When taking my kids to school each morning, we talk about all kinds of things. Mostly it’s me talking to my son about something he’s interested in or us cracking jokes while my daughter squeezes in some extra sleep. This morning, we got an early start ( “early” meaning “earlier than the normal barely-gonna-make-it time”). My son decided to hit me up with some philosophical subject matter. We talked about atheism, skepticism, and Big Bang cosmology, and we did so before school.
He asked me if I knew what atheism was, and I asked him how he defined it. His usage was more akin to skepticism, so we discussed the differences. Then, as if to cite an example, he mentioned the Big Bang theory and stated it was “just a theory”. This gave me the opportunity to talk about the difference between technical and colloquial word usages. As he described his philosophical objection to the Big Bang model, I carefully tried to correct his misunderstanding of what the model is without dampening his inclination toward questioning things.
He mentioned that there are a lot of obnoxious atheists on the Internet, and I readily agreed with him and pointed out that there are also a lot of obnoxious religious people online. We talked about the deficiencies in that approach and the need for people to talk to one another rather than at one another. As he was getting out of the car to go into his school building, I mentioned how none of us knows anything with absolute certainty and how we can all benefit from respectful dialogue and working together to search for answers to our questions as human beings. I closed with “that’s what I think about it, and I’m right”. He retorted “everything you just said is wrong and your argument is invalid”.
I still need more caffeine to catch my brain up.