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Should atheism be taught in schools? I have heard from some science teachers that creationism gets taught in some classrooms. Whether this is done discretely or not, I do not know but once the classroom door closes it is hard to say what happens or how. Maybe more in the Bible Belt? I have heard that some teachers will teach evolution and imply that it is not true. The only way this gets stopped is if a parent complains.

fearlas 6 Feb 12

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Teach people how to think critically. You can't teach atheism.


Teach about carbon dating. Teach about the scientific method. Teach about facts and how to differentiate between facts and fiction. They will come to their own conclusions.


No, just as religion should not be. What should be taught is the right of each and every person to decide for himself or herself, using sound evidence and solid reasoning, what her or she believes -- providing that he or she is willing to be responsible for the consequences of acting on those beliefs.


A-theism is: "disbelief OR lack of belief [non-belief] in the existence of God or gods". That is ALL it is and nothing more. Now A-theists are a mix bag of everything you can imagine. God(s) is not one of them.


Teach atheism? Seems to me to be a silly idea. What would the curriculum consist of? It's akin to teaching non-stamp collecting.

I agree, I have heard this idea floating about and the responses here are what I would expect, also agree with. Always good to put it out there, maybe someone has a perspective I have not contemplated.

@fearlas Thank you. What should be taught, in my opinion, is critical thinking skills. Such a course need not start with an analysis of religious belief, per se, but could rather focus on the tactics of advertising (bandwagon, hasty generalization, celebrity endorsement, appeals to authority, etc.) which might lead into other fringe (irrational) beliefs, such as alien abductions, anti-vax'ers, anti-GMOs, conspiracy theories, etc. If the basic principles are understood (i.e., unscientifically grounded propositions unsupported by evidence), the student often will, quite naturally, apply them to religion, beginning with fringe practices, such as faith healers, and eventually all religious beliefs.


science should be taught. If a teacher is telling his kids it isn't true, he should be prosecuted.


No, atheism isn't a thing. You can teach religion or the avoidance of reality. How do you teach the avoidance of the avoidance of reality?


Atheism is common sense and logical thinking .I don’t think this can be taught to anyone

Logic is being taught in some schools, it is a beginning.


Nope. Teach how to think. Atheism will result.


I like the idea of children debating ideas and the type of universe that we live in should be one of the subjects up for debate. Not so much teaching athiesm, but teaching children to back up their argument with ecidence

2 is when evolution is taught.


I believe that there should be a religions class that discusses all religions equally. As for science classes, I believe that they should be taught as mine was. I live in the Bible Belt so I was expecting atheistic theories to be immediately dismissed, but the way my biology teacher explained it was that religion and science are two separate things that exist almost completely outside of each other. Science is simply people trying to explain how things happen without divine or supernatural intervention. We know that evolution exists because it has been proven. We see adaptations often, which is a form of evolution. So, in essence, we study science to try and understand how it MIGHT have happened. Whether we choose to believe in that or a deity is completely and totally up to us, and studying science does not effect our personal religious beliefs.


What is there to teach about atheism? That's teaching negative space.

While agree, I have heard in some cultures it is a wildly foreign concept. I might think that in certain circles in this country the same could happen. Explain that there is an opposing view to theistic teachings.


I don't think it's the schools job to teach beliefs of any kind. That's the job of the parent. Schools should be for the purpose of learning facts and how to use those facts. Atheism or Religion it doesn't matter to me. That should be left for the parents and not the schools.


I don't think so... You could teach general religion in schools, and let kids derive from that the function of religions so they learn they're bullshit. But as far as actually trying to teach a captive audience that god doesn't exist, I think that oversteps the bounds a little. By all means though teach things that refute religious dogmas. Evolution, geology, astronomy, even history can all contradict bible stories.


I'm not sure how you would teach non-belief of something.


No, I don't think it should be taught. What should be taught starting in Kindergarten is critical thinking skills. Not enough of that happening.


In social Studies the world's religions should be mentioned, because they're a part of this world's social makeup. Schools, save for religious schools should remain entirely secular. Teach the children Math, Music, Art, Sciences, Grammar, U.S History, World History, Social Studies, Critical Thinking, Home Economics, Wood Working, Mechanical Engineering, and electives that bridge the gap between HS and University.

Gohan Level 7 Feb 13, 2018

Anyone that teaches creationism should be arrested! I am UK and find it totally shocking.
Yes, atheism (for want of a better name) should be taught but not as a religion!
I pay to send my children to a secular school for good reason and they are doing very well lolz.


Well atheism is such a broad term we could never teach atheism because atheist have very many different beliefs I believe that we should teach the kids science I believe we should teach the kids Evolution how we believe the Earth was created ect religion I believe has no business being in public schools religion is something that should be taken place privately in our houses or other places of gather where other people share the same beliefs


you can't "teach" a non believe, except that teaching one believe automatically implies non believe in the rest


I think religious studies should be a part of every school's curriculum. This would be a discussion of the pros and cons of all religions. This would have atheism in-built naturally as it would be the counterpoint to every religion.

This would have the added benefit of enforcing the first amendment by giving people access to all religions in places where few (or one) religion dominates. So for example, it would be a review of the pros of Islam vs. the pros of Christianity... and then it's cons.. and then how the moral basis of each religion need not have a deity at it's root or how logical inconsistency and historical records showcase that the religions were likely made by humans and not inspired by deities. In places where Christianity dominates, it would give students pause to think about other religions outside their own and critically examine why their religion is right but others are wrong.

I think that is how you teach atheism in school, ironically, by teaching religion.


Yes I agree. It would be great to believe in the religion we had from birth. Butt science has moved on. ALL WE WANT. IS. THE TRUTH.

Leon Level 5 Feb 13, 2018

I wish young people were taught about the factual history of religions, like any history course. But you would never get an approved curriculum on that. None of the parties would ever agree. From my experience, the more people, both young and older, know about the real history of religions, the more likely they are to see through the claims of religions.


Creationism isn't really what's being taught in those terrible cases. The real message is submission to authority. Creationism is sort of the "carrier wave" of the signal (to borrow a metaphor from radio broadcast technology). Those teachers want the students to do as their told and not question.
Atheism is a claim of certainty. Science isn't really big on certainties.
Science comes from an agnostic perspective. "We don't know (fact X). Let's think carefully about what we DO know for sure (based on existing evidence), conduct an experiment, think about what we observed, and figure out what the new information tells us".
The existence of god is not a falsifiable proposition. You can't prove or disprove god, any more than you can prove or disprove altruism, or someone else's true happiness.
Since you can't prove or disprove god, any conversation about the existence of god in a scientific context is a waste of time. Better to spend the class time talking about trigonometry, or animal behavior, or music theory.

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