By "damaging" I mean -- learning something that will be hard to unlearn. Religious themes are present in many many places, fairytales, poems for small children, etc. I don't want to censor them because that would make my children's life poorer. It's easy to balance the violence from fairytales (cutting through wolve's insides?) but when it comes to religion - there's not enough counterbalance in my opinion. There are no "Scientific fairytales for small children" that I've heard of (I'm sometimes thinking of writing such thing but am not good enough in writing; I would love to see people that have "light pens" like Dawkins and specialists from other fields writing a book of short "fairytales" that would have some kind of scientific background; think of Lem's "robot fairytales" kind). Such book would try to "smuggle" a bit of scientific consiousness at a pretext of a fun story -- exactly how religion puts its roots in young minds.
But maybe I'm overthinking stuff. Both me and my wife are atheists and it will be different with my kids than it was with me. I grew up among believers and used to strongly believe in god, too. I never suffered too much because of it or because I stopped believing at one point, but from today's perspective I can see that this religious belief did took away some of things from my youth. I'd love to spare my daughter from this but maybe I cannot or it will Just Work
I cannot stop religion-related things from coming to my children ears. Even though they are not baptised, some teachers, grandmothers, etc. _will_ talk about god and will do so without appropriate distance to the matter. I do not want to force my kids to "believe" in science or evolution, but I would love to balance what they will learn about god with what _I_ and my wife consider truth and I would love my kids to respect science and think critically. Do You have any insights about raising children to be like that?
Also, You have written in God Delusion that if just one person is "cured" of religious faith (I don't remember the exact phrasing), You will consider the book successful. Well, Selfish Gene and Extended Phenotype were more eye-opening for me, but I'd like to thank You for all of them
Fuck you both. The last thing this country needs is people actively suggesting ways to strip more freedoms away from the people.
There is no absolute freedom, if someone's freedom to shoot planes high power lasers collides with my freedom to safely do air travel, I say -- fuck THEIR freedom.
Eureka! -- Archimedes