View Poll Results: Should I teach my kids to believe in Santa?
No (And don't give them presents) 1 2.22%
No (They still get presents) 20 44.44%
Yes 14 31.11%
You should drown your children to stop them polluting the gene pool 10 22.22%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-22-2007, 09:21 AM   #91
skribb
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Irreligious wrote View Post
But I don't know that we can say, categorically, whether it's a good thing or a bad thing for a kid to believe in Santa.
Some parents may worry about the effect of the Santa story on kids once they figure out who's really been eating the cookies and milk left by the fireplace, but giving kids an immediate dose of reality on the subject isn't necessary, says child psychologist Bruce Henderson of Western Carolina University, because young children often use their imagination and make-believe when they play.

It's worth a read: http://www.livescience.com/health/07...ta-belief.html
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:56 AM   #92
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I voted "Yes".

When my daughter was young, I told her stories about elves and dragons and fairies. I also told her the stories about Santa. She knew that it was all make-believe, but she believed it for a while, because magic and fantasy is fun. As she got older she figured it out. I would never outright lie to her. If she asked me a question like, "Dad, do you really think there might be dragons?", then I would answer ambiguously, with a twinkle in my eye something like, "There might be!" It was a game. Games are fun.

I think the trick is to remember that there are different levels of "belief".

"Santa is watching!" should not be on the same level of reality as "Watch out for snakes!"

Actually, I think that letting kids have a taste of make-believe helps them understand the human animal a bit better when they are grown. It is good practice for developing the skills to discern whether someone is full of shit. Now when my daughter hears silly godiot talk about Jesus or some other nonsensical fictional character, she easily tosses it into the mental closet with fairies, dragons, and leprechauns. (Praised be the green ones!)

Go ahead and tell your kids about Santa! Put up your goddamn Christmas tree and have some fun!

I would, however, advise against having them write Santa letters to Ghoulslime:

The Leprechauns do not forbid the drawing of Their images, as long as we color within the lines. ~ Ghoulslime H Christ, Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and Masturbator
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:24 PM   #93
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My son enjoyed looking at


He's 14 and says he is Atheist.

My daughter who is 9 still beleives in Santa, or says she does, even though I have flat out told her. Nope. Its me.
On previous Xmases she refused to beleive it and came up with quite a varied apologetic for her denial.
"santa has given you the presents"
"He's magic, thats how he gets around the world"
"He turns into fairy dust, thats how he can fit down the chimney even though we only have a flu and he's morbidly obese"

So this year, I'm going to freaking shake her awake and dump the stuff on her bed whilst shouting. "LOOK! THERE! IMPERICAL EVIDENCE!!"

"If you can wait 2000 years for Mr Christ, I can wait 19 years for John Frum" High Preist :- Church of John Frum 1952
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:51 PM   #94
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Santa is real! This is what you vile atheists don't understand in your disgusting atheist belief system!

The Leprechauns do not forbid the drawing of Their images, as long as we color within the lines. ~ Ghoulslime H Christ, Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and Masturbator
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:14 AM   #95
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If santa doesnt exist how come he left me presents when I was a kid???
On a serious note I don't think children have to be indoctrinated into something that is only relevant for about 2 months a year. It is harmless fun that can be used to help rational thought as the child grows up , without having to be a kill joy. Father christmas can also be used in a pseudo religious manner when my son has a tantrum to tell him he is being watched and will not get presents if he doesn't behave , about 2 months prior to Christmas onwards. The reason my boy will grow out of santa is because at 10 no other boys or girls his age will believe in a magical entitiy living outside of the laws of reality delivering presents to the deserving..........there will be other more fantastical nonsense to worry about with what the older people tend to believe in, books thousands of years old claiming divine wisdom etc. These will be more worrying than partaking in a little Christmas cocal cola induced magic.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:25 AM   #96
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Hanging out with some soccer buddies, we got into a conversation about Santa, and whether we should lie to our kids.

Two of them have kids slightly older than mine, and they told me about the Elf on The Shelf, which I had never heard of before.

Essentially, it's an elf doll that is Santa's spy, and he reports back to the jolly fat guy on all the bad things the kids do. You move him around when they're asleep/not paying attention, so that it appears that he moves around the house.

On the surface it sounds kind of fun, but the whole Big Brother watching part of it is sending the wrong message, in my opinion.

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:42 AM   #97
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:02 PM   #98
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Hanging out with some soccer buddies, we got into a conversation about Santa, and whether we should lie to our kids.

Two of them have kids slightly older than mine, and they told me about the Elf on The Shelf, which I had never heard of before.

Essentially, it's an elf doll that is Santa's spy, and he reports back to the jolly fat guy on all the bad things the kids do. You move him around when they're asleep/not paying attention, so that it appears that he moves around the house.

On the surface it sounds kind of fun, but the whole Big Brother watching part of it is sending the wrong message, in my opinion.
I tend to think about the spirit in which you do things like that and at what age, but I get ya baby.
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Old 12-21-2010, 09:02 AM   #99
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This subject seems to come up every year, dudn't it?

I've often found it strange how fully-grown adults can claim that teaching their children that Santa brings them presents by flying around the world in a red rickshaw drawn by magical reindeer isn't lying. I've heard otherwise rational adults (nonbelieving adults, no less) actually say "it isn't lying" as if the act of saying that it's not lying makes it not lying.

I've never really understood how people accept that explanation, when they wouldn't accept it anywhere else. Telling someone that something is true when you know that it's not really actually true in the corporeal world is lying. Claiming that a lie isn't a lie just because you don't want to feel bad about lying doesn't make the lie not a lie. Whether there are degrees of lying isn't really relevant. It's still a lie.

That said, I think there are ways to allow the fun and imagination without lying. Like ghoulie said, a conveniently ambiguous answer goes a long way in treading that fine line. Now that I have a young'un of my very own, I intend to just leave the presents under the Saturnalia tree, and have fun with my daughter as she opens them the next morning.

If or when she ever asks "where do the presents come from," I'll answer with something to the effect that, "It's Christmas, that's when there's presents under the tree." Not a lie. When she inevitably comes home from school one January day and tells me that her friends told her it was Santa Claus, I'll tell her that I've heard that too. Not a lie. If she asks outright whether or not Santa Claus brings the presents, I'll tell her that a lot of people believe that. Not a lie.

I can let her believe certain things without teaching her to believe certain things.

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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Old 12-21-2010, 10:39 AM   #100
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This subject seems to come up every year, dudn't it?

I've often found it strange how fully-grown adults can claim that teaching their children that Santa brings them presents by flying around the world in a red rickshaw drawn by magical reindeer isn't lying. I've heard otherwise rational adults (nonbelieving adults, no less) actually say "it isn't lying" as if the act of saying that it's not lying makes it not lying.

I've never really understood how people accept that explanation, when they wouldn't accept it anywhere else. Telling someone that something is true when you know that it's not really actually true in the corporeal world is lying. Claiming that a lie isn't a lie just because you don't want to feel bad about lying doesn't make the lie not a lie. Whether there are degrees of lying isn't really relevant. It's still a lie.

That said, I think there are ways to allow the fun and imagination without lying. Like ghoulie said, a conveniently ambiguous answer goes a long way in treading that fine line. Now that I have a young'un of my very own, I intend to just leave the presents under the Saturnalia tree, and have fun with my daughter as she opens them the next morning.

If or when she ever asks "where do the presents come from," I'll answer with something to the effect that, "It's Christmas, that's when there's presents under the tree." Not a lie. When she inevitably comes home from school one January day and tells me that her friends told her it was Santa Claus, I'll tell her that I've heard that too. Not a lie. If she asks outright whether or not Santa Claus brings the presents, I'll tell her that a lot of people believe that. Not a lie.

I can let her believe certain things without teaching her to believe certain things.
What about when you were a kid? Did you not believe in dragons and magic and silly things like that. I think if it became religious with santa services and commandments sent by him as to how you must live to attain presents etc my opinion would change. Its so light hearted as to be a waste of time not getting into its spirit in my opinion.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:43 AM   #101
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Quote:
ILOVEJESUS wrote
What about when you were a kid? Did you not believe in dragons and magic and silly things like that.
I did, but I was explicitly never told by my parents or grandparents that dragons and magic were real.

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Its so light hearted as to be a waste of time not getting into its spirit in my opinion.
I agree that the stories are harmless, and I have no problem getting into the "spirit" of the season, as it were. The issue for me is going that extra step and telling children that the stories are more than stories: that the stories are true and real in the physical world. That an overweight man is running a sweatshop at the North Pole, and that he sees you when you sleep, and that he runs a physics-defying one-man Iditarod with a fleet of flying Caribou on December 24th/25th.

You're right in that the issues have little to do with the characters of Santa and Rudolf and Frosty, et al. It's more the issues of deliberately blurring the line between reality and fantasy (not just allowing the child to do it on their own, but enabling, assisting, encouraging, causing it), and of deliberately presenting falsehoods as truths (which, in turns, feeds into the line-blurring issue). Of course, after all of this is said, I believed in Santa until I was eleven or twelve, and I turned out fine, with no major lingering trust issues (stemming from that, anyway).

On the flipside, Santa can be used as a lesson for later undoctrination. "Hey, remember how that guy you were told was real turned out not to be real? Well there's this other guy that people have told you is real..."


And on a related issue: I'm really surprised at how some adults, who are otherwise frugal throughout the year, can throw all of their financial sense away for one month and go into massive debt just because "it's Christmas." Like the word Christmas is some Manchurian codeword that makes people spend money they don't have on stuff they don't need and that they wouldn't buy at any other time of the year.

atheist (n): one who remains unconvinced.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:35 AM   #102
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I did, but I was explicitly never told by my parents or grandparents that dragons and magic were real.



I agree that the stories are harmless, and I have no problem getting into the "spirit" of the season, as it were. The issue for me is going that extra step and telling children that the stories are more than stories: that the stories are true and real in the physical world. That an overweight man is running a sweatshop at the North Pole, and that he sees you when you sleep, and that he runs a physics-defying one-man Iditarod with a fleet of flying Caribou on December 24th/25th.

You're right in that the issues have little to do with the characters of Santa and Rudolf and Frosty, et al. It's more the issues of deliberately blurring the line between reality and fantasy (not just allowing the child to do it on their own, but enabling, assisting, encouraging, causing it), and of deliberately presenting falsehoods as truths (which, in turns, feeds into the line-blurring issue). Of course, after all of this is said, I believed in Santa until I was eleven or twelve, and I turned out fine, with no major lingering trust issues (stemming from that, anyway).

On the flipside, Santa can be used as a lesson for later undoctrination. "Hey, remember how that guy you were told was real turned out not to be real? Well there's this other guy that people have told you is real..."


And on a related issue: I'm really surprised at how some adults, who are otherwise frugal throughout the year, can throw all of their financial sense away for one month and go into massive debt just because "it's Christmas." Like the word Christmas is some Manchurian codeword that makes people spend money they don't have on stuff they don't need and that they wouldn't buy at any other time of the year.
Well Christmas now is hugely commercial and our econmies in the west reflect this. So families are brainwashed, yes , brainwashed into believeing that it will only be worth while if they spend monies they do not have. I don't see the harm in spending a lot if yu have it, but to go into serious debt? Heard a great piece on making presents that would offer an alternative and there are also car boot sales throughout the year, charity shops etc.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:39 PM   #103
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Happy holidays: http://bit.ly/f2XpO1
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Old 12-23-2010, 06:18 AM   #104
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and Fuck You Too!

One of the most irrational of all the conventions of modern society is the one to the effect that religious opinions should be respected....That they should have this immunity is an outrage. There is nothing in religious ideas, as a class, to lift them above other ideas. On the contrary, they are always dubious and often quite silly.
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Old 12-23-2010, 07:40 AM   #105
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That would be a waste of a good Fuck.

Stop the Holy See men!
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