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To you I would very strongly recommend reading `The Selfish Gene` by Richard Dawkins. You may be intimidated or hesitant to read Dawkins, given his reputation, but in this book he doesn`t venture so much into the question of God or atheistic rants, but more biology and how the inherent trait of our genes as `selfish` can explain altruism, which ultimately is what morality is.
Children should not be taught to believe in a fabricated piece of hope. Its 2008. not 1958. It should not be taught
I think a necessary distinction should be made between respecting a person, respecting their right to believe what they will, and respecting specifically their belief. It is perfectly reasonable to simultaneously respect the former two and not the latter third. Do I need to respect the idea that all people are descended from two individuals? Do I need to respect the idea that certain thoughts and *only* thoughts can condemn me to an eternity of punishment? Do I need to respect the idea that there is such a thing as a heaven modelled after our own atmosphere? Finally, do I need to respect the idea that I am to believe all of the above with a distinct lack of evidence? All of these are blatantly ridiculous notions and don`t deserve to be respected in any rational society, and I should be free to think so as long as I`m not being a total jerk about it. I value honesty and criticism above all.
I also think that the culture of Australia allows for this to happen, but not necessarily in America. Religion is a strong part of our culture and a lot of families would be very upset at their children learning this. In some cultures, all the schools are religion based.
Moon, did you even read the article?
I kinda agree, kinda don`t here. If they want to get involved in religion, they should at least provide classes for all the major different types of religions out there. Or at least supply a class that will cover them all - their strengths and downfalls, their history, their beliefs and how they`re different from others. That would be a pretty interesting class that would keep learning and religion in balance, don`t you think?
LKJSlain, how many times must you post that URL? You don`t bother returning to defend any criticisms against it and to me that suggests you don`t really care whether it offers any good, sound arguments but rather that your aim is to lure as many gulligble people to it as you possibly can. All around a cheap tactic that doesn`t reflect well on you.
Not even just in science, but anytime, anywhere.
But teaching atheism is basically that, but the opposite.The school I attend and the schools I have attended didn`t try to force religion on you. They might of taught you about various religions, like how they pray and about the god/gods they believe in and the history of it, and they allowed any students that had to pray during school to do so and anyone who bullied them because of their religion would be punished, but thankfully no one bullied anyone about it.
"I dare you all to find solid proof that there is a god."
I dare you to find solid proof that there is no god.
I don`t think we`ll be able to know if there`s a god or not `til we make a time machine.
The class is an elective. It`s optional. It`s not like it`s mandatory or anything. I think it`s great that they`re teaching both sides of the matter.
In considering God and looking at the various theological arguments that have been advanced to support his existence, and the assertions of His Onipotence, perfection, ect. And they seem to involve so many logical contradictions that the whole thing falls to the ground. That is why I suspended disbelief in the God of organized religion. As to your conception of god I conceede more uncertainty, but I retain enough to disbelieve there too due to some of the following:
You say "I don`t know" but your insistance that order must be governed suggests otherwise. Governence suggests sentience, a consiousness capable of imposing structure, which must itself be ordered. And that begs the question "who is behind that" and so on, ad infinitum. So there again we run into more difficulties. I admitted before I was making a bet in the face of uncertaintly based on thinking about these things. I am not certain, nor do I need to be to cast a ratio
Once anyone is unwaveringly certain of anything, then that falls into dogma.
Bottom line - atheists have belief and faith just like religious people, since both base their conclutions on unprovable assumptions.
So, you are saying you have weighed the non-existant evidence of an unknowable concept, and you believe you can logically conclude that it is more likely than not that god does not exist? On what basis?
Again, consider, there is order in the universe, what governs that? It cannot be randomness - that defies logic. What governs the governing rules?
And I must say, saying "I don`t know" isn`t the easy way - its the only rational choice, because it is the only choice that is supportable with objective evidence.
I studied Philosophy because I desperately wanted to find the big answers. I thought it would reinforce my atheistic leanings, but the opposite happened. There is too much order in things. "god" is something - that is all I can say - but I too doubt that any man-made religion (ex: Christianity) is even close.
But concluding "I don`t know" is the most honest and d
when learning about chemistry, for example, you dont learn about all the possible theorys of chemistry. you dont even learn the theorys believed most by the people. you learn the theorys that are logical and accepted by the scientific community, no matter how many average people think that nuclear explosions can be made by snapping your fingers
We are finally entering in a new era, thanks! Seriously, 2000 years that the old dude pretend to exist and we still havent seen anything.
When things are going well, it is god`s will, when it is going wrong, you are being tested by god... Yeah...
For drat sake, we are not primates controlled by the promise of some kind of heaven. Wake up peoples, the joke is over.
i believe that students should be taught about the different religions, but not taught them. religion has not gone through the scientific process and it has not faced the scrutintiy that all currently accepted theorys have. this is why science and the big bang theory should be taught, while religion should not. within the scientific community there is no difference of oppinion about this.
This statement does not express the beliefs of the HornyPanda, just a wacky thought.
FYI, I have a major problem with "atheism" camps and classes as well as Christian camps and classes. I`m not going to tell my kids "hey, I don`t believe in god and you shouldn`t either" because that`s just as bad as saying "hey, I believe in god and you should too." It`s not for me to decide because I know that believing or not believing in a god or gods does not automatically make a person smart or stupid.
So in short (too late, right?) the state should not have either classes in public schools.
Everyone needs to remember, teaching does not mean the practice is condoned nor that the student must agree with the teacher`s point of view. If that were true, the only people who would learn about Hitler would be students at neo-Nazi schools.
We must trust students to make their own decisions. And I would far prefer for them to make informed decisions, which just might mean they should learn about things I don`t necessarily agree with.
Here`s a quote that I think sums it up nicely and yes it`s from the Bible, which I think makes it all the more ironic.
1Thes5:21 Test everything. Retain what is good.
So go ahead and let children (and adults for that matter) learn...and trust them to make a good decision.
A number of people choose to classify atheism into subsets such as strong and weak atheism, but personally I think it`s unnecessary so long as people can make the general consensus that the only requisite that necessarily classifies one as atheist is a non-belief in theism. With that said, I don`t think it can be considered foolish to simply say, "I don`t believe in God." Some go a step further and actively believe there is no God, which I can understand, but in doing so they are moving beyond atheism and into something more (some have taken to calling this `antitheism`). Lacking belief in theism isn`t dogmatic, though it can certainly be made so just as easily as any nonsense belief can. I don`t claim to know one way or the other whether a God exists, but I do know I lack belief in one. How is that dogmatic?
"Agnosticism is the only non-dogmatic answer. Don`t fool yourself athiests - you subscribe to dogma just as much as the religous.
Mr. Athiest below notes that any debate about religion cannot be answered by arguement - but then concludes that there is no god???? How can any conclusion except "I don`t know" be justified?"
I hope that is a satisfactory reply.
I assume you are referring to me. Anyway, it is true that I cannot be 100% certain as to the existence (or non-existence) of God. But, having looked at the question from various perspectives I think that the existence of any God to be unlikely. And I am very certain that the God desribed by religion does not exist based on all the contradictions that arise. So I have made a concious, rational choice of disbelief based on a chain of probability. I do not think it probable that a god exists. And it seems to me to be far less probable that any religion is correct in their assessment of said god. I am not going to take the easy way and say "I don`t know" when I can make a rational bet in an indicated direction as it appears to me. Could I be wrong? Absolutely! but I don`t thi
"There`s also not evidence that God DOESN`T exist."
That`s not how the burden of proof works...
It is of course relevant in history classes, in which case it is fine as long as it is taught in a strictly objective view. Tell the students what happened and why, but stop there. Don`t go on to support or oppose something if it`s not necessary.
We should be teaching facts in school, not opinions. Regardless of what you may say, religion, from ultra-religious to atheist is an opinion. There`s enough s*** in the world. We shouldn`t be exposing our children to it any earlier than is necessary...
Philosophy showed me something simple - there is an obvious underlying order to things. Now, I`m pretty sure I did not create the universe. BUT, then what governs existance?
Something does - something beyond humanity. So, call it "god" with a small "g." But there is an order to it all...
So, PHILOSOPHY DOES NOT BREED ATHIESTS. It breeds open minded people.
AND FOR ALL OF YOU DOGGIN ON AWF1011 - if you carefully read what he is saying - he is expressing contempt for certitude and a respect for doubt.
I AGREE WITH AWF1011. Be a good person. Be a good steward of the environment. Act morally. Have beliefs, but constantly critique your own views. Don`t be so arrogant as to think YOU know the correct answer to ANYTHING. Don`t be a douche. Be open minded.
Atheism is just godless religion. And thats ok, just don`t deny it.
Either way, its the parent`s choice.
As a stout agnostic, I disagree with this vehemently.
But when you run into a proselytizer - just smile, nod, and walk away.
Remember, just under half of all the people you meet everyday have a two digit IQ, so don`t bother arguing.
God Bless America, where we have the RIGHT to self-delusion.
Mr. Athiest below notes that any debate about religion cannot be answered by arguement - but then concludes that there is no god???? How can any conclusion except "I don`t know" be justified?
Der der, there is no god, since science reveals all of the underlying principles that govern the universe....(except that scientific models get *close*, always with a margin of error...)
So, any time I am confronted by an "atheist," I roll my eyes - yes, you can read a book, and take your humanities classes, but that DOES NOT mean your mind has suddenly surpassed the limits of knowledge imposed by the very limited structure of our brains.
Don`t get me wrong - any religious person who says that the Bible is the answer is equally as arrogant.
The ONLY SENSIBLE ANSWER TO THE RELIGION QUESTION IS - who the hell knows??? Its impossible to answer such questions sensibly.
You know, if it bothers the STUDENT that much, they`ll go tell their parent and that`d get taken care of easily.
REQUEST??!!?? So there`s a possibility that this class will be taught to all until a parent hears about and says no??!!! WTF IS WRONG WITH AUSTRALIANS!!!!!??????
You go, Trev!!
This also might be okay if there`s another class that`s chosen by parents that says God DOES exist. Fair`s only fair, right?
Just what I think, I`ll leave it at that...
I`m sure your response will be something along the lines of "there`s plenty of evidence God doesn`t exist". The problem with that is that none of it is definitive. The best that evidence can do is say "there`s no need for a God to exist", and even that, particularly if one tries to argue for example with evolution, requires blind belief in something other than a god (i.e. Science).
They call this progressive? More like regressive. "There is no evidence that God exists." No duh. There`s also not evidence that God DOESN`T exist. If they try to teach EITHER in school they`re just indoctrinating their viewpoint.
This is one thing i definitely disagree with. Christians by no means are the majority. The word Christian means follower of Christ, and Jesus called a lot of people hypocrites in the bible. Sure a lot of people CALL themselves christian, but a lot of people call themselves educated. Do you see my point?
Most people disagree with me, and that`s okay, but trust me, 95% of the people who call themselves Christians are only fooling themselves.
I don`t think that religion should be brought into school, at all.
If they offer a class that says religion doesn`t exist, then they should offer another class to prove religion does. It`s only fair.
the title of this is a little bit intimidating though. the students aren`t being FORCED to take this class, it seems like an elective.
it`s no more "pushing beliefs onto others" than afterschool catholic classes are. kids shouldn`t be mindless clones of their parents, they should be able to decide what they believe is true.
the only way for this to be unfair is if the schools don`t offer other religious classes, such as christianity or judaism.
Sensible enough, but I`d like to believe their`s truths in every belief.
Exception being maybe the spaghetti monster. he`s just a boat full of pwn.
On topic: They`ve been doing something similar to this in the UK. Rather than teach one belief though, children are presented with arguments from BOTH sides. Thus, the child makes his or her own choice.
That`s pretty retarded imo. Nobody`s destiny is ever fully in their own hands, but more the hands of the grader, the applications people, resume readers, reactions of the people, etc. Nobody really ever controls their own lives anymore.
Also, in a philosophy course, you can`t go around saying God exists and everyone should be Christian, that defeats the point of it. On the other hand, philosophy seems pretty BS these days. What happened to the good old philophs of the 17th and 18th centuries?
You`d see more CHristians doing that because their are more Christians, therefore, by default they should have more people doing that. If you look at percents and ratios, I`m sure they`re all the same.
personally i`d rather kids learnt ABOUT religion rather than being taught to believe, or not to believe. so they are educated enough to make there own choice instead of being `brainwashed`
`VICTORIAN state primary school students will soon be able to take religious education classes which teach the truth.`
can you imagin something like this being taught anywhere in the bible belt of the US? oh man.. talk about stirring things up..
I`m surprised how atheists are supposed to be arrogant. I don`t even understand how, especially Americans, tend to overreact to the whole topic. The atheists I`ve met are just in favor of secularism, nothing more - what one personally believes is their thing, but in school, courts, hospitals, religion just has no, or should have no place.
I have no idea what the big deal about this is. It`s not even a philosophical but a pragmatic question, yet apparently everybody (in the US) goes completely nuts about it. You know where else religion is THAT big of a deal? Try the middle east.
Oh, and by the way: Being an atheist doesn`t mean you`re anti-theistic - you`re not necessarily against religion itself, you just either deny or don`t believe in a supernatural, <PERSONIFIED>, transcendent force.
It`s a strictly opt-in system if you don`t want to go to Religous Education classes, both sides get equal representation.
Atheists don’t have believes in any way shape or form towards religion hence that lil A in front of the word. So to all you so called atheists, just to let you know cuz im tired of being in the most minute of ways similar to ya’ll, even responding to a debate about this zrap is like being a one legged man in an ass kicking contest (1000 points to the person who knows that movie) Instead of TRYING to be atheist go find a fing cure for cancer. Douche bags the lot of ya. 2012 or 13 cant get here fast enough.
P.S. Believe in god or don’t just do your part as an animal on earth. Save the planet, love other animals, cure some s#@t, build real civilizations and learn what you can, not what your expected to.
P.S.S For all your back stabbers and nick pickers. I educate people about the declining condition of our oceans and donate to organizations that score one for it so piss off.
“I AM ATHIEST. NOT AN.” - Me&quo
Why not? Two birds with one stone!
Or better yet, just dump both baby and the bathwater into the cooking pot and let it boil. Instant soup!
I guess that`d be fine. If it were by itself then maybe I`d have a problem with it, it would be more of a debate there. The extreme scientific view is in the same boat as the extreme religious view, so neither should be in there.
They should also teach those kids the difference between a sane and a delusional person.
It`s sad that some people think that because we take a step away from religion we must throw away everything that was good about it with everything that was bad.
Don`t throw the baby out with the bath water.
~ Bring on teh FLAME!!!!!!
If it`s mandatory, then it`s just as bad as mandatory christian religion classes. It would THEN be indoctrination.
If it`s optional, then I say go for it.
And about the subject matter: There shouldn`t be any mention of god ever in education. People`s personal beliefs are their own and shouldn`t be influenced by the state/federal education system.
Tell them to take quantum mechanics...http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16...
And i would like to say..
Who gives a drat?
I`m beginning to turn against this `let them believe in what they want` idea, its almost like the bs `teach them both sides of the debate` idea. Very fishy stuff.
So yea, teach atheism as long as religion exists, when its gone, there`ll be no need to teach it.
Of course, people will bitch, but bettering society should be more important then teaching that an invisible man dominates our world.
I`ve said this before. If it`s not normal, are you saying that babies are born Christian? Do they already know in their heads that there is a God? I think not. They are told what to believe in.
Trying to get people worked up with that erroneous headline.
I don`t know. I`m a Christian, but I think the school`s giving kids a good opportunity to learn about other beliefs. I say thumbs up.
I probably would take it.
*Puts on flame-retardent suit*