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[snip] "Without the transcendent moral guidance that Santa provides, how will we know which children are naughty, and which are nice?" asks University of Chicago physicist Sean Carroll in a sarcastic mood at cosmicvariance.com. "Are we supposed to leave that up to individuals and communities to decide? Without Santa's equitable system of rewards and punishments (coal), there would be no reason whatsoever for kids to behave themselves. They would just run around, tearing wings off of flies, setting schools on fire, murdering their enemies."

[snip] Buying local food isn't always the most ethical choice, argues philosopher Peter Singer in a Mother Jones interview: "If you're living in a prosperous part of the United States, what's really ethical about supporting the economy around you rather than, say, buying fairly traded produce from Bangladesh, where you might be supporting smaller, poorer farmers who need a market for their goods? . . . You should support the economy where your dollars are needed most."

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