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Why Atheism Should Be Taught In Religious Studies

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Why Atheism Should Be Taught In Religious Studies
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Blog of ReasonHelperUser avatarPosts: 240Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 2:28 pmLocation: League of Reason

Post Why Atheism Should Be Taught In Religious Studies

Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:44 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3347Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Atheism Should Be Taught In Religious Studies

Do you actually mean atheism or secular humanism? If a world’s religion class were taught correctly, students would learn about Buddhism and how some sects of Buddhism are atheistic, thus they are learning about atheism. Students might also learn about shamanism or ancestor worship, which are also atheistic religions. There appears to be a large movement of Secular Jews as well, who follow the traditional customs, but do not believe in a god (some Cultural Catholics are following this as well). Somehow, I do not think you mean any of these when you talk about teaching children about atheism. It seems like you mean secular humanism when you were talking about teaching students about atheism.
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LaurensSocial EditorUser avatarPosts: 2952Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 11:24 pmLocation: Norwich UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Atheism Should Be Taught In Religious Studies

he_who_is_nobody wrote:Do you actually mean atheism or secular humanism? If a world’s religion class were taught correctly, students would learn about Buddhism and how some sects of Buddhism are atheistic, thus they are learning about atheism. Students might also learn about shamanism or ancestor worship, which are also atheistic religions. There appears to be a large movement of Secular Jews as well, who follow the traditional customs, but do not believe in a god (some Cultural Catholics are following this as well). Somehow, I do not think you mean any of these when you talk about teaching children about atheism. It seems like you mean secular humanism when you were talking about teaching students about atheism.

Yes perhaps I should be clearer. I think I got a bit muddled because at first I was referring to the current syllabus which is pretty much teaching what people believe, in which case learning that some people don't believe any of it is also important.

Then I went on to talk about how the syllabus should be broadened to include far more philosophies and ideas rather than just a simplistic version. I agree that in this context I probably should have said secularism or secular humanism. I will update the article later to make things a bit more clear.

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Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:52 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2959Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Why Atheism Should Be Taught In Religious Studies

Greetings,

It was a interesting article, Laurens - if I may, I'd like to add some thoughts for your consideration.

I think, as you suggest, the class/subject should be called "Philosophy and Ethics" rather than, say, "Comparative Religions", since this assumes that one is only dealing with religions rather than the broader topic of philosophies around the world over time.

One problem, particularly in America, is the notion that "theism equals moral, atheism equals amoral".

It should be explained that Theism and Atheism are banners - big tents under which various philosophies of life are gathered.

Under Theism are gathered philosophies of life based on gods - under Atheism are gathered philosophies of life not based on gods.

As philosophies of life, they both espouse morality - they just have different reasons, explanations, and/or drivers for it.

In this way, and through approaching it from a "comparative philosophies" perspective, one could better teach philosophy, as it pertains to ethics and morality, without getting bogged-down in theism.

Indeed, who better to teach it than an atheist!? ;)

Kindest regards,

James
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Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:02 pm
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