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Is Teaching Religion To Children A Form Of Child Abuse?




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#111 Dejavu~

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Posted April 10 2017 - 06:26 AM

the only practical way would be to teach the religions based on the most commonly excepted and prevalent doctrines, no need to delve into the myriad factions/denominations and sub-groups of each religion, that can be for extra credit...LOL

 

But the most commonly excepted are never the most prevalent! :-D

 

All I know is that agnostics will have to do the dirty work of teaching the shit. lol



#112 Dejavu~

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Posted April 10 2017 - 06:29 AM

Teaching about it I mean. :-D  



#113 Okiefreak

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Posted April 12 2017 - 09:18 AM

Teaching about it I mean. :-D  

Is that because you think agnostics are unbiased? Dawkins has fun with agnostics who hesitate to venture an opinion on whether or not there's a celestial teapot. The reality is that kids have always been dependent on adults for how they're raised and what they're taught--not only about religion, but about everything. Typically, the adults in charge are parents, supplemented in traditional societies by kin, at least in the earliest years, which psyhchologists tell us are the most important in personality development. In modern societies, formal education is eventually taken over primarily by agents of government which in this country means local or state entities that are politically controlled. In the U.S., this usually happens at around age six. There can be variation from one state and school district to another.  Do the students say the pledge of allegiance? Do they have a required civics and/or American government course? etc.When Napoleon established a public school system in France, he wasn't primarily interested in giving the kiddies an unbiased education. Efforts to substitute the government for parents in education for the young, to the extent they've been tried, have been generally disastrous. I'm thinking Hitler Jungen, Soviet Kosomols, and state military academies in the Middle East and Latin America. A course on comparative religion in their teens might not be such a bad thing, but I don't think that's what Dawkins has in mind.The idea of taking children from their parents at a tender age, or criminalizing the teaching of certain beliefs and encouraging neighbors to snoop has obvious totalitarian implications.

 

Equally unrealislitic would be the expectation that parents should not teach the kiddies anything about religion until they are old enough to think it through rationally. Parents should act like-- well, agnostics, even though they have their own beliefs. Does this mean that the parents won't share their beliefs and values with their children? Should they stay home from church, mosque or temple? Should they make arrangements to leave the kids behind? Do they pray in secret, lest the kids catch them in the act? And would that also apply in other areas, like parents teaching the kids their own ideas of right and wrong, which might be religious based? Of course, if the parents' beliefs are screwed up--if they're racists, sexists, etc.--that won't be good for the kiddies, bu I think the alternative is thought police. If the "political correctness' crown got control of this, the results could be intolerable. And I can think of nothing worse that a parent could do to a child than to give the kid no guidance in the area of right and wrong. Like it or not, I think human evolution is primarily cultural, dependent on imparting memes through socialization. Parents are important agents in that process and its not clear that's such a bad thing.


Edited by Okiefreak, April 12 2017 - 09:20 AM.


#114 Dejavu~

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Posted April 13 2017 - 05:08 AM

Is that because you think agnostics are unbiased? 

 

God no! lol They've as much bias about them as anyone else! The difference is they think they're unbiased! They're perfect for the job! 

 

I can see it now, as clear, if not as beautiful as the day...

 

Even the very strictest adherence to teaching 'about' religion wouldn't fail to produce that most beleaguering question to the teacher: "What do you believe?"  Enter the parent teacher groups. The theist would be ousted no matter how non-denominational their faith, and the atheist, despite the heartiest belief that their heart is in the thing, would be left wishing they'd signed up to teach home economics.  lol

 

No, best to assume the semblance of impartiality for the position, however unwittingly contrived,  if we're ever to look back on religion! :-D



#115 MeAgain

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Posted April 13 2017 - 08:08 AM

For those interested here's a sample curriculum:

 

Howard County high school, Oregon I think

The study of world religions is an integral part of understanding individuals, countries, and nations. Many concepts in religion can be very abstract. Consequently, an effort has been made to create a course outline that simplifies the task at hand: teaching world religions in a manner that communicates abstract concepts in historical context with an understanding of diversity and sensitivity to individual beliefs. 

This is a teacher's guide, which answers most of the questions asked here; 

This teacher’s guide is intended to move beyond the confusion and conflict that has surrounded religion in public schools since the early days of the common school movement. For most of our history, extremes have shaped much of the debate. On one end of the spectrum are those who advocate promotion of religion (usually their own) in school practices and policies. On the other end are those who view public schools as religion-free zones. Neither of these approaches is consistent with the guiding principles of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment.

Here's another.

Part One addresses why it is important to teach about religion, and Part Two outlines ways to teach about religion in constitutionally sound ways. Part Three is an overview of approaches to teaching about religion and includes grade-specific examples based on both the Standards for Social Studies7 (produced by the National Council for the Social Studies) and Standards for the English Language Arts8 (produced by the National Council for Teachers of English).

Lots of resources out there.


 

"Acclinis Falsis Animus Meliora Recusat"

(A mind that is charmed by false appearances refuses better things.)

~ Horace

 

 


#116 BlackBillBlake

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Posted April 15 2017 - 06:34 AM

I came across this quote recently - can't recall where now, but maybe it has some relevance here:

 

"education is not to fill a bucket, education is to kindle a fire" - Herodotus.

 

The 'stuff them full of our belief system' kind of approach would correlate to filling a bucket. Educating people about a wide range of belief systems might just help kindle some kind of small flame.


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#117 autophobe2e

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Posted April 27 2017 - 02:32 PM

I'm not sure that I like the "teaching religion to our kids is child abuse" line, as it is so clearly a deliberately inflammatory, headline-grabbing statement. But I do have a lot of sympathy for the sentiment behind it. indoctrinating children into a set of beliefs without foundation in reason and empiricism is tantamount to teaching them not to engage critically with the world around them. And that's shitty.

 

On the other hand, a person who grows up in, for example, England, and doesn't know about christianity is going to have a limited understanding of the society that they are surrounded by.

 

A balance must be struck between teaching comparative religion whilst being careful to be obective about the faiths represented.


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#118 Emanresu

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Posted April 27 2017 - 02:45 PM

I'm not sure that I like the "teaching religion to our kids is child abuse" line, as it is so clearly a deliberately inflammatory, headline-grabbing statement.

Agreed. It is not likely that a deeply religious person is going to hear that and suddenly change the way they live. It's more of a rallying point for people who already believe it, or just for shock.

 

I think your take on both the sentiment behind the claim and the implication are spot on. The best attitude is to make children aware of facts, and help build their critical thinking skills so that they can choose their own beliefs as they become sophisticated enough to understand them. And as you say, a person surrounded by Christians who doesn't know anything about Christianity is going to be at a disadvantage.

 

The problem of course is that no one who believes that they worship the one true faith would dare to teach their children about all religions objectively, out of fear that they would choose the wrong one (which only matters if you follow one of those pathetic religions that says you'll be punished for not believing, how do people still fall for that?).



#119 Emanresu

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Posted April 27 2017 - 02:58 PM

...The reality is that kids have always been dependent on adults for how they're raised and what they're taught--not only about religion, but about everything

 

A good point and one of the reasons I shy from the child abuse claim. In many ways we cannot help but indoctrinate our children, and it is somewhat unfair to single out religion (though to be fair to the other side of the argument maybe religion is important enough to be singled out).

 

There is also the point of not really being able to tell what effect a particular indoctrination might have. I was raised in a Catholic family and attended Catholic school from Pre-k until I graduated from highschool. Mass every week outside of school and a few times per month in school, as well as religion class 5 days a week ( and this was a very dogmatic no discussion no questions type of class). And really that doesn't seem to have harmed me in the least. In fact I don't even have any hard feelings about it. But it obviously isn't how children should be taught.






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