Trouble Brewing in Europe

#1


The Telegraph
2 hrs ·
“We need more religion in schools, not less. Clearly taught, made relevant to 2015, and treated with the same respect we accord literature, science, or maths.”


Europe is becoming a no God zone.
If we don't act fast to protect outward signs of observance, then religion will be purged completely from public life in the West
TELEGRAPH.CO.UK
Stephen McKinnell
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  • Joe Wisneski
    If you want to teach your religion, take your kids to whatever church. It has no place in public education, and no place in civil law.
    Like · Reply · 377 · 2 hrs

  • Michael Strömpl
    Religion has nothing to do with School, therefore should Not be in schools. Simple as that.
    Like · Reply · 402 · 2 hrs

  • Owain Key
    I agree. Let's teach kids the world is flat and at the centre of the universe while we're at it.
    Like · Reply · 142 · 2 hrs

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    There are 700+ comments for this article, the vast majority of them being anti - religion as are these few I've posted, bits got dropped cutting and pasting but note the likes, 377 & 402 for the most popular two.

    This evil business in Paris has stirred up a shitstorm. There are so many angles to it.

    What do you think ?
 
#2
I agree that religion has no place in public schools. And it sounds to me like Dawkins et al are getting exactly what they hoped for. Is this good or bad? I dunno. I guess it depends on your perspective. Less religious fundamentalism is a good thing. But leading people to believe they are nothing on a nothing world in a nothing universe and everything you say or do is because your brain made you do it (aka. zero personal accountability) can be equally as bad, IMO.
 
#3
“We need more religion in schools, not less. Clearly taught, made relevant to 2015, and treated with the same respect we accord literature, science, or maths.”

This is one of those quotes that looks sensible at first glance... But actually makes no sense at all.
 
#4
I agree that religion has no place in public schools. And it sounds to me like Dawkins et al are getting exactly what they hoped for. Is this good or bad? I dunno. I guess it depends on your perspective. Less religious fundamentalism is a good thing. But leading people to believe they are nothing on a nothing world in a nothing universe and everything you say or do is because your brain made you do it (aka. zero personal accountability) can be equally as bad, IMO.
I agree we should not be arguing that we have zero personal accountability. That said, I don't recall seeing many people do that!
 
#5
Given that the vast majority of people in the world seem to have some sort of religious belief, I'd have thought trying to understand the subject a bit more would be a good thing.
 
#6
I agree that religion has no place in public schools. And it sounds to me like Dawkins et al are getting exactly what they hoped for. Is this good or bad? I dunno. I guess it depends on your perspective. Less religious fundamentalism is a good thing. But leading people to believe they are nothing on a nothing world in a nothing universe and everything you say or do is because your brain made you do it (aka. zero personal accountability) can be equally as bad, IMO.
I already wrote that before somewhere else: I have no faith in humanity that everyone will stay civilized if you try to eradicate meaning. There wouldnt be any reason for many people out there to stay calm and talk about things. Why not just use violence instead? It wouldnt matter, right? Well you got the same problem with religious fundamentalism, true enough.

To be honest, over here in germany religion is close to be gone from schools. Theres some sort of replacement school subject though. They try to teach the values of our society with that. You know, sutff like fairness, tolerance and so on. Doesnt work as intended since no one cares, but its a great idea since we got the problems anyways: Atleast the catholic religion will be mostly gone from europe sooner or later(except for italy maybe, idk). Who will teach the young people out there that theres more than just money, violence and greed? I kinda doubt that atheism (or similar groups) or its figureheads are capable of that. You can already see the results with the upcoming generation. I dont mind that they dont believe in god, its just that they are like slaves of the system. And the system isnt friendly to humans.
 
#7
I don't recall seeing many people do that
True, it's not exactly an acceptable view, however, I was listening to a NPR Radio Lab podcast some time ago about this very thing. They were speaking with a fairly well known neuroscientist (don't recall the name) about the concept of free will. His position was that consciousness was a product of the brain and that free will was an illusion. This led to a discussion of how this leads to some ethical quandaries in the court system. The gist was, if I am only a series of brain processes, and I have no ability to control these processes (since free will and control are an illusion) then am I legally responsible for what I do?

I had heard all of this before I listened to this podcast, but I had not heard of Skeptiko then. It was this podcast that got me interested in the "does mind =brain?" problem. I was a materialistic atheist up to this point. Everything I've learned since then has shifted my perspective. I think this is the link:
http://www.radiolab.org/story/91640-choice/
 
#8
Given that the vast majority of people in the world seem to have some sort of religious belief, I'd have thought trying to understand the subject a bit more would be a good thing.
Your comment presupposes that we are dealing with an understandable subject. History (and philosophy) would indicate otherwise.
 
#9
Sorry, my point was, true most people will dismiss the idea of zero accountability, but it seems following materialism to its end point results in this very thing.
 
#11
Regardless, if it is uncontrollable brain process that dictate everything we do, everything we are, what personal responsibility DO we have? How am I supposed to be able to control my actions if past experiences and brain chemistry are in control and I have NO control. This same issue was brought up in the podcast and they left it open ended. Because there is no good response to this.

Either we have some level of control, some amount of free will or we don't. The way the materialistic model of consciousness has thus far shaped up, it is saying we have no free will, I am an illusion created by my brain, therefore I have no control. How can they have it both ways? Consciousness is an illusion that you can't control, but control it anyway?
 
#12
True, it's not exactly an acceptable view, however, I was listening to a NPR Radio Lab podcast some time ago about this very thing. They were speaking with a fairly well known neuroscientist (don't recall the name) about the concept of free will. His position was that consciousness was a product of the brain and that free will was an illusion. This led to a discussion of how this leads to some ethical quandaries in the court system. The gist was, if I am only a series of brain processes, and I have no ability to control these processes (since free will and control are an illusion) then am I legally responsible for what I do?

I had heard all of this before I listened to this podcast, but I had not heard of Skeptiko then. It was this podcast that got me interested in the "does mind =brain?" problem. I was a materialistic atheist up to this point. Everything I've learned since then has shifted my perspective. I think this is the link:
http://www.radiolab.org/story/91640-choice/
Think of it this way: we exist as part of a web of cause and effect (with randomness possibly thrown in). Our thoughts, reaction to stimuli, reflections, feelings, etc. are part of that web. Included in this web are our responses to others, and our reflections on how our actions impact on others and how we react to the actions of others. Included are our notions of personal responsibility and the justice system and our opinions and reactions to them.

All of these form part of the web. We make decisions, have thoughts, have opinions. Regardless of whether we consider them free or not they are part of the causative web.

(Still have work to do before I leave today - I'm not sure that is all that clear - probably getting off topic, maybe we should start a new thread or ressurect one of the old free will discussion threads)
 
#13
Right, I accept all that (as an aside, you invoking a web analogy is just spooky for me. This very notion has come up over and over again for me, but you are the first to invoke it in a materialistic sense, but I digress...).

But it's still sidestepping the issue. You said "we make decisions" but, correct me if I am wrong, the materialistic paradigm doesn't allow for this. Unless you mean the brain is making decisions, in which case it seems an awful lot like you're making the brain out to be it's own entity. Almost as if THE BRAIN has free will, but we, the automatons that merely carry the thing around for it, do not.

I understand where you are coming from. I've heard the argument before. As an example, I love the color pink. But it's not ME, the I that I think I am, that is an illusion, that loves pink, it's merely a consequence of events that can be traced back to some originating source(s). So, I might think I like the color pink because I think it's pretty and it suits my complexion, but in actuality it's because of a series of reducible events combined with brain chemistry. I really had no choice but to like pink. Just like OJ Simpson had no choice but to kill his wife. So, were we then correct in finding him not guilty after all?
 
#14
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11344228/Europe-is-becoming-a-no-God-zone.html
An ill-tempered debate about faith schools and faith in schools was sparked last year by the Trojan Horse scandal, when in 13 schools children were subjected to frightening Sunni Islam propaganda – told that hell awaited them if they did not obey; and the girls were told that when they married they could not refuse to have sex with their husbands, lest the angels punish them. The row left the education authorities feeling wary of teaching their pupils about God in any guise. This is a mistake: we need more religion in schools, not less. Clearly taught, made relevant to 2015, and treated with the same respect we accord literature, science, or maths. The Paris tragedies show that religion is such a non-negotiable force in most people’s lives, we ignore it at our peril.
I don't see how you will ever get people to agree on what is a fair discussion on religious issues.

I don't think religion should be taught in schools because the government screws up everything it touches. Government religious education will 1) get the facts wrong, and 2) politicize it. This has happened to history education in the US. One aspect of religion that is already taught is atheism in science classes. Natural evolution is often taught as the reason that God is an unnecessary hypothesis. If the atheists really believed in keeping religion out of the classroom they would insist that aspect of evolution not be part of the curriculum, however atheists are not against teaching about religion when it supports their views. Most likely a government class about religion will become a course on atheism - because government is always on the defensive against rival authorities such as organized religions.
 
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#15
Right, I accept all that (as an aside, you invoking a web analogy is just spooky for me. This very notion has come up over and over again for me, but you are the first to invoke it in a materialistic sense, but I digress...).

But it's still sidestepping the issue. You said "we make decisions" but, correct me if I am wrong, the materialistic paradigm doesn't allow for this. Unless you mean the brain is making decisions, in which case it seems an awful lot like you're making the brain out to be it's own entity. Almost as if THE BRAIN has free will, but we, the automatons that merely carry the thing around for it, do not.

I understand where you are coming from. I've heard the argument before. As an example, I love the color pink. But it's not ME, the I that I think I am, that is an illusion, that loves pink, it's merely a consequence of events that can be traced back to some originating source(s). So, I might think I like the color pink because I think it's pretty and it suits my complexion, but in actuality it's because of a series of reducible events combined with brain chemistry. I really had no choice but to like pink. Just like OJ Simpson had no choice but to kill his wife. So, were we then correct in finding him not guilty after all?
Yes... What makes you "You" is an interesting question. Genetics will play some part I guess, but experience, upbringing, conditioning etc will all interact to inform your choices and decisions. There is freewill to a point but (IMHO) we are unable to divorce our decisions from our history. Perhaps there is some truth in the old quote:

Show me the boy at 7 years old and I will show you the man
I suspect OJ reached a point in his anger where it became extremely likely that he would cause some harm to his wife. Would he be more or less culpable if he had been "controlled" by a non-local, or immaterial, consciousness?
 
#16
One aspect of religion that is already taught is atheism in science classes. Natural evolution is often taught as the reason that God is an unnecessary hypothesis. If the atheists really believed in keeping religion out of the class room they would insist that aspect of evolution not be part of the curriculum, however atheists are not against teaching about religion when it supports their views.
I think there are differences between the U.S. and Europe in that respect. Evolution doesn't particularly have any religious/non-religious connotation, generally speaking. At least in a broad sense, the debate was over a long time ago. That it still rages in the U.S. appears somewhat quaint from this side of the pond.

That's not to say that people necessarily consider evolution satisfactory, but any issues arise on scientific, not religious grounds.

The issues we do face are more related to multiculturalism, and how the different religious groups can coexist.
 
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#17
Would he be more or less culpable if he had been "controlled" by a non-local, or immaterial, consciousness?
Controlled? I don't really see it that way. If consciousness is non-local, then there would be no separation of his "higher Self" from his human incarnation. Bear with me, this is theory of course (duh) but the way in which I see it, when I am entertaining the idea of non-local consciousness, keeping in mind I am still very much on the fence about all of it.

The human incarnation we know as "OJ Simpson" is a small part of who he, as a conscious being, is. It is a focus of this consciousness for what appears to us to be a lifetime, but is literally a moment in eternity. So, the consciousness"controlling" him IS him. So yes, he is very much culpable for his actions. He would also have the power to NOT do what he did.

One of the problems with brain based theory is the inevitable problem with personal accountability. So, in one of Arouet's posts in another thread he uses as an example a kid that shot someone in a robbery gone bad. He was robbing the store because he was raised in poverty by a drug addicted mother, then you could go on to speculate why there was poverty in the first place and on and on ad infinitum. Where does it end? The beginning of time? Well, if humans had never evolved in the first place then, blah, blah, blah.
 
#18
That's not to say that people necessarily consider evolution satisfactory, but any issues arise on scientific, not religious grounds.
Speaking from personal experience only, it seems when this issue is raised on scientific grounds, you are literally tarred and feathered in the town square for even acknowledging that there are problems with evolutionary theory. I didn't know Europe was more open to this questioning. If true, that is very encouraging.
 
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