Re: [asa] Dawkins, religion, and children

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Tue May 01 2007 - 11:35:09 EDT

On 5/1/07, David Campbell <> wrote:
> The question of imposing on children also relates to the claims of
> non-"coersion" associated with process theology. Both last night and
> this morning, brushing Timothy's (age 2.5 yrs) teeth involved
> coersion. Does Dawkins think I should be locked up for that?

Almost certainly not. But I think what it boils down to is your a priori
position. There is no question that brushing your teeth is something that
is good for you. The issue of whether there is a physical hell that really
exists, is under debate and can't be proven one way or the other. Dawkins's
a priori position is that there is no supernatural, no hell, no heaven, no
God. So if someone does something like tell a child about judgement, and as
a result, that child suffers mental anguish and fear of everlasting
damnation, Dawkins will regard it as an evil abuse, arising from a delusion,
because he is not prepared to accept it might not be a delusion.

I gave the example earlier of the reviewer on who reported that
"The Selfish Gene" shattered his fledgling faith, and led to several bouts
of depression. But I'm guessing that Dawkins wouldn't see that as abuse,
because he believes that he's telling the truth that there is no God. If
the truth upsets you, then too bad.

I would like to clarify that I personally would be strongly opposed to
preaching hellfire and damnation to children, and would prefer to show the
message of love.


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Received on Tue May 1 11:35:38 2007

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