Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Can We Teach People to Be Atheists?


Good points which fit quite nicely with the topic I’ve been exploring. Fundamentalist religions “inoculate” their children with their superstitious beliefs. Would the world be better off if we could do the same as atheists? I’m not so sure. However, I do think a more balanced approach and teaching our children about world religions would be a good starting point.

I Love You but You're Going to Hell

What would the world’s smartest atheist do if he ruled the world?  Easy.  Teach young people to be atheists.

But Daniel Dennett recognizes that in the real world, teaching young people to be atheists would be “inhumane and ineffective.”  Dennett aired his views in a recent bit in Prospect Magazine.  Ideally, Dennett insisted, the only way to fix the planet would be to guarantee

high quality, non-ideological education for boys in girls in every community on the globe.  If we could just liberate the world’s children from illiteracy, ignorance, and superstition, their curiosity would lead them to solutions that were both locally informed and sensitive . . .

Sounds good, but as Dennett recognizes, the devil is always in the details.  As Dennett acknowledges, there is no way to impose the atheistic truth on people without generating overwhelming opposition.  Not that Dennett wouldn’t do it if he could. …

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6 thoughts on “Can We Teach People to Be Atheists?

  1. “Originally posted on I Love You but You’re Going to Hell:”

    This is what got former pastor and current author Rob Bell in so much hot water with evangelicals. In his book , “Love wins” he talks about the danger of people being so certain they are part of the “In” group and if you don’t believe like they do , you’re going to hell.

    This particular book caused evangelicals to really turn on him.


    • I do remember the kerfuffle. His book came out about the time I started questioning my faith. I remember the Evangelicals/Fundamentalists eating him alive. They do so love to cannibalize.


  2. While still living in Kansas City, a local pastor of the largest church in the city wrote a book about the possibility of there being other paths to the same god. 1,000 members left his church the Sunday after he read excerpts about this from his book.

    He also wrote he didn’t think god condemned homosexuals. He lost another 1,000 members. It is my understanding since then he has gained more attendees than he originally lost.

    I think we are starting to see (slowly) Pastors who are starting to realize they are dealing with a better educated and inquisitive congregation who won’t buy all of the bulls#it dogma they’ve gotten by with in years past. Good for them !

    By the way the pastor is Adam Hamilton and the book is “Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White” A great read !


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