I was surfing through facebook posts today and ran across one from an old high school friend that said:
"I’ve noticed that children who grew up without a father or with an abusive father seem to have a much harder time believing in God when they become adults. For all the dads out there that love their children and have been there for their them throughout their lives, thank you for helping your children have the ability to believe in and have faith in the unconditional love of God. I wish every child had a dad that loved them..."
UGH. I want to respond to this because I want to share with her that I had a loving, present father and I am an atheist and - my husband also had a loving, present father and he is also an atheist.
On the other hand, do I want to ruffle feathers on father's day? Also I haven't outed myself to everyone yet - anyone else might read my post. That might create it's own set of problems.
I do so hate the idea that too many theists have that atheists must have had something bad happen to them to make them turn away from god - that atheists are all angry people that just didn't get enough love. I want to let her know that atheists can be loving and loved parents, daughters, sons, siblings, etc. Should I try to open her mind? is it worth it?
So ... having an abusive father hurts the ability to think irrationally and therefore fosters atheism in abused children? Someone has their head in an anatomically unlikely position. Either that or they can't be bothered to think logically at all about the subject at hand.
I won't say that all atheists have thought through the business of belief without evidence vs knowing with evidence, but to say that atheism is a product of rebellion against parental authority demonstrates to me that whoever wants to make that claim doesn't understand rational atheism in the slightest. It smells far more like yet another poorly based appeal to emotion, as so many theists' arguments are, and it fails utterly at understanding who we are or how we got to the conclusion that gods don't exist.
Uninformed, lame and stupid ... yet again.
You don't have to be Italian to know that Chef Boyardee is bad spaghetti.
And you don't have to have a sucky dad to read Isaac Assimov or watch "Zeitgeist" and figure out there is no gawd.
Hey, I grew up on Chef Boyardee ... among other things!
Seriously, whoever is making the assertion that bad fathers make for atheistic children is, to put it at its mildest, pulling this hypothesis out of thin air ... though my contention is that its source is more likely an orifice at the base of the back!
Chef Boyardee is best eaten cold straight out of the can.
I think eating it that way made me an atheist....
This is downright silly. My father had his faults, e.g. being brought up in a spare the rod Christian family, he was not slow to say "Grab ankles, boy!" But he was a just, compassionate man who demonstrated those qualities as if saying do what I do, not what I say. I always thought he saw church on Sundays as a social oblitation: his own father was a lay preacher and vehement prohibitionist, in between drinks. That was in the days when we had hardshell Baptists and regular ones. Both groups did not believe in dancing, smoking, and drinking, but as the saying goes, show me four Baptists, I'll show you a fifth. I did all the acolyte, choir boy, Joseph in the pageant type stuff to please my mom, who went to church to be seen and chat with friends on the front steps, the staging ground for most financial and legal pursuits of all good Whiskeypalians in the city.
No, heed Dr. Flynn's advice and quit trying to argue with dogma. It always trumps reason.
I don't know why, but this entire subject reminds me of what some bullys did with school kids in the 80's. They would convince your kid that they were "planned" and he was an "accident." Kids would come home upset and immediately ask the parents "was I planned or was I an accident?" Somebody must have had a big laugh with all of that.
This FB posting claiming atheists had abusive or missing fathers strikes me about the same way.
I do so hate the idea that too many theists have that atheists must have had something bad happen to them to make them turn away from god
This idea is an attempt to make atheists fit into the theist's picture of reality. A theist couldn't deal with the idea that atheists are people who critically examine what they're told.
It is as post hoc in reasoning as it is asinine in contemplation. My own anecdote isn't even of any use to these dimwits. At sometime early in this past decade I was diagnosed with chronic leukemia, the long-term kind. At approximately the same time, or a little earlier or a little later I realized that God was most improbable. After reading extensively in atheist writings old and new, and especially after my encounter with John Leslie Mackie's argument from evil, I embraced atheism. Now, given that I took 12 hours of religion in college, was baptised and attended for many years an episcopal church, became intimately involved with New Age occultism, abandoned western religions in favor of first Hinduism, then Buddhism, do you think I buried God in reaction to my learning that I had leukemia? Psssst! Clue: Familiarity breeds contempt.
What's hilarious is-I would have loovveed to have had a cool, smart atheist daddy!!!! Carl Sagan-ish, please! Most bad dads luv gawd-therefore, does religion cause bad parenting?!?He he.