Tuesday, December 29, 2015

You know I may have to move to Sweden.

Courtesy of Eureka Alert:

In Swedish classrooms, religion is often associated with an obsolete time when people just didn't know better - as if religion used to serve a purpose but there is no need for it in the modern world. This is the conclusion of a doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg that explores how teachers and students talk about religion and worldviews within the framework of non-confessional integrative Religious Education in upper-secondary classrooms. 

'I found that religious faith is portrayed as incompatible with being a modern, rational and independently thinking human being. In contrast, a non-religious, atheistic position is articulated as a neutral and unbiased approach to religion. I had not expected this discourse to be so strong in all the studied classrooms,' says Karin Kittelmann Flensner, who wrote the thesis. 

Kittelmann Flensner's study is based on observations of Religious Education in three Swedish public upper-secondary schools during the schoolyear 2011-2012. She followed 13 teachers who taught in 24 different student groups. Sweden is often described as the world's most secularised country, and Kittelmann Flensner found that the country's secular attitudes were easily discernible also in the studied classrooms and dominated the talk about religion and worldviews.

Could you even imagine how refreshing a learning environment that must be?  

With almost 80% of Americans identifying as Christians I will assume that we have a long way to go before achieving this level of enlightenment.


  1. I love it! It makes me proud that my father's people were of Swedish decent.

    There might be more to be proud of if I ever get around to doing my genealogy on that Ancestry site. My late father's kid sister told me my fraternal grandmother was a direct descendant of Union General Henry Warner Slocum of the Civil War, and that at 6, my fraternal grandfather just missed being an ill-fated passenger on the steamboat named after Slocum that caught fire and sunk in the Hudson River in 1904.

  2. Anonymous6:11 AM

    Better start Packing....
    This shit is out of control!

    1. Anonymous8:12 AM

      Home-grown terrorists.


  3. Anonymous6:58 AM

    Oscar Wilde, "Science is the record of dead religions."

  4. Anonymous8:10 AM

    The New Atheism is hilarious! Used to be atheists simply denied the existence of God. Now atheists are becoming like members of every other religion: Claim your beliefs are correct and you're superior to those who don't share yours.

    1. Epic fail Spanky.

      Atheists don't have beliefs, that's what makes them Atheists.

    2. Anonymous8:17 AM

      I bet you find it hilarious.......

    3. Jeez! Are you really gonna pull the "atheism is a religion" trope? I've heard that one my whole god doubting life. How about this cliche: Everyone's an athiest when it comes down to believing in some OTHER god.

    4. Anonymous8:40 AM

      8:10 is right and Gryphen is the worst of the smugly superior types.

    5. Leland10:24 AM


      I don't know Gryphen, nor do I know about him, but I know I feel superior to those who are still ignorant enough to accept the mythology any religion presents - but most especially the monotheistic ones.

      As for being one "of the smugly superior types", it's rather hard NOT to feel smug about it. We are free of all the controlling shit the religious people have to contend with; free of the fears injected into one's mind; free of the demands for money and time; free of the concerns felt by those who "believe" in sky pilots and other insane ideas created by Man.

      Every religion we know of has died and fallen by the wayside. Every single one. For those that haven't yet, they haven't been around long enough to be "uncovered". Lest you be considering replying with some sort of denying statement about christianity having survived so long, look at the numbers coming around. The younger generations are leaving religion in droves and more people are admitting to atheism.

      I'll take smug over murderous and insulting and ignorant - ANY day.

    6. Anonymous10:43 AM

      @8:10... there is NO SUCH THING as "new athiesm"

      Athiesm by definition is the total absence of belief, or a belief system, mythology, religion, or fairy tales.

      Athiesm is a religion like bald is a hair style

      Athiesm is a religion like off is a TV channel.

    7. Leland -- Perfect response!

    8. Leland11:02 AM

      Thanks, Maple.

    9. Anonymous11:09 AM

      Sorry Skippy, Check your dictionary. Merriam Webster:
      Atheism - the doctrine that there is no deity
      Doctrine - A set of beliefs.
      Atheist - A person who believes that God does not exist.
      Atheism IS a belief system. Its believers think they're superior to everyone who doesn't share their beliefs, just like every other belief system.

    10. Anonymous11:39 AM

      Bravo, Leland! Bravo!!

    11. Leland12:45 PM


      Do you stretch that hard before exercising?

      It is entirely possible to believe something WITHOUT it being religious. In fact, should a person have NO beliefs, he/she probably thinks they are a bubble and everything else doesn't exist. Just a thought floating on a non-existent breeze.

      Atheists don't have any RELIGIOUS beliefs other than no religion should exist. The thread of the posting is about religion. Or do you have so little reading comprehension as to fail to understand that.

    12. Anonymous3:26 PM

      I have a very strong belief in facts. Scientifically proven facts.


    13. Anonymous6:12 PM

      Athiesusys have beleofs based on reason (inductive and deductive). Pretty hard tonsurvive without them. Every morning I look to the east for the rising sun, because that's where itbjas risen my whole like and if history be trusted, all of humanities existence. That's inductive reasoning. Since I am ware of the rotation of the erth and various physical laws, looking to the eastbis a result of deductive reasoning. Were any of the realities of the universe to change, I would be willing to cease looking to the easy for said sun.

      Religious beliefs, on the other hand have no such corrective also called falsifiability. Unde what conditions would a religious believer admit that their beliefs (aka faith)were unfounded?

    14. A. J. Billings3:35 AM

      @11:09. What your dictionary says is not authoritative or definitive, in this case.

      Athiesm is a religion like NOT having kids is being a parent.

      As a childless person, I don't have to deal with a thousand things related to child raising. I would not be involved with pediatricians, diapers, strollers, nursery school, piano lessons, helping with homework, high school, college, and all the things that go with parenting.

      Athiesm is the 100% absence even thinking about gods, belief systems, philosophy of religion, mythology, fairy tales, or worrying about what god said, or the bible, or any of it.

      It's not that I don't know other people ARE parents, but I'm free completely of that entire world of kid raising.

      Athiesm is a religion like NOT having kids is being a parent.

  5. Anonymous8:16 AM

    This is the REAL TRUTH>

  6. Anonymous8:43 AM

    You're a clueless fool. Atheists don't have "beliefs". They evaluate evidence to support or disprove something. I am an atheist. If you can provide scientific evidence for the existence of your god, I will gladly listen to it. But it must withstand the rigors of scientific testing and cannot be just something that YOU can't explain.

  7. Anonymous10:37 AM

    Sweden is an ethnically homogenous country which leads to most of the population sharing ideals and beliefs. Since America is comprised of so many different ethnic groups and people from different countries and cultures it is a given that we will have an abundance of different faiths, ideals and cultural beliefs, making it much more difficult to get everyone on "the same page" regarding religion or lack there of. I see Sweden as a shining example in many cultural aspects, but unfortunately it would be impossible to re-create that in the giant mixing pot that we call America.

    1. Anonymous11:20 AM

      10:37-- Exactly! I once went with my husband on a business trip to Sweden. It was kind of funny when they would give advice on what America should and should not be doing in whatever areas of governance, based on their own country's culture.

      A lot of them very obviously had no sense of the vast size and diversity
      of the United States compared to Sweden, and what that would entail politically, economically, and socially.

      Because of the factors you mention, some of the good things about Sweden are just not possible here. (It goes the other way too, of course.)

  8. Anonymous12:23 PM

    What many of you are expressing is anti-theism, not atheism.

    1. Leland4:35 PM

      Actually, 12:23, I wholeheartedly agree with you. I AM anti-theism. I just don't go around trying to convince others like religious people do. I stay in my own circle and discuss things with those people. I personally believe the world will be far better off when religion is a thing of the past, although, admittedly, that will take a long time.

      At the same time I am an atheist because I cannot accept the idea of a god.

      Happy now?

  9. Anonymous4:16 PM

    Very good discussion, with no one saying "Fuck You" or my god's better than yours! I'm atheist because I don't believe in God, heaven, nor hell. I'm all for Sweden's not mixing religion and education.


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