DISCUSSION EVENT, EDUCATION (& children in general relating to atheism/science)

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.

 

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  • Lorna Mumford

    Sounds like it was an interesting night, appreciate the summaries from Ginny and Adrian. Apologies for not making it, it was so cold and my daughter and I had spent so much of the day on draughty trains and sitting around waiting in cold corridors we just wanted to get home and get warm after her interview.

    1 · February 14, 2013

    • Andre

      Ginny, in Brazil, as far as I know, estate schools are never religious (I could be wrong), but private schools sometimes (maybe often) are. Both my parents went to religious schools. The school I went to was private and completely secular, by which I mean that religion wasn't taught, even though there was a chapel in the school, for the simple and interesting reason that the building it occupied had been owned by the Vatican. It is an odd building, but there are certainly odd buildings in Rio. This one was built as a small castle in, apparently, a Venetian style. Maybe I'm wrong. I will see if I find a link. This is the place: http://www.ceat.org.b...­ An Italian castle surrounded by tropical forrests.

      1 · February 14, 2013

    • Andre

      I would like to add that the estate schools in Brazil can't be compared to British ones. Brazilian estate schools go from almost ok to very bad to scandalously bad. But they are not religious, and some of them manage to send pupils to decent universities. But the way probably the majority of youngsters of poor backhground are treated in Brazil is shameful. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's probably natural and even right (or it feels right) for parents to respect the wish of religious schools to teach religion. It's a quid pro quo, I suppose. I believe this is wrong. In order to look at the matter as objectively as possible I think it is necessary to assume that children have a right to get proper education. It is something that should be there for them, rather than for their parents. And the question then is: is it right to teach intellectual mumbo jumbo to innocent people who can't defend themselves, i e children? Sorry, I got carried away!

      1 · February 14, 2013

  • Brian

    I am so sorry not to have made it, as a teacher I was looking forward to the evening, we left late only to find trains not working. Maybe an act of Dog,

    February 14, 2013

  • Georgi L.

    Not a great turnout, maybe too close to Valentine's day etc, but an enjoyable event nevertheless. Thanks to all for enthusiastic participation of different aspects and experiences. All agreed faith schools should be gotten rid of, but that having atheist/humanist schools would be counterproductive ( and pointless, since it would be a 'normal' school i.e we would want still want religion taught as information, albeit not as an ethos). No one had the opposing view, so not a challenging debate as such, more of a broadening of perspectives.

    February 14, 2013

  • Adrian

    A fun evening, good discussion although numbers a bit lower than we normally see (perhaps people realised they'd forgotten to do their Valentine's arrangements at the last minute?!). We all broadly agreed on the subject but I think everyone went away with a broader view thanks to the mix of people there with different backgrounds and experiences. For example, David and John being former teachers gave an insight into the education policy and grass roots side of things, former students of religious schools like Kieron and Andy gave that insight, and also the overseas experience from Joanne (NZ) and André (Brazil). Good contribution from all present and thanks for coming along.

    February 14, 2013

  • Andre

    very enjoyable discussion

    February 14, 2013

  • John Fudge

    I had to go and collect my wife from work!

    February 13, 2013

  • Richard F

    Sorry but working. Bloody shifts:(

    February 12, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Sorry about that Richard, since it was a subject you'd wanted (we may do another one again when Stephen Law can come and give us a talk about his book ' The war for children's minds...if anyone has a copy please bring it along tonight, or any other book you think is relevant)...but in the meantime check out the new Sunday events from Feb 17th (we've been invited by Xtians to discuss various topics with them!...right up your street methinks?)...maybe you can arrange some of your shifts!

      February 13, 2013

    • Richard F

      Weekends are damn difficult when I do shift work but I will try.

      February 13, 2013

  • Steve

    See you there from 7pm tonight.

    February 13, 2013

  • Stephen Yarde

    I watched a very inspirational talk by hemant Mehta at the Texas freethought convention about the fast rise of young atheists with many good suggestions about supporting or setting up secular student societies in schools and colleges. The practical questions and solutions from teachers in the Q and A at the end was also very enlightening. Scroll down to watch the video.
    http://www.ntxsecularcon.com/nt...­

    This is the kind of thing that needs to be on national tv so that the majority of young theists, apathetic atheists and ignorant politicians who would never visit atheist websites can be made aware of the harmfulness of religious indoctrination.

    1 · February 12, 2013

  • Stephen Yarde

    Have you seen these humanism4schools videos by the British humanist association. Are these being shown in schools? I think it a good idea to show rational discussions by youngsters who are not afraid to say that believing in a god is irrational. These should be shown in every school.
    http://youtu.be/6POf8YyWty0­

    1 · February 11, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Absolutely Stephen. I think it's easy to find aspects we don't like, but the point is they're doing something. And it takes a multi-pronged approach to reach different people. Some will be attuned to this more softly softly / bordering on (ugh) 'spirtitual' approach, whilst for others a more simple reasoning argument might have been better. But I'd say virtually any attempt has to applauded. Can't do any harm, surely, and chances are it'll do some good for some even if it's not how we'd do it.

      February 11, 2013

  • Brian

    I love to spark a discussion in class and when I can get away with it, I just let slip "Did you know whales have knees?" They all laugh "Ho you don't believe me" they then they spray many reasons why that is crazy idea,....5min later most of the clever ones are going ....Ho yea!https://www.google.co.uk/search?...­
    Reff;

    1 · February 10, 2013

  • alastairlichten

    I'm going to have to change to a no, football is my religion.

    February 10, 2013

  • Brian

    My evolved robust health and Science willing I will be there.

    1 · February 8, 2013

  • Lorna Mumford

    Can I be a maybe on this one? My eldest has a uni interview that day and I promised I would keep her company, but I may just drag her along with me after! This is a topic I'm really interested in covering in my research so hopefully will find a way to be there!

    February 3, 2013

    • Georgi L.

      Of course Lorna, you're both welcome whenever you can make it :-)

      February 3, 2013

  • Roger

    Hooray! I can make this one too.

    1 · January 11, 2013

12 went

  • Georgi L.
    FOUNDER, ORGANISER, cat herding faith virus boghossinator, Co-Organizer
    Event Host
  • David S
    "Most Irreverend" after promotions from I & V.I!
  • Andy Something
    Good wit' the Ladeez apparently!
  • Joanne
    Sweet as Bro!
  • Roger
    ORGANISER, A "lert" to smut
  • Kieron +1
    ORGANISER, Founder Member.
  • Steve
    Founder Member
  • David McGuire
    Premium LAAGer! & Twitter Star
  • Adrian
    FOUNDER, Cat herding KingHell of Puns, Organizer
  • Andre
    Tee-total whimsy

Your organizer's refund policy for DISCUSSION EVENT, EDUCATION (& children in general relating to atheism/science)

Refunds are not offered for this Meetup.

Optional Contribution

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This covers: OPTIONAL FUNDRAISING: for LAAG's upcoming Activism Conference + other campaigns

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