Monday, 5 February 2007

Naive inquisitor?

Julian Baggini writes today about an intriguing initiative to teach philosophy in nursery schools. Now, I've said before that my kids are advanced for their age, but I've not introduced them to Nietzsche. There will be ample opportunity for this later. At the moment, our family time is spent learning how to question things like; Why is Bob the Builder's hat yellow? This is some sort of philosophy I suppose.

Right now, my mind is elsewhere. Let your imagination be free to wonder where. So, Julian can speak for both himself and I. He's summed up my struggle with atheism neatly into two paragraphs;

"Formal schooling in philosophy tends to teach you to listen for just one thing: logical consistency. That is as wrong-headed as learning to listen only to the melody of a piece of music and to ignore harmony, rhythm, timbre, phrasing and the rest.

I've increasingly noticed this in debates about religion. Many atheist philosophers seem to think the value and nature of religion is determined purely by the truth or falsity of its creeds, understood literally. Religion's other dimensions - practice, attitude, form of life and so on - are ignored as irrelevant at best, and secondary at worst. As an atheist myself, I find this spiritual tone-deafness detrimental to the cause."

2 comments:

Louie said...

Ha. I was talking about education this evening. When my kid is finally allowed to progress beyond a foetus ;) I'm planning all manner of false memory experiments. Not to mention teaching it ground instead of sky and sky instead of ground.

Heck, if other people are allowed to teach their kids that god is real...

jamon said...

They'll be a sight to behold, no doubt.