Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm Probably a Dad by Now!!

Well, my wife is/was pregnant with our first, and if you are seeing this post it means one of two things, either she has gone into labor or I forgot to push the publish date of this post forward and it is a false alarm. :)

Chances are I won't be posting much for a little while. Apart from being busy with new responsibilities, there will be family around not so keen on the whole atheism thing. My parents don't even know I'm an atheist, my in-laws do, but I doubt they would be excited about the type of stuff I write on a daily basis.

As to being an atheist parent, I've been thinking about this quite a lot. I definitely don't want to force my kid to be an atheist, but I also don't want to send him out into the world unprepared. I definitely want to teach him what the religions say, I don't want the first time he hears it to be from a charismatic preacher (although honestly it's probably going to be from grandma). On the other hand, I don't want to be like "this is the stupid shit Christians believe". I really like the idea of teaching him the myths of a variety of cultures in a non-judgmental way. I have time, but I need to learn about those things myself sooner rather than later :) Mostly I like the idea of teaching how to think and not what to think. I want to share my love of science and awe of the natural world. I really hope he likes science!

Since I won't be posting for a little while, I thought it might be nice to get a few guest posts going. In particular, I know a few of my readers are parents. I thought it might be cool if you had thoughts on parenting as an atheist. Whether it be advice for me, or an interesting, funny, or infuriating story, I'd love to get some themed guests posts up. If you have something that fits please send it to me at hausdorff80@gmail.com

Thanks everyone. I'll be back regularly sooner or later

Update: born happy and healthy. mom is doing well. holding baby with 1 hand and typing w/ other is hard.

16 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Best wishes to you and your wife on your new adventure.

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  2. Congrats man. Of course, I've known about this for a while, although sworn to secrecy. Just you wait, your whole life is about to turn upside down, in a good way.

    To be honest, there really isn't any difference between parenting as a theist and parenting as an atheist, you still have the same job, you just don't tell your kids ridiculous stories about imaginary friends in the sky.

    I do have to take exception to the whole "teach how to think" thing though. Virtually everything that we teach our kids is what to think, not how to think. Sure, the other is important, but I've seen atheist parents go so absurdly overboard the other direction, terrified of "indocrtinating" their children that they refuse to teach them anything concrete at all. That's just not how it works. I think that when taken to extreme, it's a dangerous and damaging philosophy not to teach your kids what you think and why you think it, not as some wishy-washy "believe what you want" nonsense, but "these are the facts, this is the truth, period".

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  3. Congratulations on the most wonderful adventure of your life! Nothing is more satisfying than watching your own children grow up into bright, affectionate, and curious human beings unique from all others. It doesn't matter whether they are raised believing in a Supreme Being or not, it will be their choice to make when they become adults...just as it was yours or mine.

    As long as you raise them with good values and respect for others, it will not matter to you what they become.

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  4. Congratulations :) This is great news. Enjoy the time they are precious moments.

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  5. Congratulations! I've raised 3 boys who are good without god, you'll be fine. :-D

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  6. Congrats.

    You don't have to tell your kids to be atheist. Tell them the truth, inform them that there are no gods.

    Wait a minute...

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  7. Congratulations! Sounds like you're going to be a brilliant Dad!

    As long as you teach children to think for themselves they tend to make up their own minds on religion and watching them go through the process of learning is amazing (and often highly comical!)

    I taught my son about all religions (though I sent him to a Church of England school as I didn't trust my ability to be unbiased there) and he went from christianity to deism at age 5 because of the ludicrous creation myth and deism to atheism aged 6 because "too much bad stuff happens for there to be a loving god!" He's now 10 and perfectly happy without religion :)

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  8. Awesome, man. That kid will be blogging in no time!

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  9. thx everyone!

    we are back home. mom & baby both happy + healthy

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    1. That's great! Come on, details! Details!

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  10. Congratulationssss! :D Such a huge change. My one thought for now is that our kids do what we do (not what we say) and that is what they learn to be. Talking to them, asking questions sure will develop critical thinking. Playing and reading fantasy will develop imagination.If you respect his/her choices S/he will too. They feel safer when they have some kind of routine because everything is new to them..... Very exiting times (no much sleep). Take it easy and my best wishes.

    Bettina from Argentina Down Under :P

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  11. A bit more rested now, and was able to sneak away for a few minutes to leave a better response, also, I'm not holding a baby right now. It's seriously hard to type that way.

    Cephus:
    "Virtually everything that we teach our kids is what to think, not how to think."
    Interesting thought, and I'm sure you're right. I guess I was more thinking about leading them through ideas and helping them come to conclusions themselves rather than just mandating what to think. But I can certainly see what you are saying that much of what I tell him will just be me telling him what I think is true. Anyway, this really got me thinking, which is great :)

    And thanks for all of the congratulations everyone. It really was incredible. Seeing him be born was totally surreal. It was like a switch was turned on in my brain or something, my head was swimming for a while in there. Awesome stuff.

    My mother in law is visiting us for a little while, which is why I'm able to by typing this and why I got any sleep at all last night. We're very thankful for her to be able to visit. Her flight into town wound up being the day after he was born, so it timed out pretty much perfect.

    I decided that I will probably be talking about my little guy from time to time on here, so I need to give him a pseudonym too. Given the separation axioms

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_axiom#Main_definitions

    there's 2 obvious choices, Kolmogorov or Tychonoff. There are a series of properties that are nested and along with Hausdorff these are the ones named after people. (A Tychonoff space is also Hausdorff and a Hausdorff space is Kolmogorov). They aren't exactly "offspring" of each other, so I think either direction makes enough sense here. I'll probably choose Tychonoff as the name is growing on my a bit as I'm typing this. (when you asked for details, that's what you meant right?)

    He was about 8 lbs at birth, he came a little early (which is why Grandma didn't show up until after he was born). We were glad he came early since he was that big already. For a first time mother, the doctors said the delivery was quite fast, mother is recovering and baby is doing great as well.

    Thanks again everyone. This post was fun to come home to :)

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    1. Yes, you can lead them through ideas but giving them no guidance whatsoever is absurd. There are a lot of atheist parents who act like even admitting to their kids that they don't believe in a god is a horrible thing to do and indoctrination in the extreme. That kind of thing is nonsense. It's like saying you're not going to teach your kid that 1+1=2, you're just going to teach them the theory behind mathematics.

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  12. Congrats. Being a dad changed my workd for the better :)

    http://www.holy-bibles.org

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  13. That's awesome! Sounds like you're taking the right approach. Sabio at Triangulations has posted a bit of stuff raising his kids and teaching them about all religions in a non-judgmental way. His boy is definitely headed down the atheist path, while his girl is not really committed one way or another.

    I don't think he's got a post tag exclusively for parenting-related stuff though. :-( You could probably search and find it. He's also posted a few posts on the difficulties he has had due to his son's positions, as his son is not afraid to speak his mind about it. :-)

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