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Title Fight.OIMD V Ktprktpr:Smacking Children.

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posted on Sep, 15 2003 @ 09:25 AM
This debate will be to decide who will become ATS Debate Champion.

The Debate will start next Sunday Sept 21st.
That is when this topic will be unlocked.

In the red corner,Our undefeated Champion,OIMD,having dispatched both JB1 and DragonRider in the previous tournament.

In the blue corner,our undefeated challenger, Ktprktpr,having dispatched both drunk and Stumpy.

Each debator will have one opening statement each.This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each.There will be one closing statement each and no rebutal.

The Debate topic is:A parent has the right to smack their child.A smack is defined as a light open handed blow to the wrist,bottom,or leg.

OIMD will argue for this proposition and he will open the Debate.
Ktprktpr will respond and argue against this proposition.

As a guide responses should be made within 18 hours.However if the debate is moving forward then I have a relaxed attitude to this.

Other rules can be found on a Topic on this forum.

I wish you both goodluck

posted on Sep, 21 2003 @ 10:45 AM
Let Battle commence!!!

posted on Sep, 21 2003 @ 10:35 PM
The world of the mind is not only one of thoughts. It is not, at first, focused by the structure of law, rational order, and custom.

It is also not always capable of making decisions that will ensure its own survival or continuation.

Rather, the human mind, at birth, is struggling to find sensations that it can use to provide substance for the inherent mental structures that will allow it to develop in a fully 'human' function. That is, though children have many inborn mental tendencies and structures that will, eventually, allow them to look objectively, and sentiently, upon nature and the world around them, at birth, and for the first years of their lives, they do not yet have the experience needed to be fully 'aware' of their surroundings.

To this end, a child does not always understand when it is in danger. Though it is developing its linguistic abilities, it does not yet understand speech. It does, however, understand basic sensations such as are involved in the slapping of a wrist or a snuggly hug. Most importantly, a child is able to remember the sharp, though brief, pain they received when slapped after approaching too close to a fire... or the warmth of the hug they received when they were suddenly injured.

In essence, I will be arguing that "smacking" (as the moderator has termed it) a child, if done in a non-injurous way, is perfectly acceptable and, in fact, necessary when it comes to child raising, as it is, in many ways, the first way to teach a child about danger. This is because physical contact -- raw physical sensations, as it were -- are the first things children understand and are, in fact, a large portion of the child's conscious experience. A parent can communicate with their child with the tone of their voice, it is true, but such sounds are not always effective at making a point to a child that their actions are putting them in danger. Such light slaps also, in the long run, serve as a memory device... as a child can then associate certain actions (walking near a fire, crossing a street without mama) with pain.

Now, this does not mean that hitting a child once they are fully cognizant is right... However, if you follow my argument over the next few days, it does mean that, for a time in a child's development, it is acceptable and even somewhat necessary.

posted on Sep, 21 2003 @ 11:02 PM
Carefully examined, smacking hinges on a moral issue. The “why” it's done is as, or more, important than “how” it is done. To assume, “Smacking must be okay because my parents done smacked me up, and I'm fine,” is circular “logic” and a fallacy to assume.

Smacking clearly isn't a good idea. Many studies, out reach programs and legal results bear out that smacking is ill-advised, especially when there are better ways to discipline (yes, even for the bratty little hellion that just doesn't understand). I could fill the whole message board on why smacking isn't a good idea, but does it still remain a parental right?

A young child reacts equally if smacked for the first time or if maliciously harmed. For the older child, smacking replaces real obedience with false obedience. From from a moral standpoint smacking is abuse and therefore not a right.

Smacking teaches the child that delivering pain is a means of establishing a viewpoint. It is inconsistent with how we should treat another as humans. If you want to stop the evils of the world you have to start in your own home. There are better disciplinary options. Violence begets violence: if nothing else, smacked kids will grow up and smack their kids. And, finally, if smacking works why do parents have to keep on doing it!? Smacking misses the point of obedience in the first place. In teaching children, smacking is moral abuse, not a right.

posted on Sep, 22 2003 @ 10:21 PM
I'm going to make this argument very simple. I had originally intended to post a lot of stuff here about how children before a certain age cannot understand the meaning of language... But then I realized that this would be pointless, as it's pretty obvious to everyone that this is true. It's a well known fact that 15 month olds cannot read Shakespeare.

So, with that out of the way, we're back to our main issue... which REALLY revolves around communication. It revolves around communication, you see, because, like KTPKR, I agree that human beings have certain rights... and that certain levels of dignity should be bestowed upon them. However, I place the need to preserve a fellow human's life above the courtesy of making them feel good at all times. That is, if, by warning someone of danger, you have to inconvenience them or hurt their feelings... well, then so be it, as preserving life itself is more important than making the holder of that life go its duration without crying.

But... I would assume that KTPKR also believes that preserving life is more important than avoiding tears. So, I argue that this debate is entirely about communication... not rights or feelings... as the goal of both our camps is, ultimately, to warn children of danger. The debate here, then, becomes one as to which way of 'warning' a child is the best.... as, in the end, the main puprose of slapping a child on the wrist is to warn them of such things as..

-Crossing a street without a parent
-Playing with/near fire
-Touching sharp objects
-Crawling into machines with moving parts
-Drinking/eating poisonous chemicals
.. or other such dangers.

Now, this is about 'communication' because it is the parent's duty to demonstrate to the child that it is 'hurtful' or dangerous to do any of the above. Basically, a parent is trying to protect their kid's life... and, if the kid is not old enough to understand more than 1)tone of voice and 2)a sharp (though physically harmless) slap on the wrist or ass, then these are the tools a parent MUST use to protect their child's life.

The goal in the cases above (which any parent can tell you are based on real-world situations) is to WARN and DISSUADE the child from danger. If KTPKR can come up with ANY method that does so in as CLEAR and RELIABLE a way among nonspeaking children I will gladly concede this debate to him. However, as you will see, there ARE NO methods as reliable as simple physical contact when it comes to teaching pre-conversive children about physical dangers. Simply put, little children are often spanked or slapped on the wrist so as to make their chances of survival greater... and, barring a development in baby to adult telepathy, suach activity is likely to continue until the end of human existence.

posted on Sep, 23 2003 @ 09:00 PM
Well, OIMD saved me a lot of fighting words. He and I both agree that smacking hinges on morality and for at least verbal children, it's not a parental right. However, pre-verbal children are somehow different: the difference is communication. Because, “... 15 month olds cannot read Shakespeare,” parents have the right to smack their (pre-verbal) children?

Whoa. Let's back up just a moment. Before I launch into a fantastic explosion of words and snake oil, let me reaffirm just why smacking is not a right, regardless of age. This is a debate and I have to convince the judges, not OIMD.

First of all, if the child doesn't know any different, well then, it's plain abuse. Simple. Linda Morgan explains this quite well:

“... children who are too young to reason are also too young to understand the intricate “reasons” that supposedly distinguish a “loving” spanking from mere abuse. ... Sure, many kids can eventually be convinced that spanking is good for them, but that does not prove that their initial, God-given reaction was not valid in the same way it would be in response to a malicious beating. What proof is there that a pre-verbal child feels the difference? None. The proof that they do not discern a difference is that children act the same the first time they are spanked as they do the first time they are ever hit maliciously. ... From the perspective of the person being hit, the old adage, “it’s the thought that counts” does not hold true.” (1)

For the next point, notice the “subtle” direction of obedience: Obedience should come from the child, not from an open fist. “If smacking works then why do we have to keep on doing it?” Again, Laurie Morgan, secularly phrased:

“How could forcing a child to obey his parents possibly teach him to follow the parent's lead? Submission to force requires first abandoning one’s internal direction. Surely, everyone can agree that the point of discipline should not be to encourage children to deceive their parents through false obedience. Clearly, true obedience to a parent comes from the prompting of the parent, and their love and respect. Submission to force is indirect obedience which isn't to be valued for its efficiency because it requires mass repetition.”(2)

Let's find out a little bit more about these children. Basically, pre-verbal children are little geniuses. Out of the box, so to speak, they rapidly acquire and incorporate phrases and body language, much more proficiently than OIMD, or I. They're obviously empathic.(3)(6) They understand temporal discontinuities, probably basic counting and basic physics.(4)(5) It's clear that children understand core emotions, like anger and happiness. They have empathy and can sense directed concern.(6) Not telepathy, but a simple empathy, that sadly erodes, especially in men.

(Okay, here's my magic parenting solution to smacking. Since we're talking about pre-verbal children, it starts at birth. OIMD and I agree that smacking post-verbal child is immoral and not a right. Verbal children “only” require consistent explanations and creative non-physical discipline.)

There's a better way than smacking to communicate to your non-verbal child:

Frequently train the child to associate a “call-phrase” with returning to the parent and a moment of happiness. Training is done, outside of normal affection and daily living, by speaking the call-phrase, picking up the child and emotionally awarding them. Infants are sub-verbal and can associate consistent sounds with meaning (how else do they come to learn language?).

Then, if the baby does something wrong, change the end emotion with something like anger, concern and/or sadness. The negative emotion (and intensity) demonstrates to the baby that she did something wrong. A simple terse “no” should also be used. This all sounds pretty mechanical, but it only involves extra love and babies are very trainable.(7) As the child learns to crawl (after about 7 months) training still continues but the child comes to the parent instead.

Call-phrases are a simple (and emotionally reliable) way of establishing positive expectations and breaking them (to indicate wrong). Obviously, a good/bad ratio should be established to maintain integrity. This training starts at birth and stays with the kid until it's no longer needed. Although intuitive, I am prepared to expand upon this call-phrase concept, if needed.

The above should be coupled with intelligent “preemptive” parenting. At all times the parent should think ahead and be watchful. Call-phrases would directly, immediately and easily distinguish right from wrong for the pre-verbal child, without smacking. So when your kid is about to crawl into that thorn bush, say the call-phrase, grab them (if they don't crawl back fast enough) and chastise them as necessary. They'll know something's up and that they had something to do with it.

1.Laurie Morgan,
5.Do Infants Understand Simple Arithmetic, or Only Physics? By Tony Simon, School of Psychology,Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA 30332-0170; 1/13/94 - 37888
7.The Illumanti and MK-ULTRA victims are trained (to be assassins, etc.) in this manner, but much more negatively. Sometimes these people breakdown, but most of them are “stable”. Positive reinforcement would cause no such instability while being equally (if not more) powerful.
(Body: 795 words, footnotes: 72 words)

[1 link or image per post]

[Edited on 24-9-2003 by John bull 1]

posted on Sep, 24 2003 @ 11:56 PM
Well, everything KTPKR said is correct... in the universe where jets never crash, eggs never crack, and your cell phone is always clear. That is... His theory of using 'call-phrases', and call-phrases only, to warn children off from making dangerous choices is a morally acceptable parenting technique only in the world where all systems work 100% of the time and humans (especially pre-verbal ones) are incapable of errors in regards to understanding. However, in the universe I believe most of us exist in, little kids don't always, despite their 'empathic' abilities (Counsellor Troi to the bridge!), know what their parents are trying to say to them... In fact, a good share of the time, on being confronted with 'strong' tones of voice, very little kids will just do what they want to do.

Now, if you really believe that using catch phrases, alone, can make a child realize when he or she is in danger, than you might want to check out the debate John Bull 1 and I had in the last tournament about the Bermuda Triangle. It was loaded with discussions that concerned alternate universes.

...Because, the bottom line is this: KTPKR asks why, if spanking works, is it used? Well, my reply is that it is used because it does work... Or has worked well enough that humans, across generations, cultures, and races, use it as a method to instill in pre-verbal children (usually toddlers who have just learned to walk) that some of their actions can be physically dangerous. The reason 'call-phrase' and word tone only methods aren't used is because... from a Darwinian standpoint... those kids who were brought up under such systems have, in disproportionate numbers, been eaten by crocodiles, crushed under boulders, hit by taxis, etc, etc.

Ahhh... But enough ribbing. It's time to dissect the exact reasons why the 'call-phrase' method, in the long-run, doesn't work:

You see, this call-phrase method is really reliant on parent initiation. A child is taught to RESPOND to a parent's signal, NOT to avoid a dangerous situation. No association is made between PAIN and the DANGEROUS SITUATION. In essence, the child never learns the 'value' of the danger they are in because, instead, they are being 'trained' (KTPKR's word) to respond only to their parent's quite abstract musings. They are not becomming AWARE of DANGER, but, instead, are merely having any possible apprehension of danger hidden from them.

Yes, 'spanking' or wrist slapping methods rely, at first, on parent involvement... That is, it is the parent who must first cause the child to associate crossing a busy street, unaccompanied, with pain... But, the point is that, in the future, if the parent is tied up or unable to repond, the child will understand that pain comes from bolting out into the middle of a busy street. They have become aware, in a small way, of their mortality (the totality of which they cannot grasp). Under the 'call-phrase' system, the child only knows to go back to mama when called... If, for some reason, mama isn't around when the chance to cross a busy street comes up, the child will not be able to associate pain with such a crossing. For them, SOMETHING IS ONLY 'BAD' IF MOM MAKES A NOISE... there is NO idea that SOMETHING CAN BE INHERENTLY BAD OR DANGEROUS/PAINFULL.

In many ways, KTPKR's advice may, in the end, result in a child who is less independent and free thinking, as he is being taught, from an early age, to accept commands based solely on the authority of their source... That is, he is being discouraged from thinking of rules/ideas as being based upon real-world situations and sensations. Rather than aiding him in forming objective and logical moral reasoning, it teaches him to be subjective and authority dependent because ground level apprehension of reality has been denied to him -- Never permitted to 'know' what something is first-hand, he can never detach himself from its experience, as he will forever be trapped in a world of artificial abstractions that have fostered upon him.

In simpler terms, the sum of KTPKR's thinking is that physical feedback between child and environment must be denied and, in its place, a series of abstractions must be inserted... before, even, a child has the ability to assign objective value to those abstractions.

On this reply: I've had trouble posting all day, so, please forgive me for being over the 18 hour limit.

posted on Sep, 25 2003 @ 06:25 PM
OIMD's argument is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the call-phrase that I will correct. He has ignored the expectation aspect of it, which is crucial for establishing discipline. Perhaps, afterwards he will concede, as he begun to in his opening. It's an insult to the judges and your opponent when you don't properly review the argument. Ever try debating a dumb rock?

posted on Sep, 26 2003 @ 10:15 PM
First, before I enter into my main arguments, I'd like to apologize for the delay in my reply. It has been caused by the fact that the electronic universe seems to shut down everytime I log onto ATS and begin a long post... As such, this is actually the third time I've replied to KTPKR's statements above... so, pardon any less than stylish language, below:

I have indeed studied KTPKR's argument with great interest, and with an attention to philosophical as well as semantic detail. I have also, I believe, been less insulting to the inteliggence of our mysterious judges because, from the start, I have assumed that they could recognize the full implications of all that I have said, from the beginning... But, for the sake of KTPKR, let me be a bit more simplistic, here:

Parenting is about education as much as it is about nourishment. Education, by its very definition, is the art of teaching an individual to recognize the world around him and interact with it as a self-conscious individual. It is not mere training, wherein someone is conditioned solely to respond to favorable plaudits from their dear ones.

Children, from birth up to a certain age wherein they can articulate objective concepts, are not fully aware of what 'death' is. They have never had direct experience with mortality and have no means of conceptualizing what it is. Pain, in the stead of mortality, is the closest thing they have to death -- Pain is their first, and to a certain point, their only taste of death.

For this reason, to teach a pre-verbal child that certain actions will lead to death IS to teach them that those actions cause pain. There can be no substitute, as mere call-phrase commands only teach them that a situation is 'bad', not that it is 'deadly'.

...Perhaps this is where KTPKR's misreading of my reply occured... For it seems that he didn't realize that I was saying that, indeed, a call-phrase system can teach a child that certain activities are 'bad' or that they 'make mommy mad'... However, they cannot make a child feel what they can experience of mortality and death. That is, I agree that a tonal reply can make a child cringe, but it cannot make a child confront what is the true danger in a situation.

Any system of education that is based on subjective pronouncments will ultimately fail the child, for they will develop a mentality that relies upon artificial constructs. Teaching a child that something is wrong because mommy says it is stands quite a bit to the lee side of any system which conveys to a child that something is wrong because it can cause physical, objective harm.

But... I admit that slapping or spanking a child is still a 'construct' of sorts... However, it integrates real-world sensations into its method and does not rely entirely on abstracted (and hopefully learned) emotions/conveyances. The child still makes the objective connection between pain and death... They develop a sense of mortality that is derived from self-awareness of the body itself.

But, as for the technicalities of KTPKR's comments--- I must state that I never 'conceded' any issues concerning post-verbal children to him. Rather, my argument has always been based on the idea that slapping a child is acceptable in the pre-verbal stages. It is also obvious to the judges, I believe, that I only have to show that it is ok to 'smack' a child at one point, at least, in life, rather than prove that such striking is appropriate throughout life.

Beyond that, I think it's also obvious that the term 'smacking' is heavily loaded and contradicts the following description in the intro that refers to open handed and light slapping.

Oh, and before I sign off (and hope that this actually posts), i must point out that KTPKR's sources come from New Zealand and Scotland. It's good to know that the call-phrase system works in places that have no pieces of heavy, moving machinery or natural predators... or even any people, really. Like a parachute in Flatland, I imagine that the call phrase system cannot fail in these places, simply because they are uninhabited golf courses devoid of any dangerous environments

posted on Sep, 27 2003 @ 03:55 PM
Enough posturing: It's time to to throw off my clothes and let my argument stand naked before thee. Shock and Awe, indeed.

My previous sources are especially valid precisely because New Zealand and Scotland have a heavy industry, natural predators and dangerous climates. To put it another way, would OIMD walk into an Irish bar, with his flippant commentary upon Scotland taped to his back? I doubt it.

Parental discipline is a double edged broad-sword: how you discipline teaches too. There is no intrinsic reason to smack your child and many studies support this. Many reveal the dangers behind smacking children:

After an analyzation of six decades of research, psychologist Elizabeth Gershoff says parents who spank their children risk causing long-term harm that outweighs the short-term benefit of instant obedience.(1) If you respect science, say by letting kids get vaccinated, it is consistent to heed sixty years of research.

Considered on the basis of morality smacking isn't a right, it's amoral abuse because it isn't neccessary. I have supported this assertion by citing several studies which conclude that children end up fine with non-physical punishment. Parents are charged with providing the welfare for their child. This welfare includes a consistent and sound moral instruction. By the cited studies and some common sense, the right to smack is neither consistent nor sound moral instruction.

Why does non-physical parenting work? Because emotional turmoil, by crying, is enough to teach a child what's bad. Crying is a very real thing and comes with very real sensations. An example of non-physical parenting can be found in my call-phrase. I don't deny that non-physical parenting requires some creative foresight and clever invention, at times, but all parenting should. Non-physical parenting can be done, has been done and is successful.

I believe I am vindicated with a selection from OIMD's first argument, “ warning someone of danger, you have to inconvenience them or hurt their feelings... well, then so be it,” and his recent admission: “... I was saying that, indeed, a call-phrase system can teach a child that certain activities are 'bad'...” Additionally, OIMD claims that discipline must “make a child feel ... morality and death.” I'm sorry, but making pre-verbal kids feel morality and death is spelled, “c-h-i-l-d- a-b-u-s-e”. Moral discipline is upsetting a child to reinforce that something is improper, not emotionally scaring them.

In closing I'll paraphrase my thesis, again:

Smacking is inconsistent with how we should treat another as humans. If you want to stop the evils of the world you have to start in your own home. Research clearly shows that there are no advantages to smacking and has many disadvantages as well. On the basis of morality, we teach what we deliver, and enforcing discipline through pain is a cruel teaching. In teaching children, smacking is a moral abuse, not necessary and certainly not a right.

1.“Spanking can cause long term harm,” July 2002 issue of Psychological Bulletin: "A meta-analytical and theoretical review” of 88 studies on corporal punishment of children conducted since 1938."

posted on Sep, 27 2003 @ 03:58 PM
Closing statement now please.

posted on Sep, 28 2003 @ 04:47 PM
I would like to pass the right to make the first closing statement to KTPRKTPR.

posted on Sep, 28 2003 @ 05:13 PM
Does the parent have the right to unrentlessly smack their child's bottom?
Does the parent have the right to smack their child randomly, perhaps in their sleep?

Of course not. Smacking is based on the notion of proper use and therefore morality. Closer inspection of parental discipline reveals a responsibility for the child's welfare. That welfare includes moral consistency and well being.

Many studies point out that children raised without physical discipline end up fine. Conversely, those that are smacked are put at risk. So there is no intrinsic need to smack. Non-physical parenting requires creative foresight and invention, but all parenting should. The call phrase is but one example.

I leave the judges with my thesis and their impartial consideration of my argument against OIMD's*:

Smacking is inconsistent with how we should treat another as humans. If you want to stop the evils of the world you have to start in your own home. Research clearly shows that there are no advantages to smacking and has many disadvantages as well. On the basis of morality, we teach what we deliver, and enforcing discipline through physical pain is cruel amorality. Smacking is therefore moral abuse, not necessary and certainly not a right.

* (As opposed to my argument against a judge's opinion/argument)

posted on Sep, 28 2003 @ 09:08 PM
Would you be willing to bet on KTPKR's argument with a life? That is, if you were a parent, and your child was nearly hit by a bus after leaving your side for a minute... Would you trust that a conditioning system that uses only tones in language as a tool would prevent them from doing something so dangerous again in the future?

True, KTPKR has provided you with SOME research, but, as we all know, research is only valid if its hypothesis can be disproven through its own experimental methods. Look closely at what he has provided-- You will see that the studies he cites CANNOT show if children who have been spanked are more likely to avoid dangerous situations. In fact, there is perhaps no way to accurately examine the effects of either striking or not striking a child... as such a study would need to include data on every aspect of a child's awareness and memory.

What are we left with, then? Instincts. Yes, such a reliance may not sound pleasant in a structured debate... But its is necessary, as child rearing often boils down to moments of desparation and emotion. In preserving new life, parents are often left only with those instincts which are inherent to their lifeforce.

So, we must asks ourselves, have KTPKR's ideas been so clear and revolutionary that you would overide the instincts 3 billion years of evolution have given you?

posted on Sep, 29 2003 @ 03:01 AM
OK,Thanks guys and well done.

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