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Debt is a way to fund investments. You take on the debt to buy a productive asset. With said production, you repay the debt, you have your asset, and benefit of future unencumbered production. 

From a practical standpoint whenever I hear that kind of talk, I nod to signify comprehension, understanding and tolerance and say something such as "Noted. That's very interesting, but unfortunately that's not the culture that I (or preferably "we" - if the context will allow) happen to operate in." It's equally as silly and does a nice, quick job of reversing the burden of the proof.

While somebody might not engage in debate with the goal of gaining status, they can do it with the goal of convincing (whether it be through rationally argued explaining or otherwise), i.e. with the goal of spreading their ideas. That seems to be a very, very powerful motivation in the modern psyche. People are ready to pay considerable sums to obtain the rights of leaving comments on such or such media websites etc. I am always struck by the quasi-Darwinian aspect of this. A lot of us, it seems, seek to spread their ideas just like Darwin says we seek to spread our genes. Ideological Darwinism I would call it - if the name was not already taken for something else. 

Also - frozen yoghurt is obviously punishment masquerading as reward. For genuine reward, you would have to go with ice cream.

If you do the right thing to be praised, you're doing it for the wrong reason.