The Instigator
minddrag
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
PossieTV
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

The arts are not relevant to society

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/6/2016 Category: Arts
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 897 times Debate No: 86124
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

minddrag

Con

The arts are defined as music, art or drama.
There are many different campaigns all around schools that we see on a daily basis. About two weeks ago there was a campaign called we are silent. The purpose was to raise awareness for people in countries whose voices are not heard.. We live in America and are very blessed to have the right to speak our mind. But what side pro is saying goes against all of this. The arts are a way of expressing one"s thoughts and emotions. Side pro is saying that a section of the population who are involved in the arts should not have a way to express them as they choose. This is against everything the Canadian society has been striving for.

Art is also a building block of society. People go to concerts and they talk to the people next to them. You find out that that person maybe went to your high school, or was in one of the clubs you were in. The arts bring a sense of interest and activity to our lives. Art is central to being human and people need it for recreation and recharging their batteries.
18 million people in Washington City alone attended city funded cultural events. There is a great demand for the arts in a city like Toronto then there is a even greater demand for the arts around the world. ("attended cultural events", not art events.. it"s not relevant)

The arts have changed the world on many different occasions. The concert of hope which was held for tsunami victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake raised over 5 million US$. France gave America the statue of Liberty after the war for independence, which is a beacon of freedom for everyone. When different movie stars or television actors send out tweets or posts about problems that are happening many people see this and give money. These are only a few of the examples of how the Arts change the world on different occasions.
Now I am going to read a quote from Eugene Ferguson, Historian
"Pyramids, cathedrals, and rockets exist not because of geometry, theories of structures, or thermodynamics, but because they were first a picture-- literally a vision--in the minds of those who built them. Society is where it is today because people had the perception; the images and the imagination; the creativity that the Arts provide, to make the world the place we live in today."

This quote firmly outlines that all of our homes and building exist not because of math or science but because they were first a picture in the minds of the people who built these things. The creativity that the arts provide creates the world that we live in today. Without the arts we would not be here in school, because there would be no building. How can side pro argue that the arts are not needed even though everything that society utilizes to run itself has its roots in the arts?

In conclusion for the reasons I have just stated and the points that my partner will present I as side Con firmly believe that this resolution, be it resolved that the arts are not needed in society will and must fall.
PossieTV

Pro

I apologize that this is so late, things kept coming up.

Because my opponent's definition of the arts is a little ambiguous, allow me to provide the dictionary definition. The arts are "the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance." [1]

I would like to begin by thanking minddrag for posting this debate. I will concede that the arts are relevant to society in the sense that they are intertwined into the fabric of society. Relevant is defined as "relation to the matter at hand." [2] The arts are most definitely relevant to society. They are very closely connected to it. You can't have a conversation with someone without some form of the arts coming up. I will also concede that the arts serve a purpose. They make people happy and allow people to have creative ways of expressing opinions. Neither of these two concessions (if I understand my opponent well) are the crux of this debate. It seems as if this debate hinges on the question, "Are the arts crucial to society?" To this question, I would argue no.

I would like to point out a secret assertion that my opponent works into his argument. When he says "The arts have changed the world on many different occasions." he assumes that just because something changes society, it is fundamental. This is not true. Take the invention of the computer for example. It immensely changed society, but was it necessary? No it was not. We could go on surviving just as well without computers. This is the same with the arts. Human beings can survive and even thrive without the arts. We can communicate without poetry, we can share ideas without paintings, and we can have houses without beautiful architecture. We can have an existence without beauty.

Allow me to expand upon my argument. There are only three things vital to survival* (food, housing, and clothing) and are therefore only three occupations vital to society (those who make food, those who make housing, and those who make clothing). These three occupations can be preformed without any use of the arts. One can make food without invoking the arts. In other words, I would say that a cooked salmon is not art and therefore art is not necessary for making food. One can build a house without the arts. I can make a little wooden square house and would not call it art; art is therefore not necessary to housing. One can make clothing without the arts. A leather tunic and baggy pants are not art and therefore are not necessary to clothing. Because all of the necessary functions of society can happen without the arts, the arts are not necessary to society. Here is my argument in a logical syllogism.

Argument A (argument about the basics of society)
P1: If the arts are fundamental to society, then society could not function without them
P2: A society only needs things vital to survival in order to thrive
P3: The only things vital to survival are food, clothing, and housing
P4: These things can happen without the arts
C: The arts are not fundamental to society.

*Note: I would like to challenge my opponent to think of some other thing vital to survival that cannot happen without the arts.

Source(s)
---------------
1. http://dictionary.reference.com...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Debate Round No. 1
minddrag

Con

Thank you very much PossieTV for your very interesting and unexpected speech, (unexpected in the way that you went a direction that I did not anticipate) and I look forward to your next and final argument. Before I begin my constructive speech I would like to rebut some of the points that my opponent has made in his speech.

First off I would like to point out a definition that my opponent neglected to state, which is society. Society is defined as "an organized group of persons associated together for religious,benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes." [1]

To figure out why I am posing this definition I would like to draw together a few statements that my opponent has made. In my opponent's speech he said that the resolution boiled down to "Are the arts crucial to society?" I would like to first state that yes he has interpreted the resolution correctly. In my opponent's speech he also stated "There are only three things vital to survival* (food, housing, and clothing) and are therefore only three occupations vital to society."

Now if the definition of society is as stated before (an organized group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes[1]) Then I would argue that there is another thing that is crucial to society. The other thing, which is crucial to society, is communication.

Now as my opponent has helpfully defined art as, (the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance) Then I would like to then point out that writing and communication is expression that is beautiful and more than ordinary significance.

I would like to point out that the building of homes can be described as a production of something appealing or above ordinary significance. This is because it is the creation of a house that is appealing to all who do not have on and is one of the three needs, as my opponent helpfully stated so it must be above ordinary significance.

The same can be stated for clothing. Clothing is not absolutely essential except for specific climates. This means that outside of specific hot or cold climates, clothes are made to be aesthetically pleasing and beautiful to the eyes.

I am absolutely sure that if you talked to any chef or cook, that they would state that cooking is an art. Cooking is a production of something of quality that can be beautiful or appealing to people. This means that the production of food is also an art.

Now that I have refuted my opponent's points I am going to move on to my constructive speech. I would like to state before beginning that I am also going to be talking in this speech about modern society, as well as past society, and the three needs that I have stated above.

Historically the arts have been known to motivate individuals and generate economic and societal well-being. I have already gone into great detail on why the arts are important for the emotional well-being of society. I will now go into detail on how the arts generate economic well-being.

The arts currently provide 5% of the US total GDP, and employ 2% of the US population. Based on 225 million people the arts employ 4500000 people in the United states, which is 1 in 5 people in Canada. The arts make 591 billion dollars a year. In the United Kingdom they spend 0.1% of their GDP on the arts and receive a stunning 0.45% GDP back from that investment each year. The Arts also makes up a large part of different countries GDP. The arts also contribute 11.3 billion to just Toronto"s GDP.

This is because of tourism. Many people visit Egypt solely for the purpose of seeing the Pyramids of Egypt which are a work of art. England is also a very big arts tourist town, due to the Beatles and Abby road. Many people go to see the house of Anne of green gables in PEI, which was a book by Mont Montgomery, which 100 years later people still go to see. All of these things are works of art and can make up a sizable chunk of many countries" economies. How can side pro say that the arts are not relevant in society if we gain a lot of money off the arts? Many countries are deeply rooted in debt and this is a problem in society. If the arts are helping us pay off that debt then they are needed.

The arts are also extremely important in education. To sum up the points in education I will read this quote by Plato: "Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul."

Many people feel motivated during their school days because of the arts. I myself go through the halls between classes with music playing through my headphones. This motivates me and other students to do well in school. The arts are an instrumental (heh heh get it?) part in many people"s lives and need to be taken seriously.

Education and economics are gigantic building blocks to our modern society. Since I have proved in my speech that education and economics are both extremely tied to the arts, and that the three needs that I outlined in my rebuttal section are all related or are art, there is no reason that this resolution must stand.

In conclusion for the reasons that I have stated as Con, I firmly believe that this resolution, be it resolved that the arts are not vital to society will and must fall. I thank my opponent for his arguments up until now and I look forward to his conclusion. Thank you.
PossieTV

Pro

In this round I will defend my logical syllogism that I proposed in round one as well as offer a rebuttal to the arguments made by my opponent. I accept the definition of society as provided by my opponent (an organized group of persons associated together for religious,benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes). I will begin by restating my logical syllogism.

Argument A (argument about the basics of society)
P1: If the arts are fundamental to society, then society could not function without them
P2: A society only needs things vital to survival in order to thrive
P3: The only things vital to survival are food, clothing, and housing
P4: These things can happen without the arts
C: The arts are not fundamental to society.

In his rebuttal, my opponent never really attacks any of my premises. The con does two things when offering his rebuttal. He supplements premise three and refutes premise four. I will address these both separately starting with con's rebuttal of premise four.

Con's rebuttal of premise four
------------------------------
Con attempts to refute my claim in premise four by saying that food, clothing, and housing are in fact art. This argument, however, fails to address my premise. Just because something is art does not mean it has to be. My premise is that the things necessary to a function society can exist without the arts, not that they don't. Just because "the building of homes can be described as a production of something appealing" does not mean they have to be. An ugly brown square is just as functional a house as a beautiful mansion and therefore has the same value to society. Same goes for food and clothing. We could eat nothing but plain protein crackers and wear nothing but grey jumpsuits and society would still be able to function.

Con's supplementation of premise three
--------------------------------------
Other than refuting premise four con attempts to supplement premise three by adding another thing crucial to the survival of a society, communication. I concede that communication is vital to a society however I will make the same argument that I did with the other things vital to society; it does not have to be beautiful in order to function properly. I can communicate everything I need to without the help of poetry or prose. All of the communication we need can be done through scholarly essays or academic discussions.

Now that I have defended my syllogism I will address the arguments made by the con. Because my opponents argument only pertains to modern society, I will keep my rebuttal focused on modern society.

In my opponents argument, he provides many functions of art in modern society. I believe each one could be dismissed by asking the question "If the arts did not provide this service, could modern society still function?" I will now go through each service and test it against this question.

The arts provide an economic service
------------------------------------
The con begins by stating the arts serve an economic function. This is true. According to the con, "The arts currently provide 5% of the US total GDP, and employ 2% of the US population. Based on 225 million people the arts employ 4500000 people in the United States". Let's apply the question to this. If the arts did not provide the economic service they do, could modern society still function? The answer is yes. The fact that 95% of the US total GDP is not provided by the arts prove that the US (and other countries for that matter) could still have an economy without the arts. I would say that the two percent of people employed in the arts could find other non-arts related jobs to do.

According to my opponent, the arts also boost tourism. This is also true. I would even say that without the arts, tourism would not exist. Without the leaning tower of Pisa, it's doubtful I would even know where Pisa is. Without the Beatles I would not know what abby road is. With that said, society could function without tourism. Tourism and travel accounts for 9.5% of the global economy [1]. Again, the fact that the other 90.5% of the world economy is something other than tourism shows that the world economy can function without tourism (and therefore the arts).

Basically what I'm saying here is that because the arts are not our only way of making money, society could survive without them.

The arts provide an educational/motivational service
----------------------------------------------------
The con continues his argument by saying that the arts, music specifically, provide a service in the education and motivation of students. This again is true. Plato makes a good point when he says, "Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul." Let's put this to the test. If the arts did not provide this service in education could modern society survive? Well, education is vital to society. I would argue that (I feel the con would accept this assertion). So the question becomes, "If the arts did not provide this service in education, could education survive?" The answer is yes. Plato himself admits this in his quote. The key phrase is "more potent instrument than any other". While the arts may be a useful instrument in education, it isn't the only one we have. If the arts were taken out of school, people would maybe be a little less motivated and have a little harder time but they would nevertheless be educated.

In a nutshell my rebuttal is this. The arts provide a service to society, however without them we could find other ways to provide these services. We should be grateful that we have them because society could just as well function without them. They are a privilege, not a corner stone. They are the icing on the cake of life.

Thank you to my opponent for this thought provoking and challenging debate.
Debate Round No. 2
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by PossieTV 1 year ago
PossieTV
I would like to say that my argument is not a red herring. The resolution as posted in the title was not the resolution argued by Con. I conceded the resolution as posted, not the actual resolution of the debate. The resolution as posted in the title is a truism. I merely took a look at the argument made by Con and noticed that his resolution was actually, "Are the arts fundamental?" I pointed that out and he agreed. So to the voter, please confine your RFD's to this resolution.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: Briannj17// Mod action: Removed<

4 points to Con (Conduct, Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: First point for conduct. Pro did not argue the resolution and instead conceded to it in round one. Then went on a tangent to go on and say "The arts are most definitely relevant to society." This is a concession to the resolution. However pro than aerhues on another premise not instituted in this debate. This is known as a red herring and goes against conduct on DDO. Therefore conduct to con since con didn't break any rules to my knowledge. Next point on arguments. Next arguments, since con stayed within the resolution and continued to argue his point that since we see art everyday and since con got PEO to concede the resolution in the first round arguments to con. Great debate!

[*Reason for removal*] While the debater may indeed have engaged in a fallacy as the voter stated, a fallacious argument is insufficient to explain conduct. Conduct has to do with the behaviors of the debaters towards one another or towards others on the site, not style of argumentation.
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Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: Briannj17// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Con (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Con successfully argued his point that the arts are relevant to society. Arguing that we see concerts and hear music everyday as well as seeing the paintings and sculptures. This proves that without a doubt the arts are still relevant to society and that is why arguments go to con. Good work.

[*Reason for removal*] The voter has to assess arguments made by both sides in the debate. Merely stating his perception of one side's arguments does not make this vote sufficient.
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Posted by AWSM0055 1 year ago
AWSM0055
You haven't really comprehensibly defined "the arts".
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