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A DEBATE BETWEEN A THEIST AND A SANTA CLAUSIST (ACT II)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 April 2015

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Abstract

In Act I, Faith and Klaus had it out regarding whether their deity of choice – God and Santa respectively – exists. Although Klaus was unable to convince Faith, Klaus suggested that Krampus, his ‘Santa pastor’ (the guy who owns the mall where he buys his Christmas presents), will set Faith straight. We join the dialogue, once again, as Faith is about to first meet Krampus, who promises to provide us with more sophisticated arguments in favor of Santa Claus.

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Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal Institute of Philosophy 2015 

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References

1 Some think that ‘middle knowledge’ solves similar problems with theistic foreknowledge. See John D. Laing's ‘Middle Knowledge,’ Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2005) http://www.iep.utm.edu/middlekn. For why this solution fails, see Johnson, David Kyle's ‘God, Fatalism, and Temporal Ontology’, Religious Studies, no. 45 (2009), 435454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

2 This parallels the first ontological argument in Anselm's Proslogion.

3 For this, and other objections to Anselm's argument, see Kenneth E. Himma's ‘Anselm's Second Version of the Ontological Argument’, Ontological Argument for the Existence of God. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2005). http://www.iep.utm.edu/ont-arg/#H3

4 For a similar argument, regarding God's existence, see Plantinga, Alvin's The Nature of Necessity (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979)Google Scholar.

5 This is similar to some Calvinist notions, and ideas expressed in John Edward's sermon, ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’, delivered in Enfield, Connecticut, on July 8, 1741. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards/sermons.sinners.html. See Matthew J. Slick, ‘Predestination’ Calvinist Corner (2012). http://www.calvinistcorner.com/predestination.htm

6 For an example of religious naturalism, see Santayana, George's The Life of Reason (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 1998).Google Scholar

7 The idea of mythical faith is articulated by Ehrman, Bart in Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them) (New York: Harper One, 2010)Google Scholar, Chapter 8.

8 See Moltman, Jurgen's The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993)Google Scholar. Also see Hartshorn, Charles's Omnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1984).Google Scholar

9 For more on the dangers of religion, see Hitchen, Christophers' God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (New York: Twelve, 2009).Google Scholar

10 For an expansion of these arguments, see Johnson, David Kyle's ‘Against the Santa Claus Lie: The Truth We Should Tell Our Children’, In Christmas – Philosophy for Everyone: Better Than a Lump of Coal, edited by Lowe, Scott (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).Google Scholar

11 Numbers 22:28.

12 This is a widely held theistic position known as ‘mysterianism.’ See Anderson, James's Paradox in Christian Theology: An Analysis of Its Presence, Character, and Epistemic Status (Waynesboro, Georgia: Paternoster Theological Monographs, 2007)Google Scholar and Alston, William's ‘Two Cheers for Mystery,’ in God and the Ethics of Belief: New Essays in Philosophy of Religion, edited by Dole, A. and Chignell, A. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 99114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

13 Special thanks go to Caleb Holt, for sprucing up the humorous content of both acts.

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