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.
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 line...compare calendars if you can and note Confucius or Taoist proverbs of culture/history....have fun
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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+.
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.
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.