Greetings from Ireland
Posted: 12 September 2012 05:30 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi there,
I’m Ruairí McNicholas, and I’m a Humanist residing in Galway, Ireland.
I’m 15 and attending Secondary School, so most of my ‘bitching’ is to do with religion in my school, Presentation College Headford.
The school is under the trusteeship of the Catholic Education and Irish Schools Trust, and is the trustee body for the voluntary secondary schools (Yeah, it’s written badly, It’smfrom our schools website) of the Daughters of Charity, the Presentation Sisters, the Sisters of the Christian Retreat, the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, the Sisters of Mercy… you get the idea.

I was baptised when I was born. This is a practice I disagree with; technically I was an atheist then, children don’t believe in anything at that age…
I was given the option of doing my Communion; unlike many children, my parents told me to think abut it first. This was my first step down the path of becoming a Humanist. I feel that encouraging children to make their communion and baptising them is used by the Catholic Church to try and get members and I disagree with it; I believe all religions should be explored and presented to children.

One thing I cannot stand is this:
I’d say there’s 750 students in my school. About 700 of those are Catholics. If all of them actually practised their religion and followed the rules, even just the ones that involve being nice to people, our school wouldn’t need detention. It would need a lot less rules and teachers standing on corridors. A lot less would be spent on the upkeep of lockers, that some students like to break. It would basically be a nice place to be. A lot of people make their communions and confirmations, get a load of money, and don’t practise it. I think the one thing Religion might have been good for, making society, well, nicer, has failed miserably. In fact, I’d say it’s made it worse.

I’m doing TY this year, which is basically a break from one big exam to the next, where you do projects and stuff, and hope to, promote, so to speak, humanism and free thinking. I want the minority of those students, about 10, to, instead of sitting at the back of the church when we go down, once every month (which is probably the only time most of them go…), to be able to go somewhere else. Being left in the class is an ‘insurance issue’, but we have a study wall where we’ll hopefully allowed to go.

Sayonara

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Posted: 12 September 2012 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It is nice to hear from a lad who is precociously free-thinking.  The CFI may be a good resource for you to learn more about humanism. If you join in forum discussions, beware that it is not an easy forum for asserting ideas that you cannot back up. And if you simply express opinions, it is propitious to label them as such.

I assume you were named after the last High King of Ireland?

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“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb… We are bound to others, past and present… And by each crime and every kindness… We birth our future.”  Sonmi, 2144.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 10:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The Irish schooling system sounds a bit different than what I’m used to in the US. What does ‘TY’ stand for? What do you mean by ‘go down’ when sitting at the back of the church?

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“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

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Posted: 12 September 2012 10:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Welcome, Ruairí.  As one who was baptized about 81 years ago but who never even considered communion, I can understand your feelings, even if more than a half century apart.  Similarly, it never even occurred to me to believe in any god.  However, I was more fortunate than you since I grew up in a quite secular environment in both my schools and all my friends. 

If you look at some of the older threads here, you may find some where theists came on and tried to convert us.  The posts there are the most fun.  However, although we are good-natured, we do tend to give each other a fair amount of hell.  As such, don’t be shy about posting your views, but just be prepared to defend them.  But you will get quite a bit of support from some of us.  So, welcome again, and enjoy yourself.

Occam

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Succinctness, clarity’s core.

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Posted: 12 September 2012 11:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Sayonara,

I’ve been living in Galway in 1998-1999. My wife and I like Ireland very much, and wanted to see if one could really live there. We had two small kids, and it was the schools that were one of the arguments to get back to Switzerland again. They did not seem too pleasant places. And now that the Celtic Tiger has died, I think I would have lost my job too.. The company where I worked does not exist anymore.

I did not have the feeling of Ireland as a very religious country. There was much Catholicism of course, but only a minority really seemed to live Catholicism. Most people seemed only interested in money…

At the countryside it was different of course.

Anyway… welcome in the forum!

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“The light is on, but there is nobody at home”

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Posted: 13 September 2012 02:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 12 September 2012 10:21 PM

The Irish schooling system sounds a bit different than what I’m used to in the US. What does ‘TY’ stand for? What do you mean by ‘go down’ when sitting at the back of the church?

TY is Transition Year. Secondary School in Ireland is divided into 2 parts: Junior Cert, which is a 3 year course, and Leaving Cert, which is 2 years. There’s a state exam at the end of each. TY is a year in between to do work experience and study subject that you score low on in Junior Cert.

TY’s have a Religion class twice a week, and the teacher sometimes brings us to the local church, a 2 minute walk from the school. They pray, read bible quotes and the likes, and us agnostics and atheists sit at the back quietly.

Yep, the Last High King of Ireland was named Ruairí.

I look forward to defending and debating my reviews :D

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Posted: 13 September 2012 11:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Welcome CosmicFog!

Take care,

Derek

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“It is noble to be good; it is still nobler to teach others to be good—and less trouble.”—Mark Twain

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Posted: 13 September 2012 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Welcome Red haired king! Looking forward to your posts. Are you fluent in Gaelic? Just curious. I’m always interested in the atheist/agnostic post-catholic perspective. As a former secondary Ed. teacher I’ m interested in educational institutions and values in other countries and how we can improve ours. Keep it coming!

Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

Thomas Paine

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Posted: 13 September 2012 08:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Welcome Ruairí.  Glad to have you here.

[ Edited: 14 September 2012 05:12 PM by Mriana ]
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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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