Freedom of religion is a right treasured by many Westerners. But then there are those people who want freedom from religion — and atheism point-man Richard Dawkins is among them. In fact, not content just purging faith from public institutions, the biologist turned irreligious bad boy is now taking aim at families. Writes the Independent:
Richard Dawkins has called on schools to protect children from being indoctrinated by their religious parents.
The renowned evolutionary biologist and atheist argued that parents were given too much power over their children’s educations, and that it was time to give more rights back to the individuals themselves.
“There is a balancing act and you have to balance the rights of parents and the rights of children and I think the balance has swung too far towards parents,” he said.
“Children do need to be protected so that they can have a proper education and not be indoctrinated in whatever religion their parents happen to have been brought up in.”
Dawkins’ comments were made prior to a talk at Trinity College Dublin late last month while being interviewed by the Irish Times, which, providing more detail, writes, “Warning against the ‘power of childhood indoctrination,’ he said it was futile debating with people who put the Bible ahead of scientific evidence. ‘You have to write off those people’ but you can try to convince younger people to avoid superstition, Prof Dawkins said.”
Echoing these sentiments were his co-speaker at the college event, physicist Lawrence Krauss, who was also interviewed by the Times and said that parents “don’t have the right to shield their children from knowledge.” Kraus continued, “That’s not a right any more than they have the right to shield their children from health care or medicine. And those parents that do that are often tried and imprisoned when they refuse to allow their children to get blood transfusions or whatever is necessary for their health. And this is necessary for their mental health.”
There is much to criticize in Dawkins’ position. As a simple point of fact, it is a falsehood to say that the “balance” of rights has “swung too far toward parents”; in reality, recent decades have seen a steady erosion of parental rights.
This isn’t to say these “rights” have generally been reassigned to children; this won’t happen because we universally recognize that, as immature beings, children lack the judgment necessary to successfully negotiate the world on their own. Left to his own devices...
Read the rest here.