I want to give my 13 year old cousin a book on atheism for teenagers. Her mom has been raising her Catholic and had also sent her to a locally well-regarded Jewish preschool, saying things about "heritage" and such. (Her father is a non-believer but apparently hasn't objected to this religious upbringing.)

My parents say that doing so is a bad idea because it will offend my aunt. I feel strongly about my atheism and want to do something in this vein. Any advice?

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I had much the same opinion, atheism vs theism debate raise red flags. People go talking about improbable events, morality, friends and parents in the emotional mode.

Teach how to think and some heuristics, not perfectly baked beliefs.

3Xachariah8yHave you thought about giving her something with strong rationalist themes instead? HPMoR is what I'm thinking of specifically, but other stuff could work. If she doesn't learn how to think rationally, an atheist book may or may not work regardless. If she does know how to think rationally, it's a matter of time before she sees the inconsistencies in religion anyhow. Plus, fiction is a much more compelling read than argument books and you get to keep plausible deniability without offending her aunt.
11wedrifid8yGet over it. Overt evangelism really isn't worth the hassle if you aren't doing it for the expectation of divine reward. If you want to have influence try to be the coolest seeming older cousin possible and hope your influence rubs off somewhat.

Open Thread, July 16-31, 2012

by OpenThreadGuy 1 min read16th Jul 2012142 comments


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