Possible can of worms – religion in schools

Home Forum Chat Forum Possible can of worms – religion in schools

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 186 total)
  • Possible can of worms – religion in schools
  • IHN
    Member

    Prompted by this

    Now ignoring why she may have resigned, or the fact that separate assemblies can be held for different religions, I have a real problem that it still a statutory requirement to hold a ‘daily act of worship’.

    Teach children about religions, the beliefs, differences, similarities, history, all that. It is, after all, a big part of the world around them and the more we know about each other the better. I just don’t think that the practice of those religions should be a statutory part of their education.

    surfer
    Member

    Ditto

    Awareness of religion from an academic perspective is fine by me, it has shaped so much of what is around us it would be ridiculous to ignore its impact through history.

    Worship no.

    Can of worms? absolutely!

    Who had to eat worms?

    Spongebob
    Member

    They should also teach in R.E. lessons that, apart from all the religious believers, there are a huge number of people who believe that religion is a load of old twaddle and that there is overwhelming scientific evidence that supports this idea. Noboby should be forced to perform an act of worship in schools and individuals should be able to make up their own minds in what they believe in. More emphasis on science in schools! More facts and less archaic fantasy!

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    Agreed, teach a wide range of beliefs, including atheism but don’t force people to worship something they do not believe in or understand.

    surfer
    Member

    Atheism is a belief in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby. It needs no teaching.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    Leaving entirely aside the massive question of whether or not it is right for children to learn/be taught/have religion in schools, segregating them for the purposes of worship is not a happy place to end up.

    I never developed any christianity at a CofE primary school, but I’m damn sure I would have developed a profund suspicion of anyone who didn’t come to assembly.

    GNARGNAR
    Member

    surfer – Member
    Atheism is a belief in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby. It needs no teaching.

    Well put, but it should be taught as a counter arguement to religious beliefs.

    Spongebob
    Member

    I saw a prog. on TV about all the religions in America. My favourite was the one where they sat in a windowless copper pyramid in the front garden and drank alcohol.

    IHN
    Member

    Atheism is a belief in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby. It needs no teaching.

    I disagree. Someone either believes in a God(s), believes there is no God(s) or is not sure. There are reasons why for each, so why not explore those reasons?

    -m-
    Member

    Have you ever seen some of the stuff that primary schools are targeted with by religious (predominantly christian) groups? Free books, exhibitions etc. These are, superficially, nice teaching aids that are very attractive to schools/teachers (as is anything that provides an alternative to dry classroom teaching), but are scarily evangelical. The books in particular are devastatingly effective at catching a child’s eye (due to colour, glossiness etc). If your child is at primary school, the chances are their library has at least one of these books…

    In relation to the wider issue, schools (and headteachers) are in a difficult position. Often it is the ‘religious’ parents/groups that shout loudest if/when more progressive heads try and deal with the issue of ‘acts of worship’ in a pragmatic way.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Have you ever seen some of the stuff that primary schools are targeted with by religious (predominantly christian) groups? Free books, exhibitions etc. These are, superficially, nice teaching aids that are very attractive to schools/teachers (as is anything that provides an alternative to dry classroom teching), but are scarily evangelical. The books in particular are devastatingly effective at catching a childs’ eye (due to colour, glossiness etc). If your child is at primary school, the chances are their library has at least one of these books…

    No, I haven’t. Maybe none arrived while I was a primary school teacher?

    -m-
    Member

    No I haven’t

    It may be that certain areas / schools are targeted, but they are pretty frightening if not used in context (other religions are available…). We had some fairly extensive discussions about them and their use at the school I’m involved with (my involvement being as a governor rather than teacher).

    surfer
    Member

    I disagree. Someone either believes in a God(s), believes there is no God(s) or is not sure. There are reasons why for each, so why not explore those reasons?

    Because it would be a wholesale waste of time to discuss why one person does not believe in another persons imaginary friend.

    Spongebob
    Member

    It scares the life out of me that so many seemingly intelligent people believe in such mumbo jumbo!

    Up with free and logical thinking!

    IHN
    Member

    I disagree, I think it would form an integral part of the discussion. After all, if one professes to be atheist but cannot explain why, isn’t that as blind as one not being able to explain why one is, say, a Christian?

    I do class myself as atheist by the way.

    Minish Man
    Member

    I went to a CofE primary, and even at my current seconary school where I’m doing A-levels we are meant to legally have a christian themed assembly every day, but we only do it twice a week.

    Only one of my peers is a practising christian, all the rest of us think it’s ridiculous and tantamount to indoctrination the way christian belief is taught in school.

    Christian belief is taught way too much like it’s fact for my liking. I don’t know about other schools, but at mine, the three RE teachers are all practising christians. It would be much better imo for what different religions believe to be taught factually, and philosophy to be taught by an agnostic who will have least bias.

    Personally I’m an apathetic agnostic – we can’t know whether a God exists, and if he does or doesn’t I don’t care anyway. If He really is all-loving, powerful etc… He certainly won’t want or need us praying to Him!

    surfer
    Member

    I disagree, I think it would form an integral part of the discussion. After all, if one professes to be atheist but cannot explain why, isn’t that as blind as one not being able to explain why one is, say, a Christian?

    I do class myself as atheist by the way

    Why do you have to explain why you don’t believe in something that doesn’t exist. If as an Atheist you believe there are no gods then why do you feel you need to explain your position?
    why is religion a special case?

    I went to a CofE school, then a school that had semi religious assemblies (the actual assembly was generaly dependant on the teacher, but we HAD to pray at the end). If anythign its brought me up with a deep seated resentment of christianity, christian views and questionable morality.

    My personal oppinion is that “god” is a split used to hold an ignorant view of the world together. Not using the word ignorant in a bad way, just meaning a lack of knowlage/understanding.

    Take the big bang, some christians diebelieve it (presumably they cant/dont want cope with the thoery/maths behind it). So they say God created the world in 6 easy steps.

    Some christians amalgomate it into their beliefs it. So they say God started the big bang with “let there be light” (which in a perverse kind of way works, first light/energy then matter etc). Fair enough, even scientist can’t be certain what was going on.

    Then youve got atheists/scientists who are quite happy to live with the fact that they didn’t know what was going on, but dont feel the need to kill each other in defence of their hypothesis, although their research into what was going on may eventualy help religious nutters kill each other.

    hora
    Member

    If you want seperate assemblies one day you will want a seperate nation within a nation. Enoch Powell was a racist however elements of what he said could come to light in 50yrs time.

    samuri
    Member

    isn’t that as blind as one not being able to explain why one is, say, a Christian?

    I bet the vast majority of christians cannot define why they are christian. That’s what blind faith means.

    I could debate for many hours about why I am an atheist (if that’s the debate that were started). I’ve reached that state of mind by assessing all the information I have available and determining that there is no god. To be honest, it’s probably harder to be an atheist than to adpot any other belief system *because* no-one tries to teach you about it, it’s an opinion you have to reach in spite of the spiritual doctrine we are all subjected to at school.

    Don’t forget, being an atheist is not the same as being an agnostic.

    samuri
    Member

    If He really is all-loving, powerful etc… He certainly won’t want or need us praying to Him!

    If he does exist he needs a good kick up the ****.

    IHN
    Member

    Why do you have to explain why you don’t believe in something that doesn’t exist. If as an Atheist you believe there are no gods then why do you feel you need to explain your position?

    I’m not saying one has to but I am saying that one should be able to if asked.

    FWIW, I don’t believe there is a God as I believe the supernatural is a human construct originally formed to explain phenomena that were not understood at the time. Most of these phenomena can now be explained by science and do not have supernatural origins. Those that remain will doubtless be similarly explained away as our scientific understanding grows.

    IHN
    Member

    I bet the vast majority of christians cannot define why they are christian.

    I agree, and I wouldn’t class those as Christians. Few things get my goat more than people who ‘remember’ that they’re Christians so that they can get married in a pretty church.

    nuggett96
    Member

    Spongebob – Member

    It scares the life out of me that so many seemingly intelligent people believe in such mumbo jumbo!

    Up with free and logical thinking!

    I agree with free logical thought but faith has no bearing on inteligence.

    Spongebob
    Member

    Yep Nugget96, shocking isn’t it!

    Premier Icon nickc
    Subscriber

    These are, superficially, nice teaching aids that are very attractive to schools/teachers (as is anything that provides an alternative to dry classroom teaching), but are scarily evangelical

    I’ve never seen anything like these in 6 years of Governorship. And as a Chair of Governors, I’d have something to say about the Senior Staff using text books that just dropped in through the letterbox. In fact most Heads I’ve come across would find the idea laughable.

    A Daily Act of Worship is in the Law. Don’t like it? Lobby your MP to do something about it. Personally, and I come from a Primary background, we teach what we refer to as the “wonder” of religion, i.e. stories, acts of faith, instruments of faith (cross, turbans, etc) of all faiths. but as this is the UK, we have a bias towards CofE. Never had a parent complain to me or the Head about it, and in my experience, parents aren’t shy of coming forward if they think something’s wrong. I just don’t think it’s high up on peoples radar.

    surfer
    Member

    I’m not saying one has to but I am saying that one should be able to if asked.

    No “one” shouldnt! this may seem a minor point but it is at the heart of religions impact on society, that even the ones who believe there is no god must kowtow (sp) sufficiently to provide a good argument as to why they dont believe it!

    alwyn
    Member

    Religion should NOT be subject forced upon the students. By law you have to take up to GCSE level, along with English, Maths and Science. I believe that religion should be like history etc. You learn it up to year 9 and then get to chose whether you pick it as a GCSE subject.

    I had a very religious Religion teacher who tried to indoctrinate the children in his class, I thought this was sick. You do not have to attend R.E classes if you belong to faith that does not like you studying other faiths. Atheism does not count. So if you Muslim you do not have to attend the classes but if you an Atheist you have no choice.

    Religion is dead in the UK, it should not be forced upon our children. Instead it should be studied as a history, and all children should study it together up to a year 9 level no matter what faith they are. I also think I should not be taught by someone with a religious preference. I also think faith assemblies should go as religion has a very small part in most peoples’ lives now a days.

    hora
    Member

    Why is religion allowed in assembly anyway? Unless it is a specific faith school why do children still have this arcane religion rammed down their throats? I mean if its a Catholic school you can understand that God will be mentioned daily, lessons on how to avoid evil-masterbation, worship the idols, trinkets and fine clothing of the High Priests etc

    surfer
    Member

    I agree with free logical thought but faith has no bearing on inteligence

    How can a scientist go home at night and believe the earth is only 6000 years old? Robert Winston is a brilliant scientist and a national treasure. He is a practicing Jew. I for one cant rationalise how he squares the circle in his own miind.

    IHN
    Member

    I don’t kowtow to anyone. Indeed I said that one shouldn’t have to explain their atheism. If you choose not to, if you can honestly say “I have my reasons, but I don’t feel I need to discuss them”, fair enough. However if you cannot explain your belief (and that’s what it is), even to yourself, then it’s as blind as any blind belief in a theistic religion.

    surfer
    Member

    I repeat my earlier statement. It is a belief in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby.

    If you feel you have to have a reason to “not” believe in something then that’s up to you and maybe its brought about through guilt or indoctrination. Atheists dont have to justify non belief in irrationality.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    How can a scientist go home at night and believe the earth is only 6000 years old?

    Perhaps because not all christians and jews believe the creation story to be a literal truth?

    surfer
    Member

    Oh I see, the “its all a metaphor” argument?

    Its always such fun when we interpret the books with a 21st century set of values and morals picking the good bits out such as the Golden rule and leaving the other bits about murdering children etc then say the book in question shapes our morals!

    If its not to be taken literally (and the Koran has to be viewed literally by its followers) then what is its use?

    porterclough
    Member

    Why is religion allowed in assembly anyway? Unless it is a specific faith school why do children still have this arcane religion rammed down their throats?

    It’s not just ‘allowed’, it’s the law – schools must provide a religious assembly (thoughs kids can opt out with parental agreement).

    The reason is that when the state school system was set up there were already a lot of church schools, and it was the quid pro quo for getting them into the state system.

    RudeBoy
    Member

    FWIW, I don’t believe there is a God as I believe the supernatural is a human construct originally formed to explain phenomena that were not understood at the time. Most of these phenomena can now be explained by science and do not have supernatural origins. Those that remain will doubtless be similarly explained away as our scientific understanding grows.

    Why does the Universe exist?

    BillMC
    Member

    Can I take this opportunity to flag up Christopher Hitchens’ book ‘God is Not Great’….it gives some very useful and wittily scurrilous arguments for atheism.

    samuri
    Member

    I repeat my earlier statement. It is a belief in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby.

    Nope, that’s a different thing, that’s just not taking a stance one way or the other. If you actively understand why you are an atheist and have reached that opinion through rational argument then it is a fully backed up belief.

    samuri
    Member

    Why does the Universe exist?

    That’s exactly the sort of question that leads to religion. Why does there have to be a reason for it’s existence? It just happened.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 186 total)

The topic ‘Possible can of worms – religion in schools’ is closed to new replies.