“Educators, especially those concerned with inculcating religious teachings, have always endeavored to get hold of their pupils in early childhood. The idea that indoctrination during this period will have a lasting effect on the child's personality antedates psychology by many centuries. Freud reasserted this opinion when he claimed that a person's character is firmly fixed during the first five or six years of life. Although I do not share Freud's view, it is undoubtedly true that the rules on which a human is being fed, as it were, in the early years of life, profoundly affect his later behavior. This is especially true if a person's "rule diet" in later years does not differ markedly from that of his childhood. It seems to me that a great deal of a person's later education -- say, between the ages of six and early adulthood -- is often composed of an educational pabulum containing many of the same nonsensical rules he had been fed earlier. It is foolish to draw far-reaching conclusions about the effects of early learning experiences if these experiences are reinforced, rather than modified or corrected, by later influences. Among these reinforcing influences, I refer here specifically to the values and rules inherent in religious, national, and professional myths which foster the perpetuation of childish games and mutually coercive strategies of human behavior.
What I have called religious, national, and professional myths are games the main purpose of which is to glorify the group to which the individual belongs (or to membership in which he aspires). Such "closed" games must be contrasted with "open" games in which all who are capable of adhering to the rules can participate. Game rules based on such a suprareligious and supranational morality would seriously conflict with many of our current habits in living. Nevertheless, I believe that a social trend toward worldwide human equality -- in the sense of equal rights and obligations, or of participating in all games according to one's abilities -- need not be a threat to men and women. On the contrary, it represents one of the few values still deserving our admiration and support.”