Dawkins on the Immorality of Israeli School Children. How religion condones genocide.

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This is a transcript of Richard Dawkins speaking:

“As it happens, the story of Joshua in Jericho is the subject of an interesting experiment in child morality, by the Israeli psychologist, George Tamarin. Tamarin presented to more than 1,000 Israeli schoolchildren aged between 8 and 14, the Book of Joshua’s account of the Battle of Jericho. He then asked the children a simple moral question: Do you think Joshua and the Israelites acted rightly or not? They had to choose between A (total approval) B (partial approval) and C (total disapproval). The results were polarised: 66% gave total approval, and 26% total disapproval, with rather fewer, 8%, in the middle with partial approval.

Here are three typical answers from the Total Approval A group. ‘In my opinion, Joshua and the sons of Israel acted well, and here are the reasons: God promised them this land, and gave them permission to conquer. If they would not have acted in this manner, or killed anyone, then there would be the danger that the Sons of Israel would have assimilated among the Goyen.’

‘In my opinion Joshua was right when he did it, one reason being that God commanded him to exterminate the people so that the tribes of Israel will not be able to assimilate amongst them and learn their bad ways.’

‘Joshua did good because the people who inhabited the land were of a different religion, and when Joshua killed them, he wiped their religion from the earth.’

The justification for the genocidal massacre by Joshua is religious in every case. Even those in Category C who gave total disapproval, did so in some cases for backhanded religious reasons. One girl for example, disapproved of Joshua’s conquering Jericho because in order to do so he had to enter it. ‘I think it is bad since the Arabs are impure and if one enters an impure land, one will also become impure and share their curse’

Tamarin ran a fascinating control group in his experiment. A different group of 168 Israeli children were given the same text from the Book of Joshua, but with Joshua’s own name replaced by General Lin and Israel replaced by a Chinese kingdom 3,000 years ago. Now the experiment gave opposite results. Only 7% approved of General Lin’s behaviour and 75% disapproved. In other words, when their loyalty to Judaism was removed from the calculation, the majority of the children agreed with the moral judgments that most modern humans would share. Joshua’s action was a deed of barbaric genocide. But it all looks different from a religious point of view, and the difference starts early in life. It was religion that made the difference between children condemning genocide and condoning it.”

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10 thoughts on “Dawkins on the Immorality of Israeli School Children. How religion condones genocide.

  1. I agree with you, religion is the ultimate weapon created by man. These dumb religious idiots of all types will fight to the end for a dream they’ll never watch up to. All wars past, present, projected were and will be based on some religious reasoning created by man’s very human greed. When their own logic interfers with sound reasoning, they will still follow blindly their man-god like ensalved serfs. This is why ALL religions recruit young, all that crap has to be hammered and nailed into their brains for permanent control.

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  2. Very true ! Well said Tobe ! and that is why this is most important to spread these infos ! Make people ~think for themselves, and start inspiring young minds to switch-stop & change that old-obsolete-barbaric way of thoughts !

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  3. Goeie stuk van Sam Harris.

    http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/on-the-freedom-to-offend-an-imaginary-god

    Wat Harris nie sê nie, is dat Analfa en Johann se geloofs-voorouers, Muslims vermoor het by die duisende. Ook dat hulle geloofs-voorouers hulle eie mense wat getwyfel het aan hulle liewe Jesus, in kelders gemartel het en op brandstapels verbrand het.

    Godsdiens, in watter vorm ookal, deur die eeue, is ‘n klad op Homo Sapiens as ‘n spesie.

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    • En gebeur steeds vandag Savage, net op ‘n meer subtiele manier.

      Maar hul tyd is besig om uit te loop. Stadig maar seker. Die kerke is deesdae net vol met begrafnisse en troues, m.a.w. Met rituele. Amper soos die joodse geloof – ek weet van bitter baie Jode wat uitgesproke ateiste is maar. Nie aan varkvleis raak nie en wie wat aan al die tradisies en rituele van Judaisme deelneem. Die Christendom is oppad daarheen en vinnig ook. Halleluja!

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      • Well I’ve heard there was a secret chord
        That David played and it pleased the Lord
        But you don’t really care for music, do you?
        Well it goes like this:
        The fourth, the fifth, the minor fall and the major lift
        The baffled king composing Hallelujah

        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah

        Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
        You saw her bathing on the roof
        Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
        She tied you to her kitchen chair
        And she broke your throne and she cut your hair
        And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah

        But baby I’ve been here before
        I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
        You know, I used to live alone before I knew ya
        And I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
        And love is not a victory march
        It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah

        Well there was a time when you let me know
        What’s really going on below
        But now you never show that to me do ya
        But remember when I moved in you
        And the holy dove was moving too
        And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah

        Maybe there’s a God above
        But all I’ve ever learned from love
        Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya

        And it’s not a cry that you hear at night
        It’s not somebody who’s seen the light
        It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah
        Hallelujah

        Hallelujah

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            • Savage, ek is ‘n groot Leonard Cohan fan. Interessante stukkie trivia is dat hy oor die jare die lirieke van “Halleluja” verander het. Die eerste opname (in 70s dink ek) het totaal ander lirieke gehad. Cohen is ‘n Jood (sy van eintlik Kohen) en baie van sy songs het te doen met ou testament (wat basies die Tora is). “She broke your throne and cut your hair” verwys bv na die storie rondom Simson en Delila.

              Nog n stukkie trivia is die voorkoms van die frases “freshly peeled oranges” en “plywood violin” wat in vele songs se lirieke teenwoordig is.

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              • Dankie vir die info, Malherbe. Ja, ek is ook ‘n Leonard Cohen fan, alhoewel ek hom eers hier in die laat 80s ontdek het. Op ‘n Sondagaand met ‘n bottel rooiwyn kan die heimwee sterk inslaan met Cohen.

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