The Instigator
vorxxox
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points

The pen is mightier than the sword

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/18/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,314 times Debate No: 6985
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)

 

vorxxox

Con

I am unsure weather I'm for or against this old proverb "the pen is mightier than the sword" In this debate, I will argue against it, claiming that it is false, and doing everything in my power to denounce it. I ask for a well educated, worthy opponent, for I will do everything in my power to win this debate.

I withhold my arguments to next round.
Danielle

Pro

I am arguing in favor of PRO; the pen is mightier than the sword. I will allow Con to make the first argument, so that we both have an equal number of rounds to debate (two). That said, good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
vorxxox

Con

Thank you for accepting my debate. Now for my speech.

People say "the pen is mightier than the sword. Writing and words hold greater power than arms." I beg to differ. Actually, the sword is much mightier than anything. By sword I don't literally mean a 'sword' as in 'Oh, in a fight a pen is no match for a sword!' Even though that's true, that's not what I'm arguing. The word sword symblifies arms of any kind. The one with the bigger sword will always be victorious, no matter how powerful the opponent's pen is. By pen I mean culture, arts, literature. With a bigger sword, you inherit the products of the pen. You may claim them as your own. The one with the pen must do what you say, or they die. You have the power of life and death. With swords, things are forced. With swords, people must obey your every command if they value their lives. Swords have shaped this very world, and the ones with bigger swords have forced their cultures unto their prey to eventually make the world we live in today.

That's my openning speech. Good luck to my opponent.
Danielle

Pro

Thank you, Con, for beginning this debate. I will start first by agreeing with your loose definitions of both 'sword' and 'pen' for the purpose of this discussion. The sword will refer to military prowess and bearing arms; the pen shall symbolize culture, literature, art and the arts.

Con's first attack claims, "The one with the bigger sword will always be victorious, no matter how powerful the opponent's pen is." This premise is false; there are many examples in which literature or culture prevail over military prowess and bearing arms. A recent example was the success of boycotts during the Civil Rights Movement.

Con's second false premise states, "With a bigger sword, you inherit the products of the pen. You may claim them as your own." This is not necessarily the case. If, for instance, the product of the pen was art, I'd argue that art in its purest form (free) would never be able to be absolutely induced by the sword on command. Moreover, consider an artistic political movement such as Dadaism in Europe between 1916 and 1922. It was a passionate response depicting deep seeded resentment of the global conflict of the time. No 'sword' could have stopped the art from existing (only flourishing , maybe) and the repercussions of that existence. For instance, if Dada can be described as "For everything that art stood for, Dada was to represent the opposite," then a military agency demanding the creation of certain art by its very definition would not be Dada art at all. Thus, the sword can not always attain the product of the pen.

Next, Con writes, "The one with the pen must do what you say, or they die." This is clearly not true. A really simple way to prove this point would be to consider the power of a signature/document over an entire ARMY, i.e. a treaty. A treaty or other official government documents have commands over vast armies and world organizations, and can declare when military action or bearing arms is or isn't necessary. So, one pen is more powerful than millions of 'swords.'

Con argues, "With swords, things are forced. With swords, people must obey your every command if they value their lives. Swords have shaped this very world, and the ones with bigger swords have forced their cultures unto their prey to eventually make the world we live in today." This is not true. The 'pen' has the ability to shape preferences and values; the sword can only induce an animalistic survival instincts.

The sword cannot force culture. For instance, consider The Soviet Union's rejection of Soviet culture post Cold War. Russia wanted to go back to its Russian roots. Suddenly everybody was revisiting Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, and other pre Bolshevik era ideals. People are nostalgic; we tend to glorify the past. We are drawn to it for explaining the present, and for seeking legitimacy in our present actions. This is a huge aspect of shaping culture and the ideals of a particular society.

One military domain cannot barge in and DEMAND that people accept certain cultural values, i.e. religious beliefs, democracy, etc. Proof of this notion has been our utter failure to over-turn communism in some states (Vietnam) or establish liberal governments in places like the Middle East. This factor explains why authoritarianism attains proper salience and political legitimacy in some states. Thus, Con is wrong by asserting that the sword can demand just anything. History shows us that the greatest agent behind the pen OR the sword - human beings - determine which prevails, and because culture dictates the use of the sword, I have established why the pen therefore is mightier than the sword.
Debate Round No. 2
vorxxox

Con

vorxxox forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
vorxxox

Con

vorxxox forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
vorxxox

Con

vorxxox forfeited this round.
Danielle

Pro

Despite mine and my opponent's seeming lack of effort in regard to this debate (there was never anything for me to respond to), I figured I may as well reiterate my final arguments:

- There are historical examples of "the pen," or culture/literature as we have defined it, prevailing over military prowess. Additional examples to the CRM include any point in history where non-violence prevailed over the use of force to establish a political or cultural objective, as well as any form of media (culture) establishing a greater following or movement (support) than what was trying to be controlled by government (military force) to the point where it changed policy.

- Of course any type of said cultural rebellion as mentioned above (re: my example of Dada) shames my opponent's claim and reinforces my own.

- Someone could choose "the pen" or making a statement over keeping their lives, leaving Pro's assertion that if one does not comply, then they may die by the sword, to be completely insignificant. History shows us that a person's legacy or message will live on and prevail even if they die, especially if they manage to be a martyr for their cause. Thus the pen will have conquered over the sword.

- Consider my point that the pen has the ability to shape preferences and values; the sword can only induce animalistic survival instincts. The pen shapes culture and culture decides what is and isn't worth fighting for. I've said that human agency are the most powerful tools, and what those humans wish to use 'the sword' for is based on the pen (culture).

In conclusion, I have responded to all of my opponent's claims and argued them effectively given my opponent's proposed definitions, parameters and contentions. I have also provided numerous examples in which the pen (culture) has been "mightier" than the sword, and established how the pen actually provides legitimacy to the sword (military) and its use. Thus I encourage a non-negotiable vote for the Pro here. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Awesome vid.
Posted by Tatarize 7 years ago
Tatarize
Win.
Posted by crackofdawn_Jr 7 years ago
crackofdawn_Jr
Semantics could tear this argument apart.
Posted by Harlan 7 years ago
Harlan
This debate is one that could easily be a semantics argument for CON, and your neglection to give an argument first round is suspicious.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by SaintNick 7 years ago
SaintNick
vorxxoxDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by PrvnMthws 7 years ago
PrvnMthws
vorxxoxDanielleTied
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Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
vorxxoxDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:07