Thursday, March 22, 2012

Breeding Atheists

Someone on the internet suggested that some atheists stay home from the Reason Rally in case “something” happened, that way there’d be plenty of us left to breed more.  Turns out, Poe’s Law, he didn’t mean it.

But people say that all the time and do mean it, and they’re simply wrong.  While home life and childhood culture can heavily influence a person’s religious choices, there is no atheist gene.  A lot of the atheists I know were raised in a religion.  Many Christians claim they used to be atheists (or at least were non-believing Christians or something).

Moral of the story: there is no obligation to breed when conversion (plus the overpopulation of the planet) is going strong.  It is actually offensive to suggest that women ought to be atheist-factories in a world where Christian and Muslim women are being forced to be religious-warrior-factories.  Cut it out.

Anonymous asked: While agreeing with the points made in "Breeding Atheists", I do have one gripe re the unstated assumption that atheist parents will, and *should*, necessarily have atheist children. No. Atheist parents should raise children that think critically. I have confidence that such children will turn out atheist, but there is no guarantee. An atheist parent should be more pround of a critically minded child that decided that Christianity makes more sense, than an unthinking atheist.

I don’t think that raising someone to be atheist is sustainable. I think raising someone to ask questions and to self-educate is preferable.  When I was a [christian] child, I was punished for asking the “wrong” questions or for reading the “wrong” things.  That didn’t stop me from doing it, though. I just got better at not getting caught.  By the time I became an adult, I had a pile of books I finally could get to read in peace, and I discovered to my dismay that the Harry Potter series were rather tame and that Dungeons and Dragons did not give me any ability or interest to cast magic spells.  Kinda like how studying the Bible after all those years didn’t give me any ability throw a mountain into the sea or heal the sick in the name of Jesus.  So yeah, nobody has to be raised atheist.  We just need to foster an environment for everybody that encourages asking questions and learning new things.

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