My father has always been religious, but for the most part encouraged me to find my own thing. Recently he has been getting more religious and outspoken about it. The other day he and my step-mom were over, and as they were leaving I heard my dad say to my 7 year old daughter: "What? You don't really think we're monkeys, do you?" My daughter replied "We're not really monkeys, we are type of ape like chimps and gorillas." "Then why are there still chimps and gorillas?" " Because we didn't come from chimps and gorillas. Chimps, gorillas and people came from a different animal. Like me and *insert cousins' names here*"
That stopped me dad on his track, I was smiling from ear to ear. I wonder what my dad thought when his argument was dismantled by a 7 year old.
I faced that exact same question a while back, and let me say that your 7-year old gave a much clearer and better response than I did. Bravo!
Thanks everyone. This has been the topic of conversation between my wife and I recently. She came up to me the other day and actually told me to stop teaching my kid science because I'm 'turning her into an atheist'. My immediate reply was 'what's wrong with being an atheist?' Evidently she wanted me to also teach her about spirituality, which I flat refused to do. My wife used to be catholic, but since university has had a lose affiliation with wicca.
What brought about our conversation was an exchange she had with our 7 year-old let's just call her 'E'.
So my wife was trying to tell E about some strange energy wiccan believe in.
E: "Heat is a type of energy and we can messure that, we can see how hot things are. Electricity is an a type of energy and we can messure that. Can we messure this energy?"
Wife: "No you can really messure it."
E: "How do you know it's there?"
Wife: "I don't know."
E: "Then why should I believe it?"
That little exchange is what sparked my conversation with my wife. I of course defended E's position because...she's right. E has an unquenchable curiosity for science and I want to encourage that. She's endlessly facinated with astronomy, biology and paleontology. She tells me she wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up. The only time I ever spoke with her about god(s) is when she asked me about it. I used the example of zeus as a god that people used to believe in and no longer do, and she took that and ran with it.
My soon-to-be-ex-wife? It seems rather presumptuous of you to think you know anything about my marriage. Despite our disagreements from time to time, we have a healthy and happy relationship in which we strive to raise our children as best we can.
I also find it interesting that you seem to think that I am interfering with what my wife wishes to impart to E. Not once have I tried to stop my wife from teaching our daughter anything about her spiritual beliefs, or in anyway implied that she is confused, misguided or deceived in anyway. During our conversation I encouraged my wife that if she had something to teach E, to do it.
Wiccans and other wooish people use the word "energy" to mean about the same as "vibes". Energy means the ability to do work, not the "feeling" you get from something and not spirits. I also don't think most atheists are interested in engaging with religious people on their own terms. There's enough of that going around, with things like being considered hostile for not wanting to humor religious people by participating in prayer/pagan rituals (yes, I've been pressured into those too).