Do you think religion not being taught in schools has helped atheism to grow?

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  1. nightwork4 profile image60
    nightwork4posted 11 years ago

    Do you think religion not being taught in schools has helped atheism to grow?

    my kids rarely talk about god or jesus and I find it kind of strange. the only reason they mention god is because their grandma will bring them to church every few months but they don't really know what it's for. I find it so refreshing and it gives me a reason to think maybe religion is going away.

  2. ChristinS profile image39
    ChristinSposted 11 years ago

    One can always hope, but no, I think it's because slowly but surely mankind is evolving and understanding that while we may come from something larger than we can comprehend fully at the present, it doesn't mean that its a diety.  People are sometimes perplexed by how I can be a deeply spiritual person, yet technically still be an atheist - it's simple really.  When I consider things like physics, the universe itself etc. it's hard not to be in awe of life and the process.  I just happen to think religion is nonsensical.  I am SO glad it isn't taught in public schools, although some rads are trying to put "creationism" into science books as a theory because they say evolution is merely a theory.... I shudder at the thought of that and where it could lead.  Eventually though, we'll outgrow our need for religion.  Perhaps some of the fervor for it these days is due to fear - people resist change because it's frightening to give up what you've always known.  I came from a religious family, would sit in church every week as a young child and think "this is BS"  - we evolve wink .

    1. Mazzy Bolero profile image69
      Mazzy Boleroposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I doubt that we will ever outgrow a need for religion. Scientific reason is a wonderful tool of the human mind - but there will always be things beyond its reach. I don't think religion is dying - just Christianity. I'm not religious, by the way.

    2. ChristinS profile image39
      ChristinSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      You can be scientific and spiritual - the two aren't enemies. I just don't think the need for a "diety" is what is truly necessary. Spirituality and connectedness does not require religion so no, we don't need it, we just need to evolve.

    3. Mazzy Bolero profile image69
      Mazzy Boleroposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm not saying everyone should embrace religion - I don't myself - but nor am I convinced that rejecting religion necessarily reflects evolution. Religion doesn't guarantee that you are a caring, decent person, but then neither does atheism.

    4. ChristinS profile image39
      ChristinSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree neither path guarantees becoming a caring, decent person.  I just don't see a need for religion because I think it keeps us as a whole from improving because we can blame God/Devil without accepting personal accountability.

    5. Matthew Stolz profile image55
      Matthew Stolzposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I disagree, I don't think anything is ever out of reach, except maybe things that don't exist. I don't presume something exists until I there has been tangible, testible evidence to support it. There's as much evidence for God as leprechauns.

  3. kenjmo profile image62
    kenjmoposted 11 years ago

    Having faith not being bound by religion I think is effective. If we have laws forbidding mixing church and state I think we should abide by them. The thing with religion is that it alienates many people on a belief system from long ago without any evidence to substantiate that the biblical teachings are without question or that it brings peace I'd say its been quite the contrary. Plus does religious views apply to todays kids?

  4. whonunuwho profile image54
    whonunuwhoposted 11 years ago

    Not so much! It is truly the responsibility of the parents to encourage and promote religion in their own children's lives and not up to schools. Religion is a personal and family oriented subject and atheism is not growing as much as you may think. In fact, closer ties to a creator is now sought after, especially in these times of uncertainty and worry about the near future, facing all people.

  5. Sherry Hewins profile image93
    Sherry Hewinsposted 11 years ago

    Maybe your kids don't know or care about religion because you don't teach them about it. If you want your kids to practice a particular faith, you need to teach them, and lead by example, not leave it to the grandparent or school. Public schools in America are not supposed to teach religion, even when prayer was allowed, when I was a kid, it was just a simple blessing before lunch. Never intended to replace religious instruction at home. If you want your kids to be atheists maybe you should teach them about that too. Explain why you believe what you believe.

    1. KK Trainor profile image59
      KK Trainorposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Exactly! The only schools that can teach religion are private ones, and the majority of kids in America go the public school. Atheists always seem so desperate to trash religion rather than just living with their own lack of faith and being happy.

  6. Sue St. Clair profile image68
    Sue St. Clairposted 11 years ago

    First, I need to break this question down in order to answer it. "Do I think that not presenting Christianity in schools has helped atheism to grow?" Absolutely! Not only has the not presenting Christianity in schools, along with the removal of prayer from schools led to a change in morals, it has led to a change in world view, and a host of changes in other areas as well. Prior to the removal of prayer some of the major problems were things like gum in school, and cutting in line. Nowdays, in some school districts, the student's lives are at risk on a daily basis in the public schools.

    Contrary to your question, religion is being taught in schools. There is no way to present facts and material without a religious bias. The religion presented may be humanism, evolution, or some combination of them. The students will be putting faith in something, whether it be unproven theories, societal myths or cultural myths. In terms of what or who their faith is directed at can be seen by who or what they go to when in a crisis along with what is the foundation of their identity. Those areas will reveal what their faith is in. The myth that education can be religion free is often presented, although the reality is that some religion is being promoted. The children will learn what they are taught. If they are not talking about God or Jesus, it could be that they are not being exposed to it and presented with that information.

    1. ChristinS profile image39
      ChristinSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      this is insulting to atheists/agnostics who are genuinely good people- Prayer and religion do not make morals. If that were the case you wouldn't hear of preachers going to prison for fraud or priests molesting kids.

    2. profile image77
      wba108@yahoo.composted 11 years agoin reply to this

      The supreme court in 1962 ruled that Secular Humanism is a religion. The schools certainly aren't shy about imposing their religion!

    3. Sue St. Clair profile image68
      Sue St. Clairposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I don't see much of the Acceptance, Adjustment and Appreciation of others opinions by claiming that my answer is insulting. My response indicated that morals changed and with those changes came changes in behavior as well.

    4. ChristinS profile image39
      ChristinSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      You're entitled to your opinion - so am I. Just because I don't agree with you and find what you said insulting doesn't mean I don't accept or appreciate your right to your opinion. People can agree to disagree so stop turning my words around please.

    5. Matthew Stolz profile image55
      Matthew Stolzposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It is apparent to me that you do not understand the difference between a scientific theory and a theory in the general layman sense of the word. A theory in science is something that has been proven based on evidence, not some arbitrary guess.

  7. Mazzy Bolero profile image69
    Mazzy Boleroposted 11 years ago

    I don't think it has helped conscious atheism to grow, but it has resulted in a deterioration in moral values. I used to teach Communications classes to teenagers. One of the things I always did was to get a discussion going about values.  I would give them a hypothetical situation and ask them what they would do. One thing I would ask was, if you found money on the classroom floor, would you hand it in?  When I first started teaching, virtually everyone said yes, they would - it might be another student's fare home or lunch money.  More recently, I asked a class the same question and all but one of them said no, they would pocket the cash. I suggested it might be needed by the student who dropped it and they said, "Tough, finders keepers."  I was quite shocked by that total change. No good Samaritans any more, just greed and me, me, me.  I'm not a churchgoer but I think we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

    1. ChristinS profile image39
      ChristinSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I know many atheists with morals who would do the right thing and many so called "Christians" who are all about "me" so I disagree with religion being the cause of declining morals.  Our society has gone downhill, but it isn't due to no prayer.

    2. Mazzy Bolero profile image69
      Mazzy Boleroposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree entirely about hypocritical Christians, and I didn't mention prayer. I meant we've thrown out moral teaching at the same time as religious teaching, through some sort of political correctness perhaps. It's as if it's cool to be heartless.

    3. ChristinS profile image39
      ChristinSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I can see your point here.  It would be good to teach proper behavior and empathy if we could do so from a non-religious perspective certainly.  totally agree

  8. MilesArmbruster profile image60
    MilesArmbrusterposted 11 years ago

    Religion is not going away. I met a guy a while ago who was starting his own thing. It was a cross between meditation and self-realization and a high self image. It didn't sound at all like any other religion I had heard of, and yet, it was his way of explaining reality. People always try to make sense our of the world, by nature, or out of stupidity, or out of fear, or out of deep thinking. We love to answer the unanswerable. Some people will find that in an established religion, some will create it, but there will always be beliefs.In the end, as long as we need to answer the big questions of the universe there will always be religion.
    Oh, and don't kid yourself. My kids go to school, and religion is shoved down their throats all the time. Islam, African Spiritism, atheism, American Indian religions by the score, Rastafarianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Greek and Roman mysticism, the isms go on and on. The only religion not allowed in their school is Christianity.

    1. ChristinS profile image39
      ChristinSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agreed with your first comment, but Christianity not allowed?  My son is brow beat constantly by evangelical kids in the public school.  They ask his religion he tells them none and they pick on him mercilessly - not very Christ like.

    2. Matthew Stolz profile image55
      Matthew Stolzposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I would say that religion is going away, slowly but surely. We live in an information age that the ancient world did not have access to, the scientific method was not developed.

  9. FaithDream profile image79
    FaithDreamposted 11 years ago

    I think that is a very interesting question. I believe that by pulling out religion from the classroom, many children are missing out on the fundamentals of right and wrong. If a parent is not teaching their children any morals or values, where are the kids learning the fundamentals of right vs. wrong.

    I'm not saying this is about atheism or christianity, what I'm talking about is faith inside the human heart. A faith that comes from a love that God provides. One of the things I do see with the children today is no sense of accountability. If they believe they can bully, or do whatever they want, because they think they can get away with it, I see this a lot now a days.

    When it comes to teaching kids about religion, there is something else, they are taught about love.  They are taught about loving their neighbors as themselves. They are taught to love God as the greatest commandment and the second is like it, to love their neighbor.  I think that is what is missing within the schools. They are not taught these fundamental laws and so there is no accountability.

    I wonder how long it will be before it gets worse. I see how the youth are today, what will they be like in 10, 20 or 30 years from now? Makes me wonder..

    1. ChristinS profile image39
      ChristinSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      My son has been taught to love his neighbors as himself because it is the right thing to do, not to please a diety.  We have separation of church and state for a reason and plenty of non-religious parents teach their kids right from wrong just fine.

    2. Matthew Stolz profile image55
      Matthew Stolzposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Faith based beliefs do not have a monopoly on morals, nor do they set the standard for them. Rather, religion hijacks morality and claims ownership as if it was their idea. There's a difference between morality and promoting unsubstantiated beliefs.

  10. lburmaster profile image72
    lburmasterposted 11 years ago

    It has helped American's to become unstable. They grow up without a belief as to how the world began which causes their belief system to be uneven. They begin building beliefs of the world around them without a strong basis. This way if something shakes their belief system, the system crashes further down than it already should because they are not sure. They become more depressed, more worried, more unsure, and they will lash out to do almost anything to feel control again. If parents can give their child a belief system early in life, the child will be more stable.

    1. Matthew Stolz profile image55
      Matthew Stolzposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Enlighten us. How did the world begin? Because I promise you that your beliefs on creation are challenged by other competing religions. Science examines evidence to draw its conclusions, not stories written down a few millenia ago by the superstious.

    2. lburmaster profile image72
      lburmasterposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Most evidence that has been erased by time is what they study. They might get the rough outline, but I doubt anyone will ever be 100% correct about anything relating to creation.

  11. profile image0
    Jade0215posted 11 years ago

    No, I don't. People need to choose what they want to believe and not be forced into believing something. I've never believed and yes my mom took me to church and from that first day there, it was the last place I wanted to be. What kind of person am I? I've never done drugs in my life, I made straight A's all throughout school, I've always been respectful and helpful to anyone that has needed help and I could honestly go on and on. The person you are is determined by the way you're raised and who you spend your time with. If you have parents that abused you or treated you poorly, you're likely to be an angry person and be the one that abuses drugs, same with friends, if your kids hang out with people who are going around doing heroine, that's the path they're more than likely going to choose.  Just because people don't believe doesn't mean they're running around creating chaos and have no morals. There's good people out there that don't believe, if fact, most atheists are genuinely good people that do the right thing but Christians fail to see that and honestly don't even try to get to know atheists. We're automatically judged as soon we bring up that word. I've known many Christians who were completely opposite of what "God" would want. They've been rude, judgmental, and the farthest thing from caring yet believing makes every bad thing they do okay? That doesn't make any sense. People are people, we choose who we are and the decisions we make, "God" has no influence over that.

    1. Mazzy Bolero profile image69
      Mazzy Boleroposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      You are right of course. But if it's entirely 'people are people' and it's all down to the individual's choice, why do different cultures have such widely differing values and ways of behaving toward others? Where do values come from?

    2. profile image0
      Jade0215posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      If you went to Africa I'm sure they'd have a completely different behavior towards each other than in America. They don't live like we do. Values just come from what has been passed down to us but as individuals we choose what we want to follow.

    3. Mazzy Bolero profile image69
      Mazzy Boleroposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm not sure how many really choose. They just go with the crowd. What I'm trying to get at is, why does the younger generation appear to be abandoning the values that have lasted many generations? And is that inevitable or good?

    4. ChristinS profile image39
      ChristinSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Also, I think we tend to over dramatize today in ways we never did before.  TV & Media is all about shock value, Most of what I see on TV my neighbors would never do. I think we suffer more from skewed perceptions than true lack of moral fiber.

    5. profile image0
      Jade0215posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Kids have always acted out, past and present. I also think tv does have a lot to do with why we think they're worse now than before. Just like the bus monitor story that happened recently, that's nothing new, that happens everyday...

    6. Mazzy Bolero profile image69
      Mazzy Boleroposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I agree the values of TV have changed a lot over the last few years. They show bullying, cruelty and humiliation as entertainment now. Do you think this is the main cause of the change in values, rather than schools not teaching values?

    7. profile image0
      Jade0215posted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Possibly, values were never taught when I was in school and there were still your well-behaved and miss-behaved students so no it being taught in school has nothing to do with it. It's like I said, kids are kids there's going to be some that act out.

    8. ChristinS profile image39
      ChristinSposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Mazzy, yes I think the media has more influence than a lack of teaching it in schools because media is SO pervasive these days.

    9. Matthew Stolz profile image55
      Matthew Stolzposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I don't think beliefs are a "choice". Beliefs are formed either by indoctrination or being presented with evidence, or just a compelling argument. But we don't choose what we believe because then that doesn't make it a belief if you can turn it off.

  12. stuff4kids profile image60
    stuff4kidsposted 10 years ago

    I sure hope so. That would be a major cultural advance. Yesssir!


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