The Instigator
SevenWarriors1
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
prunesquallor
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

'dibby dobbing' or 'ratting' is a dogma of fear used by students to commit misdemeanors at school.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/4/2013 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 695 times Debate No: 35282
Debate Rounds (4)
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SevenWarriors1

Pro

Good evening fellow debators! A matter which has struck me recently is the belief system of 'ratting' within school. Basically the belief is that children cannot report the misdemeanors of their cohorts. If they do, they lose their respect and reputation.
This is not a semantic debate,
Dogma = An authoritative principle, belief, or statement of ideas or opinion, especially one considered to be absolutely true.

The Con position is open to anyone, you will attempt to explain to me why 'ratting' is not a belief built on fear and designed to help kids commit misdemeanors.

First round is acceptance.

I look forward to a fun debate!
prunesquallor

Con

I will not debate in this round, rather demand from my opponent to give a more comprehensive outline of the argument he is trying to put forward. He used very abstract concepts akin to the unsteady foundation of the statement "It is their fault and they have introduced fear into children and designed this system to annihilate every figment of morality and ethics". Who is "they" and why would they introduce fear and how did they design such a system and why in the name of holy Moses would anyone want children to commit misdemeanors.

The Con position is open to anyone, you will attempt to explain to me why 'ratting' is not a belief built on fear and designed to help kids commit misdemeanors.

i. Where does my opponent think this belief originated from?

a. From the families of the children- Is my opponent insinuating a scenario where not just one but all the families are eager to raise spoilt brats?

b. From the school itself- Is the school attempting to blunder with its own system?

c. From the other children- Using this argument is only going to create a vicious cycle- who introduced it to the other children (i.e.) who designed it originally.

d. Children came up with it all by their own- If such is the case, does my opponent imply that the kids help themselves commit misdemeanors? And if so, what does he want the society to do about it?

ii. Why does my opponent think this belief gained momentum?

a. "Adults" tend to support the concept of "ratting" (rather, not "ratting out")- If my opponent believes that such a support is based upon the concept of "fear" (i.e.) parents, family and school-teachers want to block kids from expressing their troubles to them (because it is too much of a botheration?), I urge my opponent to reconsider, because the same adults, I believe, complain about how their kids do not freely talk to them.

b. Children force other children into doing it- If my opponent argues that this is the case, then I do not see how the concepts of morality and ethics can be applied to them, since children do not understand ethics in the first place and when my opponent contends that such a notion is introduced to inspire fear, children cannot be blamed for it, since they have no understanding of it.

c. Due to some external phenomenon- If this is the case, I ask my opponent what this external phenomenon is.

I wait for my opponent's clarification.
Debate Round No. 1
SevenWarriors1

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate and look forward to an interesting topic.

As my fellow debater has asked, I shall clarify several things for him/her.

"It is their fault and they have introduced fear into children and designed this system to annihilate every figment of morality and ethics". You seem to have quoted this from a source I am unsure of, I under no circumstance state this in my opening paragraph and I assure you this is not what I meant. Also there is no 'they' because I never said that, that came from your quote.

The term state of mind (mood; mental attitude; mental disposition;) would be the closest I can refer to in order to clarify the origin of this phenomenon of 'ratting'. I am arguing that the state of mind is built on fear, and more that the reason that is was created in the first place is because students that commit misdemeanors have upheld it in order to have a fail safe against being caught by teachers. It is your argument to prove to me that the belief of 'ratting' is not built on fear.
The closest to the options you gave me would be that the belief came from other students, it is indeed a vicious cycle and that is exactly what I am arguing.

As to your second point "why does my opponent think this belief gained momentum" I will clarify this in my later points as one of the reasons I started this debate is to debate on the reason for the phenomenon of 'ratting' I will argue that students uphold 'ratting' and use fear to maintain its use in the school culture.
Also I am going somewhat to argue 'B', 'children force other children into doing it' in an indirect matter, also you stated 'morality and ethics' several times as part of my argument however this is once again part of you quote from a random source, and not part of my original statement.

Topic: "'dibby dobbing' or 'ratting' is a dogma of fear used by students to commit misdemeanors at school."

Pressure (will be elaborated on):
Good evening fellow debaters! I would like to state that I am not arguing the origin of ratting, simply trying to convince you the ratting in its current form is a belief/state of mind/frame of mind of fear used by students to commit misdemeanors at school without being told off.

What is ratting? Ratting is simply the slang term used for when a person commits a misdemeanor and another student reports this, or 'rats', to a teacher. The stigma of being a 'rat' or 'stool pigeon' is one that permeates through western society and its education system. And the pressure surrounding being branded a 'rat' is one of the main reasons as to why the belief system of ratting is one of fear.
When a child or teenager wishes to report a misdemeanor there is essentially nothing wrong with this, they must simply go to a teacher or local authoritative figure and inform them of the misdemeanor in question, however, it is not as simple as would be suggested. To inform a teacher of another students wrong doings is almost never without risk, the student that wishes to inform or 'rat' on his fellow student will feel pressured not to by several factors.

Point 1:
Lost reputation: As explained, the overall reason a person does not wish to commit the act of 'ratting' despite its simple and possibly helpful benefits, is because of several different pressures placed on the informant, the first and foremost of these is the pressure of losing you reputation. Often students are affected by their peers to a great degree, a reputation can make or break your life at school and you do not wish to have a bad reputation. However it is this manner of thinking that makes up a great amount of the pressure that aids the state of mind of 'ratting' in bearing fruit. An informant or 'rat' is usually branded so for the rest of their high school life, regardless of their achievements, this can lead to snide comments, bullying and an un-enjoyable school life. Why is it that one good act can lead to such a terrible consequence? it is unknown fully as to why this has come to pass, but in most cases the lame blames squarely on the student who committed the misdemeanor and/or his friends. Humans, especially adolescents, are prideful beings and unfortunately the tool of a student that has been told on is often the spreading of verbal abuse, this verbal abuse serves to harm the informant without any physical evidence and also can ruin the reputation of a student if he is bad mouthed enough. If my opponent is wondering why I have come to the conclusion as to why this is the most common, it is simply because other methods of ruining a students reputation are unlikely as teachers will often be aware of a student telling on another student and will stop any physical or open abuse of the student. Verbal abuse often bypasses this and can serve to add more pressure to the informant.

These events can all be experienced by simply informing a teacher of one misdemeanor, often the student has committed other misdemeanors and will try his hardest to make the informants life hell so as not to be 'ratted' on again.
This pressure creates a fear in the student to never inform on another student in the first place, the belief that 'ratting' will cause a loss of reputation and possibly worse is what makes it a dogma of fear.

Point 2:
Threats: Often the student being informed on is a student with many wrong doings under his belt, and he/she may not be the most savory of characters. As a result the informant may often be deterred by the sung and unsung threats that the stigma of being a 'rat' brings with it. By 'ratting' on a fellow student the informant may often face threats in several forms. The threats which may accompany the act of 'ratting' often number in the verbal, the physical and often threats of broken bones and even death are common (http://www.q4colleges.com... article articulating ratting and death threats made to some students [read paragraph 8]). It is these threats that aid students that wish to commit misdemeanors to continue to commit misdemeanors by imposing fear within the student body that they may suffer any number of horrors if the 'rat' on their fellow students.

In this way, 'ratting' is very much a belief of fear which permeates through school society, it is simply a form of fear which has attached itself to a word known as 'ratting' and uses threats and abuse to keep people from committing the act of informing. The act of 'ratting' has continued because the students that commit the misdemeanors uphold their threats and verbal abuse and students do not wish to incur the wrath of their fellow students.

If you wish me to clarify anything else please do ask! I look forward to a good debate and I would like to remind you that as I stated above, "you will attempt to explain to me why 'ratting' is not a belief built on fear and designed to help kids commit misdemeanors." just as I have been attempting to convince you that 'ratting' is a belief built on fear and is designed to aid naughty kids continue their wrongdoings.
prunesquallor

Con

I will keep my arguments short and succinct since I have come to believe that my opponent does not really understand the point of debates. I will, therefore, attempt to remedy this situation and in the course of such a redressal, will attempt to make clarifications that do not concern this topic, but are needed if we are to continue debating on it.

My opponent agrees:

The closest to the options you gave me would be that the belief came from other students, it is indeed a vicious cycle and that is exactly what I am arguing.

He clearly concedes that the concept of ratting has as its source, the children themselves (i.e.) adults have very limited say in this phenomenon and indeed strive to correct it. Now, what I wonder is whether my opponent is aiming to debate on the psychology of children instead of the morality of "ratting" (i.e.) whether he wants me to establish a psychological theory that explains this fact and also happens to reject fear as its basis. If so, I am forced to reason out that this debate has no higher purpose than to gain an insight into the working of a child's mind.

On the other hand, if my opponent is debating whether "ratting out" is right ot wrong, I cannot help but point out that it is a belief started by children and held by children, and children as such cannot be expected to understand the importance of ethics and morality.

Since we have two more rounds after this, which is plenty of rounds by the way, I will not raise any arguments against my opponent's claim for the sole reason that I do not see what I am supposed to argue against (i.e.) establishing whether or not fear is the foundation of ratting does not seem to give a purpose to the debate. The fact that my opponent has added "used by students to commit misdemeanors at school" is but an appeal to pathos- children do not realize the implications/consequences/ramifications of said misdemeanors, so how are we to judge them?

Therefore, it seems to me, that this argument doesn't help accomplish anything- doesn't help reach any conclusion.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
SevenWarriors1

Pro

SevenWarriors1 forfeited this round.
prunesquallor

Con

prunesquallor forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
SevenWarriors1

Pro

SevenWarriors1 forfeited this round.
prunesquallor

Con

prunesquallor forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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