Beyond the pale – ”liars” for Jesus

I should know when to leave well alone , but sometimes ….

David Robertson adamantly insisted, yet again, that the child psychologist  was Dorothy Kelman and Dawkins cites her in God Delusion, ( a claim he also made in an article he wrote for Christianity today) ….

This is interesting because whereas most contemporary atheists think it is an obvious point that humans are born atheists and have to be ‘indoctrinated’ to believe in God, there are those who agree with Richard Dawkins, who with psychologist Dorothy Kelman believes children believe in a Creator instinctively

David Robertson – Christianity Today.

Not only is this a blatant untruth note that he states that  Kelman and Dawkins both believe children believe in a Creator (Capital C).

And back to his post …


It’s Kelman – and if you actually read the book – as opposed to doing a word search you will get there. Do try Ark….reading is such a great way to learn…


And then our erudite Pastor suddenly did an about face … but not without his usual barbed asinine passing shot.

Yes – mea culpa – it is Deborah Keleman – but again please read the book – not just the index. Dawkins cites her as teaching that children are intuitive theists. Your unthinking view that children are born atheists is nonsense….which even Dawkins does not accept…


Again, he insists that Keleman is stating that kids are ”intuitive theists”. However, what Dawkins/ Keleman actually wrote was this ….

Children are especially likely to assign purpose to everything, as the psychologist Deborah Keleman tells us in her article ‘Are children“intuitive theists”?  ‘Clouds are ‘for raining’. Pointy rocks are ‘so that animals could scratch on them when they get itchy’. The assignment of purpose to everything is called teleology. Children are native teleologists, and many never grow out of it.

And just so our Pastor didn’t lose too much face and show to all his faithful how even those who write about evolution accept that kids are ”intuitive theists”, he added this final … scientific recommendation.


Let me help you one final time – next time do your own thinking and reading…


I wonder if David Robertson actually knows what honesty is or for that matter what the Discovery Institute is?




44 thoughts on “Beyond the pale – ”liars” for Jesus

      1. Ah, the cause of my confusion is back.

        I was going to say ‘speak of the Devil’, but neither of the Bruce’s probably find that saying appropriate.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I didn’t read this full post because the religious people get my blood pressure up, but I can tell you absolutely I was born with no theist inclinations at all. Not a one..ever. I knew people that were (though not of this new Christian variety we see today) and my folks did have me go to Sunday school and church (Methodist) a few times, I think out of a sense of that’s what you did in those days, but , thankfully, it never “took”.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Same here Mary, I saw some kids in Sunday school who were dead serious and many of us just used to make jokes about it. I could not believe grownups could actually believe this stuff and still think that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kids are also intuitive nudists. But I bet your apologist won’t be promoting the “naturalness” of that behavior.

    And I’d be careful, Ark. If you lie down with theists, you rise up with weefleas.

    Liked by 9 people

  3. The point of Dawkins referencing research that shows native dualism, native teleology, native creationism as preferred by children raises the obvious point apologists miss: these native preferences are as CHILDISH as they are IGNORANT. Dawkins cites Kelemen’s and Bloom’s research to explain the evolutionary ground out of which religious belief arises. This doesn’t make children ‘natural’ theists any more than a lack of sexual interest by children makes them ‘naturally’ celibate later in life. Note the key understanding here: child preferences. The simple explanation invoking hidden agency and assumed purpose and an invisible mega-parent designing everything offered by some children is preferred by them over seeking what is actually true. The point Dawkins is raising is that it takes cognitive development for children to learn to recognize their own ignorance and a level of maturity to admit what is the case, namely, recognizing when one doesn’t know something and answering questions with this true statement rather than making shit up and appealing to Oogity Boogity like many children do. In my experience there is no question a child will not gladly supply an answer without any real concern if the answer is actually true. Answering a question with an honest, “I don’t know” shows cognitive development and differentiates the undeveloped immature child preference from the developed adult admission of truthful ignorance.

    Looking at this research but concluding that children are born with a ‘god centre’ rather than what the research actually shows – that children have a preference for the simplest answers complete with agency, purpose and design – is like concluding children come with an asexual brain because they demonstrate no sexual preferences until later development. In the same way, religious belief into adulthood is an undeveloped childish preference that has been maintained in place of proper development and maturity. Because religious people understand dualism, teleology, and design are central to their theism, they excuse their indoctrination of their kids knowing full well that they have to be taught to believe in a specific god or pantheon in order to retard the ‘natural’ maturation of their brains away from simple but wrong answers (which neatly explains why the geography into which one is born is the best indicator for determining which god will be believed, which religious tradition one will later claim to belong.) It takes development and maturity to leave such childish things behind and not a fair amount of intellectual courage to refuse to participate in this necessary process of religious indoctrination.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I cannot understand why Robertson refuses to see this. To me what Dawkins was writing was a plain as the nose on one’s face.It seems obvious he intentionally misrepresented Dawkins and Keleman.
      On these grounds, how does one not conclude that people like Robertson are simply lying through their teeth?

      Liked by 6 people

      1. He may see it but that doesn’t mean he’d denounce his “faith.” And I have a feeling hell would have to freeze over before “some” people would ever appear to align themselves with you Ark. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      2. To me what Dawkins was writing was a plain as the nose on one’s face. — What you miss, Ark, is that Robertson is primed to see/hear/read things via years of indoctrination (childhood and up).

        There is simply NO WAY that a newborn can be an “intuitive theist.” Religious belief (in any and all forms) comes with time … and teaching of the parents. Consider: Is every child born in a Buddhist family going to inherently believe in the Christian god?

        Liked by 5 people

        1. “Vision” through rose or dark-purple glasses with blinders on the side! 😎 Or perhaps those kiddy play-glasses that can read “invisible” writing by those clear markers. Remember those Nan? 😛

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Without the lies they would be forced to face the facts. Lies keep the faith.

    A pathetic defense mechanism to shield them from reality. The smug asshattery bluster that often comes with the lie is an add on defense mechanism. Self appointed experts in bullshit must master the lie and perfect the appearance of assuredness. An argument against religion if there ever was one, as it makes for one hell of a nasty bigot.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. He is a real Peach when it comes to this attitude. He wrote an entire series supposedly critiquing the God Delusion which was little more than a ridiculous apologetic diatribe. I respect Dawkins decision never to debate these people.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Children are natural sponges. Tell them something and they believe it, which is why Santa gets such attention until about the age of ten, when a “switch” marked “waitttt a minnit…” is flipped in a child’s head–and once lost, you can never get him back again.
    It’s also one reason small children are so amazingly good at languages: they have no preconceived doubts, embarrassments, or grammar rules to get in the way, and they just soar. You learn the language(s) around you, the same way you learn to believe in a deity. By listening to other people, and accepting what they tell you.

    I read an interesting bit about a Greek scholar who, when his son was born, read him passages from Greek, every night as a kind of bedtime story. He stopped when the child was maybe a year old. And when the boy went to college, he took Greek, and ‘knew’ the very passages his father had read to him as a baby.

    This may be why so many children slide gracefully into the language and religion of their parents. I don’t see it as indoctrination, but a learning thing, to belong to the tribe.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. As the great Jurgen Klopp puts it: “We live on different planets!BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! (jump to the 33-second mark)

        This planet is RED my friend, not blue, not green… RED. And never forget it! 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Painful to read. All I know from my own observations is children are curious. That’s why they ask questions. It is our duty to fill their heads from day one with deceptions, lies, and they rarely hear reality from anyone. This is right up there with the waterboy—“mama said alligators are so mad because they got all them teeth and no toothbrush”. Children are inquisitive and too trusting and then by tradition they are expected to keep Santa alive so the other kids don’t get the trick. Robertson is an insecure baby that can’t stand the thought that his binky is a fabrication that manipulates human gullibility and psychology

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The main issue is that he exports this diatribe. However, he isn’t really any good at it as his blathering demonstrates. And he wonders why the church in Scotland is in (terminal ) decline?


      1. Where does he draw the line when it comes to deceiving children? What is a healthy level? Surely the six day creation is still in the mix. Even the Jews don’t believe that shit, but it’s children do. Lol

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It is all rampant hypocrisy.
          Some will smile in a smug We- Are-Mature-Christians and don’t believe that literal YEC nonsense,.
          And yet, in the same breath swear that the Resurrection of Jesus is an historical fact and there is load of evidence and declare you must be a moron or blind or a god hater for not believing it.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. They may not be literal YECers, but it’s still ok to talk the talk with diluted. It’s an acceptable conversation within the ranks

            Liked by 2 people

          2. And if they do swear on the cross as being a real fact, think what they lose by realizing it’s a fabrication. In a way it’s akin to discovering that your parents aren’t your real parents, or your brothers are adopted and not really related to you…there’s a hole there, in your belief fabric, and nothing comes rushing in to fill it.

            Think of the number of people who have said how hard it was to walk away from their belief system, even though they no longer believed in any of it: think of how scary it must be to no longer have that kind of support (even of a pretend kind), and family and colleagues just back away from you in some way. Relying on yourself so totally after years of relying on others to tell you what to believe and how and why, well, that’s scary. And too many people just don’t want to do that. Can’t blame ’em. I still get a bit edgy about going into that dark place Over There forever, but there’s not a lot I can do about it. And it would be all to sweet to be able to make up my own version of heaven.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. With the anniversary of the moon landing, my mind went back to a song from many years ago.

    I had not heard the song since my Christian days, I forgot about the reference to ‘Adam’ at the 2:20 mark.


      1. The start is ordinary, it improves after 20 seconds (in my opinion). Reg Lindsay was a country and western singer.

        I had afternoon tea with a retired school teacher yesterday, who told me she played this song for her schoolkids back in the day.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I guess some people need to believe in Daddy. Whether he’s real or not, it’s what gets them through their lives. They are, in effect, emotionally as vulnerable as kids, and will eat up anything their pastors tell them. They need to trust a higher authority. The crime comes, not from their unwavering beliefs, but from the people who feed on those.
    Back to Santa: if a child around the age of 10 comes to a parent and says, “is Santa real? Becky says he’s made up.” the parent either tells him, gently, that yeah, he is, but let’s not spoil the fun for your sister, okay… or he can insist that Santa is real, and that’s all there is to it.

    And I suspect that works with adults who need to believe in that higher power, which absolves them of total responsiblity for almost anything that isn’t mandated by law. They blame the Devil, the atheists, the minister, the weather. “I prayed, and God came down and forgave me, hallelujah.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I did believe in Santa Claus wholeheartedly because my parents made it so real with cookies and milk gone the next morning, my Dad yelling out he could hear Santa on the roof, ashes on the floor by the fireplace etc.
      Then a friend said there was no Santa. I remember feeling disappointed, but then I adjusted well with the thought “well it didn’t really seem possible or make logical sense anyway.”

      So parents do indoctrinate children very early on. I see it in a friend I know whose grandchildren are going to Bible school by age 3! They never have a chance to form they’re own opinion once they are capable of more conscious thought. It’s a shame.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Truth is, children are all born Muslim. To quote Richard Dawkins from his unpublished work, “WTF Did I Just Say?”, “Children are all born Muslim as is evidenced by the ‘Muslim’ gene located right behind the right eye socket of all human children. This is very, very true. Feel free to quote me on it if you want.”

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Interesting chicken and egg. Children are bound to ask the sort of questions satisfied by answers related to religion at some stage of their development. Is this because they are primed to do so, or is the tendency indeed inherent? A bit of both, I would say.


  11. Seen this many times. The theist *thinks* they’ve really found something here, and that joy joy joy blinds them to what is actually being said, and the larger explanations.


  12. It could be that Santa belief for children may be something of a catalyst for some kids in regards of helping to condition the brain for indoctrination into believing in God considering the tradition is connected to Christianity and both watch you all of the time to see if you are being naughty.

    The kids find out it is not true at an age while they had been emotionally attached to Santa and later on their subconscious wants to fill that feel good void. Emotion I believe is the key, the child’s acceptance of Santa may be a precursor to belief in adult fantasies, however some thoughts are of the opposite effects.


    1. I do not honestly remember if we actively promoted a belief in Santa with our kids. It certainly has not left any damaging mental health condition if we did.,
      I’ve always enjoyed the idea of Christmas but it ceased to hold the same emotional ties after I moved to South Africa.
      The notion of a jolly fat man attired in multiple layers of fur lined gear where the usual December temperatures are pushing 30 c and above. doesn’t quite cut it!
      And I suspect kids pick up on this quite quickly.
      For similar reasons the nonsense of Baby Jesus etc never took hold with our children even though they were technically raised Catholic – in as much as they went to a Catholic school and were baptized – it was the ”done thing”( before I knew better!) .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We promoted Father Christmas and my daughter was baptised. My wife was raised a Catholic and it was as you say the “done thing.” I thought the Father Christmas BS was just a bit of fun along with the other kids she knew. I did not care about the baptism at the time it was just an excuse for a few beers afterwards and the daughter was not impressed either as her young lungs used the church acoustics to great effect.

        We also lived in NZ at the time and like SA December was never the time for snow men and furs depicted on cards we received from English relatives. I never promoted any kind of atheistic world views to my daughter, but she turned out to be a chip off the old block anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

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