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Religions on Education committee


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I would say that Theists have beliefs, whereas Atheists believe. By this I mean Atheists believe there is no God or Gods, therefore there is nothing to preach to. As an Atheist I believe in the things I can see.

 

SP, I'm not bashing a religion at all, I just don't want it rammed down my throat. It should be individual choice, whatever your age.

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Places of worship are still busy in places.

 

St. Olaf's, St. Ringan's. Sally Army. Mission. Lerwick's population at an all time high??

 

Folk who have Faith should also be represented.

 

Which implies that our democratically elected councillors to a (wo)man are all godless heathens, so incapable to representing the views of any faith adequately, that undemocratically elected heavily biased individuals need to be parachuted in amongst them and given a vote. I would imagine that this will be a revelation to councillor Fullerton for one, given that she declared an interest as a CoS member.

 

I wonder if the growing lack of a Faith or a Belief is linked to the increase in a lack of respect in our society for others?

 

Perhaps, but I don't think you should completely discount yet that the near lack of meaningful consequences for transgressions, and the establishment of the "its not your fault, we know you didn't mean to be bad, we can talk about it and help you" society, may have played a slight role too.

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This thread has become a place for militant Atheists to preach against Christianity

 

What the hell's a militant atheist? That's a contradiction in terms. I have no beliefs on theism to be fundamental about! I just happen not to believe the things you tell me about your gods. It is impossible to militantly disbelieve. Use your own words instead of adopting hackneyed, flawed clichés!

 

But this is also not so unusual; religions do seem to occupy a sanctified place in people minds that make some people very sensitive when they attract fair criticism.

 

This thread is in response to initiatives to make 25% of the education committee comprise of unelected religious representatives. Now if we tried to have 25% unelected representatives on every democratic body in the country there would be national uproar and quite rightly so.

 

Why had this come about? Because the churches and especially church of Scotland, have pushed for it. Therefore if they push for this very unreasonable and priveleged position then they deserve to be criticised, and in any case they should have some very powerful arguments to support this extraordinary situation and I for one would like to hear them.

 

But this thread has been more critical of the process than the actual religion.

 

Regarding the camp then that is an issue on this thread because the organisers were given special privilege to go into schools and persuade kids to attend. That is connection to religion in schools thread. Very few groups would get this direct access to young kids but christians do. So to have such special access they will naturally attract some scrutiny.

 

The problem is not, as some say, that it is a christian camp so we should know what to expect.

 

The problem is that there seems to have been a number of things that have gone on that are completely contrary to what the kids were told in school and what parents were led to expect. Even the website gives you a fluffy, warm impression of fun, games and activities and your granny reading you a few bible stories in the evening. If I was a kid I would sure want to go to something described like this instead of kicking about the front door for six weeks in the summer! See following:

 

One of the great opportunities camp provides is that children can make new friends with others their own age from all over Shetland. Children are divided into groups of eight supervised by two leaders. Each week the camp serves a different age group starting with Primary 4 in the first week through to Secondary 6 in the last week.

Every day is filled with activities and sporting competitions where campers have to work together in their groups. In addition to competitions there is football, Go Karting, mountain biking, a bouncy castle, table tennis and pool table facilities all on site. There are day trips to the local beach and swimming pool. The camp also runs a tuck shop and bookshop, which are open every day. Each morning and evening there are meetings, which feature bible stories, singing and quizzes.

The camp building has excellent facilities for both indoor and outdoor activities. A constant programme of improvements has provided a high standard of accommodation with each dormitory having en-suite shower room with toilet.

The camp is offered free of charge to children from Shetland

 

Because of their presentation to kids there is tremendous peer pressure amongst the kids to go. And contrary to MJ's views, many of us are tolerant and independent in our views anyway so this may seem a gentle way to give our kids some exposure to an alternative view. So many non religious people allowed their kids to attend - but on the basis of false premise - if any of these allegations are even half true! And we already know passion of christ pictures are! And that is why we can and, imho, should criticise.

 

This thread is a response to christians encroaching on our kids education, having privileged access to our kids in schools, being disingenuous with the methoids used to attract the kids to their camps (how many families are using it as a weeks free child care - sounds tempting even to me :-)) and then manipulating kids minds with seriously scary stuff at their camps.

 

If any Islamic, buddhist, jewish or jedi knight orginisation was doing the same I think they would find the same level of opposition and criticism here. But in this case it is is christians that have been provoking so it is christians we are responding to.

 

So keep in mind that this thread is in response to actions by christians not the other way round.

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I would say that Theists have beliefs, whereas Atheists believe. By this I mean Atheists believe there is no God or Gods, therefore there is nothing to preach to. As an Atheist I believe in the things I can see.

 

So where does this pigeon hole me? Who has no Theist belief, but doesn't believe there necessarily is no god either, nor do I just believe in just what I can see.

 

I believe that there are still many things in this cosmos we are yet not aware of (think radiation, invisible, silent, odourless - until someone discovered means by which to detect it, measure it and ultimately understand it, everyone was oblivious to its existence), on that basis, god could well exist, and by the same token it could well not, there is inadequate evidence available currently, IMHO to make a judgement call. So, I believe I don't know, jury still out, decision delayed, call it what you will... Not everything need necessarily slot neatly in to check boxes "yes" or "no" to be "okay" to leave where it is.

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Many religious leaders have been voted in. They are there as religious leaders, not councillors. Declaring an interest means nothing. Unless you are going to gain financially in any way. Some councillors continually declare the most tenuous of interests, it gets their name in the minutes but they can still fully participate.

You know, I did not realise that some churches have closed while others remain open, still, churches tend to be Christian. The Mosque and other Temples here are packed to the rafters.

The religious leaders represent their creed, and if there are many, why not. Christian rituals are still the mainstay of annual events. The Council Meeting (Full) in places still open with words from the Mayors Pastor.

If folks faith drive them to helping others have a happy life, let them be.

You need more to concentrate on those who just disagree with everything that they believe to be right and use that to inflict harm and suffering.

I wonder how many babies born today are still registered COE of COS or RC.

The council are right to involve all folk and denominations.

 

The few here do not represent the masses.

 

It does remind me of our Town Council Meetings though, the same folk turn up to complain about anything for the sake of complaining, unless something larger that the Council happens, this then brings new folk to the meeting, say their piece and go.

 

It has been suggested that 1/3rd of the world population are Christian.

 

If you don't fit into any of the pigeon holes created, start a new one.

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Which is true, Atheism is an oxymoron.

It is a Religion.

 

It's a religion in the same way as "barefoot" is a type of shoe.

 

If someone asked what kind of pet elephant you owned, and you replied "Actually, I don't own an elephant.", how frustrated would you get when that person kept insisting that "Actually, I don't own an elephant" was a kind of elephant?

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I would say that Theists have beliefs, whereas Atheists believe. By this I mean Atheists believe there is no God or Gods, therefore there is nothing to preach to. As an Atheist I believe in the things I can see.

 

So where does this pigeon hole me? Who has no Theist belief, but doesn't believe there necessarily is no god either, nor do I just believe in just what I can see.

 

Does that not make you agnostic?

 

I believe that there are still many things in this cosmos we are yet not aware of (think radiation, invisible, silent, odourless - until someone discovered means by which to detect it, measure it and ultimately understand it, everyone was oblivious to its existence), on that basis, god could well exist, and by the same token it could well not, there is inadequate evidence available currently, IMHO to make a judgement call. So, I believe I don't know, jury still out, decision delayed, call it what you will... Not everything need necessarily slot neatly in to check boxes "yes" or "no" to be "okay" to leave where it is.

 

Yes, I believe that makes you agnostic, no?

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@ shetlandpeat:

 

You just don't get it, do you.

 

Any and all creeds had an opportunity last election to democraticaly elect representative(s) on to the council to protect and promote their interest(s) of choice, the fact nobody stood under a Christian, Hindu, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans or any other banner, never mind stood and won, evidences that none of the creed(s) in question considered having their interest(s) specifically represented was important enough to them to bother with it. Had they considered representation on the council and on the education board to be of high priority, and had the rallying call gone out to all christians in Shetland to vote for the christian canididate in their area, surely they would have succeeded to get one on in at least one ward. Had they not been able to, it would have demonstrated that they did not enjoy adequate support within the community to warrant special representation. End of story, that's how democracy (supposedly) works, unless you can command the support to insert at least one tiny wheel in to the big machine, your representation has to be shouting from the sidelines only.

 

Yet, we now find a representative of a creed(s) has been arbitarily chosen and parachuted in to a council sub-group, which arguably has the greatest influence over Shetland's future of any council sub-group, and given fully voting rights to boot. Why has a section of society, who either couldn't be bothered to field candidates, or were scared to field any for fear of learning just what support they really do have, or were scared to lose, been afforded such priviliges? As someone said earlier, why not a representative of the UHA committee instead/as well, arguably between contributors/participants/spectators at all the UHA's, they very probably have far greater support than all the kirks have.

 

The fact that a religious creed(s) has achieved full membership and voting rights is the problem, in doing so democracy and the education of future generations has been hijacked by an undemocratically appointed representative, and compounded by the fact that the creed(s) represented arguably does not even represent the largest special interest sub-group of the population either.

 

Had one or more declared representatives of religious creed(s) stood under such colours at election, and succeeding in winning a seat(s), and were then elected on to the education board by their peers, while I'd have believed it a grave mistake, I would have accepted that a majority supported it to be so as a result of due democratic process, and I'd not have been here, or saying anything about it. When it occurs on account of the continuance of an archaic and arguably largely irrelevant to today's society arrangement, for no other obvious reason than a very vocal minority lobbying for it, I will cry foul.

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Evil Inky

 

when asked what your religion on a form sticking Atheism down is not the same as sticking NONE.

Atheism is a belief system, same as any other Religion and unfortunately seems to call for it's believers to preach to anyone who does not believe the same as them.

I've met many different faiths over the years and as an Agnostic found theological discussions interesting, but very few have tried to push THEIR chosen belief on me.

What I found most interesting was young people who had been brought up in communities where religion was banned. None of them described themselves as Atheist, they just had NO RELIGION. There is a difference.

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Mods - this thread seems to have diverged from its original direction.

 

May I suggest a de-merge into separate (a) Education Committee and (B) Christian Camp threads?

 

I've had a look and there are so many overlaps both threads would be confusing when split, so since we seem to be almost back on track for now, we'll see if it can stay on topic from here.

 

As long as they keep the garbage that was taught at this camp out of our schools (images from "The Passion"? For the love o the wee man, that's brutalising kids!!) I don't have a real problem.

 

The fact is, it is already in our schools, and has been for decades. The chances of having it removed when people are being added to the board purely because of their beliefs is slim at best!

 

Which is true, Atheism is an oxymoron.

It is a Religion. It is a strong belief that often it's followers preach.

Being Agnostic myself I find it one of the hardest Religions to deal with.

Absolutely!

 

The real issue for me is that It is wrong for any children to be taught anything other than facts at school. "Beliefs", no matter how well backed up are always ultimately fantasies with no real proof, and have no place in basic education.

 

*If* it has to be, everything must be taught with equal emphasis on its being fact. From ancient religions right up to modern beliefs such as alien abduction and that the royal family are shape shifting reptiles from another planet.

 

To go back to the core of the topic again; if indeed they go ahead with suddenly applying this law despite operating in ignorance of it (so it seems) for so long. Isn't that setting a worrying precedent as I am sure there are rafts of such out of date and silly clauses just waiting to be exploited.

 

Cllr Wills does have a hopeful summing up at the end of his letter to the times:

Hopefully the people appointed to these three unelected positions will have the good sense and the democratic decency not to take them up, but instead to take up this suggestion of a different forum where they can air their views and exert such influence as reasoned argument may afford them. We have enjoyed religious peace in Shetland for a very long time. Thursday’s veto endangers that because it gives religious minorities good reason to feel discriminated against.
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As for locking the thread because no other religion would be so persecuted without this happening... "Allah is a moon god" anyone? Remember some of the things discussed and aired here at that time? It's what got me reading and eventually taking part here in first place.

 

Besides I havent seen anything vile or bad said. Unless I missed something?

 

As for decline in belief = decay in society, watch out! That could qualify you for a lifetime subscription to the Daily Mail! When was this halcyon period in British history when all was well with the world, there were no social issues or problems and everyone smiled and sang hymns in the streets as they went about their lives?

 

I know, let's re-instill Victorian values, from when Britain was Great! You know, child labour, prostitution, child prostitution, poorhouses, the widespread legal use and sale of opium (that's another thread, guys!), thievery & crime rampant... seems to me we've improved a little on some of those (guys, I said it's ANOTHER thread! :wink: ). The "breakdown" in our society has more to do with socio-economic conditions than a spiritual cry for salvation in the form of a book cribbed by men of power, acting fraudulently and in their own interests, from dozens and dozens of "accounts" of the life of a man.

Only one of the Gospels was written by anyone who knew Jesus, and he was fond of the odd magic mushroom or twenty! What relevance does any of this have, over, say Hinduism (older), Paganism (older) or Zoroastrianism (much older)?

 

The more I think about it, the more annoyed I get about the whole thinly veiled "lock the thread" comment. just like many of the more ignorant religious types I have met. If it doesn't fit with my views, ignore it. Better yet, shout it down or suppress it, because it's wrong and I'm right! If you don't like mature discussion of such points, you don't have to participate. You can go and pray for our immortal souls. Or would that be a pointless exercise as we are all damned anyway?

 

If it has a place left in our society, it should be as a reassurance to those who believe, not as a means to browbeat or unduly influence all of us, many PF whom believe something different.

 

Will the Zoroastrians put forward a nominee for the committee? Maybe I should stand...

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Spinner, they're showing these images? Telling kids they're going to Hell if they don't believe? Denouncing the Big Bang and evolution? Calling the Jews murderers who God doesn't want in the world anymore? What school is this then, because I won't want any of mine going there. THAT'S the fundamentalist garbage I was talking about. I have no issue with Christianity in schools, as long as it's part of a subject, not simply being forced on my children, and is not the only religion and belief system discussed there.

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