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Religion in public schools.

 
 
alex717
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 12:15 am
@lakeshoredrive,
lakeshoredrive wrote:
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.



What is spirituality? Smile


Well, I found this one.

The state, quality, manner, or fact, of being concerned with, or affecting the soul.

Philosophy was once my "religion" and I became severely nihilistic.
lakeshoredrive
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 12:38 am
@alex717,
alex717 wrote:
Well, I found this one.

The state, quality, manner, or fact, of being concerned with, or affecting the soul.

Philosophy was once my "religion" and I became severely nihilistic.


Oh, I'm sorry Sad
I was once nihilistic, too. Although existence does indeed lack objective meaning, nihilism is confused about the essence of meaning. I tend to be optimistic, and I see life as a series of experiences that collectively give a meaning to your existence.
alex717
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 01:51 am
@lakeshoredrive,
lakeshoredrive wrote:
Oh, I'm sorry Sad
I was once nihilistic, too. Although existence does indeed lack objective meaning, nihilism is confused about the essence of meaning. I tend to be optimistic, and I see life as a series of experiences that collectively give a meaning to your existence.


Very well then, nice to meet cha.
0 Replies
 
ciceronianus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 09:51 am
@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.


Perhaps, as an object of study, without preaching any particular doctrine. But only if logic is also made mandatory (as I think it should be in any case).
alex717
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 12:42 pm
@ciceronianus,
ciceronianus wrote:
Perhaps, as an object of study, without preaching any particular doctrine. But only if logic is also made mandatory (as I think it should be in any case).



I disagree, I was thinking more of a survey class, to analyze different moral/spiritual/ethical structures and how they might of came to be around the world. Its highly improbable to want and highly unnecessary to ask children to learn logic when there are already many subjects they are required to do which they won't and don't care about.
ciceronianus
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2008 11:25 am
@alex717,
alex717 wrote:
I disagree, I was thinking more of a survey class, to analyze different moral/spiritual/ethical structures and how they might of came to be around the world. Its highly improbable to want and highly unnecessary to ask children to learn logic when there are already many subjects they are required to do which they won't and don't care about.


Well, it is certainly true that children of that age generally don't care much about what they are required to study, but why do you (apparently) suppose they will care more than the usual amount about the class you recommend? And why not a course on how to think, and reason, and argue, and analyze positions before throwing various religious ideas at them? I don't propose teaching them symbolic logic; more the Aristotelian version. It is one of my regrets that I had no formal courses in logic until college.
alex717
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2008 12:48 pm
@ciceronianus,
ciceronianus wrote:
Well, it is certainly true that children of that age generally don't care much about what they are required to study, but why do you (apparently) suppose they will care more than the usual amount about the class you recommend? And why not a course on how to think, and reason, and argue, and analyze positions before throwing various religious ideas at them? I don't propose teaching them symbolic logic; more the Aristotelian version. It is one of my regrets that I had no formal courses in logic until college.


Because instead of making them sort through the moral and ethical structures in that way, they can use their own reasoning with the assistance of the teacher to understand the principals. They can figure out what is fair and right without ever learning logic, I'd rather have them hone those skills before they are put into anything as formal as logic. Logic is tedious and it would be disinteresting enough for them to completely ignore the survey class. Remember, sadly, these days, children don't want to learn most of what school feeds them. It is about selling them something practical, beneficial, and interesting. Fighting the whole "When can I ever use this", the class can promote them to have fun while basic writing papers on things (no tests) that have more effect on the world then any other normal subject. I figure they would be ecstatic to have something that interesting, with videos they can watch, and some basic essays they can write arguing against or for different ethical disputes. It would not just prepare them for college thinking, it would prepare them to be the kind of people we want living around us, rational people.
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2008 07:49 pm
@alex717,
alex717 wrote:
Because instead of making them sort through the moral and ethical structures in that way, they can use their own reasoning with the assistance of the teacher to understand the principals. They can figure out what is fair and right without ever learning logic, I'd rather have them hone those skills before they are put into anything as formal as logic. Logic is tedious and it would be disinteresting enough for them to completely ignore the survey class.


B.s. Any direction of the conception of what is right and fair must come from the self. If a professor or a teacher were to tell me what is fair or right, they would be implicitly wrong in doing so as these things are personal and subjective. If they were to force feed me it, it would be brainwashing.

Survey classes are often a waste of time. Although I do not buy the argument that it is tedious as any sensible justification of not allowing it to be a core study course; formal logic is, perhaps, a waste of time for the laymen that will never use it. Aristotelian logic and reasoning, on the other hand, is very applicable! One who cannot think clearly and precisely will easily be misled by rhetoric and have trouble seeing through fallacy. Consequently they will be more easy to take advantage of.

I would, however, advocate that they focus more on applications in the class. They should be able to deconstruct political rhetoric and they should read It Can't Happen Here and have some skepticism instilled in them.

alex717 wrote:
Remember, sadly, these days, children don't want to learn most of what school feeds them. It is about selling them something practical, beneficial, and interesting. Fighting the whole "When can I ever use this", the class can promote them to have fun while basic writing papers on things (no tests) that have more effect on the world then any other normal subject.


They should not learn what is fed to them but rather all that they can. It is sad that the needs and desires of the more academically oriented have to be put on hold until graduate school and so much time is wasted by the business that is undergraduate education. It is outrageous that the courses have to be watered down so that everybody can get a job that pays well because businesses want people with skill and thus they raise the bar, only to find that in reality they forced the system to lower it back down through joke classes.

Why should everything be about fun? This is part of the problem! It is far more fulfilling to have gained from the sweat of your brow, studying and reading to gain new insight, than to have something more superficially enjoyable.

alex717 wrote:
I figure they would be ecstatic to have something that interesting, with videos they can watch, and some basic essays they can write arguing against or for different ethical disputes. It would not just prepare them for college thinking, it would prepare them to be the kind of people we want living around us, rational people.


Videos are a waste of time! I saw a flier for a class in which they purport to learn interpersonal skills from numerous silly, unrealistic videos like the Breakfast Club. The class is bullocks.

I do however crave debate in class, but it is a rarely afforded luxury even in philosophy where I should think that it is essential to learning. It seems to me that the most foolish students are the most boisterous, and any instance that can be afforded to cut them down would be welcome with relish. I certainly welcome the challenge of a worthy adversary as well.

I think that the goal here should be to generate deeper thinkers, not quick dimwits who can only spar with superficial facts and figures. We need people who think clearly and can see contradictions, for much injustice is done through sloppy reasoning.

What we really need are people who have some grip on things which are more important than the self, more important than societal norms and material possessions, but, sadly; college isn't really the place for such things to be instilled.
0 Replies
 
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 07:15 pm
@AtheistDeity,
AtheistDeity wrote:
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:

There seems to be somewhat of a contradiction. What do you think?

I know a young man who graduated High school. He can barely read. Subsidies it seems, are based on how many kids you can pump through the system.

For me, I think that the issue of teaching creationism and evolution would be just another thing to replace the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic.

Lets get back to teaching the basics and let religion and theory take care of themselves where they belong. Not in schools.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 08:47 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Religion is what man practices in order to address his spiritual needs.


Oh, and I'd call that person spiritual, not religious. Religious implies some commitment to a religion, does it not?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 08:56 pm
@Zetherin,
What did you imagine the man was practicing but his religion?

I understand the urge to distinguish between spirituality and religion, but I'm not sure that is possible. The Baha'i and Buddhist religions are both pretty clear on the point that there does not exist one true path; they assert that every one's path is necessarily unique. We can also find the same assertion in certain circles among other world religions, too, like Christianity and Islam.
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 09:43 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
What did you imagine the man was practicing but his religion?

I understand the urge to distinguish between spirituality and religion, but I'm not sure that is possible. The Baha'i and Buddhist religions are both pretty clear on the point that there does not exist one true path; they assert that every one's path is necessarily unique. We can also find the same assertion in certain circles among other world religions, too, like Christianity and Islam.


You could most definitely find religions that assert an open spiritual path (such as Buddhism), but you could also find spiritual paths that do not have any influence from the known religions.

I feel these two terms can most definitely be distinguished, because, just as you say: Everyone's path is necessarily unique. I also feel it's wise to distinguish, as religion is widely misunderstood, and most (judging from my experience) don't even understand that "religion" doesn't necessitate a rigid structure. I advocate one that wishes to travel down the path of introspection, but I don't believe religion must be involved.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 09:53 pm
@Zetherin,
What, then, is a religion as distinct from spirituality? Where is the distinction if everyone's path is necessarily unique?
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2009 10:02 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
What, then, is a religion as distinct from spirituality? Where is the distinction if everyone's path is necessarily unique?


I'm saying there can be a distinction. Where that distinction lies is dependent upon the path.

If the spiritual path is not influenced by a known religion, I tend to call that path spiritual rather than religious, for my own sake of clarity. It just wouldn't make any sense to me to call myself religious if I had never been involved, or simply denied religion altogether, and yet was still on a spiritual path. Additionally, as I mentioned, I feel the term "religion" is very misunderstood, so I often refrain from using it whilst describing my own journey (of course, I understand, this is just my perspective).
0 Replies
 
thenorthener
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 04:00 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
What, then, is a religion as distinct from spirituality? Where is the distinction if everyone's path is necessarily unique?


I think that the terms Religion and Spirituality deal with different things. Spirituality is vital in following a Religious path whereas Religion is not necessary in following a Spiritual path. We can see this from the massive diversity of different spiritual paths followed within a particular Religion (I would also argue that all serious Spiritual paths followed within a Religion are unique.) Religion simply refers to whether the inspiration for the following of a Spiritual path is a traditional mass preached doctrine, in which case it can be easily categorized, or something more subjective, where it is refered to simply as Spiritual.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 05:25 pm
@thenorthener,
Zetherin wrote:
I'm saying there can be a distinction. Where that distinction lies is dependent upon the path.


Yes, we can make distinctions between many things: the question is whether or not the distinction is useful. Distinguishing between religion and spirituality might be useful in some situations, but I also think that the lack of distinction between spirituality and religion is useful. As I'll explain a little further down, it seems to me that by eschewing the distinction between spiritual practice and religion we positively clarify the terms.

Zetherin wrote:
If the spiritual path is not influenced by a known religion, I tend to call that path spiritual rather than religious, for my own sake of clarity. It just wouldn't make any sense to me to call myself religious if I had never been involved, or simply denied religion altogether, and yet was still on a spiritual path. Additionally, as I mentioned, I feel the term "religion" is very misunderstood, so I often refrain from using it whilst describing my own journey (of course, I understand, this is just my perspective).


But we have to ask: what does it mean to deny religion altogether and yet embrace spirituality? Is this due to a misunderstanding of the term religion?

If we understand someone's religion to be what he/she practices to address spiritual needs, to reject religion is impossible for the spiritual person. The spiritual person might reject X, Y, and Z conceptions of religion, yet embrace his personal religion, his personal path.

By saying religion is the practice of spirituality, we make perfectly clear the goal of religion. In this way, we can notice false-religion with ease: when someone says that, due to religion, we must kill we recognize that this person is not teaching true religion because killing other people is not a spiritual practice. That's the value of eliminating the distinction, the value of keeping religion and spirituality together. In this way we can avoid debates over the destructive nature of religion because we know that it is not religion, the practice of spirituality, that causes destruction, but that the cause of destruction is the opposite of spiritual practice, namely egotistical desires like greed.

thenorthener wrote:
I think that the terms Religion and Spirituality deal with different things. Spirituality is vital in following a Religious path whereas Religion is not necessary in following a Spiritual path. We can see this from the massive diversity of different spiritual paths followed within a particular Religion (I would also argue that all serious Spiritual paths followed within a Religion are unique.) Religion simply refers to whether the inspiration for the following of a Spiritual path is a traditional mass preached doctrine, in which case it can be easily categorized, or something more subjective, where it is refered to simply as Spiritual.


Then at what point does spiritual teaching become religion?

Take for example, the teaching of Jesus: when he first taught, his message was not traditional nor widely available, and not even a doctrine. Over time the teachings of Jesus develop these qualities and become, in your terms, a religion. But the teachings did not change (though they have been added to). Jesus said "Love thy neighbor" two thousand years ago and that message continues today. Under your definition there must be some point in time when the teachings of Jesus transformed from spiritual teaching into religious teaching.

This magic moment seems arbitrary. I think I understand where you are coming from, and I agree with much of what you say (especially about spiritual paths being necessarily unique even in a particular religious tradition :a-ok:), but this distinction you make does not seem to hold up.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Mar, 2009 05:51 pm
@AtheistDeity,
DT wrote:
If we understand someone's religion to be what he/she practices to address spiritual needs, to reject religion is impossible for the spiritual person. The spiritual person might reject X, Y, and Z conceptions of religion, yet embrace his personal religion, his personal path.
That's fair if you want "Religious path" to be be synonymous with "Spiritual path". In fact, I agree with your explanation further down: How you believe the lack of distinction will allow the prejudice of "Religion" to be reduced -- the value of placing spirituality and religion as one. I also completely agree "Religion" is not the cause of the conflict we see - that is all human foible.

However, I just wanted to note that a "Spiritual path" does not necessarily have to be influenced by any of the larger religions (in this case, "religions" would be synonymous with "organizations of set belief systems"). In other words, as you noted in a previous thread, someone could be a Snow Leopard. If, in the end, you wanted to call that person's path (absent of all predominant religious (organizational) influence) a "Religious path", that's fine. That's the point I was making, and you clarified this in the other thread.
0 Replies
 
Aphoric
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Apr, 2009 11:35 pm
@AtheistDeity,
Kalam argument, irriducibly complex systems, DNA, the human ego. Not to mention the ******* cambrian explosion, irriducibly complex systems again, and DNA again. Intelligent Design is being supported more and more by modern scientific discovery. This same discovery is effectively putting an end to Dawinism, materialism, and physicalism. Sorry, but your explanation takes more blind faith than mine. Shall I dispute Darwinism first? Or rationally and empirically establish an intelligent designer behind the wheel?
0 Replies
 
 

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