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Should Alternate Religions Be Taught In Schools?

Should Alternate Religions Be Taught in Schools?


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GarzaUK

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I was thinking since religious people feel Creationism is a legitimite theory the same as evolution. Why not teach other religions in schools? Each of the major religions has the same merit and legitamicy as each other. Why not teach Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christainity in a seperate Religious Studies class?

It could promote understanding and tolerance between different religions. And might encourage children to decide their own faith instead of them being brainwashed or forced upon them by their parents.

A Buddhist friend of mine who originates for Thailand went to America and people their tried endlessly to convert her saying "Buddha is dead and Jesus is alive", which insulted her. A little tolerance could go along way.
 

Engimo

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How about we just take the safe road and not teach any religion at all?
 

FinnMacCool

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I don't think religion should be taught in school at all. All these christians that think their religion is the only that exists has to realize that we're not persecuting them, but we're simply trying to keep seperate religion and state.
 

GarzaUK

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Yeah I agree that State and Religion should be seperate. What where is are kids going to learn about the world's different cultures and religions? Do high schools teach international history - the history of different countries? Or just American History? Whether we like it or not religion plays a big part in our world. Why not learn about it??
 

Engimo

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GarzaUK said:
Yeah I agree that State and Religion should be seperate. What where is are kids going to learn about the world's different cultures and religions? Do high schools teach international history - the history of different countries? Or just American History? Whether we like it or not religion plays a big part in our world. Why not learn about it??
I know that in my Global History course we went through the historical development of different religions and their effects on the politics and history of different regions. I don't see why you need to create a separate course to deal with something already inherent to the curriculum of another course.
 

Stace

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When you think about it, there's just too many religions out there, there's no viable way to include the majority of them. Even if you just took some of the more major ones, you're looking at.....approximately ten more classes, which all have to be staffed, you have to have a classroom available, you need to find textbooks/teaching materials.....I just don't viably see it happening anytime soon.
 

FinnMacCool

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In America we do two years of global history. We actually learn about other religions like islam and hinduism as well, but not in a religious context rather a historical context.
 

Kandahar

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I don't see the problem with it. As long as the teacher isn't telling students that one religion is right and the others are wrong, what's the harm in learning about them? They're an important part of world history and culture.

The subject CAN be taught objectively (look at the way its taught in public universities). If English teachers can teach their students about Plato, Aristotle, Thoreau, Rand, Neitzsche, et al without claiming that they're right or wrong, why couldn't a teacher do the same with the Bible, the Qu'ran, the Torah, etc.?
 

Navy Pride

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Yes if only for the reason that In modern times I don't think any democracy started a war with another democracy...
 

steen

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Navy Pride said:
Yes if only for the reason that In modern times I don't think any democracy started a war with another democracy...
Heh, Israel and palestinians are close to that right now. :(
 

Navy Pride

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steen said:
Heh, Israel and palestinians are close to that right now. :(
If you think the government that was so call elected by the Palestinians is a democracy I got some waterfront policy I want to sell you in Arizona........Hamas is a terrorist organization........
 

Atheist

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I think it would serve our society better if more people were educated of other religions and the fact that there are so many out there.

1) It would give people a better chance to choose their own religion. If they have problems with their own.
2) It would take away some hostility and egocentrism.
3) It may makeway for new religions and ways of thinking.
 

steen

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Navy Pride said:
If you think the government that was so call elected by the Palestinians is a democracy I got some waterfront policy I want to sell you in Arizona........Hamas is a terrorist organization........
It is an elected terrorist organization.
 

tryreading

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GarzaUK said:
I was thinking since religious people feel Creationism is a legitimite theory the same as evolution. Why not teach other religions in schools? Each of the major religions has the same merit and legitamicy as each other. Why not teach Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christainity in a seperate Religious Studies class?

It could promote understanding and tolerance between different religions. And might encourage children to decide their own faith instead of them being brainwashed or forced upon them by their parents.

A Buddhist friend of mine who originates for Thailand went to America and people their tried endlessly to convert her saying "Buddha is dead and Jesus is alive", which insulted her. A little tolerance could go along way.
Bad idea. There are places where kids can learn about religion, home, church, private schools, and college. People in this country are careful about mixing religion with state because that's what made a lot of our ancestors move here. They wanted freedom to, and freedom from. Maybe offer a class that teaches the histories of all religions, that's more than enough religion in taxpayer-funded schools.
 

Atheist

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Alhough there would also be many cons that I did not include.
 

Kandahar

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tryreading said:
Bad idea. There are places where kids can learn about religion, home, church, private schools, and college. People in this country are careful about mixing religion with state because that's what made a lot of our ancestors move here. They wanted freedom to, and freedom from. Maybe offer a class that teaches the histories of all religions, that's more than enough religion in taxpayer-funded schools.
How is it "mixing religion with state" to teach the various beliefs of religions? Is it an endorsement of essentialism for a teacher to teach Plato, or an endorsement of existentialism to teach Thoreau, or an endorsement of capitalism to teach Adam Smith or Ayn Rand, or an endorsement of communism to teach Karl Marx? No. Students SHOULD be exposed to various ideas throughout history that have been important, whether the ideas themselves are right or wrong.

I think it's worth noting that most European countries offer classes in religion in public schools. As a result, they are much more informed about the central tenets of Christianity (and other religions) than Americans, despite being much less pious themselves.
 

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Steve
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Atheist said:
Alhough there would also be many cons that I did not include.
I would think you would want the school systems, if they are going to teach religious history at all, should also explain the athiestic and agnostic points of view, that there are a lot of people who have no religion, and seem to do just fine.

And another possibility might be mentioned, that if there is a God, he may be a malevolent designer. What if he put us here to see how badly we would make each other suffer?

Let's teach all the possibilities, if we teach any. And I insist that evolution be taught in church if religion will be taught in school.
 

Kandahar

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tryreading said:
I would think you would want the school systems, if they are going to teach religious history at all, should also explain the athiestic and agnostic points of view, that there are a lot of people who have no religion, and seem to do just fine.
I wouldn't have a problem with a class on religious beliefs talking about atheism or agnosticism. I think a better solution would be to offer a separate class in critical thinking. Of all the courses our education system should require but doesn't, none is more important than teaching people to be skeptical and think about things critically.

tryreading said:
And another possibility might be mentioned, that if there is a God, he may be a malevolent designer. What if he put us here to see how badly we would make each other suffer?
Absolutely. There's no reason to exclude a belief if it's been seriously considered by philosophers and theologians, and this one certainly has.

tryreading said:
Let's teach all the possibilities, if we teach any. And I insist that evolution be taught in church if religion will be taught in school.
The government doesn't have any control over what's taught in church, so that point is moot in a public policy debate.
 

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Steve
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Kandahar said:
How is it "mixing religion with state" to teach the various beliefs of religions? Is it an endorsement of essentialism for a teacher to teach Plato, or an endorsement of existentialism to teach Thoreau, or an endorsement of capitalism to teach Adam Smith or Ayn Rand, or an endorsement of communism to teach Karl Marx? No. Students SHOULD be exposed to various ideas throughout history that have been important, whether the ideas themselves are right or wrong.

I think it's worth noting that most European countries offer classes in religion in public schools. As a result, they are much more informed about the central tenets of Christianity (and other religions) than Americans, despite being much less pious themselves.
I don't think Plato, Thoreau, Smith, Rand, Marx, or their philosophies are actively trying to change the Supreme Court makeup to something more favorable to their religion, or trying to elect people who will assign FBI agents to surf the internet for naughtiness, or constantly trying in shifty ways to have their religion taught in American public schools.

But if you want a comparative religion course taught, I guess that's legal.
 

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Steve
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Kandahar said:
I wouldn't have a problem with a class on religious beliefs talking about atheism or agnosticism. I think a better solution would be to offer a separate class in critical thinking. Of all the courses our education system should require but doesn't, none is more important than teaching people to be skeptical and think about things critically.



Absolutely. There's no reason to exclude a belief if it's been seriously considered by philosophers and theologians, and this one certainly has.



The government doesn't have any control over what's taught in church, so that point is moot in a public policy debate.
To your first two paragraphs, you seem to be reasonable. I just want all the possibilities taught if any are.

To your third, I realize this. But when you say the government doesn't have control over what's taught in church, the church shouldn't have any control over what's taught in public schools, but it constantly pushes to do so, the Christian church anyway.

I only use that line to make the point that intermixing church and state is wrong, and dangerous to both. There is no need for it, in my opinion.
 

Kandahar

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tryreading said:
I don't think Plato, Thoreau, Smith, Rand, Marx, or their philosophies are actively trying to change the Supreme Court makeup to something more favorable to their religion, or trying to elect people who will assign FBI agents to surf the internet for naughtiness, or constantly trying in shifty ways to have their religion taught in American public schools.
What's your point? Just because some Christians behave like idiots in this country, is no reason to deprive public school children of an education on religion if they want one.

tryreading said:
But if you want a comparative religion course taught, I guess that's legal.
Thank you. That's all I'm asking for. ;)
 

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Kandahar said:
What's your point? Just because some Christians behave like idiots in this country, is no reason to deprive public school children of an education on religion if they want one.
An education on religion. About religion, the good, bad, ugly. All religions. I agree. But have you heard of the new 'Bible Literacy Class' being proposed for public schools? There is a thread on this site regarding this. A textbook has been printed that supposedly can teach the Bible without being un-Constitutional. The course will teach only the Bible, Old and New Testaments. No Torah or Quran or any other religious books. When you start teaching new testament, that's Christian only. That's what I mean about one particular religion in this country trying to have its dogma taught in public schools. They are selfish, and controlling, and relentless.
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Kandahar

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tryreading said:
An education on religion. About religion, the good, bad, ugly. All religions. I agree. But have you heard of the new 'Bible Literacy Class' being proposed for public schools? There is a thread on this site regarding this. A textbook has been printed that supposedly can teach the Bible without being un-Constitutional. The course will teach only the Bible, Old and New Testaments. No Torah or Quran or any other religious books. When you start teaching new testament, that's Christian only. That's what I mean about one particular religion in this country trying to have its dogma taught in public schools. They are selfish, and controlling, and relentless.
Actually I wouldn't really have a problem with that course even though it only focuses on Christianity. As long as it's taught objectively and the teacher doesn't tell the students that the Bible is right or wrong, I still think it passes muster. A school could offer similar courses on the Torah or the Qu'ran if there was enough interest in them.

I really don't see the problem. I think Christian fundamentalists have really done themselves a disservice, by making the average American paranoid that even objective classes on religion are part of an insidious plot to preach it.
 

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If you want to study religion in school, take a social studies class. But a class solely focusing on religion, no, that only brainwashes our children.
 

Kandahar

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Hornburger said:
If you want to study religion in school, take a social studies class. But a class solely focusing on religion, no, that only brainwashes our children.
How is it brainwashing to teach "This is what X believes, and this is what Y believes"?
 
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