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We cannot dictate how parents choose to raise their kids but we can teach them religion for what it is. Should we teach religions objectively and from a historical point of view at school?
JustBreathe4J JustBreathe4J 18-21, F 15 Answers Aug 26 in Politics

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No. There isn't really a whole lot of practical benefit from making such a subject mandatory. Maintaining the standard of maths, English and science should take more importance.

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Well benefits include awareness, global understanding and the skills to think for oneself, which then can be applied to all subjects being taught.

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Students already develop thinking skills in mainstream mandatory subjects. In terms of your other stated benefits, they're not necessarily applicable to future career and practical use. The likelihood of students going on to fulfil a job that requires knowledge of all world religions is extremely low.

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I agree, however I do not think our only goal in the graduate profile should be career-revolved, it should be so they can benefit society as a whole, there should be diversity in the mandatory subjects. Communication, awareness and understanding are just as important as mathematical and scientific skills.

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They do have 'World Faiths', or at least they did when I was in school. Whether or not they should be mandatory is questionable, because the theists who don't send their children to religious schools probably don't want them taught about other faiths, and atheists generally don't want their kids taught about theism at all.

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That's true, but is that good for society? I don't believe so, I think we, as a whole, would benefit if they had more "World faith" classes

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Maybe. But in the U.S. at least, you couldn't force anyone to attend such classes in a public school, or to send their children to them. Freedom of religious expression is just that, and it includes freedom FROM religion.

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But I doubt that'll fit the criteria, we aren't taking away freedom, we would be informing them on theories, much like we do in science and history.

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True. And if taught in a neutral, secular manner, in historical context, like it generally is in such classes, it is very helpful. The question of insisting every child take the class is what has traditionally caused conflict and protests from parents who feel like they have the right to determine what THEIR children are taught that is NOT within a basic skills-oriented education; the way some parents protest teaching sex education in schools.

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I see your point :/ Ideally , this is what is best for society but in practice, parents will object..

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In middle school and high school, several standard history classes included over a month of learning the basic teachings of all the major world religions. I think it is very important.

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NEVER mix Religion with ANYTHING (School especially) All it does is make u a fearful, weak-hearted slave!

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I AM a servant of God, follow a religion. I have no fear, i am not weak hearted by no means, and am not a slave. i can still choose everyday what i wish. may i ask why you believe the way you do, why you think that is what happens? not all religions are them same.

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Okay good for you, you made a choice. Kids however do not, they are subject to their families beliefs and are brainwashed into a certain perception, some are not able to leave their religion because they are fearful of punishment, not because they are satisfied with their belief. I believe this because I have witnessed it with many people, they do not question but blindly follow because they have be discouraged. I think a class would be helpful, it would allow us to think and ponder so your religion wouldn't have followers out of fear, only real followers who believe and respect.

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The Monsters I live with do that Fi me EVERY DAY! Exactly what I fear will happen if I "Accept God" into my world!
I personally pray to the Moon & Queen Serenity for guidance & Wisdom.

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It would be a good idea and help people realise that since we all believe in god, the only difference between religions is the way in which we personify him. Hardly the justification for wars!

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Yes, education about religions may lead us a step closer to global understanding

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When you speak to someone, such as a Muslim and say "yes, we all believe in god, you just call him another name", it is amazing how quickly friendship and understanding can begin.

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That is very true, it'll help create peace among us.

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We would have a nation full of atheists in a decade. :P

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Excellent !!!!!!!

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Some schools offer or require "comparative religion" classes. A school would have to very careful to keep the teacher's attitudes and prejudices out and to keep churches from using this to proselytize. This would be best as a college level class.

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Hrm that is true, but by college level, the children would already have the fear/beliefs implanted into their subconscious.

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In England, Religious Studies is compulsory for the first 4 years, sometimes even longer. I like to think that's why most of us are absent any religious affiliation...

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So do you think if we were taught religion objectively, it wouldn't be as common as it is today?

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No. Why introduce an additional subject when the system has difficulty teaching math, english, science and social science.

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Yes, in america everyone has to take this evolution theory class, mandatory. but there is a Law saying they cant teach about the religions. how is this fare and considered to be ok with the right to religion. It is a education system, everyone should be allowed to decide for them selves if they wish to believe in God or not. but should be given the ability to learn of both, evolution, and all the religions in order to make that choice. Religion should not be forced on anyone. but also non religion should also not be forced on anyone either.

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The class is not meant to force atheism on anyone, it purely looks at religion from an objective point of view, achieving understanding etc. I agree with you, we should learn about everything, from evolution to the bible..

Is the American class just about Evolution? I doubt there's anything about different religions, if there was, most Americans wouldn't be as ignorant when it comes to different cultures/religions as they are now :/

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there are laws that say american colleges cant teach about the religions. they have some classes on theology yes, but nothing really in depth about any religion, Knowledge is all i ask for, give all the knowledge, and let the individual decide, i think we are in agreement on this :)

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Yes, exactly, education is crucial then let them make an informed choice.
I didn't know that law applied. No wonder the US society is ignorant about different religions.

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Not possible. No matter who teaches the class they'd be biased to their own belief. Even athiests are bias toward naturalism, we see that everyday. Better not to teach it at all unless the child opts to take it.

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that is what i think i meant. to have it as an option for those to choose.

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Well yes and no, they have a curriculum to teach and tests given to answer, they can't be bias or the kids would fail but at the same time, they could lean towards different theories or religions when explaining so it does have to be monitored.

I think they teach a "religion and science" class.

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The problem there is there are religious scientists. People who spend there lives proving their theology with their science and athiests proving their naturalism with science. Who gets to chose the test and the "facts"? This is an impossible task. It's also why the world fights about it's religions.

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That is a good point, we don't want to bring pseudoscience into it- I think informing them on different theories and them being tests on their knowledge of those theories, comparing/contrasting would be most suitable, it would reduce the possibility of bias facts.

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Again, no way to do this in a non biased way.

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You could try if you could make it interesting. But most young people fall asleep if they can't be texting.

Wouldn't that be the study of war? Most religious text are the history of the conquering people. I'm not opposed to teaching young people how their life has been shaped by war. But how will it relate to them.

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I mean tell kids that the Book of Genesis doesn't describe the way our world was created, tell them that it was written during a period of Jewish exile and slavery under Babylonians etc. study different theories of religion. It'll be a class, like any other class.

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In my country it was a part of the middle school religion class to learn about religions of the world. =O

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Was it helpful?

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It was informative, and yes, helpful. After it I knew more about other religions and I wasn't so ignorant to other beliefs. I was raised Lutheran, but I'm an Atheist now. Coincidence? I don't know. *flower*

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Where'd you live when you took the class?
:P Haha that's good, more countries should adopt it for independent thinking..

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The teacher, I believe, was a methodist, who told us stories about being saved by God, when falling several stories from a window.
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I live in your dreams. =)

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Or just remove the entire concept of religions from schools.

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Well then the parents are free to corrupt the mind of their kids with fear and lies about how the universe came to be.

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but why then would it be ok to teach non religion through evolution theory, why should people not be given a choice?

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Should the schools take on that responsibility?

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That's my question to you, I believe so, people should be educated on religion for awareness, understanding and encouragement to think for themselves.

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It should be the parents responsibility for morals and beliefs. Schools can deal with educating on facts.

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It seems we have reached an impass on what is best for society...

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No. Too many religions.

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Okay, the main ones then, Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

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How about all the Asian traditions?

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Yes ofcourse, we should teach the most common in Asia aswell: Hinduism, Chinese traditional religion and Buddhism

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