Here is why the motion is a grave mistake, and why Western Australia moved its own motion against it. However, the motion not only abandons this ideal, but capitulates? It leaves, and in fact reinforces, the idea that religious groups should be allowed entry and division in the learning environment.
On offer is the fruit of a so-called compromise: ethics smuggled undercover as just another belief system to share equal place among the irrational beliefs of powerful majorities. But, ethics is a whole branch of philosophy, not a belief. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The real opportunities for ethics teaching lie throughout the core curriculum. What more ethical stance could supplant the basis of mathematics: one and one will always equal two, A is A no matter your wish or whim that it was otherwise? What more ethical belief can demonstrate better than through a science-class telescope that patient objective sense can unlock old mysteries, that the universe is knowable to rational inquiry? What better ethics can be offered than through literature, where children can discover exemplars like Atticus Finch?
The Ethics of Education in the Secular State | Issue | Philosophy Now
Indeed, the idea that ethics volunteers are filling a moral vacuum devalues the moral values our public teachers imbue in students every day. In it, you will see that our national curriculum does not share multiple stances on, for example, bullying, honesty, tolerance and multicultural inclusion. In any competition between food and poison, poison once ingested will win. Humanists should support that promise and not accede to religion in our schools. We seek this accountability so that children are educated on various ethical and religious stances in a non-sectarian environment.
Children are being told by motivated volunteers their little gay friends will die in Hell, that abstinence rather than sexual education is the only morally effective means of preventing disease, and so on. We understand the desire to ameliorate the social evils of religious indoctrination in our schools.
Why do our education departments place an emphasis on qualified teachers in the subjects of mathematics, science, literature?
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Have school inspectors oversee them? At a minimum, this means that schools should not indoctrinate children with religious beliefs that conflict with those of their parents. In theory, this could be done by having schools based on every religious view and atheism, and to have enough of these schools spread around the country so that, in practice, each child can attend one suitable to their circumstances.
In practice, this impossible to do. There is simply not enough money to provide so many schools, and even if there was it would be an administrative nightmare. So that leaves the other option: have secular schools that are neutral with regard to religious beliefs, as I have described above. This option respects the human rights of all children equally.
That is what a fair and just society would do. Combine both reasons, and the argument is clear.
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Secular schools are good for society, because they help children to understand differences and respect other people; and secular schools are the only way in practice to respect the human rights of all of our parents and children. A secular school would be a atheist school in a way, because evolution is part of a religion and that is taught in science classes, as a requirement. Hi Michael. I am in a fortunate position to comment.
My parents are from different religious backgrounds.
Mum is Anglican and Dad was a Hindu. They both brought us up to be non-judgemental and critical.
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Our schools were without religious bias and we had a simple prayer at assembly each morning. I am now 59 years old and a school teacher for the past 37 years. I teach children that are diverse in their worship and belief. Most are African and do participate in ancestral worship.
I do not have the heart to judge them as they are all gifts to our world. I agree wholeheartedly with your thinking and comment on the situation. We should NOT condemn, disrespect or force any religion on anyone.
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As I am embarking on telling Saint stories to children of the 2nd grade in my Public Charter Waldorf School in the United States, I am referring this article to the parents in my class. It has been my experience that these stories are beneficial for children at this developmental stage not only from a social standpoint but as a way to feed their growing development as human beings. I would appreciate comments about how I can justify my secular reason for telling these stories to seven year old children from a secular place.
Thanks in advance. You could also tell them stories about people of all religions and none who have done good things, without reference to what people believe happened to them after they died. Martinez should receive censure for stating this. Evolution was a theory and my understanding is that evolution is now scientific fact for which considerable amounts of evidence exist.
Thanks for this answer, which is mainly how I have begun to tell the stories. Children love the stories, not only that they are good tales but also these stories carry elements of human qualities that do not exist in the same way as other stories from our ancestry.