Lawrence Krauss has upset Neil Carter at Godless in Dixie.
Neil is a swell guy and another courageous person for outing himself as a non-believer. I posted on him and his blog “Godless in Dixie” when I first discovered it just a year ago last July HERE. Give his blog a look, it is a great read.
But recently I gotta disagree with his assessment that Lawrence Krauss is wrong and not being helpful in calling the teaching of Creationism to kids child abuse.
You can read Neil’s opinion which was reposted on Heman Mehta’s “Friendly Atheist” site Here.
I disagree completely. In fact, Krauss is spot on. Telling your kids things you don’t know, can’t possibly know: that it is the total truth, unquestionable truth is abuse. All religious child indoctrination is abuse. Mental abuse. It does not have to be physical or of a certain severity to be labeled abuse. If a parent did that in any other domain, like telling their kids that folks of other ethnic groups were inferior, the earth were flat or people had babies at age 100; lying to them as deeply as Creationism does and keeping them from accessing refuting information or telling them they dare not believe anything to the contrary…yeah that’s abuse. Worse still under threat of hellfire and being ostracized by family and friends. Yup, qualifies as abuse.
And the “It’s not helping” claim is nonsense. Secularism is growing like a weed because the gloves are off and religious claims and practices are being properly labeled as arrogant and abusive as they are. Religions set kids up for a lifetime of guilt and conflict with reality. That’s abuse. It needs to be said more often, and louder.
Many true believers do recoil at the sound of being called out for what they are doing and bluff and bluster to no end. As a result some of us non-believers despair and claim therefore no-one or damn few will ever deconvert…because we have been too harsh. So we should just be nicer.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The number of deconversion stories, like those of Neil Carter, Jerry DeWitt, Dan Barker or Seth Andrews, John Loftus or Matt Dillahunty, etc., etc.,the thousands on Dawkins’ Convert’s Corner and the tens of thousands that didn’t write a book or blog about it say otherwise. It is helping the secular cause by calling a spade a spade, and immensely. A gaggle of butthurt hard-core Xians doesn’t make the case against telling it like it is. The overwhelming number of people who eventually respond to the honest assessment of religion do make the case, for Krauss’s level of truthfulness, politically correct to some or not.
It usually takes years for anyone to hear enough reality about their own religion to walk away from it. And anyone’s first reaction to their ideas being challenged is refusal, anger, consternation, denial. But with the repeated exposure to the absurdities and cruelties of religion that is so prevalent today so many wear down and eventually turn away from their faith that Pew research and other polls keep showing the “nones” rising year after year, especially among the young who are figuring out quicker than ever before they have been hosed by their religion on a whole host of subjects: homosexuals, birth control, sex, the afterlife, the existence of a soul and yes, the absurd fantasy of Creationism that deserves all the ridicule one can heap upon it. A good many of those who have deconverted were once every bit as hard-core and “unmovable” as any of the most vehemently fundamentalist Xians kicking today.
The truth works. People aren’t stupid. Xians are not dumb, merely hosed. It may take a while, and believers may be offended and go uber-defensive at first, and maybe kick and scream and rail and argue against the obvious for many years. It is true that some will just never change. But so many do. Many are pulling away as we speak. The numbers don’t lie. Sugar-coating it does no good. Being up front and clear without pulling punches does.
Krauss isn’t illogical nor exaggerating when he says teaching Creationism is also withholding info. Whether the parents sincerely believe it or not, they purposely don’t let their kids access other info to the contrary which is all around them. That’s why they attempt to keep their kids in the Xian cocoon by home schooling and the like, giving them phony Xian textbooks or telling their kids not to listen to their biology teachers. All of which are blatant examples designed to withhold the real information from their children. Despicable. And abusive.
Krauss’ words are controversial and get attention, but they are not contrived, but an accurate assessment which challenges the stranglehold conservative Xian thinking has on our culture. It is time we called a spade a spade. Being honestly blunt does command attention, but that doesn’t make it untrue.
Richard Dawkins has been accused since the beginning of being strident. Too strident. Offensive. And plenty of commentators have decried secularists like him of being too harsh and thereby counterproductive, like the silly pleadings of Steve Neumann and others to be “nice.” Yet after a few million copies of God Delusion in print, which was as provocative in 2006 in the title alone to offend a great many religionists, Dawkins is credited with how many thousands of conversions despite being as strident and blatantly honest as it gets? I don’t believe for a minute that if Dawkins had toned it down, been “nicer” that the impact of that book would have been enhanced in the least, in fact it would have been much less powerful. Much of its appeal is Dawkins’ unbridled honesty.
Lying to your kids that your 2,000 year old book of primitive writings is the unquestionable word of some god is child abuse in itself, whether it includes the absurd fantasy of Creationism or not.
Go get ’em, Uncle Larry.
end religion now.