Or the Koran, etc. etc.
My choices would be,
1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Through the looking glass and what alice found there. By Lewis Carroll
2. The Complete Hitch-hikers guide to the galaxy, by Douglas Adams.
3. Cats Cradle, By Vonnegut Jr. (Or almost anything by him, also particularly Sirens of the Titans)
What about you? What book or narative do you think presents a better understanding of Morality/reality/sexuality/ and/or spirituality, then the trash presented by the pig religions?
I disagree that the question posed is "negative".
"Replacing the bible", especially for children would promote tolerance, diversity and coexistence, yes the hallmarks of atheism. Children trust that adults teach them the truth. In short order it becomes too late and the result is the spread of AIDS, guilt, poverty, hate, suicide bombing, child molestation, subjugation of women, suppression of learning and science, hording of wealth, mind control, religious wars...etc, etc....
After all, they will be forgiven...that is all they really care about.
Do you think it is ethical to tolerate and coexist with people like that?
Indoctrination of the young is crucial to the survival of religion and the power it yields. This is why "baptism" of babies is such a big deal..so much so that "John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead". Ol john, it seems is a mini jesus.
Nope don't you dare wait for that kid to grow up and decide for him or herself. Heaven forbid if something should happen to them the mean time. Imagine the guilt !
@Robert - and they're blind to the issue of what kind of god would burn a baby for eternity.
I'm definitely against burning babies (and/or otherwise killing them). And I cannot imagine a true Creator who would roast anyone on a spit for eternity unless they had it coming.
Isn't indoctrination of the young crucial to atheism?
Hardly, Glen C. - it's hard to get them much younger than newborns, and all babies are born atheist. It takes indoctrination for them to be otherwise.
'..all babies are born atheist..'
All babies are also born none english speeking. Not able to solve differential equations. Non-political. Unable to hold their poop! etc.....
I wonder if being an 'atheist' is dependent upon the ability to make choices? Can a baby make choices? If my child developement class was right, 'choices' would be a higher function, that might not develope till a little latter than birth.
I expect that babies are bundles of poop and joy, not atheist insight. I could be wrong...
It's not a matter of choices, James, when it comes to what you're born with - no baby chooses whether it will be born with one arm or two, and no baby chooses whether or not to be born with a belief in a god.
Which do you believe it is, James, are babies born with a belief in a god, or without? Pick one, it's that simple.
I wish to suggest that 'babies', are not fodder for atheists, theists, or Buddists. They just are.
As I grew up, I was surrounded by Catholics, Lutherians, JW's, etc. I did not find out about 'atheists' till I started to question my families metaphysical commitments. I cut my eye teeth on Russell, Plato's Dialogues, family death, and exposure to the sciences starting about 12 years of age.
If I had been raised within an atheist household, I might have not had my divergence. My family did not denigh me exposures to other ideas, and partly encouraged my science interest. Both my parents were poorly educated, but my mother was a writer and reader. My father mostly killed things hunting and fishing it seemed.
Claiming that babies are 'born atheist', seems a little odd to me. I figure that we all become something over time. With a very large social list to pick from, either via a conscience choice, socialization, or process of discovery.
I expect that babies don't think to themselves early on, 'wow there can't be a god, I must be atheist!' They are very happy to have a tit, a clean bottom, a soft bed, and many square meals a day. 'Look Who's Talking' not with standing....LOL
@James - possibly you should refresh your memory regarding the definition of the word, "atheist."
If you disbelieve that babies are born atheists, could you please enlighten us as to which theology you believe they're born into? And don't worry about evidence, I'll settle for your opinion.
Ah a little better question.
As my opinion, I would like to suggest that babies are not born with a 'belief', but only needs and growing abilities. Theist or atheist, these commitments emerge out of exposure to culture and a growing understanding about the world. When it is said, 'Babies are born atheist', the underlying assumption is that babies are born issolated from a social or worldly context, and that their early cognition is established, neither of which is true.
While looking in from the outside, we could say that 'babies appear born with no commitments to social norms/customs/beliefs', a lable such as 'atheist' or 'theist', can not be imposed because the child's cognitive endowment is not yet ready to form these. While I agree that people can form these over time, sometimes rather early in life, it seems very premature to suggest that new borns are capable.
Looking back at my own cognitive maturity, I notice a slow increase in my ability to manage details about culture and the world. Being taken to a catholic church early on, felt very alien, and the statues, symbolism, etc, rather unreal.
I feel a growing disconnect between my experiences with the world and the church. The natural world being so much more interesting. My best early memory comes from times playing with snakes in the church play ground, looking at life in the local ditch, and collecting insects. After I received a telescope and microscope for xmas, I was off and running, never to return, except to test my commitment to the outside world and away from church. Tracking the moons of Saturn when about 9, I consider my actual break point, but I needed about 20 more years before I could say 'sorry church'.
While my present commitment is to an atheist position, I know that the 'truth' might be bigger than any 'ism' can contain. The absence of 'god', seems most likely, and at present, I can find no reason to renew the status of this hypothesis to 'possible'.
It is possible that the above does not meet with your acceptance, but it seems the the best I can do at present. I am only 58 this year, just a youngster in comparison to the mountains and stars...
I don't understand, James, what there is about this issue that makes it so complex for you. Either a child is born with an innate belief in a deity, or it is not.
If it is, then it must follow that raised in relative isolation, with no religious influence whatsoever, he/she will, of necessity, according to the extrapolation of the premise, automatically grow up with a belief in a supernatural being.
Otherwise, the child is born without a belief in a deity - a theist - it's no more complex than that. I've never known you to be devious, so I can't assume you're putting me on, just as - unlike Unseen - I've never known you to be argumentative, just for the sake of argument. I just can't understand why the issue is so complicated for you.
I'm not at all upset (which is sometimes not easy to communicate in written form), just trying to understand.