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Religion in public schools.

 
 
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 04:46 pm
As many may well already know there is much talk about making a legal obligation for public schools systems to teach creationism along side evolutionary theory. The over-all argument for this is to offer student's "every theory", and to let them decide which one they choose to believe in for themselves. Yet, in my opinion, there lay the problem. Creationism is a religious theory, not a scientific theory. If public schools are going to be obligated to teach religion in schools so that students have "all the possibilities" (assuming they have not yet heard themselves) why, if they are so truly concerned about student getting every angle, despite the theories being entirely off topic of the class itself, would they propose that only their own religious theory be included?
As many may also know, Sarah Palin, the Alaskan Governor, and current Vice Presidential nominee is one somewhat infamous example of one whom fully supports creationism in public schools due to certain religious obligations-as well as ideas such as abstinence-only education for students.
As well regarding our first Amendment:
[QUOTE]
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
[/QUOTE]
There seems to be somewhat of a contradiction. What do you think?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,200 • Replies: 37
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jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 05:14 pm
@AtheistDeity,
It might be best to separate this discussion into two parts.

First, there is the question whether the enforced teaching of Evolution in public schools violates the Constitution.

Second, there is the question whether alternate theories should be "taught" in science classes, and if so, whether Creationism qualifies as a scientific theory.
John
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 05:30 pm
@jgweed,
Creationism is not, by any strecth of the imagination, a scientific theory, therefore, evolution should not be taught in a science classroom. If the school offers a comparative religions course or something to that effect, creationism might have a place there - but only as being mentioned as a pseudo-scientific theory promoted by Christian fundamentalists who feel threatened by science.

Teaching religion as science, like creationism, violates the first amendment. Teaching creationism or anything else about religion is alright, so long as a particular religious perspective is not taught to be the correct or relatively correct perspective.
Holiday20310401
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 09:56 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Should we even be following the constitution? Shouldn't it change just like morals should change. I believe that religion should be taught as a science in that religion should be observed in the present and the past analyzed, not just saying the Lord's prayer every morning.

The spirituality part shouldn't even be mentioned at school, because students will make too many assumptions of what God is without making personal speculation.

But don't you think if religion is taught in schools it might go commercial? I wouldn't want that.

Edit: More than it already is.
TickTockMan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Oct, 2008 10:04 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401;27340 wrote:

But don't you think if religion is taught in schools it might go commercial? I wouldn't want that.


Too late, darn it.
0 Replies
 
AtheistDeity
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Oct, 2008 10:29 am
@Holiday20310401,
Religion is not a scientific study though. The closest attempt I have heard of a scientific theory relating to religion is the fact that it is not certain what caused to big bang. The idea of certain religious individuals is that "god" started this big bang, and that, that is what caused it, and why it relates to science, and should be in class, to give children "all" the angles. (thier god, only btw). Yet it still fails to offer a scientific explanation, not to mention the complete lack of proof, and the fact that it is a theory made out of a lack of scientific evidence, not evidence itself.
Religion has already gone somewhat commercial btw. There are several million/billion dollar religious organizations in the world, and I highly doubt they got on to public television giving it all out to the needy.
0 Replies
 
Jebido
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 08:42 am
@AtheistDeity,
It is apparent that creationism is not scientific but that does not mean it is not worth learning (albeit outside of the science classroom). When creationism is taught in schools, it is not preached, it is explained. I see no harm in students understanding what some people believe. A vast amount of conflict arises from misunderstanding. Why not learn all we can, the beliefs of others included?

Kohlberg would say that moral perfection can be achieved through understanding situations from the perspective of others and though it is in theory unachievable on a consistent basis, pushing oneself towards moral perfection could hardly be seen as negative.

This is coming from a person who does not necessarily believe in creationism.
0 Replies
 
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Dec, 2008 12:57 pm
@AtheistDeity,
We have already had state laws that did this (or attempted to), and these have been shot down in the federal courts. Requiring schools to teach creationism (or intelligent design) in schools is unconstitutional, as it violates the establishment clause. Creationism/intelligent design was also ruled to not be a science.

Now, if you are talking about teaching religion in schools in a historical context, then of course there shouldn't be a problem with this. The group of major religions has been and still is highly influential in this world, and kids need to understand this from a historical perspective, but they don't need to be preached to. The idea of using creationism or intelligent design as science though is just ridiculous, and federal judges have agreed.
0 Replies
 
Faun147
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 08:54 pm
@AtheistDeity,
A course or two on religious studies may very well take care of the issue. Although it would be best if the course(s) emphasized other matters, creationism could be taken care of here.
0 Replies
 
lakeshoredrive
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 09:40 pm
@AtheistDeity,
I'm surprised nobody else mentioned it, but Expelled, while overall is not a great movie, has some very insightful interviews that Ben Stein does with a number of philosophers who claim that science cannot replace metaphysics, contrary to what Richard Dawkins claims. They are not necessarily saying that Evolution is not true, they are just trying to remind everyone that nothing is true, and that absolutely everything is possible.

I don't necessarily think that religion should be taught, but that's only because I don't like the word religion, since it means 'to bind', and I don't believe that anyone should bind their virtue to any 'structure' that way. There ought to be some classes about religion though.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 11:30 pm
@lakeshoredrive,
Etymology does not determine meaning.
lakeshoredrive
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 11:51 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Etymology does not determine meaning.


I never mentioned etymology. I said religion means 'to bind.'
To me, to practice religion is to bind your moral values to predetermined structure, or ethical code.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 10:03 am
@lakeshoredrive,
lakeshoredrive wrote:
I never mentioned etymology. I said religion means 'to bind.'
To me, to practice religion is to bind your moral values to predetermined structure, or ethical code.


You didn't mention the word etymology, but the definition of religion you advance is from the etymology. religare, to bind.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2008 05:37 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
You didn't mention the word etymology, but the definition of religion you advance is from the etymology. religare, to bind.


Didy, I'm curious as to your definition of religion. It seems whenever religion is discussed you're always there to counter the liberal and misunderstood usage of the word, yet give no clarification. If we are to say being religious could mean a multitude of things, we should just ditch the word altogether, no? An adjective, no matter the adjective, is used to described something, to give further understanding of the person, place or thing. If the word is simply too broad in this modern day to even describe someone as following a defined belief system, then I wouldn't call that person "religious" at all. Perhaps we've grown out of this adjective as a species?
0 Replies
 
alex717
 
  1  
Reply Sun 21 Dec, 2008 01:08 pm
@AtheistDeity,
I think we should have multi-cultural religion classes for all young kids, from 6th to 12th grade. I think this would ignite ideas about the world in the students. I also think that it would show repeatedly the normal values spread from everywhere, in hopes that they will make their own moral and ethical structure for themselves. And be able to use it to tell what is right and wrong throughout their young lives, until they can expand their ethical and moral spectrum's in college.
avatar6v7
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 05:17 pm
@alex717,
alex717 wrote:
I think we should have multi-cultural religion classes for all young kids, from 6th to 12th grade. I think this would ignite ideas about the world in the students. I also think that it would show repeatedly the normal values spread from everywhere, in hopes that they will make their own moral and ethical structure for themselves. And be able to use it to tell what is right and wrong throughout their young lives, until they can expand their ethical and moral spectrum's in college.

A fine idea, and I think that this principle should extend to subjects like history as well; Asia, despite having an incredibly long, complex and fascinating history, always seems to be overlooked in western education.
alex717
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 05:23 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
A fine idea, and I think that this principle should extend to subjects like history as well; Asia, despite having an incredibly long, complex and fascinating history, always seems to be overlooked in western education.


Yes, I agree, ancient Asian ideologies bring forth knowledge of individual organic sustainability and contentment, something with such value and importance, in those times and today, that to our detriment, has been neglected.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 07:22 pm
@alex717,
Zetherin wrote:
Didy, I'm curious as to your definition of religion. It seems whenever religion is discussed you're always there to counter the liberal and misunderstood usage of the word, yet give no clarification. If we are to say being religious could mean a multitude of things, we should just ditch the word altogether, no? An adjective, no matter the adjective, is used to described something, to give further understanding of the person, place or thing. If the word is simply too broad in this modern day to even describe someone as following a defined belief system, then I wouldn't call that person "religious" at all. Perhaps we've grown out of this adjective as a species?


Religion is what man practices in order to address his spiritual needs.
Holiday20310401
 
  1  
Reply Tue 23 Dec, 2008 07:30 pm
@lakeshoredrive,
lakeshoredrive wrote:

To me, to practice religion is to bind your moral values to predetermined structure, or ethical code.


Why would I want to do that though? :detective:
lakeshoredrive
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Dec, 2008 11:51 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401 wrote:
Why would I want to do that though? :detective:


Let me rephrase. To practice a religion is to bind your ethical values to a predetermined structure.

To practice religion is to strengthen the bond between yourself and whatever it is that you call "God". In this sense, philosophy is my religion. Philosophy is understanding the nature of the universe, and to me, the natural order of things is God.

Didymos Thomas wrote:
Religion is what man practices in order to address his spiritual needs.


What is spirituality? Smile
 

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