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That there should be a legal age for using mobile phones

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nzlockienzlockie (PRO)
Today’s debate considers the issue of cell phone use and poses the question of whether there should be a minimum legal age for cell phone use. As the PRO side of this debate I will be walking you through the reasoning why legislating a legal age is the preferred course of action. 


Before we begin it is important to acknowledge that many may ask why the GOVERNMENT needs to be involved in this discussion; surely parents can be the best judge of their child’s ability to use this tool responsibly?   

The precedent of the government legislating in this kind of area has been set and reaffirmed over many issues. Whether you personally agree with this approach or the degree to which it happens is a topic for another debate. In this case there are clear reasons why an issue is serious enough to require government input:

 1.  Harm to the Child. The government will typically set legal boundaries in issues where it is deemed that the child may lack the cognitive ability to recognise the serious health risk, eg legal age of consent, drinking age, driving age.  

2.  Harm to Society. The government will also step in where it is deemed that an individual’s actions may have a long term negative, (usually criminal) effect on society, eg Gun control, Pornography laws.

In the following rounds I will explain why the use of cell phones at a young age can result in both types of harm, to the point where it has become necessary for government to legislate them in the proposed manner.  


The HEALTH Issue:  

Cell phones emit radiation. It is a particular type of radiation called non-ionizing radiation – basically meaning that it doesn’t remove electrons from atoms, although it can slightly alter the state of them, for example when microwave radiation agitates them causing them to heat up.


For more information on the different types of radiation, I submit this source.

The modern digital cell phone became mainstream in the early 90’s. Since then, usage has increased exponentially. In the USA, cell phone usage jumped from an estimated 34 million to about 203 million in the first decade of the 21st century. Silicon India recently reported that the number of mobile phones will exceed the world’s population sometime during 2014. And India knows a little something about the world’s population!  

For almost as long as this technology has been available, experts have been conducting studies to quantify the effect this non-ionizing radiation has on the human body. The big fear is Brain Tumours and various forms of Cancer, although there have been recent studies in a number of other non-lethal health issues which may be linked, including Sleep Deprivation, Decreased Sperm Count and Motility and Behavioural changes in Brain activity. These issues can be elaborated on in later rounds if required.


The big problem with these studies is that the technology and the way we use it is constantly changing; it’s very hard to generate any kind of useful data while we are still in this “growth” phase.  

The other problem is that brain tumours and the other symptoms take up to 15 years to form. Cell phones have barely been mainstream for 20 and it is far too early to accurately chart the medical effects.

But make no mistake - just because it is too early to obtain effective data does not mean the problem does not exist!


So what do we know?

Well, we know that even non-ionizing radiation has an effect on the human tissue. It is theoretically possible that this effect could be harmful, although the science is split on this issue. For this reason the International Agency for Research on Cancer, (IARC) and the World Health Organisation, (WHO) have listed cell phones as a Group 2B Carcinogen, meaning that they are POSSIBLY harmful to Humans. ( http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs193/en/ )  

We also know that the Adult body handles radiation far differently to the child’s. The image below demonstrates the degree to which radiation penetrates the skull of humans at different ages.



These images and the points were taken from a study into the effects of cell phone radiation. There have been many such studies performed and while the overall conclusions may vary, these facts do not.

The point of this is that logic dictates we err on the side of caution because we simply do not know conclusively one way or the other. The proposed course of action is to wait for a more definitive study to be conducted before we conclude the exact ramifications of cell phone use. BUT in the meantime we must set a minimum legal age to prevent irreversible damage to the future generations.


The CRIME Issue

The second main reason for legislating against the use of cell phones by the younger members of society has to do with the ability to use the technology to abuse and bully others.

There should be no denying that cell phones provide yet another easy method to bully victims from a distance, although if my opponent would like to contest that assertion, I will be happy to provide proof. Increasing cell phone distribution amongst children can only lead to an increase in bullying.

Making it illegal for cell phones to be owned by people too young to fully appreciate the impact and consequences of their actions will be a big step in the fight against bullying.


When it comes to bullying there are no winners. Studies show that both the bullies and their victims can go on to becomes drains on society in later life.

There are countless studies documenting the link between childhood abuse and adult criminality.

This quote has been taken from one of the better ones.

“Being bullied is not a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up but throws a long shadow over affected children’s lives. Victims, in particular chronic victims and bully-victims, are at increased risk for adverse health, financial, and social outcomes in adulthood. These problems are associated with great costs for individuals and society. Involvement with bullying can be easily assessed and monitored by health professionals and school personnel, and effective interventions for reducing victimization are available (Ttofi & Farrington, 2011). Such interventions are likely to reduce human suffering and long-term health and social costs.

Impact of Bullying in Childhood on Adult Health, Wealth, Crime, and Social Outcomes

Dieter Wolke, William E. Copeland, Adrian Angold, E. Jane Costello


Given the ease of utilising cell phone technology to cause criminal harm to others, coupled with the problem of imposing meaningful sentencing to minors, the logical step is to simply prevent minors from accessing the technology.


I trust that I have presented the initial case for the resolution clearly enough, I look forward to hearing my opponent’s case.


Return To Top | Posted:
2014-01-12 07:51:42
| Speak Round
De@thDe@th (CON)

Hello all,
 with an interesting topic in hand, let me 1st define what is meant by ‘legal age’. Legal age or the age of majority is the threshold of adulthood as it is conceptualized in law. Now, where does this concept come from or what is it’s purpose? The purpose is to bring a threshold, after which the individual is responsible for his/her own actions, terminating the legal control and legal responsibilities of their parents or guardian over and for them. This means that after legal age, an individual is uncontrollable by anyone, but himself.

Now, the concept of legal age is not a standard one. It varies from country to country and sometimes even within a country. And even more, within a country itself, legal age is different for different purposes, sometimes even gender depended.

Now where are these concepts of legal age used? Primarily this is associated with the process of democracy as in voting, marriage, driving license etc. And do we by any chance see a pattern here? Oh yes, we do…!!! And that is the public nature of all these incidents or events. Now if one considers any other matter where legal age comes into picture, all of them can also be found to of similar nature and directly linked with social life.

And in all these cases what ensures that things fall in line and continue as it is legal? In voting, it is the issue of voter ID, the same with driving, in case of marriage, if arranged by parents, coming under the category of child marriage it becomes punishable and if done by individuals, the institution has no legal existence or support.

Now coming to the case of a legal age for mobile phones-
 1) Is it of a public nature like voting or driving or marriage?
 2) Is it possible to control it by the issue of mobile phone ID card?
 3) Is it possible to track the usage of mobile phones by children?
 4) Is it punishable enough to induce fear in the minds of users?

All the answers remain to be the same….an emphatic “NO”….!!!

Hence, introduction of legal age for use of mobile phones is a practical impossibility and would not serve the purpose at all. So my opposition’s idea that because there is harm to child and hence to the society, government should intervene, is disproved right away….!!!!

However, continuing in the debate, it would be interesting to wait and see what my opponent has got to say further in the topic.

1.  The HEALTH issue

Now my opponent has gone into a deeper health analysis. I agree that radiation is emitted from mobile phones. But factually, as my opponent has mentioned supporting me, there is no proof that mobile phone usage alone causes any sort of cancer. But there are proven incidents of cancer and death due to things we treat more trivial like smoking, tobacco, vehicle pollution and what not…!!!! Are we going to ban all these and make sure our children are saved?
 To add, scientifically the non-ionizing radiation on PROLONGED use slightly causes a heating effect, but not significant enough to rise body temperature as such. So NO records of any sort of cancer are ever reported.

Hence introducing a minimum legal age for a technology as important and helpful like mobile phones, just based on undue assumptions and imaginations, and trying to stop a large population from it’s use is highly vicious and diabolic.
 To add, many regions on earth surface are directly influenced by background radiation, which are sometimes even of ionizing nature. Even in that situation, a direct link with cancer incidents has been of negligible scale. Studies have even been done on high electromagnetic field to test their influence on child cancer, only to reach conclusion that there is no direct association.

My opponent has shown colorful images of radiation penetrating skull. I’ve no such image since none of those radiations have ever caused cancer. And to add to my opponent’s scientific knowledge, every second our body is being bombarded with lakhs of sub-atomic particles, some of them like neutrinos penetrate them every time.If all these radiation, as my opposition says here, is to cause cancer, earth would have already become a dead planet by now….!!!

To add, most children watch TELEVISION for prolonged time. And it has been scientifically proven that it harms their eyes. And the clichéd cartoons as well as the violent scenes being shown in televisions retard the mental growth of the children and also cause them to separate from the real world and live in these cartoons and comics. Thereby television also harms the society. All these are proven. Will my opponent say that there should be a legal age for watching television?
 Even if my opponent says that and imagining a situation where such a thing comes into existence, what good it will do? Will it bring any difference? How will the government ensure that under-age children don’t watch television? Now even if the government spies every home and finds children watching them, how will they be punished?
 The same applies for mobile phones too. Most times these mobile phones used are not purchased under the name of the children. So the sale of these phones can’t be stopped.

2.  The CRIME issue

Now coming to crimes, lots of mobile phone crimes are being reported in this world; blackmailing, kidnapping, bomb attack, pornography, bullying and more. I’ve a very simple and basic question to ask in this regard. How many of these criminals are children? Even if one consider the number of victims it is clear that children form only a minority. Keeping this in mind, will introducing the concept of legal age for mobile phone use, bring any remarkable reduction in crime rates??

My opponent has brought big notes on child abuse and bullying, which I really appreciate and admire, except for the totally out of context usage like I’ve mentioned. Unlike what my opponent says mobile phones help reduce these crimes. Many a number of instances have been reported where mobile phones even helped to track down kidnappers and save the children…!!!!

The world is growing rapid. Luxury of yesterdays has often become the necessities of today. Unlike the past days, where children play and grow around their own homes,these days they too travel a lot, sometimes even crossing the continents. So having access to mobile phones is an obvious relief to them as well as the parents who are far away, considering that these days both the parents would be away working and children would be alone at home or going for tuition or what not…To add, mobile phones also bring tones of information to the fingertip with advances in technology, which is really helpful for the children.

With this I rebut both the ideas my opponent has presented, even before which, I’ve shown why legal age in mobile phone use is practically impossible to be implemented because of the sheer fact that it lacks the public/social nature of other aspects where legal age is practical for implementation.

I wind up this round adding an alternate and more practical solution. To the children, it’s their parents who are more important than the government or legalities. So primarily parents should be acknowledged on this issue and they should be educated on the necessity of helping their children use mobile phones judiciously as a necessity rather than a luxury. Also, at school level too the issue of excessive mobile phone usage can be addressed and the students can be urged to use it wiser. All these being practical and viable, I hope, I made it clear with why a legal treatment of the issue is impossible and law introducing legal age for use of mobile phones would be nothing more than a blunder. AND A TECHNOLOGY OF THIS IMMENSE USE, IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO USE IT JUDICIOUS RATHER THAN STRIPPING THEM AWAY FROM A SECTION OF THE SOCIETY.



1.  http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/138/7/467.shorthttp://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/138/7/467.short

2.  http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/healthyliving/cancercontroversies/mobilephones/

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-01-13 04:35:52
| Speak Round
nzlockienzlockie (PRO)

It's ironic that every time I check in on this debate to see if CON has posted their argument, I see the message: 

"Waiting for De@th"  

Its ironic because that is exactly the course of action my opponent is suggesting the governments of the world should take!

My opponent has begun his case by commenting on the definition of "Legal Age". I'd like to begin my second round by responding to those comments.

1.  Legal Age – can clearly vary depending on the context and in this circumstance it has not been defined on purpose. The initial discussion needs to establish that there is a need to set a boundary – exactly where that boundary is should be discussed next.

It’s clear that in order to be effective, the legal age needs to be set at a point between 12 and 18 – by which time the skull has further developed and is more effective at blocking radiation. Coincidentally, this is also right around the time that children become more independent, being increasingly allowed to travel and function on their own and cell phones become less of social entertainment and more of a tool.


2.  In terms of how we administer this law, it will need to be done in much the same way we treat alcohol. ID will be required at point of sale, and penalties will be able to be levied against people purchasing the item for a minor.   

Although I feel like I’ve addressed these points enough, my opponent seems pretty caught up on them so in this round I’d like to develop them a bit more, discussing why we would consider establishing a law that is hard to administer and presenting a model of what the administration of that law would look like. But first I'll address his rebuttal points. 

Health Issue Rebuttal points:  

It has already been established that there is no solid scientific data for or against the harmful effects of cell phone radiation. The reasons for this have also already been stated and clearly ignored by my opponent… so I will state them again. This technology is simply too new! The potential medical problems take longer to develop than the technology has been tested for. The PRO side of debate is simply calling for a 20 year moratorium on the usage of cell phones by minors until the effects of this technology can be established.

My opponent also brings up a bunch of other things and asks if we are going to ban them too. I don’t know… maybe. It doesn’t really matter – that’s a discussion for another day. The items he’s talked about have been around long enough that we’ve been able to observe and measure their effects. Scientists and Politicians can consider that evidence and make a call. You can’t say the same for cell phones. They haven’t been around long enough.  

Since my opponent enjoyed my graphics so much, here are a couple more:


This graphic shows the Thermal effect my opponent referred to in his round. This is heating using the same type of non-ionizing radiation a microwave uses. Scientists don't know exactly what effect this has on our brains, but they do know it has an effect. Studies have shown that the thermal areas have an increased consumption of glucose. Scientists recommend that more investigation be done to establish the harmful medical repercussions of this. Also it's important to note that the image above is from an adult male. As already established, the effect on a child's brain will be much higher.


 In case you missed it, these are the results of that Ghandi study referenced in my first round on the effects of cell phone radiation in our brains. Interesting.


Crime Issue Rebuttal points:  

Aside from complimenting it, my opponent hasn’t refuted my evidence that childhood bullying can have real, significant, lasting impact on the individuals and on society. Don’t blame him for that, it’s tricky to refute because it’s true. Also true is the fact that cyber-bullying is on the rise thanks to an ever increasing access to digital media.

If my opponent would like to cite me as many examples of cell phones being used by children to stop a crime as he likes, I will cite him more examples of them using cell phones to bully, intimidate and abuse others. This type of action, done at such an early age WILL change the face of our society. And not in a happy way. More like this… :)   =====>  :(

In this section my opponent also brought up a couple of other points, they’re easily rebutted without wasting everyone’s time so I’ll just do that now:

1.  Children travel a lot and cell phone help them stay in contact.   

-  At the ages we’re talking, they don’t travel without an adult guardian, and there are PLENTY of other means of communication they can access.


2.  Children need access to tones [sic] of information.

-  Yes they do. That’s what Wikipedia is for. Which they’d know since they probably wrote most of it. Wikipedia and the rest of the information can be accessed from an internet enabled computer. They’ll learn the valuable lesson of patience as they are forced to wait, up to an hour in some extreme cases, before they can learn what that song was.  And anyway, exactly how many "tones" of information do our kids really NEED access to? My colleague Calvin puts it best:


Having addressed these issues of rebuttal, I'd like to expand on the concepts of why a LAW needs to be established.

Why establish a law that is hard to administer?

The CON side of this case has repeatedly asked this question. They talk about difficulties in age verification, spotting infractions and setting punishments. It’s an innocent question and deserves and answer.  

The first and most important reason why we establish a law is because it is right  

It is hard to verify two people are married because they love each other and not just to obtain citizenship, but it is wrong to commit fraud in this manner so we make it illegal.

It is hard to spot infractions of murder before they happen, but it is wrong to kill people so we have the law.   

It’s never really hard to set punishments – we simply look at what the perpetrators value and take it away. That works here as well.

Just because a law is hard, does not mean we shouldn’t set that boundary.   

In the case of cell phones, it’s not even that hard. Here’s what it might look like:

Point of sale: Cell Phones are not able to be purchased without ID. Many countries have ID cards now for citizens of all ages but if the legal age is set at a point where the person may not have any of the conventional ID, then they will have to use a birth certificate or passport.   

Useage: Any cell phone user should be able to produce proof of age when questioned. As with any banned substance, this is more likely to happen in public areas. And as with any banned substance, it will still be possible for criminals to break the law. Doesn’t make it wrong to have the law in the first place though.   

Penalties: Obviously the phone will be destroyed along with their illegally downloaded playlist and all their Grumpy Birds scores. Above that, the penalty will be financial. A strong case could be made that the Parents could face a fine as well – that’d be a decision for the lawmakers.   

Purchasing a cell phone for a minor would obviously be a fineable offence as well.


The second reason to establish a law is to set boundaries for good parenting in cases where parents might endanger the lives of their charges. Many countries do this already in areas physical and verbal abuse, education and even neglect.   

The government bans substances that are potentially harmful to children all the time. Classic relevant cases would be Lead Paint and Toxins in food. In these special cases, it is decided that the potential harm to a trusting child who is not old enough to think independently outweigh the Parent’s right to decide how their kid gets brought up.

I would move that cell phones should fall into this category right now. And many countries actually already agree with me.   

It was established that Lead Paint is harmful to children in 1904. In 1909, AustriaFrance and Belgium all banned Lead Paint. By 1922, the entire League of Nations, (with the standard exemption of the USA) have banned Lead Paint.   

In 2005 Austria bans cell phones in schools and warns against the use of cell phones by children.

In 2010 France bans advertising cell phones to children under the age of 14 and bans the use of cell phones in schools.   

In 2013 Belgium bans the sale of cell phones to children under 7 in shops and on the internet.

Many, many countries have also banned cell phones from being used in schools, along with strict rules governing Wifi and Cell Towers.   

It is clear that the majority of the world’s nations see that the potential harm done by cell phones to small children warrant caution at this point. Once science has had enough time to do its job, these bans can all be repealed if necessary.

By banning this product, the government is sending the clearest message it can to its constituents. “Cell Phones may harm your kids!”  


I now return us to a state of "Waiting for De@th". Hopefully not for much...

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-01-13 11:39:08
| Speak Round
De@thDe@th (CON)

My opposition here has panache for dramatization, colorful images and cartoon. However, his inclination towards facts and realities drift too far from what is really real....

1.  As I have mentioned, scientifically being subjected to a radiation and being prone to cancer are often mutually independent. If my opposition’s skeptical mind needs to be respected, it so happens that the earth should be brimming with cancer patients since every second we are all being bombarded with radiations that penetrate our body. However, incidents of cancer are very rare.

2.  My opponent has not in any way disproved my argument regarding the very necessity of having a public nature, which is of prime importance.
It would have been really appreciated if my opponent takes time to read what I’ve written. I’ve clearly mentioned that “Most times these mobile phones used are not purchased under the name of the children. So the sale of these phones can’t be stopped.”
 And hence my opponent’s argument that having an ID would curb this issue is ruled out totally considering it impractical.

So once again let me put the very basic questions that need to be attended here-

1)  Is it of a public nature like voting or driving or marriage?

2)  Is it possible to control it by the issue of mobile phone ID card?

3) Is it possible to track the usage of mobile phones by children?

4)  Is it punishable enough to induce fear in the minds of users?

All the answers remain to be the same….an emphatic “NO”….!!!

Hence, introduction of legal age for use of mobile phones is a practical impossibility and would not serve the purpose at all. So my opposition’s idea that because there is harm to child and hence to the society, government should intervene, is disproved right away….!!!!

1.  HEALTH issue

As I’ve mentioned TELEVISION causes very clear and proved problems. But no intervention of government or legality is brought there. My opponent totally misses the point here. It is not because it is not important. On the contrary it is not implemented because it would be practically impossible. The same applies for mobile phones. How will the government ensure that under-age children don’t use mobile phones? Now even if the government spies every home and finds children using them, how will they be punished?How will any law ever be able frighten these kids? All these makes having a legal age totally pointless.

To add, the only thing my opponent has suggested to practically control the issue by using ID while purchasing mobile phones is also impractical because no 5 year old kids go out and purchase mobile phones for their use. They use it from their parents.

That is where my alternate solution of acknowledging the parents and educating them comes into picture. And addressing the issue in schools too to help the children use the technology wiser, rather than stripping all the advantages of mobile phones from them. And what they learn to use wise in their childhood, they will endure all their life.

Every radiation, even solar radiation will cause a heating effect to produce similar colorful drawings. And even the digestion process produces thermal pattern variation. Does that mean all these are harmful and should be kept off? I do agree that PROLONGED use will result in local heating effect (negligibly small to increase total body temperature), but even this is not carcinogenic.And rather than letting the children have access to mobile phones one fine morning after their legal age, where there is a higher probability of over-use, it is better to get them acquainted with a judicious use.

So my opponent’s claim and argument that children should be kept away from mobile phones because of health effect is ruled out because of-
 1) NO evidence ever to prove any association. My opponent says it requires more time. But it is to be noted that there has been not a single evidence of any kind.

2) Inefficiency of a legal age system or any government law for that instance, because the use of mobile phones is more of a very private and personal affair, which is impossible to track and even more impractical to introduce any sort of punishment for those who are found to be violating the law.

2.  CRIME issue

I agree that bullying is not good. A lot of bullying happens in school. I suggest that my opponent make sure that he doesn’t send his children to school for the reason…!!! Impractical???
 Then why just in the case of mobile phones? Taking the advantage of mobile phones away from children fearing of a potential chance of being bullied over phone (which factually is very less compared to classroom bullying) is nothing but cowardice.It is to prevent such thing from happening that we have parents and teachers to monitor and help the kids grow wise and judicious.

I wonder what age my opponent is mentioning here. With world growing, there are lots of kids, under 15 years, some of who travel alone, while some others have to stay back alone. And with the advancement in mobile phone technology, in most countries, public telephones have ceased their existence and it would rather be hard for the child as well to remember multiple numbers when the need comes.

And regarding information, now my opponent sees no problem with children having free and unlimited access to internet, where there is a greater chance for getting into traps of bullying and adult materials, but he is all too worried on mobile phones…!!!
 And since my opponent has mentioned that legal age can be set between 12-18, I’d like to add, I completed my 4 years of graduation by 18…!!!And how much information do a ‘kid’ require between 14 and 18? It depends upon what he do, which need not be exactly same as what my opponent did at that time…!!!!

So my opponent’s claim and argument that children should be kept away from mobile phones because of crimes is ruled out because-
 1) mobile phone bullying is far less than a class-room bullying. Just like it is impractical to stop schooling, it is impractical to strip the advantages of mobile phones from the children.

2) Parental monitoring can control the crimes and prolonged mobile phone usage.

3) With development, children do travel/stay back alone and it is a relief to have access to mobile phones for communication.

4) Having access to information & technology is no trivial considering the volume of things they learn in schools and early college lives.

Now my opponent puts a question, “Why establish a law that is hard to administer?”.I’d ask “Why establish a law that is impossible to administer”?

Let me go through my opponent’s ideas in this aspect.

Primarily my opponent continues to make his mistake of forgetting what I've mentioned in my introduction.
 “Most times these mobile phones used are not purchased under the name of the children. So the sale of these phones can’t be stopped.” So no law can prevent the point of sale.

Now my opponent has got the entire platform shifted to ‘public areas’. Now as I've already mentioned usage of mobile phones by children is more like a personal private affair, mostly using the gadget belonging to their parents. So a statement that they will be questioned and caught in public areas no more stand any relevance.

And finally coming to penalties,it is impractical to punish the children for using mobile phones. Well, one can try threatening the kid that he’ll be prosecuted, probably only to find a crying face in front of them. Neither would it be appropriate to punish the parents, because many a times it need not be with the consent of parents that the kids take these phones.

So by all these criteria, implementing a legal age for mobile phone usage is proved irrelevant and inappropriate. And my opponent has committed the fallacy of comparing mobile phones with lead paints. There are many things in this world that is banned; there are many more that can be banned. But mobile phones don’t fall under these categories. To add,in all the regions/countries where lead paint is banned, it is made effective not by sending spies to every home and testing the paint, but by regulating the production and sale itself. And this is impossible in the case of mobile phones because of all my previously mentioned reasons.

And banning cell phones or any item from one particular locality is possible. For a better example, mobile phone usage is totally restricted in many flights…!!!!
 But bringing a legal age into effect country wide is impossible and yeah, law can be implemented banning the sale to those below an age. And if that what my opponent needs, he can rejoice, but that would never stop the children from USING it.

So with this I conclude my round stating that rather than a government controlled legal age which will do no good because of their sheer impossibility, it is better to go for the alternate approach which I've mentioned involving more parental over view and proper education.

I hope my opponents’ wait for De@th will end here…..!!!

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-01-13 19:30:23
| Speak Round
nzlockienzlockie (PRO)
I can assure my opponent, I am definitely reading what he’s writing.  

He’s claiming I’ve missed his point that the Parents can buy the phone for their kids, also that the kids may actually be borrowing their parent’s phone.   

Not true. I addressed this issue in the section, “Why establish a law…”

I feel like I’ve made this point clear enough and I’m confident the judges will agree with me anyway. Just for one last attempt to explain it though, here’s a final try.  

Contrary to what some people think, we don’t establish laws in order to catch people out. We make laws and more specifically, set legal ages – in order to send a clear and strong message that contravening that ban will or may result in a harm to yourself or others.   

It’s very difficult to find a law that can’t be broken if nobody is watching. This fact does not stop us from creating laws to prevent any of the following…

-  Consumption of Alcohol by minors.  

-  Consumption of Drugs by minors.

-  Use a tanning bed as a minor.  

-  Digitally Pirate material as a minor.  

Not to mention the biggies like rape, abuse, murder, theft etc etc. All typically done where nobody can see you.

Now I want you to read this very carefully because this directly addresses my opponent’s key point:  

Setting a legal age for the use of a cell phone is a measure designed to target the PARENTS – not the children.

We are saying that, as the government, we deem the risk of harm to the human child is great enough that allowing a child to use a cell phone would constitute a failure to provide care for that child.  

Hopefully this will finally make it clear to my opponent that even though this law would be difficult to enforce beyond the actual sale of the phone, we still need to pass it.

The issue in this debate is not whether we can enforce the law, it is whether we think the risk of medical harm to the under developed child is great enough to warrant a legislation aimed at sending a clear message and giving our scientists the time they need to see if the risk is real or just perceived.  

On to the main points!  


If you consider my opponent’s section on Health, you’ll find that the bulk of it centres on the part I’ve just explained. Therefore I won’t need to address issues of government spying or kids using their parent’s phone.  

Television. Yes, there is radiation associated with TV. It’s a similar but different radiation to the one we’re currently discussing but yes, I think the obvious thing to do would be to look at that as well. The nice thing about TV is that the radiation is not centred 5mm from their brain! So maybe let’s look at it, but maybe after we’ve looked at this one.

Solar Radiation. Excellent point, solar radiation IS harmful to humans and children ARE more at risk. That’s why most schools make it compulsory to wear head gear. There are also the millions of dollars spent on advertising and education. Again, solar radiation is a different type of radiation, (this time a REALLY different type) and again, it is not centred 5mm from their brain!  

Effects of Thermal Increases. My opponent misses MY point here. Science has never claimed that the extreme localised increases in temperature in a human’s brain were carcinogenic. They noted that it caused an increase in glucose consumption. They recommended that this effect warranted further study to establish the harmful medical repercussions. My point here was that these thermal increases ARE having a biological effect. They ARE caused by cellphones – a not-naturally-occurring object. Humans who are not fully developed yet WILL experience extremes of these effects.


The two summation points my opponent brings you have already been refuted but I will do so again here.  

1.  To claim there is no evidence is false. There is an abundance of evidence that cellphones have a biological effect on humans – exaggerated in younger ones. There is disputed evidence that these effects are harmful – that is the reason we need more time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were brain tumours.

2.  Questions of inefficiency have already been addressed.  


My opponent concedes bullying is bad but makes some pretty unsubstantiated claims about the ratio of cyber bullying to traditional bullying. Contrary to his belief, every paper I can find claims that with the advent of digital media, bullying has increased both in instance and severity. The studies I’ve already quoted have also indicated that the face of society as we know it today is likely to change once this current “bullied” generation makes it to adulthood.

Here’s one last paper on the subject.   

Note the following,

 Technology’s progression is often equated with the advancement of human societies. Pivotal innova­tions, such as the Internet, have forever changed how people interact. Though these developments have al­lowed the human race to make great strides in many fields, they have also allowed forms of transgression to become more rampant and widespread. This is evident when considering how traditional bullying has evolved into an issue today known as cyberbullying. While bullying and cyberbullying are often similar in terms of form and technique they also have many differences. Unlike traditional bullying, cyberbullying allows the offender to mask his or her identity behind a computer. This anonymity makes it easier for the offender to strike blows against a victim without having to see the victim’s physical response. The distancing effect that technological devices have on today’s youth often leads them to say and do crueler things compared to what is typical in a traditional face-to-face bullying situation.  

Bullying and Cyberbullying: History, Statistics, Law, Prevention and Analysis

Richard DoneganStrategic Communication Elon University



Having already established the size and seriousness of the problem, my point in this is that the children we are concerned with are too young to fully understand the ramifications of their actions. Allowing them to bully via text creates the “distancing effect” mentioned in this quote.  

That concludes my crime argument.



Travel: The ages we are talking about are 0 – 12 yrs. I have ESTIMATED that the legal age for cellphone use will be set somewhere between 12 and 18. Based on decisions made by governments already in favour of this move, the age is likely to be towards the 12 end rather than the 18.

Kids in most countries are permitted to travel without parents, but not without an adult. Often a flight attendant will be the adult while in transit.  

Communication today is higher than it has ever been. Wherever that kid is going, there will be a means of communication. Happy to defend that if my opponent likes to suggest a travel route or destination commonly taken by kids.


Internet: If we can restrict kids from accessing the internet from a PC then we can control their ability to misuse that device. The material they can access has zero relevance in this debate. Again the ages we’re discussing here is not between 14 and 18, it’s between 0 and 12. Possibly a few years past that.

How much of my opponent’s work when he was that age was done on his phone and how much of that could not have been done using a PC, Books or a regular land line?  


Problems with my model:  

Point of sale- Parents purchasing a cellphone to give to their children would be doing so knowing they were breaking the law. This is still off-putting to many parents even in these desperate times.

Kids don’t use cellphones in public areas- I know he’s joking here, cell phones are used by EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE. But it does give me the chance to submit some graphical evidence…  


Penalties- As already stated, the parents will most likely be the ones paying the fines. It’s entirely appropriate because the kids are minors. Ultimately this kind of infraction always comes back to the parents.  

Lead Paint: hey now, this was a great link. My opponent has missed the point though. Here it is…  

-  Lead Paint was made illegal because it was harmful to children. Sets a precedent for things being banned because they are medically harmful to kids even though parents could have just been presented the facts and left to make up their own minds.

 -  Austria, France and Belgium acted first. Just as they have with cellphones. They know what’s going on. They care. Hugs.  

If my opponent doesn’t like the Lead Paint comparison, maybe he could consider other instances where the government overrides the parent’s right to choose – such as banning certain foods because of the cooking process or the additives they contain. These all set a precedent for the issue we are debating right now.   


Vote PRO – we have radiation free cookies.


Return To Top | Posted:
2014-01-14 00:53:50
| Speak Round
De@thDe@th (CON)

Hello all,

Over & again I emphasize the irrelevance of setting up a legal age because of their sheer inability to meet the required effect.

Considering my opponent’s argument on “why establish a law…”

If my opponent says that law is made just to make people aware of the harm, law should have been set against smoking (in totality), excessive use of computers and internet, prolonged watching of TV etc…may be a law should be passed banning kids from eating too many chocolates so that they will know, too many chocolates harm their teeth….!!!!

I can sense the despair in my opposition to make things look right…but alas, things are not because he doesn't realize that the law is not just meant to enlighten people on harmful effects. And if that is the case, there is no need to have laws against theft and murder, since everyone know these are bad having harmful effects. To conclude on this point, having a law never does any good, but having an understanding parent to watch over the children & having an education system where they are taught to use things wise & judicious can bring the change.

So it is always better to go for this alternate solution along rather than stripping off the advantages offered by mobile phones from a large class of society.

Now my opponent has drawn a comparison with alcohol, tanning bed etc., which are either facilities available outside the home or need to be bought from outside. None of these are possible to be borrowed from parents, which my opponent forgets very conveniently, trying to bias the readers and judges here.

And further, my opponent makes another fallacy here arguing that the law is intended at the parents. And this is why, I say it would be better if my opponent had gone through my previous round, where I clearly mentioned how it would be inappropriate to aim the law at the parents and brand them as the ‘criminals’ because many a times, a 5/10/12 year old kid takes the phone and use it without prior permission and it is not like parents give their phone to these kids….!!! So punishing the parents would be highly inappropriate. To add, even if it is like the parents give their phone to the kids, just having a legal age will never prevent it from happening. For decades, may be centuries, we have criminal laws against murder, has it helped to wipe off the crime? No, people only try and find loop holes and ways to override the law and that is where alternate system gains it’s importance.

And clearly, my opponent has digressed from the topic and has missed the idea of topic when he says “The issue in this debate is not whether we can enforce the law”. The debate is not on the topic “health effects of mobile phones” or “mobile phones and children”, but “That there should be a legal age for using mobile phones”, with emphasize on legal age and relevance and usefulness of such a measure.

Getting on to further points,


Now, why TELEVISION is more important is because of proven incidents with prior scientific backing that excessive usage which obviously happens in most cases harms the eyes and retards the mental growth….!!!

But with mobile phones, we do not have a single incident or any scientific backing. On the contrary, we have other prolonged instances of non-ionizing radiation cases, on which study has been conducted for more than 20 years to see their effect, only to find lack of any direct association of health hazards with radiation.
 Eg: case-control study near Swedish high-voltage power lines

To add, every life on earth is being subjected to ionizing background radiation, US citizens topping the list being subjected to 6.24 millisievert against a global average of 3.01.

If as my opponent says, non-ionizing radiation from mobile phones are potential cancer source, the entire US population being subjected to ionizing radiation of this kind for centuries, should have encountered various forms and degrees of cancer, but luckily statistics says it the opposite.

My opponent has got some sort of fixation over ‘5mm’ things…!!! Every year we hear hundreds dying due to heat waves and strokes all due to solar heat. Wondering if sun is located just 5mm from those dying..!!! Adding to my opponent’s scientific knowledge, distance matters little, what matters is the radiation intensity.

And the thermal imaging and varying glucose consumption patterns are associated with increased blood circulation in that region, which is only due to slight increase in local temperature due to PROLONGED and CONTINUOUS use of mobile phones and that is where parental control and education comes into picture rather than putting a ban by law…!!!!

So once again my opponent’s claims on legal intervention on health basis is rebutted on-

1)  NO EVIDENCE of health hazards or cancers due to any nominal use of mobile phones. All the health regarded claims my opponent has made here is rebutted on pure scientific grounds without using any assumptions and imaginations on which my opponent has primarily relied on…!!!

2)  Unlike my opponent claims, mobile phones have been in use and study for more than 10 years and similar radiation patterns of electromagnetic non-ionizing kind has been studied for longer duration of 25 years, only to find NO ASSOCIATION BETWEEN HEALTH HAZARDS & NON-IONIZING RADIATION.

3)  Even ionizing radiations of similar intensity, do not directly associate with cancer as is shown by the effect of background radiation in US.

4)  And finally, I've clearly shown why legal age in mobile phones can’t be compared with any other, including drinking or driving or buying paints or food products since these are either facilities available outside the home or need to be bought from outside on a continuous manner, unlike mobile phones.


Once again my opponent shows his impatience in not reading what I’ve written. In my 1st round I specified how the proportion of children being subjected to crimes through mobile phones is comparatively far less than the adults. My opponent conveniently overlooks that here. This is because of the very basic fact that children are less social, say under the age of 15-18.

And more, cyber bullying refers to computer based/internet based bullying through online sites, not over phones, where tracking the identity is very simple unlike my opponent argues…!!!

So once again, I rebut my opponent’s idea and the excerpt in this matter and request that he stops falsifying the facts to suit his personal interests…!!!

And it is not to be forgotten how my opponent was all go for children accessing internet and effectively he has no qualms about they falling prey to the online predators lurking in the actual cyber world…!!!! Interestingly devious, indeed…!!!

3.  Travel

Factually all the flight considerations end by a maximum of 14…if that is the only thing my opponent means by travel. However, in a general case travelling by regular road ways or so is more common than flights, which is the upper end case. And children below 12/14/18, all of them travels alone, be that for curricular/extra-curricular/non-curricular purposes or may be even hang out with their friends. And in all these cases, as per my opponent, an adult will be there….!!!
Am I even supposed to retaliate to this joke???
 And my opponent has shown a couple of pictures of children making calls…how many of them do you see with adult/parent/guardian??? None, I bet… And that makes mobile phones handy and helpful and they are a relief for children as well as their parents. To add, they help the children in case they lose their way, be in contact with parents and sometimes even to help themselves save from kidnapping etc.

4.  Internet

My opponent opinionated that internet should be restricted in PC’s also. The point where discussion on internet came was with my argument that mobile phones also help with information, to which my opponent rebutted that internet through PC is a better and safer option. And now that I've enlightened him, how internet can be devious and treacherous, he wants to restrict internet in PC’s also, effectively contradicting himself…!!!

5.  Point of sale

As I've clearly described how useless this can be, I don’t think further discussion is required here and my opponent agrees to my idea, more or less.

6.  Usage in public areas

Mobile communication is a personal affair and not public. My point was, with introduction of law, the entire usage will be of more secretive nature, effectively making my opponent’s statement that they’ll be questioned & caught in public, false.

And once again my opponent has shown his panache for colorful images. Am happy that he didn't put the image of an toddler making a call…!!!! Coming to the point, I wonder what prompted my opponent to think that these ‘kids’ shown in the pictures are below 12 And it was highly inappropriate of my opponent to manipulate facts, because it is obvious that most of those pictured are not below 12..!!

7.  Penalties

It would be inappropriate to penalize parents in this issue, as I've already explained. May be parents can try hiding the phones, but that would only bring in other alternatives for the child. So the best still remains my alternate option of parental overview & proper education system.

8.  Lead paints

Over & again my opponent loses the track of topic. It is not on harmful effects of mobile phones, but on provision of a legal age & how efficient it can be…!!!

As I've already mentioned, the ban/regulation on lead paints or harmful food items is made possible by regulating the production & sale, & that is impossible here…!!!!

I hope my opponent doesn't continue his procession of fallacies.

To conclude my round, assuming a legal age of 12 as my opponent suggested, it is really a depressing sight that my opponent misses the basic child psychology, thinking that 12 year old kids will value legalities more than their own parents/teachers. And because it is the other way...

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-01-14 19:54:56
| Speak Round
nzlockienzlockie (PRO)
I’d like to sincerely thank my opponent for continuing this debate with me on this topic. He’s made a number of accusations about me so far, namely that I have not been giving his argument due diligence, that I’ve been devious and that I’ve been falsifying facts. I’d like to assure him again that none of this is true, and if I’ve given him that impression I sincerely apologise.  

His last round was enlightening about one thing though. It appears that he and I have been arguing a different topic. This is good news for both of us and also for any Judges who have made it to the 4th round as we can now deviate from each other’s arguments.

The topic my opponent is, (and presumably will continue) arguing is that we should not create a law that we can’t practically enforce. His claim is since we can’t enforce making it illegal to use a cell phone below a certain age, then we should not create the law.   

To this point I will state that the purpose of a Law is to establish a base line for what is considered morally right and morally wrong.* Even when a Law is impractical to enforce, it may still need to be there in order to send a clear message to individuals about the kind of behaviour that is expected.


* This is a simplification but since I’ve already stated this purpose in a previous round, phrased a different way, I hope I have communicated my meaning.  


If my opponent disagrees with my contention, he must explain why we have such made such things as Hate Speech, Neglect, Abortion and Euthanasia illegal. All of these things can only be punished when done in a public environment, and yet most societies have legislated against them – even when done in private.  

My argument has been centred around why restrict cell phone use by age at all? My initial contention is that there are only two reasons for a GOVERNMENT to be involved, rather than the Parents. Health of an individual not able to look after themselves, and Criminal activities which will significantly impact society at large.  


Rebuttal and stuff...

My opponent’s last round was littered with little things I’d love to correct, explain and rebut but I fear we may be losing some judges and I have some things I’d like to address in this last round so I’m going to make them very brief. Again, I apologise to my opponent and to the judges for this:  

These statements are simply wrong:  

Alcohol and Drugs, (even Tanning Beds) can’t be borrowed from Parents. – All of these can commonly be found in the home.

Punishing Parents is inappropriate. – we are talking about minors. 3 year olds. 5 year olds, 7 year olds. Parents are legally obligated to care for their children and with a law like this, if the child is guilty it is appropriate for the Parent to be called to account. If it is genuinely found that the child acted on their own then naturally the Parent would be found not guilty.  

We do not have any scientific evidence of cell phone radiation being harmful. – Of course we do. I’ll elaborate more later.

Distance matters less than Radiation intensity. – When radiation is little, distance matters a lot.   

No Adult supervision on the road. – who is driving this vehicle?

Children are subjected to cell phone crime less than Adults. – No proof. I dispute this claim.  

Children are less social. – Sigh. Really? 


These statements demonstrate a misunderstanding of my point. I urge you to re-read the context.  

Internet restrictions –Not restrict as in “Take away altogether”; restrict as in, “Parental Controls” and maybe even, “Limited time, only to do your homework and read your lolcat bible”.

My pictures of cell phone users. – These were actually the first three images on google that had more than two people on phones. Total coincidence that two of them were kids. I posted these to rebut his assertion that people don’t use cell phones in public places.  

I want to address these next points in more detail...  

Why not just let the Parents do it?

I’ve already explained this in most of my rounds but I’ll see if I can expand on it a bit.  

1.  Because the potential problem is already too big. We need drastic action. Now. NOW.

Basically this cell phone phenomenon is moving too fast. Consider this quote:  

“The cell phone industry is one of the fastest growing and strongest global industries in the world today and is even stronger than the pharmaceutical industry. As a multi-trillion dollar industry that funds media around the world they are capable of making sizable political donations and persistent lobbying efforts that dictate government policies, and that also influence science carried out at universities and prominent cancer institutes.  

So while cell phone dangers will one day likely be as well known as tobacco dangers, there's going to be a window when people are extremely vulnerable. And that window is right now. Children are especially vulnerable to damage from cell phone radiation, and should not use them at all.”

- Children’s Health Expert Panel: Cell Phones & Wi-Fi―Are Children, Fetuses and Fertility at Risk?


We need to send a clear message that can’t be ignored before it’s too late. And there are precedents for this. Governments often pass laws under urgency when the situation calls for an immediate response.  

2.  Parents might not agree with the decision. Children suffer.  

Scientists are recommending more study. Medical professionals are recommending immediate action. Schools and Libraries are already taking action. IF they are all right then it is not fair for the child to suffer because their Parents disagreed.  My contention, along with the governments of all the cool countries, (except NZ but they’ll come on board soon) is that we are MORALLY OBLIGATED to protect that child - even against the Parent’s wishes.

By making it law we can quickly and efficiently send the message that this threat is serious and needs to be acknowledged.  

Consider this quote from the same article:

" I do fear that there will come a day that we will all cry because the irreversible damage that we, in our own hands cause the future generation."

- Israel Minister of Health Rabi Yaakov Litzman   


I agree with my opponent. Children will learn best through love and education rather than threats and intimidation. Parents will have a critical role to play in this. But we simply can’t afford to waste time convincing them. Change needs to happen fast and that means letting them know how serious it is.


Studies that support harmful effects of cell phone radiation:  

I have alluded to these studies and many of them have been referenced in the articles and papers I’ve been submitting. The reason that I have resisted actually linking the studies themselves is that the overwhelming majority of experts from both the medical and the scientific community have stated that concrete results will take between 15 and 30 years. I know my opponent knows this. I didn’t want to waste his, mine and everybody’s time by linking a bunch of studies that only hint at the problem. BUT since he’s making a big deal about it…  

2012 BioInitiative Report: Studies that link a huge range of medical issues with Cell Phone radiation.   

Effects of cell phone radiation on baby mice: The babies were born displaying adverse effects.  

NZ study (so you KNOW it’s been done right!) linking brain tumours to cell phone use by kids:

There are three studies, although the BioIniative one is huge and is made up of heaps of studies.  I count that one as double. 

Please bear in mind that EVERYBODY agrees that we need more time to find a concrete link. Many of the suspected effects take years to develop. Basically we are all waiting for De@th. Then we will know for sure. In the meantime, there has been enough evidence to prompt action from many governments around the world.   

The time for action is now. We have waited too long to start a media campaign and it is questionable how effective it would be anyway. We NEED to legislate to send the clear message.  

 Vote PRO. I worked really hard on this.  

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-01-15 00:02:12
| Speak Round
De@thDe@th (CON)

Hello all,

I’d like to begin my last round stating a few facts-

1)  Till date, even after more than 10 years of wide spread usage, sometimes prolonged and spanning even a couple of hours, not even a single case of cancer or any other similarly hazardous condition has been attributed to mobile phones.

2)  Scientific world requests caution and wise usage, just like doctors warn us about sun stroke.

And similarly such warning don’t stop us or the children from going outside and getting exposed to sunlight, warnings on mobile phone usage doesn't require stripping them off from a major class of society. More prolonged studies on similar non-ionizing radiation shows no direct relation between these radiations and health incidents.

3)  Like every other technology, say internet, it is preferred to be wise and judicious in the usage of mobile phones too, the issue needs to be addressed at parental level and probably in schools too. This will help the children have the advantages of mobile phones, but prevent all the undesirable effect.

4)  There are cases where mobile phones have resulted in crimes against children. But such crimes are more against adults. So a ban should contain the adult too, if that is the case. On the contrary internet is a more vicious trap for kids, which is not legally banned. And there are many a number of incidents where mobile phones helped prevent crimes against children. So stripping them of mobile phones in this regard would be highly biased and thoughtless.

5)  As I mentioned in a previous round, a lot of bullying happens in schools. Does that stop us from schooling? Does the government bring law that schooling should be banned? It would be obviously ridiculous if it is that way, right?

Unlike my opponent's idea on of law to establish line of morality, I consider the purpose of law to maintain socio-economic order and prevention of chaos. So in these contexts, the intention when we frame a law should be to avoid and control certain set of actions that we assume/think might happen otherwise. This is true in the case of lead paints and harmful food ingredients, but not with mobile phone. A lick of lead paint by a toddler might prove fatal to his life, but more than 10 years of mobile phone usage has not resulted in a single health fatality.

And my opponent has brought in ideas of “Hate Speech, Neglect, Abortion and Euthanasia”. But which of these is a private affair that you can sit and do in your room without affecting the society? I wonder why my opponent misses the context of public nature of these incidents..!!

My opponent pointed out 2 reasons why government should intervene. And I've clearly shown that neither of these, health & crime issues respectively, is in reality like what my opponent has shown exaggerated. To add, I've shown why my alternate model would prove more beneficial compared to a more detrimental effect of legal intervention.

Examining the rebuttals my opponent has put forward, let me start with a simple question. How many homes have alcohol, cocaine etc. stockpiled and in the reach of an under-12 kid? According to my opponent most homes do. But do we see a society where majority children are drug/alcohol addicted? Obviously, no.!! What might be the reason for this contradiction?

 i.  Parental control and monitor. If children have access to these and still they don’t use these, means there is proper parental overview, which is exactly what I support rather than passing a law and sitting back…!!!!

ii.  May be my opponent is bluffing, manipulating the facts and weaving a cobweb to bias the readers and judges, either of which are not really appreciable…!!!

Now, under-age children use their parent’s phone mostly. So the possibilities are-

 i.  Children take their parent’s phone without consent or their notice.

Some kids steal from their friends. Is it legal to arrest the parents? Similarly here too ,it is inappropriate since it is not with parent’s consent that the children use the phones. May be parents can try hiding the phones, but such acts would only bring in more troublesome alternatives.

 ii.  Parents give their phone to children.

If passing a law alone can curb crimes and wrong doings, world would have become a heaven now. But, is it? So what we need is to address and acknowledge the parents and the children in this issue. And obviously a 5 year old kid cares for his parents more than the complexities of legalities.

I’ll now address my opponent’s claims of scientific evidence of health hazards. My opponent has shown a weird way of not reading the conclusion of these articles, which very clearly say, we have no REAL proof linking mobile phone usage with any fatal health hazard. Having gone through these articles-

a)  The sample consideration is done not on any clear basis, with no analysis(none mentioned) on their previous medical history or occupational history.

b)  Inspite of that no clear carcinogenic growth ever reported and directly linked to mobile phone usage.

c)  In-utero experiments conducted on fetal mice.

My opponent has conveniently forgotten the term ‘in-utero’ & ‘fetal’ & comparing the size of a human and a mice, any frequency will trouble them. It is not to be forgotten that these rodents are highly sensitive to radio-frequency, which we even use in pest control.


Now I hope readers and judges realize why I’ve been saying that my opponent has been trying to bias and manipulate the information, creating wrong notions..!!!

d)  http://www.ehjournal.net/content/12/1/5

All the effects mentioned here are after-effects of wrong usage pattern. Not of the devise itself. That is why we need to have proper acknowledgement and understanding, which can be given only by parents and teachers. To add, these symptoms are not restricted to kids, they are more prominent among adults. Will my opponent now say that usage of cell phones should be totally banned?

The effects mentioned here include tiredness, lack of interest, insomnia etc. But none of these are life threatening as my opponent argues. And even more, none of these are due to mobile phones, but due to the wrong way of usage.

If an individual drives a car rash and creates trouble, we don’t blame car for that. It is the wrong usage we blame & try to correct. Neither do we ban the cars, then why mobile phones?

I hope my opponent’s health-related issues and queries are properly addressed hereby & though the debate rounds end here, I’d like to request my opponent not to manipulate facts & bias the judges like he did with these issues.

Now coming to the technical aspect of radiation, when radiation is little, neither distance nor radiation itself is a problem…!!!

I wonder what supervision means...my opponent says that when am in road the driver is the supervisor…to which I disagree totally. And even with those pictures my opponent has put in his last round, unlike my opponent argues, I could neither find any supervisors, nor any drivers..!!! To add, am happy that my opponent has atleast not told that all those portrayed in the picture were under-12. So what would be the relevance of that picture, where we debate on putting a legal age of around 12?? Once again I can see my opponent’s effort to create a bias here…!!

Cybercrimes are prone less to children. It begins at teenage extending all the way up. So the influence and effect of cybercrimes on under-12 kids are negligible.

And yeah, under-12 children are less social than teenagers or adults. They interact with a smaller closed group of society consisting of their close friends, parents and teachers, which is not the way it is with the adults…!!!

And with internet restrictions, I’ve already mentioned how my opponent contradicted himself and also how internet is a greater trap for crimes and other adult materials than mobile phones. To add, It is not to be forgotten that, cybercrime means internet crimes & not mobile phone crimes…!!

Now coming to my opponent’s idea on legalities, one can always set up a law that children should not use mobile phones. But hoping that they would abide by that would be just too unrealistic. And I've clearly mentioned all through my previous rounds why law can’t make a success here, while parents can. To summarize them-

a)  Unless people are educated and acknowledged proper, having a law is pointless.

b)  Children’s access to mobile phones can’t be stopped by ID controlled sale, since no under 12 kids goes out and buy his phone, it is always belonging to their parents.

c)  Communication/mobile phone usage is not a public affair, so having a law will never help tracking the usage by children.

d)  Neither can a ban/regulation at overall production and sale be brought.

e)  It takes away the entire advantages mobile phones offer to the children and parents like safety and security, communication, travel assistance and information.

Neither would making a law send any message of morality or potential harms. It would only prompt people to find ways they can bypass law.  At the end, we are not animals to be kept frightened by the chains of law, but civilized beings who love being educated & self-empowered…

So what do we do? We practice caution, monitor our children & their actions without taking away anything that helps them. And that is the entire reason why a kid needs parents & teachers and not legalities.

Educate them, let us not frighten them. 

Death is inevitable, but do we spend our days and nights fearing it? Does the probability of traffic accident stop us from driving? We exercise caution, that is what intelligent people try & do. If not this generation, let us atleast try to make future generations more intelligent & let us not strip them off what is rightfully theirs as much is...

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-01-15 16:35:07
| Speak Round
nzlockienzlockie (PRO)
In 2003 the USA and UK declared war on Iraq. The number of cell phone subscriptions in the world was a little over 900 million. Today the number of cell phone subscriptions in the world is likely to exceed the global population at around the 8 billion mark.  

Those figures represent an astonishing amount of growth and our society has changed irreversibly as a result.

The more cellular technology has become integrated into our daily lives, the more scientists and medical professionals have been expressing their growing concern at the potential harmful effects of this technology to our bodies.   


Many studies have been done linking various forms of cancer, brain tumours, sterilisation, concentration disorders and a whole range of other symptoms to cell phone radiation. It’s true that Cancer gets the most media attention and in some ways that’s a shame. Since tumours can take a long time to develop, it is very difficult to produce irrefutable evidence showing that cell phone radiation can accelerate or cause them. But even at this early stage there’s enough science to convince many governments and organisations to pass local laws banning or heavily restricting the use of cell phones – especially by minors.
Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of radiation. During the first 10-12 years of their lives, their bodies are going through the single biggest growth spurt they will ever experience. It’s no coincidence that most of the laws passed by these governments and groups are aimed at protecting the young. They are the most at risk. The authorities have examined the evidence and listened to the experts and the conclusion they’ve come to is that the risk is too great. We’re not only talking about death here, it’s also the myriad of other symptoms – all of which will create a massive physical, social and financial drain on society within one generation.


CON suggests that we leave the decision of where and when our kids can use a cell phone up to the Parents. That they will listen and be educated and ensure that their children use their phones responsibly. I get it, nobody likes it when big brother tells us what to do. But the problem with this approach is that the experts have been TRYING to educate us for the last 10 years! Entire countries are passing laws that make it illegal for minors to use cell phones in public areas such as schools and libraries.  

These are big, bold moves but are still not enough to stop the flow. You’d think they be concerned with Johnny growing up with a sound mind and healthy body, instead paranoid Parents are giving him a cell phone on the off chance he might be one of the 115 children abducted in the USA in 2013.

Far from being the solution, Parents may well be a big part of the problem.

I expected CON to bring many “essential” reasons why kids should have cell phones. I attempted to pre-empt this by showing the upward trend of cyber bullying as well as its very real dangers to society. Text bullying and using phones to humiliate their peers has become common place among our teenagers already. Every year these bullies get younger and younger. Most social media have controls in place to locate and stop these attacks. Cell Phones do not.   

CON brought up TWO “essential” instances that kids “need” cell phones – travelling alone and doing “research” for their studies.  He has not provided any stats to show how many kids even travel alone, let alone provided even ONE example where a child was saved by having a cell phone.

And his claim that not having access the information on their phones will negatively impact their education? Please.  

Judges, this has been a long debate and I don’t want to waste any more of your time by going over my opponent’s “case”. On balance it’s fallen like this – there is significant evidence by reputable experts to suggest that cell phone radiation may be harmful, especially to children.   

On the evidence presented in this debate it has to be said that children not having cell phones would hardly impact them at all and would reduce the instances of bullying. Logically then, the smart move is to set a legal age below which it is not permitted to own or use a cell phone. 
Thank you for your time, and, despite all the nasty things he said about me, I thank my opponent for the lively debate!

Vote PRO – we used lots of pictures and we made that cool gag about “Waiting for De@th".

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-01-16 18:33:22
| Speak Round

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Punam JaiswalPunam Jaiswal
yes its legal
Posted 2016-10-06 05:41:32
Obvious bug is obvious. Fixed for future.
Posted 2014-01-16 19:14:51
Something weird there. I am not CON and I didn't forfeit the reply speech round.
Posted 2014-01-16 18:34:58
I'm not sure either. If it happens again let me know. You might need to avoid putting formatting at the end of your posts because that seems to be connected to it.
Posted 2014-01-15 18:54:09
hi, am using chrome....though my dept don permit it, i jus managed to sneak a bit and get it done...not sure if dats creating any prob....
Posted 2014-01-15 18:25:15
OK, weird. nzlockie's posts all formatted correctly. De@th's had a strange "not closing HTML tags" bug. Fixed manually, but if you don't mind me asking...

What browser are you using, de@th?
Posted 2014-01-15 17:30:31
Oops, yeah, what admin said.
Posted 2014-01-15 17:16:05
Oops, yeah, what admin said.
Posted 2014-01-15 17:15:41
No! We've both made 4 arguments. Now we both have to do a short summary of our whole case. You have to go first because I started.
Posted 2014-01-15 17:15:10
A reply speech round means that there's an extra round at the end of the debate, but the speaking order is reversed, so con goes first, then pro. Your number of characters in a reply round is half that of a regular round.
Posted 2014-01-15 17:14:54
i don't get it....
what does that mean??
will i have to remove my entire text and do it all over again??
Posted 2014-01-15 17:12:59
Woah - just noticed some weird formatting going on here. How did this happen!?

I'll fix this up soon.
Posted 2014-01-15 17:10:27
Yo need to do a "reply speech". Its a short summary of your argument. You're not supposed to introduce any new information.
Posted 2014-01-15 16:44:47
i posted my 4th round and it is asking me to post again...!!!! neither am i aware of wats going on...!!! :(
Posted 2014-01-15 16:39:59
Don't know what happened to the bolding in my 4th round... it didn't look like that before I posted!
Also, sorry I totally had a picture ready to post that round and forgot it.
Posted 2014-01-15 00:05:37
secret topics are interesting, I should admit...!!!!
Posted 2014-01-10 17:39:14
Haha ouch! This'll be interesting!
Posted 2014-01-10 11:43:47
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

2014-01-18 13:29:47
adminJudge: admin    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: nzlockie
This was a close debate, so I spent a few hours mulling it over carefully.

I felt both sides to some extent conceded that cellphones were particularly harmful to youth, especially given con's counter model. Con reframed the debate as being whether cellphones were so harmful to that demographic as to justify an outright ban, as opposed to merely restricting and monitoring that. To this end, con tried to argue that a clear demonstration of such harms was required, while pro asserted that the harms were drastic enough to meet that standard.

Ultimately I don't think either side really presented absolutely persuasive evidence for their contentions either that kids were all going to drop dead, or that there was no significant harm at all. Con's final round forfeit didn't help. I therefore am forced to conclude that this particular issue has no conclusion, and we don't know for sure just how harmful cellphone use is for minors, at least based on the evidence in this debate.

This took me to the second major issue in the debate, on whether we should err on the side of caution when banning stuff, or not. I felt pro lacked a significant amount of focus in this area. On the other hand I felt con's case was based more on the practicalities, which is inherently a weaker argument than the significance of the harm. It rather accepts that some such action should be taken and merely asks how it ought to be enforced, which plays into pro's narrative. Furthermore the resolution does not mandate a particular kind of enforcement. I also felt that the incorporation of parent's education into that model was playing into pro's narrative that harms required responses.

There were dozens of other subpoints. Most got cancelled out somehow.

In the end I felt like De@th probably would have won this debate if he hadn't run a counter-model. It shifted the onus on to him and I don't believe he met it.

I'll put up feedback later, it's quite a bit to type out :)
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