Re: [asa] Dawkins, religion, and children

From: <>
Date: Wed May 02 2007 - 01:00:02 EDT

Phil wrote:

> Teaching atheism in any form to a child is a horribly cruel thing, just as
> it is a cruel thing to teach it to any adult. It is always cruel in all its
> forms. Atheists see this as just a cruel reality of life, and so they accept
> it. Dawkins doesn't seem concerned over this, however. He doesn't allow
> that hell might be right and meaninglessness might be wron g, and so the
> religious cruelty and not the atheist cruelty needs to be regulated by the state.
> He is concerned to stop only the religious parents from raising their
> children in their own images, not the irreligious parents.

The truth is important even for a child to know at some
level. If life is nothing more than pitiless material
existence, it would be best to make decisions based on
that fact.

So I would not see this in of itself as cruel if this
is what you genuinely believe. If our whole belief is
utterly false, then it would be quite cruel to impel
children to obey God, knowing that it is not true.

The place where Dawkins gets off is in presuming that
because he is 99.99% (or whatever) certain that God is
a hoax, everyone else must follow ___his___ plan. If he
wants to teach his kids there is no God, he has as much
right as others to teach their kids about hell. (Not
that I agree with either per se, but it is hypocritical
to insist that sincere belief be sanctioned just because
one doesn't agree with it). As long as parents don't cross
the legal line of physical abuse, it's very difficult
to stop parents from teaching whatever heaping pile of
dog dung they please.

> His shallow set of concerns betray that he is not so interested in
> protecting the feelings of children as he is in making them unbelievers.

But, when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, we
may also know regret that day because we didn't reach out
and help some people, we said hard words instead of words
of love to those in need, we abused the helpless, and we
held grudges on some people for the evil they did to us.
And all that instead of the message of Christ. We will all
have few words to say that day.

From the other side, Dawkins would say the same. "I should
have told everyone that God is a hoax, I should have told
more people that this stuff is illusion. They made foolish
decisions because they believed a lie!"

Christianity is more about the choices we make. It is faith
that there is purpose, and it amplifies the importance of
being Godly in a way that atheism cannot. If Dawkins is
wrong, he pays, if we're wrong, we pay. But in the end, we
have made our choice and will reap our reward, whatever that
may be.

We certainly should chose the pill that gives us knowledge
rather than live in bliss with our brain in a vat. The error is
that, by Grace, the truth will lead us to God.

by Grace we proceed,

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Received on Wed May 2 01:00:22 2007

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