Richard Dawkins: “Indoctrination of religion” is “child abuse”

(David Edwards, RawStory.com, April 22, 2013)
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Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on Sunday told a British literary festival that parents who forced their children to believe that religion was a fact were guilty of “child abuse.” . . . Speaking about his family-friendly book The Magic of Reality at the Chipping Norton Literary Festival, the University of Oxford professor warned against the “indoctrination of children,” according to The Daily Mail. . . . “What a child should never be taught is that you are a Catholic or Muslim child, therefore that is what you believe. That’s child abuse.” . . . The author of The God Delusion recommended that children be taught religion in the same way that they are taught literature. . . . “There is a value in teaching children about religion. You cannot really appreciate a lot of literature without knowing about religion. But we must not indoctrinate our children,” he said. . . . In an interview with Al Jazeera late last year, Dawkins had said that being raised as a Catholic was similar to sexual abuse. . . .  The professor told the story of a woman who had been sexually abused by a priest and told by a Protestant friend that she was going to Hell. . . . “She told me of those two abuses, she got over the physical abuse; it was yucky but she got over it,” Dawkins recalled. “But the mental abuse of being told about Hell, she took years to get over.” . . . “It seems to me that telling children that they really, really believe that people who sin are going to go to Hell and roast forever – that your skin grows again when it peels off with burning – it seems to me to be intuitively entirely reasonable that that is a worse form of child abuse, that will give more nightmares, that will give more genuine distress because they really believe.”

1 Comment »

  1. Febo Said,

    April 23, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

    Only problem is Sheldrake has recently struck the uber materialist-athiest camp that Dawkins represents a mighty blow with his book The Science Delusion (aka Science Set Free), a book that exudes the spirit of the Trilogues.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkWPOIbsldE&list=WL326889C39495F87E

    Note also the recent high profile spat with TED’s suppression of his TED talk:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAuxXvNVhgA

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