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Rebirth of Reason

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Post 40

Friday, July 23, 2004 - 12:33pmSanction this postReply
By the way, since Gordon said I do not have to teach children that any particular myth is truth, just myths in general, I am going to teach my children (if I have any . . . I doubt it since I am too emotionless and anal retentive) about the Invisible Pink Elephant who will sit on them if they're being bad. It will save me the money since I do not have to buy gifts, stockings, or a Christmas tree. In fact, unlike Santa, my children can never disprove the existence of the Invisible Pink Elephant. Why can't they see it? Because it's invisible! How do I know it's pink? Because that's what my parents told me. Who told my parents? My grandparents! And so on, and so forth.

Post 41

Friday, July 23, 2004 - 1:40pmSanction this postReply
Speaking for the insane, I think you can give children the magic and mystery of myth without having to deceive them into believing something is real when you know it is not.
No, it just isn't the same. It's good you acknowledge your insanity, though - that's the first step to recovery ;)
Fiction can be enjoyed, with the suspension of disbelief, without going around thinking that the events described are fact.
Of course it can. And so it should. But it's still no substitute for the fun, happy, risk-free beliefs that only a child can experience. 
I am not sure why why you imply innocence is a virtue whose loss is to lamented when you also say (and rightly so) that there is value in questioning every belief, even long-held beliefs, and rejecting them if they prove to be false.
If you're seeing a contradicition here, it is because I look at adults and children in completely different contexts. A child's innocence is a virtue. An adult's dogmatic ignorance is not. The former is temporary, harmless, fun, and exciting. The latter is dangerous and destructive.
I am going to teach my children ... about the Invisible Pink Elephant who will sit on them if they're being bad.
Um.. Byron? What are you trying to say? That the Invisible Pink Elephant. . . isn't real?!! Tell me it isn't so, Byron! TELL ME IT ISN'T SO! (tears...)

Anyway, I don't actually think you are emotionless or retentive, but I do think it's a bit silly to have a moral objection over teaching your kids to believe in Santa Claus. (Note: I am not saying you personally have such an objection, as you have not said so either way).

Gordon, The Voice Sanity (at least about 50% of the time)

Post 42

Friday, July 23, 2004 - 2:22pmSanction this postReply
Gasp! How can I avoid this dangerous elephant creature!

Post 43

Friday, July 23, 2004 - 2:53pmSanction this postReply

Mr. Stephen-Smith: Gasp! How can I avoid this dangerous elephant creature!

Mr. Stolyarov: You must always spell its name properly, as "elefant" with an f. It gets quite touchy about spelling issues, but will leave you alone if you give the spelling of its name the orthografic dignity it deserves.

If you follow my advice, I guarantee you that it will never, under any circumstances, step on you or bother you. :)

I am
G. Stolyarov II
Atlas Count 917Atlas Count 917Atlas Count 917Atlas Count 917 
Eden against the Colossus
The Prologue: http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/eac_prologue.html

Chapter I: Protector's Summons: http://www.geocities.com/rational_argumentator/eac_chapter1.html

Order Eden against the Colossus at http://www.lulu.com/content/63699.

Post 44

Friday, July 23, 2004 - 3:24pmSanction this postReply
Thanks Mr. Stolyarov. I may be in trouble though, given the poor punctuation in my earlier post.

Post 45

Friday, July 23, 2004 - 6:58pmSanction this postReply
Mr. Stephen-Smith, Mr. Stolyarov,

Well, Stephen, children always have the answers to these questions and you could have asked them if you hadn't sold them.

Since you have, there is no safe course except that recommended by Mr. Stolyarov. However, I must warn you, although you will not see any pink elephants following is advice, you will nevertheless die of terminal raging ennui.


Post 46

Friday, July 23, 2004 - 10:38pmSanction this postReply
Wow, now everyone is a comedian! Even Mr. Stolyarov's jokes actually made me laugh out loud! Deadpan humor? Yes, I shall eat my words.

To address Gordon's point, unless a parent is going out of his or her way to prove the existence of Santa Claus, I have no moral objection to a parent pretending Santa exists. I am not sure what the point is, but whatever floats your boat. For me, there are better methods of inspiring creativity, curiosity, and a fertile imagination. At most, I will teach my children (if I ever have any) that Santa is a symbol for the spirit of Christmas, and probably a better symbol than Jesus (whose birthday was probably not in December anyway). Santa is a man who supervises his elves in the manufacture of billions of products, implements a comprehensive distribution system utilizing flying deer, allocates resources based on merit rather than need (through a list of whose naughty or nice that he checks twice), and is compensated fairly with milk and cookies. I am sure no self-respecting Objectivist or capitalist should have a problem with that!

As for me, I will stick to The Invisible, Pink Elephant for the reasons I gave earlier.

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