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Old July 30th, 2012 (4:16 PM). Edited July 30th, 2012 by droomph.
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droomph droomph is offline
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From what I have heard (mainly from a select few) philosophy classes never give you "answers", so to say. What they do is present facts from different points of view and let's you choose which one you think is right.

On the same notion, I think that is how Religious Studies should be taught. I remember that my pastor said they invited a rabbi over to our church for Passover so we could understand Jesus' religion better (or something). While this may not seem like much (after all Christianity is basically a noob version of Judaism) it shows how easy it could be to make things relevant yet of value.

They shouldn't ever give an "answer", but rather, a "question" then "opinion"s. And from what little religious studies I had in middle school (we memorized the 10 commandments and then the five Pillars of Islam) it has made me understand their religion better. Now I know that most of the Muslims don't all hate America and want to blow up airplanes, but rather there are a select few who have radical views. And think about it. Most of us are Christians in America, and when the KKK and various Christian terrorist groups started acting up did they freak out about Christianity? No, because they knew that those weren't the values of Christians.

In the same way, if we had taught them about (and the key word here is about) Islam, do you think they would have freaked out about the dude with the turban next door? No, because they would know wether or not they, the Muslims, think blowing up buildings is part of their tradition. And they would have agreed to build that mosque at Ground Zero, because they knew that they are like us, but worships in a different way. No blowing up things - that is for the loony Muslims. And if we were to do this across the world, learning about every culture and religion, don't you think the world would be a better place?

So my point is, education promotes tolerance. And since America's main value is based off of tolerance, chances are education in that area might let us reach that goal faster.

Edit: Why would reading the Bible or the Koran be a bad thing? It only allows discussion, and explains why they think that way. For example, Ruth and Esther are great examples of not just Jewish values, but values everyone has got to follow! Yet, since it's in a religious text, we can't learn about them. Rather, we have to learn state-regulated bullcrap the bores people. And to be honest, the poetic forms of most religious texts are great examples not only for values, but for literature and ancient language classes and so forth. And while that power could be abused, students are usually smart enough to realize that they are to discuss, not simply be brainwashed by these things. In fact, most classes have "participation" grades so that they learn more, and I think it would be more than helpful here to prevent certain untrue and extremely racist ideas (like "Christians are better than Jews!") from sticking in their minds. Yes, the Jews crucified the Son of Man, God's ultimate gift to them. But through discussion, the more subtle point that everyone rebels and will be punished will be brought up. And stuff like that happens all throughout the texts, and by the end of your 12-year education, you are anything but brainwashed.

That being said you can certainly abuse these texts for negative purposes, like the brainwashing I mentioned earlier. But obviously there will be complaints, and there will be consequences. So extra vigilance will definitely have to be kept in place here. But hey, what's a little effort (extra surveillance of teaching methods) for a big reward (tolerance and world peace)?
did u no there r 21 letters in the alphabet
o i forgot 5

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