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QUESTION How Should Atheism Be Taught? - The Atlantic

The University of Miami has endowed a chair for the study of atheism and secularism

david7wk 6 Feb 1

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For us atheists, it's a poor title for the article.

But for the religious who are interested in finding out what life is like independent of religion (i.e. beliefs on data and critical thinking), it's apt.

The article concludes with this bit: "...Although the university has yet to finalize his roles, Chakravartty’s initial ideas for course topics include one on how scientists have historically thought about social issues, the relationship between atheism and scientific inquiry throughout history, and the role of secularization in political and social movements. (It’s worth noting that despite all of the controversy around the word atheism, most of these topics are already taught in philosophy and religious-studies programs.) He will teach at least one course annually on atheism and related topics, and will organize programming with the intention of outreach to the broader community through potential formats such as conferences and podcasts..."

It can't be anything but a good, I think.


haha, It shouldn't be taught, in fact can it be taught? I feel what is needed instead is the absence of religious teaching. Atheism seems more like reason and common sense, don't believe anything without evidence.


I posted this same link here a few days ago. It generated the same negative comments about the title teaching atheism. Other points in the article about the current dynamic in atheism were less well noted.


It shouldn't be taught, any more than any other belief system. What should happen is that all religions, doctrines, etc., should be explored with an open mind. Then let each individual make his/her own choice.

marga Level 7 Feb 1, 2018

Why it has to be taught? We are born atheist.


Can't remember who said it but it is straight to the point: "Teach someone one religion, you indoctrinate them. Teach someone many religions and you inoculate them."


It is not atheism that should be taught, it is the futility of religion that should be addressed.
Teach fact and truth and leave the fairy tales to the believers.


Atheism is nothing but the answer to a single question, do you believe in a god or gods?.


I'd start with a historical perspective including debunking Pascal's Wager and the Teleological Argument plus a look at the treatment of atheists through the ages. The "Problem of Evil" would also be visited then I'd move on to the question of atheist morals and look at both the psychological aspects and the philosophical aspects. Maybe study Clive Hamilton's *The freedom paradox. Towards a post-secular ethics."
But maybe I'm overthinking this.

Kimba Level 7 Feb 1, 2018

I am not sure it can be taught in the same way as theology or oriental philosophy can be taught. This is the problem with the very term atheist. A word describing a non-belief. Secularism should be at the core of most subjects such as moral philosophy or law anyway. Can one imagine a course on non-judeo-christian mathematics or non-sharia politics? The idea is absurd.


How about just teaching critical thinking and let atheism take care of itself.


Atheism is negative space. How long does it take to teach the concept of an empty bag?

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