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Are teachers allowed to push religious ideas on pupils? watch

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    (Original post by numb3rb0y)
    I would say two things; Firstly, I think that freedom of conscience is important to uphold by virtue of its own importance even if the actual violation is trivial. I'm well aware that I don't actually have a very strong foundation in arguing that though, so I wouldn't really attempt to, I'm just putting it out there as an explanation for why I'd oppose such things.

    Secondly, and obviously this isn't the case for everyone, but for some people, myself being included, being lectured on and made to take part in rituals exalting something you know to be untrue on a regular basis over an extended period of time really is (I do exaggerate but in all honesty I'm not sure quite how much) soul-crushing. I imagine this will sound silly to the people who don't feel that way, but it is nonetheless the case. Given that you can avoid that suffering, however petty it may seem, for a minority by simply allowing them not to do the rituals and hear the lectures while pleasing the majority by continuing to do them for those that consent, I don't see why this is even a question, unless people actually think that compulsory religious assembly saves souls.
    Oh you "know" these things to be untrue do you? Where'd you learn the secret of the universe from? I am atheist, my friends are mainly atheist and we all rather enjoyed singing the odd hymn and learning some bible stories - after all, they [new testament] only teach basic morality.
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    (Original post by Yuffie)
    Oh you "know" these things to be untrue do you? Where'd you learn the secret of the universe from? I am atheist, my friends are mainly atheist and we all rather enjoyed singing the odd hymn and learning some bible stories - after all, they [new testament] only teach basic morality.
    I speak of de facto knowledge, I don't mean that I know with absolute certainty. I'm open minded, but having the same messaged drilled in over and over again is, as I said earlier, not at all fun. I'm fully in favour of religious education in schools, I just don't think it should be instructional or have one viewpoint emphasised above all others.
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    (Original post by Yuffie)
    People can and do choose their own religion. My friends and I have been to Catholic primary and secondary schools with quite high emphasis on religious education (I know the Bible inside out etc). Despite this we're mostly atheist, with a muslim and a couple of catholics in the group. I see nothing wrong with mild promotion of the state religion like referring to God in an assembly as young people make their own minds up about things.
    Minor references to god are fair enough, but forcing a teenager to listen to an extended extract from the bible are completely different, if you went in a Darwinian rant in the same situation you'd be branded a bigot and racist, why should religion be any different?

    Religion has it's place, outside of church religion should be a choice.

    EDIT: You claim religious indoctrination doesn't exist? Tell that to the 70% of people who chose Christianity as their religion instinctively in the last census but don't practice it in any way, shape, or form.

    :clip:
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    (Original post by iheartbugmenot23)
    It's not a Christian school, or an independent, just a state school, and we get their religious lectures twice a week. When I asked if I could miss these assemblys so I would not have to hear this religious rubbish (im an atheist myself), I was told I have to attend as the purpose is not religious at all, but to celebrate and spread a sense of community.
    Regular Christian worship in all state schools without an exemption is required by law.

    You can opt out, but only if it is in fact an act of collective worship, not just something that contains reference to God. To be frank, I think you're being very immature indeed.
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    I have expirienced 9 years of Polish education system so yeah, I think it's wrong. I never liked how religion was pushed to other pupils, how they were forced to attend Religion lessons :rolleyes: How brilliant it is and how much it will benefit you, even though if they were atheists, or had other believe... Ethics lessons were supposed to be organised for such students, but my school was that 'great' they couldn't be bothered to do it...

    Or increasing grades for participating in Confirmation, that was real unjustice... :rolleyes:

    At least here in college, in England it's different. No one tries to question or mess around with your religious beliefes
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    The argument that we are here is a pretty strong one for me. Sit down, get out a calculator, and work out the probability of those particles, which again just happen to exist, striking in the right way to create the universe and life. I won't be alone in betting that it's a ******* huge number, right? You mean to tell me that there was no guidance behind it whatsoever? You think that is logical, really? See, that argument just doesn't follow through logically for me. There's some steps missing, bit like the Theory of Evolution. Step up to the plate, mate, and defend your beliefs. How is the Big Bang more logical than a higher being?

    Also, nice cop out. When you can't argue it away, get the rest to argue for it.
    The difference is that given some kind of initial condition such as a few nanoseconds after the big bang (this doesn't say anything about how that initial condition came to be, could be god, could be some guy in a higher dimensional space who farted) we can at least begin to work out probabilities of the universe forming the way it is on the assumption that there was no intelligent being guiding it as it went along. You can't even begin to work out the probability of it being done by god.

    People seem to think that if a process isn't being intelligently guided, the outcome is completely random (i.e. the probability is uniformly distributed across all configurations, not even excluding ones that are impossible). This is just not right. Given the way fundamental particles work it's practically inevitable that stars and planets form. Not just a complete fluke. It's possible that life naturally coming into existance somewhere in the universe is also pretty much inevitable, although we don't really have enough knowledge to say at the moment.

    The only way that god fits into this is causing those initial conditions and creating the fundamental laws of physics. We can't really say anything at all about the probability of that specific set of laws being the ones that exist because we have no framework to work in. Saying "they are so unlikely to be like that god must have done it" and saying "they are so likely to be like that it's clear that they weren't created by god" are both statements that have no logical basis. If you want to believe one of them then that's fine, but really you can't claim that either is based on proper logical reasoning.
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    And now for an on-topic post.

    I think forcing kids to take part in activities that are strictly religious promotes dishonesty. If a non-Christian is being forced to recite the lord's prayer then they are being forced to lie about their beliefs. Keeping your beliefs to yourself is one thing, but pretending you believe something else is different. You can say this is a Christian country but that doesn't make it ok to force people to take part in the state religion. Non Christians in this country are just as much British as Christians so why should their beliefs be brushed aside just because a few more people follow something else?

    I think a good compromise would be to have a moment of reflection in assemblies rather than a prayer. That way it's as religious as an individual wants it to be.
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    I think this is possibly the most frustrating thread I've ever read on TSR.

    I side with the OP, in that he should be allowed to opt out of the assembly. This argument WILL go on forever though.

    (Original post by Hylean)
    Hardly, agnostics just sit on the fence and don't know what to believe. They prefer to wait and see than make any real choice.
    I disagree. I am agnostic and I believe that no man alive, past or present, knows whether or not there is a god. I think that it is completely possible that there could be a god, but equally there might not be a god.

    I cannot imagine that, if there is a god, when I die and I ask god why I can't go into heaven, that he'll turn around and say "Well you didn't believe that Jesus was my son" or "you didn't have a Bar Mitzvah when you were alive" or "you didn't try to stop xenu by giving all your money to scientology". At the end of the day I'd just be guessing if I picked a religion, and I don't see why that would be something to be proud of.

    Nobody knows if god exists, why then should I believe another human being when they are telling me all about god's rules, what heaven is like etc.

    I believe that you should try to live a morally productive life, whether or not it gets you into the afterlife, because it benefits you and those around you. If god finds that offensive then in my opinion he is an idiot.
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    My school did but tbf it was run by catholic priests... It was the only school around though so everyone went to it. You had to study religion, god I hated it!!!!! Ever since I was about 5!? My teacher hated me cos I wouldn't do any work and made no effort
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    (Original post by ~style)
    GCSE English.
    The fact that this subject is compulsory in all British schools is not because of the Church of England and it is ludicrous to suggest that it is.
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    (Original post by ~style)
    GCSE English.
    There's not even a comparison to be drawn there.
    No, I didn't like GCSE English, but it clearly had significant benefits. At the time, I would have gladly refused to attend if I could, but looking back, at the time I had no idea of its importance and significance. Even if taught against a pupil's will, in the long-run there are clear benefits, to the individual and to society.

    In contrast, being forced to attend a Christan service as an atheist, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Sikh or Scientologist has had absolutely no benefits to me.

    And as far as punishments go, most are a brief but harsh telling off, or several dirty looks, although two sixth formers were stripped of their prefect status for refusing - ridiculous.
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    no. teachers should be saying "chances are kids there is no god, religeon, heaven..."
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    (Original post by iheartbugmenot23)
    There's not even a comparison to be drawn there.
    No, I didn't like GCSE English, but it clearly had significant benefits. At the time, I would have gladly refused to attend if I could, but looking back, at the time I had no idea of its importance and significance. Even if taught against a pupil's will, in the long-run there are clear benefits, to the individual and to society.

    In contrast, being forced to attend a Christan service as an atheist, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Sikh or Scientologist has had absolutely no benefits to me.

    And as far as punishments go, most are a brief but harsh telling off, or several dirty looks, although two sixth formers were stripped of their prefect status for refusing - ridiculous.
    The prefect thing is very extreme, if they were just stripped of their role for that. If it were my school, I'd have written a letter of complaint to the school governors and organised a petition demanding their reinstatement. I'd personally not pay any attention to the tellings off/dirty looks as it's trivial, less easy to prove and immature of those teachers, but I can understand why that would frustrate you.

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    (Original post by craigie22)
    The fact that this subject is compulsory in all British schools is not because of the Church of England and it is ludicrous to suggest that it is.
    Who suggested that it was?
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    (Original post by iheartbugmenot23)
    There's not even a comparison to be drawn there.
    No, I didn't like GCSE English, but it clearly had significant benefits. At the time, I would have gladly refused to attend if I could, but looking back, at the time I had no idea of its importance and significance. Even if taught against a pupil's will, in the long-run there are clear benefits, to the individual and to society.
    Maybe this will turn out beneficial also in the wrong run. :p:

    In contrast, being forced to attend a Christan service as an atheist, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Sikh or Scientologist has had absolutely no benefits to me.
    Agreed, to an extent.

    And as far as punishments go, most are a brief but harsh telling off, or several dirty looks, although two sixth formers were stripped of their prefect status for refusing - ridiculous.
    In that case, just don't go any more. :yep:
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    I would say heeeeell no, but it does happen anyway. RS lessons at my old school were pretty much the Christian teachers preaching. Sort of inevitable really.
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    At our school the people with different religions were allowed to miss assembly as their views didn't agree with the Christian assemblys. I, as an atheist however was told to go to assembly and shut up :rolleyes: Delightful.
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    (Original post by numb3rb0y)
    I am a weak atheist. I do not propose anything, I merely reject propositions which are unfounded. I do not claim that deities could not exist. I do not claim to know with absolutely certainty that deities do not exist. I merely de facto know that deities do not exist as there is no definitive evidence which proves their existence with no alternative explanations. Were I a strong atheist, I would be proposing that deities do not exist, and thus I would have a burden of proof on me, but I am not, so that is not an issue.

    As a theist, you are directly proposing that deities do exist. You are not claiming that it is possible that they exist, but saying that, not only do they exist in general, but you know with absolute certainty that one or more specific ones exist while no others do. This is a position of proposition, thus the burden of proof rests on you, rather than people who reject your claim as unproven, as they they are not asserting anything but rather rejecting an unfounded assertion.

    Keep in mind, though, that simply reasons why your deities might exist is not proof of their existence. Take creation, which you cited, for example. While it is possible that your deity had a hand in it, is is equally possible that it was caused by the Big Bang, or another entirely different cosmological creation theory, or it was the work of the Titans, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster's noodley appendages. As there is no definitive proof that one of these occurred above all others, it is not rational to choose one and claim that it occurred while none of the others did.

    And yes, it is true, for example, that science has yet, as far as I am aware, to answer exactly what started the Big Bang process, but the key point is that science does not claim to have an answer, because it does not know of one. Religion, on the other hand, claims to have certain answers without a basis for choosing the specifics of those answers over others, which is illogical.
    I've noticed that you love using the phrase "de facto", you do realise that that phrase pertains particularly to the legal system, as it is the opposite to "de jure"? Just a wee aside.

    Next item on the agenda: do not even begin to think you know anything bout my beliefs. Just in case you don't understand that: you're wrong about them.

    Third item: as you were the initial proposer, saying that Religion is nonsense (something which a weak athiest would not say), it is up to you as the initial proposer to prove your point, if we are going to be as childish as to assume that one must only prove his points if he proposes something. Critical thinking may have it that the proposer has to prove his idea, but the rejector also has to prove his. Either way, whatever you wish to call yourself, you still have some proving to do.

    Final item: you've failed to argue your points and beliefs at all logically. Thus, I am done with you. Shut up or come back with something that actually argues against my points.


    (Original post by Psyk)
    *snippity*
    All I have to say is I agree and thank you for actually arguing the points I made. Personally, I never claimed it was impossible, just that it was highly improbable and I wanted a logical reason as to why a higher being was not responsible. I personally don't feel you've answered the second bit, but then it is impossible to argue logically for either case in that instance, seeing as if a higher being did it, where did the higher being come from, etc. In the end, however, the particles had to come from somewhere, and a higher being is the most logical interpretation to my mind.

    Either way, I thank you for doing what numb3rb0y failed to do. And, also, thank you for doing it in an open minded way, or so it looked like.
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    I've noticed that you love using the phrase "de facto", you do realise that that phrase pertains particularly to the legal system, as it is the opposite to "de jure"? Just a wee aside.
    Yes, I am aware of that, although I'm not sure why you think that it's relevant. It's perfectly acceptable to use the two when discussing reasoning.

    (Original post by Hylean)
    Next item on the agenda: do not even begin to think you know anything bout my beliefs. Just in case you don't understand that: you're wrong about them.
    So are you a theist or not? Because a theist by definition believes in deities. if you don't believe in deities then you're a weak atheist.

    (Original post by Hylean)
    Third item: as you were the initial proposer, saying that Religion is nonsense
    Rejecting an unfounded proposition is not the same as proposing something.

    (Original post by Hylean)
    (something which a weak athiest would not say),
    Actually, it is entirely consistent with the weak atheist position to reject unfounded propositions related to belief in deities. I am not denying that deities could not exist, what I am saying is that it is nonsense for you to claim that specific deities do exist without definitive proof of both their existence.

    (Original post by Hylean)
    Critical thinking may have it that the proposer has to prove his idea, but the rejector also has to prove his.
    Um... no, it doesn't. Burden of proof resting on the proposition is exactly what it sounds like; the burden of proving a proposition is on the person proposing it, the person rejecting an unproven proposition does not need to disprove it, because it is logically impossible to absolutely disprove things without specific pre-existing logical constraints.

    (Original post by Hylean)
    Final item: you've failed to argue your points and beliefs at all logically. Thus, I am done with you. Shut up or come back with something that actually argues against my points.
    As I have said many, many times, I do not have any beliefs to argue. I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that I do. That being said, if you are done with me, then so be it, because this pointless back-and-forth isn't constructive in the slightest.
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    At my old school, they did force Christianity upon us. Thankfully, my Jewish friend does nothing like that.
 
 
 
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