Should there be limits on what parents are allowed to teach their children? If so, what should they be? I suppose there are two aspects to this question. What limits there ideally should be independent of the problem of enforcement and then the practical issue of where we as a society should draw the line. That is we might look at parents and say, “they ought not be doing that,” but feel it inappropriate to interfere.
This came up in a discussion about science teaching and home schooling. For instance if parents thought that the earth was flat, should they be able to withdraw their children from school and teach only that the world is flat? Or should schooling entail some things that must be taught. I suppose this is the negative form of the question. That is are there things a parent should teach.
The positive form of the issue is what things are there that a parent teaches that shouldn’t be taught. Consider some of the polygamist groups who teach that older folks ought be able to marry young cousins and so forth. Given that children are so young and unable to really make rational decisions (especially if indoctrinated) should they be able to teach such things?
Any thoughts? Where do you think the limits ought be? I’ll hold off giving my own opinions for a while.