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

Is it always better to be original than to imitate or use the ideas of others

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2014 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,533 times Debate No: 54503
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (1)




It is better to try to be original than to merely imitate others


I accept. I will argue that it is sometimes better to imitate or use the ideas of others.
Debate Round No. 1


How is it better to imitate?!


My opponent has not given any opening arguments, therefore I will proceed with mine. To begin, I would like to provide a few definitions that I believe we can both agree with. I will define “original” as synonyms to “unique,” namely, something completely free from outside influence or imitation. I will define the adjective “better” as something that is more beneficial, efficient, or generally more desirable than something else. For this debate, my opponent will need to demonstrate that it is always better to avoid imitation. I need to demonstrate that in some cases imitation can be more efficient or desirable.

There are innumerable examples of how imitation is good, efficient, and beneficial to society. Indeed, every new generation depends on imitation in order to learn essential skills. For example, instead of inventing new languages every school year, we teach young children to imitate letters and sounds that have existed for hundreds of years. It is more efficient to keep old language systems that work well than to continually invent new ones. In another example, most countries around the world imitate the Gregorian calendar, despite having numerous culturally original calendars to choose from. This makes international commerce and communication much more efficient, because everyone around the world has the same concept of time. Sometimes other peoples' ideas turn out to be correct, and we would be ignorant to reject them just for the sake of originality.

Imitation also helps creativity in some cases. Every musician, artist, and author has other people who “influence” them. Imitating something interesting from another artist often sparks new and better forms of old ideas. For example, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol created new renditions of the Mona Lisa, which are still considered important works of art even though they are based on an older painting. Similarly, in music, hearing old songs or rhythms often sparks ideas for new ones. This is commonly referred to as “inspiration,” but it is not originality - it is influenced by already existing ideas.

In conclusion, I have shown that there are numerous instances where imitating good ideas can be more beneficial and efficient than making up something completely new. The burden for Pro in the next round will be to both refute my claims and present a case for why originality is always better.

Debate Round No. 2


Imitation can never be useful for example.One of the people who refused to imitate others or move with the flow was Steve Jobs .When Jobs first joined the famous company Apple he refused to imitate others and thought of creating something new.

Another example of a person who achieved success in his search of something the famous billionaire Bill Gates.Gates wanted to create something new so he quit his university and formed his own business .Later time proved that Gates decision was totally correct since he achieved great success .If Gates hade chose to complete his regular life he would probably have achieved nothing ,but his quest for being unlike others earned him great success .


I fully agree that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates achieved success through innovation and originality. However, Pro's burden of proof, as stated in their Round 3 entry and the topic title, is to show that it is ALWAYS better to be original and NEVER useful to imitate. Giving two examples of successful innovators falls far short of this mark. No one would disagree that refusing to imitate others can sometimes lead to success. However, if I can demonstrate that using other people's ideas can also sometimes lead to success, then my opponent's position is impossible to defend. I believe I gave such a demonstration in Round 2, but I will proceed with additional examples to strengthen my case.

Imitating other people's ideas helps avoid monopolies. If we could never copy each other and improve upon designs, we would only have one type of car, shoe, television, lawn mower, and ice cream to choose from. Having choices between different types of similar things helps drive competition, innovation, and lower prices. Even Pro's example of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs is not entirely accurate - they both started computer companies - different versions of the same idea. As a result, we can now choose between Apple software and Microsoft software. Without being able to copy and modify other people's ideas, we could not have the choices we enjoy today.

Another example is scientific or mathematical theory. We use other people's ideas in these areas all the time. We calculate right triangle legs using Pythagorean's Theorem. We use Newton's laws to make calculations in physics and calculus. The list goes on and on. We use these people's ideas because they happen to be right. To say that we should never use someone else's idea is to suggest that we should avoid all non-original ideas, even if they are useful and true.

Finally, imitating others and using their ideas can inspire social change. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. used many of Gandhi's ideas and strategies while leading the American Civil Rights movement. Should MLK have avoided Ghandi's ideas simply because he didn't think of them first?

Once again, I do not need to show that it is always good to imitate. I simply need to show that it is sometimes beneficial and necessary, and I believe I have done that. Pro must refute every one of these examples in order to convincingly argue how it is never good to use old ideas.
Debate Round No. 3


I think that using ideas is different from imitating


I agree, but you wrote in your topic title, "Is it always better to be original than to imitate or use the ideas of others," so you must defend both statements. I submit my opponent has failed to make a convincing case, and I ask the vote to go for Con.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by fazz 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: no comment.