The Instigator
righty10294
Pro (for)
Losing
48 Points
The Contender
ImAPanicBomb447
Con (against)
Winning
63 Points

English should be the official Language of America

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/2/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 17,764 times Debate No: 1282
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (37)

 

righty10294

Pro

Hello Potential debaters:

I think that the US should make English the official language of the US. It is the most widely spoken language in America.

1) 215 million Americans speak English, the only other language that more than 2 million people speak is Spanish. So, there what is there to lose.

2) There are already 26 states where English is the sole official language. Also, 4 more has English and another language as its official language. There will be more to come too.

3) States that have English as the language, don't only speak english. When it regards safety, public health, tourism, learning foreign languages, etc., you are allowed to speak what ever language you wants. Also, state authorities speak what ever they want.

4) Most immigrants think that everyone should learn English if they live here. By learning English, they will have a better chance at getting jobs than another immigrant who doesn't know English.

Check out http://www.proenglish.org... for more info.
ImAPanicBomb447

Con

Hello, this is my first debate so I apologize if I misunderstand the format.

I'll take it point by point.

1 You said: 215 million Americans speak English, the only other language that more than 2 million people speak is Spanish. So, there what is there to lose.

The serious flaws I see here are the following two assumptions:
A) Because so many people speak English, we wouldn't "lose" anything by declaring a national language.

In reality, establishing an official language would hardly compliment a compassionate attitude of tolerance. It would, most likely, alienate many hard working americans who are unable to proficiently speak the English language, and would probably result in a loss of cultural identity in those whose first language is other than English.

B) "Having nothing to lose" is a valid reason for action.

It simply is not. Even if it were true that we would have nothing to lose, that is not proof that we should act. This is similar to saying that, since I wouldn't lose anything by walking into my living room and sitting down, i OUGHT to perform said action. "Having nothing to lose" does not imply that we "Ought" to do something.

2 You said: There are already 26 states where English is the sole official language. Also, 4 more has English and another language as its official language. There will be more to come too.

Surely, the sole fact that a law exists is no reason to support it. That's like saying that slavery should have spread to the Union states, simply because it already existed in the south. Absurd.

Also, citing 4 states as having an official language in addition to English hurts your cause, if it does anything. It implies that making English the official language would not be sufficient.

3 You said: States that have English as the language, don't only speak english. When it regards safety, public health, tourism, learning foreign languages, etc., you are allowed to speak whatever language you wants. Also, state authorities speak what ever they want.

Questions of the relevancy of the second sentence aside, I'd like to know exactly where you would like this official language of English to be spoken. It seems that you've given plenty of examples of where it would not be used but have yet to tell us what exactly an "official language" would entail. Please explain in your response.

4 Most immigrants think that everyone should learn English if they live here. By learning English, they will have a better chance at getting jobs than another immigrant who doesn't know English.

I don't know where your information is coming from, but the first sentence here is irrelevant. The second states what is already the case: the fact that so many people speak English, as you mentioned, means that non-English speakers have less of a chance at employment. This is true now, without English being the official language.

Conclusion:
Please clarify exactly why English should be our official language.
Debate Round No. 1
righty10294

Pro

Hello Imapanicbomb-

When I read my argument, I relized that my argument wasn't that "clear". I will try to clear it up now.

We need to make English the official language of America. We speak it in Congress, courthouses, national parks, and Presidential speeches. It is spoken in almost every store business, etc. You get my point. Every where English is spoken, even on government land. So why isn't it our national language?

"In reality, establishing an official language would hardly compliment a compassionate attitude of tolerance. It would, most likely, alienate many hard working americans who are unable to proficiently speak the English language, and would probably result in a loss of cultural identity in those whose first language is other than English"- Imp panic

If you moved to America you should learn English. In the early 20th century, every immargrant (all legal) learned English and worked hard, and raised the American flag. Now we have all the immigrants (some illegal) who refuse to speak english and still raise the flag that they're from. I have no problem them flying their home flag, but they should raise the American flag a little higher than the other flag, because they want to be citizens of our country. How is this relevant? You will get a job by knowing english, rather than someone who is too lazy to learn english. By making them learn english they will work hard, a lot of people now try to make it off on drugs and social security checks (that's another debate).

"Surely, the sole fact that a law exists is no reason to support it. That's like saying that slavery should have spread to the Union states, simply because it already existed in the south. Absurd" -Imapanic

How can you can compare slavery to learning english? No one is dying. No one is being treated like cattle. Absurd.

I hope this is a little clearer why we should use english.
ImAPanicBomb447

Con

Even in this response you haven't even begun to address WHY we should have an official language. You haven't given any examples of how this would be carried out, you haven't even shown one advantage to establishing an official language. I will try here to show you where you've gone wrong.

"We need to make English the official language of America. We speak it in Congress, courthouses, national parks, and Presidential speeches. It is spoken in almost every store business, etc. You get my point. Every where English is spoken, even on government land. So why isn't it our national language?"

Yes, English is far and away the most widely spoken language in the United States. But this does not address WHY we "NEED" to make English our official language. Not once.

"If you moved to America you should learn English. In the early 20th century, every immargrant (all legal) learned English and worked hard, and raised the American flag. Now we have all the immigrants (some illegal) who refuse to speak english and still raise the flag that they're from. I have no problem them flying their home flag, but they should raise the American flag a little higher than the other flag, because they want to be citizens of our country. How is this relevant? You will get a job by knowing english, rather than someone who is too lazy to learn english. By making them learn english they will work hard, a lot of people now try to make it off on drugs and social security checks (that's another debate)."

Here you show that you completely ignored pieces of my last argument. I already addressed this issue. You have not shown, at any point, that making English our official language would cause people to HAVE to learn English. Not once have you addressed this. I already said in my first post that people already have a better chance at employment in this country if they speak English, even without it as our official language.

You say "by making them learn english they will work hard...". First of all, I would love to see the evidence that people who learn English are harder workers than those who do not. Also, how much more English would you like to see taught? Every grade school, middle school, high school, and college in the country isn't enough? This would be an easier issue to address if you had better defined "official language".

Also, even though you say "How is this relevant", you don't ever actually make the earlier part relevant.

"How can you can compare slavery to learning english? No one is dying. No one is being treated like cattle. Absurd."

You are failing to understand the analogy. Your SOLE reason given in the paragraph i was addressing can be summed up as, "since some states have it, other states should adopt it" or even "since some states have it, the country should adopt it". Reread the paragraph I was responding to and you will see that you didn't present any argument other than that. In that regard, my analogy was completely acceptable. However, if you are made uncomfortable by this, insert any law that differs from state to state and you will get the same absurd result.

It's much like when your mother asked you, "If so-and-so jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?". Surely, under only these conditions, your answer would be "no". This is similar to the argument you presented. Just because some people do something, there is no reason for others to do so. Perhaps a more developed argument would not have warranted such a response from me.

Some examples of a better version of this argument would run something like:
"State X has already adopted English as it's official language, and has experienced the following benefits Y"
"State X has already adopted English as it's official language, because of Y"

Please, in your response, include answers to the following, lest this debate become repetitive:

- What does making English our official language entail? How does it change our country?
- What advantages would this actually create for us?
Debate Round No. 2
righty10294

Pro

imapanicbomb:

This has been an intresting debate, and I think one of my poorest debates, but I have one more chance to make it good.

Why should we should we have English as a natonal language? Well, by having a national language there will be one main effect.

It will lower taxes. How will it lower taxes? Well, we can now deny people of social security, because they can't get a job due to only speaking Spanish. Heres how it would work: In the state of New Mexico, there are 5,000 people who get unaployment pay from the state. They get $10,000 annualy. They can't get a job, because they can't speak english, and they have no inntentions of learning. Now, they have to pay $50,000,000 to people who are just lazy to learn anything. If the english becomes the official language, they won't have to pay these people, because they don't know the official language, which is the reason they can't get a job. That's $50,000,000 (probably more) the citizens don't have to pay, or will but used to improve school, parks, etc.

"What does making English our official language entail?
What advantages would this actually create for us?"- Impanic

I beilve these were the same questions as why should we..., just diffrent wording.

"How does it change our country?"-Impanic

Well, that's a tough question. First off, it'll change our country for the better. When tourist come to the country, they'll know what language to speak. Also, it will put more emphisis on WE in the United States.
ImAPanicBomb447

Con

Righty: "It will lower taxes. How will it lower taxes? Well, we can now deny people of social security, because they can't get a job due to only speaking Spanish. Heres how it would work: In the state of New Mexico, there are 5,000 people who get unaployment pay from the state. They get $10,000 annualy. They can't get a job, because they can't speak english, and they have no inntentions of learning. Now, they have to pay $50,000,000 to people who are just lazy to learn anything. If the english becomes the official language, they won't have to pay these people, because they don't know the official language, which is the reason they can't get a job. That's $50,000,000 (probably more) the citizens don't have to pay, or will but used to improve school, parks, etc."

This may be the least logical paragraph you've submitted yet. Where to begin?
1)I have said several times, with no refutation on your part, that not being able to speak English already limits your ability to get a job in this country. Making English the official language wouldn't change anything in that regard, unless I am correct in point number 2:
2)Your refusal to define what an official language entails has made this entire paragraph completely useless. But it seems as though you are trying to say that if we had an official language, we could deny jobs to people simply because they don't speak English. A law denying American citizens jobs because of the language they speak would
a.Be a disastrous blow to the workforce
b.Result in much higher unemployment
c.Result in higher poverty

Beyond all that, a law denying employment to otherwise law-abiding American citizens would be unconstitutional. Life Liberty and Property.

Also, SS money doesn't go to schools and parks, its put into the SS money. This has little bearing on the argument, I suppose, but that's how it is. Trust me, when the time comes, you'll notice that deduction on your paycheck, haha.

Righty: "I beilve these were the same questions as why should we..., just diffrent wording."

Actually, no. You still haven't told me what it entails. That means telling me what exactly the policy will be. Will we make it illegal to speak Spanish? Will we give money to people who speak English? Will it be purely symbolic? What? There's infinite possibilities, none of which you mentioned specifically. And you moved my wording around for some reason. I think you misread it or something. No harm done though I suppose.

Righty: "Well, that's a tough question. First off, it'll change our country for the better. When tourist come to the country, they'll know what language to speak. Also, it will put more emphisis on WE in the United States."

The tourist point is completely laughable. I feel foolish even addressing it, but okay. What tourist arrives in the United States after months of studying Latin in the hopes of being able to communicate? I cannot overstate how ridiculous that is.

As for the "WE" comment, equally ridiculous, mostly because you give no explanation of what that actually means or what result an "emphasis on WE" would have for the country.

Thank you for taking me on in my first debate, I hope I followed the normal format and made some good points. If you argue for this again, I suggest you begin with a clear definition.

Thanks again! Good debating.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by SocialistRI82 9 years ago
SocialistRI82
How could anyone possibly conclude what language should be our national one? We have no "natural" American language (other than the thousands of native American languanges). We are a people who come from all over the globe, and speak thousands of different languages. I think its apparent that English is the language here, that is not that issue. Its the people who want to get rid of language options, translators, and percieved "catering". We all know that to get anywhere in this country you need to understand and speak english. Whats the need for a law proclaiming our language?
Posted by righty10294 9 years ago
righty10294
hhmmm, no comment
i thought i did bad
Posted by Cooperman88 9 years ago
Cooperman88
How is panicbomb not winning this debate? This is a total blowout. Quit voting for what you think, and vote for who won. Not for your side of the issue.
Posted by ImAPanicBomb447 9 years ago
ImAPanicBomb447
I love the idea of this site, but I think the voting is really a joke. There should be some kind of administrator title or something given to people to vote. I'm sure many ideas like this have already been proposed, I'm just throwing it out there. Also, I'm whining. lol.
Posted by PreacherFred 9 years ago
PreacherFred
I personally believe that English should be the official language of the U.S. However, pro's arguements were way to weak and I must vote for con on this one.
Posted by Robert_Lee_Hotchkiss 9 years ago
Robert_Lee_Hotchkiss
I have to believe that a large number of voters on this debate did not vote on the debate. The vote is not where you stand on the issue, it is who debated better. This time the Pro person, bless his heart, just didn't do well at all. Have courage to recognize the better debater even when he opposes your view.

You don't help someone, especially a child, by giving them false praise.

The pro person showed a lot of potential but did not deliver this time.
Posted by ImAPanicBomb447 9 years ago
ImAPanicBomb447
Agreed. Point 1B of my first response should have reminded him but I guess not. lol. His profile says he's 13, so maybe he's not up to a real debate yet, but at least he's even thinking about stuff like this. And he's from Connecticut so sooner or later hopefully he'll drop all the right wing stuff. lol.
Posted by zakkuchan 9 years ago
zakkuchan
Some people really don't seem to understand the concept of debate. I'm sorry to say, but showing that there are no disadvantages to something does not prove that it ought to be done. :P
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