Debate:Should religious education/theology be taught in schools?

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In the UK at least, religious education, under one of its many names/forms, is taught in schools as a compulsory subject up to GCSE. Does it still have a place in the education system? Is it a vehicle for indoctrination, or the key for an escape from religion? Is it essential or superfluous? Please voice your opinions below. — Unsigned, by: Beenz715 / talk / contribs

If you do it right, it can be quite beneficial still. Let's face it, superstition and its more solid cousin, religion, are always going to be an integral part of human society, and it would be foolish to neglect exploration of such an integral topic (like RationalWiki is doing, but from a skeptical perspective). I would argue for an NPOV-style education and exploration on the various types of religions of this world, and we should place just as much importance on it as explorations into human culture like they do in the geography subject (religion is a special part of our culture, right?) at school.
I'm passionate about a broad education (I'm a bit biased due to receiving a rather broad education that made you study all the subjects you weren't interested in), because I feel like quality general knowledge is in the decline nowadays. Yes, specialisation is the only thing that is going to make you more relevant in today's societies of increasingly split working roles, but if general knowledge is lacking, then general understanding is lacking, and schools are one of the few institutions that can really stem that. There is a lot of misinformation about the nature of even major religions, and misinformation is always bad in almost any context, no matter what your stance may be on the subject of religion. Nullahnung (talk) 12:37, 4 January 2014 (UTC)
As an atheist myself, it was the study of theology that lead me to atheism actually, and though it is often badly taught, if it is approached with proper academic rigour, then RE/RS/Theology/Divinity/Magic or whatever people like to call can actually be a very positive force for good in schools. --Beenz715 (talk) 17:55, 16 January 2014 (UTC)
Of course children should be exposed to a wide range of religious beliefs and ideologies, and they should be able to analyse them and see how each idea has been taken up and then re-integrated into others.
If they are left in ignorance and they do not have this kind of knowledge then they are far more likely to be taken in by the first fervent "true believer" who offers them this new knowledge. Having said that I don't know if this is actually how religious education is carried out in the UK.--Bob"I think you'll find it's more complicated than that." 18:14, 16 January 2014 (UTC)