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psyche101

Richard Dawkins Books for Children an Teens

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psyche101

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

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 the above link, Richard Dawkins explains that he is now writing a book aimed at children, he says:

 

"[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?"

 

He has already released a book aimed at teens and young adults called: The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True

Also in the link, creationist Ken Ham criticises his book:

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? 

Now I don't know if any posters give Ken Hams view the time of day, but I guess we shall see. Historical science is just a made up term, which he frustrated Bill Nye with when Ham lost a publicised debate spectacularly. 

bill-nye-debate-meme-10.jpg

 

And we saw what Ken Hans version of the so called truth is:

bill-nye-debate-meme-4.jpg

 

But Ken Ham is not the only one criticising the new book. A woman called Libby Purves claims that such aggressive (?) atheism denies culture and history. I'm not sure exactly what her argument is, the only link I can find is this one:

Aggressive atheism denies culture and history

Its a pay site, so the article is limited. 

 

Personally , I just see Dawkins book as a step in bettering education, and actually levels the playing field. I don't agree with making children follow their parents faith, just because your parents are Muslim, Christian or other does not mean a child should be forced into that mindset, I feel the only fair proposition is to allow a child to attain the age of reason and let them make their own choices. This book adds another dimension to that choice for a great many people. 

I expect religious people will be offended by large and refuse to allow education of a natural world to children, but will continue to force thier own concepts, which I see as hypocritical. 

Would you buy the book for your child? Would anyone boycott stores if they sold it? 

What are peoples reactions to an atheist book for children, and one for teens and young adults? 

Obviously I'm a supporter of the idea. I suspect some won't be. 

220px-TheMagicofReality_Dawkins_Bantam20

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GlitterRose

Parents who want to indoctrinate their children in religion would just not allow them the book.

Parents who want to raise atheists or agnostics will make sure their kids have a copy. 

It would be great if some parents just let their kids explore all kinds of ideas and then decide for themselves. 

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Will Due

 

And then there are those who will want to indoctrinate their children with atheism.

 

 

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psyche101
22 minutes ago, GlitterRose said:

Parents who want to indoctrinate their children in religion would just not allow them the book.

Parents who want to raise atheists or agnostics will make sure their kids have a copy. 

It would be great if some parents just let their kids explore all kinds of ideas and then decide for themselves. 

I agree, do you think this might make parents think too? Do you think it could help people to realise just how unfair indoctrination really is? I'd like to hope to provokes parents to think about what a 'choice' really is too. 

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psyche101
16 minutes ago, Will Due said:

And then there are those who will want to indoctrinate their children with atheism.

That still leaves open religious paths to explore as religion pervades most of not all avenues of society. This levels the playing field and offers a choice. 

Do you feel allowing a child to choose is a good direction, or do you feel a parent should force their beliefs on their children, simply because they can? 

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ChrLzs

For adults, I would heartily recommend Sagan's Demon Haunted World.

For kids.. well, I've always said that from the earliest moment they should be taught how to think, how to verify and check things, how to break complexity down into bits they can handle..  In other words, Systems Analysis should be taught before and then alongside maths and literacy, from day one.

As for indoctrination, it seems to me that if they know how to think, the danger of being led along a dead end path*snip* is greatly reduced.

 

:)

 

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Michelle
37 minutes ago, Will Due said:

 

And then there are those who will want to indoctrinate their children with atheism.

 

 

I suppose I was very lucky. My not fanatic Christian parents let me do a lot of exploring into other religions. They let me choose my own path. I would have likely rebelled against any required reading. I would have seen it for what it was...indoctrination. Even at ten or eleven years old I saw the warning signs. I lean heavily Wiccan with a nod to Atheism.

Now the fanatics on both sides can descend with the attacks....

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psyche101
19 hours ago, ChrLzs said:

For adults, I would heartily recommend Sagan's Demon Haunted World.

For kids.. well, I've always said that from the earliest moment they should be taught how to think, how to verify and check things, how to break complexity down into bits they can handle..  In other words, Systems Analysis should be taught before and then alongside maths and literacy, from day one.

As for indoctrination, it seems to me that if they know how to think, the danger of being led along a dead end path *snip* is greatly reduced.

 

:)

That's pretty much where I'm going with this. 

I think it is unreasonable for Children to be forced into religion before an age where they can reason. The Bible is full of very adult concepts yet children get exposed to it from birth. We would not expose children to such concepts in any other avenues in society but as usual, religion is exempt from normal values and standards. 

Will sees this as another form of indoctrination from what I gather of his comments. Yet its actually fighting Indoctrination and does not include adult concepts being forced into young minds.

Im hoping adults pick up on the real message here, we should be allowing a choice that we don't allow, but call it free will. A children's book might be more of an eye opener than the rest of entire Dawkins library. 

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psyche101
1 minute ago, Michelle said:

I suppose I was very lucky. My not fanatic Christian parents let me do a lot of exploring into other religions. They let me choose my own path. I would have likely rebelled against any required reading. I would have seen it for what it was...indoctrination. Even at ten or eleven years old I saw the warning signs. I lean heavily Wiccan with a nod to Atheism.

Now the fanatics on both sides can descend with the attacks....

That's a great way I think. 

More parents should give their children the choices you apparently had. That's what I hope this book will provoke. 

I understand that many have an aversion to 'required reading' but with religion it's forced on the child in many cases anyway. That's why I see it more like brainwashing than teaching. There's a lot of good people doing this that I honestly feel might rethink that if they were even aware of it, and I hope it prompts them to evaluate just what free will actually is. We can a use a kick in the complacency from time to time. 

Thanks for your thoughts. 

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Will Due
6 minutes ago, psyche101 said:

That's pretty much where I'm going with this. 

I think it is unreasonable for Children to be forced into religion before an age where they can reason. The Bible is full of very adult concepts yet children get exposed to it from birth. We would not expose children to such concepts in any other avenues in society but as usual, religion is exempt from normal values and standards. 

Will sees this as another form of indoctrination from what I gather of his comments. Yet its actually fighting Indoctrination and does not include adult concepts being forced into young minds.

Im hoping adults pick up on the real message here, we should be allowing a choice that we don't allow, but call it free will. A children's book might be more of an eye opener than the rest of entire Dawkins library. 

 

In my experience, atheism is the epitome of an adult concept.

And when taken to extremes, it can become worse for young minds than the indoctrination it is fighting.

 

 

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psyche101
Just now, Will Due said:

In my experience, atheism is the epitome of an adult concept.

How may I ask do you come to that conclusion? 

The Bible is full of adult concepts which are vile and nasty. Incest, genocide, infanticide, murder  bigotry  all these concepts are a heck of a burden and a great deal to comprehend to a young mind, what do you feel in atheism, and specifically Dawkins Books that is more confronting than those concepts and values? 

Just now, Will Due said:

And when taken to extremes, it can become worse for young minds than the indoctrination it is fighting.

How would learning about nature be worse than a concept nobody had ever been able to evidence at all, and all the horror stories as referenced above which are attached to religious instruction? 

What are these extremes you refer too, and which ones are stronger adult concepts than the ones found in the bible? 

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Michelle
17 minutes ago, psyche101 said:

I understand that many have an aversion to 'required reading' but with religion it's forced on the child in many cases anyway. That's why I see it more like brainwashing than teaching.

Is that how you were raised or what you've "heard"? Growing up in the Bible belt, that hasn't been any part of my experience or anyone I know.

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Timothy
1 hour ago, Will Due said:

And then there are those who will want to indoctrinate their children with atheism.

And those who try to indoctrinate through a strange *name removed* book on Internet forums . :lol:

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Will Due
2 minutes ago, Timothy said:

And those who try to indoctrinate through a strange *name removed* book on Internet forums . :lol:

 

With all respect, if we're gonna go down that attitude path, this thread will quickly deteriorate and end up like the others did. Let's try not to let that happen this time. :mellow: There's a lot of constructive things we can do.

 

 

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psyche101
15 minutes ago, Michelle said:

Is that how you were raised or what you've "heard"? Growing up in the Bible belt, that hasn't been any part of my experience or anyone I know.

How I was raised. My parents had different religions which ended up causing divorce, but both were quite devout to thier own belief. So were most of the kids I grew up with  but that probably more had to do with the company my parents kept. 

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Habitat

People who honour the truth, don't cleave to any particular texts. The truth hasn't concentrated itself all in the same place, and I'm sure Mr Dawkins has not corralled it.

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Michelle
4 minutes ago, psyche101 said:

How I was raised. My parents had different religions which ended up causing divorce, but both were quite devout to thier own belief. So were most of the kids I grew up with  but that probably more had to do with the company my parents kept. 

I'm sorry to hear that. It appears the stereotypes aren't very accurate in either of our situations.

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psyche101
3 minutes ago, Habitat said:

People who honour the truth, don't cleave to any particular texts. The truth hasn't concentrated itself all in the same place, and I'm sure Mr Dawkins has not corralled it.

Its offering a choice rather than saying this is a final. It is all truth  all facts based in nature. I feel if one can grow up having a realistic understanding of superstition that one has a real choice rather than just carrying a torch for their parents. Dawkins has devoted a lifetime to understanding this process, I don't see who would be better qualified to write a book like this. 

I think it might help put superstition into perspective. 

I wonder if any posters would consider buying something like this for their children. 

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psyche101
1 minute ago, Michelle said:

I'm sorry to hear that. It appears the stereotypes aren't very accurate in either of our situations.

Thank you. I was raised in my mother's religion but more took to my father's views later, he was Catholic. I didn't have an atheist epiphany until my early forties. 

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Habitat

It is not Dawkins speaking about evolution as a rebuttal of creationist nonsense that worries me, it is his excursion beyond, into talk about God "delusions" where I get off the tram.

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Arbenol
2 minutes ago, psyche101 said:

I wonder if any posters would consider buying something like this for their children. 

I probably wouldn't. Dawkins is too much of an atheist evangelical for me. I think his militant stance is merely a mirror image of what he's fighting. Dawkins is one of the finest writers of science texts aimed at the lay person. He should stick to that. In my opinion, 'The Greatest Show on Earth' is one of the best evolution books there is, until he gets all preachy in one particular chapter. 

Give kids facts and let them find their own way. 

Finally, Ken Ham is a complete quack and shouldn't even be given the time of day. That Bill Nye chose to debate him was a  mistake and ultimately counterproductive.

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Will Due
13 minutes ago, psyche101 said:

How may I ask do you come to that conclusion? 

The Bible is full of adult concepts which are vile and nasty. Incest, genocide, infanticide, murder  bigotry  all these concepts are a heck of a burden and a great deal to comprehend to a young mind, what do you feel in atheism, and specifically Dawkins Books that is more confronting than those concepts and values? 

How would learning about nature be worse than a concept nobody had ever been able to evidence at all, and all the horror stories as referenced above which are attached to religious instruction? 

What are these extremes you refer too, and which ones are stronger adult concepts than the ones found in the bible? 

 

Are there problems with religious doctrines and the means by which young minds are indoctrinated with them?

Certainly. 

Are the beauties of nature and the discoveries of science invigorating to young minds? When I was growing up, it caused me to think and wonder about the possibilities of life, which was good. It still does. 

When I started to hear as a kid about the traditions of Christian belief, like the flood, like some of those things you pointed to as vile and so forth, I don't think I thought about them much really. When I asked my Mom about some of it, nothing she told me enlightened me. She was agnostic then I think. I just wrote it off for when I grew up to deal with. The stories were too extreme for me as a kid. I put it out of my mind. 

But it was the constant insinuation that there wasn't a God by my father, and that everything told about God by the church and whoever, was false, a lie, that had a certain affect on me. It wasn't what I was told, it was the way it was told me. Which may have just been the result of something very unique in how I grew up.

In my opinion, it was unnecessary and extreme, but atheism isn't extreme by itself in my opinion. But what is done with it can be. Especially with young minds.

 

 

 

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psyche101
13 minutes ago, Habitat said:

It is not Dawkins speaking about evolution as a rebuttal of creationist nonsense that worries me, it is his excursion beyond, into talk about God "delusions" where I get off the tram.

Don't you say the same about organised religion? 

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psyche101
20 minutes ago, Arbenol said:

I probably wouldn't. Dawkins is too much of an atheist evangelical for me. I think his militant stance is merely a mirror image of what he's fighting.

I personally have always admired that myself, so many evangelicals on TV, social media and then indoctrination. He is one of the few that puts the might of knowledge against religion and asks the tough questions which really put it into perspective. 

20 minutes ago, Arbenol said:

Dawkins is one of the finest writers of science texts aimed at the lay person. He should stick to that. In my opinion, 'The Greatest Show on Earth' is one of the best evolution books there is, until he gets all preachy in one particular chapter. 

You would agree then that he would be the best person for a project like this? 

20 minutes ago, Arbenol said:

Give kids facts and let them find their own way. 

I understood that as the intent of the book. To offer a natural education as opposed to traditional indoctrination. 

20 minutes ago, Arbenol said:

Finally, Ken Ham is a complete quack and shouldn't even be given the time of day. That Bill Nye chose to debate him was a  mistake and ultimately counterproductive.

I could not agree more, but find that there's still a lot of people listening to him, which is why I thought the debate was a good idea. It didn't just show that Ham is irrational, it showed the great divide between Nyes approach to the subject compared to Hams. Whilst Nye was introducing cutting edge information from the finest institutions on the planet, Ham was fumbling with power point slide shows that we'll illustrated his capacity as a 6th grade teacher. I thought we got a lot more out of that debate than just the final conclusion. 

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psyche101
25 minutes ago, Will Due said:

Are there problems with religious doctrines and the means by which young minds are indoctrinated with them?

Certainly. 

Are the beauties of nature and the discoveries of science invigorating to young minds? When I was growing up, it caused me to think and wonder about the possibilities of life, which was good. It still does. 

When I started to hear as a kid about the traditions of Christian belief, like the flood, like some of those things you pointed to as vile and so forth, I don't think I thought about them much really. When I asked my Mom about some of it, nothing she told me enlightened me. She was agnostic then I think. I just wrote it off for when I grew up to deal with. The stories were too extreme for me as a kid. I put it out of my mind. 

But it was the constant insinuation that there wasn't a God by my father, and that everything told about God by the church and whoever, was false, a lie, that had a certain affect on me. It wasn't what I was told, it was the way it was told me. Which may have just been the result of something very unique in how I grew up.

In my opinion, it was unnecessary and extreme, but atheism isn't extreme by itself in my opinion. But what is done with it can be. Especially with young minds.

Hrmmz so it sounds like your father was not a rational atheist, I assume he didn't reject God on the basis of what science has to offer, but rejected it out of hand for personal reasons? 

I can see why that sort of atheism would not be embraced, its just another belief at the end of the day when approached in that manner. New atheism based on science is the only explanation with solid evidence behind it. 

I didn't get to put those stories out of my mind. The JW group my mother was with tended to focus on them as a mild fire and brimstone approach. 

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