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b4mbi

The God Delusion

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It should be manadatory for this book to be read before anyone leaves school.

 

It brilliantly articulates and explains many of the rough formulations I personally have arrived at regarding religion.

 

Seeing first hand religious indoctrination of children no older than 8 (I was 16 at the time) sickened me to the core. There was something fundamentally wrong about preaching to and manipulating children who were not old enough to make an informed decision.

 

this is one of Dawkins main bugbears in the book. Children should not be referred to as "a catholic child" or "a muslim child" etc as how can a child possibly have an informed choice about what religion to follow?

 

A masterpiece IMHO.

 

Perhaps DJ Dan should read a copy ;)

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Perhaps DJ Dan should read a copy ;)

 

no more than you should read the book of mormon.

 

:P

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To make an informed choice you would have to read about all the major faiths and also about philosophy, science etc. Pretty impossible for most.

 

Dawkins has his own sincere beliefs, others have theirs. Parents are entitled to bring up their children according to their own traditions. If they could not do this much of society would break down. Once children are old enough they can make their own minds up and most do - some rebel against their parents beliefs.

 

I believe it is more important to provide an education for children to be able to differentiate between the various belief systems so that they can find a faith or none if that is their wish they are comfortable with. It is my understanding that schools under the national curriculum do their best to do this.

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"God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos: He will set them above their betters."

 

 

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."

 

 

"Religion, like poetry, is simply a concerted effort to deny the most obvious realities."

 

 

H L Mencken (clicky)

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A brilliant book.

 

Have you seen these?

 

Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion - Documentary

Thanks for the link! Watched it on telly ages ago, but still good to watch again. Even started a thread about it back then

 

Did you notice that a certain Ted Haggard appears in part 3? Then leader of the Colorado Life Church, and general religious superstar - things are a bit different now :)

 

I believe it is more important to provide an education for children to be able to differentiate between the various belief systems so that they can find a faith or none if that is their wish they are comfortable with.

Luckily, my parents and the school system in Bavaria provided me with this sort of education, and left it to me to choose what I want to believe in - turns out, the whole religious thing wasn't really for me, and I still prefer to look towards science to explain the world around me.

 

I have a lot of respect and admiration for people who do good things in the name of religion, such as charity work, etc, but somehow think that - unfortunately - religion still has done more harm than good over time - Mr Haggard up there being only a very small example of this.

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A brilliant book.

 

Have you seen these?

 

Richard Dawkins - The God Delusion - Documentary

Thanks for the link! Watched it on telly ages ago, but still good to watch again. Even started a thread about it back then

 

Did you notice that a certain Ted Haggard appears in part 3? Then leader of the Colorado Life Church, and general religious superstar - things are a bit different now :)

 

I believe it is more important to provide an education for children to be able to differentiate between the various belief systems so that they can find a faith or none if that is their wish they are comfortable with.

Luckily, my parents and the school system in Bavaria provided me with this sort of education, and left it to me to choose what I want to believe in - turns out, the whole religious thing wasn't really for me, and I still prefer to look towards science to explain the world around me.

 

I have a lot of respect and admiration for people who do good things in the name of religion, such as charity work, etc, but somehow think that - unfortunately - religion still has done more harm than good over time - Mr Haggard up there being only a very small example of this.

 

 

I don't know if any research has been done on this i.e. good/harm of religion. In my opinion good and harm is done by good or bad people whether they are religious or not. Unfortunately if they turn out to be nutcases who are making out they are good religious people this rebounds very badly on that faith as the media are only too ready to report bad news - that sells. It is always entertaining to find there are others much worse than we are and to discover they actually turn out to be a Bishop/rabbi etc is really great. If they are not it is just run of the mill and hardly worth reporting. Dawkins imho is just another person who is peddling bad news for his own ends. Unfortunately he has plenty of stuff to go on!

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I'll definitely read this book, I'll also definitely be reading Daniel Dennet's book 'Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon'.

 

I'll reserve full judgement until I've read it, but I enjoy the rapier edge of Dawkins' atheism. I will say though that he risks preaching to the choir; his style is so anti-religious that any person of faith is likely to dismiss him as a rant and not even attempt to read him or engage in his debate.

 

I think that is a shame, because it is the woolilly religious who should be engaged and encouraged to examine the contradictions in their beliefs.

 

I have to admit though that the exact point B4mbi praises about calling a child a catholic child seems to me a rather weak argument. If you rename the child as a child being raised in the catholic/muslim/hindu tradition then I see no controversey whatsoever. Is Dawkins really saying there is a serious semantic difference between these two descriptions: a catholic child and a child being raised in the catholic tradition? I don't see it, it is an empirical truth that people raised within a certain religious tradition TEND to remain within it ... but this isn't a cast iron rule, and I think anyone reading a description of a child as a Muslim child won't assume they can't change their religious views later in life ... what's Dawkins' issue here, I don't see it.

 

I'm most interested in his attacks on the religiously sophisticated ... showing the stupidity of fundamentalism is easy, but there is alot of nuance within religious belief which understands the contradictions of religious "truth". Some Bhuddist, Daoist and Confuscian ideas are extremely esoteric and don't get bogged down in worrying about virgin births, or deities. You could definitely say Confuscianism isn't a religion, but an ethics system or philosophy, I sort of agree with this, but this ignores alot of Chinese thought, to me it is more of a religion which does not rely on revelled truth, while Daoism is what ... a religion which says everything is uncertain and incorrect even its founding text, but simply says sometimes you can feel in tune with the universe and by not forcing it (wu wei) you are most likely to get it right.

 

Anyway I await my bookshelf to empty sufficiently to find a place on it for both Dawkins' and Dennet's texts ... should be good!

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Religion should only be taught in school as part of history lessons. Since it is important in this context. And perhaps as part of a civics course.

 

However, I think it is deeply immoral for any teacher to pretend that there is a "creator" or "supreme being".

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Many BELIEVE there is a creator or supreme being, they are not pretending. However the point I think you are making is about indoctrination of your beliefs on someone else particularly children. Indocrination I agree is unethical and I would hope it has to a large extent been eliminated from our classrooms. It is up to each individual to make their own minds up. If you choose to attend church and listen to a preacher well you can take it or leave it. If you go to school which the majority of children have to do you should be given a balanced lesson.

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I don't know if any research has been done on this i.e. good/harm of religion. In my opinion good and harm is done by good or bad people whether they are religious or not. Unfortunately if they turn out to be nutcases who are making out they are good religious people this rebounds very badly on that faith as the media are only too ready to report bad news - that sells. It is always entertaining to find there are others much worse than we are and to discover they actually turn out to be a Bishop/rabbi etc is really great. If they are not it is just run of the mill and hardly worth reporting. Dawkins imho is just another person who is peddling bad news for his own ends. Unfortunately he has plenty of stuff to go on!

You miss the point.

 

This is a debate about logic, reason and science versus a blind belief in institutionalised and unquestioned religeon, peddled from parents to children. Most 'bad' is done under the institutions of religeon e.g. the Spanish inquisition, the Pope witholding condoms resulting in the deaths of millions from HIV in Africa, the murder of six million jews, 9/11 and Iraq etc. etc. Just look at what has caused the 'bad' and the bulk of human deaths from non-natural causes are down to religeon. For the 'bad' we have a police force.

 

You write as though faith and logic are comparable and equal - they are not. The point is Charles that you need to think for yourself and not just accept. Until you do think for yourself you are not actually debating anything and may as well be defending the existance of fairies with such logic. How can you switch off the logic that you apply in your professional career as a pharmacist? If you applied the same 'faith' to your job and the decisions you make you would have probably been struck off years ago.

 

 

 

_

Edited by Albert Tatlock

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I qualified as a scientist - up to Master's level. I am also qualified in theology. Albert my points are perfectly valid from the evidence I have seen. I agree faith often defies logic but that is the nature of faith. I am humble enough to believe that science doesn't necessarily have all the answers even though I like others would like to think it did.

 

However I accept religious dogma which ignore the great scientific discoveries is doing a great disservice to human kind. I regard this as an evil as indeed you do.

 

I have no problem in differentiating between faith and science. Whether I should have been struck off years ago - some would see that as a blessing if I had been!

 

Also Albert I say 'good morning' to the little people! You never know, they may be there!

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I agree faith often defies logic but that is the nature of faith.

People defy logic and facts - and faith is one result of that. There is no point at all in having faith in something that a man of your intellect can reason your way to understand, because once you apply that reason you will find faith will be redundant.

 

 

_

Edited by Albert Tatlock

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Religion should only be taught in school as part of history lessons. Since it is important in this context. And perhaps as part of a civics course.

 

Seeing as traditional religion is unquestionably on the wane in a modern society, it has already consigned itself to the history books as an irrelevance. It's certainly not encouraged in my house and my kids are taught that it's only crazy people who go to church.

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