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Richard Dawkins Says 'Atheism for Children' Book Will Help Arm Kids Against Religious 'Indoctrination'

( [email protected] ) Aug 23, 2018 09:32 AM EDT
Famed atheist Richard Dawkins said he plans to write a book titled "Atheism for Children" in efforts to arm the younger generation "against indoctrination by schools, grandparents and religious books."
Richard Dawkins believes Islam is the "most evil religion" in the world. Reuters

Famed atheist Richard Dawkins said he plans to write a book titled "Atheism for Children" in efforts to arm the younger generation "against indoctrination by schools, grandparents and religious books."

On Twitter, the 77-year-old author of "The God Delusion" said his new book will "be unflinching, not a storybook."

"[C]hildren won't beg parents to buy it for Xmas," he said. "Are there parents who'll want to buy it for their children anyway? Do you anticipate a demand? Would you like to see a 'children's God Delusion' by me published?"

Writing on Twitter, Dawkins continued: "I really want to not indoctrinate. Perhaps I can help parents arm them against indoctrination by schools, g'parents & religious books. & against taunting by religious schoolmates. Help them think on evidence, e.g. for evolution. 'What do you think?' is my continual refrain."

The evolutionary biologist previously wrote a book for teenagers and young adults, entitled "The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True," which aimed to show that science — not religion — can best explain the natural world.

In 2015, Dawkins sparked controversy after stating that "children need to be protected so that they can have a proper education and not be indoctrinated in whatever religion their parents happen to have been brought up in."

The "Selfish Gene" author argued that when parents force their religious opinions on their children, the children are prevented from properly thinking for themselves or escaping their "idiot child role."

"Would you ever speak of a 4-year-old's political beliefs? Hannah is a socialist 4-year-old, Mark a 'conservative. Who would ever dream of saying such a thing?" Dawkins asked.

"Religion is the one exception we all make to the rule: don't label children with the opinions of their parents."

At the time, Creation Museum president Ken Ham accused of Dawkins of attempting to impose his own "religion" of atheism on others.

"Dawkins believes that children should be taught evolutionary naturalism as fact. He wants his religion of naturalism imposed on them. So children shouldn't be taught religion by their parents - they should be taught the religion of atheism by their teachers," Ham wrote in an article titled "Whose Really (Falsely) Indoctrinating Kids?" posted on his AiG blog.

"All Dawkins is advocating is replacing one religion with another religion," he added.

Ham, who is also the president of Answers in Genesis, called Dawkins' arguments inconsistent and even dangerous.

"Does Dawkins mean that children should be taught the major problems with evolution? Does this mean that children should be shown the evidence that supports the Bible's history? Does this mean that children should learn the difference between historical and observational science? Dawkins definitely wouldn't think so," Ham wrote.

He added that the evolutionary biologist believes children "should be exclusively taught a religion of atheistic, evolutionary naturalism — and no other options."

[Such teaching is] indoctrination in a false religion," wrote Ham, adding that Dawkins desires to do the very thing he's warning parents against.

Ham also responded to Dawkins' argument that Christians "put the Bible ahead of scientific evidence," writing, "Well, as biblical creationists, we do start with the Bible and we interpret the scientific evidence in light of what the Bible says. And observational science confirms what God's Word teaches! We aren't against science - we love science."

He added, "But because we start with God's Word and Dawkins starts with man's word, we reach different conclusions about the past (historical science)."

Ham encouraged Christian parents to impress the Gospel truth on their children's hearts and minds, as the secular world will continue to pull them in the opposite direction.

"I encourage you to be bold in teaching your children to stand on the authority of God's Word from the very beginning. Secularists are working hard at indoctrinating our children, and we need, more than ever, to equip our children with solid answers from God's Word and from science that confirms what the Bible teaches," he said.

Tags : Richard Dawkins, Ken Ham, atheism, children, Religious Indoctrination