Diving into one of their more difficult topics, Greg and Ed explore some of the questions that arise when raising a child with an appreciation for skepticism and science in the middle of a culture known for its superstitious beliefs. With Ed teaching a critical thinking class to Thai college students and Greg’s son asking questions about ghosts and praying, the boys have some interesting insights.
Greg stresses the delicacy of parents in his situation: were he to directly state his opinion that ghosts are not real and praying for something has no effect on the outcome, it could create friction between his son and the Thai side of his family, who sit more on the ‘probably/definitely’ side of the scale. While trying to ensure his son grows up with an appreciation for evidence and science, this also provides a good lesson on respecting others’ beliefs, despite having different ones yourself. Where exactly is the instruction manual for this situation?
The guys wrestle with the issue, doing their best to come up with some guidelines. Perhaps just appreciating the importance of threading the needle between the two cultures is the key to being a good parent. Greg’s not gonna be able to get it perfect, but maybe just trying is the point.
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