The Instigator
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The Contender
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6 Points

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is NOT pointless.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/31/2014 Category: News
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,552 times Debate No: 61119
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




First off, I would like to state the rounds.

Round 1- Acceptance

Round 2- Main Arguments

Round 3- Rebuttals

Round 4- Closing Remarks

(Violating any of these rounds is grounds for a full forfeit.)


BOP is split both ways, while I must prove that the ALS ice bucket challenge is a good thing, my opponent must do the opposite.

Any trolling is subject to a full forfeit.

Forfeiting any round is subject to a forfeit.

No new points may be added in the fourth round, only rebuttals may be added.

After the debate is over, please refrain from commenting extra points/arguments.


The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge- The act of dumping water on yourself, and then nominating other people. Afterwards, most people donate money to the ALS Fund.

ALS- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.

Pointless- having little or no sense, use, or purpose.

Remember to cite your sources, and good luck!



I accept the challenge, and look forward to an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for accepting, and now, to the debate.

In this debate, I will be arguing about how amazing the ALS ice bucket challenge is for raising money.


It spreads the word-

The ALS ice bucket challenge is a fun, quirky way to make people know just how bad ALS is.

So far, there have been almost 2.4 million ice bucket challenge videos on Facebook alone.[1]

The ALS ice bucket challenge is creating an awareness among people.

It's cheap, and easy to do.

Water, as a generalization, averages at around 0.01 cents a gallon.[2]

If you use a gallon for water and a gallon for ice, it has cost you around two pennies.

Even if you don't donate, you have just sparked the curiosity in people to find out more about ALS.

This video can take about thirty seconds, the donation takes about a minute more. Unlike food banks where you have to drive to the store, get the food, and then drive to the bank, this can be done in a matter of minutes.

People keep finding new ways to improve the ALS ice bucket challenge. And by making it more fun to watch, people get more and more interested.

Awareness is being raised for the disease.

ALS is a disease that makes a person unable to control his/her muscles, until, eventually, they can't control their own body.[3]

The brain is still functioning, so the person has to watch as they die, locked in themselves.

Before this year (and maybe a little before), not that many people knew what ALS was.

A Large pool of donations has been collected.

Over $16 million dollars has been raised through donations to ALS.[4]

This money is constantly growing, because people are constantly being nominated.

Let's say that everyone in the USA (313 million) donated 2 dollars.

313 x 2 = 626 million dollars.

Some celebrities have participated in the ALS ice bucket challenge.

Not only did they participated in the challenge, they then donated lump sums of money.

Some benefactors include-

1- Tom Hiddleston[5]

2- Jimmy Fallon[6]

3- Bill Gates[7]

4- Oprah[8]

Closing Main Arguments-

1. The ALS Challenge has created awareness

2. The ALS Challenge has raised money

3. The ALS Challenge has enticed more people

Thus it is not, by definition, pointless.










I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

ALS receives 40 million dollars a year in research[1]. This means that ALS research has received 400 million dollars in the
past decade alone. Yet that thing best thing we can get to actually treating the disease is the development of a drug called
riluzole, which can only increase a patients lifespan by a few months.[2] Lou Gehrig (the man whom the disease is named after) died 73 years ago, and even with all hundreds of millions dollars that have gone into research, we have only managed small medical breakthroughs.

ALS is a horrible way to die. It's also an extremely rare way to die. For example, the Ebola virus has been
declared an international health crisis[3] and yet has raised less money from donations or government funding. The Syrian refugee crisis is now the greatest international refugee crisis of this generation[4]. The difference between these causes and ALS is that these problems have foreseeable solutions. Scientist are already on the verge of developing a vaccine for the Ebola virus[5] and there are already ideas for the refugee crisis[6]. Over 100 million dollars has been raised by the bucket challenge[7], which could have contributed far better to other causes. The thing is that people have a set amount of money they can spend on charities. This means the amount of money being donated to the aforementioned causes will be significantly lower. And not just for those two, but also for charities for cancer, heart disease, Parkinsons etc... all of whom need the money more then ALS.

Unfortunately, it's rather late and I have school in the morning so I'm going to have to stop there. I hope for some interesting rebuttals.

Sources [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
Debate Round No. 2


Okay! I would like to thank my opponent for the interesting arguments! I will now try at rebutting them.

ALS receives 40 million dollars a year in research
Not only does the money make a difference, it makes people want to help. It leads the people to ask our government to help. It's not solely about the money, it's also about the people that are now aware, and want to help.

Even with all hundreds of millions dollars that have gone into research, we have only managed small medical breakthroughs.

True. But with the Ice Bucket Challenge now collecting so much steam, places like Harvard[1], Stanford[2], and others now funding research, and now finding things to go on. (See link 2)

ALS is a horrible way to die. It's also an extremely rare way to die.

At any time, there are around 30,000 people infected with the ALS disease.[3] By not funding, we are killing them. With out a cure, we are successfully killing 30,000 people a year. Now, that may seem like a small number, but imagine if one of your family members was affected with ALS. Would you still state- "Well, the ALS challenge is still pointless, redirect all funds to the Ebola!" I don't think so.

Scientist are already on the verge of developing a vaccine for the Ebola virus

The link stated that the Ebola virus was nessecary, not that it is on the verge of creation. I don't want to really get into this, but just wanted to make that clear.

Over 100 million dollars has been raised by the bucket challenge, which could have contributed far better to other causes

Now, here is where your arguments are out fault. You agreed to argue that the ALS is pointless.

Pointless - having little or no sense, use, or purpose.[4]

You have been arguing that the other causes are more worthy, but that doesn't make the ALS any less useful in our attempts to combat the ALS disease.

Example- You have two sick people, one has a cold, and the other has cancer. You have the ability to heal the man with cancer, and you do so. You then turn to the man with a cold. You don't turn him away just because his infection is inferior to the other person's, you heal them both, like any good person would.

But also for charities for cancer, heart disease, Parkinson's etc... all of whom need the money more then ALS.

You have once again failed to explain why the ALS is pointless, basing your arguments around how nessecary it is that other diseases get money before ALS. And the truth is, the ALS is just a bad a disease as Dementia, or Parkinson's. It needs funding, and the ALS ice bucket challenge is giving it to them. Where Cancer control gets its millions from the government, the ALS gets it's money from the people.

Closing Remarks-

1. Like my opponent stated- "ALS is a horrible way to die"
2. By participating in the ALS ice bucket challenge, you are assisting other people in the fight to end als, and the suffering of it's patients.
3. Thus, once again, it is not pointless.








I would like to thank my opponent for such an interesting debate.
So first I'm going attack my opponents original arguments, then I'm going to reconstruct my own case.

It spreads the word.

It doesn't matter if it spreads the word if the cause is pointless at the moment. And people knew what ALS was, they just knew it as Lou Gehrig disease.

It's cheap and easy to do.
Not if you live in California, south Oregon, west Nevada, parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado,[1] as well as central Texas[2], which are all going through extreme and exceptional drought conditions.

Are you saying that because it's easier to do the ALS challenge, it's more important then food banks?

Awareness is being raised for the disease.

I would like to point out that my opponents first and third contentions are basically the same argument, so my rebuttal for the first contention works here too.


Just because a large amount of money is going to a cause doesn't mean the cause is going to be beneficial. Upwards to billions dollars have gone into ALS research, and all we have to show for it is one drug that only extends the patients life span by a few months.


Call me cynical, but I believe the only reason most celebrities are endorsing this is for attention and vanity.

And like I've been saying, just because money is going to something doesn't mean it's going to be beneficial.


Argument 1.

The government is already helping by putting 40 million dollars into research. And it's great that people want to help, it's just to

bad that it took a tacky add, some vanity, and celebrities to convince them. (Things causes for Ebola and Syria don't have)

Argument 2.

All your link showed me is that scientist now have an outline of how ALS does what it does. That does make us any closer to finding a cure, or improving treatment.

Argument 3.

Just about one and a half million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2008 alone[3]. Over a third of them died. If we look at the number of deaths, cancer needs the donations more.

Asking me to imagine if a family member is dying of a disease is a terrible argument because 1. you don't know me. For all you know my dad could have ALS. 2. your question poses no relevance. And 3. I can ask you "how would you feel if one of your family members was dying of Ebola." I haven't insulted your intelligence, please don't insult mine.

Argument 4.

I'm now going to quote from the article. "The first human trial for an investigational Ebola vaccine is set to begin this week." "The phase 1 clinical trial set to begin this week at the NIH clinical center in Bethesda, Maryland, will involve 20 human subjects between the ages of 18 and 50, according to the NIH." Human trials are a huge step forward in discovering a vaccine, and then eventual cure for a disease. These can then be mass produced and sent all over the world.

Argument 5.

It's pointless because with the billions of dollars that have been funded into ALS research in the past 73 years, we have come up with next to nothing. And thus it is extremely unlikely anything beneficial will happen with the ice bucket challenge. I am suggesting a counter plan where we take the limited resources we have and put them where they will contribute to the greater good, where they will be most beneficial.

Argument 6.

I've already covered most of this in my rebuttal of argument 4, but I will once again point out that the government funds 40 million dollars into ALS.





Debate Round No. 3


xOs forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited the round, please vote con.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Snuphalem 2 years ago
The challenge isn't necessarily pointless. It's for a good cause, however there are so many other causes that should be given attention to like the Ebola virus which was mentioned.

It's just popular media making a fuss about something and everyone wanting to be apart of a widespread trend. It's sad when people don't understand the meaning of things and don't see how selfish and ignorant they are acting.

I should start a lava bucket challenge where if you donate money to an organization attempting to stop the newly widespread bubonic plague you get to poor lava all of yourself.
Posted by shinethedown 2 years ago
Sorry to hear about that.
Posted by xOs 2 years ago
I'm very sorry for the untimely forefit, in fact I had lost my password, so please, by all means, vote my opponent.
Posted by xOs 2 years ago
Also on the list-

[bill gates]-
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture