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Old May 20th, 2014, 11:16 AM   #1
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Post teaching kids right from wrong

I've recently had the job of "dad" thrust on me and came to a perplexing line of thought. when teaching the little one the "right" way i need to reason why it is the right way. there is always, the golden rule, "do it because that's what you want done to you". But that seems to fall a little short because the question of "why?" still persists. in other words, just because i want something good and do good to others it doesn't mean that will return in kind.

as a Christian, i reason in part through theological belief:

~God wants us to do right
~God made us to do right
~etc.



The question is,

if you are an atheist or agnostic how do you reason right from wrong to a child?


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Old May 20th, 2014, 11:46 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arcturus88 View Post
I've recently had the job of "dad" thrust on me and came to a perplexing line of thought. when teaching the little one the "right" way i need to reason why it is the right way. there is always, the golden rule, "do it because that's what you want done to you". But that seems to fall a little short because the question of "why?" still persists. in other words, just because i want something good and do good to others it doesn't mean that will return in kind.

as a Christian, i reason in part through theological belief:

~God wants us to do right
~God made us to do right
~etc.



The question is,

if you are an atheist or agnostic how do you reason right from wrong to a child?
Often by example whenever possible, otherwise talking to the child in a Daddy Voice and explaining the consequences.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 12:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
You could do like my grandmother, and say if you are not good, you will end up in jail, and all they give you is bread & water!

Seriously, one leads by example; no explanations needed!
what if you are a low life criminal? your example is to do crime. child learns to do crime.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 12:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tecoyah View Post
Often by example whenever possible, otherwise talking to the child in a Daddy Voice and explaining the consequences.
consequences only go so far.

why share or be generous. this may or may not be repaid.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 12:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
But YOU are not, therefore it is a non-issue! - hello?!

so how do you rationalize why your example is any better than the criminal's example to his child? (say a successful criminal that avoids getting caught)
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Old May 20th, 2014, 12:30 PM   #6
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Wasn't your original question how YOU can do your best as a parent??? YES or NO???
No.

It was, and I quote:

Quote:
if you are an atheist or agnostic how do you reason right from wrong to a child?
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Old May 20th, 2014, 02:14 PM   #7
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consequences only go so far.

why share or be generous. this may or may not be repaid.

Hey Johnny, can I play with your hot wheel?

No...It's mine.


Hey daddy, I'm hungry.

Bummer, if only I had a hot wheel to play with....It would make me feel good enough to cook.

Thanks from David
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Old May 20th, 2014, 03:36 PM   #8
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if you are an atheist or agnostic how do you reason right from wrong to a child?
Same way Christians do I suppose. Just instead of mentioning God they mention something else. Atheists aren't any different than theists other than they don't believe in a god.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 03:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
No need to mention God, even when a theist. What? Like the fear of God or something??? Seems like that would backfire.
I took you off of ignore to read this thinking perhaps youmight have something intelligent to say.

Nope same mindless drek.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 05:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tecoyah View Post
Hey Johnny, can I play with your hot wheel?

No...It's mine.


Hey daddy, I'm hungry.

Bummer, if only I had a hot wheel to play with....It would make me feel good enough to cook.

yeah, i get that and would do the same. so in this case the answer to "why" is if you don't , i don't do for you. thats good behavioral incentive.

however, it still may fall short. if that incentive is not readily there, why do good then?
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Old May 20th, 2014, 05:49 PM   #11
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Same way Christians do I suppose. Just instead of mentioning God they mention something else.
yes, and its the "something else" that i'm asking about.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 05:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
No need to mention God, even when a theist. What? Like the fear of God or something??? Seems like that would backfire.
why should your child do good?
you've posted numerous times here , yet have largely avoided that seemingly simple question.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 05:59 PM   #13
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It would be like the incentive "if you are nice to people, they'll be nice to you". Got it?
got it, only i actually addressed and debunked that answer in my 1st post here. oops. please try again ole chap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by arcturus88 View Post
... there is always, the golden rule, "do it because that's what you want done to you". But that seems to fall a little short because the question of "why?" still persists. in other words, just because i want something good and do good to others it doesn't mean that will return in kind.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 06:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by arcturus88 View Post
yes, and its the "something else" that i'm asking about.
I imagine that would be different for each person.

I haven't used God to teach my son morality. That is kind of a sore spot for him. I normally say that you need to do what is right because you want that done to you. There isn't any needfor an objective source of right because that comes from within. Atheists aren't sociopaths. Morality, right and wrong don't come from God it comes from our culture.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 07:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
Because the consequences of not can be quite unpleasant indeed.
So do good because of fear of negative consequences. Wait! wasn't that your issue here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
..What? Like the fear of God or something??? Seems like that would backfire.
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Old May 21st, 2014, 12:55 PM   #16
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...Atheists aren't sociopaths.
I haven't made that accusation here at all. in fact, i think i have been quite cordial with my query.
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Old May 21st, 2014, 08:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by arcturus88 View Post
I haven't made that accusation here at all. in fact, i think i have been quite cordial with my query.
Your Query suggests that non believers have to come up with some form ofcop out in order to know right from wrong. Truth be told. The golden rule is the basis for all religions and it is secular as well.

Do onto others as you would have them do unto you. That is the explanation of right and wrong regardless of deity or absence there of. You don't need a deity to come up with that. Every person is a person and they prefer respect and dignity, just like you. To me it's self evident.

I don't really understand what you aren't grasping. The golden rule idsthe basis for Christianity I.e. turn the other cheek, be slow to anger, don't kill, don't judge, don't cheat, don't steal. On and on it goes. Basically all of it summed up by the golden rule.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 10:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Polydectes View Post
Your Query suggests that non believers have to come up with some form ofcop out in order to know right from wrong.
No it doesn't. if you disagree, show me where you see the suggestion. its an honest curious question about how others with a different world-view approach the topic. maybe reign the hyperbole in a bit.


previously you stated the reason would be different for each individual:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydectes View Post
I imagine that would be different for each person.
but here, only a few posts later, you now say everyone arrives there by the golden rule:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydectes View Post

Do onto others as you would have them do unto you. That is the explanation of right and wrong regardless of deity or absence there of. You don't need a deity to come up with that. Every person is a person and they prefer respect and dignity, just like you. To me it's self evident.

I don't really understand what you aren't grasping. The golden rule idsthe basis for Christianity I.e. turn the other cheek, be slow to anger, don't kill, don't judge, don't cheat, don't steal. On and on it goes. Basically all of it summed up by the golden rule.
maybe rather than trying to speak for all of humanity, just stick with your personal approach.

Last edited by arcturus88; May 22nd, 2014 at 10:57 AM.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 01:03 PM   #19
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essentially the answers i have received from atheists and agnostics are:

- the golden rule. do unto others as you'd like done unto you.
- because i said so

i would like to thank you dirty heathens for your time and effort.
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Old May 22nd, 2014, 01:24 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
You don't seem to like anybody's answers. Maybe rephrase the question?

its not that i dislike them. i like them very much. in fact, each answer gives me a woody. i have just asked for additional data as to "why" do good. if you have a why. i have not said that my why is better than your why. its just a question. maybe people dont think about the whys. thats ok too.


answers like these just fall short of answering why:

-its self-evident

-just because
-its obvious
-its a no brainer
-end of story


some have answered by pointing to the notion of direct consequences of not doing good (ie punishment). thats a good why, but i question...what if that direct consequence is not there. why do good then?
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