The Instigator
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The Contender
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4 Points

Slang is a symptom of decadence

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/26/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 686 times Debate No: 60933
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




My argument is that slang is a sign that moral as well as ethical values are being lost. This can be observed by the way in which some slang words have been incorporated into the English language. Preference of slang words to conventional and formal words is also evidence of my stance. Furthermore, the way in which some slang words, most of which can be found on the urban dictionary website, are linked to sensual and rather vulgar phenomena shows that the unmoral and the immoral have teamed up to fight the moral on the platform of colloquial language. In today's world, slang is a vehicle for ethical decay.


I accept the challenge and will be arguing that slang is not a "vehicle of ethical decay". In order for something to decay, it must first be in a state that could decay. If that something is already rotten or decayed, then decaying is essentially normal. Thus, the assumption is that people in society were in a non-decaying state at one point, which changed, causing the decaying state to start and for slang to appear as a symptom.

As for my arguments, they will use the understanding that people were already in a decaying, ruinous state and offensive slang is a symptom of that.

Note that not all slang is offensive or related to ethics directly (like "ain't") at all and some slang is used positively, as in humorous situations. According to psychology, some slang is used in groups and the ability to use that slang is encouraging and permits the person a sense of belonging (though it could be argued to alienate others). In addition, psychology supports the notion that it requires a level of creativity to speak in slang (like Shakespeare, for example). Creativity, I think you would agree, is not an undesirable trait in a person, thus you would not say someone is ethically decaying because he is creative.

Debate Round No. 1


Firstly, I would like to applaud my opponent for taking a rather well founded stance. However, I would also like to point out that my opponent has failed to realize the double-sided aspect of decadence. R34;Decadence is defined by the New Oxford American dictionary as moral or cultural decline. I will give this example [1]:In some tribes such as those shown in the exhibit, girls have to get their vaginal muscles painfully altered so as to increase pleasure in during sexual intercourse. Any sane person will agree that this is indeed wrong, but looking into it critically, one finds that it perfectly matches the definition of an aspect of culture. As such, if that practice is stopped, then decadence has taken place. In such a case, decadence has occurred in a positive and constructive fashion. Valued reader and fellow debater, allow me to use my opponent's devices against him/her. My opponent argued that use of slang carries with it a fragment of creativity and it gives a sense of belonging and I agree with every word of that. It seems my opponent learnt the truth of the saying " If you can't beat them, join them" because those sentiments are in my support. Slang is linguistic decadence which promotes creativity hence it is a form of decadence which is positive. As a reminder, I am only arguing that slang is a symptom of decadence without outlining whether it is positive or negative. As a result, for any form of slang-related decadence stated I can classify it as negative or positive but still maintaining the fact that it is decadence.

In addition, I shall give a further outline of how slang has led to decadence.
It would be myopic to look at slang-related decadence in the context of one country hence I shall look at it within the scope of the whole world. Slang is indeed a world wide phenomenon. [2]
Further information to be given in the rounds to follow.

[1] [Content removed by moderator]


Please do not use pornographic websites for references. I did not need photos to understand what you were getting across. It was completely unnecessary and inappropriate.

It appears that my opponent believes in a natural, non-relative moral code, since he said "Any sane person will agree that this is indeed wrong," when referring to the tribal tradition. If that assumption is correct, then it would seem he has made the mistake of labelling the removal of such a tradition from the tribal group as a "decline".

Let's assume for the argument that there is an absolute, moral code that each person has (a conscience, if you will).

From that assumption, if you do something that is aligned with your conscience, then you are being moral. By being moral, you would not be in moral decline. Thus you are plateau-ing or inclining. Decadence is associated with a moral or cultural decline, which would not apply if a person is following his/her conscience.

On the other hand, a relative perspective would have no ground to stand on and thus, a decline or incline could not be determined, since it is all relative.

A moral decline is associated with decadence, not just any change in morals. It would seem you are making the assumption that slang is a symptom of change, not decadence. A positive decadence involves self-indulgence, which is not necessarily a good decision
Furthermore, culturally, a decline occurs when a culture abandons the direction they were taking (morally, economically, etc).

According to decadence, a decline/decay must occur, but slang is not a positive or negative thing. Yes, you could say some slang words are worse than others, but it cannot be applied to slang, in general. Even if you applied your view of duality where positive and negative words are symptoms of decadence, then you still do not have evidence that "Ain't" is a symptom. Also, just because slang exists, does not mean the society has moved up or down on the cultural or moral ladder. It could just be that one slang-word gained more popularity than the previous one. There is no assurance that the change in slang has anything to do with decadence. It could just be that people born in the '80s prefer certain words that people from the '90s never use. That would be generational. A change does not mean decadence has risen up in the society.

Lastly, a man could avoid all slang-use and still have a decadent-nature. If he avoids all slang, then it is not a symptom of decadence; it is a abstinence he has chosen for himself (despite having less abstinence elsewhere in his life).
Debate Round No. 2


tpmassive forfeited this round.


My argument still stands.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeit and the pornography that had to be removed by a mod. Arguments for the lack of response to Con's case.