Santa Claus = Gateway to Atheism?
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24-12-2014, 10:38 AM
Santa Claus = Gateway to Atheism?
I posted this in a different thread: http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-m-atheist

(24-12-2014 10:10 AM)Mr. Boston Wrote:  My realization that Santa Claus was bullshit, led directly to the same realization about God, though admittedly it took a few years. The claims about Santa Claus, that he visits billions of homes bearing billions of gifts in a single night, are outlandishly ridiculous, and the evidence for his existence, basically that the presents arrive and the cookies get eaten, is insufficient to come anywhere near supporting the veracity of the claim. Once we reject the premise that "it's magic," it's fairly easy for most kids, or at least it was for me, to extrapolate that to the conclusion that the whole God idea is an even MORE outlandish claim, with even flimsier supporting evidence. It's eventually easy for most kids to surmise that Santa Claus and God are both the result of wishful thinking on the part of adults.

I think it's our natural instinct to be skeptical after a certain age of reason, about claims that are very difficult to believe. I'd say 14 is certainly an age by which we're asking good questions and looking for meaningful answers. Most parents, as their kids start asking about the practical implications of the Santa Claus myth, become apologists for Santa. Maybe time slows down for him on Christmas Eve, maybe his toy sack is magical, maybe his stomach can magically metabolize several million tons of cookies and enough milk to fill Lake Michigan. Apologists for theism essentially perform the same task, only for adults; attempting to come up with a set of ever-changing conditions under which the existence of a deity MIGHT be possible, when even a minimally-educated person's common sense would indicate it is not only unnecessary for the functioning of the natural universe, but also unsupported and unlikely.

But it got me thinking. For me personally, giving up Santa Claus was most definitely the first step on the road that eventually led to my giving up God. It was the first time I concluded that a well-loved and very popular myth was just a myth, and it opened the door to rationality in general.

Would you say the two were linked in your journey as well?
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24-12-2014, 10:45 AM
RE: Santa Claus = Gateway to Atheism?
Yes and no.

I would say that 'not accepting' Santa was a precursor to 'not accepting' gods/goddesses i.e. they were all in the myth / folklore category.

So, not exactly what you mean by 'journey' but I get your drift.

Yes

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24-12-2014, 10:56 AM
RE: Santa Claus = Gateway to Atheism?
my girls are 9 & 11.

They are having a harder time giving up Santa - he brings cool gifts. God and Jesus were easy for them to toss aside.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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