The Instigator
Patrick_Henry
Pro (for)
Winning
43 Points
The Contender
gahbage
Con (against)
Losing
25 Points

LR4N6FTW4EVA is a Teenager

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/19/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,250 times Debate No: 5467
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (49)
Votes (11)

 

Patrick_Henry

Pro

Thank you for taking the time to consider this debate. The resolution which I intended to defend is the following: "LR4N6FTW4EVA is a teenager, and as a teenager he is recognized by society and law as being without life experience or education and is prone to foolishness."

I will be making frequent references to the laws and constitution of the United States of America, so I ask that readers from other nations forgive me for not including the views of their societies on teenagers.

Our society does not recognize the capability of teenagers to make good judgments, and there are many ways in which we do it. I will start with lofty national and philosophical considerations, and then proceed into lower levels, while examining the ages which are recognized. Federal levels tend to require older, wiser, and more experienced individuals than state and local authorities do.

Let me bare witness to the fact that LR4N6FTW4EVA is a teenager. His own profile dictates such: "15-year old male in Hydes, Maryland, United States."

First and foremost, I present to you the United States Constitution. A document which provides numerous considerations to the qualifications of age with regards to leadership and the ability to participate in the very basic level of our governmental franchise.

To be the President of the United States of America, there is a minimum age requirement of 35. Indicating that our society does not believe that a person under the age of 35 should ever serve as the commander in chief of our military, nor the executive of our government.

To be a United States Senator, there is a minimum age requirement of 30. Indicating that our society does not feel that an individual is capable of making complicated decisions regarding legislation and foreign policy until they are at least thirty. Any other qualification is not considered until they are able to be legally sworn in at the age of 30. Given the very formal and polite nature of discourse between United States Senators, and on the floor of the Senate it is clear that they believe that you are not able to act in good conduct with your gentleman peers until you are likewise 30.

To be a member of the United States House of Representatives, you are required to be no less than 25 years old at the time of your oath of office. This is an indicator that our society believes that you are not able to make decisions regarding national budget priorities, nor does our nation accept are you able to represent or serve your constituents until you have experienced 25 years of life at a bare minimum.

Initially in the United States it was law that an American citizen must be of 21 years of age in order to vote for holders of federal office. This is an indicator that when this nation first formed, and for many decades after that it was believed that a teenager of any age was not of world experience, intellect, nor wisdom enough to make decisions which impact every citizen, and the nation as a whole.

It was recently decided in the latter half of the last century that since we were conscripting American citizens starting at the age of 18 that we should also lower the voting age to 18. The result of a lowering of the voting age has been arguably some of the worst and least effective Presidents in American history, Carter, Reagan, and Bush Jr. Gone are the days of electing statesmen such as Eisenhower, and FDR. This may not be a direct correlation, but perhaps shows that society over all has become less responsible and it has been expressed by lowering the voter age to the teen years.

The Drinking age in this country was once a pretty standard 19 years old from State to State. It was increased to 21 years of age after the realization that 19 year olds were making alcohol much more accessible to young folks, who willingly and recklessly broke the law.

It has been decided as a society that teenagers are ill equipped to be responsible enough to regulate their own consumption of alcohol.

Cigarettes are not allowed to be purchased by individuals under the age of 18, because the same society has decided that teenagers are not able to make such important decisions regarding their own health.

In many states, the restrict a teenager's ability to work and drive. In Iowa, for example, a person must be 18 years old to work past 10:00 PM, and there are curfews in place for drivers under the age of eighteen.

The typical student does not usually complete their basic high school level education until the age of eighteen, at which point they have not been specialized in anything, nor do many have the opportunity to attend college lectures and classes, and be a part of leadership opportunities available to college students.

It takes many more years of schooling to get a bachelors degree, and typically programs for a Masters degree take a year to three years depending on the subject, and while some Ph.D.s are completed in a couple of additional years, in some subjects it can take another five to seven years of graduate school to complete your course work and dissertation.

While intelligence is an important factor in a persons ability to learn, it takes a substantial amount of time to review the course work required to become traditionally considered an educated person. A teenager simply has not had the time to develop their education. In fact, many teenagers are prone to quickly dismiss the education of their elders rather than respect the time that it takes to develop a broad education.

The clearest distinction that our society shows to the fact that teenagers are considered to be without life experience, appropriate education, and are prone to foolishness is the existence of a separate court and judicial system for minors.

It is presumed that teenagers will be less familiar with the laws of their society, so their punishments are less sever. They are expected to be foolish, so we do not hold them to the same level of responsibility that we hold offending adults to. And sometimes, the child simply doesn't know any better.

In my closing argument of round 1, let me simply remind all of your of the simple adage, "With age comes experience." That is why the laws and structure of our society reflect the fact that teenagers are of little life experience, of little education, and are typically foolish.
gahbage

Con

I'd like to start off by thanking my opponent for starting this debate and hope LR4N6FTW4EVA (from now on referred to as "LR") won't be insulted by any comments made.

Ladies and gentlemen, my opponent plans to prove that "LR4N6FTW4EVA is a teenager, and as a teenager he is recognized by society and law as being without life experience or education and is prone to foolishness." Even though this is obviously not the resolution one would be expecting to debate, as it is not what appears as the title of the debate, I will argue it anyway. My job as CON will be to argue that this resolution is false.

I will attack the resolution one part at a time.

"LR4N6FTW4EVA is a teenager"

My opponent's evidence here is LR's debate.org profile. Now I ask you, what can stop him from changing his age to 30? Obviously something that can be changed so easily could not be reliable. It IS the internet, after all.

I'd also like to point out that since my opponent can't prove that LR is a teenager, he cannot prove the rest of the resolution, because it assumes that LR is a teenager. This also renders pretty much all of his examples of age limits useless.

"he is recognized by society and law as being without life experience or education"

Even if he was a teenager, LR would obviously have some sort of life experience and education. As a teenager, he would be in at least 8th grade unless he failed. Living in the U.S., he would have a Social Security number, allowing the government to know if he was/is receiving an education or not. He could also have life experience from an extracurricular activity or another program, such as Boy Scouts.

I believe that will be all for now.
Debate Round No. 1
Patrick_Henry

Pro

It was not my intention to ever insult LR4N6FTW4EVA. You'll note that I only stated facts about his age, and drew my conclusions about teenagers, all teenagers from our society's laws.

I believe that LR4N6FTW4EVA's age as shown on his Debate.org profile is legitimate. I feel it should be accepted as a legitimate source for his age. I do not wish to require his social security number to secure his age, and cannot pursue public documents, such as voter registration to prove it because minors do not vote.

I have accepted in good faith that he is in fact fifteen, and hope that he has not lied, and will not be lying at any point in time on his profile.

While 15 years does afford some life experience, and an eighth grade education certainly counts as some education, this life experience and education has not be recognized by the laws of our society. The voting age has not been lowered to the age of 15 so that we all may benefit from the education and life experience that a 15 year old would bring to the voting booth. Our society does not value his life experience.

LR4N6FTW4EVA as a minor still benefits from the protections of the juvenile court system. I will accept that if he is charged for a crime as an adult, that our society has recognized him as an adult. If you can provide such evidence that he has been charged with a felony as an adult, I will happily concede this debate. To be charged for a crime as an adult, appears to be the only way in which our society recognizes minors as being adult before the age of 18.
gahbage

Con

"It was not my intention to ever insult LR4N6FTW4EVA. You'll note that I only stated facts about his age, and drew my conclusions about teenagers, all teenagers from our society's laws."

When did I say that? All I said was that I hope LR isn't offended by anything said in the debate.

"I have accepted in good faith that he is in fact fifteen, and hope that he has not lied, and will not be lying at any point in time on his profile."

Well, there's two flaws with this; first, because you are having "faith", you do not have evidence (by definition) in what you are believing in. Second, just because you hope he hasn't lied, doesn't mean he hasn't. He could very well be lying about his age, name, gender, birthday, or pretty much anything else. You have no evidence to prove that someone you found on the internet is a teenager; thus, your resolution does not apply. I will go ahead and address the other points, even though this alone grants a CON vote.

"Our society does not value his life experience."

Of course it does. Why do you think fast food chains, who hire people as young as 14, have a section on the application for one to write past experience?

"LR4N6FTW4EVA as a minor still benefits from the protections of the juvenile court system. I will accept that if he is charged for a crime as an adult, that our society has recognized him as an adult. If you can provide such evidence that he has been charged with a felony as an adult, I will happily concede this debate. To be charged for a crime as an adult, appears to be the only way in which our society recognizes minors as being adult before the age of 18."

My opponent makes a large mistake here; although he encourages me to find evidence that LR is an adult, he himself has no evidence to prove that LR is a teenager. I do not have to prove that LR is not a teenager if my opponent can't prove that he is. "Innocent until proven guilty".

I'd also like to bring up the fact that LR could very well be 12 or under, thus not making him a teenager nor an adult. My opponent certainly treats him like a child. And as long as LR is not a teenager, the resolution does not apply.
Debate Round No. 2
Patrick_Henry

Pro

You offer the possibility of fraud in order to discount my claim that LR4N6FTW4EVA is a teenager. You suggest that while his profile stated him to be a 15 year old male from Maryland, that he may in fact be 12 or younger, or eighteen and older. You suggest that as I have no direct evidence of his age, that he may not be 15. As you note, this is the internet. You have no ability to prove that he is lying, and I have no ability to prove he is being truthful. Just as I will not prove that he not a reindeer coming to us from Alaska via a high speed connection, I will refuse to attempt to prove his age. I will likewise not attempt to determine if he is a well programed computer generating responses from a database of paragraphs of the work of others.

I encourage the reader to consider my arguments from round 1, most of which have not been addressed.

No attempt has been made to address the fact that our society through law and constitution clearly chooses to regard the life experience and education of minors to be without merit. In our society, we would rather have a 30 year old day laborer without a degree in anything exercise their right in our franchise than a fifteen year old genius who hasn't stepped out of a classroom, their parents home, or in the very worst scenarios, would still be a ward of the state.

We as a society have openly accepted that an individual under the age of eighteen is not responsible enough, educated enough, or of enough life experience to be held fully accountable for their actions. We have accepted as a society that minors also are not of merit enough to participate in our political system. We have only lowered the voting age to eighteen as a token gesture from the days when we required 18 year old Americans to register for selective service, and to face the possibility of conscription.

The society which I live in is not a society dictated by fast food chains. While McDonald's may find that the Boy Scouts of America is suitable qualification to operate a fryer, poor sodas, and perhaps after several weeks being promoted to taking the meat off of the mostly automated grill, the United States of America doesn't feel that a fifteen year old of any life experience should be allowed to vote. The United States of America therefore recognizes them as being without life experience.

The Society which I belong to doesn't care if the teenager won a noble peace prize, they will not be able to serve as President of the United States until 35, nor the Senate till 30, and nor the United States House of Representatives until 25. For this to occur, a constitutional convention would have to be called and seeing as no constitutional convention has ever been called to grant office to a person younger than those ages. Neither has such a convention been called to even grant a minimal role in the act of being able to vote within our governmental franchise to an eighteen year old. Simply because minors are without life experience and education.

While you cling to the argument that the life experience is valuable, it is a moot point. Our society dismisses all experiences if all minors equally for the simple fact society recognizes minors, LR4N6FTW4EVA included, are without life experience and education and are prone to foolishness. Our society will continue to dismiss a person's life experience and education in some way until they reach 35, and are deemed fully worthwhile.
gahbage

Con

" ... I will refuse to attempt to prove his age. I will likewise not attempt to determine if he is a well programed computer generating responses from a database of paragraphs of the work of others."

Do you have any idea how our legal system works? As I stated before, "Innocent until proven guilty". If you, the "prosecution"/instigator (as the burden of proof is on them), cannot prove that the defendant is guilty, then he is not guilty. My opponent has not shown evidence that LR is a teenager, so I don't have to do anything. This is why, in court cases, the defendant's lawyers prefer to cast doubt on the state's case. My opponent doesn't seem to understand this, so I will provide two examples:

Example 1: John is brought to court by the state because he has been suspected of kidnapping. However, the state has no evidence to show that John was at the scene of the crime, etc. Therefore John is rendered "not guilty". Likewise, since my opponent has no evidence to prove that LR is a teenager, he is considered "not guilty", or "not a teenager".

Example 2: John starts a debate with the resolution "I like pie". However, since he has no evidence to show that he likes pie, the contender doesn't have to prove anything. See above example.

"I encourage the reader to consider my arguments from round 1, most of which have not been addressed."

And I encourage the reader not to. Why? Because if LR is not a teenager, my opponent's arguments DO NOT APPLY. I stated this last round also; it seems my opponent has not quite comprehended this either. Here's an example:

John starts a debate with the resolution "George Bush is the president of the U.S.". However, for his arguments he cites a Wikipedia page on Bill Clinton. Since George Bush is not Bill Clinton, his arguments do not apply. Similarly, since LR has not been proven to be a teenager, my opponent's arguments do not apply.

So, let's recap the debate.

My opponent has not provided evidence to show that LR is a teenager. He refused to do so, and even challenged ME to. Obviously, by looking at the clause "innocent until proven guilty", we can conclude that since my opponent has not met his burden of proof, LR cannot be considered a teenager.

Furthermore, if LR cannot be considered a teenager, then he cannot be considered subject to the arguments presented by my opponent in round 1. Not only do they not apply to LR, but the resolution says "LR4N6FTW4EVA is a teenager, and as a teenager he is recognized by society and law as being without life experience or education and is prone to foolishness." Thus, LR must be a teenager to be vulnerable to the labels put forth by my opponent.

A vote for CON should be clear.
Debate Round No. 3
49 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
I know comments are not part of the official debate. I was just ... commenting. I don't think the resolution "LR4N6FTW4EVA is a teenager, and as a teenager he is recognized by society and law as being without life experience or education and is prone to foolishness." is sensible as it stands, but I guess that is what debate is all about.
Posted by Patrick_Henry 8 years ago
Patrick_Henry
RoyLatham,

A debate is not processed during the comments. You might be distracted by it.

The resolution is clearly placed in the first paragraph of the debate, and was not short enough to fit within the character limits of the topic portion.

The items you bring up as examples, are all examples that could have been brought up by the person arguing con. As those are absent from his argument, he might have argued the position poorly.

Gahbage used what was theoretically possible, rather than what was reasonable as support for his con position. I was drawing an analogy for him which was similar during the comments portion, which again aren't part of the debate.

Sweatingjojo, I felt that there was a need for the topic due to the debate in which LR4N6FTW4EVA accused me of committing libel when I referred to your little political voting bloc as a group of teenaged zealots, and so forth.
Posted by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
Sweatingjojo
Aye, there really was no need for the topic to be written as it was.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
If it takes a debate to determine the topic of a debate then something has gone wrong. The nominal topic is "X is a teenager." He says he is a teenager in his profile and there is no good reason to doubt that, so you win the nominal topic. Quoting the Constitution relates to the unstated topic. I guessed the unstated topic was "teenagers shouldn't debate, because they are unqualified." I think your clarification makes the topic closer to "Society does not recognize the life experience of teenagers for some purposes." That is obviously true for purposes such as signing contracts and voting. But that was obvious from the outset, so how could it be a reasonable debate topic?

There are other purposes for which teenagers are recognized as having sufficient life experience. These include piloting an airplane, getting a lifesaving certificate, getting a driver's license, competing in various sporting events (including the Olympics), getting married, and so forth. I assume that any person having an age between 13 and 18, inclusive, is a teenager.

So I still don't understand what the real topic of the debate is.

I think the thing about "could be a robot" is off track. The standard for debate should not be more strict than it is in the Courts, which is that what is reasonable should prevail. What is theoretically possible should not prevail over what is reasonable.
Posted by Patrick_Henry 8 years ago
Patrick_Henry
I'm glad you're going with that.
Posted by gahbage 8 years ago
gahbage
You stated a "fact", but did not prove this. Of course I would have accepted evidence such as a social security number! I'm the one who told you to show something like that, after all.

And for "best evidence", you didn't provide ANY evidence, which makes your relation to teenagers irrelevant.

But whatever. This doesn't matter to me; I'm a computer after all.
Posted by Patrick_Henry 8 years ago
Patrick_Henry
Logical-Master,
Very true, but I was just giving him an example of his evidence.

I stated a fact.

He disagreed with the fact, then used an argument to explain why the fact was not in fact, fact. I can never successfully offer proof that would support the fact. There can always be a reason to believe that it might be wrong if you're willing to play the game of turtle shells all the way down.

Example: Copy of birth record. Well, that could be forged. Those things are forged all the time.

Example: Social security number. Can I prove LR4N6FTW4EVA didn't commit identity theft?

He used the example of the U.S. Court system without understanding that there are several objections lawyers can make, "Objection, best evidence." "Objection, relevance." "Objection, Hearsay."
Best Evidence = My favorite.

You'll note I didn't out gahbage as a computer during our debate. He certainly is a very talented classified computer program. Hopefully they taught him how to play Axis and Allies, or something fun and useful like that.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Technically, you proving that he was a computer program would by no means negate his argument given that this debate doesn't concern whether or not he is a computer program. ;)
Posted by Patrick_Henry 8 years ago
Patrick_Henry
RoyLatham,

My argument was not meant to be about teenagers participating in debates. It was meant to be that our society does not reflect the life experience or education of teenagers as being valuable, which is why in the laws and governmental structure of our society, we have age limits.

I encourage teenagers to debate on this site. I think it's very valuable for their education. I don't want to discourage LR4N6FTW4EVA, or any other teenager on this site from debating. I think it would do a great service to their education and participation on this website.

I'm simply noting that our society does not feel that their education and life experience is worth while.

The argument made against mine did not attempt to use other examples of law or constitution which contradicted mine, even though historically there have been numerous societies with child kings, or youthful leaders that have done quiet well for themselves. Such as in Rome, when a young woman reached the age of 15 she was considered to be an adult, and she was dropped off of the grain doll.

The public supported and fed girls to 15, and boys till 18. At 15, a woman was expected to have already become a fully functioning member of the society with the means of providing for herself.

Instead, my opponent chose to use contemporary examples of life experience that ought to be valued by our society, however is not shown as being valued by our laws or Constitution.

Gahbage,
Are you any relation to the computer I talk to daily at Google 411?
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Patrick_Henry, I read your arguments carefully before posting. You are not really arguing whether or not X is a teenager, you are arguing that there is something wrong with teenagers participating in a debate. The Constitution and the laws says that teenagers cannot vote and do certain other things, but what has that got to do with participating in a debate? Issues and arguments stand on their own, not on the qualifications of the person who makes them. since you are not debating the topic you proposed, perhaps I am misunderstanding what it is you really think you are debating. Are you really debating, "Teenagers should not be allowed to debate political issues on this site?" Then what?
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Vote Placed by Sweatingjojo 8 years ago
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