The Instigator
vorxxox
Pro (for)
Losing
47 Points
The Contender
burningpuppies101
Con (against)
Winning
58 Points

re: The pen is mightier than the sword

Do you like this debate?NoYes-2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/22/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 15,496 times Debate No: 7049
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (20)

 

vorxxox

Pro

This is a classic argument.

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

I withhold my arguments to next round.
burningpuppies101

Con

I stand in negation of the resolution that says: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword. I want to first thank my opponent for the debate, and I sincerely hope that everyone posts an RFD, since I only consider votes with an RFD a valid vote (in my book. Due to vote bombing issues and the like, I have lost faith in the current system. So I ask that if you want your vote to count, post an RFD.)

My job is to negate the topic. According to Merriam Webster; to negate is to:
1 : to deny the existence or truth of
2 : to cause to be ineffective or invalid

Since there are 2 definitions, it is necessary to choose one for the round, in order to reduce any confusion. I submit that the second definition of negate should be used, since I can't very well deny that the proverb, "the pen is mightier than the sword" exists. Therefore, my job is to show that the proverb, "The pen is mightier than the sword is ineffective or invalid. There is no viable way to show how a proverb is ineffective, so I must show that it is instead invalid. My opponent, therefore, must show that the proverb is valid.

So in short, I have to prove that The Pen is Not Mightier than the Sword.

Some definitions to start the round:
mightier: possessing might
might: the power, authority, or resources wielded (as by an individual or group) b (1): bodily strength (2): the power, energy, or intensity of which one is capable
2dialect : a great deal

To the arguments:
My opponent has allowed me to have the floor first, and I thank my gracious opponent for doing so.

1. Action vs. Words. When you look to the definition of might, you see that it references power, and authority. Where does power come from? You do not attain power through writing letters, and writing to people. Throughout history, people gain power through might. Again and again in history, we see the sword being pulled out to fight, either for glory or for power, or for both. So, in terms of actions vs. words, actions are more powerful and garner more might.

2. Mightier implies a direct comparison. When you use the suffix -er, you are comparing two things. Therefore, you are comparing the pen to the sword, and which one is mightier. Since mightier means to possess more strength or power, the sword is superior. A sword is stronger than a pen.

I'll use those arguments for now.
Debate Round No. 1
vorxxox

Pro

Thank you for accepting my debate.

"My job is to negate the topic. According to Merriam Webster; to negate is to:
1 : to deny the existence or truth of
2 : to cause to be ineffective or invalid"

I accept the second one like you say.

Now to make things clear:

The pen symblifies writing, reading, and literature
The sword symblifies arms.

Now for my speech

The pen is what makes the sword. Swords are forged from the wisdom of the pen. You know what the greatest invention of all time is? Hmm? Let me tell you: it's writing. You see, with the ability to read and write, one can record their thoughts and experiences and allow the masses to ponder over them and eventually learn from them. Knowledge is power. More powerful than anything else in the universe. Reading and writing allows us to combine our minds into one. You see, power is best achieved through exercise. It is built. Exercising our knowledge base is what allowed mankind to eventually build complex things, helped us use math to make calculations, gave us the ability to descend into the sea, into the sky, and into space. It's what can turn a sword into a cannon. Or a cannon into a gun. Or a gun into a nuclear bomb. It is why mankind is becoming more complex and powerful at such a fast rate.

Asking if the pen is mightier than the sword is just like asking:

Which is stronger, life or fire. Well, at first, fire would be the obvious answer, because life starts basic and weak. Single celled, you know. The fire is still in progress. Overtime, fires may devour and become bigger, but they don't evolve. They don't eventually develop the ability to survive contact with water. Yet, life builds in strength. Life evolves. And overtime, life eventually uses water to defeat fire. And life will come to harness fire, and use it as a slave to carry out it's interests.

This principal is no different when it comes to the pen. The pen eventually harnesses the sword to it's own will. The pen is mightier than the sword.

Now to refute your arguments

"1. Action vs. Words. When you look to the definition of might, you see that it references power, and authority. Where does power come from? You do not attain power through writing letters, and writing to people. Throughout history, people gain power through might. Again and again in history, we see the sword being pulled out to fight, either for glory or for power, or for both. So, in terms of actions vs. words, actions are more powerful and garner more might."

Yes, but the pen is what eventually makes the sword more powerful.

"2. Mightier implies a direct comparison. When you use the suffix -er, you are comparing two things. Therefore, you are comparing the pen to the sword, and which one is mightier. Since mightier means to possess more strength or power, the sword is superior. A sword is stronger than a pen."

That's like saying brute force is more powerful than intellect. Is the race of Gorrillas more powerful than that of humans? They are 'stronger' than us. However, we are wiser, and therefore much more powerful.

Please vote PRO.
burningpuppies101

Con

I thank my opponent for the swift response. I continue to ask that all voters provide an RFD.

The sword symblifies arms.>

Ok, I'll buy that. May I also add that the sword also symbolizes power, or might.

I'll take my opponent's argument word by word.

Ok, but all that means is that the sword is a creation, helped along by the pen. For an example, its like a mother giving birth to a child(the sword) with the midwife(the pen). Doesn't prove much.


Is this an opinion? Opinions carry no weight in a debate round. You know what the greatest invention of all time is? Hmm? Let me tell you: Its writing. I can go on and on, but I can't prove it. So this is a moot point.


Yet, you link this straight to weaponry. Also, not all knowledge comes from writing. In fact, no knowledge comes from the pen. The pen does not bestow upon you great knowledge. It is merely a medium. Also, this has nothing to do with the debate. We are arguing about the pen being mightier than the sword. Not giving more knowledge. Mightier.

Thats what the resolution, set up by YOU, is asking!


The pen is a pen. Pens don't evolve. This argument gets you nowhere. The pen is not going to rule the sword. Writing words does not directly control the sword. It may influence the user of the sword, but the true power remains in the use of the sword. So this point is still moot.

Ok, at this point, I'm getting the impression that my opponent is misunderstanding the topic that he set up. He keeps talking about idealizations of the pen and the sword, while the resolution we are debating is a much simpler one: Which one is mightier, the pen or the sword? The definitions of might have not been contested, so we can accept them. From that, you can clearly see that talking about a melding of minds has nothing to do with authority and power! I've shown how power does not stem from writing. You do not gain control of people by drawing. By just proving this, I can win this debate. By proving that the pen is not mightier, I can win this debate. I have done so. But to move on to my points:

1. We're not talking about what may happen. We are talking about 2 things. A pen. A sword. And which one brings more might to the table. You haven't shown how a pen brings more might than a sword. I have. This point stands.

2. I am saying that if you look to the definitions, and I quote from the definition, " (1): bodily strength ". The pen does not fulfill this criteria.

So far, my opponent has failed to prove anything, and my points still stand. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
vorxxox

Pro

Alright then. First to counter your arguments:

"Ok, I'll buy that. May I also add that the sword also symbolizes power, or might." - Uhhh, no... The sword only symblifies arms.

"
Ok, but all that means is that the sword is a creation, helped along by the pen. For an example, its like a mother giving birth to a child(the sword) with the midwife(the pen). Doesn't prove much." - Uhhh, not quite.

"
Is this an opinion? Opinions carry no weight in a debate round. You know what the greatest invention of all time is? Hmm? Let me tell you: Its writing. I can go on and on, but I can't prove it. So this is a moot point." - Oh yes I can prove it! I will explain it to you in a moment.

"
Yet, you link this straight to weaponry. Also, not all knowledge comes from writing. In fact, no knowledge comes from the pen. The pen does not bestow upon you great knowledge. It is merely a medium. Also, this has nothing to do with the debate. We are arguing about the pen being mightier than the sword. Not giving more knowledge. Mightier."

Knowledge doesn't 'come' from the pen; it is stored by the pen! You're right, it is a medium! It keeps knowledge recorded for others to acquire, therefore history doesn't repeat itself and we become wiser! And this does have to do with this debate! Not to be rude, but what a silly response saying that this has nothing to do with this debate! Is a library of knowledge more powerful than arms? Is the pen mightier than the sword?

"
The pen is a pen. Pens don't evolve. This argument gets you nowhere. The pen is not going to rule the sword. Writing words does not directly control the sword. It may influence the user of the sword, but the true power remains in the use of the sword. So this point is still moot."

No, pens don't evolve, they are merely a tool that allows US to evolve. And the pen obviously does rule the sword because it is what creates it! You say 'writing words don't directly control the sword.' That's because it's a tool! Both the sword and the pen, and you are right, they influence us. You say true power relies in the power of the sword, but that's not true. True power relies on your ability to adapt, and that is best done from recording your experiences and learning from past errors.

Here's a good example. There are 2 babies. One is HUGE, but has a learning disability. The other is small, but is quite a learner. The smart one will touch the oven door and go like OUCH, it is WRITTEN in his brain, and from then on before he touches an oven door he thinks: Hmmm, last time I touched this, I got hurt. Maybe I shouldn't do this again. The HUGE baby with the learning disability may be able to pick up things, but when he touches an oven door he goes like OUCH.... and nothing happens. Then touches it again. OUCH. And again. OUCH. And again. OUCH. But he doesn't learn from his mistakes, and therefore is doomed to encounter them again and again.

"Ok, at this point, I'm getting the impression that my opponent is misunderstanding the topic that he set up. He keeps talking about idealizations of the pen and the sword, while the resolution we are debating is a much simpler one: Which one is mightier, the pen or the sword? The definitions of might have not been contested, so we can accept them. From that, you can clearly see that talking about a melding of minds has nothing to do with authority and power! I've shown how power does not stem from writing. You do not gain control of people by drawing. By just proving this, I can win this debate. By proving that the pen is not mightier, I can win this debate. I have done so. But to move on to my points:

1. We're not talking about what may happen. We are talking about 2 things. A pen. A sword. And which one brings more might to the table. You haven't shown how a pen brings more might than a sword. I have. This point stands.

2. I am saying that if you look to the definitions, and I quote from the definition, " (1): bodily strength ". The pen does not fulfill this criteria."

Oh, don't give me that! Don't get all wordy with me! By might I simply met which is more powerful!

Now to argue my points:

The ability to learn is.... strong. Actually, that is what true power is: knowledge. Now, the pen itself isn't knowledge, but it is a tool, a medium to spread knowledge and allow it to accumulate. The sword is a powerful tool, but without the pen, it will be poorly used. Pens are how you get 'swords' like nuclear bombs. However, without recorded knowledge, without wisdom, an idiot can have all the nukes and say "I'm the king of the world!" Only to destroy everything including himself. Or if you give a gun to a monkey, don't go 'bananas' if it shoots itself. Things that learn from their mistakes are more powerful because they are less likely to make mistakes, and therefore last longer. Also with learning, abilities are acquired, and those abilities eventually add up and allows one to have the power of all. Learning is more powerful than arms!

This is why I have won this debate. My opponent tried to use semantics to tear down my argument. He failed miserably. He challenged my arguments by saying that the pen was just a tool, and I showed how he was right; it's a tool that only makes us smarter. I proved how learning was more powerful than physical might, basically that's why we humans are the dominant species, not Gorillas.

Please vote PRO
burningpuppies101

Con

I want to start this speech by thanking my opponent for this debate.

I want to first address an issue that has come up in this debate. It is about the resolution. It asks about the pen being mightier than the sword. Not more influential, not more creative, but mightier. With that said, we have to look to the definitions provided in this round. The definitions that I provided, and that were not contested, was: the power, authority, or resources wielded (as by an individual or group) b (1): bodily strength (2): the power, energy, or intensity of which one is capable

So. If we look to the definition, we see the words, bodily strength. We see the words power and authority. Therefore, if we put this into the resolution, it can also say:

The pen is stronger than the sword.

Therefore, the direct next move would be to say that my opponent has to prove that the pen is stronger than the sword. It brings more power and influence than the sword.

Now lets look at what my opponent provided for what a pen means. "The pen symblifies writing, reading, and literature"

Ok. Now lets look at what a sword symbolizes: "arms" However, we can't just stop there. If my opponent can broaden that a "pen" is, then surely we can't just limit a sword to what a sword is, a weapon. Since my opponent broadened what a "pen" was to something much grander than your average UniBall, I should be allowed to do so. Which I did. I add that a sword includes physical might. Physical power. Power. Authority. If my opponent can expand, so can I.

So lets look at the 2 things side by side, in the context of the debate, which is what I've been doing.
Pen is literature and writing, and reading. Nothing mighty about it.
Sword is power, strength, authority.

So lets look at both in the context of the meaning of what mightier means. "the power, authority, or resources wielded (as by an individual or group) b (1): bodily strength (2): the power, energy, or intensity of which one is capable "

So if we look at what the pen is, and what a sword is, and compare it to each other, we clearly see that a sword is mightier than the pen. Its what a sword is! Strength. Check, its in the definition of both might and sword. Reading. Wrong, its not might. Same for writing and literature.

I'm not saying that a bunch of baboons is better than humankind, but I'm saying that in a fight, a baboon is mightier.

Now to my opponents previous speech:

Then the pen only represents a UniBall. But that doesn't help either of us. So for the sake of the debate, we have to accept it. If my opponent can expand his chosen object, so can I. To accept otherwise is putting a heavier burden on me.

No warrant. No impacts therefore. No argument. We can't accept these 2 "refutations" since they have no warrant, and therefore no impact on my arguments. They stand.

I eagerly await it.


Is this your proof? Ok first off, it still has no bearing on the debate. It still doesn't show how the pen is stronger than the sword. So I'm still winning. Indirectly, the pen has more influence over history, by being able to record it. But that doesn't make it inherently stronger.


And then you go on with your baby anectdote.

First off, the pen doesn't create the sword. It is the sword maker, or the forger of swords who makes the sword. Also, the pen isn't some all powerful being that can store everything. Last time I checked, my UniBall doesn't have a data processor on it. Perhaps you are talking about humankind's ability to USE the pen. In that case, my argument still stands. That only shows how humankind is powerful and mighty, not the pen.
About true power: Ok, but that only refers to humankind.
About the babies: Does that mean that the pen learns? And a sword doesn't? Neither of them learn. They are tools.


Forgive me if this is insulting, but this only seems like an excuse not to answer the argument. And it still stands. You can't change what you mean in the middle of the debate, considering that you didn't say anything about my definitions in your speech after my first one, and you never supplied any definitions with which to frame the round. Therefore, since you didn't do it, the burden fell on me to frame the round with a definition with which to focus the round around. You can't spend your last speech putting up a one line answer to a very valid section of the debate.

Now to my opponents one and ONLY argument.

Thats great. The ability to learn is great, and probably mightier than both the pen and the sword combined! But that doesn't show how the pen is inherently stronger or more powerful than the sword. It only shows how learning, or intelligence, or sentience, trumps both of them. So all you have proven is that sentience and intelligence is mightier than swords. But the pen doesn't represent sentience and intelligence. It represents writing, and literature, and reading (in your own words.) The sword represents strength and power. Neither of those are sentient things. You can't argue that the pen is sentient and learns, and therefore is mightier than the sword, since it is HUMANKIND that is the one using both of them. HUMANKIND trumps both.

CONCLUSION:
So by this point, my opponent has successfully proven that sentience and humankind is quite important, and is probably mightier than the sword. But the debate is not Sentience is mightier than the sword. The debate is The PEN is mightier than the sword. And since the Pen represents writing and reading, and the sword represents power and strength (which embodies the definition of might), the Sword is obviously mightier than the pen.

BUT in case you haven't bought anything that I've said:
I still win. I have shown that the Pen is not mightier than the sword. That doesn't necessarily mean that the sword is mightier than the pen. That only means that the Pen is not mightier than the Sword. So they can be equal. Or they might not be able to be compared at all. And since my opponent has no offense, but he has the burden, I win on default. And even if you don't buy that, you have to buy that the Pen is not mightier than the Sword, but they might be the same, since they are both so radically different. And therefore the Pen is not Mightier than the Sword.

Once again, I want to thank my opponent for the debate, and once again I ask that all votes give RFDs in the comments section. It would be greatly appreciated, since I only consider those votes with RFDs to be valid.

Thank you. I await the will of the voters.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by burningpuppies101 7 years ago
burningpuppies101
Thank you for the RFD.
Posted by rofflewoffles 7 years ago
rofflewoffles
Voting Con.
RFD:
Pro states that a pen symbolizes writing, reading, literature and Con says the sword represents weaponry/physical might. Agree with both. Unfortunately, Pro does not actually state why writing, reading, and literature trump physical might. Pro needs to work on a better conclusion telling me why to vote for him, Con does good analysis. If Pro had argued that writing/reading/literature (language, I assume, is what he meant) was better than might and stated that power can only be gained from people who can create convincing arguments through use of language, vote would go to him. But Physical Might > Writing/Reading/Literature makes this round clear Con for me.

GJ on both sides.
Posted by trendem 7 years ago
trendem
I'm voting Pro. I think Con focused his debate on semantics and neglected to debate the resolution properly. For eg., Con said:
"First off, the pen doesn't create the sword. It is the sword maker, or the forger of swords who makes the sword."
When Pro said that the pen creates the sword, he gave clear arguments for it: the pen makes the creation of the sword possible, because the pen allows stored knowledge. Con, instead of addressing Pro's argument, chose to quibble on "create" by adopting a more direct, non-metaphorical definition of "create".
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
I really want to take this, but I can't because we're already debating this same topic (on opposite sides)! You should challenge me to this with you as Pro after our other debate ends : )
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
er, that would be situational justification, not moral justification, which relies on a broader context in which it would be true that that achieves the goal :)
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Depends...

A justification that it's "fair" is that there is no rule against it.

As for moral justification, the only one available is ITS A TARP.
Posted by KyleLumsden 7 years ago
KyleLumsden
What possible justification exists for the Pro "withholding . . . arguments till the next round"? This is a legitimate question.
Posted by I-am-a-panda 7 years ago
I-am-a-panda
I might just take this debate. it's mine if no-one claims it within the next 20 or so hours.
20 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by oridinaryaverageguy 6 years ago
oridinaryaverageguy
vorxxoxburningpuppies101Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Vote Placed by turdfu13 6 years ago
turdfu13
vorxxoxburningpuppies101Tied
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 
Vote Placed by AceDude1981 6 years ago
AceDude1981
vorxxoxburningpuppies101Tied
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 Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Vote Placed by Nails 6 years ago
Nails
vorxxoxburningpuppies101Tied
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 Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Mangani 7 years ago
Mangani
vorxxoxburningpuppies101Tied
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 Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by crazypenguin 7 years ago
crazypenguin
vorxxoxburningpuppies101Tied
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 Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by patsox834 7 years ago
patsox834
vorxxoxburningpuppies101Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Vote Placed by InquireTruth 7 years ago
InquireTruth
vorxxoxburningpuppies101Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Vote Placed by s0m31john 7 years ago
s0m31john
vorxxoxburningpuppies101Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Vote Placed by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
vorxxoxburningpuppies101Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:30