Does Belief in Santa Claus Affect Future Belief in God?

BodhiBodhi Posts: 7,639 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited December 2012 in R & R (Religion and Race)
Speaking of Christmas,

A lot of Christian (and generally theist) parents raise their children to believe in Santa Claus (along with a host of other fictional holiday/event characters such as the easter bunny, tooth fairy, etc.), later admitting or revealing to them that the characters and associated stories are false. Meanwhile, they support continued belief in a god, of whom the child most likely held on the same level as any other character or story from childhood. What seperates one from the other; say, a god from Santa? Do you think that encouraging your child to believe in imaginary characters such as Santa Claus affects the child's belief in a god in the future?

Does Belief in Santa Claus Affect Future Belief in God?

This is a public poll: others will see what you voted for.
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Replies

  • powerman 5000powerman 5000 Posts: 2,592 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    it's cool, they (catholics) found a way to integrate all that pagan shit into what we call christmas. Behold!! I give you saint nicholas.... A saint that loved the kids thus earning him a place in heaven... Not bad for a made up german character.
  • KatKat Posts: 33,004 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No
    I voted no, but maybe I should've voted yes.

    I think finding out Santa ISN'T real might teach a child not to just blindly believe in anything you're told, but to research and come to your own conclusion whatever that may be.

    If we want to get all serious about it.

    Lou_Cypher
  • BodhiBodhi Posts: 7,639 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    Yes
    I voted no, but maybe I should've voted yes.

    I think finding out Santa ISN'T real might teach a child not to just blindly believe in anything you're told, but to research and come to your own conclusion whatever that may be.

    If we want to get all serious about it.

    What would you say to your child if she asked you,

    "If Santa Claus is not real, does that mean god is not real? What makes god real and santa false??"

    Big immortal bearded men who "watch you", observe your actions and keep tally of your good and bad deeds so that if you are good, they will bless you with a.) gifts; b.) salvation. Sounds similar.
    If we want to get all serious about it.

    We're all (for the most part) adults here. This thread was originally intended for Religion and Race but I need some posts to kick it off and it's a grown topic.
  • Billy_PonchoBilly_Poncho Gary Oak of the IC Posts: 14,761 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    Yea, you can't just go tellin kids all these omnipotent beings runnin around, and then go back to sayin "Ah, just playin" and not expect some suspicion...
    Pico
  • Knock_TwiceKnock_Twice Posts: 3,168 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oceanic wrote: »
    I voted no, but maybe I should've voted yes.

    I think finding out Santa ISN'T real might teach a child not to just blindly believe in anything you're told, but to research and come to your own conclusion whatever that may be.

    If we want to get all serious about it.

    what would you say to your child if she asked you,

    "If Santa Claus is not real, does that mean god is not real? What makes god real and santa false??"

    Big bearded men who "watch you", observe your actions and keep tally of your good and bad deeds so that if you are good, they will bless you with a.) gifts; b.) salvation. Sounds similar.

    Last time I checked folk...The sun shines on the just and unjust
  • BodhiBodhi Posts: 7,639 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    Last time I checked folk...The sun shines on the just and unjust


    God and the sun ain't the same thing, jack.
    Matt 25:46 wrote: »
    Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.
  • VIBEVIBE Awww Yeeaah! Posts: 37,568 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No
    No.

    Santa Claus (and the rest of the child characters) are all fake, we KNOW that eventually. I think it's harmless fun for a child to believe in such things, as its not a life altering belief.

    If you look @ Santa and God, they're similar. Both are "all-knowing", both are immortal, both have magical powers. The thing that separates them is one of them is known to be not real, the other is known to be real.

    Adults believe in a god because I believe most of them want to think and know there's something greater, some grand being that can save everyone from their troubles. The fairy tales of Santa, the Easter Bunny etc don't offer anything that caters to adults while god does. God offers a guilt free feeling, love, forgiveness, eternal life etc.. This is what adults go for because they're taught that the things they do are "sinful".

    Another opinion is all believers are very weak minded, they feel they need those things and therefore make up a god in their mind. I think a "placebo effect" kicks in, anything that happens is "gods plan", and they won't believe otherwise.

    I don't think it affects the child's future though, I know people who have never believed in that kind of stuff but still believed in a god. The belief of god is more heavy, especially when you're raised in a religious household. So that's the affect for the future, not an early belief in the fairy tales.

    Although, later the belief can be affected if the person thinks of god as Santa, tooth fairy or boogeyman. They can look at it and think "Santa wasn't real, so maybe god isn't either, but won't look at it as "oh Santa existed so god must too".
  • Knock_TwiceKnock_Twice Posts: 3,168 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oceanic wrote: »
    Last time I checked folk...The sun shines on the just and unjust


    God and the sun ain't the same thing, jack.
    Matt 25:46 wrote: »
    Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

    So the unjust don't receive their (daily necessities) just the same as the just?

    Who controls this on a 'daily' basis...if the unjust is so bad..why do they receive 'most' of the things as the just


    The quote you posted about Santa is that the unjust doesn't get "nothing" and the just gets rewards...

    Those too statements about Santa and GOD don't run together folk



  • A1000MILESA1000MILES Posts: 13,295 ✭✭✭✭✭
    There's atheists who celebrate Christmas...There's Christians who don't...You gon choose to participate in whatever you want at some point in your life...I was raised by two Southern Baptist ministers...Never believed in Santa Clause, and always had a feeling Jesus wasn't really born on Christmas...Etc...
  • VIBEVIBE Awww Yeeaah! Posts: 37,568 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No
    I guess it can be both, yes and no. I lean towards no more though, because its not likely people will decide that way. It ends up as a comparison later, but the the reasons why it changed their belief.
    Bodhi
  • BodhiBodhi Posts: 7,639 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    Yes
    Oceanic wrote: »
    Last time I checked folk...The sun shines on the just and unjust


    God and the sun ain't the same thing, jack.
    Matt 25:46 wrote: »
    Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

    So the unjust don't receive their (daily necessities) just the same as the just?

    Who controls this on a 'daily' basis...if the unjust is so bad..why do they receive 'most' of the things as the just


    The quote you posted about Santa is that the unjust doesn't get "nothing" and the just gets rewards...

    Those too statements about Santa and GOD don't run together folk



    The point I was making is that according to the stories, both god and santa reward the just (heaven, blessings, etc./gifts respectively) and punish the unjust (hell, plagues, etc./coal, no gifts, etc.). It doesn't get much more complicated than that.
    VIBE
  • VIBEVIBE Awww Yeeaah! Posts: 37,568 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No
    VIBE wrote: »
    I guess it can be both, yes and no. I lean towards no more though, because its not likely people will decide that way. It ends up as a comparison later, but the the reasons why it changed their belief.

    *but its not the reasons
  • VIBEVIBE Awww Yeeaah! Posts: 37,568 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No
    Oceanic wrote: »
    Oceanic wrote: »
    Last time I checked folk...The sun shines on the just and unjust


    God and the sun ain't the same thing, jack.
    Matt 25:46 wrote: »
    Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

    So the unjust don't receive their (daily necessities) just the same as the just?

    Who controls this on a 'daily' basis...if the unjust is so bad..why do they receive 'most' of the things as the just


    The quote you posted about Santa is that the unjust doesn't get "nothing" and the just gets rewards...

    Those too statements about Santa and GOD don't run together folk



    The point I was making is that according to the stories, both god and santa reward the just (heaven, blessings, etc./gifts respectively) and punish the unjust (hell, plagues, etc./coal, no gifts, etc.). It doesn't get much more complicated than that.

    Santa and god are pretty similar, they share similar attributes.
    Bodhidwade206
  • BodhiBodhi Posts: 7,639 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    VIBE wrote: »
    Although, later the belief can be affected if the person thinks of god as Santa, tooth fairy or boogeyman. They can look at it and think "Santa wasn't real, so maybe god isn't either"

    I agree with this but I try not to underestimate a child's ability to reason.

    For instance, a kid asked one of my old friends recently why black people are dark skinned and she said "god made us that way" and the kid said "you can do better than that"
    VIBE wrote: »
    "Santa wasn't real, so maybe god isn't either"

    I think this train of thought ^^ could come quicker than people assume.
    VIBE
  • BodhiBodhi Posts: 7,639 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    Yes
    VIBE wrote: »
    Santa and god are pretty similar, they share similar attributes.


    Exactly and one of the most elementary lessons of childhood is to connect similar, shapes, objects, or concepts. I wouldn't put it past a child to, once find out that fictional characters are not real, doubt the veracity of the Bible/Quran/Torah stories.
  • VIBEVIBE Awww Yeeaah! Posts: 37,568 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No
    For some, they can reason easier than others. My daughter is 8, her reasoning skills are poor. I have a hard time w her in school, but when they asked if Santa was real, I said he's as real as you want him to be.

    My son is 6, his reasoning skills are a lot better. When I said that, he said, "so that means he probably isn't real", I shrugged and he said, "if he isn't, then the other ones aren't either". (He's almost made the same kid of reasoning w god)

    So some people can reason, it's just that most won't. One reason is god is more "important" and holds a deeper meaning. Most of them will actually fear their reasoning, they'll get their doubts then question gods existence, which ends up making them feel guilty then they fear gods "wrath" and "hell".

    I know a lot of 'tunnel vision' people, they won't hear or look at it any other way, those people irk me because they're being ignorant as fuck.
    Bodhi
  • texasdaking88texasdaking88 Posts: 4,449 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No
    This is a dumbass question.. no nigga ..plenty of people never believed n Santa
    BodhiBK ProductFuriousOne
  • BodhiBodhi Posts: 7,639 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    VIBE wrote: »
    My son is 6, his reasoning skills are a lot better. When I said that, he said, "so that means he probably isn't real", I shrugged and he said, "if he isn't, then the other ones aren't either". (He's almost made the same kid of reasoning w god).

    This is what I'm talking about right here cuz a lot of Christian parents teach their children bible stories like Eve and the serpent..Jonah and the Whale..David and Goliath..Jesus and the disciples..God's existence.. right alongside the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus without really making a distinction between one and the other until later when they want their child to stop believing in one and continue believing in the other. But for what reason???
  • BodhiBodhi Posts: 7,639 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    Yes
    This is a dumbass question.. no nigga ..plenty of people never believed n Santa

    Is it a dumbass question or is it that you can't understand the question? I didn't ask you whether all people believed in Santa Claus or not. Re read the op and reply again, this time with an intelligent response.

  • VIBEVIBE Awww Yeeaah! Posts: 37,568 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No
    Oceanic wrote: »
    VIBE wrote: »
    My son is 6, his reasoning skills are a lot better. When I said that, he said, "so that means he probably isn't real", I shrugged and he said, "if he isn't, then the other ones aren't either". (He's almost made the same kid of reasoning w god).

    This is what I'm talking about right here cuz a lot of Christian parents teach their children bible stories like Eve and the serpent..Jonah and the Whale..David and Goliath..Jesus and the disciples..God's existence.. right alongside the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus without really making a distinction between one and the other until later when they want their child to stop believing in one and continue believing in the other. But for what reason???

    God had more meaning and more to offer than a belief in the other things, I think this is why parents hold dear to it and make sure their children do too. Most Christian parents I do know, don't allow their children to believe in such things anyways.
  • No
    I agree with VIBE. Sure, the similarities between Santa and Yahweh are clear to anyone who's willing to look at it objectively, the differences are far more significant. Santa, and those like him are something fun to believe in during certain celebrations or events. Yahweh, on the other hand, serves as an explanation for existential purpose; as the very reason for being for roughly half of the world's population. Because of the significance that is placed on believing in Yahweh, you can't equate it to believing in Santa or the Easter Bunny even if logic would suggest otherwise.
    VIBEzombieBodhi
  • jonojono Complacency is the enemy of progress... Posts: 15,240 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    Children live in a world of fairy tales and characters so its easy for them to place Jesus or God in the same boat. God has the same attributes as all things that don't exist. He has super powers, immortality and an image. May be a beardy white man similar to Santa Claus, or any of the various pictures of white jesus.


    I, like many people, grew up with this image in my house:



    merciful-jesus.jpg



    ^ nobody can prove Jesus looked like that, nobody can prove he exists or existed, he is the same as all the other child-friendly characters you are taught to believe in.


    BodhiBK ProductFuriousOne
  • CynicalAndEbertCynicalAndEbert Posts: 10,229 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    Yes
    I think it does affect children some how. For a child to believe, by way of parents, that these imaginary beings are indeed real for a number of years only to find out it was all bullshit does do something to a child's mind when it comes to something they have to believe in order to see. Maybe not detrimental, but it leaves an imprint that people they trusted to tell them the truth lied about something as big as santa. It may not be readily visible in their decision about god later on in life, but it could definitely be something that happens subconsciously without even their awareness.
    VIBEBodhi
  • CynicalAndEbertCynicalAndEbert Posts: 10,229 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes
    If people did what the parable said, it also might have some more impact. But santa comes whether you're good or bad.
    [Deleted User]
  • ohhhlaohhhla Posts: 10,314 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No
    Lil Loca wrote: »
    They say that Santa Claus is basically a parable to teach kids about karma.

    And god isn't?

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