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Old Hand

52 Posts

Posted - Mar 11 2009 :  3:38:42 PM  Show Profile  Send Da5id a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Tom Trelogan, thanks for mentioning the Philosophy for Kids web site!

"...philosophy, among other things, is self-conscious inquiry into the meaning of puzzling and contestable concepts." Ahh, very analytical. It is hard to find helpful answers before we're clear about what exactly the question is (or even if there really is a question).

"Values education" was happening in regular public schools in Japan when I taught there. The subject (komoku) is called "Moral Education" (Doutoku Kyouiku). In the classes I watched, kids were presented with hypothetical situations (or real ones that other kids have met in the past) that they are invited to discuss.

"The God thing," as what's-his-name(?) called it could be a problem here where it isn't in Japan. I discussed this very issue with a third-grade teacher the other day. Most teachers welcome being argued against by students (where "argue" means present evidence or a connected series of know--what philosophers mean by argue), but some students "know" they're right and don't see any point in allowing others to argue with them. This particular third-grade teacher had experienced this sort of trouble with self-identified Christians.

It's when moral questions became more important to me than doctrinal questions, that I first started progressing toward my present atheism. I sometimes worry about the possible results of being "outed" as an atheist.


Wayne Nirenberg

15 Posts

Posted - Mar 19 2009 :  06:56:24 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is interesting. I mean it's not new from my neck of the woods but it's sort of a challenge to break through the fear of a culture rather than the fear of an individual.

What kind of strategy can be used to exchange ideas with someone who feels that he has a right and responsibility not to allow anything in his mind that would compromise his ideas?

A debater takes pride in pointing out the hypocrisy of others.
But a Christian prides himself on defending his hypocrisy.

With someone who is vindicated by the support of others, as long as his culture is in place, his ideas seem to be steadfast.

Breaking through an idea like the earth is the center of the universe won't affect his overall outlook.
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