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Post 0

Monday, July 19, 2004 - 12:52pmSanction this postReply
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Randroids have this way of sucking all fun out of the world. Like not allowing their kids to believe in Santa, so as to have a pretext to decorate, have a drink, and be silly. Being silly from time to time is important to your mental health, and a sure hedge against becoming a self-important asshole.



Post 1

Monday, July 19, 2004 - 3:00pmSanction this postReply
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I think numbers 6 and 7 overlap. I don't have kids, but I would tell them I didn't believe in Santa. They could then believe if they wished untill significant proof showed otherwise.



Post 2

Monday, July 19, 2004 - 4:23pmSanction this postReply
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I don't think I need to perpetuate a belief in an overweight and drunken prowler in order to stave off assholery, Scott.  Gift-giving, silliness and familial love won't burst into sanctimonious flames if I tell my kid Santa Claus is made up.  Though I myself wouldn't burst into flames if they decided to believe in him anyways.  These kinds of things have a way of sorting themselves out by age 10 or so.



Post 3

Monday, July 19, 2004 - 11:18pmSanction this postReply
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You don't have to lie to your kids for them to have fun and enjoy Christmas. I think DeSalvo and those like him forget the true meaning of Christmas, which is good will towards men. Tell me, are you teaching your kids good will by deceiving them?  By lying to them? Remember, there is no such thing as a 'white' lie. Why is a fictional fat man in a red suit a necessary condition for fun around the holidays? My child still wakes up Christmas morning with a room full of presents, only those presents aren't predicated upon a lie. They are from real people (mostly from family and relatives) showing real good will.  To give presents based on a lie demonstrates ill-will.



Post 4

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 2:48amSanction this postReply
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If I have kids I will tell them that Santa is a myth that embodies the idea of Christmas, and if they are interested help them look up the sketchy information regarding the historical origins of the myth. I simply would not want my kids believing irrationalities.

Any idea why this poll is called "Christmas In July"?




Post 5

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 5:21amSanction this postReply
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I don't need a pretext to give gifts, decorate my house, or to be silly.  Nor  would I tell any future children a lie so that they have such a pretext. 



Post 6

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 5:58amSanction this postReply
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I believe because it's July, and we're discussing an element of Christmas, MH.  That's not to say it's out of line to break open that bottle of holiday wine.  I have!

Cheers!
J the Lush




Post 7

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 6:53amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Glombowski,

Tell me, are you teaching your kids good will by deceiving them?  By lying to them? Remember, there is no such thing as a 'white' lie.
 
Do you regard all fiction as lying? Do you think pretending is lying?

Regi




Post 8

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 1:41pmSanction this postReply
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Regi,

Fiction pretending to be truth is by definition a lie. Short term pretending, as in role play games etc is harmless of course but long term belief in irrationalities can be psychologically damaging.

MH

PS Jeremy, thanks...I was confused because the actual poll question has nothing to do with July :-)

(Edited by Matthew Humphreys on 7/20, 1:43pm)




Post 9

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 3:17pmSanction this postReply
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Regi, the question wasn't directed at me, but thought I'd answer anyways. I don't think fiction or pretending are lies, because you don't for a minute think they're true! When I read a fictional novel, I know it's made up. Likewise when kids play pretend, they know it's not the real thing. Just because I've played "let's pretend we're ... (insert some animal here)", doesn't mean I tell the kids I'm a bird for real. So not sure you could confuse that with a lie.

To extend that to Santa Claus, I'd like to let my children know he's not real. That doesn't mean they may not have fun and sit in the guy's lap at the mall. I mean, I still wave to Santa driving by on the fire engine! And I totally agree with most people here, that Christmas can be just as meaningful without that one little lie. I'd think it's such a small part of Christmas, that you can have so many other traditions and things to get excited about I doubt it would take the magic of the season away if the kids didn't believe in the jolly guy. It might just save you some headaches as they won't ask for $2,000 quads for Christmas thinking they're free gifts...

Matt, I posted this question. I was thinking about it and wondering what people have done. I've heard the expression "Christmas in July" before (sometimes organizations do a mid-year Christmas theme for some fundraiser and it's a common phrase). So if this was August, I wouldn't have said "Christmas in August". However, they might not use that in the UK.

-Elizabeth




Post 10

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 5:13pmSanction this postReply
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I've always made a distinction between fiction and fantasy... fiction is speculative truth, while fantasies are lies...   a fat, oversized elf, with flying reideer is obviously a lie...
and true, taking the lies out of the yuleside times in no way need lessen the joy and happines and good will... actually, think it would add to it by having removed the truly frivolous element in it...
and to claim a lax of serious is needed[eg - nonthinking] is to proclaim that being rational needs must be a dour affair... hah!




Post 11

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 6:42pmSanction this postReply
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Regi,

Talk about context-dropping. It is a totally different context to lie to a child about Santa Claus then to "tell a fictional story or pretend."  Like seeing a movie (or even the act of pretending), reading a fictional story includes the suspension of disbelief, which also includes the notion that one must return to reality. In fact, I would say it is legitamte to read "Twas the Night before Christmas" as long as one maintains the notion that the story is fiction. That is not the intent of parents when they tell their kids that Santa Claus actually exists and actually comes down the chimney to leave presents. Telling a child that Santa exists in an out right lie, not a suspension of disbelief, because those who practice it intend on fooling their kids, i.e., expecting them to continue the belief in Santa Claus for at least eight years or so. I don't think the notion of a "long term suspension of disbelief" is legitimate.   To equate an out-right lie with the suspension of disbelief is a horrible case of context-dropping. Since context-dropping equates to anything goes logic, then the concepts of God, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy become legitamte as well, as long as we tell ourselves they are all just fiction. The notion that telling a child about Santa Claus is an act of fiction or pretend is how one can rationalize not telling the truth at Christmas time. My whole point was that the true meaning of Christmas gets lost when one says that Santa Claus is a necessary condition of Christmas.

I totally agree with Elizabeth's response.




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Post 12

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 7:58pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. Glombowski, Elizabeth, Matthew, Scott,

First of all, I did not express an opinion or position at all. I only asked two questions.

Do you regard all fiction as lying? Do you think pretending is lying?

Mr. Glombowski comes on like gang-busters accusing me of context dropping and explaining it is wrong to lie to a child.

I appreciate Mr. Glombowski's concern for my treatment of children, but it's a little late, since I presently have more grandchildren than children.

Now to all of you, there is something strange about this view that Santa Claus is a lie. I do not know about you, but my wife and I read to our children from the time they could understand, even a little, of what we were reading. Most of those children's stories were total and fantastic fictions. We never explained the animals didn't really talk, or that the magic beans did not really grow into a beanstalk that reached a kingdom in the sky. They would not have understood what we were talking about, anyway.

I grew up in a large family of very intelligent and imaginative people. I was told more fictions (lies) than truth growing up, among them, the terrible lie about Santa Claus. One of the great joys of my life was discovering which of those marvelous stories and creations I was told were real, and which were really fictions. You cannot imagine how much I learned in sorting those things out, and how much pleasure it gave me when I figured out that some story one of my uncles had told me was pure fiction. It made me feel very grown-up each time I discovered one.

No one worried that my little psyche would be damaged by being told these, "heinous lies." They knew, unless there was something wrong with me, I would figure out the difference between the fictions and the facts, and that it was part of growing up, a delightful and edifying part.

The fact is, not one of those fictions (or lies as you would all call them) ever harmed me at all, because they were never integrated into my hierarchy of knowledge, except is the interesting fictions that they were. One of the things I learned is how to tell the difference between what is only a story, and what is truly grounded in reality.

And, by the way, it is a very good thing none of you were around when my relatives were abusing me with those delicious lies, because if you had called them liars, it would have been the last thing you called anybody.

I think you all do not understand children, either because you forget your own childhood, or have none of your own. I know you are certainly underestimating them. I cannot think of many things more cruel than the dreary dry and unimaginative world you would ban children to with all your paranoia about Santa Claus and, I suppose, the Easter Bunny and tooth fairy.

Scott's right. "Randroids have this way of sucking all fun out of the world," especially, for children, it seems. 

Regi






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Sanction: 4, No Sanction: 0
Post 13

Tuesday, July 20, 2004 - 9:01pmSanction this postReply
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Yeah, I don't think the Santa myth has caused too many serial killings.  It's not necessary to forbid your child from indulging in fantasy.  They can--and will, barring mental defects--figure out what the difference is between truth and falsehood, fact and fiction, usually without any grounding in good Objectivist epistemology  (I probably knew what a lie was 15 years before I ever heard of Ayn Rand...). 

I believe I would be correct in assuming that the majority of participants hereabouts, when they were little itsy bitsy mini-SOLOists-to-be, were subjected to the Curse of Claus.  You're not lopping off heads, are you?

However, I don't see how creating that initial idea of Claus in your child's mind is any benefit.  What's the point?  They'll probably hear about Him from schoolmates or relatives or some such, at which point you say: "Oh yes, Santa!  Old Saint Nick, as it were.  Not a real chap, sneaking into people's houses and fondling their mothers and such, but if you want to tell stories about him and think he's got you on his list, go right ahead Little Johnny!  No skin off my back!  Just remember who pays the bills, and who stays just a few minutes passing out crappy neckties and ratty socks and steals all the goddamn cookies and...!!  Well, run along now and pour Old Dad a whiskey, son.  Good boy."

Bottom line:  Santa Calus (( http://www.claus.com/  )) will not save or destroy Little Johnny.  Like many purposeless things, Santa is also harmless.  Whiskey, on the other hand.....







Post 14

Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 2:51amSanction this postReply
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Regi,

I never showed concern for your children nor am I concerned. You raise (or raised) your children how you see fit.

And using the threat, that if I told your family they were liars it would be the last thing I ever said, is a clear cut example of the argument from intimidation. Besides, I own a black-belt in Choi Kwang-do and know how to defend myself, so if your family (or anyone else, for that matter) choose to leave a civilized discussion and initiate force towards me...all I can say is bring it on!!! I take much offence to your threat, good sir, and find that you are no longer worthy of responding to. Is this how one shows tolerence towards anothers view? Or is this also an effect of being lied to as a child? Does such a threat demonstrate good will or ill will? I am totally shocked that this kind of threat is allowed to be posted on a site that is supposedly geared towards tolerance.

I've been a member of this site for a little while but never posted anything until now. That threat is a fine example of why I have only "listened" and never posted before.

To those of you who know how to argue using reason and not intimidation, I thank you for your civility and welcome your point of view.




Post 15

Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 4:22amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Gloombowski,

Thanks for enlightening response.

I never showed concern for your children nor am I concerned.
 
Obviously.

And using the threat, that if I told your family they were liars it would be the last thing I ever said, is a clear cut example of the argument from intimidation.
 
It wasn't an argument.

Besides, I own a black-belt in Choi Kwang-do ...
 
Thank you for the information about your wardrobe. I personally own several black belts, some brown ones, and other assorted colors, and I keep mine right here in my closet. Where is Choi Kwang-do?

I take much offence to your threat, good sir, and find that you are no longer worthy of responding to.
 
Then why did you?

Does such a threat demonstrate good will or ill will?
 
What threat? I simply pointed out it is not a good idea to call people liars, especially when they are strangers and you have no idea about their intentions or purposes. I happen to think calling people liars is a mistake that can bring unnecessary repercussions. If you really feel threatened by that family I mentioned, who are mostly long dead, you really have more serious problems.

Is this how one shows tolerence (sic) towards anothers (sic) view?
 
No, it's how I show intolerance toward child-haters and the insipid.

Or is this also an effect of being lied to as a child?
 
Yes.

I am totally shocked ...
 
Perhaps you forgot you meds!?

Regi




Post 16

Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 4:39amSanction this postReply
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Jeremy,

Like many purposeless things, Santa is also harmless.  Whiskey, on the other hand.....

Oh, I agree. I think we should refrain from giving the little tykes whiskey, at least until they are ten, or eight at the earliest. A little beer in the bottle, of course, helps relax them. Never had a problem with hyper-activity with my children, although they were sometimes a little edgy in the morning.

On the other hand, it is perfectly alright to lie to them all we can, and the earlier the better. Give 'em a sense of the world, you know. I feel so strongly about this, I seek out other people's children just so I can tell them the most outrageous lies I can think of.

Regi




Post 17

Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 7:56amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Glombowski wrote: Besides, I own a black-belt in Choi Kwang-do and know how to defend myself.

Regi wrote: Thank you for the information about your wardrobe. I personally own several black belts, some brown ones, and other assorted colors, and I keep mine right here in my closet. Where is Choi Kwang-do?

Regi, your response was hilarious! If you want a good example of a lie even adults believe in, it is the belief that learning how to jump kick or chop bricks in half has something to do with self-defense. Looks good in a kung fu movie, but not so good on the streets or the battlefield. I have never heard of "Choi Kwang-do" so I do not know if it  fits into that category, but I do know that the majority of martial arts do, especially the ones that make a big deal about colored belts. The only purpose of a belt is to hold up your pants.




Post 18

Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 9:58amSanction this postReply
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I don't know if anyone here has ever watched a show of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), but I saw a few and found it fascinating how time and again you would have these match ups between different martial artists, boxers, street fighters, etc., and every time, the wrestler wins. Wrestler vs. 27th degree blackbelt in 32 different disciplines: the match starts, the blackbelt guy hits the wrestler maybe once as they come together, they both land on the floor, they wrestle for a bit, then the blackbelt guy gives up because he's in too much pain or is getting his face pounded repeatedly.



Post 19

Wednesday, July 21, 2004 - 6:55amSanction this postReply
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Reading most of the responses (notable exceptions are Regi and Elizabeth), I think the bunch of you could use more silliness and belief in Santa for the reasons stated in my original post!



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