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We owe our children agency, the ability to act to their genetic potential, in both mind and body, so that they can become fully social beings. That requires both rational thought, and empathy.

One of these capacities is the ability to see evidence, evaluate it, and act in one's own interest to be fulfilled in one's needs, and possibly, should society allow, one's wants. It also includes the ability to communicate the path your logic and evidence followed. Empathy is the ability to mirror another in ones' self, and feel their emotions, and let them know you do.

Teaching children faith-based thinking for any longer than necessary for them to learn by evidence, cripples their ability to think rationally just as surely as binding their feet would cripple their ability to walk, or blindfolding them would cripple their later ability to see, or limiting any growing ability during its time of expression could permanently cripple that function. It also limits their ability to understand the rational process of others.

I think we lie to children for far too long, about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the existence of God. I think that at the first sign of disbelief, we should encourage a child to use evidence to build belief in the workings of the world.

Most of us agree that being able to think clearly and see evidence in a balanced way is critical to most functions in life, especially social functions, but social functions frequently founder on the rock of intolerance of faith of others.

It's immaterial what religion is taught. Religion is by definition non-evidential. Children trust us when we tell them things about the unknown world they are learning. If we lie to them, by telling them a thing is known when it isn't, or that there is no way to prove it, we must be very careful of the habit of mind we inculcate in them.

They can become sure of themselves when the facts say they shouldn't, and they can agree with others that there are no common grounds for understanding the unknown. My belief is that much agreement in the world dies because those who wish to agree have never been taught how to present evidence, because they were never told it was needed. They are left with only force, of words or actions, to obtain agreement

Thus we grow generations who cannot think clearly about the world, and can only accept things on faith. Such people are a ripe field for demagogues to mow, and the fodder for cannons of the military industrial complex.

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