The Instigator
XStrikeX
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
Tiresias
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Perpetuating the myth of Santa Claus to children is bad

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
XStrikeX
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/5/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,216 times Debate No: 12700
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (2)

 

XStrikeX

Pro

Hello, I am XStrikeX, and I am representing the Proposition for this debate, "Perpetuating the myth of Santa Claus is bad for children."
I'd like to open up with a few definitions.

Perpetuate: cause to continue or prevail; "perpetuate a myth"
Myth: a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence
Santa Claus: an imaginary being who is thought to bring presents to children at Christmas
Bad: having negative qualities or effects

This debate will be based on logic and reason, so no sources are necessary unless there is any statistical information or actual situation presented.

Arguments

1. Santa Claus is irrational.
For a start his supposed activities would break all the rules of physics - how could anyone fly around the world with magical reindeer in just one night visiting every child? How would his sleigh stay up in the air? And how could he get into so many bedrooms - most people nowadays don't have chimneys to come down, and he wouldn't't fit down one even if they did? Santa certainly seems like a robber through his extremely sneaky ways even if he does "give presents." And do we have any proof for the existence of elves, or of reindeer? Secondly, if Santa existed don't you think that someone would have seen him delivering the presents, at least once? How would a parent answer these questions? They can't because Santa is so ridiculous! The theory of Santa is so unrealistic that children will be confused what actual reality and logic is.

2. Santa is an evil person.
Santa is a class oppressor - for he always seems to give the most and best presents to children in the richest families while those who are poor get little or nothing. A single person can be enlisted as naughty or nice, good or bad, based on a few acts. You can't judge a person based on a few observations. And he has been enlisted as a bogeyman in the fight to make children do what their parents want. All those, "You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not shout… I'm telling you why" threats that bad children won't be visited by Santa are just designed to scare children and keep them under control. Parents control their kids by creating an imaginary "powerful" stranger. Such a figure is not worthy of our belief.

3. Children will be disillusioned.
We should have a strict regard for the truth, and see the world as it is regardless of the consequences. Our children deserve to be told the truth about Santa Claus, as well as about the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and the possibility of fairies at the bottom of the garden. If they start off believing in these things, one day they will become disillusioned and maybe psychologically scarred for life by the experience. And once parents start to lie to their children about Santa Claus then other dishonesty and mistrust can all too easily follow.

4. Santa stunts intellectual maturity.
The priority of believing in the face of evidence or reasoning which contradicts that belief, promotes a model of learning based on authority and accepting irrational concepts, discouraging healthy skepticism. Questions about Santa's existence are likely to be dismissed as opportunities to exercise critical thinking only to be replaced with 'magical thinking' that forms a poor substitute for sound reasoning. They may learn that false arguments work as a substitute for logic. Indeed, the child will learn eventually that Santa Claus is false, but that knowledge may likely come through admission rather than logical deduction. Participation in this deception teaches children that dishonesty at the expense of those who are gullible, like younger children, can be amusing and fun. It may also teach them that we should believe in ideas that are rewarding with the hopes that they are true, rather than believing in them for actually being true. This denounces true, logical thinking.

Santa Claus is an illogical, irrational myth that promotes poor logic and is a lie that parents tell their children. Children will also be unsafe and insecure once they learn the truth about Santa's existence and wonder why their parents would lie to them so.

For these reasons, perpetuating the myth of Santa Claus to children is bad.
Tiresias

Con

As a starter I'd like to say my opponents definitions were admirably precise and equitable, something to be appreciated.

As I am Con I will be refuting Pro's arguments and his contention that "perpetuating the myth of Santa Claus to children is bad" i.e. it is harmful in nature. In turn, Pro must prove that Santa Claus' existence - at least in the minds of children - does them a quantifiable amount of "bad".

Rebuttal:

(1) "Santa Claus is irrational... For a start his supposed activities would break all the rules of physics - how could anyone fly around the world with magical reindeer in just one night visiting every child? How would his sleigh stay up in the air? And how could he get into so many bedrooms - most people nowadays don't have chimneys to come down, and he wouldn't't fit down one even if they did?"

It would seem your argument here for harm to children is on the basis of their coexistence alongside irrationality. However, I dispute that irrationality is harmful in of itself for children. Take for instance my favorite children's book "Rainbow Fish" [A]. The hero of this book is a blue fish with beautiful scales who refuses to share them with anyone, even the little ugly fish who begs for them! Because he was so rude, he loses all his friends and becomes very upset. He then visits the wise Octopus who states: "he should share the beauty of his scales with his friends" [A]. Rainbow Fish then realizes his mistake and beings sharing his bedazzled scales with the ugly fish, who are eternally grateful for the fashion upgrade. Now this story is unquestionably "irrational" - indeed there are not a great many things in this world more fantastic than a mythical talking octopus - however its usefulness is by no means dampened by its fantastic nature. The irrationality of this story - much like the myth of Santa Claus - is a tool for teaching abstract moral concepts to minds that are ready to be introduced to the esoteric nature of moral platitudes, but can't necessarily comprehend them. I doubt seriously that you will take your 5 year old and explain to him that he should be a good child simply because the societal standards of American culture demand he abide. The ethics of children do not follow the logic of Hegel or Kierkegaard - they follow the standards laid down by Rainbow Fish and Clifford the Big Red Dog. To deprive them of this introduction to morality would do infinitely more harm to them than telling them a story involving magic and talking snowmen. Indeed, I would wager that my child taught through the "myth" of Santa Claus would have an intrinsically more truthful concept of morality than your child taught simply through "rational means".

(2) "The theory of Santa is so unrealistic that children will be confused what actual reality and logic is."

Your contention that a child's belief in Santa will be so strong as to warp their conception of reality and taint their ability to reason is completely unfounded. A belief steeped in irrationality does not make a person themselves completely irrational. That's like saying a religious person who believes in miraculous things is by his very nature an entirely irrational person - one who is incompetent to make decisions in any field of his life because he holds certain beliefs. I have religious friends who believe the most illogical things, yet they are entirely rational beings in the realms of economics, business, and science. Your contention that a belief in Santa is "all-corrupting" is ridiculous, and logically inconsistent.

(3) "Santa is a class oppressor - for he always seems to give the most and best presents to children in the richest families while those who are poor get little or nothing. A single person can be enlisted as naughty or nice, good or bad, based on a few acts."

This is one of the most fantastic statements I've read in awhile. How is a man - real or not - who spends 11 months and 30 days of a 12 month year building toys to deliver for free to children a "class oppressor"? Here is the definition if you were unclear on the meaning of the word "oppressor": an unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power. I don't know about you, but Santa Claus doesn't strike up images of a tyrant in my head - Stalin perhaps, but not Mr. Claus. If you would then, I would enjoy hearing exactly how Santa Claus exercises his "authority" over children in an "unjust" manner by building them free toys, hypothetically of course. Or you can explain why Stalin didn't build toys for his peasants since he was an oppressor too, right?.

(4) "You can't judge a person based on a few observations."

The Naughty List is not about impulsive punishment - it serves as a reminder that there are consequences for bad behavior. However, if you like, we can be logical about children behaving badly and simply treat them like we would rational adults and throw them in prison - albeit one with plenty of blankets for nap time in their cells. It is important to note also that the Naughty List is not permanent in nature. Santa Claus, besides being an "evil Class oppressor", often allows children to migrate to the Nice List once they have ceased their bad behavior and redeemed themselves.

(5) "We should have a strict regard for the truth, and see the world as it is regardless of the consequences."

It is rather ironic that you would right this statement considering your entire argument is based on the abdication of harm. You would rather deprive children of a natural introduction to morality concepts and throw them into the fire so to speak, despite the inevitable harm that would cause. It seems to me that you are rather conflicted in your intentions and I would appreciate a little clarification. Are you arguing that we should do anything necessary to protect our children from harm, or that we should tell them unconditionally the nature of the world in which we live and the harm it will eventually cause them. It would be important for you to note that these two world views are mutually exclusive - you can't save the children by throwing them into the fire...

(6) "The priority of believing in the face of evidence or reasoning which contradicts that belief, promotes a model of learning based on authority and accepting irrational concepts, discouraging healthy skepticism."

I'm unsure of your experience with Santa Claus - though I may deduce that he has harmed you in some grave way - however I'd like to inform you that most children discover on their own that Santa Claus is not real. Indeed, the investigation is perhaps one of the most critical in our learning as children: our skepticism and desire for truth inevitably outweighs the innumerably more pleasurable and rewarding state of ignorance and bliss. We as children, before even our fledging concepts of truth and fiction have formed, are willing to sacrifice our "magic" for a more congruent reality despite never having been told about the beneficial qualities of the "rational" and "logical" world. I would posit that having never believed something false, your children would never feel the passion behind discovery or truth. Your position would deprive them of this lesson, and indeed would cause a great deal of harm to the general human character simply for its' banality and rigidity. The breaking of our first beliefs is the most important lesson we can learn. This is the value of Santa Claus - denying the young soul the adventure of discovery and the acquisition of a certain healthy dose of skepticism is perhaps the most harmful thing you could do.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.aolsvc.merriam-webster.aol.com...
Debate Round No. 1
XStrikeX

Pro

Thank you very much for accepting this debate! I'm hopeful it will be fun and challenging.
I would first simply like to ask my opponent what he is arguing for. Is Santa Claus a good person for children?
I would now like to begin refuting my opponent's arguments.

Refutations

"Now this story [Rainbow Fish] is unquestionably "irrational" - indeed there are not a great many things in this world more fantastic than a mythical talking octopus - however its usefulness is by no means dampened by its fantastic nature."

There are various levels of irrationality. The story you used as an example is not extremely irrational. For example, there are fish with beautiful scales. And you have an octopus, a wise mentor, who helps the fish share. This is a very good moral, yet not too irrational. Santa Claus' moral is unclear and the idea of Santa is extremely illogical. Compare these two stories. A pretty fish compared to flying reindeer. A talking octopus to a super obese man who flies all over the world and knows who is good and who is bad and flies down the chimney to give presents or coal.

"I doubt seriously that you will take your 5 year old and explain to him that he should be a good child simply because the societal standards of American culture demand he abide."

That is much better than telling a child to be good simply to receive more presents of higher quality. The child is acting like a nice person simply to get what he wants. That's not just or right.

"That's like saying a religious person who believes in miraculous things is by his very nature an entirely irrational person - one who is incompetent to make decisions in any field of his life because he holds certain beliefs."

I'm not religious, but that is easy for you to say because you are atheist. A person who is religious probably finds that their religion is not irrational and that God does exist and is watching over them. They find their religion completely logical. How would a person be faithful if he didn't believe? They're brainwashed and confused because Gods don't exist. That person is incompetent.
I apologize if I am offending any religious readers, but I feel I need to make this point. Some religious people do make idiotic decisions. For some reason, a man dragged a cross through his downtown home [1]. Muslims suicide bomb to end up in Paradise. Jews believe the world was created in six days, with God resting on the seventh and that the world is only 7000 years old. These are all very confused religious followers.
Children can believe in ridiculous things once they learn of Santa Claus, from magical powers to fairies and monsters, as I once did.

"This is one of the most fantastic statements I've read in awhile. How is a man - real or not - who spends 11 months and 30 days of a 12 month year building toys to deliver for free to children a "class oppressor"? Here is the definition if you were unclear on the meaning of the word "oppressor": an unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power."

An oppressor is a person who oppresses and the definition of oppress that I was using means to "cause to suffer." The poor will suffer because their parents, who are technically "Santa Claus", will give them fewer presents than the rich, whose parents spoil their children regardless whether or not they are kind. Even if you have the nicest child in the world who is poor, he will still not receive more presents of a higher value from "Santa" compared to the worst child who is filthy rich. Rich parents still care about their children and want them to love their parents, and the way to do that is by giving them good presents and not poor ones. No parent would purposely give their child coal.

"The Naughty List is not about impulsive punishment - it serves as a reminder that there are consequences for bad behavior. "

The naughty list is simply meant to scare children to be nice. In other words, it's a threat. However, it's also useless. Again, parents love their kids and don't want their kids to hate them so they give them presents so that the children will be happy.

"It seems to me that you are rather conflicted in your intentions and I would appreciate a little clarification. Are you arguing that we should do anything necessary to protect our children from harm, or that we should tell them unconditionally the nature of the world in which we live and the harm it will eventually cause them."

What I meant when I stated that we should have a strict regard for the truth is that we should not make up ridiculous stories to tell our children, but teach them the morals, and that Santa is too irrational for anyone to listen to. Children can learn to believe in magical, wishful thinking rather than using their heads and using logic and actual evidence.

"I'm unsure of your experience with Santa Claus - though I may deduce that he has harmed you in some grave way - however I'd like to inform you that most children discover on their own that Santa Claus is not real."

And the older children will spoil it for the younger children who see that their dreams and hopes all topple down and crash. We should not lie to our kids to have them develop a hope for magic and fairies and then have them find out on their own that their parents are liars. Why not have them invest their ideas into the future, for technology, space exploration, and physics? Why not have them further advance the theories and the ideas of why we are here and how the universe was created? Why not do all this rather than have them believe in a nonexistent, obese man whose outfit was shaped by Coca-Cola [2]? Santa Claus will not help the child in any way.

These are my main arguments, once again.
1. Santa is too irrational to brainwash children with.
2. Santa is evil.
3. Children will be disillusioned.
4. Santa stunts intellectual maturity.
5. Kids will lose their self-confidence and confidence in their parents when they find out the truth about Santa.
6. Santa is not the true meaning of Christmas.
Because I have not expanded on this point, I will do so now.
Christmas is a holiday on December 25th which is meant to commemorate the supposed birth of Jesus or Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christmas, hence the "Christ" in "Christmas. [3]" Christmas is the traditional birthday of Jesus and should have nothing to do with Santa Claus, who, in the United States, was born in 1899 approximately [4].

Lying is bad and is the constant no-no of moral story books, so why should parents do it to their children about Santa?
I look forward to the next round.

Sources:
1. http://www.wtol.com...
2. http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://answers.yahoo.com...
Tiresias

Con

Following the established format, I'll now challenge my opponents rebuttals.

(1) "The story you used as an example is not extremely irrational"

I am intrigued as to how you managed to classify Santa Claus as more "irrational" than a talking fish who can donate his scales to his neighbor fish, albeit only after learning the merits of sharing from a talking octopus. Indeed, you managed to write the absurd sentences: "And you have an octopus, a wise mentor, who helps the fish share. This is a very good moral, yet not too irrational." I would question the validity of any point you would make - or have made - if you consider the existence of a talking, superbly intelligent, octopus plausible in any manner. The fact or the matter is that both stories are equally irrational - yet that does not prevent them from holding merit: a point which you conveniently have attempted to bypass with this distraction. My original point still stands that irrationality - regardless of its "degree" - in of itself is not a negative quality. You must prove that in all cases, irrationality is to be avoided since it is overtly "harmful". Until then, this contention is negated.

(2) "That is much better than telling a child to be good simply to receive more presents of higher quality. The child is acting like a nice person simply to get what he wants. That's not just or right."

And yet that is exactly how we learn about morality - a point you seemed to have missed. We do not learn morals due to some intrinsic drive we posses towards ethical existence. It is not in our nature to be benevolent simply because that is the "moral" thing to do. We are benevolent in the hopes that others might be benevolent towards us - that our kindness might be "rewarded". You seem to have this artificially elevated concept of morality beyond its existence as a social regulator: we do good things not because they are good, but because we hope our neighbors might show some reciprocity and we may benefit. Indeed, my original point still stands: my child will have a more truthful and practical knowledge of morality when taught through Santa Claus than a child who is simply told to be good because its the right thing to do. Your contention is still negated.

(3) "That person is incompetent...Some religious people do make idiotic decisions"

You seemed to have missed my point entirely here, so I'll clarify again. You stated that a child's belief in Santa would cause all of their subsequent beliefs to be irrational for the simple proximity of the rational and irrational. I stated that a rational person is completely capable of holding certain irrational beliefs, yet remaining otherwise perfectly rational in all other aspects of their life. Your argument that all religious people are completely incompetent to make any rational decision simply because they believe certain theologies is hyperbole in the extreme. Irrational beliefs do not make a person entirely irrational - this is a distinction you need to understand. Either way, your contention is negated simply because you cannot prove that a person who holds one irrational belief must therefore hold only irrational beliefs in totality.

(4) "The poor will suffer because their parents, who are technically "Santa Claus"..."

This is an unfounded contention. In the eyes of the children who believe in Santa Claus, their parents are no more Santa Claus than you or I might be. Indeed, from their perspective - and regardless of their socioeconomic status - I would challenge you to find one single child in the entire world who believes as you do that Santa Claus is a "class oppressor". The point I offered still remains valid: Santa Claus does simply not fit the definition of a "class oppressor". He is benevolent, jolly, without political motivation, and entirely equitable - this does not discount the fact that parents operating as agents of Mr. Claus are less than perfect - but then that is not our argument as you surely know. Therefore, your contention is again negated: Mr. Claus is not a class oppressor, though if you wish you may call the parents of those poor children "class oppressors", though I rather doubt that will go over well.

(5) "The naughty list is simply meant to scare children to be nice"

Much like prison is meant to dissuade potential criminals with following through with their actions. Yet that is besides the point. You must prove that the Naughty list causes irreparable harm to children, which I have yet to see from you. And if you would oblige me, I am interested in knowing what your alternative to "scaring" children would be. Lecturing them about the necessities of morality? For I assure you that I learned far more about ethics through practicing them than I did about learning them in the classroom.

(6) "What I meant when I stated that we should have a strict regard for the truth is that we should not make up ridiculous stories to tell our children"

So in other words we should tell them the truth, even if the truth does more harm than our myths? Since your entire argument is - as I indicated earlier - resting upon the notion of abdicating harm, it would seem you just said you might do harm regardless of the alternatives that due less harm. From simple observation, your argument is completely logically inconsistent. You cannot keep the children from harm by harming them. I don't understand how you can argue this particular point.

(7) "And the older children will spoil it for the younger children who see that their dreams and hopes all topple down and crash"

So instead of having their dreams revealed as false, you would rather children never have any dreams at all? Indeed, you might even go as far as outlawing every dream a child might have on the basis of your "strict regard for the truth" and rationality. For all your efforts then to prevent harm, I surmise your children will be much, much less happy than mine. In fact, I might even put on a Santa suit of my own to give your children some presents on Christmas Eve simply to alleviate the pain they will inevitably feel at not having ever dreamed or been irrational; at not ever having been human. You seem all too willing to abandon the irrationality of human nature as something to be conquered and cast off - you would have us all be robots and machines. And yet you have missed the very quality that makes us vastly superior in terms of intelligence when compared with machines - we are able to think outside formal systems of thought. You contention that we should never do this is perhaps the most devastating ideal one could impart to a child. On this grounds, among many others, your resolution continues to be negated.

(8) "These are my main arguments, once again.
1. Santa is too irrational to brainwash children with.
2. Santa is evil.
3. Children will be disillusioned.
4. Santa stunts intellectual maturity.
5. Kids will lose their self-confidence and confidence in their parents when they find out the truth about Santa.
6. Santa is not the true meaning of Christmas."

Contention 1 was addressed and negated, as were 3,4, and 5. Contention 2 was never brought forth before now, though I would gladly debate it if you insist upon furthering that argument in the next round. Contention 6 is irrelevant and should not be continued - you have plenty to try and defend without bringing in another claim simply to provide your argument with sources.

I look forward to the next round.

P.S. I figured I should throw in a source. http://www.auburn.edu.... Revolution of the disenchanted, oppressed children against Overlord Claus is only 137 days away. Marx would be giddy.
Debate Round No. 2
XStrikeX

Pro

Thank you for the response.

"I am intrigued as to how you managed to classify Santa Claus as more "irrational" than a talking fish who can donate his scales to his neighbor fish, albeit only after learning the merits of sharing from a talking octopus."

Simple. Intelligent octopus do exist. Perhaps talking ones don't. 1 point of irrationality. However, the moral of sharing counters this irrationality, making it actually beneficial to children. Let's describe Santa Claus. He flies in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. 1 point. He flies down chimneys. 2 points. He travels around the world in one night. 3 points. He has a hidden factory in the desolate iceland of the North Pole and manages to live. 4 points. He has worker elves. 5 points. He makes toy all year and doesn't run out of money, supplies, or tools. 6 points. Santa has never died even though he is very old and has health problems, meaning his obesity. 7 points. Compared to the fish, Santa is much too irrational. And once again, his moral is unclear. The octopus story taught us about sharing valuable things and making friends out of that action. What is Santa's moral? Why is he here? What has he taught us that we never knew?

"The fact or the matter is that both stories are equally irrational - yet that does not prevent them from holding merit: a point which you conveniently have attempted to bypass with this distraction. My original point still stands that irrationality - regardless of its "degree" - in of itself is not a negative quality. You must prove that in all cases, irrationality is to be avoided since it is overtly "harmful"."

Now, seeing as this is the final round, I will prove that this higher amount of irrationality (this I proved in the last refutation) is not beneficial and negative. A little stimulation of the brain is good, I believe. However, the amount of stimulation Santa provides is far too large. You know those little rubber rooms they have in jails where a man is tied up in a thick, white coat? Those are generally for crazy people whose minds are over-stimulated. Here is a list of people who have apparently done a few very crazy things [1]. Their minds are simply way, way too creative. Instead, they should try doing something to help society. Santa is one of the beginnings of too much imagination. Here's a many who wants to fly, apparently, like Santa and like a superhero [2]. Too much irrationality also hurts people's feelings because they stick out [3]. Others believe that person is weird and it creates lack of self-confidence.

"It is not in our nature to be benevolent simply because that is the "moral" thing to do. We are benevolent in the hopes that others might be benevolent towards us - that our kindness might be "rewarded"."

What happens when the other person is nasty? Our civilizations today aren't based on the concept that everyone will be kind to each other. That is why we have wars. Because we can be selfish and want things for ourselves. The concept of Santa Claus has never stuck for a long time and it never will. Why prolong the existence of something that doesn't exist and that people will learn is fake? Sometimes, people can be nice because they want something. And what if the receiver doesn't want to be nice? The person who is selfish then changes to an angry, mean mode. If you are insinuating that people will be nice to make friends, that's untrue. No one likes a super nice person who follows you to the end of the world. You need to be true to yourself, and if mean is who you are, you shouldn't be disguising yourself. I ask my opponent if he could show any sources that prove his point that people will be kind simply so that other people will be kind. Otherwise, my argument still stands.

"Irrational beliefs do not make a person entirely irrational - this is a distinction you need to understand. Either way, your contention is negated simply because you cannot prove that a person who holds one irrational belief must therefore hold only irrational beliefs in totality."

I argue that my contention still stands for several reasons. First of all, the word my opponent used in his first sentence I quoted was "entirely." Entirely has a very broad definition. I agree with my opponent that those who accept irrational concepts are not completely absorbed in a psychological, disorientated world, but I must argue that, as I previously proved, irrational people do commit some, occasionally many irrational actions. And this type of irrationality does not contribute to society if we want to progress in technology, our universe, and to a better future. Point still stands.

"The point I offered still remains valid: Santa Claus does simply not fit the definition of a "class oppressor". He is benevolent, jolly, without political motivation, and entirely equitable - this does not discount the fact that parents operating as agents of Mr. Claus are less than perfect - but then that is not our argument as you surely know."

What I am arguing is that Santa Claus (the parents) is unfair. Richer parents give their children more presents of higher quality even if they are bad. Poorer parents give their children less valuable, fewer presents even if they are super good. This is unfair and is not instilling the idea that Santa is a fair, jolly person who helps all. You yourself said he is "equitable." I have proved he isn't. When I meant class oppressor, which my opponent seems to be seriously focusing on, I meant a person who makes certain classes suffer. In the case I have presented, certain classes will suffer. Take for example, a young, rather poor schoolboy attending his class the day after Christmas break. "What did you get for Christmas?" asks the wealthiest one in the group. The poor one will shy away from his answer and would be sad. I would like my opponent to focus more on the situation I have presented at hand instead of over exaggerating at the concept of the "class oppressor," even though Santa is one.

"Much like prison is meant to dissuade potential criminals with following through with their actions. Yet that is besides the point. You must prove that the Naughty list causes irreparable harm to children, which I have yet to see from you."

I have shown that the naughty list is essentially useless. Unlike prison where you are kept in a cell to regret your actions, the naughty list is fictional and a myth. As I previously stated, since parents love their children so much, they will always give their kids presents even if they are bad. The kids will then take advantage of this. This is what I am arguing.

"So in other words we should tell them the truth, even if the truth does more harm than our myths?"

What harm is there in the truth? As I stated, myths, once figured out to be a lie, hurt children on the inside, learning that their favorite hero isn't real.

"So instead of having their dreams revealed as false, you would rather children never have any dreams at all?"

I would not let them have such overly irrational dreams. Why build a block of fiction that will eventually topple, when you can build a block of science that never will? Fiction is not the future. Science and physics are. I am not saying that all fiction should be thrown away, just that too much fiction (Santa) and too little science is bad.

Seeing as my remaining characters are few, I must conclude.
My opponent has not brought in his own points to back up that Santa is good. This is what the CON must do.

1. Santa is not fair.
2. He is too irrational.
3. Science is what we need to invest in, not lies.
4. Santa can cause emotional distress when kids find out the truth.

Perpetuating the myth of Santa is bad.
Thank you and vote PRO.

1. http://www.43things.com...
2. http://musicallmorning.blogspot.com...
3. http://answers.yahoo.com...
Tiresias

Con

Following previous formats, I will again rebut my opponents contentions.

(1) "Intelligent octopus do exist"

This was not my argument. What you're doing is a clear logical fallacy and is called a straw man argument. It indicates that you were unable to disprove the validity of my initial point and have changed the context in which it was true. I never argued that an octopus was not intelligent. I argued that talking ones - especially ones with human morality on their minds - are just as implausible as Santa Claus. You have continued to both ignore and misconstrue this point - something that is especially obvious in your attempts to quantify the irrationality of both "stories". There is no such thing as a "degree of irrationality" - something is either irrational or it isn't. Anything that defies this statement suggests that something can be both rational and irrational simultaneously - which is so illogical that I'm sure Plato and Aristotle have turned over in their graves already - although Zeno should be quite content.

(2) "What is Santa's moral?"

His "moral" is subjective and irrelevant to your point. The fact that he may have no overriding moral theme, or in fact that he may have a great many, is outside the realm of this debate. You are required as the Pro in this debate to show that Santa Claus causes harm to children. You have argued that the myth of Santa Claus has no clear moral theme - a topic for another debate I'm sure - yet surely you must recognize that this is not equivalent to his having a "bad" moral theme. Again, ambiguity is not the same thing as immorality. You have failed most clearly in this respect to prove your resolution.

(3) "However, the amount of stimulation Santa provides is far too large. You know those little rubber rooms they have in jails where a man is tied up in a thick, white coat? Those are generally for crazy people whose minds are over-stimulated."

To the readers of this debate I apologize, as my opponent left a great many things for me to elucidate to him in this passage. First of all, and on an especially esoteric philosophical level, who are you to quantify the acceptable level of stimulation? Your argument that children are too fragile to handle the "stimulation" of Santa Claus - which is a rather curious phrasing - is laughable. If they were unable to handle Santa Claus - imagine how they will ever be able to deal with the innumerably more complex ideas drifting about the contemporary world. Imagine their attempts to learn physics at age 18 - or understand discrete mathematics at age 20 - the impossibilities contained within both subjects greatly outweigh the impossibilities of Santa Claus, and yet most people cope well in learning them. Indeed, men and women flourish among such "irrationality".

Also, using your powers of observation, I think you will be able to notice that the great many children who once believed in Santa Claus have adapted by and large rather well to the world. Your contention that Santa Claus causes lasting harm is again refuted by another simple observation - not a great many disaffected people in this world would attribute their problems to their beliefs about Santa as children.

In one more thematic and final criticism, your attempts at censoring the levels of stimulation can be directly quantified as harmful to children, setting yourself in opposition to your original goal of preventing harm to children. Again.

Second of all, your attempts to draw a relationship between Santa Claus, over stimulation, and mental illness are among the most ironic things I have read from you, especially considering you hold science in such high regard. There can be no more unscientific statement than your argument that Santa Claus causes people to go crazy. Your list of "crazy" people is just an attempt to use a source and is completely irrelevant to the debate, and your contention that most people with a mental illness are "too creative" is to ignorant for me to even begin to address here.

(4) "If you are insinuating that people will be nice to make friends, that's untrue"

Educate yourself. http://www.jstor.org....

For those without access, it states: "...theorists have delineated the close association in friendship relations between value consensus, affectional closeness, and interaction." This generally translates to people are affectionate ( read = nice) in order to make and maintain friendships. This qualifies my earlier point that people are nice only because they expect nicety in return. Therefore my point that the myth of Santa Claus qualifies morality as something akin to a motivation / reward theory is still valid. Indeed, it represents something easily accessible, understandable, and quantifiable by children: it allows them to act morally without fully understanding the reason behind their morality. This distinction comes with age, and in fact requires the initial steps of relating good moral behavior as a "rewarding" experience - something Santa manages to achieve rather well.

(5) "...irrational people do commit some, occasionally many irrational actions."

This is another Straw Man, as I never argued that point. I stated one irrational belief does not make a person irrational. You seem to be under the impression that a child with one irrational belief - i.e. Santa - will carry that irrationality over into other aspects of his or her life to the extent that it "distorts" their "reality" irreparably. I refuted this claim last round, and your attempts to dodge it are obvious. Your contention that Santa causes widespread irrationality among children is again, and still remains, unfounded.

(6) "Unlike prison where you are kept in a cell to regret your actions, the naughty list is fictional and a myth. As I previously stated, since parents love their children so much, they will always give their kids presents even if they are bad"

This first sentence is a complete non-sequitur. Both methods discourage bad behavior through loss of benefits - prison through loss of freedom and the Naughty List through loss of pleasure. They are very similar in both their purpose and in outcome, although their application as you seem to have picked up on, is somewhat different. In this sense, the motivation behind the Naughty List is not malicious, and encourages moral behavior. You have again failed to prove your resolution.

(7) "What harm is there in the truth?"

This is either unbelievably naive, or a shallow attempt to avoid acknowledging the hypocrisy of your argument. If revealing the "truth" to children would do more "harm" to them than their believing in "Santa", you would still reveal to them the truth. This would be acceptable if your position was "truth no matter what". But your position in this debate has been, and continues to be, the prevention of harm. In this sense you contradict your very purpose by doing harm in order to prevent harm. This alone should convince you that your resolution is conflicted, and unsatisfied in terms of logical consistency.

(8) "This is what the CON must do..."

You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding here. As Pro, you have the burden of proof. You must prove that Santa is "bad". I must do nothing other than address your original contentions as invalid, which I have done. You have consistently failed to prove this point, and instead have resorted to straw man arguments and shifting the burden of proof.

For the above reasons, I urge a vote for the Con.

Thanks for the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by XStrikeX 6 years ago
XStrikeX
Sorry, I meant flying reindeer. That certain type of magical reindeer.
Posted by Dingo7 6 years ago
Dingo7
"And do we have any proof for the existence of elves, or of reindeer?"

Um. Yes. Reindeer are perfectly real animals. They don't actually fly, but they exist.
Posted by XStrikeX 6 years ago
XStrikeX
"Christmas is a holiday on December 25th which is meant to commemorate the supposed birth of Jesus or Jesus Christ, the central figure of Christmas, hence the "Christ" in "Christmas. [3]" Christmas is the traditional birthday of Jesus and should have nothing to do with Santa Claus, who, in the United States, was born in 1899 approximately [4]." Round 2, XStrikeX Argument
Posted by Tiresias 6 years ago
Tiresias
In not one of your arguments did you even begin to mention the topic of Christianity. Therefore, this debate had nothing to do with Christianity.
Posted by XStrikeX 6 years ago
XStrikeX
CHRISTmas. I think it certainly did. The true traditional meaning of Christmas? Birth of Jesus? Big part of Christianity? Hmm...
Posted by Tiresias 6 years ago
Tiresias
The debate had nothing to do with Christianity.
Posted by Mr_Jack_Nixon 6 years ago
Mr_Jack_Nixon
Well of course it's good for kids to believe in Santa! A good Christian always begins the deluding process of their children at a young age!
Posted by Tiresias 6 years ago
Tiresias
This was sarcastic yes? The internet doesn't convey tone especially well.
Posted by the-good-teacher 6 years ago
the-good-teacher
Santa is very Real but maybe not in the form you have been deceived into believing !

Santa = Satan ?
Saint Nick or Old Nick ?
Posted by XStrikeX 6 years ago
XStrikeX
One of my friend's said that when I told her and she got really upset...
But yes, Koopin, surprisingly, Santa is not real. :P
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by XStrikeX 6 years ago
XStrikeX
XStrikeXTiresiasTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Vote Placed by atheistman 6 years ago
atheistman
XStrikeXTiresiasTied
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Total points awarded:70