Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Issues relating to promoting a secular state education and raising children in a non-religious home
aZerogodist
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Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by aZerogodist » Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:35 am

The big difference between religion & the science's is: religion is based on a closed book. Science books are an account of what we have learnt up to now and each science knows that what we have learnt is nothing in comparison to what we have yet to learn, the book is still open, never finished.

If you compare an 18th or 19th century book to a current book on any of the sciences, you can see a progress of knowledge, individuals who try new concepts often against the established understanding.

But Religions are a closed book, stuck in many centuries of mud, which opposes the whole concept of education, time to cut this rock loose.
aiseiri47
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Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by aiseiri47 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:56 pm

Even attempting to compare religion and science is like comparing mythology to science. There is no connection whatsoever.

Religion wants to be seen as comparable to science because religion sees itself as a method of looking at the world and understanding it's mysteries. And apparently that's how it's being taught, when it should only be taught because of it's historical and cultural implications - it should be taught as objectively as any other mythology.
lostexpectation
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Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by lostexpectation » Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:43 pm

from the exam, Explain how the religious belief of a person could be challenged by either atheism or agnosticism

so the default is religious that could be challenged.
The main point of contact between science and religion is that both accept that there is order and design in the universe. The world is just too complicated and too beautiful to have happened merely by chance. Take for example the human eye. The eye is a wonder of creation. A person of religious faith...can reflect on the perfection of the human eye and see the hand of God in it's creation. In this way science and religion complement each other (couldn't believe this was in there!)

what year is that book, is it still used?
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Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by DaithiDublin » Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:13 am

lostexpectation wrote:from the exam, Explain how the religious belief of a person could be challenged by either atheism or agnosticism

so the default is religious that could be challenged.
The main point of contact between science and religion is that both accept that there is order and design in the universe. The world is just too complicated and too beautiful to have happened merely by chance. Take for example the human eye. The eye is a wonder of creation. A person of religious faith...can reflect on the perfection of the human eye and see the hand of God in it's creation. In this way science and religion complement each other (couldn't believe this was in there!)

what year is that book, is it still used?

The copy of Religion For Living that I have is the first edition, from 2005. Written by Connie Duffy, and printed by Alpha Press Ltd.

The answer to the exam question you quoted looks like it came from this section:
Religion For Living wrote:Challenges to Religious Experience: Materialism

Materialism claims that the only real things are material things.Something is real if we can see it, touch it, hear it, taste it or smell it. If something can be examined by the senses then it is real. If it cannot, then it is not real and does not exist.

Everything around us, in a classroom for example, is real in the materialistic sense. The chair, the desk, the book, the wall, the window, can all be examined by the senses. The people around us are material too. We can see and hear ourselves and others: we are real.

However there are things about us that we cannot see, touch or hear - spiritual things like:

• our ideas.
• our beliefs.
• our feelings.

We cannot see, hear our touch our ideas, our beliefs or our feelings, yet most people would agree that they are real and are a very important part of our lives. Humans therefore are not simply material beings. Humans are both material and spiritual beings.

God, on the other hand, is quite different. We cannot see, hear or touch God. God is not material; God is totally spiritual. Human beings communicate with God through the spiritual aspect of their own nature. Religion is the way that people connect with the spiritual side of life.
Materialism poses a challenge to religion and religious experience. Materialism denies the existence of anything beyond the material. It claims that only material things are real. On that basis the spiritual nature of human beings is not real. God is not real. Religion doesn't matter.
The materialist outlook is very pervasive and has spread everywhere in our society. It has been the basis of scientific thought for over 300 years. Materialists claim that the scientific way of looking at things is the only way. Scientific truth is the only truth. This can undermine people's confidence in other forms of truth, such as religious truth.
There are vast areas of human experience that are not suited to testing by the scientific method. From that point of view of religion the spiritual dimension of life and the search for God is no less real than other aspects of life.

That's half of one page. There are 532 pages. How long would it take to list all that is wrong with that section alone?

Here's a few choice phrases from the previous section entitled Materialism

Materialism is the view that nothing is real except physical matter. Something is real if it can be physically seen, touched, weighed, and measured. This is the scientific method...
From a materialists point of view the way of science is the only way...
On the other hand, a materialistic way of life is about having money, lots of possessions and enjoying oneself as much as possible...
There have been more atheists in the last 200-300 years than at any other time in human history. This is due to the development of science and the use of rationality in the way people think...
Atheists say they don't need any help from God..
People can make a perfect society on earth entirely on their own. They don't need any advice or guidance from God or religion. This is because atheists believe:
• there is no God.
• there is no other life after this one.
• there is no reason why people exist.
Those excerpts were taken out in sequence from that section on Materialism. There's no context implied. There is no need to resort to the context argument with this text. This is typical of the tone of the writing whenever the book deals with anything not Catholic. You can just imagine the way Catholicism is described. But the sheer volume of material on Catholicism makes it clear that this book is not a book about religion, but a book about a religion.

The author, Connie Duffy (M.Ed., B.Sc. (Hons), Dip.Rel.Ed.), is listed on the back cover as 'Formerly Diocesan Adviser for Religious Education, Archdiocese of Dublin.'

Talk about having a man on the inside!
("or woman", "Why are you always on about women Stan?")
As yet I have not found a single case of a terrestrial animal which fertilises itself.

- Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species
(he obviously never went to Bray)
Feardorcha
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Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by Feardorcha » Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:51 am

Atheists say they don't need any help from God.
Count the deceptions in this statement.
Marks
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Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by Marks » Thu Sep 08, 2011 2:12 pm

Atheist Ireland has already made a formal written complaint to the Dept of Education and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment on the RE Course at Second Level. The complaint was made to the previous Minister and we got an acknowledgement but nothing else. The NCCA replied and we got into some correspondence but nothing came of it.

The issue took on further significance with the recent Report and Recommendations from the Irish Human Rights Commission who say that some schools can make this course compulsory despite the fact that there is a right to opt out. They also made the point that there is an agreement with the Catholic Bishops Conference on the delivery of this course in schools that come under Catholic Patronage. However it is not just schools with a Catholic patronage where this is happening. VEC Community Schools and VEC Designated Community Colleges all operate with a religious ethos and consequently in the majority of these schools the course is delivered through the eyes of the Catholic Church.
http://www.ihrc.ie/download/pdf/religio ... ionpdf.pdf

(page 26). This is a classic example of the actual practice of ‘ethos’.
One of the purposes on the course is to examine how the search meaning has found expression in Religion and particularly Christianity. The course only acknowledges the non–religious interpretation of life. On top of this another purpose of the course is to promote the moral and spiritual development of students. That is an obligation of the Board of Management under Section 9 (d) of the Education Act 1998.

This course comes under the Curriculum and I’m sure you see that they are linking moral behaviour with religion despite the fact that the non-religious are now the second largest group in Irish society after Roman Catholics. In essence the State is promoting the moral and spiritual development of the children of non-religious parents by examining how the search for meaning has found and continues to find expression in religion. They do this by referring to Atheists in a section of the course called ‘Challenges to faith’ alongside materialism and fundamentalism. This is undermining the inalienable right of non-religious parents under Article 42 of the Irish Constitution.

In addition to this they have put in place legislation that obliges Boards of Management to have regard to the Characteristic Spirit of the school which is the ‘ethos’ of the school. This means that the RE Course at second level in the majority of schools in Ireland is delivered through the eyes of the Catholic Church. The belief in a catholic god in taught as a truth. This course cannot be suitable for the children of non-religious parents.

Since the Report from the Commission came out Atheist Ireland has written to the Minister (Ruairi Quinn) and asked him to issue a Circular Letter to all schools reminding them that the course is not compulsory. He has to date not replied.
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Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by lostexpectation » Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:49 pm

We cannot see, hear our touch our ideas, our beliefs or our feelings, yet most people would agree that they are real and are a very important part of our lives. Humans therefore are not simply material beings. Humans are both material and spiritual beings.
materialist don't recognise ideas and concepts,... and feelings? or does this writer not recognise that all thoughts has physicality in the brain?
On the other hand, a materialistic way of life is about having money, lots of possessions and enjoying oneself as much as possible...
is there more on that? are they not two different concepts. that's really silly slander.

you know a lot of people say, oh its not that bad, but that intelligent design type description of the eye and the description of materialism,

the descriptions are juvenile and confused and scaremongering, JC students would see past this.

educate together don't go far enough for me and my lefty side wants the state to responsible for mass education but maybe its better method then expecting the VEC/state to provide sensible schools, it just won't happen the dept of ed is captured, even an atheist minister its still not even recognising the problems
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Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by aZerogodist » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:04 am

Basically I think we are all in agreement that the RE exam is an infringment on freedom of conscience.
In my opinion non-religious students should be allowed to opt out of the course, in fact this course should not be part of any state exam, and shown up for what it is...a farce.

So can non-RC students just skip the exam or just write on the top of the exam paper; 'N/A' and leave after 5min?

If there were enough cases of NG-results, it would be a painfull statistic that the dep. of Education would have to rethink even having the exam.

Really who even looks at the J-cert results. I think on this we could put out the message of ''don't waste your study-time on a pointless exam, spend the time on math instead''. (The failure rate was high for math)
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Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by Feardorcha » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:18 am

The course and the exam aren't compulsory. If parents choose to opt their children out of this course, they can. The problem some parents are having is getting their kids out of the classroom during the classes and preventing zealous teachers and school principles from ignoring their opt-out wishes.

There are two religion classes last thing on Friday for my Junior Cert daughter. She is obliged to sit in the room during these classes and does her weekend homework. We would take this further but now she is happy to stay in the room and get the homework done. Occasionally there is some difficulty, such as the time she sniggered out loud during the explanation of some miracle. I expect an approach soon from the school for us to remove her from the class. It seems religious brain-washing is more difficult with teenagers, particularly when there is even one anti-body in the room.
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Re: Junior Certificate Religeous Education Exam

Post by Marks » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:30 am

After a lot of trouble and consternation one of our children was removed from the religion class on the grounds that she was doing her homework when she should have been studying other suitable material. We had already opted her out of formal participation in the class. The choice we had up to this point was that she was supervised inside the class or she would have to stand outside the school.

They then put her in the place in the school where they put children who are being punished. It was a public place and she was constantly asked by students and teachers what she did wrong. I don’t do religion was her constant answer. Up to this point she had never once been in any kind of trouble in the school. She sometimes had to say this out loud as it was a public place and once one of her teachers saw her in this position they were so surprised that they would shout from a distance and she would have to shout back “I don’t do religion”. I will add that she was wearing a Christian cross on her as it was part of the uniform and compulsory.

I went to the Equality Authority and of course she came along and was interviewed. The result of all this is that she was then supervised in another class. However the school would not guarantee that they would continue to have her supervised outside the RE Class the following year. She went to the principal at the beginning of the new term and asked him directly where was she was to go. She was supervised in another class again. There were three democratically elected Councillors on the Board of Management f this school and this is how they treat the non-religious in Ireland.

That same year during the summer break she went to the Gaeltacht with her friends and to my astonishment the whole issue over religion came up again. The worst thing about this is that I paid to have her treated in this manner. First of all they were taught Irish by reciting prayers in Irish so she immediately opted herself out of this along with another girl. She had to explain publicly again that she was not a Catholic. On top of this they took the class to Mass and tried to force her to go in.

She stood her ground and refused. She was shouted at but she knew her rights as we had been through this already. I sometimes think that it was the whole process of attending the Equality Authority that gave her the confidence to stand up to this bullying. They had treated her with respect and at the end of this process she had obviously learned that she had rights. We had stood up to these kind of people and this gave her confidence to refuse point blank to attend Mass.

There were about 15 children on this course that had also stated that they were not Catholic but regardless they were bullied into attending Mass.
The next time they were all marched down to Mass the other students refused to go in as my girl had stood up against this bullying and won. They were then all marched back to the Colaiste where they were made to clean it as a punishment for not going to Mass. She was only seventeen when this happened so she has had to learn how to deal with people that discriminate against her at an early stage in her life. She has through experience gained the confidence to do so. I know that she is now equipped with the skills to stand up to anybody that treats her with disrespect.
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