This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← The spectre of militant secularism

Sjoerd Westenborg's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Sjoerd Westenborg

Comment 5 by aquilacane :

I don't. Richard has called religious indoctrination child abuse. How can you believe in the freedom of child abuse?

First draft:

Freedom of religion: The freedom to practice one's religion (or lack thereof), without: a) causing harm to others, and b) demanding special privilege because of it.

Freedom from religion: The freedom to live a full human life, without being hampered in this because of another person's religious convictions.

Because of clause a) a child cannot be told it goes to Hell for asking questions, or be taught the concept of Hell at all as this would constitute emotional abuse. Parents will be free to celebrate Sabbath, Christmas or Ramadan with their kids though. Provided the last one doesn't lead to malnutrition of course. Because of clause b) a child cannot be indoctrinated at school, since this would require one specific religion to hold a special place in the curriculum.

Since we also have freedom from religion, religious dogma cannot be taught at any educational intitution as truth where it conflicts with scientifically proven facts. This would cripple critical thinking and lead to a disadvantage compared to people who do have a grasp of reality. Also, one cannot be denied opportunities based on gender, sexual preference or other 'controversies'. One cannot be told he/she goes to hell, is evil etc.

Seems fair?

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 16:12:53 UTC | #928651