Atheism Central for Secondary Schools

Help and general supp
ort for atheist students attending religious studies courses in secondary schools in the United Kingdom

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  Site Overview

Why be an atheist?

Letter to an atheist

Why believe in God?

NEW! The platypus and the theoaphonist

Where religious power comes from

Why do we exist?

The Ladder of Deception

The celibacy of priests and nuns

Religion - the noble lie

Absolute moral standards

Atheist parent - church school

Do animals have souls?

Letter from Laura

Letter from Dred Scott

Letter from Thomas

A secular Jew and a former Moslem
write on atheism here and here.

Tricks of the trade
Wayne's World

13 Guest writers

National Secular Society - Founded 1866Monthly update

Letter to an RE teacher

5 Sample essay answers

Superman and Clark Kent

Einstein

Tolerance of religions

A note on Islam

Glossary of Terms

My motives

Links page

E-mail
think@writeme.com

 

"Where knowledge begins, religion ends."

Ulugh Beg
Viceroy of Samarkand 1410 -1449

I take my hat off to Ulugh - for most of history the religionists have murdered those who expressed such opinions - Atheism Central

 

"So for scientists and others who worry about the grip of religious faith, I say continue to light a brighter candle and chase back the darkness."

Edward O. Wilson
founder of the science of sociobiology - The Philosophers' Magazine Autumn 1999

 

"To be an athiest requires an infinitely greater measure of faith than to receive all the great truths which athiesm would deny."

Joseph Addison 1672-1719

 

"Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form but with regard to their mode of life."

Aristotle

 

The unbelievers among the people of the Book (i.e. Christians and Jews) and the pagans shall bum for ever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures.

Koran, Surah 98: ayat 6

 

"Everybody who has undertaken in the last 300 years to stand against the growth of scientific knowledge has lost."

Paul Gross, biologist

Looking for Paul Gross the Canadian Mountie? Try here.

 

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Introduction

40% of the 16-25 age-group in the United Kingdom are either atheist or agnostic (Gallup - Telegraph, Nov 1999). Despite this, the needs and concerns of atheist and agnostic students are being ignored by religious education in the UK. Worse, they are often the subject of active religious discrimination.

Religious leaders commonly abhor the decline in religious observance on the basis that this leads to immoral behaviour. In fact, Atheism Central maintains that there is no link between moral behaviour and religious behaviour. It is certainly wrong to teach children about religions and moral behaviour without also informing them of sources of moral guidance outside religion. For those who reject religion religious belief is contrary to common sense. They need to think through a common sense path to the reasons for behaving morally. Religious education classes should make it easier for them by looking closely for reasons for moral behaviour that do not rely on a religious foundation. Do not throw out the moral baby with the religious bathwater.

This site aims t
o provide support for atheists and for the parents of atheist secondary school students attending religious studies courses in secondary schools in the United Kingdom (age range 11-18). Younger students may need some parental, or teacher, support. Hopefully it will also be of interest to atheists and agnostics in general.

The site has a twofold objective and has been under continuous development from its initial launch in February 1999. This is to demonstrate the following:

FALSE: God(s) exist(s)

TRUE: There is/are no god(s)

FALSE: Atheists are immoral, atheistic morality is impossible and life is absurd or meaningless or worthless if atheism is true.

TRUE: Atheists are as moral as anyone else, atheistic morality is both possible and the norm and life is not absurd or meaningless or worthless if atheism is true.

If you would like to support this site with your written contributions please mail me.

 

Thought Experiment Poll - completed

Alien invaders want our planet. They guarantee perfect happiness for everyone alive in return for the sterility of the human race. When human beings have become extinct the aliens will take the planet for themselves.

A human resistance group can guarantee to defeat the aliens forever but most people now alive will die in the conflict. The survivors will be able to continue the human race.

Would you...

Accept the aliens' offer of perfect happiness in return for extinction?



Support the resistance group although it means the death of most people in the conflict?

Result: only 13 percent chose to accept the alien's offer (and would, I suspect, change their minds if confronted with a real situation). The rest opted for a life of misery to achive the survival of the species. 'Happiness' in the ordinary sense of the word - enjoying yourself - is clearly not in itself our purpose in life or a measure of our success.

Parents' support is also available at Atheist Parenting which is a discussion board. Although most correspondents are American the topics covered seem equally appropriate for atheist parents worldwide.

 


Atheism Central for Secondary Schools
is recognised by
the British Humanist Association
  Link to BHA article on this site


Permission is given to reproduce original material from this web site, whole or in part, anywhere on the internet provided authorship is recognised and a link is returned to this site. Students may use any of the material in their homework.


Newsletter - just send an e-mail to think@writeme.com with the word 'newsletter' in the subject line. You will receive up to 6 newsletters per year.

If you would like to contact other atheists of school age please write giving your name, age and country of residence.

Guest book opened 6th June 1999

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Links2Go Award decribes Atheism Central as a 'Key Resource'.
Click on the Award for links to the 50 top sites worldwide.

 

Atheism Central for Secondary Schools
DETOX Award Winner February 1999!

 

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Black cat eclipse logo.

The Ancient Egyptian Goddess Bast was a female black cat. In early Christian times the Egyptian religion was alive and well - certain elements of it being well-known throughout the Roman Empire - so church leaders claimed that black cats were demons. This simple form of propaganda and misinformation is paralleled in the Moslem religion which spent much of its history in direct confrontation with Zoroastrianism. Dogs play an important part in the Zoroastrian religion and are treated almost as if they were human. Islam reacted against this by teaching that dogs were unclean animals. Although Zoroastrianism has ceased being a threat to Islam the teaching continues to the present day. Of course, there is nothing demonic about black cats, and nothing especially unclean about dogs. Meanwhile, superstitions persist about black cats and many Moslem countries are deprived of guide dogs for the blind, drugs sniffer dogs and the like. There is some improvement here in the UK where an initiative has begun to permit guide dogs into mosques (2008).

Eclipses are famously associated with superstition and evil portents. What we do not understand can often frighten us.


Last modified 22nd April 2001

Title: 'Atheism Central for Secondary Schools' Copyright 1999, Alan Urdaibay
Apologies for the title - I couldn't think of anything better.

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