How should parents bring up their children in the cases of:
1) Parents with some religious faith or other
2) Parents who are atheist or agnostic
3) Parents who are familiar with critical thinking and who may or may not be religious
4) Parents thrown, maybe unintentionally, into parenthood without any advice on how to bring up a child.
Parenthood is the greatest responsibility imaginable. What do philosophers do in such cases? Keep abreast of the latest child-rearing theories or follow their own agenda which would worry me in the case of 1), particularly?
As both a parent and philosopher, the question you raiseabout appropriate religious upbringing is one I thought about quite a bit as mychildren, now 19 and 22, grew up. The heart of your four-part question is this:How, if at all, should the parents’ religious convictions influence thereligious development of their children? While the influence of teachers, friends, and the general culture on achild’s religious outlook is very great, the religious (and here I includenon-religious) upbringing by parents or the primary caregivers, whetherintentional or not, is fundamental. Itcertainly warrants careful consideration by parents and prospective parents leadingup to and throughout the period of their children’s formative years, and evenbeyond. I would argue that if there is aright answer to your question, it is the same answer for all four of the scenarios you raise. The approach I’ve tried to follow is that one should educateone’s children about the whole range of religious beliefs,...