The Instigator
bman7720
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Afterdark
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Should the Political and Social Opinions of Minors be Considered Seriously?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 422 times Debate No: 72775
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

bman7720

Pro

Being a minor myself, I often run into the issue of "you just believe what your parents believe." However, in this society where the media is so readily available, teenagers are more informed than ever before, and perhaps their opinions could provide some insight and bring forth positive change. This debate has no structure, argue as you wish, and anyone can accept.
Afterdark

Con

While I very much believe that anyone with a valuable opinion should be taken seriously, minors included, I do not believe that minors on the whole have as much to bring to the table as adults as far as political and social issues are concerned.

I'm quite interested to hear what you have to say, though, so I'll give you first argument.
Debate Round No. 1
bman7720

Pro

As my opponent stated in his acceptance, "I do not believe that minors on the whole have as much to bring to the table as adults..." is the product of an old mindset of uneducated youth. However, I argue that minors have just as much to offer, simply from a different light. In my state we have a program known as KYA (Kentucky Youth Assembly), in which students travel to the capital and present a bill for debate. The winning bill is presented to the Kentucky legislator for processing. However, due to being proposed by high school students, the bills are rarely taken seriously. The ideas of minors may indeed be based less upon political fact and more upon moral philosophy, but that does not mean that said ideas should be disregarded.

In Europe, there is a youth parliament where there are representatives from 39 European countries. This is a valid and serious chance for the youth to establish their voice and opinions and have them taken with serious consideration.

Sources: eyp.org
Afterdark

Con

In adolescents, the frontal lobe of the brain is still under development, and continues to be until early adulthood (generally considered to be around age 25) [1]. The frontal lobe is primarily responsible for one's ability to perceive consequences, make logical decisions, and inhibit undesirable behaviors and instincts [2]. To contrast, the brain's emotional center is considered to be at its highest state of activity during those years, which leads to an increase in reckless behavior, and means that adolescents are more likely to make, and less likely to be swayed by, rational arguments in favor of emotional ones [3]. This is even aside from the constantly shifting social environment where peer pressure can be just as powerful a force of influence as anything else.

In Pro's opening statement, they mention that due to readily available media, teenagers are "more informed than ever before." I would agree. The question is whether that information is reliable. With the rise of the Internet and companies constantly vying for their share of the market, manipulation (emotional manipulation especially) is everywhere. Linkbait, SEO, social justice buzzwords... you name it. Not to mention social media, and its use as a dumping ground for every bias and opinion on God's green earth. It makes for a very complicated and precarious environment, and for people who are in the process of developing their decision making skills, it can be nothing less than hazardous to one's worldview.

Now, to be clear, this doesn't at all mean that minors are stupid or incapable of being rational (or, for that matter, that adults are always intelligent). I've seen too many examples to the contrary to believe that for a second. However, it does mean and adult is much more likely to have the necessary experience and capabilities to make wiser decisions. Alternate perspectives are vastly important, and any decisions that personally affect minors should absolutely involve them in the process, but I don't believe that minors' opinions as a whole should receive the same gravitas.

Sources:
[1] http://www.aacap.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://brainconnection.brainhq.com...
Debate Round No. 2
bman7720

Pro

My opponent continues the argument that teenagers and adults should be valued at the same level on their opinions, however that is not my statement. While it is my belief that they are, the argument of this debate is that the views of minors should be taken with a serious consideration.

I agree with my opponent's argument that the frontal lobe is still developing in minors, and that this can cause a more emotional thought process. However, perhaps this is exactly what our society needs. We're in a world where deeds that were just everyday acts of kindness are now rewarded as heroic. Our adult society has shifted from empathy to facts and statistics. I believe that, to an extent, this focus on factual evidence and statistics clouds out the humanity in adults when making decisions on political and social matters. Normally, I would argue against my opponent using Wikipedia as a source, but they have two other sources that verify the information well.

I am also not saying that every minor's opinion should be valued as much as another's. There are clearly adults that are more credible in a decision making process than others. This is just as true for minors.
Afterdark

Con

I admit that I was under the impression that the subject Pro intended to debate was whether minors' opinions should be taken as seriously as those of adults, not whether they should be taken seriously at all. The former, after all, is a much more common opinion than the latter. I will accept whatever blame is due me for that oversight.

However, I stated my understanding of the topic very clearly in my acceptance, and this is the first time Pro has corrected me, or for that matter, implied that there was anything to be corrected. In fact, in Pro's first argument, they quote from my acceptance before saying "I argue that minors have just as much to offer, simply from a different light." Pro's adherence to the "true" topic now, instead of in their first argument, seems a little like moving the goalposts, but I'll submit to the voters on this one.

(And while I'm defending myself, Wikipedia simply had the most concise description I could find, although I fail to see the relevance unless the article in question contained an error that derailed my point.)

Back to the topic at hand...

I don't know of any evidence to indicate that society is less empathetic now than in the past. In fact, with the current trend of social justice and civil rights, I think there is a case to argue the opposite. Additionally, I in no way think that emotion is the enemy--just that emotion without logic is dangerous, and that because adolescents are biologically inclined to favor that approach more so than adults, their opinions should be taken with a grain of salt.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Afterdark 2 years ago
Afterdark
Not a problem--I'm new to the site, but not debating in general. Mishaps are fairly common.
Posted by bman7720 2 years ago
bman7720
I do apologize for my inconsistency, I'm rather new to debating. I'm trying to improve my structure and arguments every day.
Posted by Afterdark 2 years ago
Afterdark
Likewise! I look forward to seeing how this turns out.
Posted by bman7720 2 years ago
bman7720
I'd like to say that you certainly provided and interesting and though provoking debate, Afterdark. I am anxious to see how the voting goes.
No votes have been placed for this debate.