It seems atheists have developed a comprehensive strategy to win the minds of the next generation. The strategy can be described simply: let the religious people breed them, and we will educate them to despise their parents’ beliefs. Many people think that the secularization of the minds of our young people is the inevitable consequence of learning and maturing. In fact, it is to a large degree orchestrated by teachers and professors to promote anti-religious agendas.
Why the hostility to religion? “Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate,” writes Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion. “Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.”
Christopher Hitchens, author of God Is Not Great, writes, “How can we ever know how many children had their psychological and physical lives irreparably maimed by the compulsory inculcation of faith?” Religion, he charges, has “always hoped to practice upon the unformed and undefended minds of the young.” He wistfully concludes, “If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.”
If religion is so bad, what should be done about it? It should be eradicated. According to Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, belief in Christianity is like belief in slavery. “I would be the first to admit that the prospects for eradicating religion in our time do not seem good. Still the same could have been said about efforts to abolish slavery at the end of the eighteenth century.”
But how should religion be eliminated? Our atheist educators have a short answer: through the power of science. “I personally feel that the teaching of modern science is corrosive of religious belief, and I’m all for that,” says physicist Steven Weinberg. If scientists can destroy the influence of religion on young people, “then I think it may be the most important contribution that we can make.”
One way in which science can undermine the plausibility of religion, according to biologist E.O. Wilson, is by showing that the mind itself is the product of evolution and that free moral choice is an illusion. “If religion…can be systematically analyzed and explained as a product of the brain’s evolution, its power as an external source of morality will be gone forever.”