Sunday, 9 May 2010

Uncritical Thinking for Children

I agree with Vince Chadwick (Sunday Age 9/5/10, Bigoted Tintin can still teach children a thing or two) when he argues that bigoted books such as Tintin should not be banned but instead get used to teach our children critical thinking as they learn about the background that allowed Hitler's rise.
The question I would like to ask, though, is whether society really wants its children to think critically. Take the way we have been teaching a book slightly more popular than Tintin to our kids: the Bible. Our public schools force religious education on our children where only Christian agendas are taught. But do they ever critically analyze the way Joshua blindly follows orders and kills every non Israelite for the sole reason their faith might confuse his folk? Do they teach that Jesus offers forgiveness for everything as long as it's repented, murder and rape included, with just one exception - the eternal and unforgivable damnation guaranteed to those that don't follow his faith?
Let's face it: We may claim to want to teach our children to think for themselves, but in actual fact we're working hard to make sure they don't. We tend to prefer our children mildly bigoted.

1 comment:

Moshe Reuveni said...

My letter was published in today's Sunday Age:
http://www.theage.com.au/national/letters/state-should-be-applauded-not-attacked-20100515-v5hm.html