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Analogy Between God And Santa Clause Is Valid And Binding


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#1 LJP07

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:56 PM

The comparison between Santa and god is often made and usually swiftly dismissed by the ardent theist. The theist may respond by saying things like;

- Oh, but..but...we grow out of believing in Santa Clause, we continue on believing in god

- There is no evidence for the existence of Santa Claus whereas there is at least some evidence for the existence of god

This doesn't exhaust the excuses *cough*, reasons that theists have up their skirt but it's certainly 2 of the most common. I think we can safely dismiss the second excuse because if there were evidence for the existence of god then there would be no debate in the first place.

As for the first excuse, well...Children grow out of Santa Claus when they discover, maybe through parents, that Santa Claus was made up. However, this is not told to children regarding god. They don't tell the children god doesn't exist. What would happen if children were collectively told, like Santa Claus, that god didn't exist? Would the levels of believers suddenly drop, I'd think so.

If adults don't drop the idea of god then of course children won't say or even begin to question whether it's silly or not. But when it comes to Santa, the adult is perfectly able to dismiss Santa as silly. The thing is, these theists were once children and so if they were around an environment when everybody dismissed god equally as they do Santa, then would we equally have no theists?

Thus, the only difference between this analogy is that children continue to believe in god whereas their parents dismiss Santa early on.

So this comparison is more than valid and not as trivial as the theist makes it out to be.

Indeed, god and santa have an awful lot in common;

- If you sin, you'll be punished.
- If you behave well, you'll get massive rewards.
- You're being watched all year around and everything you think is taken into account.
- When all this information is collated, final judgement begins to determine whether you should be rewarded or punished.

Isn't god just the adult version of Santa?

Anyway, I just thought I'd throw that one out there and see what folks think about it. ;)
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#2 chilehed

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 05:35 PM

...I think we can safely dismiss the second excuse because if there were evidence for the existence of god then there would be no debate in the first place...

:rotfl:

Do you really think that the existence of evidence for a proposition eliminates debate about it? That's at least as absurd as anything I've ever heard the most ardent YEC say.

#3 Aethelwulf

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 06:07 PM

''...I think we can safely dismiss the second excuse because if there were evidence for the existence of god then there would be no debate in the first place...''

Lack of evidence is not evidence against. Besides... A God might actually exist. Does he have a beard and is called Jehovah, most likely not. Is God simply another word for nature... most likely.

#4 Guest_MacPhee_*

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 03:48 PM

Indeed, god and santa have an awful lot in common;

- If you sin, you'll be punished.


Isn't that where your analogy comes unstuck though?

I mean, Santa doesn't actually punish any kids - except in a kind of feeble negative way - by not leaving any nice presents for them. That's not much of a deterrent.

Whereas if Santa came down the chimney wielding a reindeer-hide whip, to thrash naughty kids, it might be a different story.

#5 Buffy

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 05:46 PM

Lack of evidence is not evidence against.

Quite true, however I can actually see and sit on the lap of Santa in every mall in America after November 1st, and thus arguably there is considerably more evidence of Santa's existence than God's, for whom most folks' experience is indirect--via their preacher--or assumed--via some personal, but implied association some inspiring/touching event. That's why my personal faith is centered around Santa (and the Pesach Bunny, as we're a multi-cultural family).

Isn't that where your analogy comes unstuck though?

I mean, Santa doesn't actually punish any kids - except in a kind of feeble negative way - by not leaving any nice presents for them. That's not much of a deterrent.

Whereas if Santa came down the chimney wielding a reindeer-hide whip, to thrash naughty kids, it might be a different story.

Do you have kids? Do you know the sting of not having a nice new dress or XBox after Xmas? Or the envy of the Jewish kids who come to school every day for a week with a new thing when Haunukah comes before winter break? Kids can be pretty cruel and are so well-conditioned by our status/class-oriented society, that this kind of thing can be devastating for the have-nots.

Of course when you actually sit down and talk to Santa (and of course there are false Santa's who look and sound just like Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa), mostly he'll talk about the thought counting and giving is more important than getting that you'll find in the more communistic parts of most established religions.

Of course it's really nice to be able to actually sit on Santa's lap and have him tell you that stuff himself, not hear it second hand from some blowhard who claims to talk to God *for you*...

Santa Claus wears a Red Suit, He must be a communist. And a beard and long hair, Must be a pacifist. What's in that pipe that he's smoking? :phones:
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Posted 28 July 2012 - 06:54 PM

Quite true, however I can actually see and sit on the lap of Santa in every mall in America after November 1st, and thus arguably there is considerably more evidence of Santa's existence than God's, for whom most folks' experience is indirect--via their preacher--or assumed--via some personal, but implied association some inspiring/touching event. That's why my personal faith is centered around Santa (and the Pesach Bunny, as we're a multi-cultural family).


Do you have kids? Do you know the sting of not having a nice new dress or XBox after Xmas? Or the envy of the Jewish kids who come to school every day for a week with a new thing when Haunukah comes before winter break? Kids can be pretty cruel and are so well-conditioned by our status/class-oriented society, that this kind of thing can be devastating for the have-nots.

Of course when you actually sit down and talk to Santa (and of course there are false Santa's who look and sound just like Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa), mostly he'll talk about the thought counting and giving is more important than getting that you'll find in the more communistic parts of most established religions.

Of course it's really nice to be able to actually sit on Santa's lap and have him tell you that stuff himself, not hear it second hand from some blowhard who claims to talk to God *for you*...

Santa Claus wears a Red Suit, He must be a communist. And a beard and long hair, Must be a pacifist. What's in that pipe that he's smoking? :phones:
Buffy


The only time I sat on Santa's lap, was in a department store, and I found the experience rather disturbing, especially as he gave me a "Chick's Own" annual, which was some silly kid's book, and not valued, except that the title lives in memory.

Buffy, your harping on "Communism" reminds me of an American boy I met in school, many many years ago, and he used to scream at anybody he didn't like: "You're a Communist!!" - as if that was the the ultimate insult. Of course it didn't register with us English.

As regards the "Santa Claus Coming Down The Chimney" business, I can't quite see what's at the back of it. It sounds inherently quite scary. Which would make sense, if he comes to punish kids for misdeeds. But if he comes to leave presents, I don't know whether it's really nice or not. There's a creepy ambiguity about the idea.

#7 Aethelwulf

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 07:49 PM

Quite true, however I can actually see and sit on the lap of Santa in every mall in America after November 1st, and thus arguably there is considerably more evidence of Santa's existence than God's, for whom most folks' experience is indirect--via their preacher--or assumed--via some personal, but implied association some inspiring/touching event. That's why my personal faith is centered around Santa (and the Pesach Bunny, as we're a multi-cultural family).





Well, that's a wonderful tribulation then, when you actually realize when you grow up there is no such santa, that what you see is not always what you get.

Edited by Aethelwulf, 28 July 2012 - 07:50 PM.


#8 Buffy

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 08:04 PM

The only time I sat on Santa's lap, was in a department store, and I found the experience rather disturbing, especially as he gave me a "Chick's Own" annual, which was some silly kid's book, and not valued, except that the title lives in memory.

My daughter actually hated sitting in Santa's lap, which is why I spent so much time there (although that has little to do with why we brought her up Jewish). I've had mostly good experiences with Santa, but like I say, there are Bad Santa's and YMMV.

Buffy, your harping on "Communism" reminds me of an American boy I met in school, many many years ago, and he used to scream at anybody he didn't like: "You're a Communist!!" - as if that was the the ultimate insult. Of course it didn't register with us English.

Tee hee! Of course not! Heck you Brit's celebrate Guy Fawkes Day and you've got Karl Marx burried at Highgate! As to me "harping," tongue, meet cheek....

As regards the "Santa Claus Coming Down The Chimney" business, I can't quite see what's at the back of it. It sounds inherently quite scary. Which would make sense, if he comes to punish kids for misdeeds. But if he comes to leave presents, I don't know whether it's really nice or not. There's a creepy ambiguity about the idea.

The chimney's always a bit of an issue for some, but I'll have to say, my earliest thoughts about this part of the mythology always brought visions of the chimney sweeps in Mary Poppins who may have been dirty, but you can't help but be enchanted by Dick Van Dyke, so it never really bothered me personally.

And then I always liked the idea that the *worst* Santa would do would be to leave you a lump of coal, just expressing displeasure rather than the Old Testament's "I am a wrathful God" who'd smite you just because he felt like it for any small infraction.

I know some people also have an issue with the "breaking and entering" issue, but I think that's an american thing, where chimneys in individual households are quite large, actually enticing not-too-bright criminals to use them as a point of entry, but of course in Europe, where this mythology developed, the vast majority of people had small-pipe chimneys so the "magical" nature of using this point of entry was as obvious as Alice going through the keyhole.

Anyway, I think creepiness is in the eye of the beholder, and far be it from me to proselytize. Those that want to believe in Santa are free to do so. :)


The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live. :phones:
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#9 IamJoy

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 12:34 PM

I still believe in Santa.

Does it really matter?

#10 Moontanman

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 05:24 PM

I still believe in Santa.

Does it really matter?



Only if you feel the need to force your belief on others... then the flying spaghetti monster will send hoards of invisible unicorns to get you...