Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
While I do not know about the appropriateness of exposing Children to fire and brimstone sermons on a daily or even weekly basis, note that Dawkins makes a sweeping statement about all of Christianity. He's doing more than putting these two concepts in the same room, too. He's making a claim of moral equivalency.
This is a fantastic, feel good statement written for people terrified by atheists, and framing this in terms of punishment verifies exactly which audience this article was written for. Sexual abuse is rightly punished by jail time, but to throw an entire culture in jail for their standard practices? Madness.

TNR does not write for people who are terrified by atheists, generally. You should try reading the complete piece. It's quite friendly to secularism.

Anyway, society has seen fit to throw people in jail over common practices of all kinds (prostitution, drugs, alcohol at some point). This derives from the puritan ethic, in a non-religious sense, the striving for purity, and I see quite a bit of that in Dawkins' expression of atheism.


Fear is a component of why people believe in X, and it it undermines this argument:

Contrary to what Dawkins thinks, religious belief is not perpetuated by infection and incapacitation of the intellect.

Pascal's wager is a powerful artificial viral tool.

It is primarily perpetuated by perpetuating the institutions of religious belief. That, I would guess, is mainly a story of power and social control.

You are describing inertia, not origin.

Religion is, by and large, inertia. Few people are voluntarily and spontaneously converted. Pascal's wager, for that matter, is just a curious intellectual exercise to someone whose mind has not already been imprinted with vivid images of hell.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 at 04:40:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series