Answering those who believe

Certainly in the past and definitely in the future, if you are planning on raising atheist children then you, and they, are going to be confronted with dozens (if not hundreds) of people, some of them educated or in positions of authority, who are going to want to question your beliefs with their hocus pocus. Obviously we here at atheistparents.org believe the best defense is a good offense, so we have put together some of the best things to say when confronted by those who hope for an eternity of saying thank you to a celestial North Korean-like dictator.
 
The purpose of this page is to give atheist parents simple arguments as to why there is no possible way that we could imagine raising children with telling them stories and trying to give them guidance using the Bible, Koran or Book of Mormon as a moral compass.

Your comments or critiques are appreciated and there is a section below where you are able to tell us your thoughts. (Hell wishers:  Please use the webpage Hate Mail & Hell Wishing  where we will not delete your comments and leave them up for everyone to see. This page is for us.) 

 

The Ten Commandments

Many Christians believe that without the Bible they would not be able to understand this world or the difference between right and wrong. Yet there are some major problems with the commandments which guide Christian morality. Let’s take a look at what they really say:
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Essentially this means that unlike the Muslims who believe in only one god, Christians can have as many Gods as they please as long as there is a big main god, like the Greeks’ Zeus, with a pantheon of lesser gods under him. If you actually look at this law, you’ll see that the Christian god actually recognizes the “existence” of other gods.
2. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth.
Christians actually hate this one, because those pictures of Jesus or of God, or of the holy gates, or Saint Peter, or Hell -- all the wonderful pictures in kids’ Bibles and stories, mean that those who read them will not go to heaven. Remember, this is a commandment!
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
This could mean that just saying “thank god” or “goodbye” (which actually comes from the old English “God be with you”) is sinful. It could also mean that saying “Jesus H. Christ” is fine because it doesn’t refer to the big, main god.
4. Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee.
The Sabbath is Saturday; ask any Jew!
5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
Actually a good commandment, but one Jesus really didn’t like very much: "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother...he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26)
6. Thou shalt not kill.
Fair enough, but do you actually think civilization would not have made it this far without this law, even if it hadn’t been literally etched in stone? It doesn’t help that on the very next page Moses orders the slaughter in god’s name of everyone who was worshiping the Bull. So can you kill those who believe in something you see as wrong?
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Including Rape? Judges 21: 10- 24 I guess that is okay?
8. Thou shalt not steal.
Once again, this only holds true unless you steal from those who worship a different god!
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
It doesn’t say thou shalt not lie -- lying seems to be fine, just not in court when under oath. Other than that, god has no problem with it.
10. Thou shalt not Covet...
Google the word Covet: to desire wrongfully; to wish for eagerly. If your neighbor has a new car and you say to your wife, “I wish I had a new car!” You are going to Hell!

The thought that Christians actually think that these commandments actually guide them to understand the difference between right and wrong is amazing. Where is the commandment against rape? It isn’t there! Where is the commandment against genocide? Where is the commandment against child abuse? Abraham would have been happy they didn’t have that one, and if Issaac were alive today he would be in foster care. How about the commandment against selling your daughter as a sex slave? Nope! And Christians want the Ten Commandments posted in every classroom and recited every day?
Imagine, Christians want the thought of a celestial dictatorship, someone who could watch over you, read your thoughts, and punish you for those thoughts, sort of like a celestial Kim Il Sung.

Do you have a comment? We would love to hear them!

Write a comment

Comments: 19

  • #1

    alpha buford (Thursday, 26 April 2012 18:26)

    i have a question? why do human behave so inhumanly and malicously toward one another they are willing to sell there "souls" so to speak or even kill maim rape or torture just to "prove" they are right or because god told them so! Its apparent to me and i could be wrong that humanity will never have peace Real Peace anyway because they and their minds are debased, warped and sceward; you guys place youre trust in people who have not displayed that they can be trusted you naivly think the world belongs to you or you can do with other beings as you wish ignoring or even dismissing the consquences of youre actions atheist like theist are two faced jaded indivinduals and its common throughout human history that when a person is given power most likely he/she will abuse it!!! People should stop trying to control things cause when they do they only get in the way and mostly make things worse, people that say they are trying to help you could be lying straight to your face and yet you believe them cause they can never lie to u right?? in closing i'd like to ask which is better THE REAL REALITY OR PURE EXISTENCE or A LIE, A FANTASY CREATED BY YOUR MIND A DREAM WORLD WHERE YOU ARE PUSHED DOWN INTO THE DURT WHERE YOU FEEL HEAVY ALL THE TIME, DULL, GRAY AS LIFELESS AS A DOLL OR PUPPET U SPEAK BUT ITS WITH SOMEONE ELSES VOICE,THE FEELINGS "SEEM" real but they are not your loved ones gone never existed your life gone it was never real to begin with; just all alone drifting through a void dreaming of awakening but you never wake up no one to love or be loved by lonely and alone hmm!? sorry for the grim picture i painted lol see you later bye!

  • #2

    Sean (Thursday, 12 July 2012 21:38)

    So... there is no spoon?

  • #3

    Jennifer (Wednesday, 10 October 2012 12:22)

    I can remember as a child singing along to a VHS tape called "the original top ten" that my parents bought us. It was a cute cartoon with a song for each commandment. I loved that tape. Looking back now as an atheist adult I feel tricked into thinking the commandments were peaceful and positive with super fun melodies. I know better now.

  • #4

    Future Parent (Sunday, 16 December 2012 22:58)

    We are both atheists but have decided to encourage our future children to just think for themselves, be nice to everyone, stand up for those in need and never let anyone tell them any different if they feel that it is right. I wish more people would be less concerned about a child "religious beliefs" and instead focus on rearing a happy, healthy, good and intelligent human being. So much in the world could be fixed with the next generation. But no, we have much much farther to go.

  • #5

    Maria (Monday, 29 April 2013 18:30)

    Dear alpha buford. I believe that learning grammar and spelling will help you get your point across. Otherwise no one will take you seriously no matter how many caps you use.

  • #6

    Emily (Friday, 11 October 2013 18:16)

    Bull. As a Christian who has to do research for a class on this organization, you COMPLETELY misinterpret the 10 Commandments.

    1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. That doesn't mean God acknowledges there are other Gods because there aren't others. It means you put him over everything else. People create other gods such as football, or work, which just means they put those things first. Does not mean they are really "gods".

    2.Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the waters beneath the earth. That's the King James version. If you look at the NIV "You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below." It's more of an extension of the 1st commandment. Simply put, you do not create idols and bow down to them.

    3.Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Key words: IN VAIN. Saying things like thank goodness or goodbye are not in vain. Things like "god damnit" however, are in vain, or with malice. Using Jesus Christ is also against the commandment because they are both one in the same. Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Same person and yet not the same person.

    4.Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. This commandment has different meaning not than it did in the time before Christ. Now days it just means worship the Lord on the Sabbath at the beginning of the week, weather that is Saturday for the Jewish or Sunday for Christians.

    5. Honour thy father and thy mother. the verse you and your team chose (Luke 14:26) is complex. Why I don't know. But this pastor explains it well. Read the whole thing before you criticize please. http://pastormark.tv/2011/11/08/tough-text-tuesday-luke-14-26

    6. Thou shalt not kill. Now I cannot tell you why Moses ordered others killed because I'm not a pastor or a Biblical scholar, but he must have had better reasons than "kill those who believe in something you see as wrong." But I do know that there are two types of killing. One which is Murder. That is planning and scheming and killing with malice in your heart. Then what we today call capital punishment. Exodus 21:12-14 says "Anyone who strikes a man and kills him shall surely be put to death. However, if he does not do it intentionally, but God lets it happen, he is to flee to a place I will designate. But if a man schemes and kills another man deliberately, take him away from my altar and put him to death." I won't go into too much detail and bore you but in Old Testament times, God ordered for cities to be built for those who sinned but on accident. These cities were safe havens for those who truly did not mean to do what they did. And then God gives us the right to punish those who killed with hatred.

    7. Thou shalt not commit adultery. If you actually read Judges 21:10-24 closely, God did not order that. It was the congregation of Israel. Apparently the men needed wives. Now was that right? Of course not! but was God condoning it? No!!! The entire point of these narratives in Judges is to illustrate how wicked Israel has become.

    8.Thou shalt not steal. Again, the Bible did not condone stealing anywhere. If you defeat your enemies, and no one is left to have those possessions, then they can become yours. BUT most of the time if my memory is correct, those spoils of war were given to God, not the people.

    9.Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. Who said lying is fine? It's not fine in court, or anywhere else. The NIV says "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." Doesn't mean your under oath at all. Lying is never okay.

    10.Thou shalt not covet. You're right. You shouldn't want something your neighbor has. You should be happy with what you have. But it doesn't mean you're going to hell for it.

    I just wanted to share what the Commandments actually meant. as for your questions at the end, there are commandment that address it, you just have to think about it and look into it. Now I absolutely hate Christians who force Christianity down your throat. It's embarrassing and for that I am sorry. That is not what I was doing here. I was just clarifying some things for everyone.

  • #7

    Lance Gregorchuk (Wednesday, 16 October 2013 18:49)

    I personally love this debate with those who follow the god of Abraham. I love that we as atheist completely misinterpret what they can so easily interpret, well until they come to the rape and killing and stealing part which their god allows. Let’s look at their arguments one by one:


    1. There are literally hundreds of gods which exist today all over the world and there are thousands of gods who existed before the Jews made up their god. This “monotheistic” religion with 3 gods, well 2 gods and a ghost, states without interpretation “Thou shall have no gods before me!” compare that to the god of Mohamed which states there is only one god Allah and his prophet was Mohamed. This is pretty clear- If there was only one god why didn’t he say “I am the only god?” I guess he liked to confuse people.

    2. Seriously???? It is the same thing and if he ( I am assuming it is a he I mean with all the pictures of him) really meant it to be an extension of the first one, why didn’t he just include it there. I am sorry but no one reading this can seriously think that there is any difference between the two, this is very clear. No pictures of heaven, no pictures of Jesus, no angels, it is very specific, and don’t draw fish.

    3. What if I say “goodbye you idiot”? And I love the three gods are really one god, like Zeus, Apollo, and Apollo’s cat. Why aren’t there any really bad sayings against your ghost? Like “holy ghost these commandments are strange”? Or “What the holy ghost are you doing?” Finally there is actually no evidence that a Jesus Christ even existed outside your book of fairy tales, and don’t bring up Josephus or Pliny the Younger either.

    4. Or Friday for the Muslims and Thursday night for the JW’s? I love how things meant sometimes different things back then and new things now are you planning on using that same logic when we get to killing, raping, stealing and coveting your neighbours wife? Why was it not OK back then and then the rules changed half way through?

    5. Of course it is complex and I love how everyone who believes in magic people in the sky gets to interpret something’s and others we need to take other things at face value?

    6. Seriously??? What kind of a god do you believe in? What kind of killing do you justify again? If god asked you to kill someone would you do it or would you seek medical help? Do you actually know how many people your god killed or ordered killed? Do you know how many the devil killed? If you actually read your bible you will see hundreds of examples of a crazy “North Korean like” Dictator, and this is the god you worship? You read the bible how can you not be an atheist or at least someone who says “This god is pretty messed up”?

    7. Oh so that’s Ok then, thanks for clearing that up for us. Apparently they needed wives? God didn’t condone it but he just watched, that is perverted!!! Once again great god you have there.

    8. Spoils of war, you are getting better, and did god put them in his treasure chest after he got them? This is the reason why you Christians have caused so much pain and suffering in this world because this is how you justify things, you people are seriously sick in the head and I mean that, how can you actually put those words on paper? How can you worship that kind of justification?

    9.So if my wife asks me if I am throwing her a surprise birthday party and I lie and say “NO!” that is still a lie, in what circumstances can I lie and which ones not? Who is allowed to interpret this?

    10. Yes it does! I hope you do not teach your children that killing and raping and taking wives and spoils of war is OK? Oh wait you were at an atheist parenting site, If you need any more clarification why the earth isn’t 6000 years old, the Flintstones is not a documentary film about when we lived with dinosaurs, snakes and donkeys can’t talk, we speak different languages not because of your Babble story, Neanderthal man lived and white people, Asians, all those other ancestors who left Africa share 4% of our DNA with them and African (Black people) share none of their DNA with them, proves evolution. So do dogs (evolved from wolves) Mules (from horses and donkeys) and hundreds of other examples. This all proves your god does not exist, but seriously even if it did, it would definitely not be something I would ever worship and I ask myself after your clarification “How can you?”

    And read my book “Born Again Atheist”.
    LG

  • #8

    Chris (Sunday, 17 November 2013 07:51)

    Ha ha! Look at those stupid Christians and their stupid beliefs. Aren't we all so glad we're not as stupid as all of them? My arm hurts from patting myself on the back so much.

    Although I agree with most of your points, your approach is chock full of hubris and reminds me a lot of the same approach I see from many Christian apologists out there. This stuff really doesn't achieve anything and only polarizes an already polarized debate.

  • #9

    Lance Gregorchuk (Sunday, 17 November 2013 10:02)

    @Chris, sorry mate but my arms hurt because when those of religion push, I push back! And this isn't they believe in something and we dont, we are not even on the same playing field as those who think their god(s) will punish us for crimes against him. Atheist should not have to tolerate religious intolerance anymore This is a debate that we are winning, over 1 billion atheists today, the fastest growing population of any religious domination are those who now tick "None of the above". Thanks for visiting the site and adding to the content. LG

  • #10

    jesus has turned athiest (Friday, 06 December 2013 18:10)

    Hold on, are we talking of a swimming eternity rather than a fire mans holiday?...."the waters below"....so all that petrol I prepared is going to get wasted! Damn!..Jesus is burning, jesus is burning pour on the petrol pour on the petrol, fire fire, ....Okay I'll bring a snorkel instead!......Is it me or are the apologetics a bit hopless though, I mean "HATE" your mother and father etc is an ACTION word, meaning the antithesis of love, and so you are called to DO to act. It is not "lesser than" or "renounce" etc........Okay, happy christmas jesus, you petrol waster!........

  • #11

    Abdullah 101 (Sunday, 05 January 2014 13:58)

    @Lance Gregorchuk...The debate that you are winning? Are you read Al Quran?? Or burn it before read?

  • #12

    Lance Gregorchuk (Sunday, 05 January 2014 17:32)

    @abdullah 101. Have you read the Qu'ran? Without the help of a Imam? I have!!!! Just flip to any page, it doesn't matter which one, and you will find nothing but hate,misogyny and bigotry. For every quote you can find in the Qu'ran which is remotely nice I can find 100 that are hateful. Have you counted how many wars Islam is involved in right now? Brother against brother? Shia against Sunni? This is your word from god? Even you muslims cannot agree on any thing and you feel the only answer is to kill one another and why? Because your god commands it... Nice religion you got there! Noone needs to burn the Qu'ran, they simply need to read it without someone interpeting it for them, your religion is nothing but hate!

  • #13

    NineSpades (Thursday, 16 January 2014 12:30)

    In regards to the third commandment, it's actually regarding God's actual name - YHVH, Jehovah, Yaweh, dependent on sect. So to say "God Damn you" isn't actually a sin, as God/Lord/Father are all just titles. Saying his actual name, on the other hand, is a big deal - But True Names holding power has always been a big part of the Abrahamic Mythologies.

  • #14

    Ooshla (Thursday, 23 January 2014 06:35)

    I was personally raised Christian as a child. I mulled through every religion in the past three years. Because of my upbringing, I continually swing back to the bible. It's because some twisted fear-mongerers put it into my head that all other religions and belie systems are wrong. To question? Hellfire. Period. You do not question the word of God.
    It's really a clever rouse. You can't argue with Christianity on a logical level. They have two things on their side that justify their crazy no matter how wrong they are.
    1. Faith. This is my favorite. You just have to have faith. Not intelligence, not explanations, not other interpretations. Just this book that has been changed, mistranslated, added/subtracted from. Used more politically than modern government. But you just had to have faith that somehow gods word managed to come through regardless of any fallible man.
    2. Jesus is the son of God. This means all I the prophesies from te Old Testament have been proven and the messiah will return to rescue us helpless humans. That's sensible. Being that no one ever started writing of jesus for several hundred years after he was born, no organized group of individuals could've possibly had time to construct a matching document fulfilling prophecy? No. That's just ridiculous. It must be true. Because Jesus is the son of God, Almighty. The only entry to eternal life. Jesus actually sounds just as power hungry, using his humility as a lure.
    But I digress. I don't disregard certain historical truths behind the bible.
    Obviously if they were written in the era, historical evidence will match- that is a general rule throughout history. Especially true fictional authors.
    And it says several times in the New Testament (particularly Revelation) that Jesus proclaims to be the morning star.
    Wait... Morning star? Where did we hear the term "mornin star" in the Old Testament. Lets look, shall we?
    In Isaiah 14:12 says "how are thou fallen from Heaven, Oh Lucifer, son of morning!"
    Lucifer literally translates to "morning star".
    And we see in Revelation, multiple uses of Jesus proclaiming to be the morning star.
    But Christians will claim this isn't so.
    Even though it most definitely says so.
    Also, here's a good one for Christians. Lucifer and Jesus both add up to 11 (English alphabet) and 444. 888 is a "Christ" number.
    Your book is full of political madness attempting to keep the masses at bay and cooperative. The world is losing its need for religion. So please, look past your Bronze Age belief systems and experience life for the fleeing gift it is.

  • #15

    Kelly (Monday, 03 February 2014 08:19)

    First and foremost, I would like to extend my personal gratitude for your website. What a wonderful and informative site it is! It is so comforting to know that the pursuit of critical thinking is alive and well and extends to people who hope to educate future generations.



    I have only one question/comment regarding your site. I was wondering if you could provide a section, or perhaps helpful links, regarding De-conversion? To be clear, I am wondering how I go about RE-TEACHING my two small girls, ages 8 and 4,whom I have brought up in the Christian religion. Since their birth, baptism, and communion, i have forcefully subjugated them to teachings of the Christian doctrine and now, I have no idea how to undo the harm I have inflicted.

    To this day I allow them to believe in Santa, The Easter Bunny,and the Tooth fairy and firmly feel such beliefs for their young minds and hearts is a necessary part of childhood. Beliefs that spark the power of imagination and fuel curious and creative thoughts and ideas. However I also feel that the belief in GOD and JESUS, in the theological and dogmatic sense in which I have engrained in my children, are terribly harmful and pave the way for narrow mindedness and will only serve in the eventual amputation of their ability to think on a level of real truth and meaningfulness.

    I suppose my ramblings are in short this question. How do I tell my girls what I MADE them believe, is all wrong? I want them to grow up with reason and enjoy the wonders of the universe WITHOUT the falicys of GOD, but, as I shamefully admit, its all they have ever know as it is all I have ever taught them.



    Can you offer any help?



    Thank you for any advice or direction you can give me regarding this matter.

  • #16

    Antithiest (Wednesday, 12 February 2014 14:11)

    Simply put, holy books such as the bible, Quran etc are not a moral compass. Most people tend to raise children with the golden rule "treat others as you would want to be treated"

    The golden rule was not invented by religion. I've had Christians and Muslims try to say it was but I'm sure china was practising this 2000 years before Jesus was apparently around.

    We are a social species, and it benefits us collectively and individually to follow this rule.

    I don't think that book that tell you that you will burn in hell for being gay are a good moral compass.

  • #17

    Nancy (Sunday, 15 June 2014 19:21)

    @Kelly, I think your issue is a rare one, that you came to realize what you were teaching your children was wrong and now want to change it. You will probably have to pave the road for other parents who feel the same way and you should! Post your progress here so others can read it and comment. It's funny you mention Santa, I allowed the Santa game and let my daughter figure it out for herself later by changing my statements from "it's from Santa" to when she asked if Santa was real or said a friend doesn't believe in Santa, I would say "Well I don't know for sure, but I want to believe Santa, do you want to believe in Santa or you don't anymore?" And she said 'yes' for a while, now she says 'yes, because I still want presents' and she laughs, and I laugh too.

  • #18

    Stafford (Saturday, 20 September 2014 03:32)

    This is a fantastic summary of everything that's wrong with attributing ancient ways and beliefs (where people didn't know better) to a seemingly advanced and complex international culture.

    It's acceptable that people believed this 'back in the day' because they didn't have the tools, resources and general knowledge that we have today. Indoctrinating children from birth is doing humanity no favours.

    Thanks for making this page, it's time that we started being accountable for our own lives because we only have one.

  • #19

    Julie (Monday, 27 October 2014 02:31)

    Is there an Athiest dating site ???

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