School religion

Among the many myths associated with religion, none is more widespread – or more disastrous in its effects – than the myth that moral values cannot be divorced from the belief in a god (“Confidence in schools falling among parents, survey finds”, 27 August).

How can an efficacious moral code issue from the self-contradictory, morally ambiguous deity described in the Old Testament?

No intrinsically action-guiding and motivating system of morals requires enforcement by the twin fears of what the New Testament deity threatens if disobeyed while you live, and can deny you after you die.

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Parents, of course, have to tread a narrow line between encouraging children to share their religious faith and imposing it on them, but let us at least cease subjecting our children to this psychologically questionable mythology in our schools.

If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society’s admiration, what types of human behaviour can be presented to them as reprehensible? The main irrationality of religion is preferring comfort to truth.

Doug Clark

Muir Wood Grove


Latest figures in the Scottish Household Survey show Scots identifying as “not religious at all” have increased as predicted to about half of the population.

For us there is little surprise in these figures but no schadenfreude as all are free to their religious faith.

But with barely a quarter of Scots saying that they are Church of Scotland is it not time to re-imagine Scotland’s “nation church” as a respectable but minority private belief system and not as an institution claiming to represent the spirituality of all with unelected seats on education committees and access to state schools?

Neil Barber

Edinburgh Secular Society

Saughtonhall Drive