To doubt or not?
Re: Christopher Foulds’ column of Jan. 15 (‘Wondering about God since the beginning of his time’):
Regarding how to respond to a son’s curiosity about religion and, specifically, the Bible, is indeed an issue for many parents and one that must be handled carefully.
Of course we in the atheist/agnostic community believe the best way to create an atheist is to read the Bible, especially the Old Testament.
Many so-called Christians, even fundamentalists, haven’t bothered to read what can only be described as a horror story of murder, mayhem, genocide, infanticide and pretty much anything else one would find abhorrent.
For many families that do not adhere to any religious tradition, it’s not something that’s discussed much and, in many cases, our children aren’t interested.
However, I would say Foulds’ attitude is the correct one to adopt in his case.
It should be pointed out, however, that the book his son is reading is just that — a book.
The fact many people seem to give it more credit than that really doesn’t enter into the equation. There are many religions that predate Christianity and there are many other books that exist in other religions that disagree with the Christian Bible.
The Bible was written by men many years after the events it describes.
It is a historic novel at best and a truly scary one at that.
When the son gets to the really horrible stuff in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, he may have to go to bed with the lights on.
Most of all, I would urge Foulds to urge his son to study other so-called holy books as well, and religion in general, to help him come to his own conclusions about the subject.
Most atheists I know have very well adjusted, happy and healthy children who have never had to live with the threat of an eternity of horrible punishment.
They are indeed good without God.
Kamloops Centre for Inquiry