"Ending religion lessons in schools leads to overall decline in belief but not morals"

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Tcg
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"Ending religion lessons in schools leads to overall decline in belief but not morals"

Post #1

Post by Tcg »

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This article reports on data from Germany that reveals that abolishing religious teaching in schools leads to a decline in belief but not morality:
Ending religion lessons in schools leads to overall decline in belief but not morals
Torsten Bell

Data taken from across Germany reveals that as mandated RE was abolished, atheism increased as a collective choice

We tend to think about religiousness as a personal decision but new research examining the role of schools illustrates that collective choices have a part to play. The authors use data from Germany, exploiting the fact the religious education mandated by the postwar West German constitution was removed across different states at different times from the 1970s. They find abolishment significantly reduced religiousness, both in private (less praying) and public (church attendance). The effect was biggest in Catholic areas.

Before the social conservatives get all up in arms, note there was no impact on moral or ethical views, life satisfaction or political leaning. That may be because religious education was replaced with non-denominational ethical teaching, rather than more maths.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... not-morals
Does this finding support the claim some make that humans are indeed atheists at birth and will remain so unless or until they are taught to believe in god/gods?

Is it likely that some will continue to view atheists as being less moral than theists even though the data reported here contradicts that view and if so, why?


Tcg
To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

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Not believing isn't the same as believing not.

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Re: "Ending religion lessons in schools leads to overall decline in belief but not morals"

Post #2

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to Tcg in post #1
Does this finding support the claim some make that humans are indeed atheists at birth and will remain so unless or until they are taught to believe in god/gods?
If it does, it's nothing beyond a naturalistic fallacy. Humans are illiterate at birth and will remain so unless or until they're taught how to read.

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Re: "Ending religion lessons in schools leads to overall decline in belief but not morals"

Post #3

Post by TRANSPONDER »

Agreed. There's Something in 'I blame it on society', because that is formative in how we turn out. And that requires ...well, control....what is being taught. Control of education and public information has long been seen as the basis of what your populace believes, though people is people and they are always going to be open to fooling themselves or being fooled by others. Which is why the USA has long been noted as the only Western country that has an unusually high religious level. Because it is the only one that does not need religious curriculum because Religion has been a 'Separate' institution from the State and in in fact a ghost Government as they have a ghost Bible and indeed a Ghost Science. This is fine so long as they approve of the government, but if not you get a whole religio -political subversion, and that became very evidence during the Obama administration, never mind now.

Since the arrival of the Internet there has been a battle going on in the US for the hearts and minds of the people. Are they going to move onto a generally secularist public mindset or are they going to continue the Church - controlled society? Ten years ago I thought it was for sure the former and it was happening fast, but, since the politicisation of the whole thing in the US (and indeed globally) it's all got messed up, frankly (1) and I just don't know anymore.

All I (we?) can do is battle on.

"There's some good in this world Mr Frodo, and it's worth fighting for". (Lor filmscript....As I have said before rather than Biblequotes, I see the wisdom of other book as just as apposite, and often more so).

(1) by extremism on both sides and Reason being sidelined because the internet has become a battleground for control by one party or the other.

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Re: "Ending religion lessons in schools leads to overall decline in belief but not morals"

Post #4

Post by Miles »

Tcg wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:30 am .

Does this finding support the claim some make that humans are indeed atheists at birth and will remain so unless or until they are taught to believe in god/gods?
If atheism simply means a lack of belief in the existence of god, then most definitely. How could it be otherwise.

Is it likely that some will continue to view atheists as being less moral than theists even though the data reported here contradicts that view
Of course. One need not be well educated or even reasonable to be a "believer," and as such living in relative ignorance and needing reaffirmation of one's choices, the automatic rejection of a competing belief or position isn't surprising at all. Heck, it can even be expected.

and if so, why?
As attributed to Jonathan Swift:

"You cannot reason someone out of something he or she was not reasoned into"


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Re: "Ending religion lessons in schools leads to overall decline in belief but not morals"

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Post by Wootah »

[Replying to Tcg in post #1]

How can morals be ended? A person is always moral so long as they change their morals to be the same as the cultural norms.
Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

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Re: "Ending religion lessons in schools leads to overall decline in belief but not morals"

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Post by Wootah »

TRANSPONDER wrote: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:19 pm
"There's some good in this world Mr Frodo, and it's worth fighting for". (Lor filmscript....As I have said before rather than Biblequotes, I see the wisdom of other book as just as apposite, and often more so).
You know the author of that book was a Catholic right?
Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

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Re: "Ending religion lessons in schools leads to overall decline in belief but not morals"

Post #7

Post by nobspeople »

[Replying to Tcg in post #1]
Does this finding support the claim some make that humans are indeed atheists at birth and will remain so unless or until they are taught to believe in god/gods?
To me, people are born, at best, agnostic, not knowing one way or the other.
Is it likely that some will continue to view atheists as being less moral than theists even though the data reported here contradicts that view and if so, why?
No matter what, some will see atheists in a negative light because an atheist's belief flies in the face of their belief.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: "Ending religion lessons in schools leads to overall decline in belief but not morals"

Post #8

Post by Tcg »

nobspeople wrote: Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:34 am [Replying to Tcg in post #1]
Does this finding support the claim some make that humans are indeed atheists at birth and will remain so unless or until they are taught to believe in god/gods?
To me, people are born, at best, agnostic, not knowing one way or the other.
I guess the main idea is that humans will not believe in god/gods until they are taught to.
Is it likely that some will continue to view atheists as being less moral than theists even though the data reported here contradicts that view and if so, why?
No matter what, some will see atheists in a negative light because an atheist's belief flies in the face of their belief.
That's a good point. It seems that some will consider others as suspect if their lack of belief threatens the comfort some get from their beliefs.


Tcg
To be clear: Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods.

- American Atheists


Not believing isn't the same as believing not.

- wiploc


I must assume that knowing is better than not knowing, venturing than not venturing; and that magic and illusion, however rich, however alluring, ultimately weaken the human spirit.

- Irvin D. Yalom

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Re: "Ending religion lessons in schools leads to overall decline in belief but not morals"

Post #9

Post by nobspeople »

Tcg wrote: Mon Jan 17, 2022 11:18 am
nobspeople wrote: Mon Jan 17, 2022 10:34 am [Replying to Tcg in post #1]
Does this finding support the claim some make that humans are indeed atheists at birth and will remain so unless or until they are taught to believe in god/gods?
To me, people are born, at best, agnostic, not knowing one way or the other.
I guess the main idea is that humans will not believe in god/gods until they are taught to.
Is it likely that some will continue to view atheists as being less moral than theists even though the data reported here contradicts that view and if so, why?
No matter what, some will see atheists in a negative light because an atheist's belief flies in the face of their belief.
That's a good point. It seems that some will consider others as suspect if their lack of belief threatens the comfort some get from their beliefs.


Tcg
To be fair, the bolded section is something that can be seen as 'human' more so than theist or atheist.
Have a great, potentially godless, day!

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Re: "Ending religion lessons in schools leads to overall decline in belief but not morals"

Post #10

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to Tcg in post #8
I guess the main idea is that humans will not believe in god/gods until they are taught to.
I think it fairly evident that theology is innate. If it isn't, who taught the first theist to believe in gods?

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