By Ellie Levenson‘s logic, many atheists spring from fundamentalist religious families.
Therefore, if you’re taught fundamentalist atheism (i.e. at Camp Quest UK), you will become religious!
So Richard Dawkins’ five-day atheist summer camp in Somerset this week, in which all the children will be taught about rational scepticism, moral philosophy and evolutionary biology, is bound ultimately to disappoint them when they realise that most people they will come across in life are rationality-challenged.
What’s more, it may well teach children the opposite of its intention, and set them up for a lifetime of God. After all, the only people I know who have fundamentalist religious beliefs are those who were brought up in resolutely atheist households, leading me to conclude that the best way to ensure children are not religious is to give them just enough religion to put them off.
So many mistakes in so few paragraphs…
It’s not Richard Dawkins’ camp. He donated enough money to send two people to camp, but that’s the extent of his participation. (I should mention there is a £10 note with Dawkins’ autograph on it that is used as a prize in an unwinnable contest.)
Also, there’s a difference between fundamentalist religion and “fundamentalist” atheism. Fundamentalist religions teach you to believe what the Holy Books say at all costs — it’s all supposed to be true and you are not to question what the leaders of the faith say.
At Camp Quest, you are most certainly NOT taught that there is no god. There is no homage to atheism or bowing down to a cardboard cutout of Dawkins. Kids are taught to raise good questions and be skeptical about what people tell you.
How is that anything like fundamentalist religion? I don’t know. Neither does Levenson, since she never explains herself.
What’s especially sad is that Levenson is a fan of Dawkins — she says he’s “probably right about God” — and yet she still believes he is “dogmatic.”
From what I hear, you’re supposed to expect this type of shoddy journalism from The Daily Mail in the UK. But I guess The Independent is no better.
(Thanks to Joe for the link!)