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Should we pay more attention to coding or reading? Pro is coding, con is reading.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/9/2017 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 372 times Debate No: 100753
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
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We should read more because then we will know how to spell. We also can get our MCA scores up. If we do coding we will forget how to use our imagination and will not know what happens around us. A person is limited in what they can accomplish without good reading and comprehension skills. Reading is important because it develops the mind. Teaching young children to read helps them develop their language skills.


I would like to thank my opponent for suggesting such an interesting and challenging motion, and I look forward to a fruitful discussion with them. In a nutshell, their argument so far is as follows:

1) Reading helps us spell.
2) Coding damages out imagination.
3) Reading develops the mind.

I would like to acknowledge that yes, reading does help us learn how to spell. However, in today's era, with the existence of spellchecking and grammar-checking software (produced by coders), the ability to write in a conventionally accepted way is nowhere near as important as it used to be- it is perfectly possible to type an entire essay with perfect spelling and grammar despite making mistakes with spelling and grammar, and that is all thanks to coding.
The ability to spell correctly is also not a vital skill. Though, yes, it looks unprofessional to spell words incorrectly, if I were to refer to "Mississipi" or "Neccessary", you'd understand perfectly well what I meant, and ultimately that is what language is for- communication. Hence, prescriptivist notions regarding spelling are outdated and unnecessary.

The notion that coding damages one's imagination is frankly ridiculous- using VPython, for instance, it is even possible to simulate an entire universe in which the laws of physics are tweaked slightly, for your own amusement- I myself decided to see what it would be like if conservation of energy was not obeyed, and instead particles doubled in kinetic energy every time they collided. Needless to say, it was a beautiful and entertaining thought experiment, and one which would have been impossible to visualise without modern computing.

Yes, reading develops one's mind, but coding does in a similar way; both coding and reading benefit one's creative thoughts, but coding also benefits one's logical ability. For instance, one can perform differential calculus of polynomial functions very simply, using just five lines of code, specifically:

"def polynomial_derivative(coefficients, powers):
for n in range(len(coefficients)):
return(coefficients, powers)"

It takes years to develop the mathematical skills required to perform differential calculus manually. It takes minutes to plug it into some computer code.

With refutation out of the way, I will now commence to argue my main case:

1) Advanced coding is more beneficial to modern society than advanced reading:

Okay, so you need to be able to read and write to a basic level, but assuming one could either have basic reading skills and advanced computing skills, or conversely, advanced reading skills and basic computing skills, the former is clearly more desirable- social media, the worldwide web, mobile telephones, modern physics and mathematics- all of these things are fundamental to our everyday life, and none of them could have been accomplished without advanced coders. Sure, it's great to be able to understand the works of William Shakespeare or George Orwell, but those are secondary activities, and, though pleasurable, do not serve society as a whole as coding does.

2) Coding develops the mind in a way that reading doesn't:

Both coding and reading are creative and imaginative activities. In those areas, the two are equivalent. Coding, however, also develops logical skills in a way reading doesn't. It should be emphasised for that reason.

3) The wording of the motion:

The wording of the motion is that we should *pay more attention to*- and while I wouldn't have a leg to stand on if I were trying to argue we should learn to code at the cost of not learning to read at all, we can learn both but emphasise coding more, and for the above reasons, I genuinely believe we should.

As I have now provided refutation towards my opponent's points and three of my own points, I feel I should follow the convention of British Parliamentary and Oxford Union style debates and leave it at that for this round.
Debate Round No. 1


1. Reading is fundamental to functioning in today's society. There are many adults who cannot read well enough to understand the instructions on a medicine bottle. That is a scary thought - especially for their children. Filling out applications becomes impossible without help. Reading road or warning signs is difficult. Even following a map becomes a chore. Day-to-day activities that many people take for granted become a source of frustration, anger and fear.

2. Reading is a vital skill in finding a good job. Many well-paying jobs require reading as a part of job performance. There are reports and memos which must be read and responded to. Poor reading skills increases the amount of time it takes to absorb and react in the workplace. A person is limited in what they can accomplish without good reading and comprehension skills.

3. Reading is important because it develops the mind. The mind is a muscle. It needs exercise. Understanding the written word is one way the mind grows in its ability. Teaching young children to read helps them develop their language skills. It also helps them learn to listen. Everybody wants to talk, but few can really listen. Lack of listening skills can result in major misunderstandings which can lead to job loss, marriage break up, and other disasters - small and great. Reading helps children [and adults] focus on what someone else is communicating.

4. Why is reading important? It is how we discover new things. Books, magazines and even the Internet are great learning tools which require the ability to read and understand what is read. A person who knows how to read can educate themselves in any area of life they are interested in. We live in an age where we overflow with information, but reading is the main way to take advantage of it.

5. Reading develops the imagination. TV and computer games have their place, but they are more like amusement. Amusement comes from two words "a" [non] and "muse" [think]. Amusement is non-thinking activities. With reading, a person can go anywhere in the world...or even out of it! They can be a king, or an adventurer, or a princess, or... The possibilities are endless. Non-readers never experience these joys to the same extent.

6. In line with the above, reading develops the creative side of people. When reading to children, stop every once in awhile and ask them what they think is going to happen next. Get them thinking about the story. When it is finished, ask if they could think of a better ending or anything that would have improved it. If they really liked the story, encourage them to illustrate it with their own drawings or to make up a different story with the same characters. Get the creative juices flowing!

7. Reading is fundamental in developing a good self image. Non-readers or poor readers often have low opinions of themselves and their abilities. Many times they feel as if the world is against them. They feel isolated [everybody else can read - which isn't true] and behavior problems can surface. They can perform poorly in other subjects because they cannot read and understand the material. Often the reader tends to "give up."

8. Why is reading important? Let's keep going... Good reading skills, especially in a phonics reading program, improve spelling. As students learn to sound out letters and words, spelling becomes easier. Also, reading helps to expand the vocabulary. Reading new words puts them in their mind for later use. Seeing how words are used in different contexts can give a better understanding of the word usage and its definitions rather than just the cold facts of a dictionary.

9. There is an old saying, "The pen is mightier than the sword." Ideas written down have changed the destiny of men and nations for better or worse. The flow of ideas cannot be stopped. We need to read and research to build on the good ideas and expose the bad ideas before they bring destruction. Only by reading can we be armed in this never-ending, life-and-death struggle.

10. The fact of the power of written ideas communicated through reading is a foundational reason why some governments oppose free and honest communication. Illiterate people are easier to control and manipulate. They cannot do their own research and thinking. They must rely on what they are told and how their emotions are swayed. There is a good possibility that this is one of the main reasons phonics was removed from the schools about 100 years ago.

11. Finally, why is reading important? Reading is important because words - spoken and written - are the building blocks of life. You are, right now, the result of words that you have heard or read AND believed about yourself. What you become in the future will depend on the words you believe about yourself now. People, families, relationships, and even nations are built from words. Think about it.


The wording of the motion is whether we should *pay more attention to* reading or coding, which of course implies we're allowed to do both, but we're arguing as to which we should emphasise taking to a further level.

My opponent's points 1, 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 are completely irrelevant to the motion they proposed- they are arguing that we need to be able to read to a basic level, not that once we reach such a level, we should *pay more attention to* reading than to coding. Once could reach a basic (or even rather advanced) level of reading ability while still *paying more attention* to coding, and indeed one should, since, as I argued above (and my opponent failed to respond to at all), coding to an advanced level is a more useful skill than reading to an advanced level.

In response to my opponent's point 3, I would like to reiterate my earlier argument- that coding also develops the mind in a similar way to how reading does, but also develops it in further ways. My opponent emphasises how reading encourages communication, but one simply cannot deny that communication has been improved considerably by computer coding- Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, and countless other social media sites have made it so much easier to listen and to be listened to. Someone who is okay at reading but excels at coding can communicate a lot more effectively than someone who is okay at coding but excels at reading. Hence, we should *pay more attention to* coding.

In response to 5, I'd like to once again emphasise an earlier argument- coding also allows one to test one's imagination- CF: the universe I simulated in VPython. Reading allows you to experience someone else's imagination. Coding allows you both to do that, but also to express your own imagination. It is therefore better for that purpose.

6 is effectively 5 but re-worded slightly.

Having refuted everything my opponent said, I feel I should emphasise my original points once more. However, since my opponent failed to address any of them at all, I feel it is sufficient to briefly state my original points, rather than to re-argue them thoroughly. Rearranging them to what I consider to be a more sensible order:

1) The wording of the motion concerns which we should *pay more attention to*- therefore, we can assume that one could have basic skills in both areas, but then the disagreement is with regards to whether it is more important to develop reading to a higher level or to develop coding to a higher level.

2) All of the benefits my opponent suggested for emphasising reading were also benefits of emphasising coding- such as developing creative skills. Coding also develops other skills that reading does not, such as mathematical ability, and it is a better thing to pursue knowledge of for that reason.

3) Advanced coding benefits both individuals and societies at large more than advanced reading does. Just think of the internet, modern physics, mathematics and medicine, mobile telephones, and the list goes on; the things advanced coders can produce for themselves or for society at large is overwhelming.
Debate Round No. 2


The only reason I put up this debate was because in study hall we read for 20 minutes then we work but that reading time may change to coding time and I hate to code and I love to read so if you were wondering why I made this debate that is it.
Reasons that reading is better for you
1. Mental stimulation
When it comes to reading books, mental stimulation is the first benefit people think about. According to the studies conducted in the field, reading can slow down (or even prevent) Dementia and Alzheimer's. If you keep your brain busy, it won't lose its power. Think of the brain as a regular muscle in the body. If you exercise, it will stay strong and fit. For sure you have heard the phrase "use it or lose it". Some other activities you could engage in include playing games, such as chess, and doing puzzles. Whichever activity you choose, you should never forget about the importance of reading books.
Mental exercise
When we think about reading books, the last word that would come to our mind is stimulation. Because we are sitting still, or lying down, and doing nothing but using our mind. But the mind is a powerful tool of imagination that is stimulated by random thoughts strung together along through the story. Our mind is fueled by imagination; imagination is not just for children. Even just sitting somewhere and reading is the same and exercise for your mind. There is nothing more helpful for the soul than a good book to help bring out your creative side. Someone who reads a lot of books is more intellectually stimulated than those who are not. Book-readers are also a dying breed.
2. Reducing stress
Some people start jogging or practice yoga to reduce stress in their lives. Regardless of the amount of pressure you might be under, there is nothing a good story can't solve. The importance of book reading is given by the fact that it can take you to lands far away to a time you never dreamed about. Long articles work the same way. A well-written article will distract you and grab you from the everyday reality. This way the tension will simply melt from your body and you will be able to finally relax.
Spiritual activity
A great way to let off some steam is to just grab a book and sit outside in the shade. The atmosphere and scenery and fresh air will allow your mind more freedom to become immersed in the book rather than just reading at the library. Take into account all the factors of what makes reading a spiritual activity and you can use your reading time much like meditation for your soul.
3. Expanding your vocabulary
In case you read an article on importance of reading books, for sure you will find this benefit. The mechanism is quite simple: the more frequently you encounter some words, the sooner you will introduce them in your vocabulary. Expressing yourself clearly will help you both in your personal and professional life not to mention that it will give you a boost of self-confidence. As you may have guessed, being well-spoken will help you get a promotion faster and you will gain knowledge as well. If you are thinking about learning a new language, reading will help you see words in context, making learning the language easier.
Language acquisition
The value of reading gives us vocabulary practice through repetition. The same advanced words over and over again will make us advanced speakers of whatever language we are reading. Books are perhaps the best way to become fluent in a new language. If you choose enjoyable books, I would say it's an even better alternative to textbooks and study.
4. Improving your memory
The people wondering about the importance of reading books in our life might be concerned about their memory. For sure you don't want to become senile when you get old, so your memory is crucial. When you read a book you have to remember a range of characters, their ambitions, history, nuances, and backgrounds along with sub-plots. This is a lot, if you come to think of it, but the brain has amazing powers when it comes to remembering even vast amounts of information. Every new memory creates new synapses and strengthens the existing ones, improving short-term memory.
Books give us time to reflect
The importance of books give us a sense of knowing what's lurking around the corner of every cliffhanger. We start to become masters of figuring out things before they happen. Book reading turns us into real-life detectives capable of problem solving and critical thinking. The correct way to read books would be to finish a chapter and then take some time to reflect upon what you just read. This will help focus your mind before moving onto the next chapter.
5. Analytic thinking
In many cases people need analytic thinking for their work and this is another reason for which reading books is important. As interesting as it may sound, reading can improve analytic thinking. Did you ever read a mystery novel and sorted out who done it before the book ended? This proves you have good skills. You can exercise the same neurons if you analyze the plot of a novel. Was it a well-written one? Were the characters properly developed? If you have friends who like reading as well, you could start a club and discuss the books you read. Aside from exercising your brain, you could also squeeze in some social activities too.
6. Improving concentration and focus
It is a known fact that in our days people have a very short attention span. In a matter of minutes they work, check tweets, chat with people, check their emails, and check their smartphones. This is where the importance of reading and writing comes into the picture. The ADD-like behavior only makes us more stressful and less productive. When you start reading, you have only one thing to focus on. You should try reading for 20-30 minutes before going to work and you will realize that you will be able to focus for longer periods of time.
Sit still and do some reading
Over time books importance can actually improve our concentration, since it's required in order to pay attention to the little details that a story includes. The more books we read, the less likely we are to be distracted by things outside of our control. People who cannot sit still can be cured of their anxiety through reading a good book for at least one hour every day. The effects of book-reading can have on our body and mind can be quite miraculous. It's an alternative therapeutic cure for our troubles.
7. Entertainment for free
In our days everything costs, so people are looking for free stuff. One of the best things about reading is that it offers free entertainment. Once you buy the book, you can read it as many times as you'd like. There is also the option of reading books online. There are free digital and some that you need a paid membership for. Here you will find millions of books only one click away. You can keep yourself up to date with the latest bestsellers or with the most well-known literary pieces of them all.
Books are valuable
In the long term, buying many books and reading through them at your earliest convenience will save you money on that time you would have spent playing games or going out at night. Book reading is about as productive of an activity as you can get, because your mind is growing after each finished book. The value of reading can't only be measured by money, as there are many more factors to consider.
8. Why to read to your children?
If you are thinking about reading, you should also think about the importance of reading to children. Children can also benefit from this activity in many different ways. Reading will help you develop a stronger bond with them, they will gain basic speech skills, and academic excellence can also be a "byproduct" of reading. The children the parents read to and those who read on their own have better communication skills, are thinking more logically, and they embrace new experiences. They are able to concentrate for longer periods of time and they have discipline.


My opponent has not said anything new or that is relevant to the motion in the last round- they have not tried to justify that we should *pay more attention* to reading than to coding- only that reading is beneficial. They have not even tried to contrast this to coding. As such, I see no reason to elaborate on my previous comments- I feel my case has already been made sufficiently to win the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Speechers 1 year ago
I meant during school. Should we focus on read or coding more.
Posted by SkySky16 1 year ago
How is this even a debate lmao, you've generally got to be able to read in life even to code.
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