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Would the world be a better place without religion?


Itoero
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Except, atheism is not a position of belief. Your statement is equivalent to, "not believing that the farts of pink unicorns cause erections in leprechauns is the only position to cherry pick the best of all beliefs."Perhaps you mean something closer to secular humanism?

I was talking mostly about the values religions try to teach. Christians in the US (though they don't like to admit it) have pretty much thrown out much of the bible's teachings, the mosaic law, etc.. That's because they know it's not the type of world they'd want to live in. But this is no reason to ignore the good parts. I would just argue that you don't need "Religion" (or dogma of you will). We can recognize good values wherever they happen to stem from. I'm sure you could skim through Mein Kampf and find good bits. Doesn't make Hitler's ideology as a whole worth following. Religion (with a capital "R") must die in my view. Doesn't mean we must turn a blind eye to the parts where religion might have had good points or some good values.

Edited by Code42
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That's fair. I agree with the position that the bible simply cannot be a source of values. How do I know? If it were, then people wouldn't know which parts to ignore. It's clear that the source is our existence as a social species with certain tribal expectations to avoid being shunned and ostracized.

 

Either way, I push back when it seems people are suggesting (even if unintentionally) that atheism is somehow informative about a persons character or beliefs, or that it's somehow a world view. It's not, much like bald isn't a hair color and "not collecting stamps" isn't a hobby.

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I can only speak for myself, not for my children. My position is that religion should be taught outside of public schools and certainly not out of tax payers money. I'm an atheist so my children will be taught critical thinking, curiosity for nature around them, respect for elders, empathy towards other beings, they will find out from me about their roots and traditions of their ancestors. They will also receive from me the values which I, my Father and his Father before him held dear. I would never think of imposing on my children what was imposed on me in the school system as far as religion is concerned. My children will not attend religion in school and then after be presented with a choice of what they want to do with their faith after their minds have been fed fairytales and fear for years. If my children decide to be priests, full blown Christian creationists, scientists, hair dressers, believers, non-believers or whatever - it will be their conscious, adult choice and I will try to shield them from any indoctrination for as long as I can...to maximize chances of them becoming the best version of themselves. Meanwhile while I'll be doing the above, I do not wish to take away your rights to do whatever you feel is good for you and your children nor I have any right to do so. I do have the right to tell you this though because it's an undeniable fact - don't kid yourself that you gave your children any choice.

 

+1 for "conscious, adult choice." All of that is very well said.

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Interesting. Why shouldn't private schools be able to do as they wish?

I strongly belief in children's rights, and one of those rights is proper education. That cannot be guaranteed if left entirely to commercial enterprises. It also shouldn't depend on the wealth or the ideologies of the parents.

 

I don't see any advantage to the existence of private elementary or secondary schools.

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I strongly belief in children's rights, and one of those rights is proper education. That cannot be guaranteed if left entirely to commercial enterprises. It also shouldn't depend on the wealth or the ideologies of the parents.

 

I don't see any advantage to the existence of private elementary or secondary schools.

If you believe in proper education, then clearly private schools are the place to send your children.

 

In the first set of analyses, all private schools were compared to all public schools. The average private school mean reading score was 14.7 points higher than the average public school mean reading score,

 

In the first set of analyses, all private schools were again compared to all public schools. The average private school mean mathematics score was 7.8 points higher than the average public school mean mathematics score

https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pubs/studies/2006461.asp

 

Are you suggesting that if I have more money than you, I should not be allowed to buy a better education for my children than you can?

 

An obvious advantage to private school over public school is that you are allowed to teach religion or have a single sex environment if that is what you want for your children.

To give an extreme example, we wouldn't want private schools teaching Salafism (as i understand has happened in places in Europe), would we?

I don't know. Are we also going to ban ultra orthodox Jewish schools?

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I strongly belief in children's rights, and one of those rights is proper education. That cannot be guaranteed if left entirely to commercial enterprises. It also shouldn't depend on the wealth or the ideologies of the parents.

 

I don't see any advantage to the existence of private elementary or secondary schools.

By that logic, a parent should only be able to say certain things to their children, give them certain food, and only give them a sub medium house hold to live in.

That way, no child has an advantage if their parents work hard to give it to them.

Because you know.

They shouldn't have the right to give children a better education.

An obvious advantage to private school over public school is that you are allowed to teach religion or have a single sex environment if that is what you want for your children.

I think he is suggesting that they shouldn't be indoctrinated in schools and that private schools do that.

In my opinion, while I may object that a child is better at a private school of a particular religion, or a single sex school, it's the parents right to raise them as they wish.

Once the child is 18, they have all the choice they want.

To give an extreme example, we wouldn't want private schools teaching Salafism (as i understand has happened in places in Europe), would we?

Frankly, there will be some regulation to what can be taught at a private school.

Regardless of religion.

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If you believe in proper education, then clearly private schools are the place to send your children.

 

https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pubs/studies/2006461.asp

 

Are you suggesting that if I have more money than you, I should not be allowed to buy a better education for my children than you can?

 

An obvious advantage to private school over public school is that you are allowed to teach religion or have a single sex environment if that is what you want for your children.

I didn't say you shouldn't send your children to a private school; I said there shouldn't be any private schools.

 

If rich parents had to send their children to public schools (like they have to do in e.g. Belgium), they would be more likely to agree with more tax money being spent on public schools. More good students would go to public schools, which automatically increases the level of those schools for everyone; and good teachers wouldn't be lured away from public schools.

An additional advantage is that children play with other children of all layers of society, rather than only the elite.

 

The survey mentions that it compensates e.g. for race/ethnicity, but it says nothing about the level of education of the parents. If they didn't compensate for that, it is worthless to compare the two, as illustrated by this report.

 

You could also look at the international PISA tests. There are probably other countries where there are only public schools, but at least in Belgium everyone goes to a public school and it scores higher than the US on all three categories.

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I didn't say you shouldn't send your children to a private school; I said there shouldn't be any private schools.

So.

Contradiction.

Great argument there.

If rich parents had to send their children to public schools (like they have to do in e.g. Belgium), they would be more likely to agree with more tax money being spent on public schools. More good students would go to public schools, which automatically increases the level of those schools for everyone; and good teachers wouldn't be lured away from public schools.

An additional advantage is that children play with other children of all layers of society, rather than only the elite.

And you have proof of that I suppose?

 

What about home schooling? Would hiring a professional tutor to tutor your child at home rather then sending them to public school be a wrong to you? Because I'm sure that's going to be the result for the majority of them if they're looking for a better education.

And regardless, I want you to think about public schools for a moment.

I don't know if you've been in them recently, but think about this.

Take a teen. Give him/her money. Insert into school with poorer kids.

 

It happens again and again. The rich kids get drugs, alcohol, and typically end up going to college to party.

And sure, some poor kids get drugs too. But I'll tell you from experience. The rich kids in public school all have drugs.

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I didn't say you shouldn't send your children to a private school; I said there shouldn't be any private schools.

Well, it looks like you are suggesting the scenic route, but I end up in the same place either way.

 

If rich parents had to send their children to public schools (like they have to do in e.g. Belgium), they would be more likely to agree with more tax money being spent on public schools. More good students would go to public schools, which automatically increases the level of those schools for everyone;

In the US, many 'rich' parents do send their children to public schools, and they do agree to more tax money being spent on public education, especially in primary and secondary education.

Rich people (and poor people) tend to congregate by income. Public school funding comes from the school district. If the school districts are rich, then the public schools get a lot of funding.

 

and good teachers wouldn't be lured away from public schools.

In Catholic schools at least, the public schools lure away the private school teachers, as the public school teachers receive a higher salary.

 

 

In the US, "private" does not necessarily equate to "rich". My kids went to private school, but the tuition was subsidized by the Church Parish for all, income was taken into account, there were work opportunities for both children and parents to reduce tuition, and in addition, kids could get lunch subsidies.

 

I'd be willing to bet that not one single child at my children's school would be classified as 'elite' under anyone's definition.

We did not have nearly the facilities, computers, or extra-curricular activities provided by the public schools.

What we did have was a shared vision of values, and we were willing to pay above and beyond what we were already paying to the public school districts, while receiving fewer physical benefits in return.

 

 

I am a big fan of public education, but one size does not fit all.

 

I get the impression that private/public education in Belgium is not necessarily the same as it is elsewhere.

 

The survey mentions that it compensates e.g. for race/ethnicity, but it says nothing about the level of education of the parents. If they didn't compensate for that, it is worthless to compare the two, as illustrated by this report.

 

You could also look at the international PISA tests. There are probably other countries where there are only public schools, but at least in Belgium everyone goes to a public school and it scores higher than the US on all three categories.

Are you blaming our poor public school scores on private schools? If so, any evidence for that?
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That's fair. I agree with the position that the bible simply cannot be a source of values. How do I know? If it were, then people wouldn't know which parts to ignore. It's clear that the source is our existence as a social species with certain tribal expectations to avoid being shunned and ostracized.

 

Either way, I push back when it seems people are suggesting (even if unintentionally) that atheism is somehow informative about a persons character or beliefs, or that it's somehow a world view. It's not, much like bald isn't a hair color and "not collecting stamps" isn't a hobby.

Agreed. Atheism offers absolutely nothing except a guarantee that you don't believe in god(s). Morality and how one should act/live are topics on which atheism has nothing to say. This, I think, is why atheists 'could' have a principal advantage in constructing a good moral system, because we can cherry pick from any worldview without the slightest fear of hypocrisy. It is circular and hypocritical on part of the religious to claim to have the divine, inerrant word of God, then ignore parts that make them feel uncomfortable. There's nothing wrong with cherry-picking, I say, so long as you admit to cherry picking and don't try to pass off the idea that your belief system is perfect and inerrant.
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We have no private schools.

 

So, yes, I have visited public schools recently. At least a dozen different public schools this year.

 

There is no contradiction. In a place with good private schools and poor public schools, I would probably send my children to the good private schools. I still prefer a system with no private schools.

 

My point is that a country with no private schools apparently can have better (average) results then in a country that has both public and private schools.

 

As evidenced from the examples given, there seems to be huge quality difference in the US both in private and public schools. I guess I was thinking about private schools were if a teacher fails a student, the teacher is to blame, because the parents payed a lot of money for their children to get a degree. That is probably only true for a subset of private schools.

 

I don't care for home teaching at all, since the right of proper education is not guaranteed at all. No parent is qualified in all the different subjects, and I find the lack of social interaction disturbing.

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I don't care for home teaching at all, since the right of proper education is not guaranteed at all. No parent is qualified in all the different subjects, and I find the lack of social interaction disturbing.

If I had a kid, I could teach them to multiply 4 digit numbers y 4 digit numbers in their head.

I could teach them science all the way up to advanced biology.

I could teach them Algebra, Trigonometry, and some of Calculus.

I could teach them History simply by reading articles online.(Trusted websites.)

I could teach them physical education, life lessons, and how to run a small business.

I could teach them advanced psychology, how to read body language, and how to tell when someone is lying.

I could teach them literature by simply taking an online course and teaching them it.

 

It'd take all day.

But if I can hire a private tutor to teach all the same things, I wouldn't need all day.

So why wouldn't I?

 

I guarantee you. Being augmented by the internet, with the ability to think clearly, would be able to home school their child effectively to get a high school diploma.

My point is that a country with no private schools apparently can have better (average) results then in a country that has both public and private schools.

You showed one example which was false.

I don't understand how that counts as having a better average.

 

Inside of Belgium, 58% of students attend private schools.

You said they had a higher average GPA then the USA.

Hmmmm.

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If I had a kid, I could teach them to multiply 4 digit numbers y 4 digit numbers in their head.

I could teach them science all the way up to advanced biology.

I could teach them Algebra, Trigonometry, and some of Calculus.

I could teach them History simply by reading articles online.(Trusted websites.)

I could teach them physical education, life lessons, and how to run a small business.

I could teach them advanced psychology, how to read body language, and how to tell when someone is lying.

I could teach them literature by simply taking an online course and teaching them it.

 

It'd take all day.

But if I can hire a private tutor to teach all the same things, I wouldn't need all day.

So why wouldn't I?

 

I guarantee you. Being augmented by the internet, with the ability to think clearly, would be able to home school their child effectively to get a high school diploma.

Perhaps you could. Perhaps you even have the pedagogic and didactic skills to pull it off. Do you claim that everyone (or even a large percentage of those) interested in home teaching has all those skills?

 

You still cannot teach them social interaction skills.

You showed one example which was false.

I don't understand how that counts as having a better average.

 

Inside of Belgium, 58% of students attend private schools.

You said they had a higher average GPA then the USA.

Hmmmm.

Where do you get that number? They must be using a strange definition of "private schools". Possibly they refer to schools not explicitly organised by the government, but these still get their funding from the government, teachers are considered government employees and paid a salary by the government and they have to meet the "end requirements" set by the government.

Unless I'm completely mistaken in how private schools in the US operate, there is very little similarity.

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I strongly belief in children's rights, and one of those rights is proper education. That cannot be guaranteed if left entirely to commercial enterprises. It also shouldn't depend on the wealth or the ideologies of the parents.

 

I don't see any advantage to the existence of private elementary or secondary schools

 

How about the advantage of people being free to engage in mutually consensual activities?

 

It's ultimately not about what's "better" in terms of results. It's about people being free to choose. The only reason to have public education is to provide an opportunity for education for those who are economically unable to fund the process. It's essentially a welfare program. I believe education is important, so I support the idea, but I surely do wish it was more well-executed than it is in modern America.

Edited by KipIngram
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You still cannot teach them social interaction skills.

Where do you get that number? They must be using a strange definition of "private schools". Possibly they refer to schools not explicitly organised by the government, but these still get their funding from the government, teachers are considered government employees and paid a salary by the government and they have to meet the "end requirements" set by the government.

Unless I'm completely mistaken in how private schools in the US operate, there is very little similarity.

https://www.edchoice.org/school_choice_faqs/how-does-school-choice-work-in-other-countries/

 

Social interaction skills can be learned even with minimal contact with fellow peers.

Even going to youth group once a week does it.

Unless you mean you want them to also experience the stress of bullying, self image, and trying to be popular.

In which case no, I refuse to bully them, make them question their self image, and have them try to be like everyone else.

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The only reason to have public education is to provide an opportunity for education for those who are economically unable to fund the process.

Well, that and having an educated work force that allows a country to compete in the world, and ensuring standards, and controlling costs, and a country ensuring the welfare of its citizens, and helping people be self-sufficient so that the government doesn't have to support them their whole lives, and...

 

It's essentially a welfare program.

Of course it is. Just like National Parks, Interstate Highways, the National Transportation Safety Board, the FDA, etc.

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Realize we're getting OT here, but... Paradoxically, it tends to be the wealthy who extract the most value from public schools, despite them tending to send their own children to private schools at far higher rates.

 

As I'm sure is obvious to many, the wealthy tend to be the ones who realize the most benefit from an educated workforce, paved roads, police protection, and all of the great many related socialistic foundations supported by government funding that make us all a stronger and more capable republic.

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You still cannot teach them social interaction skills.

I mentioned this before, but just to hammer this point in:

 

Again and again.

Year after year.

One kid after another, this happens.

And I see it year after year, again and again.

 

Screw social interaction skills.

As I'm sure is obvious to many, the wealthy tend to be the ones who realize the most benefit from an educated workforce, paved roads, police protection, and all of the great many related socialistic foundations supported by government funding that make us all a stronger and more capable republic.

Not having to pay to educate the workforce saves them money.

And not having to pay more to someone because all they needed was a high school diploma rather then a college degree saves them money too.

So yes. +1

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