Richard Dawkins, perhaps the world’s foremost atheist biologist, is now working on two new books about atheism: one for teenagers and one for children.
There’s a great irony in Dawkins’ forthcoming books, though, given he’s complained in the past about religious parents “indoctrinating” their children with Christian theology. How is this any different?
I’m actively working on 2 new books. Outgrowing God is Atheism for Teenagers. Second one (illustrated) is Atheism for Children. It still needs a title. Maybe OMG I think I’m an Atheist. Both will be seen by some as blasphemous. And as hate speech, simply for telling the truth.
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) July 28, 2018
In 2015, Dawkins argued parents have an outsized — and even dangerous — role in their kids’ upbringing. He argued government bureaucrats, rather than parents, are better fit to teach and make decisions about the education of children.
“There is a balancing act and you have to balance the rights of parents and the rights of children and I think the balance has swung too far towards parents,” he said at the time. “Children do need to be protected so that they can have a proper education and not be indoctrinated in whatever religion their parents happen to have been brought up in.”
But now, ironically, the famed biologist is seeking to produce the same thing for nonbelievers that he so readily decries in those who believe in God.
Despite the 77-year-old atheist’s unflinching opposition to a belief in a higher power, recent research actually indicates religious beliefs have improved behavior, particularly as it pertains to college-age male sexuality — a breath of fresh air in this #MeToo era.
College men who claim to participate in religious activity are less likely to have friends who approve of forcing or coercing a woman into having sex, are themselves less likely to view sexually explicit material and often have a lower number of sexual partners.
In addition, religious affiliation is associated with lower alcohol consumption, which reduces the likelihood that an individual will engage in sexually aggressive behavior. Does that seem like such a bad outcome?
Dawkins faced some criticism on Twitter over his latest effort:
So you're saying you're basically becoming an evangelical atheist? Will you set up centers where you can talk to believers, maybe one day per week or so?
Who knew being an atheist involved so much preaching? https://t.co/d3LPRIyciU
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) August 1, 2018
I'm pretty sure most of your books on religion are books about atheism for children, tbqh https://t.co/nVFyLs2bWa
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 1, 2018
Dawkins claims that indoctrination of children is evil. And yet he's writing a book on atheism for children. https://t.co/ghHktjaUo4
— Harrison Jennings (@hhjennings) July 29, 2018
There’s no way around it: If Dawkins is going to call it “indoctrination” when it’s Christian, it’s “indoctrination” when it’s atheistic, too.