Religion in Primary Schools

Christopher Hitchens said it is immoral to lie to children, telling them something is true when it clearly is not, such as any miracle account in the bible. This includes the resurrection of Christ. I won’t paraphrase him: just watch it.

So to the psychology of it. There are a number of experiments on children within the field of developmental psychology that demonstrate very reasonably that children under the age of 8 are not capable of differentiating between fact and fiction.

In one experiment, children aged 7 were told that a room was haunted. When they were in the room, the light switched on and off, and it freaked the kids out. Obviously, there was a person making it do this on the outside of the room, but the 7 year olds believed what they were told.

When some 10 year olds were placed in the room and told the same thing, they immediately figured out that there must be someone controlling it from the outside.

Why are we not using these experiments as the basis for educational direction, and banning the teaching of religion in ALL schools until the age of 14 or so? Why is no political body, other than The Non-Partisan Party doing this?

I think the Humanist Society is missing a trick here. How long will it be before a parent brings the teaching of superstitious material to the attention of the Court of Human Rights, and brings a case against our government (or any government not in a theocracy) that says if you unduly influence a child who is NOT capable of making their own decision about belief, then it is either indoctrination or brainwashing, and both should be banned under EU law.

This will stop all religious teachings in primary school, and help to develop children logically and rationally. Religion can be removed from educational institutions where we are to study facts, not superstitions, and place the emphasis for such indoctrination into the home, where it belongs.

By the way: I thought I was the first person to advocate the cessation of religious teachings in schools as child abuse, especially under the scrutiny of developmental psychology, but it would appear that AC Grayling got there before me. And no doubt many others too…

Here is an interesting article: