The Instigator
GeoLaureate8
Pro (for)
Winning
44 Points
The Contender
rougeagent21
Con (against)
Losing
25 Points

America is Not a Free Nation

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 13 votes the winner is...
GeoLaureate8
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/19/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,032 times Debate No: 8357
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (40)
Votes (13)

 

GeoLaureate8

Pro

I assert that America and its people are not free. I will let my opponent argue his/her position first.

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rougeagent21

Con

America- a republic in the N Western Hemisphere comprising 48 conterminous states, the District of Columbia, and Alaska in North America, and Hawaii in the N Pacific.

Republic- a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives freely chosen directly or indirectly by them.

Free- enjoying personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery: a land of free people.

Nation- a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own: The president spoke to the nation about the new tax.

My argument is a simple one. By definition, America (The United States of) is a republic. In a republic, citizens are free, especially so as in they are not slaves. Since America is a republic, and in a republic, the citizens are free, America's people are free. Therefore, America is a "free" nation. The resolution is negated.

All definitions are taken from the American Heritage Dictionary.
Debate Round No. 1
GeoLaureate8

Pro

I'd like to first thank my opponent for accepting this debate and for the prompt response. I will now proceed to present my argument.

===========
{quote}Free- enjoying personal rights or liberty, as a person who is not in slavery: a land of free people.

My argument is a simple one. By definition, America (The United States of) is a republic. In a republic, citizens are free, especially so as in they are not slaves. Since America is a republic, and in a republic, the citizens are free, America's people are free. Therefore, America is a "free" nation. The resolution is negated.

All definitions are taken from the American Heritage Dictionary.{/quote}
===========

The definition of freedom you used is not true freedom. The people of America have only 'some' personal rights, 'some' liberty. The African American slaves of the past few centuries also had 'some' rights such as the right to sing, the right to work, etc. Just because the people of our nation have a few rights, does not mean we are truly free. It is false to suggest we are not living in slavery.

I define true and complete freedom as "exemption from external control, interference, and regulation." [1]

- Are we exempt from external control? No.

- Are we exempt from interference? No.

- Are we exempt from regulation? No.

Unless these three things are fulfilled, we the people of America are not free.
Therefore, the resolution is not negated.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...

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rougeagent21

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent wants to argue semantics. I apologize to you voters, and I will try to keep this as painless as possible.

Reading the debate, you will notice that my opponent is affirmative. That means that (traditionally) the burden of proof falls primarily on him, as well as the burden of defining terms. My opponent did neither of these in his first speech, so I obliged. Now, my opponent is trying to tell you that my definition is incorrect, even though he initially offered no definition of his own. Had he provided his, this debate would have been more interesting. Therefore, please accept my definition over his, as he failed in his duty to provide one. Having not argued any of my other definitions, I can only assume that he agrees with them.

Since we are using my definition, we can clearly see that America is free. Therefore, I urge a negative vote. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
GeoLaureate8

Pro

My opponent insisted that I was arguing semantics, but this is clearly not the case. It is he whose argument is based on semantics seeing as he just defined nearly every word in the resolution and based his entire argument off of it. I was arguing the concept of freedom and how we are deprived of it.

I clarified in my initial argument what I meant by saying "America and its 'people' are not free." Therefore, people who actually undertand what true freedom is, do not need it defined. Since you provided a definition that was a misrepresentation of freedom, I provided a definition that explains what true and complete freedom is. Your definition described 'partial' freedom granted by the government. You are simply arguing that our country as a governing body is considered to be a free nation. This does not solve the issue. You assert that the power rests in the hands of the people because we vote every 4 years as part of a Republic. This is simply not true. We are given the illusion of choice because most of the candidates are already a part of the establishment.

Because my opponent insisted on using his definition of freedom, he did not address the reasons why we are not free.

So my initial argument still stands. We are not exempt from external control, interference, and regulation. Therefore America and its people are not free.

In conclusion, my opponent feels that freedom is determined by how many rights the government gives us. For that, I would like to provide a quote that counters this notion.

"All freedom is our natural and eternal right, not the gift of some dark suit or uniform to decide if it's going to give it to us or not." - David Icke

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rougeagent21

Con

rougeagent21 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
40 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by PhreedomPhan 7 years ago
PhreedomPhan
Congratulations, Geo. I got a message from Debate that you'd won. I have to say, though, anyone who thinks America is free must be living in a cave.

Rick
Posted by Kefka 8 years ago
Kefka
Love it when people try to win an argument with just a pretentious, definition confined, argument. Semantics always, in my opinion, need to be taken into account. Now if Con was confused at to how they would argue, then I would understand; but still, just change your argument. :P
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Definitions are derived from the way words are actually used, not by the way anyone wishes they are used. An example is "abortion is murder." Anti-abortionist wish it were defined that way, but they are the only ones who use that definition. It's true that definitions change over time, but in a debate it is not reasonable to assert a new definition without declaring it at the outset.
Posted by Mimo1991 8 years ago
Mimo1991
Yeah, I'm going to have to agree what Geo said. It makes perfect sense.
Posted by GeoLaureate8 8 years ago
GeoLaureate8
True freedom does not mean you can just take someone's life because then you would be robbing that person of their freedom.

Do you really feel free when you are being externally controlled, interferred with, and regulated? Do you feel free when you are forced to do things against your will with the consequence of decreased health and living standard?

If you think having a few rights granted by the government is the common definition of freedom, well, it's sad that society excepts such a mediocre, fallacious definition.

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Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
So Geo, should we be allowed to shoot door-to-door solicitors, to rob banks, and to run clever frauds? If you say "no" then obviously you just don't know you are in prison. "Freedom" really means total lack of restrain by society, right? Nah, it's bunk. It is legitimate to argue that freedom ought to be increased, but it's not legitimate to argue that only your personal definition of freedom is valid, and the common definition is invalid. And you keep your personal definition a secret until after the debate is accepted. That's a semantic game.

How about debating the virtues of truth, honesty, or justice -- the personal definitions will be kept secret until you accept the debate, then you will be bound whatever happens to be revealed.
Posted by rougeagent21 8 years ago
rougeagent21
How about you put up your definition first next time, instead of trying to tell me that my attempt to fix your mistake is wrong?
Posted by GeoLaureate8 8 years ago
GeoLaureate8
RoyLatham, you are living in a prison cell, but you can't see the bars. I'm sorry that you feel you are free. There was no semantic "dancing" done by me. I was arguing the concept of freedom. He was forcing me to abide by his pseudo-free version of freedom, but I declined. I clarified what true and complete freedom is, and obviously you are content with your prison cell.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
The commonsense meaning of the word "free" --which Con asserted-- cannot be overcome by semantic dancing. A person can be free even if he is not allowed to shoot his neighbors -- or whatever.
Posted by PhreedomPhan 8 years ago
PhreedomPhan
A man can crawl on his belly and breathe coal dust into his lungs all day in a mine. He can walk behind a plow from sun up to sundown. He can mix mortar and lay brick and stone in the hot sun for 10 to 12 hours a day. He can walk up a steep hill with a bookcase full of books strapped to his back. He can put in long hours in a steel mill with blazing hot steel flying by. One burden, however, that most men seem unable to bear is that of freedom. I think that's why the brief outbreaks of liberty are so easily extinguished. That's why America lost its freedom long ago, if, in fact, it ever had it.
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Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
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