The Instigator
crswong888
Pro (for)
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The Contender
Liberal97
Con (against)
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Is bullying, or being bullied, a function of a healthy society? Are our values becoming too sweet?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/21/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 422 times Debate No: 70440
Debate Rounds (4)
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crswong888

Pro

Changing sociological norms and values of American society or culture seems to have a general trend towards the greater good. While this is a very crucial aspect of American integrity - freedom and justice - there is indeed a certain limit to how far we can progress this trend. At a certain point, we begin to regress; stripping away the justifiable freedoms of some and lending special treatment to others.

I am not speaking of healthcare, welfare, 401K's - none of that. I am considering a much more fundamental component of human interaction. I think much of the adult population is not yet aware of this, and I'd like to serve as some kind of medium: a young adult fresh out of grade school who appreciates everything that has happened to him in his short life.

My K-8 school experience is probably vastly different than most peoples. I have plenty of great memories; times of joy. But I was never shown mercy, and when I asked for support it never solved my problems and usually made things worse. I'm hinting of course to be being bullied. The general consensus of today is that: If someone gives you problems, tell an adult. While this is usually an effective approach in very serious cases of harassment (I mean extremely serious), it usually only makes the person weaker.

Its up to fellow peers to identify strengths and weaknesses among each other. If you're being harassed for no apparent reason, the problem may simply be that you are one who is easily harassed! One of my friends who attends a college in Massachusetts that requires all students to take a P.E. course said some of his classmates had to be taught how to run! Really! They could not run. You know what many people might even consider bullying these days? Approaching one of those students and asking them: "Why can't you run?"

Before 8th grade, I was basically "bullied" on a daily basis. I was constantly reminded of my small stature, and my ethnic background. I wasn't that great at sports (I could run though ha!) but I loved to play them. I was always the last one to be picked for a team in gym, and the target in dodge ball (these aren't cliche's I'm being serious). Sometimes, I would get really upset; cry, speak to my teachers, partake in school appointed counseling, or try to block out the reality. But eventually I devised a strategy - not a coping mechanism - but a survival tactic.

It was empathy. Putting myself in the shoes of those who mocked me. Instead of wondering why, I devised answers:

"I suppose it would be strange to a school of all white students to be around a Chinese kid everyday."

"Hmmmm, I guess I do kind of lack in athleticism. What does this mean for me?"

"You know what, I'd probably do the same thing if I was them."

The reason that I only stated K-8 is because once I made it to High School everything changed. In essence I became one of the most popular guys at a school of 3000 students. I went to or even hosted the parties for the "cool people." I didn't accomplish this in the conventional way; I was still terrible at sports and still to some extent geeky. To be honest i'm not sure how I became who I am. I just stopped being ashamed.

This is not me bragging, I addressed this matter for the sake of argument. Whether you think being popular is significant or not, the point is I stopped caring about the things people say or the things I can't do. And as far as I can tell, I accomplished this on my own. I didn't receive help from any institutionalized treatment. I stopped seeking help and instead sought independence.

Now, story-time is over. The topic of interest is: at what point do we communicate reality to hopeless individuals who feel mistreated by their peers? Do not mistake me for treating this lightly. I had just addressed one of the most sensitive forms of "bullying," which is being mocked for your unchangeable appearance. I believe it is hardwired into human nature to verbally judge our fellow man, as a method of bettering each other. Of course, just like with anything, there is a definite point where things get out of hand, and adult intervention may be necessary.

Moving forward with this debate, let it be known to the opposition that I do not want you to be afraid to mention self-inflicted harm, drug use (certain cases), violent outbursts, or suicide. These are some of the special cases where adult intervention is absolutely necessary. An additional component to my defense is that it should never get to this point, perhaps we should better enforce our students with the ability to properly and ethically provide constructive criticism - instead of avoiding it all together. And no student should EVER, especially teachers, attempt to soothe a distressed individual with words of pity or lies.

Let me also address that certain people seem to be oblivious to criticism, and are unmoved by it. Sometimes "wierding" people out is how an individual experiences joy. If the individual doesn't care, and is genuine about their livelihood, I would ask you rule these people out of the debate. I'm speaking only of those who constantly struggle with their realities relative to their peers'.

I conducted no research on this, I have only contributed my own experiences and thought experiments. I have much more to say about this particular subject, but I will refrain for the sake of the opposing party.

Core arguments:
1.) Being "bullied," and learning the hard way is healthy for an individual in most cases.
2.) Seeking institutionalized support for social hardships weakens the individual:
- These hardships will follow them as they navigate through society if all you do is tell a certain group of people to stop bothering them.
- The individual may learn how to cut corners; hide from their problems, rather than conquering them with determination.
3.) Sometimes people can be too quick classify a situation as bullying. The individual should be more humble; no one goes through life without being insulted regularly.
4.) Society should consider equipping the youth with ethical constructive critique skills rather than teaching them to not bother an individual altogether.

*Disclaimer: I am in no way suggesting that being "bullied" should come easy to anyone, or that it is necessarily a good thing. But rather that it is an unavoidable attribute of human nature and instead of seeing "bullying" as the problem - we should see the method at which the individual being bullied handles it as the problem.
Liberal97

Con

I accept this debate. While there may be some generally accepted ideas from both of us I disagree with your ideas for the most part.

Additionally I would like to lay out a term I may be using quite often, moral or morality, I define this as "doing what is best for human well-being." If I ask the question, is this moral? It simply means is this best for human well-being?

I look forward to our conversation.
Debate Round No. 1
crswong888

Pro

crswong888 forfeited this round.
Liberal97

Con

Liberal97 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
crswong888

Pro

crswong888 forfeited this round.
Liberal97

Con

Liberal97 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
crswong888

Pro

crswong888 forfeited this round.
Liberal97

Con

Liberal97 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Welqra 2 years ago
Welqra
You've reminded me of my plight when it comes to this site; seemingly every intelligent debater is one I agree with.

If you're a bit skinnier those most, and someone says you're a freak for being so thin, one should realize that person is insecure themselves. I think it traces back to a narcissism complex that most teenagers seem to have. In the contained environment of a grade school, many children want to be the best. They want to be more popular than others, or all around better at everything. When it's obvious that you are better than them at something, they feel the need to attack you in other areas, to try and build themselves up.

In my view of things, no one is better than anyone, and we're all just lumps of atoms on a speck of dust that's lost in the universe, but that's a personal conversation.

Many people just need to realize people's words don't matter. This not only includes the person being bullied, but the people that see the bully as the one in the right. Letting yourself take harsh words without defending with your own shouldn't be seen as weak. It should be seen as strong, in reality.

In summary, teenagers should learn not to depend on anyone, else they develop this volatile mindset of popularity and narcissism. It can occur in their adult lives too, I believe.

Interested in seeing a contender take your debate up.
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