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Should Religion be taught in Schools?

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  • Should Religion be taught in Schools?

    Quite self explanatory. It seems like it might be a controversial issue in America. In my country at the moment the religions are taught in Primary School and never again except as a Scholarly study for the HSC (Like the Stat test?)

    Either way I am firmly against them being taught for people to believe in. Except in a scholarly fashion in which case the major religions should be covered as well as information about Cults and how to recognise them. To help people of course.

    Evolutionary theory should of course be taught but should be recognised like all science as a constantly developing animal and might be subject to advancement over their lifetimes. Maybe it should be taught that it doesn't necessarily exclude religion I don't know. It should be said though that a Creator is not needed for the universe to be created. Thoughts?
    "I never learned from a man who agreed with me.'" Robert Heinlen

  • #2
    Originally posted by Revan View Post
    Quite self explanatory. It seems like it might be a controversial issue in America. In my country at the moment the religions are taught in Primary School and never again except as a Scholarly study for the HSC (Like the Stat test?)

    Either way I am firmly against them being taught for people to believe in. Except in a scholarly fashion in which case the major religions should be covered as well as information about Cults and how to recognise them. To help people of course.

    Evolutionary theory should of course be taught but should be recognised like all science as a constantly developing animal and might be subject to advancement over their lifetimes. Maybe it should be taught that it doesn't necessarily exclude religion I don't know. It should be said though that a Creator is not needed for the universe to be created. Thoughts?

    Only in high schools and universities, and not just one religion, but all of them, at least the major ones.
    Everything else is just conversion and brain wash

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    • #3
      only if you go to a Catholic/religious school, and at university if you choose to study it, which is our current system.
      Last edited by doppelganger47; 07-12-10, 10:44 AM.
      veronica mars: "i've got a kidney with your name on it, no questions asked."

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      • #4
        I generally consider myself Christian, more or less. But I don't think it should be taught, except on a general level. I mean, "religion" as a subject should be taught, as concepts of different world beliefs, but I think teaching one as being right is too much. Multi culturalism should mean there's room for all students to feel valued, not preached at.

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        • #5
          I do think it should be taught, but it should definately not be compulsory. My secondary school was not even the slightest bit religious, yet R.E was compulsory for all five years. My personal hell. Which is why I failed. I wasn't the slightest bit interested and I never took it seriously.

          R.E should only be compulsory in catholic schools, or schools that are known to be religious. It's not fair trying to make someone believe in something. My R.E teacher frequently tried to convert me from Atheism to...well, not Atheism. I don't think that's right. Personally, I understand that there are loads of religions around the world and I respect that. However to me, Religion baffles me and I believe there are more important things that I should be learning about.

          But like I said, Religion should be taught, yes, but only as an option. It should not be compulsory and you should not be forced to learn it.

          Evolution on the other hand, should be taught I believe. And it is taught in England.

          Funny this thread should be made now, actually. A couple of days ago, I had an argument in one of my lessons with someone about Religion. He's a devout Muslim and he just couldn't grasp why I didn't believe in God. He told me I was "stupid". He also asked me what happens when I die. I told him I don't know, since I'm quite obviously not dead, but should I ever happen to die...I'll be sure to let him know.

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          • #6
            Yeah I think having multiple religions present in schools is a good thing, but there should also be talks about being Agnostic and Atheist

            My school used to have religious sermons and things - but they never bought any of us into religion, in fact it makes it into something we all grew out of.

            I know many people who believe in god, but not one thats an on-going member of a religious faith - society just isn't run by these places any more.

            So really I don't think kids are somehow coerced into a religion by it being present at school, its only where the school is a religious one as they can't escape the beliefs of their families, and so are forced to belief it till they forget they never did or doubted it at any point in their life

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            • #7
              Sure, why not?

              Oh, you mean in government schools. In a government school, it should still be taught vis a vis history, anthropology, economics, literature. It should not, in a government school, be taught as doctrine for its value as metaphysical truth.

              Ultimately, anybody willing to talk to you about their religion is trying to sell you. All religions, including atheism which, yes, evinces every trait by which one would describe a religion if they tried to define religion, are evangelistic to some extent. That's the cost of doing business in a culture that recognizes the primacy of individualism over collectivism and the right of free expression.
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              • #8
                I think the choice should be there, if you send you child to a Christian school you expect them to learn something about it as well. And if you don't want your child to learn it, send the kid to a non-religious school.

                But even at the non-religious schools there should be at least one lesson about religions. Adults who don't know the difference between Easter & Christmas (storywise) are making a fool of themselves and I think it would help understanding religious people better. As long religion is a reason to hate people, the objective knowledge of religion is very important.
                Last edited by Nina; 07-12-10, 05:25 PM.

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                • #9
                  I think religion should be taught as part of history, literature and philosophy. It's certainly important to know about the different religions past and present, their teachings and their deeds.

                  Put one particular religion as a separate subject and as if it was true or more important than the others. No.

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                  • #10
                    I think that religion should be taught in school, but not forced upon someone. If you're going to teach that kind of subject in school, give them the option to learn it and make more than just one available. It's important that people understand why people believe what they do, IMO so that it's less of a controversial issue. I'm not talking about the debates we have in here, but in some families that's something that can tear relatives apart. I think it's interesting to learn about others' religions, but I would never want them forced on me.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KingofCretins
                      All religions, including atheism which, yes, evinces every trait by which one would describe a religion if they tried to define religion, are evangelistic to some extent.
                      Like "religion", "atheism" is a vague term, but I'd ask for a defense of that claim (also, I offer a separate debate on that if you prefer).

                      But there is a very big difference in many cases: there is no faith in atheism - no belief that would be held even against sufficient evidence or reasoning.

                      It's not the case that the atheist "has faith that there is no god". You'd have to define "god", but when it comes to the Christian god, Muslim god, Hindu gods, Greek gods, etc., one doesn't need faith to believe they don't exist.

                      But how about gods in general?

                      Before addressing it, the following would have to be addressed: "what's a god?".

                      If a deistic god counts, an atheist can be a weak atheist with regard to that god (e.g., I don't believe it exists, and I don't believe it doesn't, either), but strong atheist with regard to other entities called "gods"; in any case, no belief that would be held against reasoning or evidence.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Nixennacht View Post
                        I think religion should be taught as part of history, literature and philosophy. It's certainly important to know about the different religions past and present, their teachings and their deeds.

                        Put one particular religion as a separate subject and as if it was true or more important than the others. No.
                        I agree with that, in general.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by EvilVampire View Post
                          Like "religion", "atheism" is a vague term, but I'd ask for a defense of that claim (also, I offer a separate debate on that if you prefer).

                          But there is a very big difference in many cases: there is no faith in atheism - no belief that would be held even against sufficient evidence or reasoning.

                          It's not the case that the atheist "has faith that there is no god". You'd have to define "god", but when it comes to the Christian god, Muslim god, Hindu gods, Greek gods, etc., one doesn't need faith to believe they don't exist.

                          But how about gods in general?

                          Before addressing it, the following would have to be addressed: "what's a god?".

                          If a deistic god counts, an atheist can be a weak atheist with regard to that god (e.g., I don't believe it exists, and I don't believe it doesn't, either), but strong atheist with regard to other entities called "gods"; in any case, no belief that would be held against reasoning or evidence.
                          Atheism takes faith; it makes an unproven (indeed, unprovable) statement as definitive; that there is no deity or deities, no divine or supernatural world, no creator, no this, no that, no nothin'. And if you press an atheist for the empirical, explicitly demonstrable proof of this belief they are just as helpless as the most devout Christian to do anything other than "... 'cuz". The only people free and clear of being labelled as faithful to an unproven premise are the agnostics, who've made no conclusion at all.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                            Atheism takes faith; it makes an unproven (indeed, unprovable) statement as definitive; that there is no deity or deities, no divine or supernatural world, no creator, no this, no that, no nothin'. And if you press an atheist for the empirical, explicitly demonstrable proof of this belief they are just as helpless as the most devout Christian to do anything other than "... 'cuz". The only people free and clear of being labelled as faithful to an unproven premise are the agnostics, who've made no conclusion at all.
                            I am in fact agnostic, but I'd like to play advocate of the devil here and present the atheist counter argument to that position.

                            Not to believe in something completely unprovable/undisprovable is not a believe in itself. Russell says it best:

                            If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

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                            • #15
                              Nixx, you could describe atheism by making the same paragraph and asserting the negative premise at every point. It's all about how you define what the china teapot is -- if it's defined as "GOD", the paragraphs central thesis is no different than if the teapot is defined as "NO GOD", and the ancient books merely become contemporary academics and theoreticians. Today, "hesitation to believe in it's (the china "NO GOD" teapot) existence"... by which we basically mean the correctness of the assertion... is the mark of eccentricity, or at least it is in any given Boiler Room thread.

                              I'm saying that to assert, definitively, the non-existence of God is a positive assertion of unprovable fact, and not merely a handwave of skepticism over the alternative. That is the domain solely of the agnostics. If you, an agnostic, don't know, you don't know. If you, an atheist, think you know I'm wrong, you don't get to win your point by simply claiming that I don't know I'm right.
                              Last edited by KingofCretins; 07-12-10, 07:31 PM.
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