Myths and Myths

Isn't it funny that the two most important Catholic celebrations/holidays/hoaxes of the year are also associated with myths geared more toward children? I'm specifically referring to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. It seems somewhat disturbing to me. It's almost like we're conditioning children at a young age to accept a myth of some sort. It usually starts off with the Easter Bunny, and an introduction to Jesus. As the kid grows up, and easily rejects Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny as being dumb stories, they are told that it is instead the story of Jesus that we are supposed to be celebrating.

The difference is that most people don't grow out of the Jesus story. Whereas a large proportion of adults are indoctrinated to believe this myth, the proportion of people around to call their bullshit is considerably lower. Also, the difference is that the myth isn't directly and coherently propagated by people who know it isn't true. It would be like atheists telling people that Jesus existed and we must worship him on certain days. What's so scary is precisely that these myths continue to be propagated to younger generations because they are taught this "truth" by members of society who deeply believe this myth, just as I once believed in Santa Claus.

There are three stages of religious myths in Western society. The first is when you are a child, believing in fairy tales like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny because people who care for you and who you deeply trust and respect lie to you. Once you turn 8, you start questionning the whole thing. You learn that you've been lied to by adults. Next you believe in Jesus, and this is actually a myth for pre-teens and teenagers. When you develop rational capacities, as I have argued in the past, you realize that this is precisely the same bullshit as those childhood myths. Those who you trust have propagated and falled for this story. The real tough step is the transition to rational adulthood. It's difficult because nobody is there to hold your hand and tell you that they lied to you about Santa Claus. The saddest is that most adults still continue to stick with the rational capacities of a 14 year old.


At 18/4/06 1:39 AM, Blogger The Atheist Front said...

The emancipation process for one to reject religious beliefs will occur only when the believer in question comes to a realization that a) Jesus Christ is obviously no different from the easter bunny and b) religion is a crutch for delusional human beings who think theyll be rewarded with a carribean cruise when they die (by that I mean heaven!). Its amazing though how the evolution of science along with the facilitation of communication and access to knowledge in our high tech world has really given the younger generations the opportunity to challenge religious beliefs and make the leap from faith to reason...but yet religion still persists, and to add to that all of the worlds current problems are plagued with religious fanaticism. The problem however is that human nature never changes, and our fear of the unknown will only continue to fuel humanity's belief in a big invisible guy with a beard. If the faults and fallacies of organised religion could be better exposed, and if parents would stop blindlessly passing on their religious values on to their children, perhaps we would have an easier time getting past all of it.


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