The Instigator
madness
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
XDM
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

We should shame fat people.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
madness
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/14/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 3 weeks ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 393 times Debate No: 96994
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (2)

 

madness

Pro

I would like to start off by saying I have no problems with fat people in general, I have many fat friends. My stance is that being fat is not healthy. When I say "shame fat people" what I mean by that is the same way we would shame or frown upon drug users.

I know arguing this topic puts me at a disadvantage, but I look forward to the challenge and I look forward to a good civil debate. I want to stress again that I have nothing against fat people, I just see problems caused by really fat people.
XDM

Con

The majority of my argument will capitalize on the wording used by my opponent. "We should shame fat people" and "When I say "shame fat people" what I mean by that is the same way we would shame or frown upon drug users". These two statements combined would say "We should shame fat people in the same way we would shame or frown upon drug users".

"We should shame fat people in the same way we would shame or frown upon drug users".

This^ is the statement I will be attacking.

To begin, the two terms of most consequence are "should" and "shame/frown upon". This clarification is important as it sets up the system my opponent supports. To say that we, society, "should" do anything is to at the very least imply that the action in question would benefit said society. The action in question is "shame/frown upon" and the subject of the action is "fat people". My argument will be that the action proposed by my opponent would not in fact benefit society and "should" not be done.

The claim that the health of any given citizen should be of paramount importance to them and that it affects the people around them, especially those who depend on them, is not a matter of argument. A healthy citizen is one who can generally contribute more to their society and is less likely to suffer a disease or some physical complication that will endanger their life and make life more difficult for those who depend on that citizen. To state that health is important to society is therefor clear and a generally accepted notion for good reason.

I believe that my opponent and I both agree on this key point. Where we differ in opinion is in the reaction society should have to any such citizen that endangers their own life and therefor inconveniences or endangers the lives of those around said citizen.

My opponent suggests that the reaction most beneficial to society, what society "should do", is to "shame/frown upon" those citizens who endanger their health. I believe that out of the many possible social reactions, this is of the least likely to produce a better, more stable and healthy society.

To begin my counterargument, I would like to remind the viewers of this debate that obesity, like addiction, is often not the fault of the victim. It is often the case that a child is made obese by their parents or guardians and they never develop the habits necessary to a live healthy life. Sugar addiction is rampant across our society and is usually started at a young age. Eating disorders are diseases that are often not entirely the fault of the victim. Even if the obesity of a citizen it is the fault of that citizen, it is likely due to bad habits and a slew of poor early influences, and even if it is NOT due to that, the proper reaction must not be to simply make them feel worse. Depression amongst the overweight is very common and if it is the goal of society to improve the overall health of the society, then "shaming" a victim is the least likely way to achieve that. Shaming will lead to further depression, and many victims of depression eat as a coping method, further increasing the problem and doing nothing to stop the problem in the first place.

In my opinion, the best path to a more healthy society is to view obesity as a condition that should be avoided if possible ,through the introduction of good habits at an early age, and treated (medically speaking) with compassion and respect.

That being said, it is not the goal of this debate to provide a better "should", simply to demonstrate that the "should" proposed by my opponent is far from the best option.

Shaming an unhealthy citizen does nothing to fix their condition, does very little to actually prevent more citizens from becoming that way, is insensitive (you don't know how or why they came to be like that and it might not be entirely their fault), and in fact promotes more unhealthy habits from those "shamed" for the most part. Therefor I believe that we, society, should NOT shame fat people because it poses no real benefit to society and is in fact more likely to cause social dissent between those who shame and those shamed.
Debate Round No. 1
madness

Pro

Thanks for accepting, I've been looking forward to this.

DISCLAIMER: By no means am I attacking fat people, my argument is designed to find a way to help fat people. I believe shaming, to some degree will help. Please read through carefully and keep an open mind.

I'm going to briefly explain how it's possible to compare fat people to drug users as I did. Then I will move onto my more interesting argument as to why "we should shame fat people."
Fat people can be compared to drug users because both drug users and fat people suffer from addiction. One addiction is to food and one is to drugs. Fat people over eat and drug users overdose. I don't dislike drug users, I simply recognise they have a problem, so do fat people. It was a minor comment that my opponent shouldn't have attacked, as he clearly doesn't understand what an analogy is. (a comparison between one thing and another, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.) I would certainly say that's a fair analogy. Lets move onto the actual argument.

If you take the time to read through his argument, you will see my opponent agrees that fat people being fat is a problem and something must be done. What we disagree on is how it should be done
XDM-"that the health of any given citizen should be of paramount importance to them and that it affects the people around them"
Below I will explain my solution to the fat epidemic, and how we may help our over weight friends, family and relatives.

In society we accept fat people. They, like you or I, are just ordinary people with a problem, some have even called the problem of being fat "a self-inflicted disease" Certainty being fat is not good, not by any means. For those who would believe being fat is good I will present a quick list of health problems caused by obesity.

High blood pressure, cancer, stroke, heart disease, pregnancy problems and many more. The fact that these health problems affect the obese individual is bad enough, but it also affects many others. For instance here in England we have a national health service where health care is free, however many obese people are a drain on this service, which causes other patience to be left untreated or receive poor service. Many people die because ambulances can't reach patients in time, instead these ambulances are busy dealing with other people, many of whom are fat. Lives are lost because fat people clog up the health services, here in England it's a growing problem, as people keep growing. Clearly something needs to be done, but what? From this I hope we can all agree that people being fat is a problem for society and for the fat individuals.

I'm a personal trainer and I used to be overweight, but I worked hard to lose much of my weight and I think others can do the same. In society we accept fat people, but some people like myself encourage them to lose weight, we, for many years have tried to motivate them, but the obesity rate is rising, so it"s clear our encouragement is not enough. Keep in mind "encouragement" is a carrot method of motivating someone. For example "JUST DO IT!" Would be a carrot form of motivation, as it's positive, but is it enough to really help them lose weight? It seems that the problem with the carrot method is, fat people just eat the carrot and get fatter. In some cases the positive attention/encouragement that fat people get for being fat only motivates them to get fatter for more attention, it"s a vicious cycle. So now the carrot has failed and been eaten, it's time for the stick. What is the stick you might ask? Ladies and gentlemen I present to you "shame."

We now understand, in some cases simply encouraging fat people only will only make them fatter. The fact that I want to point out is that obesity is rising. How can we constructively use shame (stick) to motivate fat people to lose weight? Below I will present my ideas.

Use the word "fat" constructively by ensuring your tone is firm and serious. This will ensure the word "fat" and being fat is in bedded into the listener as a negative term. Thus allowing fat people to understand their condition is negative.

Be a role model. Demonstrate to others how you are mentally in control of food, and how you choose to enjoy living the fat free life. Then give examples of where other "fat" people go wrong. After seeing a comparison like that, many people will see the dramatic difference between the two life-styles, and the shame associated with being fat, this should hit home that not just being fat, but the "fat life-style" is undesirable.

Be proactive and deliver constructive fat warnings, nothing good should be said about being fat. If you observe loved ones becoming too fat, sit them down and explain your concern with a serious tone. You must let them know that what they"re doing is wrong. Always explain why you are being anti-fat.

If you are talking "fat" then it must always come from a good place. You are talking about it because you care. Being too fat is becoming a common occurrence for too many. Many try diets and fail badly. Perhaps fat shaming isn't so bad after all.

This is just a small list I've come up with, as I'm trying to be pro-active with helping fat people. Just imagine the list we could come up with, if society worked together to apply constructive shame to motivating fat people to lose weight.

I will close with a small conclusion and give you something to think about.
we have tried the carrot method, yet obesity is rising. Now the carrot has failed we must resort to the stick and that's why shaming fat people constructively is something we should consider. If we don't motivate them who will? Call it tough love.
XDM

Con

My opponent and I agree that obesity is a problem and should be addressed. He then claims that we disagree on how it should be addressed, but then he outlines a solutions that is almost perfectly in line with my suggestion in round 1.

My opponent states "If you are talking 'fat' then it must always come from a good place. You are talking about it because you care". This is very similar to my statement "and treated (medically speaking) with compassion and respect". The similarity comes from the words "care" and "compassion". We both agree, it seems, that we should try to show children who are at risk of becoming obese and those who are obese ways to change their lives in a compassionate, caring way.

This seems contradictory to idea of "fat shaming" which is defined as "An act of bullying, singling out, discriminating, or making fun of a fat person". This definition is also not in line with my opponents "ideas" as his ideas are largely stemming for feelings of genuine concern for the obese while "fat shaming" is fundamentally malicious.

I believe my opponent meant to say "we should use tough LOVE on fat people to encourage them into healthy habits" instead of his original contention which has very little room for the compassion he claimed he had for the obese.

I would like to continue to contend that what I have defined as fat shaming is detrimental to society and is not desirable. If this what my opponent meant then I will continue the argument.
If my opponent did not mean "fat shaming" as it is defined then I would like to extend the option of an agreed upon tie since I only agreed to this debate under the premise that my opponent meant fat shaming as "An act of bullying, singling out, discriminating, or making fun of a fat person".
Debate Round No. 2
madness

Pro

From what I understand my opponent seems to be confused as to what we're arguing. Let me clear up any little misunderstanding my opponent may be having. It's very simple. As the title of this debate suggests. "We should shame fat people"

In order to shame, we must point out why being fat is bad and make fat people feel guilty in order to motivate change from them. By no means should we be laughing/making fun of them.

My opponent is confused as to why I'm pro shaming fat people, yet care about them and their well being. The whole purpose of this debate is to discuss whether or not shaming fat people is good, or not so good. This debate is for obese people in an attempt to help them. We need a solution to the fat epidemic and that's what this debate is working towards.
Shaming can be a form of tough love and that, in my opinion, is the best way to fix the fat epidemic.

Have you ever punished your child for being naughty, telling them that what they did was wrong? They would turn red and feel embarrassed, perhaps you told them "you should be ashamed of what you did!"
That child would have felt ashamed for what they did, but you'd only be enacting tough love. My argument is based around the idea that fat people need tough love. I'm not comparing fat people to children, but the principle is the same.

Shaming someone in order to prevent them from doing something is quite harsh obviously, but in my argument I state that obesity is rising, therefore current methods are not working. My argument suggests we should use the stick method to discourage people from becoming fat, shaming will be the "stick" an idiom that refers to a policy of offering a punishment to induce behaviour. The behaviour I hope to induce is for fat people to change their life-style.

I hope you now understand that "shaming" can be a form of "tough love" despite what my opponent believed. Tough love is meant to be tough.

My opponent so far, has assumed that I want to shame fat people with bullying as quoted below.

"If my opponent did not mean "fat shaming" as it is defined then I would like to extend the option of an agreed upon tie since I only agreed to this debate under the premise that my opponent meant fat shaming as "An act of bullying, singling out, discriminating, or making fun of a fat person"."

I never said to make fun of fat people, as my opponent would accuse me of.
Shame, means by definition

-" make (someone) feel ashamed.noun. 1A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour. 'she was hot with shame' ... 'It's what mainly life is about - humiliation, embarrassment, shame and shyness, all the other things."

The above is directly from the English Oxford dictionary.

The English Oxford dictionary is a very reputable source for definitions, that's where my definitions comes from. I failed to find a single definition of "shame" where it meant bulling.
Furthermore my opponent has failed to come up with any viable solution to the fat epicdemic, his "soluiton" is quoted below , almost in its entirety.

"In my opinion, the best path to a more healthy society is to view obesity as a condition that should be avoided if possible ,through the introduction of good habits at an EARLY AGE, and treated (medically speaking) with compassion and respect."

The problem with my opponents argument is he claims this must be done "at an early age"

My opponent also says.
"It is often the case that a child is made obese by their parents or guardians "

If the parents/guardians are often the reason for children becoming obese, then how can they be targeted at an early age? This tells me that my opponent has not thought this topic through. Thus he has failed to provide a better solution.

I would like to conclude my argument by simply saying, shaming fat people would not be malicious, it would be a "tough love" approach. I know that a tough approach to the "fat epidemic" situation is what we need. Gentle encourage meant clearly isn't working as obesity is rising. The solution is the stick, not the carrot.

I would like to ask my opponent not to forfeit/end the debate, simply because he didn't understand the definition of "shame" as it's bad sportsman ship and so far I think we've had a good debate. I thoroughly look forward to reading your final argument.

I hope that readers now realise, sometimes a strong handed approach can be a good thing.

Peace
XDM

Con

The phrase "Fat shaming" by definition: "The action or practice of humiliating someone judged to be fat or overweight by making mocking or critical comments about their size"

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com...

Common definition: An act of bullying, singling out, discriminating, or making fun of a fat person.

https://www.psychologytoday.com...

The phrase "Tough love" by definition: "love or concern that is expressed in a strict way especially to make someone behave responsibly"

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

As anyone can clearly see, the two most common definitions for the phrase "fat shaming" are incompatible with the definition of the phrase "tough love". "Humiliating", "mocking", "bullying", "discriminating" are malicious terms incompatible with "love" even when "expressed in a strict way".

My opponent claims "We should shame fat people" but his proposed plans rely on the definition of "tough love"and not "fat shaming". He has still neglected to apply the accurate definition of the phrases ( his definition of the individual terms in the phrase is insignificant as in this case the phrase "fat shaming' is more than the sum of its parts ) in his arguments and has neglected to respond to my contention that an individual shaming (using the definition of fat shaming) an obese person would likely distance preexisting relationships and likely cause outright resentment, neither of which would be beneficial to society of either individual.

It is clear that we are not in agreement with our key terms and as a result have begun to argue about different things. My opponent advocates for "tough love" but calls it something else. Since I agree with a "tough love" approach, but that is not the stated nature of the debate, I must end my participation in this debate with a concise statement about the perceived nature of the debate and my claim.

Regardless of the intention of my opponent, his terminology begets the perception that he is advocating for "fat shaming" as a motivational method to decrease the rate of obesity in a given society. Given the provided definition of fat shaming and its negative historical reactions, I disagree with this claim but agree with his "tough love" proposals which I insist are fundamentally different than "fat shaming" by definition.

Because the structure of this debate demands that pro defend the original claim "We should shame fat people" and he has not done this under the definition of "fat shaming", I can not, and voters should not, give merit to his arguments in the context of the topic of this debate, even if a voter were to agree with the examples provided.
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheShaun 3 weeks ago
TheShaun
The entire debate was a bit shaky, but I had to give it to the Pro.
Posted by Iacov 3 weeks ago
Iacov
@madness a direction that non the less you were at the disadvantage and you were unable to pull the debate in any other direction although I understand the you were the first to be posting and I see where your objection is coming from.
Posted by madness 3 weeks ago
madness
@Iacov
"I believe con simple out played pro in where they chose to lead the debate."

You realise the direction my opponent lead the debate was in the direction of semantics and definitions. Not a strong or creative way to approach an argument.
Posted by madness 3 weeks ago
madness
I think I need to go over quickly what my opponent did in his final argument, because no one seems to be able to pick up on it.

"Fat shaming" is a term coined by fat acceptance groups, in order to be able to call fat criticism bullying.
I do not use this term at all during my argument. My opponents dictionary definitions is of "Fat shaming" not of the word "shame."
Because of this, It's not that his sources were unreliable, it's that they were meaningless.

@Iacov3: The title of the debate was chosen very carefully. I use my above point to justify why I said.
"I would like to ask my opponent not to forfeit/end the debate, simply because he didn't understand the definition of "shame"

It was not offensive. I had to point out that my opponent said the word "shame" was the same as the word "bullying"
Posted by Iacov 3 weeks ago
Iacov
I apologize for being unable to vote here I will be posting my votes here as to regain my voting rights
Agree with before: pro
Agree with after: pro
Better conduct: con
Reason for conduct: I feel that this debate was being handled very well up until the end in which pro makes a final comment that although may not have intended to offended could be perceived as aggressive to con.
Better Grammer: tie
Better argument: Con
Reason for arguement: I feel con has done a much better job at both explaining himself/herself and kept the debate focused to where they would be at the advantage. Con started at a disadvantage and although they explained their stance well I believe con simple out played pro in where they chose to lead the debate.
Sources: Con
Reason for sources: this vote would have been a tie until the end where as I mentioned before con forced the debate to a area where they would have the advantage and once their they clearly used reliable sources to further strengthen their position.
Posted by Wisdom8192 3 weeks ago
Wisdom8192
Pro has some good points, the obesity rate is rising and it's clear that compassion is not working, however it should be noted that the different ranges of obesity should reflect on the amount of shame they are given for example, someone that is slightly overweight no-one would and should not bat an eye because chances are they are perfectly fine and would not have to go in and out of the hospital because of weight related issues. However, someone that is morbidly obese and constantly has to go in and out of hospital, wasting the country's resources and not improving their situation, for example going to McDonald's every day and not excercising at all, should be shamed for not taking care of their body and letting others pay for their addiction (in the form of taxes). It's like smokers, they are breaking their body in the same way morbidly obese people are and measures are being taken to stop smokers from getting treatment for breaking their body such as the NHS recently stopping smokers from getting priority over non smokers. People may argue obese people eat to fend off depression but smokers do the same as well, so how come obese people are safe from criticism and not smokers?
Posted by XDM 3 weeks ago
XDM
I did say that shaming lead to depression which lead to more eating but its my fault i didn't cite. doesn't take away from the validity of my point but either way feel free to vote @SpelunkingSamurai
Posted by SpelunkingSamurai 3 weeks ago
SpelunkingSamurai
I think he whole 'drug users' thing is a definite issue with Pro's argument here. He seems to think that all drug users are drug addicts, first of all, which is untrue. He also doesn't draw the line between essentially harmless drugs (like cannabis) and dangerous drugs (like heroin). Nor does he take into account that drugs like alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are legal and generally aren't nearly as frowned upon as illegal ones, even when the illegal ones are less harmful (as in the case of cannabis and alcohol). So when much of Pro's argument hinges on this idea that we should treat fat people like drug users, it really doesn't make a lot of sense when there are all kinds of drugs to use with varying rates of addiction and inconsistent laws and social rules depending on the drug.

There's a similar issue with Pro's vague use of the term 'fat people'. It's hard to justify shaming people for their weight when it's not an immediate or serious danger to their health. It's definitely more understandable if they're morbidly obese for example, but it's hard to justify this kind of 'health fascism' when the fat person in question is still able to function in society and isn't constantly in and out of the hospital with weight related health issues.

Lastly, there's actually some scientific studies out there that validate Con's claims about it being better NOT to shame fat people (due it it ultimately making them depressed, and more likely to overeat and get even fatter). It's a real pity he didn't track down and cite some of this evidence as it would have made his argument a lot more impressive than Pro's, who is basing his argument heavily on personal anecdotal evidence.
Posted by madness 3 weeks ago
madness
*The title of this debate is "we should shame fat people" not "we should fat shame"
Posted by madness 3 weeks ago
madness
"Fat shaming" is a term coined by fat acceptance groups, the title of the debate is "we should fat shame" which is not a term. If you define "fat shaming, it will yield very different results than if you define "shame"

The argument my opponent makes is entirely based around semantics and has little substance. I believe that to be note worthy.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by TheShaun 3 weeks ago
TheShaun
madnessXDMTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's argument was more convincing due to his explanation of what he means by "fat shaming" and the fact that his intended meaning behind fat shaming was agreed to by Con as an acceptable action. Con's choice to stick to a single definition of a phrase that can technically have other meanings was illogical. He should have considered the alternate meanings of the phrase, especially after being informed that it has slightly different meanings sometimes depending on the context.
Vote Placed by Capitalistslave 3 weeks ago
Capitalistslave
madnessXDMTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both seemed to have good conduct as well as spelling and grammar. I believed the pro had a more convincing argument since they focused on their argument whereas the con began arguing over semantics. Neither used sources so no one wins that one.