The Instigator
InVinoVeritas
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
sickness2snipe
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Campaigns to end the use of the word "retard" are misguided and illogical

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
InVinoVeritas
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/12/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,040 times Debate No: 22782
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

InVinoVeritas

Pro

Resolution: Campaigns (e.g., [1]) to end the use of the word "retard" (in noun form, of course) are misguided and illogical.

Misguided: (adj) Based or acting on error; misled
Illogical: (adj) Lacking sense or clear, sound reasoning

[1] http://www.r-word.org...

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I will attempt to affirm the resolution; my opponent will attempt to nullify it.

The first round will strictly be for acceptance and discussion of definitions and the terms of debate.

Thank you.
sickness2snipe

Con

The Word Retard is just as bad as the word Nigger in my book, i find it ridiculous that people would still want to use this word. because while the majority of people are not mentally retarded. there are mentally retarded people who take serious offense to that word. and it is the same thing as a white person calling black person nigger pre 2000's.

these campaigns are the only thing trying to stop people from using such a bad word. should mentally retarded people supposed to be exposed to a word that attacks a predisposition that they cannot control?
Debate Round No. 1
InVinoVeritas

Pro

InVinoVeritas forfeited this round.
sickness2snipe

Con

o.0 forfeit??
Debate Round No. 2
InVinoVeritas

Pro

Sorry... I just wanted a more sophisticated, intellectual opposing argument. I'm not on this site for wins; I'm here for insightful discussions about important topics. Also, this is the opponent's first debate, so there was a good chance that I would post a giant argument only to see a long chain of forfeits from the opponent... And that would have sucked, to say the least.

"The Word Retard is just as bad as the word Nigger in my book[.] i find it ridiculous that people would still want to use this word"
This really says nothing. The level of "badness" of the word "nigger" has yet to be established, and, hence, this comparison does not support any argument. Furthermore, what the opponent finds "ridiculous" isn't even remotely germane to the matter at hand.

"[B]ecause[,] while the majority of people are not mentally retarded[,] there are mentally retarded people who take serious offense to that word."
I absolutely concur. There are mentally ill people and non-mentally ill people alike who are offended by the word "retard." Also, there may be a minority of people who are offended by the "cockroach" and "poop." Should a word be erased from a language's lexicon just because certain people react to it the way they do? The reason why the word "retard" exists in our language is because of its value in our cultural context, something which is determined by the speakers of the language. Artificial removal of a word does not work, because a word exists due to relevance within a culture; until a cultural shift occurs, no language change would end up arising.

And then the opponent ends with "these campaigns are the only thing trying to stop people from using such a bad word." This leads directly into my main point: The basis for campaigns like the R-word campaign is that certain words are "offensive." People need to realize that words cannot be inherently offensive; rather, the offensiveness comes from the meaning that people attribute to them. The sole purpose of these words, by their given definitions, is to offend (e.g., "chink: (n) a disparaging term for person of Chinese birth or descent.") Hence, acting deeply offended by them only gives these words more meaning and allows them to serve their purpose. The ultimate solution is to not make such a big deal about it.
sickness2snipe

Con

sickness2snipe forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
InVinoVeritas

Pro

Yeah... That's why I was trying to avoid debating this inexperienced, near-illiterate opponent. Wasted my time typing up an argument. -.- Oh, well.
sickness2snipe

Con

sickness2snipe forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by airmax1227 5 years ago
airmax1227
"This says nothing about whether or not a word should exist."

Your resolution has nothing to do with whether or not the word should exist. And I never said anything about the word being removed from existence. Ending the casual use of it has merit however.

"Moreover, stating that a word leads to specific automatic judgments is ridiculous, since context must be considered."

I was only referring to specific contexts, and more generally to how a person would like to be perceived.

"People should have the right to make whatever judgments they want based on one's word usage, whether it be positive or negative, just as people should have the right to choose words to use from their respective lexicons."

Nothing I said contradicts this. Casual usage of the term in question will cause certain people to judge your character in a certain way. I was never talking about 'rights' of any kind, so I don't see the point of making an argument that you have the 'right' to do so.

Everyone has the 'right' to be a jerk, are you going to be one because you have that right?
Posted by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
InVinoVeritas
Ending the existence of a word is too broad of an approach to simply cover the objective of "offending people [who] could take it negatively." And a word can offend one person and not offend another, reasons regardless... This says nothing about whether or not a word should exist.

"Sensitivity should be applied universally if one cares to present themselves as a respectable and respectful individual." Whether or not someone wants to represent themselves as a respectable and respectful individual is up to him/her. Moreover, stating that a word leads to specific automatic judgments is ridiculous, since context must be considered.

"Unsophisticated, Unthoughtful, Insensitive and Immature"
Indeed, in CERTAIN contexts (not necessarily restricted to "formal contexts," as the opponent states), it does lead one to be judged in such a manner. But such arises simply from a conflict of mindsets. People should have the right to make whatever judgments they want based on one's word usage, whether it be positive or negative, just as people should have the right to choose words to use from their respective lexicons.
Posted by airmax1227 5 years ago
airmax1227
"there are mentally retarded people who take serious offense to that word."

While this argument is flawed, the response to this argument in the comments is similarly flawed. While the mentally disabled person may not take offense to the term, the friends and family of that individual may (among others). While I am not suggesting any type of censorship or banning of words, there is little difference between using this term, and other derogatory slang that singles out a particular group.

For example, I am not African American and yet I find usage of the N word distasteful and generally offensive. I am also not 'retarded' but find casual usage of that word distasteful as well, but for different reasons. While one may not mean to harm either group in the usage of either term, sensitivity should be applied universally if one cares to present themselves as a respectable, and respectful individual.

In a formal setting, and many others, usage of either word will make the person who utters it appear essentially the same: Unsophisticated, Unthoughtful, Insensitive and Immature.

Campaigns to end use of the word 'retarded' therefore have merit to those who do not wish to potentially offend many of the people it could effect negatively (not just those who are mentally disabled), and should be considered a legitimate cause for anyone who does not wish to appear immature or unthoughtful with their word choices.

From what I have noticed it is mostly teenagers that use the term casually as part of their common vernacular, thus there is generally only one thing needed to be said to those who do so:

GROW UP!

These campaigns are thus neither misguided nor illogical as they have merit to those who care about the things they say, and that should be everyone.

@InVinoVeritas

Feel free to challenge me to this debate.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
InVinoVeritas
Or, better yet:

Me: Hey, retard! You're a retard!"
Retard: *obliviously drools*
Posted by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
"there are mentally retarded people who take serious offense to that word."

Oh do they now?

Me: Hey guy! Your retarded!

Retarded guy: What dat mean!?
Posted by LiberalJoe 5 years ago
LiberalJoe
This debate is retarded.
Posted by brian_eggleston 5 years ago
brian_eggleston
How ironic would it be if someone posted "this debate is gay"?
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
Someone gets it!!!!!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Travniki 5 years ago
Travniki
InVinoVeritassickness2snipeTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con is retarded
Vote Placed by airmax1227 5 years ago
airmax1227
InVinoVeritassickness2snipeTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: The resolution stands as Pro did enough to carry his BOP while regarding arguments and the FF's. Con failed to coherently counter this, thus Pro win.
Vote Placed by Lordknukle 5 years ago
Lordknukle
InVinoVeritassickness2snipeTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro presented a coherent case and forfeited less than Con. Con is a retard :)
Vote Placed by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
InVinoVeritassickness2snipeTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: no conduct point due to both sides forfeiting, but pro definitely get the arguments.