Auntie Dee Dee wrote:... suggest to these so-called Christians that they actually READ their Bibles and note the lack of hatred and violence preached there.
Actually, the Bible has a bit of everything, especially if you include both parts. There's some poetry, some mythology, some history, some fiction... and quite a lot of god telling the Israelites to go out and massacre this tribe or that and take their land. Consider David & Goliath, or Solomon killing I-forget-how-many-people with the jawbone of an ass. A well-versed Bible-thumper can "prove" anything he likes by appropriate quotes. My favorite christians are the ones who take the love and charity passages to heart. My least favorite are the ones who prefer the exclusionary and intolerant passages to heart. The Bible has plenty of both.
Auntie Dee Dee wrote:No, it's saying that the intellectual processes to make a definitive statement are of necessity not fully matured at that time. I want to know WHY he considered himself an athiest at that age, and was it a learned thing, an introjected value, a sought out though process, whatever.
Children are perfectly capable of being scared and indoctrinated in numerous ways, but they don't, at a very early age, develop the though processes and the terminology to be athiests without interference from an outside source, just as they don't intuitively become Deists, or Christians or Buddists or followers of the Great Arklseizure, or any other intellectually constructed belief system.
I respectfully disagree. The term "atheist" means a person who believes there is no god. While a child's reasoning may not be as sophisticated as an adult's, nor his beliefs as well-founded, nor his capacity to articulate them as powerful; a child may have his beliefs as well as an adult.
My mother tells me that at the age of five I spontaneously announced that there is no god and no Santa Claus. I didn't yet know the word "atheist," but the word accurately describes my belief system at the time, and since. My contemporaries told me there was a god, who was everywhere, and knew everything, and could do anything. I decided that nobody could be everywhere all at the same time. My friends replied that god was a spirit. I replied that there's no such thing as spirits.
You may very well find fault with my reasoning at the age of 5. But I believed
that there was no god, and by definition this means that I was an atheist. Incidentally, Diego Rivera also claims to have been an atheist at the age of five, though he is not always a reliable source of information about himself.