If, instead of xianity's lies, you'd been told of your blue-green algae / cyanobacteria / pond scum ancestors, ...

... how would your worldview have been affected? And perhaps your emotional health?

Can I answer those questions without describing a worldview suitable to my wishes?

I will try.

Can I answer them without parents who'd studied biology and who knew of blue-green algae, etc?

My parents had been lied to and had not studied biology.

Can I answer those questions without knowing what kinds of questions kids under five ask?

I had no kids but when I was in middle school a sister and brother joined the family. My parents gave me some of their child care duties but I don't remember any of the many questions my charges asked when they were three.

I did however answer a related question for lots of five-year-olds: How do people make babies?

So at five, most kids know people make babies.

A three-year-old girl asked me if TV sets can make babies. I will assume that other three year olds don't know what five year olds know.

If kids ask Where did I come from?, and if they know their grandparents, they might understand where they and their parents came from.

At what age would kids understand time well enough for parents to talk of their pets or other animals and mention common ancestors?

Here's what I'm getting at: At what age would I have understood talk about those most ancient ancestors?

The point of all this?

At what age would I have begun to understand that morality pre-dates homo sapiens, and homo sapiens pre-dates xianity.

The fear and guilt that xianity and other religions use to inculcate moral behavior isn't necessary. Fear and guilt serve other purposes, and these purposes include ensuring the survival of religious memes.

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I think I felt the same way, like if I can tell that this is just a fantastical story and it doesn't have any justification (evidence etc.), why do the adults believe it? I think really some of us just don't grow up; "adult" really only tells you that we're physically aged to a certain degree, it says nothing about whether our minds match.

How wonderful Booklover that your mother taught you science instead of fantasy tales. You were lucky not to have to be brought up in that grip of religion.

oh wow - how perceptive of her. I am proud of your daughter for seeing through the myths and fantasy.

I love this idea! I don't know how city kids learn about such things, but being a country raised kid, and in the butcher shop and slaughter house all day, I learned a lot about insemination, birth, death, blood and guts, brains and intestines.

What was known about the slime and molds of beginning of life my mother and father didn't know. God created man to have dominion over all that swims, crawls and flies were the only biology and life sciences I had. Mom was determined I would know about menstruation and pregnancy from the time I could read. She always had books for me that were not the books put out by the church. And so I knew where babies came from long before my peers. When my children came along, I used those same books and for some reason they all disappeared. I suspect my children shared them with their friends.  

Mom felt victimized by her culture and wanted to leave it behind, to the great dismay of my father who liked the dominion part of religious training. He thought he had dominion over her and had the right to claim that right. She rebelled, but was never able to get out of the marriage or the subordinate role. 

As for me and my children, we did escape, and we did learn all that there was to learn through life sciences as early as they could read. We had lots of books to which they referred, and they seemed comfortable with all they learned. One funny episode was when a male and female dog were hooked together, and my kids invited all their friends over to watch. One neighbor gave me a tongue lashing. I wonder how her kids turned out? 

The evolution part was hard on my parents, as was plate tectonics. They just couldn't get the hang of those concepts, even though Mom was a trained nurse. She knew about blood and gore, but not about evolution from apes, let alone from slime. She thought women were required to suffer. Oh my goodness. That is a new realization for me. I remember her telling me that women had to suffer, that is their lot in life. Perhaps that is why she could not escape from terrible abuse. 

Excuse me, this is an emotional moment for me...talk to you later. 

She rebelled, but was never able to get out of the marriage or the subordinate role.

Joan, this stirs two memories; one from about 1940, the other from the late 1970s.

The first was at an extended family picnic. I was about ten when I heard a woman on my mom's side of the family say to women she was standing with, "If he hits me the first time there won't be a second time."

Though my dad was sometimes violent to my brother and me, I would have been surprised out of my head if I had later heard of him hitting my mom. (I later settled scores with my dad.)

The second was when I had quit the computer business and thinking about going to law school. I was active in the effort to get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified and knew a lot of feminists. I heard some of them talk about the anger they felt toward mothers who had stayed with abusive husbands.

Yes, I know that anger. 

If my parents had taught me about evolution, they wouldn't have had a reason to isolate me. Yes, that would have been much healthier!

I'm currently laid off, but just last night attended our annual Christmas party. My christian boss asked about my wife and I explained that she didn't feel well. He immediately said he would pray for her, and appeared to bow his head and do that very thing right on the spot. I simply kept quiet. My question here is how should I have acted when I returned home to find my wife still alive? Should I have started praising god and proclaimed it to be a miracle, or should I have assumed my boss had a direct link to god? Maybe I should have just assumed my wife would get better naturally. Nobody was said to have had any life threatening illness, and I did return home early to find her doing just fine.

The above is the way of the modern christian, and the logic of it all goes from prayers right on into evolution. They know the truth and also where we came from because the Spiderman comic book told them so!

Wait a minute. Did I get that right?

That is what I call "cheap prayer" or "cheap religion". When some learn of problems or conflicts, they are more than willing to pray, but to actually think about solutions, or options, or possibilities, or to take some action seems out of their realm. Did he ask how you are getting along, being laid off? Did he offer to give you a recommendation? Did he offer to help you find other employment? Did he express concern about your wife's care and if she had everything she needs? Did he offer to help find ways to get your needs met? 

Frankly, I doubt it. He might be wiser and kinder than people I know who quickly offer a prayer and disappear in fear they will get a task dumped on them. 

When I developed cancer and went through all that wretched stuff, the family, friends, neighbors who really made a difference were the ones who checked with Cary to see if we needed anything from the store, or if we needed transportation, or if there were some task they could do for us while we were caught up in the healing process. One dropped off a jar of homemade jam and biscuits, and left them on the porch, not wanting to disturb us. Another offered some suggestions about how Cary could be a help to me when I was down. Another brought us a jar of lentil soup. 

Now, that is what I call real friends. They didn't forget us, they thought of ways to be helpful, they asked us for what we needed and offered thoughtful suggestions while they did not impose or intrude. 

What good is prayer? It doesn't change anything! It doesn't diagnose, treat, or enhance healing. It doesn't even make me feel better. 

And above all, personal health problems should not be used as opportunities for proselytization!!!

This, Joan, is the benefit of prayer. Imagine a "failed prayer" over some illness and the dialog starts.

A. "I can't understand why god didn't heal you, and he did heal Bobby?"

B. "Yeah, god healed Bobby."

Now we have the job of sorting it all out, and the christian apologetics begins. Pick the answer in 1 out of 4.

1. You didn't have enough faith.

2. God was playing his bullshit games, laughing at everyone the whole time.

3. You didn't hold your jaw right.

4. Some diseases may go into spontaneous remission and even mystify the doctors.

IF you are chrisitian we know the answer was number 1, so you keep practicing on that one while you secretly believe the answer might have been number 3. Give it enough time and you tend to think the answer is number 2, and that brings you directly to understanding of answer number 4.

A lot of time has went by now and you are no longer a chrisitian.

Don't you hate that Dennis?  I know I do.  If I have one more offer of prayer I think I'll scream in the persons face 'I'm atheist goddammit.  I don't want,or need, your prayers".  I wouldn't but I want to sometimes.

I do hate that prayer response, but I work for the man, so I don't let him know that the preacher is now atheist.




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