posted on Nov, 7 2011 @ 08:56 AM
In undergrad I took a class called "Experimental Methodology" We had to come up with a study.
Mine was going to be...."The effects of early childhood disillusionment on later adult religiousity"
I was curious to see if there was any statistical validity to the idea that the longer a child believes in Santa, the
greater chance of that child becoming an atheist or agnostic as an adult.
All basically being under the penumbra of the relationship between Santa and God. You know, both being omnipresent, rewarding the good, and not so
much for the misbehaved.
The stronger the belief in Santa, the higher the risk for this result I think. The child as they age could view God
as just being a Santa for adults. A child might feel that they were manipulated to "be good" or they wouldn't receive a good reward "present" if
As an adult they might be taught that if you didn't "live good" they might not go to heaven, the adult reward.
I believe that the child, now the adult, reached that conclusion subconsciously over time.
So I believe the danger is....a strong belief in Santa, that has been strongly reinforced by a trusted parental figure or figures, for an extended
period of time that overlaps the changing cognitive development of a child into a young teen, meaning the time period in which a child starts to
question the merits of what they objectively experience of the world around them versus the world that they have been told, and trusted, to be. Every
child develops at a different rate of course and there are myrid environmental influences that can accelerate or retard that development.
Bottom line: If you push the Santa thing too far, too long, you might have a challenge in replacing Santa with
God. It doesn't help clarify to the developing brain that both of these guys get a great deal of
attention on the same day each year either.