The birds and the bees....to tie the knot.....and offspring....

Something has been bothering me and I haven't been to keen on asking this question because, well....it seems a bit taboo...maybe?

So as many of you know I was a Christian for over a decade and yada yada....became and atheist. The entire mindset around marriage, commitment, love, family, raising kids, having kids, having sex....everything is or seems somewhat different. It's as if the idea of having a family, getting married, and sharing your life with someone is not as central to having a happy and fulfilled life from the atheist perspective. This may be a wrong impression, (and I may be WAY off base here so please correct me if I'm wrong) so I'm going to just ask my question. Honestly and sincerely:

Do atheists want to get married and have kids?

What do you say?

I suppose we're talking generalities and everyone is different. I understand that, but it seems that atheists as a group are far less interested than theists. I'm wondering if that is true, why? If it's not true, then why does it seem that way?

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I don't agree. I think it might seem that way because it's more personal, and it's not considered a duty to god. Even religious people who aren't particularly interested are sorta pushed in that direction younger than less religious people, the less religious just have other things on their mind. You can probably find empirical support in census data; younger marriage in areas based on how orthodox the region is. I think that's also the reason for the higher divorce rates among believers than atheists.

Certainly. it just isn't a mandate from on high. My Evil Twin on T|A (Still around Reggie?) is happily married with a kid and seems to be enjoying the old familial bliss.  There's plenty of atheists who are happily married with kids. (PZ Myers, for example). 

Being in a relationship (whether its called marriage or not) and having kids is still an important part of the human experience. I guess we just don't have the deity-driven obsession with it that a lot of religious types do.

I don't know if other atheists want to have kids, I think it is a case by case basis there. However, an atheist has to think about things more, because he or she doesn't have a pre-written guide of what to do. As a result, thinking about purposefully having kids could easily come up with "no" as an answer.

A devout theist college roommate of mine told me that if the only kids that were ever born were the ones you could afford, no children would be born. I don't think he is far off on that.

I am trying to live a 21st century existence, operating inside and outside of the structures society has cast for me. I have been a father to 6 children, although none of them are my biological children, I take care of them, pay for them, and nurture them as if they are. Most of them are grown now, and following the many different paths that young people take. 

Do atheists want to get married, thats another interesting question. Anyone reading this has a story of how a marriage messed up a perfectly good relationship. I expect to spend the rest of my life with my girlfriend, but why do I need the government involved in that? It is still weird to call a person in their 40's a "girlfriend" though.

Mel, no, it's not, that just one of the things that keeps your relationship alive - I would love to reach 90, and look across my pillow at my 80+-year old "girlfriend" --

LOL!!!!! Age is a state of mind.

I may not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once, as I ever was.

What does your girlfriend think about that?

No tengo una novia, vivo solo --

Good question Belle!

I don't have any intentions of getting married nor having children.  I've never really linked that to my atheism.  I prefer to think that my lack of interest in having children stems from environmentalism.  I am pretty sure that we have plenty out there already.  On the marriage front, I guess I've never really met anyone that I was that interested in spending the rest of my life with.  I have my doubts as to whether or not I could.

Atheist women don't squirt babies out like watermelon seeds, so our cause is hopeless unless we can be persuasive. Unfortunately, a lot of atheists like being confrontational which results in resistance more than persuasion.

LOL. Maybe we won't have an army of our own children sent out in the world to spread our world-view, like the fundamentalists seem to desire. Maybe out efforts should be in engaging the already born.

Great article Nate...yah your brother is a lot like my brother. Atheist, married, happy, kids....I am just glad to be an atheist. If I ever do get re-married I will have done so rationally not emotionally. I think that makes the difference to a degree with long term happiness. Maybe that's why so many marriages fail, but yet atheists have the lowest (or at least lower) divorce rates. 

 I may want to marry someone in the future if a woman is crazy enough to like the real me.  

Plenty of women would be that crazy, LOL!!! (coming from your childhood crush :-)

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