The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
15 Points

This house believes that tv(television) has a negative effect on society.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/4/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 24,888 times Debate No: 7226
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (25)
Votes (3)




(entirely cite from who's thing : Pascual M. Garcia IV's draft of the speechs for tv debate)
Let me start this debate by defining the key terms of the definition. By "tv" I mean an electronic device that allows the broadcasting of audio and visual content to a mass audience; in this debate, also all the programs shown on this device, either through regular channels or on cable, at any time of day or night. By "negative effect" I mean has many harmful effects, which outweigh whatever good effects there may be, so the net result of tv is bad. And by "society" I mean all tv viewers, as well as all citizens in countries with tv, but with special emphasis on the youth.
I in the Affirmative believe that tv is doing much more harm to our society than good, and I will prove that to you in this debate.
I will prove this by focusing on 2 key arguments: tv has unacceptable levels of sex and violence that cause harm to viewers, and is a significant tool of rampant commercialization, which victimizes its viewers.
As the 1st round for the Affirmative, I will focus on how tv has unacceptable levels of sex and violence, while in my 2nd round I will discuss how it is a tool of rampant commercialization.
I believe that tv causes harm to viewers because of its increasingly suggestive sexual and violent content. The viewing public, especially the youth, are susceptible to messages being shown on tv, and this kind of content is extremely damaging for our youth, in particular. According to, more than a thousand studies have shown the same thing: "media violence makes our kids more aggressive, less patient, and more fearful of the world around them."
I can see that tv encourages young viewers to commit acts of violence. In 1 study done at Pennsylvania State University in 1972, about 100 preschool children were observed both before and after watching tv; some watched cartoons that had a lot of aggressive and violent acts in them, and others watched shows that didn't have any kind of violence. The researchers noticed real differences between the kids who watched the violent shows and those who watched nonviolent ones. "Children who watch the violent shows, even 'just funny' cartoons, were more likely to hit out at their playmates, argue, disobey class rules, leave tasks unfinished, and were less willing to wait for things than those who watched the nonviolent programs." says Aletha Huston-Stein, Ph.D., now at the University of Kansas.
This is unacceptable because we are struggling to build a more peaceful society, and the media, especially television, is only aggravating a difficult situation. Studies by George Gerbner, Ph.D., at the University of Pennsylvania, have shown that children's TV shows contain about 20 violent acts each hour and also that children who watch a lot of television are more likely to think that the world is a mean and dangerous place.
Tv also encourages young viewers to have sex outside of marriage, and this has led to many social problems. The Kaiser Family Foundation(2001) has reported that 80% of the content presented on soap operas is sexual in nature. Bryant and Rockwell's study found that teens that had been exposed to a highly sexual TV drama rated descriptions of casual sex encounters less negatively than teens that had received no sexual content exposure. Brown and Newcomer found that students who think tv accurately portrays sex were more likely to be dissatisfied with their first experience with intercourse. This means that our children are being encouraged to view pre-marital sex as both natural and desirable, and that their expectations for sex are unrealistic.
Furthermore, according to, tv desensitizes viewers to the evil nature of pre-marital sex and unprovoked violence, encouraging young viewers to find them acceptable and normal in society. The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research found that "Televised violence suggests to young children that aggression is appropriate in some situations, especially when it's used by charismatic heroes... It also erodes a natural aversion to violence." The same study found that children who watched violent tv programming." ... were also more likely than other study participants in the previous 12 months to have shoved somebody in anger; punched, beaten or choked an adult, or committed a crime or a moving traffic violation." The University of California at Santa Barbara, on the other hand, says "In one study of soap operas, there was only one representation of a married couple engaging in sex for every 24 portrayals of unmarried characters performing sexual acts." It cites another study which finds that "The bulk of the sexual action and language occurs between unmarried characters... unmarried heterosexual characters engage in sexual intercourse 4 to 8 times as much as married characters." Several studies, including those by Brown and Newcomer in 1991, link increased exposure to the mass media with dissatisfaction with virginity among teenagers. There are many other studies that show a similar effect. Wingood's study of black women aged 14 to 18 revealed that adolescents who see X-rated movies have less favorable attitudes toward condom use than other teens.
All of this is conclusive proof that tv leads to greater violence and pre-marital sex in society, and this is leading to further erosion in the values of our youth that will cause greater social problems for society in the future. If we truly want to build a more mature, responsible society, we must provide our youth with messages that affirm this kind of maturity and responsibility. Showing unacceptable levels of sex and violence on tv will only harm our efforts to improve society in the long-run.
I urge you to agree with the Affirmative, and to let this motion fall, for children's sakes, and the and the future of our society.
Thank you.


1. Pro has the burden of proving that the bad effects of television outweigh the good effects. To fulfill that burden Pro must provide a method for measuring good and bad effects, and then apply that measure to the predominant good and bad effects of television. Pro has not even attempted to do that. It is as if one set out to prove "commercial airline travel is not worth the risk" and then does nothing but cite two crashes. Or if one wanted to argue "fire has a negative effect on society" and then only citing a couple of cases of bad fires. Pro's case against television fails from insufficiency, even without rebuttal.

2. The many benefits of television include bringing to the people:

a. educational programming (children's ed programs, Discovery Channel, H&G, PBS, History Channel, Travel Channel, C-SPAN 3)
b. news programming (four full-time news channels, major networks)
c. foreign language programming (serving both immigrant populations and those interested in foreign language and culture)
d. programs that enable viewing of important and historic events (inaugurations, Olympics, space exploration)
e. an enormous variety of entertainment programming well beyond "sex and violence" (PBS, A&E, major networks)
f. entertainment for adults that includes mature themes (A&E, Oxygen, major networks)
g. government affairs (CSPAN 1&2, state and local government channels)

I challenge Pro to establish a metric by which the benefits can be measured. How do the merits of watching a moon landing or an inauguration rate against the demerits of soap operas? Even a few inspirational experiences are more likely to have a positive effect on society then endless hours of soap operas a negative effect.

3. Pro states a belief that the exposure to violence on television is harmful, but only claims studies to have shown that for short term effects in small children. I accept that as likely. Children get worked up over things they see and are likely to act out for a time. That does not prove overall harm to society because there is (a) no evidence that the effects are permanent, (b) no evidence that a bland, controlled environment for children produces a better society, and (c) no evidence that alternatives to television would produce a better society. I challenge Pro to provide proof of each.

4. Pro cites a study that 80% of content of soap operas is sexual in nature. (a) This is obvious nonsense. I was once forced to watch soap operas during a hospital stay. Soap operas are certainly dominated by romantic themes, and by that broad definition is "sexual in nature," but there will always be programming with romantic themes whether or not there is television. (b) Most soap operas are on when children are supposed to be in school. If they are not in school, that's not a problem with the television set.

5. Studies that show a correlation between dysfunctional attitudes towards sex and television viewing of sexual situations are not showing cause and effect. Which teenagers are viewing a lot of sexually charged television? Which teenagers are not viewing sexually charged television? The one's with irresponsible patents and dysfunctional home environments are doing the viewing, those with responsible parents and good home lives are not. The fault is not in the television, it is in the parents or home life. If there were no television, the alternatives would be no better. Pro notes a study of women 14 to 18 watching X-rated movies. Why were these young women allowed to watch X-rated movies? Clearly there was a problem other than the TV set.

6. Pro cites a study, claiming "Televised violence suggests to young children that aggression is appropriate in some situations, especially when it's used by charismatic heroes... It also erodes a natural aversion to violence." This is good for society. Charismatic heroes fight for justice in stereotyped situations; there is rarely doubt that the bad guy is really, really bad. It is not good for society to teach children that justice is never worth fighting for. The idea that there is a "natural aversion to violence" is unproven. The goal should be to teach measured response, not passivity.

7. The studies Pro cites do not examine the social context of the sex and violence. Japan is well-known for media having substantial sex and violence. Americans get to see it in anime. Yet, Japan has the least violent society on earth and one of the most sexually responsible populations of teenagers. If the media was the cause of aggression and sexual irresponsibility, as Pro suggests, then this would be impossible. Clearly, the simple media cause that Pro claims is wrong. It depends upon the broader society.

8. I challenge Pro to produce studies that I can actually access and examine. I could find very little on They offer biased opinion with little support. They claim "thousands of studies" but cite few. I do not trust them to accurately summarize study results. Many of their handful of links are dead.

9. There is substantial counter-evidence that violence in society is unrelated to TV violence. "As liberal media critic Todd Gitlin has written, "Violence on the screens, however loathsome, does not make a significant contribution to violence on the streets. Images don't spill blood.".." Studies showed violence increasing in the early days of television, when both baby-boomers and TV were young, but after about 1975 and boomers matured, the correlation disappeared. It wasn't TV, it was the demographics -- young people are always more violent, TV or not.

This is consistent with TV viewing having a short term stimulatory effect on children, which we would expect, but no long term negative effect on society. The collective literature was reviewed, and similar conclusion reached, by Stuart Fischoff, Ph.D., in an invited address at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association "The importance of the question of external validity, i.e., valid generalizations to the real world, is monumental when it comes to taking lab results about acquisition of violent attitudes, values or behaviors or about desensitization to sexually violent behavior and predicting real world behavior. It is especially important when the results of such research are used as the basis for advocating or passing socially restrictive government legislation. ... And, endless assertions in the survey literature notwithstanding, the fact that rapists and murderers prefer to watch films compatible with their appetites is no indication of a causal connection, any more than the fact that golfers like to watch golf games proves that watching golf games cultivated their interest in golf."

In sum, lab experiments showing short-term desensitization do not establish negative effects on society, and correlation does not establish causation.
Debate Round No. 1


I disagree with the Negative. He or she says that tv is essential in order to spread information to the general public, but I believe that we do not need tv to get information. In fact, more people around the world have access to radios than they do televisions, proving that news would be better served on that medium. According to the Arbitiron/Radio Advertising Bureau, radio reaches 96% of consumers each week, while Media Targeting, Broadcast and Cable finds that the audience share for tv in primetime has decreased from 90% in 1980 to only 36% in 2000. Also, tv is a tool for misinformation, with many governments using it to promote propaganda. During the Philippine People Power revolution in 1986, for example, then-President Ferdinand Marcos fought with opposition forces to take control over the tv stations, because both sides knew that control over what was being broadcast would affect the public's reactions toward the revolution. When Marcos' forces finally surrendered, and tv viewers were shown the extent of public dissatisfaction with Marcos, instead of the steady fare of propaganda that was usually being shown, the majority of Filipinos supported the new, revolutionary government.

In my first argument, I has already provided you with very good reasons why violence and sex on tv negatively affect our youth. My opponent charge that this cannot be proven, but many respected medical and psychological organizations cite direct links between the violence and sex shown on tv, and increased levels of hostility and sexual willingness among young people. A study published in the September 2004 issue of Pediatrics magazine, of 1792 adolescents ages 12-17, showed that watching sex on TV influences teens to have sex. Youths who watched more sexual content where more likely to initiate intercourse and progress to more advanced noncoital sexual activities in the year following the beginning of the study. Youths in the 90th percentile of TV sex viewing had a predicted probability of intercourse initiation that was approximately double that of youths in the 10th percentile. Basically, kids with higher exposure to sex on TV were almost twice as likely than kids with lower exposure to initiate sexual intercourse. Futhermore, according to the American Psychiatric Association, " The debate is over… For the last three decades, the one predominant finding in research on the mass media in that exposure to media protrayals of violence increases aggressive behavior in children."

This is clear scientific evidence that there is a casual link between what young people see, and what they do. This is why we say tv has a negative effect on society.

Apart from this effect on young people, however, tv has another negative effect: it is a significant tool for rampant commercialization that is harming our society.

Society is exposed to more tv than education each year. A study conducted by the University of Kansas shows that children spend more time watching tv than in any other activity except sleep, and the Parents Television Council Publications found that children, on average, watch 4 hours of tv each day. All this tv viewing means that people watch thousands of commercial messages that encourage viewers to have a distorted sense of priorities and values. According to the Center for the Study of Commercialism, heavy promotion of shopping and buying distracts us from other activities such as reading, thinking, and playing. All the ads we're exposed to make it easy to forget how many different kinds of activities we enjoy.

Advertising also wastes our time. The same source states that "The average person spends almost an hour a day reading, watching, or listening to ads through TV, radio, theaters, videotapes, newspapers, magazines, mail, or telephone. By the time the average American is seventy-five years old, advertising will have taken 4 years of his or her life.

This much exposure to commercialization cannot be good, especially since it encourages viewers to veer away from more productive tasks.

This is not the only danger of commercialization. Advertising, by nature, does not deal with truth but with perceptions, and tv builds artificial perceptions of the world that harm our youth. Many lives have been damaged because they have come to view the world in a distorted way, mainly because of the messages they see on tv. The media Awareness Network reports that many ads imply, even if they don't say outright, that happiness is something we can buy. When we act as though this is true, our personal horizons and ability to find fulfillment in life are limited. The same source states that commercialism may erode values – such as sharing, co-operation, and frugality – fostered by families, religious institutions, and schools. Advertising promotes alcohol and tobacco use, which kill half a million Americans annually. Problems related to alcohol hurt more people's lives and cost society more money than an illegal drugs combined. In a national opinion poll conducted for Common Sense Media("New Attempt to Monitor Media Content." NY times, 5/21/03), 64% of parents with at least one child between the ages of 2 and 17 believed media products in general were inappropriate for their families.

If we continue to allow our children to be affected in this way, by viewing this kind of content, we only have ourselves to blame for a worsening society.

Because tv has these twin negative effects I in the Affirmative have already presented, directly causing greater sex and violence among our youth, and negatively affecting their perceptions about society, we must agree to let this motion stand.


Pro is blaming television for having undesirable content when the blame should properly be placed upon society. Pro's logic would blame a river for being polluted and claim that therefore the world would be better without the river. The problem is not the river, it is the people who pollute it. There is no problem at all with television. There is some problem with people putting obnoxious programming on television and with people choosing to watch obnoxious programming, but that is a problem with with society, not with television. Society is the cause, not a victim. If television ceased to exist, all the problems of content would persist with whatever means of communication remained. Pro's errant logic would condemn the Internet, radio, and the printing press in short order, because it applies to them all. As it is, whatever problems that exist with some television programming are grossly exaggerated by Pro.

1. I did not say that TV was essential to spreading information. We know it isn't essential, because information was spread before the advent of television. Information was also disseminated before the invention of radio. I asserted that television was a substantial benefit in disseminating news and information. Images provide valuable information beyond the written word. Audio of a space flight or Olympic games is clearly inferior to a video presentation. Video provides dramatic benefits for educational, entertainment, the arts, and government affairs. I challenge Pro to assert directly that there is no benefit in video presentation, if that is what Pro contends.

2. Pro has given evidence of correlation between television depiction of sex and teenage sexual behavior. Pro seems to insist that correlation proves causation, but it does not. Pro has provided no evidence of causation. The classic example used to show the distinction between correlation and causation is the study that showed a strong correlation (in Chicago, if I recall correctly) between ice cream sales and homicide rates. When there were higher ice cream sales, there were more murders. The correlation is established, but that did not prove that ice cream caused murder or that murder causes ice cream consumption. The common factor was hot weather; ice cream sales and murder rates also rise in the summer. Neither one caused the other.

In the case of television depiction of sex and teenage sexual behavior, it is most likely that there is a common cause of both: either poor parenting or a dysfunctional home environment. It might also be that the individuals have a genetic trait that leads to a greater sex drive. It might be some other common factor of which we are not aware. The point is that correlation does not prove that television caused irresponsible sexual behavior. Dr. Fischoff made this same point in the lecture to the American Psychological Association that I cited. Dr. Fischoff, an expert in the field, also stated he knew of no study that established causation. If Pro has a study that demonstrates causation, then Pro should present it. At the very least Pro should spell out the mechanism by which she claims cause and effect to have been established.

Pro asked how it would be possible to prevent children from watching X-rated television. One method is for parents to refuse to own a television. In the US, X-rated television is only available by paying extra to subscribe to adult channels. Is there any place in the world where where this is not true? I know of none. In the US, all televisions are required to have a V-chip , which allows adults to pass code protect not only X-rated material, but various levels of mature and violent programming. Parents might also keep the set locked up when they are not at home. Children might get access to unmonitored TV outside of the home, but that would eliminate consistent viewing that Pro claims to be the cause of all the ills.

Another approach is to tell children not to watch X-rated material. That might seem outrageously ineffective in Western cultures that have deteriorated to the extent they have, but it works in Oriental cultures where children are inclined to do what they are told. (In Japan there are public vending machines that sell beer, and children are simply told not to use them.) The problem, again, is not in the television, it is in the general mores of society.

3. I granted that exposure to violent television causes children to temporarily behave aggressively. If experimenters provided intense exposure, by television, to singing, dancing, running, jumping, or bouncing a ball it's quite likely that for a short while after the exposure the children would be more likely to sing, dance, run, jump, or bounce a ball. That does not suppose that the children so exposed will maintain those activities at a high level for the rest of their lives. In particular, no study has ever shown that the aggressive behavior observed in laboratory experiments ever translates to aggressive behavior in later life.

Again, Dr. Fischoff makes the point. In fact, the contention of permanent harm has been disproved. As television, and its presentation of violence increased from the 1950s to 1970s, violence in society increased. that started the notion that television was at fault. But as television continued to become more widespread and more violent after the 70's, social violence decreased. The rise and subsequent fall were were due to the baby-boomer demographics. You people commit more violence than older people.

I challenge Pro to address this point directly, and not sidestep it with more claims about laboratory studies. If Pro has a study that shows a casual link, and not just a correlation, I challenge Pro to produce it.

4. Pro correctly claims that advertising is full of challenges for consumers. That's true, but there is nothing special in that regard about television as an advertising medium. Consumers must be alert to deception and over-promising no matter whether ads appear on television, radio, magazines, newspapers, or the Internet. If there were no media, there would still be salesmen pitching snake oil on street corners. The answer is consumer education, and there is no alternative to that answer.

With respect to television, the public decides if they (a) want to watch channels whose programs are subsidized by advertising, (b) pay extra for channels without advertising, or (c) not watch television at all. Many people must believe they get a net benefit from watching channels with advertising, because they voluntarily watch them. The benefit is that they get the programming for free, or reduced cost, in return for having the ads on those channels. The same is true for magazines, newspapers, and radio. Any person who does not believe they get a net befit is free not to watch it.

Advertising itself provides the benefit of exposing people to products that they might want to buy. Ads for products in which a person has no interest are often annoying. However, ads for a product in which a person is interested are beneficial. An ad for drain cleaner is annoying only until *your* drain becomes clogged, at which point it is a benefit. Yes, I requires some savvy to sort out exaggerated claims, but it's the same skills needed to cope with the direct social interactions with people and the exaggerated claims of politicians, ideologues, and schemers of all stripes.

5. Throughout, Pro portrays parents and society as helpless victims of television. We are to believe that everyone is required to watch endless hours of sex, violence, and dopey ads. In fact, television is what it is because it reflects society. Moreover, there is nothing that prevents any person or family from refusing to own a television or keeping it tuned to channels that reflect their interests. I watch the US Senate on C-SPAN2: no sex, no violence, no ads -- plenty scary nonetheless.

The resolutio
Debate Round No. 2


(Cited from the same source.)
Before move on to my case, let me give a chance to rebut his argument. I already pointed out his starting part and paragraph #1 in the round 2 by using member comments. And, how can we prove the causation between many correlation like this complicated case? The answer is what I already showed you. I showed you many experiments that are worked from the various view related to prove the topic and effectively diminished the probability other factors have the correlation with 'problems related to tv'. And he almost try to prove 'Tv has no specific harm and there are other factors'. But he lacked the proofs other factors that he mentioned are the upper cause than my factor than me. And he barely prove the positive effect on tv that can really diminish my argument. He only listed few things without proof in round 1. And, if tv has no specific harms in the current situation, why parents stop their kids to watching tv by using RoyLatham's solution? He said it is the problem of the programs, not tv. But if the murderer harm other people, we should only blame his thinking murder? His or her body is innocent from the case? No, We should think he or she itself including both body and mind should charge the responsibility of murder. Likely, how the programs that has negative effects still give much harm to people without tv? The answer is clear.

My case has been very clear from the start: tv has a clear, negative effect on society.
In my first round, I talked about the presence of sex and violence on tv. I pointed out a number of important facts: there is a noted increase in acts of violence and sex on tv; young people are more vulnerable to these messages; and medical groups, educational institutions, citizens¢¢ç¯ watchdog groups, and even key members of gevernment all cite the dangers of television, and their negative effects on youth. According to Leonard Eron, a senior researcher at the University of Michigan, "Tv alone is responsible for 10% of youth violence." According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a majority of parents say they are "very" concerned about the amount of sex(60%) and violence(53%) their children are exposed to on TV. After being read arguments on both sides of the issue, nearly 2-3rds of parents(63%) say they favor new regulations to limit the amount of sex and violence in TV shows during the early evening hours, when children are most likely to be watching (35% are opposed). All these facts point to a clear problem with televised sex and violence, and this shows that tv has a tremendous negative effect on society.

In my second round, I talked about the rampant commercialization on tv, and pointed out the following: more commercial messages are available on television than ever before; young people are just as vulnerable to commercialized messages as they are to sex and violence; and the same experts who warn of sex and violence also warn of the dangers of over-exposure to commercialization and its effects on th perceptions of our youth. According to Worldwatch in 1998, "the evolution of the consumer society has another ramification, a major one. Current consumptive lifestyles in the wealthier nations are enviornmentally unsustainable. The resources required to produce the goods are either non-renewable, or are being used up faster than they can replenish themselves. Waste products are being dumped into the soil, air and water faster than they can be absorbed. The energy fueling this cycle of production and consumption is largely derived from the burning of fossil fuels. The megatons of carbon dioxide waste resulting from this process has led directly to global warming and climate change. The magnitude of the probable effects is appalling, including a rise in sea level, reduction in biodiversity, and more severe floods, droughts and storms. It seems ironic that, in light of this knowledge, that the world automobile is the single largest advertised commodity, must bear some of the responsibility for that."

A study by Gerbner finds that "Violence on tv is an integral part of a system of global marketing. It dominates an increasing share of the world¢¢ç¯s screens despite its relative lack of popularity in any country. Its consequences go far beyond inciting aggression. The system inhibits the protrayal of diverse dramatic approaches to conflict, depresses independent tv production, deprives viewers of more popular choices, victimizes some and emboldens others heightens general intimidation, and invites repressive postures by politicians that exploit the widespread insecurities the system itself generates." So we can see that commercialization even compounds the damage done by violence, by promoting the export of violent programming.

I have been very consistent, and very factual. Tv has a clear, detrimental effect on society. My entire case has shown the negative effects of sex and violence, as well as commercialization. Society cannot continue to let tv destroy its foundation of values and principles.

We must let this motion stand.


I thank Pro for an interesting debate.

If we measure the pulse rate of people exiting a roller coaster, we'll find their pulse is racing. Will it stay high for the rest of their lives? No. Pro cites many lab experiments that show that massive exposure to television violence desensitizes children for a few hours. The experimenters claim that this proves that television has a negative effect on society. I asked for a study that shows that the effect lasts for more than a few hours. Pro cannot produce a single study. An eminent psychologist performed a thorough search of the literature. He could find nothing to support the notion.

There is counter evidence. The frequency and intensity of violence on television has been increasing uniformly since its inception. So has violence in society been steadily increasing? No, it increased for a couple of decades, after which it has been dropping. Pro ignores the data and does not respond. If human nature is that violent television causes a violent society, then Japan should be a violent country. It is not; it has the lowest rate of violence in the world. Pro, enamored of debating in the comments rather than the debate, simply dismisses it there as only one country. If it is supposed to be human nature that violent television causes a violent society, then there should not be any exceptions. The premise cause-and-effect premise is unsustainable.

Pro points to studies showing a correlation between sexually irresponsible teenagers and their watching sex-laced television. I challenged the cause and effect relationship, claiming that it was more likely that there was a common external cause, such as poor parenting. The argument for an a common external cause is again advanced by the eminent psychologist that searched the literature and found no study proving cause and effect. Pro rebuts that it must be cause and effect because the researchers who did the studies claim it was. An unsupported claim does not establish proof. A study could test that hypothesis by examining teenagers with equally good parenting in homes with and without television to see if television was the causal factor. Pro cannot point to any such study and neither can anyone else, because no such study exists.

The social sciences are rank with such errors. I asked Pro for just a single example of one of the claimed studies so I could examine the details of the statistical analysis. A social scientist with a statistical package is a dangerous thing. Pro produced nothing. Keep in mind it was psychologists who, until recently, had determined by consensus that homosexuality was a form of mental illness, a serious mistake that they were finally forced to admit. The mistake they made in that case was that the psychologists projected their conclusions upon the studies rather than allowing the studies to lead to the conclusions. That is exactly what they are doing with the data on television. No cause and effect is shown in any study, yet they claim it proved.

I claimed that parents exercise control over their children's access to television, so if there is any fault it is not with the electronic box. Parents can choose not to have a television, to keep it locked up, to not subscribe to X-rated cable channels, or to use V-chip technology. Pro ignored the argument.

I argued that television reflects the values of society; it does not drive them. If Pro succeeded in banishing television, the villains would then be video games, the Internet, movies, magazines, and ultimately books producing the negative effects that Pro abhors. Before the advent of alternative media, books were in fact the target of social arbiters wishing to limit what people can see and read. At least the old-fashioned book-burners had the sense to target just certain material that they wanted to censor. Pro, perhaps, could have enlightened them as to the inherent evil of paper and printing from which errant material flows, just as he claims that evil resides in television's box, not in the content supplied by people.

Pro claims that television shows commercials that make dubious claims. Most people are willing to accept the advertising in return for the free, or subsidized, program content. They do so voluntarily. If television vanished, would that put an end to dubious advertising? There is no possibility of that. Dubious advertising was, if anything, worse before the invention of television. The problem is solely one of educating consumers. There is nothing contingent upon the device that delivers the messages. Pro did not respond to this argument.

Pro states that it is my job to establish that television has beneficial effects. That is incorrect. The affirmative bears the burden of proof. If Pro offers no convincing proof, then the resolution fails as unproven. It is like a criminal case. The defendant does not bear the burden of proving his innocence, only of showing the case against him is unproven.

Nonetheless, I asked Pro the methodology by which the beneficial effects of television ought to be weighed against the negative effects. I asked, by analogy, how we would decide if fire was a net positive or negative for society. It is easy to show cases of out-of-control fires having negative effects. So how should we evaluate it? Pro had nothing of substance to say on the subject of how such an evaluation ought to be done. The idea is to summon horrendous visions of television laying waste to society and hope that no one remembers the positive impact of television in bringing news, information, and enjoyable entertainment into the home. What is the value of the average person being witness to history, seeing space exploration, hurricanes, inaugurations, Olympic games, and even wars and devastation? It is difficult to quantify, but it is there.

Pro argues that I did not provide evidence of the beneficial nature of television. Since Pro seems to agree that there is no way to quantify the benefits and detriments, the concept is akin to a poetry contest. I could try to make the audience swoon with the delights of television, while Pro conjures up lurid visions of permeating evil. Emotions would then rule. Taking that route would be endorsing errant logic. Television is a box. Nothing comes out of it that is not put into it. Therefore it, of itself, has no influence whatsoever on society. That logic prevails regardless of what is concluded about the nature of the content.

In fact, Pro's case regarding content fails. Budding social engineers in the guise of social scientists are keen on controlling what people see. They do short term experiments showing desensitization and claim permanent damage to society in the form of increased violence, despite the statistical trends in society being counter to what they claim. They claim cause and effect between sexual content on television and irresponsible behavior among teenagers, but they have no data whatsoever to support a cause and effect relationship. In fact, both are products of society.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 3
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bugati_3 5 years ago
Gud job winning teamA281;A281;A281;
Posted by RoyLatham 9 years ago
john, Hmmm, I see your point.
Posted by s0m31john 9 years ago
I pick the one that makes the statement the funniest.
Posted by RoyLatham 9 years ago
john, Are you saying that you cannot tell from the debate contest which meaning of the word house was intended? If so, what do you do when you encounter the word "set" which has over a hundred context-dependent meanings?
Posted by s0m31john 9 years ago

1. One of the smartest medical dramas to ever have aired, House, M.D. features the maverick, anti-social doctor Gregory House (Hugh Laurie) who specializes in infectious diseases and does whatever it takes to solve the puzzling cases that come his way.

2. A style of electronic music originating in the late 80's in the USA characterized by four-on-the-floor bpms between 110-140, synthesized melodies and bass lines.
Posted by RoyLatham 9 years ago
Please, look up the definition of "house."

8. 1. often "House" A legislative or deliberative assembly.
2. The hall or chamber in which such an assembly meets.
3. A quorum of such an assembly.

Clearly, the context here is "deliberative assembly." The deliberative assembly is the voting audience of the debate. If they decide the resolution is true, then that that is what they collectively believe. If they do not affirm the resolution, then that is what they believe.

Since neither side questioned the definition of "house" the dictionary definition prevails. That makes perfect sense.
Posted by Alex 9 years ago
wjmelements, if you want to get title technical then we shall, he also says "this house believes" a house's opinion can't count, because it cant give an opinion..
Posted by acetraveler 9 years ago
I point out other weakness of RoyLatham.
Round 1)
7. He shows us example related to the Japan to counter my argument. But, He only shows one country. My argument is based on many reliable data from experiments that can help to predict the general tendency on Earth. In addition, he did not show the proof that can support 'Japan has the least violent society on earth and one of the most sexually responsible populations of teenagers.'.

Round 2)
1. He said to me 'I challenge Pro to assert directly that there is no benefit in video presentation, if that is what Pro contends.'. But, Ladies and Gentlemen, let's think about it. In my first round, I defined 'tv' like this : "tv" I mean an electronic device that allows the broadcasting of audio and visual content to a mass audience. And he has no rebut the definition. In this case, should we regard the 'video presentation and tv' is the same thing? The answer is clear : No, There are so many other ways to view video presentation without tv.
Posted by acetraveler 9 years ago
I fix from 'I didn't say if we regard tv is a bad thing and find the solution, it is not the perfect.' to 'I didn't say if we regard tv is a bad thing and find the solution, it is the perfect.'
Posted by acetraveler 9 years ago
Round 1)
6. Also, justice is basically worth for keeping itself and teaching children. But, if the justice relied on unmatured violence, is it worth? Superhero like spiderman also kill wrong person in Spiderman 1. He thinks the robber killed his uncle. But, in Spiderman 3, he knows sandman really killed his uncle. Also, robbery is a bad thing. But, the life of people is very precious thing. Falling to feeling for justice, kill or unmatured violence can also corrupt justice. But we often forget this things. So, I think superhero movies on tv have weakness that can send the wrong message to viewers like this part.

Round 2)
starting part : If the river originally polluted, although people stop trashing garbage, It is still polluted. In this case, we must clean the river first, and if the work cannot be done, we should fill up and abolish the river for people. I didn't say if we regard tv is a bad thing and find the solution, it is not the perfect. But, if we change the trends of the tv programs, or we start to diminish the effect of tv, and if this hard-working can be more good for people, we must do it. That is what I want to say.
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 9 years ago
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