An Atheist's Son Floors His Father with a Simple Question

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /

I'm proud of my son. I think he's amazing, smart, and pretty terrific, but I'm biased and tend to lean in his favor most of the time. However, I also can find him rude, whiny, and childish at times as well, but nothing makes me happier than just sitting and talking with him about things we think, about how the world works, and science.

Sometimes, though, things we talked about days or hours earlier rattle around in his head for awhile before he really starts to process them and start asking really good, if not childlike, questions. I don't ever fault him for asking questions, if anything what this world needs is more people to question the why or the how of things we do or say or believe.

So with this in mind I want to share with you a short conversation that I had with my son a couple days ago to illustrate a point about wonder and childlike amazement as well as give you some insight into my approach to some of these questions and, hopefully, give you a glimpse of the things that make me so proud of him.

For some background you should know that my son and I had been out riding in my car and spending some time together which normally gets us talking about all sorts of things. In this case the conversation had turned toward God and Heaven.

I won't go into to many of the details of this conversation, because it was mostly me talking to him about my position that I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possible, and that believing anything without good evidence is silly. I then explained that I didn't believe in God because there isn't sufficient evidence to justify belief. We then talked for awhile about example of rational reasons for believing things and irrational reasons.

And that was that. But I didn't know he was still thinking about it. I had no idea 'til he walked into my wife and I's bedroom and asked me:

"Dad? You know how we were talking about how you don't believe in God because you don't have any evidence for him?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Well, what about the world? What created the world?" He responded with a boldness I wasn't expecting.

"Well, what do you think created it?" I remarked back in a good old Socratic method.

"No." He retorted, "I'm asking you what YOU think?"

My son is eight. He turns nine in April. He's a smart kid, but sometimes I'm just floored by how grown up he's becoming. He's really starting to branch out into his own person. Seeking answers for things by examining others perspectives and I LOVE it. It really is incredible.

It really doesn't matter much where our conversation went from here because frankly, anyone who watches or listens to the podcast is relatively aware of my position. What matters here is that my son was examining things. He was considering positions I had posited hours earlier and challenging them; not rudely, but inquisitively. He is seeking the answers honestly and in childlike wonder and amazement, and that's what makes me so excited to see him continue to grow and develop. That's what makes me excited about his future and the paths he'll walk.

These are the things that make me proud of my son.


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