It depends on the person. I'm an atheist, but I would let my child choose whatever religion they wanted to be, whether it was christianity, atheist, muslim, buddhism. I don't really care. As long as they respect others and their choices.
Most atheists (if not all) don't even mention the subject to their children since it is totally irrelevant to their upbringing and since they likely can't even properly comprehend the subject. Besides, kids have more important things to do such as just being kids.
False dichotomy- there are hundreds of "sides". Most atheists also don't "teach atheism" to their children. It's not a belief system, there is nothing to teach.
Like many atheists, I plan to teach my son about as many of the world religions as possible. I simply won't be teaching him that any of them are right.
But this question smacks of hypocrisy- you Christians aren't teaching your kids any other "side", how can you possibly expect others to? I've seen a question just today where many Christians argued it is a parent's right to teach their child any religious position they choose. Why does that not also apply to us?
Why would it be Christianity and no-belief? There a lot more choices out there. But I raised my children without religious instruction, however they did ask question about religion and I would give them answer based on open mindedness.
Way I see it, there are no "sides".. As mentioned, there's a whole slew of histories/religions and ways of life out there. Why limit any history to just one part? Kids pick things up as they go along and if you're open and available to them they ask about things and figure out how they want to live..
Hi betty! I teach my children many more than the two sides you offered as possibilities. It was just the other day my 6 year old (accidentally) found out I was atheist. I say "accidentally" because I hadn't planned on telling him, but he asked me outright. Not going to lie. Anyway, I took the opportunity to show him that yes, his mother and all his aunts and uncles on that side of the family are Christian. But there are many, many faiths. Christianity is just one of them. I asked him why he thought most of the people we knew were Christian, and if he thought it would be different if we lived in a different part of the world. He's a smart kid. He said, "We'd probably believe what THEY do."
"Not Christian", has painted it's picture all over the world and they see it all the time. My children have been taught about the redeeming love of Christ and then see the evidence of people living without this all over the place. They've been able to make really good decisions on their own. It's a really easy choice.
I wouldn't honestly. I wouldn't even teach them about religion. I'd have them be completely free from any religious teachings; this way, they have a better chance of actually CHOOSING when they get older.
Your question is a false dichotomy. The choice isn't atheism or Christianity. It's reality or mythology. Christianity is just one of hundreds, rather thousands, of different religions and gods. My son will grow up being aware of mythology which some people still believe is actually true.
I am not atheist, I am pagan and I don't have kids but if I did I would bring them up in my own religion but I would encourage them to experience other religions and beliefs as I did myself as a kid. I was allowed to attend any church I wanted to with my friends so I have been to several different places of worship from different types of Christian churches (episcopal, baptist, methodist etc) Roman Catholic (my grandmother was roman catholic) once to a Jewish temple etc. I have also read at least a little of just about every religious text out there from the Bible to the Book of Mormon to the Veddas, Quran, and teachings of Buddha. I feel lucky in that I was allowed the freedom to find the path that fit me best and I would want my children to have that same freedom.
First: Atheism doesn't regard Christianity any truer, or grants any priority to Christianity, over any other religion. For an atheist, Christianity stands upon the exact foundation (if not worse) of ignorance, falsehood and superstition as that of Hinduism, Buddhism, Paganism or Wicca.
Second: NO! Parents who do not themselves believe the Bible (or, any other "religious" book) to be true, must not teach their children that it is. They should be absolutely honest. Hypocrisy is not a virtue, and, as a rule, lies are never valuable than facts.
A Christian lived in Mecca would not teach his children that Allah is the only God and that the Koran is an inspired book. Why? Because he does not believe in the divinity of Allah or in inspiration of the Koran. That is reason enough!
Why then should an unbeliever allow his child's mind to be polluted, deformed and shriveled by Christian (in particular) superstitions? Because, nothing can be more outrageous than to sow in a child's brain the seeds of falsehoods, to teach an infant the savage dogma of eternal pain -- poisoning his soul with the impure glow and glare of Christian hell!
That is an interesting question Betty. Besides the "false dichotomy" already mentioned it is also a false notion that parents can truly "teach" something they don't believe (or "disbelieve"...lest I frustrate a couple friends on here! ;). Rather it's a matter of recognizing that children are to be taught to become adults, not "clones" or certainly not to remain as children. In this way my wife and I "teach" our children "about" atheism as it comes up and with the expressed and emphatic expression that we will love them no matter what they believe and that they will own their believe ultimately by their own faith and journey. It is ludicrous to expect any parent (Christian or whatever) to actually teach atheism or all the "other" religious traditions out there. There simply isn't time and recourse to do so, not to mention the existential dishonesty to even attempt it. As Christians (for the lac of a more defining term) we endeavor to BE followers of Christ and teach our kids how to become responsible "choosers". We can never make our kids believe nor disbelieve....
1 year ago
Last edited at 10:50AM on 3/28/2013
I as an atheist teach my children the history of religion. All religions, equally, this way they know they are all BS. Once you sit down and compare, contrast and examine relgions like this, it's very easy to see the lies and manipulation. But in the long run, they can choose whatever they want to believe in.