The Instigator
zakkuchan
Pro (for)
Winning
39 Points
The Contender
roycegee
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

Education is a human right.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2008 Category: Education
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,770 times Debate No: 3657
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (15)

 

zakkuchan

Pro

(Please note: I believe the general deadline for the PRO to challenge for Round 2 passed a few hours ago. However, my Round 1 debate took longer than most, and the decision was just posted yesterday. I was given an extension on the deadline, so this challenge is not actually late. I'm sorry for any inconvenience.)

This debate is for Round 2 of Tournament 1 of the Facebook group "Online Debate Tournaments". The resolution is, "Education is a human right." I am advocating the PRO stance.

A "human right", according to Princeton University's WordNet (as found on http://www.dictionary.com...), is "any basic right or freedom to which all human beings are entitled and in whose exercise a government may not interfere." According to the same source, "education" refers to "the activities of educating or instructing; activities that impart knowledge or skill." The question we are presented with, then, is whether or not activities that impart knowledge or skill are something that all humans are entitled to.

I will prove the resolution to be true with __ major points.

1. Education is internationally recognized as a human right.

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a list of the basic human rights naturally afforded to every individual in the world. The UDHR has essentially the force of law in international dealings, and provides the framework by which the United Nations judges human rights concerns. Article 26, Section 1 of this document states, "Everyone has the right to education." This concept is further elaborated in the UN's 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, Article 13. Of course, the fact that the United Nations would agree with the resolution is not sufficient cause to support it; but this fact is a good place to start, and shows that the CON side has a significant burden of proof in this debate; for it is that side, rather than
the PRO, which goes against the status quo.

2. Education meets the necessary burden for being considered a human right.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on "human rights" (http://plato.stanford.edu...) lists eight characteristics that are common to all human rights, and education fulfills each:

i. It deals primarily with the relationship of the people to their government, rather than interpersonal relations.
ii. It exists as both a moral right and a legal right (the entry cited says it must be one and/or the other).
iii. It is one of numerous rights that can be listed, rather than a short list of a few central rights.
iv. It is a "minimal standard"; i.e., it provides for a "minimally good" life, rather than a fantastically good life. (See point 3)
v. It can be viewed as an internationally accepted norm.
vi. It is of high priority.
vii. It requires, and has, good justification.
viii. It has a right holder (each individual), and is of benefit to that right holder.

Therefore, education can properly be named a human right, rather than some other term.

3. Expansion on education being a "minimal standard".

Education is necessary to living a good life, but it does not absolutely guarantee it. If I do not have an adequate education, I will be viewed as less favorable by prospective employers, and my life will be generally rather poor as a result. Furthermore, being educated opens the door for me to pursue other means of achieving happiness in my life (for instance, reading thought-provoking and enjoyable books, or perhaps engaging in logical debate). Education does not, however, directly ensure that I will have a good life. If I don't apply for any jobs, or if I don't make the effort to present myself well to prospective employers, the sort of education I have will be irrelevant. I also have to actively push myself into pursuing those other means of achieving happiness. This is the very fundamental concept of what a human right does; it opens doors, but it does not ensure that you will step through them.

4. Education is necessary for the advancement of society.

While the status of social concerns in deciding the legitimacy of individual rights has certainly been a matter of a great deal of fierce debate since the Enlightenment, I will assume for the purposes of this debate that it has some place in such considerations. In this case, the benefit of education is readily apparent. A well-educated population is a population that will cause numerous things - scholarly debate, educated decisions on public policy, technological advancements, and the advancement of human rights, just to name a few - which are to the mutual benefit of all. A society, or the government which rules it, is essentially shooting itself in the foot by restricting access to education. Any society or government which does so goes against the centuries of philosophical and scientific development that have made the modern world what it is.

5. Education is pursuant to, and necessary for, other human rights as well as other noble pursuits.

I'm going to defer to a few wise quotes from the past to make these points better than I could.

"[I]f we think [the people] not enlightened enough to exercise their control with wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education."
-Thomas Jefferson

"Liberty without learning is always in peril; learning without liberty is always in vain."
-John F. Kennedy

"If we are to reach real peace in this world ... we shall have to begin with the children."
-Mohandas Gandhi

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
-Chinese proverb

I now stand by for my opponent's rebuttal.
roycegee

Con

roycegee forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 1
zakkuchan

Pro

My opponent has forfeited the round, so please extend all my Round 1 arguments. I would like to expand on my fifth point, that "Education is pursuant to, and necessary for, other human rights as well as other noble pursuits."

Education is necessary for a good democracy. An educated, well-informed populace will make better decisions in elections, and push public policy in a better direction with their opinions. This ensures that a democratic system is the best system available. This also has the effect of securing all of the rights afforded to the people through that system.

Education also provides for the other rights of the people through their own awareness of their rights. One of the finer details of the international treaties that call education a human right is that one of the things that should be taught is human rights themselves. This is beneficial because a person who knows their rights is much less likely to give them away. An educated population is thus more likely to better hold onto their rights.

Moving away from rights, furthermore, I agree with the quote from Gandhi I presented last round. Education is a great step in advancement toward world peace. Educated, respectful discourse is the best alternative to violence; and a well-educated people are more likely to push their government to engage the world community in this manner.

I now stand by, once more, for my opponent's rebuttal.
roycegee

Con

roycegee forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
zakkuchan

Pro

My opponent has forfeited the debate. This post is over 100 characters, as of the end of this sentence.
roycegee

Con

roycegee forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by draxxt 8 years ago
draxxt
Wow, Con, great job! I really have to think... Wait... Can I vote for CON just as a joke? Have someone think there is no sense to the world? I would really like to...
Posted by HadenQuinlan 8 years ago
HadenQuinlan
Pro got beasted, vote Con.
Posted by zakkuchan 8 years ago
zakkuchan
That also assumes I win next round. :P
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
http://www.facebook.com...

On second thought, you win, zakkuchan.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
Then again, roycegee is online right now. Maybe the "time to post" quota tricked him as it has others.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
I have a suspicion that zakkuchan will be my opponent in round 4 (assuming I win the debate after the current one, which I think I will win because of the forfeit)
Posted by SportsGuru 8 years ago
SportsGuru
Pro- Good Job! Thats plenty better than what I did when I was Pro for this in Round 1 of the tourny.

Con- Good Luck!
Posted by roycegee 8 years ago
roycegee
Lol. This is gonna be a tough one for me.
Posted by zakkuchan 8 years ago
zakkuchan
Lol, that should read, "with 5 major points."
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Vote Placed by Korezaan 8 years ago
Korezaan
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