24th June 2008

“Religious facts must be taught at school not in a theological way but through a sociological, cultural, historical analysis. The spiritual and the sacred are linked to the human adventure – they are at the sources of all the civilisations.”

Nicholas Sarkozy

5 Responses to “24th June 2008”

  1. John Sutton Says:

    There are no spirits so there is no such thing as spiritual. Perhaps Nicholas Sarkozy is using the word in a sense I do not recognise.
    As for “sacred”, this depends entirely on your values, which for many of us, are not religious at all.

  2. Terence Meaden Says:

    Whatever freethinking rationalists, including me, may complain about in this comment from the leader of a major secular government, it is better than what any of the bible-loving British premiers have ever said about schooling.

    But criticism is warranted.

    What is meant by “religious facts”?
    And “the spiritual and the sacred” (as distinct from liturgy and ritual) have no existence in the real universe, because they only exist in the minds of the religious. They may well be “at the sources of all the civilisations”, coming at a time when philosophy was in its infancy, but since then scientific intellect has reasoned the true origins of the universe and recognized the falsehoods that are religion.
    The deceits of fabricated religion and the supremacy of science must be emphasised.

  3. Chris Says:

    Here’s a religious fact: The Catholic church was complicit in the holocaust.

    Here’s another: Young earth creationists believe, despite overwhelming evidence that Adam had a pet dinosaur.

    And another: Fundamentalists believe there was a person named Adam that was made by the hand of god despite our modern understanding that homo sapien is the result, along with all other species, of a long evolutionary process. This is a crazy belief.

    The list goes on: People addled by belief believe that the bible is the inspired word of god, despite the enormous number of contradictions it contains and modern scholarship that points out it was thrown together by committee over hundreds of years. Surely any text genuinely inspired by a god would be crystal clear and not subject to tampering.

    Those are all religious facts I’d not mind at all being taught in school. They are facts ABOUT religion. As far as I know, there aren’t any “religious facts.” If something is a fact, it’s provable and that rules out religion which relies on faith. Maybe in “religious math” 2 + 2 does not equal 4.

  4. Critic Says:

    Chris, I find that I agree with your assessment – especially that there are not any religious facts. Facts about religion are the only subject that should be taught in school, but, I think such a class might create civil unrest.

    The religious have a strong tendency to completely confuse facts about religion with religious dogma.

  5. Chris Says:

    I wonder if “religious engineering” was employed in the construction of a certain Minnesota bridge. You can use lower strength materials if you have faith that it’ll still stand.