The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
7 Points

Cowardice is something to be ashamed of showing.

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 671 times Debate No: 35209
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)




Pro can present their case in round one.

If they don't then I will have nothing to rebut for round two...

Pro must prove their case beyond reasonable doubt whilst I must render their case ineffective as to the purpose of removing doubt of the resolution.

Pro can come up with any definition of 'cowardice' and 'ashamed' they wish but can lose this debate on semantics if they do not stick purely to that definition throughout. They must, however, provide a link to the definition they are using. "Urban Dictionary" is banned, please use an official dictionary site.

Thank you in advance for accepting this debate.

I would wish you good luck but I'm a coward and afraid that my wish might give you an unfair edge... So... No luck to you...


This debate immediately piqued my interest, and I would like to thank Coward for the chance to debate.

I will be arguing for Pro. I must prove beyond reasonable doubt that cowardice is something to be ashamed of showing.

The definitions I choose are as follows:

Cowardice: lack of courage or resolution (1)

Ashamed: a : feeling shame, guilt, or disgrace
b : feeling inferior or unworthy (2)

I would have to assume that under this debate the display of a character trait is a non-zero value. In other words, it can't be said that we simply shouldn't care about what traits we show. I think that would beg the question and isn't contributive to the resolution. That argument is an entirely different debate.

I have no idea how Con is going to spin this debate, but I am looking forward to being proved wrong. I actually want to see an outcome where the display of cowardice can be justified or the ramifications mitigated.

That being the case, I would like to wish Con Good Luck and thank him again for this chance to debate.

Debate Round No. 1


Coward forfeited this round.


I didn't want to begin without making sure Q begging wasn't going to happen.

What's a coward?

We can define a coward with a dictionary, but to really understand what cowardice is we must see it's ramifications in context.

Ted Kennedy

"Around midnight on the night of July 18-19, 1969, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy had left a party and was driving his black, Oldsmobile sedan when it went off a bridge and landed in Poucha Pond on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts. Kennedy survived the accident but his passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, did not. Kennedy fled the scene and did not report the accident for nearly ten hours.

Although Ted Kennedy was subjected to a subsequent investigation and proceedings, he was not charged with causing Kopechne’s death; a point that many contend was a direct result of Kennedy family connections. The Chappaquiddick incident remained a scar on Ted Kennedy’s reputation and thus prevented him from making a serious run at becoming president of the United States." (1)

In this example Senator Kennedy fled the scene of his accident after making several attempts to rescue his passenger. The key part of this story that shows Kennedy's cowardice lies in his fleeing the scene and failing to return to report the accident for nearly 10 hours.

Bill Clinton

"Three days later, January 26, Clinton attempted to quell all of the speculation. Standing alongside First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vice President Al Gore in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Clinton waged his finger at news cameras and declared: "But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time -- never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people.""

In this situation Clinton was already facing widespread public scrutiny from his ongoing case with Paula C. Jones and the Whitewater scandal. His display of cowardice is shown with his public denial of sexual relations with Lewinsky and even perhaps his need for an extra-marital affair.

Jack McCall

"On August 2, 1876, in the Nuttal & Mann's #10 Saloon in Deadwood, McCall shot Hickok in the back of the head with a double-action .45-caliber revolver, shouting "Take that!" Hickok, in contrast to his normal habit of sitting in a corner to protect his back, on that day had sat with his back to the door while engaged in a game of poker.

Ironically, the killing was apparently over McCall's drunken resentment of an act of generosity by Hickok, Hickok having offered McCall money to buy breakfast after McCall had lost it all playing poker the previous day. McCall claimed, however, that the killing was retribution for Hickok having previously killed McCall's brother in Abilene, Kansas.

McCall then fled town to Wyoming, where he would habitually brag, at length, about the details of how he had killed Hickok in a fair gunfight. Unfortunately for McCall, however, the Wyoming authorities refused to recognize the result of McCall's first trial on the grounds of Deadwood having been in Indian Territory at the time and contended that McCall was liable to be tried again." (3)

McCall, rather than accept his defeat, shot his opponent in the back of the head. McCall then fled the scene, failed, tried to flee again, and was eventually caught by a large crowd while holed up in a butcher's shop. In order to avoid punishment he made up a phony story about seeking retribution for his brother's death. It was later found that McCall never had a brother. His cowardice is evident throughout his story.

In the end their cowardice sealed each of their fates.

  • Ted Kennedy never became President.
  • Bill Clinton damaged his marriage and became a skid-mark on the underwear of Presidential history.
  • Jack McCall became an infamous coward and was hanged for his murder.


"Courage is knowing what not to fear." - Plato

Fear is an essential part of humanity's success as a species, but fear is not always properly warranted. Courage is about control over fear. It's about shutting out the irrational thoughts and doing the best practical and ethical thing. We honor our most courageous leaders in history because of their ability to make the right choice when it mattered.

In each of the examples the guilty party lacked the essential elements that describe great people.
  • The courage to accept a mistake.
  • The courage to be responsible.
  • The courage to lose face.
  • The courage to accept defeat.
  • The courage to find an ethical solution to what must have been a sexually lacking marriage.

Be Ashamed

The traits of a coward:
  • The inability to control one's thoughts and emotions.
  • The deficiency of information needed to rationalize.
  • The failure to rationally analyze a situation.

Some may feel proud of their cognitive inferiority, but that's called delusions of grandeur. The mentally ill are not similar by coincidence.

"Schizophrenia is characterized by profound disruption in cognition and emotion, affecting the most fundamental human attributes: language, thought, perception, affect, and sense of self. The array of symptoms, while wide ranging, frequently includes psychotic manifestations, such as hearing internal voices or experiencing other sensations not connected to an obvious source (hallucinations) and assigning unusual significance or meaning to normal events or holding fixed false personal beliefs (delusions). No single symptom is definitive for diagnosis; rather, the diagnosis encompasses a pattern of signs and symptoms, in conjunction with impaired occupational or social functioning"

Debate Round No. 2


I have officially lost this debate.



By no means was I insulting, I was simply stating his user name. :)
Don't give up on me now! I put a lot of effort into that spiel. It took me a good two hours to sort out my thoughts and produce my result.
Plus, I don't even necessarily want to win. I would prefer if cowardice was something we didn't have to be ashamed of.
Agh, anyhow I'll give the summary/conclusion that I couldn't fit in round 2 as my round 3 contribution.


Cowardice, the lack of courage, can be seen in every human being. No man could walk this Earth without the kind of fear that incites cowardly behavior. Fear is what protects us from danger, but it can often hinder us from life.

Courage is understanding that there are things which it is O.K. not to fear. Courage is what gives leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Abraham Lincoln the ability to do what was right despite the popular belief. It's that ability to see that their relatively small contribution and hard work would result in a much larger profit for the rest of society. Best of all, Courage is what gives us the ability to face a world full of fear inciting things. It gives us that feeling we need to face down our every day problems.

So what can one do when one lacks Courage?

I'll tell you what a Coward can't do.
  • A Coward can't comprehend the knowledge needed to understand their problems.
  • A Coward can't rationalize a solution to their problems.
  • A Coward can't control their emotion.
  • A Coward can't see the bigger picture.
  • A Coward can't think for the welfare of others.
  • A Coward can't face reality.

A Coward can't.

...but we are all cowards by default....

....I don't want to be a Coward....

To shed cowardice we need one thing: Courage.

No one is born with Courage.
No one can know how to fear less than others by default.

BUT every one can learn.

  • One can learn how to fear.
  • One can learn how to be rational.
  • One can learn how to understand the quality of a threat.
  • One can learn how to face reality.

Any one can learn to be what they lack.

This is why it's in poor taste to be a Coward. This is why a Coward is inferior.

Thank you, Coward. Although this debate accomplished little, I feel as if writing these things out made me remember why I want to live. I want to live so that I can help people learn how not to be afraid. I want to help people take a stand for what they believe in even if every body else thinks they are wrong. You can only ever know your own thoughts to be true through your view of reality.

Sorry for the rambling, but I like to feel dramatic.

Debate Round No. 3


Coward forfeited this round.


Nothing more to say.
Debate Round No. 4


Coward forfeited this round.


Vote Con! I'm on vacation.
Debate Round No. 5
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Vote Placed by johnlubba 3 years ago
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Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF