Friday, September 08, 2006

Anonymous e-mails: What do you want your children to be? Atheist?

Anonymous writes: "What do you want you children to be? Atheist? Would you really be okay if they wanted to be Christian?"

The way I see it, those are three different questions. So, I'll answer in kind.
1. What do I want my children to be?
I want my children to be rational, thinking, productive, happy people. I want them to learn to love learning. I want them to question everything. I want them to perform acts of altruism and take pleasure in it. I want them to seek out the decadence of living and be the best they can be. I also want them to accept their short-comings and address them. I want them to be good listeners.

2. Atheist?
If they come to the conclusion, after study and contemplation of all the evidence, that that's what they would like to consider themselves, then I'm okay with that. I think your unasked question is: Will I nudge them towards atheism? The answer to that question is: yes. But, not as a part of some twisted ploy. I imagine that they will be guided towards free-thinking principles and skepticism much the same way that a Christian guides their child towards dogmaticism and the Bibile. We are who we are and our children will, most certainly, pick up on those characteristics and ideologies.

3. Would I really be okay if they wanted to be Christian?
If they had looked at all the potentials/possibilities/facts etc.,. and still felt pulled towards Christianity, then I would be okay. Look, this isn't about me dictating what my children will or will not believe. My philosophy is to give children an opportunity to explore everything and teach them to think. If one, or all, of my children ends up with their butt in a pew every Sunday, I'll live. I won't love them any less. I won't tract them with atheist rhetoric or information. I can accept that people might come to a different conclusion. :)

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