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Go to: Three Developments in British Education

skeelo's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by skeelo

Comment 21 by alphcat :

Fair enough, I missed that, though a lot of that curriculum, such as the nature of god, is part of most schools RE curriculums. It also ignores the fact that the RC schools of which I'm aware of are not following those guidelines too prescriptively and RE is allocated the same amount of curriculum time in RC schools as non RC ones.

The guidelines I linked to provide a detailed, public plan for the indoctrination of children in state funded Catholic schools from the age of 3 to 19. It does not bear anything other than the most superficial comparison to the RE curriculum of non faith schools.

It may well be that the Roman Catholic school that your child attends doesn't follow the guidelines laid down for it 'too prescriptively'; indeed, if this is the case, you should consider yourself fortunate, but it would be unwise, on this basis, to assume that all, or even most, Roman Catholic schools are following suit.

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 14:07:52 UTC | #947202

Go to: Three Developments in British Education

skeelo's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by skeelo

Comment 12 by alphcat :

So go into any RC state school and you will be hard pushed to see any difference between it and a non faith school. In science, PSHE, SRE and even RE.

This is patently false. Anyone who is interested in what Catholic Schools in England and Wales actually teach, can find out here. This is nothing like what is taught in non faith schools.

It's funny how a Catholic education is so adept at convincing those unfortunate enough to suffer it that, despite all the evidence to the contrary, there is nothing particularly Catholic about it at all. And yet, strangely enough, when all grown up, these former pupils are all too likely, when discussing Catholic schools, to come out with statements such as "My parents sent me to one" and "[ I ] send one of my children to one " while seemingly blissfully unaware of the obvious connection between the two.

Wed, 13 Jun 2012 08:27:54 UTC | #947166

Go to: Stop female genital mutilation in the UK! - Avaaz.org petition

skeelo's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by skeelo

Signed: I wish you all the best in your campaign.

Given the scale of the problem, it is an absolute scandal that not one case has reached the courts.

Sun, 03 Jun 2012 23:15:34 UTC | #945367

Go to: Q&A: Sam Harris

skeelo's Avatar Jump to comment 55 by skeelo

Comment 54 by MondayMonday :

It's not that I'm disagreeing, but let me summarize what I was trying to say, however inefficiently, above. The argument usually seems to go like this (and I'm not talking to you specifically, just in general):

  • Tibetan Buddhists are proof that beliefs matter. They have a religion that strongly opposes violence, and so they don't retaliate against the Chinese.

  • Ok, so are you saying we'd all be better off if we were like the Tibetan Buddhists, and should adopt a similar style of belief?

  • I know this wasn't necessarily directed at me, but no, I'm not suggesting that we all become Buddhists, or adopt similar beliefs. The rest of the argument, as you present it, seems rather silly to me; Buddhism is, in fact, superior to Islam in almost every respect, but this is not, in itself, much of an argument in favour of Buddhism.

    Also, I think Pape's research is worth considering in that numbers are numbers. There are a great many things in life that are counter intuitive, and yes, while I would intuitively say that the idea of religious beliefs lining up with behavior makes sense, I still don't think it's a good idea to assume our intuitions are true and throw out and research to the contrary. People do have a habit of ignoring beliefs and engaging in cognitive dissonance in both directions when other factors support it (Oh look, my religion says what I like, I'm totally feeling vindicated! Oh look, not so much, I'm going to just kind of forget about that or come up with a very creative interpretation right now...) Hence the large number of conflicts driven by Christian societies despite the explicitly pacifist message of the New Testament. The NT contains many, many more references to turning the other cheek and laying down swords, spoken by Jesus himself of all people, and a very few questionable references to homosexuality, and yet based on the behavior of many Christians you'd think the exact opposite was true. That said, I don't know enough about Pape's research to really comment on it, so whether its solid or questionable in its own right I don't know. If there are reasons to believe it's not credible, I would certainly want to know about them.

    Numbers are numbers but conclusions drawn from numbers can be warranted or unwarranted. Pape makes great play of the fact that, during a certain period, Tamil Tiger suicide bombing outstrips that of Islamist terrorist groups. Broadly speaking, the claim that Islamist suicide terrorism has little to do with Islam depends Tamil Tigers committing enough suicide attacks to make Islamist suicide terrorism seem less significant than it would be otherwise.

    Islamist suicide terrorists either are, or are not, motivated to a significant degree by Islam: it should be clear that the actions of the unconnected Tamil Tigers do not play a role in determining the motivations of Islamist suicide terrorists. A high number of Tamil Tiger suicide attacks does not show that Islamist terrorists are not motivated by Islam; a low number of Tamil Tiger attacks, does not show that Islamist terrorists are motivated by Islam,

    Sun, 03 Jun 2012 23:06:41 UTC | #945366

    Go to: Q&A: Sam Harris

    skeelo's Avatar Jump to comment 53 by skeelo

    Comment 49 by MondayMonday :

    I guess I don't necessarily follow your thinking above. If you gave an example of a secular country that would be one thing, but to me all this establishes is that religious beliefs that specifically ban violence might do something to inhibit violent behavior. Perhaps that was your point, I'm just a little thrown because this is the RD forum and this statement seems to be more or less promoting religion in the name of reducing violence.

    I am not promoting religion (perish the thought): I'm merely stating that some religions are rather more compatible with suicidal terrorism than others.

    Many people make the claim that Islamist suicide terrorism, despite all appearances to the contrary, has nothing at all, or very little, to do with religion. Pape is of the view, for example, that suicide terrorism can almost always be explained by the desire of the terrorists to compel foreign troops to leave their homeland or other places that they consider to be of great importance.

    Harris's response to this is: where are all the Tibetan suicide bombers? If the religious beliefs of those suffering a military occupation by a foreign power are irrelevant, surely Tibetan Buddhists should be just as likely to commit such atrocities as Muslims.

    The reality is that what people believe affects how they will act. Back in 2005, many people in Britian were unhappy and angry about the British involvement in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Four particular British men were so very angry that they decided to blow themselves up aboard public transport in London, killing 52 civilians and injuring over 700. If we wish to understand why these men were not content with expressing their discontent through democratic means we could do worse than listen to what they recorded for posterity before committing their acts of deliberate butchery:

    I and thousands like me are forsaking everything for what we believe. Our drive and motivation doesn't come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer. Our religion is Islam, obedience to the one true God and following the footsteps of the final prophet messenger. Your democratically-elected governments continuously perpetuate atrocities against my people all over the world. And your support of them makes you directly responsible, just as I am directly responsible for protecting and avenging my Muslim brothers and sisters. Until we feel security you will be our targets and until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people we will not stop this fight. We are at war and I am a soldier. Now you too will taste the reality of this situation.

    Sat, 02 Jun 2012 23:25:23 UTC | #945233

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