The Instigator
Contra
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
InVinoVeritas
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points

Everything a Person Does is Influenced By Society

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Contra
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,575 times Debate No: 23975
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

Contra

Pro

Society: An enduring and cooperating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another

Person: An individual human being

Influenced: To have an effect on the condition or development of


No trolling, no semantics

R1: Acceptance
R2: Arguments and Rebuttals
R3: Rebuttals and Closing


Good luck. To counter last word argument, in R3 CON can only use 5,000 characters. If this rule is violated, all 7 points go to opponent.

I could also argue that everything we do is influenced by society, and we also in turn influence society.
InVinoVeritas

Con

"Everything": (n) All things of a group or class

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Contra

Pro

-------Further Defintions-------

To do means to perform an action willingly.

Society is a group of people, of varying size and structure.

Action is the fact or process of doing something, typically to achieve an aim.

Influence means to have the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.

Interaction means reciprocal action or influence.

Evolution is a gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.

Everything that we as people do; either as a group or as an individual, those actions are determined or influenced by interactions with others. A strong side argument is that we have a whole branch of academia towards learning about how society influences people — Sociology. The groups from which these interactions come from can be as small as a family or as large as American society or larger.

Some of these actions are caused by the direct interactions, or by the influence of past interactions.

People are influenced by society if they interact with society on a daily basis, or if they are loners who live in an isolated wilderness. Either way, society influences what we do in some degree, may that influence be either conscious or unconsciously known to us.


----------Arguments------------


C1: Thinking/ Thoughts


Societies impact and influence our thinking, even to the slightest sliver of a degree they do. Humans are social creatures, as we live and interact with other people. People, in the form of society, will have an impact and influence on our behaviors. Empirical evidence from the Asch Conformity Experiments support the resolution. [1]

The Asch experiments, in which there was one real participant who didn't know the intentions of the experiment, and all the others were aware of the intention of the experiment. A small society, which can be as small as two individuals in this scenario, had a slight influence on the "real" participants behavior. The more confederates (the people aware of the intentions of the experiment) their influence over the participant grew. The consensus here is that there is empirical proof that society, even in small amounts, influences and/or effects the decisions and therefore the actions of the individual. This proves my position, that a society, even a very small one, influences a person's behavior and actions.

In psychology, it has been concluded with various studies [2] that people have two psychological needs that makes people conform to the expectations of others. We are even if we don't think so influenced by society to a degree, since we have a psychological need to conform to others.. The reasons we conform to the expectations of others is for our need to be liked or to be right. So, even unconsciously, society is influencing us to conform to others, which influences our actions. We need to conform to others, and with this need, our actions passively are trying to achieve this need. Thus, we are influenced by society in our actions to meet these psychological needs to be liked or to be right.


C2: Learning


We learn from society to a large degree. Even in the most indirect ways, society influences our learning.

We start life with a nonexistent vocabulary. A society, various in its size, influences us and we learn a vast majority from society, or at least are impacted by society on how we learn. From the example I said (vocabulary), we learn from society from hearing it as soon as we are born. Without these experiences, we wouldn't be able to talk.

This is true as well. However, a society can be very small, for example, a community. However, we learn
from society. For example, language. We learn vocabulary from hearing it from others as soon as we are born. [3] Without these experiences, we shouldn't be able to talk. Since we learned to do things from society, be it America or a family, society has influenced our actions, at least passively.

Studies have proven [3] that a few months can make big differences in learning. One study by the University of Washington had babies of two groups growing up near two languages (English and Chinese) sit and play by a speaker. The speaker generated sounds that occasionally had Mandarin phonemes. Babies growing up with the Mandarin speaking aregivers looked towards the speaker when they heard those familiar sounds, indicating they retained what they had heard. The babies with English speaking caregivers heard nothing meaningful. [3] Thus, we can conclude that learning is influenced by society, as we retain more from our earliest memories (learning) and thus our actions are to a degree influenced by our earliest memories.

So, we learn based on our early memories and learned behaviors which were influenced by society when we were very young, and taken in by our mirror neurons so we could learn how to do an action by repeating it. [3]

To put it more simple:

Earliest Memories --> Earliest Learning Actions based on Memories (Ex: Babies learn in Chinese based on their early memories of hearing it around them) --> Learning is influenced by society.


C3: It Goes Both Ways


Society influnces our actions. Through our actions, we also influence society to a degree, depending on the size of society and our actions.


C4: Actions


I proved earlier that from our earliest social experiences society influences our learning from early on. So, the actions we learn are derived from our earlier skills, which were if derived far enough from our source of learning (early childhood) itself influenced almost directly from society.

Example: Algebra

Early memories = Adding --> Subtraction --> Complex addition and Complex Subtraction --> Multiplication --> Division --> Algebra (based on early math formulas that we learned which were influenced by society).

Other processes that we learn from learning are influenced by society through various measures. For example, using an axe to cut up a log. Learning to use the axe was influenced by society on how to construct the axe, or swing it. Or the genes that were expressed that allowed us to learn how to use a tool were influenced by society, as the environment heavily affects gene expression.

Importantly, many researchers believe mirror neurons are key to how we learn, [3] be repeating and seeign behavior to learn it ourselves. They are also key to empathy. Through empathy, we can understand each other, and other connections with actions and society. Neuroscientist Christian Keysers said:

"When you watch a movie, you don't think to yourself, now the hero is smiling, so he must be happy. Through the mirror [neuron] system, you just know it." [3]

Thus, we understand others through empathy. We learn from our neurons taking and retaining information.


Conclusions:


[1]
There is empirical proof that society, even in small amounts, influences and/or effects the decisions and therefore the actions of the individual.

[2] We need to conform to others, and with this need, our actions passively are trying to achieve this need. Thus, we are influenced by society in our actions to meet these psychological needs to be liked or to be right.

[3] We learn based on our early memories and learned behaviors which were influenced by society when we were very young, and taken in by our mirror neurons so we could learn how to do an action by repeating it. Experience from this helped us learn more. Empathy and other neurological systems help us learn.

[4] We influence society, and it influences us.

[5]
We learn actions based on earlier derived skills.


I've met my BoP.

Con: Prove an willing action not = to resolution.


Sources:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2] Deutsch, M. & Gerard, H. B. (1955). A study of normative and informational social influences upon individual judgment.Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology,51, 629-636.
[3] Time: Your Brain. Magazine, January 2012. "The Gift of Mimicry," by J. Madelelne Nash.
InVinoVeritas

Con

If, under any circumstance, the resolution is false, then Con is victorious.

I'd like to thank my opponent for posing his arguments, but I'm not very interested in them.

Two examples that conflict with the resolution:

One thing a person can do is breathe. Respiration is an innate action performed by a person to acquire oxygen for body function. Breathing is necessary to keep oneself alive. The basic process of respiration is not triggered by societal pressures.

A second thing a person can do is digest. Digestion is when a person breaks down foods eaten. Digestion is not a voluntary function and works out of one's control. Therefore, societal pressues on one's world view do not affect the core of this function.

(Note that this does not conflict with the "semantics" rule posed by the opponent. It does not conflict with ANY of the definitions established and only uses the primary definitions of words that were left undefined.)

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Contra

Pro

So my opponent has offered an all-or-nothing approach. A very risk approach that may pay big or hurt.

At this point, let it be noted that since this is the last round, my opponent cannot make any more arguments, and can only use 5,000 characters in the next round. My opponent failed to construct a case basically, and I've met my BoP.

-----Rebuttals-----

"One thing a person can do is breathe. Respiration is an innate action performed by a person to acquire oxygen for body function. Breathing is necessary to keep oneself alive. The basic process of respiration is not triggered by societal pressures."


Breathing is influenced by society. True, it is a natural action that our body performs with us being unaware mostly, unless we focus on our breathing. In R2, I define "to do" as to perform an action willingly. Therefore, breathing would not be considered as an example that we are debating about.

Even though this point is invalid, I will humor the voters, and say this natural action is influenced by society.

Our society especially in manufacturing and daily life we emit thousands of chemicals into the atmosphere. Thus, the chemical composition of the air has been altered from its all natural state. So, it is true that society has influenced our breathing. "Influence" means to have the capactiy to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something or the effect itself.

Since society changed the chemical content of the air we breathe, society does yes have influence on our breathing. We are no longer breathing in pure oxygen and natural CO2 put in the air. We are now breathing oxygen, CO2, and other chemicals placed into the air by society.

"A second thing a person can do is digest. Digestion is when a person breaks down foods eaten. Digestion is not a voluntary function and works out of one's control. Therefore, societal pressues on one's world view do not affect the core of this function."


Society also influences this innate act as well. Same as with the last point, this action is natural, and not a "willing" action so that it shouldn't be considered, but society does influence our digestion.

Society influences what food we eat. Through price, supply and demand we decide what we will eat. Society very strongly influences this system so that yes society influences what we eat. The food determines what nutrients we get and what is waste. Since society, either through social pressures, supply and demand, or other cultural norms influences what we eat. The way society influences us may be passive as well, such as people eating healthy foods because they know its healthy, but this thought itself has been constructed by the large part by society.

Conclusion:

Digestion and breathing are both "natural" actions that are NOT performed willingly, and thus cannot be counted as "what a person does" by the resolution; in R2 I defined "to do" as an action performed willingly. Regardless, breathing is influenced by society because society alters the chemical composition of the air, and society influences this action by having the capacity to have an effect on the behavior of breathing, which it does by changing what we breathe. Digestion is influenced by society since society influences what we eat; either through supply and demand, culture, social norms, etc.

I have met my BoP. Con did not and cannot construct any new arguments in the next (and last round).

Therefore, I have won the debate.
InVinoVeritas

Con

Willingly: (adv) Acting or ready to act gladly; eagerly compliant

One can certainly possess a willingness to breathe and digest. Since such is the case, these acts can be done willingly. Hence, they are fair game.

---

Breathing

The opponent proves that society has an influence on our ABILITY to breathe (through changing the contents of air, for example.) This argument completely diverges from the matter at hand.

I was talking about the act of breathing itself. If one is in an environment that enables one to breathe, then, due to innate neurological wiring, one breathes, regardless of the influence society has.

Digestion

Society influences what we eat, indeed, which, in turn, influences digestion.

But whether or not one digests is not influenced by society. Rather, it is in a human neurological wiring and is dictated by strictly that.

---

Conclusions:
(1) One CAN digest or breathe willingly (i.e., with a feeling of willingness), even though they are involuntary functions.
(2) Society does not influence whether or not one digests, under a circumstance in which the function involuntarily occurs.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
Why can't I accept? :\
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 4 years ago
Maikuru
ContraInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's all-encompassing resolution begged for a counter-intuitive, yet fully valid, response discussing universal actions. Con provided such actions. As breathing can be willed and the act itself is not influenced by society, arguments go to Con.
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
ContraInVinoVeritasTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter VB. Not providing any level of adequate justification for the other four points makes it many times more likely the actual debate was not read. The RFD was excessively vague, and poorly done.
Vote Placed by TheOrator 4 years ago
TheOrator
ContraInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did a better job of debating the topic, and con could have done a bit better
Vote Placed by Ixaax 4 years ago
Ixaax
ContraInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:34 
Reasons for voting decision: The operative word in the debate is "Influenced." con did not sufficiently address that someone's breathing will inevitably increase in speed when around someone they are afraid of. Society= that person, influence= increase in speed. Pro did a good job of articulating this. Sources, spelling, and conduct are all counter VB.
Vote Placed by FlameofPrometheus 4 years ago
FlameofPrometheus
ContraInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: The con made very erroneous arguements. the pro upheld his burden of proof and was not able to sucessfully defeat the pro