I remember when I lost my mind… there was something about the way they taught ethics

I’m going to update regarding the essay in The Australian Book of Atheism which argues:

Premiss 1: Religious education is bad.

Therefore: Religious education is bad.

But in discussing some of the ideas elsewhere, I got bogged down in an argument with @pandeiacomic on Twitter about Primary Ethics.

In NSW, the Education Act has been changed to allow students to receive ‘philosophical ethics classes’ instead of going to religious studies classes.  As an atheist myself, I think this is a bad idea.  I feel that a lot of our social problems relate to cultural illiteracy: we lack the language to construct a positive and robust discussion about our culture and society.  If religious education classes were taught well (and I happily admit that they are not — I’m not sure what educational relevance colouring a picture of Jesus holding a duck has to do with religious instruction), they would help people discuss culture meaningfully.

Sometimes, I wonder if my fellow atheists would be better equipped to discuss religion if they’d had better religious instruction (one of the essays in The Australian Book of Atheism starts discussing religion in society before going off on an irrelevant rant that the Earth didn’t begin 6,000 years ago; because, you know, hurr hurr that’s what theists believe). Continue reading “I remember when I lost my mind… there was something about the way they taught ethics”