Ohh, boy, this can’t be good. Turns out some Siobhan O’Neill and post-modernist blogger Lauren Nelson are now spouting the idea that you can indoctrinate your children with godlessness.
I don’t even know where to begin. How do you respond to so much non-sense? You can’t indoctrinate people into facts. Indoctrination is for ideologies, so telling children there are no Smurfs, leprechauns, fairies or gods, is no indoctrination. Is being responsible.
You can’t indoctrinate people into accepting Gravity, evolution, germ theory of disease — these are matters of fact, and children need to have an evidence-based understanding of the world in order to cope with reality to the best of their ability as they grow up. That’s part of their human rights.
Parents have the responsibility to teach children how the world works in the most reliable way possible, and anything short of naturalistic explanations or letting them think even for a second there are causal relations other than the mechanistic workings of the Universe is to fail them miserably.
You don’t indoctrinate children into thinking rain comes from clouds, or into thinking that water becomes ice, or by reassuring them there are no monsters under their bed.
Not all narratives are created the same, some are fact and have evidence to back them up; some do not. So allowing children to dismiss ideas that have supporting evidence whatsoever is okay — actually, encouraging them to dismiss claims that lack supporting evidence is one of the most ethical things any parent could do. How do these people even fail to see that?
Actually, Nelson is not new to us. She lost her shit some months ago because Richard Dawkins dared to tweet something patently obvious and, according to her, he’s not supposed to talk because of his skin color. So it didn’t come as a surprise she would fail so epically to grasp the difference between religious indoctrination and responsible parenting. (What actually do strikes me as odd is that she is still allowed to write for Friendly Atheist.)
(image: Alex Proimos)