I was in one of my homeschooling groups and I came across an article that really hit home with me about raising children without religion by Kirsten Clodfelter. She speaks about an aspect of living without religion that is often used as a defense of the archaic system that is most religion.
We’re asked from time to time by peers or acquaintances how, without the compass of religion, we’ll teach our daughter to have character or act morally. But morality — whether intrinsic or extrinsic — doesn’t hinge on the threat or promise of an afterlife or of being saved. In fact, if that’s the only reason someone has for being a good person, that feels troubling to me.
This always feels like a cop out to me, as if people literally cannot be moral without some form of religion. The entire article mirrors many of my own thoughts on raising my child, but, acting as though morality hinges on religion and religion alone is utterly ridiculous. Many religious people have committed terrible atrocities because they thought their religion condoned them. True morality is something you should experience internally. The best way to go about this is to think about how your actions effect those around you. Morality is actually much simpler than most people believe. To tell people that a book, any book, can guide everyone morally is preposterous. Especially when these books have multiple interpretations, endorse morally reprehensible behavior like slavery, and are used by hate groups to justify their actions.
There are very few rules about morality that fit everyone. There is much more gray area in the world than most people like to admit. This is why our personal plan for our child when it comes to teaching religion is to give here the basics of every religion I can think of, and my own stance of no religion, and letting her choose her own path. This is a very unpopular method, but I cannot in good conscience bias the world view of a child before she can reason things out for herself.