I’ve always found it interesting that “we, as a society” invest so much time and effort into what can only ratonally be described as SYSTEMATICALLY LYING to children.
The archtypical example of this is, of course, “Santa Claus”.
This particular line of bullshit is perpetrated on every generation of children, typically, with the following “justifications”:
- The “magic of Christmas”
- “The power of BELIEVING!”
- “But, it’s tradition!”
- “Where’s the harm in it?”
Several problems with all of the above:
First, I’ve never understood exactly how the notion of a fat guy delivering presents (and coal!) to billions of children in a single 24 hour period makes the “holiday season” any more “magical” than the mere fact of a specific time of year set aside for family togetherness/the exchanging of gifts.
If anything, the “Santa” gimmick neccesarily detracts from recognizing the reality that REAL INDIVIDUALS EXCHANGE GIFTS WITH ONE ANOTHER.
As for the power of “believing”: we shold be teaching children (AND ADULTS) that seeking knowledge/cultivating a love for truth/honesty is INFINITELY superior to wallowing in unfounded dogmas (however cherished they might be).
The fundamental distinction between sanity and psychosis consists in recognizing that “Believing” something has NO relation whatsoever to whether that specific “belief” is true. “Believing” does not — and CANNOT — affect the truth (or falsehood), of whatever that “belief” concerns.
For example: during the middle ages, it was common to “believe” that Jews abducted Christian infants to use their blood to make matzoh.
Now, here’s the thing: either that DOES/DID HAPPEN — or it didn’t.
Your “belief” — or “disbelief” — has no effect whatsoever — EXCEPT inasmuch as “beliefs” can lead to ACTIONS.
For example: Buford Furrow had a great many “beliefs” about Jews. Eventually he decided to act on them:
So, no: there’s nothing particularly “magical” about the mere act of “believing” something-or-other. David Berkowitz “believed” some rather….interesting…things regarding his neighbor’s dog:
(I guess what I’m getting at here is: the only thing you get if you “clap your hands if you believe in fairies”, will be the equivalent of a “show of hands”, as to who “believes in” fairies. IF Tiinkerbell exists, then her existence CANNOT be contingent on the fact that you “believe” in her.
Again, Ayn Rand (in one of her lucid moments), pinpointed this issue in a very accurate way:
The basic metaphysical issue that lies at the root of any system of philosophy [is] the primacy of existence or the primacy of consciousness.
The primacy of existence (of reality) is the axiom that existence exists, i.e., that the universe exists independent of consciousness (of any consciousness), that things are what they are, that they possess a specific nature, an identity. The epistemological corollary is the axiom that consciousness is the faculty of perceiving that which exists—and that man gains knowledge of reality by looking outward. The rejection of these axioms represents a reversal: the primacy of consciousness—the notion that the universe has no independent existence, that it is the product of a consciousness (either human or divine or both). The epistemological corollary is the notion that man gains knowledge of reality by looking inward (either at his own consciousness or at the revelations it receives from another, superior consciousness).
The source of this reversal is the inability or unwillingness fully to grasp the difference between one’s inner state and the outer world, i.e., between the perceiver and the perceived (thus blending consciousness and existence into one indeterminate package-deal). This crucial distinction is not given to man automatically; it has to be learned. It is implicit in any awareness, but it has to be grasped conceptually and held as an absolut
So, no: the quesiton isn’t whether you “believe in fairies”. The only legitimate question is: do fairies (or Bigfoot, or David Icke’s Transdimensional Reptoids, or the Illuminati, etc.) actually exist? If so, then what is their ontological status? To which “category” should they be assigned?
(For example: I have absolutely no dougt that “Sherlock Holmes” exists. I contend that Sherlock holmes is a fictional character. My point is, that specific fictional character ALREADY “existed” before I knew anything about the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle. I don’t have to “believe in” Sherlock Holmes.
My failure to “believe in” Sherlock Holmes will not magically wipe out the fact that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote those books.
As for the argument from ‘tradition”: in many areas of the world, FGM (female genital mutilation) is “traditional”, too.
As to the fourth: “Where’s the harm in it?”
Quite simply, in the other 3:
The “Santa Claus” scam consists of parents systematically lying to their own children about how a magical fat guy will come down your chimney, (partially) eat the cookies you leave out for him, and leave a (counterfeit) Nintendo game system under your Christmas tree.
There’s nothing particularly “magical” about the notion that some fat-ass is committing trademark infringement on every toy/videogame manufacturer on the planet.
Worse yet, the “Santa Claus” scam systematically trains children to distrust their own “critical thinking” capabilities, by explicitly placing the notion of “believing” something at the center — WHEN THE REAL ISSUE IS WHETHER OR NOT WHAT YOU “BELIEVE” IS TRUE, OR NOT.
Buford Furrow’s “beliefs” about jews did not magically cause ZOG (the “Zionist Occupation Government”) to come into being: either they existed — or they didn’t.)
Worse yet, the “Santa Claus” scam explicitly trains both children and adults to believe that THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH PARENTS SYSTEMATICALLY LYING TO THEIR OWN CHILDREN.
Then, when those parents have to “break the news” — by admitting that the whole “whimsical tradition” is nothing but a systematic — and extremely elaborate — scam perpetrated on impressionable children who lack the capacity to see through it — THAT’S when the true rat-fuckery kicks in:
“Oh, yeah — of course we lied to you. But — we did it “for your own good — to make your childhood “magical!!!”
Quite frankly, our whole societal attitude toward “Santa Claus” (and other “magical” aspects of childhood) strikes me as illustrative of the central cultural pathology: the notion that it is permissible for those purporting to represent “authority” (for example — our own parents) to systematically lie to us, coupled with the equally vicious notion that your “belief” or “disbelief” (as opposed to Reality) are what counts.
Now, what’s fascinating is: the same children who uncritically “swallow” the Santa SCAM will most likely be systematically indoctrinated into a specific (ethno)religious subculture or “belief”-system, which can be reliably predicted based on MERE GEOGRAPHY.
The tragedy is: while most “grown-ups” eventually manage to see through the Santa con-game, most of those same persons will NEVER examine (question/change) whichever “belief”-system was perpetrated on them during childhood by Mommy and Daddy.
Worse yet, they will (most probably mistreat other ‘adults’ MERELY because a different “belief”-system/subcultural “identity” happens to have been perpetrated on THEM, during childhood.
gullibility + GEOGRAPHICALLY-PREDICTABLE INDOCTRINATION = ?
Remember, folks: The Nazis “believed” a great many things about Jews:
THE MOST DANGEROUS THING ABOUT “BELIEFS” IS: SOMETIMES PEOPLE ACT ON THEM.