Friday, February 29, 2008

Richard Dawkins Barry Sheerman MP on The Big Debate - RE in Schools

Andrew Copson (BHA Director of Education) and Maryam Namazie.(Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain - video) are guest speakers.

Richard Dimbleby to RD 'does a god shaped perspective or set of values do any harm to the way children should be taught in schools? RD quotes Ten Commandments ' Thou shall have no other god before me; thou shalt make no graven image; thou shalt keep the Sabbath holy. What on earth has that got to do with morals? Thats 3 of the 10 commandments. It would be deeply depressing if the only way children could get moral values was from religion either from scripture or from a being afraid of god - being intimidated by god - anybody who is good for those two reasons is not being really good at all.
Why not teach children the 'Golden Rule' - do unto others as you would be done unto you. How would you like it if other children did that to you? So why do you do it to them? It is depressing if you have to suggest that anybody needs god to be moral. I would hope that our morals come from a better source than that and that they are genuinely moral rather than based on outmoded scripture or based on fear.'

RD 'What is the penalty for apostacy?'
Answer: Under Sharia Law the penalty is death .. but in the UK we do not live under Sharia Law.

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Alternate video link (thanks to Bill Pugsley):

Jonathan Dimbleby and a panel of experts come together to debate the controversial subject of religion in Britain's schools.

The role of religion in education is a subject rarely out of the headlines. Despite Britain's multi-faith society, schools are still required to include a collective act of worship of a Christian nature, while faith schools and religious academies have raised fears about community cohesion and covert selection.

Claims by some religious educationalists that faith is the best way to teach moral values is challenged by others in schools who believe religious morality to be outdated and dangerous.

Dimbleby is joined by Professor Richard Dawkins, Schools Select Committee chairman Barry Sheerman MP, and a multi-faith studio audience.

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