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

When we buy tickets to a movie, we support the content of its message.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 794 times Debate No: 53050
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




Observe, if you will, that when one buys a ticket to a movie, one influences a string of causation threading backward from the cash register, to the bookkeeper, to management, to the theater"s CEO where is determined the fate of the cinematic production in question. From here, the string does not terminate. It continues its trek perhaps even to the hills of Hollywood where directors and producers must collaborate to make their art palatable to Main St. (average Joe) so that Wall St. (the CEO) and Hollywood can make money.

The same is true in reverse.

The first round may be a quick rebuttal if preferred by the Con. Later rounds may be reserved for more extensive arguments.


I accept this debate. First, however, I would like to point out that your opening statement bears no relevance to the question at hand. The topic to be debated is whether or not buying a movie ticket constitutes support for the message presented in the movie. In your statement however, you propose that one influences a string of causation, resulting in monetary gain for some party. Clarification is needed for your statement to maintain relevance to the original topic.

I look forward to your argument.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you.

Yes, I suppose I do need to clarify.

In my opening statements, I am attempting to demonstrate how the flow of money influences what movies are made and sold to the public. If the public buys in, it sends a message to the movie's producers saying "We like this stuff. Give us more."

Now I believe most people do not think this way. I suppose to them it is just a movie and they are simply being entertained and there is no further complexity to it. On the other hand, movie producers do not think this way. In fact, it is there job to consider public opinion. Now, there are no doubt some production companies and some directors who are less concerned with public opinion. However, even they are at the mercy of public opinion somewhere on the string of causation.

We may not think about it, but when we purchase tickets to a movie we offer a small monetary contribution. We play a small part in making it possible to produce more films with a particular message. Namely, the message from the film for which we purchased tickets.


While it is necessarily true that if people buy a ticket to said movie they are implicitly enforcing the idea to movie producers that they wish to see more of the like, it does not constitute the support of the message contained within the movie. This is true for a couple reasons.

1. In the instance where a person goes to a movie with no prior planning and happens to choose a movie they know nothing about, then, regardless of the monetary indication that they "support" the message, it is in no part of the viewer concious support.

2. Second it must be further clarified your definition of the meaning of supporting the message. Since you have not already outlined this, I will take the liberty. If by support, you mean that people, upon providing monetary reason they allow the creation of more movies of the same because it is lucrative for the producers then it is true. However, because of the unclear definition I will take a support of the content of the message to mean that the message, in any other form, would be accepted by the viewers, that they identify with and belive in the content of the message. Using this definition, in no way, if a person goes to see a movie merely for entertainment purposes rather than for edification are they supporting the contents of the message. Let me use an example to further clarify this statement.

A person goes to see a new horror film in the theatre. It can be argued that horror films in fact contain the message that murder, or rape, or whichever amoral message you choose, is okay. However, save for the psychopaths among us, the majority of people agree that it is wrong to commit any such of these acts. How then is it possible to say that by paying for the ticket to see such a movie that they are supporting the contents of the message.

3. Lastly, there exists a circumstance where a person misinterperts the message of a movie based on a misrepresentation by the producers in previews. Say, upon watching the first five minutes of the movie that this person walked out, deciding that they do not support the message of the movie. The production studio will still register this monetary contribution, making no reference as to whether or not the person actually stayed in the theatre for the duration. Therefore, it is the case, that with succesful advertising, a producer could sway an audience to patronize a movie in where the producer introduces a message not originally stated by the preview.
Debate Round No. 2


I am thinking primarily of unintended consequences.

I believe most people attend movies to be entertained. If they are not entertained they may receive a refund. If they do not agree with the message they may do the same. However, I think you might agree with me that plenty of people watch a movie because it is entertaining regardless of whether or not they agree with the message.

This is about market participation. The basic economic unit is a person. What happens in any economy starts with the individual person. The person trades labor for something that represents the value of that labor. In the US the dollar represents labor. The person then spends that dollar on someone else' labor. Where the dollar is spent it will generate more of the same kind of labor it was spent on. The person chooses in what to participate with the dollar.

If people are only interested in whether or not a film is entertaining they still support the message content of the film when they purchase tickets, unintentionally or otherwise.

Thanks for a good debate.


I do agree that plenty of people watch a movie for entertainment regardless of agreement with the message. You have shown that upon the purchase of a ticket, people either consciously or unconsciously financially support the message of the movie. This financial support in turn allows more of the same type of movie to be created as it is shown to be lucrative.

However, as I have outlined in R2 there is more than one way to interpret the meaning of supporting the message. As you and I both agree that people watch a movie regardless of their agreement on the message presented, you turn on your own argument. Since, taking this point to be true, a person can watch a movie, purely for entertainment reasons, not agree with the message (this agreement was the definition I gave to support in R2) and while still providing finical support to the messaged they still do no ideologically support.

Likewise I thank you for the challenge and a good debate as well.
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Anonymous 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro makes a good case that paying for a movie encourages more movies of similar message. However I think Pro turn on themselves in supporting the claim in a few spots.

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