Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Richard Dawkins defends teaching about religion to British children, but not in a way that will make most religious people very happy.

Courtesy of the Telegraph: 

The evolutionary biologist and confirmed atheist warned that it was virtually impossible to study English literature without knowing the background of Christianity. 

Speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival, he was asked whether religious studies should be abolished in schools, over fears that schoolchildren were being brainwashed. 

“I don’t think religious education should be abolished,” he said.

“I think that it is an important part of our culture to know about the Bible after all so much of English literature has allusions to the Bible, if you look up the Oxford English Dictionary you find something like the same number of quotations from the Bible as from Shakespeare. 

“It’s an important part of our history. So much of European history is dominated by disputes against rival religions and you can’t understand history unless you know about the history of the Christian religion and the Crusades and so on. 

“I would not abolish religions education, I think I would substitute it for comparative religion and Biblical history and religious history. 

“Comparative religion is very valuable partly because the child learns that there are lots of different religions not just the one they were brought up with. They learn they are all different and they can’t all be right, so maybe none of the are right. Critical thinking is what we need.”

I totally agree with Dawkins on this.

I took Comparative Religious studies in college and it was amazing.

Learning about the history of religions, how and when they were formed, and which other religious faiths they stole from allowed me to put things into a different perspective.

I was already firmly an Atheist, but after that class I had a better understanding of just how easily manipulated people were into believing things that were not only ridiculous but ultimately harmful to their well being.

In my humble opinions classes like this, could obliterate religion in only one or two generations.

A benefit to humanity which cannot be overestimated.


  1. Anonymous4:06 AM

    Steve Scalise has just been shot in Virginia. Even though he is a Republican, I only wish it had been an Alaskan Johnston who'd been shot instead. Maybe next time!

    1. Anonymous5:02 AM

      You are really sick. The saddest part is, that if you ever lived in Alaska, an "Alaskan Johnston" is the person who would be most likely to be kind to you. An "Alaskan Palin", on the other hand, would not. They would judge you by your size, the number of designer handbags you do/don't own, and the number of expensive trips you take. Just look at Bristol's former friends and exes. Now they all prefer the Johnstons.

    2. Anonymous6:36 AM

      "Two police officers exchanged gunfire with the shooter, according to Alexandria Police Chief Brown. Eyewitnesses, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), said that the officers were Capitol Police. "Had [Capitol Police] not been there, it would have been a massacre," , who was at the scene, said on MSNBC after the shooting."

    3. Anonymous6:41 AM

      Hunted or Hunter?'“You could hear the ping, ping, ping coming off the backstop,” Bishop told Detroit’s WJR-AM. “It was rather unnerving, to say the least.”

    4. Anonymous6:44 AM

    5. Anonymous7:05 AM

      66yr old white guy

    6. Anonymous7:06 AM


    7. Sorry about that comment at 4:06. it sneaked past me.

      However it is also indicative of the number of anti-Johnston comments I get all of the time, often on threads having nothing to to with Palin or Alaska.

      Clearly this is another delusional Palin supporter who simply hates anybody who stood up their queen.

      It's quite sad really.

    8. But you're not sorry about the comment at 7:06? That didn't sneak by?

      Why not delete the entire thread?

    9. Anonymous9:59 AM

      Are they referring to the Levi Johnston family? Way off base if they are. He's truly a great guy and went through one heck of a lot of negative stuff due to Sarah and Todd Palin! And, he came out the winner!!!

    10. Anonymous2:17 PM

      LOL, 4:06. You're wrong 9:59am. This whole thread is hilarious.

  2. Anonymous5:12 AM

    Well, I took Comparative Religions in a Catholic High School. Thought it would comfort m as one who knew they can't all be right, therefore none were right. All the nun did was to try and show how the rest were wrong and Catholic was the only inspired by god religion. Damn! No mention of the hundreds of religions over time with the same virgin birth of a savior myth.

    1. Anonymous7:39 AM

      I also took Comparative Religions in Catholic high school and have been agnostic ever since. Had a GREAT Catholic priest teacher for the course, but my overriding take-away was that if I had been born into a different culture, I would have had a different religion, so how could I have been condemned to hell for that? Any god who would condemn me to hell for that would not be one I could worship. And any person who believed in that would not be one I'd want to spend eternity with in "heaven."

    2. Anonymous1:40 PM

      Exactly also too. I told my Catholic religion crazed mother if dhe was birn in India she'd ve a devout Hindu. If born in Hapan , Shinto. It's luck of birth and indoctrination.

    3. Anonymous1:41 PM

      Exactly also too. I told my Catholic religion crazed mother if dhe was birn in India she'd ve a devout Hindu. If born in Hapan , Shinto. It's luck of birth and indoctrination.

  3. Anonymous6:02 AM

    Religion is personal and I turned a new leaf this year. Instead of throwing the bible thumpers off my property when they come to chit chat and debate, I decided to hear them out. About 3 days ago the Jehovah witness folks showed up to awake me. A nice elderly couple. I allowed them to speak and invite me to their church bible study. I listened calmly. I then said goodbye and then refreshed my Jehovah witness study and memory. It is all about satan. I have practiced being agnostic my entire life. I appreciate that everyone has a right to practice and accept religion. I do not accept forced religion or beliefs. You must prove to me what you say is true beyond doubt. I will have several questions for them on their next unannounced visit.
    I will ask if Satan is controlling Donald John Trump and will he be one of 144,000 that will be sent to heaven.

    1. Anonymous9:55 AM

      Trump's black soul will end up in Hell IF you believe the Christian way. He's pure evil and has lived a life that few would like to follow!

  4. Anonymous6:03 AM

    From the beginning of mankind, man has used religion to enslave his fellow man.

  5. Anonymous6:32 AM

    Religious training/indoctrination should be treated like alcohol. You have to be an adult before you can choose to hear about any religion.

    1. Anonymous6:47 AM

      Very true. I raised my kids without religious indoctrination. Their choice. So far, neither cares to partake.

    2. Anonymous8:53 AM

      6:47: Same here!

    3. Anonymous9:53 AM

      I was raised Catholic - am now an atheist. I raised my daughter w/no religious teachings. Always felt she could research the subject as an adult if so inclined. She's now pushing 50 and practices no religion.

      The Christian population is dropping in America and will do so even further is my prediction.

      Just like the 'white' population is going to decline and the majority will be minorities and mixes of the races.

    4. Leland10:49 AM

      @ 9:53.

      "The Christian population is dropping in America and will do so even further is my prediction."

      If you changed that to "Religious population" I think it would be more accurate.

  6. Anonymous7:29 AM

    Is it in the water?

  7. Anonymous8:25 AM

    Why were the republican baseball players not armed. It is their fault they were shot at and did not return fire. The republicans must enforce their agenda and arm everyone to protect and serve society at every level. All people must carry military style weapons to defend America from armed legal criminals. No need to wait for law enforcement when everyone is armed for war.

    1. Leland10:50 AM

      It would certainly go a LONG way toward reducing the surplus population!

  8. I tried taking a comparative religions course in college. This was in the 70s.

    Every time we got to a new religion, the instructor basically said unless you are of that religion, you'll never understand it.

    Really? I'm supposed to convert to Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism all in one semester because that is the only way I'll understand them?

    The guy was a jerk. I think maybe he drew the short straw and didn't want to teach the course at all. Needless to say, we didn't learn much. It became more of a history course than a philosophy course.

  9. Randall6:27 PM

    "In my humble opinions classes like this, could obliterate religion in only one or two generations.

    "A benefit to humanity which cannot be overestimated. "



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