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I am taking an ethics class and religions of the world class this semester and I'm very interested in what will be taught. Reading my ethics textbook, it seems like it will be helpful in combating some of the hurtful religious notions. However, I'm a little nervous about the religions of the world class. It is taught by a Lutheran minister and it seems as though all my classmates are Christian. Even so, I'm looking forward to learning about all religions so I have a better understanding of the world. Any suggestions on making the most out of this experience?

UPDATE The religions class is so biased I want to laugh and cry. But there is another atheist in the class. We haven't talked, but she's open about her atheism.

PiperMckenna 6 Aug 16

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Don't ask questions in class unless you hear another Atheist student asking obvious Atheists questions....take notes. Follow the syllabus do the readings and get an A. If the teacher tries to push Martin Luther lies onto you....just say you are too busy with other classes to take on Lutheranism. ...World religions are repulsive genocidal misogynistic just like xians in USA....counting Hindu gawds can be time consuming....Jains, Shinto, animist, Hindi, Buddhist, Scientology, Bahai, Mohammedans et al are not going to comfort you....make a chart and time calendars if you can and note Confucius or Taoist proverbs of culture/history....have fun

I am wondering if there will be another atheist in the class. So far, only Christians have been public. Maybe an atheist is just staying quiet like I am for now.

@PiperMckenna don't be the first all don't need xians following you threatening you with hell or bribing you with heaven fixing you up with some xian boy to slobber all over you

@PiperMckenna be proud of Atheism and Atheists while resisting fake names CHRISTOS means OF THE CROSS....there was no temporary crucifixion in Palestine 1990 years ago on a fake back dated calendar invented 13 centuries ago....xmas and xians is obvious abbreviations for polysyllabic gibberish undeserving of capitalization...we are the proper Noun Atheists xians are the fictional adjectives


Yes. Convert the class and the professor.


Good luck! I teach at a local community college; I am all online now, but I used to teach seated classes. One of the instructors for the world religions class was an ordained minister who had been the headmaster of a private Christian school. He used to brag that he did not "bring" his religion into the classroom.

At least two of my students made unsolicited comments to me about their world religion instructor who was so pro-Christian, he made biased and prejudicial comments about other religions.

Guess who he was?


So true the so called xian intelligentsia can only function in captive ignorant audiences....any 4th grade Atheist can take MdivS down

@GreenAtheist The guy was finally relieved of his duties, but I am not sure if his religious proclivities were the reason. It might have been due more to his apparent encroaching weirdness after a few years (maybe senility). Have you see the religious nuts who have a "fire" in their eyes denoting mental illness? He was developing that look.

@Gwendolyn2018 Hmmm, I suppose it would be hard to keep biases out of the class room if your whole life is based on those biases. I remember when I was in the Christian realm, different teachers would talk about how they were able to some how work in things aimed to convert their students. I don't think I'll have too much of a problem. We'll see

@PiperMckenna Students have the same biases! In the last seated class that I taught, one of my students went to my department chair after the first day saying that although I said all religions and no religion has the same importance in class--which was to say religion will not be discussed except academically--I was trying to "push" paganism on them by discussing my spiritually. He was basing my paganism on my tattoos. This dude wanted to get me fired! Long story short, I told my chair that it would be hard for me to push my beliefs when I was an atheist. End of story.

@Gwendolyn2018 yes ....sad to say Chris Hedges for all his great reporting to NY TIMES, KOSOVO and the global green movement for Pacific eco-socialism IS THE SON OF A PREACHER and only gets that "look" in his eyes when Atheists are mentioning global religious violence....Hedges wants only to fight military and banksters NOT RELIGIOUS VOTERS FOR TRUMPolini....fascism is is target NOT theocracy

@GreenAtheist Old habits die hard. Alas.


Well, I have taken a World Religions class and I actually really enjoyed it! I guess you could say it shed some light on the differences for me. Now, my class wasn't taught by a clergy or priest of any sort, just a regular professor...agnostic too, I believe! So, I don't know if there will be a lot of comparisons (maybe a little biases from the prof) in relation to his religion but it definitely was an interesting class. My fav was the Hindu religion where he talked about the correlation between Indian Jones/Temple of Doom and the real life Thugee cult and Kali Ma and Shiva. Many of the facts were true...Speilberg gets an "A" from me for authenticity. This was back in 1994 so, maybe you can watch the movie and impress the prof a little. LOL

That's so cool! I love Indiana Jones, I should watch it again.....any excuse will do for me. Haha. I'm looking forward to the class. A friend of mine took it and he said that it focused a lot on African religions and Native American religions as well as the main religions. I don't know a lot about those religions, so it will be fun learning.

@PiperMckenna If the instructor is good I think you'll enjoy the class. πŸ˜ƒ


Keep your opinions to yourself in the class if you know what is good for you, or want good grades. Very few ministers who teach world religions won't be biased.

Absolutely! I got a B in both religion classes even though I aced tests and papers. It was because they didn’t like what I said.

I'll keep this in mind. I really only plan on speaking if he calls on me or if I have a genuine questions. I think I should be okay. He seems nice enough. It's really sad that people can be biased in that way. A worse grade won't convert a person.


In my opinion, if a religious class is taught by a theist of any strip, it will be biased towards the instructors beliefs. There is no way it could be otherwise.

I kind of feel the same way. I really wanted this class to be taught by an atheist, or at least someone who doesn't practice religion.


Ok, you are asking non believers for advice on religion study. Give it a minute...... The one thing I can say is this, learning is always a good thing going forward, for several reasons.

I agree. Learning is the whole point of this class. Guess I should just buckle down and learn!

@PiperMckenna Whatever makes you happy 😊


A challenging learning environment can provide as much enlightenment as a challenging curriculum. Be as bold as you dare - the only one grading you will be the instructor.

I enjoy being challenged. I just want to be careful not to be obnoxious. I know I will ask questions, but only genuine ones. I hope to learn and enjoy my class!


I took a course in College that included reading the Bible. Ir was taught by an ex-minister and it was the best experience. He read the ancient languages and would translate from more original sources. There is a great difference between what is said in the Bible and what modern day readers think it says. Enjoy your classes and ask questions. You care what the teacher says not what the students think. Remember most of the other students will have a totally different take on the information presented. You are there to learn not agree.

That sounds like an amazing experience! I think that what you said is good to remember "you are there to learn not agree."


Ask the qestions that need to be asked, but don't be aggressive or openly judgmental in the process.

True...aggression is never a good way to learn.


Question everything. Respectfully, and non-combatively, but question everything.
I questioned ALL the "philosophers" who were included in the curriculum.
I have little regard for philosophers. Their opinions are no better than my own.

I remember how much I loved taking an ethics class in college.
It also did a lot to help me learn how to debate.

Whether you choose to "out" yourself to your instructor and classmates is
entirely up to you.
If you do, just be prepared to defend your beliefs, or lack thereof.
Good luck!!!!

I have almost become addicted to questioning and researching! I hate being misinformed in any area. I think that was one of the main things that made me an atheist. What's hard for me is knowing when to ask a question and when to just quietly research it myself. I'm a fairly outspoken individual but I hate arguments. It's hard to know when a question will sound like arguing even if I mean it as a sincere question. I guess questioning in your own mind is kind of the best way to do things.

@PiperMckenna Well, if one is going to be "addicted" to anything, questioning and researching are better than nearly all of the other things one could be addicted to.
I don't know how to tell anyone not to "argue". If I'm in the mood, I'll argue just about any point. I tend to play Devil's Advocate in a lot of debates. Especially when up against "well, that's the way it's always been" kind of scenarios.
Just arm yourself with as much factual information as you possibly can.
Again, good luck to you.

@KKGator Haha true! Thank you so much!


Don't go in with an open mind.. is my my suggestion. Go with a biased atheist mind to protect yourself.

I feel like I'm a fairly unbiased person. Don't get me wrong, I'm very strong in my atheism, but I got to where I am by studying facts and being open minded. I think that means that I'm an atheist forever. I didn't become one on a whim and a whim won't win me over to any other religion. I think I understand your suggestion though: don't let the religious bog me down. Thanks!

@PiperMckenna I just wanted to make sure you knew the risk of brain washing by religion. First it comes as genuine and honest so we very come to believing it. World's 6 billion people (out of 7 billion total) have fallen prey to it. All because they went with an open mind. Christianity first opened charity missions worldwide including in the remote parts of the world. The purpose was not to just to help.


Approach it from a historical and sociological perspective and you shouldn't have any problem. Follow the fables. Veda Tora bible Koran. Compare them. Compare the cultures and history at their conception. It's all rather fascinating.

That's very true! I love learning about different cultures and the histories behind them. I think it will be a very interesting class.


I hope your instructors, fellow students, and the texts do these topics justice, because both of these classes should be fascinating and enlightening. I well remember being enthralled with the readings, lectures, discussions, and even the essays assigned in the ethics class I took so long ago. This is a chance for you to engage with the ideas of people who have very deliberately and meticulously thought about what it means to live a good life. You won't agree with all of them, or maybe any of them. That's the fun of it.

I am so excited for ethics! I love college and I love learning. But I'm taking statistics this semester too and I'm going to have to work really hard to get a good grade in that class. I'm really hoping I have time to do all my other classes justice by really learning the material. We'll see how hard stats are for me. No matter, I'm happy for the experience.


Open mind. Relaxed discussion. Laugh. Don't 'push' personal views, and hope the religious don't either.

This sounds ideal! I'm hoping to do just that.

@PiperMckenna Hope it goes well and you have a good, and informative, time!


Treat them as you would any other class. Do the outside work, take part in class, be prepared to defend your position. I took ethics from a Methodist theologian, his position was not what you position was but whether or not you could defend it. I still remember after an intense interegation, where he questioned every aspect of my position, he goes, quite frankly I agree with you, but you need to know how to defend your position in the face of opposition. I hope you learn much and that it is an enjoyable set of classes.

That sounds like a useful interaction. Yeah, I plan on focusing on learning all I can from this class and getting a good grade. I debating on whether I should go deeper in my term paper.


Just listen and learn... don't argue ! Arguing with Christian's is like arguing with republicans.. I guess one and the same ! Lol

I only really say anything if someone asks me a question. And then it's just a quick fact of what I believe. I just want to be open, honest and approachable. I agree that arguing doesn't typically get through to the religious.


I'd say don't let them know you're an Atheist. (If they don't already know).. I'd be afraid of bias when grading papers. πŸ€”πŸ˜ž

Yes. It may be better to act like a devils advocate and ask the professor stuff like. Well atheists say this about this and that. How would you defend Christianity against their arguments

I'm unsure whether or not I want to be open with my atheism or not. I really hate hiding my atheism since I did that for so long. People always assume I'm a Christian and I really don't like that because so much of the Christianity around me is hurting people and I don't want to be associated with that. I don't argue with people about religion, I just make it clear that I don't believe what they do.

@PiperMckenna Oh,, I know what you mean about hating to hide it.. I'm the same way. But if your grade matters to you, I'd say at least wait until after you finish the class. I'd hate to do it as well but hey, I just don't trust them to be fair about it.

@PiperMckenna That's why you can use the third person when asking a question. Say stuff like an atheists argument is this. What would you say to them. Phrase it to where you are asking a question but you are doing it from someone else's perspective. Don't say I want to know just phrase it as a general atheist question and how would they defend Christianity against the argument

@Captain_Feelgood, @abyers1970 True. I care a lot about grades. Maybe the third person asking is a good way to go....


Read, investigate, ask questions, the key is to be inquisitive and gain knowledge to use as experience later as part of life-long learning.

I really hope to! I'm a very curious person just beginning to learn from this big, interesting world, but sometimes it's hard not to get bogged down with grades instead of using the experience to actually learn.

Yes, learning and experience is most important. Grades are not irrelevant but learning is more important long term.


A Christian can never seriously teach about Judaism One has to live it. In addition, there’s the whole Armageddon BS. And Luther was a mega anti Semite

Yeah, I have questions about how good this class will be with this instructor.


Oh boy! I'd love to take that class with you... If I was you, I'd act like a sponge, and soak all the information in. Ask questions. Take notes. I'd even bring a audio or video recorder, whatever is acceptable, to make sure to get all the discussions, but more importantly, their answers and responses. Have fun learning.


I went back to college in my 30s the only art school was run by nuns. I was Jewish but ditched all that nonsense a long time before. Only one nun was overzealous and made us write what was the lesson god was teaching Job by fkng with his life. I wrote a very logical essay on how religions (god) like to pass the blame to someone else. It's always gods fault, no one does anything to deserve what god does to them and it's a fine excuse for the blame game. I got a B+.

Wow, that's quite the experience! My school isn't taught by nuns, so I don't think I'll have to write that type of paper, but it could be interesting to see the term paper topic.


As someone who attempted to play both sides during a college game simulation course, I would advise you not to ask questions that would challenge religion. This is something near and dear to most of those people and you will antagonize them and they will make your life hell potentially. Maybe better to absorb all that you hear and learn from them and maybe seek out any like minded individuals in the class based on their questions. Then you can meet with them later and discuss things. I'm just trying to save you the many hours of hitting my head against the wall trying to discuss religion with religious people. Either way enjoy it all. My philosophy 101 course was the best course ever in my life and showed how ridiculous religion was.

lerlo Level 8 Aug 17, 2019

Thank you for the advice! I think that may be the best way to go about it.The point of me taking this course is to learn, so I'm going to focus on just that.


Soak up the knowledge
Learn to criticise the logic behind ideas
Make your own informed dcisions ob religions, ethics and morals - they should be your beliefs, informed but not enforced or imposed by someone else

I might be taking logic next semester....maybe I should have taken it before religions! But I don't think I'll have much a of a problem. I'm going to treat it for the most part like every other class.


Just be honest


You should be prepared that the christians in the class are going to look at you in a different way if you're atheist. Some will feel sorry for you, Some will feel contempt for you, Some will look down at you, Some will challenge you and some will try to convert you. In their minds, Christianity is 100% true and you're 100% wrong and youre being deceived by Satan. Just keep hitting them with fact after fact after fact. After all, When you look at the facts about the beginnings of christianity there is nothing there. If you really want to learn about christianity i would suggest studying hypnotism. The format of the church service is very similar to a hypnotic induction. The way they play with peoples emotion and imagination is very hypnotic. If a hypnotist were to do the same thing to a patient and induce fear and install fright as the church does he would be seen as unethical and be shunned. but the pastor does it and he is revered.

Ugh. I've been dealing with this ever since opening up about my atheism. It's worth it not to be secretive about my (lack of) beliefs, but it is a headache. I imagine this class will be the same. I'm just happy not to be a part of their group. They are probably all nice people, but I can't condone and be a part of what most of them stand for.

That's interesting about the hypnosis. I can kind of see how that is the case. I know that so much of what happened in church when I used to go was so emotion and feeling based that you could claim to "feel" the holy spirit every time you had goosebumps from a pretty musical arrangement.

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