The Instigator
Johnicle
Pro (for)
Losing
28 Points
The Contender
tynews2001
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

The 21 year old drinking age should be lowered.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/8/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 7,117 times Debate No: 10008
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (10)

 

Johnicle

Pro

I will be generally arguing that the age should be 18. I assume my opponent will be arguing that 21 is the appropriate age, however they have the right to argue that it should be 21 or above. They could as well to re-initiate prohibition.

I. 18-20 year old citizens have all of the responsibility, with only some of the rights.
---In our society today, it's a little ridiculous that people of the age of 18 can serve for our country, but do not get the freedom to choose whether or to go out and enjoy a round with their friends. We pay taxes, but we are limited in our entertainment rights. Apparently, the government decided that we have enough responsibility to bear life in prison with our decisions, but yet do not have enough responsibility to decide if we want to drink. It simply does not add up.

II. The drinking age at 21, raises other limitation of rights to 21.
---The U.S. really has two separate 'adult ages'. The problem is that the age where you can be forced to live by yourself is 18, but several hotel age limits and even some apartment age limits are 21 (depending on the state law). The thing is that these laws were made from a domino effect from the 21 year old drinking age. Hotel's didn't want underage citizens drinking in their hotel, so they made the minimum age 21. Since then, our full rights are not obtained until 21, but once again, our responsibility is obtained immediately upon turning 18.

III. "Under-age" drinking already happens and these people would be safer if the drinking age was lowered.
---There is no doubt that citizens under the age of 21 drink repetitively and consistently. Unfortunately, they are being stranded when they are in the middle of no where. When they are drinking at an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people, with the pressure of getting home without getting "caught", an atrocities become imminent.

In the end, if you are 18, you ought to have the right to choose. Therefore you must vote pro. Thanks and good luck!
tynews2001

Con

I will be representing the CON side of the argument. The 21 year old drinking age should not be lowered. It should be abolished.

1. By advocating the state allow 18-20 year olds but no one else, only legitimizes that the state has any role in "protecting us from ourselves."

Obviously, people under the age of 18 choose to drink. The enforcement of the drinking law has proven impossible. The state is not here to protect us from ourselves. Parents are the ultimate authority in a child's life. If some kid under the age of 18 chooses to drink and gets caught by the police, the police should not have the right to harass the kid and take them to jail and then make them go to court. The punishment should purely be up to the parent, not the state.

2. Hypocrisy

"There is no doubt that citizens under the age of 21 drink repetitively and consistently. Unfortunately, they are being stranded when they are in the middle of no where. When they are drinking at an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people, with the pressure of getting home without getting "caught", an atrocities become imminent."

I completely agree, however, this standard should be applied to not just the 18-20 year olds but everyone under 18. More kids under 18 will be saved if you don't make them afraid of going to jail.

3. Conclusion

While I think lowering the age to 18 is better than the current system, a complete abolition of drinking laws should take place. By saying the state has any role in having a drinking age, only legitimizes their position that 18-20 year olds should not drink. In a society without a drinking age, the community and parents would take a more active role in policing their own kids and the punishments would be equatable to their actions.
Debate Round No. 1
Johnicle

Pro

There are significant reasons why a drinking age is necessary which I will get to. But it seems as if my opponent has so far agreed with the fact that an 18 year old drinking age is AT LEAST better than a 21 year old age limit. Therefore, I will proceed to prove that an 18 year old drinking age is better than no drinking age.

I. We need to show minors a reasonable life before they can handle full responsibilities and rights.
---If we were to simply say that minors can now make their own choices similar to adults, imagine how our world would change. When I was eight, I used to think that I would be able to survive without my parents. I now know that the 'job' I had in mind would not have been able to do what I thought it could and it simply would not have been beneficial for my welfare. Now, imagine if I did have these rights and responsibilities, imagine if 8 year old citizens began to have sleepovers with vodka shots to start off the night. Is this really a world you want to live in? My opponent may respond by saying that parents need to be responsible and set rules. But my opponent knows just as well as I do that there are irresponsible parents that would let such things occur, and with my opponents viewpoint, the law could do nothing to stop it. We aren't protecting minors from "themselves", we are protecting them from the unknown. Not to mention we would officially be giving minors all of the rights, without any of the responsibility which is much worse than my original point in my case.

II. Health Effects
--- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
"Adolescence represents a unique stage of sensitivity to the impact of alcohol on behavior and brain function."

Finally, kids under the age of 18 can not go to jail or court for alcoholic offenses. Also, if the parents don't mind if their children drink, then they can protect them from law enforcement. Therefore most of my opponents points therefore fall.

Vote Pro!

Thanks and Good Luck!
tynews2001

Con

On I:
"If we were to simply say that minors can now make their own choices similar to adults, imagine how our world would change."
No one is suggesting that, and as you later point out it is the job of the parent to control their kids choices. Yes there are irresponsible parents, but then you want to use irresponsible parents as an excuse to regulate all parents. By natural extension of your logic, since there are some irresponsible parents, children should be raised entirely by the state to ensure they are raised correctly. And, this is not a significant issue and wouldn't increase if the drinking age were abolished.

On II. Health Effects
Obesity is the number one killer of children. By your logic, McDonalds should be outlawed for children.

Furthermore, there are severe health effects on grown adults as well. With this argument, you legitimize prohibition. In fact, alcohol is the number 3 killer among adults. http://www.come-over.to...

"Finally, kids under the age of 18 can not go to jail or court for alcoholic offenses. Also, if the parents don't mind if their children drink, then they can protect them from law enforcement." Not true, kids can go to jail in some states for 180 days for just consuming and it can go on their record and potentially ruin their lives. http://www.txdot.gov...

The Alternative:
"our natural instincts to be drawn towards the forbidden would be suppressed and while there will still be those drawn towards the horrors of alcohol abuse, far fewer will be involved in the binge style drinking.
"[Researches] argue that by allowing children to drink at home under supervision, they can learn responsible alcohol use... and thus be better prepared for when they are on their own." http://www.dailykos.com...

Kids will feel less pressure, learn to drink responsibly, and their lives won't be ruined by the Government if they get caught.
Debate Round No. 2
Johnicle

Pro

I. My opponent has tried to corner me by having an ALL OR NOTHING attitude. In doing so he has completely missed my argument about minors receiving all of the rights with little to no responsibility. Furthermore, he ignores the tag of argument "I" itself. We must show them the world before our future kids begin to turn to alcohol once there is a problem at school. Flow through points.

Onto what my opponent did argue. The whole framework of my opponents argument is to try to allow people to make their own choices as long as they don't harm anyone else (Libertarian view). However, my first argument concluded that minors are at such a tender development stage, that we can not allow irresponsible parenting to be the death of children. This would in fact surpass the "Libertarian view" and would in fact do more harm than good.

Therefore, what I truly want to reach in this debate is a settlement. I truly believe that a 21 year old drinking age offers "nothing" while no drinking age at all offer "all". Both of these stances are truly too aggressive. The middle ground allows the government to step in ONLY DURING EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES, and thus provides the greatest net-benefit.

II. There is a unique harm from alcool compared to McDonalds. Alcohol infringes upon brain development and prevents kids from reaching their full potential. The difference therefore is that alcohol is a guaranteed harm (even with small amounts) compared to McDonalds which can be fine even if the person eats there every week.

The brain development is much stronger from minors compared to adults. Not so with McDonalds.

The evidence you presented said that people under the age of 21 can go to jail. Surely, however, courts aren't taking kids out of High School left and right because of a alcohol offense. Not to mention that lowering the age will increase tolerance.

"Alternative": Kids can already legally drink at home with parents as long as it doesn't get out of hand.

Vote Pro!
tynews2001

Con

On I. The reason I cornered you is because it is hypocritical to only lower the drinking age, when the same problems exist for people under 18 as well.

I am not advocating kids being drunk. You ignored the fact that there are always going to be kids who will get drunk. In fact I am saying less kids will get drunk in my alternative, and the ones who will do it regardless of what the law says will be better off, but I'll get to that later.

On II. There are developmental problems with obese children as well. See: "The developing person through childhood and adolescence By Kathleen Stassen Berger"

You said, "courts aren't taking kids out of High School left and right because of a alcohol offense."
I have 3 responses:
(1) It is even the threat of going to jail that creates problems. If you think you might go to jail, you will be less likely to ask for help for yourself, or other minors if it involves alcohol.
(2) Even if they don't go to jail, having this on their record can ruin all future opportunities in life including colleges.
(3) It is still not okay to let even a few go to jail.

The Alternative:
First, under-18 drinking is inevitable. If you make it legal, then the kids that are going to drink no matter what, will be better off. Multiple reasons:

You ignored my argument that parents and the community will be more involved if the drinking age is abolished.

Also, kids will learn to drink responsibly and won't do it in the shadows which leads to bingeing. And they won't be afraid to get help for alcohol related incidents.

Most importantly, you ignored the fact that making something illegal essentially makes it a "forbidden fruit." If we were to make it legal, it wouldn't be "rebellious" to drink it anymore, decreasing consumption.

In my alternative, less kids will drink and the ones that do will be do it more responsibly and out in the open. Enforcement is impossible and underage kids drinking is inevitable. Make it safer. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by amw1005 7 years ago
amw1005
I don't think the drinking age should be lowered because a lot of people might now know the responsibilities when it comes to drinking and to many people will get drunk and they will drive a car and car and possibly die and i just don't agree with it!
Posted by tynews2001 7 years ago
tynews2001
@Johnicle

Me either. I wanted to say a lot more, and I had to delete a lot of my arguments. Thank you for debating! I really enjoyed this.
Posted by Johnicle 7 years ago
Johnicle
I didn't get enough characters to post this in the debate, but good job and thanks for the quality round.
Posted by tynews2001 7 years ago
tynews2001
@ Koopin

Thank you!
Posted by tynews2001 7 years ago
tynews2001
@RoyLatham

I negated the resolution by providing a plan that was counter to it. I argued that it should not be lowered, but indeed abolished. He said he would be arguing an 18-year old age limit. Once again, I negated that. In my opening statement, I said it should not be lowered, but abolished.

Furthermore, your argument is what people in high school debate call, "judge intervention." You're arguments may indeed be valid (and I thought of them before posting) however it was not brought up at all in the debate. Therefore, in the debate, he conceded that I was negating the resolution. This means that the debate should be weighed on who had a better alternative.

You are also incorrect about the alternative only being the status quo. You can negate a resolution by offering a plan that is counter to it. This is something we do often in high school debate.
Posted by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
Good job tynews2001. your right
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Dante, I recall there being a study that showed that the mechanism in the brain that relates a persons actions to the consequence of those actions is not fully developed until around 25. That's a basis for arguing that age limits should be raised on a number of things. It won't happen in out youth-oriented culture, of course.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
The resolution is "The 21 year old drinking age should be lowered." In his opening statement Pro said he would "generally" be arguing it should be 18, which leaves open the possibility of other ages. Therefore Con agreed with the resolution, and arguments go to Pro.

In any debate, the alternative to the resolution is doing nothing. For Con's argument to hold, he would have to argue that the status quo is better than lowering it to 18, for some reason related to a strategy of getting the age abolished altogether. He didn't do that.
Posted by Johnicle 7 years ago
Johnicle
lol the funny thing though is that this debate is about establishing an 18 year old age versus no drinking age at all
Posted by DanteCloud 7 years ago
DanteCloud
http://www.tsc.berkeley.edu...

With the age range of 21-25 peaking for being arrested with DUI's there is absolutely no way we should lower the drinking age, kids are regressing instead of progressing now a days when it comes to responsiblity, if anything raise the drinking age. Children 21 and under need to show that they can be responsible and well that isn't happening anytime soon.
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