No need to teach a child about Atheism

God is like Santa Claus because both are myths. Unfortunately the God myth is dangerous to young minds, and can last a lifetime. The Santa myth is just a passing phase that brings delight to our children but, like all good things, is gone in just a few young years.

God is not dead because God never existed and where there is no life there is no death.  Atheism frees minds from the myths surrounding a deity, and protects the non-believer from the harm attendant to religion.

I am an atheist and the father of a young daughter. I am delighted about the fact that I do not have to teach my child a thing about atheism. Nothing. The subject doesn’t even need to come up. The reason for this is that all people are born atheists. No one believes in any gods, angels, or that Jesus died for them on the when they are children. It is not until they are indoctrinated by their parents or religious leaders that they start to believe in such things. There is literal no such thing as a Christian child, or a Muslim child. Every one of them is a little atheist.

A good friend of mine, who is a Christian, expressed sadness about this fact. He said “It makes me very sad to know that your daughter will never get a chance to know god, or go to heaven.” On the contrary, my daughter will never be exposed to the doctrine that she is born evil. She will never have to endure the absurdity that no matter what she does in her life, without religion, she is a bad person, worth of punishment in and everlasting fire. She will never know what it is like to feel an unearned guilt. She will never think that things can get done in her life through prayer. Instead, she will learn that if she wants something, it is her responsibility to make it happen. She will learn that if she wants to make a difference in the lives of her friends, family and even strangers, it is her own effort that will do so.

This small child will never be taught unquestioning obedience. She will never be in the place of Isaac, about to be sacrificed, or Abraham, about to sacrifice what she loves. Instead she will learn that she must develop a hierarchy of values, and that it is the judgment of her own mind that must decide, not the whims of other people.

She will learn nothing of faith, humility, and sacrifice. Instead she will be armed with the values and virtues required for happiness in this world. Reason will replace faith. Integrity and independence will replace obedience. Pride and self-esteem will replace humility. Joy and happiness will replace sacrifice. She has nothing to gain from indoctrination with religion. She has her mind, and the world, to lose.

There will come a day when she does learn of religion. I, certainly, do not intend to shelter her from opposing world views. She will learn them all in the manner that we learn today of the Roman, Greek, and Egyptian religions of the past; as mythology. And atheism will be as natural to her as the day she was born.

I don’t know the author of this post concerning children and Atheism.  It was sent to me by a friend as an email document.  I had to reproduce it here and I thank the author, whoever he or she may be, for this fine read:

This story was originally published at MadMike’sAmerica on February 11, 2011 and is being updated due to popular demand.

Tip o’ the hat to my friend Paul for sending me this important little tale.

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Copyright 2011 MadMikesAmerica
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Posted by on October 17, 2011. Filed under atheism/agnostic/spiritual,Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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8 Responses to No need to teach a child about Atheism

  1. greenlight

    February 11, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I know that when I was sent to “religion classes” right around first or second grade, I always came home wondering how other kids could believe these stories about Mary and Jesus that made no logical sense. I didn’t understand why I had to take these classes to learn fiction, nor why other people seemed to believe it.

    I wonder if we’re all born skeptics. I wonder if we’re all born critical thinkers. I wonder at what age those characteristics are socialized out of us. I wonder if it’s the same age that we lose hope and idealism.

    I don’t think I’ve reached that age yet, and hope I never do.

    • A Michael J. Scott

      February 11, 2011 at 6:53 pm

      I hope you never do. I hope I never do either.

  2. Mother Hen

    February 11, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    If taught as “mythology” or as “literature” I have no problems with the Biblical stories. Many are real bodice-rippers.

    It’s when these things get elevated over science and politics that it gets worrisome.

    Kids need to be taught logic and critical thinking. It might go a long way toward enlightening a society that possesses few with those as “natural” abilities (like Greenlight obviously has).

    Those things have to be quashed at an early age for the brainwashing of religion to take place.

  3. Jess

    February 11, 2011 at 11:29 pm

    My middle nephew has started in with the questions as far as religion (they are all Catholic) and wants to know why aunty J is not a believer, since she is a good person. My yet to be here’s won’t have this problem, because it won’t be in the house around them. Sis in love has asked him to talk to me, and frankly I have no idea where to start with him explaining my reasons, because he is so young. It’s great he is curious, but I think his ‘rents need to have the general talk and explain why people believe like they do and why some others don’t. I told her it’s above my pay grade.

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  5. Whatever

    October 17, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Actually, that Santa picture up there goes a long way to describe atheists. Santa comes up A LOT in atheist discussions, more than the tooth fairy and more than the Easter bunny. Atheism seems more like sour grapes than a logical conclusion. A bunch of people who are angry that Santa isn’t real. Unfortunately it leads to unwarranted leaps of logic. Santa not being real does not mean that God isn’t real.
    Also, most Christians don’t teach their kids that Santa is real. So this Santa picture goes a long way in showing the unwarranted assumptions that atheists make about theists as well.

  6. kids bedtime stories

    May 14, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    You can make teaching your child to read a very easy process when you know how learning happens in the brain. It works the same way for young children as for adults but because all their learning is new; it is important for you to understand the process.

  7. LindaSue

    November 2, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Actually, Santa was real. Nicholas, the Bishop of Myra, was known for showing generosity to the poor and frequently gave anonymous gifts to those in need. He did so because he wanted to demonstrate that the love of God is a free gift, too. Contemporary culture has turned this actual saint into the modern day Santa, but he was not a myth.
    Question; if atheism is a natural state, why do you suppose there are so many world religions, so many seekers, so many martyrs, so many who speak of the God shaped hole? Are we all delusional and cruelly deceived? Who perpetuates the myth? Toward what end?