By Diana Hsieh
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:
- Duration: 15:14
- Download: MP3 Segment
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.
You can automatically download podcasts of Philosophy in Action Radio by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
- Enhanced M4A Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player
- Standard MP3 Feed: Subscribe via iTunes or another podcast player
Philosophy in Action Radio applies rational principles to the challenges of real life in live internet radio shows on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. For information on upcoming shows, visit the Episodes on Tap. For podcasts of past shows, visit the Show Archives.