The God Delusion - Chapter 9

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The God Delusion - Chapter 9

Post #1

Post by otseng »

Is it a form of child abuse to label children as possessors of beliefs when they are too young to have thought about it?

Should the Bible be a part of public education?

McCulloch's question:
Is the indoctrination of children into religious beliefs morally justified?

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Re: The God Delusion - Chapter 9

Post #11

Post by otseng »

McCulloch wrote:The Bible should only be taught in public education in so far as it has been an important influence on our societies. The Bible should not be taught at public expense as a source of truth, ethics or divine revelation.
I think this would be a good middle ground in which all parties could reach a consensus.
Is it a form of child abuse to label children as possessors of beliefs when they are too young to have thought about it?
Though I wouldn't necessarily call it "child abuse", I would agree that parents should not label children as possessors of their parents' beliefs. Just because one is born into a Christian family does not mean a child is a Christian. A child should of his own freewill decide what he would believe. This doesn't mean that a parent is not free to influence the child's thinking. But a parent should not decide for a child what he should believe.

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Re: The God Delusion - Chapter 9

Post #12

Post by Confused »

twobitsmedia wrote:
Confused wrote:
But public education is funded by the government/state. There is a separation between church and state. If the bible is to be offered to be taught, it shouldn't be at the cost of the taxpayers.
I think "separation of church and state" is more propaganda used by the left and the right to fit their cause, than it is reality. So, if a school district wants to teach creationism, or mormonism or whatever "ism," they should be allowed. The First Amendment should stop the govt from interfering in their right to do so. Kansas just went through that debate last year and the board voted in favor of allowing creationism to be taught in Kansas schools. My taxes are funding a war, eminent domain, limited issues with abortion, and an internal revenue system that I think is corrupt, among other things I disagree with. Once it goes to "Ceasar" it belongs to "Ceasar"....he does what he wants with it.
And what subject would you suggest "creationism" be taught under? Philosophy, literature, science, history? Nothing philisophical about creationism unless you prefer the metaphorical value of scripture in which case you would have to prove it was meant to be metaphorical rather than literal. Ancient literature, perhaps, but what educational purpose would it provide? Science, not even going there. History, there is no historical validity to scripture as of yet. So what subject would this be taught under?

You can argue with the IRS, etc about what your taxes are being used for in the government. But they shouldn't be used for religion.
What we do for ourselves dies with us,
What we do for others and the world remains
and is immortal.

-Albert Pine
Never be bullied into silence.
Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
Accept no one persons definition of your life; define yourself.

-Harvey Fierstein

twobitsmedia

Re: The God Delusion - Chapter 9

Post #13

Post by twobitsmedia »

Confused wrote:
twobitsmedia wrote:
Confused wrote:
But public education is funded by the government/state. There is a separation between church and state. If the bible is to be offered to be taught, it shouldn't be at the cost of the taxpayers.
I think "separation of church and state" is more propaganda used by the left and the right to fit their cause, than it is reality. So, if a school district wants to teach creationism, or mormonism or whatever "ism," they should be allowed. The First Amendment should stop the govt from interfering in their right to do so. Kansas just went through that debate last year and the board voted in favor of allowing creationism to be taught in Kansas schools. My taxes are funding a war, eminent domain, limited issues with abortion, and an internal revenue system that I think is corrupt, among other things I disagree with. Once it goes to "Ceasar" it belongs to "Ceasar"....he does what he wants with it.
And what subject would you suggest "creationism" be taught under? Philosophy, literature, science, history? Nothing philisophical about creationism unless you prefer the metaphorical value of scripture in which case you would have to prove it was meant to be metaphorical rather than literal. Ancient literature, perhaps, but what educational purpose would it provide? Science, not even going there. History, there is no historical validity to scripture as of yet. So what subject would this be taught under?
I would say philosophy or literature. It could be history, but it would have to more of a course about how it has impacted history, rather than much in the book itself.


You can argue with the IRS, etc about what your taxes are being used for in the government. But they shouldn't be used for religion.
the Federal government doesn't have to fund anything. But the states can decide on their own. But by offfering nothing, the the govt embraces athiesm. When I lived in South Dakota, the governor used to put one Christmas tree in one corner of the Rotunda, and a "Jesus in the nativity" scene on one corner, then leave another corner empty and said that corner was for the athiests. The athiests were still offended by the "Jesus" scene even though they had their own corner. Seemed a little narrow minded to me. And the religious people are usually accused of having the dogma and desire to push their beliefs on everyone else. And they want the schools to sanction it because they are "taxpayers." Well, considering 95 to 100% of the shootings, drug busts, rapes, vandalism, etc, which happen at school happen at public schools, I guess they are doing a heck of a job. Maybe they are just not emphasizing the "moral genes" that could possibly evolve through natural selection. Either that, or they have, and the kids realize that if they don't have it now, they won't see it in their life time, so they just need to be "natural" and get rid of some of the bad "genes" around them.
Last edited by twobitsmedia on Sat Jul 07, 2007 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post #14

Post by Cathar1950 »

Creation science should be taught as political history and as an expression.
It could also be used as an example of poor science.
The bible could be taught as literature but most studies of literature include the authors, times and places. Some of this is now known about the bible but it still lacks. It could be taught as written expressions or social expressions in Western culture. But I think the Koran and other such writing should also be taught as our global village gets smaller.
I like nativity scenes and Christmas carols as well as art.
I like watching religious discussion on PBS.
I am not sure if children should be labeled but Jewish children are thought to be Jewish. The problem with demographics is that it is a good marketing tool.
It also becomes information used for any purpose.
Now children born in a Christian family may not be Christian as they have not developed an idea of their own towards religion.
The Anabaptist were killed for treason when they baptised adults or young adults that converted or make a commitment to be a disciple.
It seems the more we think about the whole subject the less we understand and the more confused the solutions to the problems of freedom of expression.

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Post #15

Post by otseng »

Cathar1950 wrote:I am not sure if children should be labeled but Jewish children are thought to be Jewish.
It's because being Jewish is more cultural than religious. It is not a contradiction to be an atheist Jew. But I think the problem comes in when a Jew is forced to believe in JHVH. Or forced to marry within the Jewish community.

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Post #16

Post by Furrowed Brow »

twobitsmedia wrote:So, if a school district wants to teach creationism, or Mormonism or whatever "ism," they should be allowed. The First Amendment should stop the govt from interfering in their right to do so.
There is an American centric bias to this thread. :roll:

Anywise, there seems to be two issues here: 1/ Should public money fund the teaching of subjects like say creationism. 2/ Does government have the obligation to ensure each child receives a balanced education.

Of course there is then a debate as to what is meant by “balanced”. For example there is no “evolution v creationism” scientific controversy - it would not be balanced to present the argument in such a way as to suggest there is. The reality is that evolution is our best theory by several billion years. If we allow creationism we might as well allow Aristotle’s elements into physics and chemistry. Creationist may very sincerely believe otherwise, but personally I’d find it a mockery of what education should be if creationism were ever allowed in a science class room as a legitimate competitor to evolution. So my sense of what count as balanced 8-) is going to be different from a creationists :punch: . I’d only allow creationism if it is to be used as a model to show how not to do science - and I’d say that would make for a balanced education. :eyebrow:

I think maybe science education needs some kind of golden rules or charter writ large and often, which every school should explicitly teach. Something like:

1/ Presume no truth
2/ Observe and record data.
3/ Theorise to explain data.
4/ Use the most precise language possible in which to frame theory.
5/ Test the theory.
6/ Use the theory to make predictions.
7/ Clearly define what will falsify theory, and what will necessitate adjustments to basic theory.
8/ Seek and adopt the theoretical model that explains most whilst presuming least.

I’d be less uneasy allowing creationism in the classroom if something like the above 8 principles are held up as the criteria by which evolution, creationism, ID etc are to be evaluated.

Would something like the above criteria themselves be morally justified? I think the answer is yes. Moreover it is immoral to pass off belief systems that attempt to say something factual about the world as true that fail or are found wanting when so evaluated.

Kids should not be taught religion, they should be taught methodology.

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Post #17

Post by Cathar1950 »

otseng wrote:
Cathar1950 wrote:I am not sure if children should be labeled but Jewish children are thought to be Jewish.
It's because being Jewish is more cultural than religious. It is not a contradiction to be an atheist Jew. But I think the problem comes in when a Jew is forced to believe in JHVH. Or forced to marry within the Jewish community.
True but it is odd as Christians could very well see themselves as a culture or tradition. The Amish might be an interesting example. Yet they promote discipleship which got them in all that trouble with Luther.
So it seems Christianities could be subcultures. In The USA we have a history of privatizing religion but even the roots of religion often go back to a time where they were not separated from politics or nationalisms. Each often see the world as fallen while the elect rule in the future and this seems to make them cultural and political.
I have no good answers just lots of questions. When you have ideas like “believe and your whole household will be saved” it is hard to make distinctions.

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Post #18

Post by twobitsmedia »

Furrowed Brow wrote:
Anywise, there seems to be two issues here: 1/ Should public money fund the teaching of subjects like say creationism. 2/ Does government have the obligation to ensure each child receives a balanced education.
Both good questions. The bottom line any of debate over what the governement can and can't do usually asks about "taxpayer" support. Speaking, only from an American perpective, the Constitution does not guarantee any speciall rights to tax payers. It implies constitutional rights are equal for "all." When the argument "well I am a taxpayer" comes up, it's almost like an attempt at bribery or extortion......"well, I pay money to you.......you must do what I say." If one was able to wield it with any power, they would be able to say "If you do not do what I say, then I will stop paying my taxes, so there." And I say, good luck with that. The few cases I know of where people actually did try that are in jail, or had everything they owned taken by the state and sold.

The second question: Does the govt have the obligation....I say no. Somehow, at least in US, the govt gave property tax rights to school districts. So when they need money, property taxes have to go up. And the pleas for money are never for the school district first...it is always "for the children" (while violins play hauntingly in the background). I believe each district shoud be able to decide on their own. If we truly want to embrace diversity, we have to let diversity happen.....not regulate it.
Of course there is then a debate as to what is meant by “balanced”. For example there is no “evolution v creationism” scientific controversy - it would not be balanced to present the argument in such a way as to suggest there is. The reality is that evolution is our best theory by several billion years.
It's the best "abstract theory" based on "abstract logic." It's more of a lesson in how to decipher illusion, than it is science. Though science is involved.

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Re: The God Delusion - Chapter 9

Post #19

Post by Scrotum »

otseng wrote:Is it a form of child abuse to label children as possessors of beliefs when they are too young to have thought about it?

Should the Bible be a part of public education?

McCulloch's question:
Is the indoctrination of children into religious beliefs morally justified?
No, it is the most horrible thing you could do to a child, and with a 90% certanity, will destroy the mind of the person, and make it very hard for them to accept logic and reality.


The question could be stated as "Is the incest-rape of children into submission to its father morally justified?"


No one can possible say its moraly OK to indoctrinate a child into religion?
T: ´I do not believe in gravity, it´s just a theory

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Re: The God Delusion - Chapter 9

Post #20

Post by otseng »

Scrotum wrote: No, it is the most horrible thing you could do to a child, and with a 90% certanity, will destroy the mind of the person, and make it very hard for them to accept logic and reality.

The question could be stated as "Is the incest-rape of children into submission to its father morally justified?"
Do you have any evidence to back your assertions? If not, then your comments are nothing more than a blanket statement and a flame-bait opinion.

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