hi, i was brought up a half athiest half christian type thing. My mums hasnt a clue, my grandparents are strong christians and my dad is a strong athiest (bit confusing). After a lot of thought i have become an athiest, ok im only 13 but i think i have got it all sorted out in my head. I was a bit bored and sort of scrolled the web because i felt like looking at a christian website to see what they had to say. Then i came accross this and I love it. The opening made me laugh. I really appreciate the way you critcise even your own belief, which i think i what a lot of religious people failed to do. Reading through the hate mail but made me open my eyes a bit. Ecspecially about all the ‘loosing computer priveledges and all that’ and your right they will rebel. I dont understand why the parents dont let them have their own view, are they scared? Im trying not be bias here but i feel athiest parents give their child freedom to think and i think freedom to think leads people to athiesm and that, even though it’ no proof, is strong back up for atheism. Humans special skill is thinking and criticising your own thoughts and not doing that is like a bird not flying or something. It seems a waste. Wouldn’t be lovely if there was a heaven? But your right reality would get in the way. Do people really think we would perfer to believe in heaven? I think religious kids are often protected from the out side world they are brought up in a safe godish enviromwent but i think, well i am, athiest children are exposed to the world. The only way kids can get a proper view on the world is if they are exposed. I suppose its like you body getting immune to something if it gets exposed. And thats why I believe there is no god, because athiests criticise and thats the best way to think. Sorry im rambling. I just needed to let off steam. I do have more to say but im tired so… thanks.
I agree that critical thinking can lead to atheism. It can also lead to informed theism. I think that either of these results is far more acceptable than unthinking or reactionary belief — whether it’s in theism or atheism.
You are absolutely right that it’s a tragic waste when people don’t use their minds to the fullest or try to restrict the intellectual exploration of their children. I feel that theists should be secure enough in their beliefs to let their children ask questions, and that parents shouldn’t worry if they don’t have the answers. If children are allowed to explore questions, they will be better able to deal with new information when they are outside their parents’ sphere of influence. Your analogy to the immune system is a good one!
Thanks for writing!