The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Are trigger warnings and safe spaces a beneficial thing to society?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/20/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 283 times Debate No: 95521
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)




Format of Debate:
Round 1. Acceptance.
Round 2. Present Argument.
Round 3. Rebuttal.
Round 4. Concluding remarks.

I wish my challenger the best of luck.
Debate Round No. 1


Hello there. I am looking forward to a hopefully constructive, and intelligent debate.

In my opinion, trigger warnings and safe spaces are both significantly damaging. I will lay out my argument in 2 basic parts. 1: The harmful psychological effects. 2: The risks to free speech 3. Career risks.
1: Harmful psychological effects.
Right now, across America, many universities, starting with UCSB, have begun adopting trigger warnings and what comes with this, safe spaces. I will be arguing that these are harmful primarily, because this attempt to solve the issue is much more dangerous then the issue itself. I will be arguing this based on the sources, two of which I have shown below.

The truth is that there are people with PTSD who attend univeristy, many of these have survived deeply traumatising events. However, it is a scientificially dubious treatment to a cunning and disease. Why do I think this? Because the primary method of curing PTSD is exposure. Can anyone truly think that PTSD is something that can be cured by just shutting off all outside sources of potential "triggering"? Is this truly credible?
Allow me to cite the results of a paper by Clinical psychologist Barbara O. Rothbaum:"Although 94 percent of the women met symptomatic criteria for PTSD about two weeks after the trauma, that number dropped to 65 percent after approximately one month and to 47 percent after approximately three months. The data indicate that about half of rape survivors recover naturally from PTSD within three months of the assault."
( Dr Rothbaum is a psychologist who specialises in the importance of exposure to curing PTSD. )
In fact, these sorts of insulating techniques will merely be more likely to "give" you PTSD.

What about the effects to those who do not have PTSD?
Well, the issue is the mindset that such trigger warnings can cause. As spoken in the article by Dr Leon Pomeroy, trigger warnings are damaging in the sense that they can make people think that avoiding topics that they personally find distressing can be a cure for it. Avoiding distressing topics teaches you a bad model for later life. More on that in part 3. If anyone wants to debate this topic of psychology in particular in more detail, message me. For now I rest my case.

2. The silencing of free speech.
The issue is that a lot of the time people are triggered by ideas that are not so much damaging psychologically, but are actually just contrary to their own. Often an assault on their ideas can be mistaken by radicals for an assault on their person. Calling for trigger warnings and safe spaces on offensive ideas is a step further towards silencing them all together. Here the issue lies in the fundamental importance of free speech in our society. Besides its obvious neccessity to democracy, free speech is important because it allows ideas that are correct, but unpopular, to gain momentum by being spoken. The belief that, paraphrasing Ronald Reagan, the validity of one's ideas makes one eloquent, is a strong one. Without free speech we would have lacked the ideas of Plato, Aristotle and Nietzsche. There was a time when people were executed for speaking their minds. But we as a society have forgotten a fundamental truth. Just because everyone thinks something does not mean it is true. Free speech gives protection to those who dare speak out against the political establishment. I want those who disagree with it to think, what if their ideas were the unpopular opinion? Would they be against it then? It is the complex of being in power to wish to ban free speech, whether it is on the left or right. We must not give in to that temptation. And trigger warnings block people from receiving the enlightenment that comes from certain ideas. We have seen on campuses people parading to stop men like Milo Yiannopoulos, or Ben Shapiro, or stop women like Christina Hoff Summers from speaking. This is what trigger warnings or safe spaces lead to. Intellectual insulation. Enough is enough, I say. Stand for freedom and against triggers. End echo chambers.

3. I have mentioned this a bit in the above arguments, but I feel the need to elaborate. Trigger warnings have been applied to rape law and sexual assault law. I do not want to pay for publicly funded universities so that those can teach their students only a small portion of the curriculum. This limits the knowledge and ability of the youth at our universities. Furthermore, I must state, as written in one of the two sources I have provided the issue is fundamental. To cite the newspaper, if "A" stands for "activating events" (e.g., someone insults you), "B" for "belief systems" (e.g., what you tell yourself about it), and "C" for "consequent emotions and behavior" (e.g., your anger, anxiety or frustration). It"s important to understand that "A" doesn"t cause "C," and apply this to one"s life. It is "B" that causes "C." However, the "maps" at "B" are not the "territory" at "C." The issue, using this analogy is that people take A to be simple disagreement. I have provided examples in point 2. People must learn to cope with "triggering" events. Only then can they achieve career success. Someone who can be triggered by the mere mention of the word "rape" will not be a successful person.

If you need any clarification, please say so in the comments. It has been a pleasure to provide my argument, I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. Thank you for being patient with me and getting this far. I would like to wish my opponent good luck in portraying his initial standpoint.

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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Tadeusz 1 month ago
It seems that my opponent shall not post his argument. If that is the case I will wish to repeat this argument with someone else. If you know anyone, message me.
Posted by Tadeusz 1 month ago
I hope you liked my initial argument, I have high hopes in this debate. We will see what happens.
Posted by mnitkowski35 1 month ago
Interested in seeing this debate. I, for one, am against safe spaces, but I'm intrigued to see the "pro" position on this one.
Posted by Zaephou 1 month ago
con wins
Posted by TheBenC 1 month ago
Trigger Warning - SJWs and people who need a trigger warning are weak as pansies that do not deserve to have their genes passed onto the next generation.
Posted by Smintel 1 month ago
i canna be the contestor if ya want m80 ( V5;" V0;B2; V5;")
Posted by Iacov 1 month ago
I will be following this debate closely.
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