Atheist High School of Free Thinking

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Anonymous's picture
Atheist High School of Free Thinking

I've been told that an atheist high school wouldn't be possible because "there's nothing to teach". I disagree. There would be a mathematics, science, etc. departments, of course. In addition, there would be Philosophy 101: Logic, History of Atheism, Religious Theory... and of course, a football team, and a school carnival.

What would you add?

Seriously, Is an atheist school possible?

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Nyarlathotep's picture
How about a class on how to

How about a class on how to spot bullshit.

Sheldon's picture
"How about a class on how to

"How about a class on how to spot bullshit."

I think if it's free from bullshit then it's getting there.

Tin-Man's picture
Suggested classes:

Suggested classes:

* Critical Thinking 101
* Brainwashing Avoidance Techniques
* Reading Comprehension
* Unbiased History 101
* Objective Bible Study Course
* Arts and Humanities
* Ping-pong

Sheldon's picture
All schools should be secular

All schools should be secular. The purpose of an education should not involve any indoctrination into superstitions. That is what churches are for. You don't hear science or scientists dictating to churches what they must teach their congregations.

arakish's picture
Sheldon: "All schools should

Sheldon: "All schools should be secular. The purpose of an education should not involve any indoctrination into superstitions. That is what churches are for. You don't hear science or scientists dictating to churches what they must teach their congregations."

And that is what Neil deGrasse Tyson is always saying (bold text above). He even said that in answer to a Religious Apologist who asked him why religion should not be taught in our schools. Another point Tyson made (paraphrased), "I have no problem with the objective study of religions outside of the lab. However, when bring that garbage into my lab, I'm going to kick you out."

rmfr

Cognostic's picture
All HS are technically

All HS are technically Atheist. That's what separation of church and state is all about. Atheist HS makes no sense. You are going to teach non-belief in deities.

Critical Thinking 101 - Logic class. It's already being taught.
Brainwashing avoidance techniques - My sociology class did a good job of this. Soc 101
Reading Comprehension - already being taught.

Unbiased History - (IMPOSSIBLE) The winners have always written the books. History is a study of the writings we have left behind. At the same time; I will agree that teaching history as if it were fact is an error. Christopher Columbus was insane and a butcher of human life on par with Hitler or Muhammad. (For example). There is a sense that actual history could be taught.

Objective Bible Study - I have to disagree. Comparative religions is already being offered. Certainly an objective look at several of the worlds main religions would be useful.

Ping Pong - An excellent choice for the 1970/s You are dating yourself. Today's kids do not have the energy to run about a ping pong table. In its place I would offer Virtual Bowling or Duck Hunting. The important thing is to prep them for the more complex games they will be playing at university.

Tin-Man's picture
@Cog

@Cog

Unbiased History: Whoops. Guess I should have clarified that a bit better. Perhaps "unbiased" was the wrong choice of words. (That's what I get for posting after a couple of shots of rum.) Maybe "ACTUAL History" or possibly "HONEST History" would have been better. I totally agree history is written by the winners, making "unbiased" a fantasy idea. It just would have been nice to have been taught "real" history in school as opposed to the sugar-coated happy-happy versions of it they force fed to us.

Objective Bible Study: Dang-it... Again, thanks, Captain Morgan! Should have clarified. In my head, though, it was clearly obvious what I meant. When the hell are you ever gonna learn to read minds??? Anyway, as you said, a "Comparative" course of religious studies would be better. Still, I do believe that having a course that breaks down the bible and examines its contents without trying to teach it as truth could be beneficial to helping people "escape" from religion and/or preventing others from being sucked into it. Of course, trying to get something like that in high schools in my neck of the woods would likely cause rioting and anarchy. *chuckle*

Reading Comprehension: Based on what I've seen from some of the youngsters over the past few years, somebody would have a tough time convincing me high schools still teach it. Try giving one of them a book to read, and they look at you as if you are some strange lifeform from another planet. Ask them to write anything more extensive than a text or FaceBook comment, and watch their brains ooze out of their ears. So sad...

Anonymous's picture
"All HS are technically

"All HS are technically Atheist"

Oh, brother. HAHAHHA

Cognostic's picture
I concede writing. I got

I concede writing. I got through HS without learning how to do it and failed out of university for my inability. Only by beginning to focus, study, and actually apply myself was I able to return to university. I now have 2 university degrees and am a published author. Life is strange.

curtisabass's picture
And the high school team name

And the high school team name should be the Lions. As in Lions 6; Christians 0.

David Killens's picture
Many nations with a high

Many nations with a high percentage of atheists (for example Finland and South Korea) enjoy a very high standard of education.

Yemen is ranked the most religious nation, and it ranks very low in education.

Yes, there is a correlation between education and religion, less religion, higher education.

Ramo Mpq's picture
@OP

@OP

You answered you own question when you said "because "there's nothing to teach"". The subjects you mentioned have nothing to do with Atheism as every theist and atheist study those subjects. As I have been told many times on these forums is that Atheism is nothing more than a lack of belief. Maybe history of Atheism but, how do you teach people the history of not believing? Fine, that might be a subject as their are far worse things in colleges these days but, not as a full blown high school. School football team and carnival do sound fun, though.

Sheldon's picture
If a child's education is

If a child's education is secular, and therefore free from theistic indoctrination, then it is by definition an atheist education. An atheist education is not an education on atheism, it is an education that is free from religious teaching. Though it could of course contain a secular education of religions that don't teach any of them as true.

Anonymous's picture
Sheldon, you make an

Sheldon, you make an excellent point. However, we're talking high school. By this time, kids have had religion shoved down their throats from families, gov't, Xtian Singles, etc. How much have they even been told what atheism is and is not?

Atheism can be taught. In the forms of '"how to think for yourself" and surely, Logic courses. If A) God is Real, and B) God Cannot be Proven. Therefore... which fallacy? The problem is people don't know how to THINK FOR THEMSELVES. Atheism high school could teach that.

Or should we just sit on our barker loungers and wait til the doorbell rings? Or wait til we've been through the trauma of religion, until we're finally on an Atheism site, and TEXTING about how we can't do anything because we're too lazy?

Sheldon's picture
Sadly I'm not sure you can

Sadly I'm not sure you can protect all children all the time, especially if their parents want them raised to believe a certain religion. I think the best we can hope for is that the education system is secular. In the UK under Tony Blair there was a shocking betrayal when Labour reversed a long term pledge not to use state funding for "faith schools".

Professor Richard Dawkins did a series of documentaries on them, it was so sad to see children indoctrinated so utterly by religions. A child's education should be entirely secular. If parents want them taught religion they can take them to church.

"Atheism can be taught."

Of course it can. but I don't think this should be the concern of a state education. I'm speaking of the UK here as that is where I live, and I think all children's education should be secular. The answer is not to indoctrinate children to disbelieve, they're born atheists by default, it is to fight to make sure their state education is free from religious indoctrination. Not an easy thing to achieve in the UK as we have a state religion, and some state funded faith schools now. It's very divisive, and very sad. My brother in law and friend is a teacher, and he had to sit quietly while his class were given a lesson on the christian religion, listen to this woman tell his pupils that science wasn't sure about thing like the age of the universe and earth or that species evolution was true. Then tell them the Noah flood myth was well evidenced.

Luckily he said after she left the class of 7 year olds were all laughing at what she'd claimed, and nearly all thought it was nonsense, but she was there he was obliged not to comment on let alone contradict her. I was horrified and appalled when he told me about it.

chimp3's picture
There is an Atheist Summer

There is an Atheist Summer Camp: https://www.campquest.org

Anonymous's picture
Hai! I heard about this camp

Hai! I heard about this camp but never had the good fortune to enjoy it. I bet it's a blast. Chimp, have you been?

chimp3's picture
.No, looks fun though!

.No, looks fun though!

arakish's picture
We need one of those for

We need one of those for adults. Yes, we have the AthCons (Atheist Conventions) but having something like this would be better.

rmfr

Anonymous's picture
arakish re: AthCon

arakish re: AthCon

It's a lovely idea. Can you imagine the protests from religious groups? Somebody's bound to get hurt.

It's still a lovely idea. With s'mores, and rope swings!

Nyarlathotep's picture
computer programming would be

Computer programming would be nice. I'm always surprised at how lack luster the computer skills of average Millennial and Gen Z are. For some reason I thought they would be more technically proficient.

Anonymous's picture
Nylar, is it really that bad?

Nylar, is it really that bad? How do you know this?

Nyarlathotep's picture
I guess I phrased it wrong. I

I guess I phrased it wrong. I'll try again:

For some reason I expected the younger generations to be significantly better at these kinds of things than their predecessors; and it seems that hasn't come to pass, imo.

Anonymous's picture
Nylar, thank you for

Nylar, thank you for responding.

What have you seen/experienced that makes you come to that conclusion? (my paraphrase: younger generations aren't better at things like computers, etc..) You must have kind of premise.

Or is it just a general attitude toward the "younger generations". You see what I mean?

Nyarlathotep's picture
Well I'm not trying to say

Well I'm not trying to say the younger generations are bad/lazy, the kind of stuff we hear often. I'm saying I had the unreasonable belief that they would be computer gurus or something.

And its just from things I observe at work mostly. For a more concrete example, in my experience it seems they aren't any better with spreadsheets than older people. I guess I made the unreasonable assumption they were being taught this kind of stuff in school.

Anonymous's picture
"just from things I observe

"just from things I observe at work mostly"

oh. Well, that's quite a jump, then. Shucks. I thought you'd have valid reasons. But that's okay; whatever.

ʝօɦռ 6IX ɮʀɛɛʐy's picture
Spreadsheets are an old

Spreadsheets are an old person's job; no young person wants to be proficient at them.

David Killens's picture
Just my opinion, but it

Just my opinion, but it appears that this next generation are deficient in self independence. But I lay the blame on the parents. When I was a kid we used to self-organize into teams and play hockey or football without any adult supervision. But my observation is that this is now gone, all the kids are now herded into leagues and adult supervised activities.

I was once waiting in my car while the wife was shopping, and noticed a store front that stated that it was robotics for kids. I had to check it out, and wandered in their doors. Inside I found pre-assembled robotic components, and prepared programs. I did not see anything that truly challenged the creativity, design, construction, and assembly skills of the kids.

It is the same with such things as Lego. When I was a kid I had a Meccano set, and basically I put things together, and learned the hard way, by trial and error. There were no plans, no guidance. And from what I have seen of Lego, you buy a kit and it has all the parts and assembly instructions for a dinosaur or rocketship.

It appears that self learning, independence, creativity, and the ability to design and build something on one's own has been smothered by parents who micro-manage their children.

IMO when one of the newer generation is tasked with actual programming, their trained tactic is to look for an app.

arakish's picture
@ David

@ David

Complete agreement. When I was a kid, even before the age of 10, I had a Lego set, Lincoln Logs, Erector, Chemistry, and quite a few other sets I cannot remember. Today's world seems to be built around the adults asking, "What can you programmers give us to get our children to leave us the fuck alone?" There ain't no interaction between adults and their children like when I was growing up and when I had my daughters, I did me best to spend every second I could with them when they needed me help.

Parents, get off your sorry lazy asses and interact with your kids. Teach them HOW TO THINK (while probably teaching yourself) instead of just leaving it to schools, and worst the churches, to teach them "what to think."

rmfr

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ David & Arakish

@ David & Arakish
" By 'eck you were lucky, Meccano, MECCANO? bloody 'ell, in MY day we were lucky to have a bit o'balsa wood blown up from a crashed airplane. We would see an aircraft flying overhead and make summat that looked like it, but that didn't drop bombs on us.. We were so poor we used to beg for used nappies (diapers) just to hang on t' side o' road and pretend it was an artwork we were that starved for color. You know nowt about creativity...by 'eck.."

Seriously dudes....leave them kids alone. You are hardly even wrinklies, never mind the crumbles.... Kids are much nicer people than we ever were in my generation.

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