March 30, 2011

Four-Year-Olds to be taught Humanism

by Jan Harris

The borough of Blackburn with Darwen in Lancashire has revamped its RE syllabus, allowing children as young as four to be taught about the belief that there is no God.

Humanism is to be taught alongside the six major religions: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism.

On its website, the British Humanist Association says that “Humanism is the view that we can make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values and that we can live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs”.

The new syllabus is designed to acknowledge that some people do not believe in God and to make children aware of non beliefs.

The move was criticised by Salim Mulla, chair of Lancashire Council of Mosques, for potentially confusing children and giving them the wrong message.

The introduction of Humanism was a response to the 2001 census results which showed that there were more than 10,000 people in the borough who did not follow a religion.

The new syllabus will be introduced into schools in the borough from September.

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