Parental Conduct: Imposed Dispair on the Young?

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Khethil
 
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 06:26 am
Hi all,

I could rant on this for a while (cuz in my world, I'm right and everyone should listen to me! :shifty:). But I'll forego the soap-box and pose a potential ethical dilemma and some questions.... here we go

Just as a child becomes old enough to start forming the basis for their intellectual world and belief systems, parents implant the notion of Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and other imaginary figures. Almost instinctively, the child's eyes light up with joy! It's magic! It's free! This, along with other experiences go into the mix of how the mind is developed. This is no small event - this is no small white-lie. Depending on how these things are presented, they equate to nothing less than a view-altering significant emotional event in the most vulnerable part of a mind's formative phase.

The more I think about it, the more I'm beginning to realize what a mean-spirited thing this is to do! Just as concepts of the world are forming, we purposefully lie to the young child and give them an inner hope of *magic*! Then, one way or another, they come to know the truth and, in so doing, realize: There is no magic in the world, no great ToysRUs-overseer who rewards good and punishes bad; and, by the way, your parents (who brought you into this world) lied to you, on purpose.

What effects might this have?

Could anyone deny that this kind of lying hurts more than it helps? Wouldn't a healthy, realistic view implanted into young minds be so much better?

I'm interested in any thoughts anyone might have.




------------------------
Note: This has religious overtones, to be sure, but I'd really like to keep this off religion if at all possible
 
iconoclast
 
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 06:35 am
@Khethil,
Khethil,

I couldn't agree more - but hugely difficult to achieve in society. What do you do when your kid says: Is santa coming? or Do you believe in God? Tell them there's no such thing and send them off to school? It is a mean spirted thing to do to fill kids heads with crap, but religion is far worse than fairy tales - and not just because there's no presents.

iconoclast.
 
Justin
 
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 08:35 am
@Khethil,
Yeah, I'm with you on this. It's a lie just as most of what parents teach their children is based on myths and what their parents taught them.

We have to bring it into perspective though. We have a people who do everything according to fear. Fear is what is makes most people get up in the morning and go through their day. Take into a child, we instill fear within the child from a very early age. Fear of not being good means Santa will not bring presents and many other fears surrounded by roses and happy stories.

So up until a child is 6 years old, (or thereabouts) the mind of a child is building the foundation and setting up the garden of their mind to go through the rest of their life. The years before 6 years of age are the most important in the development of the child and what we say does have a lasting effect. If you look closely at what young children are being told by parents, it all surrounds a fear and that's because the parents were raised in the same fashion... we all were, (for the most part).

Basically, we tell our children the same lies that have been told to us and based upon what we see today as time has evolved, it's not necessarily good or healthy in my opinion. The effects of this are certainly obvious if you take a look around at the world we've created and todays youth. These little things really do matter and in a child's most critical development period of their mind, I don't think the nurturing of fear based garbage does any of us any good.

After a child is mature enough, they begin to take control over their own mind but how can we just forget those early stages of child development because they are the basis of the foundation of that child's mind.

I look forward to other thoughts and comments and possibly some input from someone in this type of profession or at least the understanding of child or mind development and the psychology that goes along with it.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 11:41 am
@Khethil,
Khethil;23643 wrote:
Could anyone deny that this kind of lying hurts more than it helps? Wouldn't a healthy, realistic view implanted into young minds be so much better?
It doesn't hurt and it probably does help. Children, especially up to age 8 or 9, are extremely interested in the make believe, and they will generate it themselves whether or not their parents talk about the easter bunny. Healthy, well kids quickly learn the difference between make believe and reality. Fostering imagination in kids is fun for them and it encourages them to think (and speak) descriptively and vividly.

Anything taken to an extreme is bad. Your explanations to your children have to be somewhat in concert with their developmental stage. So you back off the fantasies as they get older and more attuned to reality vs fiction. You don't answer ALL questions with magic. You temper the magic with a lot of reality, like going out and showing them different leaves and flowers and animals.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 01:06 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:
It doesn't hurt and it probably does help....


I couldn't disagree with you more - but I may very well be wrong. Given the repercussions of disillusionment and how these kinds of illusions break the soul (like ripples across a lifetime), I really hope you're right!

Aedes wrote:
... Children, especially up to age 8 or 9, are extremely interested in the make believe, and they will generate it themselves whether or not their parents talk about the easter bunny.


Yea, my kids did that a lot too (hehe, we have on video tape lots of their make-believe sessions... hilarious fun to show it to them - and their dates - later in life). But seriously, when they make up their own fantasies it's one thing, isn't it quite another when we 'legitimize' it? Doesn't it, then, take on a whole different tenor?

Thanks for your perspective :a-ok:
 
Aedes
 
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 03:56 pm
@Khethil,
We should indulge kids' creativity during times of fun, and we should indulge their need for understanding during times of seriousness. Think of this as analagous to kids being born to a bilingual household. Early on they may be behind in both languages, but kids with normal intelligence WILL easily separate the two fairly quickly. There's a difference between routine Santa stuff and trying to trick and deceive them -- and most people aren't doing the latter!
 
nameless
 
Reply Fri 5 Sep, 2008 05:38 pm
@Aedes,
Realizing what little value is placed on honesty in Amerikkka, I have never lied to my children. They appear to be honest, also.
Sow lies, reap lies; the Amerikkan beat goes on...

"Despair is the result of each earnest attempt to go through life with justice, virtue and understanding, and to fulfill their requirements. Children live on one side of Despair, the Awakened on the other side." -H. Hesse, Journey to the East
 
Richardgrant
 
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 03:07 pm
@Khethil,
It has taken me a life time to realize the material world is the illusion, the unseen world of imagination is the real world. for too long I have tried to understand how the material world works and have failed because it is only the effect of cause, and is impossible to explain. I now live in the unseen world of imagination where I can create a deliberate world of my choice. knowing every thing I need comes from within me, where I have an unlimited supply of all there is. which then manifest in the material world.
 
William
 
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 04:55 pm
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
The more I think about it, the more I'm beginning to realize what a mean-spirited thing this is to do!


If I might ask, do you have any alternatives. It is one thing to "exclaim" one's disapproval, but that in and of itself, serves no purpose unless you have a better way. I guess we could just put them in front of a television set and make the watch all the "truthful" things it has to offer. I agree with Aedes, it doesn't hurt, or rather it hurts far less than the reality we bring them into. I am beginning to feel it is an injustice to even have a chlid today, even if it is planned. I have always wondered when a child is old enough to understand exactly what abortion is, how that affects the child. "I was one of the lucky ones. How does s/he deal with that "reality". But I will get back to my orginal question; what would you suggest as an alternative that could, at least temporarily, offer a child more happiness than what those two events offer? Now don't get me wrong, I understand what you are saying, but I was a child who believed in this sort of stuff until I was well into my 20's. Of course I knew better, but I was ready to kill the person who would dare tell my folks I was the wiser. I wasn't going to kill the goose that layed the golden egg. Ha Ha. Just kidding. Though I did have a fight with a kid down the street when I was about 5 or 6 who was going to do just that. I won that one.

William
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 17 Sep, 2008 06:24 pm
@William,
Seems to me that parents are "imposing despair" on their children. It's this recent preoccupation with (yep, I'm stealing Carlin material again) structure. Karate on Monday, Soccer on Tuesday, piano on Wednesday, ect. Every day of the week, some activity, and then on the weekends you have the recital, the game, whatever.

I'm all for keeping kids active. Music lessons are great, sports are great. But, folks, there has to be a limit. Children do not need so much structure. We have them sit in school for eight or nine hours a day - how much more structure does the kid need? Not much.

Give them time to run around the neighborhood and get into trouble. That's right, get into trouble. If a kid never gets into trouble, you never had a kid. You had an underdeveloped adult - a boring adult, I might add.

Give the kids some space, let them run free. Children need time on their own, outside the repressive gaze of an adult.
 
Deftil
 
Reply Thu 18 Sep, 2008 06:35 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Here's a fairly light-hearted article on the psychological effects of Santa on children:

HANDLING THE SANTA CLAUS DECEPTION , - New York Times

Below I've quoted what I find to be most relevant.

Quote:
''Some parents don't believe in telling their children there's a Santa Claus, and there's nothing wrong with that,'' said Dr. Ian Canino, director of training in pediatric psychiatry at Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. ''But for parents who like to have a Santa Claus at Christmas, they aren't creating some horrible precedent of lying to their children. The good aspect of Santa - the noncommercial aspect - is giving, that it's good to give and good to be warm and loving. That kind of Santa isn't a lie, but a symbol of your beliefs. You are concretizing highly abstract social values.''

Many Feel Uncomfortable

Although many parents tell him that they feel uncomfortable about maintaining the Santa Claus fantasy, Dr. Canino said, there are no dangers in encouraging it. ''Children already fantasize very actively at age 3 or 4, when they believe in Santa Claus,'' he said. ''Many parents say that they don't want their children to believe in myths - they want them to have a strong sense of reality. But children at that age want to have fantasies. It's a very normal part of development.''

Dr. Leonard Reich, a child psychologist for the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York, said: ''Just how much Santa Claus you have depends on how much fantasy there is in your family. Kids need a sense of magic and fantasy, and so the Santa Claus ritual can be a wonderful thing for both parents and children.''

Quote:
''Frequently,'' Dr. Canino said, ''when they come to their parents with questions, they often reveal the hope that Santa does exist. They'll say things like: 'Mommy, Robert says there's no Santa. Tell me that's not true.' Parents should let them believe as long as they want to. Let the children give you the lead.''

Parents should not worry about children confronting them later on about the Santa Claus deception, Dr. Reich said. ''There's a disappointment in terms of magic,'' he said. ''But the child may feel an unconscious satisfaction when he learns that his parents did the gift-giving. It says that his parents love him and want to give him presents. That's a pretty nice reality.''


Here's a more intensive/ academic article about childhood myths and their impact:

What if Santa died?: Childhood myths and development -- Breen 28 (12): 455 -- Psychiatric Bulletin

Again, I'll quote what I find to be the particularly relevant parts.

Quote:
Children's beliefs serve as a vicarious source of adult enjoyment and offer children a powerful role within the process. Another parental task is to provide positive role models within family life. At Christmas, Santa is presented as a role model worthy of adulation.

Quote:
Encouraging children to believe in a benevolent Santa may foster traits of kindness and cooperation. Becoming unselfish depends partly on the gradual development of cognitive recognition of the needs of others, and children begin to comprehend sharing through similar experiences within the family unit. Many children grasp the symbolic lessons regarding charitable giving and consideration of others from the Santa rituals. Festive customs encourage sharing of gifts, time and affection. This may be reflected in their wishes for gifts or better situations for family and friends, or even globally.

Quote:
Symbolic play is a necessity of this stage, when the child distinguishes fantasy and reality by restructuring and changing their situational reality. Play is purposeful and even simple games act as a forerunner of adult problem-solving ability and creativity (Malim & Birch, 1998). Children send millions of letters and drawings to the North Pole, testifying to their perceived sense of influence in the gift process. Writing encourages children to frame their thoughts. Some schools incorporate 'writing to Santa' as a pertinent class exercise. Stimulating these fantasies helps focus attention and concentration, and may enhance ideals and creative thinking. Particularly for 3-5 year olds, imagination represents a mode of cognitive function that allows expansion of the internal object world and motivation towards increasingly complex relationships with others.

Quote:
For some, Santa is a vivid companion. He epitomises nurturing and generosity, and this fantasy can help children feel loved and comforted.

Quote:
A child's suspended belief in Santa Claus amounts to an act of faith and it is unsurprising that children draw parallels between God and Santa. To young followers, Santa is immortal and omnipotent, capable of supernatural acts and an enforcer of moral behaviour. Gordon Allport, in his study The Individual and His Religion, observes that children may equate Santa with God. From a child's perspective, Santa is a spiritual reality who encourages their moral development ('He knows if you've been bad or good!'), and is a transcendent being concerned with their moral welfare to whom sacrificial offerings can be made and even prayers spoken. It is unsurprising, then, that many children on hearing the truth begin to believe God is a myth too. While children do eventually relinquish their literal belief in Santa, their capacity for faith in a higher, transcendent power is not lost just because Santa proves to be mortal. Children who no longer believed in Santa generally found out by themselves around age 7 and reported largely positive reactions on learning the truth. Parents described predominantly sad reactions to their child's discovery (Mayes & Cohen, 1992).

Quote:
Some parents believe that even this storytelling is dishonest in a dichotomous world of truth and untruth. Some psychoanalysts believe that Santa is a harmful lie that threatens a child's trust and that confiscating Santa once a child believes in him is like stealing his transitional object.

Quote:
The effect of modern technology on the social milieu has seen, in part at least, the relegation of fairy tales from family life. Legendary figures, including Santa Claus, provide a sense of magic useful in offsetting the powerful effects of a technological society where children mature intellectually earlier (Clark, 1995). The sense that society is safe and fun can be promoted by introducing children imaginatively to the life of make-believe characters like Santa (Prentice, 1978). It is difficult to imagine a childhood without fictional characters since our own imaginations were nurtured by them and, at times, they seemed more real than some of the adults around us. It is for these reasons that parents should be aware of the benefits for their own and future generations of children of cherishing the magic of Santa. He is a symbol of hope and belief in him teaches children the values of role models, family bonding and sharing, as well as promoting cognitive benefits. If families allow Santa and all his finery to fade into obscurity, we may deny future generations of a fantasy that may be valuable to their cognitive and social development.


Both articles provide some perspective on the matter, but I didn't find either of them to be outstanding. I have some thoughts of my own on this topic, but I'm going to think on them a bit more before sharing.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 11:20 am
@William,
Hey William, thanks for contributing.

William wrote:
If I might ask, do you have any alternatives.


Sure, don't lie - don't build your children when at their most vulnerable stage in life to believe in something you know is false, wrong, misleading and damaging.

William wrote:
I guess we could just put them in front of a television set and make the watch all the "truthful" things it has to offer.


Yea, and unfortunately that's what parents in the post-modern industrial world tend to do. How about talk with them? How about teach them; put things into context, answer their questions and help usher their young minds into the world absent of glorifying the materialistic god that doesn't exist? See what I mean?

William wrote:
But I will get back to my orginal question; what would you suggest as an alternative that could, at least temporarily, offer a child more happiness than what those two events offer?


I don't think any replacement for these things needs to be found. As far as giving them happiness that's a more complex (and yes, more important) issue. Loving, teaching, holding, playing, embracing, letting them get dirty, taking an interest in their interests - living with them in such a way that when they go to bed each night they look forward to the next day because they're not alone. Spending time with them, in this manner, gives them emotional armor for dealing with life's horrors and dispairs. Why add to it by building the young hearts up to expect this "overall justice when ya do good" when, in fact, there is none?

William wrote:
Now don't get me wrong, I understand what you are saying, but I was a child who believed in this sort of stuff until I was well into my 20's. Of course I knew better, but I was ready to kill the person who would dare tell my folks I was the wiser. I wasn't going to kill the goose that layed the golden egg. Ha Ha. Just kidding. Though I did have a fight with a kid down the street when I was about 5 or 6 who was going to do just that. I won that one.


I got ya - and I'm happy for the 'goodness' that it brought you! I just feel that we're doing more harm than good. I'd love to hear more of your (and others') perspective on the good these traditions can do that outweighs the harm - as it is now, I believe there isn't near enough to justify it.

Thanks again. I appreciate your sharing :a-ok:
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 12:24 pm
@Khethil,
Quote:
Sure, don't lie - don't build your children when at their most vulnerable stage in life to believe in something you know is false, wrong, misleading and damaging.


With respect to Santa Claus, et al, these stories do not seem to be damaging.

As for falsity and misleading - when children are young, as has been said, they have very active imaginations. They naturally invent false ideas to play on. Santa does not seem any different, and perhaps even particularly useful, especially if the parents use Santa to help instill charitable qualities in their children.
 
Zetetic11235
 
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 02:38 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I would say that if anything I was satisfied upon discovering for certain that santa was not real. My parents were very skilled at creating a strong fantasy, but I think that they may have carried it on longer than they really should have. I would ask them suspiciously if santa is real or not and they would try to convince me that he was. My mother even would convince me that she was talking to him on the telephone when my dad was on, and he would disguise his voice as santa.

I was fairly convinced by 7 but the thing went on until I was almost nine at which point I finally put the last nail in the coffin by finding the presents in the garage. I have always had a pretty vivid imagination, to the point which I think my first real experience of death was imaginary, (one of my imaginary friends died in some sort of imaginary battle or crime scenario and I played out the sspects of such a loss in my head in vivid detail, what it would be like to loose someone forever ect. and I developed a recurring fear of death(really the fear of the unkown) between the ages of 8 and 10). I would create whole worlds with my brother and one of my friends(who actually exhibited several signs of a serial killer and started killing animals not long after I moved:shocked:). It got to the point that all of us were convinced that we were constantly on these fantastic missions from extra dimensional beings and government entities from pluto and we would even have these 'training sessions' where we would fight with aluminum curtain rods and try to sneak around and steal things and hide them. All of our fantasies were in such great detail that they could surely be out of a lengthy book (not the best book, but a decent one for an 8 year old).

I thought god was nonsensical far quicker than I thought it of santa. I distinctly remember asking questions like "If god created everything then who created god?" when I was around eight or nine shortly after my dad told me about the concepts in detail. I was always a "Why?" guy but santa made sense due to how crafty my parents were in making such a detailed set of attributes and stories on the fly. I would say that my own fantasies which carried on far longer than the age of 5 or 6(in fact I was kind of anti-social and preferred to be mostly in my own little world. I didn't really connect to the other kids very well as far as my interests(science, reading, art, toys until I was 12 and cartoons still to this day) and indulgence in imagination were concerned. I fear that they found me to be quite wierd.), were far more influential than those which my parents provided in my mental development, and I am grateful for their letting me have and nurturing my fantasies.
 
William
 
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 04:22 pm
@Zetetic11235,
Comment:
If you all will forgive me, we are talking about a child in a world that caters to "adults only". If these fairy tales bring a little peace in their extremely disjointed young lives as they are tossed around from one house to another; being sharied by one parent then the other, and most of the time being warehoused in a professional daycare holding tank, unless you can come up with a better more "fun" alternative, then for God's sake leave it alone. I understand what Khethil was saying and I quote:

"I don't think any replacement for these things needs to be found. As far as giving them happiness that's a more complex (and yes, more important) issue. Loving, teaching, holding, playing, embracing, letting them get dirty, taking an interest in their interests - living with them in such a way that when they go to bed each night they look forward to the next day because they're not alone. Spending time with them, in this manner, gives them emotional armor for dealing with life's horrors and dispairs. Why add to it by building the young hearts up to expect this "overall justice when ya do good" when, in fact, there is none?"

In my humble opinion, that is the fairy tail. No offense my friend, I know what you are saying. This is just not happening and furthermore it is becoming even worse as time passes. Yes is most admiral to espouse such giving aspirations, but let's face it, it is not taking place. We have all but destroyed the role of the family with this "woman's liberation" fiasco, as we have taken both parents out of the home leaving the children to fend for themselves. I know, I live in the world and have seen what is going on. It is sad beyond tears, to witness the plight of children today. But we do have brand new cars, plasma TV's, Computers in every room, cell phones that will cook you breakfast, televisions in the refrigerator doors and then telling them to go to their room, if they are lucky, went a "not suitable for children" television show comes on. And we are arguing about Santa Clause and The Easter Bunny. Damn! If a child knew what kind of world we were bringing them into, I swear they would never leave the womb. You'd have to send in a S.W.A.T. team to smoke them out.

I know some of you had less than desirable experiences as children, but to me those were happy times. When i think about it, I wasn't disappointed in the little white lies, as much as I was grateful for the love and caring my folks had for me to pull off such a thoughtful farce. Now that's me. I will admit this was close to 60 years ago and it has gotten a little out of hand, and it must be brought back into perspective and not go absolutely broke spending money most don't have. I remember getting my youngest daughter a Fisher Price educatonal toy and she had more fun playing in the box it came in. In my opinion, let's just leave it alone. It's hurting you pocket books far more than it is hurting your kids.

William
 
NeitherExtreme
 
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 07:29 pm
@William,
Hi all. I tend to agree with the original poster... Interestingly, my parents made it a point in our childhood not to tell us any bogus stories that they would later have to admit were just lies, whatever the intent.

That said, they didn't stop us from creating and using our imaginations. On the contrary, my young years were full of creative play and reading Chronicles of Narnia and the like. The difference is that I never thought that they were real, so there was never any disappointment involved, just fun.

Also, and I think more importantly, I've never had to question my parent's honesty. Anything they told me was what they actually believed, and I've appreciated that much more than I could have ever appreciated the Tooth-fairy.
 
Solace
 
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 08:46 pm
@NeitherExtreme,
Quote:

Why add to it by building the young hearts up to expect this "overall justice when ya do good" when, in fact, there is none?


Khethil made an interesting point here. Most poignantly, although the objective is to instill a giving attitude in our children, telling them that being good means you are rewarded is simply false. We adults know that good deeds almost always go unnoticed. More than it being false, though, it's attitude-warping, because do we really want our children to grow up expecting a reward for good deeds? Shouldn't we be trying to instill in them a sense to do good deeds simply for the sake of doing them, and not because they get something in return?

What William says is true as well; there are far more pressing issues for most children than whether or not Santa Claus is real. But I don't see how the manner in which they perceive and celebrate Christmas or Easter changes that lot for them. A rare happy occasion in an otherwise troubled life is going to make it a little easier to cope with things no matter whether they believe in Santa or not. I know; my parents didn't tell me that Santa Claus existed, but I sure as heck enjoyed Christmas as much as the next kid did. So passing off maintaining an illusion as a better way to manage a child in a stressful home situation seems like a rather weak argument to me, no offense intended.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Fri 19 Sep, 2008 08:48 pm
@NeitherExtreme,
There's nothing like bringing out the imagination of a vagrant potential mind while there still is some.

I was pretty pissed when I found out Santa wasn't real. That was when I was like, 6. It only lasted a few years, I think its no big deal. Just, parents shouldn't perpetuate the ideal for their children, because it inhibits adolescents to tune to reality. I have a friend in highschool in grade 12, and he's still in lala land, and it might have something to do with the fact it took him until grade eight to find out Santa wasn't real.

Otherwise its these fantasies of pokemon battles or something, completely stupid game that has attracted kids for some reason.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sat 20 Sep, 2008 03:08 am
@Holiday20310401,
Posters: Good stuff, thanks all. Deftil had some very good links on this issue (thanks!). I also did a bit more research on existing psychological effects of implanting falsehoods in children (and yep, still mainly talking Saint Nick here) and found more to support the notion that says, basically, "... its a great opportunity that can do a lot for the family and implanting notions of giving, charity and togetherness". I'll thank all who've echo'd this for a bit of insight I've gained.

Insight: I think I've learned that most folks believe its less of an issue than I think it is. Despite how I feel, I must acknowledge that this is telling and mitigate my reaction appropriately. A lot of what I found - that supported my original assertion - were merely rants and raves. There was very little out there that talked to any damage.

Personal Experiences
: Yea, I knew long before dad said, "c'mon son, we gotta talk" somewhere around age 7 that santa was a fantasty. I felt cool and kind of in on the secret when he told me the truth. My personal memories of Christmas traditions like this are very fond; very nice. I doubt I had much 'trauma' per say, but that's not really the point.

The Point: I suppose it comes down to whether you believe telling your children these lies does more good than harm. Its a high priviledge that parents wield this power. I suppose I'd have to say that all parents should consider the issue before 'following the crowd'. It is their decision alone (and its through these decisions that we pass on our values, loves, hates, priorities, traditions and yes; even neurosis (if that be the case)).

On Disillusionment: I believe that some measure of disillusionment is part-and-parcel to the human experience. Let me try to stumble my way through this from *my* experience to illustrate.

  • Fairness: When we see something as fair, we do so through tainted glasses (i.e., it's fair to us). The world feels right. But as we mature, I believe we inevitably find that fairness is relative to those involved, and only occurs haphazardly.


  • Magic: For me, the concepts of the easter bunny, god and santa were comforting notions. The idea that there was someone rewarding the good and punishing the wicked was also comforting. I realized, as a lot of us do over time, that there's no score-board in the sky - that the wicked do what they will and justice may or may not come. I thought back to what I was taught (and what I taught my children, truth be told) and wondered, why do we feel embittered when realizing this? Is this really necessary? Could part of it be that we were lied to when we were at an oh-so-tender age? Did we have implanted notions of such 'fairness over-seers' when stark reality says there ain't any? This, I'll readily admit, was my original mindset. I still adhere to it quite a bit, but it's been softened with some perspective.


  • I've long subscribed to the "+pleasure and -pain" mindset in making generalized judgments. So when considering any potential 'disillusionment', I'd suppose I should apply that here as well. So such traditions give comfort to the young one passing into sapience; conceded, does that - in the end - give more pleasure than pain in the human experience? Le question at hand!

Thus, I turned to my philosophy forum folks. I appreciate all your insights, it's helped me put a reality check on old saint nick Smile


-----
 
Agnapostate
 
Reply Mon 20 Oct, 2008 11:17 pm
@Khethil,
I would agree with your analysis. My personal feelings are that the long-term suffering that is likely to occur as a result of the exposure of the parents' lies are likely to be greater in duration and intensity than whatever superficial pleasure might be gained from believing nonsense.
 
 

 
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