Mandatory Ethics Classes - What do you think?

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  1. paradigmsearch profile image59
    paradigmsearchposted 4 years ago

    Schools have mandatory math, history, and other classes. Why not mandatory ethics classes? Doesn't have to be anything esoteric, just the basics. For that matter, maybe even have advanced classes, if the schools think the students would be capable of benefiting from it?

    This post was spawned by all the bad things I see happening in our schools, week after week after week.

    [An edit] These classes should be initiated at a very young age. Seriously, I mean kindergarten, first grade, etc.

    1. TessSchlesinger profile image59
      TessSchlesingerposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      I have thought this for a long time.

      There are problems, though.

      Who gets to define the ethics?

      1. Religions think that God gives ethics, and much of the religious 'ethics'
      contradict each other.
      2. Secular ethics are not accepted by religious people.
      3. Situational ethics are not accepted by religious people either.

      Some thinkers believe that ethics are the result of empathy and compassion. I don't think so.

      I think ethics evolved as a result of survival practices. Some rules just ensured that the tribe was more likely to survive.

      Examples would be as follows.

      1. If people within the tribe were murdering/killing each other, the tribe wouldn't last long, especially if it was small in numbers (as tribes often were 2000 or 3000 years ago).

      2. If men and women were jealous of each other, and there were fewer women or fewer men around, it might lead to murder and mahem. That would eventually destroy the survival chances of the tribe.

      In other words, all the things we think of as negative, can in one way or another have been seen as contrary to survival at one point. Pig meat spawned tape worms, and people died from it, so they were forbidden to eat it.

      And, yes, the quickest way to make people believe they musn't do something is to tell them that a god told them.

      But religions is indoctrinated form an early age, and what we are told over and over again when we grow up, is what we believe. Certainly, some people grow out of it, but that is more the result of exposure to increasing amounts of contradictive data over a period of time.

      A charter of human ethics is what needs to be agreed upon by all nations. It is the only thing that is going to bring about peace in the long term. Different cultures have different beliefs in terms of ethics, and these differing 'ethics' result in clashes.

      I might suggest the following.

      1. Never put self-interest ahead of the tribe if self-interest will harm the tribe/community, because the individual cannot survive without the tribe/community. The individual needs the tribe/community in order to survive. In other words,

      2. Never take more than you give. In the medium to longer term, if one takes more than one gives, then someone else is getting less than they gave. Eventually that causes resentment, agression, violence, and finally warfare.

      1. profile image0
        Onusonusposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Anti-religious collectivism is the death of true precepts of liberty. And anyone who has tried to plan an economy around these factors has failed, EVERY TIME.

        What we need to bring back is civics classes. To educate people on their constitutional rights.

        1. TessSchlesinger profile image59
          TessSchlesingerposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          ??? That is simply not true.

          It seems that Americans have all been so brainwashed about the dangers of the old USSR that they have never watched the other countries that have no religion.

          Finland has no religion. If you told someone in Finland that you believed in God, they would think you are nuts. They have a far better education system that any other country in the world, plus they have liberty.

          There are 196 countries in the world. 184 of them have liberty. Liberty is not a scarce resource. And many of those countries are without religion - or at least religion is only followed by a minority. In the UK, only 2% are practicing Christians.

          The top six countries in the world that are atheist are:

          1. China
          2. Japan
          3. Czech Republic.
          4. France.
          5. Australia.
          6. Iceland.

          France is the founder of liberty. The statue of liberty was given to American by France. France created the saying ''liberty, equality, fraternity.'

          And there is very little religion in France. And I can assure you that France has a good working economy as has Australia, China, etc.

          So you're talking ideology and you've been indoctrinated to believe what you believe.

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          1. profile image0
            Onusonusposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            China is hugely repressive towards religious freedom. That means people aren't free to worship how they choose, People in Hong Kong are currently rioting in the streets to retain those liberties against a giant collectivist oppressor. (Probably the worst example you could have cited).

            But I'm more concerned with the collectivism than whether or not they are religious. Taxation is theft and by it's very nature is a strain on individual liberty. That's not indoctrination that's a fact.
            Indoctrination is to believe that taking money away from people at gunpoint for the so called greater good, and letting a wasteful and corrupt government spend it how they see fit is somehow a form of liberty.

            1. TessSchlesinger profile image59
              TessSchlesingerposted 4 years agoin reply to this

              Um. Fact has to be proven. If you follow the research, that is not what it says.

              How did collectivism enter this conversation? You made an erroneous assumption - that non-belief is related to collectivism. That is the result of brainwashing in the United States in the 60s at the height of the cold war. France, Finland, Germany, Japan, and numerous other countries that verge on atheist are NOT collective economies.

              Taxation is NOT theft. It is a voluntary contribution to the State in order to pay for services that are considered beneficial to the collective good of society. People who are unwilling to pay taxes for that benefit should actually immediately go and live in Somalia and see how far a lack of taxes gets one. And paying taxes has nothing to do with teaching ethics at school.

              Youre responses indicate that your mind is a hive of indoctrination. YOu actually cannot follow the text of what is presented without going off on a tangent.

              1. profile image0
                Onusonusposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                "Never put self interest ahead of the tribe" That's collectivism.

                I find it ironic that you claim I am going off topic when not only did you bring collectivist ideology into the conversation with your first post, but you denied it in one sentence, and then went on to defend it in the very next paragraph.
                I don't mind having a discussion over the pros and cons of collectivism since you were the first to bring it up. It is odd however, that you accuse me of indoctrination when the concept is so ingrained in your thoughts that you don't even realize when you are writing about it.

                1. TessSchlesinger profile image59
                  TessSchlesingerposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                  Ah, I see. So Christianity is a collectivist creed, is it?

                  You do know that Christianity teaches Christians to put themselves last, don't  you?

                  You are unconsciously connecting things that aren't actually connected.

                  It is wise to look at the collective good rather than one's own private interest. For instance, the USA and the UK have become dog-eat-dog societies because everybody has been encouraged to become self-interested.

                  I grew up in the 50s, and to be self-interested was considered evil. Actually, to be self-interested has been considered evil for the 2000 years that Christianity has been about. Perhaps you ought to read your bible?

                  So let's get this straight.

                  Your family wants to go to the movies, but they need an escort because it's dangerous out there. You want to go play football. Do you honestly think that putting your family's interests ahead of yours makes the state a collective one?

                  Putting the good of others ahead of one's own personal interests (which might harm the collective good) is called kindness. It is not called ''collectivism.'

                  Individualism is a sick creed. It totally bewilders me how people who advocate family also advocate individualism. The family cannot function well if everyone is bent on their own self-interest. It destructs.

                  You mistake something.

                  You were the one that thought that putting others ahead of oneself when others will be harmed if one follows one's own self-interest is collectivism. That is not the definiton of collectivism.

                  Collectivism is a STATE-RUN government, not a personal choice to put one's own desires (when they are harmful to others) aside.

                  Let me give you some examples of that.

                  If producing a particular product (denim jeans, for instance) were to destroy entire towns and villages because of the blue dye that goes into the rivers, is it a good thing to focus on the profit (for the owner) or for hte well being of the town. If the owner put aside his own self-interest (profit), the people of the town would survive. This is NOT collectivism. This is good taking precedence over evil.

                  Incidentally, entire rivers have been destroyed in China in providing 350 million pairs of blue jeans annually to Americans.

                  Then, again, if you think that the self-interest of one man is more important than the collective good of a village or town, then you don't understand Christianity.

                  Also, I very purposely said tribe/community, precisely because there are so many people who don't understand the difference between state run collectivism and the simple ethic of putting others ahead of oneself when one's own self interest would conflict with the well-being of the community. And communities can be as big as two people.

                  1. profile image0
                    Onusonusposted 4 years agoin reply to this

                    Your idea of localized tribalism is merely a steppingstone towards state ran collectivism. And you applaud China for it's repression towards the religious. No, you don't believe in liberty.

    2. lovetherain profile image79
      lovetherainposted 4 years agoin reply to this


    3. Castlepaloma profile image75
      Castlepalomaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      Love the ethic idea. Teach more in schools about sexual relationship, independently, how to make money, or lessons in love. More important things we all can use alot more of.

      1. wilderness profile image93
        wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        LOL  While you might (might!) get a very general agreement over very basic morality, you will never, ever get any kind of agreement with anything remotely sexual.

        Will you teach total abstinence as the only acceptable form of birth control?  Will you teach that sex outside marriage is sinful and to be avoided at all costs?  Will you teach that prostitution is a valuable service, performed by upstanding citizens or a sin, disgusting and immoral - performed only by the dregs of society?

        Will you teach that women must be completely covered at all times so as to not arouse unacceptable feelings in the boys seeing them?  Will you teach that women shall never speak to a male when unaccompanied by their spouse?

        And who will teach the teachers?  The hierarchy of the Ku Klux Klan or the Pope?  Given the coverup of Catholic priest activities, I wouldn't accept either one!

      2. Castlepaloma profile image75
        Castlepalomaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        You may find sex education in school creepy.

        Take it from Denmark, the happiest country in the world. Plus many countries in Northern Europe. Also personally sex has been my greatest pleasure on earth and laughing second. Plus an ultimate bond for the one I love most. Why be taught sex ignorance from teenage locker rooms and porn industry larger than Hollywood.

        Sex week
        The sex week campaign is run by Sex & Samfund (Sex & Society), a non-profit dedicated to improving sex education in Denmark.

        It began 11 years ago as a week of programming dedicated to all aspects of sex and sexuality, tailored to different ages. Each year has a distinct theme, the most recent being “boundaries” — an in-depth exploration of digital safety, sexting, the sharing of sexual images and consent.

        Comprehensive sex education is mandatory in Danish law, but Sex Week isn’t. That hasn’t hindered its popularity, however. The most recent sex week reached over 20,000 teachers and around 400,000 pupils — around two-thirds of all school-age children in Denmark.

        “The political environment means we have a great framework for sex education,” said Lene Stavngaard, national director at Sex & Samfund, who cited support from politicians and a progressive sexual culture in the country as important factors in making CSE so widespread.

        One particular strength of the framework, she argued, was its focus on competencies, rather than specific topics.

        Danish children aren’t just expected to know about specific topics like consent, or reproductive biology, for example. Instead, they are expected to be able to understand and express themselves against much broader competencies, such as analysing gender norms, sexual rights, and different countries’ laws regarding sex.

        Sex week doesn’t stop at the school gates, either. Each year also includes tasks for parents to learn how to talk about sex with their kids. This year, the challenge encouraged parents to talk to their kids about nude image sharing and online safety in six itemised conversations.

        “If you don’t open space for discussions of nude image sharing online at home, and if as a parent you’re signalling [that] we can’t talk about this, then the child will feel ashamed and think it’s their own fault,” said Stavngaard.

        But Stavngaard emphasised that sex week is just a way to top-up and reinforce sex education that runs throughout Danish schooling, both in stand-alone sex education lessons, and integrated into other subjects, such as biology and physical education.

        Policy and practice
        Stavngaard was keen to temper any notion that Denmark has entirely cracked sex education, despite its many successes.

        “Denmark is often cited as a good example of sex education, but there was a recent evaluation on how sex is conducted in schools and it seems that often it’s not done very well,” she said. “Teachers aren’t always doing it and teachers don’t always have skills they require to do it well.”

        That’s not a unique problem. Sweden’s sex education curriculum is often cited as an example of best practice by international researchers, but one study found that 96% of students felt sexual assault wasn’t adequately covered.

        The problem is partly a skills gap that exists in teacher training curricula, said Stavngaard.

        “It’s mandatory for teachers to teach sex education, but it’s not mandatory for them to learn,” she said, arguing that including CSE in teacher training courses would do much to improve the implementation of ambitious laws.

        A second factor behind the gap between national policy and on-the-ground implementation is that some school heads support CSE more strongly than others. Stavngaard recommended that every principal set out a clear plan for the delivery of sex in their schools.

        But she also argued that schools alone aren’t enough to ensure young people receive the CSE they need. Parents need to be engaged, and NGOs

        “There are some things that are better coming from external people rather than your maths teacher,” said Stavngaard. Sexual pleasure, for example, might be better coming from an external voice. “It’s good to have a broad palette in how you deliver CSE in schools.”

        The lesson from the Danish experience in Stavngaard’s eyes is clear.

        “It’s not enough just to have knowledge,” she said. “Young people need to be empowered, and feel that they can make good decisions.” — Edward Siddons

        child marriage school girl
        Jobs and paid-for schooling can keep Tanzanian girls from early marriages

        1. wilderness profile image93
          wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

          How nice for the Danish, and like them I have zero problem with sex education, all long as it meets my criteria for what is "right". 

          The Danes are, compared to the US, an extremely homogeneous group of people, all with pretty much the same concepts of how we should live.  Which was my point; those concepts vary so widely in the US that no agreement is even close to being possible and thus, given our concept of freedom of religion (where most sexual mores originate), agreeing on a training program is not possible.

          The US is probably unique in this world in that it really is a great melting pot of people.  But that doesn't mean that they all conform to a universal way of life; it means that we (hopefully) tolerate other ways.  And you're trying to put a common thread onto sex; probably the biggest difference we have amongst ourselves.

          1. Castlepaloma profile image75
            Castlepalomaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

            We know sex is a hogposh of confusions with love. It's why we need lessons in love.

            Most of the top ten worst sins in America Christianity polls is about sex.  I see a melting pot in interracial sex in America porn, just not in the schools. Families are too afraid to talk about it.

  2. TessSchlesinger profile image59
    TessSchlesingerposted 4 years ago

    Wtf? Please feel free to join Tessa Schlesinger on facebook and ask all my school friends, my daughter, my sister, etc if that is really me
    I also said my late father spoke 11 languages - not me. I don't lie. I don't have to. I'm gifted, came from a wealthy well known family in my country, was privately schooled, grew up with live in servants, etc. You people really have problems. I take it if I don't receive requests for me to add you on facebook, and if I don't see you asking friends if that is what I really look like, that you don't want to believe it because it would expose weaknesses in your arguments that I am a fraud. The only way you are free to carry on believing what you do is if I am a fraud. I have bad news for you. I am exactly what and who I say I am.

  3. TessSchlesinger profile image59
    TessSchlesingerposted 4 years ago

    Wilderness, people are born unequal, and the price of anon violent, peaceful, well educated country is that some people do pay taxes so that other people have a reasonable quality of life. I take it you aren't a Christian as you have no generoristy of spirit towards others. You should read the story of the good Samaritan sometime. Actually, you should study the full creed of Christianity sometime. You are not free to give to give to only those you care about, and you need to give up to half of your goods to complete strangers. In addition, Jesus said Render unto Ceasar what is Caesars when asked about tax. And I can assure you that the Jews got nothing out of Rome

    You want to argue Christianity and the bible or Ayn Rand or anyone else, please feel free.

    1. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 4 years agoin reply to this

      "I take it you aren't a Christian as you have no generoristy of spirit towards others."

      How in the world would you know whether I have "generoristy of spirit" or not?  No, I'm not Christian, and I have never had large sums of money to give away.  But I DO provide help to others - I have spent my life helping others, from helping to build playgrounds for children to repeatedly taking the homeless into my own home and supporting them until they can get on their feet.

      But there is an enormous difference between helping others and forcing a third party to provide the resources I think the poor should have.  It is this that differentiates us - you think it is good, and you have the right (or even duty) to take what others have to spend as you see fit because you feel your cause is just.  It isn't - the rich should help the poor, but if they choose not to it is neither my duty (nor yours) to force them to do so.  You have the right, and duty (IMO) to help provide for the poor, but you have neither right nor duty to play Robin Hood, taking whatever you wish from one to give to another.

      1. Castlepaloma profile image75
        Castlepalomaposted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Good for you, I help house the homeless too

  4. TessSchlesinger profile image59
    TessSchlesingerposted 4 years ago

    Why is it that every conversation gets to be about the conservative vs liberal agenda. This conversation was about ehtics, and two minutes later, it had a conservative agenda projected on it.

    I was using Christian basics for it.

    It totlaly blows my mind.

    I am also sick and tired of being constantly undermined on this site when I say things that are progressive/liberal/atheist, and then when I defend myself, I am accused of lying and tooting my own horn.f

    Am I expected to be insulted all the time?

    Am I expected to lie down and be kicked?

    Must I kowtow to belief systems that are outmoded in the EU?

    Right from the start, my value system has been the one that dominated western thinking outside the USA. I have been bullied by far too many conservatives just because of them.

    For more than 15 years (1994 to 2012) I was consistently bullied and mocked and belittled by Americans. I had no idea why. Because I grew up in a heavily abusive environment I thought there must be something wrong with me.

    Then I joined Google Plus, and over a period fo time, I learned about the political system, and that I had liberal values. I had absolutely no idea. Nobody had every told me that. The last thing I ever thought I was was a liberal. I thought I was conservative because I grew up well-behaved. That is all the word meant to me.

    And then I started learning all about the great divide in the STates. I learn that the biggest fight was about abortion. The blew my mind. I take it for granted. Not that I have ever had one. But it's accepted that a woman can choose in the EU.

    So from now on, I think it's best that I just dont' speak or respond to people who belittle me and then accuse me of 'tooting my own horn' or when I point out the errors in what they say just past over them and attack from somewhere else.

    Please don't respond to me if we dont' agree. I don't want to speak to you.


    I have reported this to Robin bedause I was never banned and I absolutely am who I say I am.

  5. profile image60
    laugherposted 4 years ago

    I think it is a great idea. The proliferation of STEM courses in fact necessitates formal introduction to ethics. How else do we make sure students are thinking about the complex social implications of tech. Today it's all a gospel: tech this, tech that, all hail tech; or the other extreme: down with tech. Ethics makes us understand that tech is really about ease of doing things, not simply things like phones, AI, and the likes. It is equally abstract as it is material (Please see: Sociology: The Essentials)


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