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a figment of your imagination
Thomas, "Perhaps I should start another thread?"

That is what is expressly at issue here.

No, I think that's an overstatement.

I would rather my kids didn't practice the occult arts - and I would certainly rather they didn't engage in them on the basis of the contents of a childrens' book. That's all I was saying. I let them read HP, but I do say 'it's a story.'
Exactly the part we omit when most of them are taught any religion...'it's a story.' We grow up learning myths that we think are fact, somewhere along the line our hearts are dashed against the wall all becuase we weren't told the books were full of metaphor and allegory. The names, dates have been modified, that it is the underlying concept that we are after not chapte and verse... In regards to what our kids do and how they grow, I have to find that quote from Kahil Gibran... I do know they were not born or brought here to live upto our much as we'd like.
Nor are kids stupid:
"Do you believe in Father Christmas?" this to my teenage daughter.
"That depends."
"On what?"
"On whether or not I still get a present from Santa if I say no."

Wise girl.
lol, my son in 5th grade argues with his friends, "Of course there is a Santa Claus, my dad wouldn't buy all that stuff?" And I know Santa Claus or Father Christmas is real, as it is the spirit we carry in our heart that brings us joy, 'it's a story' but like the rest, not just a story there are underlying principles that are with HP, or Aesop, or ...
As a complete aside - and entirely speculative:

We have the ever changing science ... whose reality changes as our knowledge of the big and small and the web that holds it all together/apart increases.

I wonder about this. Has science changed that much? I know the technology has, but the Greeks had the basics of atomic theory? Mathematics, etc. Their optics were a bit of a mess, admittedly. We know in detail a lot more, but generally, I'm not so sure that much has changed.

What has changed is our subjectivity - and in it our certainties?
I think we did have the basics, but we've rewritten the book how many times. That is where religions fail us, they have issues with rewriting the books when new information comes to light. (another tada for our bahai friends) Correct me if I'm wrong but math went through many incarnations prior to establishing negative numbers and zero, and then newton revised thought and then Einstien as well...somebody is next. As we want to accomplish things we couldn't before we develop the science and the math and the technology follows... currently we can't travel anywhere close to the speed of light, what we see on sci-fi and more probably will exist someday...
Any policeman will tell you with three witnesses, there's three different versions of an event. But nonetheless, there is a reality - an event was witnessed - is there any way we can approach reality?

And does that mean we must allow any version of the event? Even that version of someone who was not a witness?
Yes, but which of those three witnesses has the facts, if any? You are right the absolute worst evidence is an eye witness, but is that not what the Gospels and many religions are based on? Eyewitnesses and then years of retelling and modifying the story?
Just how much are we obliged to live and let live?

I'm not so sure that our opening the door to the idea that we can say nothing with any certainty about anything, is a failure of responsibility and a retreat from reality as such?

As such I'm not sure it's science that insists on 'negotiable reality' (if it does then surely its whole foundation is flawed) as a certain strain of nihilistic philosophy?

And yet we can appreciate, according to the laws of nature, the existence of certitude, of certainty, and therefore objective reality.
imo Personal responsibility is King, but certainty about things we don't have first hand knowledge to, and things we 'remember' are guaranteed questionable. As for science, it applies to what we know today...we couldn't use the what the greeks or egyptians had to get to the moon, but it was a foundation we built off of, modified, but built off of.
Khalil Gibran, The Prophet...

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.