teach their small children the myth of Santa Claus: that a magical being who lives at the North
Pole brings presents on Christmas Eve.
Secondary aspects of the myth are that whether one receives presents is
a function of one’s behavior, and that you can communicate with Santa about
your preferences. Not only parents, but
retail establishments and (I have recently discovered) public schools collude
in perpetuating this myth among children of a certain age.
the Santa myth has at least these moral reasons against it:
involves a lot of lying and deception practiced on credulous people.
- It tends to foster greed in children and contributes
to their false impression that one’s happiness is determined by one’s material
- In telling children that the quantity and
quality of one’s gifts are a function of one’s behavior, when actually they are
a function of one’s socio-economic standing and parental temperament, it
induces moral complacency in well-off children and false feelings of moral
inferiority in less well-off children.
It seems to
me that these reasons are sufficient to show that perpetuating the Santa myth
is immoral. Most of America strongly
disagrees with me on this point. I would
be interested to know what the professionals at PEA Soup think.