If you believe in a god or doctrine, and you wish to be a truly loving and wise person and raise loving and wise children, do you have the courage to tell your children:
- that people with differing beliefs are still good people?
- that people may find different ways to find comfort and meaning and these ways are viable and genuine and worthy?
- if you "know" everything already, you will never learn anything?
- that thinking for one's self is a treasure?
- if what is "true" doesn't make sense, it may not be true?
- that people who do not share your belief system are still thinking, loving individuals?
- that people who have well-thought-out absence of religion are worth listening to and learning from?
- that there is more to the world than a hundreds-of-times rewritten and redefined collection of nomadic stories of questionable origin?
- that when people feel free to think for themselves, using reason as their guide, that they are best capable of creating behavioral guides that serve all human needs?
- that, if they try hard, there is so much wisdom to learn in the world?
- that guilt and shame are useless motivators?
- that it is wisdom to question and research and open their minds to what they didn't know that they didn't know?
- that a person can know what is right and wrong by exploring their own hearts?
- that is it more honest to answer "I don't know" to some questions?
- that no human is superior to any other because of their beliefs?
- that most people are well-meaning?
- that you don't have to adopt the beliefs of your parents or of any entity with authority over you?
- if your world view demonizes anyone at all, no matter how unfamiliar, it needs changing?
- that anyone who suggests that they know everything, truly know nothing?
- that there are no eternal rewards or punishments for behaviors that good and normal children and adults do during their lives?
- that our galaxy is a very small place in the enormity and complexity of the known universe?
- that if your belief system requires that you ignore obvious evidence, it might need some more thought?
- and that the consideration of this universe will bring about an awe never-before experienced?
- that no one really knows where it all began, and, our human minds may not be capable of gaining this knowledge at this point and that all humans share this?
- that scientists and researchers are willing and able to to say "I don't know" to the bigger questions of life...but that doesn't keep them from looking for more information?
- that any child, regardless of their upbringing, is inherently good?
- that death is inescapable, and, therefore, making it essential to live your best life here and now?
- that each child can make decisions about their behavior and their life based on what makes sense to them, without respect for any other authority than their own heart and mind?
- that sexuality is normal and healthy and something to know more about, not less?
- that the more people you know and get to know, the easier it is to see how others can have other belief systems that are just as important to them as yours in to you?
- have you acknowledged that the validity of the Bible is in serious question?
If you like this post you may enjoy this one:
Relativism and Atheism
How to Explain Religion to my Child
Morality Vs. Ethics