The Instigator
phantom
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
AznWords
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Santa claus was real!!

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,119 times Debate No: 15760
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

phantom

Pro

I say was real because he is now dead. That is why he does not give presents to kids anymore.


It is widely believed that santa claus is/was a fat man dressed in a red suite, who would give presents to kids on christmass day.

Rules:
No debateing in the comment section untill after round one.


I will let my opponent go first. :)
AznWords

Con

I would first like to thank my opponent for this should-be-fun debate :)

I declare since Pro is making an affirming resolution he has the burden of proof. Since my opponent has the burden of proof I do not need to provide an argument to prove the resolution false. I will consider creating a constructive argument if Pro decides to post the details of the version of Santa Claus he believes exists (but is now dead). I would prefer Pro to limit his arguments to up to three fundamentally different Santa Clauses.

I will begin my argument by attacking my opponents only contention so far:
"I say was real because he is now dead. That is why he does not give presents to kids anymore."

I will now break down this argument:
Premise 1: Santa Claus no longer gives presents to kids
Premise 2: Santa Claus is now dead, derived from premise 1
Conclusion: Therefore Santa Claus is real

There are two problems with the first premise. One, it assumes Santa Clauses existence, this is a form of circular thinking. Two, who says he no longer gives presents to kids, where's the proof he give kids presents in the first place. If the assumption of Santa Claus existence is pulled out from the premise it no longer makes sense. What would no longer give presents to children? and if it is not Santa Claus what is the relevance to the argument?

The second premise, follows one of the same problems as the first, assumption of Santa once being alive so therefore existing. This is again circular thinking. The second premise is derived from the first premise but does not have substantial reasoning behind the derivation. Just because Santa Claus does not give presents to children anymore does not necessarily mean that he has died. Unless Pro provides a definition of Santa Claus that, by concept, makes him have to give presents to children he has made a logical fallacy. Just because the death of Santa is a possible cause for him not giving kids presents does not mean it's the only cause and there is no reason to believe it is the correct cause. I would also like to point out that the second premise is derived from another premise (Premise 1) which was found earlier to be flawed. Even if Premise 2 was sound, it's evidence is not.

The conclusion is based off the circular reasoning of two questionable, if not completely flawed, premises. Therefore my opponents argument does not stand. Santa is not necessarily once real because one states "Santa is now dead" or "Santa does not give presents to kids anymore" because if one questions either of the premises he finds that both are constructed on the assumption the conclusion is true. This is circular reasoning or Petitio Principii, begging the question. This type of reasoning is fallacious because it's evidence is the assumption the statement is already true. I will now demonstrate this in the following example:

Premise: Unicorns have died
Conclusion: Unicorns exist (because something that has died must have been alive at one point and therefore are real--therefore they exist)

This blatantly false statement (unicorns are real) is not proven by begging the question and neither is the resolution; my opponent reasoning in a circle does not prove the resolution correct.

I would like to thank Pro again for the debate. I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 1
phantom

Pro

First I would like to thank AznWords for excepting the debate.

Clarifications.
Notice I never said I believe Santa Claus was a man who wore a red suite and gave presents to kids on Christmas. I said that is what is widely believed.
I did however say say he gave present to kids.

Santa Claus was not always known as Santa Claus. He used to be just Nicholas, then he became I saint, so was called saint Nicholas. By the Dutch he was known as Sinterklaas. That is where the name Santa Claus came from.
He used to give out presets to kids, which is why the jolly fat man version of him gives presents to kids for Christmas day.
Thomas Nast (a caricaturist and political cartoonist) was the man who made the image of him as a jolly fat man who rode on a sleigh that flew through the air driven by rein deers delivering presents to kids for Christmas day, famous.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://www.the-north-pole.com...

Now just because who he was has been greatly distorted by cartoonists, radio programs, and the TV doesn't mean he never existed. Santa Claus did exist he just wasn't called Santa Claus, thus I have proven that Santa Claus did indeed exist.

I await and look forward to my opponents response!!
AznWords

Con

Opening statements
I would like to thank Pro for clarifying his statement for the voter. I, myself, almost fell in the trap of attacking his statement which is a claim that it is widely believed "Santa Claus was a man who wore a red suite and gave presents to kids on Christmas" rather than a claim for Pros personal beliefs or a contention being brought to the debate.

Pro claims Santa Claus was not always known as Santa Claus and has provided substantial evidence for this. I will not dispute this. Pro also claims that the image of Santa Claus has been distorted by "cartoonists, radio programs, and the TV". I will not dispute this either. I accept these two pieces of evidence as being true but I fail to see the relevance these two ideas have towards proving the resolution, which is Pros job.

I would also like to point out my opponents other premise plopped along the evidence referred to in my paragraph above is unsubstantiated--it lacks validation: "He used to give out presets to kids, which is why the jolly fat man version of him gives presents to kids for Christmas day." His sources state Santa Claus was said to give out presents not that he did. I will expand and deconstruct this, if you will, contention afterwards.

Deconstruction of main contention in round 2:

Premise 1: Santa Claus was greatly distorted by cartoonists, radio programs, and the TV
premise 2: Santa Claus wasn't just called Santa Claus (he was also known as Nicholas, saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas)
Conclusion: Santa Claus did indeed exist.
I will begin by reiterating that both premises have been supported by evidence from a reputable source. There is absolutely nothing wrong with my opponents two premises. The problem lies on the reasoning, which in no substantial way utilizes the premise to prove the conclusion. My opponent says "just because who he was has been greatly distorted by cartoonists, radio programs, and the TV doesn't mean he never existed." but just because Premise 1 does not prove Santa Claus never existed does not mean that the premise proves he did. Premise 2, the existence of many names for Santa Claus, does not prove the resolution either. Pro has not proven the premise and the conclusion correlate and therefore has not proven because one is present the other must exist. I will now demonstrate how fallacious this form of reasoning is. I will reuse the unicorn example. Unicorn has also been known as monokeros, in Middle English unicorn was known as unicorne and in Late Latin as ūnicornis [1]. This is obviously not proof for the existence of unicorns. For the reason something holds many names is not substantial reasoning that it must exist.

Break down of secondary contention:

Premise 1: Santa Claus use to give out presents to kids (I will assume presents is what Pro meant by presets)
Conclusion: The jolly fat man version of Santa Claus gives presents to kids for Christmas day

As said earlier the premise is unproven and therefore cannot be used as evidence for the conclusion. If one does assume Premise 1 to be true he finds that it still does not provide proof for the conclusion. Giving out presents does not necessarily mean that a jolly fat version of said entity that is giving out presents will give presents to kids for Christmas day. If Obama gave his wife a present is it sound to say that a jolly fat version of Obama will give presents to children on the day of Christmas (December 25th)? Of course this reasoning is folly unless there is a conceptual requirement of Santa Clause in which a jolly fat version of him will indeed give out gifts on Christmas day to youth that depends on whether he "use to give out presents to kids". It should be noted that Santa Claus is assumed to exist, which is another leak that needs to be fixed in the premise, and if this contention draws back to the resolution (which it does not) it is again circular reasoning because evidence for the point which is to be proven is based on a assumption it is already correct. I would like to also reiterate that this conclusion has not been tied back to support the main argument (Santa Claus was real); jolly fat versions, that give presents to children on Christmas, of an entity do not constitute the existence of that entity.

Closing statements

I will now hand the debate back to my opponent. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the voters for reading and considering my case with their best intentions to remain unbiased and sober while judging the each parties cases.

I shall wait for Pros rebuttals and new constructive arguments.

Sources:
1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 2
phantom

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for a speedy response.

Let me make five statements

(1) So far my opponent has given no evidence that Santa Claus did not exist.

(2) My sources have and will give ample evidence of his existence.

(3) It is my job to prove that Santa Claus existed. Therefore all I need to do is prove that he existed to win this debate.

(4) I will agree that Santa Claus’s person has been VERY GREATLY distorted, but that does not detract much from the fact that he existed.

(5) In the first round I never said I believed that what was widely said about Santa Claus was true. In the second round I clarified that I did not believe it to be true.




=================================================================

"I would also like to point out my opponents other premise plopped along the evidence referred to in my paragraph above is unsubstantiated--it lacks validation: "He used to give out presets to kids, which is why the jolly fat man version of him gives presents to kids for Christmas day." His sources state Santa Claus was said to give out presents not that he did."

=================================================================

Fair enough: I think my future sources will confirm the fact that he gave presents to kids, but if you disagree you can say that statement is a possible probability instead of a fact. But that does not detract from the fact that Santa Claus existed.

You state that I have not proven Santa Claus existed. I don’t agree I assert that I have proved it with the sources, which my opponent himself says are reputable. But since that has been contested I will further my endeavors to prove his existence.

You use the example of the unicorn. Let me use the example of Jesus.

It is widely accepted by scholars that Jesus existed. But someone (not myself) might say that who Jesus was/is has been greatly distorted or lied about. That does not change the fact that Jesus existed. I believe in Jesus but if I did not I could say, I believe that Jesus existed but not what is said about Him. Such as He preformed miracles, He was the Son of God etc….

The same thing could be said about Santa Claus. I believe that Santa Claus existed, but not what is widely said about him. Such as he rides in a sleigh that goes through the air driven by rein deer, he goes down chimneys delivering presents to kids, and says ho ho ho.





==============================================================

“Premise 1: Santa Claus was greatly distorted by cartoonists, radio programs, and the TV
premise 2: Santa Claus wasn't just called Santa Claus (he was also known as Nicholas, saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas)
Conclusion: Santa Claus did indeed exist.”

==============================================================

I never stated those premises to confirm the fact that Santa Claus existed. They help confirm that fact. But I think my sources have and will amply supply the evidence that Santa Claus existed.

===============================================================

Quote from source- “St. Nicholas was born in 280 AD, in Patara, a city of Lycia, in Asia Minor. He became the gift giver of Myra. His gifts were given late at night, so that the gift giver's identity would remain a secret. St Nicholas was eventually named the patron saint of children, sailors, Russia and Greece.”

===============================================================

We could substitute the name St. Nicholas with Santa Claus. That would seem weird because of the common image put into your mind at the name Santa Claus. But nevertheless it would be a true statement

Main Sources:

________________________________________________________________________

http://www.history.com...

http://www.thehistoryofchristmas.com...

http://www.suite101.com...

Other sources:

________________________________________________________________________

http://www.santasuitexpress.com...

http://www.northpolesantaclaus.com...




I would like to thank my opponent for a most enjoyable debate, and look forward to his final argument.

AznWords

Con

Response to opening five statements

(1) It is true that I have not given a constructive argument for the non-existence for Santa Claus but to do so is not my burden but let me remind my opponent and the voters it is not logically sound to place burden on a party to argue non-existence of anything. To prove existence all one has to do is present a valid example. There is no possibility to prove non-existence by example because it is not possible to present an example of nothing. The greatest logical extent of my argument is to disprove any examples of my opponent.

This statement is also Argumentum Ad Ignorantiam or appeal to ignorance. No proof being presented towards Santa Claus not existing (which should be acknowledged to be different from attacking proof of his existence) is not proof of his existence. The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Using the same logic I could claim that unicorns exist because no hard evidence has said they do not exist.

Furthermore I have already stated:

//I declare since Pro is making an affirming resolution he has the burden of proof.//

This statement was never contested so therefore Pro has accepted the BOF and I need not to provide constructive evidence.

(2) This will be addressed in my main argument.

(3) Correct, this is part of my opponents burden. It should be self evident.

(4) I have already partially addressed this in my Round 2 argument. This is a false dichotomy. Just because a distortion may not detract from a claim does not automatically mean it adds to a claim. Whether a distortion exists or not is to beg the question by assuming a true concept of Santa Claus exists.

(5) This statement is simply an extension of statement (4) and has already been previously addressed. My opponent does not believe in the supposed distortions in Santa Clauses image. I acknowledge that Pro has this claim but take note this is not the same as acknowledging the claim it self. To do so would again be begging the question.

Addressing attacks on my previous arguments

My opponent has said:

//You state that I have not proven Santa Claus existed. I don’t agree I assert that I have proved it with the sources, which my opponent himself says are reputable.//

Pros sources have not proved the existence of Santa Claus. A source is to back up one's premises. Let me draw attention to how my opponent has made little to none actual arguments through out this debate. He has simply pointed the audience to his sources expecting his referrals to debate for him. Pros sources may be reputable but as I will point out later, in my main argument, my opponents sources do not prove what he claims they prove.

The next attack on my contentions are self-contradictory:

//I never stated those premises to confirm the fact that Santa Claus existed. They help confirm that fact.//

Pro states that his premises were never to confirm the fact Santa Claus existed but in the very next sentence he states they do indeed help confirm the fact. There is no difference between confirming the fact and helping to confirming the fact because this is indeed a debate and we provide evidence to back our claims.

Main argument

My opponent states that Santa must exist through evidence and reasoning as follows:

1. There is a difference between the modern day image of Santa Claus and a supposed historical Santa Claus (which is the Santa Claus he is trying to prove).

2. Santa Claus is also known as St. Nicholas.

3. My sources prove a St. Nicholas existed.

4. Therefore a historical Santa Claus existed.

This argument is built upon two logical fallacies: the fallacy of equivocation and the fallacy of composition. My opponents fallacies begin at his second line. The modern day conceptualization of Santa Claus is also known as St. Nicholas, but there are two uses of the name St. Nicholas. One is the same as the so called "distorted" image of Santa and another is a historical figure, St. Nicholas of Myra. So proving St. Nicholas of Myra existed (which Pro says may only be probable to exist) is not the same as proving Santa Claus existed because Santa is former use of St. Nicholas. The historical St. Nicholas was never called Santa. This double use of a name is the first fallacy.

My opponents own sources even say Santa Claus is a legend[1] and is an amalgamation of multiple mythical figures[2] such as Odin, Thor, Saturn, Father Christmas in addition to St. Nicholas. Just because one of the figures Santa is derived from is said to be real does not make Santa himself real. Much like mecha Nazi-zombie unicorn riders are not real because Nazis have actually existed. What is true of one piece is not necessarily true of a whole which it is part of.

The reasoning used to affirm the resolution is flawed and my opponents argument simply does not stand.

I would like to take this last opportunity to once again thank opponent for the debate.

Sources:
1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://www.northpolesantaclaus.com...
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by AznWords 6 years ago
AznWords
lmao I enjoyed myself during this debate. It was fun. I'll have another debate with you sometime soon.
Posted by phantom 6 years ago
phantom
AznWords is really good at deconstructing arguments. But I still think I proved he existed :(
Posted by AznWords 6 years ago
AznWords
I would like to thank Phantom for responding so quickly. Sorry I could not do the same this round, I've been having internet troubles and my debate did not autosave properly so I had to type it all again cutting it his close to the deadline. I would of enjoyed an extra 1000 character limit of the debate to say this in the actual round while adding a little more to my post.
Posted by AznWords 6 years ago
AznWords
Well it's hard to make a constructive argument that something exists without definitions or concepts of that thing to find contridictary, thus refute. I was too lazy to pick a specific conceptualization of Santa Claus so I left that open to you. Even though you didn't try to make any arguments in round 1 the first sentence did indeed take the form of an argument to refute. It's more fun proving someone else wrong than to prove yourself right :P
Posted by phantom 6 years ago
phantom
In your argument for the first round you acted like I tried to prove his existence in my argument for the first round.

First round was just for the purpose of writing out my challenge I didn't try to argue my point right then.

Notice I said I will let my opponent go first.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
InVinoVeritas
phantomAznWordsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's logical reconstruction smashed the Pro's intentionally tongue-in-cheek argument...
Vote Placed by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
phantomAznWordsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con completely deconstructed Pro's arguments. I thought this would be a funny debate but Con took it pretty seriously and I don't think Pro saw it coming.