Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Telic Thoughts On Richard Dawkins and His Wonderful Plan For Your Children

Don't miss the posts at Telic Thoughts on Richard Dawkins' views of religious teaching of children by parents as "child abuse," and his views on what the government role should be in preventing that. Mike Gene provided this quote from Dawkins' book, The God Delusion:
'Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.' The adage is true as long as you don't really believe the words. But if your whole upbringing, and everything you have ever been told by parents, teachers and priests, has led you to believe, really believe, utterly and completely, that sinners burn in hell (or some other obnoxious article of doctrine such as that a woman is the property of her husband), it is entirely plausible that words could have a more long-lasting and damaging effect than deeds. I am persuaded that the phrase 'child abuse' is no exaggeration when used to describe what teachers and priests are doing to children whom they encourage to believe in something like the punishment of unshriven mortal sins in an eternal hell. (page 318)

As a result of the attention drawn to his statements and actions by the Telic Thoughts blog, Dawkins apparently has expressed regret (repented? recanted?) over signing a petition that endorses preventing parents from teaching their children about religion. However, as far as I can see, he has not taken back his statements in his book (and elsewhere) that "the phrase 'child abuse' is no exaggeration when used to describe" religious instruction in certain of the historic Christian doctrines.

So is Dawkins against government protection of children from child abuse? It seems that he needs to clarify which forms of "child abuse" merit government intervention and which do not. Or perhaps he could come up with a different, and less inflamatory, description. It would also be enlightening to know which other religious doctrines rise to the level of child abuse.


At January 04, 2007 9:42 AM, Anonymous John said...

"He alone, who owns the youth, gains the Future!"

"Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted."

"When an opponent declares, 'I will not come over to your side,' I calmly say, 'Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.'" [John - Alter the descendants and let the obsolete ancestors die off, thus leaving a new species. Is this not the very core of Darwinism?]

"Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school's meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?"

"The battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: A religion of humanity -- utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to carry humanist values into wherever they teach. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new -- the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism."

At January 04, 2007 10:34 AM, Anonymous Lawrence said...

So, John, who said that?

At January 04, 2007 2:13 PM, Anonymous John said...

Different quotes from different people, Lawrence. I was going to let the Darwinian fundamentalists look them up on their own just for fun, but since you're the blog owner and you asked, I'll let the cats out of their respective bags.

Quotes #1 and #3 - Adolf Hitler
Quote #2 - Vladimir Lenin
Quote #4 - Charles F. Potter
Quote #5 - John J. Dunphy

The Lenin quote was the one that immediately sprung into my mind when I analyzed Dawkins' recent machinations. I decided to search for more quotes along those lines and found treasure troves.

Obviously, the State prying children away from their parents by hook or by crook and indoctrinating them is not a new idea; I daresay it's one of the oldest in history (e.g., Plato's Republic). It's just amazing to me how many times it's been proposed and tried and failed, and yet the idea keeps coming back. Like Jason Voorhees in those Friday the 13th movies.

At January 08, 2007 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


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