We enter Santa’s workshop. Over by the desk we see two elves talking. One is Legolass, who has been Santa’s secratary for the past 200 years, and is moving on to new work. The other is Qeebler, who is taking over the secretary resposibilities. As the scene opens, Legolass is pulling out a large scroll from his desk drawer. Let’s listen:
Legolass: So this is Santa’s naughty and nice list for this year. You will find that about 75% of your responsibilities will involve referencing this list.
Qeebler: Wow this is heavy. So after this year, where does this go.
Legolass: Over there. (points to a room) That room is full of old lists. And this filing cabinet over here has the future lists.
Qeebler: What do you mean future lists?
Legolass: You know, for the next few years.
Qeebler: How does Santa already have a list?
Legolass: Because Santa is the one who decides who is naughty and who is nice, of course.
Qeebler: Of course, but doesn’t “nice” and “naughty” refer to what the kids actually do?
Legolass: Well sure! Santa decides who is going to be naughty and who is going to be nice.
Qeebler: Wait wait wait! Isn’t the whole point of the Santa Claus project to encourage all children to be good?
Legolass: Originally yes. However, about a hundred years ago, Santa read this book by A. W. Magenta. Completely changed his outlook. He realized that all kids are inherently naughty.
Qeebler: Of course! That’s why they need to be given incentives to be taught right from wrong.
Legolass: Except Santa realized that it is even worse than that. He realized that no amount of present giving or coal giving will ever teach a child right from wrong. So he individually causes each kid to be either naughty or nice. That is the only way to be sure that any of them are going to be nice at all.
Qeebler: Well, then why doesn’t he just make them all nice? Why make some of them naughty?
Legolass: Are you kidding? Then who’ll get the coal, man! Think!
Qeebleer: Why does anyone need to get coal?
Legolass: Because coal is a basic symbal of justice! In order to show that he is just, Santa needs to deliver coal to someone. Therefore he has to make some kids naughty, or them getting the coal wouldn’t be just.
Qeebler: But how is it just to punish a child for doing what Santa caused him to do? Besides, why is justice even an important concept if he can just make all children be nice? Justice only makes sense as a reaction to naughtiness. It doesn’t justify the existance of naughtiness itself.
Legolass: Ok, clearly you haven’t read enough A. W. Magenta yourself. Maybe I can recommend a few more contempory books. For instance, maybe Desiring St. Nick by John Flutist, or In the Toymaker’s Hands by James Mutherovpirl.
Qeebler: Look, you can’t just hide behind a bunch of authors whose names sound like really bad puns. How can you and Santa justify punishing children for doing exactly what they were made to do? That’s just hypocritical!
Legolass: Apparently you have this strange idea that kids can be good enough to earn their own presents.
Qeebler: I never said that. First of all, I am aware that you can’t earn gifts. That’s what makes them gifts. Santa is under no obligation to give anything to anyone. Second of all, I am not complaining about children not really earning theirs gifts under your system. I’m complaining about them not really earning their coal! While there is nothing unjust about giving someone something good without merit, there is something inherently evil about giving someone a punishment without merit. There is a big difference between Santa punishing a child by intentionally giving them a lump of coal and Santa simply not giving certain kids a gift because he loves other kids more.
Legolass: Wait a minute! Stop right there! Santa loves all kids! After all, he says so.
Qeebler: How can you say he loves all kids if he treats some differently by means of some arbitrary decision!
Legolass: It’s not arbitrary.
Qeebler: Oh, so what does he base his decision on then!
Legolass: His own good pleasure.
Qeebler punches Legolass hard in the shoulder
Legolass: Ow! What was the reason for that?!
Qeebler: My own good pleasure.
Legolass: Qeebler, maybe we rushed you to this position. I’m not sure if you are quite ready for it yet. In fact the cookie department could use a good managerial mind. Perhaps we can move you there.
Qeebler: Hold on, you di…
Legolass: That’s enough! Good day Qeebler.
Scene fade out.
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