Thursday, July 30, 2009

Atheists indoctrinate, too

From Anglican Samzidat:

Camp Quest is the atheist summer camp for children. The camp prides itself on teaching children to think critically. Hence we have the invisible unicorns:

One of the most popular exercises is the invisible unicorn challenge. The children are told there are two invisible unicorns who live at Camp Quest but that they cannot be seen, heard, felt or smelt, and do not leave a trace. A book about them has been handed down through the ages but it is too precious for anyone to see.

All counsellors – as the adults are called – are said to be staunch believers in these unicorns.

Any child who can successfully prove that the invisible unicorns do not exist is rewarded with a prize: a £10 note with a picture of Charles Darwin on it signed by Richard Dawkins, or a “godless” $100 bill, printed before 1957 when “In God We Trust” was added to paper currency in the US.

Clearly, the unicorns are supposed to represent God. The purpose of the exercise appears to be to show that the burden of proof lies with the unicorn-believers. The problem is, the councillors don’t actually believe in the unicorns so they obviously can’t give reasons for their pretend belief, the book – the unicorn bible – is not something that can be read and the unicorns have no discernible effect on reality.


The unicorn exercise is not one of critical thinking but of constructing and demolishing a straw man: very rational.