First of all, let’s address the reason for the title. As it says, I’ve had a very interesting conversation with one of my nieces, who is at the young age of 9. This was a completely random incident and no way did I steer our conversation towards the topic and that is why it is more so interesting to me and possibly to others as well.
It was another day of the world wide lockdown. The Novel Corona Virus took over the planet by a sweep, death toll rose by the thousands everyday. The world stood still, watching, blaming each other as they suffered. Everyone stayed home during the lockdown. Life was moving at a slow pace.
The story has to do with two little young boys. One in particular. The sons of my father’s brother. One is 13 years old and the other is 9. They frequently come to my house.
On this particular day, they both came to my house and then to my room probably in hope of playing some videogames on my laptop. The older brother’s name was “Kuttu” and the younger one was “Kunju”. Both Kuttu and Kunju sat near me and the conversation went as follows,
Kuttu: Chettai enna cheyyuva??(what are you doing brother??)
Me: Korach athum ethum okke cheyyuva.(I’m doing some random stuff)
Kunju: Athenna athum ethum?(what do u mean by random?)
Kuttu: Daivathinariyam!(God knows!)
Kunju: Athinu daivamonnumillada Kuttu. Alle chettai??? (there is no God Kuttu. Am I right brother??) – He said this to Kuttu and asked me if he was right. I didn’t respond to him then.
This is the point where the conversation started to catch my interest. This young boy is coming from religious family. Both his parents are religious, I don’t think anyone has ever told him about atheism or agnosticism. I’ve never talked about my views about religion to them. Let’s come to the most interesting part now,
Kuttu: ath ninakkemgana ariyavunne?(how do you know that??)
Kunju: Eda potta! Daivam undayirunnath pandaanu. Eppo daivam ella. Daivam chath poyi!!!! ( You fool!!! God existed in the past. There is no God now. He died!!!!)
Me:. (Curious af.) Athenthada daivam chath poyenn parayunne?(why are you saying that God is dead ??)
Kunju: Pinne daivam eppo undarnel etrem alkar engane chath povvarno. ( If God existed at this period of time, would this many people have died??)
I was surprised with his way of thinking. He was taught that God listened to our prayers. God is good, brings happiness and prosperity to the human kind and all that accompanying nonsense. Yet, in his young little mind, he couldn’t come to terms with that and the reality of things. He was not able to think of a bad, evil God. So he came to the assumption that God was dead!!. He saw the world suffering amid the pandemic. What else can a child do?? I could see the sincerity in his eyes.
Incidents like this makes life the more interesting. The words of a sincere little boy-“God is dead”.
The problem of evil argument is not a particularly strong one. But this coming from a little child who doesn’t know anything about philosophy is truly surprising. I’ll never forget this.