Mariano,I think you may have misunderstood the point about the "RE" classes: the Brits have official religious teaching in government-operated schools. I hope you agree that this is a bad thing. It can get pretty nasty indeed: see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1031784/Schoolboys-punished-detention-refusing-kneel-pray-Allah.html .Although… being an atheist myself, I am tempted to think that the best way to spread atheism imight be to *require* religion in the schools. Surely, one way to make kids hate somtehing is to put it in the schools!Speaking for myself, I’ll be happy to stop demanding evolution in the schools as soon as they stop demanding my taxes to pay for the schools. I’m homeschooling my own kids so that they get a nice, solid atheist upbringing, and I also support the Exodus movement, which urges Christian families to take their kids out of the government schools.Let a hundred flowers bloom! Just don’t make me pay tax dollars to support beliefs I think are wrong.Dave Miller in Sacramento
Mazel tov on homeschooling.We are doing the same.Also, do not worry: homeschooled kids are generally brighter than the average bear so your kids will not fall for atheism.aDios,Mariano
Well, Mariano, I get the feeling from some of your posts that you think atheism is a package deal—atheism-socialism-materialism-amoralism-etc., and, yes, there are indeed a few atheists who are willing to swallw that sort of package deal (a dwindling number to be sure – socialism lingers on largely among aging ideologues, and an increasing number of atheists are willing to view the materialism/consciousness debate as something to simply be handed over to future research in neuroscience). So, no, my kids will not fall for that atheism-socialism-materialism-amoralism-etc package that many people equate with “atheism.”On the other hand, my kids are learning an awful lot of science (my Ph.D. is in physics, my wife’s in biology), and it’s awfully unlikely after learning all that science that they will end up as believers in a traditional religion – at least, I personally have known very, very few well-educated scientists who believe in any traditional religion.The kids are also learning classical Greek, so they will be able to read the New Testament in the original, follow debates on the origin of the New Testament, etc. Everyone I’ve known personally who could do that ended up not believing in traditional Christianity.So, will my kids end up being atheists? Perhaps “non-believers” is a better term, given all the debate over the word “atheist.” But, yeah, it seems pretty likely that they will end up, or, rather, continue to be, non-believers when it comes to Christianity or any other tradtional religion.If you want to say, “Atheism is dead because it is being replaced with non-belief,” I suppose I might agree.Dave
Why would you exactly expect kids to grow up religious when you teach them greek to read the bible but obviously interject your opinion routinely that belief is nonsense, the bible is a fairy tale, or that education equals non-belief?I doubt the consequent lack of belief has anything to do with how educated they are but how you obviously raised them to be atheistic.Making non sequitors about how smart people don't believe in "spaghetti monsters" will influence your kids to follow your example because your their parent. It wont teach them to pursue the truth in an even handed or logical manner. Education or intelligence has almost nothing to do with it. That is nothing short of indoctrination which is exactly what Mariano is and has been pointing out and exactly what Dawkins and his sycophants love to "expose" in a hilariously hypocritical manner.
making the kids learn classical Greek so they can follow debates on the new testament ? Are you for real ? Was that their choice ? Im assuming you asked them first to a reaction of "Oh joy ancient Greek forget the Wii"
“Anonymous” wrote to me:>making the kids learn classical Greek so they can follow debates on the new testament ? Are you for real ? Was that their choice ? Im assuming you asked them first to a reaction of "Oh joy ancient Greek forget the Wii"Ah, jumping to conclusions, aren’t we?Of course, like most homeschoolers I know, we have no Wii and no plans to get one. Talk about a time-waster!No, the kids wanted to learn Greek so they could read ancient myths and stories, and I think it is a good thing also to be able to read Aristotle, Aristophanes, etc. But it will also be true that they will be able to read the New Testament in the original.However, I do think it is important to inoculate them against Christianity, just as I think it is important to warn them against drugs, promiscuous sex and STDs, etc.Indeed, I would rather my kids use pot than become Christians (though I’d much prefer they do neither!).So, I do think it is worth a fair amount of effort to protect them against the evil of Christianity – from my perspective, I consider Christianity a morally debilitating evil that I do want to protect my kids against.You also seem to think that learning Greek is some kind of punishment – we homeschoolers tend not to think of learning as a punishment. We have found that learning some things that government-school folks think of as either difficult or impossible is not really all that hard. My kids are testing (according to local public schools who administered the tests) at twice their grade level. Homeschooled kids can be a lot smarter than most people think possible.And they still have plenty of time to play.Nope, kids can be smarter than you think. Give it a try.And, if you ever have kids, *don’t* send them to the government schools!Dave
StephenM wrote to me:>Why would you exactly expect kids to grow up religious when you teach them greek to read the bible but obviously interject your opinion routinely that belief is nonsense, the bible is a fairy tale, or that education equals non-belief?Why would I “exactly expect kids to grow up religious”?Huh?I expect that they will *not* grow up religious – that is what Mariano and I were debating.SM also wrote:> Education or intelligence has almost nothing to do with it.Well, most scientists I know were raised religious, but ended up being non-religious. I assume you know of the famous study (Larson-Witham) a decade ago that showed that only 7 % of the members of the National Academy of Sciences believe in God.I personally have not known a single top-notch scientist (i.e., near Nobel level) who believed in God, and I’ve known several Nobelists and many other top-notch scientists.So, yeah, education and intelligence *do* seem to have something to do with it.I know it bothers Christians that people who are well-educated in the sciences tend overwhelmingly not to be traditional Christian believers, but that is just a fact. And the reason for the fact is not hard to find (hint: Genesis: 1-2). Even the occasional “Christian” scientist such as Ken Miller, who calls himself a Christian, often turns out to be only “cultural” Christians: Ken, for example, has declined to state whether or not he believes in an actual physical Virgin Birth.Facts are hard.Dave
Why spread anything? Isn't that the complaint that christians are trying to spread their beliefs. Why not let people come to a choice. I don't get the purposeful attempt to try to disapprove any belief. It just sounds angry and vindictiveBeing an atheist doesn't make you well-educated, it simple makes you only an atheist. Why hype up a simple word that needs no hyping?
"While atheists complain that via an Intelligent Design conspiracy Creationists are attempting to smuggle religion in though the back doors of public classroom atheism is kicking in the front door."The sheer, amazing wrongness of this post is visible right form the first line. The silly idea that not discussing religion is an advocacy of atheism is simply, utterly wrong.You seem to think that theism, your particular ideas about some god or other (which is probably unlike everyone elses), is ona par with history, science, math, etc. It isn't. The best version of fact that we can get to and that students can absorb is what should be taught. Your mythology is not factual, so it's really quite simple.