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Thread: Do Children have a right to an open mind?: The Faith Schools Menace

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    Default Do Children have a right to an open mind?: The Faith Schools Menace

    Do Children have a right to an open mind?: The Faith Schools Menace

    Dawkins made a compelling case against indoctrination of children in a particular faith in the school system. (screened Morefour Wednesday 9.00pm)

    He argued in favour in favour of giving children a knowledge of religion as an alternative.

    He sees segregated education of children as a divisive and dangerous thing.

    The most interesting section of the report found Dawkins investigating how young children responded to questions about how they viewed the world. At our most impressionable, with the world a large and uncertain place, we look to give things purpose. Abstract uncertainty is too troubling for young minds. So religions, which appear to provide certain answers to uncertain questions, can embed themselves deeply in minds that are in the process of being made up.

    http://www.channel4.com/programmes/f...ce/4od#3112619

    <Mod> This thread has been merged with "Do Children have a right to an open mind?: The Secularist Menace". </Mod>
    Last edited by stringjack; 19th October 2010 at 09:20 AM. Reason: Merged thread.

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    Politics.ie Member Twin Towers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommythecommy View Post
    He sees segregated education of children as a divisive and dangerous thing.
    So he wants more segregation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twin Towers View Post
    So he wants more segregation?
    No

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    Politics.ie Member Tin Foil Hat's Avatar
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    I would agree with him completely. I watched that show as well.

    I was particularly horrified by the muslim 'science' teacher who didn't even seem to know the theory behind evolution. She then went on to pretend that she gives the students all the information and leave them to make up their own minds. Or the student, who wanted to be a doctor, who believed that salt water and fresh water did not mix in the sea.

    Certain people seem to think that they have some moral right to educate their kids in specific faith schools. However, this is clearly untrue. We wouldn't allow kids to be segregated by race, or to be thought in schools with a particular political ethos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Foil Hat View Post
    Certain people seem to think that they have some moral right to educate their kids in specific faith schools. .
    Not a moral right but a right nonetheless. And you have the same right to educate your children in whatever manner you wish within DOEducation guidelines.

    The schools you described with science teachers not understanding evolution should simply have all funding and their right to operate as a recognised school removed. This is indefensible.

    I purposefully didn't watch the programme because Dawkins evangalism for his beliefs is every bit as off putting as any religious fundamentalist, that and the fact that his superiority complex gives me the itch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommythecommy View Post

    The most interesting section of the report found Dawkins investigating how young children responded to questions about how they viewed the world. At our most impressionable, with the world a large and uncertain place, we look to give things purpose. Abstract uncertainty is too troubling for young minds.
    What would he have us embed in their minds?

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    Politics.ie Member Tin Foil Hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deiseguy View Post
    Not a moral right but a right nonetheless. And you have the same right to educate your children in whatever manner you wish within DOEducation guidelines.
    That right only exists because schools are exempt from equality legislation that applies to many other aspects of our lives. The exemptions could be, and should be, revoked. No child should be excluded from a state funded school based on the religion of his/her parents.

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    Politics.ie Member Tin Foil Hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deiseguy View Post
    What would he have us embed in their minds?
    Open mindedness - question everything.
    You should watch the show. There's a part of it where he reads out some of a letter he wrote to his daughter when she was ten. It will give you some insight into the type of man he actually is, as opposed to the quasi-religious close-minded preacher that many of his critics would like people to think he is.

    Edit:- However we should be careful not to turn this thread into another pro/anti-Dawkins cat-fighting rantathon. There's one of those in the go already.
    This thread is about faith schools.

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    Faith schools are essentially political schools, churning out the next generation of moral sheep. Every religion has it's own history, it's own myths and social/political policies based upon those believes. Some religions like Islam are completely anti-western and counter cultural.

    Do parents think they have a right to send their kids to schools that concentrate on teaching FFs social polices and political history? Or perhaps they would prefer a SF or a FG school? How about Communism?

    A nation state needs a single national school curriculum teaching it's children both national culture and about the wider world. Philosophy is a far better mechanism for examing social attitudes and the 'how do I live my life? ' stuff then simply passing along some arbitrary faith to the next generation. The woo-woo men can do that on their own time.

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    Politics.ie Member Malboury's Avatar
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    Really liked the show as well; it's on 4oD for the next month if anyone is interested in seeing it. Very interesting ideas in general, and definitely underscored some of the pretty telling problems faith schools have. I found the section on Northern Ireland interesting, and the images of the kids getting involved in sectarianism from such a young age to be quite disturbing.

    Aside from that, it's worth pointing out that Dawkins wasn't actually calling for the closure of faith based schools, just the end of government funding for such institutions.

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