Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Bob... shut up

People may be interested in Ricky Gervais's article on his sudden conversion to atheism at the age of eight.

There I was, happily drawing (a picture of Jesus). My big brother Bob asked, 'Why do you believe in God?' Just a simple question, but my mum panicked. 'Bob... Shut up'. Why was it a bad thing to ask? If there was a God it didn't matter what people said.

Oh... hang on. There is no God. He knows it, and she knows it deep down. It was as simple as that.

I don't think for me there was a single hard edge to my loss of belief in Christianity. But like Gervais I think what led me to putting it aside was the realisation that the Christians I knew didn't really believe in it, deep down. When you asked them questions (as in the example) they were anxious and embarrassed. Bob, shut up. It wasn't a theological insight, it was a social intuition (children are good at picking up the subtext of adults' words) which I think is what Gervais is describing too.

Nowadays on the internet and in politics the embarrassment expresses itself in a more angry guise, but I think at core it comes down to 'Bob, shut up'.

I had to laugh at his conclusion:

I hope I haven't offended anyone with this article. OK, that's a lie.
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