Daniel Dennett on the future of religion

“I think that the toxic forms of religion only survive when there is enforced ignorance in the young. And if we can simply say you have no right to keep your children ignorant of [the wealth of factual information, not just about science, but about religions– including their own religion], if we get those truths to children /…/, then they can teach their children whatever else they want. They’re going to find it’s going to be hard to teach their traditional doctrines. And so what will they do? They will revise, they will adjust.. and that’s a healthy direction. I think any religion that can thrive under conditions of open information deserves to thrive.”
Daniel Dennett

And this is exactly why I think we need religion education in schools. Not Christian education, but education about religion; whereby children can become informed about the histories, ideas, and practices of other cultures, as well as their own– whether secularist, Christian, or Buddhist. To raise our children “naive atheists” (for lack of a better word), who repeat the ridiculous generalizations of religion popularized by some, is just as bad as an enforced ignorance of evolutionary biology. The idea here is open information.


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