20th Dumb Ox Debate decides that you should delete your Instagram

Photo by Mary-Grace Byers

Estelle Mandeville

Staff Writer

On Sunday, Sept. 20, the Dumb Ox Debate, which was the first of the semester and the first in Finnegan Fieldhouse, decided that you should delete your Instagram account.

The motion the house presented was, “This house believes that you should delete your Instagram.” It won by just over a 50% vote. It was so close that the house had to recount the vote.

Nicholas Larkins, graduate student in philosophy and Catholic studies, opened the debate by affirming the motion. He started by saying that the voters should be convinced by intellectual means, not by their passions. He argued that Instagram is malicious because it is not conducive to human virtue.

Larkins said, “Virtue is the essence in question.”

Senior Justine Smykowska, a political science major and a theology minor, also affirmed the house’s statement. Smykowska argued that Instagram supports the sins of pride, jealousy and sloth. Therefore, it should be deleted. She refuted that Instagram is good for evangelization.

“We just keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling, and it does nothing,” said Smykowska.

Junior Bridget Christensen, a political science major and human life studies minor, opposed the motion. She argued that Instagram is a good evangelization tool. Christensen said that college-aged people need to learn how to use Instagram for good because they have been raised with the internet.

“We are not too good to use social media for the glory of God,” said Christensen.

Senior Jacob Schmiesing, a chemistry and philosophy double major, also opposed the motion. He argued that Instagram is a tool to be used and is therefore neither good nor evil itself.

The way that someone uses Instagram makes it good or evil. Schmiesing also debated the word “you” in the motion, since “you” could be either singular or plural. He argued that the “you” was plural. If everyone deleted Instagram, no one would be on the platform to evangelize.

Schmiesing said, “Not everyone should delete Instagram.”

Then, the floor was open to speeches made by whoever wished to come forward. These speeches debated the meaning of the term “you” in the motion. They also discussed privacy concerns, other content on Instagram and the fact that the Veritas Society has an Instagram account.

Freshman Max Anthony said, “Through the debate, people were able to question whether or not they should delete Instagram.”

The Veritas Society sponsored the Dumb Ox Debate.