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Ethics in NSW schools

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by Bravus, May 10, 2010.

  1. Express your views, whether you're NSWish or not.

    Or, indeed, whether you're pro or con... though it's pretty hard to think of a good reason to be agin it:


  2. (Bringing blog post text here to save clicks ;) )

    A couple of weeks ago I wrote something about the trial of an ethics course in NSW schools: http://www.bravus.com/blog/?p=1763

    My friend Glenn wrote this on Facebook today:

    Here’s a dead easy way to have your say on the NSW Ethics Classes. Just visit this page, plug in your contact details and a letter will be sent to a variety of NSW politicians, including Premier Kristina Keneally and Education Minister Verity Firth.


    You don’t have to be a NSW resident to write. You can just send the email supplied, or you can add your own thoughts.

    It really couldn’t be easier and takes just a minute.

    A similar scheme by the Sydney Anglicans has sent over 2000 emails to NSW politicians. We need to make our voices heard. Please take a moment to send an email from this site and pass on the link through your Facebook, Twitter and other networks.

    I tweaked the offered template letter a bit to reflect my own situation - I’d encourage doing that because it’s more effective than hundreds of absolutely identical messages. Give it a go if you’re interested. Here’s what I wrote:

    Good morning Ms Firth

    I am an Australian parent, teacher and teacher educator who has published book chapters on education for citizenship and has a strong interest in the ways in which our students become engaged, informed citizens.

    I support the the trial of ethics classes in public schools for the following reasons.

    1. The trial of ethics classes in NSW public schools is a welcome step that provides parents and students an alternative for those students who do not attend special religious education.

    2. The trial of ethics classes based on the St James Ethics Centre program provides an opportunity for students to consider ethical questions without having to profess a particular theological worldview

    3. The teaching of ethics is a valuable addition to NSW public schools that recognises the diversity of our state and contributes to the public good.

    The value gained from participating in this program will extend well beyond the issues addressed: students who develop skills in moral reasoning and argument from evidence will develop significantly improved higher order thinking in *all* their learning areas.

    Warm regards,

    Dr David Geelan
    47 Regency Crescent, Moggill QLD 4070
  3. (and the earlier post, including the audio link)

    The St James Ethics Centre has developed a non-religious course on ethics that is to be offered to students in New South Wales as an alternative to Religious Education. Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen weighed into the debate, claiming ethics without religion are impossible.

    Here’s an excellent radio interview, by Philip Adams, of Simon Longstaff, director of the Ethics Centre. http://www.bravus.com/LateNightLive - Ethics.mp3
  4. Oh crap bravus your still about.
  5. Make it entirely elective: scripture, religions of the world, cultural studies, ethics, quiet reading of fiction books in the library, learn internet savvy, an hour of sport.

    Give kids and parents the option, and let them change any time they like.
  6. "religion is the opiate of the masses"

    -Karl Marx
  7. and we all know what a wonderful state was created on the basis of HIS dogmas :roll:
  8. What Venezuela???

    It's amazing how they squeal when you remove their indoctrination progam.
  9. Alternatively, there's Nietzsche's view of it: that is a crutch; something one can fall back on instead of truly confronting things (his super-man being someone able to rise above and beyond all such weaknesses). Yeah, that's only a quick, rough summary, but it'll have to do.

    As you can surely tell, I'm completely opposed to the teaching of Ethics or philosophy in general...
  10. “Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurrences it cannot understand”

    -Karl Marx


    "Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions."

    -Karl Marx
  11. Interesting you should post that. Marx's efforts resulted in half of the above quote - an expression of real suffering but unfortunately for the sufferers, protesting resulted in the protesters death.

    As for the last half, that could perfectly sum up his ideology put to the test and the reason for the war against communism.
  12. well using marx out of context and only brought him in the argument to juxtapose the difference that religion plays in modern capitalist society, and now turning this to marxist bashing, anyways.....

    knowing some people in this forum are deeply religious, and hating to turn this thread into Christians vs atheist grudge match

    "If you can reason with religious people, there would be no religious people"

    the quotes before were in context with marxism and his views on religion, if you read marx work on religion, you would understand why he uses language like

    "the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions."

    to describe how people are caught up in capitalism.

    the problem with marxism bashing is that they, everyone that takes a swipe at marx have never read his work, i can guarantee 100%, that if you do read his work, you would not take a swipe or a hit at him, becasue you have never taken the time to read his work, understand his concepts,after doing that, i dear say you are then able to criticize him.

    its like judging a book by its cover, you just see the crap the media portray about communism and marxism on the news/media/crap that you were socialized into believing, but can you truly say whole heartily that you have done deep research and truly taken your time to understand the concept before opening your mouths?

    i know i have, and i stand by my marxism comments
  13. Not sure exactly what 'The Sun's' comment about me being still around meant: have been posting at a slightly slower rate than usual lately, but still definitely involved and interested.

    Pity this discussion got so far off track so quickly. My point was not at all anti-religious: in fact you'll notice that the boilerplate letter that the site I linked provides explicitly has a go at the churches' opposition to the ethics classes, and that my own letter omitted that paragraph and focused on other issues.

    I'm not anti-RE, but the facts are that a large number of students and parents are opting out of it. And the current arrangements in NSW mean that it is *compulsory* that the time of all those students be wasted in thumb-twiddling activities.

    I just believe we will have a better society in future if, instead of twiddling their thumbs, those kids are learning to think and live ethically. It's ironic that it seems to be just those who regularly decry poor ethics in our society who are opposing this move.
  14. without reading his stuff and only going by this post, it seems that he is saying that capatalism and religion go hand in hand and to a degree inseperable. I don't think that is accurate at all.

    As for media indoctrination against communism, well, only to an extent really. There is no denying that people's attempt at a marxist world went horribly pear shaped for every single effort, and I think I can safely say any more attempts will go exactly the same way.

    are they decrying poor ethics or poor morality and what's the difference?
  15. Ethics is a branch of philosophy, morality is what its about. Will that do?

    Assuming they don't mean something else, it would absolutely be an excellent addition to the curriculum (as long as they don't screw it up, of course).
  16. From what I've read it's been quite well received where it's been trialled. It's only been the botherers complaining that there brain washing teams are losing ground. All of my kids have excluded themselves from Scripture and the School provides nothing else and uses that fact as a kind of lever to get you to allow your kids to go.
  17. [​IMG]

    ur a smart kid lilley, and also a academic, i used to be like u, all ideas and concepts of my modern world set in stone, but open your mind and learn some new concepts and try to understand marxism, challange your view of marxism, read up a little on sociology and economics, you will open you mind to new concept and ideas that will challange the way you view the world.

    no way marx never, or im sorry if i implied that capitalism requires religion to work, no marx doesnt say that, he says religion is there to soothe all the pain of being a proletarian, used for social control, and used to keep the status quo of the people.

    there is a difference between extremeist marxist views (which would be seen in the fail revolutions of russia and germany) however, there is a degree of marxist views that do work, that is not that extreme, which are seen in the socialist government, (many scandianvian country are highly socialist, reflected in high tax ect, high welfare,), i first urge you to watch capitalism a love story by micheal moore, then watch these extras from the film:


    and especially the commie taxi drivers

    essentially its economics, but economics always flow onto sociology (they work hand in hand).

    but yea like i said, get a good grasp of economics, sociology and then marxism then have a go at marx, becasue after understanding all the concepts you will understand where i am coming from.
  18. I like the idea of ethics classes. I'm surprised that a state government, particularly the NSW state government, would allow it though :grin:.
  19. And that's it from PatB, with the only interesting post in this thread!
  20. If I had the time and the inclination, I would, but I have neither so I wont. =P I don't care much for economics either, it's just an arts degree covered over with pretty roses =D.

    Also, I didnt say that religion requires capitalism, just that the post suggested they go together and worked together to achieve the same cause. I think religion and socialism could have been highly miscible if it wasn't for people.