Quebec students MUST take ethics-religion course


s_lone
#1
Quebec students must take ethics-religion course
Supreme Court dismisses parents' appeal against mandatory attendance
CBC News Posted: Feb 17, 2012 4:59 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 17, 2012 10:14 AM ET


Canada's top court on Friday rejected an appeal from parents in Quebec who sought the right to keep their children out of an ethics and religious culture program taught in the province's schools.

The program, which was introduced in 2008 to elementary and high schools by the provincial Education Ministry, replaced religion classes with a curriculum covering all major faiths found in Quebec culture, including Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and aboriginal beliefs.

"Unless it can be found that any exposure of children to realities that differ from those in their family environment is unacceptable in light of the constitutional or quasi-constitutional protection conferred on freedom of religion, [the court] cannot conclude that the appellants have been able to prove their case," the Supreme Court of Canada said in its ruling.

In 2009, Quebec's Superior Court rejected a request from two Drummondville parents who wanted to to keep their children out of the program.

After their appeal was denied in Quebec in 2010, the parents took it to the Supreme Court, which heard their case in May 2011.

Incompatible beliefs
When the program became mandatory in Quebec schools in May 2008, the appellants, who cannot be named under a court-ordered publication ban, had one child in elementary school and another in secondary school.

The parents wrote to the two schools to request that their children be exempted.

They claimed their children would suffer serious harm from contact with a series of beliefs that were mostly incompatible with those of the family,

The school board refused to grant the exemption, responding as other boards had to similar requests. The Quebec minister of education publicly stated that there would be no exemptions.
 
mentalfloss
+1
#2
As an atheist, I have no problem with this.

Educating people about all faiths and their ethical significance - and consequently, allowing them to think for themselves and make critical decisions of philosophy is a good thing, no?
 
DurkaDurka
+1
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

As an atheist, I have no problem with this.

Education people on all faiths and their ethical significance is a good thing, no?

I personally do not think this is needed, discover religion on your own time and buck.
 
mentalfloss
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

I personally do not think this is needed, discover religion on your own time and buck.

Well what leads to a better place for all of us?

We're not talking about a one-sided institution, like catholicism or whatever. It's one course to show people the fruition of our ideas and motives. Personally, I would enforce a philosophy course on ethics in general, but society will need a few generations to move in that direction and we have to get through religious tolerance first.
 
DurkaDurka
+1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Well what leads to a better place for all of us?

I believe Canada is already a fairly inclusive place, I don't really see the need for this.
 
mentalfloss
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

I believe Canada is already a fairly inclusive place, I don't really see the need for this.

Right, but we don't want to be conservative because that plunges us back into ignorance.

We want to be progressive and forward thinking.

Unfortunately, most parents belligerently teach their children to follow what they were taught because their parents taught them and so on and so forth. This is silliness, because the child isn't open to learn any other options and it's based on the luck of who turned out to be your parents.

If all of the religious and ethical options were on the table to begin with and they had a choice to decide which mantra to go with, then people would be less conflicted early on in life and all that mental clutter that gets in the way of important decisions could be freed up.

A one-time intro course to the foundation of all of our beliefs can't cost that much to us and is a worthwhile expenditure.
Last edited by mentalfloss; Feb 17th, 2012 at 10:39 AM..
 
DaSleeper
#7
Question: Is it a "course" with tests at the end of the year, where the results of the tests would determine acceptance to college or university????

Then they can do what you see parishioners do during the sunday sermon......but don't snore to loudly.

I wonder if those of islamic faith will be exempt?
 
mentalfloss
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by DaSleeperView Post

Question: Is it a "course" with tests at the end of the year, where the results of the tests would determine acceptance to college or university????

Then they can do what you see parishioners do during the sunday sermon......but don't snore to loudly.

I wonder if those of islamic faith will be exempt?

It would be best as a children's course, taught without any religious influence - and only to educate.

Teachers are pretty good at that, and they're come down on hard by the board if they aren't fair and unbiased in their approach.
 
petros
#9
Is it possiible to teach histroy without mentioning religion?
 
WLDB
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

As an atheist, I have no problem with this.

Educating people about all faiths and their ethical significance - and consequently, allowing them to think for themselves and make critical decisions of philosophy is a good thing, no?

I pretty much agree. I took a similar course by choice in grade 11. It helps to understand other peoples way of thinking/worldview.
 
Cliffy
+6
#11  Top Rated Post
Don't tell me that Quebec is far ahead of the rest of Canada in teaching tolerance. Now, isn't that a surprise.
 
mentalfloss
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

Don't tell me that Quebec is far ahead of the rest of Canada in teaching tolerance. Now, isn't that a surprise.

I'm seriously considering moving there, out of Ontario in a few years.
 
lone wolf
#13
Narrow-mindedness can't be legislated out - but you can show there are other ways to get to a destination (whatever that may be)
 
WLDB
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

I'm seriously considering moving there, out of Ontario in a few years.

As am I but for different reasons. I live in Ottawa. As soon as you cross the Ottawa river rent gets cut in half and the quality goes up. Tempting.
 
wulfie68
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Is it possiible to teach histroy without mentioning religion?

Bingo.

In my school days, the history parts of the social studies classes were always referring to the influence of religions, whether in studying ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, the religious influences in the Medieval and Renaissance periods (especially the historical impacts of the rise of Islam and of the Protestant Reformation), the impact of religion on Russian history, and of course the impact the difference of Catholicism in Quebec and the predominance of protestant sects had in the development of Canada. (that little list isn't all inclusive by any means either)

It isn't necessary to study the intricacies of the theologies but an understanding of the basics of the religions helps us understand the origin of some of the issues and conflicts that exist to this day. Parents that strongly object to this type of study need to have their fitness to be a guardian of our future citizens examined, IMO...
 
mentalfloss
#16
The focus with this class would have to remain on ethics.

Inevitably, as we evolve to let go of our religious leanings, students will begin to learn about ethical philosophies such as deontology and utilitarianism. I really hope it goes that way as those concepts are pivotal in fostering critical discussions on policy.
 
coldstream
+1
#17
It seems to fit into the pattern of 'post' religious age. Far from respecting all religions it respects none of them.. making them all products of historical, psychological and social origins.. containing no transcendent Truth.. only relative values.

The only thing you CANNOT question in this social philosophy is the amorphous concept of individual 'human rights'.. under which aegis things ALL relgions find abhorrent.. abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity, euthenasia.. is deemed not only acceptable.. but determined to be worthy of mandatory 'worship'.

The new paradigm is every bit as sanctimonious of its 'infallibility' and potentially tyrannical as any religion.
 
lone wolf
+1
#18
Feeling threatened?....
 
Bar Sinister
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by CliffyView Post

Don't tell me that Quebec is far ahead of the rest of Canada in teaching tolerance. Now, isn't that a surprise.


OK - I won't tell you. A course dealing with the perils of racism and intolerance has been part of Alberta Social Studies for decades. Unless things have changed I expect it still is.

Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

I personally do not think this is needed, discover religion on your own time and buck.

Discovering other religions on your own time has not worked particularly well in most cultures. Anyone remember how Judaism was "discovered" by most Christians during the last thousand years?
 
Dexter Sinister
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by coldstreamView Post

It seems to fit into the pattern of 'post' religious age. Far from respecting all religions it respects none of them.. making them all products of historical, psychological and social origins..

So what's wrong with that? That's what they are. Has it not struck you as significant how relative to culture religious belief is? The only reason you're Christian is because of where you grew up. If you'd grown up in Pakistan you'd be a Muslim, and just as convinced of Islam's truths as you are of Christianity's. If you'd grown up in India odds are you'd be a Hindu, and just as convinced again. That ought to be the strongest single clue to the fact that they're human inventions, they come from inside our heads, not from any outside agents, those are inventions too.
 
damngrumpy
#21
What is find rather sad is the fact that an ethics course needs to be taught in school.
It is obvious that something failed inside the homes when an institution has to now
teach ethics. As for religion that is another matter, but I suppose the principals of
religion also cover ethics. Almost every religion teaches the same things about being
good etc so it leaves children with the ability to come to their own reasoning.
I grew up going to mass and I knew every religious even of significance but that didn't
help, as soon I was of age I didn't go to church anymore.
The reason I was appalled at the right wing belief system of the Christian faith be it
Catholic or otherwise. Religion is more about politics that spirituality. That is where I
have a problem with teaching religion itself in schools.
 
WLDB
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

What is find rather sad is the fact that an ethics course needs to be taught in school.
It is obvious that something failed inside the homes when an institution has to now
teach ethics.

Not necessarily. Theory isnt often taught by parents. Before school churches did ethics teachings as well. Ethics combined with the religious portion of the class would basically make it a philosophy course which sounds pretty good.
 
Dexter Sinister
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by damngrumpyView Post

That is where I have a problem with teaching religion itself in schools.

As I understand the reports on this, they're not teaching religion in the sense of trying to inculcate a particular set of beliefs, they're teaching religion in the sense of explaining how different faiths view the world, it's a course in comparative religion, not indoctrination. I think that can only be a good thing, and I see no problem with it being taught and no problem with it being a compulsory subject. Considering religion's influence in the world, and the conflicts it generates and prolongs, it's something kids ought to know about, you can't make sense of history or current events without such knowledge. Best case, maybe they'll figure out that religion's all a fabrication and abandon it in favour of reason and evidence.
 
L Gilbert
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by s_loneView Post

Quebec students must take ethics-religion course
Supreme Court dismisses parents' appeal against mandatory attendance
CBC News Posted: Feb 17, 2012 4:59 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 17, 2012 10:14 AM ET

It sounds to me as if the parents wished to keep their kids from discovering other points of view. IOW, to keep their kids brainwashed in whatever dogma the parents wished. No confidence in their own religion's ability to hold their kids' beliefs.

Yes, as Dexter said, education in comparative religions. It is no different than kids from one culture learning about issues in other cultures.
 
taxslave
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

It would be best as a children's course, taught without any religious influence - and only to educate.

Teachers are pretty good at that, and they're come down on hard by the board if they aren't fair and unbiased in their approach.

On religion perhaps but experience in BC has shown that school boards do not do much to protect kids against indoctrination by dipper teachers.

A comparative religion course might help somewhat in preventing racism in the schools as long as they include the fact that it is acceptable not to believe in any mumbo jumbo mythology.
 
Dixie Cup
#26
On religion perhaps but experience in BC has shown that school boards do not do much to protect kids against indoctrination by dipper teachers.

This would be my only concern. If that can be avoided, than I think it's good for the kids! I thing they'd be surprised at how much the religions of the world have in common (i.e. not the fanatic's version).

JMO
 
Liberalman
#27
And the government said NO!

The pendulum is starting to swing back and common sense is starting to prevail.

Parents have choices and that is private schools and if they can’t afford it then they have to find out what they learned every day and correct them to their beliefs.
 

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