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Shaker

Risk of 'religiously illiterate children' - report

A parliamentary group investigating the state of religious education in England and Wales paints a dismal picture (dismal for the C of E, of course) of the state of RE and concludes:

Quote:
Religious literacy matters for everyone. Religious education has a vital and powerful contribution to make in equipping young people, whatever their backgrounds and personal beliefs with the skills to understand and thrive in a diverse and shifting world. The value of this contribution has not been widely recognised by policy makers. A raft of recent policies have had the effect of downgrading RE in status on the school curriculum, and the subject is now under threat as never before, just at the moment when it is needed most. This report sets out those threats, along with urgent proposals for meeting them head on.


Are the bald assertions of this "parliamentary group" correct? Does "religious literacy matter for everyone"? Does it have "a vital and powerful contribution to make in equipping young people, whatever their backgrounds and personal beliefs with the skills to understand and thrive in a diverse and shifting world"?
Lexilogio

I think if you are going to understand other people, you have to understand their cultural background and religion.

Its also about understanding history. Religion has been a huge part of people's lives.
Ketty

Lexilogio wrote:
I think if you are going to understand other people, you have to understand their cultural background and religion.

Its also about understanding history. Religion has been a huge part of people's lives.


I agree with that.

It's one thing to preach the Gospel as part of education, yet quite another thing to teach 'religion' as part of the world's history.  The latter is 'religious literacy', and I agree with the report that it is essential to a person's education and understanding of how societies and some aspects of law, and the arts, etc,  have evolved.
Powwow

Exactly. Could you imagine learning European history without learning about the Roman Church?
Shaker

pow wow wrote:
Exactly. Could you imagine learning European history without learning about the Roman Church?

Would that it were possible.
cymrudynnion

Shaker wrote:
pow wow wrote:
Exactly. Could you imagine learning European history without learning about the Roman Church?

Would that it were possible.
Why?
cyberman

cymrudynnion wrote:
Shaker wrote:
pow wow wrote:
Exactly. Could you imagine learning European history without learning about the Roman Church?

Would that it were possible.
Why?


He means he wishes that there had never been a Roman Church to learn about.
northernstar

Nothing wrong with that.
cyberman

northernstar wrote:
Nothing wrong with that.


I'm sure Shaker will be relieved to have your approval.
Powwow

lol
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
cymrudynnion wrote:
Shaker wrote:
pow wow wrote:
Exactly. Could you imagine learning European history without learning about the Roman Church?

Would that it were possible.
Why?


He means he wishes that there had never been a Roman Church to learn about.

Yes.
Powwow

Huge waste of a wish. Can't erase what was and is.
Shaker

pow wow wrote:
Huge waste of a wish. Can't erase what was and is.

What is can be erased - think of other diseases such as smallpox and rinderpest. And with their record of the widespread and long-lasting cover-up of the rape of children across the world, its efforts to help the perpetrators of the aforementioned crimes to evade justice, its institutional homophobia and misogyny and with hypocrisy running through it top to bottom like Blackpool through a stick of rock, the idea that the Catholic Church has any credibility or has any kind of moral authority - indeed, anything worthwhile, useful or interesting to say about anything at all - is, increasingly in the Western world, being erased.

It's far too late in the day. And it's not happening with anything like the speed with which I think it ought to happen. But it is happening. Thank goodness.
cyberman

Shaker wrote:
pow wow wrote:
Huge waste of a wish. Can't erase what was and is.

What is can be erased - think of other diseases such as smallpox and rinderpest. And with their record of the widespread and long-lasting cover-up of the rape of children across the world, its efforts to help the perpetrators of the aforementioned crimes to evade justice, its institutional homophobia and misogyny and with hypocrisy running through it top to bottom like Blackpool through a stick of rock, the idea that the Catholic Church has any credibility or has any kind of moral authority - indeed, anything worthwhile, useful or interesting to say about anything at all - is, increasingly in the Western world, being erased.

It's far too late in the day. And it's not happening with anything like the speed with which I think it ought to happen. But it is happening. Thank goodness.


Make the link for me.

The appalling behaviour of Catholics should make me reconsider my opinion of Christ, because......

I am a Catholic because of my views about Christ, not because of my views about Catholics.

That said, a lot of Catholics are very good people who have done very good things. But the presence bad ones doesn't make me wish I wasn't a Catholic.

It does make me wish those fuckers could keep it in their pants, it makes me glad when they are caught and brought to justice (the rapists and their collaborators). But that doesn't change my religious views at all.
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
Make the link for me.

The appalling behaviour of Catholics should make me reconsider my opinion of Christ, because......

Because of the Catholic Church's long history of making shit up as it goes along, to the detriment of the world. Are your views on Christ informed by those four dubious documents collectively known as the Gospels and nowhere else (because, let's face it, there is nothing else) or filtered through the medium of the Catholic Church?

By complete coincidence, I saw a link to this new video just this morning.

Quote:
I am a Catholic because of my views about Christ, not because of my views about Catholics.

So why Catholicism specifically? Given that you can have whatever opinions about Christ you wish without belonging to any one specific church, I mean. Catholicism is just one brand. There are many, many more. Thousands, even. Strictly speaking you wouldn't actually have to belong to any of them, and I'm sure that that's true of a goodly number of people.

Why people who find the idea of a god plausible in the first place overwhelmingly seem to adhere to specific traditions or denominations - all but invariably mutually exclusive, of course - rather than just being content with their belief and leaving it at that has always intrigued me. Indeed, it's a question I've posed as a thread subject, possibly here, in the past, but nobody really gave any answer. If you find the concept of a deity credible, I don't understand why - unless, of course, it's through childhood inculturation - anyone would step beyond that by aligning themselves to a very specific theistic tradition which says that you can't eat bacon or cheeseburgers or that you have to take a blade to your infant son's genitals or that you have to wear special sin-resistant pants.

I suppose it's a roundabout way of saying, I don't understand why there aren't more open and visible deists around - people who accept the idea of a god, but that's as far as it goes - rather than people who line up along party lines and align themselves to religious traditions which go far, far, far beyond that nugget of belief. A simple belief in a creator as usually traditionally defined leads nobody, by a direct route, to a belief in transubstantiation, say.
bnabernard

Shaker wrote:
pow wow wrote:
Huge waste of a wish. Can't erase what was and is.

What is can be erased - think of other diseases such as smallpox and rinderpest. And with their record of the widespread and long-lasting cover-up of the rape of children across the world, its efforts to help the perpetrators of the aforementioned crimes to evade justice, its institutional homophobia and misogyny and with hypocrisy running through it top to bottom like Blackpool through a stick of rock, the idea that the Catholic Church has any credibility or has any kind of moral authority - indeed, anything worthwhile, useful or interesting to say about anything at all - is, increasingly in the Western world, being erased.

It's far too late in the day. And it's not happening with anything like the speed with which I think it ought to happen. But it is happening. Thank goodness.


Can't say I can agree with you on this shaky, Animal Farm springs to mind, the RC church as with any other org of the time was set up by those who would see control in their own way, given that the churches of the day followed a sword and blood agenda then they can hardly be classed any different from any other, the test comes to go back beyond there to any civilisation that grew in the manner you want to see, don't seem to be an option   there don't seem to be one.
Corruption comes from the corrupt and more than often the corrupt are the ones that gain power.

People have tried, I think the Plymouth Brethren had the notion of a society of people who would not take advantage of each other and sailed of to America.

The church surely led the way in setting up schools, a selfish agenda at the time to teach religion as they saw it, other things like the sciences became part of the schools and were otherwise a voyage of personal teaching, self taught by those of an enquisitive mind.

However a man made utopia, nah,

bernard (hug)
Powwow

Shaker,
lol, I was just wondering why there aren't more people who accept the idea of socialism, but that's as far as it goes-rather then line up along party lines and vote Labour every election.
cyberman

pow wow wrote:
Shaker,
lol, I was just wondering why there aren't more people who accept the idea of socialism, but that's as far as it goes-rather then line up along party lines and vote Labour every election.

As a paid up member of the Labout Party, I like that analogy!

Shaker, as you know, different denominations have different beliefs. About Christ. The beliefs espoused by the Catholic church are ones which most closely match my own beliefs.

By the way, as far as I know, there has been no Catholic in my family since the reformation. I certainly wasn't inculcated with Catholic dogma as a youngster.
northernstar

cyberman wrote:
northernstar wrote:
Nothing wrong with that.


I'm sure Shaker will be relieved to have your approval.


We're on the same wavelength as far as religion is concerned
cyberman

northernstar wrote:
cyberman wrote:
northernstar wrote:
Nothing wrong with that.


I'm sure Shaker will be relieved to have your approval.


We're on the same wavelength as far as religion is concerned


Are you doing some sort of sponsored non-sequitur marathon for Comic Relief or something?
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
Shaker, as you know, different denominations have different beliefs. About Christ.

Indeed they do. Which doesn't really say much for any one brand's beliefs being true vis-a-vis all the rest, does it? You really would think that the Supreme Architect of All That Is, said by believers in such a thing to be capable of magicking a universe out of nothingness, would have an easy time of it ensuring that so many different denominations didn't proliferate, wouldn't you? Not least because as the number of denominations increases, the likelihood of egregious error, and therefore of people believing patently wrong things, is bound to increase accordingly. Unless either (a) people or (b) said entity, if it existed, don't/doesn't care about believing the wrong thing, of course; but then, certainly in the case of (a) based upon a belief in (b), there's no evidence of that and plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Quote:
The beliefs espoused by the Catholic church are ones which most closely match my own beliefs.


So the beliefs came first, which just happened to dovetail nicely with the ready-made Catholic Church? It must be interesting to come to conclude all on your own that a whole raft of implausible beliefs about the nature of reality are true, only to find an off-the-peg church which just happens to believe in all the same things.
cyberman

Shaker wrote:
cyberman wrote:
Shaker, as you know, different denominations have different beliefs. About Christ.

Indeed they do. Which doesn't really say much for any one brand's beliefs being true vis-a-vis all the rest, does it? You really would think that the Supreme Architect of All That Is, said by believers in such a thing to be capable of magicking a universe out of nothingness, would have an easy time of it ensuring that so many different denominations didn't proliferate, wouldn't you? Not least because as the number of denominations increases, the likelihood of egregious error, and therefore of people believing patently wrong things, is bound to increase accordingly. Unless either (a) people or (b) said entity, if it existed, don't/doesn't care about believing the wrong thing, of course; but then, certainly in the case of (a) based upon a belief in (b), there's no evidence of that and plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Quote:
The beliefs espoused by the Catholic church are ones which most closely match my own beliefs.


So the beliefs came first, which just happened to dovetail nicely with the ready-made Catholic Church? It must be interesting to come to conclude all on your own that a whole raft of implausible beliefs about the nature of reality are true, only to find an off-the-peg church which just happens to believe in all the same things.


Not entirely. As you know, I disagree with the Catholic church about a lot of issues.

But the broad approach is one which works for me. For example, sometimes (not always, but sometimes) in the Protestant traditions you find the idea that our physicality is some kind of unfortunate incumbrence which we would be better off without. Catholicism is very hysical and sensual. It recognises the importance of Jesus as a bloke as well as God (rather than just God in disguise with a bloke mask on). Hence the crucifixes rather than empty crosses. It recognises our physicality too. I am not (you may have noticed) very good at being good - so a liturgy which bombards all my senses, not just my mind, with reminders and stimuli works well for me. I get that a whitewashed church with no distractions works for some people - that's fine too. Also I read a year or so ago something written by Cardinal Newman (I guess it was when he was being beatified) - about his journey from Evangelical Anglicanism to Catholicism. He used to visit very many poor families. One of the things which jarred with him was that as an evangelical he was taught that most of this people would be damned. Not just the poor, most people generally. The Catholic tradition on the other hand taught that most, if not all, would be saved. These kind of things attracted me to the Catholic church when I found myself having rationalist doubts about my atheism.
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
sometimes (not always, but sometimes) in the Protestant traditions you find the idea that our physicality is some kind of unfortunate incumbrence which we would be better off without.


A line of thinking that goes back waaaaaaaay before there was such a thing as Protestantism - it's a very Gnostic idea that the material world, fleshliness, corporeality is, depending on school and the emphasis they placed on the idea, either intrinsically and inherently flawed or even downright evil.

Quote:
I am not (you may have noticed) very good at being good

I wouldn't say that. It depends on what you mean by 'good': it may well be the case that you're not very good at being good according to the strictures of Catholicism, but that's a plus point in anybody's favour in my book

Quote:
so a liturgy which bombards all my senses, not just my mind, with reminders and stimuli works well for me. I get that a whitewashed church with no distractions works for some people - that's fine too. Also I read a year or so ago something written by Cardinal Newman (I guess it was when he was being beatified) - about his journey from Evangelical Anglicanism to Catholicism. He used to visit very many poor families. One of the things which jarred with him was that as an evangelical he was taught that most of this people would be damned. Not just the poor, most people generally.


Indeed - Calvinism.

Quote:
The Catholic tradition on the other hand taught that most, if not all, would be saved. These kind of things attracted me to the Catholic church when I found myself having rationalist doubts about my atheism.

Don't tell me that the RCC is preaching universalism nowadays?  
cyberman

Shaker wrote:

A line of thinking that goes back waaaaaaaay before there was such a thing as Protestantism - it's a very Gnostic idea that the material world, fleshliness, corporeality is, depending on school and the emphasis they placed on the idea, either intrinsically and inherently flawed or even downright evil.


I didn't say anything which contradicts this. If I 'd been around in the 2nd century I guess I wouldn't have been a gnostic either, for similar reasons.

Sorry, I'll get on with reading the rest of your reply now... (it looked like a long one and I'm dipping in and out)
cyberman

Shaker wrote:
Don't tell me that the RCC is preaching universalism nowadays?  


Not as such - but it isn't teaching that non-Catholics go to hell because they are non-Catholics.

JPII once said (I've had a quick look for a source but can't find one - just my memory I'm afraid) something like "I suppose we have to believe there is a hell, but we can also believe that it is empty". Or something.
genghiscant

I don't understand your need for organised religion. You're obviously an intelligent man, why do you need men in pointy hats & golden cloaks?
trentvoyager

Quote:
You're obviously an intelligent man, why do you need men in pointy hats & golden cloaks?



What have the Pet Shop Boys got to do with this ?
genghiscant

trentvoyager wrote:
Quote:
You're obviously an intelligent man, why do you need men in pointy hats & golden cloaks?



What have the Pet Shop Boys got to do with this ?


Do they have pointy hats & golden cloaks?
trentvoyager



closest I can get - but I have definitely seen them in pointy hats and golden capes at the same time.
cyberman

genghiscant wrote:
I don't understand your need for organised religion. You're obviously an intelligent man, why do you need men in pointy hats & golden cloaks?


Thanks for that!

If you'd been in on any meetings at our church you wouldn't call it organised!

I don't need men in hats and cloaks.
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
If I 'd been around in the 2nd century I guess I wouldn't have been a gnostic either, for similar reasons.

I rather think I probably would have been. Gnosticism is an interest of mine and has been for a long while. Obviously I don't buy into it, but it's something I've read up on a good deal over several years. It has one major thing to commend it, and that's the fact that it strikes me as being far more in accord with the facts of the real world as it actually is than traditional theism which posits an all-good, all-powerful and all-knowing deity. Gnosticism, with its demiourgos which is either well-intentioned but fairly useless, a bit of a happy but incompetent bungler, or actively malevolent if not downright evil, has a lot less heavy work to do than the omnimax god of traditional theism. In a world full of pain, suffering, misery and cruelty, a god who means well but is cack-handed (a sort of divine Norman Wisdom in The Early Bird), or a god who is positively wicked, is going to seem a considerably more plausible prospect than such a world with a god who is maximally knowing, maximally powerful and maximally good. One requires a damned site less mental gymnastics and rationalising contortions than the other.

As I say, I don't actually buy it, but I know a sliding scale of plausibility when I see one.
cyberman

A bit outside my field, this.

Was this demiourgos believed to be a thing which occurred or came into existence at a point in time in the universe, or was it believed to have created it?
Shaker

cyberman wrote:
A bit outside my field, this.

Was this demiourgos believed to be a thing which occurred or came into existence at a point in time in the universe, or was it believed to have created it?

The demiurge was responsible for the creation of the universe - of the material, physical cosmos in its entirety - not in the sense that it made such a thing ex nihilo, conjuring up physical stuff out of nowhere, but shaping and fashioning what's already there: uncreated and eternal material. The demiurge was a product of, an emanation of, the vastly higher but abstract, impersonal and unknowable godhead of Gnosticism (referred to by a variety of names but the Pleroma, which means 'fullness', being one of the most common). The demiurge is much closer to what most people, theists or not, think of as a theistic entity: actively interested and involved in the material world - but not, at least for many schools of Gnostic thought anyway, in a good way by any means.
bnabernard

The Pleroma, eternal and infinite and one might say the solution in more ways than one, would in the act of creation bring about both an upside and a down side to creation, just as man makes a car, there are pitfals and laws required to avoide the pitfalls.
One could say the Pleroma is evil because it brought things into existence that had a choice to obey the laws of theire creation, however I would say damned if it does and damned if it dont, someone going to complain when they get their hand burnt but not complain about the hot food.

bernard (hug)

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