The Instigator
vanmurf99
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
wrichcirw
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points

A book is not worth reading unless someone wants to ban it

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
wrichcirw
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/25/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 909 times Debate No: 55387
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

vanmurf99

Con

This is simply untrue. Reading is a means of escape and relaxation.
wrichcirw

Pro

I thank CON for positing an interesting resolution. I'll keep my opening brief.

This resolution is the same as "If someone wants to ban a book, then it is worth reading." (http://lsatblog.blogspot.com...)

I present this syllogism as my argument:

p1 - If a book is popular, then it is worth reading.
p2 - If someone wants to ban a book, it is because the book is popular.
c - Therefore, if someone wants to ban a book, it is worth reading.

Explanation

p1 - Any book that is popular is going to become part of a societal zeitgeist, and becomes worth reading just to become more familiar with societal norms.

p2 - Books that are not popular won't even be known to people, so it won't be subject to a ban. The flip side to this popularity is that it gets exposed to a wide audience with diverging opinions. Of these varying opinions, someone, somwhere will invariably take issue with the book and seek a ban on it.

c - The conclusion naturally follows once the link between banning, popularity, and worth is established.

---

My opponent's case, that "Reading is a means of escape and relaxation," is not mutually exclusive from my argument. There are popular books meant for escape and relaxation, and these books will invariably find someone, somewhere, looking to ban them. An example would be New Age books which generally deal with relaxation techniques; these are banned by some Christian denominations as quasi-religious and incongruous with Christian beliefs.

If the book is not worth reading, it is not popular, and thus won't be subject to a ban.
Debate Round No. 1
vanmurf99

Con

PRO has stated that if someone wants to ban a book, it is because the book is popular, can you give an example?
If we look at least the top ten best-selling/ most popular books of 2014, so far, we can see that none of them have had a controversial means behind them, proving that people don't need a book to be controversial for it to be interesting. YOU don't decide on what types of books everyone in the world reads. The top ten list includes children's books such as 'frozen' (no.2) and Dr suess' 'oh the places you'll go'(no.6); and teen books such as 'the fault in our stars' (no. 3), 'Divergent' series (no. 4,9,12,15).

PRO is for the argument in saying that 'books are not worth reading unless someone wants to ban it.' No one is ever going to ban an English textbook, so is an English text book or any other example of a text book not worth reading? If children today don't grow up learning from a text book then they will become very illiterate. Lack of literacy is something that should not be increasing especially if something as simple as reading a book can help.

Books are the backbone of the word, broad topic I know. But, for instance take the book 'Principia Mathematica' written by Issac Newton. The book explained his theories on physics. without his formulas we would not be where we are today in terms knowledge of the science behind power, gravity and many more.

Therefore if we were to only read popular books that are so-called 'controversial' then we would just head down hill in terms of learning and being able to shape our world in the future.
wrichcirw

Pro

Rebuttal


R1) CON asks me to give an example of how a ban on a book necessitates it being popular, even though I have already given an example through popular New Age books being banned by some Christian groups in the prior round.

Here's an example of a Christian protest against New Age beliefs in general, and how some seek a ban on them (and I would imagine any written materials about them) in public schools under the auspices of separation of church and state: (http://www.npr.org...)


R2) I want to note that I need not provide evidence of bans, but only of evidence that people WANT to ban certain titles for whatever reason. I do believe the below sentiments uphold that particular burden.


R3) CON also states that he provided a list of the "top ten best-selling/ most popular books of 2014," without referencing exactly what this list is, so I simply do not know what he is talking about. To use his specific examples:


1) "Frozen" (which I assume to mean literary renditions of the Disney movie)

This is easy. Some Christian conservatives decry the godlessness in a movie like "Frozen", and some of the more extreme sects of Christianity would seek to ban consumption of Disney products to protest such, which is fully within their constitutional rights. (http://www.theamericanconservative.com...) Personally, I've attended a Christian school where Michael Jackson was banned because "Thriller" was seen as satanic.

Then, there's controversy about apparent gay advocacy in "Frozen" - anti-LGBT rights groups would seek to ban such a title under such grounds too:
(http://www.huffingtonpost.com...)


2) "Dr. Seuss"

Bans on Dr. Seuss: (http://drseussbanned.weebly.com...)


3) "The fault in our stars"

I'm not familiar with this title. As it is, guess what? There's controversy over it: (http://www.mtv.com...).

Groups that advocate for the end of unfair discrimination against cancer patients would then seek to boycott such a title until the controversial aspects are removed.


4) "Divergent"

I'm not familiar with this either, but apparently someone thinks it's been banned somewhere:

http://www.bannedlibrary.com...
http://www.bannedlibrary.com...


5) Newton's 'Principia Mathematica'

More extreme antiscience groups (http://en.wikipedia.org...) may indeed seek for a ban on Newton's theories.


6) CON: "No one is ever going to ban an English textbook, so is an English text book or any other example of a text book not worth reading?"

Well, this is easy. I've learned a couple foreign languages, and in some of those classes and environments under stricter instructors, any books written in English and any spoken English in general is banned to encourage the use of the language being learned. Obviously this would apply to English textbooks as well. This ban obviously stems from the popularity of using English between English speaking people. =)

Don't get me wrong, those bans are rarely if ever successful, lol. Still, a ban is a ban, regardless of how effective the ban is.


Conclusion


I thank CON for the opportunity to engage in this interesting exercise. As it is, a cursory google search typing in the various titles he mentioned coupled with "controversy" or "banned" provided the links to the above sources, and my round took less than an hour to construct.

The invariable link between popularity and controversy is inescapable. My syllogism from round #1 stands:

p1 - If a book is popular, then it is worth reading.
p2 - If someone wants to ban a book, it is because the book is popular.
c - Therefore, if someone wants to ban a book, it is worth reading.

The resolution is upheld.
Debate Round No. 2
vanmurf99

Con

vanmurf99 forfeited this round.
wrichcirw

Pro

My opponent has forfeited this debate.

I've given a rebuttal at length of all of CON's arguments. Please vote PRO and thank you for reading this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by CentristX 2 years ago
CentristX
Is this the start of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451?? Where we BURN books because PEOPLE DON'T LIKE THEM? Oh, but I'm guessing that book was banned and you didn't bother reading it? Too bad.
Posted by Cold-Mind 2 years ago
Cold-Mind
What person who said "Book is not worth reading unless someone wants to ban it" meant is that it will not teach you something important. He is right, and you are right in what you said. Since there is no conflict between your statements, there is no place for the debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Raymond_Reddington 2 years ago
Raymond_Reddington
vanmurf99wrichcirwTied
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Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
vanmurf99wrichcirwTied
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Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
vanmurf99wrichcirwTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con ff'd
Vote Placed by Cobo 2 years ago
Cobo
vanmurf99wrichcirwTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfiet