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Tucson Atheists Message Board › Atheist education in Tucson?

Atheist education in Tucson?

Josh
jlaz
Rio Rico, AZ
Post #: 177
Hello everyone:

Does anyone have any suggestions of Tucson-area alternatives to "Sunday School" And "Hebrew School"? Do any of the local Unitarian Universalist Churches offer specifically atheist philosophic courses for young minds?

Josh
A former member
Post #: 456
No training. Atheism isn't a religion with specific thoughts and dogma. It is the lack of belief of a supreme being. In fact, within the last year we have been, as a group, exploring our differences rather than our likenesses. I have noticed your presence on the site throughout the last year and there have been several discussions posted on the discussion board to that effect (our differences). You may find that interesting if you have not taken the time to look at them. Or attend meetings.

I think what you are asking, in an indirect manner is: How is your dogma set up and what does it define?

There is none and that's the way we like it. Our only generally agreed upon likeness that we promote, as a group, is separation of church and state.

So, if you are looking for structure, you must have that already developed within your being to explore the critical thinking that the group enjoys when topics are presented. How did we all get ours? Through a lot of "hard knocks" and for some, severe pain by institutions (structure) they were forced to endure and have spent many hours sometimes years questioning if they could reject that structure. Others just knew that something was amiss for them within those systems and easily walked away. In any journey of life, whether religious or not, there is no path that is the same for everyone, only similarities.

May you find the path within which you can breathe easily.

Hope that helps.
Josh
jlaz
Rio Rico, AZ
Post #: 178
Hi Deb:

Thanks for the reply. Sometimes our questions on this board are based on some personal need that comes up, and in this case it happens I know an atheist in Tucson who has kids and I just became curious if there are any local organized efforts in the area of secular education that specifically keep God out of it. I figured "probably not". I think what I had in mind is that perhaps there is some educational system (or maybe an enterprising teacher or teacher group) which incorporates teaching of the various secular approaches to philosophy.... not necessarily trying to present a system on which all atheists agree.

As to your points about my posting, if you do a search on "jlaz", you'll see that I've been posting to this board since 2004, and I attended a few meetings and enjoyed them somewhat, but fell away from it. It's a long drive and other matters became a higher priority. I think if it were close by I'd attend now and again.

Anyway, thanks for the reply.

jl
Mitchell
zenguy
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 88
Hello everyone:

Does anyone have any suggestions of Tucson-area alternatives to "Sunday School" And "Hebrew School"? Do any of the local Unitarian Universalist Churches offer specifically atheist philosophic courses for young minds?

Josh

I have taken my kids, when they were younger, to Unitarian Sunday School. This was not in Tucson, but I'm guessing that local Unitarian churches have them also. They teach ethics, cooperation, tolerance, etc., with no teaching about deities or the bible.

I only took them a few times because we all found it kind of boring. :)

m
Josh
jlaz
Rio Rico, AZ
Post #: 179


I have taken my kids, when they were younger, to Unitarian Sunday School. This was not in Tucson, but I'm guessing that local Unitarian churches have them also. They teach ethics, cooperation, tolerance, etc., with no teaching about deities or the bible.

I only took them a few times because we all found it kind of boring. :)

m

Thanks Zenguy. From this and other conversations about Unitarian Universalist efforts, I'm thinking it might be worth a shot in some cases, depending on the exact UU Church and teacher.
A former member
Post #: 518
Hi Josh:

Didn't see your posting. Have been "away" for a while attending to other matters and I do not have children so I am glad Mitchell stepped in on this one. He is much better informed than I. That being said, you are proof that Atheists wish for their children a code of conduct and ethics of goodwill just as the so-called benefits of belief in the "Jew in the Sky" to which Mitchell has prior referenced in other posts. (Mitchell, I am still chuckling about that one.)

Anyway, sounds like you are setting a structure of goodwill and ethics for your children from which they someday will use critical thinking and exercise freewill and find what suits them, whether within or without a religion. Best of success.

Deb
A former member
Post #: 8
Folks:

The Second Amendment cuts both ways: the faithful can't preach in the classroom, and atheists cannot preach (in that classroom) that the faithful are "wrong."

To the extent that an atheist movement can organize for such things, we could legally sponsor classes, books, etc. that factually listed the contradictions in a religious doctrine. An atheist seminar could point out (for example) that the Bible has God telling the Israelites, "thou shalt not kill" in one chapter, and telling them to make war on the Midianites in another.

But since we are dealing with irrational beliefs (not "irrational people," as many of them are quite sensible when they're not discussing their faith), we could expect an irrational backlash from even the most honest and factual treatment of those contradictions. In the long run, it would require a determined, continual presence in the public dialogues to offset this irrational, kneejerk mindset.

I don't suppose I need to point out the degree of irrationality to readers at the site. But it's still quite amazing to me that people could believe that a sane and loving god could wipe them all out with a flood just because they were doing what he designed them to do.

BB
Josh
jlaz
Rio Rico, AZ
Post #: 184
Folks:

The Second Amendment cuts both ways: the faithful can't preach in the classroom, and atheists cannot preach (in that classroom) that the faithful are "wrong."

To the extent that an atheist movement can organize for such things, we could legally sponsor classes, books, etc. that factually listed the contradictions in a religious doctrine. An atheist seminar could point out (for example) that the Bible has God telling the Israelites, "thou shalt not kill" in one chapter, and telling them to make war on the Midianites in another.

[...]

Hi:

I think the only place where your points would apply as to the difficulty of arranging this would be in public schools. I was not referring to public schools, but private alternatives.

It is common for Christians and Jews and others to have private academies where they can arrange for their children to be educated as they see fit, with lesson plans that might include whatever God-delusion nonsense that they might want to put in there.

I would not be completely surprised if Atheists had organized in some larger communities for private education that had an approach that seemed mutually aggreable to those atheist parents, and I guess I wondered if something might have happened in Tucson. My guess was "probably not" in a strict sense, though there might be some middle-ground in what one might find, for example, at a Unitarian Universalist place.
A former member
Post #: 6
The thing all children (and adults for that matter) need to learn is critical thinking skills. That is something everyone needs in day to day life to reduce being taken advantage of as well as making better choices. Public schools generally don't do a very good job of this therefore it is up to the parents. Atheist parents can also add the reasoning of no deity(s). There is a huge amount of pressure on children to at the very least go along with the Judeo-Christian beliefs and be fearful of letting others know they don't buy into that.
A former member
Post #: 10
I accept Josh's correction: if atheists can create public (but not public school) activities that disseminate "our" message, than it should be healthy for all concerned. Certainly, an increased public presence would give atheists (and agnostics and critical thinkers) a chance to address and offset the stereotypical equating of atheism and immorality.

And I agree with Debbie about teaching critical thinking skills. Lots of people agree, even though the problem is hard to define. At the same time, I've long wondered how education, as a system or institution, could be liflted above the merely routine. Look at the brouhaha in Texas: they can't even agree on what should go in a textbook, so how could they expect the overall system to achieve anything but rote memorization?

To put it another way: think for a moment about the one or two (and if you're lucky, three) really great teachers you were exposed to. Now, how could an institution erect a highly reliable process for hiring predominantly that type of person?

BB
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