Academic institutes which promote religious studies can confuse children when the introduction of science makes compulsory in its line of thinking logic, reasoning and most importantly a witness
This is an era where students in grades 6-8 have to study 13 subjects, which includes religion. Given that 13 subjects are annoying enough, these students also have to grapple with questions they have about religion. This happens when what religion teaches them contradicts with what science puts forward through logic and reasoning. This is why some countries including India have deliberately left out religion from the school curriculum. These countries which don’t promote religious studies at school, believe that students should not be confused in the process of educating themselves about science.
Science has its explanation about how the Earth was formed. Religious teachings can spark a debate on this because religions, which are backed by a belief concept, air the view that there was God’s hand in this creation. Senator Philip Hard of Michigan has said in a piece he wrote that, “religion sparks debate and school is no place for debate”.
Science comes as a subject a few years after religion is introduced to the school curriculum. Most religions don’t encourage cross questioning and expect its followers to accept the doctrine as obedient students. One can pose questions to the science teacher, but when questions are posed to the religious teacher about the fundamentals of divinity, you are bound to be pulled up for offending religion.
Does religion have a role in a school where science is also taught as a compulsory subject? If the institute is a Christian school, its very structure depends heavily on the teachings of the Bible and the role of the church. And if, this writer repeats if, there ever has to be a choice about what to drop with such academic institutes, it has to be science. For the record, in Canada, the Canadian Constitution guarantees the existence of public catholic schools.
A child’s curiosity is going to surface when exposed to science. This is because, science, as opposed to religion, offers universal laws to support its credibility. This is the time when an argument crops up between faith and reasoning.
As the student years progress, a teenager takes up lesser subjects. Science often becomes a stream of education and invariably religion is dropped from the curriculum in most streams of the Advanced Level Exam. There is also a school of thought that religion doesn’t have to stand in the way of science. It can complement what science teaches. For example, Lord Buddha’s theory of the atom being the final breakdown of anything material was confirmed by scientists several thousand years after the death of the Enlightened One.
The choice of people regarding on what to place one’s faith crops up when illness strikes. The majority of people opt for a scientific solution to cure illness because relief is easy and fast. Religion recommends praying and having loads of faith. Sometimes the latter method fails. Explanations offered can be weak during these times. People who don’t believe in God don’t have to offer an explanation. It’s those who believe in an unseen God who have to prove that an invincible God exists. This writer read somewhere a saying which goes like this; if people believe in fiction, we shouldn’t trust them with reality.
In student years we are taught about the many wars that were fought because of religion. Each religion has its programs to see its followers grow. Religion leads to overpopulation and later on, war. However, Moses S. Pyne saw positive roles for both religions and science (the latter which is backed by technology). He formed the opinion that technology refines society. A refined society experiences prosperity. Better and easy living is guaranteed in such a society.
History reveals that when a society is extremely religious, the less it embraces science and technology. What happens in such societies is that religious thinking can limit scientific and medical advancement. A good example for this is the society in which actor Christopher Reeves lived. In America, where he lived, there were restrictions in doing stem cell research (which aides treating spinal cord injuries) due to ethics and morals came in the way. According to an article in Wikipedia.org this research had been done in Israel after a decision was made that secular law must prevail over religious teachings. However, there are critics who claim that it’s close minded people who stand in the way of progress in a society and not necessarily religion. These close minded people may argue that religion can be a large factor that limits scientific and medical advancement. Rashid Patch has said in www.worldpress.com that ‘religion standing in the way of scientific and medical advancement is a topic brought up by fools’. In most instances, those belonging to this close minded group are also half-baked beans when it comes to their study of religion.
A child at school obtaining low marks for religion suggests two things. One obvious fact is that this child isn’t ready to absorb religious content as yet due to lack of maturity. The other factor associated with the low marks is that it leads us to form an opinion about the boy’s character. We can opine that the boy is probably uncultured and is far removed from the word discipline.
Religion is a very private thing. What religion one practices and in what proportion should be left to the discretion of the individual.
But the study of science doesn’t afford such liberties. The real freedom that science offers comes to those who go to the depth of the subject and pull out its contents. The study of this subject (Science) can go very well with school students because this is the time in a human life where progress is measured by material things. Religion can wait, till we are ready for it.