Sensitive Teaching

Thread started by Chas – he/she writes:

I am trying to learn about others beliefs because I am going to school to be a teacher. I do not want to promote any type of beliefs to students. However, I also do not want to discriminate against students and want to learn more. I would like to know an atheist’s view on women’s rights and if you support them, saying the pledge of allegiance, interracial dating, and wether you support gay and lesbian support groups. This information will be appreciated to help me learn about others. Thanks

10 Responses to Sensitive Teaching

  1. The Atheist says:

    Chas,

    Before I respond, let me say how inspired I am by your sensitivity to the beliefs of others and your desire to be the best teacher you can be!! I wish all teachers cared for their students as much as you do to not let personal prejudice get in the way of teaching.

    The only thing all atheists really have in common is a belief that there is no God – which is what defines us as atheists. Beyond that, atheists as a group might tend to be more rational than other groups, since for most atheists, rationality is what lead them to their belief about God. And as a result, we tend to ask “why” or “why not” more habitually than others. So unless there is a rational reason to oppose rights or support for a particular group, we usually don’t. That said, individual atheists may well feel that they have good reason to oppose any one of those things that you mention. And atheists, just like anyone else, have their own set of personal prejudices.

    I personally tend to be quite egalitarian and I support the choices and rights of others in general. So I support a woman’s right to be treated equally with men, and a gay’s or lesbian’s right to be treated equally with straights. I wouldn’t deny anyone a support group comprises of those who can best sympathize with his or her circumstance. And I support interracial marriage. I think the Pledge is ok but I worry that it may have authoritarian undertones.

    Anyone else?

  2. Damian says:

    Yep, that’s a good summary A3.

    I’ve met atheists who can fit anywhere along the political scale. From tree-huggers to Iraq-invaders. The only thing we have in common is we don’t resort to the concept of gods or divine revelation for our beliefs.

    But generally the atheists I come across are unlikely to be into alternative healing or ghosts and base their morals on whether an action is harmful or not. We tend to want reasonable evidence before believing anything.

    And I’ve never seen an atheist eat a baby. At least, not a whole one.

  3. Teaching Student as well says:

    Sorry to burst your bubble, this question is part of a homework assignment and the sensitive teacher just wanted to get out of doing the required research.

    • The Atheist says:

      Hi, Teach. Is this something you know for a fact or are you speculating?

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking someone who is an Atheist questions about their beliefs in regards to a school assignment. It is part of doing research, and isn’t “getting out of” doing anything at all.

      A Teacher who Knows.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is true, I am doing the same class assignment. This assignment is for my diverse education class.

  4. future teacher says:

    No speculation teaching student as well is right.

  5. The Atheist says:

    Thanks Teach & Future. Could you post the assignment here? I’d be very interested to see it! What is the context of the assignment (what course, for what degree, etc)?

    Btw – did you find my response useful? Was it typical or atypical compared to other research you’ve done?

    Thanks for setting the record straight!

  6. Kornfreak says:

    Thats interesting to know. I’m doing an assignment with the same questions. Its hard, there are like 15 different religions I have to fill in a chart about. Atheism is the first one and so far the easiest. Thanks for posting because It has helped me….

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