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Go to: Prayer refusal pupils 'disciplined'

Benocrates's Avatar Jump to comment 116 by Benocrates


As I was discussing with doc earlier, I think that argument of other demonstrations (crucifiction) is a straw man. There seems to be a line drawn for practical lessons, and a Muslim prayer is a far cry away from crucifiction. My main argument, i think, would be potential harm.

One thing we should keep in mind, is that RE in not a method of dispelling religious claims, or illustrating it's overt falsity. It is to give a comprehensive course on currently practiced religions. We have to remember, some children may decide that Islam is what they want to submit to, and it's their right.

Sun, 06 Jul 2008 10:45:00 UTC | #194656

Go to: Prayer refusal pupils 'disciplined'

Benocrates's Avatar Jump to comment 106 by Benocrates

Doc, I think we are using two definitions of insignificant. I would argue, the prayer itself (worship to god) is in and of itself insignificant. We both, I'm sure, agree on the absence of Allah, therefore nobody is there to hear it. On the other hand, it's significance of a cultural and religious ritual is patently clear, on par with meditation.

Concerning my sentence you couldn't understand; I was insinuating that the actual backlash (parents) was motivated by the desire to have their children maintain a Christan faith, and not be exposed to any other religion. Obviously, this is not your perspective, but I think that point should be made.

As for you're argument with the examples of executioner and rape, I haven't come up with a rebuttal yet. It seems there must be a decision made on the practical exercise of lessons, but I can't quite articulate where that line should be drawn. If you have an articulate argument on where the line is, I'd like to hear it.

Finally, concerning my argument that it's a short ritual, I'll concede it's a bad argument. Though, combined with my other arguments here, I believe it contributes to the reasonableness of performing the act. However, my argument does not hinge on that proposition.

Sat, 05 Jul 2008 22:31:00 UTC | #194508

Go to: Prayer refusal pupils 'disciplined'

Benocrates's Avatar Jump to comment 32 by Benocrates

Doc, I think this debate comes down to the key question: "Is it necessary/acceptable to have children perform the physical action of any particular religious ritual, in the context of religious education."

It appears that we can view this question two ways, hinged on the words necessary and acceptable. If taken from the perspective of acceptable, I would argue that the contextual practice (immediately following a lesson on why the ritual is performed) does not impinge on the religious freedoms of students.

My reason for this, is the inclusive nature of other lessons and rituals the students would be exposed to for other religions. This is under the assumption that Islam is not the only religion covered in that class.

If the argument for necessity is a bit harder to defend, but I think I can. To argue that videos, demonstrations, lectures on a topic can provide sufficient instruction, to me, is insufficient. I will agree, that not all lessons should be followed by the practical activity of it, however I believe a corollary can be drawn to the science classroom.

I am in no way advocating the equality of the two disciplines (theology and science), nor am I claiming some kind of NOMA seperation. What I am suggesting, is the act of participating in limited religious ritual may provide a more tangible example of the nonsense that is religious ritual, as science experiments show the usefulness that is science.

To me, the argument that these rituals should be banned legitimizes the rituals themselves. To say our children should not be forced to perform a simple Allah worshiping ritual, almost implies that there is something that can be worshiped that differs from a preferred icon. If not this argument, it at least appears to be giving a greater amount of significance to a truly insignificant act.

Not to mention the very limited amount of time it takes to perform that Islamic ritual, I think this symbolic debate is, in essence, overreaction.

Sat, 05 Jul 2008 11:54:00 UTC | #194320

Go to: Prayer refusal pupils 'disciplined'

Benocrates's Avatar Jump to comment 24 by Benocrates

huzonfurst, would you consider testing on the content of the Christian Lords prayer for RE purposes to be an affront to British secular politics?

Sat, 05 Jul 2008 10:53:00 UTC | #194298

Go to: Prayer refusal pupils 'disciplined'

Benocrates's Avatar Jump to comment 22 by Benocrates

logicel, it seems from the article that these children were probably refusing to participate in a disruptive way. I can't be sure, and if it were otherwise (perhaps in opposition to some religious freedom in a reasonable way), I would think differently.

However, based on the assumption it was disruptive to an honest RE lesson, they should face the same punishment as any student disruptor.

Sat, 05 Jul 2008 10:49:00 UTC | #194296

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