Instigator / Pro

Home works should be banned


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

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After 7 votes and with 48 points ahead, the winner is...

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One week
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Two months
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Round 1
Thank you Bee_eee.  I still hope for the fun debate you request in spite of your forfeit.


NOTE:  In the absence of any definition of terms in DESCRIPTION or argument in PRO's R1, CON submits the following:


HOME is [ADJECTIVE] "of, from, or pertaining to one’s dwelling or country; domestic; not foreign [from 13th c.]"
  • i.e HOME manufactures, HOME comforts, HOME team
WORKS is [NOUN] "plural of work in its countable senses"

WORK is [NOUN] "A literary, artistic, or intellectual production."
  • the poetic WORKS of Alexander Pope
BANNED is [VERB] "simple past tense and past participle of ban."

BAN is [TRANSITIVE VERB] "to prohibit; to interdict; to proscribe; to forbid or block from participation."
  1. Bare feet are BANNED in this establishment.
Wikipedia advises:

"When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo. This is also stated in Hitchens's razor, which declares that "what may be asserted without evidence, may be dismissed without evidence."

As the instigator of this debate, PRO bears the entire burden of proof in this debate, in spite of forfeiting the first round.  In the context of online debate, CON assumes that the recommended BAN is a question of public policy.  Therefore, PRO must present evidence establishing that governments should prohibit and work to prevent any domestic artistic production as a matter of law.  CON need only show that the benefits of some art outweighs the harm of the same to disprove PRO's claim.


Let's agree that freedom of expression is a fundamental and inalienable human right and as such government abridgements of that right ought to be limited to specific cases where the harm done to others clearly outweighs the civic benefits of that liberty.

    • "Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law."
    • "The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right... The only part of the conduct of anyone, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."
    • The societal benefits of Art are manifest and manifold.  CON suggests that art is a foundational pillar of human culture, society, and the evolution of culture and society into civilization.  That is, you can't have a civilized society without art.
      • Levi-Strauss categorized the main purposes of Art, dividing those purposes according to non-motivated purposes vs motivated purposes.
        • The non-motivated purposes of art are those that are integral to being human, transcend the individual, or do not fulfill a specific external purpose. In this sense, Art, as creativity, is something humans must do by their very nature (i.e., no other species creates art), and is therefore beyond utility.
          • Basic human instinct for harmony, balance, rhythm. Art at this level is not an action or an object, but an internal appreciation of balance and harmony (beauty), and therefore an aspect of being human beyond utility.
          • Experience of the mysterious. Art provides a way to experience one's self in relation to the universe. This experience may often come unmotivated, as one appreciates art, music or poetry.
          • Expression of the imagination. Art provides a means to express the imagination in non-grammatic ways that are not tied to the formality of spoken or written language. Unlike words, which come in sequences and each of which have a definite meaning, art provides a range of forms, symbols and ideas with meanings that are malleable.
          • Ritualistic and symbolic functions. In many cultures, art is used in rituals, performances and dances as a decoration or symbol. While these often have no specific utilitarian (motivated) purpose, anthropologists know that they often serve a purpose at the level of meaning within a particular culture. This meaning is not furnished by any one individual, but is often the result of many generations of change, and of a cosmological relationship within the culture.
        • Motivated purposes of art refer to intentional, conscious actions on the part of the artists or creator.
          • Communication. Art, at its simplest, is a form of communication. As most forms of communication have an intent or goal directed toward another individual, this is a motivated purpose. Illustrative arts, such as scientific illustration, are a form of art as communication. Maps are another example. However, the content need not be scientific. Emotions, moods and feelings are also communicated through art.
          • Art as entertainment. Art may seek to bring about a particular emotion or mood, for the purpose of relaxing or entertaining the viewer. This is often the function of the art industries of Motion Pictures and Video Games.
          • Art for political change. One of the defining functions of early 20th-century art has been to use visual images to bring about political change. Art movements that had this goal—Dadaism, Surrealism, Russian constructivism, and Abstract Expressionism, among others—are collectively referred to as the avant-garde arts.
          • Art as a "free zone", removed from the action of the social censure. Unlike the avant-garde movements, which wanted to erase cultural differences in order to produce new universal values, contemporary art has enhanced its tolerance towards cultural differences as well as its critical and liberating functions, becoming a more open place for research and experimentation.
          • Art for social inquiry, subversion or anarchy. While similar to art for political change, subversive or deconstructivist art may seek to question aspects of society without any specific political goal. In this case, the function of art may be simply to criticize some aspect of society.
          • Art for social causes. Art can be used to raise awareness for a large variety of causes. A number of art activities were aimed at raising awareness of autism,  cancer,  human trafficking,  and a variety of other topics, such as ocean conservation, human rights in Darfur,  murdered and missing Aboriginal women,  elder abuse, and pollution. 
          • Art for psychological and healing purposes. Art is also used by art therapists, psychotherapists and clinical psychologists as art therapy. The Diagnostic Drawing Series, for example, is used to determine the personality and emotional functioning of a patient. The end product is not the principal goal in this case, but rather a process of healing, through creative acts, is sought. The resultant piece of artwork may also offer insight into the troubles experienced by the subject and may suggest suitable approaches to be used in more conventional forms of psychiatric therapy.
          • Art for propaganda, or commercialism. Art is often utilized as a form of propaganda, and thus can be used to subtly influence popular conceptions or mood. In a similar way, art that tries to sell a product also influences mood and emotion. In both cases, the purpose of art here is to subtly manipulate the viewer into a particular emotional or psychological response toward a particular idea or object.
          • Art as a fitness indicator. It has been argued that the ability of the human brain by far exceeds what was needed for survival in the ancestral environment. One evolutionary psychology explanation for this is that the human brain and associated traits (such as artistic ability and creativity) are the human equivalent of the peacock's tail. The purpose of the male peacock's extravagant tail has been argued to be to attract females . According to this theory superior execution of art was evolutionarily important because it attracted mates.

For these reasons, we must conclude that at least some art is properly protected by our human right to free expression, immune to government prohibition and PRO's proposition, however argued, must undoubtedly fail to persuade.

I look forward to PRO's opening argument.


Round 2
Thank you Bee_eee.   Extend all  R1 arguments

Round 3

Extend all R1 arguments.

Thanks, Bee_eee for instigating this debate, and
Thanks to all VOTERS for their kind consideration.