How an 8-Year-Old Became an Atheist

(photo originally uploaded to Flickr by woodleywondeworks)

You may have run across this article on the Wall Street Journal Speakeasy site posted on Sunday by Ricky Gervais. It is an article where Ricky Gervais talks about why he is an atheist. It’s an interesting read. I encourage you to hop on over and read it.

What stood out to me in his article was Ricky Geravais’s testimony of how he became an atheist:

“I was sitting at the kitchen table when my brother came home. He was 11 years older than me, so he would have been 19. He was as smart as anyone I knew, but he was too cheeky. He would answer back and get into trouble. I was a good boy. I went to church and believed in God – what a relief for a working-­‐class mother…
“…there I was happily drawing my hero when my big brother Bob asked, “Why do you believe in God?” Just a simple question. But my mum panicked. “Bob” she said in a tone that I knew meant, “Shut up.” Why was that a bad thing to ask? If there was a God and my faith was strong it didn’t matter what people said.
“Oh… hang on. There is no God. He knows it, and she knows it deep down. It was as simple as that. I started thinking about it and asking more questions, and within an hour, I was an atheist.
Eight years old. That’s how old Gervais claims he was when he became an atheist. He used to believe in God. He went to church. He read even did Bible homework! I can’t help but think what could have been done to prevent this from happening.
What are your thoughts? Is there something that could have been done? What can we do to help children weather questions? I don’t think just pumping the “right” information into kids is the answer, but I could be wrong.
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2 thoughts on “How an 8-Year-Old Became an Atheist

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Henry Zonio, Henry Zonio. Henry Zonio said: #kidmin How an 8-Year-Old Became an Atheist http://bit.ly/eG0iUP #cmconnect #kidology […]

  2. Jeremy Tose says:

    I didn’t bother reading the article you linked to because you gave enough of it to get the important details across. This is the same thing that Lee Strobel tells about concerning his own initial loss of faith, although it was his own questions to a sunday school teacher that couldn’t handle them that was the start of his journey. I believe it is our duty as teachers of the next generation to be certain that we have a fully thought out reason for the hope that lies within us and encourage our charges to ask us the tough questions. It is also good to remember that we don’t have to have an answer at hand because it is sometimes even more valuable for kids to hear “that’s a good question. I need to figure that out and get back to you with an answer.” At my old church one year, we had a box for the T&T boys to leave questions in and we took turns creating a lesson to answer each question.
    My own foundation is the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection. I have tested every alternative I have seen or thought of to be sure my faith is truth and have found my faith to grow deeper with every answer I find.

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