Do Children have a right to an open mind?: The Faith Schools Menace

Tommythecommy

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Do Children have a right to an open mind?: The Faith Schools Menace

Dawkins made a compelling case against indoctrination of children in a particular faith in the school system. (screened Morefour Wednesday 9.00pm)

He argued in favour in favour of giving children a knowledge of religion as an alternative.

He sees segregated education of children as a divisive and dangerous thing.

The most interesting section of the report found Dawkins investigating how young children responded to questions about how they viewed the world. At our most impressionable, with the world a large and uncertain place, we look to give things purpose. Abstract uncertainty is too troubling for young minds. So religions, which appear to provide certain answers to uncertain questions, can embed themselves deeply in minds that are in the process of being made up.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/faith-school-menace/4od#3112619

<Mod> This thread has been merged with "Do Children have a right to an open mind?: The Secularist Menace". </Mod>
 
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Tin Foil Hat

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I would agree with him completely. I watched that show as well.

I was particularly horrified by the muslim 'science' teacher who didn't even seem to know the theory behind evolution. She then went on to pretend that she gives the students all the information and leave them to make up their own minds. Or the student, who wanted to be a doctor, who believed that salt water and fresh water did not mix in the sea.

Certain people seem to think that they have some moral right to educate their kids in specific faith schools. However, this is clearly untrue. We wouldn't allow kids to be segregated by race, or to be thought in schools with a particular political ethos.
 

deiseguy

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Certain people seem to think that they have some moral right to educate their kids in specific faith schools. .
Not a moral right but a right nonetheless. And you have the same right to educate your children in whatever manner you wish within DOEducation guidelines.

The schools you described with science teachers not understanding evolution should simply have all funding and their right to operate as a recognised school removed. This is indefensible.

I purposefully didn't watch the programme because Dawkins evangalism for his beliefs is every bit as off putting as any religious fundamentalist, that and the fact that his superiority complex gives me the itch.
 

deiseguy

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The most interesting section of the report found Dawkins investigating how young children responded to questions about how they viewed the world. At our most impressionable, with the world a large and uncertain place, we look to give things purpose. Abstract uncertainty is too troubling for young minds.
What would he have us embed in their minds?
 

Tin Foil Hat

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Not a moral right but a right nonetheless. And you have the same right to educate your children in whatever manner you wish within DOEducation guidelines.
That right only exists because schools are exempt from equality legislation that applies to many other aspects of our lives. The exemptions could be, and should be, revoked. No child should be excluded from a state funded school based on the religion of his/her parents.
 

Tin Foil Hat

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What would he have us embed in their minds?
Open mindedness - question everything.
You should watch the show. There's a part of it where he reads out some of a letter he wrote to his daughter when she was ten. It will give you some insight into the type of man he actually is, as opposed to the quasi-religious close-minded preacher that many of his critics would like people to think he is.

Edit:- However we should be careful not to turn this thread into another pro/anti-Dawkins cat-fighting rantathon. There's one of those in the go already.
This thread is about faith schools.
 

theObserver@hotmail.com

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Faith schools are essentially political schools, churning out the next generation of moral sheep. Every religion has it's own history, it's own myths and social/political policies based upon those believes. Some religions like Islam are completely anti-western and counter cultural.

Do parents think they have a right to send their kids to schools that concentrate on teaching FFs social polices and political history? Or perhaps they would prefer a SF or a FG school? How about Communism?

A nation state needs a single national school curriculum teaching it's children both national culture and about the wider world. Philosophy is a far better mechanism for examing social attitudes and the 'how do I live my life? ' stuff then simply passing along some arbitrary faith to the next generation. The woo-woo men can do that on their own time.
 

Malboury

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Really liked the show as well; it's on 4oD for the next month if anyone is interested in seeing it. Very interesting ideas in general, and definitely underscored some of the pretty telling problems faith schools have. I found the section on Northern Ireland interesting, and the images of the kids getting involved in sectarianism from such a young age to be quite disturbing.

Aside from that, it's worth pointing out that Dawkins wasn't actually calling for the closure of faith based schools, just the end of government funding for such institutions.
 

yehbut_nobut

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..religions, which appear to provide certain answers to uncertain questions, can embed themselves deeply in minds that are in the process of being made up.

Yes but then most of still grow up with the ability to make up our own minds. Thank God.



;)
 

bob3344

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Really? Most people, the vast, vast majority, are of the same religion as their parents. That's a massive coincidence :eek:.
Most people are theoretically catholic but never go to church.

They just don't feel the need to obsess endlessly about their non-believer status.
 

Dev__

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Everyone in every country has the right to access secular education as outlined by the UN charter of human rights. It simply isn't negotiable. This country should observe all human rights. The UN has criticized Ireland for this. We have agreed to the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR) and we aren't holding up our end of the bargain.

As it currently stands 92% of primary schools are under the patronage of the Catholic church. The handful of the rest are also denominational schools of other religions. Ironically, Ireland is actually inclined to the opposite of what the UN demands. The Irish constitutions stipulates that churches can setup schools and receive state funding. The only way the Irish constitution and the UN could be compromised is if we setup every type of school in every area (not feasible). The best way is to make all state funded schools secular. Remove state funding from private schools and leave the religious denominations be the patron of those.

You want your child brought up with a religious ethos - teach them at home! State and church should be separate.
 

Cato

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Everyone in every country has the right to access secular education as outlined by the UN charter of human rights. It simply isn't negotiable. This country should observe all human rights. The UN has criticized Ireland for this. We have agreed to the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights (ICCPR) and we aren't holding up our end of the bargain.

As it currently stands 92% of primary schools are under the patronage of the Catholic church. The handful of the rest are also denominational schools of other religions. Ironically, Ireland is actually inclined to the opposite of what the UN demands. The Irish constitutions stipulates that churches can setup schools and receive state funding. The only way the Irish constitution and the UN could be compromised is if we setup every type of school in every area (not feasible). The best way is to make all state funded schools secular. Remove state funding from private schools and leave the religious denominations be the patron of those.

You want your child brought up with a religious ethos - teach them at home! State and church should be separate.
I think that a compromise can be found where schools retain their ethos but all religious indoctrination should take place after regular school hours but on the school property. Attendance would be optional for parents and for teenagers over the age of 15.

Subjecting children to religious indoctrination, or any indoctrination, is simply immoral.
 

Fr. Hank Tree

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Certain people seem to think that they have some moral right to educate their kids in specific faith schools. However, this is clearly untrue.
The right for parents to have their children educated in accordance with their religious views is provided for under the ECHR.

For the state to withdraw funding could very well constitute an effective breach of that right..
 

Tin Foil Hat

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Most people are theoretically catholic but never go to church.
Most (Irish) people say they are catholic. In reality they are anything but - the younger generations in particular. Such is the power of indoctrination.
 

iartaoiseach

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Yeah, all the athiests obviously managed to resist the brainwashing.
I always credit my listening to heavy metal as one major reason for my questioning attitude to religion. I am not really joking either. most of these bands were not much older than their audience in the early 90's and barring the more ridiculous satanic bands(daftly religious in their own way too really) they articulated the questions and contradictions better than I have ever seen them dealt with by religion teachers. that's one side effect of listening to 'noise' I never expected. and a beneficial one too imo. the other big reason was I went to a school run by priests, who brooked no dissent on the religion aspect -even to the extent of having religion exams at years end. Incredible that one can give a wrong answer about what they believe. these guys were mind readers apparently.
My worry is that the pupils of faith schools might become so isolated from other sources of information (especially the born again christians and many muslims) that they fail to ever question what they are told. this segregation in school and society can only lead to intolerance of the beliefs of others. at least despite the best attempts of the school to indoctrinate me I had the freedom to seek out others views and make up my own mind- well as soon as I was past the initial communion/confo stuff.
 


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