The terrible secular indoctrination machine

A UnicornHere’s a great example of projection: many members of the religious right in the US are convinced that non-religious universities are indoctrination centers for the far left and atheism. Case in point, my fellow blogger Ambrose writes:

The reason that higher education in the sciences and philosophy purportedly reduces religious belief has as much to do with contemporary popular antitheistic indoctrination in those fields as any supposed increase in knowledge, much less baseline intelligence.

The irony is quite strong, when the writer of such words got his entire education from Christian schools and universities.

I haven’t studied philosophy, however I can say a few things about science. I studied in France, but I’ve communicated, worked and studied with enough professors and students from many countries to know that what’s taught and how it’s taught is virtually identical everywhere.

Here’s how many times I remember hearing anything about, for, or against God, during my years studying, from first grade to my PhD: One. A student sneezed and my history teacher said: “que le bon Dieu vous patafiole”, which is a humorous and excessively fancy way of saying “God bless you”.

The truth of the matter is that religion is completely irrelevant to the teaching of science, and as such it is never mentioned. I have no idea which of my professors were religious. I know some of my friends were (I even once went on a retreat in a monastery with one of them), but they weren’t feeling indoctrinated, or they never expressed it. You’d need a particularly strong persecution complex to interpret that as “anti-theistic indoctrination”.

Funnily enough, my own atheism only became stronger and militant when I moved to the US. It’s not by any stretch of the imagination my professors who turned me against religion, it’s religious people, the grip they have on American public life, and their privilege. Religion is its own worst enemy, not science, not education. Unfortunately, some religious people are science and education’s worst enemies.