Should Antitheism be taught in Schools? Watch

Poll: Should Antitheism be taught in Schools?
Yes (19)
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No (22)
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The Angry Stoic
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Should Antitheism be taught in schools? That is, the study of the negative impacts of religions, direct or indirect, upon society, politics and the individual mind and arguments against the validity and truthfulness of religions. Criticisms of all sorts could be discussed. Everything from sexual repression and homophobia to the Crusades and the Israel/Palestine issues. Criticisms could be made from a theological, philosophical or societal viewpoint.

I think it is important to teach it and has so far only been missed from the curriculum because of the fuss religious people would make. However, religion is a hugely influential force in the world and like anything should be criticised and examined fully.

I can see problems emerging such as which religions should be examined and maintaining objectivity but no problems that don't already occur with teaching history.

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ElChapo
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No, it's not necessary as we equally don't teach why religion is a good thing and all the positives, as far as ik anyway

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felamaslen
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We need to remove this shield of respectability from religion. We need to talk about the two fascist religions of Islam and Christianity in the same terms as we talk about the ancient dead gods of the Greeks and the Romans.

That is to say, we need to criticise Islam and Christianity much more than the ancient religions. They are much more harmful. And in this century, Islam is the worst offender.

We need to teach that beliefs do not merit respect purely out of the act of belief. We need to teach each other to respect each other as people by not respecting their ridiculous beliefs. We need to teach people how in the middle ages, certain readings of Christianity allowed people to rationalise barbaric acts such as boiling heretics alive, and that people are still using these religious ideas, albeit in the form of a different religion, Islam, to wreak havoc across the middle east. We need to teach people that all of this violence does come, partly, from these religions.

We need to teach people that they do not, and never will, belong to a religion, and to criticise a religion is not to criticise any one person or people.
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OedipusTheKing
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(Original post by The Angry Stoic)
Should Antitheism be taught in schools? That is, the study of the negative impacts of religions, direct or indirect, upon society, politics and the individual mind and arguments against the validity and truthfulness of religions. Criticisms of all sorts could be discussed. Everything from sexual repression and homophobia to the Crusades and the Israel/Palestine issues. Criticisms could be made from a theological, philosophical or societal viewpoint.

I think it is important to teach it and has so far only been missed from the curriculum because of the fuss religious people would make. However, religion is a hugely influential force in the world and like anything should be criticised and examined fully.

I can see problems emerging such as which religions should be examined and maintaining objectivity but no problems that don't already occur with teaching history.

Thoughts?
To be honest most pupils don't give a damn about religious education anyway (seeing it as a 'doss subject'), so this proposal would be futile in the extreme. The information is out there for people to make up their own mind anyway.
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felamaslen
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(Original post by OedipusTheKing)
To be honest most pupils don't give a damn about religious education anyway (seeing it as a 'doss subject'), so this proposal would be futile in the extreme. The information is out there for people to make up their own mind anyway.
The people in the schools in my neighbourhood ruin religious education classes, in the same way that one would ruin a mathematics class if they believed 8 x 0 = 8. They go in there with the assumption that their own religion is true, and our society deems it rude not to criticise that idiotic, chauvinistic and credulous outlook on life.
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The Angry Stoic
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(Original post by OedipusTheKing)
To be honest most pupils don't give a damn about religious education anyway (seeing it as a 'doss subject'), so this proposal would be futile in the extreme. The information is out there for people to make up their own mind anyway.
There's always the odd few

And since much of today's youth is not religious they may be more interested in hearing the case against religion.
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OedipusTheKing
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(Original post by The Angry Stoic)
There's always the odd few

And since much of today's youth is not religious they may be more interested in hearing the case against religion.
I'm not sure modern religious classes in secondary schools put a case for or against anything which is why they are so damn boring. They serve a purely descriptive function i.e. Islam teaches this; Christianity teaches this. Now let's all remember these mundane facts so we can chew them up in an exam.
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The Angry Stoic
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(Original post by OedipusTheKing)
I'm not sure modern religious classes in secondary schools put a case for or against anything which is why they are so damn boring. They serve a purely descriptive function i.e. Islam teaches this; Christianity teaches this. Now let's all remember these mundane facts so we can chew them up in an exam.
But presenting their beliefs is in a way a case for the religion. They could at least mention the arguments against those beliefs.
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OedipusTheKing
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(Original post by The Angry Stoic)
But presenting their beliefs is in a way a case for the religion. They could at least mention the arguments against those beliefs.
I don't believe so. I could give a completely descriptive account of communism without denegrating or endorsing it.
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blackrose1234567
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I think so, but unfortunately this would probably end up causing massive controversy because there are so many religious people in the world, and displaying its negative aspects may lead to complaints. An example is, a typical Christian kid learns about the negative aspects of his religion, the kid decides to give up on Christianity, this infuriates his parents who have been raised as Christians who then complain to the school.
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The Angry Stoic
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(Original post by OedipusTheKing)
I don't believe so. I could give a completely descriptive account of communism without denegrating or endorsing it.
Theoretically but from my experience the biased of the teacher always comes through. I found all of my RE, especially in primary school, to be done in as pro religious way as possible.

But then again I would think that. I am the anti Christ :devil3:
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nomadinthecity92
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(Original post by felamaslen)
We need to remove this shield of respectability from religion. We need to talk about the two fascist religions of Islam and Christianity in the same terms as we talk about the ancient dead gods of the Greeks and the Romans.

That is to say, we need to criticise Islam and Christianity much more than the ancient religions. They are much more harmful. And in this century, Islam is the worst offender.

We need to teach that beliefs do not merit respect purely out of the act of belief. We need to teach each other to respect each other as people by not respecting their ridiculous beliefs. We need to teach people how in the middle ages, certain readings of Christianity allowed people to rationalise barbaric acts such as boiling heretics alive, and that people are still using these religious ideas, albeit in the form of a different religion, Islam, to wreak havoc across the middle east. We need to teach people that all of this violence does come, partly, from these religions.

We need to teach people that they do not, and never will, belong to a religion, and to criticise a religion is not to criticise any one person or people.
^Don't you think your being a tad restrictive and hypocritical . I mean everyone should have a choice on whether they'll follow a belief system or a non-belief system. Ultimately its up to them no-one has the right to enforce their prejudices of religion on them.
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OedipusTheKing
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(Original post by The Angry Stoic)
Theoretically but from my experience the biased of the teacher always comes through. I found all of my RE, especially in primary school, to be done in as pro religious way as possible.

But then again I would think that. I am the anti Christ :devil3:
Here is my opinion. We get rid of religious education in schools, since it serves only a descriptive purpose - if people really want to know which religious sect eats fish on x day, they can go look it up themselves because it is mind numbingly boring and irrelevant. Instead, we introduce philosophy and cover metaphysical arguments for the existence of a deity and look at critiques from an unbiased and thoughtful perspective. This would be far more rewarding and engaging for pupils.
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felamaslen
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(Original post by nomadinthecity92)
^Don't you think your being a tad restrictive and hypocritical . I mean everyone should have a choice on whether they'll follow a belief system or a non-belief system. Ultimately its up to them no-one has the right to enforce their prejudices of religion on them.
Notice that I used the word "belong".

I believe in aspects of Liberalism, but that does not mean I belong to Liberalism. I do not feel personally insulted by people who claim that my belief in Liberalism is sheer idiocy.

I do not think it racist against liberals such as myself to say that Liberalism is an evil ideology.
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kaypc
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I agree with the first reply, we don't teach the positives and science pretty much teaches the arguments against religion. There is an increasing number of atheists so I don't think people should bother teaching atheism really.
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nomadinthecity92
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(Original post by felamaslen)
Notice that I used the word "belong".

I believe in aspects of Liberalism, but that does not mean I belong to Liberalism. I do not feel personally insulted by people who claim that my belief in Liberalism is sheer idiocy.

I do not think it racist against liberals such as myself to say that Liberalism is an evil ideology.
Yes I noticed but some people of faith (not all ) generally practice hence they feel like they belong which is different than believing in aspects of a philosophy. Anyway everyone's different you might not feel personally insulted but your post is very opinionated which seems reasonable but unfortunately for you the mass society would deem it offensive.
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The Angry Stoic
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(Original post by OedipusTheKing)
Here is my opinion. We get rid of religious education in schools, since it serves only a descriptive purpose - if people really want to know which religious sect eats fish on x day, they can go look it up themselves because it is mind numbingly boring and irrelevant. Instead, we introduce philosophy and cover metaphysical arguments for the existence of a deity and look at critiques from an unbiased and thoughtful perspective. This would be far more rewarding and engaging for pupils.
That would be good. My school had the cheek to call RE philosophy and ethics not that we studied a lick of philosophy.

Who really cares that certain people don't eat certain stuff?
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felamaslen
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(Original post by nomadinthecity92)
Yes I noticed but some people of faith (not all ) generally practice hence they feel like they belong which is different than believing in aspects of a philosophy. Anyway everyone's different you might not feel personally insulted but your post is very opinionated which seems reasonable but unfortunately for you the mass society would deem it offensive.
I am arguing that it is unfortunate not just for me in this debate, but for everyone. We need to stop sugar-coating religion and call a spade a spade sometimes.
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nomadinthecity92
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(Original post by felamaslen)
I am arguing that it is unfortunate not just for me in this debate, but for everyone. We need to stop sugar-coating religion and call a spade a spade sometimes.
Since this thread is about Re in schools not media as a whole, I don't think its sugar coated in the curriculum -it's just a very simple analysis to an uninterested mass of students. It's When students become academics in the field of religion that the study of religion is more in depth including criticisms.
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yellowcopter
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If you're talking about the negatives of religion being taught, I agree it should be taught. They show they good sides of religion, so why not show the bad sides?

Some schools, such as the one I go to, they teach us the bad sides of religion also. Which I like, as it broadens the horizons of my religious beliefs, gives me all the different perspectives of religion.
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