A Pre-Schooler’s Journey to Disbelief

I often get asked why I’m an Atheist. That’s why I’ve decided to go ahead and do a post for Coming Out Godless and for this blog so that I can just give people linkage and they’ll know.

I was a child of Atheist parents. I, like all other children, came into the world with no concept of God whatsoever. I was unaware of my parent’s lack of belief for some time, though.

When I was… well, I don’t remember at all how old I was, I went to a Montessori school for pre-school. The teacher was a very nice evangelical Chinese woman. It was there that I first learned what God was.

I was excited my first day there. There was loads of fun games to play, nice people to play them with, picture books…

And then we sat down to lunch. I was ravenous, so I went ahead, opened up my lunchbox, and started shoveling food into my mouth.

“What are you doing?!” came a harsh whisper. I looked up from my food to see everybody’s heads bowed along with the teacher.

“She hasn’t finished praying!” said another child.

It was then that I learned that there was somebody called “God”. God was an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-benevolent being. He created us, protected us, and watched over us, sometimes granting us prayers. Cool!

I remember two major falsehoods they taught me there. God and Santa Claus. Santa Claus I debunked sooner. My first Christmas after learning about him, I was laying awake listening for him. When I heard a sound outside my room, I snuck out to be confronted by my Dad. Wasn’t much of a mystery how the presents got into the house the next day…

But God I believed in for a while.

Not only was the teacher at my pre-school teaching us about God everyday and making us pray, but my mother would take me to church. It’s not that she was a theist. She couldn’t care less whether I believed in God or not. She wanted me to go to church so that I could understand American culture.

I still remember the song I learned on the first day there. “Jesus loves me this I know, because the Bible tells me so.” And why do we know the Bible is true? Because it says it’s telling the truth. And how do we know the Bible is telling us the truth about telling the truth? Because it says… When I grew up and became more educated I learned that the term for this is circular reasoning.

At the same time, I started reading a lot. My favourite books were about science and… dinosaurs! I dunno if I became interested in them after I was obsessed with Land Before Time or if I became interested in them because of Land Before Time. Either way, dinosaurs were really cool… except… they were dead. Quite a shame but… wait a minute… If God created us and the dinosaurs, and God protected us and loved us because we were His creations… Why would God have let the dinosaurs go extinct?!

This bothered me and kept me awake during nap time. It made no sense.

Columbine happened a short while later. If God was protecting us and loved us, why would he let something like that happen?

Then there was another paradox that really killed God for my pre-school brain.

If God wanted us to believe in him, and he made us, why not make us so that we already believed in him? Of course, he apparently gave us free will to choose, but I wasn’t born with a conception of who God was. Why not instill in me at least some knowledge that he existed so that I could rebel against him if I chose to?

And then I said to my parents “this religion stuff is really stupid” or something to that affect.

I’d like to say I’ve been an Atheist ever since but in 4th grade I tried praying to God to help me on math tests. It didn’t work. I’ve been an Atheist ever since.

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15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by James T Kirk on April 21, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    Well the answer to that is simple, God was not protecting the dinosaurs, he only protects humans who obey him. — How would that answer have gone for your preschool brain?

  2. It would have gone like this… What was the point of the dinosaurs anyway?

  3. Posted by James T Kirk on April 21, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    And my responce would have been, God did not plan for the dinosaurs to rule the earth, they were simply one of the evolutionary offshoots of the original life form created by God.

  4. Rather indirect way of going about it, don’t you think?

  5. Theistard circular logic FAIL!

  6. Posted by James T Kirk on April 22, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    “Theistard circular logic FAIL!”

    Ok…

    “And my *response would have been, God did not plan for the dinosaurs to rule the earth, they were simply one of the evolutionary offshoots of the original life form created by God.”

    O-K… please explain how that is circular logic?

    It is slightly fallacious so I’ll reword it,

    “”And my *response would have been, God did not create them, they were simply one of the evolutionary offshoots of the original life form created by God.”

    What I meant was they were simply one of the desendants of the original self-replicating molecule and God assuming he had any part in the evolutionary process which lead to humans had no part in the emmergence of dinosaurs, they evolved simply because they had an advantage at tht point. God would have nothing to do with it; we do not come from dinosaurs as you may remember, so they would not inevitably lead to us.

    Sorry evolved rationalist I believe this is an atheistard failure-to-understand-theist fail.

  7. Posted by James T Kirk on April 22, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    *God would have had nothing to do with it

  8. If God was guiding evolution along to produce us, he wouldn’t have bothered with the dinosaurs. That’s the point. If he didn’t want dinosaurs and he was guiding evolution there would be no dinosaurs.

  9. Posted by James T Kirk on April 22, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Well, I guess it depends on how you look at, and (tell evolved rationalist I apologize for calling her an atheistard will you).

    Then again God can do whatever he wants, why woudn’t he have let dinosaurs evolve, he let King Nebuchadnezzar build his Empire annd he let the Canaanites settle Canaan even though they had no future in Canaan as far as he was concerned, The dinosaurs may have simply evolved because they had the advantage at the time completely by chance even though he had no future for them.

  10. Posted by James T Kirk on April 22, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    I see I did not answer the entire question, I said God was guiding the evolutionary process. I think the only process he was really guiding was our own. So he was not guiding dinosaur evolution

  11. Our evolution could not have taken place if dinosaurs were around. When they went extinct, that allowed mammals to finally become dominant leading up to us. The dinosaurs were a highly inconvenient 135 million year detour, if you ask me. One which I would’ve avoided if I was guiding human evolution along.

  12. Posted by James T Kirk on April 23, 2008 at 12:26 am

    *160 million year detour

    …And that is what the asteroid was for, he may have allowed it simply to show how great he is…or The dinosaurs had souls!!!!!! And they rebelled against him!!!!!!!!!

    !!!!!!!!! = facetious

  13. I would’ve had it in for them about 159 million years sooner if I was God. More efficient.

  14. Hi, great story. Glad I found you. I have added you to the links directory on Secular Earth.

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