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Should you teach your children that they’re nothing but survival machines for their genes? Artist/biology fan wonders

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Peter Forbes, a writer, musician, and biology fan complains tells us in “Pitfalls of a Secular Preacher” (11/04/2011) that militant atheist Richard Dawkins’ view in his children’s book The Magic of Reality is “the truth about reality” and can be safely given to a child, except that,

as with the preachers he reviles, there is a whiff of “putting the fear of Dawks” into them. On p74-5 he describes all animals as “survival machines[s]. for genes and then: “Next time you look in the mirror, just think that is what you are too.”

It’s not much of a match for fire and brimstone but it left me feeling very queasy. I wouldn’t be telling young people that they’re nothing but survival machines for their genes. It’s not true, for a start. We are not merely puppets of the genes – they take orders too.

Forbes is a good demonstration of “useful idiot.” He believes what Dawkins believes, but doesn’t want the kids to know what he and Dawkins really believe. Whereas Dawkins not only spells it out but acts it out, as he did in his recent spiteful attack against the New York Times’ obituary for Lynn Margulis.

Covering his position, Forbes claims “We are not merely puppets of the genes – they take orders too.” Fine, but from whom? God? Forbes? Nature? In no case does his position even need to make sense. That’s not its function. He merelyfeels the urge to express disapproval of the direction in which the ideas he supports inevitably head. And they head there all the same.

Plus, he pads his chair by really objecting most to traditional preachers – that’s a safe form of contempt because, of course, they don’t even exist.  Unless we count anti-Semitic Islamo-fascist imams. But talking about them wouldn’t be  “culturally sensitive.” So he doesn’t.

So non-substantial physical and emotional abuse is ok? Timbo
"Unless we count anti-Semitic Islamo-fascist imams. But talking about them wouldn’t be ”culturally sensitive.” So he doesn’t." Perhaps even Forbes, as a Darwinist, realizes that pushing caricatures in order to demonize rivals isn't good form. Alan
Its really funny ( and sad ) that these people "choose" a belief system which: 1. Obviously has a self contradiction that any child can see. ( if there is no "choice" we are not really choosing ). 2. Obviously has a moral problem any child can see. ( if there is no purpose there really can't be any morals ). 3. Obviously has a philosophical problem some children can see. ( if there is no eternal cause in a finite in time universe then you can't have rationality ) No wonder they are afraid to teach it to their children. I suggest they choose a belief system which does not denigrate the marvelous moral will they have been given, and repent. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." JDH
Good question ... as long as it never becomes an administrative issue, which it has in some countries (against Christians, of course, not materialist atheists)! Some of us, absorbing the lessons from highly questionable practices throughout our history, insist on a very strict interpretation of "child abuse" - it must mean depriving the child of care or substantial physical or emotional abuse. Not "them folks believes some pretty dumb stuff." It should not mean teaching the kids the Jehovah's Witnesses religion - that was once grounds for removal in Canada. The ensuing scandal was one of the factors that led to the first Bill of Rights. News
Dawkins and his crowd consider it child abuse to raise children in a traditional Christian home, but consider it noble to raise them to believe that they are just meat robots that came about by chance and natural selection that did not have them in mind. If Dawkins et al. are wrong, and our children actually are made in the image of God, with purpose, meaning and immortal souls, who is doing the abusing? GilDodgen

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