SUBJECT: EDUCATION (and CHILDREN in general)
There are many aspects to this broad subject including:
- Faith schools - some atheists don't want to touch them, some want to modify them, some want to get rid of them altogether. How do we feel? (Thanks Richard Richard Francis for the suggestion)
- How can we help facilitate children with religious parents to be given some other perspectives and freedom of thought? Some nonbelievers say "who are we to tell religious people they shouldn't teach their kids that religion is right". Do you agree? Or should we try to get something like http://www.kidswithoutgod.com/ started over here? (The BHA and Alom Shaha have an initiative to get a copy of "The Young Atheist's Handbook" into school libraries...all proceeds from this meetup will go to this campaign: http://yah4schools.org.uk/)
- Are there any guidelines about what teachers can say in response to children of religious parents disputing science? And if not, why are some teachers so reticent to speak up? Is it because we don't do it in general society?
- How do we feel about talking about religion to children we come into contact with? E.g Barry said:
All religions target children because it's easy. I have a young relative who is seriously religious. I asked him why he chose to follow Christianity. After some to-ing-and-fro-ing, he conceded that he didn't rally 'choose it' at all. His mum directed him. "You're just doing what you are told, then?", I asked. "I trust my mum, she wouldn't lie to me."
- Someone else related fobbing off the child of a relative rather than saying what the red A badge stands for, when asked. Should we be more willing to speak up or would that make us as bad as religious people?
We meet upstairs (through door marked 'Restaurant') from 19:00, for those who want to have a little social drink beforehand. Our meetups are fairly informal so the bar is usually open upstairs and feel free to order food (it's simple but pretty good we've been told). We aim to start the discussion promptly at 19:30. Please try to turn up well BEFORE 19:30 ... if at all possible :-) as a courtesy to others. If a late arrival can't be helped, no worries, just grab a chair and come in quietly :-)
'Official' end time for discussion is 9pm, but this is flexible if people want to continue with the discussion; usually we have some social time afterwards (until the pub throws us out!)
£2 meetup fee will be going to the YAH4SHOOLS.org.uk campaign. If anyone has any similar books they'd like to donate, please bring them along and we'll send them to schools.