Raising Children Without the Concept of Sin

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Goldtop, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. Goldtop Registered Senior Member

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  3. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

    I was raised in a non-religious household. Mom taught us the Golden Rule, no threat of damnation and eternal torment was needed.
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  5. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Not really hard to do.

    (Depending on where you look) sin is defined as a transgression against divine law.
    So, raising a child without sin is a simple as raising them without the oppressive bits of religion.
    Michael 345 and davewhite04 like this.
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Dave said it all.
  8. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    I don't have kids, but I wouldn't raise them with any religion, much less the stupid idea of sin and hell, which can be considered child abuse.
  9. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

    I agree, it is child abuse.
  10. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    teaching children that they are broken deep down inside and need to be fixed is just plain evil.
    Write4U likes this.
  11. davewhite04 Valued Senior Member

    Which children are these?
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    It's an interesting prospect. This woman has gone from former conditioning to responding to that former conditioning in such a manner as to weirdly fulfill it.

    As we stood in line a few weeks ago at the Dickens Fair, I realized that my kids already knew what sin was, without ever having been exposed to the onerous religious weight of the word. Despite being unchurched, they are empathetic, loving and kind. And even more: They are fearless.

    I gazed into Davia's upturned face and felt a rush of love and happiness. I had raised her without sin. Here was a kid who'd recently joked that the Christmas standard “I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas” should be changed to “I'm Dreaming of a Diverse Christmas.”

    She did have a moral code — one she followed not from obligation, but from her own desire to make the world a better place. A group of carolers strolled by, and she turned to watch them with a delighted smile, her question already forgotten. I leaned down and put my arms around her, watching the world from her perspective.

    An explanation of sin could wait.


    "She did have a moral code—one she followed not from obligation, but from her own desire to make the world a better place." It is as relativist as it sounds, and while relativism is not in and of itself damned or damnable, as such, this is precisely what Ms. Scheeres' predecessors, the Calvinist heritage, fears. I hope these kids continue to do well, but between introduction, setup, answer, and summary of result, it is a curious tale: A good introduction, typical background setup, and the answer is this idea of raising children without a concept of sin; the latter portion of the article, discussing the results, actually read more like a suggestion that these kids could withstand the scrutiny of their fifteen minutes of social media fame.

    To the other, the author is an accomplished professional author, so I'm just going to go with something about column space and word counts. After all, that one does have a moral code, built not from obligation but their own desire to make the world a better place, does not exclude unfortunate results; I know a guy who did prison time for manslaughter because, at age twenty, he wanted to make the world a better place. And, sure, the victim was violent toward a woman, but when we seek to make the world a better place with fists, and then a knife, stuff goes wrong.

    I would expect there is, in the Scheeres household, some foundational concept of right and wrong, but between explaining the experiential history, framing the question, suggesting the answer, and observing the result of how awesome her kids are, it's true that column space probably precludes explaining how it works.

    We started taking our kids to marches when the younger one, Davia, was an infant perched on our shoulders and 3-year-old Tessa danced between the lines of protesters as if it were a block party. We've marched for racial justice and for women's rights. Our church is the street, our congregation our fellow crusaders. We teach our children to respect the earth by reducing, reusing and recycling.

    It's sinking in. My daughters make me proud by taking their own actions to confront injustice where they see it — by insisting we keep a box of protein bars in the car to hand out to homeless people at stoplights, by participating in school walkouts against gun violence, by intervening when they see kids bullied on the playground, by always questioning the world around them.

    Train children up in the way they should go, and they shall not depart from it. Nothing says they understand, though. What is that modern iteration? Oh, right: All of this has happened before, and will happen again.

    The article is too pointed and fails to convey the particular potential strengths of this ostensible escape, while also following a post- or anti-Calvinist ego defense arc. There is much potential in what Scheeres considers, but the article itself seems nearly as naïve as modern Calvinists, as if the author cannot recognize other potential results of the formulation according to other priorities, moralities, or notions of the world as a better place.

    The book version, if she ever writes it, should be interesting.


    Scheeres, Julia. "Raising Children Without the Concept of Sin". The New York Times. 25 January 2019. NYTimes.com. 31 January 2019. https://nyti.ms/2sXB5Su
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
  13. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    concepts can be words or actions or body language or symbolism(signs posters uses of colours and sounds etc)
    defined by actions, behaviors, emotions and language

    such a pivotal concept of base psychological self worth is highly improbable to be "not raised" into the offspring.

    psychologically equal to expecting your children to not know how to use a knife & fork because you have never given them a book on how to use a knife and fork.

    mostly illogical reasoning
  14. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Most kids in the U.S. are raised without relying on the concept of sin, including many religious families but not, of course, the more religiously fundamentalist families.

    Most parents, when teaching their kids, "right from wrong" don't have to rely on "because that would be going against God's wishes".

    "Mom, I stole this neat toy at the store today". "Son, that's not right, because God says that's a sin" is not how these things are generally handled or discussed.
  15. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Sin is not morality.
  16. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    I was raised in a very religious household but we had the Get-Out-of-Hell-Free card, so our sins were never an issue. We were pre-forgiven for anything we did but that was not an acceptable excuse for doing bad things.
    sculptor likes this.
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    We taught our kids right from wrong. We never taught them about sin.
  18. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Jesus died for your sins long before you came along.
    Would you wish to make his life and death meaningless?
    If not:
    Get out there and sin brother sin.
    Michael 345 likes this.
  19. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    What is “divine law”?

    Could that mean raising a child as every parent sees fit (without sin from their perspective), is not potentially tantamount to child abuse?

    Does “sin” exist, from your perspective?

  20. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    You know sculptor, I have never really understood the concept of Jesus dying for our sins, outside of the Christian doctrine.

    Hypothetically, what would the world be like if Jesus hadn’t been crucified?

  21. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Good point. Unless you go forth and sin, Jesus died for nothing.
  22. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Of course I did! "Sin" is a horrible idea. It makes people guilty of existing, being alive, thinking and feeling as normal humans; threatens to punish them for things they can't control; teaches self-hate and unreasoning fear.
    It worked fine. They knew the household rules and sometimes broke them - consciously, deliberately, because they hoped to get away with something - and if they were caught, they knew what the consequences would be. On the whole, we did okay: they're two normal, well-adjusted, modestly successful adults who love their families and pay their taxes and don't go around hunting heretics or persecuting their gay neighbours.

    As for Jesus, if he died, if he lived, it wasn't for me.
  23. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    divine law is life style choice

    if sin requires no morality to comprehend it then it has no morality.
    it must contain no morality to be not moral.

    in the association of sin to the mind of the child, the preacher undermines the childs sense of self worth to install the concept of being broken internally, deep down.
    and this giving the preacher the power over the happiness and inner self worth of the child.
    this is what is called "grooming"
    it is evil

    the indoctrination of sin requires that sin contains its own morality.
    this morality is installed while blaming god and other non aspects of accountability and control.
    this is then passed off as total moral accountability that is delivered through the word of the preacher.

    to suggest there is no morality inside the concept of sin is to ignore a primary part of the grooming process.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2019

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