School started back for my fourth grader last week, and I was taken aback when he came home and told me about a little playground debate he had with his classmates about the existence or nonexistence of God.
My son knows that I'm an atheist, while his mother is a God believer. We've had several, mostly, civil debates about God and religion, but I have never forced my views upon my children. And besides taking them to church on occasion, my wife doesn't push her beliefs onto them either.
The basis of the school ground debate was pretty typical and you can imagine what the arguments were, especially coming from 10-11-year-old children.
However, I must admit that I was not quite ready to explain to my son how he should handle such debates. He argued that there is no evidence for the existence of God, but his arguments were based on what he has heard me say—as well as some just plain common sense.
I'm not sure though if I was correct in telling him to avoid such arguments with religious people. I guess I was concerned that the religious parents would make stink out of it when they heard about it. I realize that such discussions are inevitable amongst children, but I'm not sure if it was right to tell him to ignore such discussions. What do you think?