Atheism Course Coming to Irish Primary Schools

Or at least, the small handful of them that aren't run by the Catholic Church
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2013 9:26 AM CDT
Atheism Class Coming to Irish Schools
Professor Richard Dawkins speaks at the Rock Beyond Belief event, in this file photo. Dawkins' book "the Magic of Reality" will be used in the class.   (AP Photo/The Fayetteville Observer, Raul R. Rubiera)

Soon, some Irish school children will be learning about doubt. Atheist Ireland has gotten the go-ahead to teach classes about non-belief to primary school children, and will begin doing so with the September 2014 class, the Guardian reports. The program is being developed along with Educate Together, and will be piloted in their multi-denominational schools, but the lessons (which also touch on agnosticism and humanism) will be available online for everyone. The group promises that the courses "will be taught in an objective, critical, and pluralist manner. They will teach about atheism, not teach atheism."

Atheist Ireland co-founder Michael Nugent says the course "is necessary, because the Irish education system has for too long been totally biased in favor of religious indoctrination." The Catholic Church runs 93% of Ireland's primary schools, even though the schools are publicly funded. Parents of children in those schools, Nugent said, who want to opt out of teaching their kids religion "can use our course as an alternative." (More atheism stories.)

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