The Instigator
Arn_Grass
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
JohnMaynardKeynes
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

There is such a thing as good and bad music.

Do you like this debate?NoYes-1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
JohnMaynardKeynes
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/13/2014 Category: Music
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 782 times Debate No: 56578
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (5)

 

Arn_Grass

Pro

There is definitely good and bad music. While some may believe it is based solely on perspective and one's taste, I believe it is not. Today, it seems as if music has taken a turn for the worst. Has everything innovative and exciting been discovered and explored? It feels as if people have either lost interest or are physically incapable of producing music that truly opposes the test of time. There has always been good and bad music. It's just that today, it is nearly impossible to come across a song that screams genius such as many of the works produced by The Beatles or Chopin did. In today's Capitalistic society, the majority dictates the arts and as a result, the arts have been dismantled and pounded senselessly. What the masses will pay for, the masses will get. It's a fact when dealing with this kind of system and sadly, it has resulted in the downfall of the arts. People need to learn to sense good and bad music again and all it takes is a good education in music and the true passion and effort needed to innovate and bring music back to it's zenith.
JohnMaynardKeynes

Con

I accept and will be arguing against the following resolution:

There is a such thing as good and bad music.

As Pro is affirming the resolution, he will bear the entirety of the burden of proof. Therefore, he must be able to prove his case conclusively, beyond a reasonable doubt, or he cannot possibly walk away with the win. He must be able to prove that there is a such thing as objectively good and bad music.

In order to win, he must be able to prove the truth of the following syllogism:

P1: "Good and bad" exist objectively, meaning not only that objectivity itself exists, but that the concepts of "good" and "bad" transcend human beings.
P2: Objectivity exists and is universal, meaning that it transcends cultural boundaries.
C: Therefore, there is a such thing as objectively good or bad music.

Bear in mind that, when I say objective, I am referring to something that is by its very nature good or bad. To for (x) to be objectively good or bad, there cannot be a discrepancy to it. If good and bad are subjective, which I contend they are--and Pro implicitly admits that the notion of subjectivity, be it with respect to quality, or morality, and so forth is prima facie--then they are subject to human interpretation. So, if even a single person says, for instance, that a certain musical piece is either good or bad--that is, they disagree with one another--then it is either (subjectivey) good or bad in some possible world, but is not objectively good or bad. "In some possible world" is key, because if Pro concedes this premise, he concedes that objectivity cannot possibly be borne out by the reality in which we live.

Another point I made is that, for something to be objectively good or bad, it must derive its meaning and its worth outside of the human experience. This is to say that it is good or bad not because people say that it is good or bad, but because it happens to actually be good or bad. How is this the case with music? Are humans not needed to produce music?

Here's the argument with respect to that:

P1: In order to produce music, a human must be present.
P2: If a human is pesent, he or she is producing music with respect to what he or she views as good or bad.
C: Therefore, good or bad, particularly with respect to music, does not exist outside of the human condition, and therefore these concepts cannot be objective.

I will now rebut Pro's arguments.

Pro states, "There is definitely good and bad music. While some may believe it is based solely on perspective and one's taste, I believe it is not."

This, of course, is merely Pro stating what is burden of proof is. Important to highlight, I believe, is that he admits that many people believe that quality is based on perspective and taste, and that many people have different perspective and taste. He, however, contends that this isn't the case, and that something can be objectively good independent of what people think, meaning that it possesses intrinsic value--instead of people merely giving it value. This is a hefty burden which he must be able to fulfill in order to win this debate.

Pro states, "Today, it seems as if music has taken a turn for the worst."

This is a bare-assertion fallacy. Pro could say that, in his opinion, music has taken a turn for the worst. But this is by no means an objective statement nor is it borne out by evidence. For instance, the artists themselves producing the music surely do not believe that music has taken a "turn for their worst." The same is true for the people and record labels supporting and endorsing rising artists. With evolutionary pressures comes the advancement of skills, technology, and so forth, so you would think that it is prima facie that music would improve, though someone people, like my opponent may disagree. This is a perfectly fine opinion to hold, but my point is that Pro has explicitly set this resolution up such that his burden is to prove objectivity, not subjectivity. So far, he has not proved objectivity.

Pro states, "Has everything innovative and exciting been discovered and explored? It feels as if people..lost interest..hysically incapable of producing music that truly opposes the test of time."

He poses a question which, of course, does not address the resolution because it is (1) his opinion and (2) irrelevant, because even if it were true -- I do not believe that it is, nor has he provided evidence that it is, but let's consider a scenario in which it is -- it is not prima facie that you would connect "innovative" and "exciting" to conceptions of good or bad. Some people may prefer things that are innovative and exciting, whereas others -- largely based on personality types -- may prefer repetition and what they consider to be tried-and-true melodies. Some may prefer rising rap artists, whereas others prefer slow, harmonious classic tunes. This doesn't mean that either genre is objectively good or bad, but merely subject to subjective opinion.

He expresses another opinion that people have, in his judgment, either lost interest or are not physically capable of producing music which "opposes the test of time." Of course, this is, once again, merely his opinion. The fact that other people may disagree -- in this case, myself -- means that this statement is not objectively true. This is even evidenced when it says htat "it feels" like this. This means that, in his judgment, it seems this way. He appears to admit that this belief of his is not objectively true.

Pro states, "There has always been good and bad music."

This, of course, is a bare-assertion fallacy. It is Pro's BOP in this debate to prove this statement conclusively.

If, for instance, music has evolved, or tastes have evolved, and what people one day enjoyed has changed -- meaning that their conceptions of good and bad have also changes -- then this would eliminate any chance for objectivity in this respect.

A good example I can provide is that, as a child, I thought NSYNC was "good." Now, as an adult, I no longer feel this way. Music has evolved -- this is to say that there are now new artists and new music to listen to -- and so have my tastes.

Pro states, "It's just that today...impossible to come across a song..genius..works produced by The Beatles or Chopin did."

This is another bare-assertion fallacy by Pro because he, once again, fails to account for objectivity. Other people may disagree with his assessment and may in fact believe that there are works today that can be considered "genius." For instance, Kanye West has considered himself a "creative genius" and there are supporters of his who agree. I, for one, think he is not. However, this doesn't make him or his music "good or bad." It just means that people have a difference in opinion as to whether his music is good or bad. Again, no objectivity is involved.

Pro states, "In today's Capitalistic society, the majority dictates the arts and as a result, the arts have been dismantled and pounded senselessly. What the masses will pay for, the masses will get...resulted in the downfall of the arts."

This is in fact a concession on Pro's part. He admits that the types of music created today is subject to the free market. The demands of consumers dictate which artists and genres are succesful and which are not. The music itself is not "objectively good" or because if it were, it would survive. If it were objectively good, there would be no issue whatsoever with it surviving, because everyone would know that it is good and they would purchase it. The opposite is true for something objectively bad: no one would purchase it because they would all know that it is bad.


Pro states, "People need to learn to sense good and bad...education in music...bring music back to it's zenith."

His remark presupposes (1) that there is objectively good or bad music (2) that his (subjective) opinions are universal and that (3) education will bring everyone to agree with him. Of course, this isn't true.

Pro hasn't upheld his BOP.
Debate Round No. 1
Arn_Grass

Pro

Arn_Grass forfeited this round.
JohnMaynardKeynes

Con

Extending my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
Arn_Grass

Pro

Arn_Grass forfeited this round.
JohnMaynardKeynes

Con

PRO has not responded to my arguments, nor has he upheld his BOP.

Please vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by PlumberGirl123 2 years ago
PlumberGirl123
Bad music is music that supports sexism, rape, violence and stuff like that.. That is why i hate rap music and i wont listen to a song if it say a girl is barefoot in the kitchen or making them food or slaving over them. I am 17 and i listen to Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, a lot of 90's country music. the modern country music that is coming out now is sounding more like hip hop and is talking about doing it with girls and drinking beer. Its really pathetic and i thumbs that kind of music down on my Pandora App. so bad music is lil wayne, lil flip, john, and all the stupid guys who support women as sex objects.
Posted by aLaPasta 2 years ago
aLaPasta
Con really knows what it means to debate. While I find the debate itself to be pointless, high praise goes to Con. Waiting for Pro's response--though, after that? It's going to be tough to debate against it; Con's logic is pretty much rock-solid.
Posted by intellectuallyprimitive 2 years ago
intellectuallyprimitive
I conflate music and art. In fact, I propose the two are interchangeable. I postulate that music is subjective. I anticipate Pro's argument.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
Arn_GrassJohnMaynardKeynesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: ff.noob snipe much?
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Arn_GrassJohnMaynardKeynesTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
Arn_GrassJohnMaynardKeynesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by Themba 2 years ago
Themba
Arn_GrassJohnMaynardKeynesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro FF.
Vote Placed by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
Arn_GrassJohnMaynardKeynesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF