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Live webchat with Richard Dawkins, Wed 23 June, 10am-11am

(497 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 17-Jun-10 12:47:44

We're pleased to welcome Richard Dawkins for a webchat on Wednesday 23 June from 10am-11am. Richard is a celebrated evolutionary biologist and atheist, and author of the best-selling God Delusion.

He has presented programmes on Channel Four that range from enthusing about the Genius of Charles Darwin to arguing against religion in Root of All Evil?

His latest project is taking a long hard look at education and the role religion continues to play in it.

He wants to hear first-hand from Mumsnetters what faith and church schools are really like. How successful are they? Are they selection by another means? Are they divisive? And are they making hypocrites out of non-believing parents who go to church just to send their children to them?

If you can't make the discussion but want to contribute, please post your views here.

Thanks and hope you can join us.

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 18-Aug-10 11:42:01

Little update - Mumsnetters did make the final edit, as did Justine, says Molly, the producer.

southeastastra Tue 17-Aug-10 09:50:09

i'm looking forward to that must say!

CatherineHMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 17-Aug-10 09:49:04

Thought you might all like to know that Richard Dawkins' documentary The Faith School Menace (which may or may not feature footage of Dawkins at MNHQ for this webchat) will be shown this Wed August 18th at 9pm on More4.

POFAKKEDDthechair Sat 26-Jun-10 12:18:20

Well I think it is. Especially in an age where greed and individualism is all . Our societ would be very, very different if we followed Christ's teachings [including the church]

TheCoalitionNeedsYou Sat 26-Jun-10 09:37:12

POFAKKEDD - "It's not where your from, it's where your at"

The fact that Christianity was instrumental in forming the society we now live in does not mean that it is neceserily useful now or that we owe it anything.

POFAKKEDDthechair Fri 25-Jun-10 22:29:58

No Christianity does not have exclusive ownership of these values [and rather too often appears to reject them] But as I said earlier, Christ was pretty visionary proposing them at the time, and it is impossible to know quite what effect he has had on our society, and what it would be like without his teachings. I am not saying we wouldn't value those principles otherwise, but it is an unknown and it is not unreasonable to point that out.

Anthony Kenny's quotes sum it all up for me.

Schools MUST encourage independence of thought and investigative minds - rather than present any one view as the 'right' one. I would really , really love Christian agnosticism to be taught in schools grin But of course a Christianity that is represented correctly.

tiktok Fri 25-Jun-10 21:04:41

Coalition - precisely. It doesn't need a school, either, though one would hope a school would have these values as well.

Religion per se, let alone Christianity, is not the sole 'purveyor' of good ethics/values.

TheCoalitionNeedsYou Fri 25-Jun-10 20:38:32

MontyGaither/POFAKKEDD - A better point to make would be that Forgiveness, Tolerance, Compassion, Non-Judgement, Social Justice are not exclusively Christian values, just all round good ones so it shouldn't require a Faith school to provide those.

POFAKKEDDthechair Fri 25-Jun-10 17:49:56

and many, many christians fighting the corruption in both churches. But again, you know better.

POFAKKEDDthechair Fri 25-Jun-10 17:48:43


Right back to the beginning.

These threads are always so circular.

You could read the thread Monty.

Pointless saying yes the Devil [if there is one] working very efficiently through both churches and all religions and always has.

Christian principles though you obviously know better:

Forgiveness, Tolerance, Compassion, Non-Judgement, Social Justice.

These are the principles Christ taught in his life, like it or not. And yes, many christians conveniently forget it. But MANY carry out brilliant work and do wonderful things, quietly and without fuss. I guess you want to pretend they don't exist as it doesn't suit your blinkered argument.

MontyGaither Fri 25-Jun-10 14:10:06

"I did want the children to benefit from Christian principles "

Which of the followong xtian principles do you feel that the children benefit?

Discrimination, believing falsehoods as reality, the inquisitions, the crusades, the hatred of diversity that the evangelicals preach?

The catholic church interferes in the private lives of everyone when it uses it money to prevent laws from changing to allow for same-gender marriage. It is a health meanice when it demands that no government give out condomns and tells people that condomns will cause HIV/AIDS to spread. The crimes of the church and it's current CEO (the pope) are great and both the church and the pope should pay for those crimes.

slug Fri 25-Jun-10 12:21:08

"Dawkins is a liar anyway"

Evidence please Markymark1? Apply the scientific method please.

boiledegg1 Fri 25-Jun-10 12:13:47

Gosh, just noticed he acknowledged my post! I was at work so just dipped in and out.

markymark1 Fri 25-Jun-10 12:00:58

Dawkins is a liar anyway, he contradicts himself so much i wonder he believes in his own existence!!

weasle Thu 24-Jun-10 16:01:08

Just n case Prof Dawkins reads the rest of the thread, i thought his team might be interested in my religious school experience. My son is 4 and going to start primary school in septmeber.

Unusually, my local C of E and catholic schools are not good, in fact the C of E one is in special measures as a failing school. Our nearest (secular) school, 400m away, is so popular and over subscribed that we are 21 on the waiting list! We didn't get in a place in any of the nearest 4 schools that we 'chose' on our application form. So we were allocate the C of E school, as were our neighbours. I have complained to the council and the school, how can they make us send our son to a religious school? if we turn it down the nearest other school with space( also failing) is impossible to walk to and would be 2 bus rides away.

i was greatly offended that the school told me that the christian component was just teaching children to have morals and nice manners, as if without the religion you cannot have that. on a brief visit, it was clearly more than that - every class had a display on some aspect of christianity, and whilst i want my sons to learn about it, i do not want it taught to them as truth, any more than any other religion, current or extinct. i strongly object to state money being used to teach religion as fact; to me religious worship is a family, private thing and has no place in schools.

POFAKKEDDthechair Thu 24-Jun-10 11:03:45

I'd be delighted if philosophy and ethics were taught in school.

sfxmum Thu 24-Jun-10 10:40:27

I am sorry to deviate ever so slightly from the talk of religion at school but...

talking of things that have no place in school that all brain gym thing, that is not what schools are for, please teach them to read write and think in a critical way, introduce the study of philosophy, ethics, the development of thought

I already said I think religion has no place in school other than as cultural reference

there feel better now

as you were

tiktok Wed 23-Jun-10 23:15:13

Thanks for the link, SomeGuy.....hey at least God apologises for sending poor Ali to hell

(Po - all I was doing was pointing out that the doctrine of atonement was not a dead duck. I don't know about popularity - it's obv popular in some places, and not in others)

SomeGuy Wed 23-Jun-10 23:00:13

Here's a more shall we say fundamentalist perspective on penal substitution

POFAKKEDDthechair Wed 23-Jun-10 21:41:59

But you are using an argument about popularity tiktok - that is all it is - you thinking it is all toss does not negate that.

SomeGuy Wed 23-Jun-10 21:33:52

I never said that wink

tiktok Wed 23-Jun-10 21:28:42

Just don't tell me no one believes the doctrine of atonement any more, and I'll stop saying 'everyone who lives in SomeGuy's town is a racist'.

tiktok Wed 23-Jun-10 21:27:21


SomeGuy Wed 23-Jun-10 21:22:32

And I think the BNP member in the next road is a twat. That doesn't mean my whole town is a write-off though.

tiktok Wed 23-Jun-10 21:16:22

SomeGuy - you know that's not what I mean!

I explained the doctrines of atonement and forgiveness. A few people posted saying 'rubbish! Today's enlightened Christians don't believe all that codswallop any more!'

I replied - don't they? I contended that this rubbish is still a part of mainstream Christian thinking and eventually linked to Giles Fraser who bemoaned this very same fact, wringing his hands and wishing (praying?) that everyone thought like he did.

I'm not using any argument about popularity - I'm not a believer, I think it's all a load of toss, sorry. I am saying, basically, that no matter that some liberal CofE'ers and even non-dogmatic RCs think the crucifixion is God-suffering-with-us, there are plenty of other Christians who don't think that way - who think you can only be forgiven if you buy the whole Christian shebang, and believe in Christ's divnity, and who think that Jesus died on the cross 'for' the sins of humankind.

It's no good you coming on here and saying to me, 'nooooooooo - you've got it wrong! Christianity does not mean that - look, Rowan Williams and the Doctrinal Commission have said it doesn't mean that!' Because to many Christians, it does mean precisely that (and some of the loopier ones would damn you to hell for suggesting otherwise).

Clearly, Giles Fraser is worried about them, and thinks there are too many of them.

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