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How will you explain to your children...


QuestionForAtheists
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I don't really plan to justify my children's existence to them. Or are you asking why I would want to have children if they are going to die, anyways? Speaking for me, and I think also for many other atheists, having children is one way of making a footprint in the world, which can perhaps be considered the atheistic equivalent of an afterlife. By the way: why would someone believing in an afterlife desire children and go through all the hassle to raise them rather than just drowning them in a lake directly after birth? I think the desire to reproduce (physically, ideologically, ethically) is rather decoupled from the belief in an afterlife.

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why would someone believing in an afterlife desire children and go through all the hassle to raise them rather than just drowning them in a lake directly after birth?

Not endorsing the OP, but you want to spread the gospel to unbelievers, and bringing up children can help further that goal.

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QuestionforAtheists,

 

I have had my children. My wife believes in God. She took them to church. I attended every once in a while.

 

My mother took my sister and I to church. My father rarely attended.

 

My Grandfather and Grandmother (on my father's side) were both very involved with the church and took their children to church on Sundays and other days.

 

I am not a stranger to religion. I have no distain for religious people. But I am an Atheist. I do not believe in an anthropomorphic God, that judges and manipulates things to his will.

 

We believed giving our children a religious upbringing, christened and the like would give them a solid foundation of values, and a solid feeling of membership in the community.

 

I have no overpowering reason to tell them much of anything about things I do not understand myself.

 

There have been several deaths amoungst family and friends lately, that my children dealt with just as well as I did.

 

Personally I think death is rather inappropriate. Here you are living, the only thing you have, and then its gone.

When I expressed this thought to my wife the other day, she said "I guess that is what God is about." (Expressing the thought that we believe in God as a way to answer/counter/deny the inappropriateness of our loss of everything when we die.)

 

I am not personally inclined to urge anyone to relinquish an "answer" when I have nothing better to offer as one.

 

To me, life is everything, it should not be discounted as a "stage" in existence. It IS existence. With this thought I have managed to cobble together my own personal "religion" where I imagine myself lucky to be alive. To have, with the help of evolution, grabbed form and structure from a universe whose normal direction is toward disorder. To be a human with the ability to consider the whole universe "my" universe, and to, factually not really be that wrong about such a consideration. Of course it is huge and old beyond comprehension, but I can view it all and imagine it all from here. Quite a nice arrangement. For now.

 

And as far as being dead is concerned, I figure it will be rather like not being born yet. 'cept the universe will remember me.

 

Preaching wise. I would say the purpose of life is to live, and to share the experience with others, and to make it possible for others to do the same.

 

Regards, TAR2

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A question for atheists. In a world where there's no proof of God's existence or of life after death; how will you explain to your children why you brought them into the world and why they should die?

 

Well, I suppose if there's no God or mystical force, there's nothing determining what you have to do, so you could accomplish anything you want whether its changing the world or just being a normal person, the only thing in your way is you. Why they brought into the world? Because that's just how life works here, its just part of how things happen, that's what living things here do. Why do they have to die? They don't "have" to die, but they should accept that they will probably eventually die and they will understand it better when they are older.

 

Probably something like that, nothing that demoralizing or anything that a lot of those atheists like to do to religious people.

 

Although, I might actually take my kids to some kind of church or teach them about religions because there's still many good values and stories in a lot of religions. Jesus was a pretty good person. I'm pretty sure he wasn't born from a virgin and God and that he didn't rise from the dead, but he was a pretty nice and wise person, so we should listen to him on at least some things. The only problem is many people are losing those values

Edited by questionposter
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I'm going to tell them the simple truth that is apparent everywhere. With every generation we progress, we evolve, we improve... and that the purpose of their life if anything is to pursue knowledge & try to prevent suffering in others. Help others learn what you've learned, so we can hasten the process of evolution.

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Values are really all that matters. These can be instilled through consistent effort from birth. Explaining and demonstrating the benefits and value of a law-abiding, responsible lifetime isn't that hard. Fear of God is not the only way and in this day and age is bucking the trend, especially in light of factual substantiation. You easily set youself up for alienation with your child in an unknown future of the new, developing world. It wasn't long ago that most Americans believed, but you're looking at 40% nonbelievers now. It is important to communicate with your children adequately though and educate them and not leave important issues in the hands of peers, or television, or whatever. Just saying that there is more than one way provided that you are thorough. The biggest mistake I see people make is having kids too early, with no experience to draw upon.

Edited by Realitycheck
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A question for atheists. In a world where there's no proof of God's existence or of life after death; how will you explain to your children why you brought them into the world and why they should die?

 

What is wrong in telling the truth.

 

That life is great even with the few burdens we must carry.

 

Would your life not be worth living without your faith in your unproven heaven waiting for you?

 

If there is nothing after death, not my belief BTW, would you curse the life that you had, or thank the stars that you found even a bit of enjoyment in it?

 

Regards

 

DL

 

 

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What is wrong in telling the truth.

 

That life is great even with the few burdens we must carry.

 

Would your life not be worth living without your faith in your unproven heaven waiting for you?

 

If there is nothing after death, not my belief BTW, would you curse the life that you had, or thank the stars that you found even a bit of enjoyment in it?

 

Regards

 

DL

 

 

 

It's sort of funny how everyone makes a big deal out of religions and the meaning of life because I don't see any other species of animal really paying attention to all these ideas we come up with. Wolfs and zebras and fish and etc obviously still think life is worth living, at least in some way, yet they have no faith we know of.

Edited by questionposter
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  • 3 months later...

A question for atheists. In a world where there's no proof of God's existence or of life after death; how will you explain to your children why you brought them into the world and why they should die?

Lots have done it. There is tons of evidence.

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Lots have done it. There is tons of evidence.

!

Moderator Note

njaohnt, since you haven't been able to provide even a scrap of your "tons" of evidence in the Christian Evidence thread, this statement is not only a lie but it's also a thread hijack, which is against the rules you agreed to when you joined.

 

In case you didn't read any of the other posts, this thread is about how atheists will handle explaining life and death to their children. It doesn't even look like you read the opening post, since your answer to the OP doesn't make sense in that context. Lots of who have done it, atheists?

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I dunno. I'd probably stick to the "We brought you into this world because we loved each other ad wanted to start a family." bit my parents raised me on. Seems to not be something that needs to be different between religious and non religious families.

 

As for the questions on death... That's a good question. I don't know for sure what happens, though there doesn't seem to be any special reason to believe in a afterlife aside from comfort. With my nieces, that question's never come up though it does I'd probably try to focus on the here and now being important, and afterwards being something worth caring about. As they got older I'd probably use the line attributed falsely to Marcus Aurelius concerning gods and afterlife.

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I dunno. I'd probably stick to the "We brought you into this world because we loved each other ad wanted to start a family." bit my parents raised me on. Seems to not be something that needs to be different between religious and non religious families.

 

As for the questions on death... That's a good question. I don't know for sure what happens, though there doesn't seem to be any special reason to believe in a afterlife aside from comfort. With my nieces, that question's never come up though it does I'd probably try to focus on the here and now being important, and afterwards being something worth caring about. As they got older I'd probably use the line attributed falsely to Marcus Aurelius concerning gods and afterlife.

 

When you mentioned a mis-attribution I didn't know which one you meant - and as I had studied a fair bit of Marcus Aurelius and the other stoics, this piqued my curiosity. A bit of wikidigging later and I find out that the first mention in print of the mis-attributed quote is 2010, several years after I had finished my work which had required reading stoic philosophy.

 

Shows what a guy Marcus Aurelius was - still writing in 2010, 1800 years after his death!

 

For those of you who don't recognize the non-quote - it is basically the atheist's wager made more wholesome by putting it in the works of an ancient philosopher, and can be found here

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Yeah I should have posted it here, but I was in a rush and didn't want to try to quote from memory.

That quote actually caused me to go out and buy a copy of his Meditations. While I'm disapointed that the quote didn't come from him, I'm not disappointed in the book.

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