Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Reductio ad absurdum 3 - The revised National Curriculum 2014

"Beginning in 2014, the United Kingdom will require all British schoolchildren to complete a unit on the history of Islam, proudly reports Press TV, Iran’s very own 24-hour English language news organization.
Michael Gove (Unflattering picture
 courtesy of The Telegraph)
British Education Secretary Michael Gove announced the addition of a Muslim-specific component after revisions were made to address an outcry over a prior draft that did not include any references to the monotheistic Abrahamic religion."
So starts an article at Yahoo News. Now I have to admit to being doubtful about it because I could find no reference to this news story at the BBC, Sky, or any of the major UK newspapers. However let's assume it's accurate and take this to it's logical conclusion. ('Reductio ad absurdum' - Latin for following implications to an absurd extent.)
Islam is the UK's third most common 'religion'. In the last census, taken in 2011, Christianity was declared as the most popular religion (59%), 'No Religious Affiliation' the second choice (25%) and 'Islam' the third (5%). Now if a religion which has a mere 5% following gets a study in the UK National Curriculum then far more time should be devoted to a 'religion' which has five times Islam's following. That means we should ask UK children to complete five study units dedicated to the history of 'No Religious Affiliation' or atheism.
Of course it's very difficult to study nothing (although for hundreds of years, many children have successfully studied it at school). So just what items should we study?
My first thought was that we leave the content to the UK politicians - after all they are very good at doing nothing, however, they are also very good at making bad decisions so we need to help them out with some ideas. To give you a start there are some excellent websites out there on why you should be an atheist of no religious affiliation. 
One of my favourites is Plasma Engineer's Something Surprising blog Try his Grandfather Gospel Challenge for ideas and follow some of his links.
The Rosa Rubicondior blog is good too. Try the article Another Easy One For Muslims... Or Not!
No 'religion' of course can be considered 'true' unless it has it's martyrs. That being the case you need to read 'On blasphemy, wielding both standards and stories' from the Richard Dawkins foundation.
I'm sure you can find lots more. Just remember these politicians need our help if our children are to avoid studying 'the nothing' from the Never Ending Story

Please - add your suggestions on what should be studied about the history of 'No Religious Affiliation' in the comments below and I'll make sure the UK's Education Secretary of State, Michael Gove gets them. Alternatively you can send your suggestions to him directly at  ministers@education.gsi.gov.uk

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