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"yes" to RE

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I'm a student in my last year at school in the UK. I agree, philosophy is something that should be taught in schools. I'm not sure what the situation is like in the states but here in the UK it is compulsory for people to have some religious education up until the age of 16 (also the age where compulsory schooling here ends).

But in my honest opinion the teaching quality of the subject differs greatly ... some schools are excellent at it while others ... well, in others sometimes it might as well not be there.

Okay, before people begin to judge on me making accusations of being a "religious freak" or "forcing other viewpoints on school children" I should explain:

I am in favour of teaching both philosophy and religious studies within the school curriculum. I believe it is important to give equal weight to both major works of philosophical thought along with the major religionsl.

Examples in our own time of racially related attacks abound ... it is my belief that it is ignorance of other viewpoints that breeds contempt for them. By encouraging the teaching of philosophy & religion in schools this would increase knowledge levels which hopefully would create understanding, leading to respect for other beliefs.

After all, underneath it all WE ARE THE SAME. Whatever the skin colour & whoever you pray to. It's possible that we may all have differing ideas on what happens after this life (if there is anything at all) but the fact remains RIGHT NOW we live in this world, in this life TOGETHER so we better make an effort to get along.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    *awaits commentary from Aladdin* ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well, not all schools teach the same type of R.E. More specifically, one school may discuss the Bible in detail and how it differentiates from the views of other religious books such as the Qu'ran (sp?), whereas others, such as my school, when i was there, taught about euthanasia, abortion, divorce etc and each religions view on them... yada.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    amen ...i think. trouble is ...when i start thinking ...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by LadyT
    Well, not all schools teach the same type of R.E. More specifically, one school may discuss the Bible in detail and how it differentiates from the views of other religious books such as the Qu'ran (sp?), whereas others, such as my school, when i was there, taught about euthanasia, abortion, divorce etc and each religions view on them... yada.

    I agree with this. In my school, we did RE based on the Bible, and to some extent the Qu'ran, until year 8. In years 9 and 10, we worked towards a half GCSE, and the course covered morality much more than religion, and just with some references to scriptures, and how opinions on these subjects differed (or didn't differ) between religions.

    I don't know what philosophy actually is, so I can't comment there, but I think it is important that moral issues are brought up in schools, like euthanasia, abortion, etc. I think the only reason kids are so reluctant to treat it as a worthwhile lesson is because of the religious element.

    Although, it is important that racism is brought into it. But I don't think the 'this is the Bible, now lets compare it to the Qu'ran' approach is very effective. It can only really lead to people drawing comparisons between Muslims and Christians.

    Anyway..yes.. I think it is important that moral issues are brought up in schools, along with pros, cons, and techinicalities, so children are aware of these things. I think the religious part is the only 'iffy' bit..
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'll try to keep it short: children should not be taught religion as a fact, either at school or at home. For it constitutes brainwashing.

    Teach them a history of the world religions if you must, and how the different faiths have influenced mankind. But nothing more than that. No heaven and hell, no bearded chap who is the son of god and comes back from the dead, no earth created in 6 days and the human race descending from a figure made from spit and mud who got a missus out of his ribcage.

    It is only fair.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Surely religion is a personal thing for each person to work out on their own? I disagree with schools teaching religion - what kind of people do you think teach religion? At my school it was evangelical Christians - point is you are highly unlikely to see someone with no deep personal commitment getting involved in religion and for that reason, religious people should not be given a platform to spread their views.

    I'm not against the important dates and festivals and anti-racism bits but they could be taught as part of a Personal, Social and Religious Education with other things - I don't think RS merits a lesson on its own.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i went to a catholic school and we were taught about other religions in the sense of 'some people believe this, how silly'. we were also taught that abortion/pre marital sex/contraception etc. is NOT acceptable. we got a very narrow-minded view of the world and religion.


    i also went to a catholic sixth form college, and the RE program there was much, much better. we were encouraged to discuss issues, and never had views imposed on us. we were taught about other religions in a far more favourable light.

    so i think that it's not the subject that's the issue, really, but the way in which it's taught.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Have had a Jewish upbringing. My dad totally against it, and my mom finding it important. Jewish kindergarten laid the basis, Jewish school gave me knowledge. Not only about Judaism, but Christianity and Islam as well. In the higher grades we dealt with sects and believes as Satanism and the likes.

    Today I am at a regular Danish gymnasium, and I can say that my upbringing has been one of the bigger advantages. How am i supposed to defend myself, and the traditions I go through if I can't explain them? And more importantly, when discussions are based on morals and philosophy, I don't have any problems stating that I am one of the most knowledgable on that point, since the greater deal of morals, and even common law and rules are based upon the Bible and religion.
    Apart from that, I was astonished by the fact that I could explain christian rituals as baptism and confirmation when 90% of my class has gone through it, and don't know why. Same goes for history and explanation of different events during history.

    It gives so much insight to such a different and wide range of subjects.

    It has given me a lot, and it's clearly to see on the expressions I get from teacher, who are all very surprised by this, and teh fact that I am not only used as the English dictionary in class, but also the religious/political encyclopedia in class as well :p

    I'd definitely choose a school who emphasised on the teaching of religion, and phiolosophy for my kids, if I should ever decide to get them after all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Jacqueline the Ripper
    Apart from that, I was astonished by the fact that I could explain christian rituals as baptism and confirmation when 90% of my class has gone through it, and don't know why. Same goes for history and explanation of different events during history.

    jacq ...it never ceases to amaze me ...the christian cartel that is ...i know more of there does and donts than they do ...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think Satanism & Paganism should be taught in school RE lessons as well as every other mainstream religion. They're religions/belief paths too.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by MoonRat
    I think Satanism & Paganism should be taught in school RE lessons as well as every other mainstream religion. They're religions/belief paths too.

    Yes they are, and should be explained as well. But I guess that the monotheistic religions are pretty important when it comes to present world events and general way of living. As they as whole are the basis of our morals and law system.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aye but in some courses they teach Buddhism and Hinduism, neither of which are monotheistic and have no relevence to the Western law system (Buddhism is not technically a religion by Durkhiem's definition and Hinduism is polytheistic).

    Only Christianity has any relevence to our own law system.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh, we had about Buddhism as well. Unfortunately I don't know much about Hinduism.
    As a whole, it's difficult to cross the line between ideologies, religions, life philosophies etc. as no matter what someone will always embrace a specific thought and built his/her life around it. But the more taught on that front the better.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    There is nothing wrong with Religious EDUCATION, maybe if more people understood different religions then there wouldnt be the mind-boggling levels of racial intolerance shown in this country.

    But when religion rules education then the problems set in- I went to a Catholic school, and because of that I never received any sex education, for instance (other than "dont, lads", that is), and learned why the Bible was relevant for todays God-fearing society for GCSE. God is for church, and I believe that the French system is perfect- you are taught a vague concept of morality and citizenship, but not religion.

    The stupid thing about religions is that they all go to war basically arguing over something that essentially boils down to what colour socks God wears.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Kermit


    The stupid thing about religions is that they all go to war basically arguing over something that essentially boils down to what colour socks God wears.

    Thing is, most people who have learnt about religion will know that religion is just an excuse for this, by people with political agendas.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Here in the states the curriculum varies widely from college/univerisity to college/university. Philosophy used to entail Aristotle, Socrates, Logic, etc and Religious studies were a seperate issue altogether.

    Theology is taught at the school swith a religious bent. The outlook goes from extreme left, UC Berkley to extreme right, Brigham Young University. My college required six credits of philosophy and 9 credits of religious studies.(3 credits per course).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Im in fourth year right now (Englands year 11 I think) Anyway. We get RE. Our last RE teacher was like Beleive it if you want, Its just a job I have. She was very open minded.

    Our current one is a nutcase, she ladles us with work ALL THE TIME. We never did work in RE, we just talked.

    We have no full time / fully qualified RE teachers in my school except the Principal teacher of RE. All other RE teachers teach PE, English etc.

    Our current one teaches English so I think she is used to the whole 'Ladle out loadsa work'

    PS. What does Philosophy involve? We don't get taught.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Examples in our own time of racially related attacks abound ... it is my belief that it is ignorance of other viewpoints that breeds contempt for them. By encouraging the teaching of philosophy & religion in schools this would increase knowledge levels which hopefully would create understanding, leading to respect for other beliefs.

    So we should indoctrinate people with liberal views as Hitler did with fascist views? I actually do believe a world without racism is good and although I resented my AS General studies for the sheer political indoctrinaction that went on (Communism okay. Socialism great, Capitalism BOO!! Or so I was taught!) I'm glad to see the leaders of the country telling people what to believe.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jazza Bing


    go to the local library and pick out Aristotle or Socrates for a start. A bit dry at first but it does grow on you. Go through to Locke and Rousseau. I really think it is one of those you like it or you don't kind of things. I always liked Epictetus, who was a stoic. Good solid reading lies within his work. (IMHO of course).

    PS I almost forgot! Take a look at Plato's "Republic". :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Murph Redux
    Jazza Bing


    go to the local library and pick out Aristotle or Socrates for a start. A bit dry at first but it does grow on you. Go through to Locke and Rousseau. I really think it is one of those you like it or you don't kind of things. I always liked Epictetus, who was a stoic. Good solid reading lies within his work. (IMHO of course).

    PS I almost forgot! Take a look at Plato's "Republic". :)

    Thanks for the reccomendations! :) I love reading and find good reading hard to come by.

    IMHO, dont know what that means. :confused: , sorry!
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    As an atheist I studyed GCSE RE and it was one of my favourite subjects. The teacher did not teach anything as "fact" but merely taught us the beliefs of differenct religions, which has actually helped me a lot in recent life.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by RoyalSubject
    So we should indoctrinate people with liberal views as Hitler did with fascist views?

    Liberalism is more of a method of thinking, I do not see that one can be 'indoctrinated' into being tolerant and repectful of other views and believing in a society where multiple beliefs interact in the sense that one can be indoctrinated into an ideology such as fascism.

    BumbleBee, that is the way RE should be..........
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    some random thoughts

    I was thinking about what bumble bee said, and Toadborg said about RE. being taught about different beliefs does encourage diversity and understanding and tolerance.

    if RE is taught in this way, (and if it is then there is no real reason why it shouldn't be) then that is good.

    does 90 hour over 3 years (unless someone opts do do it a GCSE) constitute brain washing.

    in my experience the majority of people commiting to a releigion is due to upbringing and family, and then adults who decide for themselves, that it has something to offer and not RE lessons at school.
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