The Instigator
dtaylor971
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
lit.wakefield
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Santa Claus probably could not deliver presents to the U.S on Christmas

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
lit.wakefield
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,288 times Debate No: 42531
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (2)

 

dtaylor971

Pro

First round for acceptance.

Santa Claus probably could not deliver presents to the U.S on Christmas WITH HUMAN ABILITIES.

The U.S is the Uninted States. In this universe, this galaxy.
Santa claus is the mythical creature who deliveres presents on Christmas.
Christmas would be from 12 AM- 6 AM, probable, the time frame when Santa delivers the presents. He has no helpers.

He can do anything a human could do, which means travel at up to 22 miles an hour. But he can fly. He is only in one universe, not parallel ones. He must not be seen. He must flying from the North Pole.
lit.wakefield

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
dtaylor971

Pro

This should be fun. Merry Christmas ahead of time.

Just to state, by no helpers, I mean no helpers like Amazon Prime or Ebay or other sites like that. Also means no airplanes, just his sleigh and himself. Let's get started! Best of luck!

Distance Issues
The first problem we will be looking at is the distance issues. The myth of Santa origins in the North Pole. But Santa has to deliver it to all of U.S.A. Here's the problem: the first state is about 2,000 miles away [1]. That means it would take Santa 74 days at 27 miles an hour, the top recorded human speed set by Usain Bolt, to reach Alaska alone. Yes, he could leave in October, but he would have to say unseen, as no one has ever seen Santa before. But one big problem still remains. Even if he delivers the presents to Alaska, he still has to travel 1,000 miles over Canada to get the the rest of the U.S, not to mention Hawaii. That would take him 37 days. Considering he has just about a six hour time frame, it seems impossible. And then you gotta go to Hawaii...

Number of Houses
U.S.A is one of the biggest countries in terms of homes. With 300 million people, we have about 125 million homes [2]. It is a safe estimate to think he would have to travel to 50 million homes, which means in six hours, he has to travel to 50 million homes. For those of you who don't know, that is about 0.0006 seconds per house. That simply can not be achieved by human strengths.


Sheer WEIGHT of presents:
Aside from the distance problems that Santa can not possibly encounter, there are weight problems too. Since there are about 46 million children [3] in the U.S, that is 46 million on the sleigh. Even if each present just weighed an ounce, it would still mean 1,562 TONS of presents. And we all know that each present doesn't only weigh an ounce. The heaviest flying object (man made) is 760 tons [4]. Santa's is literally double that weight, without any jet engines. So as you can see, Santa could not possibly deliver all of those presents with human abilities.

[1] http://www.timeanddate.com...
[2] http://understandingthemarket.com...
[3] http://understandingthemarket.com...
[4] http://zappire.blogspot.com...
lit.wakefield

Con

Merry Christmas to you as well.

Opening Statement
I would like to point out immediately that my opponent has shifted goalposts in this debate. I will be arguing for my position as detailed by the title and original post of the debate and will ignore Pro's attempt to restate the issue in terms more favourable to him. My position is that this Santa Claus could deliver presents to the U.S. on Christmas starting from the North Pole without being seen and having only the superhuman ability of flight at speeds of 22 mph. However, nowhere in R1 or in the title did my opponent specify that Santa must deliver presents to more than one state or to 50 million homes. This is clearly a goalpost shift, a tangent and red herring, and is not relevant to the debate. Reading the title, it is clear that the condition is simply that "Santa deliver presents to the U.S. on Christmas." I do not think it proper conduct to intentionally or unintentionally attempt to change the guidelines of a debate after someone has accepted the terms of debate. My opponent's position as detailed by his R1 statement is simply that Santa could not deliver presents to the U.S. "Presents" can clearly be taken to mean the plural of "present" or "more than one present," so to claim that I will have to argue that Santa could deliver enough presents for 50 million homes is fallacious. I will simply be arguing that Santa Claus could deliver at least two gifts to somewhere in the U.S.

Wikipedia describes that a goalpost shift occurs when "evidence presented in response to a specific claim is dismissed and some other (often greater) evidence is demanded"[0]. My opponent's argument can be seen to be fallacious in this regard because my part in this debate is to meet the burden of proof that Santa probably could deliver presents to the U.S. for Christmas, but my opponent is now attempting to get me to provide evidence for the much more extraordinary claim that Santa could deliver presents to a large number of the homes in the U.S. If Pro dismisses the argument I present and claims that I need to provide evidence for the new goalpost he has set for me, the reader should not accept his claim as valid. "The problem with changing the rules of the game is that the meaning of the end result is changed too."[0] Again, there is absolutely no sentence or phrase in my opponent's R1 statement that says that Santa must deliver presents to 50 million homes or to any large percentage of U.S. inhabitants. I will not be forced to argue for this new position my opponent has created in an attempt to make my side harder to argue for.

I will also point out that my opponent said nothing about airplanes or Amazon in his opening statement. I will not, however, use Amazon for my argument as it violates the condition that Santa cannot use helpers to deliver his presents. In the context of this debate, "helper" can be taken to mean any individual who delivers presents for Santa (like members of a shipping company); Santa must deliver each present personally. This is what was implied in the opening statement. Also, to say that Santa could use a sleigh as a method of travel and it not be considered a "helper" but could not use an airplane as a method of travel is a fallacy of special pleading [1].

Distance Issues
First of all, my opponent specified no time frame for departure and admits that Santa could leave early. I would also point out that my opponent has made the statement that Santa cannot, in fact, encounter distance problems: "Aside from the distance problems that Santa can not possibly encounter..." I assume this to be a typo, but it should be noted. Similarly, I assume that he meant Santa must be flying as he travels even though this was not made perfectly clear: "He must flying from the North Pole."

I will point out that there is no reason that Santa would have to use a sleigh. The use of a sleigh was not brought up in the opening statement and should therefore not be considered a valid constraint. Furthermore, there was no condition in the opening statement that Santa could not fly using an airplane or something else like a helicopter. It was stated that by himself he only has the ability to travel at 22 mph. There was no rule that he could not travel faster through technological means. Since he can do anything a human can do, he must be able to travel by helicopter since this is possible for a human to do. Claiming that this is not the case results in a paradox: "Santa can do everything a human can do. Santa cannot travel by helicopter even though a human could do this."

As for the being seen issue, "seen" can be defined as seeing someone's actual appearance clearly. This would mean that if someone saw something in the sky that was Santa but could not make it out clearly, Santa would not have been seen. The North Pole is not permanently inhabited [2] greatly decreasing his chances of being spotted, and Santa could simply travel by helicopter by himself or use a system where he has a special compartment to himself in the airplane so he is not seen by the pilots. Either way, nothing of him would be seen. Furthermore, he could simply wear a full body suit so that nobody would actually see him. Any of these means of flight would significantly cut down on the time it would take for him to reach Alaska. There are other possible travel methods including ships as well. Because a ship would not involve flying like an airplane would, Santa could simply hover/fly everywhere he went on the ship in his bodysuit to meet the condition that he must fly. The crew members might even worship him as a god and do his bidding because of it. It is well within human ability to disguise one's identity and appearance.

Since all he has to do is deliver at least two presents to people living in the U.S., the distance to Alaska is the only one that matters. He has no need to visit anywhere else, and as I pointed out, he could simply travel by human means (helicopter) instead of by sleigh. Even if he had to travel by sleigh, he could simply leave early, as my opponent pointed out.

Number of Houses
Since Santa only needs to deliver at least more than one present, he could visit a single household and give multiple presents. My opponent's point is irrelevant to the debate.

Weight of Presents
Again, since Santa only needs to deliver 2 presents to meet the requirements, the weight would not be an issue. These two presents could even fit in Santa's wallet in the form of two gift cards, for example.

On Any Further Twists
No logical debate can be had when a participant can simply change conditions halfway through a debate. If my opponent tries to impose any further constraints on my argument not listed in his opening conditions, they should not be accepted. In his last argument, he tried claim that Santa must travel by sleigh. I could just as easily claim that the sleigh must be invisible and travel at the speed of sound. I could also say that Santa has the ability to make other things fly as well and could therefore make presents fly to a great many more houses in the U.S. if he wanted to with no risk of being seen. It is just as ridiculous for my opponent to introduce a new constraint that is contrary to his opening statement as it is for me to try to introduce these new abilities.

Conclusion
I conclude that Santa could probably deliver at least two presents to someone in Alaska from the hours of 12 to 6 without being seen. Also, he would have a chance every year on Christmas Day, greatly increasing the likelihood of success if he made a mistake the first time. Based on my previous arguments, Santa could easily reach the U.S. in time and deliver the two presents without being seen and then be done with it. This is well within the realm of human possibility.

[0] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[1] http://rationalwiki.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
dtaylor971

Pro

"I will simply be arguing that Santa Claus could deliver at least two gifts to somewhere in the U.S."
I thought I made it pretty clear what I meant in the second round, as one of my arguments is based on the entire U.S. I am sorry if you did not catch on what I meant.
But note that the title also says "probably," meaning you have to prove that Santa could deliver presents. May I point ou upon accepting this debate, you agreed with the title. I will go further to state that I am sorry about the guidelines of this debate. At first glance, it does look like it becomes in my favor. Honestly, it does. But this, I promise you, was unintentional.
As for your latter argument, it is all about 'changing the guidelines.' Things in the second round were merely things I forgot to include in the first round. I am sorry for that.

Since this is the third round and rebuttals can not go at a high rate, nor can arguments, I won't give you anything to rebut since it is the last round. Merry Christmas to you and to all!



lit.wakefield

Con

Yes, but I made it very clear in the second round that a debate resolution must be perfectly clear and cannot be changed halfway into the debate. My argument is relevant based on my opponent's opening resolution. It is not that I did not catch on to what my opponent argued in the second round; it is that I caught on to the fact that he was not arguing for what his debate resolution described. R1 says nothing about delivering presents to every house or a majority of houses in the U.S.

My opponent points out that I still would need to prove that Santa probably or possibly could deliver presents. I did have a section devoted to this that my opponent did not address. I feel that I have met my burden of proof, especially considering that my opponent has not addressed any of my arguments. My argument was not entirely about my opponent changing the guidelines. I also provided evidence for my position in the argument.

In conclusion, my opponent has dropped all my arguments.

Merry Christmas to everyone as well. I'm probably going to get coal from Santa.
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Accepted by someone else once it had the clarity I needed... In brief my case would have been as follows.
1. Kids mostly suck, very few worthy of gifts to begin with.
2. Given the very selective nature in which kids are selected, the main issue would be getting through customs at the airport(s). How selective he is, is determined by pro's own insistence that he is fully limited by human abilities.
3. With the above in mind, Santa probably could deliver presents on Christmas morning, just not very many.
Posted by lit.wakefield 3 years ago
lit.wakefield
I won't respond until morning probably.
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
Lezzgo
Posted by lit.wakefield 3 years ago
lit.wakefield
@dtaylor it would seem that I am that moron
@Seek lmao xD Amazon prime ftw.
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
Me?
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
Boo! Party Pooper!
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
Yeah, but I said to best of human abilities. That is in fact the best of human abilities.
Posted by Seek 3 years ago
Seek
That's an Olympic sprinter, not an obese man carrying enough toys for 80 million children.
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
"Up to 28 miles an hour..."
Posted by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
http://bleacherreport.com...

"Top out at roughly 23 miles an hour..."
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by funwiththoughts 3 years ago
funwiththoughts
dtaylor971lit.wakefieldTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro shifted the goalposts. When called on it, he effectively said "That's true, but you're right."
Vote Placed by miketheman1200 3 years ago
miketheman1200
dtaylor971lit.wakefieldTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con easily refuted Pros points and the debate resolution. Conduct to con because of Pros unfair changing of debate parameters. Spelling/grammar to Con because Pro had numerous errors and I'm not sure he was even trying.