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

Dead baby jokes are the epitome of social desensitization.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/19/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,907 times Debate No: 34889
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (2)




While the "Dead Baby Joke" is just one example of many jokes in bad taste I do not believe that it represents the epitome of social desensitization. If anything, society has become oversensitive because they are afraid of being politically incorrect. I am not saying that joking in bad taste is "good" per say, but I certainly don't see it as being much worse than a viewing of most reality television shows that are so popular now-a-days. These poor taste genre of jokes are important in getting people to lighten up and laugh if they think something is funny without the fear of being PC. Just because you joke about something incredibly serious like murder, death, and rape it doesn't mean that you support it. I've learned from experience that a joke is a useful way of dealing with tragedy. So perhaps poor taste humor isn't necessarily useful to society nor does it impact the world, but from a day to day personal life perspective these jokes are good conversation starters and good coping mechanisms.


Let us think for a second of why dead baby jokes could be considered the epitome of desensitization. What is the most innocent thing in human society? A baby. What is the thing many people fear most or is seen as egregious? Death. Now let us evaluate why this is truly the depths of desensitization at it's finest.

Infanticide Isn't Funny

The term dead baby joke is a tad misleading because it's not usually about just dead babies but rather it's usually about brutally murdering babies. For example:

  • How do you make a dead baby float?
    Take your foot off of it's head.

  • What's the difference between a bucket of gravel and a bucket of baby guts?
    You can't gargle gravel.[1]
These jokes are about murdering babies. How can anyone find that funny unless society has become so desensitized that suddenly the thought of gargling a bucket of baby guts bring mirth to those who hear it? If you hear about someone throwing their baby into a dumpster in a garbage bag do we laugh? By all accounts it's just a dead baby joke in reality. If our society can now use the murdering of babies in sadistic and brutal ways as "conversation starters" as my opponent says then there is a very good argument to be made that our society really has degraded into insensitive beasts.

My opponent says jokes are made to laugh, are good coping mechanisms and can get people to lighten up. I agree. However, it's the content of the jokes that is the problem. The crux of my argument is that if the discussion and joking of drowning babies and gargling their guts gets someone to "lighten up" or cope then there is something seriously wrong with our society. Hearing these jokes should not lighten you up, they should sicken and disgust you. If you do lighten up at the sound of a dead baby joke then you've been desensitized to the killing of the most innocent form of human being.

Therefore, dead baby jokes truly are the epitome of desensitization. Thank you.

Debate Round No. 1


I see where now my choice of words has led me into a corner. I do also agree that legitimate Dead Baby Jokes such as the ones listed by my opponent are not funny. Infanticide is also rarely funny and it's usually within the shock value that makes it funny. By using the term "Dead Baby Jokes" as a blanket term for Politically Incorrect jokes i've caused by debate to become misleading.

Although I do still stick to one aspect of my point. I do not believe that the Dead Baby Joke is the epitome of social desensitization because there are far worse things that society has done that point to a different source.

Jokes about infanticide are rare in the realm of popular culture. Popular culture in North America is very much influenced by the media, wether it be through television or internet. School shootings in the eye of the media are a strong example to support my argument. Whenever there is some sort of tragic attack in the education system in the United States one thing is always demanded by the people: The Shooter's face. And that's what the media delivers. It is truly bizarre how much attention is brought to the perpetrator of such violent acts. What is disturbing also is that the people of that nation immediately demand blood for blood. The media has the face of the killer plastered across it, throwing names around like Lanza, Holmes, or Harris. Little attention goes towards the actual victims of the tragedy because they aren't deemed as interesting or newsworthy as the convicted killer pre or posthumous.

Media focuses on the killers. This focus makes them famous. The epitome of desensitization in this nation is when homicide can be utilized for business. Jokes about infanticide are still in poor taste and require some desensitization to speak of, but to make profit off of homicide stories is far worse. There is no exact "epitome" of desensitization because it's a grouping of many things that makes our society more and more desensitized. If there is anything worse than Dead Baby Jokes it is to think that homicide is less vile of a crime.

(keep in mind i'm not calling my opponent out as if they said homicide has less value over dead baby jokes, i'm simply adjusting the debate for the sake of us both to continue the discussion)



My opponent's argument makes no sense, it doesn't help his case at all. He claims to have ceded all points but "one aspect" and then goes on to explain how we love to see violent acts on the news. Is he trying to claim that dead baby jokes are not that bad and that there is actually WORSE desensitization in society?

My Argument Pt. II

I feel as though Con's arguments help my case. He claims society has blood lust via the media and loves to see criminals. However, this only plays into my argument that dead baby jokes truly are the epitome of this desensitization. Society and humans have always been fascinated by violent or tragic happenings, mostly out of curiosity or fear. We rubberneck on highways and watch high speed chases on TV but that is not desensitization, it's curiosity.

Look at it this way, a society has to find criminals and homicide fascinating before they can laugh at a dead baby joke.

Innocence --> Curiosity --> Morbid curiosity --> Media homicide fascination --> Dead baby jokes

One does not laugh at a dead baby joke then suddenly want to watch the news and see the "killer's face". In this case, dead baby jokes are the gruesome and horrible head to the media desensitization my opponent described. Only after you have been seeped in media murder can you find jokes about infanticide funny. In this way, dead baby jokes really are the epitome of modern day desensitization.

Thank you.

Debate Round No. 2


LukeTheSpook forfeited this round.


I rest my case.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by GOP 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: F.F. and Pro used a source.
Vote Placed by xXCryptoXx 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: FF