Myths taught as "make believe" rather than reality ...
(Top Posts - Distance From Belief
in theism - 090301)

What does one tell children when/if given the opportun-
ity to speak to children about myths?

How about starting off by letting the children know the
discussion is about myths and the difference between
"make believe" and what's real?

For example, do any children really believe in ghosts or
goblins or hellfire and brimstone or creepie crawlies that
are going to come out of the dark and eat them? I would
hope that one would feel comfortable in sharing the "make
believe" nature of those concepts, the way they can be
used for fun only if they're treated as "make believe"
rather than realities.

Also, important to address, the way "make believe" can
be used for harm by adults or children who either:

1) are uneducated about the differences between what's
"make believe" and what's real


2) were never taught about those differences.

As for the myths of the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, the
Tooth Fairy, angels, magic dragons, gods, demons,
spirits, etc., it would be helpful to the children if, as
above, they were informed of the difference between
"make believe" which can be fun or scary, depending
on how the "make believe" is treated, and reality, which
must be treated in a manner corresponding to physical
laws. For example, children should know not to believe
someone who tells them to stick their hand in the fire,
because "make believe" won't save them.

The pressure to lie to children comes direct from adults,
not children, especially as pertains to the social/cultural
influences for parents to treat certain aspects of "make
believe" as truths.

No child walks up to an adult and says, "Will you please
tell me a lie?" No, they yearn for "make believe" treated
as "make believe fun for imagination", not "make believe"
treated as if someone was trying to trick them or threaten
them, in the long term (if not the short term) coming across
as manipulation/deceit (insert long list here, from concepts
adults agree are "make believe" to concepts many adults
have difficulty addressing as "make believe").

No matter what self-serving pleasure or sense of "greater
good" it brings the adults, the harm, short-term and long-
term, in the encouragement of deceit/delusion/manipulation
of the vulnerable far outweighs the pretentious notions of
"lying for goodness" that adherents to social customs

Verity respected is verity esteemed.

Apply the above to any myth you can imagine that adults
treat as reality towards children, be it holiday myths which
can be honest fun if honestly treated as "make believe" -or-
afterlife/super-being myths which can be injurious to chil-
dren if used for threats/manipulation/control/devaluation
of the child's right to happiness.

For those that claim that the faith messages are worthy
of belief to be true, whether they really are or not, that the
"core message" of faith is estimable, I would ask the fol-
lowing questions ...

o The "core message" of "believe or else"?

o The "core message" of authoritarianism/revenge?

o The "core message" of enslave yourself to faith, in the mind
and the heart, whether it's true or not?

o The "core message" of pretend the old/new testamyths are
good and pretend all of the anti-humanism in them isn't there
unless, of course, you can use it to guilt-trip folks?

- - -

For those who wish folks would just "go along" with the
"core message" of faith, being silent about alternate views,
I'd say ...

Y'all are proponents of closed-mindedness and inalter-
ability of perceptions, wishing for the faith-steeped to
follow the dictates of church or other authorities and not
be exposed to alternatives which are requisite to truly
allow them to choose.

Can people choose?

Only if given the cases on the many sides of the issue.

I submit that well-made cases made by those not of faith
provides the possibility for those of faith (who are willing
to listen) to use their minds for thinking, logic, and reason
(although that can be, due to the emotional nature of the
faith gig, quite challenging), truly providing them a free
choice as to what path to follow.

- - -

For those who wish folks would just "go along" with the
"core message" of faith, being silent about alternate views,
I'd say ...

Are y'all as willing to talk to those of faith and encourage
them to be silent about their faith? After all, spreading their
faith is a critical component contained within the new testa-
myth ...

... _______ Insert long list of techniques those of faith use
to influence others to "be like them", not the least of which is
conformity pressures inside the social clubs known as places
of worship ...

... Well, maybe y'all are OK with *that* since, hey, that's
really where the pressure/influences/demands are invoked to
be quiet about thinking/speaking in terms not one with faith ...

... Also, add immortality promises, promises the creator of
the earth listens and acts upon requests/demands from
humans, threats of hell and damnation, manipulative asso-
ciations of belief with good, manipulative associations of
disbelief with evil, etc. etc. etc. ...

... And, perhaps, y'all might be well-served to consider that
by asking everyone to be quiet, if you're truly successful,
all faith would twiddle away, so really, perhaps, all you're
interested in is for those *not* of faith to be quiet, leaving
the playing field wide open for those who are more than
willing to seduce/threaten folks into faith, starting with the
children and guilt-tripping/manipulating them their entire

Am I close there?

- - -

If the brainwash efforts of those of faith aren't countered,
nothing will ever change, and the world will slip deeper
into the abyss of "faith at all cost".

For a better way, a way which respects and admires open-
minded search for verity (but not so open that our brains
fall out), further elucidation follows ...

Some parents inform their children of the imaginary nature
of all imaginary beings, and enjoy sharing and telling stories
about them in a fun and non-threatening way, from the ima-
ginary Puff the Magic Dragon and the imaginary Santa Claus
all the way up to (or down to, depending on your point of
view) the imaginary God.

Some folks find verity and the search for verity to be one
of the most estimable pursuits in life. Thank goodness, as
without that search for verity, we'd still be stuck in the abyss
of a theistic-ruled world (what Carl Sagan referred to as a
demon-haunted world).

Also, see ...

Why Promote Freedom From Faith?
"... We, the pro-human pro-free-speech
folks of the disbelief community, bother to
take the time and make the effort to connect
with the faithful in order to help people live
free, seek verity, and live out their one and
only sure shot at life in a full and meaningful
manner, for the good of the many and the
now, with respect to the truth of whatever
ultimate destiny nature has provided us

- - -

The Problem of Silence (070100)
"So, a bunch of people are gathered together
and someone says 'Thank god ....' and the
conversation continues and discussions
about church and making sure the children
go to church and so on and so forth and ..."