Teacher in Texas suspended for being atheist

Dec 2009
128
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Vancouver
#1
I’ve been in a rotten mood the last few days and reading this post over at PZ Myer’s has not changed my disposition. It appears that a teacher by the name of Richard Mullens of Brookeland, Texas was suspended after a parent accused him of being an atheist.
Quote:
On January 15th, there was a board meeting. Nothing was on the agenda concerning me. During the open forum, several audience members spoke to their concerns that I was an atheist and I was too liberal. On January 16th, I was called to Mr. Richard Turner’s office (my principal), and he informed me that I had been put on administrative leave with pay. The reasons, as stated to me by Mr. Turner at the time, were that I was accused of being an atheist and teaching atheism in the classroom, and I was too liberal.
Read the rest at: http://bligbi.com/2009/02/06/teacher-suspended-after-accusation-of-atheism/
 
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Mar 2009
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#2
That is bad. But teachers have been booted for even saying the word God in school. So it seems to go both ways. Damned if they do and damned if they don't believe in God. Guess they all just need to never "talk about it".

Sounds a lot like "don't ask don't tell" seems to me.
 
Jan 2009
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#3
So much for separation of church and state. Why not leave both religion and atheism out of schools altogether? In my opinion it is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children about those things, not the schools. Unfortunate that someone would be ousted for "being too liberal" though- that is exactly against the idea of free thought. Now if he was teaching liberalism as truth, that is another story.
 
Dec 2009
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Vancouver
#5
Atheism isent a religion though ...

If children are taught to think critically then they should be told that belief in any higher power is entirely based in hope (faith).

In this particular case I think what we are dealing with is a redneck part of the u.s. scared of someone thinking differently then the religious indoctrinated masses.

After all if your sure that atheists burn in hell then you definitely don't want them teaching anything to little Joe or Susie.
 
Mar 2009
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#6
After all if your sure that atheists burn in hell then you definitely don't want them teaching anything to little Joe or Susie.
I damn sure would not want them making a joke out of what I taught them. That is why school is not the place to teach it one way or another.
 
Jan 2009
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#7
Atheism isent a religion though ...

If children are taught to think critically then they should be told that belief in any higher power is entirely based in hope (faith).
That can easily be turned around to say atheism is entirely based on a lack of hope or faith. This is why I am saying both atheism and religion should be left out of the schools- let the parents teach their children what they want and when the children grow up they can decide for themselves.

In this particular case I think what we are dealing with is a redneck part of the u.s. scared of someone thinking differently then the religious indoctrinated masses.
Using the term "redneck" does not help your ethos here and it could be offensive to someone. As for being scared of someone thinking differently- that is currently seen all around the country, regardless of whether the area is liberal, conservative, religious, or not. This is primarily due to the fact that many people have forgotten the true essence of the first amendment.
 
Mar 2009
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#8
That can easily be turned around to say atheism is entirely based on a lack of hope or faith. This is why I am saying both atheism and religion should be left out of the schools- let the parents teach their children what they want and when the children grow up they can decide for themselves.

Using the term "redneck" does not help your ethos here and it could be offensive to someone. As for being scared of someone thinking differently- that is currently seen all around the country, regardless of whether the area is liberal, conservative, religious, or not. This is primarily due to the fact that many people have forgotten the true essence of the first amendment.
Yeah! This "redneck" agrees with you!:D
 
Dec 2009
128
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Vancouver
#10
That can easily be turned around to say atheism is entirely based on a lack of hope or faith. This is why I am saying both atheism and religion should be left out of the schools- let the parents teach their children what they want and when the children grow up they can decide for themselves.
Everyone is trying to twist and warp what atheism is, its simply the belief that there is no supernatural, higher power. Atheists dont lack hope and faith, they just know better than to believe in fairy tales.

Children should be taught to think critically, they shouldnt be indoctrinated with religion at all.

Being a critical thinker you realize that there is no god and all religion is a lie. Thats a fact based on the information.

I hear what your saying though, I just think part of the problem isent that kids are exposed to ideas, its that they arent taught to think critically.

Using the term "redneck" does not help your ethos here and it could be offensive to someone. As for being scared of someone thinking differently- that is currently seen all around the country, regardless of whether the area is liberal, conservative, religious, or not. This is primarily due to the fact that many people have forgotten the true essence of the first amendment.
Ive never met a redneck that mind being called a redneck but I hear you.

We both are for freedom of speech :) I just happen to be against brainwashing children (indoctrinating them in religion).
 
May 2009
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USA
#11
Religion is full of stuff of little sustenance - you cannot dine on it - and too much of it will make you sick in spirit. Perhaps if it is made public-school fare students will lose their taste for it.
 
Mar 2009
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#12
Everyone is trying to twist and warp what atheism is, its simply the belief that there is no supernatural, higher power. Atheists dont lack hope and faith, they just know better than to believe in fairy tales.

Children should be taught to think critically, they shouldnt be indoctrinated with religion at all.

Being a critical thinker you realize that there is no god and all religion is a lie. Thats a fact based on the information.

I hear what your saying though, I just think part of the problem isent that kids are exposed to ideas, its that they arent taught to think critically.



Ive never met a redneck that mind being called a redneck but I hear you.

We both are for freedom of speech :) I just happen to be against brainwashing children (indoctrinating them in religion).
Now let me tell you what I get from some "critical thinkers". They seem to feel "superior" to others. That everyone should just shut up and agree with them. As a matter of fact I had one come to "comfort"? me when my daughter was killed in a head on crash on her way to work. He said, "people are going to tell you a bunch of BS about how your daughter is in a better place, your spirits will meet again. But you need to remember that with all the prayers and nice casket she is going to be rotting flesh in the ground. And the sooner you face that and move on the better for you".

You know had I not been numb from grief I probably would have put him in the ground to test his theory. I sometimes wish I had, but I had more important things to deal with at the time.

So he has a degree on his wall and his name on a business. And for some silly reason a man praying for his child upsets him. Why should he fear that? In my opinion he showed me no respect. Most redneck parents would have taught him to respect people at such times.

If my daughter died and God was not there to meet her she lost nothing. But when this jerk dies if God is there, he can put God on the right path.;)
 
Dec 2009
128
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Vancouver
#13
See, life is complicated, we all should just accept that, instead of looking for easy answers.

Reality shows us that some people are more correct then others.

If I want medical advice I go to a doctor, not a baker, if I want car advice I go to a mechanic, not a stock broker, if a baker comes to me and tells me that snake oil will fix my backpain I think more people should say "sit down and shut up", that persons opinion is not as good as the doctors, in fact its much worse.

In this instance I understand how comforting religion can be, no matter how comforting something is that doesnt make it the truth and besides I wouldnt bother to speak up if all you were talking about was some special supernatural place that all souls went, instead religion comes loaded with a lot of really horrible ideas, it was progressive for the world 1000 years ago but today for the most part, religion is disgusting and we know better. That aside I don't know the depth of sorrow someone experiences from losing a child and its sad for me even to imagine, her unfortunate passing has nothing to do with whether religion exists though, surely you agree with that?

As for your first point if someone came up to you and swore that the world was flat, if you were nice and it was easy to ignore him you might just smile and change the subject but if this person kept shouting that the world is flat, then made protest signs, then tried to change education in schools to teach flat earth science, then tried to tell people what they can and cant do, at what point would u stand up and say "shut up, your an idiot"???

Anyway, sorry for the mess of a post too, had a few drinks and about to take off for a few more, hope everyone has a good new year !
 
May 2009
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USA
#14
Alfred Korzybski said: "There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking." Surely, for some, to have faith may help in dealing with life’s vicissitudes; but one need temper it with a good amount of scepticism.
 
Mar 2009
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#15
I think I need to make one thing clear, I believe in God just like I believe in millions of other things. And I always will. But I am not a "good Christian. I never ask anyone else to accept God and in the last few years don't really care who does and does not believe. I believe in some very simple things. If it was called John's Club that believed just what I believe instead of "Church" and Randy made the "rules" no one would even notice. But God, Church, and sin just cause a big knee jerk reaction. Makes no sense to me and never will I guess.

Just know I would never try to "convert" anyone. And I will never be converted either.:)
 
Dec 2009
128
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Vancouver
#16
I think I need to make one thing clear, I believe in God just like I believe in millions of other things. And I always will. But I am not a "good Christian. I never ask anyone else to accept God and in the last few years don't really care who does and does not believe. I believe in some very simple things. If it was called John's Club that believed just what I believe instead of "Church" and Randy made the "rules" no one would even notice. But God, Church, and sin just cause a big knee jerk reaction. Makes no sense to me and never will I guess.

Just know I would never try to "convert" anyone. And I will never be converted either.:)
Cool!

I wasent referring just to you but to religion on whole but good to know!

Do you agree that no matter how something comforts someone its independent of whether its real or not?
 
Mar 2009
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#17
Cool!

I wasent referring just to you but to religion on whole but good to know!

Do you agree that no matter how something comforts someone its independent of whether its real or not?
Sure, for example music can comfort me or stir me up. Hip hop just irritates me. This may sound silly, but music or smells from my past can take me back to those times. So what is real for me may not be real for you. And same goes for things that are important to you may mean nothing to me. We all bring our past with us when making decisions. And that is a good thing.:)
 
Dec 2009
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Vancouver
#18
Sure, for example music can comfort me or stir me up. Hip hop just irritates me. This may sound silly, but music or smells from my past can take me back to those times. So what is real for me may not be real for you. And same goes for things that are important to you may mean nothing to me. We all bring our past with us when making decisions. And that is a good thing.:)
To a certain extent absolutely but at what point is there a fact and a falsehood?

We live in a world where facts exist, not everything is relative, thats actually a very liberal failing, my ideas are not better then anyone elses just because I have them, they arent necessarily as valid as anyone elses either, however they can be better based on facts, in other words just because I believe it doesnt mean its true so I need to systematically weigh my ideas against the information, if it floats then I am right, if it sinks then I am wrong and I should accept that and if the information changes I need to make the right adjustments.

There are facts and there are falsehoods in this world and we need to recognise that.
 
May 2009
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USA
#19
"There is no ‘redness’ in nature, only different wave lengths of radiation."
- Alfred Korzybski, "The Nature of Language in the Perceptual Processes," reprinted from Perception: An Approach to Personality (1951)
. . .

Faith is a false substitute for the truth. It is a defect of human nature that has to do with the fallacy of perception, which was first observed by David Hume, and, more recently, Alfred Korzybski. See David Hume, Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning the Principles of Morals (1777); and Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity, An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics (1933). The fallacy operates similarly in every sphere of inquiry where the issue is in doubt; it is a form of mental blindness that is inextricably bound in the human psyche. The truth, which is generally seen, will nevertheless not be recognized unless one is able, at least for a moment, to suspend belief. It is the difference between sight and perception - the difference between what the eye sees and the mind’s eye perceives - the difference between what is true and what we perceive as true, though false. Still, we persist in believing that things are ordered as we perceive them; when in truth what is perceived to be the cause may not necessarily produce the effect. Do you see red? If you believe that you see red, then, as Korzybski points out, you are mistaken. All faith (viz., the presumption of what is not susceptible of proof) is dependent upon doubt, in the absence of which there is no basis for belief. That is the difference between perception and reality, the difference between faith and the truth.
 
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Mar 2009
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#20
To a certain extent absolutely but at what point is there a fact and a falsehood?

We live in a world where facts exist, not everything is relative, thats actually a very liberal failing, my ideas are not better then anyone elses just because I have them, they arent necessarily as valid as anyone elses either, however they can be better based on facts, in other words just because I believe it doesnt mean its true so I need to systematically weigh my ideas against the information, if it floats then I am right, if it sinks then I am wrong and I should accept that and if the information changes I need to make the right adjustments.

There are facts and there are falsehoods in this world and we need to recognise that.
I understand what you are saying. I feel the same about people "meditating". I have tried it a few times and it will never work for me. So for me it does not exist. But I don't care if other people believe in it and do it.;)