June 29, 2009
GIVE Richard Dawkins a child for a week’s summer camp and he will try to give you an atheist for life.
The author of The God Delusion is helping to launch Britain’s first summer retreat for non-believers, where children will have lessons in evolution and sing along to John Lennon’s Imagine.
The five-day camp in Somerset (motto: “It’s beyond belief”) is for children aged eight to 17 and will rival traditional faith-based breaks run by the Scouts and church groups.
Budding atheists will be given lessons to arm themselves in the ways of rational scepticism. There will be sessions in moral philosophy and evolutionary biology along with more conventional pursuits such as trekking and tug-of-war. There will also be a £10 prize for the child who can disprove the existence of the mythical unicorn.
Instead of singing Kumbiya and other campfire favourites, they will sit around the embers belting out “Imagine there’s no heaven . . . and no religion too”.
Dawkins, who is subsidising the camp, said it was designed to “encourage children to think for themselves, sceptically and rationally”. All 24 places at the retreat, which runs from July 27-31, have been taken. . . . (continue reading).