The Nature of Existence
In a world dominated by human beings who insist that their own religion is the only correct one, it is very enlightening to take a tour around the world and to witness the diversity of religious experience. I really hope people will stop using words like God” and “faith” to refer to a specific religion, as if their own conceptions of these ideas are the only ones that exist.
Films like this remind me of Daniel Dennett’s modest proposal, and it goes like this:
1) As we all agree, religion is very important phenomenon, and children should be brought up as educated citizens.
2) Parents should not keep children ignorant of other religions.
3) Children should take classes in world religion, just as they take classes in biology and mathematics.
4) These classes would cover the major world religions and probably more, in a fair and unbiased way. Children will be taught, for example, that Catholics believe X and that Shiites think Y. They will not be coerced into any point of view.
5) Children would be free to choose what they want to believe.
The only thing I would have to add is that the history and philosophy of secularism/atheism/agnosticism is very important too. There should be at least a unit on this, but of course, it should not be forced on children.
I think this film does a good job in keeping with this spirit of open and fair investigation of religious belief. I can’t wait to see it.
Posted on April 15, 2011, in Religion and tagged children and religion, Daniel Dennett, documentary, film, secularism, The Nature of Existence, world religion. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.