The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
17 Points

Television Does More Harm Then Good

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/12/2010 Category: Technology
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 21,821 times Debate No: 13131
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)




Con may go first.


Very well, but you have the primary burden of proof as both instigator and Pro. If you don't affirm the resolution adequately, you forfeit the debate.

1. Television allows the spread of political and social ideas, so that people are aware of the various ideological viewpoints in society. This prevents people single-mindedly accepting the viewpoints of their family, friends or area without hearing what the other side has to say. It allows the political, religious, philosophical and other differences in society to be presented and explored by virtually everyone in a country. It also allows the questioning of political figures who would otherwise remain unchallenged. Call-in shows, public debates and the media mean politicians and other people in a position of power have to justify themselves to the public.

2. There are many educational science, historical and cultural shows that are shown on television, contributing to a more well informed society. Many programs are intellectual in nature and serve to stimulate thought and interest in various topics. Some films and series have philosophical or scientific undercurrents; while they may primarily be for entertainments, they also educate viewers to a degree. News programs serve to inform viewers of local and worldwide affairs, while useful program such as weather forecasting help us in our daily lives.

3. Most obviously, television, like sports, games, sex or desserts have entertainment value - we enjoy watching our favourite reality, comedy, detective, sci-fi or whatever shows on the television.
Debate Round No. 1


RESOLUTION: Television does more harm than good.

1) Television is rapidly losing its power to spread ideas. The Internet is coming up fast. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter allow for the same thing, EXCEPT, people are actually able to communicate and talk about an issue right as its happening. Many things that are broad-casted on tv are also available on the computer and more people are able to access that information. Political figures and their ideas can also be challenged with social networking with people communicating in real time expressing their ideas.

2) There are many new technologies that are better than the television to educate people on culture and history. We can easily use YouTube and actually interact with the media we are being exposed to, it is also much more affordable to do it that way. Television may also spread fear by focusing on certain issues by over emphasizing them. Seeing many of these things re enacted makes us (especially children) less sensitive to the real thing; ill elaborate later on this in my argument. Many channels are controlled by powerful "western" corporations and the culture of the programmes is predominantly North American, European or Australian and is very bias. … (Not an equal sharing of information, opinions or cultural expressions …)

3) "Most obviously, television, like sports, games, SEX or desserts have entertainment value - we enjoy watching our favourite reality, comedy, detective, sic-fi or whatever shows on the television."
Are you kidding me!?!? I will go over this later in my speech, but everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, including children have access to television. There are already so many bad influences for their developing minds, Television simply makes that situation worse.


Contention 1): Television destroys the developing mind.
I. Today 98% of American households have a TV set and the same is true of most "developed" countries. Many children are in these households.
i. Multiple studies and statistics have shown that television creates more problems for children and adolescents. Research suggests that TV can slow down young children's speech development. A statistic by the same study proves that there's is a link between TV and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
II. Excessive television viewing has been blamed for increasing rates of childhood obesity and for aggressive behavior, while its impact on schooling have been inconclusive, researchers said. But studies published on the topic in this month's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine concluded television viewing tended to have an adverse effect on academic pursuits.
III. Advertisers have also brain washed our children with advertising over the television. Advertising on the television is very intrusive and undeveloped minds pick up on it very easily. This could lead to many controversies later in their life such as financial troubles.
Contention 2): There are better ways to entertain and educate ourselves other than television.
I. "Consistently, those with a bedroom television but no home computer access had, on average, the lowest scores and those with home computer access but no bedroom television had the highest scores," wrote study author Dina Borzekowski of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
I. Like I said in my rebuttal many of the services that are offered on television are even better on the computer.
II. People could go out and converse about world issues in person and get active. People could READ magazines and books.

I will be introducing 2 more arguments later. Thank you for your time.



Firstly, allow me to note that Con has plagiarised portions of his previous round from this internet article: an . This is extremely poor conduct to say the least, and I'll let the voters decide what to do about it. The sources Pro has provided are simply articles arguing against television - making their own arguments. Sources should instead be used to corroborate the debaters own arguments, so all of Pro's sources are irrelevant and should be ignored. He simply googled 'television harm' or something similar and posted whatever came up.

1) The internet does indeed allow the spread of ideas and viewpoints to an even greater degree. However, this is the very reason why it cannot replace television - there is far more ignorant garbage posted everywhere on the internet than on television. While the majority of mainstream television programs are regulated to ensure quality control, the internet is a stewpot of unreliable data and bogus statistics. In addition, the internet can be a poor device for underage people. The prevalence of porn, violent and disturbing videos, swearing on forums and various other obscenities detract from the internet's attractiveness as an information source, while television is regulated to avoid such things.

2) While some news sites are somewhat biased, this is inevitable and cannot be avoided - many news programs are for a particular audience, many are impressively neutral. In any case, this bias does not compare to the horrible bias found on the internet. Consider conservapedia, which is notorious for its appalling distortion and outright lying, yet is used by a great deal of right wing people for information. I could name many more sites.

In addition, this response has the same problems as the first - it proposes the internet as a replacement for television, but the internet has significant problems of its own. I'm also not sure what the point of responding in this way is - we're discussing whether television does more harm than good, not whether something else is better. Proposing the internet as a superior source of information is irrelevant - Pro must demonstrate the resolution to be true, not show that something else would be false by the resolution.

3) Pro has simply ignored this point and opted to rant instead. As an uncontested argument, it wins me the debate if Pro does not respond.

Responses to contentions:


I. Okay.
i. Some links for this research would be nice. Regardless, there are many problems with these types of research. It may simply be that children who already have ADHD are more attracted to watching television as it is one of the only entertainment forms that appeals to them. Correlation does not always equal causation - ADHD may cause increased television watching instead of the other way around.

II. Even if I were to concede that these studies are entirely accurate (and since Pro has not posted them there is no way of knowing), we still must consider that there are many, many societal factors that affect childhood development - for instance, the main cause of rises in obesity are undoubtedly mainly caused by the increasing prevalence of junk food. Television is at most one of many factors that might affect things like obesity and childhood aggression, and while these are still relatively grey areas, the benefits of television for society as a whole are clear.

III. Evidence that this causes problems please. Plus, advertising is inevitable for any entertainment form - form radio to the internet. Otherwise it wouldn't function. Even if television were entirely eliminated, advertising would still be everywhere. Television is not really the issue here, but our capitalistic society; eliminating television would not eliminate advertising.


I. Again, these kinds of studies can be highly deceiving. It could simply be that families that can afford several computers including one for their children to use come from higher class families than people who simply have a family television that their children watch. Children from richer background tend to achieve higher results for several reasons irrelevant to this topic.

II. The computer has its own problems that can make it highly unsuited for a child, as pointed out before.

III. How does watching television preclude people from also reading? I follow several television series and am still an avid reader. This point is irrelevant.
Debate Round No. 2


carman16 forfeited this round.


Starcraft 2 is awesome:

Also, Pro has forfeited so vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3


carman16 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
Con clearly wins since Pro forfeited with Con's rebuttal unanswered. Pro failed to make a case in several ways. Pro said that there were alternatives, but he didn't offer any argument or studies that the Internet was better than television. without that, Pro did no make a prima fascia case. It certainly isn't obvious that watching YouTube produces more brilliant minds than watching television.

I would have argued the basic right to free speech more vigorously as Con.

I don't think that plagiarism in a debate is serious conduct violation. One the person posts the material, he then owns the arguments and must defend them. If it were a school assignment the work would have to be original, but in a debate forum if one can win the arguments by, say, just quoting Plato, then that is still a win. It is fair to note that the arguments were copied, and it is a minor conduct violation not to acknowledge the source.

Pro loses conduct for forfeiting.
Posted by Kinesis 6 years ago
I didn't expect this to go past the second round. :P
Posted by adrianiscorrect 6 years ago
I think Con has deleted his account.

What a tool.
Posted by MarquisX 6 years ago
Man I could tear pro apart in this debate
Posted by Rockylightning 6 years ago
tick tick tick tick tick tick tick
Posted by Rockylightning 6 years ago
carman you didn't want to debate me...your gonna get butchered by kinesis!
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
"The voting period will last indefinitely." Fix to between 3 months and a year and I'll accept.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Gnome 6 years ago
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