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What to answer when child asks if God is real?

My spouse is a devout Christian and I am an atheist. Fortunately, I accept and support her and her beliefs and she does the same for me. Religious belief/disbelief has never been an issue for us.

My seven year-old child asked me “Is God Real?” I would never just say “No,” especially when I also want to respect my spouse’s beliefs. I’m not quite sure how to answer this question.

Any thoughts?

Posted: September 9th 2011

Reed Braden www

I would use the question as a launching point for a lesson in critical thought: “Can you prove that a god exists?” “Which god are you trying to prove? There are thousands that people have believed in.” “Can you prove that goblins exist?” And I would talk them through figuring out the answers so they will learn how to do this at an early age.

But I would never just answer, “no.” That won’t teach them anything.

Posted: September 22nd 2011

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SmartLX www

Tell the truth; say you don’t know for sure. Say that some people think He’s real, and some think He isn’t, and some think there’s somebody different instead. Then it’s all on the table, and the future contradictory answers your child will undoubtedly receive from others will all make sense in context.

Posted: September 13th 2011

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Eric_PK

I would say something like, “Different people have different views about god. Some people believe in the christian god, some people believe in other gods, some people don’t believe in god at all.

Your mother believes that god exists, and I don’t”.

Posted: September 12th 2011

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bitbutter www

I would say “I don’t believe that any gods exist, but your mother does”.

Posted: September 12th 2011

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