Yesterday while making breakfast for my 10 year old cousin, out of the blue, she asked "Do you believe in God?'

I hesitated for a moment and asked if she wanted an honest answer.  She said yes, so I said no, I don't believe there is a god.

Do you think I was right in being honest with a 10 year old.  I will add that she did not follow up with any questions or comments.   And that she is a very smart 10 year old.

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I'd be grateful she didn't ask about Santa Claus.

I was about 38 years old when I first heard someone say they didn't believe in God. It was a pivotal moment for me. I only wish I was a 20 or 30 years earlier....

Damn, 38? Do you mean that was the first time you heard it in real life?

Yes, rural bible belt. I am fairly certain alligators are atheists, but they weren't talking. I did take a philosophy course as an elective. It was fascinating, but it all seemed so far removed at the time. One day getting a beer after work, I said something about god and someone that I admired said "you don't believe in all that bullshit, do you?" It was a casual yet shocking conversation that ensued. That initiated my ten year supernatural investigation and my conclusion is that pagans have a lot of fun, Epicurus had it pegged and religions are indeed bullshit.

Had she asked about Santa, I would have countered with, "What do YOU think?" and gone along with whatever she said - kids have such a short time to be young.

As a parent we are, "Santa Claus - R - US". Not sure as a kid if I ever believed in Santa Claus, just don't remember. But it was a time to look forward to. I remember the bubbly lights on the tree most of all.

I think Ron, you gave the right answer without a doubt (at least in my mind). Children deserve the truth, although I might have told my kids at one time or another when they were little a white lie or two for expediency on other minor issues.

I absolutely think that you were right in being honest. Even if there had been awkward follow up questions. Of course, her parents might disagree. But I still think you were right.

I think you did the right thing.  I would have done the same.

You were right. You did not say that there are no Gods. You just said you did not believe that there are any. So you told the truth and maybe inspired a young mind to mature faster. You will have gained your cousins respect. Maybe not yet but you’re honest answer will be remembered.

Of course you did the right thing. She wanted an honest answer and you gave it. She might as well know that not everyone is a believer. For her, it will be the start of a process of critical thinking. "Why doesn't uncle believe? Do others disbelieve in God?," etc.).

Of course you did the right thing. She wanted an honest answer and you gave it. She might as well know that not everyone is a believer.

This. You don't have to pretend like being a non-believer is a taboo subject and something that can only be spoken in hush tones. That's the problem nowadays. These kids get indoctrinated by their idiot parents into thinking everybody HAS TO BELIEVE, and that anybody who doesn't is a blasphemer. Better it is then that you teach her non-belief is

a) an option, and

b) an acceptable option,

because there's nothing to be blasphemed about. Nothing holy, only men.

I can's say how you should have handled it, Ron, but you handled it exactly as I would have, and have done. On those rare, RARE occasions when the black sheep of the family (guess who?) is actually invited to a family dinner, rather than given a take-out box at the door, everyone holds hands and prays to an invisible god for food that they worked hard and paid for - I don't participate, and they have come to expect that.

I don't preach my beliefs (or lack of them), but when asked, I'm brief, open and honest. I think kids get the run-around so often, that they appreciate honesty. Because of this dishonesty, this tendency to shield tender ears from the truth, a significant number of adults are still not clear on quite a few issues - case in point:


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