The Instigator
brittwaller
Con (against)
Winning
79 Points
The Contender
advidiun
Pro (for)
Losing
48 Points

Children should be lied to

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,660 times Debate No: 4420
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (23)
Votes (26)

 

brittwaller

Con

The last time I did this debate I was a little unsatisfied with both the arguments and the results.

Lying to children, whether in the form of perpetuating silly myths like the existence of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, or by withholding factual answers to their questions about subjects such as sex and death, is bad, primarily for the children themselves but also for society as a whole.

Lying either directly or by omission is harmful because children eventually find out the truth, and an air of distrust is created. Children hear their parents say "It's wrong to lie" all of the time, but when they find out that Santa Claus doesn't exist, their natural reaction is one of confusion and eventual cynicism - "Why should I not lie like my parents told me to when they obviously lie?"

Even more dangerous is withholding information on more substantial issues such as sex, death, and the harshness of the world in general. There is no reason not to answer whatever questions a child asks in a truthful manner. Parents and other adults who lie by omission may think they are protecting children, when in fact full disclosure would be a great deal more helpful to children in their journey through life.

I look forward to a good debate.
advidiun

Pro

Resolved children should not be lied to

Definitions-

Lie-a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.

Children- a person between birth and full growth; a boy or girl

Santa clause, easter bunny, tooth fairy

when i think of santa clause i think of christmas and fun. the last thing i think of is "my parents lied to me." when i think of the easter bunny i think of eggs and chocolate. when i think of the tooth fairy i think of how happy i was when i would find that dollar under my pillow.All these things make children happy. they dont "confuse" them or cause "cynicism." also how could you explain the real meanings of christmas or easter to a young child? they cant understand those concepts yet. and last i would liketo point out that if telling these things to your kids is lying and bad for society than i would argue that so are all childrens books such as cinderella or goldilocks. you could even argue the same with cartoons like scooby doo or looney toons

Sex, death, etc. :

If im getting this straight you're completely ok with telling your 5 year old how to have sex. telling them what death is is alright with me. they have to learn that to cope with certain inevitable things. but sex is atleast something they dont need to know about. i would say i probably would want to make sure my child did NOT know those things. even if i did though how would i explain that. no child could ever understand the seriousness of something like sex. they would be tempted to start making jokes about it and shrug it off as not a big deal. if a child doesnt understand it how woul he/ she know why theyshouldnt do it when they're only like 14?

I look forward to a good debate.
Debate Round No. 1
brittwaller

Con

Thank you for accepting. It was not my intention to debate an actual child on this topic, but as it is, advidiun's opinions are as relevant, if not more so, as anybody else's:)

Definitions accepted

"when i think of santa clause i think of christmas and fun. the last thing i think of is "my parents lied to me." when i think of the easter bunny i think of eggs and chocolate. when i think of the tooth fairy i think of how happy i was when i would find that dollar under my pillow." (As an aside, is hitting the Shift key from time to time that difficult?)

-First, you are one case - I am speaking about a general effect on society. Second, I am not talking about the practical temporal traditions that are associated with said lies; I am talking about the lies themselves. I do not, and do not have to, advocate the abandonment of the traditions that go along with these superstitions for my argument to work. The point: If the fun can still be there, why lie in the first place? Even after people know that Santa doesn't exist, he is still a symbol of Christmas. But the traditions do provide an opportunity, often taken, to break with the conventional morality. This is especially ironic in the cases of Christmas and Easter - the hallmarks of the Christian religion. Third, this is not about particular cases at all, but rather a question of the principles of moral virtue as opposed to vice, and above all of the preference of knowledge over ignorance.

"All these things make children happy. they dont "confuse" them or cause "cynicism.""

-You jump from examples of your irrelevant personal feelings to an unequivocal and unsupported statement about all children. You might not have been confused when you found out Santa wasn't real, but again, this has nothing to do with the other hundreds of millions of other children in the world.

"also how could you explain the real meanings of christmas or easter to a young child?"

-Quite easily. Simply tell the truth. What is so terribly difficult with this concept? I will give an example if you so desire.

"they cant understand those concepts yet."

-This is simply your unsubstantiated opinion. Generally, if they are old enough to ask, they are old enough to be told the truth. Why else would they ask? Granted, some mature faster than others - this is where parental discretion should come in.

"and last i would liketo point out that if telling these things to your kids is lying and bad for society than i would argue that so are all childrens books such as cinderella or goldilocks. you could even argue the same with cartoons like scooby doo or looney toons"

-Hardly. All the things you mentioned are presented as the fictions that they are, whereas I am speaking of intentionally misleading children.

"If im getting this straight you're completely ok with telling your 5 year old how to have sex."

-That's not what I have stated at all. Must you caricature my argument to attack it? I do not mean for parents to go out and do what you have said. I only mean for parents to educate their children correctly on the subject as it occurs naturally during the course of childhood and puberty.

"telling them what death is is alright with me. they have to learn that to cope with certain inevitable things. but sex is atleast something they dont need to know about. i would say i probably would want to make sure my child did NOT know those things. even if i did though how would i explain that."

-Here you lose any relevant perspective at all. Here is the point of my argument in action, by my telling you this: Sex is inevitable for the great majority of people. You will have to learn to "cope" with this at some point. Now, with this in mind, would it not be better to tell your children (when the time is right, which of course will vary) the truth than telling them about the stork? If you do it yourself, in a serious way, so they understand it isn't a subject to be taken lightly, it is better for them as they will no doubt be hearing things from their adolescent friends about the subject before they are ever taught about it in a biology or health class. Differently, actual sex education (how to be safe, etc.) is to be preferred to abstinence-only education, which only amounts to shrugging off parental responsibility by ignoring "the inevitable."

"no child could ever understand the seriousness of something like sex. they would be tempted to start making jokes about it and shrug it off as not a big deal."

-See above.

"if a child doesnt understand it how woul he/ she know why theyshouldnt do it when they're only like 14?"

-Your question has brought us full circle: The idea is to tell the truth so that it is understood, and thus derive from that information a course of action. I don't mean just go lay the facts of life on your child in five minutes and then walk away. I never said that these things wouldn't require nuance on the part of the teacher.

Back to you.

Britt
advidiun

Pro

advidiun forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
brittwaller

Con

My argument stands. 100 characters 100 characters 100 characters 100 characters 100 characters blah

Vote CON
advidiun

Pro

My opponent has based his entire argument solely on statement the lying to children causes distrust between the child and parents.

After rereading the previous arguments I would like to end this debate with the argument that follows:

By not giving a single shred of evidence to support his claim that lying to children causes distrust, Britt Waller has failed to prove his point that he made at the beginning of this argument.

He has given nothing.
No references
No studies
No definitions, essays....nothing.

....nothing but his own opinion. And as I have met no child with the issues he claims exist...... he has no evidence whatsoever.

He has failed to prove his point and has therefore failed in this debate.

The choise is clear. Vote Pro
Debate Round No. 3
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Patrick_Henry 8 years ago
Patrick_Henry
... I like the premise, and I really agree with you... But it's sort of like with women. I'm not telling any woman that what she's wearing makes her appear to be fatter than she is. Just like I'm not telling any child that they suck at a sport or activity that they enjoy.
Posted by brittwaller 8 years ago
brittwaller
Another one missed the point <bump bump bump>
And another one missed
And another one missed
Another one missed the point... HEY!

HappilyMarried: *Everything* is up for debate. This is DEBATE.ORG, right? If you come up with that conclusion, then I doubt you read what I had to say. So I'm assuming you tell your kids that Santa brings them gifts, that the stork brings people babies, and the Easter Bunny is existant relative to Jesus, right? Regardless of your opinion, within the scope of *this debate* I won. There is no contest.
Posted by HappilyMarried 8 years ago
HappilyMarried
This is a parents choice, and not up for discussion/debate.

The debate is meaningless unless it is between 2 parents of a child. I as a parent of 4 kids, do not accept either sides argument.

The problem exists in absolutes; every child is different, every situation is different, there are few if any absolutes in parenting.
Posted by brittwaller 8 years ago
brittwaller
Thanks pal:)

"Show me the INTEGRITY!"
Posted by Kleptin 8 years ago
Kleptin
I did my part correcting the errors of people who voted Pro
Posted by gusgusthegreat 8 years ago
gusgusthegreat
Yeah, how the heck did Pro win this debate?

He provided nothing aside from biased opinion. Con's rebuttal to this was pointing out that the burden of proof was on Pro, who tried to reverse that role and is somehow winning for is "cleverness".

Con can win if he points out the unsoundness in Pro's point, which was done. Reversing roles isn't clever.
Posted by brittwaller 8 years ago
brittwaller
That's nice, but unfortunately you missed the point I was trying to make, wheelhouse3. I never said that the "Santa Claus" myth had to be utterly destroyed, just don't tell children or let them assume that it's real. Religionists can still take whatever value they want from the tale ("Santa Claus, for example, is representitive of Christ whose "present" to the world was dying for our sins etc. etc."- That's very... creative, I suppose^>^)- but isn't there more value in the *actual story of Christ* than in the Santa myth? I would think that you could not say no, as the Christian I have seen you present yourself as. Do not purposely mislead, that was the point.

Also, it doesn't matter what you would call Santa Claus... what's that Second Commandment again? Is that the conclusion you get by applying the loose interpretation to it?

Not to mention that the idea of Christmas (a winter celebration) began with (and most likely long before) the "pagan" Romans, who converted, blah blah blah so here we are in the present and "Santa" is simlpy a symbol of the materialistic consumerism that has engulfed our entire culture, and it seems clear that Xmas (to the vast majority) is about worldly possessions, not godly ones; but that's beside the point.

Thanks for your input

Britt
Posted by wheelhouse3 8 years ago
wheelhouse3
Well, i wouldn't call all those things like Santa Claus lying. I think it's merely a different form of truth. Like pro said, it's telling them in a way that they can understand. Santa Claus, for example, is representitive of Christ whose "present" to the world was dying for our sins etc. etc.

However, in my opinion, you're both wrong and therefore I can vote for neither arguement. Every child is different and therefore should be parented differently.
Posted by ShannonDowds 8 years ago
ShannonDowds
honestly, if i was a child i would rather have my mum and dad tell me they had sex, unprotected and she ended knocked up.
rather than them taking a reddber when i ask where do babies come from? and them replying the birds and the bees
what sh*t is that?
and better to know from the start than to realise the reality in utter mortification when your friend tells you something you wish you didnt want to know, so just tell the children to stop them from growing up thinkning the world is a lovely little place to live.
thank you :)
Posted by brittwaller 8 years ago
brittwaller
I appreciate it, artC. The most frustrating thing is that no one hardly ever leaves an RFD. I'm ok with losing (to a degree), but if no one tells me why I lost then how am I supposed to grow intellectually? You feel me? There should either be transparent voting or a mandatory RFD if a person is going to vote, I feel. So it goes...
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