The Instigator
SportsGuru
Pro (for)
Winning
41 Points
The Contender
Pricetag
Con (against)
Losing
36 Points

Education is a human right.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,017 times Debate No: 3496
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (23)

 

SportsGuru

Pro

First, I wish my opponent good luck and may the best debater win the vote.

The only definitions I have for this debate are as follows:

Human right - any basic right or freedom to which all human beings are entitled and in whose exercise a government may not interfere (including rights to life and liberty as well as freedom of thought and expression and equality before the law)
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Liberty- 1: the quality or state of being free: a: the power to do as one pleases b: freedom from physical restraint c: freedom from arbitrary or despotic control d: the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges e: the power of choice http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Education- the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life. http://dictionary.reference.com...

Observation 1 - The debate must take place in the context of the United States of America. This is fairest possible conclusion, as it is the country both debaters live in and thus have the most experience with. This also adds convenience for the judge, as even if he does not live in the United States, it is the most famous government in the world. Hence, any arguments concerning situations in other countries are unrelated and invalid.

Although the definition of human right contains a good list of human rights, I add the pursuit of happiness to that list as it is found along with life and liberty in the Declaration of Independence of the U.S. Using the definition of education, it can be seen that I only need to prove that either the imparting OR acquiring of general knowledge…etc. is a human right. As I will attempt to prove that they are both human rights, my opponent needs to disprove both of them to win.

First, I begin with the imparting section of the definition. Now, you will notice, some of the human rights include "freedom of thought and expression" and the pursuit of happiness. As people have the right to express themselves as they please, they by extension have the right to impart knowledge as they please. They also have the right to it if it furthers them in their pursuit of happiness.

Now to move on to the acquiring the general knowledge. As we can see, liberty is a human right. As liberty contains the freedom of choice and the power to do as one pleases, one has the right to acquire general knowledge etc. etc. if one so chooses. Thus this half of education is also a human right.

As you can see, I have successfully proven that education is indeed a human right. Now, I must simply wait for my opponent's response.
Pricetag

Con

Good luck to you SportsGuru and I hope the best debater does win, not simply the preferred ideology.

I have no problem with your definitions and I will accept that we are talking about the United States.

I find one fatal flaw in your argument. When we are talking about education it is two parts. One part being acquiring knowledge yourself (the less used method), the other is having knowledge presented to you (how the education system works in the United States). The second method is NOT a human right. No one is entitled to force others to present them with information or anything for that matter. In that respect education, as it works in the United States, is clearly NOT a human right because it requires others to work against their will. In doing so that would infringe on their right to free will. While I agree that acquiring knowledge through ones own means is a right because it is an expression of free will; I do not agree that the system of U.S. education, where others provide students with information is a human right. It is a privilege, because it requires others to--through their own free will--cooperate with the students.

As you can plainly see education in the American sense is a privilege and not a right, I will wait for my opponent to respond.
Debate Round No. 1
SportsGuru

Pro

Before I begin my defense, I must ask that you see that my opponent has conceded this debate. As I stated in my first round argument, because of the fact that the acquiring OR imparting of knowledge is education, I only need to prove one. Education is not a two-part system in which both the acquiring and imparting are required (which is what my opponent claims it is). According to the definition, imparting of knowledge by itself is education and the acquiring of knowledge by itself is education. Hence, as my opponent has conceded that the acquiring of general knowledge is a human right, he has conceded this debate. Although I will defend against my opponent's attacks, it must be seen that I have already won.

To clarify the imparting version of education I offer the following definitions:

Impart: to give; bestow; communicate http://dictionary.reference.com...

Bestow: to present as a gift; give; confer http://dictionary.reference.com...

Give: to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; bestow: to give a birthday present to someone.

Thus, it must be seen, through these definitions, that the imparting of knowledge is not forced like my opponent advocates. In fact, it is given only when wanted, such as a birthday gift as one definitions states. Thus, the imparting of general knowledge does not violate anyone's rights and is thus a human right.

Note: education is not the same as education system. I am not arguing that the organized system used to educate is a human right. Thus, any relation to the U.S. educational system is irrelevant. In fact, the observation concerning the context of the debate was only meant for what human rights are. It was simply meant to prevent a "Well, in Iraq it is not a human right" sort of argument.

Thus, as of now, the only vote must be for Con.
Pricetag

Con

I hope the judge of this debate is not fooled by this silly attempt at manipulation. I did not concede and I did not need to prove that both were laws, I simply needed to prove that education in the United States as you stated earlier was not a human right. You are the one that narrowed down the field, not I. You are free to acquire what you can until someone stops you whether that be the law or another force. That is your right of free will and it just so happens that that right would then cover acquiring knowledge.

However, that is not how education works in America. Education is a system where teachers through their own free will educate students. Now, because the one being educated is on the receiving end of this exchange it is for him a privilege, not a right. For this system to be a right he would be able to demand education from others which would infringe on their free will and thus not be a right at all. As you stated we are talking about the United States and in the United States the education system is a privilege, not a right. There is no possible way that our system could even be considered a right.

By the parameters of this debate, I must clearly be the winner, as my opponent has not explained how education, in the U.S., is a right as he claims it to be.
Debate Round No. 2
SportsGuru

Pro

It seems my opponent has misinterpreted what my observation in Round 1 does. Although I was admittedly not clear in the first round and tried to make it clearer in Round 2, I will attempt to clear this up. The observation states that the debate needs to take place in the context of the U.S. Thus, with that observation, the resolution becomes "Education is a human right in the United States of America". Notice how it does NOT become "Education in the United States of America is a human right". Now, of course, I need to provide reasons why my interpretation is the correct one rather than my opponent's interpretation. These are:

1.Writer's intent- The writer's intent must be taken into highest account when considering which interpretation is correct. As I am the writer, I an the only one that knows my intent. As my intent for it to be interpreted as is the same interpretation I am supporting, my interpretation must be correct.
2.Reasonability- As was just stated, I am the writer of the aforementioned observation. Thus, a question must be ask: "Would I give myself an huge, unfair, and unneeded restriction in this debate, especially considering that there is a cash reward for the winner of the tournament that this debate is part of?" As the answer is a resounding no, my opponent's interpretation must be incorrect. You see, the interpretation that my opponent advocates is the correct one gives me severe disadvantages including having to make the U.S. education system a human right and advocating that it is a right of humans outside of U.S. to get education there. Since, common sense dictates that I would not give myself these and other disadvantages in this debate, common sense must dictate that my opponent's interpretation is not the correct one.

Since I have established that the resolution when combined with the resolution, one can easily see the flawed nature of my opponent's second round argument. If you notice, his whole argumentation is based on the resolution being "Education in the United States of America is a human right". However, as I have proven that that interpretation is wrong, everything based on it is inherently flawed and should be ignored. As I stated in Round 2, education does not equal education system. According to the resolution and the definition of education I only need to prove that "the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life is a human right within the United States." Thus, the organized system that the United States uses to achieve education is not relevant. My opponent attempts to defend that the U.S. education system is relevant by defining education as "a system where teachers through their own free will educate students." However, for his definition to hold up in this debate, there must be a reason for his definition to supersede mine. My opponent provides no reason for his to supersede mine nor does he provide an acceptable source for it, while mine is backed up by dictionary.com. Hence, my definition must stand.

Despite what my opponent states in Round 2, he in fact has conceded the debate. He said "While I agree that acquiring knowledge through ones own means is a right because it is an expression of free will". Here, in black and white, he is stating that the "acquiring general knowledge…etc. etc." portion of education is a human right. As this portion by itself is education (which I showed last round), he has conceded that education is a human right. Thus, it must be observed that I have already won the debate. Although I will continue to defend against my opponent's attacks, it must be seen that the only logical vote is for Pro.

The rest of my opponent's argument is based off of an interpretation and a definition both of which I have already proven should not be accepted in this debate. Thus, it must be ignored.

Oh, and here is my source for my definition of give which I failed to provide last round: http://dictionary.reference.com...

Hence, as I have fulfilled my burden of proof, defended against all of my opponent's attacks, and shown that my opponent has conceded this debate, I urge that you vote Pro.
Pricetag

Con

Let's start off again with the proper definition of education:

the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.

As the pro in this debate the burden of proof falls squarely on your shoulders. As I have said before you have the free will to do whatever someone doesn't stop you from doing. That is nature. However you have still not proven the second part of the definition, that it is a right for someone else to impart knowledge on you. You cannot prove this because it clearly is not. It is their right to impart knowledge to you, that is part of their free will; however, it is not a right for you to have knowledge imparted to you, it is a privilege. As you have not and cannot prove that it is a right to have knowledge imparted on you (as that part was in your own definition) than you have not fully proven your argument and thus it must be seen that I am the winner of this debate.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
Though it is not required, I would appreciate if people put why they voted the way they did in the comment section. (especially considering as of now there are 23 votes and 1 critique)
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
Uh....where did that come from? Pricetag did not say that anything remotely close to that qualified as education.
Posted by Daddy 9 years ago
Daddy
dude seriously .. pricetag.. ot f@g get a life... really man... givin BJ's in the bathroom of the buss station is no way to get an education...
Posted by PublicForumG-d 9 years ago
PublicForumG-d
D:

This debate got murky, fast. The finger-pointing and judge begging got old quick.

Pro pulled a nice, clean blow off in round three.

But other than that, the rounds were brief, lacked analysis, or empirical evidence, and there was so much good analysis to be used.

Pro, I'd have gone UN on the Con. They define 2 weeks paid vacation as a basic human right. Education? Of course then.

You could've had your opponent say that the UN is a good source for human rights in Round 1, and then in round 2 pounded them with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

But you didn't!

Ah well. Good job everyone, a little more work, but overall not bad.
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
I hope you voted based on who won the debate rather than your opinion on the subject.
Posted by The_Philosopher 9 years ago
The_Philosopher
no way no way no way!!!

education is not a human right!!

inherent HRs are very few in number!

think about it...
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
Oops! Sorry my my link for the education definition is wrong; here is the right one: http://dictionary.reference.com...
23 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Corycogley77479 8 years ago
Corycogley77479
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Vote Placed by SportsGuru 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by anarchist27 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Issa 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Gao 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by livi 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by CP 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by obama0804 9 years ago
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