The various creationist museums in the United States that teach children the universe is only about 6,000-years-old are akin to a “human rights crime,” according to one British philosopher.
“On my travels around the states last year I visited the Creation Museum in Oklahoma,” Professor A.C. Grayling, the master of the New College of Humanities, said last month at a humanist convention. “I kid you not. My gast was flabbered the minute I set my foot across the threshold of that place. They have these sort of electronic vegetarian Tyrannosaurus rex playing with the children of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.”
“The really dismaying thing about it was the troops and troops and troops of small schoolchildren being taken through and presented with all this as fact. That seems to me to be a human rights crime,” he added.
“And that’s part of the reason for saying that it’s important that we should have the humanist message at our fingertips,” Grayling continued. “When you debate, as one sometimes does, it might be on the tele or the radio or some public setting, with people who are invested in a religious commitment, so with bishops or mullahs or rabbis or whoever, you are not going to change their minds. Jonathan Swift said, ‘There is no reasoning a person out of a position they weren’t reasoned into,’ and this is the case with religion, because of course the vast majority of religious people are religious because of their early experience, they were indoctrinated as children.”
Grayling is an outspoken advocate of secular humanism and released The Good Book — a compilation of non-religious philosophy — as an alternative to the Bible and other religious books in 2011.
“The whole point in debating people with a real investment in a religious outlook is you are not going to change their minds,” he said. “You’re not really talking to them, because you’re not going to make a difference to them, but you might make a difference to people who are uncertain, people who are reflecting, people who are wavering on the brink.”
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