Friday, May 8, 2009

Obtuse Remark of the Day

Johann Hari has this article in the Indy, which I saw by chance, not being much of a fan of his ill-informed dogmatism. On the central point of the article I have little to say, beyond the observation that it seems to be pretty much a dead letter anyway, and most children go to religious schools because their parents choose to send them there. Also, one man's indoctrination is another's education, as evidenced by this from the comments thread:

"hcurtiss: Religious education is actually child abuse

You have pointed out many of the irrational absurdities of religious education. And in a multi-ethnic society how can we promote one incomprehesible mythology over another.

For many educated in Catholic schools there is often a shared memory of psychological abuse by priests and Christian brothers who often terrorised children a young as five or six with vivid descriptions of eternal hell, unspeakable torment.

Religion has no place in our modern society. The common problems that the entire world face must be tackled with humanity, sympathy and rationality. Perhaps replacing religious lesson for young children with green studies focussing on climate chasnge, biodiversity issues, species exinction, abuse of animals in factory farming, impact of HIV- and for older children an introduction to philosophy, completely neglected in our syllabus would help."

Apart from the teaching of philosophy, which should be part of any proper education (along with Mathematics, Greek, Music... but I digress) this is a classic example of 'Children must be indoctrinated my way, not yours.' There is very little sign of intelligence or an understanding of reason in the entire thread, though the words are used regularly. It all shows how terribly hard it is to hold a discussion when both sides have their ears and their brains nailed shut.

1 comment:

Vincent said...

Well I agree with you! I went to prep school followed by independent (fee-paying) grammar school. Religious observance in the form of daily prayers and C of E church parades (both military and civil) were obligatory, as well as Scripture lessons in which we learned old and New testaments pretty well.

I never came across any boy who was indoctrinated by this, and by the age of eight or nine had decided I could never be a Christian. At least I was well enough educated to know why.

On the other hand, it gave me an understanding and respect for my country's traditions, and by analogy, the traditions and culture of anywhere else in the world.

And it gave me, as something has clearly given you, the clarity to perceive the dogmatism that current fashions would put in place of the harmless observances that were respected in the past.