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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Daughter says she doesn't believe in God      Home login  
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 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 1
Daughter says she doesn't believe in GodPage 1 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
In and of itself, that's not a problem. She's free to believe or disbelieve as she chooses.

But I asked her how she came to this conclusion. And her response was "I don't know, I just don't believe in God." And I have to admit, that bothered me a little.

She's 15 years old so I know she's at a point in her life where her identity and belief structure are still forming. However, am I expecting too much when I look for a more reasoned reason for not believing in God?
 grizzelda
Joined: 6/25/2006
Msg: 2
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Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 9:37:07 AM
Frankly I would be more inclined to be curious why she would believe in a God rather than the other way around. Other than a bunch of stories from a "book" that has been translated and manipulated for the past 2000 years, there is no valid reason to believe in God other than blind faith in some higher power with a pretty odd agenda...
 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 3
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Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 10:00:44 AM
I think she might be holding back her real reasons from you, which I think is normal for now. At that age, feeling wronged by religious peers is enough to disbelieve in a god. I think it depends a lot on the environment and social circles she is in.

It is a very "weak" atheism, in that it is not well-reasoned, as you pointed out. Christians are often admonished to be ready with reasons for why they believe. So, too, should an atheist "worth his salt" be ready to give ample reasons, as our society is pretty theistic by nature.
 MichelleRenee1234
Joined: 10/19/2009
Msg: 4
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 10:25:16 AM

It is a very "weak" atheism, in that it is not well-reasoned, as you pointed out. Christians are often admonished to be ready with reasons for why they believe. So, too, should an atheist "worth his salt" be ready to give ample reasons, as our society is pretty theistic by nature.


She's 15 and figuring out what life is about. You can't expect a 15 year-old to be as forthcoming and "well-reasoned" as you would an adult. And, anyway, a person's beliefs are their own business and nobody needs to "give ample reasons" for them. They can believe whatever they choose for any reason they like. Don't you think debating about religion is a waste of time? (Unless, of course, the purpose is to convince the other to believe what you believe.)

Teenagers are learning about the world and still learning about themselves and their place or purpose in this world. They experiment in all kinds of ways. Experimenting with beliefs and opinions is one of the healthiest ways they evolve and get to know themselves. As they learn about different belief systems, they reject what doesn't sound right, and take in (and sometimes reshape) what seems right. If you believe in something so strongly you hold it to be an evident truth, as with many Christians who believe you're going to hell if you don't believe in God, I could see why you'd be worried. If I didn't care about people and the world, my parents would be disappointed too, because that's something they hold (and held) dear to them. But you have to allow people to be who they are--whoever they are--and just teach them to be mindful and respectful of themselves and others. When you push someone to believe in an ideology, there's always a good possibility you'll push that person further and further away. Teach by example, and hope it's all for the best.
 U make it entertaining
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 5
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 10:34:32 AM
I have three children, and had them all baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith.

My youngest, now 19 did amazing in Confirmation class. He was top of the class. On his confirmation day, the minister told them that the choice is now theirs, they can choose to return to church or they can choose to not come. This is their choice. My eldest son was mortified, how dare the minister offer these young adults a choice.

As we were leaving, my youngest turned to me and said, "Mom, I'm not coming back, I don't buy it".

Well, I have to respect his decision. It is his life, and he has the right to choose. I provided him with the education to make a decision, and that is what he did. The minister said, that this happens at this stage. I remember doing the same.

My son and I have had many many discussions on the topic of religion. And you know, I understand where he is coming from. I too have left the Lutheran faith, as I feel that organized religion has caused more difficulties then it should. Yes I still believe in God, and you can call him what you will, Allah, Buddha, energy, whatever.

It is time to release your daughter. Let her make the choices that she is comfortable with. You are not held accountable for what she chooses. She may not fully understand why she wants to back away, however in time she will understand, and come back if need be.
 U make it entertaining
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 6
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 10:36:37 AM
Opps, double post.


 flyguy51
Joined: 8/11/2005
Msg: 7
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Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 10:40:25 AM

She's 15 and figuring out what life is about. You can't expect a 15 year-old to be as forthcoming and "well-reasoned" as you would an adult. And, anyway, a person's beliefs are their own business and nobody needs to "give ample reasons" for them.

Yep. Agreed. Did you skip over my first paragraph?

It's all part of a person's spiritual evolution. I was just saying that this is hardly a sign that she is on a persistent atheist path. Maybe so, maybe not. She might become an astrologist for all this means.
 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 8
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 11:00:51 AM
Perhaps she just isn't able to express why she has a gut feeling that the whole god thing doesn't add up, but really isn't able to put her finger on any one thing. She surely realizes that the tooth fairy is a myth and greek gods were myths, so perhaps she just has no reason to think the god in modern religion is any different. Would you expect a logical argument from her for believing in god?
 NothingLeftToBurn
Joined: 6/11/2007
Msg: 9
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Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 11:02:06 AM
The reasoning behind all the religions is how can existence be there without being created by someone. If you accept the reasoning, then the question arises, "who created the God?" And if God can be there without being created then what is the problem? Then existence can be there without being created. The moment you accept an outside agency to create reality, you fall into a vicious circle.

It's better to drop that word from her vocabulary. Call it pure consciousness. And if you're too attached to the word God, call godliness. Don't make it a noun. Make it a quality.
 MichelleRenee1234
Joined: 10/19/2009
Msg: 10
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 11:57:23 AM

Did you skip over my first paragraph?


I read your first paragraph. I responded to your second.... ?
 motown cowgirl
Joined: 6/30/2010
Msg: 11
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 12:56:39 PM
well 15 year olds aren't exactly known for their ability to articulate abstract philosophical ideas. her non-belief is a work in progress. either that, or the "i don't know" was merely offered as a convenient escape to avoid discussing why she thinks whatever religious stuff regimented adults have been telling here all these years is full of shit. yes i remember what it was like to be 15.

i hope you will allow her the mental freedom to come to her own conclusions over time without demanding that she immediately explain what she most likely hasn't fully figured out yet for herself. instead of insisting that she justify her beliefs, why don't you help her explore them by suggesting different books that she can read, representing various points of view, which will help her to form a more well-reasoned conclusion on her own?
 scorpiomover
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 12
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Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 12:58:08 PM
She's 15. She makes all kinds of decisions without knowing quite why. She might figure out why. She might change her mind. Either way, the important thing is that you support her, whatever she chooses.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 13
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Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 1:28:58 PM
I think that is the most honest, natural, authentic justification there is to the lack of a positive belief in the existence/non-existence of a supernatural being for which there is no evidence.

What ought to give you pause, in my opinion, would be if she stated the opposite. That she maintained she did hold a positive belief (or disbelief) in the existence of such a being, but did not know why.

There is a profound difference between, "I don't believe in god" and "I believe there is no god".
 JP1111
Joined: 4/13/2008
Msg: 14
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Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 2:49:41 PM
I do hear you and can understand as I too share her belief in not believing in god and came to see that at roughly around the same age.

Over the years, I did ask myself some important questions that the bible wants us to invoke as part of our way of being but, again as I grew up I came to see that I do have those same values and ways of being ie. Love another, being honest etc... but I don't share other things god is said wants us to believe in ie. The 10 commandments, going to church each week etc... So I would let her be who she is and let her base what's important to her on life based on what she feels is important to her!
 SoldAsIs
Joined: 8/14/2009
Msg: 15
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Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 3:39:41 PM
In and of itself, that's not a problem. She's free to believe or disbelieve as she chooses


Um, no, it isn't a choice. It just happens.

If you believe that you can choose what you believe, then choose to believe otherwise.
I'll wait ---

OK, done yet? Did it work? Were you able to choose a new belief? And REALLY believe it?
OK, now choose back (LOL).

You can choose what you HOPE for, but not what you believe.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 16
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 3:58:51 PM

Um, no, it isn't a choice. It just happens.


Yup, "just happens."

Anything else you want to surrender your personal accountability to?
 lateā„¢
Joined: 2/1/2010
Msg: 17
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 4:27:54 PM
Maybe she never believed.

Maybe she was just "going along" with the crowd and finally go tired of it, ...and doesn't yet have the words to describe it. (teenagers and explanations --> wait a year or two, seriously).

I'm one of those who never believed, ...in spite of growing up in a church-going (but not fundamentalist) family. It was tradition, my paternal grandfather was a pastor (though he died before I was 2).

I was about 7 or 8 when I asked my dad, "do I hafta' go to church?"

He basically said, "If you have to ask, then no."

He never held it against me, and never lost his own faith, though church attendance pretty much stopped a year or two after I stopped going.

Sorry, but I think most are born atheist, ...and most fall to peer and parental pressure to believe.

It's very easy to help those with tenuous "belief", stop believing, ...as very often a religious belief is not the result of "self examination". Seriously, ...just ask them why they believe.

Often the answer is just:

"I don't know, I just believe in God."
 az109
Joined: 7/3/2010
Msg: 18
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 4:58:15 PM
Belief is a traditional form of pretense that to be adopted by a person they would meet a need by doing it. Believing does nothing for her, so she doesn't do it. It's the same reason why some people don't polka dance. It does nothing for them.
 Ubiquitous.
Joined: 11/7/2009
Msg: 19
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Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 7:29:44 PM
Either way, not believing in mystical sky ghosts is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

Realizing all of the understanding, perception, clarity, wisdom that you "experienced" from "god" was not really from an external ghost, but was rather a projection of your own subconscious onto the world around you demonstrates your own inner capabilities and is an empowering, self-lifting bit of knowledge.
 sum1reel
Joined: 6/5/2005
Msg: 20
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 8:14:24 PM
Whether its age 15 or 50......pple who "don't believe" in a supernatural creator do so because.... their "reality" is steeped upon that which is: seen, felt and heard!.....the criteria may vary from non-believer to non-believer (depending upon age & life experience) but the premise from which the (non)- belief originates is virtually the same!

Unfortuantely (more often than not!), organized religion very often ushers many individuals towards "non belief" because of....... failure to understand (and represent) Biblical scriptures as they were really intended to...and that is for "spiritual enlighten-ment"...and not for mind control, ritualism, and regimentation!!!

@nothingleft to burn


And if God can be there without being created then what is the problem?


The PROBLEM is that:.....everything that we see in existence in this universe, will eventually DIE!!!......which means that it all had to be thrown into existence at some point, thus invoking "cause & effect"!...........this not only includes life forms like ourselves, but matter as well (solar systems, galaxies, etc)...as the universe continues to change & expand, it will slowly "cool" to the point where the energy level will be nihil...thus everything that we are made of will cease to be!........hence our universe is programmed to expire!!!...............Not so with "god"...who (in order to be God) has to 'stand' outside of time & space!...thus has no begining and no end ( a concept beyond our realm of understanding!).
 Inicia
Joined: 12/21/2007
Msg: 21
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 8:38:40 PM
WT.( a concept beyond our realm of understanding!). Than why you trying? IMO: Your daughter doesn't know and you don't either.. so leave it... Let her find herself...do not burden her with your walk and do not take her walk as your burden....
http://www.metrolyrics.com/let-it-be-lyrics-beatles.html#
 CheshireCatalyst
Joined: 9/14/2007
Msg: 22
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Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 8:41:38 PM
I don't remember when I first reached the conclusion that god doesn't exist. Your daughter probably hasn't read any formal "skeptic" literature (I am assuming) so she hasn't likely realized that she can't explain her lack of belief in the same way that she can explain why 2 +2 is not equal to 5. In other words, her disbelief or skepticism is not a "mathematical truth" to her at this point.

Maybe she has learned from you that the conclusions of science are always provisional, so she is just reserving judgement for the time being until she is able to explain it more logically.

Cheers
 sum1reel
Joined: 6/5/2005
Msg: 23
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 8:49:21 PM

WT.( a concept beyond our realm of understanding!). Than why you trying?


the concept of the 'eternal realm' is something that cannot be understood in the same way as 'temporal' existence does......but it is something that must exist in order for there to be programmed universe such as the one we find ourselves existing in!
 chrono1985
Joined: 11/20/2004
Msg: 24
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 9:54:46 PM
I think she is probably holding back the reason to avoid hurting your (or someone you know) feelings on the subject of religion. When you look at the history in those text books, coming forward with religious beliefs that are not mainstream can be really scary.
 shakeitupbaby2012
Joined: 8/12/2010
Msg: 25
Daughter says she doesn't believe in God
Posted: 8/24/2010 9:57:23 PM

However, am I expecting too much when I look for a more reasoned reason for not believing in God?


I hear you as a parent. It sounds like even though she's free to choose that you may want her to make the right choice,,,meaning one that has a basis? People inevitably think about , explore, and decide these things in time. In their own time.
Has she been raised in the church? What exposure has she had to religion as a whole? If there hasn't been much, or if it's been a large amount, she could just be uninformed or
burned out by being pressed to attend church. Those are just some things that come to mind. She may have simply heard some discussions on the subject. That's a good opportunity to ask her to expand on the "I don't know". ;)
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