Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Richard Dawkins (again)

An interesting quote from Richard Dawkins here, in which he casts doubt on the value of fairy tales.

Do not ever call a child a Muslim child or a Christian child – that is a form of child abuse because a young child is too young to know what its views are about the cosmos or morality.

It is evil to describe a child as a Muslim child or a Christian child. I think labelling children is child abuse and I think there is a very heavy issue, for example, about teaching about hell and torturing their minds with hell.

It's a form of child abuse, even worse than physical child abuse. I wouldn't want to teach a young child, a terrifyingly young child, about hell when he dies, as it's as bad as many forms of physical abuse.

High-standard invective and good understanding of how the media works with the repeated mentions of child abuse. However, if Christianity or indeed Islam actually are in some sense true, then it would seem to be abuse not to teach children to believe in them. Like failing to teach a child that crossing a road in front of a big lorry is dangerous. Is that child abuse, by terrifying them with the prospect of death?

Meanwhile, Melanie Phillips has written a very interesting piece about Dawkins, after the Dawkins v Lennox debate in Oxford last week.

1 comment:

JoPo said...

You might as well not teach children that electrical sockets are dangerous.

Of course, I know a girl whose father read Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" to her when she was growing up, and I'm not sure that's the best choice of bedtime reading...