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 Lying to Kids at Christmas

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NoCoPilot

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PostSubject: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:13 am

Does promoting the Santa Claus myth promote critical thinking, or is it just a harmless tradition?  Does the implausibility of the Santa Claus myth allow 7-year-olds to apply the same logic to the Jesus myth?

In other words, is Christmas a veiled lesson in teaching atheism?
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For an atheist to reject Jesus' existence based on arguments found against Santa Claus demonstrates the inability for the atheist to distinguish between historical, verifiable documents and known, constructed childrens' stories. Jesus was an actual historical figure. Santa, of course, is not.
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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:23 am

We've discussed this before, in fact it got me made fun of by Aslan. But I was raised in a somewhat abusive household and my mom was the one I always thought of as the person I could trust. Her lying so elaborately about Santa shook my world. To me it wasn't a tiny white lie it was a serious betrayal that has never really been addressed. In fact, in my case it was a precursor to worse that I should have seen as just that.

And that's the lesson received as a child, that no one could truly be trusted but me. That no one really had my best interest at heart and if you go back and trace my life as I have done more and more lately, you see how much of an impact on me that had. It was huge. It shaped me in ways for years to come. And yes, critical thinking skill were employed along the way (Why does Santa shop at KMart? How does he get in there and why doesn't he get into trouble for shoplifting because the North Pole isn't American he's not have dollars on him.....)

So in the end parents need to ask themselves is that little bit of critical thinking or Christmas fun worth it?
I propose that letting kids know that mom and dad bought the presents, that they worked hard for that and want to do for their kids and not going along with the bullshit is a better course that will teach children gratitude and strength in the face if peer pressure.

I think the effort at things like Santa and Elf on the Shelf is definitely connected to religion and isn't harmless fun. It strikes me the quote refers to jesus and not god, who is most definitely as unprovable as santa. Because in the end these people don't give a rat's ass what you believe so long as you believe in something invisible. It's almost like it's the mark of a malleable mind they can manipulate.
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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:35 am

Well even the reference to Jesus is hugely ironic, because there are no -- zero -- contemporary accounts of a man performing miracles in Jesus's time. It should have been big news, it should have attracted attention, there should have been numerous references in contemporary accounts.

Instead we get none.

There are some stories written between 70 years after his death and 310 years after his death, that attribute miracles to the carpenter from Jerusalem but those miracles, oddly enough, had all been long associated with the Persian god Mithra, who had already been worshipped in the Roman Empire for four hundred years before the birth of Jesus.


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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Tue Dec 24, 2013 8:54 am

I hear ya.
But I still find a carpenter named Josh from the Mediterranean coast a lot more plausible than god or the fat guy.
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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:31 pm

The perpetuation of the Santa Claus myth does not promote critical thinking, nor is it harmless tradition. Any family that perpetuates SC for fun among their children are not caring about their childrens critical faculties because their intention is to simply have fun. I dont think any family today promotes SC for the purpose of deception - to keep their children in line, as was originally intended by the myth. Today it is just a silly joke parents pull on their kids. Which is not to say it doesnt harm. It may or may not, depending on the overall relationship zeitgeist in the family unit. Some children will be more prone to belief than others, and that will usually depend on how they were raised, and their parents psychological predispositions as well as their own. Generally, a family that puts little emphasis on the importance of thinking critically and questioning will have a preponderance toward superstition and nonsense. SC therefore is potentially as dangerous as religion. To a family that encourages questioning and critical thought, the ironic and out of place promotion of SC will come across as harmless silliness and fun.

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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Wed Dec 25, 2013 4:17 pm

SAI2 wrote:
Generally, a family that puts little emphasis on the importance of thinking critically and questioning will have a preponderance toward superstition and nonsense. SC therefore is potentially as dangerous as religion.
It's no wonder so many people have trouble distinguishing reality from bullshit, what with Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, birthers, global warming deniers, compassionate conservatives, immaculate conceptions, temporary deaths, talking snakes, sky people, ghosts, UFOs, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and life after death with milk and honey and forty virgins.  Unless people expect these fantasies to be fanciful, they have a hard time telling what is real and what is not.


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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:54 am

Yeah, one would think that having all these bizarre concepts flying about in the memeosphere might provoke at least a blast or two of inspirational questioning. Yet frustratingly, the truth is they seem for some people to drown minds into despondency and help reinforce a supernatural and superstitious world view.

I am not convinced though that these concepts and ideas are completely to blame. I suspect a willful anti-critical thought, anti-questioning, anti-intellectualism at work amoungst the more stubbornly ardent faithful of irrationality.

I do think for some who have had small tastes of reason and logic, are for one reason or another left with bad tastes in their mouths, and thus willfully resist anything that makes sense or even smells of reason.

The writer of stories like Miracle on 34th Street is I think one such example of someone who just flat out consciously refuses to accept that SC is an fabrication and myth. A red flag should come up when any writer does intellectual back flips while landing in emotional sentimentalism, in order to convince adults as well as children that it is better for all of us if we just suspend our suspension of disbelief and give in wholeheartedly to an unchallenged and unquestioning faith mindset. Its a slippery slope device used in many stories to undermine the hold logic and reason might have on consciousness. And what makes it dangerous is that we are by nature creatures of habit. Our fears and desires, our emotional frailty will always allow us to stop resisting the urge to bond with others at any cost as well as compromise our hard fought values - which take effort to reinforce. Critical thinking takes effort.

Santa is fun (when we cherry pick his personality and character attributes to suit the idea of Santa we want to be true) and by comparison, Jesus and Yahweh not so much.

I have heard some describe Santa as secular. Relatively speaking that is perhaps to some degree accurate. But he is just one of many imaginary beings that has the potential to do faiths brainwashing, mind numbing work over the long term.

I am not in any way suggesting that imagination is not good for us. It just needs tempering and anchoring I think with a few dolops of reality every now and then to remind us that imagination is just that.

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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Thu Dec 26, 2013 6:24 am

SAI2 wrote:
Its a slippery slope device used in many stories to undermine the hold logic and reason might have on consciousness.
"Fields of Dreams" anyone???
SAI2 wrote:
Santa is fun (when we cherry pick his personality and character attributes to suit the idea of Santa we want to be true) and by comparison, Jesus and Yahweh not so much.

I have heard some describe Santa as secular. Relatively speaking that is perhaps to some degree accurate. But he is just one of many imaginary beings that has the potential to do faiths brainwashing, mind numbing work over the long term.

I am not in any way suggesting that imagination is not good for us. It just needs tempering and anchoring I think with a few dolops of reality every now and then to remind us that imagination is just that.
I think the greatest harm of promoting fantasies like SC, the tooth fairy, etc. is to convince kids that truth is malleable, that rational explanations are not any more valuable than "truths that you FEEL are true," and that this world we all inhabit runs on some kind of magic energy which we can neither understand nor influence (for better or worse).
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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:29 pm

Jenni wrote:
I hear ya.
But I still find a carpenter named Josh from the Mediterranean coast a lot more plausible than god or the fat guy.
I immediately noticed your use of the name Josh, and wondered if you had read this book.  Christopher Moore writes some hilarious books and is one of my favorite authors (admittedly, the fact that he used to live down the street may color my opinion).
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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:37 pm

"Biff"? I thought his name was Brian.
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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:42 pm

You need to watch the movie again. Brian and Josh (Jesus) were not friends.
Now that you've got me thinking about it, I believe I'll watch the movie tonight. Seems the season for it. If for no other reason, the closing song is one of the greatest ever written.
"Always look on the bright side of life..."


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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:59 pm

At least he's not a member of the Judean Peoples Popular Front.


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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Fri Dec 27, 2013 6:02 pm

Yeah. Those damned splitters!
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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:17 pm

Wish my copy had subtitles -- with those damn silly voices I can't always figure out what they're saying!

Does your copy have subtitles?
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You might get off with crucifixion, first offense.
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PostSubject: Re: Lying to Kids at Christmas   Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:22 pm

_Howard wrote:
Jenni wrote:
I hear ya.
But I still find a carpenter named Josh from the Mediterranean coast a lot more plausible than god or the fat guy.
I immediately noticed your use of the name Josh, and wondered if you had read this book.  Christopher Moore writes some hilarious books and is one of my favorite authors (admittedly, the fact that he used to live down the street may color my opinion).
No, but it looks great! lol
No, I just added up information. Jesus Christ was a title, not a name. Yoshua, his supposed actual name is the equivalent in translation to Joshua. What do we call white boys named Joshua? Josh. Of course.

I've also read some what do you call them apocryphal? texts, texts left out of the bible, that talk about him as a child. So my overall impression is he was just a kid named Josh whose dad was a carpenter and so he was trained as one but was really more hippyish and didn't want in the family business and once as a child he tried to push his brother off a roof.
Makes wayyy more sense than all that shit they tell you now in Sunday school.
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