Should we ban Christmas? Telling children the myth of Santa Claus could damage them, claims Richard Dawkins


#1

Should we ban Christmas? Telling children the myth of Santa Claus could damage them, claims Richard Dawkins.

I really loathe sharing this particular UK tabloid on here but anyways, it’s important to know what the media are purporting. How far is too far as far as Richard Dawkins goes?

Read more: dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2648272/Should-ban-Christmas-Telling-children-Santa-Claus-damage-claims-Richard-Dawkins.html#ixzz33gVKVCbF


#2

Richard Dawkins may have a point. I know this is just my experience, but I trusted my parents wholeheartedly in whatever they said to me in my early years, including Santa Claus. It wasnt until I was pretty old that they tolde the truth and I was devastates. As an adult, I have trust issues and I question everything. There may be some merit in banning that aspect of Christmas.


#3

Oh come on. Belief in Santa, which is also anchored in the real life Saint Nicholas, has caused you trust issues throughout your life? Really?

Sorry, but I grow tire of people attacking innocent traditions. Kids learn to believe in something bigger then themselves (before they can truly grasp the Catholic faith they were raised into) at a very early age…and that belief is founded on the actions of a real life Saint. Parents are, in a very real way, following in the footsteps of Saint Nicholas when they give to their children (and let someone else, Santa, get the credit). Think about it, all the gifts children receive from Santa are actually coming from their parents, which means the parents are NOT taking credit or acclaim from their kids–that is a very Christian act. It show the parents are not interested in getting the accolades, rather the parents are interested in providing their children a joyful time. We need a lot more of that sort of thinking in this world, not less.

Just a suggestion: you might want to recalibrate your thoughts about your childhood belief in Santa, and view it as a loving and unselfish gift from your parents. Your parents unselfishly gift. :slight_smile:


#4

Sorry to hear that.

I have no trust issues at all, and everyone in my extended family is on this page regarding this issue, so I do think there’s more to a profound lack of trust than simply pretending there’s a Santa Claus.


#5

Just to let everyone know this article is a total lie and Richard Dawkins has publicly stated there is no truth in this.


#6

Do you have a link to his statement? That would be good to read. :slight_smile:


#7

I am dead serious. I saw Santa in the same miraculous light I saw God in, where the impossible is possible. I was seriously heart broken when they finally told me the truth. Maybe I am just slow and extremely gullible. I always wondered if my parents were going to tell me that God was just a lie too once I turned 18.

The pattern repeats itself today. Before I used to “debate” the existence of Santa with the other kids, and I was already pretty old. They turned out to be correct. I feel that debating the existence of God is the adult parallel to that experience.


#8

I believe you. I just don’t think it’s the only piece of the picture. I’m not a child psychologist though, so it’d be best if I left it at that, rather than venture into areas that I’m not competent to be discussing.


#9

The Santa Delusion: How Festive Fibs Poison Everything… I wonder when we can expect the book.


#10

by the time I was old enough to know the “truth” I had caught on real good…and continued the fantasy until my teens…instead of milk and cookies…I left my dad’s favorite can of soda. One year when I did this, I found it had rolled under a side table unopened…hmmmmm…almost like “Santa” did not want it!

the problem with Mr Dawkins is that he’s still a rabid atheist and he compares Santa and God…he doesn’t want people to tell children about God…because they might actually believe in God…become Christians and do good for the poor, etc…


#11

We don’t need a thread on the views of Dawkins


#12

Here’s a nice rebuttal from another atheist, the marvelous Terry Pratchett:

“All right," said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

“So we can believe the big ones?”

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

“They’re not the same at all!”

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME…SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”

MY POINT EXACTLY.”
― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather


#13

I am not sure why anyone cares what Richard Dawkins thinks. The same type of reasoning can be brought up by some fundamentalist or even Seventh Day Adventist groups. Letting children have Santa Claus and other such things is a healthy part of growing up. Dreaming isn’t something to be squash. Now if someone wan’t to complain about the media hype surrounding Santa Claus and how it is just over the top, that is another issue. If someone wants to complain that Santa Claus over shadows the real meaning, that is another issue. But the promotion of jolly old Santa Claus isn’t done by Christians but a secular society that want to promote over the top commercialization. I also think the over done Santa Claus point to a deeper longing for a true giving hero to look up to, Someone that gives without question or strings attached. That should be God but instead a secular society subs in a perversion of a real Saint Nicholas who is the basis of Santa Claus.


#14

Whether Dawkins actually said this or not, in the past I have come out strongly in these forums against lying to children, in any way, and for any reason. I usually get smacked down by the “oh-we-gotta-put-a-little-fantasy-in-their-lives” crowd, but I still believe that a lie is a lie is a lie.

So have at me. I’m tough! I can take it! (Especially 'cause I know I’m right :smiley: :stuck_out_tongue: )


#15

Maybe he should have a debate over this with William Lane Craig.

Oh wait…


#16

A lie is a lie? Does that include all fiction? Can we read stories to children?


#17

St. Nicholas was a real person, the bishop of Myra, and he really was generous to the poor. (Which is how we got those ‘giving out presents’ stories.) Can’t see what’s wrong about that. :wink:


#18

Most children can understand the difference between a fictional story and a true story, even if they need help identifying which a particular story is.

Speaking for myself I’ve heard far too many anecdotes of people having problems with Christian faith due to Santa Claus to buy that it is an innocent fantasy. Children really do trust their parents to tell them the truth and really do often feel betrayed when they learn they were lied to. That wasn’t my experience, but it is that of many people, and the temptation to then compare belief in Santa Claus to belief in God is often very strong.

Why can’t we just reclaim St. Nicholas as a Catholic saint and incorporate authentic devotion to him around Christmas? Or indulge in fictional stories of Santa Claus without asserting that it is reality? Kids are so trusting because their parents are supposed to be educating them about reality, not having fun with their children’s credulity for their own reasons and setting up the kids to become skeptics in the future.


#19

Methinks Richard Dawkins is just desperate for attention. I wrote some thoughts on this back around Christmas, if anyone is interested:

Santa Claus, Herald of Christmas or Anit-Christ?


#20

Ban Christmas? Absolutely NOT! The materialism of “Christmas” yes! The whole Santa thing …maybe.

I believed in Santa. I got older and found out the truth. I was bummed. But the really crazy thing is it never made me have trust issues with religion and question God’s existence. :eek:

OTOH, my trust issues, if any, are more due to the fact that I used to believe in a Gov’t by the people and for the people and that we live in a Democracy. I found out that was the biggest lie ever. Now I don’t trust any politician or the gov’t or the American people to elect an effective leader. :smiley:


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