let your children develop their own damn opinions

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    41 Responses to let your children develop their own damn opinions

    1. Children should never have opinions. They’re to be taught. Once they can vote or pay taxes, then they can have opinions.


    2. Fair enough. My parents were atheists, but at least they weren’t militant about it, so I was able to grow up and become a Christian eventually. πŸ™‚


    3. My parents smoked weed with black people while studying medicine and fighting the Romanian communist regime. The first word I said was “communism”, my parents never told me anything about any religion and I thought religion was an institution/conspiracy that only rich people really participate in. I wasn’t sure though and I had to go go church with my class at least once a year where I had to stay in my seat while everyone else went to the front and got a little chip to eat. Then at 12 I secretly bought a bible because I was so embarrassed that I still don’t understand it. I read it in one night, it was beautiful but I didn’t become a Christian. When I was 13 I figured out that the reason why I was rejected from the school of my choice when I was 11 was because it said in my birth certificate that I don’t have a religion. I also learned that my mother was raised in a Jewish household and my father in a Muslim one.

      So, now I am an absurdist. Thank you for listening, glad I got this off my chest.


      • Cool story, sis. I heard many opinions, that communism is kind of religion itself. It even have own trinity: Karl, Friedrich and Vladimir πŸ™‚

        But I kindly disagree with image. What forbids you develop own opinions when you’re baptised? Srsly?


        • My parents didn’t teach me anything about communism, I only happened to repeat the word because they were arguing a lot about it after Ceausescu threw them out of the country because they didn’t agree with the regime.

          Anything can be a religion. Greed, patriotism, pride.

          Because childhood is the most forming part of your life and whatever you’re being taught is going to brand you forever, even if you manage to change your mind. Also baptising is kind of a betrayal to the child, which is incapable of agreeing or disagreeing with the decision.


          • Yes, childhood is the most forming part of life. And I think I am the right person to form fruit of my loins.

            No, I don’t consider baptising as act of betrayal. If you reject all religious stuff like remission of original sin (which I believe), how it affects you? Not at all.

            By ‘cool story’ i meant secretly reading the Bible πŸ™‚


            • Oh yeah, my take on baptizing (I knew I forgot something):

              If it’s the dipping in water… What’s wrong with you? That’s barbaric and many children dying in the process, what a surprise. (Even though my mom said I was laughing when it was happening, not everyone is so lucky)

              If it’s the poring… meh.

              But in principle it really is a cock move from the parents. If the person wants to be baptized, let’em do it when they decide to. It’s not your place to decide their faith.

              And this:
              Super priest: Oh no! A new born is in trouble! I’ll save you from the knowledge apple!
              Normal Joe: But didn’t Jesus already do that when he crossed himself?
              Super priest: Shut your heathen mouth!


            • But a child isn’t able to fully comprehend what is happening, not when it’s a baby nor when it’s 5 years old. So it’s intellectually dishonest and it makes me think that the parent loves their religion more than their child. We disagree I know, if I had a child, I would only teach it whatever religion if I really believed in hell and was afraid that they’re going there.

              Cool story is a meme. So what, you don’t believe me? Imagine growing up almost exclusively with Catholic children and never, ever hearing anyone explain what religion, or specifically Christianity is. You have to go to church from time to time and you hear these strange passages which sound like a kind of poetry but that’s it. I wouldn’t have known how to ask someone even if I wanted to. I didn’t know Jesus was the main protagonist so I couldn’t have thought of asking, who is Jesus. Or, nobody ever said the word “Christianity.” It was bound to get awkward and make me look like a retard, but I knew they read from a book called the bible, so I bought one secretly and nobody ever found out. Except the Internet.


            • Sorry, fot that. It jumped out of my head, and my hands added ‘sis’ to conciously written ‘cool story’.

              So looks like memes have own life indeed πŸ™‚


            • Haha, I like how it turned out though. In that case, thanks. I’m still embarrassed about it so I got defensive, my bad.


            • dA, that’s an incredible story. Thanks for sharing πŸ˜€ You’re life is much more interesting than mine.

              I was raised in a simple Evangelical Lutheran household where my father thought communion was “creepy” and my mother went because they served coffee and cookies afterward. I went through a phase where I tried out a different religion a month, but I eventually realized that I didn’t believe in any of them, I just liked studying different cultures and beliefs.


            • Thank you very much for appreciating it. It’s aaall about the coffee and cookies, as we know from Marla in Fight Club. Well yeah your parents didn’t have to fight dictators but based on your last line it still sounds like you’re pretty interesting yourself. Most people these days either believe and like them, or don’t believe and despise them in every way.


            • Thanks πŸ™‚ Culture fascinates me, especially religion. I’m past my religious fan club phase, but I still like to learn, even if I don’t practice.

              I don’t like the controlling nature of organized religions, especially the prolific Abrahamic ones. I have trouble wrapping my head around some aspects of faith, specifically how people can accept scriptural literalism and hand-me-down doctrine while decrying perpetrators of genocide rather than divorcing themselves from the passages that inspired the acts. Why do Christians educated in the history of the Church continue to accept the booklist Constantine chose rather than also reading rediscovered texts like the Gospel of Judas, the Gospel of Thomas, or even the Infancy Gospels?

              None of that confusion and dislike of what religion can be used for (arguably what organized religion is for) prevents me from appreciating the beauty of religious texts, though, or even from appreciating how those of faith approach their lives. For example, I find the prose of the Qu’ran to be beautiful, specifically the how multiple meanings can be found within a single passage. Churches have a special place in my heart; they are open, lovingly (and ably) constructed structures filled with light and music. I find the way Odinists completely disregard mortality and free will in favor of a lackadaisical, “it is what it is,” approach to how shitty life can be very refreshing.

              I’m ignostic, really. I don’t think anyone has sufficient evidence for the existence of divinity, even personal divinity, and if the qualities of divine beings are to be used as experimental parameters I find the question, “Is there a God, or Gods?” to be untestable on our end, anyway. But I don’t understand my fellow atheists (and even anti-theists) dislike of religious people, though. I don’t understand the theistic, and I think people do stupid (and often dangerous) things because of faith, but that doesn’t mean I dislike the religious, it means I dislike religion and what some religious people do (indoctrinating children, for an on-topic example; there’s a reason the majority of the theistic profess the same beliefs as their parents).

              Actually, I find my parents to be much more interesting than I am. They didn’t fight dictators, but they fought “the Man” in the sixties and seventies, even though they now dress like upper middle class suburbanites. They worked in the poetry collection at the University at Buffalo at the time, and had to deal with tear gas, salt shot, and batons on their way to, and at, work. Oh, the stories they tell.


        • It’s a religion in the sense that it makes you bow down to a self proclaimed all knowing power. It strips you of your previous beliefs and makes you listen to them.

          I really didn’t want to, but I explained it exactly like it happened with Christianity and all other violent religions.


          • No it isn’t. True communism in its purest form is when there is no central control. When it’s 100% controlled by the people. Which is obviously hard to come about so dictators have simply imposed the system on people and corrupted it by doing so. What has been called communism is really socialism with an ideological veneer of communism, which is something entirely different.


            • That’s true, but realistically there has never been and never will be a truly communist country, because people have personalities, making some do more work, others less, some rising and some falling, leaving “true equality” down the drain. It’s good on paper and in RTS games, but bad in real life.

              Oh yeah, isn’t Communism a form of Socialism?


            • Maybe, there are many anarchists who advocate certain aspects of communism, so perhaps if it was something in between, and the people were forced to accept it in order to survive, like because of lack of resources and other environmental problems – it could work. That’s my theory anyway and I think I would enjoy it. But like you said, so far it has pretty much always taken a dictator who just pretends it’s communism while following personal interests.

              Haha, the far right wing in America would probably say that, yes. If we’re talking about true communism, then there is one big difference, communism is trying to promote a specific idea, a moral. While socialism can be just a practical part of someone’s politics, allowing people to be for capitalism for example. I hope I got that right, also the people who are afraid of socialism because they think it’s communism are obviously afraid of a dictator taking over, when in fact that can happen at any time. I think on this very site someone said, oh yeah if you think socialism is a good idea ask some East Europeans how they liked it. Which is funny, because not only was it because of a dictator that they suffered, which socialism doesn’t require, but if you actually ask elderly East Europeans, they will tell you that “it was much better than this democracy bullshit were policies can change at any time.” At least that’s my experience.


            • That was a stupid question of me to ask…

              Socialism and Communism are a bit different… but not very. (practically, not on paper)
              Romania had both. Socialism before Ceausescu (and a bit when he was “president”) and Communism after. They weren’t all that different, just that Communism was harsher.

              To be completely frank, people that prefer Communism over Democracy are ignorant ass-hats. Because ignorant ass-hats were rewarded during Communism/Socialism.


            • “there has never been and never will be a truly communist country”
              Maybe the problem isn’t with the concept of communism, but with the concept of country. When you consider alternatives to the nation-state as a political framework, different economic model become viable, too.


      • What? Muslim and Jew become atheists and are able to live together? NOOOO! My God wants blood!

        My parents were and are both Christians (orthodox). But never cared to force it upon me, but I was baptized… for tradition’s sake I guess.
        One of my childhood friends was this pentecostal (I think) girl. And I used to go to church with her bible thumping family because after the sermons they’d take us to a play room with all kinds of awesome toys, so it was worth pretending to understand what the preacher was talking about.

        Then there is my cousin with who I spent almost every weekend with her as a kid. Her big brother went to preacher school and her whole family was pretty religious. But I think that’s because my uncle died. (I only have good memories of that man and consider him as my primary father figure, even though he died when I was 6)

        Again there’s the bible thumping family with 5 kids that lived next door with whom I spent a considerable amount of my kid life.

        My grandma who is really into Jesus, but I’ll never tell her I’m an atheist, she’s to awesome for me to upset her.

        Somehow, with all these influences in my childhood, I still became an atheist. So… yeah.

        Oh, and when I was seven (first year of school) a teacher came in and told us she’ll be teaching us Religion. And I asked: “What’s Religion?” I really was an awesome kid… What a waste.

        I know what made me an atheist, but that’s a tad too personal to discuss on the internet. (And no, not rape, I didn’t know any Catholics as a kid)


        • Nice. I’m similar, I hung out mostly with Christians as well. There was an evangelical church down the street where I grew up and they were kind of outcasts because everyone else is Catholic. The pastor there was the only neighbour who invited me to come over and have dinner with his family, when we had just moved there. He was the kindest man I ever knew. If you didn’t know he’s a pastor you would think him and his families are regular hippies.

          Also it goes far beyond that, my father took my mother back to where he grew up and everyone welcomed her as if she were one of their own and at first she didn’t even want to return to Europe. She had never been to a country where it’s always warm and she suffered a lot when living at a farm without a proper bathroom during the cold winters. She always said, mai bine sa fie prea cald da cat prea rece. My Romanian relatives on the other hand hated my father. Granted, he had a fro, so they had a right to be suspicious. But really who didn’t love Hendrix then.

          So you asked what’s religion because you really didn’t know? We’re the same then. That’s crazy, I don’t know anyone who just didn’t comprehend what was going on with this religion thing, besides myself.

          You can tell me that story when I go to Romania next time. See comments like that even make me think you’re not an asshole, good job.


          • I have to agree with your mother, caldura excesiva ii tot timpu’ mai buna decat frigu’ excesiv.

            I still need to read the bible. But it’s really hard to when:
            a) I can’t stop laughing (Old testament)
            b) Get bored as hell
            c) I can’t stop laughing (New testament)

            It’s like one of those bad movies that is so bad that it’s funny. But enough about my condescending asshole nature..

            it would be fun to exchange childhood stories, even though mine might be a bit too… uhm… not so fun.


            • Very good, I use that as a kind of measure to decide if I can stand the presence of a person for more than just a day.

              Yeah you already told me that. Do you like poetry? Old poetry? When I read the bible for the first time I thought it was just old poetry and I loved it. There are many atheists who are fascinated by scriptures and study it their entire life. You don’t have to believe it just because you find it pretty.


            • Did I? Hm… well, I’ll let you do the talking, then.

              Not especially… I like philosophical poetry. And you could say that the bible is full of that, but really bad poetry.

              I’ve tried reading it three times and lost interest quickly every time. This is probably because I know it’s purpose and I am just reminded how many people let their lives be driven by it. Probably if I read it 1000 years in the future when it stopped existing as a religion I could read it.
              Besides that, it uses weird voodoo language and mixed with how it’s put on the page it just gets really tiering to read.

              There are some sensible things in the bible, like when Jesus says that we shouldn’t have a tooth for tooth attitude.
              But then, a page later says don’t judge people because you’ll be judged the same way after you die. People that say the bible doesn’t contradict itself really haven’t read it.
              I’ll read it whole some day, I promise.


            • “This is probably because I know it’s purpose and I am just reminded how many people let their lives be driven by it.”

              I was almost going to suggest that but really you need to learn to be more objective. I read books about wars and cruelty all the time and I can still enjoy them even if I’m against war. But yeah like I said, it’s obviously old. It has been said about almost all scriptures that it would take several lifetimes to fully study and understand them. Furthermore, you’d have to study it in several languages, then compare, then compare to the conclusions of other theologians, and you’re still unlikely to get it completely right. All this is because they’re old and the meanings have changed as have all the languages. I’m sure you know this all to some extent, but think about it. Considering this, all the people who have caused others pain because of the scriptures were most likely too primitive to truly understand them and just used it as a way to justify their crimes. If it hadn’t been for the scriptures, they would have used something else. Though nothing is as efficient to abuse as religion, as we know of course.


            • It’s not really the same thing with you reading war books, being that religion and religious people affected me personally. And by religious I mean Christians. I could probably read the Koran with no problem, even though it’s essentially the same thing. Essentially, I said essentially! But I’ll go over my subjective self some day and read the damn thing.


      • We could be sisters in many ways.


    4. Atheist. Not because I was raised that way, but because it just makes the most sense.

      When I was first told about the concept of Santa, I knew in my heart it was BS. Easter bunny? Same thing.

      So really whats the difference between that and Christianity? Or any other religion for that matter?

      I didn’t believe in magic as a kid, and I don’t believe in magic as an adult. Don’t know about you, but I had a very idealistic sense of what was reality and what was fantasy. Even at a young age.

      I often wonder if there will ever be a point in time where human race will ever look at religion as a thing of the past. It will be lectured and studied by students on distant planets and space stations. Much like now how we study world history and how people used to believe that the world was flat.

      But I doubt it.

      I think we would probably just kill each other with nukes or something. Probably for oil and resources. Or religion.


    5. This post is full of D’aww and B’aww.


    6. I’ve finally settled on being an Agnostic.

      I considered myself Athiest for a while but it didn’t seem right. I can’t really put my finger on what it was but there was just something that didn’t feel right.

      Then I started to think about things a lot and I settled on believing that someone or something, way more developed than humans are now, provided the laws that govern our universe and let it go nuts and what we have now is the result of that.

      I can’t accept that there is an all knowing and benevolent power out there because there is too much bad shit around that makes me question that. On the other hand I look at some of the discoveries that we have made and there seems to be a fair amount of order to this chaos.

      Who knows, we could be creating universes in the future and watching them develop.


      • So you decide on truth by feeling things out? You don’t care about what is true and/or what there’s evidence for?

        If you are not a theist, you are an atheist. You can be an agnostic atheist as well. But if that is how you reason, I’m not quite sure I want you on the sane side of things.


    7. Wow someone took the time to make some stupid drawing like that?

      Here’s a better one: mind your own fucking business cause its not your kid and has nothing to do with you.


    8. My “Double-Standard” alarm was going off all day and I couldn’t figure out why.

      until now.


    9. “All children are born Atheists; they have no idea of God.” – Baron d’Holbach, 1772.


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