How to raise your child, or yourself, an atheist

That is a discussion from Justin L. Barrett’s new and interesting Born Believers: The Science of Children’s Religious Belief.  He gives more than equal time to how to raise your child to be religious, but we’re already pretty good at that.  Here are his atheism tips, noting that I am excerpting and paraphrasing:

1. Have less-than-average fluency in reasoning about minds.

2. Do not have children.

3. Stay safe.

4. Get in the habit of crediting or blaming humans for whatever you can.

5. Learn to like pseudoagents (including abstractions).

6. Take time to reflect.

7. Add to these factors indoctrination of the young against religion.

The key theme of Barrett’s book is HADD — Hypersensitive Agency Detection Device, and how pronounced it is in most human beings.


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