I'm sure someone has already asked this but I'm new to this website and I'm not sure where to go.
Yes I am 19 years old, no I do not have kids, but I have two very young brothers, one is 5 and the other just turned 2. My mother is bound to teach Catholicism to my young brothers. I am the only Atheist in my entire family on both my mother and my father's side of the family. I love my brothers as if they were my own kids and do not want to see them sucked into creationism. My 5 year old brother is so smart I can't even believe it sometimes, and I want him to learn evolution, I want him to know that we shouldn't believe in something without any proof because well... that's just being an idiot.
So how can I help my brother actually THINK and not go towards creationism?
Well, you could make it a game; kids learn faster when you play with them while teaching
Hm, good idea.
Get this awesome book and read it with them. It is really damned good.
Thanks, I'll definitely take a look at this and other books.
Oh wow those look like great books. Thanks! I just love my brothers so much I don't want to ever see them preaching crazy nonsense to others.
This might be a little bit too much for the 5 year old, but if he's as bright as you say he is he might get something out of it. If nothing else, the illustrations are really cool.
Hi. Your brothers are lucky to have you looking out for their critical thinking capabilities. I have a seven year old. Here are my favourite resources for evolution. There is an excellent book.
Here are games in which you can devolve a photo of yourself and create a species and try to make them survive environmental change - the key is diversity.
Here are a couple of really good videos.
With regards to religious education - what we did was teach our daughter about the 6 major religions - find some key facts, read some child friendly stories, dance to some music - and also teach her about secular humanism. This helped her to see how many religions there were and not get sucked into one viewpoint - she decided she was a secular humanist - she may change her mind of course. Another thing which is really good for avoiding Christian creationism is to show your brothers lots of different creation myths online - the chinese one where the world came from an egg, Egyption one where the world came from the dismembered body of a god etc. This will also help your brothers to see the Christian creation myth as equally mythical.
Thank you very much! I loved the links!
You are in a tough spot. I know. I am in a similar situation. My attitude is live and let live. My relatives don't try to convert me, so what they choose to believe is not my business. If your 5 year old brother is as smart as you say, I suspect that he will figure it out for himself, because ignorance and religious belief go hand-in-hand. At some point, he will discover that you are an atheist, at which time he will have the opportunity to compare your mother's belief system with yours. Older brothers are VERY influential with younger siblings. Whichever way he turns you should accept it gracefully.
Both of my brothers are like my children. Right now I am a college student, so to my 1 year old brother I haven't been able to spend as much time as I used to with 5 year old brother. I basically raised my 5 year old brother and he is very attached to me, so is my 1 year old brother, but not as much as my 5 year old bro. I know brothers look up to their older siblings and I will definitely try my best to lead him to critically think more than he already does and try to steer him away from my religious family.
Encourage them to ask questions and make sure they get true answers. The pillars of theism are weakened by an enquiring mind.
Make sure that you take every opportunity to put Christianity on an equal level with not only other faiths but also fairy stories and fiction. The Greek Myths are useful for this as they are child friendly and considered non-threatening by bible followers as they have never considered them as an alternative scheme of theism. It was the position of Roman gods in a BBC drama that opened my eyes to the fact that all gods are bogus.
Don't push too hard as you can alienate your siblings or the adults around you. Even at that age the kids have to think for themselves- facilitate this. Oh and keep planting those seeds of scepticism.