My concept of fatherhood, or at least a fundamental aspect to it, is to pass along to my 12-year-old daughter my understanding of reality (wisdom, knowledge, experience) to help her live a more complete and happy life. My daughter must think I am jealous, jealous of a computer application called TikTok, because she is more likely to believe in the reality as presented on this social network than from me.

The famous atheist Richard Dawkins thinks of Our Father much as my daughter has thought of her father. That is, taking the very rare remnants of thought surviving from prehistory that come to us in the Bible, the childhood of humanity, he projects a childish view of God the Father.  As explained here, one of the most quoted lines in Dawkins‘ The God Delusion is the passage that opens up Chapter 2. To give credit where it is due, you must appreciate the bit of contempt to add “in all fiction”. The God Delusion Dawkins, Richard Best Price: $2.23 Buy New $7.88 (as of 04:34 UTC - Details)

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

At difficult moments it has probably crossed my daughter’s mind that I am a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; vindictive, capriciously malevolent bully. Afterall, how many times have I forced her to eat vegetables, to clean up after herself and to talk politely to her mother? I don’t think my daughter has conceived as yet of me being a bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, or a megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic. But give her time.

These musings of fatherhood and atheists brought to mind the conversation of Jordan Peterson with another famous atheist. Sam Harris interjected to Peterson’s musing about the nature of God with this line that received plenty of laughs from the audience: “Excuse me Jordan but: is this God also the God who says that you can’t masturbate?” handling MR. HYDE: que... Katz, Ira Best Price: $17.20 Buy New $12.98 (as of 04:58 UTC - Details)

Of course, one must agree with Harris, only an idiot god would have any interest with such a mundane activity. Heck, everybody does it. I believe Mr. Harris has a daughter about the same age as mine. If she is anything like my daughter she is a complex being who is prone to boredom and has convoluted relations with friends. I can imagine the enlightened advice of Harris to his daughter when she is upset, “Go masturbate dear, it will keep you busy and take your mind off of whomever is troubling you.”

Call me prejudiced, but I think my 12-year-old daughter is beautiful and brilliant. But at her age she does not understand the full ramifications of her own actions and thoughts. It is the role of fathers (and mothers) to guide them with love. But it is not surprising that loving guidance can appear to be dictatorial to an immature mind. But what is the mature human mind compared to God’s? It seems to me the great problem with the likes of Dawkins and Harris is not sexual masturbation, but a kind of mental masturbation in which they childishly purport to explain to us the thoughts of God the Father.