The Instigator
vardas0antras
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
Mellith
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Flag burning should be allowed

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,478 times Debate No: 14243
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (5)

 

vardas0antras

Pro

::Definitions::
Flag burning: Burning a flag which represents a country, more often than not its done due to hate.
Should: Its better if it would be that way.
Allowed: Be legal. Does not mean encourage or make it popular but it does mean that it should be legal.

::Exceptions::
1. If the burning flag starts a war.
2. If the burning flag is used like a weapon.
3. If the burning flag is used to damage people in any other way or their property.

What I am trying to say is that my stance supports flag burning per se only.

::Opponent::
We will post our arguments in Round 2 only.

::Rules::
You must accept the rules and definitions or you will by default loose on all 7 points.

::Final words::
Thank you for accepting the debate in advance and I wish you good luck.

Cheerio
Mellith

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for starting what seems to be an interesting debate. I have no definitions to add although I would like to ask my opponent to clarify the definition of flag burning. In this instance, do you refer to flag burning in general or flag burning out of hate (rather more often out of hate)?

Once again, I would like to thank my opponent for this debate and I hope that I will be fair competition.
Debate Round No. 1
vardas0antras

Pro

Before I begin, I will answer my opponents question:
Q."In this instance, do you refer to flag burning in general or flag burning out of hate (rather more often out of hate)?"
A.We will be discussing two different instances. One instance a person does it without hate and in another instance the person does it due to hate.

::Flag Burning without hate::
Why would anyone burn it if there's no hate involved ? If there's no hate then the person doesn't want to burn it ,namely , the flag burning is a means to an end. So we conclude that the American flag is better burned because it helps the person to survive or do some other good deed.

::Flag Burning with hate::
Why would anyone burn the flag ? The wrongdoer is obviously expressing himself. Can he express himself ? Yes he can. Is it disrespectful ? Absolutely but disrespect is expressed nowadays regularly.

::Elaboration::
I made these vague points so that we would be debating my opponents ideas and not mine principally because he has the burden of proof.

Thank you all and I wish good luck to my opponent.
Mellith

Con

Flag burning can only occur (discounting accidents such as a house fire) if 1) the burner is expressing hate for the government or country or 2) the burner is being forced to by someone else in order to express their hate for said government or country. In either instance, hate is the motivational force behind the burning. Good deeds do not solely rely on flag burning, they can be done by means OTHER THAN flag burning (What good deed requires a fire? And what fire cannot be started without an alternate fuel source?). Because there are other ways to accomplish the same good deeds WITHOUT the use of flag burning--flag burning ought to be illegal because such an action can potentially cause (and certainly be manipulated TO cause) war and will inherently cause damage to people.

Flag burning can start a war either intentionally or unintentionally (i.e. the wrong way to do a good deed). In the case of unintentional:
If an individual burns another nation's flag; a nation with a corrupt government, a volatile dictator, a violent public, or one that is in the midst of political instability and social unrest; this action may cause the example nation to act rashly and retaliate in violence. Such escalation in action, the trading of blows between two nations, will inherently lead to war. A nation which starts a war over an unintentional violent act will not stop, will not surrender until it is either unable to continue or the burner's nation is destroyed. It cannot be determined which nations will act as such and therefore, in order to prevent war, flag burning under all circumstances (except proper disposal) ought to be illegal.
Because my opponent has already mentioned the exception of war, I will not thoroughly discuss the intentional use of flag burning to start a war. Flag burning can be used as political propaganda to excite the antagonistic and violent feelings of the nation's own people and enemy or to intimidate an opposing country. Terrorism is defined as "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes" (1). Intentional burning is a symbolic threat of what will happen to the other nation if it does not cave in to our demands. All forms of terrorism ought to be illegal and flag burning is no exception.

My opponents third exception to flag burning was "If the burning flag is used to damage people in any other way or their property". Flags are much more than pretty scraps of cloth; they are symbols of a country's past, hardships, ideals, aspirations, and identity. To attack a flag is to attack these very symbols; symbols which are closely tied to the individual's emotions. Flag burning is a psychological and emotional attack (much like Koran burning or Bible burning). To watch your flag go up in flames; that is painful. Is not psychological and emotional damage to the person still damage? Whether the flag burning is aggressive or non-aggressive; flag burning is a wound to many individuals' national pride, a wound to their psyche, and a wound to the memory of their forefathers risking their lives for their nation. In order to stop this assault on the individuals of a nation, in order to stop this mental abuse, in order to stop the damage being done to people; flag burning ought to be illegal.

(1) http://tiny.cc...
Debate Round No. 2
vardas0antras

Pro

Due to absence of titles from my opponent, I will create my own titles.

::Hate::
"In either instance, hate is the motivational force behind the burning. " Untrue, what you did here is omit all examples when there's no hate. For the sake of being short I will simply give you 3 examples where there's no hate:

1. A homeless person is freezing to death (death being a hyperbole). He sees a flag of his country thrown on the ground or some other place and it is of bad condition. Without thinking twice the person burns it in along with trash so that he could stay alive during the cold winter.
2. A child is depressed or arrogant. He claims that the source is the country he currently lives in. The parent thinks up of a creative way(s) to teach that child a lesson - it involves flag burning.
3. "flag burning under all circumstances (except proper disposal) "

::Good deeds::
" Good deeds do not solely rely on flag burning" Yet if the person wants to do something good shouldn't he have every right to do it, in any way he pleases ? If the flag is a hindrance to the person who wants to do something good via burning the flag, isn't then the flag evil ?
Evil can be described as knowing better but doing worse. A flag could be used for good purposes but it isn't hence the flag is committing evil. Example:
A chair is strong and firm enough for a man to stand on and change the light-bulb for someone else. Due to law he can't do it conveniently, yes he can do it by other means at ease. Nevertheless, the chair is a hindrance to a good action hence its evil.

::War::
"Because my opponent has already mentioned the exception of war, I will not thoroughly discuss the intentional use of flag burning to start a war" Indeed, this shouldn't even be mentioned. Now, if flag burning causes war unintentionally then we still have no issue since what country would attack due to a burned flag ? The Nazis in world war 2 had stronger reasons to attack Russia, which are known when one reads "mein kampf":
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The fact is that countries don't start wars over burned flags. War begins due to conflict of ideas or when its more profitable for another country to be taken over. Countries aren't threatened by burning flags either. Threat comes from unions, military and other important actions which aren't done by individuals or small groups.

Another question is, what country would attack when not threatened(when compared to threatened countries):
A: This country is obviously a time bomb.
B: It is already prepared to go to war and is now waiting for an excuse.
C: This overly aggressive action will be noted and be fought against.

::Terrorism::
"Intentional burning is a symbolic threat of what will happen to the other nation if it does not cave in to our demands."
May I remind you that its not the burning of the flag but the message that is terrorism. Furthermore terrorism isn't legal so what's the point of dictating how one should be a terrorist ? Lets say you get your point across, should we ban Kentucky fried chicken because it too can be used as an instrument for terrorists ? After all what can be better than some good ol' chicken before suicide ?

::What is a flag::
"Flags are much more than pretty scraps of cloth"
Yes they are.
"they are symbols of a country's past, hardships, ideals, aspirations, and identity. "
This is what the flag represents. People not the flag went through all this and the same people have the freedom to express themselves and fought for others freedom of expression, too.

" Flag burning is a psychological and emotional attack (much like Koran burning or Bible burning)."
1. Disrespect is the exact same thing.
2. What's wrong with burning the Bible ? The person is just expressing himself granted I am a bit worried about the level of maturity of such person but what is wrong with it, what excuse is there for making it illegal ?

" In order to stop this assault on the individuals of a nation, in order to stop this mental abuse, in order to stop the damage being done to people; flag burning ought to be illegal."
Emotions: people can get offended by anything:
http://www.abovetopsecret.com...
This is all it is. Some people getting offended or hurt is not good enough unless you want to make almost everything illegal . Seeing how this basically all you said, I don't foresee a comeback.

::My Arguments::
I added these for fun:
1.Burning a flag because of hate as I implied in round 1 doesn't refer to a specific group. Yes there are terrorists who burn flags but there may be a frustrated worker who feels like burning a flag. Perhaps he has to calm down (though the method should be improved however people don't change immediately) ? Perhaps he will become grateful that he is free.
2.What is the criteria of making something illegal ?
3.Does the "Family Guy" score a similar score, sincerely speaking ?
4.Can a USA soldier burn the American flag after serving bravely for many years (Not for the sake of disposal) ?

Well, I leave the rest up to the readers also I urge a Pro vote,
Cheerio.
Mellith

Con

Since this is round three and we are not supposed to post arguments, all I will say is that my opponent has not actually disproved anything.


I would like to thank Pro for starting this interesting debate:
A recap of my position:
1. Good deeds can be done without the use of flag burning. I would urge you to look up the definition of 'good' and 'deed'.
2. Flag burning can cause war
3. Flag burning is a form of harm unto others; psychologically and emotionally.
4. Flag burning can be used to manipulate, much as religion is.

Please deliberate while remaining objective.

Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wolfhaines 5 years ago
wolfhaines
It is just a flag, a piece of cloth that is unique only in design from any other flag. The flag does not represent the USA, the free, democratic and peaceful election of the President represents the USA. Only those who have an uncertainty of what their country represents can be offended by the burning of a generic flag. The scouts burn the flag all the time, as they view it as the only respectful way to end the service of it.
If somebody burnt the original USA flag, or one that was used at Gettysburg etc, THAT would be disrespectful, not because of what it represents, but of its historical significance.

In the UK you will would struggle to find a house with a Union Flag outside, or struggle to find someone who would look at a flag in a bin and find offence. Not because there is no patriotism, but because the British are linked by multi-ethnic values, and beliefs that go far beyond a flag designed by some bloke hundreds of years ago.

The USA doesn't need a flag to tell it who it is and what it should be proud of, to be able to watch your flag being burnt in a protest and standing there and saying "So what! The greatness of our country doesn't diminish in the ashes of that cloth!" is one of the most defiant acts of patriotism out there.
Posted by vardas0antras 5 years ago
vardas0antras
"is actually the preferred method of disposal per American doctrine."
This was somewhat mentioned in my last round. "I can't believe no one mentioned that burning the flag is already allowed" I don't see how that would help.
Posted by gavin.ogden 5 years ago
gavin.ogden
I can't believe no one mentioned that burning the flag is already allowed, and is actually the preferred method of disposal per American doctrine.
Posted by vardas0antras 5 years ago
vardas0antras
Finished !
Posted by vardas0antras 5 years ago
vardas0antras
As far as I'm concerned there's no such thing as bad only lack of goodness hence your argument can't be good (presumably I'm correct and I think, I am). Is it good enough ? Well, it's a bit too orthodox but I will have to take my time nevertheless.
Posted by Mellith 5 years ago
Mellith
Well there you go, although I don't know how well I argued that considering I am of your opinion but, I hope it's good enough...0_o
Posted by vardas0antras 5 years ago
vardas0antras
Great ! I lost hope for a moment :)
Posted by devinni01841 5 years ago
devinni01841
only if you can also burn a koran
Posted by vardas0antras 5 years ago
vardas0antras
21 hours left !!! I hope my opponent does not forfeit and if he does forfeit, I hope he realizes that one cannot make arguments in the final round.
Posted by vardas0antras 5 years ago
vardas0antras
"Does that make it right or morally proper?"
Now, I would say that cursing isn't proper nor right but it is commonly practiced and is harmless enough for it to be legal.
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Vote Placed by gavin.ogden 5 years ago
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