The Instigator
littlelacroix
Pro (for)
Losing
65 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
74 Points

Society is getting worse.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/5/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,530 times Debate No: 3909
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (36)

 

littlelacroix

Pro

Before I begin I just want to say hi and good luck in this round.

I will begin this round by saying that I doubt clarification is really required for this debate, but I welcome any clarification by my opponent if it is deemed necessary. I will refute it in my next speech, however, if I see it completely bias and unfair.

I just want to say one more thing before the actual debating begins and that would be that we should be debating society as a whole. If we are to make this the best possible debate, we should be looking at the general view rather than every single circumstance or just one circumstance. (I guess that is sort of a point of clarification, but oh well) Now on to the argumentation.

1) People are slowly becoming more rude (or ruder, I'm not really sure what proper English would be there)

I live in one of the few exceptions left in this world, South Dakota. I've traveled to California, Texas and Washington DC and I still have not found a well-mannered cashier. A well-mannered employee should say thank you, have a nice day, or something along those lines. The closest thing I got was a come again in a snobbish tone. Not to mention the cashier, who when I walked off without getting my change, set it on the counter and began with the next customer. A cashier from South Dakota would run after you and say, "sorry sir, but you forgot this." People from earlier this century were also much more polite and unselfish. Therefore, society's manners are getting worse.

2) Entertainment is also going downhill

I have two points on this, television and movies...
a. Between reality shows and Sponge Bob Square Pants, our ability to entertain ourselves has grown easier over the years. In older shows, for example, Home Improvement, Full House, the George Lopez Show or the Bob Newhart Show, the plot was funny without being considered "mindless entertainment."

b. Next to the mindless entertainment of television, pretty much the same comes from movies. Looking at the classics, Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz (not necessarily a great movie but ground-breaking of the time), the older Star Wars, all had great plots and great "presence" when watching it. Now looking at the movies we have today, Jackass, the National Lampoon Series, Napoleon Dynamite, we definitely are at a disadvantage from before.

3) Dependency on "gadgets and gizmos" are devaluing society

Over the past month, I realized that I am dependent on two major pieces of technology, cars and cell phones. My car broke down and I was without it for several days. I felt like a mooch getting rides from anyone I know and not being able to go where ever I wanted. The other day I also left my phone at home. Have you ever been an entire day without your phone? I felt so very lost!!! Now do you think that a man in 1910 could still operate without his cell phone? Yeah, because he didn't have a phone to preoccupy his brain. I couldn't even concentrate in my government class cause I was so worried about my phone. And all of you skeptics, try leaving your phone at home for an entire day and you'll see how hard it is.

I have just shown three major examples of inferiority today that we haven't had in the past, from personality to entertainment to material possessions. I would be more than willing to provide more examples if desired by my opponent, such as obesity or nuclear proliferation. As you have seen from my examples of everyday activities, society, on average, is getting worse.

Thank you and I await your response.
Danielle

Con

I've had a problem with character limits in the past, so I'd like to get right down to the debate; however, I would also like to take this opportunity to greet the judges, my opponent, and wish him luck -- Welcome to Round 3!

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Opponent's Contentions:
1. People are becoming more rude.
2. Entertainment is going down-hill.
3. Dependency on gadgets is devaluing society.

My Rebuttal:

First, I disagree with my opponent's evidence that people in today's society are becoming more rude. He provided an example that included a personal experience; however, in his opening statement he mentioned, "We should be debating society as a whole. If we are to make this the best possible debate, we should be looking at the general view rather than every single circumstance or just one circumstance." In that case, this whole argument is null and void. He mentioned that he lives in South Dakota where proper manners are still valued and upheld. However I was born and raised in New York City - possibly considered (or assumed to be) the rudest city in the country, and I'll admit that it is not always a friendly place. However I consider myself to be exceptionally polite, and the company I keep is very well-mannered as well.

I believe that there are both good and bad people in this world in every location, and to assume that people of an earlier era were more considerate is a fallacy. Remember that times change and people's behavior do as well. For example there may have been more please and thank you's a few hundred years ago, but let us also recall that when a poor person passed away, their body was tossed into a cart and wheeled away for a mass disposal regardless of the family's feelings. Is that not rude to say the least?! Disrespectful?! Certainly. And as society placed a value on proper burial procedure, measures were taken to change that occurance. Today, perhaps a lesser value is placed on the word "please" and you may or may not agree... but society's shift in values does not necesarilly mean that as a whole we are getting worse.

Consider instead the positive aspects of recent communication. For instance, there is now more caution than ever - especially amongst professionals - to remain PC (politically correct) in terms of their language and how they treat people or talk about people whereas there was a much greater lack of censorchip on opressive language in the past.

I also oppose Pro's suggestion that entertainment is going downhill because of the few TV shows and movies he listed in his example. First, Sponge Bob - a children's cartoon - and television's reality TV shows are not indicative of anything other than a new phase of "what's hot." These fads are not new but have been around for centuries. Similarly, singling out movies such as Jackass and Napoleon Dynamite to determine the current/future direction of cinema is blatantly unfair and completely absurd. Pro noted some classics such as Casablanca and GWTW, which were praised for their cinematic achievements in the past including: advancement in terms of filming quality/techniques, direction, acting, writing, set design, etc. Movies today have expanded on those advancements and have in fact improved over time in terms of creativity and execution, as we can see from films like The Lord of the Rings trilogy, There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men, etc (not my personal favorites, but highly acclaimed).

On the flip side of this argument, I would like my opponent to consider - like I said - the great advancements in movies and film-making, and note that the content of movies has also greatly shifted from the G-rated-only movies that existed in the 1930s. Today artists have the freedom and the ability to capture on film more intense, controversial, and in depth plot lines that educate and promote discussion, as well as more accurately depict every day life. I'd also like to mention that while Sponge Bob may in fact be playing on one TV channel, shows on the History and Discovery channel may be playing simultaneously for others to enjoy depending on preference. I'd like to remind everybody of the widespread hit Planet Earth (awesome).

Finally I would like to completely disagree that our increasing "dependancy" on technology is a bad thing. In my opponent's example, his agitation at the thought of being without his cell phone for a day is hardly any proof at all of society going downhill. Afterall, there are still millions of people in this country that don't own a cell phone to begin with, and therefore do not have that problem. But rather than focusing on why cell phone dependancy is a BAD thing, perhaps instead our attention should be shifted as to why that "dependancy" exists in the first place. It is probably because my opponent (like many others) rely on their cell phones as a method of effective communication. Mobile phones are extremely widespread because of their convenience; you can reach people at almost any time for business, pleasure, or in case of an emergency.

Cell phones aside, I'd also like to point out other technological advancements that have greatly improved our quality of life, including: iPods (music appreciation), internet (educational resources) and digital cameras (persoal momentos). Of course people have the capacity to abuse technology and use it for evil; however, that is not telling of the current times but rather human nature in general.

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In addition to what I have already mentioned, I would like to include the following contentions:

1. The quality of life.
A. Medical advancements
B. Society's tolerance
C. Human capital
2. The future

The average life expectancy has increased by 30 years in the past century. That means that if it were the year 1900, your parents would probably be dead right now. No doubt the dramatic increase is in thanks to many medical advancements, including vaccinations and prevention (awareness) of disease and infection thanks to continual and constantly improved medical research. We have also found ways to create/implement things for human comfort, such as artificial limbs or corrective eye surgery. As a whole (which is how my opponent wanted to argue this debate), these medical advancements have far outdone more good than harm.

There have also been medical advancements in terms of psychology. Back in the 1960s, homosexuality was treated as a mental illness and "victims" were placed into mental institutions. Today society's tolerance has greatly increased. We no longer discriminate based on race and religion thanks in part to the Civil Rights Act of 1964; there will always be a few bad apples, but for the most part our government has taken steps to ensure equality over prejudice. Also in terms of society, "the fraction of the population living in poverty is falling, as are teen drinking, drug use, and pregnancies" -- Donella Meadows in The Global Citizen (11/23/2000).

Human Capital includes the health and skills of the population. "Like other forms of capital, as this one goes up, so does the productive potential of the society. Like other capitals, human capital rises with investment, and falls with age and poor maintenance" (SAME SOURCE). Because what is considered "old" is increasing (in number) thanks to medical advancements and a longer life expectancy, it is fair to say that society's productivity is increasing. Improvements regarding healthcare and medical triumphs also helps to ensure a healthy population.

Finally I'd like to mention the future. To say that society is getting worse is down-playing the many breakthroughs we as a society are seeing regarding fields such as space exploration, anthropology, archeology, sociology, psychology, and more! The phrase "You learn something new every day" exists because society as a whole seeks continual improvement.
Debate Round No. 1
littlelacroix

Pro

I would just like to start off by saying that I'm sorry for postponing this debate so long. Furthermore, I want to assist my opponent with the character limit problem. The reason for your problem is because of this...

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Very beneficial to organizational skill, hurtful to the character limit. Lol, jk. I would also like to wish you good luck as we continue this debate. Now on to the argumentation.

1)I would like to start by saying that my example provided before is meant to illustrate society in general, I'm not trying to limit it to only what I see and ignore what others see as well. It's just an example of one way a completely random person would be willing to be completely disrespectful to another random person. Furthermore, if you are tying to limit my example, than you should take a closer look at your own speech. You use an example of you own by saying, "I consider myself to be exceptionally polite, and the cmpany I keep is very well-mannered as well." However, when looking at this argumentation, anyone judging this round must accept my example as it is dealing with a rander person versus my opponent's own group of friends. He is limiting this debate to only those he associates with.

2) Now on to the example of throwing dead poor people onto a cart being disrespectful. I will completely agree with that. We have been on an increasing our level of manners since then, that is, until about the 1950's. This is the approximate peak of manners in our society before once again falling downward. Now, thankfully, we haven't reached and hopefully will never reach anothaer level that is as low as throwing dead people on a cart, but, nonetheless, we are still moving downward. If you wish for me to demonstrate, I asked my grandfather about this and a similar example happened to him in relation to my example from before. He was at a restaurant in Tennessee, set his coat down to pay fr his meal, paid it and left without his coat. The cashier came running after him and said, "Sir! Excuse me, sir! You forgot your coat." ~ "Thank you so much!" ~ "You're very welcome!" I would be very impressed if you could find someone today that would be willing to do that for just a "thank you." Therefore, in this sense, society is getting worse.

3)I have two arguments on your political correctness argument.
a. First of all, political correctness has gone too far. People throughout this society are beginning to get upset and frustrated with political correctness. Take, for example, the incident of the Walmart shopper being greeted by a "Merry Christmas!" This one person made a big deal out of it saying that she was offended by those words. As a response, I, and several of my friends across the country, began to say "Merry Christmas" to everyone they walked by. To say that two words offends a person is completely ridiculous!!! If they don't like it, then ignore it! I know find it rude if a person tells me "Happy Holidays" versus the true holiday with which they will soon participate in.

b. I have several friends that are minorities and prefer to be called what they are. My friend Kendra is black, and she prefers to be called it. If you ask her, she will tell you, "I'm black! I'm not an African American. I've never been to Africa and I never want to go to Africa, therefore, I'M BLACK!" She also says that if you don't say it in an offensive way, she doesn't take it as offensive; so why be offended by something that isn't offensive? I have several other friends including a Mexican and a Bhengali that share the same feelings and have made nicknames including their decent rather than Hispanic or Muslim; for example, "The cute lil' Mexican" or "The little brown Bhengali boy." They are the ones that made these names and wouldn't want it any other way.

*Also, you mention that there is more censorship today than before. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!? Have you ever watched the show, South Park? On one of their episodes they said the "s" word over 100 times, and it wasn't bleeped out.

Therefore, society is becoming more informal and thus worse because we are becoming, for lack of a better word, more barbaric.

4) You mentioned that show like SpongeBob Squarepants as what is "hot" and things like this have been around forever. I will once again agree with this, but what use to be hot was things like baseball or bike riding. We are now sitting in front of a couch watch a talking sponge. Can you honestly tell me how that has improved society? Also, reality shows are EVERYWHERE! There aren't just a few of them anymore, they're everywhere, on every channel!(Maybe a little exagerated, but you get the point) Furthermore, I will agree that we are still making good movies, but they use to be a dime a dozen. Now, there are fewer and fewer every year. Screen writers are running out of ideas and we are running out of good actors. Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery and Lucille Ball, Bob Hope... I could go on forever. They are few and far apart nowadays. Who is going to replace them? Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan? I mean, come on!!! Pretty soon we are only going to have remakes with mediocre actors! In the entertainment field, society is DEFINATELY getting worse!

5) You say that our dependency on technology is a good thing? Wrong! Although cell phones may be beneficial in emergencies, it is making our lives very impersonal. How much value can we put on a relationship if it can be ended by a text message? We are becoming dependent on technology because we beleive it is a good thing, when in reality, we are just becoming lazy.

However, cell phones aside, I'd also like to point out other technological advancements that have greatly decreased our quality of life, including: Nukes (mass death and destruction), Television and Gaming (increased violence and obesity -- not to mention shorter attention span), any commmunication device (increase in cheating), Internet (pornography) and digital cameras (blackmail). You agree that people have the capacity to abuse technology, and the reason why society is getting worse, is because more and more people are recognizing their capacity to use if for evil.

Now on to my opponent's side.

I'm slowly running out of characters, but I have several short points I would like to make on your arguments. First of all, for the human capital and medical advancement arguments, what good is any of this if we can't prevent the use of technology for evil. Who cares if we figure a way to live until we are seven hundred if a nuclear weapon can kill us all instantly? Who cares how much mankind is worth if we are only offsetting it by corruption? Which brings me to my next argument.

I will agree that there has been an increase in society's tolarence, but just barely! As a percentage in comparison to the growing population, hate crimes have gone down very slightly. However, looking to police profiling, that number has increased dramatically. We are seperating ourselves by stupid stereotypes and we must stop racism before society can get any better.

You also mention that teen drinking, drug use and pregnancy is falling, from 2000. This is a lie. Teen drinking especially has increased! From 2000 to 2005, SADD reports an increase in teen drinking by almost 2,000,000 kids. Also, those are just the ones getting caught. There are still plenty others that avoid being caught that are heavy drinkers.

No matter which way you look at it, society is getting worse. Yeah, we may be making some advances in the world of academia, but what good is that if we are all becoming evil corrupt people? The world in and of itself doesn't seek improvement, individuals such as myself, and I'm hoping many of you, are the ones that are seeking improvement, but we need to help those who are struggling as well. Thank you.
Danielle

Con

1. Rudeness

You mentioned that often you cannot find what YOU deem to be a well-mannered casheir when you've traveled to other states (completely ignoring the fact that different parts of the country/world have separate cultures, up-bringings and values). My point was to demonstrate how that has been your own personal experience, and provides no insight into the mannerisms of society as a whole. I mentioned that my friends and I are polite, and most of us have been casheirs at some point. If we had serviced you instead of those other individuals, then you would have had a positive experience with out-of-state casheirs and not been able to list this example as "proof" of your point.

2. Decreasing Manners

A. Again I would like to disregard the relevance of your grandfather's experience -- I'm not even sure what your point was? You mentioned that a casheir ran after him to let him know that he had forgotten his coat. Um, so? I have had patrons at restaurants (let alone casheirs) run after me when I have forgotten things at the table; just the other day an honest waiter reminded me that I had accidentally left my new Coach watch behind.

B. I would also like to disagree that people's manners began to decline after the 1950s. Like I mentioned, back then people would still openly refer to a black individual as a nigger or a coon in everyday conversation. These were and are derogatory terms that were socially accepted back then, but would not be tolerated today depending on the company that you keep. And that's exactly my point. Rude people existed in 1958, and polite people exist in 2008.

3. Political Correctness

A. You mentioned that being PC has gone too far. Maybe it has - you have a right to hold that opinion. But another person has that same right to be offended in a particular situation where you might not be. A perfect example comes from your own contention that you would find it rude if someone told you "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." Well I might find it rude if someone merely assumed that I celebrated Christmas. It's all a matter of perspective, and honestly, I don't think this has much to do with your argument, but rather you are just reaching here...

B. Again, your argument about your black friend really has very little to do with this debate. Also, what is PC changes all the time -- currently the term "black" is considered more PC than the term African American, so again there is really no reason for this commentary.

C. No, I am not kidding you when I say that there is more censorship today than before. However, I did specify that I was referring to PC terminology - not the media in general. In fact, I noted the opposite when I discussed how movies today contain LESS censorship than those from the 1930s, which allows artists and filmmakers to expand on their creativity and content. However, I maintain that certain things are considered downright unacceptable today, whereas in years prior it was okay. Examples include using the word nigger in everyday conversation, and not hiring somebody based on their religious affiliaton.

D. To take it a step further, society is making great strides in the PC department thanks to relatively new concepts such as women in the workforce. More and more women are becoming powerful outside of the home, and are able to balance both work and family life whereas previously women were restricted to no-income jobs such as homemaking. My opponent himself can not and does not disagree that we are making leaps and bounds (slowly but surely) in terms of equality, tolerance and acceptance. Think of it this way: there is a strong possibility that either a black man or a white woman will be the President of the United States in the year 2008. That would have been unthinkable 20 years ago.

4. Entertainment

A. My opponent mentioned that cartoons and reality TV shows are ridiculous in comparison with past critisized past-times, such as baseball or bike riding. However again my opponent is being close-minded in terms of his examples. Have you ever thought of the perks of reality TV? I'm sure sociologists have a great time oberserving that peculiar human behavior. Plus, consider a reality TV show like The Bachelorette. It's a silly premise - I'll admit - but Bachelorette Trista met her husband and now baby's daddy, Ryan Sutter, thanks to the show's existance. Similarly, winners of Survivor have won a lot of money, and American Idol's like Kenny Clarkson have reality TV to thank for her career. So do her fans. So you see, you can't just focus on the negative and ignore the benefits. I'm sure a busy mother of 2 is thanking the creators of Sponge Bob everyday for entertaining her kids while she works. Plus, my opponent failed to respond to my point that there is not only mindless TV out there, but interesting and intelligent programming as well. Plus, consider the Ancient Romans and what THEY did for entertainment...

B. Next my opponent attacks today's movies, and mentions that good films used to be a dime a dozen whereas now there are fewer and fewer every year. I whole-heartedly disagree. That is based solely on his opinion and does not reflect the current views of society. If people still appreciated the content and delivery of movie plot lines from the past, similar movies would still exist today (and they do in the form of romantic comedies, for example). However things change, and like I've mentioned, filmmaking like other art has evolved to include new techniques and ideas. Again my opponent is manipulating the facts; he asks who will replace Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery, Bob Hope and Lucille Ball - Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan? No. Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DiNiro and Meryl Streep - that's who. New and talented artists emerge constantly. Just because they might be different does NOT make them inferior.

5. Technology

A. Straw-man alert! I never said that dependency on technology was a good thing. I said that people were so attached to their cell phones because of their many uses and incredible convenience. And replacing personal interaction with text messaging? That's an option but definitely not always the case. I know a lot of people who prefer talking to writing; the message is more clear that way. Plus, again my opponent is being very limiting - he says that we are dependant on technology because we are becoming lazy. What an over-statement! If I move to Jersey and all of my friends are back in NY, I'm going to call them on the phone to communicate with them because talking is more personal than writing a letter - not because I'm lazy.

B. Con points to nukes, TV, the internet and digital cameras as examples of how technology is contributing to the downfall of society. I vehemently disagree with this ideology. He says that these things lead to death & destruction, obesity, cheating, porn and blackmail. Like I said, these things should be attributed to human nature in general - not the changing times. War existed long before Nukes did; there were fat people prior to TV; porn existed in the form of magazines before the internet was ever invented, etc. Just as these things can be instruments used for bad, they can also be (and are promoted to be) tools for good.

6. Human Capital

A. You will never be able to police everybody and prevent people from using technology for evil, just as you couldn't police everyone and everything from the past. We are looking at this debate in terms of things as a WHOLE and what they are meant to be used for - not how some people abuse them (technology).

B. Ridiculous point. I've already discussed how racism/sexism is definitely DECREASING, though some form of prejudice will always exist.

C. I never said that teen drinking (etc) was down from 2000. I quoted an article from the year 2000.

D. No more characters, but... for the record we are not all becoming evil and corrupt.
Debate Round No. 2
littlelacroix

Pro

1) First of all, I would like to mention that I'm not trying to limit this debate to just cashiers, rather, trying to use the ones I've met as an example. Secondly, whether cashiers or not, you are still using only yourself and those you keep as your company for an example. Therefore, we must be able to use my example as it is the way one random person is treating another random person. And finally, we are not looking at whether you and your friends would be willing to treat me with courtesy, rather the one cashier in question. Just because you and your friends are courteous, doesn't mean that all of society is courteous.

2)a. I was shocked to hear about your waiter, but nonetheless, there are still some people that are rude enough for a person, like myself, to remember such disrespect, thus, if random people are so rude to people they don't even know, society is getting worse in this sense.

b. I will talk about this point later on.

3)a. Political correctness has gone too far. "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." If I say Merry Christmas and you say Happy Hanukkah, what's offensive with that? As a matter of fact, I think that's a good thing. It's a symbol of acceptance of other religions, exactly what our forefathers were hoping, yet we are degrading their morals by hiding our religions just because of a few uptight people.

b. This argument is completely necessary to this debate because it is proving that there are a select few who are not so uptight as to be offended by the less accepted terms. And you really have to be joking saying that the term black is more politically correct than African American.

c. & d. First of all, I thought that you meant censorship in general and I would like to keep my argument before in that the media, in general, is less censored today than before. Swear words are used more than before along with violence, sex, drugs and alcohol. Censorship has only decreased as of recent. Secondly, you mentioned "Examples include using the word nigger in everyday conversation, and not hiring somebody based on their religious affiliaton." We still have derogatory terms today such as "cracker" and "wetback" that are meant to have the same offense as the term "nigger." Also, instead of not hiring someone based on religious affiliation, we have affirmative action, basing a job decision on someone's outward appearance instead of the best man for the job. Oh yeah, that's a real improvement! Not to mention that since 9/11, this nation has been the most racially segregated since the 1960's and before. How can society be improving if we are only working against one another.

4)a. For starters, there were sociology experiments before this, now, they are just trying to squeeze as much money out of the public as humanly possible by providing stuff that should remain off the air. The is where the term "mindless entertainment" came from. I'll give you that Kelly Clarkson, Chris Daughtry and Carrie Underwood deserved their fame from American Idol, but what about the rest of them. Out of all of the supposed talent from the show, really only three of them deserved any showtime. And don't get me started on Survivor. It's pretty much winning the lottery. We watch people as they lie and deceive in order to make it to the finale. Is it good that we watch people at their worst as a main form of entertainment? No! Not even close! It's actually working against society from progressing. Also, a mother of 2 may love SpongeBob to entertain her kids, but she just loves it because she doesn't have to put up with them. Couldn't the same be given by shows like the Magic School Bus or any of the shows on PBS which are actually educational and aren't pointless in their meaning. Finally, I didn't respond to your argument on the educational programming argument because, between PBS, the Discovery Channel and History Channel, there is really none left. There are hundreds of channels on cable and there are mainly 3-5 educational channels left.

b. I would once again like to refer to what you previously said, you say that if people like previous plot lines, then they will still exist today. I completely agree, but just picture this... in 20 years, there will be hundreds of new movie releases and 90% of them are pretty much the same movie as movies created before. How boring will that be? Extremely boring. Not to mention all the movies that will be remade. I don't really want to watch all five remakes of The Longest Yard. Moving on, you mention that Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Rober DiNiro and Meryl Streep will replace the great actors of past. They themselves are getting older and the new "fresh" meat of today is looking at Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. These are today's superstars and most likely the replacements of the once great actors. If I were you, I wouldn't be looking forward for another Godfather or Gone With the Wind unless you want it to be a sluttier version of the original.

5)a. Ok, if your description of dependency on technology doesn't mean it's a good thing, than I don't know what is. You say its many uses and great convenience that technology is, essentially, a good thing. Once again going back to what you said, convenience, but then you say that you are not lazy. Dependence on technology is laziness because a call says, I want to talk to you, but I'm just too lazy to actually do something to tell you. A letter really is more personal because it has work and feeling put into it. And what about my description of a person breaking up with someone else via text messaging? Again, how much value can you put on that? On the argument of people having the option of doing this, I will attack this later.

b. I will agree that there was death, obesity, porn, etc before these inventions, but it has perfected these evils. Before nukes and technology, when could you easily destroy an entire city within minutes. Before television, fewer people were considered obese. Before internet, when could you see thousands of videos of people having sex within just a few minutes. You couldn't do any of these things before technology, but now you can.

The remaining arguments, I believe, have been indirectly attacked sometime during this speech or will be attacked in the following.

I am going to spend the remainder of my speech talking about an argument that has been, for the most part, informally argued throughout the entire round. My opponent has contended that mankind has the ability to abuse technology, but that it doesn't describe society today. I HIGHLY disagree with my opponent on this matter. Now before I say why, I would like to agree with my opponent that mankind is always seeking perfection (like he said when naming off the fields of academia). With that said, mankind is even seeking perfection in evil. We have perfected weapons of mass destruction, cheating and even blackmail. These went un-argued by my opponent because he agrees that we are truly perfecting evil. If we look at the world today, how many have cheated on a test that they forgot to study for? How many times have digital cameras been used to blackmail people? The point is that mankind has the ability to use technology for evil and, in todays world, actually uses it. Therefore, how can society be getting better if we are only digging ourselves into a worse situation than before? Whether all or some, a vast number of people are becoming more rude, alongside with taking things too far (political correctness), losing many good actors who created classics, using technology for the "dark side", all contributors to society becoming worse. These are the reasons for decreasing human capital and that is why the future is in danger.

Btw, theLwerd, I always multi task, and maybe you should take me up on the LD debate I just started :-) and good luck in the rest of the tournament.
Danielle

Con

1. Manners

My opponent is completely contradictory with his statements. He says that I am only using myself and my experiences as an example, but he is only using HIMself and HIS experiences to draw a conclusion. Therefore if my argument doesn't hold any weight, than his shouldn't either. It's like I've been saying - yes, there are some rude people in today's world. However there are a lot of polite people as well. My opponent provided no proof other than his own experiences to explain the rudeness of today's society. Likewise, I have given examples of common courtesy and respect in today's society, but I acknowledge that there are some terribly rude people out there as well. Therefore the only point that should stand regarding the manners argument is my contention that people are more careful to not blatantly throw around dergoatory terms today, which is true. So a point goes to me here, while no points go to my opponent.

2. Political Correctness/Affirmative Action

Again my opponent is offering no facts, but rather his own opinion on what should or should not be PC. Regardless of whether or not you agree with him, his feelings do not constitute what is right and wrong. It was not our forefather's intention to allow us to say Merry Christmas to each other -- that argument is a clearly manipulated interpretation of the separation of Church and State. Rather PC terms exist as an alternative to offensive language, i.e. referring to someone as homosexual or gay rather than a f@g.

Further, my opponent is clearly not aware that the PC term for black has shifted from African American BACK to black, even though in his very own example he mentioned his black friend preferred to be called black (hence the change). His attempt at making me look foolish is quite ironic considering that he is the one behind on the times. And finally, my opponent's argument regarding Affirmative Action holds no water. First, most places do not employ the AA policy. In fact, on most job applications or other admission processes, a company will note that a decision will NOT be made based on race, gender, etc. So for all of the places that DO use AA, an equal number of places (or more) do not adhere to the policy. Second, while AA does exist, racism also still exists. At one place a person may get hired because they're black; at another, they may NOT get hired BECAUSE they are black. So in a sense, they cancel each other out. Either way, this argument is void.

3. Censorship

Again this is an argument that can be looked at 2 ways. To my opponent, society is going downhill because of decreasing censorship in the media. To others, "Censorship always protects and perpetuates every horror of the prevailing forms of oppression. With us, its subtle disguises increase its evils by creating delusions of safety, liberty and democracy. It precludes that intelligence which is necessary to hasten wholesome and natural social evolution" -- Theodore Schroeder. So think of it this way: not censoring the media comes with the horror of exposing children to the foul language they hear all the time growing up anyway. The dangers of censorship, however, include oppression and tyranny. So don't fret, littlelacroix - a young'n might hear the word bit
Oh, and about 9/11, the increasing racial segregation in this country is only a result of the Bush Administration's use of fear mongering. Once a Democrat is back in the White House and the so-called War on Terrorism (a.k.a. let's discriminate against Arab Americans) is over, we can only assume that society will continue on the accepting and progressive track that it was on before.

4. Entertainment

So what does my opponent have to say about all this? Well we know that he doesn't like the show Survivor. That's cool - he's entitled to his opinion. However what he considers mindless does not mean that others don't enjoy it for whatever reason. For instance think of a sport - any sport - but I'll use golf as an example. Well in actuality golf is a game that revolves around hitting a tiny ball as far as you can towards a tiny hole in the distance, and then walking up to the ball and hitting it away from you again. This to me seems pretty mindless. Yet millions of people enjoy the game; Hell, it even became a professional sport - one that is played and celebrated by even the most intelligent individuals. So mindless? Maybe. But what does that have to do with anything?

Next I'll address my opponent's other points regarding television. He points out that a mother could let her children watch Sponge Bob when she "doesn't want to deal with them" however he pointed out possible alternatives like The Magic School Bus and other PBS programming. Well great! That just proves my point that there is a variety of educational TV that one can watch, children-related or otherwise.

Regarding movies, Pro completely contradicts himself. "In 20 years, there will be hundreds of new movie releases and 90% of them are pretty much the same movie as movies created before." He says this after acknowleding that people's taste in movies change and therefore new kinds of movies emerge. However by that logic, then in 20 years from now NEW movie themes and plots will emerge also (just as movies have shifted from 20 years prior to now). He also deems stars like DiCaprio and Depp to be "too old" to be considered great actors of our day (Bull. Wikipedia notes that his very own example of Bob Newhart was the most popular between 1972 and 1978, when he was nearly 50 years old - much older than Depp and DiCaprio, but I digress). In that case consider Ellen Page (21) who was nominated for an Oscar this past year, Haley Joel Osment (nominated for an Academy Award at age 11), or Adrian Brody, who was the youngest man to win an Oscar in 2003. My point is that good actors come and go, and good directors/writers come and go, thus good movies will always come and go. Plus - my opponent didn't touch upon it - but I believe I have included all of the reasons in rounds prior as to why movies are getting better (creativity, technology, etc.).

5. Technology

Again my opponent assumes that dependance on technology = laziness. Uh, WRONG. People rely on technology for a lot of reasons, including but not limited to: production of goods (faster, easier, safer and cheaper); fast, global communication (telephones, cell phones, e-mail, etc.); medical advancements (which my opponent did not address at all, but include monumental things such as corrective surgery, implementation of artificial limbs, organ transplants, etc.); entertainment and the economy (gadgets are lucrative).

Next my opponent notes the things you "couldn't do before technology" including be exposed to a lot of porn instantly (where's the harm in that, anyway?), or facilitate obesity via television. However the list of things you CAN do *because* of technology is greatly longer than the list of things you COULDN'T. Besides, the positives far outweigh the negatives, even in this debate alone. Consider my examples from the previous paragraph.

After admitting society seeks constant improvement, Pro writes, " mankind is even seeking perfection in evil ... These went un-argued by my opponent because he agrees that we are truly perfecting evil." Uh, no. This went unargued because it wasn't addressed before. Anyway, in this paragraph my opponent contests that things like cheating on tests and blackmail have not existed before the invention of things like digital cameras. Give me a break.

6. Conclusion

No more characters, but uh, vote CON :)
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by DoubleXMinus 6 years ago
DoubleXMinus
"The point is that mankind has the ability to use technology for evil and, in todays world, actually uses it. Therefore, how can society be getting better if we are only digging ourselves into a worse situation than before?........" From this point down all the way to, "These are the reasons for decreasing human capital and that is why the future is in danger." That ends the paragraph, I'd like to address.

To me, it sounds like you're saying soon society isn't going to have much of a future left because we actually moved into the future from the past of the 1950's. Sounds like you believe entertainment is going to continue to worsen because we're going to lose past decent actors and actresses... Would the future of entertainment be secure if the actors and actresses mentioned never got any older?

Advancing technology is bad, any changes in mannerisms is bad, any changes in the way entertainment is delivered means it won't be as good as before...

So now, if we could have frozen all progress from the 50's, still live in the 50's now and forever, would that be the answer?

I have a personal question if I may... how often do you change around your furniture, the style of your hair, deodorant, shampoo, cologne and such? Consider that independently if possible 'cause I'm curious...?
Posted by HellKat 6 years ago
HellKat
"I know find it rude if a person tells me "Happy Holidays" versus the true holiday with which they will soon participate in."

So if a Jewish person walked by you you would want them to say "Happy hanukkah"?
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
I'd take you up on the LD debate; however, I have no idea what an LD debate is, as I have no formal debating experience :(
Posted by littlelacroix 6 years ago
littlelacroix
It's all good. I knew what you meant, lol
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
HaHa - I meant KELLY Clarkson. Whoops.
36 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by imabench 2 years ago
imabench
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Reasons for voting decision: Trying to show how society on a whole is getting worse by using a very limited number of traits of populations was an impossible task for the Pro and any examples he did try to apply the con dismissed them. conduct for the low character setting, and con's sources were informative
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