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

Corporal Punishment of Children

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/11/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 199 times Debate No: 95335
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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Throughout history, and for pretty obvious reasons, children have been considered less than human, or not fully human, resulting in their status as owned products, unfree, unformed. Still today, the majority of parents in the world think of themselves as OWNING their children.

Consequently, many millions of children have been and are often beaten (as punishment) in ways that would result in criminal charges if perpetrated against an adult. It has only been very recently that society has questioned the view that parents have a right to do what they want with their children.

Today, a widely accepted modification of that view is that parents have a right to beat their children IN MODERATION. You can beat your children as long as you don't do physical damage. Much more accepted is verbal, mental and emotional abuse.

But there is absolutely no basis for permitting an adult to hit a child, whether that child is a son or daughter or a complete stranger. We cannot beat people because we do not like their behavior, or think that they need to learn something. Why should that prohibition be waived when it comes to our children?

It should be illegal to beat children as punishment. It is child abuse even to bring children up with the belief that they will be punished simply because someone doesn't LIKE what they do. Such brainwashing leaves children stunted, fearful, unfree.

True, people must learn that they will be punished for breaking laws. But children are not generally lawbreakers, and are not punished by their parents for breaking the laws. Instead, children are punished for "talking back," accidents, mistakes, not being careful, being silly, bad grades or not doing homework or chores, and other supremely non-criminal activity.

It is pretty well-established that punishment is not an effective way of instilling values or good behavior. I would guess that 90 percent of criminals were beaten as children, and maybe at least half of those severely.

Even more. Many parents beat their children for behaviors that, when seen in other children, provoke no concern or anger at all.

Kids need to learn that they are protected by the same laws as adults, and that there is no acceptance or sanction of someone intentionally inflicting physical pain upon them. The view that beating children is necessary or good for them is itself cruelty, and while beating a kid may end up effectively controlling the kid, such attempts at control should be illegal in all cases when used against innocent people, whether those people are adults or children.


Children should be subject to corporal punishment because of many reasons. One reason being it will get your point across without being to forceful. A little physical interaction with your kid will help them know their right from wrong. If they had a bad experience doing something good or bad they will tend to do it less or not at all. So if they did something bad and you used a little physical interaction to show that their actions are not tolerated and will not be tolerated. It could be only beneficial as long as the physicality doesn't increase or get to violent. Or if the child isn't old enough to receive such punishment for their behavior. However I also feel the parent should be allowed to be able to discipline their child however they want as long as they aren't endangering the child's life. Or like previously stated if they are old enough to receive such discipline and not to much physicality.
Debate Round No. 1


(Judging by your opening statement, one could infer that you think children should be physically punished when they misbehave. Do you feel that parents who never physically punish their children are perhaps negligent?)

I agree that physical punishment "will get your point across." But what point is that? That undesirable behavior is best dealt with by a beating, inflicting pain. That if you don't like someone's behavior, you should beat them, inflict pain upon them? That it does not matter if your behavior is criminal, but only whether or not someone dislikes your behavior?

You say:

"A little physical interaction with your kid will help them know their right from wrong."

The fact is, though, that punishment will not help a child know what is right and wrong, but only that if someone doesn't like what they do, that he or she can expect to be physically punished. You can get anyone -- and most animals -- to act or not act in certain ways by inflicting pain upon them. A child will act or not act in certain ways in order to avoid pain. But this does not mean that they have acquired any knowledge, or that they have come to understand anything. (Kids do NOT understand beatings. Any adult who says "My parents beat me, and it did me good," is someone who has been beaten into submission. No thinking human should ever be grateful for being beaten.)

Physical pain is not the basis upon which people should be taught to choose their actions. Punishment is not an effective tool for producing good people.

People who beat their kids do not do so because the kid has committed a crime, but because the kid has displeased them. This is NEVER a justification for inflicting pain upon someone, child or adult. If someone does something you don't like, the most you are entitiled to do is discuss it, express your disapproval. Kids who are raised correctly will avoid behavior that displeases their parents. If my disapproval of my son's actions is not enough to guide my son away from those actions, my beating him might make him afraid to commit those actions again. But I don't want him to base his behavior and values upon fear.

You have no justification for hitting anyone as a result of how you feel about their behavior.

No one has any right to hit anyone. (We are not talking about self-defense here.) There is no right of parents to beat their children -- just as there is no right for me to beat anyone else of whose behavior I disapprove. Adults have rights to be safe from harm. And children should have these rights as well.

And more importantly: why on earth would an adult want to hit a little kid? Why would any adult feel obligated to inflict harm on a kid? Especially a kid that you LOVE? If you truly love that kid, it would be impossible to purposely cause him or her ANY kind of pain. And there ARE parents who fall into this group.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by BackCommander 1 month ago
He doesn't need to understand why, only that he shouldn't do that thing. When he gets older and throws things at the TV, when it breaks he'll be able to comprehend that the television no longer works because of that thing that he did. Now one could argue that that negates the need for the physical punishment he received when younger, but that's just not true. He would have learned that lesson when his brain was developed enough, but many TVs would have been broken while waiting for him to develop.

I understand that whether it is right or not is the argument, what I'm pointing out is that that which is effective, is right. Humanity's progress is slowed when we allow what others deem moral to get in the way of advancement.

Though honestly, I don't WANT to physically discipline a child. I don't even want to take away the toys he had thrown at the TV, I find it unpleasant to cause a child to be sad. It is however, necessary at times.

In a better world, children would be taken at birth and raised by institutions specifically crafted to optimize each child's chance at becoming a successful member of society. That would solve the issue of people not wanting to hurt their child, and the issue of undisciplined children become terrible people with no empathy and an inability to see beyond their own needs.
Posted by sourcecom 1 month ago
The infliction of pain is effective in preventing or provoking certain behaviors, that is true. But that is different from LEARNING. Beating a kid in order to stop him from throwing things at the TV will sooner or later stop him. But he has not learned anything. When he grows up, he can throw things at the TV and he won't be beaten. When he goes to a friend's house and throws things at the TV, he might not suffer any consequences.

The fact that infliction of pain is an effective tool does not mean that it is right or good to do it. And that is the actual issue.

If a kid is not old enough to understand words, he will not be old enough to understand why he is being beaten.

Most important, I disagree with the idea that because this living thing is my child, that I therefore have a right to beat him. I don't have a right to beat other peoples' children, or a stranger walking down the street if I see him doing something that I think is wrong. Why should I have this right against my own child?

And even more important: why would I ever WANT to inflict pain upon my child?

Again: just because beating "works," does not mean that it is right or moral.
Posted by BackCommander 1 month ago
"No one has any right to hit anyone."
Legally? No, they don't. Morally? Yeah, they kind of do. Pain is one of the most effective teaching methods.
You can't explain to your four year old child that you have to work fifty hours a week in order to afford the nice things you have around your house like the expensive TV that they broke because they were throwing toys at it. Children, up to a certain age, don't have the mental capacity to comprehend what you're saying to them. Do you know what a child does understand? Pain. If they are physically punished for doing something deemed "bad" they will always associate doing that bad thing with feeling pain, discouraging them from doing it again. All humans can have their opinions and behaviors changed using pain.
Posted by ConserativeDemocrat 1 month ago
Nice argument. I definitely will be voting on this debate.
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