The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Conservative values have no place in a progressing world.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/28/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 573 times Debate No: 53506
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (1)




The argument I am going to attempt to present here is that the only way the world can move on and progress is by liberalness and I will also prove that conservative values have no place in the modern world.

Round one: Acceptance.
Round two: Introductory argument. (pro)
Round three: Introductory argument (con)
Round four: Counter argument (pro)
Round five: Counter argument (con)

- Sources should be given if used.
- Plagiarism is highly unacceptable.


I would first like to thank PRO for instigating this debate. It should be fun and engaging.

I shall be arguing that conservative values do have a place in a progressing world. However, i refuse to accept the false-dichotomy of conservatism-liberalism. What i mean is that i shall be arguing that it is a combination of liberal and conservative values that is the only way forward. (I use "only" to try to keep BoP as shared as possible. If my opponent would like me to change this, please address this within the comment section.)

My overall position is that Libertarianism and the values therein are the best way to progress. There are liberal and conservative values within Libertarian philosophy, so i will likely agree with my opponent up until a point. This will likely be a debate on what best leads to progress, and how that is necessarily the case given a particular set of values.

My opponent's Round Rules are confusing, and unacceptable, given the Five round count. I shall present an ediited version.

R1: Acceptance
R2: Introductory Arguments Both sides
R3: Counter Argument (Rebuttals; Con may not defend)
R4: Counter-Counter Argument (Defense)
R5: Ending arguments.

I would like to request of my opponent that neither of us use the last round to present new arguments. This will ensure that we attack all possible arguments within an agreeable time frame.

I look forward to my opponent's Opening Arguments. Best of luck to you!
Debate Round No. 1


I will now state why indeed I think that conservative elements are not productive in modern society and therefore will state how it has now place in the modern world.

Conservatism could well be said to be the domination of society but the wealthy and classic the aristocracy. Pharaohs, medieval warlords to the rich and powerful to the world today these people and their allies are conservatives. These people are considered immoral and elitist of course this is not a generalization of conservatism but more so a judgement on the ruling elite within the ranks of conservatism.

Conservatism is incompatible with democracy, prosperity, and civilization in general. It is a destructive system of inequality and prejudice that is founded on deception and has no place in the modern world.
Now the tactics of conservatism vary from nation to nation or society to society but the common ground all conservatives share is a superiority complex against the common man an internalized attitude. They mask economic objectives through social issues. Bbut this is almost backward: the true goal of conservatism is to establish an aristocracy, which is a social and psychological condition of inequality.

Conservatism claims to be very much pro-freedom this is of course a falsity because everyone wants freedom so why not continue the massive lie and promise it to the common man and mask the evident superiority. The conservative interpretation of freedom is distorted and warped. The real situation with conservatism and freedom is best understood in historical context. Conservatism constantly changes, always adapting itself to provide the minimum amount of freedom that is required to hold together a dominant coalition in the society. In Burke's day, for example, this meant an alliance between traditional social authorities and the rising business class. Although the business class has always defined its agenda in terms of something it calls "freedom", in reality conservatism from the 18th century onward has simply implied a shift from one kind of government intervention in the economy to another, quite different kind, together with a continuation of medieval models of cultural domination.

The only way the conservative way of freedom becomes the truest meaning of freedom is if the common people internalize that view. It is impossible and this is why it has no real place in modern society.

Conservative aims in modern society:
- Destroy conscience
- The destruction of democracy
- The destruction of reason
- The destruction of language

Now, I must tell the viewers of this debate - the facts are there in front of your very eyes and therefore I must ask you; do you want to live in such a society? I might be bending the rules of engagement here but I am certain that my opponent in his 'conservative-liberal' mindset will find it in his heart to forgive me.



I thank CON for their response. It gives me much to consider for my rebuttals, which I shall save for Round 3. I expected my opponent to offer an unbiased definition of “conservatism”; this is not what has occurred.

P. E. Agre states “Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.” Not only does this straw-man the conservative position, it leaves us with a serious problem. Under this definition, all governments (other than a direct democracy, with voluntaryist [ characteristics) are conservative, and even “modern liberals” become conservatives by supporting the rule of a few people (relatively speaking) over a statistically larger group, or, in other words, supporting the existence of government is a conservative value, and you must necessarily become an anarchist in order to not be conservative. If we accept this definition, my opponent must then argue that we have zero need for government, and I would be arguing that we do have need for government. My opponent defends liberalism, and I do not believe this is meant to be classical liberalism, as I stated I would be arguing for libertarianism, which is derived from classical liberalism; though perhaps my opponent is unaware of this. As such, I shall provide definitions such that my opponent’s arguments remain viable and compatible with them.

I shall keep my explanations of each brief and broad, with a citation to the appropriate webpage when making statements that are not derived from the initial explanation.

“Conservatism is a preference for the historically inherited, rather than the abstract and ideal. This preference has traditionally rested on an organic conception of society- that is, on the belief that society is not merely a loose collection of individuals, but a living organism comprising closely connected, interdependent members. Conservatives thus favor institutions and practices that have evolved gradually and are manifestations of continuity and stability. Government’s responsibility is to be the servant…of the existing ways of life, and politicians must therefore resist the urge to transform society and politics.” [1]

“Liberalism [is] a political doctrine that takes the protecting and enhancing of freedom of the individual to be the central problem of politics. Liberals typically believe that government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others; but they also recognize that government itself can pose a threat to liberty… Thomas Paine expressed it in Common Sense (1776), government is at best “a necessary evil.” Laws, judges, and police are needed to secure the individual’s life and liberty, but their coercive power may also be turned against him. The problem, then, is to be devise a system that gives government the power necessary to protect individual liberty but also prevents those who govern from abusing it.” [3]

The paragraphs above are descriptions of the Classical forms of Conservatism and Liberalism. The Modern forms are different expressions of the same ideas. “[Liberals] believe the role of government should to be guarantee no one is in need. “[Conservatives] believe the role of government should be to provide people the freedom necessary to pursue their own goals.” [2]

If we accept the expression provided by the Encyclopedia Britannica website (as this is the least biased webpage I could find), we must begin to make the connections between Classical Conservatism and Modern Conservatism. After this, I will begin to make the connections to Libertarianism.

If we reject the premise set by Agre, and supported by PRO (due to its inherent bias of definition), we can begin to parse through some of the Conservative values that have a place in society.

The conservative holds to tradition, with the justification that that which is stable, actual, and continuous is more valuable than the theoretical, ideal, and uncertain. To ask a conservative to trust in theories, emotional and moral appeals, and uncertainty is to ask them to go against their innate nature. The conservative does not argue against change, but rather is apt to view immediate change as inherently problematic; by these, I mean that a conservative views planning as a necessary part of life, especially when actions have an effect on others. The conservative (Henceforth James) would argue that practical application automatically outweighs theory, and the most practical application of all is the continuity of various institutions. While there are Conservatives who have, in the past, justified immoral acts, it is made obvious that this is out of following solid foundations previously established. However, after being presented with reasons to denounce those practices, James would be willing to do so. Pragmatism is the mark of a conservative. He supports the existence of an objective moral order, which exists independent of the wishes of humans. While this leads to modern Conservative impositions of personal values (prostitution, homosexuality, gay marriage, and drug use are all wrong), James will support those things that can be shown to have positive practical use. This is due to the customs of the time, and as times change (in the necessary increments the conservative is comfortable with) James will apply his organic view of society (as a culmination of individuals). Tradition, custom, and convention are necessary pieces of society, and do not exist outside of society. James clings to these things, and is only persuaded when he is presented with a practical application of the changes hoped for. [1] [5]

James is not against sexism, racism, ableism, transgenderism, and other such prejudices and biases, because these things are personal beliefs. He disagrees with any attempts to force people to change these, but supports the protection of those who experience violence on these grounds, as all violence is still violence. He believes that the role of government is to ensure that peoples’ rights are protected, and only certain things would count as rights. With these rights comes responsibility, which is to be taught by schools, family, and friends, though not necessarily limited to these things. These institutional teach discipline, and those who are incapable of using their rights responsibly deserve to be punished; as it is the role of government to protect the rights of people, it thus follows that government must ensure that everyone is protected from James, should he failed to be responsible. Now, whether there are certain things that we must protect James from, when he himself chooses to do them (i.e. accept sex for money, take drugs, etc.) will change as society changes, regardless of what we consider to be objectively right or wrong. Does modern Conservatism do this? No, Modern Conservatism tries to legislate morality, with the justification that these things are dangerous. [1] [5]

Prudence, responsibility, self-ownership, tradition, support of choice, understanding the place of the individual in society, and promoting personal freedoms are the hallmarks of James’ thought process. Now, Modern Conservatism may be problematic, but this is the political expressions of the ideology, rather than the ideology itself. The values that are supported are critically important to society, but there are problems. There are some things which cannot be explained through practical application. Do these things have a place in modern society? Very much so. Are there conservative values that don’t have a place in modern society? Very much so. However, this does not mean we can reject the entirety of conservative values. [1] [5]






Debate Round No. 2


OldMountainous forfeited this round.


My opponent has not posted their argument. I extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 3


OldMountainous forfeited this round.


Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 4


OldMountainous forfeited this round.


PRO has not provided any further arguments. My arguments stand. Please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Lt.Harris 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: He made a better argument and is right.