The Instigator
Johnicle
Pro (for)
Losing
19 Points
The Contender
Mikel
Con (against)
Winning
22 Points

Res- Governments ought to have the right to regulate the media in order to protect national security

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,175 times Debate No: 2052
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (11)

 

Johnicle

Pro

-Before beginning the debate I would first prefer anyone that takes this debate has some sort of debate experience and is willing to create long and thought out arguments. It is going to be a 4 round debate, I am hoping to get some good arguments for a good debate, if you have some good ideas for Con... go crazy! Thanks. With that, I will begin with my opening Speech and Case...

-In life, there are things that people should know, and there are things that people should not know. "Knowledge is power", but as we all know, power has the capability to ruin lives, and too much power in too many peoples hands could mean many things going wrong which is why I agree with...

-Resolved: Governments ought to have a right to regulate the media in order to protect national security.

(Argument)1. Regulations would be for reasonable purposes.
-The first reason that I think that governments should have a right to regulate the media is because they would (by definition of the debate) be doing it "in order to protect national security." Therefore, it is a right worthy to be given since it is already in the best interest of society.

(Argument)2. A society without regulations is worse then a society with them.
-What you will see in most all cases, is that once there is a govermental group with appropriate regulations, then the group strives better. If you compare that to a society without regulations, you will often see that too much information or power is given to the common society. If my opponent would like me to elaborate more on this argument, I would be happy to, but since regulations on the media are a good way to protect national security, the right should simply just be given to them, because if they were not capable of regulating the media, they could then report any information that they wanted.

(Sub-Point) A. Example of use of possible regulations.
-This example may be a bit extreme but lets just say that the government found out that the world was going to end in 3 months, in order to promote societal welfare, it would be a right of the government to make sure that it did not get out that this happened. Although this is an extreme example, it does make sense that the government would hold off telling us about this discovery until they at leas found out about it more.

(Sub-Point) B. Example of use of possible regulations.
-Another possible use of regulations is if perhaps a government leader was severely ill and it would be of great use to other nations to know that another nation had no leader. Basically, any time that another government could hurt another government because of something the media says, it would then become a right for the government to stop the advertisement of that information.

(Argument)3. The media is capable of getting crucial and deadly information.
-During this debate, the most overlooked argument by Con may very well be how much information the media is capable of getting, and when they get it, how much damage they could do. Which is just another reason that regulations upon the media is essential to promote national security and societal welfare.

-In the end- The media regulations will only be used when necessary. This regulations may be the only way to ensure the most possible safety to society and without them, we could very well risk many live or an unnecessary war. A society with these regulations does have a much better life than a society without them. The information restricted could be dangerous which is why I must stand Pro that governments ought to have the right to regulate the media in order to protect national security, so please vote Pro.
Mikel

Con

Mikel forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 1
Johnicle

Pro

This was quite disappointing. I am hoping that Mikel will still be able to debate this round. For now, however, I guess all of my arguments stand.
Mikel

Con

If the governed were to consent to government, if there was a social contract indicating that it was alright for the government to regulate media, then there would be no problem. However, your statement suggests absoluteness; so I am assuming that you mean to say that it is government's right to regulate under all circumstances.

"In life, there are things that people should know, and there are things that people should not know. "Knowledge is power", but as we all know, power has the capability to ruin lives, and too much power in too many peoples hands could mean many things going wrong"

You admit yourself that knowledge is power and that power can be a dangerous thing. However, did you not consider the possibility that a government with knowledge and power could also lead to many things going wrong? More importantly, what shouldn't the people know? There is no list of things the people should not be informed about, therefore the government would be the ones deciding. If the government decides what we should and should not know, then they have the power to operate out of the public eye. This is too much power for government, especially to be held over the people.

"The first reason that I think that governments should have a right to regulate the media is because they would (by definition of the debate) be doing it "in order to protect national security." Therefore, it is a right worthy to be given since it is already in the best interest of society."

But what exactly constitutes protection of national security? In order for this to work, there would have to be a government that completely respected the people and did not abuse its power. Yet, the course of history suggests that this is either impossible or unlikely.

If there is no set list or definition for what would constitute the protection of national security, then the government would be able to define in any manner they saw fit. You may think this is absurd, but if the government were able to defend themselves, however weakly, then anything could be for the protection of national security. And if you give government a loose definition with which to work with, they can edit media in any way they see fit; essentially it could end in book burning.

"What you will see in most all cases, is that once there is a govermental group with appropriate regulations, then the group strives better. If you compare that to a society without regulations, you will often see that too much information or power is given to the common society. If my opponent would like me to elaborate more on this argument, I would be happy to, but since regulations on the media are a good way to protect national security, the right should simply just be given to them, because if they were not capable of regulating the media, they could then report any information that they wanted."

Please, do elaborate. And this reporting whatever the media sees fit, that's called freedom of the press.

"This example may be a bit extreme but lets just say that the government found out that the world was going to end in 3 months, in order to promote societal welfare, it would be a right of the government to make sure that it did not get out that this happened. Although this is an extreme example, it does make sense that the government would hold off telling us about this discovery until they at leas found out about it more."

If the world was truly going to end, I think I have every right to know for one thing. For another, if there wasn't enough information to conclude truly that all life was about to become extinct, then yes government should investigate further. However, if the media found out and chose to report that, why should we allow government to regulate that? I think we all have a right to choose what we wish to know and what we wish not to know, and I think that most people would want to know something substantial like that.

"Another possible use of regulations is if perhaps a government leader was severely ill and it would be of great use to other nations to know that another nation had no leader. Basically, any time that another government could hurt another government because of something the media says, it would then become a right for the government to stop the advertisement of that information."

Fidel Castro became ill. His brother took his place until he gets better. The thing about world leaders, is that usually, they have some sort of line of succession. For instance, if Bush were to be shot today, then Cheney would be temporarily become President. While you may think that that would be an opening to attack, it is my belief that people have a right to know who's ruling their country.

"During this debate, the most overlooked argument by Con may very well be how much information the media is capable of getting, and when they get it, how much damage they could do. Which is just another reason that regulations upon the media is essential to promote national security and societal welfare."

I understand that media has unbelievable skills when it comes to gathering information, yet in a country where there is freedom of the press, don't they have every right to report? Reporters report, that is their job. You may see regulation as a means to protect the country and its people, but you are overlooking the limitless possibilities of corruption and behavior reminiscent of book burning.

"In the end- The media regulations will only be used when necessary. This regulations may be the only way to ensure the most possible safety to society and without them, we could very well risk many live or an unnecessary war. A society with these regulations does have a much better life than a society without them. The information restricted could be dangerous which is why I must stand Pro that governments ought to have the right to regulate the media in order to protect national security, so please vote Pro."

Unfortunately I have to disagree and say that there is no way to know for sure that a government will only use this right or power when necessary. Power and corruption go hand and hand too often. You see a better life, but I see oppression of thought and freedom. If the government is allowed to dictate what is inappropriate for me to know, then they aren't regulating, they're censoring. And if they take away one right (press) then what's to say they won't try to expand and take more? I believe that in a society with regulations, the peoples' lives would only be better do to ignorance and that in reality they are much worse off. It should not be a question of what can the media present to th people, but what they should. Please, vote Con.

"This was quite disappointing. I am hoping that Mikel will still be able to debate this round. For now, however, I guess all of my arguments stand."

Once again, I apologize, I had some private issues arise. Very stressful, but I think I've handled it, and now I'm ready to debate.
Debate Round No. 2
Johnicle

Pro

-This now becomes very simple... is there anything worth regulating... and the answer is YES. If you vote for anything in this round, vote for why we have FIVE (count them) FIVE levels of governmental security. The only reason that the Con would have you thinking toward his side of this debate right now is because you don't know what kind of things you don't know. All that I want to do within this debate is to extend that sort of security to the government. Recently, Heath Ledger died and guess how his parents found out. ON TV... sure this example doesn't have much to do with any national security, but it does show the pain the media is capable of, and it does show how quickly they are able to display news capable of hurting people and capable of showing news that should be held off until it is at least safe to reveal. Just think about this for a while. Let's just say that for some strange reason that the media is able to go through every thing inside the white house and are able to go through everything that our government knows. Now, imagine if they were able to report that to not only the United States, but also everyone who reads it including our enemies and our friends. Within this debate, all I am saying is that there ought to be some regulations to be able to stop something from getting out that could hurt society and by the definition of the debate, promote and protect, national security.

-Now let's hit a few specific case and refutation points.

Onto the "knowledge is power" arguments. Basically what I have to say here is that when knowledge is the most powerful and most dangerous, is when everyone has it. No I'm not contending that we should start burning books, and no I am not contending that we should stop having school. All that I am saying is that the government should be able to make certain regulations to keep the society's best interest. Information such as where troops will be activated to and when they will be there, and information such as us using some sort of military force in a country sometime, and maybe even information on when (if) the world was going to end, because honestly, if we were to know something like that too soon, then EVERYTHING would crash and everyone's life would be worse than if they held on to that secret until there were only a few weeks left. Which is another thing, these regulation don't have to have a lasting effect. In other words, if you look closely to ALL of my examples, NONE of them are things that we won't find out eventually, they should only be held off a little bit longer until it is in EVERYONES best interest to release the information.

Onto where he talks about the "unclear definition" of the regulations and how the government could interpret it any way they wanted it. Against that, there is something here that I would like to say. It is the difference between guarenteed pain and possible pain. You have to assume that most governments (at least the ones where a power like this was granted) would care for their people. Therefore, you have to assume that these regulations would at least some what, help the society.

Moving onto where he talks about my examples. Basically, look back to my introduction of this speech... I offer many examples and he says that (specifically on the world ending one) that he would want to know. Yes, me too, however, I would not want to know too soon because once everyone knew, the economy and everything we know would collapse, and when it collapsed, I would want to be able to enjoy myself, but that is something that you would not be able to do if there was still months until it happened. I know that this is an extreme example, but it still does show how regulations can have a positive effect.

The last part of his last speech basically talks about all of the corruption that governments could have. Against this I have to say sure, they can be corrupt, but not as corrupt as the media. Basically to off this argument I have to ask my opponent to answer this one single question. What would you do in this situation... we are invading a country, and the media gets a hold of where and when we are going in... would you give a regulation to say that they can not release that information or would you let them because of your great freedom of the press?

In the end, the media is capable of many things. They deserve freedom of the press, but NOT when they endanger other people which is why the government deserves the right to regulate the media so please vote Pro.
Mikel

Con

In a country where there is freedom of speech and press, then there should be no regulation or forced censorship. That is my first point. My second is that you still have only given examples of what could constitute for national security, and you yourself admit that it's possible for government to abuse its newfound power and authority.

"You have to assume that most governments (at least the ones where a power like this was granted) would care for their people. Therefore, you have to assume that these regulations would at least some what, help the society."

And therein lies the problem. If we are to assume, we would have to live in a perfect world where your theory can be purely practiced without worry in order to be right. There are countless examples throughout history of world leaders abusing their powers ad flexing control over the people; even in America, there are cases of Presidents disobeying basic tenants of the Constitution and even suspending civil liberties, for the good of society.

"No I'm not contending that we should start burning books"

I understand that, I never said that you were. I was merely stating that by allowing this basic form of censorship, we open the doors for government to gain more power to do similar things. In fact, during WWI in America, the Red Scare was essentially a witch hunt and a book burning for the good of national security. Censorship in any form, no matter how small, has the ability to give way to more severe and widespread censorship.

"In other words, if you look closely to ALL of my examples, NONE of them are things that we won't find out eventually, they should only be held off a little bit longer until it is in EVERYONES best interest to release the information."

But how does someone else have the right to define for me when it is in my best interest to know things?

"Yes, me too, however, I would not want to know too soon"

However, I would. There is one of my biggest issues, because I would want to know when the discovers found out, or relatively soon after. I feel it is in my best interest to know if the world is going to end soon and I feel it is best for me to know immediately. Because you talk of comfort, but what if I wish to spend the last remaining days traveling to see the places I never visited or even to make amends with family I haven't been in touch with. I know this is extreme, but if the world were going to end, then I would want to be able to make sure I would die with no regrets. And if my government gave me a month's notice, then I don't think I'd have as many opportunities to do so.

"because once everyone knew, the economy and everything we know would collapse"

Can you prove that?

"Against this I have to say sure, they can be corrupt, but not as corrupt as the media."

You admit that government's can be corrupt, therefore you agree that there is a flaw with your theory. Because in order for your regulations to work properly there would have to be a lack of corruption. And for another thing, I do not see how that refutes my statements on government corruption.

"we are invading a country, and the media gets a hold of where and when we are going in... would you give a regulation to say that they can not release that information or would you let them because of your great freedom of the press?"

In a country where there is freedom of the press or where the government has not been granted the authority to regulate media by the people, yes I would allow them to report that, if they wished. The point I am trying to make to you is that I believe wholeheartedly that governments have to honor social contract, and if they do not have that power, then they have no right to use it. The simple answer to your question is yes, I would honor the freedom of press and allow them to release the information. It is not a matter of what they can do but what they should do.

I can almost guarantee that your response will be regarding how lives will be lost, and yes that is lamentable. But what about the victims of censorship and national security? People have been killed by governments for their silence, they have been killed for holding "radical" ideas. And this was all done in the name of national security. I do not believe you can use that blanket term because it can be misused too easily and for horrendous things. While you may think of those soldiers who may be killed, I think of the millions and millions of people being subjugated by their government in order to "protect" them.

"In the end, the media is capable of many things. They deserve freedom of the press, but NOT when they endanger other people which is why the government deserves the right to regulate the media so please vote Pro."

In the same way that the government is capable of many things. I think they deserve the power to protect and serve the people, but not when they endanger our basic human rights and ignore their social contracts. If you wish to protect yourselves from a Big Brother, please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
Johnicle

Pro

During this round, there have been a lot of arguments presented, but now I would like to really break down why governments ought to have to right to regulate the media. Therefore, I have set up the following reasons of why you should vote for me in this round.

1. The resolution says ought to have the right.
-Within this debate, you have to see is that all I have to prove is that the government OUGHT to have the right. There is nothing else that I have to prove, and I have proven that with all of the examples I have such as the when and where we attack another nation, the world ending, and the lack of leadership within a government.

2. My question in my last speech went unanswered.
-In my last speech I asked my opponent to answer a very simple question. I asked that if we were planning to invade a nation and the media found out when and where, would you let them leak the information or would you regulate them? This question was quite simple, yet my opponent never replied to it. Also, don't let him "kind of" answer this within the next speech because I would then have no chance to reply. Basically, what you have to see is that OBVIOUSLY you would tell them not to report this because the effect of them reporting it (and having their freedom of the press) would be outweighed by the enemy getting this information (and losing their freedom to life). In other words, you HAVE to see that these regulations ARE for national security, something that is a little more important than freedom to the press. If you vote for me on anything, vote for that.

3. His big argument is only that governments have corruption.
-Through out this round, his major argument has been that governments have too much corruption. For the following reason, don't buy this over my side...
I. Media corruption is not as risky as the government regulations.
-Sure, I admit that the government could go overboard with this regulation right, HOWEVER, the media will DEFINATLY go overboard with their right to report EVERYTHING they discover from the government. Its the same reason why there are five security levels in the government (which went unargued) and is similar to why they can't show pornography and swear on their reports. These regulation remove peoples right to the press, but yet these small regulations support the society's best interest, within this resolution, I am only extending that right to protect the most important thing we have, our national security.
II. Even a corrupt government will protect national security with regulations.
-What you have to see is that even the most corrupt government can be successful in protecting their nation, however, a nation without the right to regulate the media, then becomes incapable of doing this. Still though, a government would never be stupid enough not to keep certain things a secret, such as where and when we are invading a nation, or when the world will end. Which brings me to my final reason to vote for me.

(This is simply a response to where he asked me to prove why the everything would crash if the world was to know of its doom date).

4. No one would want to do any more work if the world were to end.
-I guess I assumed too much when I said that everything would crash. I assumed that if people were to know that they would be dead in 6 months, that they would stop going to school and work, and would only begin caring about number 1 , them self... and with no one working or AT LEAST not very many people working, there would be nothing to support anything. The economy as we know it would be gone and everyone would only become interested in their own interest which would mean the "crashing of everything."

-In the end, you vote for all of the previous reasons. Also if you look to ALL of my examples, none of them are things that wouldn't be released in the media eventually. It just so happens that knowledge at the wrong time is when it is truly, deadly power. Therefore, certain information should be regulated at least until it is a more appropriate time. It would be ridiculous to say that the freedom of the press ought to be valued about national security in any manner. Therefore, you vote Pro.

-Thank You for this GREAT round. I hope we can debate another time. Until then, good luck on you final speech and thank you.
Mikel

Con

This has been an interesting debate, and now I would like to make my final refutation and congratulate my opponent for a good debate.

1)The resolution says ought to have the right.
I have said before that in a country where the people agree with this notion, where this notion is a part of the social contract there is nothing wrong. However, my opponent argues that this idea is absolute. Unfortunately I disagree with him because I believe this to be a violation of human rights as outlined by the United Nations in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

It's very clear that the people have a right to express any and all information through any mode of communication, including all aspects of media.

2)Your question did not go unanswered. Please reread my last round's speech. I promise it's in there. If you can't find it, I said yes. I believe that the freedoms of speech and press OBVIOUSLY should not be violated, and therefore I would allow that information to be reported.

3)My opponent's largest argument is that we should trust our government and hope for the best, as he has admitted that corruption is a very real possibility.

"You have to assume that most governments (at least the ones where a power like this was granted) would care for their people."

I."Sure, I admit that the government could go overboard with this regulation right, HOWEVER, the media will DEFINATLY go overboard with their right to report EVERYTHING they discover from the government." First off, I would like to say that that is both ridiculous and an opinion. There are no presented facts to back that up, and let me ask a rhetorical question...What is worse: a corrupt government that subjugates it people by violating and ignoring their rights or the media being allowed to report information freely? God forbid that people know what their governments are doing.
II.Yes it is true that a government that controls its media can protect itself, although there is nothing to say that a government that doesn't can't. You have to understand that while my opponent has discussed the concept that when it comes to allowing regulations you have to assume that government will truly do its job, he always claims that media will always report harmful information when and where they receive it. At the same time, we would have to assume that the media would not do this, but unlike my opponent's statement I will offer a reasonable answer as to why. If the media were to report harmful information within their own country, would they not be hurting themselves? It should be obvious that regardless of ratings, a reported would not willingly put himself or his entire family's lives into danger by reporting big government secrets that result in invasion or death for his own countrymen.

4)That was an excellent point, however this example is an extreme and very improbable. At the same time, in this event, I would still say that freedom of press is more important than regulation.

-Voting for con, is voting for your rights, essentially. Regulating media is a perversion of our rights, and if we as citizens say we do not want regulation than we deserve our rights. My opponent has continually argued against me claiming how evil the media could become and has constantly claimed that the media needs to be regulated. However, I feel that his basis for this action is an opinion, as he believes the government is the more trustworthy, something that I would definitely disagree with. It is not a question here of what I can and can not do, but it should always be a question of what I can and what I should do. Remember, freedom is either absolute or nonexistent.

Thank you for these past rounds, sorry about the inauspicious start. If you submit another good topic I'll be eager and ready to go again.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RepublicanView333 9 years ago
RepublicanView333
Mikel that is exactly what the other guy did in my other debate, he tryed to tell me how my Povs were false and that is exactly what you said you were going to do...and im very proud of my passion for my country because everyoneshould be passionite for there country even if they don't agree with its methods
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
I'm glad the topic is "OUGHT TO HAVE THE RIGHT" because whether or not they "ought to," OUR GOVERNMENT DOES NOT have the "right" (nor the delegated power).
Posted by Mikel 9 years ago
Mikel
Actually I would have shown you why your responses were essentially flawed and in reality, for the most part, false. You seem very passionate about your country, but as well-informed as you could be.
Posted by RepublicanView333 9 years ago
RepublicanView333
and i would give the same reasons i gave in the other debate and you would rebutal with pretty much the same...
Posted by Mikel 9 years ago
Mikel
This is a little off topic, but I felt the debate would not have been repetitive. For you had argued America's superiority while your opponent argued Nazi Germany's. In the debate I had proposed I had wished to refute the assumption that America was the greatest country.
Posted by RepublicanView333 9 years ago
RepublicanView333
Mikel i declined your other arguement because i believe it would be the same as my other debate "Best Country" and i believe it would be just a repitition of that, and since CMTs are nearing and im getting more homework i dont have nearly as much time to debate as i used to so a repetitive debate will probably just end in me forfeiting rounds...
Posted by Mikel 9 years ago
Mikel
I'm very sorry, I had some personal issues arise, but for the most part I think they are no longer an issue. I plan to participate when I can, but I'm currently late for work. Though I promise I have my arguments ready in my mind, they just to be transcribed.
Posted by Randomknowledge 9 years ago
Randomknowledge
Yes. Of course. I would like that very much. I am an amateur compared to you! I am a little intimidated by the "official format" with the sub-points and the arguments, but i think I could handle it. =]
Posted by Randomknowledge 9 years ago
Randomknowledge
Yes. Of course. I would like that very much. =]
Posted by Johnicle 9 years ago
Johnicle
I am truly honored by your comment. I have been working hard on debate lately and I can only hope to get better. Sometime we'll have to have a debate.
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Vote Placed by kato0291 9 years ago
kato0291
JohnicleMikelTied
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