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rusmeister
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seven Words wrote:
Rus--

They are starting out assuming there's active opposition to the "Truth" of Christianity (since it's not universally taught/accepted, there must be active opposition), and seeing everything through the lens of that assumption. Christianity as sole truth, and active organized anti-Christian conspiracy (for want of a better term) are the premises I need proof of.

I was talking about Gatto. Are you talking about something else? Gatto has NOTHING about Christians.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK....you went to Gatto from talking about an anti-Christian movement in public education. I was not talking about Gatto. The other writers you referenced (well, the parts I was familiar with) talked about anti-Christian movement in education. That's what I was still talking about.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgive me about my intrusion - while I have read Gatto, and he has some good points, he's also something of a crank, and not only about education. He came to my city a while back, and gave a lecture about the evils of fast food, going on and on about "poop burgers."

Anyway, I'd like to mention something of the difficult of being completely religiously neutral as a teacher, and what an attempt might end up meaning. So, I teach art - and get to choose what I teach about it, outside of the request that it involves making art, art history, criticism, and aesthetics (at least according to my former professor). Making art can be fairly "neutral" religiously - if not aesthetically. The religiously neutral thing to do is to draw from life (except that it's not - figure drawing is not compatible with strict Jews and Muslims... but let's say that it is). Those other subjects are less so, unless we have a massive amount of time and attention to meet it with. Do I try to teach art history from all points of view? That would end up being exceedingly superficial - leading students to believe that they understand works that they hardly understand at all. Or do I concentrate on Western art? What Western art? The standard canon - Greek, Roman, Byzantine, medieval, Renaissance, modern, postmodern? How much time do I spend on each? How much do I care that the students really understand the bulk of the Western art canon - which requires understanding Christian symbolism and theology? Those medieval cathedrals - they aren't just art; do they have to learn about the theology they are meant to embody? Do I balance Chartres with the Alhambra? Do I balance it with a mosque? Does that mean I also need a Hindu temple, a pagan temple - which kind? For what reason?

My education professor's preferred solution was to bypass religious art altogether, and skip straight to pop art. That's nice and uncontroversial, apparently; no religious content there. But that in and of itself is privileging secularism over faith - and why? Because it's better art? Because it's safer? What do we learn about aesthetics? Art for art's sake? Art in the service of religion? Are they judged by different standards? Based upon what would we critique the intentionally grotesque Aztec freezes? Or the disproportionate Byzantine icons? To know why they never became proportionate, even after the Renaissance requires theology. What's the difference between depicting the spiritual, the symbolic, or the material?

Unless curriculum decisions are entirely arbitrary, all these decisions on what to teach, how much attention we pay to it, how it's organized, and what I say about it say something - admittedly something fairly subtle - about what's of value, and why. Teaching only the formal properties has it's own value - the value of modernism. Teaching that we can take from all traditions as we choose, and that every style and artistic tradition or non-tradition is equally valuable is also a value - that of post-modernism. Ideal physical beauty is a value - classicism or neo-classicism. Is symbolism the most important thing? There are schools of art that would argue that too. Is creativity most important? That's a modern value, and opposed to traditionalism. Do we not chose? To actively have no preference is a post-modern value again. It's not possible to teach, grade, critique, and not express a value judgment that someone will disagree with; to do that leaves us unable to understand, make, or critique art with any clarity or real content.

Is this making any sense?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not really sure what you're trying to say, Lauralin. But I'll tell you something. The most sublime piece of music ever written is the 3rd movement to Beethoven's String Quartet No. 15, Opus 132, in A minor.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_ByIT0bkGU
It's called Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart. Holy Song of Thanksgiving by a Convalescent to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode. He had just recovered from an illness that he feared was fatal. It begins with a gorgeous, slow section that sounds very holy, prayerful (if that's a word?). It's like a hymn.

At 4:10 (of this recording) comes a section of rejoicing. The happiness is as evident as can be, as he exults in his renewed health.

The two sections alternate a few times in the movement.

I don't know enough about Beethoven's life and beliefs to know what kind of beliefs he held, or how strongly. Some composers certainly wrote a lot more sacred music than Beethoven did, but that doesn't mean he wasn't as strong a believer as anyone else. In any event, the depth of faith heard in this music is unsurpassed anywhere, in any composer. Truly, a holy piece of music!
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seven Words wrote:
OK....you went to Gatto from talking about an anti-Christian movement in public education. I was not talking about Gatto. The other writers you referenced (well, the parts I was familiar with) talked about anti-Christian movement in education. That's what I was still talking about.

The connection is that Gatto's research - and some of it is really not hard - once I began looking up what Mann and others did it was fairly easy to do (some of it) myself - reveals WHY values have shifted so far from what they were 175 years ago and why they did. Surely it ought to be obvious that if you get control of what the nation's children are taught, the next generation will be of the mold you want it to be to a great extent. You could have everybody saying that black is white and white is black, and within a couple of generations the worldview you have imposed would become the assumed truth. The adults, who believe what they were (subtly) taught would express those 'truths' in media, and saturate the culture.
Thus, the anti-truth bias - the denial that there is over-arching truth (which as a result happens to be anti-Christian as well as anti-others) arose from the worldview that people like Dewey believed, the Fabians, and does serve the purposes of big government and big business and NOT the individual (see GKC's "What's Wrong With the World" 1910). It created the consumer society in America and the rest of the world. It really does explain the big confusing mess we see today, and first of all why people talked about school reform 50 years ago, 30 years ago, etc, and they're still talking about it while the result remains the same. The answer is simple - you can't fix what's not broken; if it's doing exactly what it was designed to do. It's just that what most people imagine it was designed to do and what it actually was designed to do are two different things.We don't have free and critical thinkers - we have a managed, predictable society with a status quo that can't really be threatened.

But rather than discuss without research, I'd suggest learning exactly WHERE the schematic design for state schools came from. Once you realize that it really was Prussia, and what its purpose was there, a lot of things that weren't obvious will start becoming obvious. (Assuming you know the further history of Prussia.)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lauralin wrote:
Forgive me about my intrusion - while I have read Gatto, and he has some good points, he's also something of a crank, and not only about education. He came to my city a while back, and gave a lecture about the evils of fast food, going on and on about "poop burgers."

Anyway, I'd like to mention something of the difficult of being completely religiously neutral as a teacher, and what an attempt might end up meaning. So, I teach art - and get to choose what I teach about it, outside of the request that it involves making art, art history, criticism, and aesthetics (at least according to my former professor). Making art can be fairly "neutral" religiously - if not aesthetically. The religiously neutral thing to do is to draw from life (except that it's not - figure drawing is not compatible with strict Jews and Muslims... but let's say that it is). Those other subjects are less so, unless we have a massive amount of time and attention to meet it with. Do I try to teach art history from all points of view? That would end up being exceedingly superficial - leading students to believe that they understand works that they hardly understand at all. Or do I concentrate on Western art? What Western art? The standard canon - Greek, Roman, Byzantine, medieval, Renaissance, modern, postmodern? How much time do I spend on each? How much do I care that the students really understand the bulk of the Western art canon - which requires understanding Christian symbolism and theology? Those medieval cathedrals - they aren't just art; do they have to learn about the theology they are meant to embody? Do I balance Chartres with the Alhambra? Do I balance it with a mosque? Does that mean I also need a Hindu temple, a pagan temple - which kind? For what reason?

My education professor's preferred solution was to bypass religious art altogether, and skip straight to pop art. That's nice and uncontroversial, apparently; no religious content there. But that in and of itself is privileging secularism over faith - and why? Because it's better art? Because it's safer? What do we learn about aesthetics? Art for art's sake? Art in the service of religion? Are they judged by different standards? Based upon what would we critique the intentionally grotesque Aztec freezes? Or the disproportionate Byzantine icons? To know why they never became proportionate, even after the Renaissance requires theology. What's the difference between depicting the spiritual, the symbolic, or the material?

Unless curriculum decisions are entirely arbitrary, all these decisions on what to teach, how much attention we pay to it, how it's organized, and what I say about it say something - admittedly something fairly subtle - about what's of value, and why. Teaching only the formal properties has it's own value - the value of modernism. Teaching that we can take from all traditions as we choose, and that every style and artistic tradition or non-tradition is equally valuable is also a value - that of post-modernism. Ideal physical beauty is a value - classicism or neo-classicism. Is symbolism the most important thing? There are schools of art that would argue that too. Is creativity most important? That's a modern value, and opposed to traditionalism. Do we not chose? To actively have no preference is a post-modern value again. It's not possible to teach, grade, critique, and not express a value judgment that someone will disagree with; to do that leaves us unable to understand, make, or critique art with any clarity or real content.

Is this making any sense?


Hi, Lauralin! Be welcome and true!

It does make sense, and I think I have some good responses to it. I myself, at the time I left the US and public teaching, was in some despair and confusion. I wondered 'why?'. Why was my every effort to improve learning for immigrants teenagers effectively blocked by the district - the system? Why were the requirements, both initial and ongoing, so numerous and insane? And a bunch of other whys. It was only a year later - as a teacher no longer dependent on the system; no longer receiving a paycheck from it and therefore without that subtle incentive to defend it - that I read Gatto. Like I said in that other thread, it was like lightning illuminating a dark field in the middle of the night. All of the bumps, snags, difficulties, suddenly made sense. The one thing I was most skeptical about was the Prussian connection - until I found Chesterton, of all people, talking about it - 100 years ago!!! (And then later did a little digging of my own)

Calling Gatto a ‘crank’ is a subjective term. It’s probably more than ‘poop burgers’ that brings you to say that, but you might as well condemn someone who calls the TV ‘the boob tube’ – in which case I’m a crank, too, because I happen to think that TV is bad for your mental and spiritual diet. If you look at the man’s history and credentials carefully, it is easier to cut him a break. If someone is an acknowledged success in his field, and achieves a level of experience and expertise attained by few, it is worth acknowledging that and admitting that we might actually have something to learn. IOW, I would not consider myself his equal in that field – although he is a colleague. I would at least listen and think, rather than curtly dismiss.

I think it essential to stop speaking of religion per se and start speaking of ‘worldview’, as the contention is that it is precisely a specific worldview, not a religion per se, that is being taught, and it is taught as I described above. For a more thorough treatment (if not 100% organized), feel free to check out this thread (warning – it’s aimed at Christians, but you can ignore those references if you like) www.christianforums.com/t6072877/
(You may also learn a little more about me in the process)

It seems that you are asking about what worldviews to teach. I am saying that you are required to profess a specific worldview (described above) regardless of the extent to which it identifies with the one you actually hold. So speaking about teaching Christian, Islamic, Buddhist or whatever ideas or theology is already missing the point. But I think you touched on it when you said

Quote:
But that in and of itself is privileging secularism over faith - and why?

The central point is not what YOU decide to teach but what you may or may not express in that teaching. If your worldview coincides with the one REQUIRED in public education – oh, happy coincidence! But if it does not, then you can quickly fall afoul of the system. You are free to believe whatever you want – but you may not teach what you believe to be true; that it is truth that affects others – the pupils, for instance. It must be presented as a point of view only. You may discuss all the details you want, but you may not knit them into an overall worldview.

Quote:
It is foolish, generally speaking, for a philosopher to set fire to another philosopher in Smithfield Market because they do not agree in their theory of the universe. That was done very frequently in the last decadence of the Middle Ages, and it failed altogether in its object. But there is one thing that is infinitely more absurd and unpractical than burning a man for his philosophy. This is the habit of saying that his philosophy does not matter, and this is done universally in the twentieth century, in the decadence of the great revolutionary period. General theories are everywhere contemned; the doctrine of the Rights of Man is dismissed with the doctrine of the Fall of Man. Atheism itself is too theological for us to-day. Revolution itself is too much of a system; liberty itself is too much of a restraint. We will have no generalizations. Mr. Bernard Shaw has put the view in a perfect epigram: "The golden rule is that there is no golden rule." We are more and more to discuss details in art, politics, literature. A man's opinion on tramcars matters; his opinion on Botticelli matters; his opinion on all things does not matter. He may turn over and explore a million objects, but he must not find that strange object, the universe; for if he does he will have a religion, and be lost. Everything matters--except everything.

www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/heretics/ch1.html

And one interesting thing to consider – that this worldview is supported by everyone who has been brought up in it, regardless of how different they might profess their beliefs to be one from another. In short, that everyone brought up in it holds a dogma that they are largely unaware IS a dogma. Isn’t that just a little bit peculiar, especially if the diversity of beliefs is supposed to be so great? It only makes sense if it is something universally taught, and if people are taught not to question it.


Quote:
Now it is nonsense to say that such a philosophy cannot be inculcated except through theology. It is nonsense to say that you have kept such things out of the schools merely by keeping the priest out of the school, when you admit the professor into the school. The professor can preach any sectarian idea, not in the name of a sect, but in the name of a science. The professor can preach the devilish destructiveness of the glass of sherry, and call it a lesson in psychology or pathology. The professor can preach the advantages of polygamy, and call it a lesson in anthropology or history. The professor can insinuate any ideas about life because biology is the study of life. The professor can suggest any view of the nature of man because history is the story of man. And the case is complicated by the fact that the educationists are teaching more and more subjects, even while pretending to preach fewer and fewer creeds.

www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/Compulsory_Education.html

I’d substitute the idea of the individual professor (national education controls were still nascent in his time) for the state, via its requirements, and say this is absolutely true for public education today. Consider that this was written 90-odd years ago and is still relevant.

Hopefully that offers something that meshes with what you see. Smile Just watch out for the Sinclair principle!!! ("It is very difficult to get someone to know something if their job depends on their not knowing it.")
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
I'm not really sure what you're trying to say, Lauralin. But I'll tell you something. The most sublime piece of music ever written is the 3rd movement to Beethoven's String Quartet No. 15, Opus 132, in A minor.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_ByIT0bkGU
It's called Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart. Holy Song of Thanksgiving by a Convalescent to the Divinity, in the Lydian Mode. He had just recovered from an illness that he feared was fatal. It begins with a gorgeous, slow section that sounds very holy, prayerful (if that's a word?). It's like a hymn.

At 4:10 (of this recording) comes a section of rejoicing. The happiness is as evident as can be, as he exults in his renewed health.

The two sections alternate a few times in the movement.

I don't know enough about Beethoven's life and beliefs to know what kind of beliefs he held, or how strongly. Some composers certainly wrote a lot more sacred music than Beethoven did, but that doesn't mean he wasn't as strong a believer as anyone else. In any event, the depth of faith heard in this music is unsurpassed anywhere, in any composer. Truly, a holy piece of music!


Holy indeed. It is beauty such as this that affirms and strengthens my faith. There is such joy in the gifts God bestows. Beethoven was a glorious gift to the world.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rus--

OK, now I see where you're going with it.

The current educational structure seeks to be as non-religious as possible. I agree, that is an agenda, of sorts. However, your complaint boils down to the fact that they're not pushing YOUR agenda, i.e. Christianity. As people were once literally killed in the streets in America for being the wrong kind of Christian, taking the divisive aspect of religion OUT of the place where everyone has to go is simply common sense.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seven Words wrote:
However, your complaint boils down to the fact that they're not pushing YOUR agenda, i.e. Christianity.


As I said to Fist, cool, and vice versa. Your complaint boils down to you want them to push YOUR agenda, and not Christianity. And I wouldn't bother talking about past Christian violence, b/c then to be fair, we'll talk about past atheist violence, you know, like in USSR or China, and that picture is certainly a bit worse. So where would that leave us?
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seven Words wrote:
Rus--

OK, now I see where you're going with it.

The current educational structure seeks to be as non-religious as possible. I agree, that is an agenda, of sorts. However, your complaint boils down to the fact that they're not pushing YOUR agenda, i.e. Christianity. As people were once literally killed in the streets in America for being the wrong kind of Christian, taking the divisive aspect of religion OUT of the place where everyone has to go is simply common sense.


Thanks, 7W.
But this misses my central point - that there is a definite worldview in the stead of religion, and as such, is decidedly an agenda being pushed. It not merely "seeks to be non-religious". It's actively pushing something else.

As long as you speak about a "divisive aspect of religion" I feel that you don't understand what I am saying; that you are still assuming things from your own world view. One must question: Why does everybody have to go there?" (The compulsory aspect) Why do they actively persecute homeschoolers (the very reason for the existence of the HSLDA, of which I was a member for a couple of years)? I mean, I know the answers, and they are very likely different from answers you have generally assumed, so I'm not asking as if I don't know - but the knowledge depends on knowing the history of public schools. If you don't know that, then you can't claim to understand anything - any more than a person who does not know the history of, say, America (or anything else) can claim to understand it.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're still wrong, Cybr. I don't have an agenda. Unless giving children the freedom to think and choose their own worldview can be considered an agenda. You, otoh, want children to be taught that Christianity is the one and only Truth of existence. If that's not an agenda...
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist, you mentioned that before, and I almost responded, mostly in laughter, and decided not too. I'm not sure why you keep harping on that. I'm asking questions, and you assume my real questions are why shouldn't we force Christianity on everyone, and my intent is to do so in public education. That's the definition of a straw man. Neither you nor 7W have deemed it necessary to show the objective proof that proves what public education is doing now is valuable. Or rather, more valuable than what its done in the past.

Or, keep talking about how your worldview is better than mine and should be enforced over mine. When I'm not even talking about my worldview. So, again, ignore whatever my worldview is. Prove to me yours is better, and should be enforced in public education. It should be easy, show me!

EDIT: also want to mention, Fist, good tactic of putting yourself on the side of freedom of thought, and myself on the opposite. Great debate technique.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

7W already answered how we know public education is doing something valuable. That is, the correlation between academic success and a successful life. No, not every single person in the public education system has academic success. And no, not every single person who had academic success in the public education system has a successful life. There are exceptions to every system. There's no way to make a welfare system that people cannot take advantage of. Godel said there's no system of mathematics that will not contain paradoxes. But, in general, there's a strong correlation between academic success and a successful life.

The fact that the same correlation exists between academic success in private schools that are based on one religion or another and a successful life does not mean public education is not doing its job. It just means it's not doing a better job.

So, the system I think we should have is not better than the system you think we should have. However, if I can help it, I will not allow my money to pay for the system you want to have. That's not "proof" that we should not have your system. No "proof" is needed. It's simply a matter of what I will and will not allow to be done with the money I earn.

And I would be very happy to hear you say you do NOT want children in the public education system to be taught that Christianity is the one and only Truth of existence. Do you want children in the public education system to be taught that Christianity is the one and only Truth of existence? You have a habit of not answering questions that reveal something about you that you do not want revealed. I repeated a question to you a few times about the state of life now compared to in the past. I repeated it a few times, using a progressively bigger font, with colors even, and you ignored it every time. Will you ignore this question?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seven Words wrote:
cyberweez wrote:

I know what you meant by demonstrable things. I asked, show me the proof that school should do whatever it is it currently does.


The correlation (NOT a direct causal relationship) between academic success and a successful life, according to our society's majority definition of success. People who do well in school tend to have successful lives. Measured by the most commonly held yardsticks..financial and LACK of criminality. Straight-A students can, and often do, fail spectacularly out of school (Enron, anyone?)....and we have a C student former president. I'm NOT speaking in absolutes, just a general correlation, subject to the effects of MANY other variables. But those other variables are not matters on which school can have an effect.

This seems like a good time to take this on:

First of all, hope we don't have to establish by now that I'm not talking about discussing religion; I'm talking about the practical teaching of a worldview, whether it springs from religion per se or not. So repeating the tired old arguments of teaching religion are out of court in any response to me. Do all here at least face up to the fact that there IS a de facto worldview actually presented to the children (as opposed to formally named and taught)? That that worldview is the one that says that it doesn't matter what you believe*? That this is what the children get day after day, as their inquisitive minds are slowly beaten into bored minds that just want their compulsory school day to end as soon as possible?

Now let's take on "success". What on earth does that word mean?
(Fun page for extra credit:) www.cse.dmu.ac.uk/~mward/gkc/books/success.html
But I'll take the most relevant part from it here:
Quote:
To begin with, of course, there is no such thing as Success. Or, if you like to put it so, there is nothing that is not successful. That a thing is successful merely means that it is; a millionaire is successful in being a millionaire and a donkey in being a donkey. Any live man has succeeded in living; any dead man may have succeeded in committing suicide.


The very concept depends on a world view. We can't possibly mean the same things unless we take that on - the elephant in the room that no one ever sees. The Christian martyrs were successful by Christian lights, although the public philosophy assumed (due to its having been successfully taught) would not recognize that. That just says that the public schools were successful in teaching that philosophy to you even if they failed in a great many other places.

I suppose it is true that a lot of Christians of the Protestant stamp that marks America might connect your standard of success to God's blessing (as the ancient Jews did), but this will be N/A to others, and to the oldest "denominations" (Catholicism and Orthodoxy). So far I have assumed that the correlation between school and success to be true.

But there is also a mountain of evidence that suggests it is not true at all - although here we need to divorce the completely unrelated concepts of financial success and criminality. The latter is part and parcel of what is taught in schools - it does encourage citizens obedient to the government, because that is really in the government's best interests (leaving out the stake of big business in both gov't and education) that its citizens, by and large, not break laws passed by the government. So I'll concede that schooling has a certain degree of success there. But as to financial... the geniuses of the world, as well as the great financial success stories, are actually of people who somehow escaped schooling or dropped out. As far back as you go, the great financial success story who is actually a product (graduate) of the public school is a fairly rare bird. From Carnegie to Bill Gates you just won't find many. But Dilberts are ubiquitous. That is the real product of the schools (and that's one of the reasons why that strip attained such popularity - because it speaks the truth - it's about the abverage person). If the schools WERE such a success the average person ought to be a lot better off than that! The magnates who CREATE the empires (as opposed to those who simply inherited it or curried favor) are generally not people who were successfully schooled.

Either way - true or not true - the argument falls apart as something that fails to avoid coming from a worldview. There is a definitive worldview, which you have been taught (and I hold that to be a major reason why public ed grads - school and/or university - agree with it) and it is at war with the worldview that predominated in the West up to the 20th century. The main weakness of that worldview is that it is so dependent on assumptions that it does not think about; it arrogantly assumes itself to be reasonable (and its opponents to be unreasonable), when its adherents have merely been taught in the schools NOT to think - when they hear the buzzwords, be they tolerance, diversity, anti-semitism, or whatever, they react automatically and unthinkingly assign a moral value to the concept - the very opposite of "free thought". (I think that in spite of that native intelligence tries to think and does a very good job until it comes to the roots of thought - the root assumptions, instilled by conditioning, prevent further thought which would enable them to see the fallacies on which the false aspects of the worldview are based.) All I have to do is say phrases like "teach religion in schools" and watch the automatic built-in reactions begin...


*I think the formula: "It doesn't matter what you believe, because what you believe doesn't matter" expresses the sum effect succinctly.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
7W already answered how we know public education is doing something valuable. That is, the correlation between academic success and a successful life. No, not every single person in the public education system has academic success. And no, not every single person who had academic success in the public education system has a successful life. There are exceptions to every system. There's no way to make a welfare system that people cannot take advantage of. Godel said there's no system of mathematics that will not contain paradoxes. But, in general, there's a strong correlation between academic success and a successful life.

The fact that the same correlation exists between academic success in private schools that are based on one religion or another and a successful life does not mean public education is not doing its job. It just means it's not doing a better job.

So, the system I think we should have is not better than the system you think we should have. However, if I can help it, I will not allow my money to pay for the system you want to have. That's not "proof" that we should not have your system. No "proof" is needed. It's simply a matter of what I will and will not allow to be done with the money I earn.

And I would be very happy to hear you say you do NOT want children in the public education system to be taught that Christianity is the one and only Truth of existence. Do you want children in the public education system to be taught that Christianity is the one and only Truth of existence? You have a habit of not answering questions that reveal something about you that you do not want revealed. I repeated a question to you a few times about the state of life now compared to in the past. I repeated it a few times, using a progressively bigger font, with colors even, and you ignored it every time. Will you ignore this question?

Hi Fist!
First of all, (although your question seems to be directed to Andy) I'll cheerfully say that yes, I think children in public schools ought to be taught the truth of Christianity (automatic reaction alert!!!), because I really do believe it to be true. I'm not just pretending to believe it, or saying, "It's just my opinion, my 'point of view'. I really, really believe it as I believe that the sun is made up of superheated gases emanating from an incredible nuclear fusion plant. If you really believe something, how NOT teach it? And WHY not? If you REALLY believe it, then it is really true, and I would expect you to try to teach it. (Edit) If it is the most fundamental truth of existence, and more real than the sciences, and even the source of philosophy - the most fundamental thing, then that will be what you organize your school system around. I submit that people who deny traditional religions, most especially Christianity, have already done so, resulting in the system that taught most of you.

Your stand, from my argument(see my last response to 7W), is just evidence that public education has been successful in teaching you - that, and/or the cumulative effect of media and the society formed by those two machines. The idea that 'subjects' should be taught divorced from the philosophy from which they spring is hostile to my Faith - again, evidence that you cannot get them to 'live together in peace'. One or the other must prevail. the one will choke out the other. The fact that you want to choke my view out is proof enough, and underlines the philosophy (which i call pluralism, for simplicity's sake) that has been drilled into the nation. It, for the most part, was not reached by reason - it was drilled in from childhood, both in and out of school, while the traditional religions in vain worked against it. 30+ hours a week of mandatory schooling, followed by 15-20 or more hrs a week of television, computer, etc proved far stronger than the hour or two a week at church. That's why the 20th century was the turning point - and now we have a situation where much of modern western Christianity is nominal (in the literal sense of the word), and is changing its teachings to conform to the modern world, despite the ancient teaching to not conform.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But I don't want to choke your view out! I want it presented to everyone, including my children, right along with everyone else's view.

And thank you for clearly stating your position! Very Happy

Still, I'm gonna have to oppose it. Wink Laughing Again, my money is involved just as much as your money is. If we're both paying for it, and we can't agree on whether or not some things should be taught, how do we decide which things should? The answer is as obvious to me as your faith is to you: We teach the things that we both agree on. And when more than just the two of us are involved, we teach the things that everybody agrees on. How can you possibly think that what you agree on, but others don't, should be the rule of the system?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
The answer is as obvious to me as your faith is to you: We teach the things that we both agree on. And when more than just the two of us are involved, we teach the things that everybody agrees on.

That's a good way of putting it.

Rus, however strong your conviction, however much you know the truth, can't you see that a large number of people don't consider it the truth? And surely it's better for people to come to know the truth for themselves rather than by default because it's what they were told at school? When asked, my mother answers that's she's a Christian, yet I know from speaking to her about it that she doesn't believe any of the Christian teachings, or anything in any scripture. She defaults to saying she's a Christian because she came from a strongly Christian school system. That doesn't mean she knows 'the truth'; it just means she automatically gives an answer that is at odds with her actual beliefs, because it's an almost Pavlovian reaction.

What Fist wants (and I agree with him) is, as he said, a school system that teaches the things we agree on (such as the science of the sun you mentioned) and, I think, presents different belief systems in an informative way as part of the education, so that each person emerges from their schooling well informed and able to make their own choice, and also able to appreciate the sincerity of beliefs that differ from their own.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would echo rus, and say teaching Christianity is fine w/me, however, that's not the point. It goes back to a worldview that's pushed through the school. So teaching Christianity through the view that of course its not real and it doesn't matter is pretty useless. One of my big problems is the Federal govt creating a law about religion, namely, banning it from school. I'm pretty sure the Constitution says something about it.

Teach only what "we" agree on? How would you ever determine that? Sounds great in theory, not practical however. We all must face that whoever determines curriculum determines what gets taught, and the average person has no clue who determines curriculum. But its certainly not based on any consensus.

rus spoke well on the idea of success, which I hadn't thought of. But I still mention that either form of teaching, private religious in nature or public, has similar results in the world, and public schooling in US used to be based on the Bible (and take up a heck of a lot less time), as I've said before. So, 7W, who lives by objective proof, has to show me how the school today is any better than previously, which was religiously based. Fist, you may not care about the proof, and admit that it boils down to what you think is valuable, but 7W is the objective man, so the question was really aimed at him.

However, Fist, you'll have to clear something up. You say you don't want to choke our view out, yet only teach what we all agree on, and you disagree w/our view. I'm confused. It sounds exactly like you want to choke our view, and many others, out.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We agree that there are many religions out there. We agree that many followers of each of those religions feel that the one they follow is the one and only Truth of existence. Those are facts. Does anyone disagree?

So we should teach the basic ideas of Christianity, and that many people believe it is the one and only Truth of existence. And we should teach the basic ideas of Islam, and that many people believe it is the one and only Truth of existence. And Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism, and many others. All religions should be given equal footing.

The school system should not be saying, "Yes, we want you to understand that there are other religions out there. But we also want you to understand that Christianity is the real Truth. The others are false."
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cybrweez wrote:
I would echo rus, and say teaching Christianity is fine w/me, however, that's not the point. It goes back to a worldview that's pushed through the school. So teaching Christianity through the view that of course its not real and it doesn't matter is pretty useless. One of my big problems is the Federal govt creating a law about religion, namely, banning it from school. I'm pretty sure the Constitution says something about it.

Teach only what "we" agree on? How would you ever determine that? Sounds great in theory, not practical however. We all must face that whoever determines curriculum determines what gets taught, and the average person has no clue who determines curriculum. But its certainly not based on any consensus.

rus spoke well on the idea of success, which I hadn't thought of. But I still mention that either form of teaching, private religious in nature or public, has similar results in the world, and public schooling in US used to be based on the Bible (and take up a heck of a lot less time), as I've said before. So, 7W, who lives by objective proof, has to show me how the school today is any better than previously, which was religiously based. Fist, you may not care about the proof, and admit that it boils down to what you think is valuable, but 7W is the objective man, so the question was really aimed at him.

However, Fist, you'll have to clear something up. You say you don't want to choke our view out, yet only teach what we all agree on, and you disagree w/our view. I'm confused. It sounds exactly like you want to choke our view, and many others, out.


Its not a direct causative link, but a strong correlation....the higher and higher numbers of people with "successful" (applying the definition I sued earlier) lives. I know many people who attended ONLY public, non-religious schools, who "found Jesus" (using the term they used, NOT a label of my own devising). Conversely I know a couple of people who "felt the call of the words of the Prophet" (again, their term), and became Muslims after a strong secular education. Ditto for a couple of Buddhists I knew at college. So a secular education is clearly NOT a barrier to faith.

As far as the choking out...Fist only want to choke it (and others) out of anywhere where there are equally valid (in terms of evidence supporting and refuting), mutually exclusive views to be considered.Such as, Christianity vs Judiasm vs Islam. All claim to be the one and only Truth. All claim all others are false, These are all lacking any objective evidence to support OR refute these assertion. These are clearly mutually exclusive, they can't ALL be true. IN that position, the ONLY fair (in terms of evenhandedness) thing to do is teach them all without endorsing any. Give everyone the facts of the faiths (claims be be only true word of god, dogmas of X, Y, Z, responsible for A, B, C, and D events in history). Let the childrens parents put the unarguable facts into the context of their own beliefs.

Just as I am vehemently opposed to a publilc school teacher leading a compulsory prayer in his classroom, I am EQUALLY opposed to a teacher forbidding a student from praying silently before class/after his work is finished. Coach shouldn't make the football team pray together before the game, he also shouldn't take exception to a player briefly praying before taking the field for kickoff.

I have found, in EVERY religion I've studied (as in, learned about, not as in practiced) at LEAST one admirable characteristic, usually a multitude of them. And in the VAST majority of them, I've found at least ONE thing I feel is highly objectionable. I believe that by having such a multitude of faiths, the society containing them is made all the more vibrant, energetic, alive, vital. Each faith brings a history (long or short), and its unique elements to create a whole tapestry that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. I want my children to be able to learn about EVERY faith out there, and find a faith that will exalt their soul, put wings tot heir spirit, and bring a radiant light into their heart, a deep and abiding joy into their lives. That makes them truly FEEL the divine, connected to all the wonder of the world. Rus, from what you've said, I have NO DOUBT that Orthodox Christianity does this for you. I'm happy for you. But trying to use government to bring ANY religion to "all the people" has NEVER ended up healthy for the society in question, no matter the nobility of the intent. I'm not questioning your motivations/intent. However, can you be intellectually honest enough to admit there are Muslims out there (not the jihadist whackos) who are equally sincere in their beliefs, with just as much scholarly research supporting their views as you have, who would argue for Islamic basis of education? And lacking any personal belief in either faith, that there is precious little to differentiate the two views? From within either faith, I realize there is a TREMENDOUS difference...but not so much to an outsider.
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