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Atheists target UK schools

  1. Apr 26, 2009 #1
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/5219687/Atheists-target-UK-schools.html" [Broken]

    NOTE: For the sake of easier posting, I'd like to loosely re-define the term "atheist" to include human secularists, agnostics and any other belief system or philosophy that doesn't conform to doctrines taught by known religions.

    Now to get to my point. This move by the AHS has validity in that in modern society I believe we can no longer exclude based on existing "monopolies" imposed by tradition. What I'm trying to say is that I fully support their argument that as long as Christianity (or any other religion for that matter) is taught at schools, then atheists should have the right to "promote" their own beliefs at these same institutions.

    However, having said that, what do you think the chances are that atheism will join the ranks of known religions through promoting their beliefs in this manner? I was always under the impression that most atheists became atheists through thought and consideration of the facts in their possession. That not adhering to a particular faith was a conscious decision and that this process of analysis and choice formed the very foundations of atheism to start with.

    Won't teaching atheism have a similar effect on open-minded thought to that of teaching any other religion? In short, don't you think this move by the AHS might be counter-productive? Producing yet another type of mindless drone blindly following ideas not fully grasped and regurgitating arguments not fully understood?
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  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2009 #2
    No. The concept of atheism is really simple. Just don't believe in fairy tales. How could that possibly create drones?
  4. Apr 26, 2009 #3
    I love how Christians are blame that "atheist indoctrination" (= more education in rationality) is somehow indoctrination when Christians have been doing the indoctrination for thousands of years.

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  5. Apr 26, 2009 #4


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    The (compulsory) religious education classes I experienced in school were predominantly focused on promoting tolerance of the views of others. It should be noted, firstly, that Christianity takes a major part of the timetable because the UK is a Christian country. Whether one likes it or not, the Queen whilst being the ruler of the country is also the governor of the church of england. Thus, I fully appreciate why Christianity takes up a large proportion of the timetable.

    However, I also had classes on Buddhism, Judaism, Islam (and probably some others I can't remember) as part of a wide curriculum aimed at instilling some cultural and religious knowledge in the students. Atheism isn't really a religion in the same sense that the main religions are, thus I don't see how it could be taught in a similar way. I guess a lesson or two could be included to gain a knowledge of peoples who do not believe in theism, but I don't know how much can be taught here that will be of any benefit. After all, isn't that what science classes are for?
  6. Apr 26, 2009 #5

    A little off topic, but that graph reminds me of

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  7. Apr 27, 2009 #6


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    And what are the AHS actually trying to do?

    http://www.ahsstudents.org.uk/press/releases/3 [Broken]

    Not so bad now, eh?
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  8. Apr 27, 2009 #7


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    I went to a catholic school in the UK in the 80s where RE was taught by Irish nuns.
    I was taught that:
    Jews were responsible for killing Jesus.
    Indians were starving because they refused to eat cows (although starving Africans was somehow my fault if I ate sweets?)
    The church of england was responsible for killing millions of catholics. We had to learn the names of 40 of them by heart - it was only years after leaving school I discovered the Thomas Moore wasn't a very nice man.

    I would welcome Atheists targeting UK schools (I would also welcome apache attack helicopters targeting nuns - but's that's just a personal thing).
  9. Apr 27, 2009 #8


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    Well that's your fault for going to a catholic school! I doubt things are taught like that nowadays, though.
  10. Apr 27, 2009 #9

    The rules...10 Commandments...are the basis of our laws.

    Off the top of my head...don't kill, don't cheat on spouse, don't steal, don't lie...all things I want to teach my kids.
  11. Apr 27, 2009 #10


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    Yeah - they never seem to ask the kids which school they want to go to.

    Well not now that the church is run by a bunch of multicultural ecumenical questioning liberals. And I think all the nuns died off (they don't breed well in captivity)
  12. Apr 27, 2009 #11
    This looks very vague. It tells me to be a pacifists? and vegetarian*
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  13. Apr 27, 2009 #12


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    No it doesn't count if they are people God doesn't like.
  14. Apr 27, 2009 #13
    Which religion are you referring to...it's not Christianity...or Islam, or Judaism, or anything else I can think of???
  15. Apr 27, 2009 #14
    Not at all... :smile:
  16. Apr 27, 2009 #15
    I don't agree that they are the basis for our laws. Only 2 of the 10, don't murder and don't steal, are laws in the US. Well 2 and a half, bearing false witness is illegal in some circumstances. We even have laws specifically allowing some commandments to be broken.

    US law is actually based on English Common Law which is itself based on the various Lex Romana codes of the Germanic peoples. These were laws for people of the old Roman Empire living under various Germanic dominance. Those laws are based in turn on Roman law which goes back in time at least to Lex Julia of 90 BC.
  17. Apr 27, 2009 #16

    The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies

    Presented by the Indiana University School of Law—Bloomington

    The Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies
    In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776

    The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

    When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain [George III] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

    It seems to me God had some influence...how does your interpretation differ?
  18. Apr 27, 2009 #17


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    Well obviously - none of those have ever killed anybody because God said so
  19. Apr 27, 2009 #18
    The Declaration is not US law, the Constitution is. I said that the 10 commandments are not the basis for US law. I did not say that G-d did or did not have "some influence".
  20. Apr 27, 2009 #19
    It's spelled GOD.
  21. Apr 27, 2009 #20
    None of them prescribe murder. It's the gun argument...guns don't kill people...people do. The religions don't kill people...

    I'm not saying religion isn't used as an excuse.
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