Intellectual Independence

By KP Mohanan and Tara Mohanan

Intellectual Independence

By KP Mohanan and Tara Mohanan

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Rafa:     Mom, do you believe in God? 

Samira:     Why are you asking that, Rafa?

R:     I want to know if God exists. 

S:     Okay, but tell me why you’re interested in God all of a sudden. 

R:     Well, Bina was asking me if I was an atheist. I asked her what an atheist was, and she said, one who doesn’t believe that God exists. Do you believe that God exists? 

S:     If I said, “yes,” would you believe too that God exists?

R:     Yes. 

S:     If I said, “no,” would you believe too that God doesn’t exist? 

R:     Yes. 

S:     So, what you’re saying is you’ll believe in whatever I say? 

R:     Well, maybe not everything.

S:     What if I told you I don’t know whether God exists or not? How would you decide then?

R:     I’d go and find someone who did know. Maybe dad? He seems to know everything anyway.

S:     I’m sure he doesn’t know everything. Besides, why would you believe either of us? If we told you your sister was a racoon, would you believe us then?

R:     Of course not, I’d know you were lying if you ever told me that. But why would you lie to me about God?

S:     I may not be a liar, but I might be mistaken. If you believe everything I say without questioning, you would be taking my word for it, without thinking about it and making up your own mind. What would you do if I told you that God exists and your father told you that God doesn’t exist?

R:     Oh! Er… I don’t know. I wouldn’t know who to believe. How do I find out if God exists then?

S:    Well, first you need to learn how to figure things out for yourself. Not just about God, but about everything. Then you can think about the God question for yourself. Are you ready for that?  

R:    I guess.

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

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