"Religion is a hypothesis about the world: the hypothesis that things are the way they are, at least in part, because of supernatural entities or forces acting on the natural world. And there's no good reason to treat it any differently from any other hypothesis. Which includes pointing out its flaws and inconsistencies, asking its adherents to back it up with solid evidence, making jokes about it when it's just being silly, offering arguments and evidence for our own competing hypotheses...and trying to persuade people out of it if we think it's mistaken. It's persuasion. It's the marketplace of ideas. Why should religion get a free ride"

Greta Christina

Monday, 21 May 2012

Richard Dawkins supports Bibles in Schools

The Daily Mail is apparently surprised that “Arch Atheist” Richard Dawkins is in favour of Michael Gove’s plan to supply a free copy of the King James Bible to every state school.
They shouldn’t be of course as he is on record as acknowledging the cultural and literary contribution made by the 1611 translation of the bible to the richness of English prose and it would be as serious an omission not to have a copy of it in schools as to omit Shakespeare or Keats.
However, Richard Dawkins supports this initiative for the same reason I do; knowledge of the Bible is probably the best way to ensure children do not fall for the cherry picked rhetoric of the clergy (and religiously motivated politicians like Gove) that tries to portray its message as “moral”. As I pointed out in my last post, confirmed by my own bible study, it is anything but.
It would be nice to think that Michael Gove and the Tory donors sponsoring this initiative are doing it for the culturally relevant reason of “commemorating four hundred years since publication” but I suspect not. The motivation is at least in part religious but unlike the National Secular Society (whose general aims I fully endorse by the way) I am not concerned that this will result in the promotion of Christianity, either over other faiths or atheism. In the unlikely event that any child actually attempts to read a copy in any depth it is much more likely to repel than attract.

No comments:

Post a Comment