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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Richard Dawkins vs. Harry Potter – Battle of the Wizards

Please note that this essay is being moved and will be shortly reposted at True Freethinker


  1. Angel;
    Thanks for the comment and info.
    But I am not sure I understand what you are talking about seeing or what was pushed back, is there a new Harry Potter movie coming?

  2. mariano,

    Great post! Keep up the good work!


  3. Looking forward to the Atheist Den series.

    I always found Dawkins view about child rearing quite strange. If the parents believe things to be true, it's quite natural for them to pass on to their kids. If the parents did NOT think they were true, they would not teach them.
    Dawkins would seem to tell parents, stop sharing with your kids the things you find to be true. But then, what's the point of parenting if not to pass on your life's experience and knowledge to your offspring?
    It seems to me, if a parent refuses to share beliefs with their kids, then they must not really think such beliefs are true to begin with. Because if they DID think their beliefs true, they would pass them on and teach them.
    Children are an extension of the family, they take the family name, inherit family possessions, and generally inherit family values.
    Why should Christians NOT raise Christian children? And why should Atheist parents NOT raise Atheist children? Do the Christians not believe they are right and true? Does the Atheist not believe he is right and true? What kind of kid is the Atheist going to raise? A Baptist? Of COURSE he will pass on his beliefs to his kids.
    I do think kids will, whether we like it or not, question their family beliefs through young adulthood and figure things out for themselves, especially in a free country. It's just that I don't understand what Dawkins is saying. If Christian parents shall not raise their child as a Christian, or Mormon, Catholic, Jewish, then what would he have us raise instead? Atheists? What is his worldview of choice? His religion of choice? His value system of choice? Are we to leave our children completely void of worldview and values? Until when? 12? 15? When CAN we teach them our religion? Shall we send our kids to the room or tell them to plug their ears when mom and dad ask the blessing over dinner? Shall we send them to their room when we play Christian radio or listen to a sermon on a podcast?
    Can it not be said that no matter WHAT you teach a child, it can be labeled indoctrination? Why is it only indoctrination to Dawkins when the lesson is one which he doesn't agree with? Why is using Proverbs and teaching Psalms indoctrination, but telling them to be kind, to not hurt people, the golden rule, is not indoctrination?
    Would leaving our children to a public education (indoctrination) to Naturalism through school be considered valid and right? Why that and not another?

    If I believe my religion is true, and I've adequately studied the issue and have made my decisions, why can't I pass that on and teach it? I've found it to be true about the universe, about our existence. If it is true, I want to teach it. We don't go around telling each other not to teach geometry, that we should let our kids discover it and choose what they will believe about it for themselves. So why do the same thing for our family faith? If I think Christianity is true, then there is no such thing as finding "their own truth", because I don't believe there to be any other choices for truth. There is no alternate truth about geometry that they might stumble upon and believe. Certainly they will have to adopt the faith-based ideas on their own, and make that leap for themselves, one cannot force a person to love, or to have faith. That doesn't stop me from believing it is true, and thus telling that to my kids (when I have them some day).
    It just seems to me, that if I would refuse to pass on my beliefs to my kids, then I must not really believe them, or I think them wrong to teach. Or else I would somehow think it is wrong to force the truth upon people, but then, what is school for? And if I believe Christianity to be true, there is no such thing as "finding one's own truth". It doesn't work that way, there is truth, and there is not truth, and I wouldn't let my kids wander around in the dark hunting and pecking for what seems best to them. They are not smart enough and have a developed world view enough to do such things.

    Anyway, I'll be waiting to hear what Dawkins might say about this.

  4. Vigilante;
    As for his ultimate goal:
    “I could well imagine that this linguistically coded freedom to choose might lead children to choose no religion at all”
    —Prof. Richard Dawkins, Now Here’s a Bright Idea.


  5. Seriously? I was nearly pulling my hair out.

    In a world governed by Dawkins we'd only be allowed biology textbooks for entertainment.


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