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← Primary school indoctrination (UK)

David Hines's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by David Hines

I did buy it, and I read a chapter of it to kids in my church. I'm a lay preacher. And they loved I didn't tell them Richard Dawkins was an atheist, so nobody complained.

In the chapter I used, Dawkins compares the Bible story of Noah with the Babylonian story of Utnapishim, which the Bible story is based on. And I asked the kids to compare the two. (for one thing, the Babylonian story has more gods).

I didn't explicitly tell them that both stories were myths ... that would have pushed them too far, for the smaller kids. But by putting the two stories side by side, I let them draw that conclusion if they wished. One of the kids, aged about 12, did draw the connection; she was fascinated to see how similar they are.

This is the approach our Secular Education Network is working for ... not to rubbish different religions, but to place them side by side, to help them appreciate one another.

The later stage, critically comparing the stories and comparing them with science, is something I would keep till they are maybe 10 years old. But a bright 7 year old might well draw the same link. In that case, I would take the question as far as they wished, without pushing the uncritical kids to go the distance.

So that's what we are discussing in New Zealand. And we'd appreciate it if Richard Dawkins would give us his support. Because it's an international issue ... how do atheists and Christians find common ground. Secular education is one area of common ground.

Fri, 06 Jul 2012 22:17:19 UTC | #948702