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11 Year Old Devout Athiest

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by linwood, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. angellous_evangellous

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    Sorta like Christian fundies. :p
     
  2. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    Jayhawker has a valid point which is why I`ve always had a knowing smile on my face in this forum when reading posts by people who aren`t yet parents about how they wouldn`t influence their children to believe any certain religion/philosophy.

    It can`t be avoided as your child will seek to emulate you regardless of your efforts at a neutral position for them.
    This little fact has caused me more than my fair share of trouble over the past few years.
    Trouble I went to great lengths to avoid.

    Do I consider my child an atheist?

    Yes, but only by the most base singular definition.
    She holds no belief in a deity.

    I want her to at one point study her options and come to a rational, learned position whatever that position may ultimately be.

    I want her to one day ask the question "Why are we here?" and truly seek to find that answer until she eventually settles on a position that rings "True" to her.
    Again it doesn`t matter to me what that position eventually is as long as it`s a position she has considered at great length in a rational manner.

    Then and only then will it really be worth something.
    Then and only then will she hold a philosophy that can truly help her get through life in the best manner possible.

    Until she does this she really has no solid foundation to stand upon.

    Granted, 11 is a little early to be pondering these questions so I think I`ll give her a little more time.

    :)
     
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  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I didn't wait that long to ponder them.
    I was lucky to have friends who liked to discuss such things for as long as I can remember.
     
  4. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    True, considering who her father is and the influence my beliefs have had on her life I know she has pondered the possibilities.

    But I`m still gonna give her a little more time to come to a conclusion.

    :)
     
  5. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I never thought of a time limit for my kids.
    They just believe what they believe.
     
  6. linwood

    linwood Well-Known Member

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    It doesn`t matter to you "why" they believe it?
     
  7. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I suppose that it would if the "why" were wrong-headed & the beliefs offensive, but no such problems.
    Still, it's ultimately their path.
     
  8. angellous_evangellous

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    Sounds like it's time for Christian baptism. :D

    Get rid of the atheism and all is well with the world.
     
  9. Photonic

    Photonic Ad astra!

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    Respect her decisions and she'll respect yours.


    Just leave it be.

    Most people in my high school and my middle school didn't care about their parents religion and most knew I didn't believe in anything. It never affected anyone I know about and I seriously doubt it would affect your daughters relationship with the mainstream student base.
     
  10. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    My first thought on reading the thread title was "what's a devout atheist?" Whereof this devotion?
    If she called herself a weak atheist might she be less threatening?

    It also struck me that Jewish or Muslim kids might also call a Christian's faith into question. Do the neighborhood Christian kids associate exclusively with other Christians?


    But the weak shall inherit the Earth.

    oh wait... did I get that right?
     
  11. Willamena

    Willamena Just me
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    Ouch. Probably. :)
     
  12. SCHIZO

    SCHIZO Active Member

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    You let your daughter be who she is. You don't pretend to be something that you're not. You shouldn't hide who you are if its not embarassing or illegal. Don't let people control you just because you don't share the same beliefs that they share. I'm not Atheist but I respect your point of view and could find you insightful. If other people are not viewing you as having the same value then it is their ignorance that directs them. Don't let their ignorance direct you. If its not a matter of life and death don't try to hide who you are. This could be an opportunity to find the right people because if someone can't accept your atheism then they aren't the right people.
     
  13. SCHIZO

    SCHIZO Active Member

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    I think it is shallow to believe that religious scholarship is a necessity in life. I remember being 11 years old and I wasn't brain dead. An atheist can develop from an 11 year old child just as Christians develop from 11 year olds. Children are quite capable of handling philosophy if it interests them. You're acting like you can't hold a conversation with a child about religion or atheism. I'm guessing you don't have children.
     
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  14. SCHIZO

    SCHIZO Active Member

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    The problem is that alot of Christians are pretentious. They're so dignified and important that they totally miss the meaning of the religion they flock to. Everything is Satan with these people too. Satan this, Satan that. Its completely deranged.
     
  15. Quagmire

    Quagmire Imaginary talking monkey
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    Don't do it Jay. :)
     
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  16. Majikthise

    Majikthise nude

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    Hey Linwood.

    My daughter is 15. She is a sophomore at a rural agricutural high school. She's always been a straight A student throughout her time in school. She has told me she considers herself an atheist, though I never thought to ask her why(don't know if I should). My wife considers herself a pagan but doesn't really practice anything(she also likes to joke that she is a recovering catholic).
    My daughter was baptized because our families kinda pressured us into it.
    Her godmother, an old friend of mine,took her to protestant churches when she was younger. We also have JW relatives who have taken her to their church at my daughters request. The only thing close to a religious discussion we had ever had was when she asked me about evolution(she was 11). I simply explained it to her and assumed she was questioning the creationist story.
    She has told me this year that some kids at school had brought up religion and she told them she was an atheist. They asked her how she couldn't believe in god and she simply told them that she saw no real proof of a god. They didn't push her any further and apparently they haven't brought it up again. She told me about a boy at school who she is friends with who is also an atheist. I don't think these kids make a huge deal about it, even at this rural school.
    But then again, we live in Mass. where religious beliefs are alot looser. She does fine, has lots of friends and is well adjusted, Though she is wicked stubborn and opinionated. But most teens are.
    She's on facebook all the time but she doesn't profess her atheism there. I don't know, I might feel a little apprehensive if she did. There's a big difference in the few kids she interacts with at this small school and the 100+ friends she has on facebook. I stll wouldn't question her if she did it.
     
  17. Heathen Hammer

    Heathen Hammer Nope, you're still wrong

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    This applies equally to most of the theisms kids of the same age claim... and I guess we could extend this to many adults.
     
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  18. jarofthoughts

    jarofthoughts Empirical Curmudgeon

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    Your daughter is right, and she should be made very aware of this fact.
    Mind you, I would have said the same thing if she had professed to being, say, a Christian. She should know (and it seems you have made sure she already knows) that her choices, as long as they don't hurt anyone else, is her choices to make.
    But I think you have done the right thing about explaining the potential consequences to her. Being aware of and facing the consequences of our choices is also a vital part of that process.
     
  19. Fester

    Fester Active Member

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    Just curious, has she or her peers received and religious (or anti-religious) indoctrination, either at school, home, or elsewhere? I am neutral with regards to what she puts on her FB profile, but it might help you to understand where she's coming from.
     
  20. Kathryn

    Kathryn Most Spoiled Woman Ever

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    Today, 11 is the new 14.

    I believe that a precocious 11 year old is CERTAINLY capable of grasping philosophical concepts. Heck, a precocious 9 year old is too for that matter. I remember reading some of Sir Thomas More's writings at that age and "getting it."

    That being said, there's a reason that Facebook's official stance is that there's a 13 year age limit.

    I think the lesson here is that you should support her desire and right to stand by her own belief system openly. That being said, you should closely monitor her cyberspace involvement and activities.

    Kids can get themselves in over their heads when they immerse themselves in the unnaturally detached side of cyberspace (adults can too, for that matter, but it's your child and your responsibility to guide her that I'm talking about here). Adolescents (yep that's what you're dealing with here) can be very cruel, right to each others' faces. Put that cyber distancing between them and they can be downright sadistic.

    Just watch it.
     
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