Our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness
can only be secured by a state strictly separated from religion

05 March 2013

Being an Atheist in a Religious School: Philosophy in Action Podcast

By Diana Hsieh

On Sunday's Philosophy in Action Radio, I answered a question on being an atheist in a religious school. The question was:

How can an atheist teenager maintain his integrity in a religious school? A few years ago, I read Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged" for the first time. After a year of struggling between faith and reason, I chose reason. Unfortunately, I am a teenager, and I am forced to attend church and a religious school. For a time, I was fine coexisting with religious people. However, in the next academic year, I will have to take a class entitled "Christian Apologetics" in which I will have to pretend to be a Christian theologian. Now my integrity is at stake. How should I confront my religious family about my atheism? How can I persuade them to enroll me a different school?

My Answer, In Brief: The student should talk to his parents, and then to his teacher, about what's required in the class and whether he can write papers that reflect his actual beliefs.

Download or Listen to My Full Answer:


Tags: Academics, Atheism, Children, Communication, Education, Ethics, Integrity, Parenting, Religion
To comment on this question or my answer, visit its comment thread.

A podcast of the full episode – where I answered questions on the value of happiness, being an atheist in a religious school, privacy from government intrusion, the wrong of incest between consenting adults, and more – is available here: Episode of 3 March 2013.

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