Letter: Moral education needs more than religion

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The Independent Online
Sir: The debate surrounding the issue of the teaching of religious education in the National Curriculum appears to miss the central point. Is it really the role of state schools to teach the fundamentals of religious dogma? Replacing 'religious' with 'moral' education, in which children are taught the reasons why it is important to consider one's fellow citizens, and to behave ethically, may be more appropriate. Of course, the ethical teachings of the major religions would be fundamental to such a course of study. However, other theories of ethical philosophy, for example utilitarianism or Kantian ethics, would provide the necessary balance.

To be preoccupied with dividing the teaching of religious doctrine into the 'right' proportions seems to be misguided when set against the central notion of improving the ethical behaviour of British people (including future government ministers).

Yours,

PHILIP WILCOCK

Tring, Hertfordshire

26 January

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