Sleepwalking into segregation?

Suhaila Kassim argues that an indirect consequence of the Roman Catholics first rule for over subscribed schools will be racial segregation in the Irish Republic. The Church hierarchy has offered to assist the establishment of non-denominational schools but this will not necessarily address the risk of segregation. Instead Kassim argues for a shift to secular education.

  • Greenflag

    ‘The aim is to mould minds: to teach them right from wrong, to teach them to respect others and God, excetera. ‘I really don’t care if you don’t agree with it, it’s none of your business. And none of the State’s either. ‘

    Sounds reasonable until you add in the ‘unproven’ God excetera . A brief examination of the facts of even recent world history should be enough to convince even the most fervent ‘theist’ that learning about God is not necessarily conducive to ‘respecting’ others .

    At the time that Ronald Reagan was President of the USA the ‘moral majority’ was much preoccupied with the lack of God and religion in the Evil Empire a.k.a the Soviet Union . How can you trust anybody who does not believe in God . The corollary to this is that only those who believe in a God can be trusted . One notes the huge amount of trust now displayed by the vast majority of Americans in the well known theist Osama Bin Laden ?

    The Christian Goddists will no doubt point out that Muslims may be an exception to the general rule of trusting believers as opposed to non believers a.k.a Infidels .
    However a brief resume of Northern Irelands troubled sectarian history reveals huge amounts of distrust between church going ‘Christians’ .Black and White American Protestants have also shown through the centuries that common belief in a protestant /baptist God has kept them from killing each other or discriminating against each other ? The displays of fraternal charity between Iraqi Muslims and Iranian Muslims included happily for the true believers on both sides the deaths of a million or more ‘infidels on the other side’ due to the all consuming power ofa Sunni or Shite Allah take your pick . Likewise Hindi and Muslims in post partition India /Pakistan found that their common belief in God gave them an extra impetus to kill each other . Shintoists and Buddhists in Japan medieval Japan were no exception . Jews everywhere were randomly pogromed for their failure in not not crucifying Jesus Christ .Abraham was even willing to sacrifice his own son because of an apparition/sun stroke /religious fervor ???

    Children need instruction most certainly and they need to have the values that will enable them to lead productive and useful lives both for themselves and the fellow humans among whom they work and live . Religion may hinder or aid that human development but by itself is not necessary and may in extreme cases be harmful . The absence of religious instruction in school has by itself not led to a generation of ‘feral’ children let loose on the world . The absence of parental love and nurture including huge divorce rates plus the endemic poverty of single mother only families has led to further deprivation and increased crime rates among all communities .

    By all means teach our children to respect others and the laws which our ‘democracy’ upholds as the basis for our civilisation and way of life .
    If you are a truly religious person then you should be prepared to pay for the religious instruction to supplement the teaching which you undoubtly impart yourself to your children .

    Greenflag

  • Dawkins

    Greenflag,

    A very fine and thoughtful post.

  • Greenflag

    Thanks.

    When your ears don’t hear what your eyes see and when your eyes don’t see what your ears hear then it’s past time to pull the wool from your eyes and take the wax out of your ears 🙂

    ‘When I hear the word Art I go for my gun ‘

    Herman Goering

    ‘When I hear the words God or Religion I hold onto my wallet ‘

    Greenflag

  • The Dubliner

    “The Dubliner,

    A fine cheese BTW. I thought I’d finished with this discussion but your final paragraph can’t be left unchallenged.

    My own parents, both of whom are godfree, instilled in their offspring a set of values that have stood me in excellent stead. Those values are not derived from a book of myths, replete with reports of divinely approved stonings, rapes and genocide, but from the thinking of the Enlightenment. They make sense; each can be defended in a court of law; they are open to rational debate. In other words: they are worlds away from the rubbish that’s instilled in the under-sevens in schools run by the religious.

    My parents’ values give order to the world of any child. They are just and ethical. What more could one wish for? Ah, yes: no gods. Well, too bad; I can live without ʼem. As can my children. If they have need of them they’re welcome to believe in them. So far, none of them has shown the slightest desire for gods.

    And why should they?” – Dawkins

    First, I’m agnostic on the question of G-d’s existence, despite having two devoutly religious parents and a Rabbi for a grandfather. I know the beauty of religion from seeing it manifest in its believers. I know how deeply it enriches people. So, I really don’t agree with your hate campaign against religious people. Theists don’t have a monopoly on intolerance.

    I’m indifferent on the question of religious education in schools beyond believing that it the right of a church to run schools, the right of a school run by the church to teach its religion, and the right to parents to send their children to whichever school they choose.

    Despite your unrestrained imperative to challenge my last paragraph, you missed the point of it: I was pointing out that, contrary to your claim that it is morally wrong to instil beliefs and values into a child before the age of its intellectual development, failing to instil such values into the child is what is morally wrong. The values must be instilled by stealth and not by rational debate because to do otherwise is to leave the child in a feral state. Your quote: “I have no problem with children who can reason for themselves being taught religion, i.e. from age 8 or 9.” Since your objection is the inability of the child to think independently, that objection holds true for all other values that must be learned. Ergo, the child, were your argument to hold, must not be offered any instruction greater than its intellect. That would be immoral. You also failed to show that religious education is anything other than an entirely positive.

    Greenflag, isn’t that an argument for uniformity? After all, there’d also be a lot less violence if we were all communists and all supported the same football team. Things would be a bit lonely for the other football teams, however. Difference and diversity isn’t the problem: intolerance of difference and diversity is.

  • Dawkins

    Greenflag,

    “Herman Goering”

    Jeeze, and you were doing so well. Now you done gone and invoked the Nazis. Therefore by the inviolable Law of God the Net, you lose.

    We’re doomed. Doomed I tell you. Dooooooooomed :0)

  • Dawkins

    The Dubliner,

    “You also failed to show that religious education is anything other than an entirely positive.”

    Very well. You’ve diverted me from my customary enjoyment of online kiddie porn and bestiality (obviously how every atheist whiles away his Sabbath) to offer my final five words to this discussion:

    The Doctrine of Original Sin

  • The Dubliner

    Dawkins, do you really think that republicans and loyalists were biblical scholars who were using extreme means to debate obscure points of Christian theology? And if the conflict was about other things, then how much greater would it have been if it was fought by a society of atheists, without the Christian values of theists calling for restraint, mercy, and forgiveness?

    Why bother with links? Why not use your own argument:

    “From where I’m sitting a narrow, sectarian education will usually produce narrow, sectarian thinking. I don’t think one needs a study to prove this.” – Dawkins

    As I pointed out: “It is true to claim that a “narrow, sectarian education will usually produce narrow, sectarian thinking” but it is not true to claim that a religious education is either narrow or sectarian simply because it is a religious education. The education system in Ireland is ranked as one of the best in the world in the 2007 IMD World Competitiveness Report. 40% of the population go through the Catholic education system to higher educational achievement – a figure that ranks well above other European countries, with Germany, for example, being ranked at 23%.”

    You could show your argument to be valid by showing that the Republic of Ireland, which uses a religious education system, is characterised by “narrow, sectarian thinking.” For your argument to hold, then that must be shown to be true. So, as you have called the Irish narrow and sectarian, why don’t you back it up with the facts? Don’t worry about being called racist along with intolerant and talking shite. 😉

  • kensei

    “Again, nice try. But really you’re adding nothing new to the discussion. I suspect you’re simply trying to be “right”. That’s OK; it’s a widespread failing among men. Nothing to be ashamed of.”

    I’m not “trying to be right”. I am right. I am simply showing you how you are wrong. The fact that you can’t actually answer the case suggests to me that you are making a tactical retreat to save face. It’s OK; it’s a widespread failing among the wrong.

    Greenflag

    To sum you’re exceeding long and rambling post:

    1. Some religious people are bad

    No shit. Some non religious people are bad too.

    2. USA versus USSR

    Really? Really? How many did Stalin kill? Mao? How many killed in Cambodia? You really want to make massive generalisations based on “Godlessness” and see who comes off better?

    3. Religious have fought

    So have just about every other group of people. Very often it’s a mask for deeper political problems. For example – religion does not even begin to explain the North’s problem’s. It’s more competing Nationalisms that’s the problem.

    This really has very little to do with where I send my child to school.

    4. I should pay for my kids Catholic schooling

    As long as I get I refunded on taxes, sure. Particularly as in the South, there are Constitutional rights involved.

    Again, this boils down to: busy bodies telling others how they should and should not bring up their kids because they don’t like x. You mightn’t like me bringing any kids up to support Leeds (and to be fair, that is child abuse) but I’d tell you fuck off with that, too.

  • Greenflag

    ‘Jeeze, and you were doing so well. Now you done gone and invoked the Nazis. Therefore by the inviolable Law of God the Net, you lose.’

    The reference was to Hermann Goering the notorious Art thief and not HG the Nazi

  • Greenflag

    Greenflag, isn’t that an argument for uniformity?

    Not in the least . It’s an argument in favour of rational thought backed up by factual evidence and a perspective on human history and human nature that sees ‘religion’ as an important part of man’s past and present but not destined to be part of the long term future . Mankind /humanity will always have ‘values’ but although these may seem to many to have their origins in ‘religion’ they are part of man’s moral development as he has evolved from earlier ancestors.

  • Greenflag

    1. Some religious people are bad

    No shit. Some non religious people are bad too.

    No shit too who’d have thought it ? Full marks for the b****ing obvious 🙂

    2. USA versus USSR

    Really? Really? How many did Stalin kill? Mao? How many killed in Cambodia? You really want to make massive generalisations based on “Godlessness” and see who comes off better?

    You omitted the Godless nazis . I believe the sum total of deaths over the past century committed by States against their own citizens (including communist , fascist , and others) is estimated at 170 million. Political indoctrination by the State a la North Korea or Mao Tse Tung’s little red book are just as damaging to the minds of young children as the propagation of religious mythology.

    3. Religious have fought —-religion does not even begin to explain the North’s problem’s. It’s more competing Nationalisms that’s the problem.

    Can’t disagree with your point which is why I favour a fair ‘repartition’ of NI .

    ‘This really has very little to do with where I send my child to school. ‘

    I did’nt say it had .

    4. I should pay for my kids Catholic schooling

    As long as I get I refunded on taxes, sure.

    No disagreement here also.

    I would’nt dare to tell you how to bring up your kids or whether or not to send them to a particular school . Your business . As long as the school is in compliance with the States laws as regards the treatment and education of minors this should be a matter of supreme indifference to everybody apart from yourself and family .

  • Greenflag

    ‘Difference and diversity isn’t the problem: intolerance of difference and diversity is. ‘

    Wise words . Most of the conflicts between and among nations throughout history have been due to the ‘narcissism of neighbours’ i.e small differences (religion/tribal/ethnic/cultural between neighbours . Some examples being English and Scots/Irish , French and Germans , North German v South German -Russians and Poles -Catholic and Protestant , Taigs and Jaffas in NI , Basques and Spaniards -Chinese and Japanese, Zulu and Xhosa – Apache and Hopi etc etc etc

    In most all cases the ‘exaggeration ‘of small ethnic/religious or cultural differences between groups has been a favourite ploy of Kings/Queens/Dictators /Popes/Presidents/Sultans First MInisters /Tyrants etc etc etc to consolidate their own power/position and expand such power when the opportunity is presented .

    It’s part of the human condition and our innate nature .

    Humanity’s defence against this ‘tendency’ in the species is being built up through increasing interdependence and direct communication between peoples and economies all across the world and the growing realisation that there is only one human race .We are the last survivng branch on the ‘Homo’ tree having been pre extincted (sorry) by Neanderthal and Floriensis cousins.