Saturday, December 22, 2012

ZenTiger Dawkins Scare Little Children

Richard Dawkins' latest rant against religion is actually a good example of the evil he speaks about.  He becomes guilty of the same sin, if only he was rational and logical enough to understand it.

Firstly, Dawkins view of Catholic theology is terribly flawed and incomplete. What he presents is only a weak caricature of Catholic Theology and focuses on the aspect of hell. Then he weaves that in with stories of the stereotypical pedophile priest. He reveals he was fondled once by a Latin schoolteacher. He doesn't bother to clarify, so the reader can assume the Latin Schoolteacher was a Catholic Priest in his spare time.

So the nub of his argument is that it is child abuse to teach children the Catholic religion because it is a form of mental abuse to scare people about going to hell. That form of mental abuse is worse, he suggests, than the sexual abuse, and he'd be all for the ruin of the church on lawsuits alone if he didn't hate lawyers slightly more.

He has no end of people stepping forward to document their mental abuse centred on the threat of going to hell, and therefore, all his arguments about Catholicism are supposedly irrefutable.

So let's try a little experiment. Let's imagine Richard Dawkins has won and there are no religions in the world anymore. We just have atheists.

Would children still be sexually abused? Indeed. It's not religion that is responsible for child abuse, it is perverted people, and religion is no special indicator.

Would children be subjected to mental cruelty? Indeed. The threats of the bogeyman would be another example of the "going to hell" tactic. Throw in threats of "tell anyone of this abuse and your brother/sister/parent/family will be killed/hurt/blame you for this information.

When looking at the total picture of child abuse, both physical and mental, the pattern will emerge that some people use scare tactics or physical cruelty to get their way. It doesn't matter that Catholic theology teaches love and forgiveness, and would classify such threats of hell made to children in an improper way a grave sin in itself - what actually matters here is that some people will show a tendency to twist anything they can to get the advantage they want.

There are of course varying degrees and varying motives of this sin. Threats of all sorts are made by basically good parents and teachers under stress where on reflection they pushed a little too hard. Richard Dawkins will not end this kind of abuse by focusing on the Catholic Church anymore than if he made it illegal to threaten children with the bogeyman, or the monster in the cupboard or the fact that Mrs Hammersmith, two doors down eats little children if they stray into her back yard.

I'd go as far to say that such bigoted tripe Richard Dawkins peddles against Catholicism no more than the same sort of scare tactics he is supposedly railing against - full of misinformation and wifully neglecting to provide the full picture. Will he be the first to suggest that there ought to be a law against Atheists preaching such hate? Who knows, maybe he will evolve?



Link: Richard Dawkins - Religion is child abuse

Postscript: We will leave aside the discussion of genuine theology where we learn more about what hell is, and how to avoid it whilst learning the full aspect of . Consider though if I made the argument that in liberal atheist land, it is immoral to suggest that looking both ways before crossing the road is prudent. Also, telling a 13 year old that condoms work 100% of the time and you can never, ever get a disease or infection if you use a condom is a moral thing to teach. But feel free to bring this up in the comments if I don't get around to a post covering that type of discussion.

7 comment(s):

Mitch said...

The disconnect between yourself and Dawkins is that you fail to comprehend how he can not believe in a deity, and he fails to understand how you can be so stupid as to believe in one.

The first clue to enlightenment is to question whether everything you've been raised to believe is, infact, true.

leftrightout said...

Great rant there ZT, sadly short on understanding however.

Would children still be sexually abused? Indeed. It's not religion that is responsible for child abuse, it is perverted people, and religion is no special indicator.

And perverted people are found everywhere, although there does seem to be a greater proportion of them among those of a religious faith than among those who are rational humanists.

When looking at the total picture of child abuse, both physical and mental, the pattern will emerge that some people use scare tactics or physical cruelty to get their way. It doesn't matter that Catholic theology teaches love and forgiveness, and would classify such threats of hell made to children in an improper way a grave sin in itself - what actually matters here is that some people will show a tendency to twist anything they can to get the advantage they want.

So what is the "proper way" to teach children about hell? The use of scare tactics is common to almost all religions. Do this and you will be punished. Don't do that and you will be punished. The constant emphasis on sin, being "fallen" and on damnation cannot be seen as anything other than threats and scare tactics.

Will he be the first to suggest that there ought to be a law against Atheists preaching such hate?

diddums. Anytime you run into disagreement with you narrow world view you define it as hate. Pointing out that some beliefs are harmful is not hate, it is the right thing to do.

Dawkins is not perfect, and I am sure he would agree with that statement, but he has done more to advance human knowledge than your pope and your priests.

leftrightout said...

Which of these books is mnore likely to scare children?

The one about torture? Or the one that opens children's eyes to the wonders of the natural world?

I know which one I am buying for each of my grandchildrena s soon as they are old enough to read and comprehend.

ZenTiger said...

Mitch, no disconnect. I can understand how he can rationalize that there is no God. I question it myself from time to time. It is, ultimately, a matter of faith.

Your other point I also agree with in a general sense. Questioning is good, and understanding how much of our culture and history shapes out thinking equally important. It gives a lot of our basic arguments and discussions a fundamental bias that is hard to perceive.

ZenTiger said...

LRO - would you like to cite studies that prove your assertions about religious versus rational humanists? I suspect the sample size and lack of rational humanists might be an inhibiting factor.

LRO said: " Pointing out that some beliefs are harmful is not hate, it is the right thing to do."

Actually, that's exactly why some people teach about God and sin and consequences. That's exactly my point about crossing roads. Telling some-one it important to look is not scare tactics - it's the right thing to do. Yet Dawkins is labeling it as the crime of the century.

When you asked what the "proper way" was to teach about all aspects of religion, you fell back into the same trap I pointed out Dawkins falls into. You assume that those scare tactics are how such things are taught. That is not teaching, that is scaring for ulterior motives - for gaining control. Teaching would use a different approach.

Try reading the post again, a bit slower. Your points do not actually address the substance of my post.




ZenTiger said...

On reading of those two books: How about reading this one instead:

logical fallacies - the false dilemma

leftrightout said...

Come on ZT, I was making a direct comparison between 2 books, it was not a simple binary choice, and thus no false dilemma.

A true false dilemma would look something like "Jesus loves you so much that if you don't love him right back you'll burn in hell".

Or your own non-argument above equating road safety with religious indoctrination.



Post a Comment

Please be respectful. Foul language and personal attacks may get your comment deleted without warning. Contact us if your comment doesn't appear - the spam filter may have grabbed it.