Please Don’t Tell Your Kids to Believe in God Just in Case He Exists
by Natasha Crain
Today’s post, like my last one, is in response to some comments I saw in a Facebook group recently. A mom posted that her 5-year-old asked, “How do we know God is real?”
Amongst the many responses from fellow parents was this one: “I would say… Maybe God isn’t real. If he isn’t, then have we lost anything by following him and living good and moral lives? No. So if our faith isn’t true, we can still live lives that spread goodness and love. And if it is true then we get to experience the source of goodness and love when we pass on to the next life. Either way we make a good choice to follow God and spread love and goodness in this world.”
This response is the basic idea behind what is famously known as “Pascal’s Wager,” named for the 17th century philosopher Blaise Pascal who first championed it. The gist of the argument is that humans should live as if God exists because we have everything to gain and nothing to lose from it—a safe bet. If it turns out that God exists, then you gain heaven and avoid hell; if it turns out that God doesn’t exist, you’ve lost nothing. So everyone should just believe in God, right?
No, no, no. Please don’t use this as your Christian parenting philosophy…either implicitly or explicitly.
Over time, I’ve received quite a few blog comments from Christian parents suggesting this is their underlying rationale for faith, and I’ve seen many Christians attempt to use this logic with nonbelievers. However, it’s riddled with problems and I implore Christian parents to avoid this mentality at all costs. Here are four reasons why…
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