The Instigator
jamccartney
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
CJKAllstar
Pro (for)
Winning
2 Points

Is it OK to tell children about Santa Claus?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
CJKAllstar
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/28/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 589 times Debate No: 48012
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

jamccartney

Con

I would like to debate anyone who thinks it is OK to tell children about Santa Claus.



Here are the rules:

  1. All arguments must be intelligent.
  2. Proper spelling and grammar must be used.
  3. All sources, if any, must be cited.
I look forward to the outcome of this debate.
CJKAllstar

Pro

I accept. You may put forward your arguments.
Debate Round No. 1
jamccartney

Con

Hello. Thank you for accepting the challenge. I am going to go through my list and explain - in detail - why each one is not a good idea.

1. We should not lie to them about anything:
I do not believe that feeding children lies is a good idea. To some, it could be considered immoral (I do not consider it to be immoral. That is just the opinion of others). Many years ago, when I first realized that Santa was not real, I felt so gullible and unintelligent. I can imagine that many other children felt the same way when they found out.

2. For those who are religious, Santa is taking away the true meaning of Christmas.
This reason really only applies to the religious community. For them, Christmas is about giving and the birth of Jesus. The whole idea of Santa Claus is teaching children to forget about what Christmas is all about and telling them that it is about getting presents and toys. That is not the true meaning of Christmas, which is what children should be taught about.

3. We are telling children that magic is real.
Do we really want our children running around thinking that magic is real? Do we really want them to think that a fat man who lives in the north pole flies around in a magic sleigh pulled by reindeer every Christmas and gives billions of children the presents they want in just 8 hours? No. We really don't. That is a very big, elaborate lie, that is teaching children to believe in magic, which is not real either.
CJKAllstar

Pro

"Hello. Thank you for accepting the challenge. I am going to go through my list and explain - in detail - why each one is not a good idea.

1. We should not lie to them about anything:
I do not believe that feeding children lies is a good idea. To some, it could be considered immoral (I do not consider it to be immoral. That is just the opinion of others). Many years ago, when I first realized that Santa was not real, I felt so gullible and unintelligent. I can imagine that many other children felt the same way when they found out.

2. For those who are religious, Santa is taking away the true meaning of Christmas.
This reason really only applies to the religious community. For them, Christmas is about giving and the birth of Jesus. The whole idea of Santa Claus is teaching children to forget about what Christmas is all about and telling them that it is about getting presents and toys. That is not the true meaning of Christmas, which is what children should be taught about.

3. We are telling children that magic is real.
Do we really want our children running around thinking that magic is real? Do we really want them to think that a fat man who lives in the north pole flies around in a magic sleigh pulled by reindeer every Christmas and gives billions of children the presents they want in just 8 hours? No. We really don't. That is a very big, elaborate lie, that is teaching children to believe in magic, which is not real either."

I will start with some rebuttal. First of all, the issue of lying to children. I don't know whether you know this, but in the everyday educational life of school, children are lied to. They are taught that atoms are indivisible, which isn't true. They are taught atoms are the smallest indivisible piece of nature, that electrons orbit atoms as does a satellite to a planet and that World War Two was started just by Germany. We are taught that we have five senses when in reality we have an estimated amount of 9 up to 20, including nociception (feeling pain) and proprioception (knowing where parts of your body are without looking at them). Everything from being told that a pyramidal peak is a mountain in regards to geography, to not being told the difference between an initialism and an acronym in regards to English language, as children, we are always lied to anyway. And why does this happen? Simply because the lies we are told are easier for children to comprehend, enjoy and make life easier. They're more testable, increase efficiency and the truths will be harder to teach, test, explain or in most cases aren't relevant and will only decrease efficiency and easiness. Unless a child is already researching a topic for age ranges much older than them, in which case they will find out the truth, there is no downside to being lied to about information, and a variety of upsides. So in regards to Santa Claus, having a cult icon increases enjoyment. It allows for stories, myths and legends and tales to keep children happy. It allows for surprises in which children feel a larger sense of surprise, as they believe only Santa know. It allows for events based on Santa, cosplay, school plays, jokes and so much more. Having Santa allows for a plethora of laughs, which couldn't be paralleled by Jesus, as many would find that offensive. Santa, being this icon brings enjoyment, as well as conversation. It also makes life easier for the parents, they don't have the responsibility. Children won't pester them about presents, and the responsibility of a bad present is lifted of a parent. The only arguable downside to a Santa? Well, those people need to tackle the issue about the educational curriculum first, because they seem perfectly fine with it.

Now the issue of the religious meaning of Christianity. This argument can be refuted very simply. The value of Christmas is not subjective. The Bible does not mention Christmas. Christmas in itself had a variety of pagan traditions put into it. The mistletoe comes from Norse beliefs, the trees, Roman paganism. Christianity was formed by man thus has no objectivity whatsoever. It's customs were taken from Saturnalia, a Roman festival. Knowing this, Christianity is a celebration of Jesus, but in mankind's way, and that way has taken the turn of Santa, for all the reasons I stated above. After all, it was made to appeal to non-Christians in their way. If Santa offends people, then just don't adhere to the customs of Santa. Christianity has no objective guidelines, it can be celebrated in whatever way people want to, it's values, also not being objective can be changed. Christmas has no, 'true meaning.' It was meant to have a meaning, but a holiday created by man, for man, is viable to be shaped by man. Anyone who does get offended about anyone celebrating Christmas, not just them due to personal beliefs, is just ignorant of the creation.

Finally, telling children that magic is real. Well, eventually they learn it isn't. Please refer to my first argument for this. If they think magic is real, their lives can be so much more interesting and their thoughts so much more creative and imaginative. The only downside is naivety they already have, for a few years, which will have no retribution whatsoever.

Santa has no negatives, he creates an interesting event and lore for Christmas which increases the joy of Christmas, what universally Christmas is about. The idea of Santa is tantamount to superheroes or ancient mythology about heroes, with the added bonus that the temporary ignorance of children means they are closer to this being than ever. I don't even want to get started about how the realisation of Santa not being real teaches children a lot, enough that I might have to delve into that next round, depending on your argument.

Sources:
http://www.simpletoremember.com...
http://www.prevailmagazine.org...
http://resources.educ.queensu.ca...
Debate Round No. 2
jamccartney

Con

Thank you for responding.

First of all, I understand the motivation behind it all. But there is still a problem with that. It is telling children that if they do not be good, they will not get presents. That, I'm sorry to say, does not teach good morals. The children should learn that they should be good, no matter what they get in return.

When they find out that Santa is just a lie, they will realize that there is no longer a need to be good. It is true; I've seen it happen too many times to deny it.

I understand that magic expands the imaginations of children, but if we really want to do that, why not do it in a different way? Magic cannot provide them with a source of understanding but magic does not explain anything. Magic is not real and therefore is still a lie. Like I said before, lying to children is wrong. I read something I think explains why I think that, which I will share with you now:

"So, basically they use scare tactics and bribery to get their kids to behave?"[1]

I think that line explains it perfectly. Why don't we teach the children morals and that good behavior is the right thing to do?

Now, back to the thing I said about religion. I'm not saying that religion discourages it, I'm just saying that Santa takes away the true meaning of Christmas. It teaches them about how they get toys and presents if they're good instead of just being good because it's the right thing to do. The idea of kids only being good because of greediness does not sound good to me; It actually scares me. I don't want these people to be running the world one day if they think like that.

[1]http://www.babble.com......
CJKAllstar

Pro

"First of all, I understand the motivation behind it all. But there is still a problem with that. It is telling children that if they do not be good, they will not get presents. That, I'm sorry to say, does not teach good morals. The children should learn that they should be good, no matter what they get in return."

From a very young age, children are gifted in treats in return for young behaviour. They are given points or rewards such as certificates in reward for good behaviour and punctuality. Teens are awarded presents, points and rewards for the same thing with the inclusion of hard work. As young adults you are awarded certificates for the same thing. As adults promotions are now a key reward. Extra pay is rewarded. As you age, experience due to harder work becomes something to work for. The ability to retire comfortably provides encouragement to work harder. This is extremely broad. Everything from getting a good mark, to making a good cup of coffee, to completing a menial task in a set of time, from waking up next morning comfortably. To as simple as not stepping on feces on the way somewhere all provide a reward. In life, this is the humble incentive.

We are governed by incentives. You would not be debating and trying hard if it wasn't for the reward of winning, and neither would I. You wouldn't try as hard if there was no winner, if it wasn't recorded. The incentive is a powerful force, shaping people and pushing people to break their limits to achieve a goal. I can guarantee you if times weren't kept, Usain Bolt wouldn't have ever made 9.58 seconds. Yet, would you rather have him not reach that score and do worse, however he isn't trying for a goal? Would you rather a competition had an incentive, thus producing better results? Let's bring this home. Would you rather a child behave immaculately so they can reach an end goal? Or have them behave not as well, for the sake of it. Because I don't need to expand how much easier your life would be. So you may have an issue with this being a reward, but let's face it. This is life, and it's better we allow a child to learn how to strive for a goal, so life comes easier, as long as the reasons and the value behind good behaviour is still being explained. Once that's in play, there is no issue here.

"When they find out that Santa is just a lie, they will realize that there is no longer a need to be good. It is true; I've seen it happen too many times to deny it."

Well, Santa is the focus of the goal. The presents are, and as I explained before, even if the presents go there are countless incentives to keep them going, and at this age, good values ca be instilled in them, they can be brought up to understand why something is good and to make sure it becomes their lifestyle. Because their logic would at this age be able to tell them that if being good gives you presents, it can get you a lot and is better than being bad. Parenting is now the issue at this point, not Santa.

"I understand that magic expands the imaginations of children, but if we really want to do that, why not do it in a different way? Magic cannot provide them with a source of understanding but magic does not explain anything. Magic is not real and therefore is still a lie. Like I said before, lying to children is wrong. I read something I think explains why I think that, which I will share with you now:

"So, basically they use scare tactics and bribery to get their kids to behave?"[1]

I think that line explains it perfectly. Why don't we teach the children morals and that good behavior is the right thing to do?"

Again, refer to my previous argument. You seem to have missed the point, so let me sum it up:

1) Children are too young to understand, yet their creativity would be at a benefit if they were to play with magic, at a cost of naivety they already have. No new negatives are added, especially once they find out the truth.

2) It isn't scare tactics. It may be about perspective, but it is an incentive. If you have a problem with that idea, then this world may not be for you.

3) We lie to children all the time. Half the curriculum for school's of children under 11 are lies, but it helps make life easier and these are all corrected anyway. For examples, please refer to my previous post, but this is exactly like the Santa issue. It is a lie, but the only negative isn't an addition and is corrected later.

4) Teaching children about morals is a parental issue. It can still be done with incentives, you aren't going to escape the incentive. Santa is is no way detrimental to these values being taught, as the parent/guardian has the responsibility of feeding these values to their child. I fail to see how with right parenting, Santa is detrimental to a child's moral progress.

"Now, back to the thing I said about religion. I'm not saying that religion discourages it, I'm just saying that Santa takes away the true meaning of Christmas. It teaches them about how they get toys and presents if they're good instead of just being good because it's the right thing to do. The idea of kids only being good because of greediness does not sound good to me; It actually scares me. I don't want these people to be running the world one day if they think like that."

You stated, " For them, Christmas is about giving and the birth of Jesus."
This is all I need to say. You stated this, whereas in the previous paragraph you've contradicted yourself by saying that it takes away the true meaning of Christmas, as if it is an objective meaning. I have explained that Christmas has no objective meaning. It has an intended meaning but there weren't rules set, it was created to appeal to Romans and Christians alike by mankind, so will inevitably be altered by the wants of mankind. And to some, what you are saying maybe true. But the actual content can be refuted by what I said earlier about incentive.

Thank you, and I appreciate this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by ESocialBookworm 2 years ago
ESocialBookworm
I witnessed this debate live. I cant wait to see you all battle it out.
Posted by Taylur 2 years ago
Taylur
Some people pass God off as real, so I see no reason why you can't with other fictional characters.
Posted by jlara1 2 years ago
jlara1
I think it's wrong because you should not be raised being told not to lie but come to find out your parents tell you hey santa and the easter bunny and all them are fake. It's like all the lessons went out the window. That is how you get criminals out of children.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RebelRebelDixieDixie01 2 years ago
RebelRebelDixieDixie01
jamccartneyCJKAllstarTied
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Reasons for voting decision: My RFD Is in my vote
Vote Placed by WilliamsP 2 years ago
WilliamsP
jamccartneyCJKAllstarTied
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Total points awarded:02 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree with Con fully, but I believe that he has not put enough effort into this debate. Pro made much longer arguments and had much more sources. Spelling and grammar was okay and there were no issues in the conduct. Again, I agree with Con, but this is what I interpreted after having read the entire debate.