Re: Richard Dawkins: Extropian Extraordinaire

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Wed Jan 02 2002 - 15:39:59 MST

"J. R. Molloy" wrote:
> In an open letter to Estelle Morris, Richard Dawkins calls on the Government
> to think again about funding yet more divisive faith schools
> Children must choose their own beliefs
> Dear secretary of state,
> The Government has decided, reasonably enough, that heredity is no basis for
> membership of Parliament, and the hereditary peers are either gone or on their
> way. Yet, in the very same year, you propose increasing the number of faith
> schools. Having disavowed the hereditary principle for membership of
> Parliament, you seem hell-bent on promoting the hereditary principle for the
> transmission of beliefs and opinions.

The error in Dawkins' line of logic is the irrational assumption that
attending a faith-based school will automatically program said attendee
to be a good little unthinking stooge of the sponsoring religion. Having
been raised in a rather devout Catholic family, been an altar boy for
many years of childhood/adolescence, etc and known quite a few people
educated in Catholic schools, I'd say that faith-based education, at
least in Jesuit sponsored schools, is an ideal way to teach individuals
to arrive at their own beliefs and ethics through rational and critical
examination. As for many I've known educated in protestant schools,
nothing can make an individual more rabidly anti-religion than being
brought up in those. It's secular education that leaves an individual's
mental immunity system unprepared later in life to deal with an
onslaught of born-again-ism of various flavors.

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