Was I indoctrinated to Atheism?

Hello skeptics the world over,

Recently, in a discussion with my mother about whether I should be heading to church on Sunday, she made the claim that I was indoctrinated by podcasts such as ‘The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe’ and other science and skeptical podcasts and websites, and said that I am ‘just as brainwashed’ as I claim Christians to be. I will be hoping to respond to this question in-depth tonight.

The first thing I will point out is the contrast of ‘indoctrinations’ between my skepticism and Christianity as a child. When I was indoctrinated to Christianity as a child, I was given the whole nine yards, Genesis creation, the flood and Noah’s Ark, Tower of Babel, Jesus, all the bible had to offer. When I was ‘indoctrinated’ into skepticism and atheism, it was almost the exact opposite. Instead of being given a list of things I had to believe, how to believe them and a book to read it from, when I was indoctrinated by The Skeptic’s Guide, I was only given a list of things which are logical, and most importantly, a list of things which weren’t logical. That’s why I am a champion of skepticism, not atheism. yes I am an atheist, but I am an atheist because of skepticism. Skeptics don’t tell you what to believe, they just give you the package of logic and evidence.

I wasn’t told to become a skeptic and an atheist by ‘the skeptics guide’, I was just told, “Hey, some of what you believe is not very logical and has no evidence to support it, look at what we think, be logical and look at the evidence, and make your decision.” and look at where I am now.

The other main difference between my two ‘indoctrinations’ is choice. When I was indoctrinated into Christianity, I didn’t know about atheism, humanism, naturalism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, or any other amount of religions. I was just having Christianity handed to me on a silver plate, with a bit of evolution thrown into the mix, as I still had to have some science. But there wasn’t much choice for me. When I was introduced to skepticism, I had heard about all the other religions and world-views, and I chose to go with agnostic atheism, and later onto agnostic anti-theism. That’s also why I am a champion of free-thought, because giving a child the choice is the most important thing they can have. I will talk about free-thought and children in a later post.

I was not indoctrinated into atheism or skepticism like the way children born into christian homes are indoctrinated, I was given a choice and I was not forced into it, and that is the key difference… choice. That’s all for today, I’ll leave you with a quote from an anonymous author/sayer of words, “Trying to close a mind that has not yet had the chance to be opened, is the worst form of child abuse.”

3 thoughts on “Was I indoctrinated to Atheism?

  1. Pingback: 10 Questions for Atheists « Confessions Of A YEC

  2. Kudos. How old are you now? I have a project that will feature children like yourself describing their experience with religion/skepticism. Do you see yourself as a leader for other kids? What is your parents reaction?

    • I’m 14, soon to be turning 15, in a couple of weeks, after new years. Sounds like an interesting project. On the internet, I don’t really see myself as a leader for other kids (it seems like everybody is an adult on the web, so its a bit difficult), I see myself more as trying to prove that there are skeptical teenagers out there and we aren’t all swagfags and dumbasses. I’m not trying to lead any teens, just represent teens. (I guess you could call that leading?) I also am trying to pave a way for a science or journalism as a career in the future, and I find the best way for me to learn is by doing.

      My parents? My mother is non-practicing christian, my father is a quiet atheist, doesn’t have any problem with religion, just doesn’t buy it. They are unhappy about me putting myself out there on the internet(vulnerable to rape or something) they are unhappy about my ‘obsession with religion’, as they call it. They are happy I am doing something for myself and trying to set up a career. They are unopinionated about my atheism and skepticism, although they wish for me to keep quiet around my grandparents (which I always have done).

      I hope that preliminarily answers your questions, email me at theskepticalteenager@gmail.com if you have any more questions to answer, thanks.

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