Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

21% say it was least beneficial subject they were taught

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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#41  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 12, 2013 7:59 pm

chairman bill wrote:My kids enjoyed RE. That said, their teacher was an atheist.

:this:
I enjoyed it to and actually found it quite useful.
Of course RE or 'geloofovertuigingen' as it was called was actually comparative religions, that is to say an overview of the history of and viewpoints of the various major religions instead of some sort of religious indoctrination.
The other option, Humanism, on the other hand was very much a form of, well not indoctrination, but certainly propaganda as it focused on Humanism explicitely and promoted it vigoursly.
That's not to say there's anything wrong with Humanism, just that I found RE far more informative and useful.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#42  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 12, 2013 8:00 pm

orpheus wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:Shouldn't the whole subject be re-labelled "comparative mythology"?


Whatever the label, I certainly think it should be taught. Indoctrination — no. Education — yes, absolutely. Any school curriculum that doesn't teach about such a huge and omnipresent force in world history, politics, art, literature and philosophy is woefully deficient. You can't really understand much of the world without understanding something of the various religions, their tenets, their places in history, their influences and interactions, etc.

Edit: Moreover, Dennett said that after writing his book on religion he was wary of making any policy recommendations save one: that comparative religion should be required in all schools. He pointed out that learning about all the various claims to The Truth is a an excellent inoculation against indoctrination into any particular one.

Ditto.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#43  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 12, 2013 8:02 pm

HomerJay wrote:
DarthHelmet86 wrote:
aban57 wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:When I was at school is was called RI.
Disagree with the BHA. It is a complete waste of time as who really cares about mumbo-jumbo of any clour.


I disagree with you. Make kids actually read the bible and quran, they'll see how shit they are. And less people will believe in them.


I agree with this, teach kids about religion. Teach them about how they all try and claim the same shit as their own, show the kids that no matter how special their parents tell them their religion is that all the rest say that too.

Yes and teach medicine by giving every doctor a thorough grounding in homeopathy and voodoo. :doh:

This analogy is completely off-point.
The arugment isn't that people should learn about science by learning about religion.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#44  Postby DarthHelmet86 » Sep 13, 2013 3:37 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
HomerJay wrote:
DarthHelmet86 wrote:
aban57 wrote:

I disagree with you. Make kids actually read the bible and quran, they'll see how shit they are. And less people will believe in them.


I agree with this, teach kids about religion. Teach them about how they all try and claim the same shit as their own, show the kids that no matter how special their parents tell them their religion is that all the rest say that too.

Yes and teach medicine by giving every doctor a thorough grounding in homeopathy and voodoo. :doh:

This analogy is completely off-point.
The arugment isn't that people should learn about science by learning about religion.


The argument also fails, I think people should be taught about how bullshit homeopathy and voodoo are by being taught about the facts of the matter. I would love if doctors and nurses got taught how stupid and vapid homeopathy is and how they shouldn't fall for the bullshit.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#45  Postby orpheus » Sep 13, 2013 4:11 am

Scot Dutchy wrote:
minininja wrote:I always thought it would be more sense to replace it with a Philosophy class. You could learn something about comparative religion in a module on religious belief easy enough. And maybe include a module in History as well, looking at all the different religions and studying the quality of the original sources.


Replacing woo with another load of woo nice one.

Just forget about religion. It is not a subject on its own and should never be treated a such.


(bold mine)


Scot, I share a lot of your feelings about religion — really, I do. But do you really believe what you wrote in the sentences I highlighted? I'd be hard pressed to think of another area of comparable influence in world history, politics, literature, art, etc. I mean, replace "religion" in your last sentences with "economics". See how ludicrous it sounds? Historically, religion is at least as powerful a force.

Now, you could say that religion is interrelated with all the other subjects so it shouldn't have a course of its own. But it's a huge topic on its own. Teaching it - I mean teaching it well - wouldn't be practical if it were shoehorned into the syllabi of other courses. Literature, for example: nobody can even begin to understand Donne, Milton, Spenser, Chaucer, Langland, Dante, Joyce, and Beckett, (not to mention a lot of Shakespeare) without a good knowledge of the texts, tenets and history of (at least) Christianity. And no serious literature course can afford time to pause and give the students a thorough remedial course in the necessary knowledge of religion. It really is a separate subject. Same as (for example), math and physics. They're deeply intertwined, but for reasons of practicality at the very least, they're quite rightly separated.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#46  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Sep 13, 2013 6:37 am

DarthHelmet86 wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:
HomerJay wrote:
DarthHelmet86 wrote:

I agree with this, teach kids about religion. Teach them about how they all try and claim the same shit as their own, show the kids that no matter how special their parents tell them their religion is that all the rest say that too.

Yes and teach medicine by giving every doctor a thorough grounding in homeopathy and voodoo. :doh:

This analogy is completely off-point.
The arugment isn't that people should learn about science by learning about religion.


The argument also fails, I think people should be taught about how bullshit homeopathy and voodoo are by being taught about the facts of the matter. I would love if doctors and nurses got taught how stupid and vapid homeopathy is and how they shouldn't fall for the bullshit.

:nod:
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#47  Postby tolman » Sep 13, 2013 9:48 am

orpheus wrote:Scot, I share a lot of your feelings about religion — really, I do. But do you really believe what you wrote in the sentences I highlighted? I'd be hard pressed to think of another area of comparable influence in world history, politics, literature, art, etc. I mean, replace "religion" in your last sentences with "economics". See how ludicrous it sounds? Historically, religion is at least as powerful a force.

Now, you could say that religion is interrelated with all the other subjects so it shouldn't have a course of its own. But it's a huge topic on its own. Teaching it - I mean teaching it well - wouldn't be practical if it were shoehorned into the syllabi of other courses. Literature, for example: nobody can even begin to understand Donne, Milton, Spenser, Chaucer, Langland, Dante, Joyce, and Beckett, (not to mention a lot of Shakespeare) without a good knowledge of the texts, tenets and history of (at least) Christianity. And no serious literature course can afford time to pause and give the students a thorough remedial course in the necessary knowledge of religion. It really is a separate subject. Same as (for example), math and physics. They're deeply intertwined, but for reasons of practicality at the very least, they're quite rightly separated.

Surely, most of the important effects of religion can be covered in history lessons?

Religion as a subject in itself seems to divide into a pretty small part which is the fundamental content - the idea that people believe in various collections of ideas typically centred around one or more gods, along with core ideas regarding what happens after death, etc and core behaviours demanded of or forbidden to various kinds of followers, and how things have or haven't changed over time.
And then huge amounts of detail regarding which character is claimed to have said or done what to whom.

The core bit I can see the point in teaching people, if maybe as part of a more general social education, so at least they have some idea regarding basic things about other people in society.
But the details seem like something that keeps RE teachers in full-time employment with dubious benefit to the student, especially when they could be studying something else instead.

I really don't see why everyone should have to learn in detail about Christian mythology in order for a minority of people to be able to understand particular literature (which hardly anyone reads, at least out of choice) more easily or 'natively'.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#48  Postby Doubtdispelled » Sep 13, 2013 9:50 am

orpheus wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:
minininja wrote:I always thought it would be more sense to replace it with a Philosophy class. You could learn something about comparative religion in a module on religious belief easy enough. And maybe include a module in History as well, looking at all the different religions and studying the quality of the original sources.


Replacing woo with another load of woo nice one.

Just forget about religion. It is not a subject on its own and should never be treated a such.


(bold mine)


Scot, I share a lot of your feelings about religion — really, I do. But do you really believe what you wrote in the sentences I highlighted? I'd be hard pressed to think of another area of comparable influence in world history, politics, literature, art, etc. I mean, replace "religion" in your last sentences with "economics". See how ludicrous it sounds? Historically, religion is at least as powerful a force.

Now, you could say that religion is interrelated with all the other subjects so it shouldn't have a course of its own. But it's a huge topic on its own. Teaching it - I mean teaching it well - wouldn't be practical if it were shoehorned into the syllabi of other courses. Literature, for example: nobody can even begin to understand Donne, Milton, Spenser, Chaucer, Langland, Dante, Joyce, and Beckett, (not to mention a lot of Shakespeare) without a good knowledge of the texts, tenets and history of (at least) Christianity. And no serious literature course can afford time to pause and give the students a thorough remedial course in the necessary knowledge of religion. It really is a separate subject. Same as (for example), math and physics. They're deeply intertwined, but for reasons of practicality at the very least, they're quite rightly separated.

Great post, Orph! :cheers:
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#49  Postby HomerJay » Sep 13, 2013 10:17 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:
orpheus wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:Shouldn't the whole subject be re-labelled "comparative mythology"?


Whatever the label, I certainly think it should be taught. Indoctrination — no. Education — yes, absolutely. Any school curriculum that doesn't teach about such a huge and omnipresent force in world history, politics, art, literature and philosophy is woefully deficient. You can't really understand much of the world without understanding something of the various religions, their tenets, their places in history, their influences and interactions, etc.

Edit: Moreover, Dennett said that after writing his book on religion he was wary of making any policy recommendations save one: that comparative religion should be required in all schools. He pointed out that learning about all the various claims to The Truth is a an excellent inoculation against indoctrination into any particular one.

Ditto.

This is just vacuous, trivial, fatuous nonsense.

There are an awful lot of claims being made here with no evidence to back them up at all.

If you're going to make these sort of claims then you really need to discuss the actualité and it needs to be an informed debate.

Just to look at the UK, 50 years ago RE would have covered nothing but Christianity and yet people managed to understand the world, picking up what extra knowledge they needed along the way.

When I was at school 30 years ago the curriculum had changed to 60% Christianity, 20% other religions and 20% social issues (don't have sex, don't drink, don't gamble etc).

Currently for most of England the curriculum looks like 20% Christianity, 20% Judaism, 20% Islam, 20% other religions and 20% social issues. (Each 20% block represents less than 40 hours of lessons, or a school year).

The contribution of this curriculum to tangential knowledge of the the 'Western Canon' is miniscule, when coupled with the actual numbers of people who will then go on to study milton reduces it to a fraction of a per cent.

It simply doesn't deliver the goods to support these wholly grandiose (and fictitious) claims.

If you're going to design a curriculum that does support these claims, you're going to find it almost impossible to dig out all the culturally relevant tidbits, let alone then shoe horn them into a lesson year.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#50  Postby Briton » Sep 13, 2013 10:43 am

Of course facts regarding religion should be taught but as part of other subjects such as history or politics. It's time to scrap it as a stand alone subject.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#51  Postby Scot Dutchy » Sep 13, 2013 11:22 am

Briton wrote:Of course facts regarding religion should be taught but as part of other subjects such as history or politics. It's time to scrap it as a stand alone subject.


My thought exactly. To much attention is given to this mythology. It is time to scrap it from our schools (which has already happened in public schools here) and remove theology from our universities.

They have no place in a modern society and only a reference should made to them in the history curriculum in the same way as the approach to the Holocaust is made.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#52  Postby orpheus » Sep 13, 2013 12:09 pm

tolman wrote:
orpheus wrote:Scot, I share a lot of your feelings about religion — really, I do. But do you really believe what you wrote in the sentences I highlighted? I'd be hard pressed to think of another area of comparable influence in world history, politics, literature, art, etc. I mean, replace "religion" in your last sentences with "economics". See how ludicrous it sounds? Historically, religion is at least as powerful a force.

Now, you could say that religion is interrelated with all the other subjects so it shouldn't have a course of its own. But it's a huge topic on its own. Teaching it - I mean teaching it well - wouldn't be practical if it were shoehorned into the syllabi of other courses. Literature, for example: nobody can even begin to understand Donne, Milton, Spenser, Chaucer, Langland, Dante, Joyce, and Beckett, (not to mention a lot of Shakespeare) without a good knowledge of the texts, tenets and history of (at least) Christianity. And no serious literature course can afford time to pause and give the students a thorough remedial course in the necessary knowledge of religion. It really is a separate subject. Same as (for example), math and physics. They're deeply intertwined, but for reasons of practicality at the very least, they're quite rightly separated.

Surely, most of the important effects of religion can be covered in history lessons?

Religion as a subject in itself seems to divide into a pretty small part which is the fundamental content - the idea that people believe in various collections of ideas typically centred around one or more gods, along with core ideas regarding what happens after death, etc and core behaviours demanded of or forbidden to various kinds of followers, and how things have or haven't changed over time.
And then huge amounts of detail regarding which character is claimed to have said or done what to whom.

The core bit I can see the point in teaching people, if maybe as part of a more general social education, so at least they have some idea regarding basic things about other people in society.
But the details seem like something that keeps RE teachers in full-time employment with dubious benefit to the student, especially when they could be studying something else instead.

I really don't see why everyone should have to learn in detail about Christian mythology in order for a minority of people to be able to understand particular literature (which hardly anyone reads, at least out of choice) more easily or 'natively'.


Hardly anybody reads great literature, at least out of choice? Well that says a lot about education.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#53  Postby tolman » Sep 13, 2013 2:22 pm

orpheus wrote: Hardly anybody reads great literature, at least out of choice? Well that says a lot about education.

Possibly it also says something about what is considered 'great literature', and to what extent people should be allowed to choose what they consume.

In the days when people did have a good Christian education, how many of them chose to read Piers Plowman, either in Middle English or a translation, whether for instruction or entertainment?
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#54  Postby orpheus » Sep 13, 2013 3:11 pm

Following that line of reasoning, we can ditch Shakespeare. And Donne. And Milton and Dante (to name but a few). Plus a vast amount of painting, sculpture, architecture and music. Incidentally, by the same reasoning, nobody should bother reading Homer or any of the Greek myths — after all, they're the ancients' equivalent of what you're proposing doing away with vis-à-vis Christianity. So there goes an appreciation of that literature as well as a world of art, poetry and the very beginnings of Western drama (Aeschylus, Sophocles et al). And let's not forget all the literature, art, etc. from more modern times, created by people who knew this stuff: we should ditch Joyce, Beckett, Picasso, Flannery O'Connor, Eugene O'Neill... All these - all of them - require a decent knowledge of religion to even begin to get. Do you really want an educational system that deprives people of the ability to truly appreciate these - perhaps to follow these subjects as career paths? Do you really think we can call that a good education? I don't.

I suspect what you're thinking of as a "good Christian education" is not what I'm speaking of. There is a middle ground between that and neglecting the guts of the stuff. The middle ground is what I had: a wholly secular, hard-ass, well-rounded education which included an excellent Religious Studies class (totally non-indoctrinating), without which I'd never have been able even to begin understanding, appreciating, having my life immesurably enriched by, choosing a career in - and yes - enjoying - the above.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#55  Postby HomerJay » Sep 13, 2013 3:27 pm

orpheus wrote:Following that line of reasoning, we can ditch Shakespeare. And Donne. And Milton and Dante (to name but a few). Plus a vast amount of painting, sculpture, architecture and music. Incidentally, by the same reasoning, nobody should bother reading Homer or any of the Greek myths — after all, they're the ancients' equivalent of what you're proposing doing away with vis-à-vis Christianity. So there goes an appreciation of that literature as well as a world of art, poetry and the very beginnings of Western drama (Aeschylus, Sophocles et al). And let's not forget all the literature, art, etc. from more modern times, created by people who knew this stuff: we should ditch Joyce, Beckett, Picasso, Flannery O'Connor, Eugene O'Neill... Do you really want an educational system that deprives people of the ability to truly appreciate these - perhaps to follow these subjects as career paths? Do you really think we can call that a good education? I don't.

This really is more complete bollocks, there are many references in these works, historical as much as religious, so would people also have to study ancient greek history as well?

'Teach everyone everything' :roll: - it's just not a considered or an informed opinion.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#56  Postby orpheus » Sep 13, 2013 3:32 pm

HomerJay wrote:
orpheus wrote:Following that line of reasoning, we can ditch Shakespeare. And Donne. And Milton and Dante (to name but a few). Plus a vast amount of painting, sculpture, architecture and music. Incidentally, by the same reasoning, nobody should bother reading Homer or any of the Greek myths — after all, they're the ancients' equivalent of what you're proposing doing away with vis-à-vis Christianity. So there goes an appreciation of that literature as well as a world of art, poetry and the very beginnings of Western drama (Aeschylus, Sophocles et al). And let's not forget all the literature, art, etc. from more modern times, created by people who knew this stuff: we should ditch Joyce, Beckett, Picasso, Flannery O'Connor, Eugene O'Neill... Do you really want an educational system that deprives people of the ability to truly appreciate these - perhaps to follow these subjects as career paths? Do you really think we can call that a good education? I don't.

This really is more complete bollocks, there are many references in these works, historical as much as religious, so would people also have to study ancient greek history as well?

'Teach everyone everything' :roll: - it's just not a considered or an informed opinion.


Uh, yes. There are those references. Too much bother? The literature, art, etc. isn't worth it? It's insulting to the intelligence and potential of students to deprive them of this. It deprives them of riches. By the way, many, many schools do teach ancient Greek history. Those that don't are negligent.

I never said 'teach everyone everything'. But you really want to ignore the basics, don't you? How about we do away with algebra,
geometry and chemistry?
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#57  Postby tolman » Sep 13, 2013 5:27 pm

orpheus wrote:Following that line of reasoning, we can ditch Shakespeare. And Donne. And Milton and Dante (to name but a few). Plus a vast amount of painting, sculpture, architecture and music. Incidentally, by the same reasoning, nobody should bother reading Homer or any of the Greek myths — after all, they're the ancients' equivalent of what you're proposing doing away with vis-à-vis Christianity.

I'm not saying anything should be discarded, just that if some knowledge is necessary for a particular interpretation of literature or art, it seems to make sense to teach that as part of literature or art classes, for the people who are taking them.

Neither am I saying that people 'shouldn't bother' reading Greek mythology, if it interests them, or that schools shouldn't try and expose people to things in the hope that they are interested.

I'm sure it helps when looking at renaissance paintings (or, at least, when 'reading' them) to know that this saint is always depicted with a red hat, and that one is always depicted with a staff because of such-and-such a tale.
However, such information really doesn't seem to be on some general need-to-know list for people who aren't going to study art.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#58  Postby HomerJay » Sep 15, 2013 11:03 pm

orpheus wrote:I never said 'teach everyone everything'. But you really want to ignore the basics, don't you? How about we do away with algebra, geometry and chemistry?

You really need to be specifc about the outcomes, just like any other subject.

In the UK RE is currently driven by Community Cohesion, AKA stopping muslims from wanting to blow us up, so, as I already said, we have a year of Judaism to mollify muslim anti-semtisim and a year of Islam to mollify the butthurt of muslims who feel igonred. What the fuck that has to do with Dante is anyone's guess.

Exactly how or why religious literacy helps deal with racism is another question.

But the courses here just don't deliver the outcomes that you have very speciously claimed for them.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#59  Postby orpheus » Sep 16, 2013 12:24 am

HomerJay wrote:
orpheus wrote:I never said 'teach everyone everything'. But you really want to ignore the basics, don't you? How about we do away with algebra, geometry and chemistry?

You really need to be specifc about the outcomes, just like any other subject.

In the UK RE is currently driven by Community Cohesion, AKA stopping muslims from wanting to blow us up, so, as I already said, we have a year of Judaism to mollify muslim anti-semtisim and a year of Islam to mollify the butthurt of muslims who feel igonred. What the fuck that has to do with Dante is anyone's guess.

Exactly how or why religious literacy helps deal with racism is another question.

But the courses here just don't deliver the outcomes that you have very speciously claimed for them.


What outcomes have I "very speciously" claimed? I'm not trying to be difficult; I just am beginning to think we may be arguing at cross purposes here.
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Re: Survey finds RE considered the ‘least beneficial subject’

#60  Postby Cito di Pense » Sep 16, 2013 3:28 am

orpheus wrote:I just am beginning to think we may be arguing at cross purposes here.


And one of the reasons might be thinking that leads from this:

orpheus wrote:By the way, many, many schools do teach ancient Greek history. Those that don't are negligent.

I never said 'teach everyone everything'. But you really want to ignore the basics, don't you? How about we do away with algebra,
geometry and chemistry?


I know some of that is facetious. The only persons who are really going to benefit from a unit on Greek history (or some other key piece of the Canon) are those who would become interested in it on their own whenever they ran across a reference that interested them. Unfortunately, people deprived of a working understanding of algebra & geometry when they are of an age to absorb it will have so much trouble with it as busy adults that they will never master it, and will end up cognitively disadvantaged as a result. The incapacity for abstract thinking I've seen in some devotees who've become too focused on literature is shocking. The claims they make for their own capacities of 'deepity' in this regard are often comical.

The classroom hours devoted to RE, if they push aside something like algebra/geometry, are actually doing harm.
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