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Monday, 23 November 2009

Atheism For Kids

The latest atheist stunt is an unrolling of UK-wide billboards decrying the fact that children get labelled by their family faith before they can choose themselves. Philosophically this is facile and poorly considered. How else are adults to arrange the lives of children? Parents decide the names, schools, diets and doctors of children; what books they do or don't read; what bedtime stories they are told. Parents and other adults help shape childhood's imagination. Atheist parents are free to raise their kids sans God. It hardly makes sense for a Catholic family to do so. The atheist campaigners argue children should not have to decide a belief system until they are adults. That is rather like saying children should not have to go to school or eat greens until they are 18. Adulthood is precisely the moment for questioning childhood beliefs: not the moment for adopting them. Further, the soul is present at the start and cannot be left unsupported for so long. If adults choose to become atheists that is their rational choice. The soul of a child and a child's mind need loving guidance. Love is forever ignored by such campaigns as if faith was mainly about malice. It doesn't have to be.
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