Is atheism the natural result of education without indoctrination?


(Theja Tseikha) #1

Hi everyone, I recently read this quote by Ricky Gervais -“Should schools teach Atheism? No! There’s no need to teach Atheism. It is the natural result of education without indoctrination." Can you help me understand how to respond?


(SeanO) #2

@Helen_Tan’s link is a wonderful response - especially to the question of how we can know Christianity is true without having to research all other religions.

Ricky Gervias’ quote is committing a logical fallacy - begging the question. He is assuming that atheism is the most natural response to an honest examination of the world as it is without providing evidence to that effect. Romans 1 says exactly the opposite - that men know God through creation, but suppress their knowledge of God because of the sin in their hearts. According to Romans 1, “There is no need to teach belief in God. It is the natural result of examining the evidence without indoctrination to the contrary.” And most people throughout most of the world have always held a belief in the divine - supporting the claims of the Bible on this point.


How can we say other religions aren't true?
Is teaching kids religion brainwashing?
(Helen Tan) #3

Hi Theja

Here are some thoughts for consideration with regard to Ricky Gervais’ comment. Perhaps underlying what he says is that science taught in schools naturally leads one to atheism and that therefore there is no indoctrination. Prevalent claims of atheists are that to be scientific, one can’t believe in God since He can’t be affirmatively proven using scientific methodology. The writings of Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens attest to that - God can’t be observed empirically and therefore He’s right there with Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.

In presenting their case, atheists claim that the evidentiary burden of proof of God’s existence lies with Christians. Shouldn’t the evidentiary burden be on them as well to prove that there’s no God? After all, atheism is a belief – they believe that there’s no spirituality. Are atheists being scientifically dishonest? Should their honest answer be “I don’t know” since they can’t provide evidence either way?

Atheists may claim that Christians can’t provide scientific proof that God exists (which we can validly dispute) or that one can’t prove a negative (i.e. that God does not exist). In this case, would agnosticism (the view that the existence of God, of the divine or the supernatural is unknown or unknowable) be the more honest conclusion for them rather than atheism?

What they are doing in schools is, in fact, indoctrinating young minds with the thinking that atheism is the best fit for those pursing science.

I’m not sure if this line of thought makes sense and look forward to comments from others.


(Andilina) #4

So, I’m making my RZIM connect debut by tagging on to this conversation because I find discussions on atheism and agnosticism fascinating. Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Andilina, I live in Ohio, and I’m an alum of the 2011 OCCA summer business program. I love RZIM and what they’re doing in the world and I’m glad to finally be joining the online discussion here. Let me get to my comments with the tag line atheism & exorcism…

I came across some facts today that I hadn’t realized occurred. Watching an interesting television program (as I am apt to do), I heard statements that atheism and demonic possession are on the rise. I suppose I haven’t paid much attention, but watching the news, it makes a lot of sense. At least one of these comments is empirically true.

According to Pew Research,

“3.1% of American adults say they are atheists when asked about their religious identity, up from 1.6% in a similarly large survey in 2007. An additional 4.0% of Americans call themselves agnostics, up from 2.4% in 2007.” - http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/06/01/10-facts-about-atheists/

I did find an article that there has been an increase in demand for priests trained in exorcism, but honestly, I didn’t read it all. I stopped reading when I saw the statement “priests should be trained in deliverance and should not minister alone. They should be covered by adequate insurance.” - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/30/vatican-to-hold-exorcist-training-course-after-rise-in-possessions-exorcism-priests

Being in the insurance industry myself, that last statement actually made me laugh out loud. Not because, as an insurance professional, priests should not have nor need such insurance. They do!! I laughed because both of these occurrences seem to be missing the point entirely. I think I’ve witnessed that a lot lately.

Whether it’s an atheist who says “there is great solace in atheism,” as if it’s not a religion (Penn Jillette, episode of Expedition Unknown), or a priest who claims there are 500k alleged “cases of demonic possession recorded in Italy each year,” requiring more priests to learn the art of exorcism, both are simply missing God and the POWER of God altogether.

It seems that while we in the believing community are growing in our wisdom and relationship with God and each other, the rest of the world is doing the complete opposite. Not only are they rejecting God, but they are embracing their own destruction. And we are seeing the fruits of this in such increases in violence around the world, political unrest, suicide, atheism, demonic possession, and all matter of things devoid of God.

Is this such a time of separating the sheep from the goats? Perhaps not, but God is moving. And as Jesus said, the harvest is great, but the workers are few (Matthew 9:37). We indeed should be praying for more workers. God bless!!!


(C Rhodes) #5

Helen that’s what immediately came to my mind. Education is indoctrination. Otherwise no worldview would be known.