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Old 09-18-2006, 02:32 AM   #121
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Whether the parent wants to teach a child about multiple religions or none at all, it is the parent's right, and the parent's responsibility. No one else should be able to make such a decison for the parent. Not you, not the school system.
But this makes no sense. If the parents don't believe the holocaust happened are you going to be sympathetic to the parents that take their kids out when this is being taught?

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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest

If I were a parent, I would want to raise my child in the faith I follow, because I believe it is the one true faith. I do not want my child to simulate a religious practice of Islam. When the child gets to the age where he/she is mature enough to study and form his/her own opinions of other religions, I won't like it, but it's not my choice to make at that point. However, I will not allow the public school system and teachers, who may indeed have their own biases and agendas, to instruct my child in the religious practices of a religion that I consider a false religion. It is my right and responsibility as a parent.
But I don't see the harm here. If you raised your child in your faith, are you scared that a few hours of education will erase the first 16 years or so?

Would you allow your child to be taught about other religions without simulations?
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest

A school system has no right poking its nose into the religious upbringing of its students.
This isn't what they are doing, far from it. Especially if a school is teaching more than one religion.

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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest

I'm curious about something. I am honestly not trying to be rude when I ask this question. Are you a supporter of socialism?
In theory socialism has some good points. i.e. healthcare

But it fails in many ways outside of theory, so no.

What does this have to do with the discussion?
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Old 09-18-2006, 03:48 AM   #122
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
Percentage wise what are your largest religions?
For reference's sake...drawn from the Encyclopedia Britannica's annual yearbook--which in turn draws upon UN data, census data, and various demographers' calculations--here are some *very rough* statistics (as evinced by the fact that they add up to slightly more than the actual world population--though obviously some of the categories listed could overlap):

Christianity: 2.1 billion (approx. 33%)
Islam: 1.3 billion (approx. 21%)
Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion (approx. 16%)
Hinduism: 900 million (approx. 14%)
Chinese traditional religion: 394 million (approx. 6%)
Buddhism: 376 million (approx. 6%)
primal-indigenous: 300 million
African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
Sikhism: 23 million
Juche: 19 million
Spiritism: 15 million
Judaism: 14 million
Baha'i: 7 million
Jainism: 4.2 million
Shinto: 4 million
Cao Dai: 4 million
Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
Tenrikyo: 2 million
Neo-Paganism: 1 million
Unitarian-Universalism: 800,000
Rastafarianism: 600,000
Scientology: 500,000

I provided Wikipedia links for those that struck me as particularly obscure, and/or debatable as warranting the "religion" label, from a Western POV. Obviously the "Secular..." category doesn't constitute a religious bloc; obviously "Chinese traditional religion," "primal-indigenous," "African Traditional and Diasporic," and "Neo-Paganism" are problematic as categories, in that people who fall into them don't necessarily have much at all in common "theologically." Some scholars would consider "Hinduism" as a label to pose the same problem.
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:10 AM   #123
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
This planet would prosper if we were all a little more educated about each other's faiths and beliefs.
On this small, tiny point I agree. But education should be separated from indoctrination.

I think those pursuing a science teaching degree should include classes on creationism as part of their curriculum. That way they can accept that theories require concrete faith to have concrete proof. They can also explain how we got here in the first place from every major theory in a logical standpoint. This would create a society where there is more freedom of choice and everyone has their beliefs represented in some way or another.
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:38 AM   #124
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Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
On this small, tiny point I agree. But education should be separated from indoctrination.

I think those pursuing a science teaching degree should include classes on creationism as part of their curriculum. That way they can accept that theories require concrete faith to have concrete proof. They can also explain how we got here in the first place from every major theory in a logical standpoint. This would create a society where there is more freedom of choice and everyone has their beliefs represented in some way or another.
Sorry? That is the most absurd proposal I have seen in a good long while. To argue special creation has logic to it is a fallacy, the intuitive appeal it holds to the human mind is different than rational cause. Introducing the element such as God to explain life is completely untestable - as opposed to other proposals favouring purely naturalistic means and panspermia which have supporting evidence.

You can't pick and choose the science supporting evolution, to entertain the idea that special creation is valid in comparison is lying and would do a grave misservice to students who put a lot of time and money into their education.

Theories require testable and falsifiable hypothesis, explanations for the evidence and predictive power - not concrete faith, your stipulation is introducing the religious dogma that stands diametrically opposed to reason and the scientific method.
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:44 AM   #125
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Sorry? That is the most absurd proposal I have seen in a good long while. To argue special creation has logic to it is a fallacy, the intuitive appeal it holds to the human mind is different than rational cause. Introducing the element such as God to explain life is completely untestable - as opposed to other proposals favouring purely naturalistic means and panspermia which have supporting evidence.

You can't pick and choose the science supporting evolution, to entertain the idea that special creation is valid in comparison is lying and would do a grave misservice to students who put a lot of time and money into their education.

Theories require testable and falsifiable hypothesis, explanations for the evidence and predictive power - not concrete faith, your stipulation is introducing the religious dogma that stands diametrically opposed to reason and the scientific method.
A-hem... so everyone should be required to accept evolution as an absolute truth rather than a scientific theory? I find a lot of logic in Creationism. It makes more sense than getting something out of nothing. I would think you of all people would be open to the free exchange of ideas, and open to the fact that Darwinism has been revised from its original form several times.
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:47 AM   #126
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


It's not possible to study every religion, is it? Then how do you pick and choose? How can we force the students to take a 15 hours course on Islam but say "Sorry, no can do on Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Christian Science, Scientology, Buddhism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Bahai, etc. etc? "
I think we're ignoring the elephant in the room here. The reason to teach about Islam is because Islam--especially the radical, extremist face of Islam--is all over the news right now. It's very much a part of what is going on in our world right now, a part of the history being made right now. Coincidentally, today I just started teaching a Geography unit plan on Southwest Asia (the Middle East) and I was thinking about this thread as we began the unit. (Now I teach in a church-run missionary school so teaching religion is not an issue for me obviously). And as we began talking about what the kids knew of the region, the topics of Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, the Taliban, and Osma Bin Laden came up. You can't talk about the issues in the region without dealing with Islam. You'd be remiss not to. And I quickly came to the conclusion that I'd have to devote some extra time to the study of Islam so that my students could have a proper context to understanding the issues in the region.

But the question that comes up, which I think you've been hinting at, is what exactly do you teach. You believe Islam to be a false religion (which, being a Christian I suppose I must agree with, though I don't care to use those words per se), so does that mean that anything less than a negative portrayal of the religion would qualify as an "endorsement, indoctrination, and promotion" of the faith in your mind? Is it possible to teach about religions, without it being "for" or "against" the religion?

In my opinion, it's totally possible. The approach I take is to teach about the religion as its "mainstream" adherents understand it. I explain the religion as "they" would explain it. I think that's the only fair and the closest way to "neutrally" teach students about a religion. As a Christian teacher teaching in a Christian school where I am actively promoting my own faith, I may choose to highlight where Christianity differs from Islam, and I may even choose to go so far as to highlight where I believe it fails to "hit the mark" for me as a Christian believer. However none of that entails painting Islam (or any other religion short of flat-out Satanism) in a wholly negative light. I would certainly not feel a need to teach that Islam is a "violent religion of bloodthirsty savages, of which the terrorists are the truest and natural manifestation." Mainstreams Muslims certainly don't teach this and I would see no good reason to contradict the mainstream Muslim teaching.

In a public system there's no need to do this either. You simply say this is what they say they believe without putting your own spin on what YOU think they believe and I think you've managed to teach about the religion without either endorsing or denigrating it.

On a slightly different note, I know of an atheist public school teacher here in Saipan who routinely mocks, denigrates, and argues against Christianity in his history class, and I believe he is totally out of line and in violation of the seperation of church and state.

Oh, and by the way, it's my understanding that an Arabic-speaking Christian would use the term Allah in reference to God, because that is the Arabic word for the one true Creator God of Abraham (as opposed to the generic "gods"). Unless you expect Arabic Christians to speak to English.
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Old 09-18-2006, 07:55 AM   #127
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Darwinian evolution has undergone changes and revolutions over the last 150 years to reach the modern synthesis; this is not a negative, it is proof positive that scientific endevour is the progressive accumulation of facts in a continuously evolving framework of knowledge and not dogmatic faith. It is a badge of pride in a theory that it has been able to persist as the foundation for all that followed rather than completely overturned and just shows how high the confidence level is in the scientific theory (a label not granted lightly, theories are the closest thing to scientific truth).

The framing of the question as one of absolute truth is defining faith in a reactionary manner; explaining the mechanisms of life and the way this system behaves in time does not detract from it's grandeur nor should it rob the glory of God from the believer - it is a case where the facts are very clear cut, special creation is wrong and evolution is right - objective materialistic and fact not relativistic and subjective theology; black and white.

Evolution represents the best explanation for the diversity of life on this planet both in the past and present. The origins of life rest on molecular biology and the formation of nucleotide sequences in the right conditions - all events which must have obeyed the laws of physics, theres no resaon to think that they didn't and that is a reasonable train of thought.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:04 AM   #128
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I find a lot of logic in Creationism. It makes more sense than getting something out of nothing.
Where is the something out of nothing? Is weather an example of special creation - or fluid dynamics? How about capitalism and stock markets; they all display complex and dynamic interactions that are hard to model and impossible to predict. The systems change in time and there are common underlying principles; we are a product of our reality and not an external force.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:05 AM   #129
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Darwinian evolution has undergone changes and revolutions over the last 150 years to reach the modern synthesis; this is not a negative, it is proof positive that scientific endevour is the progressive accumulation of facts in a continuously evolving framework of knowledge and not dogmatic faith. It is a badge of pride in a theory that it has been able to persist as the foundation for all that followed rather than completely overturned and just shows how high the confidence level is in the scientific theory (a label not granted lightly, theories are the closest thing to scientific truth).

The framing of the question as one of absolute truth is defining faith in a reactionary manner; explaining the mechanisms of life and the way this system behaves in time does not detract from it's grandeur nor should it rob the glory of God from the believer - it is a case where the facts are very clear cut, special creation is wrong and evolution is right - objective materialistic and fact not relativistic and subjective theology; black and white.

Evolution represents the best explanation for the diversity of life on this planet both in the past and present. The origins of life rest on molecular biology and the formation of nucleotide sequences in the right conditions - all events which must have obeyed the laws of physics, theres no resaon to think that they didn't and that is a reasonable train of thought.
Um, I think you accidentally posted this in the wrong thread? What does this have to do with the ACLU or teaching about Islam in public schools?
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:06 AM   #130
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Macfistowannabe saying that creation should be part of science degrees made it so, and defence of secular education is another area where the ACLU does a great job.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:11 AM   #131
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Macfistowannabe saying that creation should be part of science degrees made it so, and defence of secular education is another area where the ACLU does a great job.
Right. I remember that now.
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:13 AM   #132
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


But this makes no sense. If the parents don't believe the holocaust happened are you going to be sympathetic to the parents that take their kids out when this is being taught?
It's totally different. The Holocaust is a known historical fact. It was one of the worst, if not the worst, crime that men have perpertrated against other men. It is essential that people understand what happened in the Holocaust to help prevent it from happening again.


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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

But I don't see the harm here. If you raised your child in your faith, are you scared that a few hours of education will erase the first 16 years or so?
At the age of 7th grade, children are very impressionable.

If my child asks me about Islam, I can give not only the facts about it, but I can also explain how it differs from and contradicts Chhristianity. Call that bias, because it is. But as a parent, I have the responsibility to steer my kids in what I believe is the right direction. Later on, if the kid decides Christianity is not for him, I will grieve uncontrollably, but as ayoung adult, that will be his decision.

I don't want some teacher giving including his/her own bias when teaching my child about Islam.

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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
[B]
Would you allow your child to be taught about other religions without simulations?]
Nope, because I don't trust people not to inject the teachings with their own biases. It's human nature.

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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar

In theory socialism has some good points. i.e. healthcare

But it fails in many ways outside of theory, so no.

What does this have to do with the discussion?
I was just thinking you might be, based on some of the things you have said here.
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Old 09-18-2006, 11:23 AM   #133
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Darwinian evolution has undergone changes and revolutions over the last 150 years to reach the modern synthesis; this is not a negative, it is proof positive that scientific endevour is the progressive accumulation of facts in a continuously evolving framework of knowledge and not dogmatic faith. It is a badge of pride in a theory that it has been able to persist as the foundation for all that followed rather than completely overturned and just shows how high the confidence level is in the scientific theory (a label not granted lightly, theories are the closest thing to scientific truth).

The framing of the question as one of absolute truth is defining faith in a reactionary manner; explaining the mechanisms of life and the way this system behaves in time does not detract from it's grandeur nor should it rob the glory of God from the believer - it is a case where the facts are very clear cut, special creation is wrong and evolution is right - objective materialistic and fact not relativistic and subjective theology; black and white.

Evolution represents the best explanation for the diversity of life on this planet both in the past and present. The origins of life rest on molecular biology and the formation of nucleotide sequences in the right conditions - all events which must have obeyed the laws of physics, theres no resaon to think that they didn't and that is a reasonable train of thought.
I support the right to teach evolution in its entirity. It's just the authoritarian atheist indoctrination that I have a problem with. I am pro-science when it helps us understand the world we live in. But on the other hand, there are professors who misuse science as atheistic philosophy, as if they wear the holy robe of atheism.
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Old 09-18-2006, 12:42 PM   #134
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Nope, because I don't trust people not to inject the teachings with their own biases. It's human nature.
So basically you don't want your child to learn about other religions unless it's from you or on their own when they move out?
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Old 09-18-2006, 01:37 PM   #135
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So basically you don't want your child to learn about other religions unless it's from you or on their own when they move out?
I would want my children to learn about it only from people whom I trust will meet the following criteria:

(1) Is a Christian who knows the contradictions between Islam and Christianity

(2) Has no bias whatsoever, and will just present the facts.


I can't trust humans, in particular public school teachers with whom I am not well acquainted, to meet criteria 2.

Even if the teacher meets criteria 1, I wouldn't want it taught in public schools because I believe that parents of other religions have the same rights as I do; their children should not be forced to learn from a public school teacher who will interject bias.

So, in summary, it all brings me back to where I started. No teaching of religious beliefs in public schools.
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