Brainwash

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beLIEf (April 04, 2012, 09:08:35 AM):
Mefiante's point about 'happiness' is critical as it is in itself a human construct and IMHO very subjective. Oprah aired a show some time ago (yes I actually watched some of her shit (wtf!!))that stated that Danes (in Denmark) are the happiest nation on earth and at the same the least religious. This would fly in the face of what beLIEF said. In all these so-called sociological studies one needs to subject the scientific rigor of the research to the n-th degree. My take (a subjective interpretation and adaptation of Objectivism) on 'happiness' is the following (from "Moses was a Liar") where the heroine lambasts a Jesuit priest:

"What do you know priest, about happiness? Your church as well as others have spread misery throughout the world and you grow from strength to strength on the corpses of those you have destroyed and persecuted in the name of love. The ‘happiness’ you and those before you preached was conditional; conditional upon the sacrifice of your mind, upon the sacrifice of your individuality and the sacrifice of your self-esteem. True happiness can only come from within; it is not something a deity can give or bestow upon man; happiness is a condition brought about by the achievement of one’s goals; happiness comes about through activities which seek to find a balance between reason, ambition and virtue. Happiness can never come at the expense of another person; happiness is not the equivalent of an absence of fear or evil or even of unhappiness. Happiness comes about when man succeeds in achieving his or her personal goals, goals which they believe will make them happy, in achieving recognition for this from those they respect and love, and from the rewards of such achievement. It is not a gift bestowed upon a person such as one bestows upon a child. It does not come from material goods, wealth or power unless such reward was justified by the creation of value and virtue. That is not the happiness I am referring to. I pity you priest; your happiness will only come about when you convert me or destroy me in the attempt to do so; you will consequently die an unhappy, unfulfilled man."


I very much like your quote there :)

I was making a vast generalisation in that "in theory" Ignorance is bliss and that relinquishing power and decision making to a higher being admonishes many people of the stress of taking personal responsibility for their lives. I see my colleagues in work regularly doing this. Ironically it fills me with happiness as I find it HILARIOUS! The same thing will happen when we go back after the school holidays.... "Don't worry God is in control today" Really - well why was he on holiday the last 2 weeks as well??

Anyway - I digress.. I have to say as a comparison I am significantly happier than all the religious people I know- and that is because I take personal responsibility. So I guess it's a paradox and of course entirely subjective.
brianvds (April 04, 2012, 10:12:11 AM):
The SA education is a long way from perfect or decent if we look at the Eastern Cape. I fail to see how you can get to Gr12 and be illiterate. The system requires that you repeat your grade until you pass or pass with support.

Nope. That rule is countermanded by another that says a pupil may not be failed more than once in a phase. After that, he has to be promoted to the next grade, whether he passed the previous grade or not. It is therefore perfectly possible for a pupil to reach matric while being functionally illiterate. And seeing as you only need 30% in some subjects, and 40% in some others, to pass matric, and seeing as pupils who get 5% or so less than that are routinely passed anyway, it is perfectly possible to pass matric without having any meaningful understanding of any of your school work.

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So what exactly do you mean by "illiterate?" And I would be interested to see your source of "record numbers". There could be record numbers of learners failing, which is still amazing considering the 30% pass rate, but I think illiterate and innumerate is inaccurate.

I mean functionally illiterate and innumerate. Yes, many of these kids can read. Give them a newspaper article to read, and they can read it. Ask them questions about the contents of the article, half of which they have to answer verbally and the other half in writing, and you will soon see what I mean. Then ask them to do some simple calculations like 32.3 x 54.2, or 53463/23, or 1/2 + 1/4 without a calculator, and you'll see that they have not mastered elementary math either. Let them do those calculations WITH a calculator, and they still get half of them wrong, or they don't know how to even start because they don't know how to turn a fraction into a decimal with a calculator.

I am not just idly speculating here: I have spent the past year or two teaching and tutoring at various schools. I have seen it with my own eyes. Public education in South Africa is a disaster area, and the home schooled kids of fundies are almost certainly better off.

Mind you, it does depend on the school in question. The semi-private "model C" schools are probably among the best on the planet. What's more, the problem does not primarily lie with the schools, but with parents, so there is actually preciously little the government CAN do about it, even if it were willing.

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What I meant by "decent" was at least the OPPORTUNITY to be exposed to different world views. So yes that may also mean the other things people on this forum would not necessarily agree with, but in terms of holistic learning and having the freedom to make up your own mind as a growing adult; I will stand by that being "decent".

You don't need to be exposed to different world views to be happy, or to make a success. And in any event, the best way to make sure people get exposed to different world views is to teach them to read (in such a way that they actually understand what they read). If the fundie private education can achieve that, then we needn't worry too much about them abusing their kids.

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Who's "we"? We as in the people on here discussing it are not in a position to do anything about it! And as far as I can see the government certainly wouldn't be in that position due to the constitution - Freedom of religion.
I agree with freedom of religion entirely, but also the freedom to explore, question and make up your own mind not be brainwashed.

In which case I am not sure where that leaves us. You seem to agree that there is nothing to be done about fundies educating their kids privately. If there is nothing we can do, there is no point lamenting it.

Personally I am not too worried about the fundie kids. Trust me, they are vastly better off than some of the completely irreligious kids I worked with last year in Pretoria's inner city... :-)
beLIEf (April 04, 2012, 18:52:53 PM):
I really can't be arsed to go in circles I have to much to do but...

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What I meant by "decent" was at least the OPPORTUNITY to be exposed to different world views. So yes that may also mean the other things people on this forum would not necessarily agree with, but in terms of holistic learning and having the freedom to make up your own mind as a growing adult; I will stand by that being "decent".

You don't need to be exposed to different world views to be happy, or to make a success. And in any event, the best way to make sure people get exposed to different world views is to teach them to read (in such a way that they actually understand what they read). If the fundie private education can achieve that, then we needn't worry too much about them abusing their kids.

It wasn't about being happy it was what IN MY VIEW constituted a decent education and one I would want for my kids.

Model C's are definitely not some of the best on the planet - I've been teaching 7 years in 3 different countries and totally disagree but anyway we've gone a little off the point.
brianvds (April 04, 2012, 20:20:22 PM):
Model C's are definitely not some of the best on the planet - I've been teaching 7 years in 3 different countries and totally disagree.

This could also be, but they are among the best in South Africa, which explains why there is such pressure on them to go double-medium (after which they usually rapidly get as bad as any other school). The average state school is of course ten times worse. I can understand why people would be reluctant to put their children in such schools, and I think they should have the option not to.

Perhaps the point is moot: they do in fact have that option.

Superman (April 05, 2012, 08:29:31 AM):
there is such pressure on them to go double-medium

There is a particular school in Randburg that I would gladly wish would go double-medium just out of spite because of their bigotry I experienced from them when I was young. I grind my teeth but I have to remember that I cannot allow myself to become like them. Bending a persons arm does not change them but creates more hate. When we ensure a person has freedom there is room to change. It so hard though. It is good that they have a choice. I really enjoyed your posts brianvds

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