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Do you believe all children are naturally born Atheist?

When we are born, we are born without the knowledge of gods, but are taught these things. Any thoughts on this and why?

lferguson900 4 Apr 8

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Actually, until they’re two years old, mom and dad ARE god. When a child cries, it doesn’t know it’s wet, hungry, tired, afraid... it just senses something that troubles it and relies on the it’s parents to determine what’s wrong. Studies show that by the age of two, most children have started to develop a sense of self, but are still developing.

The reason they believe us about the gods in the first place is that they’re wired to believe most of what mom and dad and the adults in their life tell them. Whether or not this god takes on a name or become more than a growth phase depends on what they’re taught.


Atheists and nudists.



Can't be an "atheist" until/unless you are taught the god-concept. Babies are born with exactly zero concepts.

Semantics, really.


Yes. Belief in a god(s) has to be instilled in children.


Born atheists, belief is taught.


They are neither born atheist nor born religious. They are simply born.


Yes. Religion is cultural and need to be taught.

Sasha Level 4 Apr 9, 2018

I completely agree


Yes.... and everyone is atheist towards other gods that aren't their own 😉


I believe most children are raised by there parents to be brainwashed into believing what their parents believe no matter what anyone else thinks. As the children grow they keep the beliefs of the parents to make thier parents happy. As they grow they learn and can eventually gather thier own ideas and decide to stay where they are, or branch out and find thier own way. In this way the child has no option but to grow into the parents religion even though they are born with no knowledge of anything.


Maybe ignostic is a better label for a baby, since such concepts are meaningless to a baby to whom all concepts beyond eating and sleeping are meaningless? 🙂


Yeah, I guess at the end of the day, making a claim that babies are anything is really disingenuous.


The human mind doesn't know or believe anything at birth so it can be neither agnostic (doesn't know whether or not there is a doG) nor atheist (doesn't believe there is no doG).

I agree which is why I think this question is ill founded... it's not like you can ask a baby if it's atheist, agnostic, or theist! But of the three I still maintain that agnostic is the better fit of the three.

This is because I would argue that the first time that they can express belief if they have not been exposed to religion, they will say "I don't know", an agnostic answer, and thus this demonstrates the "tabula rasa" nature of a baby better than an atheist or theist answer.



Deb57 Level 8 Apr 9, 2018

Children are born agnostic. Any other answer is illogical. Why this is is easy to prove:

Ask any child who has not been exposed to religion ( tabula rasa) who god is, do they exist, what do they do and they will answer " I don't know". This applies even before they can answer (I.e. right as they are born) since communication is an obvious requirement of expressing belief.

In short, it is not until a child has been exposed to the notion of god(s) that they can choose to be a theist or atheist and not before.

I disagree. A child cannot believe in a concept it has not been introduced to and is therefore an atheist. Granted as there is no knowledge of god they are an agnostic atheist, but they are atheist as you cannot believe in a concept that you have not been introduced to.


That is correct: nobody can claim to believe or unbelieve in a concept it hasn't been introduced to.

You have to be aware of the concept of god to have an unbelief in it and thus a baby, not being aware of that concept, is not "without god(s)" and thus an atheist but "without knowledge" and thus agnostic.

An agnostic atheist (a confluence of terms I don't agree with but I digress...) as traditionally interpreted is "I don't know if god(s) exist or not but I believe they don't". Again, by virtue of belief requiring you be aware of the concept, a baby cannot be agnostic atheist.

But here is the acid test: ask the baby what it believes! Is it's inability to answer more in line with what how an atheist would answer, a theist, or an agnostic? I claim silence as an answer to the question of belief in god is more the purview of the agnostic and not the atheist or theist. 😉


What this really boils down to is that you and I understand the terms atheist and agnostic very differently. My understanding is that theism relates to belief and gnostic relates to knowledge.
As far as I can tell, you think that as an atheist I believe no gods exist - which is false. I do not believe that gods do exist.
Agnostic atheist is not a confluence of terms - they complement each other. -Atheist because I do not believe gods exist as I have seen no evidence to substantiaite the claim that they do. Agnostic because I do not know that gods could not exist in some form in some universe - they address different parts of the argument.

The only time to believe is when there is evidence to substantiate the claim (even bad evidence). It would be reasonable for a young child to believe in Santa Clause - Parents assert it is true. Presents appear, Mince pie and sherry consumed. As critical thinking develops, child questions and analyses the evidence and stops believing.

The child cannot believe in the concept of santa claus until it has been introduced - so has neither belief nor knowledge until the concept has been introduced.

So in the broadest sense, children are born agnostic as they are born without knowledge (survival instinct to feed etc excepted) and so cannot believe in a the concept of god/s described by theists - so are, by definition, atheists.


"-Atheist because I do not believe gods exist as I have seen no evidence to substantiaite the claim that they do. Agnostic because I do not know that gods could not exist in some form in some universe "

Whereupon I find the "atheist" portion to be redundant in light of the "agnostic" portion: if you don't know, then you have no basis on which to form belief. If you have no knowledge of me and someone asks you what my middle name is, then you have no basis for believing it's "charles" or "javier" or "annabella" nor would you have a basis for unbeliving it's one of those choices.

"So in the broadest sense, children are born agnostic as they are born without knowledge (survival instinct to feed etc excepted) and so cannot believe in a the concept of god/s described by theists - so are, by definition, atheists."

But consider that they can't unbelieve in the concept of gods as described by atheists either. As I stated above, by being agnostic and having no knowledge, they have no basis for informing their belief one way or the other. So they can't be atheists or theists... and I'm starting to think they can't be agnostic either (read below)! 😮😮

"The child cannot believe in the concept of santa claus until it has been introduced - so has neither belief nor knowledge until the concept has been introduced."

Honestly, the more I talk about it, the more this quote exemplifies problems with how I feel... insofar at atheist, theist, and agnostic all fail to capture the cognitive state of a baby. The baby has no knowledge so it would be agnostic. But it has no beliefs so it can't be theist or atheist, both of which are expressing a belief in something.
BUT, by that same logic, a rock is agnostic and so is a plant: both lack the cognitive process and ability to merit any opinion on the matter. And while a child is neither plant nor rock, it too lacks the cognitive process to merit an opinion on the matter and it seems that any of these labels cannot (or should not) be applied to an object that lacks the ability to cognate and express belief or knowledge. 😛

Divided by a common language. Belief and knowledge are not the same.

I agree; "The limits of my language are the limits of my world" as Wittgenstein said.


No. Children are naturally born Fundamental Baptists.


I don't think its possible to believe or disbelieve until you are aware of the ideas of God or the theoloy attached. Ignorance is bliss in this case.

AmyLF Level 7 Apr 9, 2018

Certainly all children are born without even a concept of a diety. Families and cultures shape spiritual connection.


Of course they are. They have no knowledge of the god claims, much less accept and believe them. Children have to trust their parents for their sustenance and safety when they are growing up, so they tend to believe everything their parents tell them, Santa, Easter Bunny, God, but after you've been indoctrinated for years and never told opposing views, it can be hard to change those beliefs.


Atheism is the default state of the mind. When you stop pushing it somewhere else, that's where it will rest.


Agnostic? Yes. Atheist? No. Agnosticism is the natural state of not knowing, and when you're first born, you know nothing beyond the experience of finding your way out of your mother. To outright disbelieve in god(s) as required by Atheism, you first need to understand the concept of gods. Something that's way beyond the abilities of a newborn.

plural noun: agnostics
a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God"
That's quite some baby.

@NoTimeForBS By that definition I would agree. I see it more as not claiming knowledge one way or the other. We could debate whether agnosticism is something that has to be consciously arrived at. Atheism definitely is.

I'm just having fun Nicole. Have a nice day.

@NoTimeForBS But you've raised an interesting and valid point. No offence taken, whatsoever. I tend to see the distinction between agnosticism and atheism as being where you put the negative: it's the difference between 'not believing there is' and 'believing there is not.' But you've introduced a third possibility that's worth contemplating.

Like most subjects, I'm trying to approach this with an open mind. That requires a willingness to embrace new ideas and perspectives.

That’s not atheism, yo.

@NicoleCadmium atheism is not ‘the belief there are no gods’


God and religion are man made concepts and have to be taught/instilled. So, yes


Yes, we are all born with no beliefs. If our family doesn't raise us with a particular religion, our society and the world around us still will impose some accepted mythos with beliefs that are likely taken for granted unless the child grows up with a critical mind and a bit of skepticism, in seeking the truth in how things should be.

I wasn't born catholic, but I was raised catholic. If I had been born in India, I may have been raised Hindu, in Asia perhaps Buddhist.


Chldren are a clean slate, we corrupt them on many levels, and that includes, in many cases, shoving religion down their throats.

That's why there are psychiatrists!

We corrupt "them"? Actually we corrupt ourselves, as "them" are us


A God does't begin at birth just like life doesn't begin at conception. They both evolve into a final product.

yes I like your answer we find out at the end of our life what our life has been


Yeah I definitely feel we are all born atheist and then we get taught things which leaves an impression on us and we form our thoughts based on what we are taught sometimes it takes along time for you to know what you actually believe and what you were taught to believe.


Of course! How on earth would they learn about religion before they're born?

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