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Marodr13's avatar

How do different worldviews differ when it comes to family?

Asked by Marodr13 (342 points ) October 28th, 2010

I am taking a worldview course and I would like to see the different opinions I can get for the following question.
What makes the naturalistic, secular humanistic and atheistic worldview differ from the christian worldview in regards to family?
Please if possible tell me what worldview you consider yourself and what is your true opinion?

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8 Answers

nicobanks's avatar

Ouch, this is extremely complicated… this sounds like an essay topic. Is it? I will ponder the question, but first: what do you mean by “naturalistic worldview”?

Blackberry's avatar

I feel adding christianity into family values sets children up to be subjected to primitive values and a moral structure that is not stable. Then the children either have to deal with separating from the religion, deciding what to believe and what not to believe, or losing pretty much all ability to think for themselves, believing the most ridiculous notions and projecting thier beliefs onto others whether voluntarily or involuntarily by having children themselves or becoming politicians. This is my opinion.

If the children are not drilled by fundamental religious doctrine throughout their lives, they can grow to be mentally healthy and capable of critical analysis and thinking.

I have chosen the secular worldview. Although I was raised with certain christian values, I quickly grew up and separated from those values, wanting to explore my own value system.

Marodr13's avatar

@nicobanks: this is not an essay question… I am taking a course called “christian worldviews” which is very interesting and I thought that I would place our weekly question up to see how everyday people thought about it… “Out of the school scenerio”, just so that I can actually learn more than usual :) but to answer your question a natualist, is someone that believes, “that nature is all there is, there is nothing outside of nature, or if it is then its unknowable… Also there is no supernatural, there is no God in this belief… Also everything is matter, including all human actions, feelings, and decisions”... Just a little of information on that worldview…
@Blackberry: i think that its so interesting that you went to your own value system…
Personally I feel many individuals tend to search for their own answers and try not to place themselves in any one category, that is how come I decided to place this question to see what others thought about this question…
Thanks for your input, is well appreciated

Blackberry's avatar

@Marodr13 Indeed; you’re welcome :)

wundayatta's avatar

The Christian view of family is many different things because there are all kinds of Christians. In fact, the views of family probably vary more widely amongst Christians than they do amongst atheists, secular humanists and naturalists :-) That being the case, it’s really pretty silly to carve out separate categories for the latter.

I think you can divide people on many different dimensions of views on the family. There are those who believe in an authoritarian model and those who believe in a more humanistic approach to child-rearing. These differences occur in all religions.

Another scale is looking at views of family with respect to their views of their holy book. Some folks have very strict and out-of-the-mainstream views about the role of women and children in the family. Some believe that women should stay at home and not interact with society, or interact as little as possible.

Abortion is an issue that is commonly used to differentiate between different people’s views of family. That seems like a fairly simple issue: either you are for it or agin it, whatever it is (it changes depending on your views). Folks who believe in a woman’s right to choose tend to come from humanistic families while those who can’t stand the thought of any pregnancy being ended voluntarily tend to come from more authoritarian families, except for Catholics (and others, no doubt), who come down on opposite ends of these scales depending on which measure we are using.

The problem with making any generalization in these areas is that there is so much variation that the extremes really don’t tell us much.

I think that as you grow older, you meet more people and talk to people with more widely varying views, except if you stay in one community all your life. It’s easier to be intolerant of others if you never meet them or learn anything about them. Since there is so much variation in people’s views, I think making any kind of generalization, as I have done here, is pretty audacious and deserves to get shot down.

I pretty much think this is a nonsense topic, where we who like to pontificate can do so. But it’s just palaver. Don’t take it seriously. Unless you’re a sociologist who studies religious views amongst families, you’re probably pretty ignorant about this. As I am.

GracieT's avatar

@wundayatta, thank you for your wonderful answer. I don’t appriciate it, when groups, esp. Christians become lumped into one catagory. We are all different people, and while one view may become associated with a group of people someone cannot assume all people share that view. I personally don’t share the churches view on everything. I think that abortion should continue to be legal, because many women were killed because they went to “back alley” abortionists. There are many woman who should NOT become parents- the kids are, through no fault of their own, born into hell. Many woman become ill, emotionally traumatized, or even die due to having these abortions. Also, I feel that gay marriage should be legal. I know some gay couples whose partnership has lasted longer than many marriages. They also wouldn’t have children, unless they adopt, which means that they have put thought into the idea. I apologize for the length of this response because it is not even the answer that was asked for, I just had to get this off my chest.

wundayatta's avatar

@GracieT What religion did you grow up with?

Harold's avatar

Good question. In contrast to @Blackberry , who is entitled to his opinion, I know that Christianity in its purest form gives a stable, moral, and ethical framework to bring up a family. Of course, like any worldview, there are extremists in Christianity who don’t exemplify this. To have an absolute frame of reference as to what constitutes right and wrong behaviour, and as to how we should treat others, means that there is no variance in the standard that is expected. I believe that even if a child brought up under these guidelines chooses to reject them, they will remain as a moral and ethical person.

My two sons have been brought up this way. The older remains a Christian, the younger is an atheist. They are both moral and ethical people, who value others, and make positive contributions to society. They both value family, are kind and thoughtful to those around them, and believe in honesty and integrity.

How do the two worldviews differ? Secular atheism gives no standard to measure acceptable behaviour other than what seems right to you. It gives no motivation to do good for others except the effect it will have on those around you- this may seem to be positive, but what if for some reason you don’t care about that? Of course, some versions of Christianity breed people who are harsh, judgmental, and unpleasant. I know plenty of those.

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