I so hope this election is over soon. Because if I have to see those posters proclaiming "Werte brauchen Gott" (Moral values need god) for much longer, I'm going to rant someones ear off. Probably J.'s, because she is most often unlucky enough to be my audience.
A bit of background on these posters:
Berlin's government changed the laws regarding religious education in schools a while ago. Instead of having the choice between religious education or ethics, all pupils now have to take ethics classes and the RE classes are voluntary. Of course there is much gritting of teeth and wailing.
Now, I find the whole thing ridiculous. While I was still in school, two hours a week of RE or ethics were mandatory. RE for the major religions was provided at the school the rest took ethics or, if they could prove that they received RE outside of school for at least two hours, didn't have to attend these classes at all - an option one of my Hindu classmates happily used. Given that there were pupils of a lot of different religions at my school, you'd think the ethics class would have been pretty popular.
In reality, the ethics teacher was such a nutter (he once let his seventh graders sum up the characterisations of the horses in Parzival), that no one wanted to be in his class. So in the protestant RE class - which I also chose - there were at least some protestants, catholics, muslims, mormons, buddhists, hindus and atheists. And no one had problems following the class, because going by the content, you could have called it ethics instead of RE and still thaught the same curriculum.
And that's what apparently is true here as well, if the parents who give in to their children who don't want to stay at school for two more hours of RE are to be believed. The classes are so similar that it's pointless to go to both.
So these posters? Pure propaganda. Which is to be expected during election time but still annoying.
Now back to my original rant.
I've been an atheist for my whole life. Even in Kindergarten the idea of a god, a higher being or some kind of cosmic balance just didn't make sense to me at all. (There's also a fair bit of what nostalgia_lj perfectly phrases here as "I do not believe in any gods, but the argument that such a thing could exist is not enough to make me want to worship it because I don't recognise something like that as having any jurisdiction over my moral beliefs." to my atheism, but that's not the point.)
Despite being an atheist I have moral values. Granted, I can trace most of them back to my one governing rule "Don't fuck up other people's lives, it leads to too much work". But I know others who have a much more sophisticated system of justifications.
It *is* possible to have values without believing in a god. Personally, I think if you have to buy into a whole system of believes to understand the moral values, they can't be very good, but then, I'm a huge fan of keeping things simple.
I guess what it all boils down to is that I really, really dislike those posters and wanted to make that known to people who will probably never even see them.</rant>
ETA, because I've not posted a meme in so long, and it ate LJ:
See? I'm not a nice person! Even online quizzes agree.