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    Children to study atheism at British schools

    Children to study atheism at school
    National exam body plans new guidelines for RE lessons
    Falling church numbers prompt radical syllabus reform

    http://education.guardian.co.uk/scho...148669,00.html

    Gaby Hinsliff, chief political correspondent
    Sunday February 15, 2004
    The Observer

    Children will be taught about atheism during religious education
    classes under official plans being drawn up to reflect the decline in
    churchgoing in Britain.

    Non-religious beliefs such as humanism, agnosticism and atheism would
    be covered alongside major faiths such as Christianity or Islam under
    draft guidelines being prepared by the Qualifications and Curriculum
    Authority, which regulates what is taught in schools in England.

    Although some schools already cover non-religious beliefs, there is
    currently no national guidance for what is taught, even though all
    schools must provide religious education.

    The draft plans being drawn up by the QCA will not be compulsory,
    allowing religious schools the freedom to keep devout parents happy.
    But they will be regarded as best practice for heads, and are likely to
    be followed across the country.

    A spokesman for the QCA said its guidance would be released for
    consultation in the summer term, but added: 'It is very much the
    intention that young people in the context of religious education
    should be studying non-religious beliefs. There are many children in
    England who have no religious affiliation and their beliefs and ideas,
    whatever they are, should be taken very seriously.'

    The plans risk sparking a conflict between evangelists, who want to
    strengthen faith teaching, and secularists, who argue it is becoming
    irrelevant to modern life.

    The first shot in the debate will be fired with a controversial report
    to be published tomorrow calling for RE to be renamed religious,
    philosophical and moral education and children encouraged to debate
    such ethical issues as whether it is permissible to express racist
    views.

    'The whole thing is terribly biased in favour of religion right now -
    it's all about encouraging an identification with religion,' said Ben
    Rogers, author of the report for the Institute for Public Policy
    Research thinktank.

    'There are huge numbers of people who are atheists or whose families
    are atheists and who are coming into a class where their family's view
    is not acknowledged. You should be able to have a conversation about
    ethics that doesn't collapse into a conversation about religion.'

    While 19 per cent of Britons attended a weekly religious service in
    1980, by 1999 that had fallen to 7 per cent - prompting some to argue
    that RE should be scrapped as a compulsory subject. Secularists say
    there is little point trying to drum religion into sceptical children
    at school.

    'We're not trying to suggest that nobody should learn anything about
    religion: it is part of our culture and informs our art and our
    literature,' said Keith Porteous Wood of the National Secular Society,
    which has written to Education Secretary Charles Clarke calling for
    atheism to be included on the syllabus.

    'But if you try to teach morality through "the Bible says" or the Ten
    Commandments, most children won't accept it as they don't believe the
    religious message. It would be much better if people learned morality
    by looking at current examples. It's philosophy that we really want to
    be teaching.'

    Religion in schools is a sensitive subject, with France renewing a ban
    on the wearing of the hijab while in Britain it emerged last week that
    a Luton schoolgirl had launched legal action after being sent home for
    wearing traditional dress.

    But Rogers said that trying to keep religion out of schools would not
    work: 'It won't make religious strife go away - if anything it will
    exacerbate it. Religious education can play an important part in
    combating prejudices.'

    If non-religious beliefs were included in classes, parents should lose
    their current right to withdraw pupils from RE lessons, Rogers said.

    Comment:

    The decline of christianity can be attributed to its irrational doctrine which disagrees with human intelelct, and the growth and rise of Islam is due to our belief agreeing with reality and hence convincing the human mind and intellect. Also the Quran as being an intellectual miracle which challenges humanity to produce a verse like the Quran's in order to refute it has stood the test of time. Islam has answers for every single problem which humanity faces today and was implemented for centuries in a state form and was the leading nation in the world.

    While christianity is on a downward trend, Islam on the other hand is gaining ground in the west and in the islamic lands as an ideological alternative to the man made capitalist doctrine. The return of Islam to life is not far off no matter how much the west fights the Islamic movements and their allies from the secular muslims aid them out of ignorence of their deen.
    7cgen

    #2
    Children to study atheism at school !

    by the education system in places like UK i thought the kids there already being fed ideas on atheism. You have science lessons and biology promoting darwinism and big bang theory etc.

    This idea is kind of wierd because the whole system in UK is secular and anti religion it is strange they wish to promote atheism now!

    Comment


      #3
      Teaching different points of view means that you are not 'promoting' any one creed or religion. In a free and open societies all points of view are presented so people can make an enlightened decision. Force feeding religous doctrine from one point of view doesn't allow people to decide the truth for themselves, it creates mindless zombies.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Seminole:
        Teaching different points of view means that you are not 'promoting' any one creed or religion. In a free and open societies all points of view are presented so people can make an enlightened decision. Force feeding religous doctrine from one point of view doesn't allow people to decide the truth for themselves, it creates mindless zombies.

        I only half agree with you, although I agree learning different religious points of view, is right, however, I guess too fully comprehend athiesm one has to be an atheist, wich I'm not, and actually think it is crazy, to teach children this, and has nothing to do with religious education.

        Comment


          #5
          Atheism is a belief just as much as any religion is a belief. It is just as relevant in spiritual study as an organized religion. To not address it would ignore a large school of thought. To say someone has to be part of a group to study it does not make sense. Because to fully comprehend any belief one would have to be a believer, which is not possible.

          Comment


            #6
            Why not cut to the chase, and teach Children there is no room for religion in todays society, because essentially that is what atheism boils down to.

            Comment


              #7
              Atheists are not out to dominate the world anymore than any religion is. Atheists actually have more tolerance for disparate beliefs than most organized religions do.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Seminole:
                Atheists are not out to dominate the world anymore than any religion is. Atheists actually have more tolerance for disparate beliefs than most organized religions do.

                That is fair enough, I understand where you're coming from.

                However, I still am not in favour, Atheism, just like Darwins theory when debated usually fall flat on their faces, reason being they have little to back their claims up, Religion on the other hand, we have prophets, books, our history is rich in religion, wich has shaped our present day, imagine a world without guidance, there would have been anarchy, do you agree?
                Back to atheism, and darwinism (wich IMHO is given to much credit then it is due) etc, is all based on guesswork and assumptions, the little unrliable evidence(assumptions) they bring foward, is usually refuted with as much counter evidence.
                so I guess,the Question we need to ask is, is it right to teach something wich is baseless?

                Comment


                  #9
                  I don't think any religion can claim their scripture as 'proof' of creationism. Faith, yes. Prophets, books, history rich in religion that has shaped our present day - yes. But scietific proof of creation? No. What has been established as fact is biologoical evolution. Now whether God created man separate from biological evolution is debatable.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Moses, dividing the sea, jesus raised the dead, sceintific statements in the Quran, wich have stood the test off time and have recently been shown in exact accordance to modern day findings, all acknowledged by renowned scientists, is all ample proof for me, of a divine source.
                    I think it comes down to this, does one "want" to believe?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by the real AK47:
                      Moses, dividing the sea, jesus raised the dead, sceintific statements in the Quran, wich have stood the test off time and have recently been shown in exact accordance to modern day findings, all acknowledged by renowned scientists, is all ample proof for me, of a divine source.
                      I think it comes down to this, does one "want" to believe?
                      Moses dividing the sea
                      Jesus raising the dead
                      Mohammad splitting the moon

                      Truths? yeah right. claims, yes. statements of faith, yes. Bo truth, no way. There is no physical evidence to support these claims. Where are the proofs outside of the books they professed?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        So help me understand.. in British schools they teach kids about all the different religions anyway? Meaning if its a christian kid, they will teach him about Islam as well? If its a muslim kid, they will teach him about christianity and hinduism as well? Or is it optional, and decided by parents/kids?

                        If its mandatory, then all other faith systems should be taught too, as long as they prove to be relevant. Seems like more and more people are atheists so all the kids should be taught about it, as it expands their knowledge.

                        Having said that... are there any statistics to show whether Christianity is spreading in the world or shrinking. While I hear many instances that more and more people in US and UK are turning away from christianity.. we also hear how christian missionaries keep on spreading their word all over the globe. I would think they are able to covert a large number of people to Christianity every year. So on a net-net basis... any statistics?
                        "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Faisal you can check this site out

                          Religious Statistics

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by sadzzz:
                            Faisal you can check this site out

                            Religious Statistics
                            Thanks. That site gave too much information in some cases, but quite frugal and stale information on other aspects.

                            What I am looking is for year-to-year growth rates between Christianity and Islam world-wide?

                            Christianity to include all kinds of christian denominations and similarly for Islam, all sects.

                            Do you know of such statistics?
                            "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Yogi:


                              Moses dividing the sea
                              Jesus raising the dead
                              Mohammad splitting the moon

                              Truths? yeah right. claims, yes. statements of faith, yes. Bo truth, no way. There is no physical evidence to support these claims. Where are the proofs outside of the books they professed?
                              Okay do you have evidence wich disproves it?

                              Regarding the Exodus, I saw a documentary a while back, I will relate it here, (To the best off my memory) some sceintists and archaeologists said the sea of reeds (not the red sea has initially thought) said it was a high possibility that the sea divided, and prooved with valid sceintific data, during the exodus,There was a landslide due, to a volcanic erruption wich caused a huge body of water gushing towards the sea, and before it reaches the place where moses and the isrealites where, this caused the water to retract (normally happens before a tsunami reaches) so moses and the isrealites safely crossed, soon followed by pharaoh and his army, whom drowned when the sea came together, or when this huge wave reached.

                              Comment

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