How to Explain God to a 5-Year-Old

How to Explain God to a 5-Year-Old

How to explain God to a 5-year-old is an article that will have you either validating or questioning your own beliefs about God.

In 2022, an increasing number of people identify as atheists – “an absence of belief in the existence of deities”. Others play it a bit safer and class themselves as agnostic – “a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God”.

Atheism has been popularised a lot by comedians, most notably English Comedian Ricky Gervais. It’s become such common fodder for comedians, that it’s evolved into the low-hanging fruit of the lazy comedian. But Ricky was certainly a pioneer in the mockery of deities.

How to Explain God to a 5-Year-Old

The agnostic plays it safer because they are saying we don’t know therefore at this current time, there is no reason to believe in God. While atheists say they know God does not exist.

What I find is that when people are dismissing God, they are usually dismissing a juvenile concept of God.

They are dismissing the idea that there is a man in the clouds with a long white beard, draped in linens, casting judgment on us all, with the worst of us spending eternity in hell.

With the above definition in mind, I would agree that believing in that, is delusional. Believing in anything that resembles that definition is in my mind’s eye incredibly foolish.

Why do we have this concept of God?

Well, I’m not too familiar with how the education system teaches religion and the concept of God these days, but in my day, God was certainly described as being this man up in the sky.

So that’s where we get it from for the most part. We were told from a very young age that God is basically some dude in the sky and he made everything and judges the crap out of us for doing stuff wrong, resulting in us being tortured.

Such a god sounds psychotic. That does not sound like a good guy at all. It sounds like a spoilt child with way too much power.

There is a famous interview by Gay Byrne interviewing Stephan Fry. They tackle the topic of God. Stephan Fry makes a compelling case against God. He talks about some terrible things and how if God exists then he is responsible for these vile things.

While Stephens’s argument is well-structured and delivered with great poise, the problem with it is that the God he is disputing is the God I have outlined previously – the spoilt man-child in the sky.

I agree with Stephen Fry if he is dismissing the existence of such a God. I totally agree with him.

But such a definition of God is so absurd, bizarre, and insane that you’d really wonder why on earth both the church and our education system have pushed this man-like concept of God on us all.

Do You Believe in God?

If you are ever asked the question “do you believe in God?” Your reply should not be yes or no, but it should be a question. You should reply by asking “How do you define God?”

Most likely if someone is asking you this question they are applying the man in the sky definition.

Even though your answer to this may be “no I do not believe in that” you may still believe in God based on a completely different understanding.

The very question “do you believe in God?” is often coming from a place of extreme arrogance, because the person putting forward the question believes they know what God is.

People often ask this question because they either want you to validate them in their non-belief or they want to make you feel stupid and then validate them again in their non-belief. It’s kind of an ego-driven question more so than a question that is seeking truth.

The God of Spinoza

I think the first time my mind was truly opened to God was when Albert Einstein was asked the question – “Do you believe in God” and he replied that he believed in the “God of Spinoza”.

Immediately I Googled “God of Spinoza”.

Baruch de Spinoza was a Jewish-Dutch philosopher. He had controversial views and at 23 he was excommunicated from his Jewish community. His books were added to the Catholic Church’s Index of Forbidden Books.

You can easily learn about his views online but in summary, the God of Spinoza was a very practical description of what God is.

The God of Spinoza is of course left open to interpretation and in no way proves the existence of God, but it’s a very beautiful and holistic way of thinking.

I encourage everyone to read up on what the God of Spinoza is at least once in their life. It may bring you peace and resolve, especially if you’re an atheist.

For your convenience, you can read about it here – The God of Spinoza.

I learned about the God of Spinoza in my late 20’s. I didn’t change my life, but it certainly opened my mind.

Roll on Dr. Joseph Murphy

It wasn’t until my late 30s did I have my mind opened to God once more. This time by Dr. Joseph Murphy.

Joseph Murphy was an ordained priest who earned a PhD in psychology. His talks are all over YouTube, he is a published author.

I came across Joseph Murphy when my girlfriend – Monica introduced him to me during a tough time in my life when I was recovering from retinal surgery – which I talk about in my article Don’t Confuse Fear with Intuition.

Joseph once again opened my mind up to God and the science of praying and how it works.

In summary, Joseph explains that God is your subconscious mind and that the sub-conscious mind is what connects you to the infinite intelligence.

Praying is a method to connect directly to the subconscious mind and connect with the infinite intelligence.

This infinite intelligence is God.

In other words, the infinite intelligence is all that is, all that ever was, and all that ever will be. It’s that which connects us through time, space, and energy.

Now, by that definition, if you were still to dismiss God, you’d have to be delusional and very anti-science. To dismiss god by this definition you would have to state that we are not all connected through time, space and energy.

Every scientific experiment ever conducted shows us through our own eyes that we are connected and part of the whole.

Show me one experiment that shows us we are not connected to that which we are saying we are not connected to and I will show you a delusional person.

Carl Sagan to The Rescue

There is a famous quote by Carl Sagan which has always stuck with me “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe”.

I don’t think the concept of the eternal connection has ever been put so succinctly and at the same time poetically.

Just think about it for a moment, you literally cannot make an apple pie without creating the entire universe first. An apple pie is inherently connected to every atom of your being as it is to every atom of the moon and the distant galaxies.

As a thought experiment, try and create an apple pie without first having the universe in place.

The works of Joseph Murphy are profound and easily dismissed by the small mind. But for an open mind, they are life-changing.

The Tao Te Ching

Now I must turn to the Tao Te Ching.

I was introduced to the Tao Te Ching by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I listened to it on audio several times during my recovery from retinal surgery.

The Tao Te Ching is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism – Taoists believe in spiritual immortality, where the spirit of the body joins the universe after death.

The Tao Te Ching explains that the God that can be named is not God. Or that the God that can be pointed to is not God. By these paradoxical guidelines, it is impossible to dismiss God, because what you are dismissing can be named and pointed to and that is not God. You are attempting to dismiss that which cannot be dismissed.

This is the great paradox of God.

God as stated by major religions is everything and everywhere. Therefore you are god because you are part of everything and everywhere, you are part of the whole, which makes you the whole.

So when you talk about God you’re really talking about yourself and talking to yourself. To not believe in god is to essentially say you don’t believe you exist.

Not an easy one to wrap your head around especially if you are explaining this to a 5-year-old or an atheist.

So back to the title of this article “How to Explain God to a 5-Year-Old”.

This is how I would explain God to a 5-year-old.

I’d sit down with the 5-year-old and I’d bring their attention to something, let’s say a tree. Then I’d ask the child do you think you are connected to the tree. In their juvenile mind, the child would likely say “no” – thinking, there is me and there is the tree. The tree is outside of me.

But then I would explain to the child, that you see the tree. We are talking about it. We are sharing space with it. It is even using the same air as us. We are breathing the oxygen it produces. We are therefore connected to the tree in multiple ways.

I would then ask the question again, ” do you think you are connected to the tree” if I did a good job, the child will then say “yes”.

I would then explain to the child that this is what God is – that which connects us all.

Maybe one day, when asked the question do you believe in God, you’ll reply, I believe in the God of Scott.

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