I’ve been doing some thinking, and could use some help.
During recent years, even decades, I have been intrigued by two major ideas. I have done lots of reading, some writing, and a lot of thinking about these concepts and their implications and applications.
The first is in the area of the Supernatural; I am absolutely astounded, even now, about how intelligent, well educated and sophisticated people can believe in the Supernatural. That is belief in the existence of anything without a reasonable degree of evidence. I find it amazing, and indeed unfortunate, that such an enormous amount of energy in our world goes to the ideas of supporting and promulgating the Supernatural. And by Supernatural, I mean not only witches, magic, hobgoblins and Angels, but also God. I have surely become an atheist, and find great satisfaction understanding that ideas such as God and heaven, are myths; illusions. I have been exploring the idea of the effects worldwide of belief in the Supernatural, which are socially catastrophic; wars, murder, violence, torture, and more. “My God is better than your God.” I feel an obligation to do something to soften the deleterious effects of Supernatural belief.
The second is the Learn to Learn idea, the subject of this blog. The importance of independent thinking, learning to be a bit skeptical and not simply accept values from an authority. Think of schooling as on a horizontal line. On one end, let’s put almost all of our traditional approach, the general idea that “I know, you don’t; I’m going to tell you. On the other end, however, put the idea of Learning How to Learn. My point is that schooling should move, at least a little bit, toward the Learn to Learn end. I’ll use a series of pairs of words to explain further. Education should be more democratic than autocratic, more collegial than hierarchical, more centered on how to think and feel than memory, more cooperative than competitive, more learning as a verb rather than as a noun, more the teacher as facilitator rather than the teacher as expert. The values, attitudes and skills associated with learning are not intuitive; but they can be learned and taught. (I recently wrote an article called “How to Help Your Child Become a Humanist” for the newsletter of the American Humanist Association. If you would like a copy, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
My recent musings suggest that these two concepts, learn to learn and atheism can be put together. The major effect of learning to learn is to help kids become independent thinkers, and as such they will tend to be a bit skeptical of the authoritarian handing down of, among other things, beliefs and the relevance of faith, which means belief without the need for evidence,
What you think?