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Humanists and Santa

Enter here to explore ethical issues and discuss the meaning and source of morality.
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Compassionist
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Humanists and Santa

#1 Post by Compassionist » December 6th, 2013, 9:46 am

Do humanists tell their children the lie that Santa gives them Christmas presents? We didn't tell our only child the Santa lie because with thought it is better to tell the truth that his Christmas presents come from his parents. What do other humanists do regarding the Santa lie?

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Altfish
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#2 Post by Altfish » December 6th, 2013, 10:07 am

I personally continue the myth; knowing that they will soon suss it out by the age of about 7.
It brings pleasure to the young kids and actually the process of sussing it out is good for their reasoning skills. Another reason we keep the myth going is that I'd hate my grandchild to spoil some other kids Xmas with a flippant, "He's not real you know"

Compassionist
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#3 Post by Compassionist » December 6th, 2013, 2:39 pm

Altfish wrote:I personally continue the myth; knowing that they will soon suss it out by the age of about 7.
It brings pleasure to the young kids and actually the process of sussing it out is good for their reasoning skills. Another reason we keep the myth going is that I'd hate my grandchild to spoil some other kids Xmas with a flippant, "He's not real you know"
Reminds me of humanists telling the religious people, "God's not real you know!"

Nick
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#4 Post by Nick » December 6th, 2013, 3:23 pm

I have no children of my own, Compo, so what do I know? But I do not like the idea of lying to children. Maybe I would be different if it came to it, but I'd just leave my child guessing, but would avoid telling them an untruth. Adult powers of conversation are easily strong enough to avoid answering the question, without making false claims.

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draykorinee
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#5 Post by draykorinee » December 6th, 2013, 3:58 pm

Of course Ill let them believe in santa, I don't see any reason to not encourage imagination and fun, its not like in the future my kids will be worshipping santa in the hopes to receive another polly in my pocket.
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thundril
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#6 Post by thundril » December 6th, 2013, 7:25 pm

Children understand make-believe extremely well. Fairies, Santa, Batman, the lot. They move between stories without bothering about all that true-not true stuff. It's play. As we grow older, we see that some things are actually true, and some things are socially significant myths. The same happens with the gods, I suspect, in lands and times where they don't have grim grownups presenting improbable tales as required knowledge.
So there's no harm in letting the little ones wonder about Santa, and the baby Jesus, or Moses in the reeds, or Mohammed on his flying horse. It's all good stuff!

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draykorinee
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#7 Post by draykorinee » December 6th, 2013, 9:14 pm

thundril wrote:Children understand make-believe extremely well. Fairies, Santa, Batman, the lot. They move between stories without bothering about all that true-not true stuff. It's play. As we grow older, we see that some things are actually true, and some things are socially significant myths. The same happens with the gods, I suspect, in lands and times where they don't have grim grownups presenting improbable tales as required knowledge.
So there's no harm in letting the little ones wonder about Santa, and the baby Jesus, or Moses in the reeds, or Mohammed on his flying horse. It's all good stuff!
Ooh I like this post a lot, thanks :)
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Dave B
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#8 Post by Dave B » December 6th, 2013, 9:42 pm

Just so long as you don't tell them the original Grimm's Bros tales and let them think they are real!
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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thundril
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#9 Post by thundril » December 7th, 2013, 2:05 am

Dave B wrote:Just so long as you don't tell them the original Grimm's Bros tales and let them think they are real!
They love ogres and witches and children being roasted in pots!

Compassionist
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#10 Post by Compassionist » December 7th, 2013, 8:00 am

thundril wrote:Children understand make-believe extremely well. Fairies, Santa, Batman, the lot. They move between stories without bothering about all that true-not true stuff. It's play. As we grow older, we see that some things are actually true, and some things are socially significant myths. The same happens with the gods, I suspect, in lands and times where they don't have grim grownups presenting improbable tales as required knowledge.
So there's no harm in letting the little ones wonder about Santa, and the baby Jesus, or Moses in the reeds, or Mohammed on his flying horse. It's all good stuff!
Thank you for all your replies. Looks like I am in the minority. While I respect everyone's Human Rights, there is a huge difference between superhero stories and the lies about Santa and the Nativity. Superhero stories are fictitious stories, as are fairytales. No one says that superheroes are real. Children don't get told that their real presents come from a real Superman but they are told that their real presents come from a real Santa even though Santa does not exist. They even write letters to this Santa. Similarly, children are told the Nativity story as if it really happenned. Not just that, at school assemblies they even pray to this Jesus as if Jesus really exists and hears their prayers. It is not mere story telling. It is passing off lies as history (rather, His story). I have no problems with fairy tales and superhero stories but I consider passing off lies as the truth to be wrong.

lewist
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#11 Post by lewist » December 7th, 2013, 9:34 am

As a teacher I used to have to deal with this one with eight year olds. They were at an age where some knew the truth and others still hung onto the myth. My answer was to tell them I wasn't sure about the old man in red, but that the story was based on a bishop who did good works where he lived.

I told them that in a way I did believe in Santa because for me it was about acts of goodness and kindness; about helping others, and that at this time of year, whether we believed or not, we celebrated the ideas behind the Santa myth.

Mind you, make sure Santa only brings small presents. Make sure that if you have spent a lot of money on (for example) a bike, you get the credit rather than a ficticious old guy in a sleight.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

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Dave B
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#12 Post by Dave B » December 7th, 2013, 11:17 am

One supposes that one should not tell young 'uns the theory that the red-with-white-buttons motif of the classic santa image (along with flying reindeer) comes from Finish herders nibbling tiny bits of the toxic, but also hallucinogenic, fly agaric mushroom to help while the longest nights of winter away?
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

thundril
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#13 Post by thundril » December 7th, 2013, 12:49 pm

Dave B wrote:One supposes that one should not tell young 'uns the theory that the red-with-white-buttons motif of the classic santa image (along with flying reindeer) comes from Finish herders nibbling tiny bits of the toxic, but also hallucinogenic, fly agaric mushroom to help while the longest nights of winter away?
Haven't heard that one before, Dave. Interesting. I did hear that Coca Cola bought up every Santa illustration they could find, (around the 1930s, I think) and changed the colours to match the Coca Cola logo. Exactly the same red, exactly the same proportions of red to white. There used to be a lot of kids' books with Santa in a green suit. But they're extremely rare now.
Anyone get any more Santa myths?

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Dave B
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#14 Post by Dave B » December 7th, 2013, 12:54 pm

thundril wrote:
Dave B wrote:One supposes that one should not tell young 'uns the theory that the red-with-white-buttons motif of the classic santa image (along with flying reindeer) comes from Finish herders nibbling tiny bits of the toxic, but also hallucinogenic, fly agaric mushroom to help while the longest nights of winter away?
Haven't heard that one before, Dave. Interesting. I did hear that Coca Cola bought up every Santa illustration they could find, (around the 1930s, I think) and changed the colours to match the Coca Cola logo. Exactly the same red, exactly the same proportions of red to white. There used to be a lot of kids' books with Santa in a green suit. But they're extremely rare now.
Anyone get any more Santa myths?
Looking up "Victorian Santa" on Google Images gives mostly red/white santas but some green ones. No buttons there though I notice.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
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Alan H
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#15 Post by Alan H » December 12th, 2013, 6:10 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Compassionist
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#16 Post by Compassionist » December 15th, 2013, 12:12 pm

I am quoting from the above:
He told children that Father Christmas was based on a grisly legend about Saint Nicholas, who brought three murdered children back to life.

The Church of England vicar described how the youngsters were killed by an evil butcher and placed in a barrel to be pickled and sold as ham.
Is there any evidence supporting the claim that Saint Nicholas brought the three murdered children back to life?

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Alan H
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#17 Post by Alan H » December 22nd, 2013, 11:16 pm

Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Re: Humanists and Santa

#18 Post by Nick » December 29th, 2013, 1:02 pm

I like the sentiment of video very much. Had an encounter with a 6 year old and her family yesterday. Not impressed by the talk of Santa that was pumped out. :cross:

Compassionist
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#19 Post by Compassionist » December 30th, 2013, 5:29 pm

Alan H wrote:
Thank you for posting the link Alan. I loved the video. I agree with almost everything he said. The only issue I have with the video is that at 4 minutes 16 seconds he said that the fear of Santa not giving presents as punishment for bad behaviour is not the same as the fear of God watching over people's behaviour. I think the fear of God watching over their behaviour and punishing them for bad behaviour or for doubts or disbelief in God is much worse than the fear of Santa not giving presents because God claims to punish people with eternal suffering in Hell - this is infinitely worse than not getting some Christmas present.

Compassionist
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Re: Humanists and Santa

#20 Post by Compassionist » December 30th, 2013, 5:33 pm

Nick wrote:I like the sentiment of video very much. Had an encounter with a 6 year old and her family yesterday. Not impressed by the talk of Santa that was pumped out. :cross:
I can certainly relate to you. The other day an eight year old was going on and on to me and my son about how Santa was going to bring him Xbox for Christmas because he was such a good boy all year. My son knows the truth about Santa and we never fed him the lies about Santa. My son refrained from bursting the other boy's bubble as we have told him not to burst peoples' belief bubbles as they usually get upset if that happens.

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