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Topic

THW Prefer A World Where Aesthetic Beauty Doesn't Exist

Status
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Waiting for the instigator's third argument.

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This resolution was taken directly from a debate tournament I once participated in. I'll try to emulate it as best I can.

THW = This house would

'Would prefer a world where' implies that this is a world where aesthetic beauty doesn't exist and does not indicate that we should remove aesthetic beauty from this world. Any arguments stemming from the transition period between having aesthetic beauty and not having aesthetic beauty are invalid as the resolution envisions a hypothetical world where it doesn't and hasn't existed. Moreover, any arguments discussing the ability of a world like this to exist are also invalid, as the resolution is, again, hypothetical.

'Doesn't exist' means that humans do not perceive it.

What exactly constitutes 'beauty' is up for debate. While it's safe to assume a person's appearance, visual art, or things relating to vision can be beautiful as beauty is most often non-metaphorically used to describe what involves vision, but does music or a story also count as beautiful? Who's to say. The definitions I included refer to 'the senses', but as to what senses or what actions that relates to is up for debate. I only mention this because I think the question of "what is beauty" beyond mere dictionary definition has the potential to be interesting.

The resolution doesn't imply that a sense/senses wouldn't exist, only that we would only be unable to perceive the things that are pleasurable to the sense(s).

Aesthetic: Appreciative of, responsive to, or zealous about the beautiful / responsive to or appreciative of what is pleasurable to the senses
Beauty: The quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses
Sense(s): Could, but, in the context of the resolution, does not necessarily refer to vision, taste, physical feeling, hearing, and/or scent.

This debate is fairly abstract and I'm not particularly confident in how I modelled it, but I think I did okay (let me know if this isn't fair/doesn't make sense). Comment to request changes or ask questions, constructive feedback always welcome!

Round 1
Pro
Table of Contents:
  1. Introduction/Model
1.1 BoP
1.2 Resolution
1.3 Model
1.4 Pro’s Case
  1. Constructive Arguments/Analysis
2.1 What is Beauty?
2.2 The Social/Emotional/Economic Harms of Aesthetic Beauty
2.3 The Benefits of a World Without Aesthetic Beauty


1. Introduction/Model

1.1 BoP
Pro should aim to prove that the world, society, and the quality of life of most people would be improved in a world without aesthetic beauty. Con should aim to prove the contrary; that the world is better off with aesthetic beauty.

1.2 Resolution
THW Prefer A World Where Aesthetic Beauty Does Not Exist

'Would prefer a world where' implies that this is a world where aesthetic beauty doesn't exist and does not indicate that we should remove aesthetic beauty from this world.

1.3 Model
Aesthetic: Appreciative of, responsive to, or zealous about the beautiful / responsive to or appreciative of what is pleasurable to the senses
Beauty: The quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses
Sense(s): Could, but, in the context of the resolution, does not necessarily refer to vision, taste, physical feeling, hearing, and/or scent.

1.4 Pro’s Case
Pro will present the following constructive arguments and analysis:

1. What is beauty?
  • Beauty’s relation to the visual
  • The absurdity of using beauty in relation to the other senses

2. The socioemotional harm of aesthetic beauty
  • Aesthetic beauty’s effect on the unattractive
  • The cost and emotional taxation on appearance
  • The harm a focus on appearance causes

3. The societal benefit without aesthetic beauty
  • The time/effort saved
  • The reduction of gender roles/gender expectations
  • The focus on beauty 
  • Removing wealth as a symbol of societal status and encouraging being a better person

2. Constructive Arguments/Analysis

2.1 What is Beauty?
Consider this: would you consider a good meal to be beautiful? Would beautiful be how you describe a catchy song? What about the feeling of silk? These examples are all things where you definitely could use ‘beautiful’ to describe these things or discuss the beauty of them, but they feel wrong and awkward, do they not? 

Culturally and socially, when we ask “what is beauty”, what first comes to mind and what predominantly comes to mind is profoundly in the realm of the visual and it is for that reason that I believe our definition of ‘beauty’ should be kept only in the realm of vision.

2.2 The Emotional/Economic/Social Harm of Aesthetic Beauty
There are innumerable cases of people who are not conventionally considered attractive finding that they are treated worse than their conventionally attractive peers, and there are similar cases of people who have gone from being unattractive at one point in life to being attractive at another, and the picture that both of these cases tell is concerning to say the least. Across the world, those who are not conventionally attractive, at no fault of their own are treated worse for no reason other than possessing the traits that do not conform with the expectations set by white Europeans. 

Continuing on that note, throughout history, the idea that certain people or certain traits were ‘dirty’ or using certain physical traits to discriminate against others has been entirely based upon aesthetic beauty. Aesthetic beauty has been used to say “look at this group that we think is ‘ugly’, and the fact that we consider their long noses or the clothes they wear or the way they present themselves to be ‘unattractive’ inherently makes them inferior or in need of being changed. Our standards of beauty are still and always will be stained by this discrimination, and one need only look as far as skin-whitening products in India to see that fact to be true.

Women, particularly those from lower socioeconomic classes, are not given the opportunities that others are to be conventionally attractive because they cannot afford the products and whatnot that women are socially expected to be able to. When they are unable to do this, this inherently labels them as ‘unattractive’ and culturally portrays them as being less valuable as more attractive women. The way that cultures across the globe value the appearance of a woman beyond all else, the way that a woman’s life may be awarded with more or less hardship or more or less opportunity based entirely on the way that we perceive her to look, is not only deplorable, but it is nonsensical.

For those of us who have friends who are overweight, we have likely all heard first-hand accounts of the way fat people are treated. Fat people are constantly told that they need to lose weight, they are pushed onto diets that equate to naught more than starvation when it is overwhelmingly more likely that you will gain more weight than when you started as opposed to actually keeping it off. This, of course, presumes that being fat has inherent health deficits, and it simply doesn’t inherently. This discrimination, this bias against fat people has reached the point that it has infiltrated health science and has lead experts to presume that fat people not being inherently more unhealthy than their skinnier peers is a ‘paradox’ (https://qz.com/550527/obesity-paradox-scientists-now-think-that-being-overweight-is-sometimes-good-for-your-health/)

Fat people have to unjustly suffer in a world where aesthetic beauty exists for something that they often can’t change, no matter how much they exercise or how strict their diet is. Pushing fat people, or even oftentimes people who are at a completely normal weight, into being anorexic simply so they can meet our overzealous beauty standards is a travesty, and it’s a failure upon our society that we have created an environment where this happens. In a world where aesthetic beauty did not exist, this would not have occurred, and as a former anorexic myself, I can personally attest to how much of a travesty the expectations of appearance and weight upon women (and to a lesser degree men) are.

2.3 The Benefit of a Society Without Aesthetic Beauty
Were aesthetic beauty not to exist, the hundreds of hours and the thousands of dollars spent by people attempting to attain unachievable beauty goals that are constantly only made worse and worse by the day could be spent on doing something more productive. The time that people save can go to recreation, it can go to learning new skills, it can go to building a life that a person wants to live. The money that is saved can go to bills, it can go to buying things that make a person’s life better or more convenient, and we stop putting financial pressure on the less well-off.

Were aesthetic beauty not to exist, we as a society perhaps could stop idealizing the fast cars and the luxury mansions and the inhumanly perfect bodies of super models. We could put the focus not on how you appear, but on who you are. We can make a society where the focus is no longer on how you look, but on who you are, on what you can do, on what you stand for. We can build a world where factors that are often beyond our control such as our weight or the shape of our nose aren’t viewed as problems that we need invasive and expensive surgeries to fix, but as natural quirks that have no bearing on the quality of a person.

A society without aesthetic beauty no longer places the burden of appearing beautiful at all times upon women, and it stops the framing where we as a society don’t allow women to explore their curiosity or to get messy and engage in their interests or to be bombastic because that’s how we believe they must present themselves. It would remove all these deficits and it would, on balance, improve society.

(mega rushed I’m sorry lol)

Con
The description doesn't lay out a rigid structure, I'll combine rebuttals with constructive here (more rebuttals in R2 though).

==

BoP and Definitions.

The things we need to prove are correctly stated but I disagree with it being a 'would be' vs 'is' case, though that is actually a key error in Pro's entire case actually. Pro is presenting to you a case based on absolutes and a world of absolutes. This is a probability debate, it's a 'probably will' vs 'probably won't' dynamic.

Definition of aesthetic is strangely worded because it describes what a person does to aesthetic things. The definition of 'beauty' is somehow restricting to that of a 'person' and the only reason Pro is trying to say that the sense regarding the resolution is solely sight is to cut off just how wrong the resolution is provable to be and I therefore challenge the application of the latter 2 definitions and wish to expand on the first.

The term 'aesthetic' is okay in how it's defined but let's be clear, the word stems from:

the formal study of artespecially in relation to the idea of beauty

In general, it is:
Aesthetic is used to talk about beauty or art, and people's appreciation of beautiful things.

The definition of beauty I 100% challenge, it isn't restricted to a person at all, in fact what Pro should be arguing is that a 'person' doesn't have beauty, that's just the body they're encased in so yeah I helped Pro realise what to even begin to argue and now that Pro has incentive to remove the 'person' from their definition, I will define 'beauty':
the quality of being pleasing to the senses or to the mind

There is of course validity in Pro's definition but I'd like to embolden precisely what part of it to focus on for this debate:
 the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit

Note that both definitions explicitly state that it's also about mental plesure in and of itself and if we piece that together with the word 'aesthetic' and how I defined it we get the fuller comprehension that 'aesthetic beauty' ultimately refers to the very essence of beauty with the only restriction being they are physical.

For instance, if you run only on Pro's definitions, the beauty of a song in terms of the quality/tier/creativity of the song would be disallowed to be part of aesthetic beauty of it. Furthermore, a song isn't something you look at and Pro hints that in the context of the resolution, only sight/looks matter but this is a fallacious way of twisting things. Is Pro suggesting that a blind person doesn't experience aesthetic beauty? I directly challenge that third definition.

Senses matter, each and every one. The aesthetic beauty of a meal in fact has four senses involved. You have the look of the meal, the instant taste and smell as it hits your mouth vs the aftertaste (which if you don't separate by time, you separate the senses anyway) and the texture/feel of the meal, which includes spiciness in which sense is involved.

Pro would imply that only the appearance matters, this is simply not the case. Even with a sexy as fuck looking person, they open that mouth and their breath stinks? Yikes. Their voice and accent don't appeal? Didn't think of that? How does their hair feel, how nice are their hands when they're all over your body? Too graphic? Sexuality and aesthetic beauty are heavily intertwined but even there is something beyond looks. Heck, you can resent aspects of their physical body for non-looks reasoning. Let's say someone has really long fingernails with dirt in them, it's not the actual sight of the filth that necessarily triggers the 'yuck' feeling, it's the logic of knowing what danger that poses to you, it's aesthetic but mind-based, which is why the explicit focus on 'mind' being in 'beauty' matters here.

==

Now that I expanded on definitions, it's clear that Pro's entire 'what is beauty' section is something I entirely rebuke.

Nothing, not one single aspect of Pro's 'what is beauty' is conceded to or agreed by me. I expanded a bit on both a meal and even a person to explain how broad and intriguing aesthetic beauty is. To be very clear, the personality of the person and the effect that has on your sexual chemistry is non-aesthetic beauty (or lack thereof), so I am not abusively expanding past aesthetics here, I know what it means, I showed you that.

'What is beauty' then?

It's the physical elements of everything in your perception of it when and if it's highly positive in how you regard it. Did you think the way Pro formatted their debate looked good? I like the separation but felt their subtitles needed bolding rather than italics, how about the way I did it here? should I underline them? It's all aesthetics, the font, the indentation or lack thereof, it's calculated, something we craft. Why did I use quote boxes for my definitions and embolden the hyperlinked words?

Something a lot on this site to is type hyperlinks like this and sure, it's not terrible but you have to strain your eyes just that little bit more than you really wish you had to in order to read what they wrote.

It's all finessing that beautiful eyegasmic read you, as a reader, badly want to experience. That is beauty, that's what it is. Appreciate the effort both debaters here put into the aesthetic beauty for you; it's wonderful to experience, right?

==

Ugly people suffer

Something I'd like to say here is that short of an animal that is so truly difigured that its kin can't recognise it as their own species and family, there is almost no other species in existence as concerned with their own self being ugly (if they are) as ours. Some men are fucking cursed, they got a small dick, are pretty fat or skinny and just have a crap face, you know what you felt while I said 'fucking' and 'crap' yeah, that's what people feel when looking at them and nothing compared to what they feel like when they look in the mirror. Some women have crooked teeth, warts like a witch, short stubs for fingers, pig noses, thin hair that's starting to fall out and they all, everyone I described suffers at first at least, there's no way they don't at first, we're all vain to some degree. I am not at all going to deny it, Pro gets that point but let's look at what we're weighing it against here.

Rather than suggest we shift our culture, media etc to not as heavily push forth a certain agenda as what's too beautiful, we instead push forth an agenda to remove beauty entirely. See, what is it I conceded? Some significant minority are pretty unattractive in many respects at once, it's saddening and they need to work 9x harder to raise the cash to have any kind of surgery, or even a chiropractor if their posture is part of what's making them hideous and their body is so harshly disallowing them to fix it alone. They need to hit that gym, burning in ways the majority won't understand, just to either slim down or buff up and the lack of confidence will take a long while to heal. Alternatively, they may even grow bitter and callous, become narcissistic in a cerebral sense as they find that's the only thing they can feel pride in (or somatic narcissism if they don't lack strength itself). These people suffer, it doesn't matter what I post about the benefits that being a humble person who had a tough upbringing give you, I can't deny they suffer. I was not that ugly myself growing up, I was skinny and teased for that but honestly I was a good looking guy especially after puberty hit, I experienced a different kind of suffering due to lacking social skills. It is what it is, we all suffer actually but I'm not going to pretend that the suffering every day a person who is ugly in multiple ways is doesn't exist, what I'm asking you as a reader is to consider if the alternative is better or not.

What's lacking in Pro's entire thesis is the direct comparison, even though their third point's heading implies it contains exactly that. Imagine your mother had no face, this isn't about sexual attraction at all alone and that's why I brought someone you love the look of most likely, just because of who she is to you. Your mother will have to have either an identical look to all other things and people or alternatively your brain and hormones will need to be reconfigured that you feel nothing but dullness at the sound of her voice and looks. I know, not everyone had a great mother, I did/do but not everyone does/did, I get it. How about your father? How about your best friend? Don't fucking tell me even if they are in a wheelchair, even if they have as severe a disfiguration as this:


That you can't love them, even find them beautiful due to non-aesthetic elements of what they are. That's right, the non-aesthetic beauty can make you experience altered perception of their very aesthetic features. It's why you always hate people that look like, talk like or have that unique movement/quirk of your toxic ex. 

We all deserve love if we aren't toxic people and we won't all get it. We exist in a monogamous society (well okay maybe not if you're in a Sharia nation) and all have limited time, we can't all be spouses of another necessarily and it's not at all fair or equal that some get it way better than others in their raw features so they can compete with a brutal head start but so what? The thing is, though, that the beautiful person with the ridiculously perfect face, body and voice (actually very few people have all three) is so happy and perfect right? Wrong. What do you think that hot as hell chick experiences? I can give you a clue, she experiences a life where her looks are what she's used for. Friendships even, especially with males but even with females for the social status that comes with said beauty. What does the sexy as fuck male experience? I can give you an idea, he has to walk on eggshells suspecting each and every female and gay, or potentially bi/pan, male around him of their 'real agenda'. Heck, even some friends of people are going to befriend him and just use him as a 'you owe me' to their other friend once a date is arranged. If you think hot people don't suffer, you are someone who is not hot nor has known someone who is on a deep level. The sexiest people to walk the planet suffer in a way that is even more cryptic and twisted of a hell than the ugly, because the ugly blatantly suffer, their very appearance is blatantly a reason for those close to them to feel pain with them as they're insulted and empathise with as they struggle to find a mate but sexy people suffer in a way that even those close to them may scoff at and say 'pfft' to. It's not just the being used for your looks aspect either, the very advantage they have is a problem for them too. In the same way that while feminism was in its early stages, many women did and even still today people talk of Kamala Harris only being in their job for their gender and looks, it's fucking disgusting, it's a hell that as I said is hard to get sympathy for. They suffer so deeply and yet can't tell most people about it. People who are bullied for being ugly or being learning-disabled can happily go to a news reporter and talk of their life and childhood trauma and get sympathy but a  severely sexy person or extremely intelligent person can't do the same because the very article implies an arrogance in them that people despise (an no, not all geniuses doubt their own intelligence, Dunning-Kruger effect is overrated, many anomalies to it exist).

So why did I just help Pro with this entire argument? Why did I so passionately write all that when it bolsters Pro's case? To take the limelight away from Pro for raising it and destroying it before it begins, in real aesthetically appealing annihilation style (you like that alliteration, Nyxified? #metoo < see what I did there? Challenge me on the sexy suffering and I'll bring it up.)

See, even with all the agony of the aesthetically beautiful and even with similar of the aesthetically hideous, nothing explains why you'd want a world where everybody, everything was perceived as equally dull and hideous to you.  The roses may still be red in this world but the only way colours and visuals are still in tact is if our brains are rewired in this alternate reality to not perceive any beauty whatsoever... Imagine that for me. 

See, what you need to understand is without suffering there is not any pleasure on the other side of it. Without the ugliness of whatever and whoever you find ugly, you cannot ever enjoy the smile of the beautiful mother, father, sister, brother, best friend, spouse, client etc you interact with and want to bring joy to. You'd have a world where seeing someone smile their dull-ass smile would make you perhaps buzz inside slightly but it lost all its magic, it's lacking the parts of your brain that perceive the beauty of that movement of the lips. Don't tell me that those born superficially hideous can't be deeply loved, it's just not true. Even if only their close loved ones have grown accustomed to the shocking way they look, they have love and in the end that's what fucking counts in this life. You need your homies ready to die with and for you, that's all that matters. We're not all born to marry and reproduce, it's jus tnot a 100% guaranteed destiny or aim for us all. Some of us really can be born so offputting maybe, others have accidents but the search for it should never be what we base our self-esteem on, it should be a bonus. This agony linked to spouse-searching is there for both the hot and the ugly, I already explained why. The rich have a similar suffering in love-searched to the hot by the way, stop assuming the 'well off' are necessarily absent of suffering in the very thing they have an advantage in even. Magnus Carlsen, the world's top-ranked Chess player looks like he's in agony when he plays the game, that's the stuff that comes with being great, it's never a walk in the park, there's always prices you pay for the advantage.


The following man was both blinded and scarred after a vicious acid attack, he has found love since:

You can tell me the ugly suffer, and it's true but don't ever base your case upon the axiom that suffering is inherently reason to abolish the scale along which those at the bottom ended up suffering. It isn't alone the case to make, perhaps we should push for the media and society to stop praising aesthetic beauty as much as it does but to totally and utterly remove it? Ridiculous.

I have to say that you can say wtf you want but the aesthetic beauty even of just people is appreciated by many, me included. I love aesthetically beautiful music also. I love it all, yet I am not at all a bully of those who got bad luck and ended up very unattractive. It is what it is, life is about balance,; you didn't get looks in your blessed inventory of advantages? Work the other stuff you got going for you then, be a champion and live your life! It's that damn simple, so what if you're too ugly for most movie roles and want to be an actor? Play the hunchback of notre dame, follow your passion, accept your setbacks and end up as a director if need be who at first doesn't act and then when hits are made puts a disfigured or offputting person into your movie even as the main character break the mould, bring tears to people's eyes. Your life is in your hands, do not ever and I mean this to anyone reading, let society shape what the fuck it is you think about yourself. You are amazing, no matter who you are you have stuff you do so beautifully and well. For me, one of those things is writing things like this, it's why I signed up to a website like this. For you, it may be ice skating with a face people flinch when they see. It hurts, you feel that agony and nobody has the right to deny how much it hurts. You cried yourself to sleep because you look that way and then wiped away the tears and got on with your day like the beast that you are, it doesn't mean a beauty will never like you.


Smile. You are amazing.
Round 2
Pro
Table of Contents:

1. Introduction
2. Rebuttals & Restatement/Defence
    2.1 The Definitions Game
    2.2 Beauty vs Beauty
    2.3 The Unaesthetic Few
3. Constructive Arguments/Analyses & Expansion
    3.1 Physical Beauty vs Non-Physical Beauty
    3.2 The Socioeconomic Harm of Aesthetic Beauty (Expansion)
4. Summary


1. Introduction 

My opponent's speech focuses largely on attempting to refute my definition of beauty and set up his own. In this speech, I will show you why my opponent's attempted rebuttals don't stand up to scrutiny and why he has failed to prop up sufficient constructive arguments for his position.


2. Rebuttals & Restatement/Defence

2.1 The Definitions Game

“The definition of beauty I 100% challenge, it isn't restricted to a person at all, in fact what Pro should be arguing is that a 'person' doesn't have beauty, that's just the body they're encased in so yeah I helped Pro realise what to even begin to argue..."

Ignoring the condescension, if I followed con’s advice I may as well argue that people don’t have hands either, as that’s just a part of the body that our brains are piloting. The body, being the mechanism by which we engage with and perceive the physical world, is inextricable from the self, or at the very least from the way the brain interacts with anything beyond the mind.

"...and now that Pro has incentive to remove the 'person' from their definition, I will define 'beauty':

“the quality of being pleasing to the senses or to the mind”

There is of course validity in Pro's definition but I'd like to embolden precisely what part of it to focus on for this debate:

“the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit

Note that both definitions explicitly state that it's also about mental pleasure in and of itself and if we piece that together with the word 'aesthetic' and how I defined it we get the fuller comprehension that 'aesthetic beauty' ultimately refers to the very essence of beauty with the only restriction being they are physical.”

To anyone reading through this, I think it would be best to judge a disagreement over definitions the same way that it would be in a debate tournament: The definition(s) that makes more sense and is more reasonable in the context of the resolution should be the definition(s) by which the entire debate is looked at.

I agree that objects/things can be beautiful, but what I aim to prove in subsections 2.1 and 2.2 is that 'beauty' can refer to multiple things, but when restricted only to physical senses as is required by how the resolution is defined, it cannot refer to anything more than the visual.

Before I defend why my definition of beauty is more reasonable, take note of the following:

  • Con never defines what it means to ‘pleasurably exalt’ nor what ‘the spirit’ means
  • Con never explains how 'beauty' under their definition is only limited to the physical, which is a necessary linchpin of their definition, as if it were applicable to the non-physical, it would fall apart (per the definition of the resolution). 
  • Con also defines beauty as “Mental pleasure in and of itself,” despite limiting beauty to the physical. This muddies the water about if it truly is only about the physical.
  • Con never tells you what he means when he says “the very essence of beauty”
... if you run only on Pro's definitions, the beauty of a song in terms of the quality/tier/creativity of the song would be disallowed to be part of aesthetic beauty of it. Furthermore, a song isn't something you look at and Pro hints that in the context of the resolution, only sight/looks matter but this is a fallacious way of twisting things. Is Pro suggesting that a blind person doesn't experience aesthetic beauty? I directly challenge that third definition.

Is con suggesting that a blind person can look at the Mona Lisa and say "Damn! That looks beautiful!"? All I'm suggesting is that blind people can't see paintings, so I suppose I am suggesting that, but what I am not saying is that blind people cannot experience any pleasure or happiness relating to their senses, nor am I saying that pleasure or happiness is solely related to the senses.

Senses matter, each and every one. The aesthetic beauty of a meal in fact has four senses involved. You have the look of the meal, the instant taste and smell as it hits your mouth vs the aftertaste (which if you don't separate by time, you separate the senses anyway) and the texture/feel of the meal, which includes spiciness in which sense is involved.

Pro would imply that only the appearance matters, this is simply not the case. Even with a sexy as fuck looking person, they open that mouth and their breath stinks? Yikes. Their voice and accent don't appeal? Didn't think of that? How does their hair feel, how nice are their hands when they're all over your body? Too graphic? Sexuality and aesthetic beauty are heavily intertwined but even there is something beyond looks. Heck, you can resent aspects of their physical body for non-looks reasoning. Let's say someone has really long fingernails with dirt in them, it's not the actual sight of the filth that necessarily triggers the 'yuck' feeling, it's the logic of knowing what danger that poses to you, it's aesthetic but mind-based, which is why the explicit focus on 'mind' being in 'beauty' matters here.

(I apologize if any of the following paragraphs come off as objectifying)

Con is confusing being beautiful with being attractive. A person is unlikely to be attractive if they smell horrendously bad, sure, but a person's smell has no bearing on their beauty. Think of someone you think to be beautiful or attractive and ask yourself "what factors make this person beautiful?" Ensure that every factor you add is what you would actually consider to make them beautiful, and be careful not to add factors you'd only consider to make them attractive and not necessarily beautiful.

When you undergo this thought experiment, things like how they smell or how their voice sounds are unlikely to come up. Are supermodels judged on their smell or voice? As you drink Pepsi (or any soda of choice), is 'beauty' the first word to come to mind? Would you smell a cinnamon roll and declare it to be beautiful, or would you just say that it smelled really good? If you saw an ugly person who had a nice voice, would you say they're beautiful? No! You'd say they have a nice voice, you'd say cinnamon rolls smell good, you'd say that soda tastes good. People can say that a song or a meal or a smell is 'beautiful' as a classier way of saying 'really good', sure, but genuinely ask yourself if the taste of mashed potatoes or Coca Cola would represent beauty. I don't think it would. This is why I would argue that beauty is solely in regards to the sense of sight.

2.2 Beauty vs Beauty

(This subsection is an extension of 2.1)

What I need to show in order to prove that 'beauty' refers exclusively to vision is to prove that a) Beauty has both a physical and non-physical component, and b) You cannot say anything is 'beautiful' if it refers to anything that is not related to vision because, while you can describe things like music as being 'beautiful', you can only do so with the non-physical meaning.

Per the definition of 'aesthetic', the resolution requires that beauty be defined solely in the realm of the physical (See 3.1). Keep this in mind. While beauty must then only refer to physical things perceived by the senses, let's ignore that for now to analyze what beauty actually means outside the resolution. Remember that 'beautiful can often be used as a more refined way of saying 'really good'.

For example, in the phrase "The beauty of life", you need a noun, so "The really goodness of life" doesn't really make sense. Sure, you could say "The greatness of life," but that's still an adjective. 'Greatness' might suffice, but it leaves out the value of the original phrase: The ability to encapsulate all the wonderful parts of being alive and all that is pleasurable to the mind and/or the senses. "All the amazing parts of life and the experience of consciousness" really doesn't roll off the tongue.

Clearly, beauty is used in two different ways (as shown in 2.1 compared to the above example). Saying a supermodel is beautiful and that life is beautiful means two entirely different things, but they tie together in the sense that they're pleasurable to the mind. This is why 'beautiful' still makes sense for both examples, but these two meanings require something additional as well as being pleasurable to the mind. Being pleasurable to the mind is not enough to call it 'beautiful', unless you drink your soda of choice and think "Huh, this is beautiful."

Beauty can either mean:

  1. The physical qualities of a a person, place, or thing regarding its ability to be perceived as pleasurable or desirable by one's sense of sight, or
  2. A quality of anything, physical or non-physical, that causes it to bring about feelings of amazement or inspiration when it is experienced; a different way of saying the quality of being amazing/extremely good.
You've likely never described a song as 'beautiful' in your entire life, but if you heard music so amazing that it changed your life, you might describe it as such. Beauty doesn't only describe the physical quality of someone/something being pleasurable to perceive with regards to vision, beauty is also used to describe the non-physical experience of being awe-inspired due to the high quality of something.

Notice the critical distinction: in the first definition, it is the quality of someone/something that makes it beautiful, whereas in the second definition, you are experiencing 'beauty' when you experiencing something of such high quality that it causes amazement or inspiration. Beauty as a quality vs beauty as an experience.

You might still call what led to said awe-inspiring experience 'beautiful', but you don't do so because you believe it possesses beauty (as was established by 2.1), you do so because it possesses the quality of causing you to experience 'beauty', so to speak; what causes you to call it beautiful has nothing to do with it's physical quality, but your non-physical reaction to it. (This is why one might call love, a non-physical phenomena [excluding intimacy], or life itself 'beautiful'.)

Saying "The beauty of life" doesn't imply you believe that life has physical beauty, but that life has the non-physical quality of causing amazement and inspiration, something based entirely in emotion/your reaction to the experience of life and having nothing to do with the physical world, something which cannot be included within the resolution that exclusively deals with the physical and the senses.

2.3 The Unaesthetic Few

Rather than suggest we shift our culture, media etc to not as heavily push forth a certain agenda as what's too beautiful, we instead push forth an agenda to remove beauty entirely.

Oh how simple it may seem to merely shift our culture and media. How easy it would be to not push 'as heavily' what's 'too beautiful'. Take the example of a beauty magazine, which is supposed to show people and things that are the 'most beautiful'. How would con suggest we 'shift our culture and media'? In a world where we don't push down everyone's throats what is and what isn't beautiful, we may find that the problems I've outlined might be eased, but they would far from be erased nearly enough to end the spectre of aesthetic beauty that drives people to starving themselves to death en masse.

The nature of aesthetic beauty is that it places a value on certain features or certain appearances. It inevitably creates a world where some women are more beautiful than others and are thus more desirable. We push forward an agenda to remove beauty entirely because there is no way to remove this problem; there is no way to stop making people feel bad about themselves for their physical features that aren't a detriment to them beyond how 'attractive' said features are. With intelligence and ability we can have the same problem, but at least those describe actual phenomena where being 'better' or 'worse' has an actual meaningful impact on who you are as a person and what you can do, and who you are is what we should be focusing on.

Even if we do shift culture and media, there's no way to stop companies from manipulating our sense of aesthetic beauty to our own detriment. Does con forget that the majority of women didn't shave their bodies before 1915? What about how the price of diamonds is artificially kept high and associated with beauty or how diamond rings are seen as a necessity for marriage? Companies in days gone have used their ability to control public opinion to change and shift our standards of beauty to that of which is more profitable.


Your mother will have to have either an identical look to all other things and people or alternatively your brain and hormones will need to be reconfigured that you feel nothing but dullness at the sound of her voice and looks. I know, not everyone had a great mother, I did/do but not everyone does/did, I get it. How about your father? How about your best friend? Don't fucking tell me even if they are in a wheelchair, even if they have as severe a disfiguration as this...

...That you can't love them, even find them beautiful due to non-aesthetic elements of what they are. That's right, the non-aesthetic beauty can make you experience altered perception of their very aesthetic features. It's why you always hate people that look like, talk like or have that unique movement/quirk of your toxic ex. 

That's just not true. Your mother needn't be the same as everyone else and the resolution doesn't imply that you'd feel naught but numbness at her touch. A child can still be excited at the sight of their mother, but not because the child believes it is aesthetically beautiful, but rather the child can feel happiness at seeing someone they care about. The resolution only implies that nothing would be pleasurable to our sense of vision, but in this case vision is only perceiving that the child's mother is present. There is no pleasure from the sight of the mother, but there's pleasure from the child's mother returning. Vision is the way the child acquires information and makes a connection that is pleasurable (that their parent is back), the vision does not cause the pleasure itself; the fact their parent is home has nothing to do with their sense of vision nor why it makes the child happy.

It goes without saying that your dad can still be your best friend even if he doesn't have aesthetic beauty. If anything, he can be your best friend more so because you can look past your subconscious biases instilled by our culture and sense of aesthetic beauty that look down upon his potential disfigurements. Con goes on to prove that the world he describes is nowhere near as bad as he makes it sound, for he concedes that non-aesthetic beauty would continue to exist, which is the beauty by which almost all of the love for our parents stems.


What do you think that hot as hell chick experiences? She experiences a life where her looks are what she's used for. Friendships with males or with females can be for the social status that comes with beauty. What does the sexy male experience? He has to walk on eggshells female or male around him of their 'real agenda'. Heck, even some friends of people are going to befriend him and just use him as a 'you owe me' to their other friend once a date is arranged. If you think hot people don't suffer, you are someone who is not hot nor has known someone who is on a deep level. The sexiest people to walk the planet suffer in a way that is even more cryptic and twisted of a hell than the ugly, because the ugly blatantly suffer, their very appearance is blatantly a reason for those close to them to feel pain with them as they're insulted and empathise with as they struggle to find a mate, but sexy people suffer in a way that even those close to them may scoff at. It's not just being used for your looks aspect either, the very advantage they have is a problem for them too. In the same way that while feminism was in its early stages, many women did and even still today people talk of Kamala Harris only being in their job for their gender and looks, it's fucking disgusting, it's a hell that is hard to get sympathy for. They suffer so deeply and yet can't tell most people about it. People who are bullied for being ugly or being learning-disabled can happily go to a news reporter and talk of their life and childhood trauma and get sympathy but a  severely sexy person or extremely intelligent person can't do the same because the very article implies an arrogance in them that people despise (an no, not all geniuses doubt their own intelligence, Dunning-Kruger effect is overrated, many anomalies to it exist).

Con is making my case better than I ever could. Con goes on to not just agree that beautiful people suffer, but goes on to make the case for me. I don't even need to say much here other than that a world without aesthetic beauty neither has ugly people being insulted for their appearance nor has attractive people being valued solely for their appearance.


See, even with all the agony of the aesthetically beautiful and even with similar of the aesthetically hideous, nothing explains why you'd want a world where everybody, everything was perceived as equally dull and hideous to you.  The roses may still be red in this world but the only way colours and visuals are still in tact is if our brains are rewired in this alternate reality to not perceive any beauty whatsoever... Imagine that for me. 

"Nothing explains it," huh? The agony of those who are beautiful and hideous alike is not sufficient explanation for you? It's not grounds for you to even consider it? After spending all that time establishing the pain that they experience, it isn't enough to reconsider the concept that lead to their very pain?

As I explained, it is not that all things good would simply disappear. In a world without aesthetic beauty, even if I exclude all 5 senses, you can still love, you can still find joy in creation of art, you can still find meaning in helping others or in your labour, you can still experience the joy of friendship or of being in a family, you can still love playing a game or honing your craft. The world of non-aesthetic beauty is a world of pleasures beyond that of the surface level, and it is one full of meaning and happiness just like the one we live in today, and yet it lacks the suffering that con portrays so well in the previous paragraph.


See, what you need to understand is without suffering there is not any pleasure on the other side of it. Without the ugliness of whatever and whoever you find ugly, you cannot ever enjoy the smile of the beautiful mother, father, sister, brother, best friend, spouse, client etc you interact with and want to bring joy to...

...Don't tell me that those born superficially hideous can't be deeply loved, it's just not true.

Forgive me for not buying that just because some people are enjoying something that it doesn't justify the suffering of those who are fueling that enjoyment. Forgive me for thinking that the aristocrat is not justified in the suffering of the serf so he can live a lavish life or for believing that the supermodel is not justified in making her wealth at the expense of the millions who are berated for not looking like her.

The superficially hideous can be deeply loved. I wouldn't want to live in a world where that wasn't the case, but the fact that they can indeed be loved is proof enough that love and life should go beyond aesthetic beauty. The hideous can be loved, and they deserve to be! And yet, they aren't because of the beauty standards that our society has set.


Work the other stuff you got going for you then, be a champion and live your life! It's that damn simple, so what if you're too ugly for most movie roles and want to be an actor? Play the hunchback of notre dame, follow your passion, accept your setbacks and end up as a director if need be...

How simple that would be. How wonderful might it be if people could simply do that. As beautiful as what RMM is saying may be, we live in a world with aesthetic beauty, and it is not so easy. So many people want to become directors and to follow their passion beyond their appearance, and yet, they don't or they can't. They can't get the connections or convince anyone to hire them or audition for their movie or put their movie in theatres or they can't take the pain of being called ugly at every turn and opt to give in instead.

We have aesthetic beauty in the world we live in now and that advice, as good as it may be, seems harder to follow by the day. I have been given no reason to believe that it is something not intrinsic to this world.


3. Constructive Arguments/Analyses & Expansion

3.1 Physical Beauty vs Non-Physical Beauty

Perceive, verb: To become aware of (something) directly through any of the senses, especially sight or hearing.
Perception, noun: Awareness of the elements of environment through physical sensation.
Perception, noun: Physical sensation interpreted in the light of experience.
Aesthetic: Appreciative of, responsive to, or zealous about the beautiful / responsive to or appreciative of what is pleasurable to the senses.
-Merriam Webster

These definitions prove sufficiently that the term 'aesthetic beauty' bars the resolution exclusively to the physical. In order to prove the contrary, con would need to prove that aesthetics refer to non-physical things and that perception, which is what the resolution is in regards to (per the description), is also  not limited to physical perception by the senses.I'll leave that up to con should he so choose to do so.

3.2 The Socioeconomic Harm of Aesthetic Beauty (Expansion)

I want to point out that this argument wasn't touched on at all by con, and so this is an expansion of that argument.

In South Korea, you used to be required to submit a headshot with a resume. Remember that this is the country with the highest plastic surgery rate in the world. In East Asian cultures, it is all too common for women to be viewed exclusively by their appearance, and their aesthetic beauty, mostly the lack thereof, can lead to them being unable to find a job at all. Let that really sink in for a moment: Physical features you can't control without plastic surgery costing up to hundreds of thousands of dollars can determine if you can be employed. Is that not horrifying? Is that not disgustingly misogynistic and authoritarian? I think it is, and I'm worried if you don't!

This is purely the result of aesthetic beauty. That goes without saying. South Korea for decades sentenced women to homelessness and poverty because they didn't look good enough. If they didn't present themselves well or have nice clothes, they didn't get a job, locking the impoverished into an inescapable cycle of unemployment. This. Is. Horrifying. And yet, it's the reality that we live in.

Alongside the economic burden on poor women to buy expensive beauty products, lest they be seen as less valuable than people who are more beautiful and 'unladylike', something con doesn't dispute, one's success in life can be based entirely on their irrelevant appearance.


4. Summary

To conclude, what I want to say more than anything is that, beyond the context of this debate, I sincerely appreciate what RMM wrote in his speech. I wasn't lying for credibility points when I said I suffered from Anorexia. I've suffered a lot in the pursuit of aesthetic beauty, and we live in a world where we can't simply remove it, even though we must assume plausibility of the resolution for the sake of the debate. RMM, in the latter half of his speech, gives a powerful speech imploring you all to look past the appearance of others, but more importantly, yourself as well. Take in the beauty of the roses, but look past the appearance of someone who might not meet your beauty standards. It's a message I not only respect, appreciate, and think is highly well done, but it's a message I want to thank him for making. I encourage everyone, outside of this debate, to take what he says to heart. Trust me. I know from the years I spent blind to the truth.

Just as the resolution prescribes, removing the beauty from his speech shows lays bare the reality that it is full of fallacious claims and failing to make the critical distinction between what beauty actually means in different contexts as I showed previously, and it's that failure that is his downfall. For his failure to rebuke my points in support of a world without aesthetic beauty and his inability to prop up his own, I believe the resolution must pass.

Take his words to heart in the mirror. Not the voting tab.

So proud to propose.


Con
Forfeited
Round 3
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Round 4
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