Follette

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Posted: 15 October 2007 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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PaineMan - 15 October 2007 09:08 AM

My parents never pushed anything on me and basically taught me that everyone must figure it out for themselves.  It was OK to be skeptical…I raised my children basically the same way.

Thanks, PaineMan, for your thoughts.  I think you did, indeed, have a supportive, critical-thinking household both growing up and in the one you created for your own children.  My parents basically ignored religion altogether and I feel somewhat lost when discussing the topic with my own kids.  I do try to help guide them to make moral choices irrespective of any religious beliefs; I just haven’t quite figured out the actual “God” explanation yet.  (Although this forum is certainly helping.)  I think the piece I am missing is being knowledgeable enough about religion to talk about it in skeptical terms.  If my children can’t understand the arguments from the religious folks they will encounter, it will be harder to refute them (like the original posting of this thread…). 

Vanessa

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Posted: 15 October 2007 07:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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and I feel somewhat lost when discussing the topic with my own kids.

That’s an interesting point.  Since I was presented with a religion as a child, I had the same starting point as other “Christians” (I use quotation marks as many “Christians” don’t count Catholics; just the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, but that’s another whole issue).  I had something to compare, and then something to veer away from.

I wouldn’t know exactly where or how to start otherwise.  I suppose with something like “The Golden Rule” (which is nondenominational) and ways to tell right from wrong.  Then examples of how some people use certain books as guides, while others use ...

As far as skeptical arguments go, I really think they need nothing more than to realize that nobody really knows.  Let them know other parents will tell their children certain things as guidelines to tell good from bad that are different from what you tell your children.  It’s OK for the others to believe what they want.  And it’s OK for you and your family to come to your own conclusions.  You might tell them to start any “rebuttal” by saying to the other child “You might be right ...” (changing it from a confrontation to a discussion; an adult manipulation to be sure), “but my family looks at it a different way”.  I know from experience it’s no use arguing with someone who bases THEIR argument on “Faith”.

You might have them add, “That’s what America stands for and what all patriotic Americans believe!” :grin:

By the same token, I would definitely not make the conversation too serious or “heavy”.  Kids have a lifetime ahead for that.  Letting them be kids is a higher priority.  Don’t frighten them (like religions do).

[ Edited: 15 October 2007 07:29 PM by PaineMan ]
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