Friday, September 24, 2010

childhood indoctrination

Very interesting discussion in class yesterday about where to draw the line between parental guidance and childhood indoctrination, when discussing speculative religion with children. Some worried that refraining from specific instruction in "what we believe" would encourage children to embrace a pernicious moral relativism. I'm more trusting of them than that, and more inclined to worry that terrorizing them with primitive superstition, hellfire, and the threat of eternal damnation will scar them for life.

Richard Dawkins has been beating this drum for awhile.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes the discussion yesterday was interesting. And I have watched the video clips you provided from Richard Dawkins. What irratates me about Dawkins, and Hitchens, (whose book God is not Great I read and enjoyed) is that they are just as arrogant and closed minded as the Believers the excoriate for thier supposed dim wittedness and stupidity. What is it that they find so irritating? That people have faith in a thing unseen?

I cannot prove one way or another if God exists. What I also know is that the non-believers cannot prove that God doesn't exist. Believing in God is a matter of faith as opposed to scientific knowledge, and I am not sure why the skeptics become so furious with the Believers.

If their anger is at all the harm religion has brought into the world, that is another issue. But I would argue you need to be angry at religious leaders who promote tactics that lead to violence and damage. Take your anger and venom out on religion, not God, or believers in God.

As William James pointed out in Will to Believe, their is simply no harm in having that conviction. And as a rational person it may be a "good bet" because where is the down side? If you believe in God, and he does exist, then you become rewarded. However, if you are wrong, and their is no Creator, what have you lost in that belief?

What is evolutions great promise, or sciences great solution to the problems that plague mankind? Raving atheist's seem intent on destroying the possibility of God. Would it make them happier to burn the churches and torture the Believers into scientific "certainty." Destroying something beautiful because it has no function does not enhance life.

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