How do atheists raise their children? Most importantly, if you are an atheist, how would you explain things to your young ones when the outer world is constantly reminding them about God and religion?
Atheism is a choice. I was raised by a deeply spiritual family and I turned atheist. My younger brother, though respects and adores me, is a religious person. My parents raised both of us in the same way. Our basic morality is same but our choices and beliefs, as far as religion goes, are different. We both wouldn’t rob or kill anyone. But he prays and I read science fiction.
What I’m trying to say is that atheism, just like religion, is a matter of personal choice. Raise your kids in a neutral atmosphere. Let them be aware of religion as a social reality but encourage them to explore science, equally.
And finally, if you are an atheist don’t have a chip on your shoulder of knowing ‘the truth’. Just like you don’t want to be force fed with others’ opinions and ideas, do not try and force your views on others. Even though dogmatic practices of most religions are hokum in my humble opinion, there are a few good points to take away from religion. The myths, the legends and narrative structures do help young minds to form a moral core and to a certain extent are necessary.
I tell my kids episodes from religious texts. But I adapt them to bring out the humane aspects more than the religious aspects. One day they’ll grow up enough to make their own choices and whether or not they are right from my point of view, all I can hope for is, they’ll not rob or kill other people. And in that sense, if I achieve what my parents did with me and my brother, that should be enough.
*The question & its reply were first published on Quora