religion in the classroom: it ain't just for hillbillies no more

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Dr Rock, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east 'neath the willow tree? Sex
    In California, supremacists and revisionists are trying to make radical changes to kids' textbooks, inserting propaganda and absurd assertions that are not supported in any way by legitimate scholars. Such as that civilization started 111.5 trillion years ago, and that people flew to the moon and set off atomic bombs thousands of years ago.

    Two groups, the Vedic Foundation and Hindu Education Foundation, have a whole slate of peculiar historical ideas driven by their religious ideology, and are pressuring the California State Board of Education to modify textbooks.
     
  2. DC_DEEP

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    The facts, ma'am, just the facts. <sigh> Doc, whatever happened to school being a place for our young'uns to get more intelligenter? I JUST DON'T GET these idiots who think, "These are my religious beliefs, so I think the government should force your children to be indoctrinated with them." Uh, how about letting public schools simply give children the information and skills they will need to be intelligent, productive citizens? Leave the indoctrination to the parents and the church. If they wanna go, fine, leave me out of it.....
     
  3. B_HappyHammer1977

    B_HappyHammer1977 New Member

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    This kind of argument was debated in a Pennsylvania court about ten years ago. Backward Dubya supporting teachers wanted Creationism taught in Science lessons!!
    Then not so smart science / religious types came up with 'Intellegent Design' (to imply that 'God' created everything scientifically) .... this was, of course, immediately proven bollocks!
     
  4. JustAsking

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    Rock,
    I view this as a positive development. We need as many wacky religious groups doing this as possible, so at some point the clueless, voting, school board making public might ask, "Isn't there some way to evaluate scientific theories before we put them in the classroom?". Maybe this way people will see through the Intelligent Design Hoax.

    JustAsking.
     
  5. amhersthungboi

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    I have mixed feelings about this sort of thing. School definitely isn't the place for religious indoctrination, ala the first amendment. However, I do believe it is the place for critical thinking and teaching how to sift through multiple interpretations of material to find the most reliable and plausable explanation. So, perhaps these alternative creation stories should be taught, but along side of evolution and more empircally-validated theories, ultimately letting the student decide which he or she believes is right, and supporting that opinion rationally, rather than emotionally.

    However, I don't think the science classroom is the type of place to engage in that type of debate, since science is about empiricism. It seems more of a social studies type of thing -- comparative religions, perhaps.

    Just my thoughts ...
     
  6. DC_DEEP

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    I agree, to an extent... but this should be in elective classes in the secondary/high school, and should be taught in the context of a "Logic and Philosophy" class.
     
  7. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east &#039;neath the willow tree? Sex
    oh fuck, that concept went out of fashion like 150 years ago, right about the time that politicians realized they could utilize the education system to mass-produce large numbers of mindless working stiffs.

    that's a whole other argument, and it ain't gonna happen with the current system of "education." you can guide someone in cultivating their intelligence ... or you can train them to sit exams. can't do both with the same kid.
     
  8. madame_zora

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    You make me wet right in the pants.

    See, JustAsking made my point for me, and probably better than I would have done. I think as many of these moronic ideas as possible need to be petitioned to be taught as reality for several reasons. First, it will give our nation's serial killers a great "get out of jail free" card in the future, but that's just icing on the cake. The main thing that it COULD POSSIBLY accomplish, if it were to be inacted, is that it MIGHT make clearer EVENTUALLY after many years of torment and pain that this was the only possible outcome of opening up science to interpretation by ANY religous loonies. If one set of mythologies can be taught as Truth, then ALL of them will want their chance to warp young minds.

    And now to all you christian fundamentalists, fuck you all right in the left ear for making a live joke out of our education system. YOUR mythologies are just as funny as everyone else's and THEY have books that prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that THIER mythologies are the really real truth too.

    The only way to overcome stupidty is to let it mushroom until it comes to a head and pops itself like a greasy zit. The worst thing any sane individual can do is to treat these moronic efforts with anything less than disdain. If we give them any temperance at all, it is taken as acceptance. We must laugh hard in the face of stupidity lest it appear less, well, stupid.

    And shall we not forget, religous tenets are only of grave importance at the lower levels- US. The real purpose, from the standpoint of "the powers that be" in any society, is that religous zeal is a strong rallying force for a government to use to control it's people. Please try to deny THAT using any of the facts of history.
     
  9. GottaBigOne

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    :::In his Martin Luther King Jr. voice:::::::

    Ameeeeeeen sista'. May the invisible goblin that resides in Martha Stewart's holy cooch grant its blessings upon thee. I see a light atop thine clitoris.
     
  10. Chuck64

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    :eek1:
    :scared1:

    Now I'll have to sleep with the light on tonight.
     
  11. GottaBigOne

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    My aim is to always awaken and stimulate the imagination....
     
  12. madame_zora

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    Well you do that just fine without invoking the ghost of Martha Steward. I had to cross my legs when I read that.
     
  13. SpeedoGuy

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    I just don't understand what all the fuss is about. According to those in power, all we need do to educate students is present them a variety of different myths and fairy tales and let them decide for themselves what's fact or fiction. Voila!
     
  14. BigNThinkKev

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    Thought I would weigh in on this issue:

    First, I would like to preface my remarks with the following statement: I work for the California School System and am a product of that system.

    With that out of the way. Teaching one religious doctrine as irrefutable fact and to 'color' any subject with that fact is wrong. The teaching of religions does have its place as required subject matter in 7th, 10th, and 12th grades as part of World History, American History, and Civics. The Western Democratic World is rooted in three basic areas: Ancient/Hellenistic Greece, Republican/Imperial Rome, and Christianity. To deprive students of an understanding of Christianity and its roots in Judaism, eliminates one third of the knowledge needed to thoroughly discuss the foundations of the modern Democratic State.

    Most of the moral laws and beliefs held througout most of the Western World are based in Judeo-Christian religious doctrines, most notably the Ten Commandments. Some of these common beliefs that are now pillars of secular society are as follows: thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not murder, thou shalt not commit false witness against thy neighbor, etc. So to not educate students in the tenets of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, the Western Religions, would handicap those students in a understanding, in the matter of Western Civilization, of 'why we are the way we are' and 'how we got here'.

    At no point should one religion be given more validity over any other. An understanding of religions is necessary for the broad-base education that is advocated in the United States. Whether you agree or disagree with the specific teaching of a particular doctrine, is a separate education issue from understanding the history and philosophy of said doctrines. By understanding the religious beliefs of other cultures can help in an understanding of those cultures and break down socialogical prejudices.

    Okay I have said my peace. You may begin tearing my arguments to shreds if the spirit moves you.
     
  15. madame_zora

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    I don't think anyone wants to tear your argument to shreads. Here's the thing- it takes a lot of trust to believe that every individual teacher who is responsible for the delivery of this information is going to be capable of, or even willing to differentiate their personal beliefs from the curriculum. Add to that the pressure being placed on educators to include "intelligent design" as a viable alternative to evolution, and we have a cauldron brewing. I say it's high time every single religion that has a text (yes, all of them) should petition the government for the same rights, and make abundantly clear how silly all of this is. That is, for those mindless masses who were unclear up to this point.

    Hell, I like Indians so much I ARE one, but I hardly want legends from Vedic scripture being used as a basis for writing science books, any more than from the Bible. Neither one are historical documents and it's completely absurd to present them as such. No one is complaining about kids being taught ABOUT Christianity or the basis of what Christians believe, our objections are ALWAYS about presentation.

    Evolution is a scientific theory that is primarily fleshed out. There is very little that is not fully understood, but because there are very few absolutes in science, we call it a theory still. Most of us understand that it's at least 90% accurate. Now, along comes intelligent design, which is JUST SOME GUY saying "I don't understand how it happened so GOD did it!!!!!111!!!" THAT is not a "theory" in scientific terms, it's an OPINION. It's an opinion which has absolutely no place in a science class. NONE! It is no more "intelligent" than the offerings suggested in the heading of this thread.

    Yes, please keep teaching ABOUT all the things that are current and relevant in our classrooms, but keep religion in religion classes and OUT of science classes. Religion has nothing to offer science, religion is man's way of explaining what answers science won't yet provide so he can sleep at night. Feeding our kids a lot of bullshit so that they can no longer decipher truth from fiction is going to breed a generation of very unstable adults. If you ain't taking this seriously, wait about seven or eight years.
     
  16. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east &#039;neath the willow tree? Sex
    um, pretty sure most of those have been common to just about every human culture, ever ... and in fact fall squarely under the heading of "common sense" rather than "religious doctrine." I mean, if someone needs a book of dogma to persuade them that murder is generally not a good idea, then they got bigger problems than worrying about what textbook their school teachers have given them.

    judaism/christianity/islam is an eastern religion. even the romans categorized christianity as an "asiatic cult." christians actually wiped out all the western religions over a thousand years ago. :rolleyes:
     
  17. amhersthungboi

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    I've actually heard a number of scholars call Christianity the "Cult of Christ" arguing it is a cult of personality, but that's neither here nor there ;-)

    Zora, I agree with you -- the science classroom is the place for scientifically-validated fact (who would have thought! Real science in the science classroom!), and using that as the standard for inclusion tips the scales so heavily in favor of evolution it is ridiculous to consider including the various religious explanations in the science classroom.

    I do think, however the alternative explanations should be included in a social studies classroom at some point, as a "This is what some people believe" perspective, not "This is how it really happened" perspective. However, if one religion's perspective in school, all of them should be -- not just Judeo/Christian/Muslim, but also some of the more "far out there" explanations like Scientology (which, placed beside Christianity looks equally plausible, but that's just me ...). Teaching kids critical thought in a world full of so much bullshit is key. Teaching them to be god-fearing Republicans, as Shrub and followers ultimately desire, is totalitarianism. Unfortuantely, I think there's a fine line, especially considering those in power.
     
  18. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    When the idea of teaching Creationism was being discussed in my school district while I was in high school, my biology teacher gave a great answer: "I am here to teach science, not mythology. Creationism has no place in my classroom." The reason this shocked so many: my biology teacher was a Catholic priest. He advocated the co-existence of science and religion, but he realised that one could not take the place of the other.
     
  19. SpeedoGuy

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    I'm encouraged when I hear clergy taking stands like this. The U.S. needs more responsible people of faith to come forward and draw a clear differentiation between what constitutes bona fide religious faith and what constitutes objective science. The two should simply not mix.
     
  20. JustAsking

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    Nay, nay. Your version is far more eloquent. To wit:

    I wish I could fit that all on a bumper sticker.
     
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