The Instigator
Xenofloppy
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
SonicGhost
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Santa Clause exists

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/25/2014 Category: People
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 539 times Debate No: 67544
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (0)

 

Xenofloppy

Con

Debate Summary

Debate Topic:
St. Nicholas, or more commonly known as Santa Clause in popular culture, does not exist.

First Round: Acceptance
Second Round: Argument
Third Round: Rebuttal
Fourth Round: Conclusion

SonicGhost

Pro

I'm sure Con meant : St. Nicolas, commonly known as Santa Claus, does exist.

Thank you Con for instigating this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Xenofloppy

Con

Definitions

All definitions taken from Oxford Dictionaries.

Santa Claus:
An imaginary figure said to bring presents for children on Christmas. He is conventionally pictured as a jolly old man from the far north, with a long white beard and red garments trimmed with white fur. See also Nicholas, St.

Imaginary
Existing only in the imagination:

Exist
1: Have objective reality or being
2: Be found, especially in a particular place or situation:
3: Live, especially under adverse conditions:

Therefore:
Santa Claus does not exist because he is an imaginary figure, who only exists in the human imagination. Therefore, he is not a being that can be found in any place or situation, much less be living in the physical world through deductive reasoning*.

*Deductive Reasoning
The logical process in which a conclusion is based on the concordance of multiple premises that are generally assumed to be true.

Sources:
http://whatis.techtarget.com...
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...;
SonicGhost

Pro

I affirm the resolution, resolved: Saint Nicholas, commonly known as Santa Claus exists.

Preliminary Matters:

I argue that this debate be a value debate, as a factual debate will lead to one outcome, Santa Claus not existing. The very nature of this debate gives itself to the subjective being of Santa Claus and not the true existence of Santa Claus. Therefore, I argue that the event of [Santa Claus'] social presence is enough to count as existance.

Definitions:

Santa Claus:
a portly, white-bearded man that gives gifts to all the good children, and coal to the bad.

Exist: Subjective reality or being. (I have explained above why I opted to change to this arbitrary definition, as it is incorrect, but fits in the context of this debate.)

Value:

I, as Pro in this case, value Societal Good, with my value criterion as retaining holiday spirit.

I argue that retaining the holiday spirit to be one of great benefit to society as the holiday spirit is about selfless giving, and other kind things, which are categorically good for all.

Contention 1:
Even though Santa Claus as a physical being does not exist, the idea/societal existance does. The societal existance of Sinterklaas dates back far beyond Santa Claus, but since the scope of this debate is limited to the Americanized Santa Claus, I will omit any information regarding the Dutch copy. Santa Claus dates back to early 19th century America, and became popularised in 1934 by the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town", a song which is still sung today. The song and many of the other holiday rituals associated with Santa Claus reminds us all that this is a time for giving, which in turn benefits society in a way both emotionally ( as it is a time for family) and in terms of economy, as Christmas is a big boom in terms of sales. In conclusion: the very idea of Santa Claus is a huge benefit to our society, which is why Santa needs to continue "exist"(ing).

Contention 2:
This debate can also be taken a different way, the same way a religious debate can be taken. Does God exist? It is the same way with Santa Claus. In a poll taken by AP-AOL, 86% of children in America believe/used to believe that Santa Claus existed. This number is shocking as only 74% of Americans believe in God. When the number of so called "believers" say that something exists, it is hard to argue otherwise. take for example the now famous : John Cleese v Church debates, which was akin to watching Tantalus push his rock; it never went anywhere. In this contention, the BOP is completely on Con. This contention also ties in nicely with Societal Good, as this is a way for children to experience a more mild version of religion, and go through the various phases of disbelief, denial... etc. Which makes for great experience, something that we as humans all need in order to better ourselves in the long run. In conclusion: Because so many people believe in Santa Claus, BOP is put onto Con to disprove the existance of Santa Claus.

Sources:
https://www.youtube.com...;(John Cleese Debate)
http://www.washingtonpost.com...;(AP-AOL poll)
http://www.merriam-webster.com...;(definition of objective)
http://www.merriam-webster.com...;(definition of exist)



Debate Round No. 2
Xenofloppy

Con

Xenofloppy forfeited this round.
SonicGhost

Pro

I will ff round too, in case Xenofloppy comes back.
Debate Round No. 3
Xenofloppy

Con

Apologies for my disappearance as I have been busy with other things.
However, since the Contender has also forfeited this round, we will return to the previous schedule we had in mind:

First Round: Acceptance
Second Round: Argument
Third Round: Rebuttal
Fourth Round: Rebuttal/Conclusion

Without further ado, we will continue this debate.

Rebuttals

The contender, SonicGhost, claims through two different contentions, Santa Claus exists.

1) Even though Santa Claus as a physical being does not exist, his societal existence does, and is a benefit to society.
2) Santa is more widely believed in than God.

As such, I will review his two arguments.

Contention 1:
Although Santa Claus may have ideals that exist in society, Santa Claus is only a benefit to society during the holiday season. As the Contender himself has said, "The song and many of the other holiday rituals associated with Santa Claus reminds us all that this is a time for giving...". Outside of the holidays, Santa Claus is rarely used as a symbol of being charitable.

Upon analysis of the lyrics to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", I find a significant lack of the "giving spirit" that the Contender has described.[1]

For reference, the lyrics to the song:
You better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is comin' to town (x4)

He's making a list and checking it twice
Gonna find out who's naughty and nice
Santa Claus is comin' to town (x4)

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

You better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is comin' to town (x4)

He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake

You better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is comin' to town (x4)

The song talks about Santa Claus, and that children should not complain or cry because he is "coming to town", with presents presumably.
It also mentions he knows children that have been "naughty or nice", and knows when children are sleeping or not.
However, the song did not mention any aspect of giving. The only one who may be giving is Santa Claus.

How does this song remind us that the holidays are a time of giving when the song essentially says "Santa's coming with presents"? Other holiday songs don't do much to offer that the holidays are a time of giving. Most messages of "giving" come from companies in an attempt to make more money before the season ends.

To truly understand what it means to be giving, we must define what it means to be giving. I have listed all the relevant definitions of "giving".

Giving[2]:
Freely transfer the possession of (something) to (someone); hand over to:
Bestow (love, affection, or other emotional support):
Freely devote, set aside, or sacrifice for a purpose:
Cause or allow (someone or something) to have (something, especially something abstract); provide or supply with:

To be giving is to give to people for free for a purpose; provide them with needs or other things, to sacrifice.
To be giving would be to give people things in need for free; to be charitable. As such, giving to charity would be defined as charitable, or giving. You give things like clothes or food away because other people need it when you have a surplus of it. Would you really be able to call giving a child a toy because it's the 25th of December giving? Do they need it? Perhaps they desire it, but there's a vast difference between giving to the ones in need and giving to those who want something that has near zero intrinsic value to them.

Contention 2:

Santa is more widely believed in than God.

First thing to consider; the data the Contender offers is very unspecific and skewered.

The data from the poll takes the statistics of people who once believed as a child. The data that he offers for people who believed in god would only be accurate if they were asked if they believed in god as a child.

Second, Christmas is very much a time of commercialism as it is a time of holiday and celebration. This leads to Non-Christians who also believe in the existence of Santa, whereas God has only Christian and/or Jewish followers.

Thirdly, the Contender's argument of the John Cleese debate and how if something has enough followers, it is near impossible to disprove, in Santa's case, it has been. In fact, it's called paternalistic deception. Paternalistic deception states that, people become subjected to others by conquest, by birth, and by voluntary offer. As such, teaching children about Santa Claus and how he comes every year to drop Christmas presents under a tree could potentially harm future relations with the child and the adult. It's not a justifiable lie either: there is no crisis, and it isn't rightful.[3]

The very poll that the Contender puts goes against his argument. "Nearly half, 47 percent, said Santa detracts from the religious significance of Christmas; over one-third, 36 percent, said he enhances the religious nature of the holiday."[5] Obviously, views on the old jolly man are split. After all, the holiday he is associated with is Christmas; and that celebrates the birth of Jesus, which brings us back to Contention 1.

Contention 1:
Santa is not very beneficial to Christmas.

Christmas is a holiday who's main purpose is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Santa Claus detracts that part of the holiday and turns it into a "buy gifts for your children and deceive them about how a big burly man somehow gave them presents." So yes, it may benefit sales, as the data shows[4]. But does it really benefit society, or does it benefit the economy? If the Contender would like to argue that Santa Claus benefits society, he will need more evidence to do so, as all the current evidence we have is that he MAY contribute to the rise in sales during the holidays, in the case where other religious holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa have no influence on sales, which is unlikely.

I await a response from the contender.

Sources:
[1] https://play.google.com... (Song lyrics)
[2] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com... (Give/Giving Definitions)
[3] http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu... (Paternalistic deception)
[4] http://www.statista.com... (Christmas sales)
[5] http://www.washingtonpost.com... (The Poll)
SonicGhost

Pro

The Pro thanks the Con for returning.

Rebuttals:

The Con has so far accepted my request for a more value orientated debate, the Con has also accepted all my definitions and my value/value criterion, as the Con did not refute any of those points, we must assume that he or she agrees with them.

Rebuttal : "Santa is not very beneficial to Christmas."

The Con has stated that Santa is not very beneficial to Christmas because it

1. Detracts from the Nativity of Christ.
2. Santa Claus only benefits the economy.
3. Teaching kids about Santa Claus is not a justifiable lie.
4. Santa Claus is only a benefit to society during the holiday season.
5. Santa Claus does not enforce the "giving" in Christmas.

To first refute the Con's first point, Christmas is a international holiday celebrated by a lot of secular people (Mohamed, 2013). To them, the Nativity of Christ doesn't matter, which means that if the Con were to somehow make the birth of Christ the focal point of Christmas, we would have a lot less people celebrating Christmas, as only Christians would be celebrating it. The fact that many of of the holiday traditions do not revolve around a certain religion is great, and gives everyone the right to celebrate Christmas the way they like to. (Note: Holiday traditions are also formed by the people, which is to say that the more secular people a holiday has, the more detached it may become from a religion.) Not to mention the fact that Santa Claus is one aspect of Christmas that ties every nation together, as everybody, nowadays, that celebrates Christmas will have to learn about Santa Claus.

In Conclusion: Santa Claus does detract from the Nativity of Christ, but it also allows secularists to celebrate the holiday, as well as tie together an international group of people with one symbol.

Next, to the Con's second point. The Con states that Santa Claus doesn't benefit society, but instead benefits the economy. This is a strange argument to make, as a growth in the economy benefits all of the U.S. (or whatever country the money is going to). Happiness has been shown to increase with a higher GDP per capita, at least up to a level of $15,000 per person (Wilkinson, 2007). Therefore, rise in the GDP per capita is most definitely good for society, so this point is moot. (The Con has also stated that Christmas MAY contribute to the rise in sales, when the evidence he used for that point were statistics of Christmas sales, and not Hanukkah or Kwanzaa)

The third point that the Con made was: the lie of Santa Claus is not a justifiable one. The Con, however, does not provide any evidence showing that it is unjustifiable, as did not state is value criterion as morality, but instead agreed with the Pro's value criterion of retaining holiday spirit, therefore making this another moot point.

The fourth point that Con made was: Santa Claus is only a benefit to society during the holiday season. That is true, however, the value criterion of the debate, thus far, is still the retention of holiday spirit, making this point also moot.

The Con's fifth point is that Santa Claus does not enforce the giving in Christmas. While this is technically true, as Santa Claus does not force random people to exchange gifts, it does however, require parents to give gifts to their posterity which is giving. The Con argues that this does not constitute as giving, as the person receiving is not in need. To the Pro, it is a very simple matter, giving is giving, no matter who gives or who receives. To Pro, no matter who one might be in the social/economic ladder, the holiday spirit of giving still rings true, and all who can give shall give, and all who can receive shall receive.

Sadly, there are many more points that the Con have made in their rebuttal, but sadly it is in rebuttal form, which means that many of those points are shrouded by thousands of characters, spewing information and refutations. I applaud the effort, but I simply cannot refute to all the points, as some are without warrant, some without claims, and some without impacts. The effort that one must put in to find all of these points is simply too much, and I urge the voters to take this into consideration: if there is a point that I missed, and is huge, with a complete Claim Warrant Impact, then I will allow that to carry over into the next round if the Con states that the argument will carry over (example: The Pro has missed my contention of ______ so therefore the argument carries over). However if this is not the case, as there are some arguments that clearly have no claim or warrant, this is a problem of conduct, as this style of debating is known as a spread. For more information on "spread" visit this website : http://debate-central.ncpa.org...

My second contention carries over, as I have stated that the burden of proof lies on the Con, and the Con, has neither refuted the burden of proof, not provided any evidence of Santa Claus' nonexistent nature. The second contention was put there to simply argue that there is no way one can disprove the existence of Santa Claus using evidence, which is to say that this debate shall be a value debate, the Con has not responded to this part of the contention either, making debate both a value and factual debate.


Works Cited

http://www.pewresearch.org... of secularist who celebrate Yuletide/Christmas

http://www.statista.com... of Christmas sales

http://en.wikipedia.org... definition/explaination

http://en.wikipedia.org... of Christ definition/explaination

http://www.cato.org... makes people happy (GDP argument)
Debate Round No. 4
Xenofloppy

Con

Busy trying to think of counter arguments for the Contender, I forgot that the name of this debate was "Santa Claus Exists", and as I defined it,

Exist
1: Have objective reality or being
2: Be found, especially in a particular place or situation:
3: Live, especially under adverse conditions:

However, as I pointed out in the first round,

Santa Claus:
An imaginary figure said to bring presents for children on Christmas. He is conventionally pictured as a jolly old man from the far north, with a long white beard and red garments trimmed with white fur. See also Nicholas, St.

Imaginary
Existing only in the imagination:

Therefore:
Santa Claus
does not exist because he is an imaginary figure, who only exists in the human imagination. Therefore, he is not a being that can be found in any place or situation, much less be living in the physical world through deductive reasoning*.

*Deductive Reasoning
The logical process in which a conclusion is based on the concordance of multiple premises that are generally assumed to be true.

There was no need for me to refute the contender's claim, and I had made a terrible mistake.

I will spend the rest of the day eating ice cream in the corner.

I thank the contender for participating in this debate.

Sources:
http://whatis.techtarget.com......
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com......
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com......
http://www.oxforddictionaries.com......;

SonicGhost

Pro

*Note: Since the Con would not like to have a value debate, he has gone back on his rebuttals and nullified them by saying : "There was no need for me to refute the contender's claim, and I had made a terrible mistake." This means that there is no way I can win using only facts, therefore this round will be dedicated to pointing out flaws in conduct and other issues. Please vote accordingly.


Since the Con now retracts all his previous rebuttals, all arguments from my first around carries over.

With this, the Con has also failed to refute even my only factual contention, which was Contention 2. As the Pro has stated in Contention 2, the burden of proof rests on the Con. Con has not provided any actual evidence, and instead only given us definitions. All the definitions can be found in the original argument in round 1 but not here in round 5. This is a problem. The scope of his arguments should be limited to his sources, which he should have put into his "Sources:" section. This was not done, and is a great conduct mistake.

Furthermore, the definition of Santa Claus that the Con puts forward has no source, which makes the entire contention moot as there is no warrant.

To restate my Contentions:

Contention 1:

The subjective existence of Santa Claus is very much real, and the objective impact of Santa benefits society as a whole. (Refer back to round 1 for complete argument, value/value criterion, and sources.)

Contention 2:

As many people believe in Santa Claus, just like many people believe in religion, it is the job of the Con to prove that Santa Claus does not/can not exist.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by SonicGhost 1 year ago
SonicGhost
I apologise for the bad formatting of round four, turns out, typing on mobile is hard.
Posted by SonicGhost 1 year ago
SonicGhost
Oops, good catch, will correct in my case.
Posted by JayConar 1 year ago
JayConar
I wouldn't worry, SonicGhost spelt St. Nicholas wrong anyway.
Posted by SonicGhost 1 year ago
SonicGhost
Spoken like a True Israelite.
Posted by TRUE-ISRAELITE 1 year ago
TRUE-ISRAELITE
That is actually SATAN CLAUS, not santa claus.
Posted by Xenofloppy 1 year ago
Xenofloppy
A few errors I have made within the creation of this debate:
I have spelled Santa Claus incorrectly in the title of the debate and also the first round of the debate.

There are 5 rounds (I intended on four)
The fourth round will be used for: Other/Misc information, while the fifth round being our conclusions.

I apologize for these errors.
No votes have been placed for this debate.