The Instigator
lck0131
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Petars
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Public schools should not teach religion.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/5/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,265 times Debate No: 39995
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

lck0131

Con

Public schools should teach religion. In the world, many people believe in different religions. We should be able to learn about what others believe in. Religion is a way of believing in how humans were made, where we will go in the afterlife, etc. It is important to see why other people think the way they think, or whether or not they believe in a god and have a religion at all. It could give us more ideas of our lives and could alter our beliefs, to either strengthen our original thoughts, or maybe think and live in a different way. It could also help in schoolwork, since religion links with history. Many people attend public schools. Those students also should get a chance to learn religion, not just private school students and students who attend Catholic schools.
Petars

Pro

Public school should not teach religion. Religion is a private matter that should be left to the guidance of parents and religious leaders. As my opponents correctly pointed out religion is deeply intertwined with history,but that aspect of it should be examined in an objective history class rather than in a class which might be biased to one interpretation of history. In addition, no aspect of religion requires thorough testing where as all the sciences do; thus by teaching religion in schools you are implicitly raising religion to the same level as all the other subjects.
Debate Round No. 1
lck0131

Con

As you pointed out, religion is a private topic that should be the responsibilities of parents and religious leaders. However, religion is a right for all persons, as cited by the first amendment from the Bill of Rights, and even parents could invade the freedom of religion. Students should have the right of choosing their own religion, and in order to learn about what religion really is and what options they have to live by and believe in, schools should teach the students. And, about raising the importance of religions, religion is as important as all the other subjects, maybe even more important, because religion is a topic in which it gives the way of life for your entire lifetime, and even though math and science and history should be taught respectively and intensely, religion is, likewise, a very big topic that could determine your beliefs for the rest of your days.
Petars

Pro

Here a summary of the First amendment in the regards to religion.

The First Amendment has two provisions concerning religion: the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. The Establishment clause prohibits the government from "establishing" a religion. The precise definition of "establishment" is unclear. Historically, it meant prohibiting state-sponsored churches, such as the Church of England. Today, what constitutes an "establishment of religion" is often governed under the three-part test set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 403 U.S. 602 (1971). Under the "Lemon" test, government can assist religion only if (1) the primary purpose of the assistance is secular, (2) the assistance must neither promote nor inhibit religion, and (3) there is no excessive entanglement between church and state. The Free Exercise Clause protects citizens' right to practice their religion as they please, so long as the practice does not run afoul of a "public morals" or a "compelling" governmental interest. For instance, in Prince v. Massachusetts, 321 U.S. 158 (1944), the Supreme Court held that a state could force the inoculation of children whose parents would not allow such action for religious reasons. The Court held that the state had an overriding interest in protecting public health and safety. Sometimes the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause come into conflict. The federal courts help to resolve such conflicts, with the Supreme Court being the ultimate arbiter.

Source: http://www.uscourts.gov...

While the First Amendment protects the practice of religion it does not enforce the teaching of it, making it non applicable to this argument.

I agree with my opponent that religion is a big part of people's lives, but I think they underestimate the complexity of the subject. To assume that the teaching of religious studies, to the point of comprehension and even understanding, can be neatly boxed into 45 minute school lessons, once a week is hypocritical. I would be greatly concerned if I discovered that people are basing their religious choice on a mere introductory lesson at school. Furhermore this raises another complexity of this subject; who will teach these classes? Even the most brilliant teacher cannot have even partial knowledge of all the major religions and their intricacies. Another aspect to consider is the teachers personal slant on the matter, how can we ensure that the teacher is not prejudice against some religions. I would be displeased that my children are being taught by people who at best have shallow knowledge of a subject and at worst are biased. My oponent want to raise religious studies to the level of the Sciences, that does not pass muster. I want my child to first learn about the physical world around them, then with a fully developed adult mind to tackle the question of which religion to follow.

I say again, I agree with my opponent that religion is a big part of peoples lives but it is a part that needs to be kept out of school.

Debate Round No. 2
lck0131

Con

First of all, thank you, Petars, for posting such a good point that I may have missed out on. I did some thinking about the whole prejudice of religion and biased knowledge, and I agree with you, teachers may slant their teaching to their own religion, and could paint other religions into a negative way compared to their own religion. However, the school could bring in some teachers with different religions within the school,(such as a Buddist teacher teaching Buddism) or they could bring in a pastor, a monk, etc. to specially teach in that religion. Plus, boxing the lesson into one mere period does not make sense, I agree. However, religion could be taught in a unit, with one religion for several weeks, then the next religion, and each lesson could be the basic things, such as the brief history, the philosophy of this religion, how it came to be, et cetera. If the student has any questions about it or wants to learn more, they could always reasearch on their own to enrich their thinking even after they finished the unit. Sure, they might be able to do it by themselves, without the guidance of a teacher, but if schools didn't teach the basic things about the religion, the students won't be able to know which religions there are, or the basic things about it. The young brains need to mess around with all types of philosophical basics about diferent religions, and thinking about it at an early age could help with further questions in life, and will be good guidelines for the lifelong decision of the religion. They don't need to decide now, but knowing a little about it firsthand will make it much easier. And if the student or the parents are not comfortable with the education, the student could skip the religious classes, no problem. But other students who are interested in learning about this should have the oppurtunity to learn freely with a professional leader outside of their usual religious church, temple, mosque, or any other place they attend to in private.
Petars

Pro

Petars forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by tlarxrocks1 3 years ago
tlarxrocks1
To Ick0131, some schools allow 1 hour a week of religious education for people that want it. The about government teaching religion is that 1. The primary purpose of gov't providing education to everyone is to prepare them for the business world and 2. People seeking religious instruction can probably go to a church/temple/mosque for free.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Perhaps the setup should have been "Pubic schools should teach religion" with you being pro. However wishing the other side to take the lead, is not a bad thing especially for an early debate.
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