The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Winning
17 Points
The Contender
Zhal
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

It's time to bring back the scold's bridle

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/24/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,651 times Debate No: 18024
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (1)
Votes (3)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

Our society is blighted by anti-social behaviour but the jails are packed to the rafters and, in any case, incarcerating offenders costs the taxpayer a small fortune.

But we can't allow foul-mouthed yobs to go unpunished. Thugs who harass members of their communities with abusive language and violent behaviour must be brought to justice.

Up until the 19th Century, mouthy miscreants in England were dealt with by means of a scold's bridle: a punitive gag made by blacksmiths from iron which was fitted over the offender's head and had a piece to hold down their tongue. Often, a bell would be fitted to attract further attention, derision and ridicule to the wearer. [1,2]

This would be the perfect solution for the type of people who appear on the Jerry Springer Show and then go home to quarrel with their neighbours and generally make nuisances of themselves.

They could be fitted with bridles, be strapped into a handcart and be paraded around their communities by willing volunteers, possibly the victims of their abuse.

This humiliating experience would surely deter them from reoffending and would be a more cost-effective punishment than jail, and I, therefore, duly affirm that it's time to bring back the scold's bridle.

Thank you.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk...
[2] http://gallery.e2bn.org...
Zhal

Con

Well, I really find this idea reasonable, because I am so tired from living near such people. But, we should remember that today is the 21st century - the time of democracy and humanism! Maybe, very many years ago such kind of punishment was quite normal; however, nowadays it will be ethically wrong and morally awful to use it. We have to remember that "mouthy miscreants" are still being human and they have their own rights. Furthermore, it is hard to imagine someone locking crime-maker's mouth just for revenge. The idea of it sounds inhumanely. George Herbert (English metaphysical Poet and Clergyman, 1593-1633) said: "Living well is the best revenge." Maybe we should think about it…

At present date, our society has a set of laws we must follow, and punishments for breaking them are also included in different lawbooks. And a person, who crossed the rules, will be either required to pay his/her "victim" for a moral harm, or will be sentenced to n-period of time. Anyway, crime will be punished. Isn't it enough?

Even being tired and annoyed by mouthy miscreants, we should remember that the best society is the society with developed morality and humanism.
With respect.
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

I would like, first of all, to welcome Zhal to Debate.org. I would also like to thank him for choosing this as his first debate on this site.

I would also like to congratulate him on his English, which is quite different from his native Kazakh, that being a Turkic language with a very different structure to English.

I wanted to return the compliment by writing the opening paragraph of my response in Kazakh using the Cyrillic alphabet but this site doesn't support that text so here it is in Latin script instead: Barlıq adamdar twmısınan azat j�ne qadir-qas�yeti men kuqıqtarı te� bolıp d�n�yege keledi. Adamdarğa aqıl-parasat, ar-ojdan berilgen, sondıqtan olar bir-birimen twıstıq, bawırmaldıq qarım-qatınas jasawları t�is.

That was an extract from the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights which translates into English as: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (1)

My opponent echoed this when he stated: "today is the 21st century - the time of democracy and humanism! We have to remember that "mouthy miscreants" are still being human and they have their own rights."

Whilst the above statements have some validity, we must also remember that with rights come responsibilities.

The members of 'problem families' who are guilty anti-social behaviour have not discharged their responsibility to behave in a civilised manner: they are barbarians and, until they learn to conduct themselves with appropriate decorum, deserve to be treated as such.

Nevertheless, the scold's bride, although it looks like a medieval instrument of torture and, indeed, was first introduced in the 14th Century, causes discomfort rather than pain and the punishment is psychological rather than physical.
Problem families use fear and intimidation to dominate their neighbours and terrorise their communities with abusive language and threats of violence – they would not seem quite so formidable if they were paraded around the streets, shackled to a cart and wearing a humiliating piece of headgear that prevents them from remonstrating with the crowds of jeering onlookers and that's why I reaffirm that it's time to bring back the scold's bridle.

Thank you.

(1) http://www.un.org...
Zhal

Con

Zhal forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Would have been really interesting if Con responded to Pro's round 2 argument. I suggest Pro challenge someone else.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
brian_egglestonZhalTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Zhal brings up interesting points about the respect of human rights, though Brian offered a somewhat compelling case of moral obligation to correct wrong...Brian does earn points for conduct, since his joke was rather amusing...apparently, the Scold's bridle is a tenable solution to the garrulous miscreants on Jerry Springer, and Con did not challenge that with his forfeit.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
brian_egglestonZhalTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con should be put on a scold's bridle and paraded through England, so that next time he accepts a debate, he will not forfeit.
Vote Placed by BlackVoid 5 years ago
BlackVoid
brian_egglestonZhalTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit :)