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Should children be taught a code of morales anymore?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 623 times Debate No: 33760
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




Since are advancement into technology and the gaining efficiency of techy stuff, I seem to have noticed a change in the elementary and middle school kids. They seem to not care about anyone or anything, but at the same time, they seem to be having a good time, reveling in the kind of stuff that middle schoolers and elementary schoolers do today. So the question really is, should kids be left alone, or do we have to teach them stuff now more than ever? For disclosure, Im on the "Teach the kids morals part."
Rules: Okay, no bashing, its my first time, but a small snarky remark is good for the debate once in a while.
Please give a good reason
Let's just have fun with this, come on.
Please no useage of innapropriate language.
With that, I wish the opponent luck.


So, to help clarify what I believe you're saying (you can correct me in the comments or in part of your next round), we should nurture our children to have decent morals as opposed to having them acquire it naturally. The ol' nurture vs nature debate.

To clarify on my part as well, I'm arguing that we should leave children to their devices and let them acquire their own experiences, while still supporting them in ways we can.

I won't make too much of an argument this round. I'd just like to have my acceptance and understanding of the debate be acknowledged.
Debate Round No. 1


Actually, my good fellow, a little bit of both. Of course, every bird leaves the nest, and every child will gain experience. Im just saying that yes, we should educate the children on what is right or wrong, but to an extent where they can look past their childish behavior if need be. My point is that I have seen children without any morales at all, taking delight in torturing fellow classmates and doing wrong things like vandilism or other stuff, and simply going on without any kind of decent structure. Of course, I support leaving children to play around a little, but at least have a kind of line drawn first. Yes, kids pick on one another, its only natural, but ive seen some bad things man. Like the other day, which is the inspiration for this debate, I am walking across the street, and I see this playground. I see a full ring of kids messing with this other kid because of his outputting retainer. They even go so far as to kick him into the dirt and start shoving dirt into his face. I wen to stop them, and the others ran. The little boy was crying and I reported it to his school. It was shameful. Nearly twenty kids were pikcing on this defencless little boy. It wasnt fair. So, its my firm belief that kids should be taught what is right and wrong, and the impact of their choices.
Thank you for responding to this debate, it means a lot, especially since its my firt time.


No problem, I'm glad to accept most debates in good sport. Anyways, the debate.

To define the act of "teaching" or being "taught," it's to have one accustomed to a certain type of behavior. Perhaps rather than having "a kind of line drawn," as you said (implying you agree with this definition) for some sort of code of ethics with children and forcibly instilling certain behavior within them under the title of "morals," we'd be better off in looking to sharing our own beliefs with children, perfectly willing to argue with them if they disagree in any capacity, and perfectly willing to concede if they seem to be aware of how their beliefs work and affect others.

If I may bring my own personal anecdotes into this debate, as you did in your argument, I have Asperger's Syndrome, so I have my own fair share of being bullied. I'm not going to say I was in the same position as that child, as it's unfair to make such a statement, but I know the cruelty of children. However, as a child, being bullied by children was something I didn't hold in high account, not because it's not an issue (it is DEFINITELY a LARGE issue), but because there were other issues that fazed me much more. My father and I have always had our differences, and we have lead completely different lives. He was dragged off to fight in the Vietnam War when he was merely a teenager my age now (16 years old). The war obviously instilled in him rather extreme values of discipline and ethics. His mindset is also very different from mine. Given any psychological examination, be it the Jung Typology Indicator* or the Enneagram**, or almost any evaluation, we're often nearly guaranteed to have conflicting types.

To preface giving more specific anecdotes rather than personalities, his morals are very traditional. He believes we should act as our ancestors are taught, listen to our elders no matter what they say, and the like. I believe that one should first find universal truths in what is said and thought, questioning it from as many angles as possible. Once, he told me to kill a mouse that I found so that the other mice wouldn't bother us. I said I wouldn't do such a thing, as I found it to be immoral. At first, he seemed a bit willing to argue with me about this. Finally, however, he locked me in my room, took away my laptop for a week, and didn't talk to me after bellowing from the hallways, "Maybe this'll teach you to think before talking back to your parents!" I found the mouse dead a week later.

That's teaching a child morals.

My relationship with my father has always affected me much more than bullying, but bullying was definitely still an issue. Kids were cruel. But, I've met many parents just like mine. And their kids were often the ones who were prone to bully me for my autistic tendencies. They clearly "taught" their children a code of morals. And that was the result. Me being bullied.

Your story has no evidence that those children weren't "taught" either. Perhaps we should "guide" our children and encourage certain behaviors from them by allowing them to grow and prosper in a household that nurtures them the way a child should, but...perhaps a simile, from an old proverb, will do (though it does have language that's a bit profane, thought I believe it's appropriate). "Your beliefs are like your penis. You shouldn't be explicitly having it out in public for everyone to see, and you shouldn't shove it down your child's throat."

Debate Round No. 2


Okay, I laughed at that saying at the end. As for your relationship with your father, im truly sorry to here that. No parent should treat their child like that when they were just defending themselves. But I think you misunderstood. Telling your child to go kill a mouse isn't a moral. Its a command. Personally, I would just trap the mice and release it into the wild. Bullied kids are taught to be angry by their parents who are in turn angry with them, so the bully takes out his or her anger on someone weaker than themselves. Not all behavior learned from parents are "Morales," per se, but Morales are a set of guidlines, like "Do not Steal," or "Do not hurt another," or...well, you know the drill. And also, I dont think a parent would specifically tell a child to pick on someone with a disorder, (If so, that's a terrible parent), but its more like I said before. The bully is angry, and takes it out on someone weaker than him or her. In this case, a person with a similar disorder like yours.
As for my story, yes those kids were not taught, it was just a reason for why I was debating. I, luckily, have a very good relationship with my father, and he has taught me the basics, and like you said we should do, left me to my own devices, helping if I stumble and fall. Tnk is my arguement. Teach the kid the basics, let him experiment, and help him or her if he or she fails. After all, failure takes you one step closer to learning how to succeed, if that makes any sense. As for your fathers morales, which I find very interesting, I also disagree with them. As im sure he was affected by the Hell he went through to keep America safe and sound, it must have been traumatizing. Forgive me if you find this theory offensive, but maybe the war which cost hundreds of lives affected his view of the world. I disagree with his belief that elders should never be questioned, even if they're wrong. Humans were made to ask questions. If you don't question your view, how do you find what you really believe in?
Onto the definition of being "Taught," I specifically mean that a parent goes to a child and literally teaches a child these things, not having the kid watch what they do and copy. I hope that clerify's some.
Well, thats all I got. I turn it over to you. Good luck, and sorry if the order of my arguements are a bit backwards.


Hm. I'm sure this has crossed your mind, but I'm simply making certain. Have you considered that perhaps you're not deconstructing the group ("children...the elementary and middle school kids" as you described them) into individuals, but you're, to be initially concise, against what you may actually believe you're perceiving, observing broad generalizations based on the more vocal minorities*?

This is referred to, though more colloquially than formally, as the Bad Apple Effect. "One bad apple spoils the whole barrel." It describes what happens when you're looking at a group for the group rather than the individuals. For instance, imagine, simply hypothetically, that you have 1000 people in a room. Now, 250 of those people are all competing to be more audible than the others in their own little group of 100 people. Obviously, they're going to be very loud. In this situation, despite the fact that 75% of the people are quiet, making the majority a silent majority, you're going to perceive this group of people as very audaciously loud.

This beckons the mention of two generalization fallacies that are often done when arguing: Hasty generalization; Suppressed evidence**.

With this regarded and considered, it's quite evident that while most children may be what you would consider an ideal contributor to society in that they're very generous and not completely sociopathic, you would see the occasional child being bullied and ignore the kid who follows your set of morals.

You should look into something called the "amygdala hijack." It's what happens when your knee jerk reaction takes over and you don't fully and logically gauge a situation. Rather, your brain decides not to wait for sound quantifications and skips right to acting. It's acting before you can think***. Conservatives tend to this a lot****. If that offended you and it made you stop reading my argument, that would be a perfect example of your amygdala hijacking your decision process. Just to demonstrate the effects.

Now, here's a little evolutionary biology. There's not much credibility to this theory, because I thought it up without too much provocation the other day, and I haven't done any experiments, and I don't have a degree in Biology, but just hear me out anyways. It's possible that back in the old days, when social hierarchies were less structured and civilized, but somehow much more important, we were very prone to being offended, even more so than finding a complement to our beliefs. This is because when you say something, and everyone agrees with you, you're simply showing your role as the alpha dominant of a group, which means that the hierarchy is still working.

But when someone disagrees with you, you're much more likely to react more strongly, because this means, in terms of how things worked back then, someone is being AGGRESSIVE and is ATTACKING YOU. Saying "I disagree" is a equivalent to launching a spear at your face. All the others in your group will predictably give a "B*tch, you gonna take that!?" response and you're either to be ostracized or put in battle*****. Because of this, it's reasonable to assume that we would be naturally pessimistic and would weigh people disagreeing with us more than people agreeing with us******.

So, when you see people being mean while they're kids, that impacts you more (and thus has higher memory density) than people being nice while they're kids. This calls back to the generalization fallacies.

For some evidence behind my theory, here's an anecdote I have that I can put forth. I was having a nice conversation with my good friend, Heidi. We were talking about Doctor Who (as we both do rather enjoy it[her more than me, but that's beside the point]), the British television series on BBC. I brought up the fact that I liked Ten, played by David Tennant, more than Eleven, played by Matt Smith********, but that everyone around me disagrees and I'm often immediately quarantined before my thoughts spread as soon as I mention such an atrocious opinion. She said she thought the opposite, yet the same happens to her*******. This implies that the majority doesn't really lean one way or the other, just that the side that's being offended is reacting more.

Children shouldn't be taught morals anymore than they already are. The technique in which we teach them may need to change, as I've experienced firsthand how parents may not have sound and sane methods, but that's not what you want. You think we should "teach them stuff now more than ever." That's very unnecessary and superfluous. Being a teenager, and thus rather young, myself, I'm trying my best not to be offended by what you view the youth of society as (suppressing my amygdala hijack, I suppose you could say), so I hope that my argument is reasoning and not excessively instinctive.

*Not as formal a citation as you might expect, but still very credible:
*******I guess you could ask her for evidence, but I'm not sure if you'd be able to gain the access to talk to her. :/
********And if you like the Ninth, good for you. We just kinda didn't mention him because he's kinda just Mr. Exposition with only 13 episodes, but he's still very well played.
Debate Round No. 3


Thank you for this invigorating debate my friend! Now, onto the arguement. Don't worry, I don't percieve all teenagers, especially since I am one, to be bad seeds. Im not the kind of guy who would aim my shotgun if some kid came close to my lawn because another teepeed my house twenty years ago. It is only the select few that stray from the right path for them, and I don't consider them rotten either, because unlike rotten apples, these kids can be taught to be fresh again. I am not generalizing that all kids will be rotten if one is. Plus, that's why I think kids should be taught the basic rules of not being a douchbag so then there are no kids astray. (And also, I also like number ten better in Doctor Who)
I think you pose an interesting point, with the whole biology stuff where most kids usully just take the side of the offended person, like that in one of our older societies, where people would kill eachother if they saw a speck of dirt on their hand. School is much like that of an uncivilized society, where kids are still learning who they are and whatnot, and most kids do usually take sides. However, this brings me back to that poor kid who ate dirt. Why does no one take his side? You said people just usually take different sides, even if someone stands completly opposit from them, opinion-wise, but for some reason, it was everyone against this kid, and you say kids shouldn't be taught morales now more than ever? Okay, what my point is, Children who have not gained a grasp on what is right and what is wrong shoul be taught the basics at least, you know, the easy stuff, like "Don't steal", or the Golden rule, "Treat others the way you want to be treated." But also, teach them in a reasonable way. Your right, some parents have quite different methods than we would hope for teaching their children. But we can change that if we ever become parents.
So yes, there are a lot of points that could drive kids to be mean spirited other than just morales, like abuse and stuff like that, but even then, they could still learn to be a little nicer, and they might find that their life might grow a little nicer too.
I read about a cab driver on the news the other day in New York City who lost his ten month old son. Did he turn hostile? Was he mean from then on? Nope. Because he understood that if you had no morales to have and share with other people, you could be miserable for the rest of your life. You know what he did? He set out to make people happy, so he loaded up his cab with 300$ worth of candy for pedestrians to enjoy.
Childhood can be rough at points, but having a good set of rules or lines to not cross can improve it if you want. Yes, you won't get a free snickers bar every time you hug somebody and tell them they look good, (You would probably get a creepy stare more than anything), but you might someone a little happier, and that should make you happier. I admit, I dont have as much evidence as you, but I think I made my point. Thank you for this excellent debate. I await your response, and good luck with the votes.


Firstly, I'd like to just say that I'm rather inclined to acknowledge your fruitful conduct, and have my gratefulness for it be noted as well. Thank you for a very smooth debate. Now, being that this is the final round, I think I'll take it upon myself to vamp up the compartmentalization of my thoughts a little more.

"You said people just usually take different sides, even if someone stands completly opposit from them, opinion-wise..."

I think this demonstrates that I may need to elaborate a little more on what I said. I'm not saying that people automatically take a side, whether or not it fits with their beliefs or not, I'm saying discord is more able to be noted than concord, due to this having more weight on our social consciences. Because of this, there's a tendency for us to have a better apprehension of the bad than the good. So, quite simply put, perhaps too simply, we see the worst before we see the best.

However, you're saying that because we observe the bad, evidently an implicit result of "techy stuff," we're able to fix it. The trategy being that we "Teach the kids morals..."

"Children who have not gained a grasp on what is right and what is wrong shoul be taught the basics at least, you know, the easy stuff, like 'Don't steal', or the Golden rule, 'Treat others the way you want to be treated.'"

This statement seemed, to me, to be a direct contradiction of earlier statements that you made. For instance, "So the question really is, should kids be left alone, or do we have to teach them stuff now more than ever?" That's what we're debating. We've both made concessions and qualifications of each other's arguments, me saying that we should keep teaching them, but not "more than ever," and you saying that morals shoud be taught, but we should still leave children alone to "let him experiment." However, what you're saying here doesn't imply that we teach them MORE, just that we stay where we are.

The issue is not what we teach them, it's how we teach them. I can promise you that teaching more morals and how to act in society won't do anything to anyone's favor, possibly even working against everyone, if it's standardized. It doesn't matter whether we "teach them stuff now more," the issue is centralized entirely on the method. While you do touch on the method being very important by saying "some parents have quite different methods" and that we must "also, teach [children] in a reasonable way," that is not your argument.

We covered that what you said was the argument at the beginning was which extreme to pick: Let the kids learn by themselves, or teach them even more than ever.

Now, let me bring up the famous cases of Isabelle, Anna, and Marcos Rodriguez Pantoja. All three of those people were what you'd consider "feral children." Each case had one key difference that greatly affected each of their lives in comparison with the others.
  • Isabelle was locked in a dim room with her mother. They received little nutrition, but they, on the warming flip side, had each other. When Isabelle was discovered around the age of six, she was given professional, intensive training to be integrated into society. She did, and when she was placed in a public education program, most were oblivious that she was raised any differently from them*. So clearly, being "taught a code of morales" worked, right?
  • Now, Anna was locked in a dim herself. She was fed occasionally as well. Once discovered, around the same age as Isabelle, she was almost completely apathetic to everything around her. She never learned how to act correctly, stealing things when told not to, etc. She was being taught morals and she still had none due to not having the support she should've had at a younger age*.
  • Finally, Marcos Rodriguez Pantoja. Also known as the man who was raised by wolves. Being raised by wolves, he learned how to adapt. When he was captured and taught to reintegrate into human civilization, he was able to do that as well**.

So, when we cross reference these cases, we find that what's in common with those that learn how to "care about anyone or anything" is the fact that they were raised. Nurtured. All of them were taught morals, and not all of them settled with the morals, no matter what morals were being taught.

So, as Con, yes. I think we are perfectly fine with what morals are being taught. That's definitely not the problem. We need to leave that alone. Our morals are fine.



Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by TheDarkMuffin 3 years ago
It's funny that the word "bad" is in every single comment here.
Posted by O.Z 3 years ago
Wow, im just really bad at this.
Posted by TheDarkMuffin 3 years ago
I really feel like this argument went all over the place due to the lack of definitions. Not necessarily a bad thing, it's simply worth pointing out.
Posted by GeekiTheGreat 3 years ago
I feel bad that no one is voting yet.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by GeekiTheGreat 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: While both had relativley good arguments, I still believe con made a much more convincing argument, and led me to some very good reads on his sources, which Pro provided none. I am disappointed that no one defined "Code of Morals" as the definition of Morals has been known to change on DDO. Well done to the both of you.