Yes, says Daniel Dennett.

"Philosopher Dan Dennett calls for religion -- all religion -- to be taught in schools, so we can understand its nature as a natural phenomenon. Then he takes on The Purpose-Driven Life, disputing its claim that, to be moral, one must deny evolution."
Original Post
Considering alot of public school grads can't count their toes or write their name,maybe they should stick to the "three r's" for awhile.
Ideally, I think that religion should be taught about in schools. I think that schools should acknowledge that many individuals have religious beliefs and that all these beliefs should be tolerated and that the individuals in question should be accepted as fellow members of society and the human race. I think it would be perfectly acceptable for teachers to tell their students that they have religious beliefs as long as they made no effort to push these beliefs upon their students (now go and try to implement THAT one with a law!).

I think that the misguided efforts of any form of government, including the schools, to brand any one of the formalized religions as superior to all others is a grave mistake. Religion is a personal decision that should be encouraged in the home, and not in public.

All this calls for a degree of self-control simply not found in the present evolutionary progress of humanity at this time. Therefore I say that religion should NOT be taught in school.
Teach the Bible in school?

A Gallop Poll found that Americans are woefully ignorant of Biblical content. Yet Holy Scripture is widely hailed as "God's infallible Word;" thus giving it the authority to dictate America's values. While the Bible may be the all-time best seller, it may also be the most poorly read book ever sold. This Gallup Poll found that, "The Bible is the book that everyone wants to read but few do." The survey found that fewer than half of Americans can name the first book of the Bible and one-quarter do not know what Easter celebrates. While churches are unable to encourage Christians to read the Bible, it is not the responsibility of the government to promote the Bible. However, I would favor objective, and I stress objective, Bible study in public schools.

If people were familiar with the Bible, they would realize it is not the absolute authority for rational, moral and ethical behavior; and it is less likely they would be duped by those who quote the Bible to promote their own agendas. If public schools offer a truly objective Bible course, Christian conservatives will find that education and not the ACLU is their nemesis.
Dennett suggests that all religions should be taught in schools as mythology. I agree with him.

"If religion isn't the greatest threat to rationality and scientific progress, what is? Perhaps alcohol, or television, or addictive video games. But although each of these scourges - mixed blessings, in fact - has the power to overwhelm our best judgment and cloud our critical faculties, religion has a feature of that none of them can boast: it doesn't just disable, it honors the disability. People are revered for their capacity to live in a dream world, to shield their minds from factual knowledge and make the major decisions of their lives by consulting voices in their heads that they call forth by rituals designed to intoxicate them."

Dennett 2008
I would absolutely love to see a course on religions - all religinos - taught in high school.

The instructor would would have to be eminently qualified and carefully slected and threatened within an inch if his/her life if they so much as think of prosteletising to the students.

The historical and comtemporary effects of religion on all our lives is a subject that should be thororuhgly understood by all. Religion is also an excellent tool for teaching critical thinking skills. Taught properly, such a course could kindle the fires of a student's mind. That is a very good thing.

Alas, I don't think we will ever see such a course in Alabama. The influence of the fundamentalists is simply far too great here.
quote:
Originally posted by alwilliams767:
Ideally, I think that religion should be taught about in schools. I think that schools should acknowledge that many individuals have religious beliefs and that all these beliefs should be tolerated and that the individuals in question should be accepted as fellow members of society and the human race. I think it would be perfectly acceptable for teachers to tell their students that they have religious beliefs as long as they made no effort to push these beliefs upon their students (now go and try to implement THAT one with a law!).

I think that the misguided efforts of any form of government, including the schools, to brand any one of the formalized religions as superior to all others is a grave mistake. Religion is a personal decision that should be encouraged in the home, and not in public.

All this calls for a degree of self-control simply not found in the present evolutionary progress of humanity at this time. Therefore I say that religion should NOT be taught in school.


Al, aspiring martyrs generally don't make good neighbors. Religion itself doesn't scare me, I see it for what it actually is.

I'm much more concerned about its followers....

Regards
No! The boys should learn it in the locker rooms and the girls at slumber parties -- the old fashioned red blooded American way! Then they can practice what they learned later on in a car after dark in the country or under the bleachers at a football game.
I volunteer to teach a high school course in religion there in the Shoals.

Pro Bono. OK, the Board can cover expenses.

I promise the kids will have an expansive knowledge of the subject.

DF
no... just like it should be left out of the work place ,politics, etc. it takes away from learning what you go to school for,the basics and beyond till they graduate.religion is for the family to deal with.
I met a guy from Nepal a few years ago. He was here for college. He was very educated. He was raised buddhist, but his school taught christianity, judaism, islam, hinduism and buddhism. Those were all required. He also had to learn 3 languages. He is fluent in English, French, A dialect of Chinese and of course his mative language. Evolution was taught as a basic of science. He said college here was a whole lot easier than his high school had been. I think that is the way school should be taught here in the U.S.
Tim,
That sounds like a good idea but it would require year round school which we are probably heading for anyway.
In college, I took a course in comparative religions. Informative.

In Utah, when I lived there, they let the kids out of school an hour each day for "release time". Translated, they went to "seminary" which was mormon school. If you didn't go, you sat in study hall. Bored. Now, that was indefensible.

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