The Instigator
SquareOne
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
YonRoku
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

Beliefs are inherited and rarely questioned.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/2/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,775 times Debate No: 6729
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (3)

 

SquareOne

Pro

This is my first debate. First ever. So be nice. I wanted to bring something up which wasn't already being argued (which was hard to find). So forgive me if this opening argument isn't well thought out and extensive.

My argument that beliefs are inherited and rarely questioned, has two points to it:
1 - beliefs are inherited and
2 - once they manifest, they are generally not questioned.

POINT ONE

To expand on the first point, I will state what I meant by "beliefs" and what I mean by "inherited".

To narrow this argument down to a debatable size, the beliefs I will focus on will be those that are political, social and religious in nature. To further simplify the argument, I will only discuss inheritance from parents or immediate carers. Please note that I am not necessarily suggesting genetic inheritance.

POINT TWO

In stating that the inherited beliefs are not questioned, I am suggesting that the subject does not question them. Rather, they are blindly followed and generally considered as fact.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
My evidence for this argument will generally derived from observation, as I do not have access to surveys or sociology journals.

I consider everything I believe in to be rational and genuine. However, my beliefs in all three areas are very similar to those of my parents. (Here lies a problem. How can my beliefs be genuine if they are inherited from others.)

I have noticed that my friends and their parents share political and religious views. In fact, it has been a fairly consistent in my observations.

Research in the area suggests that there is an obvious transition of beliefs from parents to children. Alternatively, prof. Alan Reifman's (1) research found that college education played a strong roll as well. However there are limitations to this educational influence. Firstly, Reifman's studies focused on a liberal college which accepted mainly republican students - a limited occurrence. Secondly, This education would only be an influence in select courses, such as political science and sociological studies. Lastly, a minority of people receive a college education.

Perhaps some broad evidence for my argument that these beliefs are not questioned can be seen during election times. The political spectrum rarely sees a significant change, even over generations. A particular example could examined through USA's red states and blue states. Certainly there must be a reason that a state remains republican or democrat through generational change.

(1) http://media.www.dailytoreador.com...

That's all I have to start with. Perhaps a response will get the ball rolling....
YonRoku

Con

>I would like to take this opportunity to thank SquareOne for starting this debate and extend a warm welcome to him on behalf of the debate.org community.

>So apparently this debate is over two premises:

(1) Beliefs are inherited

(2) Inherited beliefs are not questioned for accuracy

To give some insight as to what I am going to argue, my opponent makes excellent points which I think are generally evident in society. They are, however contingent on a few rules and fallacies which we cannot apply as he implicates. My rebuttals will basically be my arguments for the round; I won't really make my individual set, just go off of my opponent's rationale.

>On to my opponent's points:

:: Premise 1 - Beliefs Are Inherited ::

>Basically, my opponent's argument is that one comes to "inherit" beliefs on social, religious, and political topics from their parents. I'd like to define both inherit and beliefs (in context, I won't equivocate):

Inherit (3rd definition but easily most relevant): to receive (something) from or as if from a predecessor (http://www.wordsmyth.net...)

Belief (3rd definition but easily most relevant): a notion or idea accepted as true, esp. a religious doctrine (http://www.wordsmyth.net...)

So let's examine what this rule my opponent is trying to impose suggests (example):

Parent believes X

Parent has a Kid

Kid observes that Parent believes X, whether or not Parent has actually imposed X

Kid believes X

So basically, my opponent is claiming that independent thought cannot exist. Kid will believe whatever Parent wants, no matter what. But independent thought exists. An example:

Up until the late 16th century, the entire world believed in a theory known as geocentrism, or that the Sun revolved around the Earth (http://en.wikipedia.org...). As this was the belief for thousands of years, it was basically endorsed by all inhabitants of the world. However, in the late 16th century, heliocentrism, or that the Earth revolves around the Sun, was brought into light from Galileo (http://en.wikipedia.org...). He questioned the norm given by his predecessors and emphasized heliocentrism despite opposition from the government. In fact, the opposition was so strong he was thrown in jail. The fact remains; he certainly supports the existence of independent though.

Further, religion (http://en.wikipedia.org...) has been an immensely common belief for thousands of years. Whether referring to one deity or many, it has been here almost as soon as people. Appearing more and more prominently lately, is atheism (http://en.wikipedia.org...), or the lack religious belief. From thousands to millions of nonbelievers, atheism certainly supports independent thought.

So as can be seen from the above, independent though certainly exists, thus beliefs are not directly inherited, rather influenced. As these concepts are extremely different in that society would not have advanced at all from the stone ages without independent though, this is a reason to vote CON.

:: Premise 2 - Inherited Beliefs are Not Questioned for Accuracy ::

*This point depends largely on the previous point. I will rebut this assuming that the said person/subject has had their given belief for a large number of years in my rebuttal.

>This point is essentially saying that once beliefs are chosen or , as my opponent puts it, "inherited," they are unlikely to change. Basically that we are close-minded once we make up our mind. So I'll start out, like I did last point, with some definitions:

Rarely (1st definition): infrequently; seldom (http://www.wordsmyth.net...)

Question (3rd definition but easily most relevant): to express misgiving or doubt about (http://www.wordsmyth.net...)

Since my opponent explained his viewpoint extensively, let's go over that:

"[He considers] everything [he believes] in to be rational and genuine. However, [his] beliefs in [politics, society, and religion] are very similar to those of [his] parents. (Here lies a problem. How can [his] beliefs be genuine if they are inherited from others[?])

[He has] noticed that [his] friends and their parents share political and religious views. In fact, it has been a fairly consistent in [his] observations."

So let's start out with the trend of beliefs between parents and children. My opponent and I have both established that genetics isn't the cause, rather the environment. So the real question from my opponent is how he can consider his and the beliefs of others rational while coinciding with his parents. There is actually a combination of reasons:

(1) They are correct. I know this sounds like a cop-out, but the parent, guardian, or predecessor is probably right about SOME of their views. Even without their influence at all, you would still agree with them somewhat.

(2) Structured beliefs. Basically, when we formulate our beliefs, we do it in a fortified manner. For example, in a debate, you don't expose flaws in your argument. The same goes for your beliefs. Let's consider the belief of being pro-choice as opposed to pro-life. When you explain why you choose this belief, you simply claim that it is the woman's choice, right? You would never mention the ethical, moral, and other assorted objections from others. Thus we apply this to the modern formation of beliefs. I will choose the example of Christianity (please do not consider this anti-Christian, it is merely an example which works rather well):

Parent is a Christian

Parent has a Kid

Kid observes that Parent is a Christian or Parent tells Kid that he is a Christian

Kid asks how Parent knows that God exists

Parent responds that God is eternal and must exist for the universe to be existent

Whether or not the example is true in anyone's case I cannot say, but this is the basic questioning process. We question, but structured beliefs often leave out the cons and are extremely focused on the pros. Or visa versa.

As I have already pretty much addressed the observations and research by my opponent, let's move on to his election notion:

"Perhaps some broad evidence for my argument that these beliefs are not questioned can be seen during election times. The political spectrum rarely sees a significant change, even over generations. A particular example could examined through USA's red states and blue states. Certainly there must be a reason that a state remains republican or democrat through generational change."

I grant this notion as generally true, but the reasons are explained above. What I would like to address is the swing voting population. As can be seen from the poll results leading up to the election (http://www.realclearpolitics.com...), there was a large amount of variation in the results. So essentially, we often change our mind in cases where our precedents are addressing different topics. Rather than inheriting beliefs from either Obama or McCain, people made educated decisions based upon the topic itself rather than simply because a respected individual said so. This is demonstrative of our ability to question and also to decide for ourselves rather than "inheriting beliefs."

>So, in closing, you can vote CON for the reasons above. I reiterate my welcoming of my opponent to this site and wish him the best of luck. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
SquareOne

Pro

I thank my opponent, YonRoku, for his response and hospitality.

Beliefs are inherited and rarely questioned.

Thankfully, my opponent's response is both what I'd expected and hoped for. My opponent has caused the stone to roll by bringing up some fantastic points for my argument.

I intend to construct this response with non-contentious reasoning. If the reader does not agree with a statement, the following statement will put it into context.

I will once again clearly separate the two points of my argument.

POINT ONE - Beliefs are inherited

My opponent has deconstructed my argument well. However, his interpretation of my argument is incorrect.
He has noted that I claimed independent thought cannot exist. This is completely untrue.

In starting, let me define independent thought. (www.wordsmyth.net)
Independent (3rd def.) not needing the support of advice of another; self-sufficient.
Thought (2nd def.) the product of mental processes, esp. a single notion.
In brief, independent thought is answering your own questions, or solving your own problems.

Children learn from their parents. They see them walk, they walk. They listen to them talk, they talk. They ask them questions, they get answers. These answers can be godly or ungodly, conservative or liberal. You trust your parents and you learn from them. That is nature. Children do not dedicate themselves to walking to the end of the world to see what is at the end - they ask their parents. Thus, at this point independent thought is limited and this is where beliefs are inherited.

Here is where my opponent has misunderstood me. As a person develops and questions their surroundings, they exercise independent thought. However, in their surroundings they will often observe things that support and thus strengthen their beliefs. **That Galileo idiot can't be right! If the world was round all the seas would wash down to the bottom and fall off!

Or, "That bird is so beautiful that it must be a result of god's work" or, "that bird has evolved with prettier colours to attract a better mate"

BOTH of these answers can be considered rational depending on the existing belief. BOTH answers are the result of independent thought processes but BOTH reinforce the original beliefs.

The person who was raised as religious is not going to assert, "that bird's colours are obviously the result of evolution, my parent's were wrong!". Likewise is the case with the non religious observer.

Thus, observations made with one's independent thought are likely to to support the existing belief.

Of course this independent questioning could lead to a change in beliefs but NONETHELESS, beliefs were inherited beforehand.

My opponent stated:

"Independent thought certainly exists, thus beliefs are not directly inherited, rather influenced. As these concepts are extremely different in that society would not have advanced at all from the stone ages without independent thought."

My opponent is suggesting that inheriting political, religious and social beliefs from our forefathers does not involve independent thought.

He is also suggesting that the exercising of independent thought will result in a change of opinion.

I think I have demonstrated otherwise above.

********************************
My opponent has based his entire response around the claim that my argument denies the existence of independent thought, which is false. For this reason I would ask the reader to disregard any points my opponent had successfully made under the false assumption that I have now dismissed.
********************************

______________________
Independent thought does exist, but is does not change the standing of my argument. Vote PRO
______________________

My opponents ending point was:
"... independent thought certainly exists, thus beliefs are not directly inherited, rather influenced."

The major flaw in this statement is my opponent does not understand the meaning of inheritance. He has assumed that because a belief has changed or been influenced into becoming something else, it is no longer an inheritance. This is an incorrect understanding of the term.

Here is an example:
I inherit a house from my grandparents. I paint the house pink. I sell the house to a South African couple who tear it down to make way for a golf course. Did I inherit the house?
Yes.

Regardless of later influences and changes to a persons beliefs, the inheritance was the first thing to happen. It was direct. Right at the start.
___________________________
My reasoning above has shown us that **beliefs are inherited**. Vote PRO
___________________________

POINT 2

My opponent began his response to this point by stating:

"This point depends largely on the previous point."

I would ask the reader to take into account that I have denied his previous point. Thus, any problem I present below is in addition to the "independent thought" misinterpretation.

My opponent presented this historical reference:

"Up until the late 16th century, the entire world believed in a theory known as geocentrism, or that the Sun revolved around the Earth (http://en.wikipedia.org......). As this was the belief for thousands of years, it was basically endorsed by all inhabitants of the world. However, in the late 16th century, heliocentrism, or that the Earth revolves around the Sun, was brought into light from Galileo (http://en.wikipedia.org......). He questioned the norm given by his predecessors and emphasized heliocentrism despite opposition from the government. In fact, the opposition was so strong he was thrown in jail. The fact remains; he certainly supports the existence of independent though."

This is in-fact a perfect example to support both points of my argument. In Galileo's time, everybody for generations had been raised with the belief that the world was flat. I think we can quite safely assume that this belief would've first been presented to a child by their parents, followed by the same independent questioning and strengthening of the belief that I presented earlier.

Galileo was unquestionably a rarity. He actively sought to disprove something he and everyone else had always believed. The fact that Galileo was jailed is testament to the fact that beliefs are rarely questioned. Galileo was an opposition to these peoples' beliefs and they were not willing to question them.

-Galileo was the rare person to question a belief.

-The community who jailed him were to people who would not question their beliefs.

Thus,
__________________
Beliefs are **rarely questioned**.
__________________

My opponent deconstructed my second point equally as accurately as the first.

However following this deconstruction, my opponent states:

"Whether or not the example is true in anyone's case I cannot say, but this is the basic questioning process. We question, but structured beliefs often leave out the cons and are extremely focused on the pros. Or visa versa."

Firstly, this is very similar to the argument I presented in my first point when confirming the presence of independent thought. However, reference is made to a questioning process, and this is important. I wish to propose that it is not the beliefs that are being questioned, merely the surroundings. This questioning leads to the reinforcement of the belief far more often than the weakening.

In conclusion to this point I will address my opponents rebuttal regarding swing voting.

I made an error in presenting this example, which was to assume the presence of a compulsory voting law that isn't present in the USA. My explanation of the large significance swinging votes would be the fact that campaigning has the ability to effect voter registration. However there is another factor which I will present in more depth in my final argument, and that is people who are raised with uncommitted or contradicting beli
YonRoku

Con

YonRoku forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
SquareOne

Pro

I was relying on my opponent's rebuttal to continue this debate further.
It would appear that his account has been closed, which is disappointing.
YonRoku

Con

YonRoku forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by SquareOne 7 years ago
SquareOne
I don't know why the end of my second round was cut of. I was within the character limit by 50.

Good luck for the second round YonRoku :)
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
Answer: Because the director only cares about making a quick buck.
Posted by SquareOne 7 years ago
SquareOne
Why Keanu Reaves?
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
And that picture looks like a demon . . . who will most unfortunately be played by the dull as heck actor Keanu Reaves (whose only good film was the Matrix . . . and even that wasn't that good).
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
Nope, it's just you.
Posted by SquareOne 7 years ago
SquareOne
I had to delete this and start again, just to edit it. Has anyone else had troubles editing debates?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by MewxVenus 7 years ago
MewxVenus
SquareOneYonRokuTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:41 
Vote Placed by jjmd280 7 years ago
jjmd280
SquareOneYonRokuTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
SquareOneYonRokuTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70