The Instigator
ToasterMinistry
Pro (for)
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The Contender
TheCounterArgument
Con (against)
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0 Points

Which is better: Physical might or words? (Pro for physical might and Con for words)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2019 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 458 times Debate No: 120698
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
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ToasterMinistry

Pro

Opponent can do acceptance only OR their arguments, Doesn't matter. One side wins when they prove that their side is BETTER than the other, And not that the two forces are the same. My stance is that physical might is STRONGER than words when attempting to achieve a goal.
TheCounterArgument

Con

Edward Bulwer-Lytton once said, "The pen is mightier than the sword. " As I like common life phrases like this, I decided to debate my opponent and try to prove that, Even though using physical might can sometimes work, Using words to understand a common goal is much more efficient that brute force. Since I accepted this debate, I will allow my opponent to give their argument first.
Debate Round No. 1
ToasterMinistry

Pro

Thanks for TheCounterArgument for accepting this debate with me! I will be arguing that the sword is mightier than the pen.

I would like to start by acknowledging the fact that the power of words is indeed a strong one. It can indeed be powerful, Inspiring, Or devastating. They are useful tools for communication, And it is how things like The Declaration of Independence was formed. It is how laws and treaties were made. It is not, However, How these rights and laws were established.

Words alone aren't responsible for The Declaration of Independence, nor for upholding a legal system and government in the chaos of the world. Words are not how treaties were implemented or rights and laws enforced. Instead it is the power of physical dominance that compels people to EFFECTIVELY carry out these ideas and instructions that are written by the pen.


Laws and rights, Although written by the pen, Are only significant because they are protected by physical might when needed to be. Or else, If there is a belief, Or even reality, That these laws and rights could not be defended by force, then they would be nothing more than words that people do or do not have to care about.


Let me give an example that shows the difference between the might of the sword and the pen. I could theoretically make a country by getting a piece of land and declaring that I made a country, And that this piece of land is mine. Perhaps I could write it down. But simply writing that down would do nothing whatsoever as to having any real impact in the world with my words. On the other hand, If I were to claim the same peice of land and declare that it is part of my country, And got a few hundred nuclear bombs to my disposal, Then there would be a very real impact. I don't need to write any laws to become part of the recognized world. Words alone cannot, While physical might can.

I think one of the strongest arguments to why the pen is stronger is because they are better at convincing others. But if my goal was to manage workers that needed to produce 100 pencils in a day, I would not need to convince them with physical strength. If I had the physical power to dominate and oppress or suppress them, I could get them to effectively make the pencils whether or not I've convinced them and my goal would be achieved. To further support this, In The Prince, Nicolo Machiavelli states famously: "Here a question arises: whether it is better to be loved than feared, Or the reverse. The answer is, Of course, That it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, Anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved. . . Love endures by a bond which men, Being scoundrels, May break whenever it serves their advantage to do so; but fear is supported by the dread of pain, Which is ever present. " Rather than advocate the use of cruelty for its own sake, Machiavelli explains that it is necessary in the interests of the ultimate end of statecraft to flex one's military might.


By simply writing a document, A governor cannot simply will people into compliance. People might become passionate about a cause, They might even become willing to fight and die for something based on being moved by one's words. Yet having to FIGHT they will, In order for the words to be effective at change.



Therefore, The sword is mightier than the pen.
TheCounterArgument

Con

Before I say my full argument I want to put that I will be interpreting "words" as "communication".

It is true that a legal system is only upheld by words, But when trying to achieve a goal words can make the greatest impact. Let me give some examples.

On August 28, 1963, At the steps of the Lincoln memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Said to over 250, 000 people "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. " It inspired many people and was a defining moment of the civil rights act.

Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death. " on March 23, 1775, At St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia. His speech swung the balance to pass a resolution delivering Virginian troops for the revolutionary war.

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon and people back on earth heard him say, "That is one small step for man, One giant leap for mankind. " After hearing those famous lines almost 50 years ago, People still remember them.

Before the Battle of Agincourt, King Henry V was outnumbered six to one. He gave a speech to his troops to get them prepared for battle. After the battle, Even though being greatly outnumbered, England had won. His speech rallied up his troops and made way for a great tactical victory.

Even in the United States there is a whole amendment protecting our freedom of speech. Which if you see throughout history is the most powerful force there is. Words can cause wars, While also bring peace. Without communication modern civilization couldn't be possible. Without words stuff like math, Books, Language, Anything being built, Trade, Maps, The arts would be impossible, And that isn't even close to the whole list. Words are a necessity for civilization. Without words we couldn't even have this debate. You couldn't make society, Books, Maps, Or really anything with only physical might. Communication is what makes life as we know it. Without communication, You wouldn't be alive. Without communication, Your body couldn't function. Words are needed for production. I rest my case.
Debate Round No. 2
ToasterMinistry

Pro

Right.

Re: "On August 28, 1963, At the steps of the Lincoln memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Said to over 250, 000 people "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. " It inspired many people and was a defining moment of the civil rights act. "

Right. No duh people were inspired. But remember that the root cause of the end of discrimination for people of color is, At the end of the day, Military might. If those people had no strength and protested, The government would not end discrimination. Why would they? There is no harm except a few angry and naughty people who can't rise up against you because they have no military might.



Re: "Before the Battle of Agincourt, King Henry V was outnumbered six to one. He gave a speech to his troops to get them prepared for battle. After the battle, Even though being greatly outnumbered, England had won. His speech rallied up his troops and made way for a great tactical victory. "

Right, So in the end of the day, Which force was the one to finish off the opponent? The army, Aka military might.



Re: "Even in the United States there is a whole amendment protecting our freedom of speech. Which if you see throughout history is the most powerful force there is. Words can cause wars, While also bring peace. Without communication modern civilization couldn't be possible. Without words stuff like math, Books, Language, Anything being built, Trade, Maps, The arts would be impossible, And that isn't even close to the whole list. Words are a necessity for civilization. Without words we couldn't even have this debate. You couldn't make society, Books, Maps, Or really anything with only physical might. Communication is what makes life as we know it. Without communication, You wouldn't be alive. Without communication, Your body couldn't function. Words are needed for production. I rest my case. "

Yes, The US does have an amendment protecting freedom of speech. But what does that have to do with the fact that miltary might is stronger than free speech? I'm not saying we should ban free speech or anything, This is irrelavent. ". . . . See throughout history is the most powerful force there is. " What is your proof for it? All you quotes prove nothing, And I refuted them all anyways. You continue by stating that communication/words is essential for our society and human life. WHERE IN MY ESSAY DID I REJECT THAT? I never denied the fact that words are useful in many ways, And even have a whole paragraph acknowledging that words have powerful effects. I am simply arguing that words are not the strongest power. The fact that words are a nessesity is a fact, But this debate has nothing to do with it. Physical force and words are both nessesary, But I am only arguing how physical force is stronger than words.
TheCounterArgument

Con

I see how you believe that it could be just as easy to use military force to achieve a goal. How would you get that military? Hitler was a major leader of physical might but how did he get his troops? A speech. Words are what cause physical might thus making them mightier. You can never gain physical might without words. If you want to achieve a goal the more efficient way would be to use words and understanding a comprise. If you use physical might there is a high chance of rebellion. I have a good example from the bible, Even though you are an atheist. In the story of Babylon, Everyone is trying to build a tower to God. When they start to get close God sees this and punishes them by making them speak all differently, That's how we get the word babble. After this the tower was abandoned. When they realised that the couldn't use words to achieve the goal, They gave up. They had the might, But couldn't use it. Within modern civilization, If you want to achieve a goal we would talk it out. If you use might you won't get your way.
Debate Round No. 3
ToasterMinistry

Pro

Theoretically, One can create an army with purely physical might. Go get yourself some weapons by yourself and hand them out to people that are loyal to you because they are scared of you. Sure, It may not be the best way and it probably would not last very long, But at least you can build a nation out of pure physical might. However, Building a country with only words is impossible. Again, A nation can survive on physical might alone, But not words alone. Therefore, It makes the sword better than the pen.
TheCounterArgument

Con

TheCounterArgument forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
ToasterMinistry

Pro

ToasterMinistry forfeited this round.
TheCounterArgument

Con

TheCounterArgument forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by K_Michael_Tolman 3 years ago
K_Michael_Tolman
On the other hand, You can hardly say that it will always work better. I can't kick you until you accept my beliefs, But the fact that you're on this site indicates that you at least HOPE that you can change people's minds with words.
Posted by K_Michael_Tolman 3 years ago
K_Michael_Tolman
Obviously, It depends on the goal. If your goal is to beat someone up or take their money, Yes, Physical strength will work better.
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