Friday, December 08, 2006

What comes around...

During Dawkins talk, one of the most controversial statements he made was that teaching children to spout religious slogans of which they have no understanding of the meaning is unethical and amounts to child abuse.

This position is one that Dawkins has recieved much critisizm for. While I certainly don't agree that it's nearly as extreme as Dawkins likes to claim, it seems that Dawkins may have an unlikely supporter of his position: Bill O'Reilly.

Recently, an obviously coached video of a young girl parroting ideological slogans condeming Christianity began circulating the internet. O'Reilly's response? Claim it's child abuse and that the child is being "raised by nuts."

Meanwhile, in another case of irony, it looks like one community is kicking themselves after enacting a policy allowing religious groups to distribute flyers directly to school children. This policy was helped into place by none other than Jerry Falwell.

Unfortunately for them, it also allows Pagan groups to promote their events.

12 comments:

Mark UK said...

I understand the video was some kind of promo for a band? Anyway, using children is horrible anyway. Whatever the purpose.

Christensen Clone said...

There is a very serious reason why there is a move to lable the parents passing their views to their children as child abusers.

Because child abusers can be locked up.

And with open sentencing for child abuse (you stay in jail until the state shrink says you are mentally OK) this could be GULAD style life time, or extremely long, imprisonoment.

Dawkins, and the other who have said this at KCFS and other sites, know what they are doing. This is no off the cuff approach.

And on this note, perhaps some parents to go overboard, but whose view are the children going to hear?

Would it be better to just let the GIVERNMENT tell us what they can hear?

Because that is what Dawkins and many other atheists want.

For this, and other reasons, I know of NO atheist I would consider fit for ANY political office.

TheBrummell said...

Would it be better to just let the GIVERNMENT tell us what they can hear?

Because that is what Dawkins and many other atheists want.


You obviously haven't actually seen Dawkins' argument. He's NOT suggesting "make the government raise children" he's advocating EDUCATION ABOUT MULTIPLE RELIGIONS. It's the attitude of "we're [specific faith], everyone else is not, you must hate / pity / "save" them for the rest of your life or you will be punished for eternity" that he decries as abuse.

Your political views amount to bigotry. I am glad that it is extremely unlikely you live in the same political jurisdiction as I.

Manny Goldstein said...

Its not about "education about multiple religions",

The Clonw was right, its about labeling his opponents as child abusers...with all the consequences that legally entails.

But you already know that, so quit LYING.

Anonymous said...

By the way Brummel, you are quite right that it is fortunate that we don't live in your political jurisdiciton.

You see, in the US of A, we still have free speech, unlike Canada.

the second anonymous said...

It must be remembered that in talking about "mental child abuse," Dawkins (at least originally) was talking about the state subsidized and enforced religious education in the UK, where the government already had a significant role in the religious beliefs of children, and thus where the labeling of children as being a member of a religion had real legal consequences.

Also, judging from his writing, Dawkins is objecting primarily to our behavior as if children actually believe anything, and in labeling them as if they had actually made a decision, when in fact they are merely parroting whatever they have been told to say. This is why Dawkins would object to describing a child as a Christian, a Muslim, or an atheist for that matter. Of course, this assumes that when we label an adult as such, that they have made a decision based on careful consideration, and I don't think that this is truly the case. Thus, in the more colloquial sense, I think if you can label most adults you can probably label children by the same standards. However, from the legal sense that Dawkins is familiar with in the UK, the labeling of children does have an effect of predetermining their beliefs, which is what I think upsets Dawkins the most.

Anonymous said...

Dawkins needs to identify his parrots better. Many aren't children, but they sure do perform the way their gurus have programmed them to.

TheBrummell said...

Of course, this assumes that when we label an adult as such, that they have made a decision based on careful consideration, and I don't think that this is truly the case. Thus, in the more colloquial sense, I think if you can label most adults you can probably label children by the same standards.

This is the one good argument against Dawkins' child-abuse argument I've yet seen. It does imply that adults have actually chosen based on careful consideration, which I agree seems unlikely in the majority of cases. In The God Delusion, Dawkins does extend the argument and explain that in his view, religious adults are probably religious (and of their own specific religion) precisely because they were once (abused) children. It's a difficult argument to support with hard evidence, which is why it's a relatively weak argument.

It's far from the only argument made in The God Delusion, though.

But you already know that, so quit LYING.

From the context, and position of your comment, it looks like you're talking to me. OK.

Why do you assume I'm lying? This implies that I am knowingly expressing a view that is demonstrably false. The relevant context seems to be that Dawkins is expressely trying to get religious parents labelled as criminals, and thus use the power of the state to persecute them.

That seems far-fetched, to put it lightly. Even if that were Dawkins' intent, by expressing my disagreement, I'm not necessarily lying - has it occured to you that I might not be a member of the horrible conspiracy?

By the way Brummel, you are quite right that it is fortunate that we don't live in your political jurisdiciton.

You see, in the US of A, we still have free speech, unlike Canada.


*sigh* Please, my name includes two "l"s at the end. Just a little courtesy, please.

I am unaware that Canada lacks constitutionally-protected rights of freedom of speech. Were your rights trampled upon on your last visit?

King Aardvark said...

He must be talking about the free speech they have in the States, where you can be arrested for (legitimately) disagreeing with the Vice President in a nonthreatening manner.

the second anonymous said...

It must be remembered that in talking about "mental child abuse," Dawkins (at least originally) was talking about the state subsidized and enforced religious education in the UK, where the government already had a significant role in the religious beliefs of children, and thus where the labeling of children as being a member of a religion had real legal consequences.

Also, judging from his writing, Dawkins is objecting primarily to our behavior as if children actually believe anything, and in labeling them as if they had actually made a decision, when in fact they are merely parroting whatever they have been told to say. This is why Dawkins would object to describing a child as a Christian, a Muslim, or an atheist for that matter. Of course, this assumes that when we label an adult as such, that they have made a decision based on careful consideration, and I don't think that this is truly the case. Thus, in the more colloquial sense, I think if you can label most adults you can probably label children by the same standards. However, from the legal sense that Dawkins is familiar with in the UK, the labeling of children does have an effect of predetermining their beliefs, which is what I think upsets Dawkins the most.

TheBrummell said...

Of course, this assumes that when we label an adult as such, that they have made a decision based on careful consideration, and I don't think that this is truly the case. Thus, in the more colloquial sense, I think if you can label most adults you can probably label children by the same standards.

This is the one good argument against Dawkins' child-abuse argument I've yet seen. It does imply that adults have actually chosen based on careful consideration, which I agree seems unlikely in the majority of cases. In The God Delusion, Dawkins does extend the argument and explain that in his view, religious adults are probably religious (and of their own specific religion) precisely because they were once (abused) children. It's a difficult argument to support with hard evidence, which is why it's a relatively weak argument.

It's far from the only argument made in The God Delusion, though.

But you already know that, so quit LYING.

From the context, and position of your comment, it looks like you're talking to me. OK.

Why do you assume I'm lying? This implies that I am knowingly expressing a view that is demonstrably false. The relevant context seems to be that Dawkins is expressely trying to get religious parents labelled as criminals, and thus use the power of the state to persecute them.

That seems far-fetched, to put it lightly. Even if that were Dawkins' intent, by expressing my disagreement, I'm not necessarily lying - has it occured to you that I might not be a member of the horrible conspiracy?

By the way Brummel, you are quite right that it is fortunate that we don't live in your political jurisdiciton.

You see, in the US of A, we still have free speech, unlike Canada.


*sigh* Please, my name includes two "l"s at the end. Just a little courtesy, please.

I am unaware that Canada lacks constitutionally-protected rights of freedom of speech. Were your rights trampled upon on your last visit?

Christensen Clone said...

There is a very serious reason why there is a move to lable the parents passing their views to their children as child abusers.

Because child abusers can be locked up.

And with open sentencing for child abuse (you stay in jail until the state shrink says you are mentally OK) this could be GULAD style life time, or extremely long, imprisonoment.

Dawkins, and the other who have said this at KCFS and other sites, know what they are doing. This is no off the cuff approach.

And on this note, perhaps some parents to go overboard, but whose view are the children going to hear?

Would it be better to just let the GIVERNMENT tell us what they can hear?

Because that is what Dawkins and many other atheists want.

For this, and other reasons, I know of NO atheist I would consider fit for ANY political office.