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I'm a middle school Science teacher. I have to say that I HATE it when my students claim they are Atheist or Agnostic.

It bothers me because I came to be Agnostic/Atheist through research over the years. I took several Science and Ancient Greek and Roman classes (I was a History major and Science minor). I've been to Italy, Turkey and Greece. I've read countless books on early Christianity, the Bible and secular authors.

So it bugs me when kids say they are Atheists, without doing any real research. I'm sure they are just repeating what a family member has told them. However, it still bothers me.

Can anyone relate?

Tomofhb 5 May 5
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122 comments

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5

I disagree, my son (now 25) came to atheism at a very young age, simply because he thought the ideas of religion were stupid.
I simply did not indoctrinate him, and given that mental freedom when he encountered religion he dismissed it in the same way I dismissed fairies and goblins.
When he sees me on here he finds it laughable that I spend so much time and effort NOT believing something and defending that disbelief, when he quiet rightly says the whole idea of god is idiotic.
I have explained how my generation unlike his, was indoctrinated from birth but how he exists in a world were the majority were not, and those who were are simply ignored or are subject to the same ridicule we gave to anyone over the age of 5 who still believed in santa (don't get him on santa, he believes teaching kids that is tantamount to child abuse)
It gives me hope for a better world ahead.

15

No. You are upset that it took you an extreme amount of effort to see the obvious? The kids you're teaching haven't been as brainwashed as you were. Leave them alone, what was done to you isn't their fault and you holding them accountable is ridiculous.

13

I require my first graders to travel to the north Pole, study animal aerodynamics, and carefully watch 'Elf', before they can claim to not believer in Santa. Otherwise I hate them. Stupid 6 year olds.

Ha, good point!

11

No I think that is crazy. It really doesn’t matter how they arrived at not believing in a god. If they don’t believe in god then they are atheist or agnostic. They don’t have to “earn” it to your satisfaction.

11

Mabey the question is why did it take you so long when it just seems like common sense to many others...

MsAl Level 8 May 5, 2019

I think my education slowly helped me become more logical.

11

No. People can arrive to the conclusion that they're atheists in the same manner that they stopped believing in Santa. This is not a sign of scholarship; it's evidence that one cannot be fooled so easily. Kids should be commended for their skepticism.

Buxx Level 7 May 5, 2019
10

What? Are you jealous that you wasted so much time buying the scam? You act like thinking rationally is something you had to earn instead of just doing it, which sounds cuckoo sir. You confuse me.

10

Yeah it pisses me off too... how dare them have common sense!

10

So they didn't do it the way you did, and yours is the only right way to get there? Did you get to the same amount of trouble to research the truth about the Tooth Fairy or did you just decide you no longer believed?

GwenC Level 7 May 5, 2019
10

One should not have to research so hard to determine if they believe in God. My eldest daughter because an atheist before I did, just by determining the Bible seemed incredulous and by the fact god is invisible.

Personally, it's religious belief that should be picked up through careful study and atheism by default.

10

No, I cannot relate, at all.
We are ALL born atheists. Everything else must be taught.
Indoctrination does NOT work on everyone.
It didn't work on me. I always knew gods and religion were false.

More and more kids are being raised without religious delusions.

It doesn't take "years" to learn that all religion is bullshit.
The sooner people learn this and embrace it, the better off we all are.

Personally, I think you should be heartened by it.

Why should children have to come to logic and reason AFTER finding out
they've been lied to and possibly abused by religion and it's adherents???
Children can still be taught about the history of how religions and the belief in
gods came to be.
Why the hell should they have to wait until they're "older"????

I suggest you re-examine your own position.
You're a science teacher. That's shouldn't be hard for you.

10

My kids grew up with their dad who is non practicing Jewish and me who came from a broadly church of england tradition. Neither I nor their dad has any faith and Isaac told his teachers at about 8 years that he was an atheist. Mrs Brice (lovely kind teacher) told him 'oh thats your parents talking' Isaac then went into an hour long diatribe as to how he came to that decision. Both my other two are atheist and came to that decision as youngsters. I think it is wrong to imagine young people don't know their own minds. Mine certainly did.

9

What about kids who claim to be Catholic, Jewish, Baptist, or Moslem. Do you think they aren't just parroting what they've heard? Why do you feel like it's necessary to waste years to arrive at common sense conclusions? Why so damned bitter?

JimG Level 8 May 5, 2019

I'm not bitter. I wish they could give me a good reason why they are atheist. Most of the time they can't.

@Tomofhb - Perhaps help them to learn to make logical arguments - in science, but applicable to this particular subject so parents cannot complain?!?

@Tomofhb You're asking a lot of middle-schoolers who've probably never had even a cursory introduction to logic or critical thinking. I realize that most schools don't give teachers much leeway in their subject matter, but you can offer extra credit assignments to encourage students to research certain topics.

9

Would you feel the same if they all said they did not believe in Zeus?

Hey now, I'm as real as it gets. 🤓

9

I stopped believing in gods when I was 5 or 6. Pretty much when I learned that all our myths, like Santa and the tooth fairy were made up as well.

You don't need to do years of research to say you don't believe in something. If that were the case, we'd be stuck researching for life on things like God, bigfoot, Nessy, Santa, manticores, dragons, giants, and any and all other mythical beasts.

Don't get your undies in a twist because someone reached the same conclusion as you after you wasted years reaching it. That'd be like getting mad at someone for doing a math problem in their head in a minute because it took you 5 minutes with writing your work out. Jealousy is not pretty.

9

I was raised Catholic and decided on my own, by age 12, that the god I was taught to worship was not any type of god that I wanted anything to do with. I wanted no part of that bs. Here I am, almost 45, and I have never waivered from that decision.

9

No way.
Atheism is a default position and should be for ANY one claiming to be a scientist. Until the case for God is proven; agnosticism has to logically prevail.
If your students got there before you; then you might want to ask yourself if they are smarter than you are.

9

No. I was an atheist at 12/13 and it had nothing to do with what my family told me.

8

Pffff... What a ridiculous things to say. As if believing in your imaginary friend was the baseline and you would have to justify not believing in him. As if it required research not to believe in something. Omg you did all this research and STILL think this is a reasonable way to justify your believes?

Dietl Level 7 May 5, 2019
8

Very odd. I didnt need to do research.. I was in the 3 or 4 th grade in a christian school studying the bible and logic alone was all I needed.

Yes reading the Bible was a big turning point for me.

8

I knew I was an Atheist at a very young age, and as others have said I think it is the natural thing to be if you do not brainwash the child. I also had the survival instincts, growing up in ridge runner country, to keep my mouth shut.

I read their entire bible, which solidified my Atheism. I even won nearly every damned stupid bible quote contest.

Leave them kids alone.

Yes reading the Bible was a big turning point for me also. When I ask them how they came to be an atheist, they never say that they read anything, watched a documentary or anything.

8

I would think it is a reason for celebration

I am proud of them, just would like them to have a little evidence.

8

If they don't believe in a god, then they are just as much an atheist or agnostic as you are. Deal with it. Don't be butthurt that they were lucky enough not to be indoctrinated or smart enough to see through the bullshit that you struggled through to get there. That's just jealousy, and it's worn ugly on everyone. So you had to do a lot more to convince yourself of what they thought was obvious? Sucks to be you, I guess... Maybe they're smarter than you... or maybe they really are just parroting what someone(s) close to them are saying... so what? You're just mad because they had an easier time of it. Tastes salty, doesn't it?

I agree with you, i weren't say it in that kind of language though.

@AnggelloDlivio Fair enough, but I feel it was warranted, considering the whinging tone of the original post.

@Kafirah if im not sure, i can't insure warrantes to others, but im just one main. And thats what makes me happy, teaching others what i know and not to mucks theyr person, the ideas its fair to attract, but never a person, becuse at that moment we warrant them the same right.

I'm not mad, just thought they should have some evidence.

@Tomofhb evidence that they don't believe? Their word should suffice. What evidences would you accept? Here's how I see it going: "I don't believe." "Why not?" "Because it's stupid." "Well, okay then. Welcome to the club."

8

People treat atheism like it's this fucking problem on a blackboard that only Good Will Hunting can solve.

It's not. It does not take years of study or an ingenious mind to be an atheist.

It takes, "you know ... maybe that book about the guy coming back from the dead with the talking pigs, unicorns, dragons and stuff written by a whole bunch of dudes thousands of years ago and reedited countless times by many more dudes as recently as a hundred or so years ago ... maybe that book, the one that talks about demonstrably fake events that never happened in history, that consistently contradicts itself, sometimes from chapter to chapter ... just maybe ... maybe that shit isn't what the guy who tells me I'm going to hell if I don't give him 10 percent of my income every week says."

7

I started out as a non-believer, was led into "believing" by others, but stopped again by the time I was about 13...

My interest in research and history only fortified what I had already concluded, not the other way around.

Surely there are many paths to the same conclusion...some of us got there faster...so what's the big deal?

7

You're being an intellectual snob. (And I'm a teacher too who loves intellectual issues.)
Atheism is a natural state for kids. Religious indoctrination is what changes that. I brought up my kids with neither religion nor atheism. They're basically atheist now.
Atheism doesn't need any of your fancy research and proofs. It is merely the position that religious folks have no proof for their claims.

I'm not an intellectual snob. I'm just surprised when I ask them for evidence and reasoning and the often don't have any.

@Tomofhb No evidence and reasoning needed. Can you take off your teacher hat and relax? It's up to those who propose God to provide evidence and reasoning. In the absence of this, atheism is the default, natural position.

@Tomofhb evidence is require for proof of existence not for non existence, you have it backwards, why do you come from a position of default belief, it should be the opposite.

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