Those atheists are trying to tell me that bringing a child up in ones faith is like child abuse. Sheesh!
The kids believe what their parents believe, they grouse. They don’t have a fair chance to become …..well….atheists! like us!
Sure, children usually adopt the religious views of their parents. They also adopt every other view. It is in the nature of child-rearing. Children of American homes believe in the supremacy of American life. Children of Chinese homes believe in Chinese life. Children of pacifist parents become pacifist. Children of hawks become hawks. Children of parents who value education likewise value it. Children of parents who don't also don't.
Children of Ford or Chevy fanatics also favor those brands. Even Jakob Dylan is following the old man's footsteps in music, for crying out loud! As young adults some may reassess their values, but as small children they usually are a reflection of their parents.
This is a fact of human family life. And as those atheists don't object to it in any context other than religion, we may take their comments primarily as a statement of dislike (if not loathing) for our faith. Moreover, if you do not train your children, it is not true that they grow up free and unencumbered and subsequently select their values from the great cornucopia of ideas. No. All it means is that someone else will train them, and it is unlikely that the someone else will have the child's welfare at heart to the degree of the natural parents. With religious yearnings nearly universal throughout human experience, it really is a fantastic idea to suggest that failure to break that pattern amounts to child abuse!
Ahh, but I’m not saying one should teach atheism, a certain fellow says, who leans in that direction. (leans pretty hard, I think) No, but what one must do is teach critical thinking, he maintains, confident (am I reading this into his words?) that such thinking will inevitably lead to atheism, as it did with him!
“These tools are very simple,” he says, “critical thinking and scientific evaluation of facts” Ha! Look, these terms sound good, I admit, but they’re usually just buzzwords for seeing the world the way they want you to see it. What “facts” are we to consider? Only theirs.
For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses are heavily influenced by the fantastic improbably of life arising through evolution, but that's not one of the facts we're invited to consider. Mutations, the driver of evolutionary change, are extraordinarily rare. Gene replication seems accurate almost to perfection. "Typically, mistakes are made at a rate of only 1 in every ten billion bases incorporated," states the textbook Microbiology. (Tortora, Funke, Case, 2004, pg 217) So such errors are not only extraordinarily unusual, but also only a similar infinitesimally tiny proportion of such errors are beneficial....that is, useful for evolution. And any winning mutation has to be beneficial enough to confer upon its recipient a significant trump in the "struggle for survival."
Get someone to work out the probabilities of that! It absolutely astounds me that people can nonetheless swallow it. Not only swallow it, but declare that failure to swallow it makes one a superstitious ignoramus.
These “probability” arguments, however (and there are many of them) are entirely inadmissible to science! Not because they are not weighty, but because science has no way to weigh them. They don’t adapt themselves to the scientific method, with its insistence on repeatable experiments. So, sit down with one of these “critical, scientific thinkers,” and you find you’re playing their board game, the rules of which are that you can’t move your pieces!
Thomas Huxley tried to illustrate how accidental mutations might nonetheless produce a masterpiece over time with his typing monkeys analogy: "If you give an infinite number of monkeys and infinite number of typewriters, one of them will eventually come up with the complete works of Shakespeare." Sounds logical, doesn’t it... I guess? Perhaps a good way to convey scientific facts to the dunces? Yet, when they tried that experiment, the monkeys didn’t write a word of Shakespeare. In fact, they didn’t write any word at all, not even a one-letter word. What they did do was pee and defecate on the computer!
The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that these "critical thinking" guys are the anti-religious counterpart of the Trinitarians. Yes, the Trinitarians….who take literally words and phrases which in any other context would be instantly recognized as metaphor, illustrative or comparative device…to reach the absurd conclusion that two beings that talk to one another, that are in respectively different places at the same time, that have overlapping, but different powers, authorities, and knowledge are in reality the same being (or different forms of the same being)!
The more farfetched your conclusion, the more absolutely compelling your evidence must be. Otherwise the one who accepts it is merely gullible. If there is some scriptural evidence for trinity, surely it is not sufficient to justify that fantastic doctrine which defies common sense and makes God impossible to understand.
It’s the same with evolution. Sure, there is some evidence to support it. But considering the fantastically improbable bill of goods they’re trying to sell us, it has to be a lot more compelling than it is.
That may not be critical thinking, or scientific thinking, but it sure makes sense.