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Bible in Schools

Entry 184, on 2005-06-16 at 16:51:14 (Rating 3, Religion)

I listened to a debate this morning regarding religious teaching in schools. A couple of schools here in New Zealand have closed down Christian groups, because most state schools are supposed to be neutral on the subject. New Zealand is theoretically a Christian nation, but less than 10% of the population actually attend church or any similar religious institutions.

I am definitely not a great supporter of religion. I think organised religion, including Christianity, is just plain stupid. Anyone should be able to see there is no literal truth in these teachings, and while there is often some merit in the philosophy, that can be gained without all the superfluous "baggage" of the religion.

On the other had, why shouldn't school pupils be able to set up religious groups if they want to? We don't want to get to the extreme situation which occurs in some US schools where mentioning Christmas is considered pro-Christian, and possibly insulting to supporters of other religions.

My kids have been exposed to Bible teaching in their school, and they seem to cope with it fairly well. The people who say that kids get taken in by religious propaganda (and that is what a lot of it is) are probably underestimating the kids' ability to think for themselves.

My kids ask me "is there a God?" and I answer "I don't think so, but some other people do". They will then say "I'm not sure at the moment" which is really sensible, I think. The exposure to Christian teaching has shown them that those beliefs exist but they seem to see it as something different from maths. Generally, what you maths teacher tells you is true - although, with the quality of teaching today, that's not always the case! But what your Bible teacher tells you is a story which might or might not be true. Fair enough.

So, surprisingly to many people who know me as an opinionated atheist, I actually support Bible in schools. The only thing I would like to see is some teaching of other religions as well, just so that the kids can get some balance.

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Comment 83 (1650) by SBFL on 2008-09-20 at 19:19:56: (view earlier comments)

I never said you did.

Are you reading me right? My point being that I am not prepared to have the same debate running at the same time on different threads. Seems like a waste of time really. On this thread I made the rather humourous observation as per comment 75. You have decided to bring in a different but current discussion that is already running on another post. That's my point, not that you haven't read the other thread. Comprende?

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Comment 84 (1652) by OJB on 2008-09-20 at 20:28:43:

No. You said you weren't here to convince me so I thought it would be nice if I said I wasn't expecting to convince you either, and then listed what I did expect.

OK, so we finish up the discussion here? And we're still a bit short of the 100 mark too!

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Comment 85 (1655) by SBFL on 2008-09-20 at 21:17:00:

You may not have realised I said that in response to your first sentence in comment 80.

OJB[80]:"..maybe the reason I didn't recall it clearly was that it didn't really convince me greatly."
SBFL[81]"I'm not out there to convince you."
OJB[82]"I don't expect to change the mind of the person I debate with either. "
SBFL[83]"I never said you did."

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Comment 86 (1659) by OJB on 2008-09-20 at 22:10:37:

Yeah OK. But if you could steer someone into a more positive consideration of what you think is a superior philosophy you would be happy about it, right? So if you convince me your beliefs had more merit than I currently give them that would be positive for you, I presume. But like me, its not exactly critical to your continued survival!

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Comment 87 (1661) by SBFL on 2008-09-20 at 22:57:17: I guess so.

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