The Instigator
rosstheboss
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
andyh
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

This house believes that christmas was killed by consumerism.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/17/2012 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,064 times Debate No: 28329
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)

 

rosstheboss

Con

The definitions I propose are:

Christmas: A celebration that most Christians and some people of other beliefs celebrate
every year on December 25th every year. Originally meant to honor the birth of Jesus Christ.

Killed:
Changed in a negative way.

Consumerism: The advertising, purchase, and giving of gifts on Christmas day.


The first round is acceptance only. Good luck!
andyh

Pro

Thanks I look forward to debating this with you.
Debate Round No. 1
rosstheboss

Con

I am strongly of the opinion that Christmas was not killed by consumerism.

Reasons I think this, include:
    • Consumerism during and before Christmas spread the idea of giving, which was a central theme of the birth and life of Jesus Christ
    • People can purchase gifts for others, and still honor the concept that founded Christmas
    • And finally, that kids will be more interested in the idea pertaining around Christmas if something is in it for them.
Firstly, consumerism around Christmas, spread the idea of giving which was a central theme of the birth and life of Jesus Christ. A short summary of Jesus's life include such events as:
  • Jesus cured the nobleman's son (John 4:46,47).
  • The great haul of fishes (Luke 5:1-11).
  • Jesus cast out an unclean spirit (Mark 1:23-28).
  • Jesus cured Peter's mother-in-law of a fever (Mark 1:30,31).
  • Jesus healed a leper (Mark 1:40-45).
  • Jesus healed the centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-13).
  • Jesus raised the widow's son from the dead (Luke 7:11-18).
  • Jesus stilled the storm (Matthew 8:23-27).
  • Jesus cured two demoniacs (Matthew 8:28-34).
  • Jesus cured the paralytic (Matthew 9:1-8).
  • Jesus raised the ruler's daughter from the dead (Matthew 9:18-26).
  • Jesus cured a woman of an issue of blood (Luke 8:43-48).
  • Jesus opened the eyes of two blind men (Matthew 9:27-31).
  • Jesus loosened the tongue of a man who could not speak (Matthew 9:32,33).
  • Jesus healed an invalid man at the pool called Bethesda (John 5:1-9).
  • Jesus restored a withered hand (Matthew 12:10-13).
  • Jesus cured a demon-possessed man (Matthew 12:22).
  • Jesus fed at least five thousand people (Matthew 14:15-21).
  • Jesus healed a woman of Canaan (Matthew 15:22-28).
  • Jesus cured a deaf and mute man (Mark 7:31-37).
  • Jesus fed at least four thousand people (Matthew 15:32-39).
  • Jesus opened the eyes of a blind man (Mark 8:22-26).
  • Jesus cured a boy who was plagued by a demon (Matthew 17:14-21).
  • Jesus opened the eyes of a man born blind (John 9:1-38)
  • Jesus cured a woman who had been afflicted eighteen years (Luke 17:11-17).
  • Jesus cured a man of dropsy (Luke 14:1-4).
  • Jesus cleansed ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19).
  • Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-46).
  • Jesus opened the eyes of two blind men (Matthew 20:30-34).
  • Jesus caused the fig tree to wither (Matthew 21:18-22).
  • Jesus restored the ear of the high priest's servant (Luke 22:50,51).
  • The second great haul of fishes (John 21:1-14).
Source: http://www.jesus.org...

The first thing that happened on Christmas day when Jesus was born, is he was brought gifts. Later he performed miracles for others. These miracles are gifts to say the least. Wouldn't it be honouring his teachings, to give gifts as he so often did?

Secondly, people can purchase gifts for others, and still honor the concept that founded Christmas. A point that you are likely to state is that "Christmas is not about gift giving, it's about honoring the birth of Jesus". But would you not agree that honoring his birth and giving presents can be achieved at the same time? On that note, I think that kids would be more interested in the idea pertaining around Christmas if something is in it for them. Without presents, they would just be thinking, "another day at church...", but with gift giving involve they become more interested in what the occasion is about; thus wnating to learn more about the birth of Jesus.

For these reasons and others, the resolution should, and will fall.
Thank you.

andyh

Pro

This house believes that Christmas was killed by consumerism, when 'killed' is defined as 'changed in a negative way'.

Opening Statement

For clarity of argument I will be focusing on the gift-giving side to Christmas consumerism, arguing that while the idea of gift-giving is creditable, the consumerist age has led to businesses appropriating, exploiting & manipulating the Christmas period for their own (profit) gain. I will argue that this manipulation has blurred the Christmas message, and ultimately stipulate that the meaning of Christmas is less clear and less special as a result of rampant consumerism.


Jesus was brought gifts by wise men, and it is thought that this is the basis for present-exchanging at Christmas as we know it today. It is probably the most obvious facet of consumerism that we associate with Christmas. It is not however the idea of gift-giving that this house opposes and believes has had a negative affect on Christmas - after all, this has long been an important part of the Christmas celebrations. Exchanging gifts is a symbolic gesture which servces to both evoke and remind people of an important part of the Christmas Story (the wise men recognising a King and bringing him gifts) while at the same time acting as gestures of love and bonds between family and friends.

This house argues that the rise in consumerism has blurred this meaning. The exploitation of Christmas gift-giving by big business has led to 25th December becoming (and I am speaking more specifically about children here) a time of material gain, with much of the symbolism and meaning lost. Indeed, a survey carried out in 2011 of 1,000 British school children aged between five & seven revealed that 36% did not know whose birthday was celebrated on December 25th, while 25% answered 'yes' when it was suggested that it could be Simon Cowell's. [1] The survey of 1,000 school children aged between five and seven years old reveals that 36 per cent don’t know whose birthday we celebrate on December 25th.

Christmas for many has come a difficult time. Parents feel they have to spend a great deal to buy the latest gadgets so as not to disappoint or upset their children - and this house is sure many people feel the same way about their partners! For some this can be an incredibly difficult financial time, yet constant advertising pushing the latest tablet, phone or game into their faces can make them feel incredibly insufficient and unable to provide for their families. This house argues, that in fact, consumerism can cause a great deal of distress both economically and emotionally over the Christmas period. This is clearly a tragic state of affairs, when the whole idea of celebrating the birth of someone who would go on to champion the meek and promise them salvation is forgotten.

I look forward to further developing my arguments and presenting my rebuttals in the next round.


[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk... (please excuse my using of the daily mail... I hate this paper!)

Debate Round No. 2
rosstheboss

Con

Thank you Pro for your constructive argument. Although Pro had some good points, many were either irrelevant, or simply not true. I will start with my refutations.

Refutations:

Pro's second paragraph says that gift giving is a great idea that

"is a symbolic gesture which servces to both evoke and remind people of an important part of the Christmas Story (the wise men recognising a King and bringing him gifts) while at the same time acting as gestures of love and bonds between family and friends"

So far I agree with him, yet later Pro said,


"The exploitation of Christmas gift-giving by big business has led to 25th December becoming (and I am speaking more specifically about children here) a time of material gain, with much of the symbolism and meaning lost."

Pro himself recognized the importance of gift giving, yet he also criticizes consumerism and blames it for the loss of the "true meaning of Christmas"
  1. How can we purchase and give gifts, an act which pro himself admitted was important, without consumerism. If we go back to the definition, consumerism was defined as: "The advertising, purchase, and giving of gifts on Christmas day." We can therefore not give gifts without consumerism.
  2. In your argument, you are falsely attribute kids not knowing the origins of Christmas with consumerism. Most Christian families both participate in consumerism, and teach the children the origin of Christmas. This goes to show that they are not mutually exclusive, and therefore consumerism and teaching of Jesus's birth can be done along side each other.

My Constructive Argument:

Consumerism and understanding the origins of Christmas are not mutually exclusive.

2. Gift giving is part of the Christmas tradition.

3. Kids will be more interested in Christmas if presents are involved.


Consumerism and understanding the origins of Christmas are not mutually exclusive.

It should come as no surprise to you, that most of the Christians who celebrate give presents; and of those who give presents, most also honor the birth of Jesus Christ. Your implications that consumerism somehow inhibits the ability to teach of the birth of Jesus is simply false. Many people simply choose not to recognise the birth of Christ on that day, and instead use it to give gifts to young ones.

Gift giving is part of the Christmas tradition.

Gift giving, and yes, consumerism has been around for up to 1711 years. [1] If people claim that gift giving is just big modern day companies being greedy, they are clearly wrong.

Kids will be more interested in Christmas if presents are involved.

I can already hear the refutation coming. It would probably say something like this: Of course kids are more interested in Christmas if there is presents! They are getting toys for free! Yeah, I know. But that is not my point. My point is that if you get kids interested in Christmas for the toys and the gadgets, they will think "what's the occasion?" And instead of being bored through the lecture as they normally would, they would likely be at least somewhat interested.

For these reasons and others, the resolution must fall.
Thank you.

[1] http://wiki.answers.com...
andyh

Pro

andyh forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
rosstheboss

Con

rosstheboss forfeited this round.
andyh

Pro

andyh forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by fulltimestudent 4 years ago
fulltimestudent
I guess it can exist for some *in their hearts* abd their personal practice of it ...but black friday kinda says it all for me. In fact, this last Thanksgiving ..the sales started on Thanksgiving day rather than the following day. But its hard for me to argue this cuz i think this is a matter of personal practice
Posted by rosstheboss 4 years ago
rosstheboss
granted fulltimestudent, but it hasn't been ruined by consumerism.
Posted by fulltimestudent 4 years ago
fulltimestudent
Fer sure. Its been commercialized..some actually call it giftmas
Posted by rosstheboss 4 years ago
rosstheboss
You too.
Posted by andyh 4 years ago
andyh
OK sure. I'll be doing something similar since we're looking at Christmas pretty much from a Christian point of view anyway by nature of the debate I guess. Happy debating!
Posted by rosstheboss 4 years ago
rosstheboss
Btw Andy, i'm atheist like you, I'm just writing my debate from a christian point of view so I can write my sentences easier.

Ex:

The first thing that happened on Christmas day when Jesus was born, is he was brought gifts. Later he performed miracles for others. These miracles are gifts to say the least.

Instead of:

The first thing that happened of the christmas day when Jesus was supposedly born, is he was allegedly brought gifts. Later he apparently performed miracles for others. These miracles that he supposedly performed were gifts to say the least.
Posted by rosstheboss 4 years ago
rosstheboss
Sorry for grammatical error in acceptance round.
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