A huge flaw in North American society: Accidental promotion of theism

Vastet
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A huge flaw in North American society: Accidental promotion of theism

I submit that our standard method of education in North America promotes theism through non-education, and needs to be changed on a fundamental level.

There have been at least 1 or 2 studies linking theism to a lack of education. It is not an absolute scenario, just a probability equation. Those without an advanced education are more easily able to believe in irrational gods than an educated person.

So we should look at our education system as a primary method of removing this primitive belief from our society. Now we probably all already agree that there are problems with the actual education itself in the years before secondary education. Problems from too many students, too little teachers, too much security or too little, too much emphasis on this or that, etc. Some, all, or none of these may apply in your eyes, but I'll practically guarantee that noone is completely happy with the system. But this is not what I'm basing the topic upon. Rather, the secondary level of education is the problem in this topic.

It is not necessarily the quality, nor the capability of schools in the secondary level that is the problem. It is the accessibility. It is privatization. It is the fact that unless you're rich or comparable to a genius, an education costs tens of thousands of dollars. You put yourself in debt so you can make a little more than people who don't put themselves in debt. Seems all well and good, except not everyone can put themselves in debt. Not everyone is willing to risk taking on such a debt in the hopes of a payoff down the road. In fact, most people I know or know of aren't.

Colleges and Universities should be free to attend. This way anyone can recieve an education regardless of their financial circumstances. You want to become a doctor? Sign up. Don't worry about 50,000 for 5 years. We'll train you because we need doctors.

I think the exhorbitant cost of an education is dumbing down our society, which allows for more prevalent belief in deities, and a less capable society overall. Most people don't go for a secondary education. And the most common excuse for it in my experience is that they can't afford it.

Now when I look at those most often opposed to such a move, I see it is the religious conservative right. Cooincidence?


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And the money to pay for all

And the money to pay for all this is going to come from? Increased taxes?


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inkwellmusingsdotcom

inkwellmusingsdotcom wrote:
And the money to pay for all this is going to come from? Increased taxes?

Easy. Cut the military budget by 0.0001%, and you'll have billions to put towards education. Exaggeration, but not by much.

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Pretty soon, it would be a

Pretty soon, it would be a snowball.  Once churches started shutting down because people were becoming educated and not giving 10% of their income to a fairy-tale, there's 10% more money out there.

Susan posted something recently, I think Ted Haggart's church only raised something like 4.6 million dollars last quarter, and they were upset about that.

Oh... the money's there.  It's just not being used for education.  As long as we can keep people uneducated, we can spend more money on weapons for killing lots of those foreign types.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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There is one thing I always

There is one thing I always wonder about this... Is non-theism actually a function of higher education, or are those who are prone to seek higher education also prone to hold a non-theist view?

I'm sure that higher education can cause an individual to change their beliefs, so this may be true in some cases.  However, I personally know many individuals (myself included)  who hold no advanced degrees yet consider themselves atheist.

I do admit having a passion for knowledge, however.  I tend to think that non-theism may be more of a function of an inquisitive mind.

 


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There are a large number of

There are a large number of religious colleges, and colleges that have various religious studies, some more biased than neutral.  And philosophy, sometimes taught well, can also be taught to inspire supernatural beliefs.


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I'll take my tongue out of

I'll take my tongue out of my cheek after my last post...

I don't think anyone would dispute the existence of a large number of well educated theists.  At this point, atheists are a minority in virtually every segment of society, and the question is how much of a minority.

Although there hasn't been a comprehensive, conclusive study, the overwhelming slant to all of the (individually flawed, admittedly) available studies seems to indicate that among the intellectual elite, the atheist presence increases.  Also, among the least educated, atheism is almost nonexistant.

The real question is, "How is it that theism survives among the intellectual elite?"

My answer, and this is based solely on anecdotal evidence from my own life, is that membership in the scholarly elite carries a social obligation, and a large number of "theist" scholars are actually social posers, doing what they have to to maintain their airs of respectability.

Am I saying that lots of really smart people bow to religious pressure, and are actually either non-theist or atheist?

Yes.   I think so.

 

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Me too.

Me too.

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FundamentallyFlawed

FundamentallyFlawed wrote:

There is one thing I always wonder about this... Is non-theism actually a function of higher education, or are those who are prone to seek higher education also prone to hold a non-theist view?

I'm sure that higher education can cause an individual to change their beliefs, so this may be true in some cases. However, I personally know many individuals (myself included) who hold no advanced degrees yet consider themselves atheist.

Formal education is only one style of education. I'll bet most of those atheists you know are auto-didacts and teach themselves many things. 

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I didn't bother to go back

I didn't bother to go back and see if it was in this thread, but someone speculated recently that auto-didacts are more likely to be atheists, and was wondering which came first.

Or maybe that was two posts...

In any case, I suspect that some combination of social, psychological, and maybe even biological factors combine to give a person a certain tolerance for what they hear.  In other words, some people are skeptical of damn near everything, some are skeptical of only the more radical claims they hear, some people will buy sand in the desert if you tell them it's a bottle of water in camoflage.  Maybe it's like one of the standard 7 point scales used in sociology.

I suspect, then, that people are more or less hard-wired from early childhood.  I further suspect that hard-wired skeptics tend to be auto-didacts much more than hard-wired um... what's a good word.. believers...

Since auto-didacts don't have the same social pressures as others, they are more likely to question theism.  Anyone who questions it is far more likely to become atheist.

Soooo... If you can muddle through all that logic...

I'm saying that I think auto-didacts are much more likely to become atheist, not the other way around.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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