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Using Santa To Get Good Behavior.

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Posted by John Morgan Powell on February 6, 2001 16:22:08 UTC

Perhaps you are right that atheistic societies cannot work nearly as well as religious ones. I'm not so sure.

How often during the day do we do moral things without thinking about God or eternal punishment, but just because it seems right? It's when we're in church or elsewhere listening to or reading about the "theory" of why we do good that God enters into the story.

A daughter, for example, helps her elderly parents get ready for the day probably only occasionally thinking about God as she's doing it. When things get really difficult for her then ideas of eternal reward can motivate her to pull through another week or another month.

On the other hand, if you want your kids to behave, Santa Clause can be an effective tool. When the kids think of being naughty, ideas of Santa might dissuade them. Is this right, to tell this lie to get the desired behavior?

We've been told: If you're naughty, Santa won't give you presents. If you make a funny face, it will stick that way. If you masturbate, you'll go blind. If you sin, you'll never be happy and eventually go to hell.

If neither Santa Clause nor God exist, are we justified in using them as tools to promote good behavior?

It seems to me we need to find a more honest way of dealing with these problems than to promote false, but apparently postive, ideas.

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