INFORMATION

This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are essential to make our site work and others help us to improve by giving us some insight into how the site is being used. For further information, see our Privacy Policy. Continuing to use this website is acceptance of these cookies.

The God Delusion and paedophilia

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
Post Reply
Message
Author
Beki
Posts: 710
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 8:43 am

The God Delusion and paedophilia

#1 Post by Beki » August 19th, 2007, 6:53 pm

I eventually got round to reading the God Delusion a few months ago. Whilst I agreed with a lot of what RD was saying and learned a few new things (in particular about the bible because being ex-RC, we never actually read the thing!) The part where he completely brushed over the abuse of children by catholic priests really upset me.

He then went on to say that the teaching of religious doctrine to children was an equally terrible thing to do to a child, which I am sorry, I just cannot agree with. Worse, I think that this attitude does nothing to further his message and would completely turn off most people reading it.

Maybe I just wasn't too affected by my RC upbringing, but the stories we were told were just that - stories and opinions which became increasingly irrelevant and ridiculous as my education progressed. Under no circumstances could I describe this as 'abuse'. To even have this on the same page as something which can leave its victims traumatised for years is, I think, insulting to those who have had to deal with this truly terrible crime.

User avatar
Lifelinking
Posts: 3248
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 11:56 am

#2 Post by Lifelinking » August 19th, 2007, 7:42 pm

I remember thinking that he was treating paedophile abuse in a somewhat pejorative manner. It is a not untypical tactic of Dawkins to deliberately try to shock or rile people to get his often rather obvious points across. There are times when I think he does help to open out discourse, and other times I just find him tiresome.


However, while I would not conflate religious education with physical / sexual abuse of children, I would go as far as to argue (and have done elsewhere) that the indoctrination of children in schools is an abuse of their rights. A somewhat different use of the word, but an accurate one I feel.
"Who thinks the law has anything to do with justice? It's what we have because we can't have justice."
William McIlvanney

Moonbeam
Posts: 617
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:44 pm

Re: The God Delusion and paedophilia

#3 Post by Moonbeam » August 20th, 2007, 11:23 am

Beki wrote:I eventually got round to reading the God Delusion a few months ago. Whilst I agreed with a lot of what RD was saying and learned a few new things (in particular about the bible because being ex-RC, we never actually read the thing!) The part where he completely brushed over the abuse of children by catholic priests really upset me.

He then went on to say that the teaching of religious doctrine to children was an equally terrible thing to do to a child, which I am sorry, I just cannot agree with. Worse, I think that this attitude does nothing to further his message and would completely turn off most people reading it.

Maybe I just wasn't too affected by my RC upbringing, but the stories we were told were just that - stories and opinions which became increasingly irrelevant and ridiculous as my education progressed. Under no circumstances could I describe this as 'abuse'. To even have this on the same page as something which can leave its victims traumatised for years is, I think, insulting to those who have had to deal with this truly terrible crime.
I know many others have made the same criticism but I can't say I entirely agree with this interpretation of what Dawkins said. I read it as him saying that some kinds of psychological abuse may be worse than some kinds of physical abuse.

IIRC, there was the story of a Catholic girl who'd been fondled by a priest. and who, looking back from adulthood, felt this had been less damaging than being told her Protestant friend was now burning in hell.

I'm sure Dawkins doesn't think being told bible stories as a child is worse than being seriously sexually abused.

Lucretius
Posts: 262
Joined: July 26th, 2007, 11:19 pm

Re: The God Delusion and paedophilia

#4 Post by Lucretius » August 21st, 2007, 1:43 am

Beki wrote:I eventually got round to reading the God Delusion a few months ago. Whilst I agreed with a lot of what RD was saying and learned a few new things (in particular about the bible because being ex-RC, we never actually read the thing!) The part where he completely brushed over the abuse of children by catholic priests really upset me.

He then went on to say that the teaching of religious doctrine to children was an equally terrible thing to do to a child, which I am sorry, I just cannot agree with. Worse, I think that this attitude does nothing to further his message and would completely turn off most people reading it.

Maybe I just wasn't too affected by my RC upbringing, but the stories we were told were just that - stories and opinions which became increasingly irrelevant and ridiculous as my education progressed. Under no circumstances could I describe this as 'abuse'. To even have this on the same page as something which can leave its victims traumatised for years is, I think, insulting to those who have had to deal with this truly terrible crime.
I can't remember if this in the book(The God Delusion) but Dawkins received a letter from a woman in America stating that she was both abused sexually by a priest and psychologically by the ideas and dogma taught to her. She said of the former(sex abuse) that she just felt icky at the time because she was young and didn't really understand what was happening but of the latter psychological abuse she still feels this now. She thought the idea of her friend going to hell because she was a different branch of Christianity was particularly horrifyingly. She believed hell was a real physical place remember.
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken

User avatar
Deacon Doubtmonger
Posts: 84
Joined: July 29th, 2007, 6:09 am

#5 Post by Deacon Doubtmonger » September 2nd, 2007, 10:40 pm

I wouldn't put religion on a par with sexual abuse of children by priests -- but I would put it close in the same ballpark. One of the principal teachings of any religion is that there's this class of people called "clergy" who are absolutely special, and above everyone else ... whose words, deeds and very persons are not to be questioned, discussed or debated, presumably being driven by a perfect superbeing.

Any child who absorbs enough of that has had the groundwork for abuse put in place. One wonders what these monsters say to the children to convince them that what they're about to inflict is perfectly acceptable, and maybe even wonderful in the eyes of The Lord(tm) ...

User avatar
Chris
Banned
Posts: 95
Joined: August 29th, 2007, 5:03 pm

Re: The God Delusion and paedophilia

#6 Post by Chris » September 17th, 2007, 6:36 pm

Beki wrote: To even have this on the same page as something which can leave its victims traumatised for years is, I think, insulting to those who have had to deal with this truly terrible crime.
I agree with the others who have suggested that abuse can take many forms, and many people have suffered lifelong psychological damage from the guilt and religious ideas taught in childhood.

I would also dare to say that the reaction to some of the milder forms of sexual abuse do more harm than good. A view put forward some years ago, pointed out that it gives the penis as the ultimate weapon an importance way over its actual importance in most people's lives.

There are some truly dreadful cases of physical and sexual abuse of women and children, (and gau men come to that) but there are many more that are used by the media to create fear, anger and over-reaction aimed at knee jerk punishment, that can do more harm than good, rather than demands and funding for research into the reasons and ways of prevention.

This attitude leads to the view that for women to be sexually abused violent or not, is worse than the most violent physical attacks or even death, and underlies the mindset of 'honour' killings. "Better Dead than Defiled"

User avatar
Chris
Banned
Posts: 95
Joined: August 29th, 2007, 5:03 pm

#7 Post by Chris » September 17th, 2007, 6:50 pm

Beki

Having made those comments on that the (almost inevitable) sexual abuse by male clerics was skimmed over in Dawkins TGD I do think there is a lamentable lack of any recognition in most of the recent publications or programmes on religion and belief, of the dire effects religion has had. historically, on women's lives, their health, reproductive autonomy, education and self esteem, subservience, civil rights and exclusion from public life until quite modern times.

User avatar
Gurdur
Posts: 610
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 5:00 pm

#8 Post by Gurdur » September 17th, 2007, 6:55 pm

Chris wrote:.... the dire effects religion has had. historically, on women's lives......
Too broad a brush.
.
.

User avatar
Chris
Banned
Posts: 95
Joined: August 29th, 2007, 5:03 pm

#9 Post by Chris » September 17th, 2007, 7:37 pm

Gurdur wrote:
Chris wrote:.... the dire effects religion has had. historically, on women's lives......
Too broad a brush.
.
.
OK - 2000 years of male dominated patriarchal religions - political, organisted, Islam, Christian Judaism - Abrahamic and some aspects of Hinduism..

Fred
Posts: 111
Joined: July 13th, 2007, 3:33 pm

Re: The God Delusion and paedophilia

#10 Post by Fred » September 18th, 2007, 1:08 pm

Beki wrote:Whilst I agreed with a lot of what RD was saying and learned a few new things (in particular about the bible because being ex-RC, we never actually read the thing!)
Coming from a Methodist background, I was gobsmacked when a Catholic friend of mine said in all seriousness, "We don't need to read the Bible, the priests are there to tell us which parts to believe."

I now have problems actually thinking of catholicism as a form of christianity. how can someone be a christian without reading the bible????
Fred

User avatar
Alan C.
Posts: 10356
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

#11 Post by Alan C. » September 18th, 2007, 2:02 pm

Fred
how can someone be a christian without reading the bible????
Very very few people who call themselves "Christian" have read the buy-bull, that's why when I'm debating them, I love it when they start quoting passages from it, they only know the "nice bits" and for every nice bit they quote, I can quote three or four obnoxious bits, they really don't know half of what's written in their "good book".
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

User avatar
Chris
Banned
Posts: 95
Joined: August 29th, 2007, 5:03 pm

#12 Post by Chris » September 18th, 2007, 3:18 pm

Chris wrote:
Gurdur wrote:
Chris wrote:.... the dire effects religion has had. historically, on women's lives......
Too broad a brush.
OK - 2000 years of male dominated patriarchal religions - political, organisted, Islam, Christian Judaism - Abrahamic and some aspects of Hinduism..
For Gurdur, and for future reference, can I make it clear that above my preferred definition when referring to 'religion' on this forum - and not unless otherwise specified any other obscure pre Christian pagan gods or godesses such as:
a Phrygian goddess, Cybele (Greek: Κυβέλη) was a deification of the Earth Mother who was worshiped in Anatolia from Neolithic times. Like Gaia (the "Earth") or her Minoan equivalent Rhea, Cybele embodies the fertile earth, a goddess of caverns and mountains, walls and fortresses, nature, wild animals (especially lions and bees). Her title potnia theron, which is also associated.......Wikipedia


I really don't want to confuse anyone :headbang:

User avatar
Gurdur
Posts: 610
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 5:00 pm

#13 Post by Gurdur » September 18th, 2007, 4:55 pm

Chris wrote:For Gurdur, and for future reference, can I make it clear that above my preferred definition when referring to 'religion' on this forum
Cut the crap. "Religion" means just that -- "religion". As a whole. If you want to be more specific, be specific.
- and not unless otherwise specified any other obscure pre Christian pagan gods or godesses such as:
There are women- friendly religions around the place today. You should study more and shout less.

User avatar
Gurdur
Posts: 610
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 5:00 pm

Re: The God Delusion and paedophilia

#14 Post by Gurdur » September 18th, 2007, 5:01 pm

Chris wrote:I would also dare to say that the reaction to some of the milder forms of sexual abuse do more harm than good.
Goes for a hysterical denunciation per se of religion as well. IOW, your holus bolus approach does not do secularism any good.
This attitude leads to the view that for women to be sexually abused violent or not, is worse than the most violent physical attacks or even death, and underlies the mindset of 'honour' killings. "Better Dead than Defiled"
No, no.
Get back to Beki's point and answer it honestly. Beki was making the point, which I will paraphrase:

maybe Dawkins and Sam Harris should be sexually abused nastily, then they might actually learn the difference between real sexual abuse and religion, and stop trying to use otjhers' tragedies and pain merely to score some points in something unconnected for themselves.

User avatar
Gurdur
Posts: 610
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 5:00 pm

#15 Post by Gurdur » September 18th, 2007, 5:01 pm

To stop being serious for a second:

________
the penis as the ultimate weapon
I had no idea so many people knew so much about me. Reminds me of the song from The Jam, Girl On The Phone. Despite all that, I would like to firmly say I see it as a mechanism for bonding, not as a weapon.
_________

User avatar
Chris
Banned
Posts: 95
Joined: August 29th, 2007, 5:03 pm

Re: The God Delusion and paedophilia

#16 Post by Chris » September 18th, 2007, 5:25 pm

Gurdur wrote: No, no.
Get back to Beki's point and answer it honestly. Beki was making the point, which I will paraphrase:
& ref. your last three posts.

I will answer points in my own way thank you, and you do not need to answer for others or paraphrase posts for me, I can read and understand them perfectly well without your patronising instructions. That you do not agree with me does not necessarily mean that I am wrong as you seem to assume.

User avatar
Gurdur
Posts: 610
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 5:00 pm

Re: The God Delusion and paedophilia

#17 Post by Gurdur » September 18th, 2007, 5:42 pm

Chris wrote: That you do not agree with me does not necessarily mean that I am wrong as you seem to assume.
Wrong way round. That you are wrong is why I disagree with you. As for you being wrong, I am beginning to think it's one of Nature's constants, like Planck's constant or the speed of light in a vacuum.

User avatar
Chris
Banned
Posts: 95
Joined: August 29th, 2007, 5:03 pm

Re: The God Delusion and paedophilia

#18 Post by Chris » September 18th, 2007, 7:10 pm

Gurdur wrote:
Chris wrote: That you do not agree with me does not necessarily mean that I am wrong as you seem to assume.
Wrong way round. That you are wrong is why I disagree with you. As for you being wrong, I am beginning to think it's one of Nature's constants, like Planck's constant or the speed of light in a vacuum.
I think I will just let this response stand as a perfect illustration of your insufferable arrogance.

User avatar
Gurdur
Posts: 610
Joined: July 5th, 2007, 5:00 pm

#19 Post by Gurdur » September 18th, 2007, 7:22 pm

Chris wrote:I think I will just let this response stand as a perfect illustration of your insufferable arrogance.
You left out my indomitable Ultimate Weapon Of Mass Destruction. But hey. Could you also please note for inclusion in your future flames that I have nice blue eyes, too? Ta muchly.

Post Reply