How Jordan Peterson might respond to the question (From Dr Beckerwood on Reddit):
I act as if Santa Claus exists.
People have often asked me (especially around this time of year) if I believe in Santa Claus… and I don’t like that question because it’s an attempt to box me up, to put a bow on me in a sense. It’s like, what do you mean, “believe”? We know what Santa looks like. We know what he sounds like. We know how he behaves. We put up pictures and statues of him. We even make offerings to him! Do I believe the man at the mall with the white beard is the one and only Santa? Crowds are addressing him as Santa and he is responding to the name “Santa” and answering AS Santa as such, so some extent at least, he is real. To the degree he is a “good” Santa he is transcending his material substrate to give rebirth to the neurological patterns of the eternal spirit of Santa as it has descended across time. It’s like, is that “real” enough for you? In the Jungian sense you could argue that in that moment he is more real than real.
Look, any smart 11 year old can point out the logistical problems with time zones, flying reindeer, and countless cubic tons of milk and cookies, but, you know, perhaps that’s the wrong level of analysis. When a child sits on Santa’s lap it’s an intimidating thing because Santa is a judge. It’s like, are you on the good list or the naughty list? Because you certainly don’t want to be on the naughty list, that’s for sure, so how about we avoid that; how about we avoid the coal in the stocking? So what do we tell our kids? It’s like, clean up your room! Straighten yourself out and try to be a good person. Then maybe Santa judges you favorably and you get a few decent toys out the deal, eh? I don’t know, maybe Red Dead Redemption 2 or maybe a Hatchimal. But you’re not getting anywhere by stepping up on your soap box and announcing “I’m so smart, I figured out that the physical manifestation of the spirit of giving isn’t real.” I mean, you can think that if you want, but it’s not the proper way of looking at Santa Claus. There’s way, way more to him than that.
And there are actually not a lot of people, percentage-wise, who are ok with saying out loud that they don’t believe in him. Why is that? It feels like a sin to even suggest something like that. On the contrary, people go door to door singing songs about him. So some folks might say he doesn’t exist maybe just because they’re afraid of appearing foolish, but I’m not convinced. It’s like, you know what you truly believe, eh? You’re transparent to yourself? Guess again, sunshine. We act as if Santa Claus exists. And that’s right. That’s true, and it is good. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Merry Christmas Buckos