If you’ve ever read an atheistic objection to Christianity, you’ve probably heard something like “believing in God is like believing in Santa Claus. You don’t believe in Santa Claus do you? So why would you believe in a different mythical being like God?”.
On the surface, this seems like a plausible question. I mean, what’s the difference between believing in a Jolly elf who flies around the world in a sleigh pulled by 8 reindeer once a year and drops presents down chimneys and believing in an all powerful, all knowing, maximally good invisible creator God?
Well, let’s examine the claims of Santa Claus to see if it is truly the same as claims for God.
1. No witnesses
The one thing that Santa lacks is a large group of eyewitnesses. You never hear of anyone claiming to see Santa Claus other than little kids sitting on the mall Santa’s lap. And there are no documented mass sightings of the red-suited fat man in history.
2. No forensic evidence
There is no real trace evidence for Santa having visited your home. Now, kids may say “but Santa always eats the cookies and drinks the milk!”. But if you ask the parents out of earshot of their child, they will tell you they did it. So unless parents all over the world are lying, it’s more likely than not they ate the goodies. Another lacking piece of evidence – perhaps the proverbial smoking gun – is the lack of mysterious presents left under the tree. No parent has ever scratched their heads and stated on Christmas morning “where did that come from?”. If you polled parents, they will never tell stories of the mysterious arrival of THE GIFT that their child wanted, but they didn’t buy.
3. No flying reindeer spotted in nature
Now, this is something akin to Bigfoot. However, unlike the North American hairy giant, there has never been a piece of purported film, photography or hoofprints related to flying venison. If Santa Claus were real, you would expect someone at a research base in the Arctic to have reported a sighting or two. Afterall, Donner has to get some exercise when not taxing St. Nick around.
4. No one dies for a belief in Santa.
There have not been any reported mass persecutions of Santa-ists in history. No one who saw Kris Kringle and took that claim to their grave despite warnings to recant their story. For such a worldwide appeal, one would expect that true believers would be dying for such a belief.
Christianity, on the other hand, does have these characteristics we mentioned above:
It seems after a closer look, the belief in Santa or any other so called ancient myth or ‘god’ is not at all the same as a belief in Christianity.