Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer

That song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “He knows when you are sleeping.. he knows if you been bad or good so be good FOR GOODNESS’S SAKE.” Stop and think that if you really were good solely for the sake of goodness then you would not need toys or rewards or quid pro quo and it would not matter what Santa knows or does not know!

It is most likely that the only people who do good PURELY for the sake of goodness are ethical atheists and agnostics.

The Chukshi Reindeer herders life above the arctic circle and all their food and clothing come from the reindeer who live on lichens (moss) on the rocks. Apparently prehistoric peoples who depended upon following migrating herds had myths about a flying reindeer (or medicine man or spirit) which could see where the best hunting might be and hence the notion of flying reindeer has very ancient and logical mythic roots.

And all of this is related to Plato’s classic “Euthyphro Problem,” namely, does God love good things like truth, justice, mercy, charity BECAUSE of inherent properties in those good things OR are things good simply BY FIAT because God decrees them to be good. We observe in the Qur’an a famous verse (paraphrased) “for do ye not know that Allah may ABROGATE anything and will replace it with something better.” Some religions have the idea that God must not be limited by anything, not even by God, so therefore God can be capricious and unpredictable. This is why some Calvinist denomination stress predestination because IF it were the case that human free will consent and choice and cooperation were involved in redemption and repentance and salvation then it would NOT all be God’s doing but there would be some human dimension and therefore God’s omnipotence would be compromised.

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