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thalassa
25 Jun 2011, 17:29
Are babies born atheists?

(I will explain later, just wanting to get a gut check sort of opinion, ATM)

Taiga Pagan
25 Jun 2011, 17:40
They are born with the instinct of the animals... if they would grow without culture, they would become hunter-gatherers which would lead them directly to proto-Paganism.

volcaniclastic
25 Jun 2011, 21:49
I put yes. You can't believe in a god if you don't have enough intellectual prowess to know they exist (presuming you are in the group of people who thinks they exist as you read this)

DanieMarie
26 Jun 2011, 00:41
I voted "sort of"....just based on personal experience. I think it takes some perception to be able to pick up any sort of spirituality, but I come from a very secular family and started believing in spiritual things long before I was taught about them. I think it's a big reason I'm pagan actually...from very young onwards I felt a sort of connection with the natural world around me. And I had all these childrens stories ranging from fairy tales to different mythologies from different place. I didn't set foot in church until I was 6 (with a family friend), and we didn't really go as a family until I was 8 (my mom thought she'd try it out for a while), and I don't think I ever totally took on that world view in the first place.

So yeah, I think kids don't really have any immediate spiritual beliefs from birth, but they can pick them up pretty quickly on their own without being told to.

Medusa
26 Jun 2011, 00:44
God, I wanted to vote flying monkeys so badly! But you know, I was raised in a very Catholic home. And I was never a believer. Not even back then. Babies don't really have the concept of faith. And I don't know how you have religion without that.

Shadow Dragon
26 Jun 2011, 00:55
Following a god is only something that happens during a person's lifetime. They aren't born into a religion.

FantasyWitch
26 Jun 2011, 01:02
Following a god is only something that happens during a person's lifetime. They aren't born into a religion.

This ^

X

LadyGarnetRose
26 Jun 2011, 01:28
I put no. An atheist is somebody who has the mental ability to choose not to believe.

Medusa
26 Jun 2011, 01:30
I put no. An atheist is somebody who has the mental ability to choose not to believe.

ohh good point. Then can mentally retarded children be religious or Atheists?

LadyGarnetRose
26 Jun 2011, 01:34
ohh good point. Then can mentally retarded children be religious or Atheists?

I think it depends upon the individual.

ChainLightning
26 Jun 2011, 04:18
Flying monkeys.



And here's why:
Children aren't born any religion or even a faith. Not Atheist, not Christian, not anything but children. It's their parents that belong to whatever religion or system of beliefs (or disbelief). To that end, one could say that if the two parents are Catholic their child also is, de facto. But it's the parents' allegiances, not the child's.

There's reasons for that, too. The child, until a certain age, is completely and utterly at the mercy of the elements if not for the parents. They are completely dependent. For learning, for survival, for comfort and for love. For everything. Are babies atheist? No. They're babies. But yes, if their parents intend to raise them as such. Or, that is, until they are old enough to decide for themselves.

So: yes, no & sort of....
Or: Flying monkeys!

Ophidia
26 Jun 2011, 06:55
Dunno. Never had a baby on which I could experiment.

I don't want one, either, for experimental or other purposes.

Personally, I was born into a non-specific-religious-household-with-decidedly-occult-although-not specifically-Pagan-leanings, & got my personal deities from mythology books. To me, the Christian Bible and churches of my friends were just one more mythology - a boring one at that. I was also raised by my family's dogs - I think our dogs were atheists, or possibly agnostics. The cats believed they were Gods.

Dumuzi
26 Jun 2011, 09:24
Of course, not.

First of all you can't ask a baby a question that they don't understand, nor would you understand their answer if they had one.

Secondly, it seems all babies are born with the inclination of belief in a creator or higher being, which is why if you examine different civilizations from around the world, almost all of them reach the conclusion that there is some sort of higher power. Which leads me to believe it's not something you are told while growing up, but rather something you find out about yourself.

Hawkfeathers
26 Jun 2011, 10:06
ohh good point. Then can mentally retarded children be religious or Atheists?

Oh, that would explain sooooooo much.....LOL but I'll be nice and not go there. *snickering to self on this lovely midwestern Bible-belt Sunday.....*

Seriousy I agree with what Taiga Pagan said above.

LiadanWillows
26 Jun 2011, 13:03
I said no. But really I guess it depends on the age and maturity of the child. For example I was talking and asking about God when I was two years old. My cousin also was very inquisitive and believed in a higher power at a very young age. But I think children have a concept of God or a higher power but aren't able to express it or understand it fully.

Also I might mention as well that my brother is mentally retarded and therefor quite easily persuaded to be a VERY devout Catholic.

---------- Post added at 09:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:02 PM ----------


God, I wanted to vote flying monkeys so badly! But you know, I was raised in a very Catholic home. And I was never a believer. Not even back then. Babies don't really have the concept of faith. And I don't know how you have religion without that.

Babies have a simple concept of faith, they have faith their parents will feed them, change their diapers, and hold them. Whose to say they do not have some sort of spiritual faith as well?

Medusa
26 Jun 2011, 13:17
I said no. But really I guess it depends on the age and maturity of the child. For example I was talking and asking about God when I was two years old. My cousin also was very inquisitive and believed in a higher power at a very young age. But I think children have a concept of God or a higher power but aren't able to express it or understand it fully.

Also I might mention as well that my brother is mentally retarded and therefor quite easily persuaded to be a VERY devout Catholic.

---------- Post added at 09:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:02 PM ----------



Babies have a simple concept of faith, they have faith their parents will feed them, change their diapers, and hold them. Whose to say they do not have some sort of spiritual faith as well?

babies can't tell the concept of time. So I don't see how they have faith. Momma leaves the room. Baby cries as if the momma is dead. Babies don't even have patience which I think you need to have faith as well. Babies scream cry to tell you to pick them up. They don't trust you will know when to pick them up. So hence the waaaaaa like a waambulance even dogs can hear!

Hawkfeathers
26 Jun 2011, 13:19
Babies have a simple concept of faith, they have faith their parents will feed them, change their diapers, and hold them. Whose to say they do not have some sort of spiritual faith as well?

One of my favorite quotes, "Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings to greet the dawn while it is still dark. - James S. Hewett

Monk
28 Jun 2011, 07:52
flying monkeys what else would they be? Just try asking one and listen to their response and if that not monkey sounds I'm the pope.

Amelia-Mary
28 Jun 2011, 11:20
I voted sort of.

My reason being I believe they know something is there, they just don't know what, I don't know why I believe this, It's just something that I can't explain. They don't know what it is they are believing in, but they have a knowledge that they forget soon after birth.

Sorry if that doesn't make amazing sense :)

LiadanWillows
29 Jun 2011, 18:03
I voted sort of.

My reason being I believe they know something is there, they just don't know what, I don't know why I believe this, It's just something that I can't explain. They don't know what it is they are believing in, but they have a knowledge that they forget soon after birth.

Sorry if that doesn't make amazing sense :)

This is how I felt too, you explained better then I did :)

Caelia
30 Jun 2011, 02:23
Honestly, I don't think so. Faith is an abstract concept, and like Medusa pointed out they don't have the concept of object permanence until a little bit later in development. I can't trust a being that lacks object permanence to even begin to understand faith.

---------- Post added at 05:23 AM ---------- Previous post was at 04:58 AM ----------


ohh good point. Then can mentally retarded children be religious or Atheists?

Having been around those with developmental disabilities, it depends. I've met some who are and some who don't have an opinion either way because that thinking aspect never developed.

Simon Slade
09 Jul 2011, 20:36
I voted no, because atheism is defined as a conscious lack of belief. For someone to decide to not believe, they first need to be able to fully decide something. I do not think that babies, especially when they are born (because that would imply prenatal thought), are capable of complex enough thought to decide upon laws and attributes of the universe.

LiadanWillows
11 Jul 2011, 13:11
^great point

Hjarrand
17 Jul 2011, 14:48
babies are living beings, that need to be nurtured. And its the parents, who brought child into religion, not the child itself. Baby cant decide. Baby has only natural instinct to survive and a need to be loved. so babies are undefined, -aka flying monkeys, as much as i read from the description- and not atheist. Atheist chooses to not believe. antichrist is the one who hates Christianity. Skeptic is someone who knows there is something but isn't sure if that is the real deal. and i could go on. So. FLYING MONKEYS.

PharaohKatt
23 Jul 2011, 19:39
I voted sort of. I don't think anyone is born believing or disbelieving in god/s but some people do have a greater propensity to do so. Some people will be spiritual no matter what, some people will be atheist no matter what.