Right to superiority, not ignorance

AnimalFarm

Here is an interesting followup to the Right To Ignorance story. It seems one of the mothers who fought the mandatory course on world religions is very upset about how her fight is being portrayed. She vehemently objects to the portrayal of it being a fight for the right to ignorance. Instead, it would seem she’s fighting for the right of superiority of her beliefs over others…

we object to the fact that our youngest child, then aged 6, should be taught that all religions have the same value. I objected to the textbook my child had to use where all stories, be they Biblical (the Nativity), aboriginal (Big Hare) or animal tales (The Mice X-Mas), are told as tales of equal value and truth.

To me, ironically, this need for superiority comes from a fear born out of ignorance. I seriously doubt whether in these classes any of the various stories and beliefs from other religions are taught as being true. I would think the intent is to teach what each religion believes and leave it at that, so the objection to having them all taught as equally containing truths should be a baseless fear.

Another irony is I feel her objection is due to a lack of faith, faith in both her ability to properly indoctrinate her child and faith that her child can maintain the faith in light of exposure to other beliefs. So ok, she’ll go along with having him hear these other beliefs but only if they’re taught as inferior or untrue. Well how progressive of her not to be fighting for a right to ignorance! No, she just wants the right of religious superiority. When confronted with this on her blog, she amazingly claimed, “that’s called Freedom of religion and belief.” No ma’am, that’s quite the opposite. That’s wishing for the state, via the schools, to declare one religion superior to all others, which is an infringement upon the freedom of religion and belief for anyone who doesn’t subscribe to that religion.

Clearly someone’s right to ignorance has been indulged far too long.

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16 Responses to “Right to superiority, not ignorance”

  1. You hit the nail on the head. The real problem, as I've come to realize over the years, is that theists want to put religion, especially their religion but they'll do it for the vague, hazy concept of religion as well, on a pedestal where no one can criticize it or question it. When their religion is compared to other concepts that are widely accepted as ridiculous, they object because they don't want anything else up on that pedestal. It's like when I compare belief in God to believe in Santa Claus and theists foam at the mouth. How dare I suggest that God is equivalent to Santa Claus! But in reality, they are, just as the Nativity, the Big Hare and the Mice X-Mas are all equivalent concepts. Until any of them are demonstrably proven to be factually true, they all remain myths and they all remain irrational to believe.

    If theists don't want their beliefs to be characterized as mythical, they need to actually back them up. Anyone think we'll be seeing that any time soon?

  2. My objection to that class would be if they don't teach the children that there are actually people out here in society that don't ascribe to **any** of the beliefs being examined, and that those people think all the stories are just like the ancient myths. I'm pretty sure they don't do that, because this woman would probably be in a lather over that as well.

  3. Yes, but I don't see this class claiming equivalency. It (should) just present it as this is Catholicism, this is Hinduism, this is aboriginal spirituality, etc. It really should be no different than when the beliefs of the Egyptians, Greeks or Romans are presented in history classes. There's no truth declaration for any of them, merely a 'here's what they believed, test on Friday' situation.

    Naturally they're going to foam at the mouth if you state their beliefs are comparable to Santa belief, regardless of whether it's a fair comparison or not, but I don't see this class doing that.

  4. That would probably be more contentious and honestly, bringing up atheism in that class should take less than 5 minutes. You could just, on the last day, say, "and atheists don't accept any of these beliefs. Final exam this Friday." :)

  5. objected to the textbook my child had to use where all stories, be they Biblical (the Nativity), aboriginal (Big Hare) or animal tales (The Mice X-Mas), are told as tales of equal value and truth.

    In other words, she objected to her child being taught the truth. I'd be pleased if the course actually were taught that way.

  6. Philly,

    Yes, yes, and yes again.

    Another irony is I feel her objection is due to a lack of faith, faith in both her ability to properly indoctrinate her child and faith that her child can maintain the faith in light of exposure to other beliefs.

    Yes!

    Cephus,

    If theists don't want their beliefs to be characterized as mythical, they need to actually back them up. Anyone think we'll be seeing that any time soon?

    If you're really interested, you know where to find me.

  7. Now, fix your pesky blockquotes. Here's a test, if you don't mind:

    If you don't want your widows consumed by flames, try adding a break tag at the end and let's see what happens..

  8. Looks like the incidence of homeschooling in Canada will be spiking upward soon.

  9. This same woman would probably have a problem with being looked down on by "superior" atheists. Would probably think they were ridiculous, posturing, prejudiced apes . . . oh, the ironing is indeed *delicious*, to borrow from a wise young sage. . . . :D

  10. Atheism will be taught in the later part of High School.

    But more fundamentally, you see to be feeling rather superior yourself in front of ignorants… You really know there is no God ? (atheist) How ? You really are not sure whether God exists (agnostic) ? Aren't you ignorant yourselft then ?

  11. Hmm. Seems like a very fervent congregation here which knows the Way.

    Ah, most knowledgeable Friars, do you know that the Secular Movement of Quebec (MLQ) is actually against this program. Surely, because they are just ignorami…

    Oh, but how do I dare suggest you don't know something about a topic you just learned about (the Quebec curriculum). How ignorant of me !

  12. I certainly would claim superiority over willful ignorance, that being the ignorance which one could dispel but chooses not to, and its extreme form, the will to keep others ignorant.

    Unfortunately we're all ignorant to whether gods, yetis, and the like exist, but I know if given the choice, I'd want to know if they do. Wouldn't you?

    Thanks for stopping by

  13. This course sounds like one most atheists I know would want to have exist, while simultaneously fighting to stop it. Why? Because the likelihood that it would abused by instructors as a means to advance their beliefs is far too high. Hell, even moderates would probably be challenged to remain completely objective.

    The MLQ's stated reasons for objecting are obviously not ones I nor most of the people I know agree with. Yes that's right Peter, we atheists all don't gather around a sacrificial fire in the woods and make group decisions during blood orgies that we all must adhere to, acting as one mind and one body. Sorry to disappoint you, but you see how shedding ignorance is fun?

    Have a nice day :)

  14. This course sounds like one most atheists I know would want to have exist, while simultaneously fighting to stop it. Why? Because the likelihood that it would be abused by instructors as a means to advance their beliefs is far too high. Hell, even moderates would probably be challenged to remain completely objective.

    The MLQ's stated reasons for objecting are obviously not ones I nor most of the people I know agree with. Yes that's right Peter, we atheists all don't gather around a sacrificial fire in the woods and make group decisions during blood orgies that we all must adhere to, acting as one mind and one body. Sorry to disappoint you, but you see how shedding ignorance is fun?

    Have a nice day :)
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  15. My husband often accuses me of being an "intellignce bigot"–he says I don't like stupid people. I have tried to explaing that I readily deal with folks who don't know something. I'm willing to explain what I meant or how to do something. But I won't long tolerate people who work HARD at maintaining ignorance and/or helplessness. (Grown women who whine, "but I'm not good with numbers!" when they've just trashed all the formulas in one of my spreadsheets, again…..People whose outgoing mail gets returned to the office because they can't remember that postage went up 4 months ago, despite the huge sign posted right above the postage meter….Folks who repeatedly override spell-check systems and "correct" my documents because the word really is spelled "seperate".) And their response is along the lines of "I don't want to learn anything new, can't you just fix it for me again?" Once or twice, sure. Then it's "Nope. Sorry. Don't have the time today." Sorry. My soapbox seems to have teeth marks in the edges.

  16. Mine has divots from where my heels were dug in.

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