Scientists are divided about the positive influence of imaginative thinking on children; also Religion and Bible, in their opinion, can have a positive or a negative influence on them.
In the opinion of Hemant Mehta, a famous blogger and atheist activist, Religion is a “mental child abuse”, while Richard Dawkins, author of the acclaimed The Selfish Gene and of the very controversial book The God Delusion says that teaching religious texts as fact to children is more harmful than sex abuse.
It may be that many episodes of the Bible have not to be thought as facts, but I totally disagree with the rest of their theories. Paul Harris, professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, says instead that the imagination, also thinking God or Biblical personages, is absolutely vital for contemplating reality. In fact, Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) believed that imagination helps children to re-create reality, elaborating a model of a better world that could become reality when they will be adult persons.
Psychologist maintain that believing Santa Claus or Joseph son of Jacob, is healthy; they are “models” of human behavior and could be useful to live better and happier than people that don’t use their imagination! (Post based on Sharonherald.com article)