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Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #1 
I am a 45 year old married father of 3 boys living in South Cambs.
I was brought up as a devout evangelical Christian and followed that tradition until my mid 30s (I was even the president of the Christian Union at Essex University!) when I could no longer ignore the deep internal tensions between what I professed to be true and what I suspected to be true. So, at a painfully mature age to be dismantling and rebuilding one's core beliefs and values, I renounced my faith and have been what I would describe as a 'pragmatic atheist', i.e. I don't believe we can be certain there isn't a god, but we are better off determining that on the basis of the evidence presented to us, and that leads me to belief that there it is very unlikely that there is a god, even less likely that there's one who is interested in us on a personal basis, and therefore I have to live my life as if there isn't a god.
Having been so strongly influenced as a child I am very concerned and angry about the influence of religions on schools and, of course, keen to see the separation of state and religion.
One other interesting point of note is that my wife is a devout Christian and that can be tricky at times!
Looking forward to mutually beneficial discussions and hopefully, some local campaigning.


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #2 

This is the first post I have ever made so apologies if I get it wrong!  I am a mature PGCE student (Primary) with a 12 year old son and a first degree in philosophy.  I had my first lesson in teaching RE today and was shocked at the biased approach to morality we appear to have to teach in schools.  When I asked if we were also to represent the views of humanists and atheists (probably the majority view in this area),  I was told that these were not officially religions so did not need to be represented. I believe children should be educated in the beliefs of the major world religions, but also in the general questions of metaphysics and ethics which religions address.  I feel it is vital that they are encouraged to form their own views in these subjects and to challenge any unsupported or implausible dogma even at an early age.

It's great to find a local society full of such enlightened people.

Norma Keeling

Posts: 40
Reply with quote  #3 
Welcome Norma
I couldn't agree with you more!
I am particularly keen to see changes to the teaching of religion in schools, as I think it is wrong to teach children supernatural explanations without even mentioning the natural ones.  It seems profoundly odd to indoctrinate children at school in a country where most people are only notionally religious.
My eleven year old has just moved to secondary school and has asked to be withdrawn from RE as she has had enough.  I will be writing to withdraw her from RE lessons and collective worship.  If the school will not supervise her, I am hoping to be able to go in to teach her 'critical thinking'.  Can you recommend a good introductory book for that age group please?
Incidentally, have you read Sam Harris' new book - The Moral Landscape?  I'm hoping to get it in the next week or so.

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