The Instigator
Pro (for)
8 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

Child Prodigies are Discouraging People

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/6/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,459 times Debate No: 16913
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




Basic Rules and Agreements:
1. No vulgar, slang, or other offensive language is allowed.
2. Intentional spelling or grammar errors are not permissible.
3. The first round is for introduction and agreement purposes.
4. If sources are used, they must be cited with URLs or titles of books.
5. Although visuals (images and video) are okay to use, they must supplement the written argument, not replace it.

In almost every news media (television news, Yahoo! news, radio news), you've probably heard of a child prodigy once. Whether this particular youngster has become a famous singer, written a popular book, or programmed some amazing games, many children, specifically around ages 10 to 18, have done difficult things that one would usually expect only from adults.

However, not everyone is inspired by how some children can do amazing things at such young ages. This debate discusses how the child prodigies of today are discouraging the success of other people tomorrow.

I will take the Pro/For side of this debate: I believe prodigies discourage others and make others "look stupid". A book writer may feel underachieved once he or she finds that a 13-year-old boy has also written a book.

As a note, I will try not to make any of my arguments biased. I am not discouraged by prodigies; I simply believe others may be.

Good luck to my contender in this debate.


Hello there, and thank you for this debate. I have finally found one in which I feel I may have an opinion - so thanks again!

I find this an interesting topic and look forward to further debating on the subject.


PRODIGY - "a person, especially a child or young person, having extraordinary talent or ability..." (

DISCOURAGE - "to deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit..." OR "to obstruct by opposition or difficulty..." (

I think it is obvious, that people ARE discouraged by child prodigies; as in, it HAS happened some time on this earth several times. But besides this matter, I feel you will post your argument in a way in which I can still debate against.

Good Luck shooterboss!
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you, Con. I agree to your definitions and wish for an exciting debate. However, I must point out that this debate focuses on opinions rather than facts. Also, whenever you see me put a number inside parentheses (as below), I am denoting a source is being cited.


In the unprofessional source above, a person is prompted to answer whether or not he or she dislikes child prodigies. The answerer responded, "Only if they make me look dumb. I hate to be one uped." As I said in the first round, prodigies make others look stupid. Who feels accomplished doing something that a little kid has done before?


Again, the link above proves the fact. According to the website, childhood is meant to be "a magical time when you're still allowed to be a non-productive drain on society and not feel guilty about it," but "some child prodigies. . . make us look like worthless turds."

Of course, almost nobody would write on the Internet of how they stopped pursuing their dream because he was discouraged by a prodigy, but I am sure that has happened before.

Something that Con may point out in his portion of the round is that just because a child was successful in youth, doesn't mean he or she will be rich and famous as an adult. However, this fact does not matter. As children, none of us knows how life will turn out. Many are still discouraged by successful children, regardless of what could happen in the future.

The natural desire of the human mind is to be the greatest person one can be. When you accomplish something, whether it's a high school diploma or a publication of a book, you usually want that accomplishment to be not only an impressive one, but an accomplishment that will make you stand out in society. The concept of prodigies ruins this notion in the sense that doing something important at a young age is more impressive than doing something important as an adult.

In this way, symptoms of depression or feelings that one has wasted one's life can result from child prodigies in both children and adults.

I hope my messages make sense and conclude my portion of this round.


Interesting. Very nice, shooterboss.

In Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People," he talks about how people want to feel important, and think what they're doing is right. Also, he points out how much people value themselves so far above everyone else in the world (most of the time). Read for yourself: []

If a child prodigy occurs in the same category of a mature individual's talent, career, or hobby, then, as most people in their normal minds, he/she wouldn't swallow their pride. You are right about what you've said. You can read some of Marilyn Monroe's quotes that have to do with it - (

But, nothing has to bother anyone. There's nothing wrong with being happy for someone with rare gift. Naturally and instinctively, human beings (and most other species) are selfish, and seek their own needs. You can go to this link, and find that answer anywhere: [].

Humans, though, do have a choice, but just about any other creature may not. It may be hard patting someone on the back, that beat you, but it's possible, and many successful businessmen achieve that way.

It is a skill we can really use, to get on the good side of others. It's a very valuable skill to excel with.

What's obvious, is that people let things bother them. That's their choice, so if they don't want to be discouraged, then they can decide so.
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you, himilkyes for your response. Before I start, I have one message for the voters: by the absolute nature of my position in this debate, my arguments tend to have a negative tone whereas Con tends to have a positive tone. Please do not include this distinction in your votes.

Con says that discouragement due to young prodigies is a choice, and discouraged people can decide not to be jealous of a prodigy. He states that getting "on the good side of others" is a valuable skill.

Con also points out that many businessmen achieve by patting someone on the back. However, he does not offer an explanation or any examples or proof. I still cannot imagine how feeling happy for someone else's gift has any connection with personal achievement. Please expand on this argument in this round.

Even though Con has raised a good point, I still don't believe discouragement is a choice. Some people aren't discouraged while others are, but you can't change your opinion of something easily. If you think a child prodigy makes you look stupid, that's your opinion, and opinions can't change, at least not instantly. For example, our politicians can't agree because their opinions cannot be changed.

As this is my last portion of the debate, I wish my contender good luck in his last argument. Thank you for debating.


Hello again. I would like to thank you, shooterboss, for pointing out an error. I can correct it, fortunately:

In Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" --

Read Here: (

[(Part 1/Section 1) - Examples and philosophy about how not to condemn others or judge poorly.]

[(Part 2/Section 5) - Examples and philosophy saying you can achieve by taking interest in others' hobbies, talents, etc. to get what it is that you want out of them. It may be business, friendship, and more.]

[(Part 3/Sections 1,2, and 3) - Examples and philosophy teaching that: trying to ignore or put down others out of reasons like jealousy, won't get you where you want. Instead it teaches telling others they are correct, better, etc. will put you somewhere positive.]

Discouragement is a choice. Nothing has to bother anyone, or at least not to a serious point. Negative feelings are either disorder, or weakness. Only little kids get mad at each other and jealous. No one's perfect, but anyone can practice and try. I strongly recommend reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.

Thank you again, Shooterboss, for this debate. Good luck!
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by shooterboss 7 years ago
The resolution is that many people who pursue particular fields (science, mathematics, computing, music, etc.) may be discouraged by prodigies in the same field. It targets both possibilities and true examples.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 7 years ago
What exactly is the resolution, that everyone is discouraged, the majority or just that it is possible?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 7 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Con appeared to argue insecurity was the causal agent, but did so unconvincingly. 3:1 Pro
Vote Placed by Grape 7 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Clear win for Pro. Con's sources didn't actually have anything to do with the debate. All Pro had to prove is that child prodigies discourage at least some people, which they do.