Should Religion Be Taught In Schools?

1

A comparative religions course can be extremely eye-opening, and I estimate that it would be healthy to educate our children about all religions especially due to the religious climate of our modern, pluralistic society. For the classroom, this idea necessitates an unbiased teacher who had previously been educated appropriately by an unbiased university comparative program. This teacher must also provide equal justice to every religion taught by using a complete and unbiased curriculum. This sounds good, especially if we are to claim to be a pro-choice society. Why would we refuse our children the right to wisely decide on a religion after having been properly taught the array of choices?

If, however, no comparative religions course is taught, the possibility of atheism becoming a ruling guidance in our children’s thought-processes is a reasonable outcome to consider. Why? The system is currently biased. How? Only one faith is currently taught within our public schools and this is atheism, aside from some book work on Islam. Why do I say this? Evolution is the only scientific theory taught to our students, and evolution relies on the philosophy of atheism as a product of the atheistic mind of Charles Darwin. The total lack of a comparative religions course opens a complete can of worms. To require an unbiased teaching of religions also requires a completely unbiased teaching of every other educational subject available. To teach the scientific theory of evolution which relies upon atheism, the scientific theory of intelligent design must also be taught as attached to Christian theism. Children would then have a decent amount of information to arguably decide well which they find most reasonable to believe. The philosophies concerning reality, knowing, beauty, etc. then follow as requiring unbiased teaching because each is reliant upon the worldview of its adherents; and, worldview forms as a condition of an individual’s faith. Philosophy births the arts and so we must then provide unbiased courses in literature and the like. If children can decide which biological gender they are, why are they forced to believe in evolution without given the chance to compare it with other legitimately researched theories? Why allow one choice and deny the other?

The concept of pro-choice emphasizes an ideal formula for a functionally unbiased educational system when the entire spectrum of curriculum is analyzed. To witness this type of schooling system in effect would be marvelous because our children would be receiving a genuinely balanced education after which they would be capable of entering the current global culture confidently and decisively.

Ideal. Desirable. Necessary? We can nod our heads in agreement because we understand not only what we lacked intellectually after journeying through middle/highschool, but because we also understand now what would be best for our children and their developing minds. Balance, reason and honesty. So, why is this not the current standard? Why is the system biased? Is this really healthy and beneficial? Why are our children not really being given true choices? Why are they only taught evolution and the resulting atheism? Why were we not given the choices we deserved as children – educated choices that would have prepared us to enter the world confidently and decisively with our feet firmly planted in whichever faith we decided to follow?

These questions bring up a second problem. Is it the government’s job or the parents’ responsibility to guide their children according to faith while educating them concerning the plurality of our religious culture? Unless we – as a whole society – consciously mandate an utter modification of the entire public educational system into the idyllic, unbiased program of pro-choice intellect that I previously highlighted, we cannot hope that the government would do a quality job. I would have to say therefore that faith lies within the realm of parental responsibility; thus, it is also a parental responsibility to be able to educate our children concerning religious plurality; otherwise, we are denying them the right of choice not currently provided by the modern schooling system.

The real issue here is whether or not you are prepared to teach your children. Have you educated yourself about all religions available to them in our pluralistic culture? Have you told them what you believe? Do you know what you believe and why; or, are you simply an intellectual and spiritual product of the less-than-ideal, current schooling system?

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “Should Religion Be Taught In Schools?

  1. Thanks for writing this, such a good one! I see that parents are necessarily learn the religion that they are born with as well as the other big ones, as well as atheism, pantheism, deism, and so forth. It is also good to teach how to think rather to believe!

    Like

    • We should be thought how to think and compare and make wise, unpressured choices. If we are 100% pro-choice it must extend into every aspect of the school system. But ask yourself, WHY is the educational system currently biased? WHY are we only taught evolution and its resulting atheism? What is the goal? Is it because it is easier and cheaper not to change everything even if that is detrimental, or is there a bigger reason?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We are taught evolution because there is a huge amount of evidence to back it up. We should not be taught creationism as a scientific hypothesis but instead taught of how creationism has been a big part of historical religion and still is today.
    The only reason Islam and Christianity have had huge success is down to the next generation failing to consider any other ideas. To put belief systems on the same pedestal as scientific theories would be a waste of time and damaging for a child. Any belief with a threat of eternal punishment is child abuse if taught to children.

    Like

    • I understand you reasoning, and I appreciate your opinion. I want to encourage you to investigate the scientific theory of intelligent design. You state that evolution has surmountable evidence, but this is not quite true. The mathematical probably alone of the evolutionary process being capable of forming an amino acid is phenomenally low. In a legitimate comparison of both theories (without considering the religious philosophies behind either), intelligent design stands on it own. This is made evident through genuine, comparative studies as I have highlighted as being beneficial. If we cannot look at both sides to every argument objectively and weigh their merits and judge appropriately, we do it to our detriment. To deny one theory being taught is to equally deny choice and insist on a singular bias.

      To address your understanding of beliefs that threatening children with eternal punishment, I want to explain that you have misunderstood the tenets of the Christianity, or they have been misrepresented to you.

      What this reply and response proves, however, is the truth behind my analysis. Bias is currently taught within the school system and it has residual effects on how we view the world and all therein. A completely honest and balanced and unbiased comparison within every educational subject matter that reflects, respectfully, the plurality of our modern cultural climate would be beneficial, not harmful. It provides genuine choice and an intellectual foundation upon which to stand when debating differing opinions – opinions that will vary in every subject from science, to religion, to poetry.

      Like

      • Even if the chances of life forming without intelligent design are extremely low, this doesn’t make it any less true. If you consider the eternal time in which this could have happened, regardless of how low the probability there is always the chance of natural processes occur. I would be more willing to accept intelligent design if we are not going off of one of the main religions we see today. Going back to the low probability, why is a god simply coming into existence and designing things any more probable? This to me seems even stranger of a theory.

        Like

    • I would like to recommend a book for you. It is inexpensive and eye-opening: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0890513414?colid=1ECHQUZC7QJG0&coliid=I2BQLWALSVF1PN&ref_=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl

      “Science can neither prove nor disprove evolution any more than it can creation. Certainly there are no human eyewitness accounts of either. However, certain factors are present today which are capable of swaying one’s beliefs one way or the other. In this book are the testimonies of fifty men and women holding doctorates in a wide range of scientific fields who have been convicted by the evidence to believe in a literal six-day creation.”

      This isn’t to convince you. This is to provide you with an alternate perspective backed by legitimate research in order that you may have both sides of an argument (minimal as one book is). My aim with this blog is to encourage people to think rationally and comparatively. Are we to believe blindly or to ask questions and find the truth?

      Like

      • ‘Science can neither prove nor disprove evolution any more than it can creation’.
        This is why I respect the theory of evolution more. Why is creation still debatable if it was created by an intelligent designer? Why stand up for a hypothesis if the creator cannot be bothered to confirm or deny it themselves? This is why I do not respect creationism.

        Like

      • You do not have respect for the intelligent design theory because you have not be taught about it properly or researched it adequately. We can argue till we are blue in the face towards one side of an argument while lacking quality education to the comparative, opposite opinion. You can not respect creationism for a variety of commonly misconceived popular-opinion reasons and still not be arguing validly. I can say I believe in creationism “because the Bible tells me so,” but this not a valid argument. I can, however, lay down the sciences side by side and analyze the results of both to then decide on which is most reasonable to believe. From there, I can offer reasons as to why I believe it to be true depending on the strength of the argument. But my post is not a debate on scientific theories.

        This circles the conversation directly back to my main point. We want to be a pro-choice society, so, despite our agreement with or respect for a particular theory or opinion within any subject matter, an ideal educational system would still offer the choice. A person may decide to agree with creationism or agree with evolution after having been taught to analyze them objectively and comparatively. Just because we disagree does not mean that the option should be thrown out completely. What if this were reversed? Let’s say that creationism was the only science taught in schools. Would you find it a fair exercise to include evolution into the teaching program to allow students the right to choose whether or not they agreed with the evolutionary theory over the creationist theory? Two sides to every coin. The focus is choice. To deny the option of comparison is to deny a student their right of choice.

        Like

      • So if I may ask, how many of the tens of thousands of religious theories would you include into the national curriculum? And what aspects of the human body show the hallmarks of a God of the Bible?
        Evolution is a fact, it’s observed all the time. The reason a virus becomes resistant to antibiotics is because they adapt and evolve. Or shall we tell children that antibiotics aren’t needed because our bodies have been ‘intelligently’ designed?

        Like

      • I am detecting hostility in your language, so I want to respectfully ask you to debate me calmly. That said, let me address the concerns you have highlighted. I have no where stated that a comparative program would be easy to institute. There are many factors to consider such as the selection of which religions to teach. Research of the prominent religions within the United States would be required and how greatly the probability of a student coming into contact with a particular adherent. It is not something to be considered lightly. But, despite what is input into the curriculum, the focus is choice and a student’s right to make the choice.

        I am not sure of your intentions with the question concerning the aspects of the human body as natural characteristics of God. I am a philosopher, not an accredited scientist. My goal is to ask questions and probe the numerous possibilities of change available to our society that may or may not be beneficial. You will have to do some research to determine what doctors specializing in intelligent design have to say concerning that question because I cannot provide you with a 100% answer. The theory and answer itself is not the focus though. The focus is choice and the student’s right to make the choice.

        I did not say that micro-evolution was evidential. Every creation-scientist you encounter will not deny that. But concerning the origin of the universe, macro-evolution, spontaneous life-from-nonlife, etc., there is no evidence. I only state this factually after having done what research I can concerning the information provided by doctors within scientific fields who specialize in intelligent design. Again, you will have to research their work to determine that for yourself comparatively. That choice is yours to make. But again, the focus of my article is assume a student’s right to choose. Are we really comfortable with denying them the choices available in a comparative program? That does not jive with our current, cultural climate of pro-choice attitude. Why some choices and not others? A tolerant, unbiased society should not be afraid of their children choosing what they will when it comes to science, literature, philosophy, etc. even if it disagrees with what we believe or want them to believe.

        Can we claim though to be a truly tolerant, unbiased, pro-choice society when our children (the future of our nation) is not taught within a program that exemplifies these cultural qualities? Are you okay with the state providing a singular bias and denying children choice?

        Like

      • I apologise if I seem aggressive in my comments, I pride myself on a calm manner of posting so I guess I have failed on that!
        The main problem I have with giving such a choice to choose theories is that humans by nature are very bias and lazy in their beliefs. You can see this by looking at the overwhelming Christian belief in the States compared to the Islamic belief in Saudi Arabia. (I am from the UK so our education system will differ). People choose the beliefs of their society and stick with it. According to various sources (which may have changed over the past decade or so) 20% of Americans believe the sun revolves around the earth. People believe stupid things. Many believe that homosexuality is somehow immoral, where is the evidence of that? These myths can be easily refuted but it seems there is no desire to seek the truth. Unfortunately, people cannot be trusted to make unbiased and honest decisions without the influence of their society. I do appreciate your desire for a fair choice though.

        Like

      • Thank you. I appreciate what you have just said. I agree 100% that the majority of individuals are lazy when it comes to these matters. So, I have a couple questions. Is this laziness a product of education that does not encourage choice? Or, is it just in our nature to be complacent? I do not think that the majority of people are naturally complacent and lazy. I tend to believe that we are more naturally inquisitive. Also, children are naturally incline to trust a figure of authority such as their teachers. Therefore, when young students express their inquisitive nature and it is immediately quenched by satisfying it with a single, assumed-trustworthy option, are we actually harming them by not further encouraging their inquisitiveness? To clarify, not providing choices to students may actually be resulting in the climate of laziness you are witnessing. By not utilizing a comparative educational program, we may not be encouraging children to explore the inquisitive nature of their persons. Relying on a singular bias may be conditioning children to assume that they need not ask question or investigate further into genres of intellect that would benefit them. If they are not even given the chance to decide, they may just resign to the idea that they don’t have to decide, thus producing a lazy, complacent, malleable and gullible generation.

        Like

      • To answer your the two questions at the start of your comment, I think it is both. I also think it doesn’t help that we do not know everything in subjects such as science, so many of the things we teach today will be laughed at in the future!
        People don’t like choice though, they like a quick answer. Which is why I do not want intelligent design or organised religion taught in schools. It’s a lazy answer. ‘Teacher, where did we come from?’ ‘We came from God, he made us. That’s it.’ There is no thinking involved and that is why it is so easy to follow. If we did think about intelligent design we would question the flaws of the human body and ask why they couldn’t have been intelligently designed. We eat and breathe through the same hole for crying out loud! A two year old died in a Pizza Hut just around the corner from me recently, choking to death on a grape. Tragic, and proof that the body is designed, it was designed very poorly.

        I want kids to question what they are taught, and only give theories credit when credit is due. Instead of using christianity (as an example) as a possible theory I want them to ridicule it for it’s claims. If this religion is to be true, why is God so weak that he cannot prove it to us himself instead of humans debating it amongst themselves? If we are doing all the work, why should we worship any one else?
        Religious belief had made humans do all the work despite feeling the need to worship, and this is wrong.

        If a more atheist approach is taken in schools, students will have a much more open mind. Atheism is simply rejecting current claims until there is enough evidence. Atheism is as much a belief as not collecting stamps is a hobby. A class could all be atheist and have completely seprerate views on the universe, but without the primitive stories we have been told for thousands of years.

        Like

      • You make a valid point when you say that we may question the flaws of the human body; but, then Christian theism has an answer for the state of decay (namely the second law of thermodynamics) that the world, the body, the spiritual nature experiences. Let’s consider a watch. We see a watch and understand that it has been designed. Some watches are so meticulously designed that we would consider them masterpieces of perfection, and yet, all things lead to decay (2nd law). Eventually the watch will rust or stop telling time accurately. For the human body, we call this old age. Or we recognize it in the corruption of certain genes or the malfunction of a particular part. Christian theism explains this corruption as a result of the fall. Now, I understand that to answer these questions, we have to do so while considering a completely new worldview. All worldviews stem from the faith of an adherent. Worldviews effect our philosophies. How we perceive obviously effects how we view science, social justice, even art or an opinion about your favorite sandwich. To recognize a fallen state of man within the worldview of Christian theism is to also acknowledge that redemption has been offered and glorification/correction/reinstallation of the original state of perfection.

        I disagree with you, however, about Christianity having a simple, lazy answer concerning the origins of the universe. Let me clarify too that intelligent design is its own scientific theory. Many non-Christians attest to this theory because it is reasonably evidenced. Some conclude that it may have been aliens or a superior species that designed the world and us, but designed it nonetheless. It does not rely solely on Christian theism, but Christian theism can apply answers to the theory that correlate to the faith.

        Now, a problem with your argument that I want to address is that fact that you would still like to deny choice to students simply because you disagree with one of the choices they would have to consider. You may have your own questions concerning the validity of a scientific theory or organized religion in general or “primitive stories,” but this does still not negate the fact that students (as human beings) have the right to choose for themselves what they would like to believe. You argue for a singular bias: atheism, evolution, etc. I am not arguing for a singular bias. I do not want to see students only learning about intelligent design or Christian theism. I have no qualms against students learning evolution even if I disagree with it personally.

        My argument lies with choice. I believe that the ideal system is comparative, allowing students the ability to choose wisely with knowledge to back their decision. To say, simply because you dislike, don’t respect, or disagree with a particular faith, theory or world-outlook, does not mean that you carry the inherent right to deny a student a choice of what THEY want to believe, deny, disrespect or disagree with. Just because you feel religion is wrong to teach does not mean that it is. Another parent may have zero issue with comparative sciences and a huge issue with a student learning about Islam. Even if this learning was unbiased (with no aim at conversion within any faith). This does not mean, however, that a student would not benefit by understanding the basic tenets of Islam especially due to the political and religious climate of our world.

        To keep a system biased, unbalanced and skewed to only one particular view or opinion, 1) does no justice to cultural plurality and heritage and attitude of tolerance we pride ourselves on, 2) denies a student an inherent right of educated choice, and 3) simply leaves students unprepared to debate confidently in a pluralistic world. If a person where to choose to be an atheistic evolutionist after having compared the other option available to them (options they will encounter in “the real world”), they can explain more clearly and confidently: why.

        Again, let me state clearly, no matter your worldview, no matter your opinion, no matter your distaste for a particular set of choices, no matter your dislike of one theory over another, a student should have the right to choose. To deny the option of choice is to deny an aspect of freedom. To insist on your bias and no others is not democracy but an aspect of tyranny. We like to freak out about these types of discussions and focus on a particular aspect with which we disagree to satisfy our desire to remain biased, but we cannot do that for the possibility that we are intolerant. We cannot let our intolerance of a single faith, a single theory, a single worldview that we do not fully understand to cloud our judgment in such a way that we are eager to remove a student’s right to make their own choice concerning these things. They will one day be adults. Do we really want them to be adults who are totally unprepared to intelligibly fight for what they believe?

        Like

      • Most people today are unprepared to intelligibly fight for what they believe!
        I am all for giving people a choice and ability to decide on what they want to believe. I would never be against that so please do not assume that I want some nazi style schooling system. The problem I have is that most people do not think for themselves, even though we have a choice in what we believe in, we believe what the society around us believes, it’s much more than solely school teachings. I am assuming you would be happier to educate on Christian values than Greek mythology, would I be correct? Because it would not be possible to take into consideration every religion possible, you would have to show bias. I am all for religious education to be taught with a wide range of beliefs but in an RE classroom and not a science one. Is that wrong to say that a book dating back thousands of years should not be given priority in a 21st century classroom? I would say that this is not selfish but sensible.
        And would you be happy to teach children that a theory of why we start to crumble and die in such an undignified, painful manner is because we deserve it? Because if that is the case, I would not want you to teach my children.

        Like

      • I think you have misunderstood what I have been saying. I’m not calling for religion to be taught in science class. I am saying that every course should be comparative. A religion course should be comparative. A science class should be comparative. A literature class should be comparative. Not overlapped, but comparative of contrasting perspectives within their specific fields. This is what appears to be an ideal schooling program to avoid “some Nazi style” system.

        I enjoyed Greek mythology actually. I’m not calling for a denial of classical education, but a revision of modern education that appears to currently deny choices by not providing students with comparative courses. Just because I am Christian, you assume that I am some backwards individual. Also, you make presuppositions about Christianity. These un-educated assumptions about one, specific faith are blinding you to my intent concerning this post. Your language is laced with contempt for Christianity, and this has jaded your judgement concerning the over-arching context of my entire post.

        Yes, people are totally unprepared to intelligibly fight for what they believe, or fight against something that they do not believe or understand. For this very basic fact that you have highlighted, I have written this post. I want people to understand that we lack this ability on a wide scale because we are being educated to the opposite of this ability.

        Like

    • We cannot remove ourselves from worldview. (read my post: https://wearingblueshoes.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/are-you-sure-really-truly-100/?preview=true&iframe=true ) Faith is the focal point of our worldview. Worldview effects how we analyze every aspect of our world and the numerous perceptions therein. Science and its theories (presented to the world as a result of a scientists worldview and therefore faith) are not exempt.

      That said, my article does not state that teaching evolution is equivalent to teaching religion, but evolution can also not remove itself from the worldview of theorist and the theorist cannot remove himself from his faith, so they are interconnected. Thus residual philosophy is inherent.

      I do not play word games. The focus of my article is an emphasis on choice. A comparative-program system emphasizes choice. To deny the option of comparison in even on field of study is to deny choice entirely. That is my point. IF we were to teach comparative religions, to be fair, we would have to teach comparative studies in every subject matter. This logically lends itself to being pro-choice, tolerant and unbiased.

      By highlighting evolution, my only aim is to highlight the current bias. Students are denied choice.

      Like

      • For me to posit an intelligent argument to the contrary of your own personal opinion does not actualize a use of word games. The use of a high vocabulary to connect a complicated argument that hinges on a plethora of nuances does not assume word games. It shows that I can argue intelligible to the contrary of what you agree. Nothing more; nothing less.

        My point still stands in clear terms: A comparative-program system emphasizes choice. To deny the option of comparison in even one field of study is to deny choice entirely. That is my point. IF we were to teach comparative religions, to be fair, we would have to teach comparative studies in every subject matter, not excluding science. This logically lends itself to being pro-choice, tolerant and unbiased.

        Like

  3. Blip! The difference is: evolution is an argument about first order things – mechanism – while ID is an argument about second order things – like intent – which is metaphysics. There is a basic incompatibility. If you want ID taught, it should be in the philosophy classroom. But they may not want it for other reasons (there are logical problems…).

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s