"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?


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

Post #71

Post by Bust Nak »

Athetotheist wrote: Wed Jan 19, 2022 12:17 pm
Bust Nak wrote: Wed Jan 19, 2022 7:52 am
Athetotheist wrote: Tue Jan 18, 2022 8:57 pm
Tcg wrote:Some theists classify atheist's lack of belief as some sort of great evil while many atheists realize that theist's beliefs are based on wishful thinking. Nothing more than a desire to avoid the existential realities of life and of course death.
Perhaps you can explain in detail why you think the quote is an example of someone concluding that theists are incorrect because they are unwilling to face death.
Saying that beliefs are based on "nothing more than a desire" is saying that they are not based on any external reality.
Okay, but that still doesn't explain how that is supposed to be an example of someone concluding that theists' beliefs are not based on any external reality because they are unwilling to face death.

Look, if you are not getting the point I was making, I am pointing out the difference between saying "theists are cowards and they are incorrect" and "theists are cowards therefore they are incorrect." While both are remarks directed against a person, only the latter is an ad hominem fallacy.

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

Post #72

Post by Wootah »

Bust Nak wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:19 am Look, if you are not getting the point I was making, I am pointing out the difference between saying "theists are cowards and they are incorrect" and "theists are cowards therefore they are incorrect." While both are remarks directed against a person, only the latter is an ad hominem fallacy.
You are cowardly and incorrect is not an ad hominem? You sure?

I wrote this earlier but have edited it slightly.

An ad hominem is when you insult someone. So when you say, "Nothing more than a desire to avoid the existential realities of life and of course death." you are claiming that the person is not able to face reality. That is a subtle ad hominem. It is an insult to claim that Christians do not want to face reality.

Of course, what one considers to be an insult is basically a cultural norm. So actually I would be willing to explore the argument that all ad hominem's are not logically fallacies on that ground. You know in our culture to look in someone's eyes is a mark of respect but in another culture to look in someone's eyes is to claim equality and could get you killed. But I digress.

As for my faith, I have looked at reality as an atheist and as a Christian and I do feel I face reality less cowardly as a Christian. I literally go to more places, I literally say more things I would not have, I literally do more things I would not have as a Christian than I did as an atheist. When I think of a missionary, going from their comfortable life to another country to preach Christ - how can we say that is cowardly and nothing more than a desire to avoid the existential realities of life and of course death?

It's not an ad hominem - it is just an absurd statement.
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 #73

Post by Purple Knight »

Wootah wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:44 pmYou are cowardly and incorrect is not an ad hominem? You sure?
It is an ad hominem and I don't think ad hominem should be considered a fallacy.

I don't really agree with this instance being a good argument but neither do I see any reason that an insult should be seen as automatically invalid because it is an insult.

(Also, you can't minorly reword an insult and then call it no longer an insult. If insults are automatically invalid just for being insults, then a spade is still a spade.)

viewtopic.php?f=79&t=37986

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

Post #74

Post by Wootah »

Purple Knight wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:58 pm
Wootah wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:44 pmYou are cowardly and incorrect is not an ad hominem? You sure?
It is an ad hominem and I don't think ad hominem should be considered a fallacy.

I don't really agree with this instance being a good argument but neither do I see any reason that an insult should be seen as automatically invalid because it is an insult.

(Also, you can't minorly reword an insult and then call it no longer an insult. If insults are automatically invalid just for being insults, then a spade is still a spade.)

viewtopic.php?f=79&t=37986
Yes if we are saying, "Because you are <insert insult>, therefore, your argument is <wrong/right>." Is a fallacy whether it is an insult or meant as praise.
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 #75

Post by Purple Knight »

Wootah wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 5:10 pmYes if we are saying, "Because you are <insert insult>, therefore, your argument is <wrong/right>." Is a fallacy whether it is an insult or meant as praise.
Well I'm not sure. Deductively, sure, you're correct. Any being can make any deductive argument, and even if that being is a monkey on a typewriter, valid is valid.

But if we're talking about most arguments made, which are about evidence, someone being fat is a huge point of evidence that their diet is not the perfect one, whatever they say about it. And more importantly, someone who molests children has no right to tell others about morality when they are clearly immoral themselves.

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

Post #76

Post by Bust Nak »

Wootah wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 4:44 pm You are cowardly and incorrect is not an ad hominem? You sure?
Depends on what you mean exactly by "an ad hominem," suffice to say that I am sure it is not an ad hominem fallacy.
Of course, what one considers to be an insult is basically a cultural norm.
What constitute an insult and what doesn't is irrelevant to my point. I could have use a much more insulting word than "cowardly" as an example leaving no wiggle room for interpretation, and it still wouldn't be an ad hominem fallacy. "You are <insert insult> and incorrect" is just a proposition, not an argument. It needs to take the form of an argument first before it can be a fallacious argument.
As for my faith, I have looked at reality as an atheist and as a Christian and I do feel I face reality less cowardly as a Christian. I literally go to more places, I literally say more things I would not have, I literally do more things I would not have as a Christian than I did as an atheist. When I think of a missionary, going from their comfortable life to another country to preach Christ - how can we say that is cowardly and nothing more than a desire to avoid the existential realities of life and of course death?

It's not an ad hominem - it is just an absurd statement.
Not really important to my point, but I will address this anyway. Lets imagine a person called Jim, in the past he would quiver in his bed, only venturing out when absolutely necessary, with an irrational fear of imaginary assailants hiding behind every corner. He then acquires a pistol, which gave him the piece of mind that he could defend himself against potential attackers, real or otherwise. Jim is now a functional member of society with his trusty weapon on him at all times. Jim was cowardly before, but would you call the new Jim brave?

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

Post #77

Post by Wootah »

Bust Nak wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 5:02 am Not really important to my point, but I will address this anyway. Lets imagine a person called Jim, in the past he would quiver in his bed, only venturing out when absolutely necessary, with an irrational fear of imaginary assailants hiding behind every corner. He then acquires a pistol, which gave him the piece of mind that he could defend himself against potential attackers, real or otherwise. Jim is now a functional member of society with his trusty weapon on him at all times. Jim was cowardly before, but would you call the new Jim brave?
Fine line between bravery and foolishness. Nothing foolish about putting on armour for a battle though.
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 #78

Post by Athetotheist »

[Replying to Bust Nak in post #76
"You are <insert insult> and incorrect" is just a proposition, not an argument. It needs to take the form of an argument first before it can be a fallacious argument.
What makes it fallacious is that the insult is used instead of an argument.

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

Post #79

Post by Bust Nak »

Athetotheist wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 7:23 am [Replying to Bust Nak in post #76
"You are <insert insult> and incorrect" is just a proposition, not an argument. It needs to take the form of an argument first before it can be a fallacious argument.
What makes it fallacious is that the insult is used instead of an argument.
a) Still not a logical fallacy, let alone an ad hominem fallacy in particular.
b) There is no "instead of" because it was not presented as an argument against theistic belief in the first place. Why were you even expecting an argument at all, from an off hand statement about the difference between how theists and atheists are perceived as threats?

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

Post #80

Post by Bust Nak »

Wootah wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 6:37 am Fine line between bravery and foolishness. Nothing foolish about putting on armour for a battle though.
This was why I specified "irrational fear of imaginary assailants" in my hypothetical situation, making sure Jim is understood to be a bona fide coward without his gun. My question would not be a very interesting one, had Jim been just a prudent character, arming himself in a genuinely dangerous scenario.

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