Friday, March 31, 2006
Raising Children in a Christian home, child abuse?
According to atheist evolutionist scientist Richard Dawkins yes. The following is an article from worldnet daily talking about Dawkins show "The Root of All Evil" (religion):
Controversial scientist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins, dubbed "Darwin's Rottweiler," calls religion a "virus" and faith-based education "child abuse" in a two-part series he wrote and appears in that begins airing on the UK's Channel 4, beginning tomorrow evening.
Entitled "Root of All Evil?," the series features the atheist Dawkins visiting Lourdes, France, Colorado Springs, Colo., the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and a British religious school, using each of the venues to argue religion subverts reason.
In "The God Delusion," the first film in the series, Dawkins targets Catholicism at the pilgrimage site in Lourdes. "If you want to experience the medieval rituals of faith, the candle light, the incense, music, important-sounding dead languages, nobody does it better than the Catholics," he says.
Dawkins, using his visit to Colorado Springs' New Life Church, criticizes conservative U.S. evangelicals and warns his audience of the influence of "Christian fascism" and "an American Taliban."
The backdrop of the al-Aqsa mosque and an American-born Jew turned fundamentalist Muslim who tells Dawkins to prepare for the Islamic world empire – and who clashes with him after saying he hates atheists – rounds out the first program's case for the delusions of the faithful.
In part two, "The Virus of Faith," Dawkins attacks the teaching of religion to children, calling it child abuse.
"Innocent children are being saddled with demonstrable falsehoods," he says. "It's time to question the abuse of childhood innocence with superstitious ideas of hellfire and damnation. Isn't it weird the way we automatically label a tiny child with its parents' religion?"
"Sectarian religious schools," Dawkins asserts, have been "deeply damaging" to generations of children.
Dawkins, who makes no effort to disguise his atheism and contempt for religion, focuses on the Bible, too.
"The God of the Old Testament has got to be the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous, and proud of it, petty, vindictive, unjust, unforgiving, racist," he says. Dawkins then criticizes Abraham, compares Moses to Hitler and Saddam Hussein, and calls the New Testament "St Paul's nasty, sado-masochistic doctrine of atonement for original sin."
John Deighan, a spokesman for the Catholic Church, took issue with Dawkin's denunciation of religion, telling the Glasgow Sunday Herald, "Dawkins is well known for his vitriolic attacks on faith, and I think faith has withstood his attacks. He really is going beyond his abilities as a scientist when he starts to venture into the field of philosophy and theology. He is the guy with demonstrable problems."
Madeline Bunting, a columnist for the Guardian, who reviewed the series, wrote: "There's an aggrieved frustration that [atheist humanists] have been short-changed by history – we were supposed to be all atheist rationalists by now. Secularization was supposed to be an inextricable part of progress. Even more grating, what secularization there has been is accompanied by the growth of weird irrationalities from crystals to ley lines. As G.K. Chesterton pointed out, the problem when people don't believe in God is not that they believe nothing, it is that they believe anything."
Dawkins, perhaps best known for his much-cited comment that evolution "made it possible to be an intellectually satisfied atheist," appeals to John Lennon in a commentary he authored for the Belfast Telegraph on the eve of his program's premiere: "Religion may not be the root of all evil, but it is a serious contender. Even so it could be justified, if only its claims were true. But they are undermined by science and reason. Imagine a world where nobody is intimidated against following reason, wherever it leads. "You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one."
The problem with Dawkins statements about what is morally right and wrong for people to do is that any moral statement he may make is wholly arbitrary. One can equally be justified and say that to raise one's children in an atheist evolutionist home is child abuse. My point is that these are just statements, but are based upon nothing at all except Dawkins' fancy. Dawkins' show "The Root of All Evil" labels religion (all of it) as one of the greatest contributor to social disorder in history. Dawkins cites the Protestant/Catholic controversy in Ireland, Muslim suicide bombers, and of course the crusades to show that religion is the root of evil. Well I firstly would ask where does Dawkins get his standard of what is right and wrong? Who's to say that suicide bombing isn't actually "good"? I don't think Dawkins or any atheist really has an answer for where they get their standard of what actions are morally right and which are wrong.
The only response to the above question I have heard atheists make is "That which harms the happiness of people is wrong." Only problem is that this statement too is arbitrary. Some people derive happiness from harming others so to tell them they can not harm others is to deny them their happiness. This is what morality is reduced to when we remove God from the picture, just arbitrary statements with no real truth value just the whimsical dogmas of some "expert elite".
I still find it odd that Dawkins is a biologist yet he seems to speak more on religion than upon his area of biology, it seems to me that darwinism is Dawkins religion and he is fighting the competitors. In response to level the plain I would say bad ideas is the root of all evil. Take evolution at the turn of the 20th century, because of this theory Australian aborigines were planned to be eugenically bred out for their own good. If a mixed child would be found he/she would be taken from their parents and put in a boarding school with the hope that they would eventually procreate with a caucasion thus over time get the bad aborigine traits eliminated from society. This is one example of what bad thinking around evolution can do I can cite more like the pygmy who was taken from Africa and put in a cage next to a chimpanzee with the label over his cage "The missing link". The point is that if you are going to throw muk at religion for bad things that happened in the name of God and proudly boast of your atheist evolutionary view you need to look at the skeletons in your own closet.
Ultimately in the Bible we as Christians have a standard of right and wrong, a standard which says the crusades were wrong for example. The bible gives answers to the question "How should we then live?" where a non theistic view leaves man to arbitrarily decide what is right and wrong.