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Switch to Forum Live View Religious/spiritual and state separation in education.
5 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2009 - 4:50PM #1
comradesoul
Posts: 111

I am a solid theist. Grew up atheist and change my opinion. No specific religious affiliation so I have no axe to grind for any of the particular "brands" of religion in our world today. Stated just so you know where I am going from.


I respect the right of atheists not to have Christianity Islam Hinduism Judaism or any other religious viewpoint taught to their children against the parents will.


The right for somene to be atheistic in their thinking is an excercise of the very same right I excercise to be a theist. I believe the right to reject God is sacred in that it is a God given right and needs to be respected especially by those who claim to be speaking God's teachings. Someone said: "A man's opinion changed against his will is of the same opinion still, or something close to that. A very wise statement IMO.


What I ask is that my right to accept the reality of God receive the same respect from my country.


In terms of the educational system this could only be realized by allowing a broad spectrum of choice when it comes to choosing where to send one's child for their education. A choice now denied for the most part in the USA where we have school board battles over creationism and various random chaos theories in the science classes.


I don't want atheists teaching my children thatb there is no Intelligent Designer behind the universal structure. And I respect the right of an atheist who does not want ID taught to his children.


The only reasonable answer is separation of atheist and theist schools based on respect for the free choice of everyone.


Any thoughts on this.


 

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2009 - 5:35PM #2
amcolph
Posts: 17,391

Aug 25, 2009 -- 4:50PM, comradesoul wrote:


 I don't want atheists teaching my children thatb there is no Intelligent Designer behind the universal structure.


 




I think you need to inform yourself about what actually goes on in a well-conducted science class.


No reputable teacher of science would assert that there is no God.  If you have any real evidence that such a thing is going on in any particular science class you should bring the matter to the attention of the appropriate authorities.


Unfortunately, certain creationists make such a claim--on the grounds, I suppose, that modern science does indeed overturn their claims of special creation and a young Earth--as they arrogate to themselves the status of being the only real Christians and denounce all others as atheists, they claim on that basis that science teachers deny the existence of God.


It is hysterical nonsense.

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2009 - 6:08PM #3
comradesoul
Posts: 111

Aug 25, 2009 -- 5:35PM, amcolph wrote:


Aug 25, 2009 -- 4:50PM, comradesoul wrote:


 I don't want atheists teaching my children thatb there is no Intelligent Designer behind the universal structure.


 




I think you need to inform yourself about what actually goes on in a well-conducted science class.


No reputable teacher of science would assert that there is no God.




Teaching that there is no prime mover is asserting atheism by negation. You may disagree and I don't care if you do as that is your right. I respect that but I also want my rights respected. And to do that, it seems clear to me would entail separate schools.


Why should my tax money fund the compulsory teaching of what I see as atheism to my child who I would be raising (if I had children) as a theist?


As far as the rest of your post it should have been obvious that I am not arguing  for any religions particular views. Hysterical to you may not be hysterical to the young earth creationists. I happy to agree with you a 6-10,000 year old earth is pure madness but I am arguing that people have a right to be wrong.


I wouldn't let a young earth creationist anywhere near the mind of my child either. But this just makes my point for school choice.


 

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 25, 2009 - 7:28PM #4
amcolph
Posts: 17,391

Aug 25, 2009 -- 6:08PM, comradesoul wrote:


Teaching that there is no prime mover is asserting atheism by negation.



My remarks apply equally well to that statement.  Where and how have you witnessed publlic school science teachers teaching that there is no prime mover?

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2009 - 9:32AM #5
Heretic_for_Christ
Posts: 5,488

amcolph is absolutely correct.


The concepts of intelligent design and a prime mover are simply not part of the science curriculum, and my guess is that a science teacher who was confronted by a student's question on these topics would respond that saying that these are subjects that can be discussed at home or in church or among friends, but it is not part of science. Saying that science does not require the assumption of a supernatural agency is NOT the same thing as denying the possibility that a supernatural agency exists.


When I was in school, there was no such concept as "intelligent design," and my knowledge of creationism was limited to what I had heard about the Scopes trial; it did not even occur to me (growing up in a large northeast city) that anyone still believed in creationism. I did encounter the concept of a prime mover, but that was a bit later, in a philosophy class in college.

I prayed for deliverance from the hard world of facts and logic to the happy land where fantasy and prejudice reign. But God spake unto me, saying, "No, keep telling the truth," and to that end afflicted me with severe Trenchant Mouth. So I'm sorry for making cutting remarks, but it's the will of God.
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5 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2009 - 1:10PM #6
comradesoul
Posts: 111

Aug 26, 2009 -- 9:32AM, Heretic_for_Christ wrote:


amcolph is absolutely correct.


The concepts of intelligent design and a prime mover are simply not part of the science curriculum, and my guess is that a science teacher who was confronted by a student's question on these topics would respond that saying that these are subjects that can be discussed at home or in church or among friends, but it is not part of science. Saying that science does not require the assumption of a supernatural agency is NOT the same thing as denying the possibility that a supernatural agency exists.



Right, ID is not taught and to suggest that science teachers don't ridicule the idea overtly and by more subtle ways as in tone of voice etc. I would say is a bit naive. But what I am saying is that trying to take a neutral stance and ignore the  question of ID is in my view unscientific and very lazy thinking. But that is not the point I am trying to raise in this thread.


Also from this theists point of view I want it taught positively that there is an Intelligent Designer. To discuss the formation of something realitively simple, like an office building for example, while trying to ignore  the blueprints and the architech(sp) who drew them up is bizarre .


In my view God is the greatest scientist as it is He from whom all science flows.


But this is also not the topic. Again I stress my position of being perfectly willing for you to hold an opposing view and I am not even trying to debate the subject.


I am simply stating that there will always be needless conflicts and controversies arising as people battle of what is taught in the classroom until we realize and accept the need to decentralize the educational system and have many different classrooms instead of trying to make oine classroom acceptable to everyone.


When I was in school, there was no such concept as "intelligent design," and my knowledge of creationism was limited to what I had heard about the Scopes trial; it did not even occur to me (growing up in a large northeast city) that anyone still believed in creationism. I did encounter the concept of a prime mover, but that was a bit later, in a philosophy class in college.




This is what I am talking about. ID is as old as man. The simple statement "God created..." refers to Intelligent Design. The acceptance of ID is universal amongst all the ancient yoga teaching of the east where intelligence is seen as the first substance of universal creation upon which everything else in the cosmos is hung.


It's not a 'new fangled thing' it is just that scientific investigation allows us more insights into the nature of ID and a new way of discussing it. I in fact consider scientific discovery on par with and in many many cases surpassing ancient scriptures in pointing out the magnificence of God.


Science is not a problem but the incomplete reading of scientific truths is. IMO


Please let me know your views on allowing freedom of educational choice to flourish.

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2009 - 1:34PM #7
amcolph
Posts: 17,391

Aug 26, 2009 -- 1:10PM, comradesoul wrote:


Right, ID is not taught and to suggest that science teachers don't ridicule the idea overtly and by more subtle ways as in tone of voice etc. I would say is a bit naive.



It depends on what you mean by ID. 


If you merely mean by that there is a supernatural creator, then affirming or denying the existence of such an entity is no part of a well conducted science class and no reputable science teacher would sneer at it, either.  Again, some actual examples based on your own experience would be helpful in discussing your views of the matter.


If you mean a specific version of  'Intelligent Design' such as that proposed by Michael Behe and championed by the Discovery Institute, that is nothing but crackpot psuedoscience and has no place in a science class.


 


ID is as old as man. The simple statement "God created..." refers to Intelligent Design. The acceptance of ID is universal amongst all the ancient yoga teaching of the east where intelligence is seen as the first substance of universal creation upon which everything else in the cosmos is hung.


It's not a 'new fangled thing' it is just that scientific investigation allows us more insights into the nature of ID and a new way of discussing it. I in fact consider scientific discovery on par with and in many many cases surpassing ancient scriptures in pointing out the magnificence of God.




None of which has anything to do with what should be going on in science class.

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2009 - 3:03PM #8
Summer813
Posts: 325

In order to accommodate the desire that teachers espouse and cater to every divergent viewpoint on the existence of a Designer, the method of design, or for that matter any other religious or philosophical POV (which, necessarily, would touch also upon the teaching of everything from literature to history as well as science), separate schools would be required not simply for theists and non-theists, but for virtually every possible system of belief... which would work out to something like a separate school for almost every student. Doing so would be impossible.


If you want your children to be taught, in school, ONLY that which you find supportive of your own personal beliefs, then what you need to do is either homeschool them yourself, or send them to a religiously-based school that meets your needs. Otherwise, send them to public school and then supplement whatever is taught there by teaching your own personal beliefs at home... which is not only your right as a parent, but also your DUTY as one.


People who expect the public schools to indoctrinate their children in the parents' religious beliefs are lazy and are shirking their duty as parents.

Shared pain is lessened, shared joy increased. Thus do we refute entropy. - Mike Callahan, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon
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5 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2009 - 4:13PM #9
dblad
Posts: 1,682

"There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed." Supreme Court of Wisconsin, Weiss v. District Board, 1890-MAR-18.



"A union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion." Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, Engel v. Vitale, (1962)



"School sponsorship of a religious message is impermissible because it sends the ancillary message to members of the audience who are nonadherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community. " U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Santa Fe v. Doe, (2000).

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5 years ago  ::  Aug 26, 2009 - 10:55PM #10
Heretic_for_Christ
Posts: 5,488

comradesoul,


You are asking for something that might seem reasonable--an open-minded attitude about education--but the implications of that nice-sounding phrase are scary to me. Education is supposed to teach children in terms of factual knowledge and, later, logical thought. It is appropriate to teach that science does not have an answer to everything, and that scientists have been wrong--yet the subject must be taught on the basis of our current knowledge. ID is not an alternate theory; it is not a theory at all in the scientific sense of a model that best accounts for all existing data and s not refuted by any data. Neither is ID a hypothesis in the scientific sense of a model that is not yet supported by data but for which it is possible to collect and analyze data. ID is a speculation; to call it an alternative theory (or to denigrate evolution as JUST a theory, falsely implying that it is just an idle speculation) would be to deceive students about the meaning of "theory" in science. 

I prayed for deliverance from the hard world of facts and logic to the happy land where fantasy and prejudice reign. But God spake unto me, saying, "No, keep telling the truth," and to that end afflicted me with severe Trenchant Mouth. So I'm sorry for making cutting remarks, but it's the will of God.
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