Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4
Nicholas Humphrey primes the pump for his doxology to “science” by appealing to the typical besmirchments of America’s lack of scientific enlightenment: age of the Earth this, evolution that, superstition this, almighty science that…
He also gives the obligatory hat tip to Richard Dawkins for being on the forefront of turning children against parents and his references to religious ideas as viral:
…as Richard Dawkins has explained so well, this kind of self-restraint is not in the nature of successful belief systems
The “self-restraint” of which Nicholas Humphrey speaks is the restraint of not teaching one’s children one’s “faith.” As is perhaps obvious, we shall see (particularly at the end of part 4) that Nicholas Humphrey and co.’s answer is to teach, nay; indoctrinate, children into absolute materialism.
In this regard, consider his self-righteous us against them statement:
…their devotees will be obsessed with education and with discipline: insisting on the rightness of their own ways and rubbishing or preventing access to others. We should expect, moreover, that they will make a special point of targeting children in the home, while they are still available, impressionable and vulnerable.
It is hard to see how this can so very easily be turned around on him?
Nicholas Humphrey’s devotees are obsessed with education and with discipline: insisting on the rightness of their own ways and rubbishing or preventing access to others. We should expect, moreover, that they will make a special point of targeting children in the home, while they are still available, impressionable and vulnerable.
Of course, such atheists are beyond merely targeting their own children in the home, while they are still available, impressionable and vulnerable. But have for a long time smuggled atheism into the public schools not merely through the back door but right through the front in the form of textbooks, “science,” removing any reference to God, etc. They do not only want their children to be atheist but yours as well. This will become all too clear and troubling as we proceed in considering the lecture (and in the various posts to which I linked in part 1).
Nicholas Humphrey provides a token comment in apparently recognizing that retorts such as mine above could just as easily be made as he begins his various belittlements of the Amish; those kidnappers!
Donald Kraybill, an anthropologist who made a close study of an Amish community in Pennsylvania, was well placed to observe how this works out in practice. "Groups threatened by cultural extinction," he writes, "must indoctrinate their offspring if they want to preserve their unique heritage…The Amish contend that the Bible commissions parents to train their children in religious matters as well as the Amish way of life. . . An ethnic nursery, staffed by extended family and church members, moulds the Amish world view in the child's mind from the earliest moments of consciousness." [second ellipses in original]
…"An ethnic nursery, staffed by extended family and church members . . ." could be as much a description of the early environment of a Belfast Catholic, a Birmingham Sikh, a Brooklyn Hasidic Jew—or maybe the child of a North Oxford don.
I imagine that the North Oxford don is in reference to a supposed true intellectual and perhaps particularly to Richard Dawkins. Apparently, he is not familiar with the Amish year of freedom whereby an Amish teen is allowed to explore the world outside of the Amish community and decides whether or not to return. Surely, Nicholas Humphrey would argue that such as exercise is merely a farce as by that point the teen has been so indoctrinated as to ensure only the teen’s return to the Amish paradise.
However, he rejoices in a circa three decades old story about Amish teens choosing the outside world after being made to work in public hospitals in lieu of military service during the Vietnam war drafts: male teens with raging hormones being unleashed upon the world of whatever-whenever-however-anyone wants goes world—big surprise.
Nicholas Humphrey makes reference to “sectarian schools” such as those that insist on,
presenting all subjects only from a biblical point of view, and requiring all teachers, supervisors, and assistants to agree with the church's doctrinal position
As an example of the deleterious effects of such schooling he offers the following,
Dress a little boy in the uniform of the Hasidim, curl his side-locks, subject him to strange dietary taboos, make him spend all weekend reading the Torah, tell him that gentiles are dirty.
As becomes more and more evidence as the lecture progresses, Nicholas Humphrey’s response is to, for example, establish equally, or even more so, sectarian schools wherein the teachers will present all subjects only from an atheistic point of view and requiring all teachers, supervisors, and assistants to agree with the atheist’s doctrinal position (many have already been excommunicated from the realm of academia). These schools seek to dress a little boy in a lab coat and make him spend a minimum of twelve years being told that life, the universe and everything is the fortuitous result of happenstantial accidents and tell him that religious people are ignorant.
Nicholas Humphrey notes that a boy “actually escaped and lived to tell the tale” of being raised a Catholic and notes,
There are plenty of other examples, known to all of us, of men and women who as children were pressured into becoming junior members of a sect, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Marxist—and yet who came out the other side, free thinkers, and seemingly none the worse for their experience.
Indeed, there are plenty of other examples, known to all of us, of men and women who as children were pressured into becoming junior members of a sect of atheism—and yet who came out the other side, true free thinkers, and seemingly none the worse for their experience. Then again some of the pseudo-freethinkers of which Nicholas Humphrey refers end up becoming some of the most vitriolic expressers of prejudice one would never hope to hear—just asks the likes of Dan Barker and co.
In another attempt to appeal to his liberal audience in the form of liberal ideas about sex in stating,
someone who has learned as a child, for example, to think of sex as sinful may never again be able to be relaxed about making love.
Again, this is one-sided-well-within-the-box-liberal-group-think as I personally know many people who learned as a child to think of sex as a mere bio-function to be expressed anytime, anywhere, with anyone and may never again be able to be relaxed about making love as a pure thing; a God ordained sacred and holy union of a husband and wife.
Now we get into the full Monty of Nicholas Humphrey’s promulgations as he lays it on the line:
…what would happen if this kind of vicious circle were to be forcibly broken? What would happen if, for example, there were to be an externally imposed "time-out"? Wouldn't we predict that, just to the extent it is a vicious circle, the process of becoming a fully-fledged believer might be surprisingly easy to disrupt? I think the clearest evidence of how these belief systems typically hold sway over their followers can in fact be found in historical examples of what has happened when group members have been involuntarily exposed to the fresh air of the outside world.
This is exemplary of his proposal: to forcibly unleash the forces of atheism upon you, your children your worldview, you schools (even and especially home schools). Again, appealing to fellow militant activist atheist Richard Dawkins, Nicholas Humphrey makes reference to “cultural viruses.” Do not simply shrug off the fact that militant activist atheist are increasingly dehumanizing religious people: as with abortion; dehumanization precedes persecution and extermination.
Nicholas Humphrey gets to his bottom line point which he described thusly:
Suppose that, as the Amish case suggests, young members of such a faith would—if given the opportunity to make up their own minds—choose to leave. Doesn't this say something important about the morality of imposing any such faith on children to begin with? I think it does. In fact I think it says everything we need to know in order to condemn it…
So I'll come to the main point—and lesson—of this lecture. I want to propose a general test for deciding when and whether the teaching of a belief system to children is morally defensible. As follows. If it is ever the case that teaching this system to children will mean that later in life they come to hold beliefs that, were they in fact to have had access to alternatives, they would most likely not have chosen for themselves, then it is morally wrong of whoever presumes to impose this system and to chose for them to do so. No one has the right to choose badly for anyone else…
only if we know that teaching a system to children will mean that later in life they come to hold beliefs that, were they to have had access to alternatives, they would still have chosen for themselves, only then can it be morally allowable for whoever imposes this system and chooses for them to do so.
Thus, the only allowable result is a worldview that a child would have come to hold when, having been given access to alternatives, they would have most likely chosen. And then we are provided a typical baseless atheist assertion of moral condemnation. He had previously referred to giving the child “access to the full range of alternatives.”
Full range meaning that they may choose to become a Mother Theresa or an Adolf Hitler. Given the choice they may forgo working 40-80 hours per week and coming home to a wife who does not elicit constant goose bumpy adrenaline spiked feeling and choose the life of a pornographer. They may become a foster parent or an assassin. No, no! No? Why not, because of some vague and ultimately judicially impotent notion of right and wrong?
No indeed, because the view of such atheists is that of a Utopian human race wherein education of the “right” kind will produce pure benevolence.