Proving Santa

There’s a quote you may have heard that goes something like this: “If you understand why you reject all the other gods, you’ll understand why I reject your God.” It sounds good, but there’s a problem. As soon as you say that to an actual believer, they are likely to inform you that they reject all the other gods because the Real God™ told them the others were false. What was not derived by reason and evidence cannot be refuted by reason and evidence.

With that in mind, I’d like to propose a new game that might have a better chance of achieving the same goal. It’s called “Proving Santa,” and I think it has a better shot at giving believers a chance to experience what it’s really like to be a skeptic in a religious debate.

The game works like this: I’ll be the one who believes Santa is a real, magical person who actually delivers presents to children on Christmas, and you have to prove to me that he isn’t, subject to the following rules:

  • The burden of proof is always on you. I am allowed to assume that Santa must be real, as the default proposition.
  • I can make up any rules, at any time, in order to refute your arguments.
  • If you find any inconsistencies or self-contradictions in my argument, I am allowed to conclude that you are just saying that because you hate Santa.
  • I am allowed to reject any evidence or testimony coming from people who do not believe in Santa, on the grounds that they are biased by their hatred for Santa.
  • I am allowed to take unbelief in Santa, in itself, as evidence that people know he is real, since they hate him.
  • I am allowed to take any real-world phenomenon, attribute it to Santa, and use it as evidence that he is real, whether or not I can articulate exactly what Santa has to do with it.
  • I am allowed to invoke the supernatural and/or magic at any time in order to “explain” any practical difficulties in what I believe.
  • I am allowed to assume that if you are at all reluctant to believe in Santa, it is because of some moral defect on your part.
  • I am allowed to change the subject at any time in order to prevent you from making a point.
  • No matter what I do in Santa’s defense, it’s ok, because I’m defending Santa. This includes lying, slandering, trolling, deliberate use of logical fallacies, and other questionable activities.
  • I am the final judge of whether or not you have or have not proven that Santa is a myth, and the only way you can win is if I admit that you have proven it.
  • I am never under any obligation, legal, moral, or intellectual, to admit that you’ve proven your point, no matter what.

I think that would be a pretty fun game to play, as long as you were the one defending Santa. “If you understand why you do not believe in Santa, you will understand why I do not believe in your God.”


  1. Die Anyway says

    They won’t, of course, concede you those rules. Those rules only apply to Christians because God. And they are valid for Christians because Bible. And besides, this is a Christian Nation and there’s a War on Christmas and Christians are being persecuted by the government so God gives them special privilege… so there!

    • Deacon Duncan says

      When I was a student at the Christian college, back during my religious years, I once had a professor admit to the entire class that it was technically circular reasoning to use the Bible to prove that the Bible was the word of God, but he insisted that was ok because God would never lie to us in His Word, so the fallacy didn’t matter.

  2. Owlmirror says

    As an alternative to Santa, maybe “Invisible, Intangible Friend”?

    “My IFF doesn’t need to prove that he exists.”

  3. says

    It’s magic. Can’t refute that. Magic always trumps logic, if you want it to.

    How does he get down a tiny chimney? Magic.
    How does he get everywhere in one night? Magic.
    How can he be his own father? Magic.

    *whispers in YOB’s ear* What?! Santa and God are not the same being, you say? I say otherwise, because Magic!

  4. thebookofdave says

    Santa is superior to God in other ways as well. He can be seen just before the holidays on street corners, in shopping malls, and at festivals. Sure, they turn out to be imposters, but it’s still stronger evidence than for God. Note to self: find out if Santa ever left a selfie on toast or cookie dough.

    Also, Santa never has to live up to exaggerated claims of universe creation or omnipotence. Proto-Santa myths even relieve him of responsibility for omnibenevolence. This makes it much easier to explain the Problem of Evil, or why good magical beings go bad.

  5. Hubert says

    Don’t forget

    – “You don’t believe in Santa because you just want to be naughty instead of nice!”
    – “If there was no Santa, I would have no moral compass at all, and steal presents and candy from others!”
    – “Why don’t you believe in Santa? The presents are right there in front of you. You’re in denial!”
    – “People who don’t believe in Santa, worship the Grinch!”

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