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Time for pro-choice campaigners to get equal time in taxpayer-funded schools?


feargach

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I went to a religious-run school where the anti-choice agenda was pushed harder than actual faith. There was no instruction in catechism, but plentiful encouragement of referring to foetuses as "babies".

A lot of anti-abortion campaigners pretend that their stance is a non-religious one. This is obviously false when you examine it. Creationists also claim to be non-religious, with the same falsity.

There are a handful of people who claim to be atheists but also take an anti-choice view. They use this fact to claim that the anti-choice worldview is not religious or faith-based, but in fact compatible with logic and reason. This is false.

A belief in God or Gods or an afterlife is not in fact necessary for a given belief to be a religious, non-rational one. You don't need to believe in Papal infallibility, Jesus, Moses, Buddha, Allah, the ghosts of your ancestors or the tree spirits to be religious.

You can be religious without any of these things. To be religious simply means to believe in something independently of evidence. For example, the belief in machine elves is religion without a God: Machine elf - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It's quite easy to tell a non-religious belief from a religious one. Assume that a given belief is X. The way to tell whether belief in X is religious or secular is as follows:

Find someone who believes in X.
Ask him "What evidence will I have to present to you in order to convince you that X is untrue?"
The believer's response will tell you whether his belief is religious or not.
If he says "Well, if you can present me with evidence Y, I will abandon my belief in X" then the person is using reason, not faith.
If he says "There is no evidence that could change my mind on X" then it's religion.

For X, let's assign the belief that human life begins at conception, rather than the previously universally-held worldwide belief that it begins at birth. Ask any anti-choice person: "What evidence will I have to present to you in order to convince you that life begins at a point subsequent to conception?"

The answer, of course, is that all scientific inquiry is irrelevant to this person's belief. His views are immune to all currently-existing evidence, and any evidence that scientists will ever produce in the future. He already knows that a conception results in a glob of sixteen cells with no organs or nerves, and he already ignores this fact and calls the glob of cells a baby. Evidence is not a factor in this person's thought process on this issue.

On this method of analysis (made popular in the 20th century by Karl Popper) anti-abortion dogma is revealed to be a faith and not amenable to logic or evidence. Therefore by banning abortion the religious are forcing their faith on non-believers.

So it's time for the Irish Choice Network to be given access to the schools to correct the abusive indoctrination of young minds with fair counter-propaganda. Then, once each student has been given an equal dose of pro- and anti-choice propaganda, withdraw all propaganda on the issue.

But schools must continue to teach the non-equivalence of faith and science. Anti-abortion campaigners will whine that that gives the pro-choice side an advantage, because reality sides with science over religion. I would retort that the human brain's bias toward illogical beliefs gives religion a far more powerful advantage, though.
 
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Cellach

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I would disagree. Political campaigning or moral education should have no place in state funded schools. Private non state funded schools should be allowed teach whatever zany idea the parents wish.
 

Tea Shark

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to correct the abusive indoctrination of young minds with fair counter-propaganda.
Dogma, schools and counter-propaganda. Love it. :cool:
 

feargach

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I would disagree. Political campaigning or moral education should have no place in schools.
What about facts? Do they have a place?

Does the assertion that life begins at the moment of the creation of a glob of 16 cells have a place there?
 

Ryan Tubbs

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What a ridiculous OP.

Any attempt to introduce children to the (pretty disturbing) issue of abortion, be it from a pro-life or pro-choice perspective, is grotesque in my book.

Children are by their nature, innocent. And to them babies are babies, whether in the womb or out, and I think to introduce them to any form of debate over what is and isn't a baby would be ridiculous and scarring.
 

mr. jings

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I remember in our school in the eighties, in about third or fourth year, a young lay teacher asking the class that if a young teenage girl was pregnant after beng raped by her father, should she be allowed an abortion. More than half of us rasied our hands, and then got treated to a lecture on mortal sin and being ranted out of it by the teacher. Poor show.
 

feargach

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What a ridiculous OP.

Any attempt to introduce children to the (pretty disturbing) issue of abortion, be it from a pro-life or pro-choice perspective, is grotesque in my book.

Children are by their nature, innocent. And to them babies are babies, whether in the womb or out, and I think to introduce them to any form of debate over what is and isn't a baby would be ridiculous and scarring.
So did your school not include propaganda to the effect that the moment a sperm enters the egg, it's a baby?

I'm not aware of any schools in Ireland where anti-abortion propaganda is not present.
 

Cellach

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What about facts? Do they have a place?

Does the assertion that life begins at the moment of the creation of a glob of 16 cells have a place there?
Facts of course always have there place. My point is that I would not approve of publicly funded schools becoming ideological battlegrounds for pro and anti campaigners. I've created a thread before on my disapproval of the religious right secretly propagandising schools. I believe the best solution is to stop this happening in publicly funded schools, rather then allow an equal right for each side of a contentious issue to give their presentations in secondary schools. There is something fundamentally dishonest I my mind about the idea of giving a political presentation to a group of people who aren't even of age to vote.

http://www.politics.ie/forum/education-science/192951-hidden-hand-extreme-religious-right-our-schools.html
 

Ryan Tubbs

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So did your school not include propaganda to the effect that the moment a sperm enters the egg, it's a baby?
Oh, you mean "biology". Yeah, I really think we need to stop public money being spent on this sort of hocus pocus....
 

GDPR

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A lot of anti-abortion campaigners pretend that their stance is a non-religious one. This is obviously false when you examine it. Creationists also claim to be non-religious, with the same falsity.
I am anti abortion, I'm also an atheist and my views on abortion have nothing whatsoever to do with religion.

Now if you know me better than I know myself, lets have you on the subject, otherwise try not to talk through your hole in the same way again. There's a good man and thank you in advance.
 

feargach

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I would disagree. Political campaigning or moral education should have no place in state funded schools. Private non state funded schools should be allowed teach whatever zany idea the parents wish.
So if a group of parents decide they want to re-create Spartan society, including the institutionalised pederasty, that's cool?

Or if a group of parents decide they want to establish Aztec religion, complete with praising child sacrifices, that's their business?
 

Ryan Tubbs

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Does the assertion that life begins at the moment of the creation of a glob of 16 cells have a place there?
I find it funny that people can definitively state that 16 cells doesn't constitute life, but no-one can actually pinpoint when life actually does begin. (16 weeks? 20 weeks? 24 weeks? 9 months?)

People are pretty good at telling us what isn't "life", but pretty awful at telling us what it is.
 

petaljam

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Political campaigning or moral education should have no place in state funded schools. Private non state funded schools should be allowed teach whatever zany idea the parents wish.
This. Definitely.

Not sure about it not being possible, (or desirable?) to teach any moral education though. I think it's perfectly possible, and highly desirable in a diverse society, to have a common core of values which can be taught in state schools, though the actual "teaching" of it may really be more about time given to discussion of ideas rather than a content to be taught like RE is or was.
 

feargach

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I am anti abortion, I'm also an atheist and my views on abortion have nothing whatsoever to do with religion.

Now if you know me better than I know myself, lets have you on the subject, otherwise try not to talk through your hole in the same way again. There's a good man and thank you in advance.
What evidence will cause you to alter your views on abortion?

If the answer to the above question is "none", then although you don't believe in a God, you are in fact religious. Belief without regard to evidence is religion.
 

Ryan Tubbs

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So if a group of parents decide they want to re-create Spartan society, including the institutionalised pederasty, that's cool?

Or if a group of parents decide they want to establish Aztec religion, complete with praising child sacrifices, that's their business?
So lawful religious belief is now being compared with the sexual abuse and murder of children.

Great. Wow. What a brilliant contribution to this debate.
 

Cellach

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I remember in our school in the eighties, in about third or fourth year, a young lay teacher asking the class that if a young teenage girl was pregnant after beng raped by her father, should she be allowed an abortion. More than half of us rasied our hands, and then got treated to a lecture on mortal sin and being ranted out of it by the teacher. Poor show.
I faced a similar situation in 2002. Our religious teacher stated that we were to have a fair debate on abortion. She followed this up with "before we start, I will just say this. Abortion is murder and is always morally wrong. Now prepare your presentations for the debate". When I questioned the fairness of this statement, I was sent to the year head who told me "she get's upset about these kind of things. You are best off ignoring her and not drawing too much attention to yourself in her classes."
 

feargach

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Oh, you mean "biology". Yeah, I really think we need to stop public money being spent on this sort of hocus pocus....
That's not biology. Biology is calling it a blastocyst.
 

Cellach

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That would be a great help to pass the Leaving Cert. A gang of dubious nobodies coming in spinning lies to suit their sectional agendas. Confine these nut jobs to their local Labour party branches.
that's what currently happens. All gangs of dubious nobodies should be eliminated from publicly funded schools.
 
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