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Taking God out of school - first episode....

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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #45 on: September 16, 2014, 14:26:09 PM »

IMHO we need to cultivate critical thinking in schools.

I think this is where we come full circle. Critical thinking was taught to me in school: During science class, maybe more indirectly during maths, and I'll even credit our history classes for discussing the Renaissance. I remember reading up on the principles of it and being impressed by the throwing off of shackles to critical thinking and suppression of contrary ideas. And the broad improvement in the world that came as a result. Remember, I was still religious at this point. But already could see how a secular society could be a great improvement.

Come to think of it, each in it's own small way, it may have changed the way I think forever and at an early age.

The problem we face is that the religious want to invade science class, politicos have an agenda in the history class, etc. Perhaps exactly because as you point out: They see truth and reason as a threat. And let's be honest: It is, to their outmoded ways of thinking.

If you ask me (and you didn't, but if you did...) this is where the fight starts, and should start. Yes I had compulsory religious instruction, compulsory sermons every monday morning (even as a christian it got over the top for me sometimes), compulsory praying and religiously zealous teachers. But I credit those few teachers who encouraged me to think outside the box... at least some of the time. They lead me on a path that eventually led to the abandonment of all that stuff.

Besides, I don't mind a christian who can also see the value of a secular state, who can accommodate opposing ideas, etc. It's the fundies I have beef with.

Guess at this point I'm agreeing a bit too vociferously.
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The Vulcan
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« Reply #46 on: September 16, 2014, 14:41:23 PM »

 
Besides, I don't mind a christian who can also see the value of a secular state, who can accommodate opposing ideas, etc. It's the fundies I have beef with.

Guess at this point I'm agreeing a bit too vociferously.


 Grin

I agree, I have the same feeling about doing something in a positive manner, I don't think a O'Hair-type argument/person will easily succeed in our country and besides you don't want to be labeled an evil atheist or satanist, there's enough of that going around already, can you imagine how much worse things like that would get if do succeed in "taking god out of schools" completely, Madilyn O'Hair style?

In my experience, the Jews, Hindus and Muslims I've met are for more open to discuss things, is far more secularized and tolerant of others than the best christian fundamentalist I can think of, but this also just proves the kind of special treatment CHRISTIANITY gets and the arrogance of the "Xtian right" (christen reg) - the privelage they enjoy to openly proselytize and force their beliefs down everyone's throats, and the stake they claim for not allowing any criticism, and still they make themselves out to be the persecuted.

Case in point: Just yesterday I watched the news and saw how the muslim community along with human rights groups came together to openly distance themselves from extremism, on the interview on tv, the muslim spokeswoman also made a reference for among other, atheists to come and stand in solidarity with them, closest I can come is: eNCA Also, interestingly, Cape Town is to open the first interfaith mosque - Cape Times Still, just talking to people of other faiths have proven again and again how much more tolerant they are, suppose because we're not living in a muslim-state, a jewish-state, buddhist-state or jedi-state, but a christian-state [secular state.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 15:25:29 PM by The Vulcan » Logged
Tweefo
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« Reply #47 on: September 16, 2014, 15:15:48 PM »

Quote
if you offer to augment a school’s curriculum without the correct qualifications and paperwork in hand, you’ll run squarely into a stone wall, regardless how noble, well-intentioned or generous your offer may be.
I am doing this as a job and it's not too difficult to get in, but with most schools it's only the kids that pay that attend my shows, or when the school pay, everyone of course get included. The school will not pay for a selected few (especially if they go against the school's "one size fits all" thinking) and some of those atheist kids will not pay, so now you have three groups to look after.
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Jacques
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« Reply #48 on: September 16, 2014, 23:12:38 PM »

For those of you in Cape Town, UCT's Philosophy Department has been running a critical thinking thing in schools for years now. It's been a while since I actively engaged with it, but Greg Fried is the person to ask about what they are doing, and whether they need help.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #49 on: September 17, 2014, 08:40:48 AM »

Tweefo, correct me if I’m mistaken but you’re not an official part of any school’s curriculum.  You’re more like a visit to the museum — except that you’re the museum visiting the kids.

'Luthon64
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Tweefo
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« Reply #50 on: September 17, 2014, 09:41:02 AM »

Tweefo, correct me if I’m mistaken but you’re not an official part of any school’s curriculum.  You’re more like a visit to the museum — except that you’re the museum visiting the kids.

'Luthon64
Correct, but it's not like I have a university or whole museum organization behind me. I do sneak in a bit of critical thinking though. Was asked "if mermaids were real" the other day. That lead to a good 15 min discussion on not believing anything you see or hear, why you need evidence and so on. That was from a Gr6 girl by the way, and what that had to do with astronomy, I still don't know.
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The Vulcan
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« Reply #51 on: September 17, 2014, 12:01:56 PM »

Yeah, schools don't really say no if you want to give extra-curricular activities or do shows/performances, that's the whole incentive for these religious bands and missionary-type groups to tour to all the schools as a career.

I really hope this courtcase ends up in the constitutional court, because that's where the main focus should be, wish we could turn this "taking god out of school" into a more clear rights issue, because that's what it's all about for me, not taking god out specifically, but improving equality and fairness in these matters, as right now it's fair to say that non-christians are very much discriminated against in public schools, I don't even think there are public, state owned muslim or jewish schools, are there?
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brianvds
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« Reply #52 on: September 17, 2014, 14:43:09 PM »

Correct, but it's not like I have a university or whole museum organization behind me. I do sneak in a bit of critical thinking though. Was asked "if mermaids were real" the other day. That lead to a good 15 min discussion on not believing anything you see or hear, why you need evidence and so on. That was from a Gr6 girl by the way, and what that had to do with astronomy, I still don't know.

Funny thing is, just a few days ago a grade 6 girl asked ME whether mermaids are real. Perhaps there have been mermaids on TV or something.

As for the relevance to astronomy, I am used to it by now that kids ask the weirdest, random questions that have nothing whatever to do with what you are teaching them. Meaning of course that they were not paying attention! :-)
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The Vulcan
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« Reply #53 on: September 17, 2014, 14:51:07 PM »

Funny enough, there was a mermaid hoax youtube that made the news a couple of months ago Wink

Perhaps it's not so strange to ask astronomy questions in biology class, seeing how all that "science stuff" gets generally jumbled together when parents warn their kids not to pay any attention to that "science stuff" but just belief in jesus, honey, kiss, kiss... otherwise you're gonna burn in hell forever Evil
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Jacques
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« Reply #54 on: September 17, 2014, 22:51:25 PM »

FYI, I'll be taking/debating with Andrew Selley (of FOR SA, who are offended by OGOD's lawsuit regarding secular schooling) on Eusebius's PowerFM show on Friday at 10am. 
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ingwe
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« Reply #55 on: September 17, 2014, 23:44:16 PM »

This whole topic needs to be kept in the public eye with as many people commenting on the misinformation being published in much of the press. In 2009 George Claasen suddenly deleted his blog "Prometheus Ongebonde" without giving any reason to those who were regular visitors. It was rumored that his posts about religion in schools had not set well with various groups and that pressure was brought on his family by the fundamental groups involved. If this was the case we all owe it to him and his family to continue with this process. I am surprised that it has taken another four or five years for this to happen.
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Brian
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« Reply #56 on: September 18, 2014, 09:31:08 AM »

I was in contact with George and he admitted that his family and himself personally were threatened with their lives; needs to put bread on the table and consequently he shut up...sad at so many levels.
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Jacques
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« Reply #57 on: September 19, 2014, 13:45:16 PM »

The podcast of today's chat with Eusebius on this topic - https://soundcloud.com/powerfm987/is-it-ok-for-state-schools-to-have-a-religious-ethos
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Hermes
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« Reply #58 on: September 19, 2014, 15:05:16 PM »

That was eloquently reasoned, Jacques.  Thanks for posting the link here.

I'm pleased with the publicity, but it's sad to hear people calling in not even grasping the notion of motivating a position.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #59 on: September 19, 2014, 16:22:10 PM »

Jacques, you speak so well!  Tongue

Seriously, well done. You do seem to have a knack for elucidating your points quite gracefully and, as much as possible, not kicking the hornet's nest. As I've hinted before, it's not something I myself "excel" in. Respect.

I'm quite surprised, although I shouldn't be given our diverse country, how many people out there actually agree. Sure you get the odd guy phoning in going "Religion good, hmkay?", most of them seem to see the point in one way or another.
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