You gotta love ’em for trying. PZ Myers, who is for all practical purposes Richard Dawkins without the cute British accent, is now picking up Dawkins’ argument that raising children in religious environments is child abuse. I have to admit, there are times when I’ve had similar thoughts when running into families who lived under a heavy form of legalism. But, I’ve seen worse in families raised without any rules at all. It might be interesting to poll some juvenile detention facilities to see how many were raised religious as opposed to being simply ignored.
Jesus said (this appears in 3 of the 4 Gospels):
But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. – Matthew 18:6
Obviously, Christians can make a similar claim about parents who raise their children as atheists, which appears to brings us back to Pascal’s Wager. So, you can place your bets on Jesus, or on Richard Dawkins. The “pot odds,” however, are clearly in favor of following Jesus (not Chris Ferguson, btw).
At some point in the hopefully near future, I want to explore a bit how I think the current aggressive wave of “New Atheism” could be one the signs of the collapse of modernism. Post-modernism (generically speaking, “that which comes after modernism”) has been seen and feared by some Christians as a challenge to Christianity, but I think it’s even more feared by a segment of atheists who are staunch materialists. While they attack Christianity as the most vocal challenge to materialism, the issue is much larger. As polls tend to show, people are becoming less willing to put all of their eggs into a materialistic basket, and are more and more open to some reality which can’t be experienced merely by our five physical senses.
If I’m right, Myers, like Dawkins, may simply be a “voice ‘dying’ in the wilderness.”