Santa syndrome

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Santa Claus, by Thomas Nast

Santa syndrome is a psychological syndrome causing affected individuals to ultimately accept atheism.[1] Most individuals discover or are told that the supernatural aspects associated with the Christian tradition of Santa Claus, such as him riding a sleigh led by reindeer and giving all good children around the world Christmas presents, are legend and are simply practiced in order to enrich the experience of celebrating the holy day.[1] However, individuals with this syndrome are often abnormally bitter about this finding and as a result, move further to reject the existence of God.[1]

In the 2008 book Christian No More, the atheist author Jeffrey Mark describes his suffering from Santa syndrome;[2] a notable Christian apologist who publishes his work under the nom de plume Shockofgod has analyzed Jeffrey Mark's case and presented his findings in a case study available to the public.[3] Jeffrey Mark describes the consternation he underwent when he was told about the supernatural additions to the story of Saint Nicholas:
She broke the unbelievable news that no, there really was no Santa Claus. But how could that be?[2]
This finding led to the author's psychopathological denial of the existence of God:
And interestingly, my feeling that Jesus was real was just as strong as when I was younger and felt that Santa was real. But Santa wasn't real. That gave me something to think about.[4]

Saint Nicolas is a historical figure.[5]

Santa syndrome and humor

Besides providing an explanation on why some atheists adopt atheism, there is another motivation for Shockofgod coming up with the term Santa syndrome.

He did it in order to poke fun at atheist comparisons of Christianity to Santa Claus and to show that some atheists adopt atheism for the childish reason of discovering that Santa Claus is not real and then concluding that Christianity is not true as result (see also: Atheism and irrationality and Atheism and logic and Atheism and logical fallacies).


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Santa Syndrome. Debunking Atheists (15 April 2011). Retrieved on 23 May 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mark, Jeffrey (2008). Christian No More. Retrieved on 23 May 2012. 
  3. Shockofgod (1 March 2010). Atheism Santa Syndrome Case #20. Retrieved on 23 May 2012.
  4. Mark, Jeffrey (2008). Christian No More. Retrieved on 23 May 2012. 
  5. Who Was Saint Nicholas? | National Geographic

See also

External links