Apparently, churches don’t want schools to offer ethics classes as an alternative to scripture classes, because then…

religious children miss out on ethics.

Source: Catholics try new tack in ethics row.

H/T: Lauredhel, on Twitter

So religion doesn’t teach values and ethical behaviour after all! Who’d have thunk…

Update: Lauredhel has a considered post about teaching scripture and teaching ethics in schools, including a bit about the pearler I’ve quoted above. You should go read it: Catholic: “Scripture kids would miss out on ethics”


5 responses to “D’oh!

  1. “religious children miss out on ethics”

    I want this on a t-shirt.

  2. littlegemsession

    You just made my day 🙂

  3. I know it’s silly, but I was so tempted this term to go to my son’s school, take a Star Wars DVD and watch it with him, and tell the teachers that we are Jedi. Fortunately I had to be at a training course 2.5hrs away so I couldn’t do it.

    (his school has Scripture once a term, not sure how long it goes for)

  4. The Catholics are all over the show on this one.

    It’s odd that they should even want in on Scripture classes, since the reason they wanted their own schools to begin with was so they could opt out of Protestant Scripture classes (it’s also, by the way, why we have secular state education in New Zealand: not even the Protestants trusted each other to teach Scripture correctly).

    On the other hand, the Catholics aren’t quite as inconsistent as it might appear.

    The idea that kids can simply imbibe morality from Scripture study is a very Protestant idea. Traditionally, Catholicism doesn’t approach morality that way. It claims that moral reasoning has to be based on reason and Scripture (hence the structure of the medieval university curriculum that began with a philosophy degree, and only then moved to scripture).

    Whatever other problems there may be in the Catholic approach to moral reasoning (and there are plenty), it’s not necessarily inconsistent for them to be wanting both/and.

    There was quite a good ABC Philosophers’ Zone programme on ethics in schools recently. They had a Catholic ethicist and one of the advocates of the ethics in schools programme conversing. It was actually quite a productive discussion and they were a lot closer than some of the media reporting of this story might suggest.