Santa V God

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Tao_Equus, May 10, 2008.

  1. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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  2. cyberpi

    cyberpi Interfaith Forums

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    God is real. More real than the alleged reality here which is full of Santa clauses.
     
  3. Operacast

    Operacast Member

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    Many feel that God is real. I have my own reasons for feeling that s/he is. I do feel, though, that whenever this Santa V God question is posed -- and I've seen it elsewhere -- it is not necessarily meant slightingly but can sometimes denote a genuine interest by a nonbeliever in the essence of belief. It can denote a genuine search. Instead of tooting my own horn straight off, I'd be curious as to others' reasons here, including those of cyberpi, for feeling that s/he's real -- or feeling that s/he's not real.

    Please?

    Many thanks,

    Operacast
     
  4. cyberpi

    cyberpi Interfaith Forums

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    Personal interaction and witness.

    Upon knowing the existance of someone or something there is still the matter of how to live with. A child believing that Santa is real and independent of the parents is a bit of blind hope. But if Santa does exist and brings more toys to some children and none to others, and a child sees this yet still believes that Santa is good with good intention and purpose then I think that would be more impressive. So I personally don't see the value as a matter of believing in the existance of; rather with whatever is seen of God believing in the purpose, power, and intentions thereof. Upon knowing the existance there are still choices to be made, things to be considered, prayers, questions to be asked, and lessons to be learned. Knowing that God exists is kind of the end of the blind belief, but not the end of believing.
     
  5. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    When did you actually interact or witness? Are you sure it is not just your way of interpreting what would have happened anyway even as a non believer? If so, faith aside, how can you be sure?

    Tao
     
  6. Netti-Netti

    Netti-Netti New Member

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    Not to be glib, but certainty is an issue only for the nonbeliever.

    I take that back. It is more of an issue for the nonbeliever. I would go so far as to say that faith without doubt and critical inquiry is merely dogmatism and blindness.
     
  7. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    I can understand faith and I can understand doubt but for me the only answer to genuine critical enquiry dispels the former and confirms the doubt. I do not mean that it blows the essence of spirituality out of the water but a quick analyses and weighing of the facts means no one can truly have complete faith and be wholly sane. So this as I understand it is exactly the position a child is put in when he discovers the Christmas presents in the closet. He cannot go on believing what he has proof of is a lie. The difference is the child has reached a coming of age when society expects him to leave that myth behind. He is freed of the myth and the cultural conspiracy that built it.

    I saw today a database of 4200 different religions and their splinter groups. 4200 different groups that believe they have the truth and that others are, at best, misguided. What does critical enquiry of that fact say other than people make it up, not A God.
    Historically the churches have changed their tack to the prevailing knowledge or political winds, often reluctantly and after much bloodshed of 'heretics', which means even the religious leadership is making it up as it goes along.
    People change their religion for a variety of reasons, often because its expedient to do so...perhaps because of marriage, so they too are making it up as they go along.
    Everywhere we look we can see people making it up as they go along. I submit this is no different and just as much a myth as Santa Claus.

    Tao
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    I think the similarities abound. And that the western Santa is truly the anthropomorphic representation of the Christian G1d on earth. The old white man of the ceiling dressed in red recording who is naughty and nice, providing gifts or coal. So we've got those heaven/hell representations, Christmas and all that combined, it works to bring that sunday school version to life.

    And Kris Kringle also takes some belief, and exists today in the mind that believes...Both G!d and Santa's spirit are alive in those that believe.
     
  9. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    But friend Tao, what when the results of critical enquiry present a preferential point of view? That is, when the enquirer chooses what evidences to see and hear and dismisses with prejudice any contrary evidences? Is that not dogmatism? Is that not doctrinalisation? I think this may be why I found your POV in the selfishness thread so contradictory with so many of your previous stances.

    It seems, when regarding religion, that proof is necessary. But when regarding politics, proof is irrelevent. To me, both are memes, and essentially the same, and subject to the same burdens of proof. Seekers of either ultimately lean one way or another based upon the burden of circumstantial evidence, and their own personal preferences.

    Not unlike with G-D and Santa. Except I will note one intriguing consideration; Santa is a metaphysical expression that dates far into prehistory. Thomas and I did a couple of threads to that point in the past. It seems Santa is connected, via the Green Knight myths of Arthurian legend, to the ages old Pagan "wild man" tradition.

    So wil is pointed in the correct direction. The bearded old man in the sky representation of G-d is but an alternate rendition of the Pagan wild man. In other words, there is no dichotomy: "G-d" (in this sense) and Santa are one and the same.
     
  10. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Thank you both,

    To be honest I am not here really interested in the historical roots of the Santa myth which is more or less confined to the US and UK in any event. Sure globalisation is pushing its commercial aspect further afield but most other Christian countries stick to the old celebrations on St Nikolai in early December.

    I agree with both of you that Santa is for children the big, warm, cuddly, gift giving introduction to the concept of God. But he is then destroyed because the lie cannot be sustained. In its place rather the children learn of the vengeful God who drowned everyone but Noah and his family, that ordered Abraham to kill his son, that sent plagues to punish and is always there watching you like in some Orwellian nightmare. A wrathful, vengeful God. Sure they intersperse it with the odd benevolence but this has already been proved a lie has'nt it. So what the two are are the classic Good Cop Bad Cop method of breaking down the defences. So Santa is part of the indoctrination program, nothing else. And both are a lie.


    Tao
     
  11. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Oh my, I just got a chance to listen/watch that youtube video. And I had to laugh.

    The man responds with this discussion on Santa and how kids not only discover the toys in their parents closet but also the older kids bully them into "What you still believe in Santa Claus?" So they are derided into 'growing up' and getting rid of the illiusion.

    A little trip...

    I remember when I lost Santa Claus and then became a member of the club that kept the secret, the myth alive. And it was then that I truly lost Santa Claus and it wasn't until years later, that I rediscovered the spirit of Christmas, the joy behind the entity we envision as Santa. When I regained that my issues with the commercialism went away ( I was still atheist or agnostic at the time) but I enjoyed the spirit of giving, the joy of creation, the wonder of season.

    When my kids were first encountering and asking, does Santa really exist, my answer was absolutely yes. Not the man, not the red suit, but they represent the spirit of Christmas. So my kids are 15, delluded into still believing in Santa, as they don't believe in a man at the north pole riding a sleigh distribuitng gifts in one night. They do believe in the naughty and nice list....but know it is internal, it is their own list, and thier lives are impacted by their actions and decisions. They also know that the mythology of Dad and Mom has popped. That we can't kiss it and make it better, that they are now old enough to cause problems get into trouble that we can't fix. That personal responsibilty has eeked into their lives and that naughty and nice list no longer means a hunk of coal or sitting in the corner contemplating thier actions but their are larger reprucussions for major mistakes.

    They also don't currently believe in a saviour. They do believe that they stand on the shoulders of previous generations and are taught the stories of the life of Jesus and of others and realize there are life lessons there that are valuable for them to absorb for their own growth. They don't look outside for thier sins to be forgiven or someone else to absolve them, they know it is an inside job.

    So why did I laugh at the video. The analogy the man clearly made was that those kids gave up their belief in Santa so that they may become part of the smarter club. So that they wouldn't be laughed at for their beliefs.

    I don't need the holier than thou attitude of the athiest club. I'm content with my beliefs and understandings, and have no need of speaking condesendingly about others ideas and bullying them into my belief.

    I find it interesting that atheists are utilizing the same tactics as those they accuse.
     
  12. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    This is the other thing that amazes me at the Atheist viewpoint. Why are you so orthodox? Why are you so dogamatic and literal??

    I believe the book to be metaphysical, metaphorical, analogical, parabolical, and you believe in the Great Flood? The people of the time blamed G!d for their ills as they couldn't, wouldn't take personal responsibility or accept that in nature things happenned. Just as G!d did not direct the hurricanes at New Orleans to rid the world of the unethical behaviour in the french quarter, G!d does not 'allow' pedophiles. Why must we blame?

    What is next on the atheist agenda, wipe out Grimm Fairy tales? Gulliver's Travel's, Homer and the Odessy?
     
  13. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Nope.

    You have to look at the argument for the existence of Santa Claus,
    You have to look at the argument for the existence of God.
    And weigh up both.

    Since you can probably disprove Santa Claus, but since you cannot disprove God, then there's your answer.

    Thomas
     
  14. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Now Thomas, what do you call a Christian who agrees that one can disprove the existence of G!d, an Atheist.

    And conversely when an Atheist in their mind can't disprove the existence of G!d they may be a believer.

    Such an interesting argument as neither side sees what the other side sees, and if and when they do they simply switch sides. They don't bring the whole team with them...and they are constantly bouncing back and forth.

    So believers continue to try to convert atheists and atheists continue to try to convert believers so they can even the score.
     
  15. cyberpi

    cyberpi Interfaith Forums

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    Is Santa Good?

    While I would encourage communication, and inquiry, and action as a probing scientist... I find that God has a will. God has some choice of what, where, when, why, and how to respond. Probe away but you have to convince him to respond. So there is a limit to belief. If God sees it good to be Santa in the mind of someone then that is the way it is... but if that person simply has visions or beliefs of Santa it does not mean that God is the one stooping to their level. In summary I see here God explained as a machine... as a hidden physical constant to be probed and discovered, or as the something that places substance to belief. Both can be true, but both are also seen in a machine. I find if you expect a machine then you won't see God. There is a difference between a machine and a person... the will.
     
  16. Paladin

    Paladin Purchased Bewilderment

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    That brings up an important point Thomas. The arguments for the existence of god are much more complex and intricate than are the arguments for Santa. People of faith are much more invested in keeping the idea of God going while the investment for Santa is much less. Retailers are the priesthood of Santa while the majority of the earth's population must of necessity and psychological hard wiring keep the God thing going.
     
  17. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    As many have said, there is obviously no reality behind Santa claus the man on his sledge that flys around the entire world in a 24 hour period with his red nosed reindeer and drops presents in chimneys... That is man made... ("But so is god!!!") Well, to a degree it is or can be... But, there is no way at current to be 100% sure EITHER way that there is no God. And if with care, time openess and logic you look into -everything- I think the evidence begins to side in the corner of intelligent designer.
     
  18. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    Wil,

    With respect, both in the post quoted and your previous one you completely fail to get the point. I am not talking about me or my perspective. I am talking about the mind of a 5, 6 or 7 year old child. By failing to take this into account you completely miss the real cause and effects of the myths peddled to a vulnerable group. To dismiss peer pressure on a child is your choice, but in my opinion a foolish one.

    Tao
     
  19. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    I can safely dismiss God for lack of evidence of his existence and substantial evidence that man has created the various myths that they use to support it. These combined give me somewhere close to 99% certainty that God is a fiction. Would you bet your life on a 99/1 rank outsider?

    Tao
     
  20. Tao_Equus

    Tao_Equus Interfaith Forums

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    And dont forget the Religion Inc. corporations that call themselves Churches.

    Tao
     

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