Instigator / Pro
0
1667
rating
70
debates
73.57%
won
Topic

The statement "Santa Claus doesn't exist" is false

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
0
Sources points
0
0
Spelling and grammar points
0
0
Conduct points
0
0

After not so many votes...

It's a tie!
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Education
Time for argument
Two weeks
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One week
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Con
0
1553
rating
24
debates
56.25%
won
Description
~ 10 / 5,000

BoP shared

Round 1
Pro
The resolution could otherwise be interpreted as: "Santa Claus exists".

Of that no definitions are needed, since the Pro position just to prove that whatever could be represented by the term "Santa Claus" exists within this world.

Real-life examples

Town

A human settlement in the state of Indiana of the United States of America is named Santa Claus[1].

Person

A person living in the state of New York is legally named Santa Claus[2]. The records also show that there are many people named Santa Claus in the US[3].

Conclusion

The term "Santa Claus exists" is just as true as that "New York exists" or "Joe Biden exists". I have proven that there are existing people or places in which the term "Santa Claus" can in of itself, refer to. 

Thus, the statement "Santa Claus doesn't exist", is false.

Sources
Con
Resolution: The statement "Santa Claus doesn't exist" is false
 
Re: "The resolution could otherwise be interpreted as: 'Santa Claus exists'."
 
This is true, but there are contextual changes from the original resolution. Saying that "Santa Claus doesn't exist" seems to more strongly the implicate the definition of "Santa Claus" which is favorable to me than saying "Santa Claus exists". I generally agree with Pro here, but only if the contextual implications of the original resolution are maintained and carry weight and any contextual implications from the re-worded resolution carry no weight. (i.e. the re-worded resolution is functional only and it is the original resolution's context that matters for purposes of determining which sense of the words are in effect)
 
Argument:

The only issue in this debate is the meaning ofthe word "Santa Claus". No other issues appear to be in dispute.
 
The following definitions that are acceptable to me:


a plump, white-bearded, red-suited, and jolly old man in modern folklore who delivers presents to children at Christmastime
 
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.
 
The personification of the spirit of Christmas, usually represented as a jolly fat old man with a white beard and a red suit, who brings gifts to good children on Christmas Eve.
 
Santa Claus or Santa is an imaginary old man witha long white beard and a red coat. Traditionally, young children in many countries are told that he brings their Christmas presents.
 
an imaginary man with a long white beard and a redsuit who brings presents for children at Christmas
 

You should vote using the foregoing definitions because they describe the usual and ordinary meaning of "Santa Claus" and there is no evidence that Pro and I intended to use any other definition. The usual and ordinary meaning of a word is the default starting point. It is unfair to depart from the usual and ordinary meaning of words unless there is evidence that the parties intended to depart from it. No such evidence ispresent here. This principle is supported in contract law. See, for example,California Civil Jury Instruction No. 315:

You should assume that the parties intended thewords in their contract to have their usual and ordinary meaning unless youdecide that the parties intended the words to have a special meaning.
 
The second reason you should vote according to the usual and ordinary meaning is that it's implicated by the context. "Santa Claus" falls in to a category of popular fictions like the tooth fairy, the lochness monster, big foot, and aliens, etc. When the existence of any one of these fictions is discussed, it is the fictional nature of the entity which is of interest. As Santa Claus is one such fictional entity, the verb "exist" implicates usage of the sense of the non-existent "Santa Claus" fiction. Ergo, the usual and ordinary meaning is apt and implicated.
 
Rebuttal:
 
Pro takes the position that the resolution can be made true by switching from the usual and ordinary meaning of "Santa Claus" to special meanings. Namely, a small town in Indiana with an estimated population of 2,411 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus,_Indiana ) and also a person "living in the state of New York [...] legally named Santa Claus". The reason you should not permit the use of these definitions is that it is completely unfair. There is no way I could have known that Pro intended to use these definitions for Santa Claus. Pro created this debate. If he intended to use that as the working definition, then he should have notifiedme by putting that definition in the debate description. Using thesedefinitions is not justifiable.
 
What is justifiable is using the usual and ordinary meaning as there is no evidence that either debater intended to use any other meaning prior to acceptance. The usual and ordinary meaning provides debaters with a default definition which avoids having to provide definitions for each and every word within a debate resolution. A debater cannot avoid being bound by the resolution simply by proffering fringe definitions which are favorable his position. If this debate were about the existence of God, which are common this site, I'm sure that you would vote against a debater who argued that God exists because there exists a city named God located in Budapest ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6d ) If that is truly what that debater wishes to debate, then he must provide notice to his opponent that he intends to use that definition. Pro instigated this debate without any such notice, and he had ample opportunity to provide it.
Round 2
Pro
Rebuttal: Plump bearded jolly holiday old man

Is this the only thing the term "Santa Claus" refers to?

No. I have shown that there are existing locations and people to which the term "Santa Claus" can refer to. Now, let's say somehow Con succeeded in proving that the "Holiday old man" Santa Claus doesn't exist, it still fails to disprove my case because I have proven that there are, in fact, things named Santa Claus. Unless Con can disprove that there are people and places named Santa Claus, he wouldn't win whatsoever.

"Exists"

What my opponent has brought up has not only not proven that the "holiday old man" Santa Claus doesn't exist, it demonstrates that Santa exists. Here is a definition, from a reputable source:
Exist: Definition
1a: to have real being whether material or spiritual
b: to have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions
2: to continue to be
3a: to have life or the functions of vitality
b: to live at an inferior level or under adverse circumstances
Of course, the 3a-b definitions would be out-of-context. However, using every other definition, it would show that Santa exists.

1a: Santa Claus, as a holiday old man, is technically a spiritual being(He is a representation/spirit!) that is recognized by the world.
1b: Santa Claus existed in these books[2], so it obviously exists according to this definition.
2: Santa Claus is still recognized as an existing spiritual being in this world, and borderline, it is an existing idea that has a phrase to refer to itself.

Overall, The word Santa Claus refers to a fictional entity or idea that is often illustrated in pieces of art, and yes, that is enough for it to "Exist" by definition.

Conventional Definition

As much as I used an "unconventional definition", I have never defined Santa Claus to be anything, because this is how language works: If you can give a thing in which the specific phrase can refer to, then there is no need to define said specific phrase because at the end of the day, there is going to be a thing that can be referred by the phrase, regardless of whether how it looks like or how it tastes like.

I want my opponent to either prove that the town or the person named Santa Claus isn't Santa Claus, or that the examples mentioned are less "Santa Claus" than the holiday old man. I also want my opponent to prove why a thing, depite being an existing concept and spiritual being, doesn't exist. According to Conventional definitions[1], Even if Santa Claus can only refer to a holiday old man, it still exists.

Individual rebuttals

The reason you should not permit the use of these definitions is that it is completely unfair. There is no way I could have known that Pro intended to use these definitions for Santa Claus. Pro created this debate. If he intended to use that as the working definition, then he should have notifiedme by putting that definition in the debate description. Using thesedefinitions is not justifiable.
Con did not see an existing definition coming then blamed me for using those definitions even though they work and they refer to existing things and people use them as so. Also, as much the holiday old man is one thing Santa Claus can refer to, it can also refer to many other things, such as towns and people. The fact I have put no definitions in the descriptions would mean that any definition for this word would be allowed as long as authentic sources support it. I have used Wiki(which serves as hubs for more authentic sources) and Time(an authentic source in of itself), etc, and due to that authentic sources can support my definitions used in the first round, it is an existing definition and it works, period.

If this debate were about the existence of God, which are common this site, I'm sure that you would vote against a debater who argued that God exists because there exists a city named God located in Budapest ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6d )
Oh, and I would vote for the person who said that there is a place in Hungary called God as long as no one defined it yet as something like "powerful sky father". A place called god is god because, come on, that is how words work. It would be impossible to destruct this argument since even if the spiritual "God" doesn't exist somehow, the term "God" could still refer to an existing place. If Con had messaged me or commented his definition then the R1 argument would completely drop flat, but instead he defined AFTER me, both with authentic evidence enough to support that it is true, then it would mean that both sides' interpretation is true, unless Con could debunk my sources, straight-out saying that there is no one or nowhere named Santa Claus.

Con has dropped that there are places and people named Santa Claus and did not critique my definitions nor evidence. What else can I say about it?

Arguing "regular" definitions is regular, but denying/attempting to deny existing, working, backed-up-by-authentic-sources definitions just because it is less used would be straight-up absurd. I rest my case.

Conclusion
  • My definitions last round were supported by authentic sources and they are existing definitions and denying it would be absurd
  • Con did not critique the existence of people and place called Santa Claus
  • Santa is a recognized spiritual being by the world, so by conventional definiton, it exists.

Back to you, Con.

Con
Re: "Santa Claus" definition
 
Pro has presented no justification for hisproposed definitions of the word "Santa Claus". Pro contends that solong as there exists at least one definition which would make the resolutiontrue, then Pro wins. This is a bad argument. When people accept debates theyare entitled to fair notice of the meanings of the words of the resolution asit can be reasonably discerned from the debate title and the debatedescription. Otherwise, there really is no agreement at all as to what peopleare debating when debates are accepted because there's no objective meaning tothe words.
 
Pro says that it's my fault because I "didnot see an existing definition coming". Of course I didn't see it coming.There was no notice. That is what happens when one fails to notify his opponentof special meanings to words.
 
Re: "Exist" definition
 
The definition provided by Pro doesn't support his position. SantaClause does not exist spiritually. If we're talking about spiritual existencelets discuss spiritual things, like God, ghosts or a soul. Does God exist? Does a soulexist? Do ghosts exist? Supposing these things existed, does Santa Claus existin the same way that they do? Answer those questions, and you will see that SantaClause does not have this sort of spiritual existence
Round 3
Pro
Rebuttals

Pro has presented no justification for hisproposed definitions of the word "Santa Claus". Pro contends that solong as there exists at least one definition which would make the resolutiontrue, then Pro wins.
I have presented justification. I have sources in the first round specifically indicating there are people and places named "Santa Claus". Con did not contend with that ever in the previous rounds, instead he tries to either propose that the people and places aforementioned aren't Santa Claus or Spiritual beings doesn't exist, despite there are sources given in the 2 previous rounds indicating that both of his proposals were to be proven false.

If I use a definition that would perfectly fit in place and function normally like any other normal statement, it works, alright. Con did not acknowledge that just because a definition or interpretation is used in a less extent yet truthfully, it still doesn't make it invalid.

This is on top of that which "Santa Claus" is a noun and a name, of which the Name can refer to any person, place or thing named "Santa Claus", which, in this case, is "Santa Claus". This is how language works. There are proven example people and places, I have said that. Since "Santa Claus" can obviously refer to people and places called "Santa Claus" which do exist, the statement "Santa Claus doesn't exist" is false as the term implies that no physical beings(People, places, things, etc.) nor spiritual beings in the knowledge of humanity can be referred accurately by the term "Santa Claus".

This is basically an extension and clarification from a sentence in R1.
Of that no definitions are needed, since the Pro position just to prove that whatever could be represented by the term "Santa Claus" exists within this world.

Since Con did not ever touch on the fact that there are existing people or things called "Santa Claus", it means Con has conceded on the fact that there are things to be referred accurately by said term, which would make the resolution true.

When people accept debates theyare entitled to fair notice of the meanings of the words of the resolution asit can be reasonably discerned from the debate title and the debatedescription. Otherwise, there really is no agreement at all as to what peopleare debating when debates are accepted because there's no objective meaning tothe words.
Pro's definitions have solid sources backing up the corresponding arguments. It is rather, CON, who walked right inside the trap unaware of that there are alternative, yet authentic and true usages of the term. The fact I have used authentic sources to support my argument, with subjects that could fit RIGHT INSIDE the term and the statement, means that I haven't done anything wrong. Con is probably just complaining because he has nothing against them.

The term "Santa Claus" is the term "Santa Claus". No debate on that. The term "Santa Claus" doesn't necessarily refer to an old plump holiday man, but the term itself can refer to all kinds of things as long as they are named "Santa Claus". Using only one interpretation and usage of the term "Santa Claus" to prove that nothing that can be referred to as "Santa Claus" when other usages of the term suggest otherwise would be far from ideal.

Pro says that it's my fault because I "didnot see an existing definition coming". Of course I didn't see it coming.There was no notice. That is what happens when one fails to notify his opponentof special meanings to words.
Con says that it's my fault because I "did not specify the definition", yet he is the one walking right into the trap unaware of an existing definition. Obviously, I do not have to tell my opponent definitions that he didn't expect because 5 more minutes of researching and he would find that the statement is false and there are existing things that can be referred to as "Santa Claus".

Con's knowledge on this matter is incomplete, and he blames me for questioning what he doesn't know yet still is true. Can you imagine that? A student blaming his teacher for giving questions that he doesn't know how to solve because there is no notice on how to solve it?

Special meanings exist and Con can easily find them. He did not find them and blames me for using valid definitions that can fit in. Isn't it obvious that it is Con's fault for not researching thoroughly? Considering there is no obligation to defining a word, I did nothing wrong and the debate is just focused on what the terms "Santa Claus" and "exist" mean.

The definition provided by Pro doesn't support his position. SantaClause does not exist spiritually. If we're talking about spiritual existencelets discuss spiritual things, like God, ghosts or a soul. Does God exist? Does a soulexist? Do ghosts exist? Supposing these things existed, does Santa Claus existin the same way that they do? Answer those questions, and you will see that SantaClause does not have this sort of spiritual existence
We are not arguing about SantaClause. We are arguing about Santa Claus.

Does God exist? Does a soul exist? Do ghosts exist? Yes, because according to the definition given in the last round spiritual beings are existing beings, and those 3 are definitely spiritual beings.

According to Con the man himself, Santa Claus is a spirit.
The personification of the spirit of Christmas, usually represented as a jolly fat old man with a white beard and a red suit, who brings gifts to good children on Christmas Eve.

That is one of his sourced definitions.

Since Santa is the personification of a spirit, he is therefore relating to, or affecting the spirit[1], which means he is a spiritual being, which means by conventional definition, Santa Claus exists.

Also, THESE definitions.
1a: Santa Claus, as a holiday old man, is technically a spiritual being(He is a representation/spirit!) that is recognized by the world.
1b: Santa Claus existed in these books[2], so it obviously exists according to this definition.
2: Santa Claus is still recognized as an existing spiritual being in this world, and borderline, it is an existing idea that has a phrase to refer to itself.
Since Santa exists in books, he is an idea that can be referred by term "Santa Claus", Santa Claus exists. The rebuttal is not sourced and there isn't even authentic proof that Santa Claus isn't a spirit, let alone his source before imply that he IS.

Everything I have made came from R1 and R2.

Conclusions
  • I say it again, I have used valid subjects that can be referred by the term "Santa Claus", and because those subjects physically exist, the statement "Santa Claus doesn't exist" is false.
    • The statement means that nothing, physical or spiritual, can be referred by the term "Santa Claus".
  • It is both debaters' responsibility to look into the definition of a term when not explicitly defined. Con did not do that and he blamed me for using a perfectly valid, true, and fit-in-place interpretation of the term. Con has not proved that people and placed named Santa Claus aren't real.

  • According to conventional definitions, Santa Claus definitely exists.
    • Santa Claus is a spiritual being, he exists.
    • Santa exists in books, he exists.
    • Santa is an idea that can be described by said term, he exists.
  • Overall, no matter it is the person, the place, or the jolly old holiday man, Santa Claus definitely exists. 
    • Please vote Pro. Thank you for reading this large hunk of text. I appreciate that. Argument done.
Sources
1: of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit.





Con
Pro's purported justifications fail. Pro mustprovide notice of special meanings of words before the debate is accepted. Profailed to do so. Ergo, the usual and ordinary meaning of the words apply. Thisis how it is in court with the interpretation of contracts. A debate is,essentially, a contract between an instigator and a contender to debate aparticular topic. The instigator is the one who drafts the debate title anddebate description. As the instigator, Pro was responsible for providing fairnotice to prospective opponents as to any special meanings of the words heintended to use. If Pro truly intended to use meanings such as the town ofSanta Claus, then Pro easily could have provided that information within thedebate description. Pro is responsible for his failure to do so.
 
Pro even admits to dealing dishonestly. (e.g."he is the one walking right into the trap unaware of an existingdefinition.") This sort of reasoning has no basis in fair debate is shouldnot be rewarded. In contracts there is something called "an impliedpromise of good faith and fair dealing." "Good faith means honesty ofpurpose without any intention to mislead or to take unfair advantage ofanother." https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/300/325/
 
Even if you accept Pro's definitions, that doesn'teven make his case superior. Pro's position seems to be that so long as thereexists one definition where the resolution could be true, then he could win.This reasoning is a two way street. Pro admits that there exist definitionswhereby the resolution could be false. At best, all Pro can do is tie with thisreasoning because the resolution is false using definitions that are acceptingaccording to Pro's arguments.
 
That Pro's definitions are valid and existingdefinitions is admitted and is not controversial. What is controversial isPro's attempt to use fringe definitions rather than the usual and ordinarydefinitions. It is perfectly acceptable to use fringe definitions, IF YOUPROVIDE FAIR NOTICE TO YOUR OPPONENT OF THOSE DEFINITIONS BEFORE THE DEBATE ISACCEPTED. Pro's failure to do so is not excusable.
 
Pro contends that it is the contender'sresponsibility to look into each and every definition of a term when theinstigator does not explicitly define them. This is bologna. What is acontender supposed to do? Ask the instigator to provide definitions for eachand every word? And if the instigator doesn't comply? What then? Reject Pro'sposition on this. When faced with a lack of explicit definitions, the usual andordinary meanings of words provide a reasonably discernable objective meaningfor debate resolutions. Use that as your rule. That rule exists withincontracts, and it exists for good reasons.
 
Pro provides no evidence of the spiritualexistence of Santa Claus. Pro's contention that the mere existence as an ideacounts as spiritual existence within the meaning of his proffered definitionfor existence. It does not count. Here is that definition:
 

to have real being whether material or spiritual
did unicorns exist
the largest galaxy known to exist
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exist
 

That is the definition Pro is using for exist. It uses as an examplesentence: "did unicorns exist". OK. Unicorns are widely known to bemythical creatures which do not exist. The authors of this dictionary entryprobably chose unicorns specifically as an example of something which does notexist under this definition. Obviously, unicorns exist as an idea, but they donot count as something that exists under this definition. In the same way,Santa Claus exists as an idea, but does not count as something that existsunder this definition. As Pro is using this definition, it shows that Pro's owndefinition works against his case.