The Instigator
meganlg43
Pro (for)
Tied
24 Points
The Contender
nini722
Con (against)
Tied
24 Points

5. War memorials do more harm than good.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,024 times Debate No: 3493
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (16)

 

meganlg43

Pro

First of all I'd like to say that examples of memorials eligible for DGR status would include structures such as statues, honour rolls, decorative gates, monuments, obelisks, ornamental bridges and fountains, that are a focus for public commemorations.

I would like the Judge to notice that these are all objects that are meant to make someone have a certain reaction, usually respect and honor, but weather or not that person has a memorial dedicated to them doesn't take away the respect of honor they've earned, it just represents it. So i'd like to say that these objects can do more harm than good, and also, just like it can have positive reactions it can have negative ones too.

I have 5 main examples of how war memorials bring more harm than good.

1. A memorial could be harmful if it was poorly constructed or designed. For example if the memorial has slippery steps in winter, if there are pieces falling off.

2. War memorials can be harmful to the environment if the construction damaged wetlands or animal habitat.

3. A memorial like a Nazi memorial or Confederate memorial could be used as a rallying point for subversive groups and cause major controversy.

4. A war memorial could glamorize war and take away from the true cost of the lives it was supposed to honor.
Generally, a war memorial should be built to honor the lives of the men and women who fought in that war. It should never glamorize their actions.

5. A memorial could be expensive and take funds away from other, more necessary, projects.

Honor does not come from being a name on the wall. The name on the wall simply represents the honor, courage, and sacrifice of that individual. Therefore, you must see how war memorials do more harm than good, because the only Con argument i can really see so far is that war memorials give honor and respect, but the war veterans have that weather or not they have a memorial.

Thank You :)
nini722

Con

First off I would like to say Hello and Good Luck!

I think that those were all good examples of what we could consider as monuments but I would also like to point out museums, graves, and arches should be added to that list especially for this topic.

I would also like to point out that war memorials are not just erected to commemorate people or for a reaction. In ancient times most war memorials were erected to commemorate victories and decisive battles like the Arc de Triomphe. They were used to show how powerful the nation or military force was. Commemorating the dead became a primary concern after WWI. The British were among the first to erect memorials for soldiers around the turn of the century. Most memorials before the 20th century were built to represent strength and victory of the countries military.

I would like to go through the 5 examples that you brought up.

1. This could be said about anything. Anything that is poorly constructed is obviously going to do more harm than good physically. But my question is does it really take away from the message the structure is there to represent just because it is poorly constructed?

2. Another "if". most monuments today are carefully planned out and locations are strategically placed. Most modern war memorials are erected in urban areas or in the middle towns where the whole community gathers. Other types of war memorials are built on land that was destroyed during battle. So does it really matter that they decided to build it on damaged land? Today with all the controversy surrounding the environment its highly unlikely that organizations fighting to protect the environment would allow a monument to be erected that could harm a habitat. Also in some countries monuments are erected that help the environment. In Ireland there is a war memorial garden for instance.

3. This again could be said about anything. A subversive group could use the local 7-11 as a rallying point. War memorials are controversial no matter what. war is war and every group that has participated in one no matter what side they were on has the right to commemorate their cause and those that died for it even if the majority of society thinks they are wrong or they lost.

4. War memorials are not there to glamorize war. I stated above that they commemorate victories and decisive battles. They do not to glamorize war as a whole. They educate and represent things of the past. I have to disagree with your last sentence. I think they should glamorize or a better word would be glorify a person's actions. There are statues for men who gave their lives by jumping on grenades saving the lives of countless others. Or how about the countless Holocaust memorials throughout Eastern Europe to commemorate things like the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising where a small group of Jewish resistance fighters held off the SS for weeks. Their actions proved that willpower and incredible courage can overcome anything. The actions of a person who is so selfless that they give their life for their fellow comrade should be honored.

5. Most memorials are funded by organizations that take private donations. If people want to give money to erect a memorial who are we to say hey you could do this with that money? If they want a memorial then that is their decision to erect it. National memorials are the same thing. They are partially funded by the government and then private donations are made to the project.

So as you can clearly see my argument is not simply that memorials represent honor and respect for those who died. I argue that they are erected to educate future generations of the events of wars. Memorials are not harmful. They are a testament to events and people when there are no longer witnesses to convey these events to others. They do not just represent those who gave their lives but are a reminder of the past and that history should not repeat itself.
Debate Round No. 1
meganlg43

Pro

Why Hello there, and Good Luck to you too :)

I would like to say that they're not just monuments. A gate is not a monument, nor is a bridge. The war memorial has to be a focus for public commemoration. You brought up museums, most museums are inside, and while may be open to the public they are not a public commemoration.

Now I will defend my arguments.

1. She said that these can be said about anything, and while that may be true we're not talking about just anything.
We're not allowed to have guns in school because they can kill people. Well, virtually any object can be used to kill a person, so does that mean that no one should be allowed to have any possessions?? Most would say No. What we're debating on now is War Memorials and how they can have negative effects. And just because it could be about anything doesn't take away from that.

Also, i would like to point out, that she didn't disagree that if it's poorly constructed it's a harm. She only said that it can be said about anything.

2. <"most monuments today are carefully planned out and locations are strategically placed. Most modern war memorials are erected in urban areas or in the middle towns where the whole community gathers.">
This may be true about MOST MODERN memorials, but what about the older ones, and the other ones that aren't so carefully thought out as Con claims? We didn't just now start making them, they've existed for quite some time, and years ago the constructors may not have known what they were building on, what it's effects could be, or what was going to happen to the land.

3. <"A subversive group could use the local 7-11 as a rallying point.">
I guess, in extreme cases, this could be true. If all that 7-11 is doing is serving gasoline and slushies, and at the same time starting major controversy, rallies, and other drastic measures, wouldn't it be doing more harm than good? Such as with war memorials.
And yes, war memorials are controversial no matter what--and that's the problem. That people from one side of the fence will make matters more trouble than they're worth.

4. <"War memorials are not there to glamorize war. I stated above that they commemorate victories and decisive battles.>"

What she says is that War memorials may not be intended to glamorize war... but that doesn't mean they won't have that effect. Whether or not they intend to glamorize war as a whole doesn't mean they won't. Also, I am by no means saying that someone who gave their live for others doesn't deserve honor, but what also needs to be realized that harm is harm. A giant statue of a unicorn could be placed in a bad spot and make people upset, so-- most would say, just take it down, but turn in into a statue of a man or woman who died and there's nothing wrong with it..contradictory. And also, weather or not the soilders who gave lives have a memorial in there name or not, doesn't mean they don't have honor. They don't need a memorial for that.

5. Again with the "most" most may be, but others may not be. And memorials are not inexpensive by any means, so any percentage taken from the government could be used for something more necessary, as same with the organizations, they could use that money for a more helpful cause.

-
Con's main point that is recurring in her speech is that the harms these are creating could be with anything. This is true, but just because it could be about anything doesn't mean it's irrelevant and doesn't matter. It does matter, The men and women will still have the honor from those that support them no matter what, and statue doesn't determine that.
nini722

Con

You're right I don't necessarily disagree with you that a poorly constructed memorial is harmful...but my point there was that you're argument was too broad. It can be said about any type of poorly constructed structure. What do guns have to do with war memorials? I asked does it being poorly constructed take away from the message it is trying to convey to the public? It could physically harm people but what i got from the topic at hand was not physical "harm" but more of stirring up controversy and negative impact.

2. You could not possibly expect countries to rip down their memorials? memorials are really not that big of a concern tot he environment, old and new. its the cities that were built up around them. The people in the cities, and the things that go on in the city that are the problem.

3. Yes war memorials are controversial because war itself is controversial. But my main point here was that people have a right to commemorate their dead no matter what side they were on. As human beings we should respect others way of honoring their dead even if we disagree with it. Once again your point was very broad, In general my point was that a subversive group could pick any place to use as a rallying point. A memorial for the Nazis or Confederacy may stir up some controversy and could be used as a rallying point but you take it down they will still believe what they believe and they will just find some other place to meet.

4. My argument to your point that memorials glamorize war is that they do not. I argue that they educated future generations. When no one is alive that witnessed the horrors of war we will have these structures, museums, plagues whatever you consider a memorial so that hopefully people will see the horrors of the past and history will not repeat itself. They represent those who have given their lives for a cause. Yes, people will always have their respect and honor even without a memorial but we have been erecting memorials for the dead since the beginning of time. A tombstone can be considered a memorial, so does that mean we need to go marching through Arlington and rip down all the tombstones because that person died as a result of warfare? Memorials are educational tools as much as they are there to commemorate the dead

5. Yes those funds could be used for another cause but that's what those people gave money for. that is what the organization raised money for, that is what the government chose to fund so yes while they could put funds toward other projects that is what people wanted. who are we to tell them how they should spend their money?

My main argument was not that we can say ANYTHING is harmful. My argument is that the positive aspects of memorials out weigh the negative. We have been building memorials since the beginning of time. Every culture has its own war memorials. The practice of erecting war memorials can be traced back thousands of years and that because of them we learn about our history and the actions of those people who fought in those wars. we need them to educate those who come after us.
Debate Round No. 2
meganlg43

Pro

Con has said:
<"It could physically harm people but what i got from the topic at hand was not physical "harm" but more of stirring up controversy and negative impact.">

Harm can be defined by www.dictionary.com as 'physical injury or mental damage'
So 'harm' is both physical and mental.

What I've interpret Con's argument is to say that War Memorials don't create mental harm, only physical, so it's okay. She also states through out her case that because the harm is broad that it's invalid. But that's not the case, the point that I was trying to make with the gun analogy is that just because it can be said about many things doesn't mean that the harm is gone.

I will now defend and further prove my arguments.

1. Con has stated: <"You're right I don't necessarily disagree with you that a poorly constructed memorial is harmful...but my point there was that you're argument was too broad.>"

Con has also stated:

<"Anything that is poorly constructed is obviously going to do more harm than good physically.">

I believe by what I have proved by simply defining the word "harm" that my argument is stronger. And Con has agreed that if a War Memorial were to cause physical harm by being poorly constructed it would do more harm than good.

2. <"You could not possibly expect countries to rip down their memorials? memorials are really not that big of a concern tot he environment, old and new.">

I don't expect countries to rip down their memorials. This debate is not on what should be done about harmful memorials. It is only on whether or not War Memorials are harmful. And by Con saying that they can't be expected to be ripped down for being harmful, it seems as though she sees they can be harmful.
War memorials are a concern to the environment, old and new, because they are placed on an animal's home, and the construction of the memorial alone could have destroyed their habitat.

3. <"Yes war memorials are controversial because war itself is controversial">

War itself is controversial, but by constructing war memorials, it only encourages it. Take for example a simpler controversial topic such as abortion. Some people are Pro-Choice, some are Pro-Life, but the ones who are Pro-Life usually just deal with the fact that there are people out there for abortions--but would be fumed if there were something dedicated to the point of abortions being good, and encouraging them, and you can bet they'd do something about it.
Such as can be looked at with war and war memorials.
They only encourage the controversy.

4. <"My argument to your point that memorials glamorize war is that they do not. I argue that they educated future generations.">

She states that War memorials don't glamorize war, but they are almost there to do just that. To get people to know what has happened. Con states that War Memorials a there to educate us. But Textbooks, Old newspapers, and word of mouth have done more than War Memorials have as far as learning about the war goes.
So i would like to bring up what I have said before, war memorials are mainly to bring honor and respect, but the men and women who have died have that weather or not they have a monument dedicated to them.

5. Con is right in saying that we have no right to tell people how to spend there money. But at the same time, who are we to let them spend it on something harmful to many. Also, many war memorials are often funded by donations that people have asked for, money that if never was asked for to build a war memorial, could have been used for a better and more necessary project.

-The positive aspects of War Memorials do NOT outweigh the negative.
Her two main points were that War Memorials bring honor and respect, and that they educate future generations. And I have proven that those 2 reasons aren't enough to make war memorials do more good than harm because we have other things that serve the same purposes. I have also kept my 5 reasons strong on why the War Memorials do more harm than good.

Thank you for the debate :)
nini722

Con

nini722 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ChevySdyme99 9 years ago
ChevySdyme99
nope lumpy and I are not same person
Posted by LaSalle 9 years ago
LaSalle
Chevy and Lumpy, same person much?
Posted by ChevySdyme99 9 years ago
ChevySdyme99
you may want to speciify that before then, i am an Iraq veteren and hate when people that have no idea what war is start running there mouth.
Posted by meganlg43 9 years ago
meganlg43
I'm not sure if either of you are aware of the Online Debate Tournament going through this site...but that's what this debate was apart of.
I was given a topic, and I debated it.
That does NOT mean that these are my views.
Posted by ChevySdyme99 9 years ago
ChevySdyme99
Have you made any sacrfice in war? What was the last war you fought in? With you being 15 years old my guess is none. Why don't you go enlist in Marine Corps, go do a combat tour, put your life on the line and loose your bothers in arms. Then come back and see how you fee about war memeorials.
Posted by lumpyballsIV 9 years ago
lumpyballsIV
I dont care about anything the Pro says, when you have grand parents that fight in past wars and your saying there memory is harmful, you can go somewhere evil. Im not even going to say it. There is a reason for a memorial and that is for remembrance, thats it. D-day and all the WWII, vietnam, korean, all these memorials are there for a simple reminder that freedom does come that easily. And when people dont give a hoot about US war veterans, pretty soon there history will be completely forgotten. The Pro keeps saying that "this could happen" or "can happen" well if it hasnt happened yet than there is no problem.
Posted by left_wing_mormon 9 years ago
left_wing_mormon
Very interesting debate. It was very fast paced and both of the debaters worked well off of each other. I voted Pro, but I want to let it known that Con was very good here as well, and I'm not voting Pro because Con didn't respond the last round.
Posted by Brik 9 years ago
Brik
Nevermind that. Darn snow. Somebody post on Facebook and I'll deliver my lengthy RFD.
Posted by Brik 9 years ago
Brik
Hey there. This is Ben Kantack, the judge for this round checking in. I noticed that this debate has a little over one day remaining before the final argument is posted. Just wanted to let you guys now that I will most likely not be able to read the debate and post my decisions until Saturday evening.

That is all.
Posted by Johnicle 9 years ago
Johnicle
This just in... A War Memorial kills three in Pakistan... Experts believe the War Memorial came to life and grabbed an AK-47 and continued to slaughter everyone in sight. The fact that only three died is merely amazing. Right now, the hospitals are filled with the injured and we can only hope that these horrendous war memorials seize to exist!

;-)
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