Field of Science

Dawkins launches anti-indoctrination summer camp

Richard Dawkins is co-organizing an atheist summer camp. Reading the headline, Richard Dawkins launches children's summer camp for atheists, I at first thought that it sounds as bad as the Christian camps that are so common in the U.S. The fear is that impressionable children will come home indoctrinated, as in "All you have to remember is that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and if you believe in him you will go to Heaven when you die," as I overheard a very young woman conclude a church class of much younger children.*

But if you read the article you'll see that the emphasis is on children learning to think for themselves - a notion anathema to everything religious.
Camp-goers will be given lessons in rational scepticism, as well as sessions in moral philosophy and evolutionary biology.
The totally mandatory objection from the Church of England sounds thus:
A spokesman for the Church of England questioned Dawkins' decision to stage a summer camp for atheists.

"We would defend the right for anyone to set up an event like this, as long as the young people are happy to attend," he said.

"But in his imitation of the type of youth events that religious groups have been running for years, Dawkins makes atheism look even more like the thing he is rallying against."
So children getting together in the summer, in a confined place, hiking and canoeing, learning something, having fun, etc. means that it looks like religion? Talk about purview. "I did it first, so don't imitate me. Go away," is children speak.

* True story, my friend Jack. True story.

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