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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:48 pm
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Santa, do Christians believe in him? If not, why not.

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Ok, you’re probably wondering what Santa has to do with Christianity….bear with me here….

The topic of Santa was brought up in the thread “Everyone should be agnostic….”, and with it brought some interesting topics to do with belief systems, well worthy of a new thread.

Now why is this in a Christianity forum? I think it has some rich insights into Christian epistemology - why they believe in some things and not others. I was pondering putting this in the philosophy sub-forum, but I feel it’s more relating to pure Christian thought (though if moderators feel otherwise then that’s ok).

So, let the debate begin!…I do not intend the question to be demeaning or disrespectful, but merely a candid enquiry. So with no further ado…Do Christians believe in Santa? If not, why not.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Wed Nov 03, 2004 3:03 am
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I would say that Christians don't believe in Santa Clause for the same reason that nobody else (among adults) believes in him. He is not real.

No scholars believe nor proclaim that Santa is real. No adult I have ever met believes he is real. There is no historical claim to his historicity.

It can't be assumed that Christians would believe any belief because of their belief in something else. How does it follow?

Should evolutionists believe in Santa because they believe in evolution? It isn't the same type of knowledge.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Wed Nov 03, 2004 5:04 am
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nikolayevich wrote:
I would say that Christians don't believe in Santa Clause for the same reason that nobody else (among adults) believes in him. He is not real.
Which is pretty much how I respond to claims of the gods; all of 'em.

I'm entirely unqualified to respond about belief in Santa Claus from a Christian perspective, but I think that this is a really good question:
nikolayevich wrote:
It can't be assumed that Christians would believe any belief because of their belief in something else. How does it follow?
It doesn't follow.

This, to me, is one of the most perplexing aspects of Christians and their beliefs. The vast majority of believers that I have conversed with are definitely not gullible and trusting of anything that they hear. My first brush with Christian beliefs --at about age five or six-- was greeted with great skepticism, in part because I had already "debunked" the Santa Claus story, and what I was being told had a curiously similar you'd better be nice ring to it. I find it immensely interesting that for the most part, Christians don't appear to be any more or less skeptical than me, yet at the same time some of what they do believe I personally regard as about as truthful as the Santa Claus myth. I have also realized that Christians most certainly do not all walk in lock-step in their beliefs: there are young earthers, old earthers, a variety of scriptural interpretations, literalists, etc.

What I am interested in is the process used by believers to assess certain claims as false, whether those claims are of other gods, Santa Claus, elves, Bigfoot, etc.

Ultimately, I've decided that it's prudent not to make too many generalizations about individuals based upon a small number of beliefs -- or non-beliefs.

Regards,
mrmufin

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:47 pm
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Quote:
I had already "debunked" the Santa Claus story


Are you trying to suggest by this that Santa does not exist?

I know that he exists:

1 Presents appear at Christmas - who brings them if not Santa?

2 My parents told me that he exists ergo he exists

3 There are many references to Santa in books so he must exist

4 Just because Santa chooses not to show himself to you does not mean he does not exist

5 Santa is benevolent - just because he does not give presents to those in the third world and allows people to starve at Christmas does not disprove his existence

6 To ensure he is able to deliver all of the presents in just one night there are really three Santas and these three Santas are both the same Santa and different Santas all at the same time

7 No I have never seen Santa - what a silly question - I do not need to see Santa I simply have faith in his existence

8 Please do not try to persuade me of his nonexistence by using scientific arguments - Santa is Santa and is beyond your understanding...

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Wed Nov 03, 2004 6:07 pm
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Christans believe in Saint Nicolaus, a member of the clergy who was very merciful and generous. I don't remember the details off the top of my head, but his legend spawned the stories of a magical man sneaking down chimneys. We don't believe he comes on a sleigh every year--the man has been dead for centuries! And he isn't a part of our doctrine--just a kind man of the cloth from long ago Wink

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Wed Nov 03, 2004 7:58 pm
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Quote:
He is not real


But nik, why do you think this? Is it simply that you haven’t seen him?

Quote:
No scholars believe nor proclaim that Santa is real.


But perhaps these scholars are just trying to rationalize their predisposition that he doesn’t exist. Perhaps they are all merely indoctrinated…like how you may think scientists are about evolution….

Quote:
No adult I have ever met believes he is real.


Is this adequate proof? Many years ago almost all adults believed the world was flat….

Quote:
There is no historical claim to his historicity.


Yes there is, there’s plenty of historic evidence about St Nick who lived in Europe. Obviously at some point he obtained supernatural powers to complete his task…and is possibly now immortal. Surly you believe Jesus was sort of "normal" until he obtained his supernatural abilities as an adult.

Quote:
It can't be assumed that Christians would believe any belief because of their belief in something else. How does it follow?


It doesn’t, that’s my point. I’m interested in why Christians don’t believe in Santa.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:24 pm
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Santa Poem

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When I read the question,
Does he exist, this Santa Claus?
I initially ignored it and then decided
to give it some pause.

It seems like the mind of the atheists
have given the Santa argument a nod,
Of using this argument to show
that there is not a God.

So, in humoring the readers
and in bringing some pre-seasonal cheer,
I'll add some more thoughts
on the Santa argument here.

Though the comparison might have some parallels,
there are some that are perpendicular,
So I will attempt to argue my case through several means,
of using rhyme and reasoning in particular.

The argument then goes
that if Santa is an illusion
then not believing in a god
could be a similar conclusion.

The comparison between the two
is not appropriate I feel
because no adults in their right mind
personally believe that Santa is real.

Adults only try to convince their child
that a man named Santa exists
But to say that any adults truly believe in him
would be amiss.

No adult tries to convince another adult
of Santa's existence,
with the exception perhaps
of those who need some mental assistance.

So, to hold the position
that Santa is not a fake,
is not a position
that any reasonable person would take.

However, to believe in God
or in a diety of any sort,
has much more evidence and reasoning
to give it support.

What, do you ask,
are reasons for God's support?
Are there any basis for what
Christians purport?

That is one of the reasons why
the "Does God exist?" thread was created,
Numerous arguments were presented
and reasons stated.

Even more than a single thread
this entire forum makes the case
of the validity of Christianity
and the reasoning on which it's based.

But, back to the matter of the
question in hand,
does this Santa Claus exist,
is he is figment or really a man?

Again the argument
that I want to press
is that a belief in Santa
no adult do profess.

And who exactly is Santa
and how is he defined?
It seems like that should also be clarified
if people are to opine.

Is he the jolly fat man
that Coke makes him out to be?
Or the dressed up men in the malls
to be photographed next to the Christmas tree?

Also, to attribute him as
the source of all presents on Christmas eve,
there are many evidences
that makes this hard to believe.

Sure, if one suspends reason,
one can account for anything.
But, it's best to approach things with logic,
lest one be labeled right wing.

But surely Santa, if he exists,
cannot avoid leaving some sort of trail,
footprints, fingerprints, or stuff that comes
from below the reindeers tail.

And speaking of reindeers
that supposed fly
they don't even have any wings
to flap with in the sky.

And what about him supposedly
living at the North Pole?
How does he get the childrens' mail,
if no planes have it as its goal?

And do airplane pilots ever
claim to have a Santa sighting?
How can he see through the dark
with Rudolf's nose providing so little lighting?

And with sheer number of toys
that kids want nowaday,
how can so much cargo fit
upon his little sleigh?

Are there more arguments against
the Santa we all love and know?
There certainly are,
but it is beyond what this single poem can show.

I have already composed beyond
what I have originally planned to write
but the time rapidly approaches
that I should bid thee good night.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:15 am
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Quote:
The comparison between the two
is not appropriate I feel
because no adults in their right mind
personally believe that Santa is real.


You specify, right mind. So for instance, if someone declared by a state institution to be insane believed in Santa, it would hold no weight? Certainly not. If someone suffering from a number of alternate personalities supported Santa, it also adds nothing to the debate as they can't even sort themselves out. Now, lets try something a bit trickier, what if someone was brainwashed to believe in Santa? Would that person count for you?

If not, why not?

Quote:
No adult tries to convince another adult
of Santa's existence,
with the exception perhaps
of those who need some mental assistance.


Hrm...response pending on your response to above.

Quote:
That is one of the reasons why
the "Does God exist?" thread was created,
Numerous arguments were presented
and reasons stated.


You have reasons, but are they valid reasons?

Quote:
But surely Santa, if he exists,
cannot avoid leaving some sort of trail,
footprints, fingerprints, or stuff that comes
from below the reindeers tail.


You'd think a supernatural entity would leave us with more then anecdotes for evidence...

Quote:
And speaking of reindeers
that supposed fly
they don't even have any wings
to flap with in the sky.


Well, are talking snakes/donkeys any better?

Quote:
And do airplane pilots ever
claim to have a Santa sighting?
How can he see through the dark
with Rudolf's nose providing so little lighting?


I can do better then that. Every year on December 25, our weather station displays the weather map, with Santa's location as reported by the weather radar. Every year, on TV.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Thu Nov 04, 2004 1:18 am
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Quote:
Every year, on TV.


Good point TVs never lie and weather stations are always correct!

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Thu Nov 04, 2004 2:23 am
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1 Presents appear at Christmas - who brings them if not Santa?

2 My parents told me that he exists ergo he exists

3 There are many references to Santa in books so he must exist

4 Just because Santa chooses not to show himself to you does not mean
Quote:
he does not exist

5 Santa is benevolent - just because he does not give presents to those in the third world and allows people to starve at Christmas does not disprove his existence

6 To ensure he is able to deliver all of the presents in just one night there are really three Santas and these three Santas are both the same Santa and different Santas all at the same time

7 No I have never seen Santa - what a silly question - I do not need to see Santa I simply have faith in his existence

8 Please do not try to persuade me of his nonexistence by using scientific arguments - Santa is Santa and is beyond your understanding...


I think we are on the same wavelength here, Potwalloper.

I especially like point number 8. Very shrewd. Would any Christians care to say that any above points as poor reasoning?

And otseng, why do you have to be so immature? We are trying to have a civilized debate here, could a moderator please put him on probation? Hehehe, just kidding. It was very clever. I think you have too much spare time. Wink

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