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Featured Let's Teach Religion To Teens In Public Schools

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Skwim, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    Not any particular religion, but simply religion in general. Should room be made in the public high school curriculum for a class on religion, focusing on either the different world religions and/or the nature of religion itself?


    WHY?
    WHY NOT?

    .
     
  2. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    The development or basis of religions would be interesting I think.

    The development of tribal, polytheistic, monotheistic, animatistic gods or deities. their relationship to the development of various culture types.

    Religion as it relates to anthropology.
     
  3. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Religious studies was a compulsory in the state secondary school I attended in England in the 1970s. We were taught comparative religion and studied the history and basics of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity - there wasn't much depth to any of it as I recall, but I found it mildly interesting. Forgot most of what I learned though and had to go right back to the beginning when I started taking other religions seriously - as a topic to study I mean. But I definitely think it should be taught - it has been and remains such a huge part of the human psyche.
     
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  4. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    I took a class in World Religions in High School. It was an elective course, not mandatory. I wonder if they still have this? Sounds like a good idea to me, but some people nowadays might get all touchy on how things are presented.
     
  5. sun rise

    sun rise "Love pour forth from the heart of the universe."
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    Given the central role of religion in various aspects of history, religion should be taught as part of history. Reading Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural comment about religion and slavery, for example, is helped by knowing how the Bible was used on both sides of the Civil War.

    There could also be a "Religions of the World" course covering not only current religions, large and small, and atheism, but also traditional and historical religious beliefs. A discussion of cults would also be helpful.
     
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  6. Holdasown

    Holdasown Active Member

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    I would prefer no religion be taught in school.
     
    #6 Holdasown, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  7. Spice

    Spice StewardshipPeaceIntergityCommunityEquality

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    I'd have to say no. It's probably still touched on in history and literature which can begin the broadening of minds, but truly there's not enough time to devote to it for sustainable benefits.
     
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  8. Terese

    Terese Mangalam Pundari Kakshah.
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    I think religion should be taught on the grounds that it develops one's spirituality and/or self. Yes religions have lots of rules, but that shouldn't be the core of what a religion is about and its teaching.
     
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  9. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Difficult task to properly train teachers about respect and neutrality. It's such an emotional topic for many I would doubt you could do any religion much justice.
     
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  10. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    On balance, I would say no.

    1) for something to be added to the curriculum, something needs to be removed. Whilst I see learning about religions as valuable (and interesting, personally), I'm unsure what I'd remove.

    2) More than most areas, it seems open to personal bias in terms of how it's taught.

    3) people's understanding of religions is pretty awful (generally) and teachers (believe it or not) are people. I could see it causing as much harm/confusion as benefit. Like how looking at foreign countries seems like a good idea until you realise Holland is actually not a country, and not all Dutch folk wear wooden shoes.


    But I like the idea of kids learning about religions.
     
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  11. David T

    David T Well-Known Member
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    sure why not, one more idiotic waste of time class can't hurt can it? Now if the kids want to actually form a religious studies class that's different, but an actual class please....
     
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  12. BSM1

    BSM1 Who's a good boy?

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    Not no, but Hell no...It would be extremely hard to stay objective as a teacher, IMHO.
     
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  13. Devananda

    Devananda Well-Known Member
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    I absolutely encourage the study of different world religions! With the world becoming ever smaller, we have many a wonderful opportunity to learn about the very beautifully diverse ways of believing! My junior high school in the sixth grade had a World Cultures course in which we did learn about different religions. It made me quite the open-minded person and greatly increased my appreciation for the similarities and differences in religions other than my own.

    Teens and younger children (who are naturally inquisitive) ought to be encouraged also to explore their own ways of understanding of the world. Classes such as these can do this, most assuredly.
     
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  14. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Libertarian Capitalist
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    No.
    There are valuable things to teach, which are being ignored....
    The business world.
    Managing one's finances.
    The dangers of dating, boinking, & marrying.
    Trades....wood shop, metal shop, appliance repair, construction
     
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  15. Vinayaka

    Vinayaka devotee
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    Car management, ... registration, insurance, timing of oil changes
    Punctuality to work
    Tact
    Medical rights, dealing with doctors
    Writing a will, organizing a funeral

    Just so many life skills never talked about.
     
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  16. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    I have to agree with others here that there are far more important subjects, those dealing with life preparedness issues, that need attending to. While it might be interesting to know how Buddhism differs from Taoism, or the various concepts of god and evil, they are incidental to one's preparation for life, which I feel is the goal of education. Does a class help one become better equipped to face life's challenges and be a contributing citizen? Because I don't see knowledge of religions or theology meeting these criteria, I say, don't waste time on them. If a religion has played a significant role at some point in history it will be covered in a history class. If a religion is involved in a recent development in world politics should be covered in a civics or political science class. And if one feels the study of theology, the metaphysical branch of philosophy, involved, in part, in looking at the god concept should be given time, I suggest that time would be far better spent on philosophical subjects such as logic, rationality, and critical analysis.

    .
     
    #16 Skwim, Jan 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  17. arthra

    arthra Baha'i

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    I think in the context of studying civilizations it would be appropriate. In order to understand world history a proper introduction to religions would be appropriate and even necessary. If the subject is U.S. history some understanding of Puritanism and the Pilgrims would seem appropriate. Jonathan Edwards preaching ... or the anti-slavery movement... the Jefferson's view of religious liberty. If you're studying ancient Greece a knowledge of Greek mythology and sacrifices would seem appropriate.
     
  18. LionLooking

    LionLooking Member

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    We already do.
    I'm sorry, American language can cause misunderstandings to us British. By public schools I presume that you mean (what we would call) state schools?
    RE is a compulsory subject in England's state schools from the age of 5 to 16 (although, parents can opt to remove their child from certain lessons if they wish).
    This gives British children an understanding (albeit, quite basic) of all the major religions which helps them to get along with each other.
    Under no circumstances should one particular religion be given precidence and taught as if it was true.
     
  19. Rival

    Rival Mondasian
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    Are Americans really this dense? Religious studies is compulsory in all UK schools to teach us understanding and respect. Jesus I didn't know that the U.S. is this bad.
     
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  20. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Yep............. good idea.
    Why? Religions and the history of religions is part of Mankind's present and past motivational forces.

    You could call it 'Theology' on the Lesson Plan?
     
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