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Thread: The right to believe what one wants

  1. #81
    Veteran Member Czernobog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Not sure how this matters. If the student reads the Bible voluntarily and the Bible belongs to the student--and if the time involved has been set aside for student-chosen reading--it's not a First Amendment violation. There's no establishment of religion in that case.
    And, I'm not entirely certain I disagree. But, you see, a kid reading from his mythology book isn't what I'm talking about. Because let's face it, it's not like they're gonna follow that up with a discussion about what (s)he read, as if it had any actual relevance to the real world. You'll notice in my OP, I never said anything about not allowing kids to read fro the fiction of their choice in school. I specifically referred to using school to indoctrinate kids into believing that it was anything other than the fiction that it is. You know, like teaching Intelligent Design in science class, as if it were a valid scientific theory.

    Guess what? A kid can stand up for "free reading" time and read from the Bible...or the Quran...or Classical Mythology...or the Satanic Bible...or fucking Harry Potter for all I care. Just so long as each are treated with the exact same degree of credibility.

  2. #82
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    Reading aloud, so that other students are exposed to the text, is an issue. Sustained silent reading ... would not be so problematic.
    Correct. The context, though, was one of bringing reading material to school on the express premise of bringing something to read aloud, and so it was that to which I was responding.

  3. #83
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czernobog View Post
    And, I'm not entirely certain I disagree. But, you see, a kid reading from his mythology book isn't what I'm talking about. Because let's face it, it's not like they're gonna follow that up with a discussion about what (s)he read, as if it had any actual relevance to the real world. You'll notice in my OP, I never said anything about not allowing kids to read fro the fiction of their choice in school. I specifically referred to using school to indoctrinate kids into believing that it was anything other than the fiction that it is. You know, like teaching Intelligent Design in science class, as if it were a valid scientific theory.

    Guess what? A kid can stand up for "free reading" time and read from the Bible...or the Quran...or Classical Mythology...or the Satanic Bible...or fucking Harry Potter for all I care. Just so long as each are treated with the exact same degree of credibility.
    Note, however, that no one would be representing as real anything but the Bible, or perhaps the Quran (and the Satanic Bible, though no one would be likely to take it seriously anyway). In contrast, no one would be representing Harry Potter as being anything other than fiction. By representing the Bible as reality, it becomes a form of proselytization.

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    Science has disproved many of the claims of the Bible. To believe in the great flood is to ignore science. To suspend the laws of biology in order to believe an absurd doctrine is not something that a rational being is capable of if the individual is honest with him or herself. A virgin birth is something that simply does not happen, yet I am told I need to suspend what we know and take an ancient text purely on faith.

    How dare some individual demand I do that, and the demand is often accompanied with threats. I mean seriously, where do these individuals get off?

    I was merely an atheist, but I am becoming an anti-theist as I get older.
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    Veteran Member Czernobog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    Note, however, that no one would be representing as real anything but the Bible, or perhaps the Quran (and the Satanic Bible, though no one would be likely to take it seriously anyway). In contrast, no one would be representing Harry Potter as being anything other than fiction. By representing the Bible as reality, it becomes a form of proselytization.
    That right there is why I included the caveat that, if the bible is to be allowed as a class reading, it must be presented as just as "real" as The Sorcerer's Stone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czernobog View Post
    And, I'm not entirely certain I disagree. But, you see, a kid reading from his mythology book isn't what I'm talking about. Because let's face it, it's not like they're gonna follow that up with a discussion about what (s)he read, as if it had any actual relevance to the real world. You'll notice in my OP, I never said anything about not allowing kids to read fro the fiction of their choice in school. I specifically referred to using school to indoctrinate kids into believing that it was anything other than the fiction that it is. You know, like teaching Intelligent Design in science class, as if it were a valid scientific theory.

    Guess what? A kid can stand up for "free reading" time and read from the Bible...or the Quran...or Classical Mythology...or the Satanic Bible...or fucking Harry Potter for all I care. Just so long as each are treated with the exact same degree of credibility.
    I see what you're saying, and I agree to a certain extent. But I'd be careful about declaring sacred literature to be "fiction." It's not fiction, strictly speaking. Fiction is generally the product of a single imagination. Sacred literature is a received mythology. It can be studied as anthropology or cultural studies as well as via literary analysis. That there was an Adam and an Eve and they were the first humans in a historical sense is obviously not true. But that people in a large section of the world believe(d) in a first couple, created by God and with subsequent stories about their descendants, is more than just an imaginative story. It's the basis of ethical and cultural systems that have given us technologies and art and culture and a great deal of what gives people in the West their identity. The myths of India or China or Africa do the same for them. And they do this whether we "believe in" them or not. Being post-Christian (which is technically what we both are, I suspect) doesn't extricate us from the profound Christian influence on the culture in which we are steeped, anymore than a non-practicing Muslim can shirk the culture of Islam from himself entirely.

    The thing is, we can look at the whole of the Bible (if we want) through a literary or a social science lens, and we can do it without ever telling anyone their myth is WRONG! We can be entirely agnostic of that point, I think.

    Certainly the study of sacred literature has no place in a science class unless someone is examining the paper or the ink for its chemical composition.
    Last edited by Rasselas; 4th October 2017 at 08:05 PM.
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  7. #87
    Veteran Member Czernobog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    I see what you're saying, and I agree to a certain extent. But I'd be careful about declaring sacred literature to be "fiction." It's not fiction, strictly speaking. Fiction is generally the product of a single imagination. Sacred literature is a received mythology. It can be studied as anthropology or cultural studies as well as via literary analysis. That there was an Adam and an Eve and they were the first humans in a historical sense is obviously not true. But that people in a large section of the world believe(d) in a first couple, created by God and with subsequent stories about their descendants, is more than just an imaginative story. It's the basis of ethical and cultural systems that have given us technologies and art and culture and a great deal of what gives people in the West their identity. The myths of India or China or Africa do the same for them. And they do this whether we "believe in" them or not. Being post-Christian (which is technically what we both are, I suspect) doesn't extricate us from the profound Christian influence on the culture in which we are steeped, anymore than a non-practicing Muslim can shirk the culture of Islam from himself entirely.

    The thing is, we can look at the whole of the Bible (if we want) through a literary or a social science lens, and we can do it without ever telling anyone their myth is WRONG! We can be entirely agnostic of that point, I think.

    Certainly the study of sacred literature has no place in a science class unless someone is examining the paper or the ink for its chemical composition.
    And I would have no problem with anything you suggest. I just want o be clear that we will not present the Bible, or any other mythological text as a source of actual, real history.

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