Everlasting Why

My son is now 2 and a half, and talking in a nearly continuous stream.
It’s amazing to hear him putting concepts together on his own. This
past weekend, he starting asking “why” to nearly everything his dad
and I said and did. “Why do I have to wear clothes? Why is the thunder
loud? Why is the troll (in ‘Billy Goats Gruff’) mean?”

Soren’s Why Mania reminded me of our propensity to wonder and try to
find reasons for everything. Human nature compels us to seek more
knowledge, like an itch compels us to scratch. When I learn something
particularly fascinating, the aha moment is exhilarating and
inspiring, but also comforting. The world makes a little more sense at
that moment.

So I understand people’s need for answers to the unknowable, and why
they turn to religion for the biggest answers of all. But as Soren’s
curiousity lights up and reveals a world of possibility to him, I can
only regard religion as darkness. Religious stories cloaked as truth
only serve to stop our curious questioning. When one day, Soren asks
me why the sky is blue, or why the earth revolves around the sun, or
why people and animals die, I won’t tell him that god made it that
way. I’ll tell him to think about it all, to explore and keep
questioning, to research and investigate, and eventually, to put all
of his knowledge to use making our world into a much better place. Let
curiosity and discovery — not Bible stories — be his comfort when
the answers are hard to find.

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3 thoughts on “Everlasting Why

  1. hi there.. i found your blog after searching for “how to tell your parents you are not raising your child christian” i’m 38 weeks pregnant and my family is already pressuring me to raise my daughter in church.. it’s been an unspoken thing between us that i am a nonbeliever but now i feel it is all about to hit the fan. i get so emotional about it i’m not sure how to say no without insulting them. the way you have worded this blog has helped me align my thoughts. thank you.

  2. This is wonderful!! I can’t tell you how many times recently, my 5 year old daughter has asked things like “why are there tornadoes?”, and “why does mommy’s car move?”. I am learning right beside her as we eagerly search for answers as opposed to being told “god did it”, like I was as a child. I’m so happy I found your blog, it’s wonderful!

  3. Hi, I am posting a blog Carnival for Atheist Parenting at this link:
    http://carnivalofatheistparenting.blogspot.com.au/
    I would love to be able to include this blog post, and/or another blog post of your choice… If you would consider this, please submit your post through the email address on my blog.
    Thanks so much for considering this!
    I am really hoping for good quality blogs to feature on my carnival and, with the carnival, I’m hoping to support and inspire secular and atheist parents!

    Please feel free to delete this post!
    Karen
    Carnival for Atheist Parenting

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