Sunday, July 14, 2013

This Week's Highlights

My son is 2 weeks old, I figure he should start life on the right foot, so I'm reading him the demon haunted world. As I was reading a line really popped out at me that I thought would be perfect for the blog, as it is one of the big reasons I think religion is dangerous. Since I'm reading the kindle version I can't tell you what page it's on, but it's location 414 on kindle

The second item today is from the bitchspot report episode 17. Cephus said this right near the beginning of the episode (2.5 minutes in or so)

As much as I think religion is a problem, and I very much think religion and a lack of skepticism go hand in hand, I would rather have someone stay religious but be generally skeptical in the rest of their life than become an atheist and continue thinking uncritically about the claims they come across.


  1. Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World"? Excellent choice.

  2. I think that if people were generally skeptical, religion would take care of itself. Just because you manage to be skeptical on one idea in your life doesn't mean anything in relation to all the ideas so many atheists are totally unskeptical of.

    People are generally stupid and atheists seem to be no less so.

    1. I'd like to think that as well, it would seem that the application of skepticism to religion should lead to atheism. So true skepticism should lead to atheism, but as you point out, atheism certainly doesn't lead to skepticism. We see plenty of examples of that.

  3. I think more skepticism needs to be applied in atheism as well. People tend to believe anything and everything authority figures tell them with regards to science, evolution and atheism. But, they are also people and can make mistakes. Ideally it what I want when people read my blog, so that they can correct me if I am wrong. Additionally, it is what will eventually put and end to theism as Cephus said.

  4. Demon Haunted World is great, but how would you respond to a theist saying that you are indoctrinating your kid?

    Not that I think that, just playing devil's (God's?) advocate.

    1. I guess it would depend on exactly what claim they are making. If they are accusing me of indoctrinating my son to be skeptical, then I suppose they are right and I'm fine with that. I want to teach him to think critically and examine his world and most importantly, be willing to change his mind if the light of new evidence.

      If they are saying I am indoctrinating him to be atheist, I'm not sure exactly how I would respond. When the God concept comes up I'm going to tell him what I think. But more importantly I'm going to tell him why. I'm not going to force him to be an atheist, but if I'm being honest, I would be disappointed if he becomes a Christian.

      Also, I want to protect him from the things in the religion that I found traumatic growing up. Primarily the existence of hell and the idea that we are all sinners. If those ideas come up I will be pretty insistent that they are bullshit. Does that mean I'm indoctrinating him? Perhaps so.

  5. I'm highly skeptical that sort of reading material for a baby is doing anybody any good but you...does this mean you are not going to read him nursery rhymes or stories of the Easter bunny or Santa Claus because they are not real?

    If I were you, and I was a successful parent five times, I would turn on some Beethoven that will allow his neurons to wire properly, teach him all the choices as he grows older, then allow him to believe what he wants to believe about religion when he grows up.

    I did...and ultimately raised five very successful and happy agnostics who are quite satisfied with their choices.

    1. The proof is in the pudding: My Grandchildren

      My oldest grandson is in his last year of residency to become a Pediatrician.

      The next oldest is working on her PHD in International Accounting working for a huge aircraft company who is paying for her higher education.

      The next oldest finished high school at 16 and is now creating artificial intelligence for a computer technology company.

      The next oldest spent a year in Iraq determining how the Army works from the ground up and is now in his senior year majoring is Architecture and will go back into the Army an officer to make it a career and has remained on the Dean's list.

      The next oldest has dual degrees in accounting and computer science and is working for one the the government's largest contractors.

      The next oldest has a degree in Medical Bionics and is working on her Masters.

      The next oldest is in his third year of Animal Science planning to eventually become a Veterinarian.

      The next just graduated high school, also an honor student, and will begin his first year of Mechanical Engineering.

      The last has never made less than a ninety five in her first seven years of school and can likely become anything she wants to be in the future.

      Give him the correct tools and so will your son, Hausdorff.

      P.S....None of them go to church.

    2. That sounds like an awesome group of grandchildren, you definitely have lots of good reasons to be proud :)

      "I'm highly skeptical that sort of reading material for a baby is doing anybody any good but you"

      I agree 100%. I hope to some day read him this book again when he's ready for it. For now I just want to read him anything so he hears my voice and such, I figure what I read doesn't really matter much and it was on my reading list. If it gives you any idea, I also read him the end of a book on economics that I had been reading before he was born. He has probably heard more about banking regulation than any other baby around :)

      As to the Easter bunny and Santa Claus and stuff like that, as far as I am concerned they are harmless fun. It also seems that figuring out that Santa isn't real is a good skeptical exercise when the time is right. I imagine when he figures that out I will be simultaneously proud of him, but also sad that the magic is Santa is finished.

      As to the classical music, we've done a little of that but honestly I haven't really thought about it too much. Not a bad idea to add a little more.

    3. O.K....I'm relieved. :D I've read researches on the benefit of playing classical music, even while the child is still in the womb. I did that because I loved it, having taken 11 years of piano lessons growing up.

      I saw a piece on World News recently that they have found that playing it in neo-natal nursery's provide a wide range of benefits to sick babies, including lowering blood pressure, anxiety, and a host of other benefits.

      Have fun with him...these first years are priceless and pass by way too fast.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...