Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Innocence Isn't Lost

Dear Ellie,

Don’t ever grow up too much or lose your “innocence.”  You can keep the virtues of childhood while not also being ignorant of the world.  I’ve always hated the way that adults talk about “innocence.”  It’s spoken of as though the vibrancy and curiosity and purity of childhood are things that must be shed in the transition from child to adult.  I’ve watched it happen so many times, too.  As I grew up, I watched almost all of my childhood peers disappear into the chrysalis of adolescence and come out BORING adults.  Just remember Ellie that innocence isn’t simply lost.  It is abandoned because of the choices people make.  You can always keep it if you choose to. 


  1. Innocence isn't real. It's a fake concept made up by Christians to keep people reading their book of fairy tales and keep them praying to their sky bully who shuns the human race for ever daring to seek out knowledge and experience. It was later picked up by pseudo-philosophers as representing a child-like frame of mind. Not all children have the same frame of mind to begin with. You don't lose your frame of mind you just change it. You change it yourself or you let other people trick you into thinking they can change it against your will. There's nothing stopping you from reverting back to the mentality you had as a child. Not that a child's mentality is in any way more desirable than the mentality you have when you get older. Again, the worship of a child's lack of knowledge/experience or "purity" is a way for Christianity to control people into joining their ranks so they can continue to chase this phantom concept in the hope that when they die they might be able to pass through a gate in the clouds.

  2. Max, thank you for contributing. I think we probably agree. I believe what I was saying was that many of the attributes of childhood--- like curiosity, unapologetic joy, and love of play--- are things that are often assumed must be lost upon adulthood. I would argue that there is a developmental psychological basis to this transformation that pushes people in this direction, but needn't be absolute. I don't think that the ignorance of childhood must be shed along with these attributes, and its this point that I'd like my daughter t understand. And as an aside, I think the concept of innocence is broadly understood, well beyond just the Abrahamic religions.