It feels like this article shouldn’t have to be written, and yet it’s not uncommon to hear people say “Believing in God is like believing i the tooth fairy or Santa”, “There are no more evidences for God than what there are for Santa” or “Believing in an all-knowing, magic Santa is ridiculous, so is belief in an all-knowing, supernatural God.” The idea is basically that since Santa doesn’t exist, God doesn’t exist, because they are too similar.
This doesn’t work, for many reasons:
1. Adults believe in God
Shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. While basically only kids believe that Santa exists due to their parents telling them so, the majority of the world’s adult population believe in some sort of Deity. Now, some atheists would say that’s because God-believers are like kids who just believe what someone else told them without checking for evidence, but that’s not just insulting but false; while nobody “converts” to belief in Santa Claus as an adult, several atheists have become theists (like C.S. Lewis, Greg Boyd, Anthony Flew) after examining arguments at hind evidence. Which brings us to point number 2:
2. There are Arguments for God’s Existence
What are the arguments for Santa’s existence? None, as far as I’m concerned, since no adult believes in him and children base their belief on trust in their parents’ lies rather than on arguments. In contrast, there are good arguments for the existence of God, like various cosmological arguments, the moral argument and the argument from fine-tuning, presented below. Santa isn’t needed as an explanation for anything, while the existence and complexity of the universe and objective morals need a cause outside time and space that is powerful and good – God.
3. God Reveals Himself and Performs Miracles
While some do believe in God because they’re parents brought them up like that, many have received or reinforced their faith when they witness miracles and hear the voice of God. Most people who become Christian in China, Nepal and India today do so because they have witnessed a miracle. God has spoken to me and has done miracles in my life. In contrast, Santa doesn’t do stuff like this, and nobody is claiming that he does other than in fairy tales.
To sum it up, God and Santa Claus aren’t comparable, even if some atheists wish that they were. This argument is basically like saying “Well there are no evidences for the existence of human rights just like there are no evidences for Santa, so believers in human rights are like babies who believe in Santa, ha ha!” As I wrote about recently in another post, inexplicable miracles do happen a lot, showing that God does exist and intervene in our universe.
So how about praising the very existing God this holiday season and teach our kids about Him rather than lying about Santa?