So, I have decided that I need to write more regularly, and will now be submitting pieces for the SMH Loaded Dog column on a semi-regular basis. I am not really concerned about whether they are published or not, it is more the frequency of writing, and the skill requird to convey an argument in 150 words or less (or at least to try and convey an argument). It also has the advantage of being able to comment on matters of public debate or interest. Anyway, here is what I submitted last week on ther topic: Shoud ethics classes be for all?
Ethics classes should be taught in all schools, religious and non-religious alike. All students, whether they believe in god(s) or not, would benefit from considering different ethical perspectives to the issues they will confront in everyday life as they grow older.
Of course, to accommodate ethics room must be made in the curriculum – and the most ethical decision would be to remove direct religious instruction, which has no place in a school system designed to serve the needs of a diverse and pluralistic society.
Despite this, no-one genuinely expects ethics classes to replace religious instruction, in part because of the power of the religious lobby in Australian democracy. Ironically, watching how that lobby uses (or, more accurately, abuses) their influence is one of the best justifications of the need for ethics classes in the first place.