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Activism, Atheism

Godblock

Someone had to do it, right?  Godblock is filtering software for web browsing.

It is targeted at parents and schools who wish to protect their kids from the often violent, sexual, and psychologically harmful material in many holy texts, and from being indoctrinated into any religion before they are of the age to make such decisions.

I can’t quite decide what this is designed for.  The point it’s making is interesting.  We hear so many people griping about other material being freely available on the internet.  There’s software for filtering bad language, porn, “adult topics,” etc.  But objectively, there’s as much violence, sex, and so forth in some religions as any R rated movie could hope for.  If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander, right?

Personally, I’m not a big fan of censoring things, even voluntarily.  I’d like to think this is more of a statement of philosophy as opposed to a real call for action.  If anything, I think children need to be educated by the realities of religion.  When religion is taught as history, not theology, it’s ugly.  Very ugly.  Most children are good at recognizing ugly.

What do you guys think?  Good idea?  Bad idea?

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Discussion

9 thoughts on “Godblock

  1. Bad idea. Teach children critical thinking and they’ll have God blockers installed.

    Keep in mind I don’t have any children of my own, but I’d rather engage future children in conversation about all of the above, than prevent the conversation from ever cropping up. Even early talks about sex, at least the notion of privacy and ownership of one’s body, are important due to the presence of child molesters.

    Posted by MKandefer | July 7, 2010, 3:38 pm
  2. In general I have to agree that censorship is bad and teaching critical thinking is the best way to prevent indoctrination. That being said, fundamentalists wouldn’t use this, while atheist parents wouldn’t need it—however, there is another group, those kids whose parents have no strong feelings either way. A fundamentalist teacher would not be able to use the internet as a tool of indoctrination at any rate. Censorship may also lead to questioning, a good thing. Besides, we already censor pornography in regard to minors and religion is far sleazier than any porn. So in terms of putting religion in the same category as pornography, I think this is an excellent philosophical statement.

    Posted by bill | July 7, 2010, 4:46 pm
  3. If the religious material is as explicit as already restricted material, then it would be a good idea [ I think that religious material should be held to the same standard as other material], however like any other censorship campaign it can get ridicously out of hand, such as France banning children wearing religious symbols for example.

    Anyway, what’s the difference between “a call to action” and “a a statement of philosophy”?

    Posted by cptpineapple | July 7, 2010, 6:29 pm
  4. Bad idea in principle. As others before have said, critical thinking is the best godblock out there. I would go further and say that the program itself is a bad sign. Frankly, if parents want to block adult/violent/etc. Content, I suppose that’s their right, but blocking programs shouldn’t leave religious sources unblocked. The fact that there IS a “godblock” is a comment on our society’s unfortunate delusion that religion is benevolent.
    I think, though, that while some atheists might think this is a neat toy, the makers of the program are soon going to realize that the people who block content are generally believers. Just a guess, but I think the numbers will bear me out.

    Posted by Peter R | July 7, 2010, 6:58 pm
  5. Well, what I meant is that putting this website up may not really be an effort to censor religion. It might be meant as a powerful symbol of the hypocrisy of the religious who demand censorship for so many things, but then propagate their own images and themes which are at least as bad.

    It strikes me as kind of naive to think that many people would actually use this thing.

    Posted by hambydammit | July 7, 2010, 7:21 pm
  6. Actually, looking over the site, I am rather confident that it is 100% serious.

    Posted by cptpineapple | July 7, 2010, 7:38 pm
  7. You may be right. If you are, then I disagree with the site.

    Posted by hambydammit | July 7, 2010, 8:35 pm
  8. Hamby,

    For once we are in agreement!

    Any censorship of opposing ideas thwarts critical thinking.

    .

    Posted by PG | July 8, 2010, 10:59 am
  9. This made me think of the major change in the catholic church when it was admitted that the Pope was fallible. Now folks will be blocking portions of the Bible = bad, not acceptable. A loss in complete faith is sure to follow?

    Posted by Paige | July 10, 2010, 1:40 am

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