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Meditation 10
How young is old enough?

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On occasion I enter into correspondence with visitors to this site. Once, while I was corresponding about agnosticism with a young woman, about eighteen years old, I mentioned it to a friend. To my surprise, my friend was shocked. What was I doing discussing such a subject with such a young person? I might turn her away from the religious beliefs she had been brought up in! These issues should wait until she was old enough to make an intelligent decision about her spiritual future.

Needless to say, I was very disturbed by my friend's response.[1] I could not see her problem, particularly with respect to an eighteen year old. Yet it is not an uncommon view. I have been advised that this site is blocked by some schools. (Probably this site is not blocked specifically, but as part of a blanket block of agnostic and atheist sites.)

Yet why should agnosticism be blocked for young people while scumbags like Donald Spitz, who makes heroes of cowardly murderers, and Fred Phelps, who openly encourages the denigration of gays, seem to have free access to preach their perverted versions of Christian doctrine to young people?

Just how young is old enough to learn about agnosticism?

Children generally start receiving indoctrination in their parent's religion as early as 3 and 4. The Jesuits claim that if they have a child's mind for the first seven years, they have it forever. And yet some seem to think that eighteen may be too early to suggest that young people have a choice?

I say that children are old enough to know that there is a genuine range of alternatives to their parent's faith just about the same time they learn the truth about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Is there a better time to learn the truth about the existence of God?

And they deserve to have information available to them if they are old enough to request it.

And anyone who can see the innate logical flaw in "Jesus loves me, this I know, for my bible tells me so!" is ready to hear about atheism and agnosticism - and any other religious belief system for that matter.


  1. And she, in turn, got disturbed that I used our discussion in this article. We are no longer friends.