The Instigator
socialpinko
Pro (for)
Winning
9 Points
The Contender
200machao
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Flag burning

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/9/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,395 times Debate No: 15267
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (2)

 

socialpinko

Pro

I will take the pro position for the ability to burn an american flag as a form of political protest. Con will argue that one should not have the right to burn an american flag.

Round 1: acceptance, definitions
Rounds 2,3, and 4:arguments and rebuttals

Flag burning: the act of burning a flag, especially the flag of a nation as an act of protest at that nation's activities
http://www.allwords.com...
200machao

Con

My sole argument is that protests are allowed, so long as they don't harm others. For example, if my way to "protest" against obama was to shoot him, that would obviously not be permitted. Thus if i can prove burning flags becoming a social norm poses a serious threat to others, then we must prohibit it for concern for the societal good.
http://www.baptistboard.com...
this essentially shows several risks the flames emitted from the flags can do. Examples of consequences are accidental fire starts as flags are highly flammable as well as children being exposed to the smoke. There are other ways to protest other than burning a flag. Now imagine if every american or obama hater decided to burn a flag. Imagine what that would do to the enviorment as well as the children of the enviorment.

Second: The govt has an obligation to protect everone, and in some instances protect them even if they dont want to be protected. Burning flags is often one of the most despised things to see by us patriots, and the majority of americans tend to, well, i don't know, like america. So imagine if you see protesters burning flags everywhere, this would obviously enrage protesters. They would perhaps resort to violnt acts to retaliate at their flag, symbol of their nations pride getting demolished. Even if its not violence, the people burning flags would be looked down upon and subjected to social stigmatization as many people would form opinions about these people as traitors which links to discrimination.
Debate Round No. 1
socialpinko

Pro

"this essentially shows several risks the flames emitted from the flags can do."

Just because there are risks for an activity does not mean it should be outlawed. There is risk that your parachute may not open or that you will get into a car accident but driving and parachuting are not illegal.

"Examples of consequences are accidental fire starts as flags are highly flammable as well as children being exposed to the smoke."

Leaving a curling iron on accidentally or lightning striking can cause fires but no one is sent to jail for accidentally leaving an appliance on or for natural processes.

"There are other ways to protest other than burning a flag."

There are other ways to make macaroni other than boiling water. Flag burning is used when motions run high. When the government does something atrocious like commit a genocide, burning a flag hardly seems too radical.

"Now imagine if every american or obama hater decided to burn a flag. Imagine what that would do to the enviorment(sic) as well as the children of the enviorment.(sic)"

Lighting any fire can be harmful to the environment. Should we outlaw camp fires now? No. You are trying to control every aspect of everyone's lives.

"The govt has an obligation to protect everone(sic), and in some instances protect them even if they don't want to be protected."

So people should not be able to harm themselves by smoking or consuming large amounts of alcohol? Every individual has the right to autonomy. They have the right to ingest or do anything to themselves so long as they do not harm anyone else. What right does the government have to take away my right to smoke?

"Burning flags is often one of the most despised things to see by us patriots, and the majority of americans tend to, well, i don't know, like america."

Just because one protests the governments actions does not mean that they dislike america. It just means that they care enough about their country to detest harmful actions. Just because a parent detests an action by their child or punishes them does not mean that they dislike the child. It just means that they care enough to not let harmful actions go by.

"So imagine if you see protesters burning flags everywhere, this would obviously enrage protesters. They would perhaps resort to violnt(sic) acts to retaliate at their flag, symbol of their nations pride getting demolished."

Just because something makes someone mad does not mean that that action should be criminalized. Most forms of protest will makes some people mad. Do you have a problem with all religions as religion certainly stirs up strong emotions in people and has in many cases led to extreme violence. And you identified yourself as a patriot. Nationalism has certainly led to many wars. People want to defend their country. I don't necessarily have a problem with that I am just showing that most things will make some people mad and things most precious to most people like religion or patriotism definitely can lead to violence.

"Even if its not violence, the people burning flags would be looked down upon and subjected to social stigmatization as many people would form opinions about these people as traitors which links to discrimination."

Just because someone is looked down upon does not mean their cause is not just. Most protesters are looked down upon by at least someone. The goal of protesting is not to become popular. And if flag burning should be illegal just because it CAN lead to discrimination then from that line of reasoning why don't we just genetically manipulate everyone to become the same sexual orientation, same gender, and same race. And why not force everyone to recognize the same religion and same nationality. This all makes sense according to your line of reasoning as people are discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender, race, religion and nationality. We cannot eliminate individuality to suppress a minority opinion.
200machao

Con

Lets go to his argument about how everything can be dangerous, such as driving a car. First, acts like driving a car are daily activities that are almost a total necessity in modern day life. You won't die from not being able to burn a flag.His examples of a parachute and driving are all acts that do not affect others.

So lets go to his argument about how leaving a curling iron on can harm others but thats not illegal. First, eld i'd say if someone were to do that they should be held accountable if the curling iron causes a fire and kills someone or destroys property, just because it's not illegal right now doesn;t man its the right way to go about. And furthermore, he tries to ridicule the notion of people being sent to jails for leaving ironers on, but i would say it is negligence and ought to be punished. But even if you don't buy that, I would say leaving a curling iron on could just be an accident that can happend in your daily lives, whereas you actively choose to burn a flag. On his lightning example, this completely is irrelevant to flag burning because flag burning is a man made cause, not a natural cause.

He also says people are "sent to jail" for burning flags, making it seem unjust, however it doesnt necessarily have to be incarceration, it could range from a warning to a small fine.

"There are other ways to make macaroni other than boiling water. Flag burning is used when motions run high. When the government does something atrocious like commit a genocide, burning a flag hardly seems too radical."

First, if it really was as bad as genocide i would definetly NOT want people to be burning flags instead of actually doing something. If something such as a holocaust happened and all the people did was burn flags, i'd say they are morally incorrect because they should be overthrowing such tyrannous government, not PROTESTING, which is what burning a flag is.Furthermore, he ASSUMES flag burning is only used when motions rn high, but if there are no limits, one could "burn a flag" to protest a speediing ticket.

"Lighting any fire can be harmful to the environment. Should we outlaw camp fires now? No. You are trying to control every aspect of everyone's lives."

This is a great arguemtn by my opponent. However, I say events such as campifires are done far away from the public and away from the majority of children, so it doesn't show a serious threat.Furthermore, camp fires are reserved for camping and so are perhaps burning a funeral pyre. Burning a flag could become a way to protest every minor decision and protests are much more frequent, thus the chances of starting fires increases dramatically.

"So people should not be able to harm themselves by smoking or consuming large amounts of alcohol? Every individual has the right to autonomy. They have the right to ingest or do anything to themselves so long as they do not harm anyone else. What right does the government have to take away my right to smoke?"

OK, this is where are political views differ. He ridicules the notion of banning the right to smoke or drink alchohol. I'd say the government has an obligation to protect someone not only to protect others around him or protect that individual,m but the government also has to protect themselves. Imagine if everyone was a crackhead and had lung cancer, deaths would skyrocket and the government would face serious problems. I'd say acts such as drinking and smoking are INFAMOUS for harming others through either drunkedness or second hand smoking, so they really should be outlawed, in fact it was outlawed once,however it was not a success, but i would say we should at least put some contraints to drinking and smoking.The government has every right to take away the right to smoke because the right to smoke isn't a fundamental right, it's a selfish right the only person who benefits is you... scratch that, even YOU don't benefit because it harms the body, as well as others, so I'd say getting rid of smoking would get rid of alot of families and governments daily problems. And my opponent is probably gonna say something like "Well guns can harm others too but we don't ban guns, i'd say guns are a check against the government, you can;'t defeat a government with second hand smoke but you can try to defeat them with guns if they become too tyrannous, so possessing guns is much more necessary then smoking or burning a flag.

"Just because one protests the governments actions does not mean that they dislike america. It just means that they care enough about their country to detest harmful actions. Just because a parent detests an action by their child or punishes them does not mean that they dislike the child. It just means that they care enough to not let harmful actions go by."

OK, that might be their view, but what's it going to look like to a patriot or the public? They won't question "excuse me, why are you burning a flag" they will automatically judge the person and perceive him to be "un-patriotic", thus this means they are still going to be stigmatized because of people's perceptions, although that might not be their intent. And i honestly cant see a flag burner burning a flag and holding a "I love America" sign at the same time.

Just because something makes someone mad does not mean that that action should be criminalized. Most forms of protest will makes some people mad. Do you have a problem with all religions as religion certainly stirs up strong emotions in people and has in many cases led to extreme violence. And you identified yourself as a patriot. Nationalism has certainly led to many wars. People want to defend their country. I don't necessarily have a problem with that I am just showing that most things will make some people mad and things most precious to most people like religion or patriotism definitely can lead to violence.

This was funny not because it was a bad argument but because you said i identified myself as a patriot, whereas i meant to say "US patriots, not us patriots, although i do love america and am what you'd call a patriot.
He says religions make people angry too.

But i would say religions differ everywhere, and whereas people disagree on religion in perhaps America i'd say most US citizens love america. So even if a buddhist and christian may not get on religiously, they will still agree most likely that a flag burner is bad. Plus, a flag burner is without many allies, unlike huge religious groupes who have peopl backing them up. The only time social stigmatization happens is when a few people are shunned or looked down upon, so religions are usually big and would not be the subject of "stigma."

Finally, he says im limiting people's rights, but most of these examples he gives, although he thinks they are ridiciulpous and never ought to be illegal, I'd say these examples can harm someone through negligence or just lack of concern for society, and thus needs to be restrained, even if theyre not right now.
Debate Round No. 2
socialpinko

Pro

You won't die from not being able to burn a flag. His examples of a parachute and driving are all acts that do not affect others."

You won't die from not being able to parachute or not being able to drive a car. Why not ride the bus? And are you seriously saying that driving does not affect others? Over 40,000 people die every year in car crashes. This is way more then have died in freak flag burning accidents.

"And furthermore, he tries to ridicule the notion of people being sent to jails for leaving ironers(sic) on, but I would say it is negligence and ought to be punished."

You think someone should go to jail for accidentally leaving a curling iron on? Are you serious?

"First, if it really was as bad as genocide I would definitely (sic) NOT want people to be burning flags instead of actually doing something."

Please do not belittle protesting. It's a much better way to get things done then go to war and kill everyone who doesn't agree with you.

"is a great argument by my opponent. However, I say events such as campfires are done far away from the public and away from the majority of children, so it doesn't show a serious threat."

Are you saying that there has never been a campfire to get out of control? And kids never go camping?

"Imagine if everyone was a crack head and had lung cancer, deaths would skyrocket and the government would face serious problems."

We definitely differ here. We'll let the voters decide if people should be able to decide what they ingest or if we should have a fascistic authoritarian government.

"And my opponent is probably gonna say something like "Well guns can harm others too but we don't ban guns, I'd say guns are a check against the government, you can;'t defeat a government with second hand smoke but you can try to defeat them with guns if they become too tyrannous, so possessing guns is much more necessary then smoking or burning a flag."

I am actually all for gun regulation. I don't think some random jack off the street should be able to get a semi automatic without at least a background check or a psychological evaluation. Because guns actually affect other people.

"OK, that might be their view, but what's it going to look like to a patriot or the public? They won't question "excuse me, why are you burning a flag" they will automatically judge the person and perceive him to be "un-patriotic", thus this means they are still going to be stigmatized because of people's perceptions, although that might not be their intent."

Who cares what it looks like to a patriot. Should we outlaw interracial couples because of how it might look to racists? Why should we outlaw an action just because it might make someone not like someone else? Should we outlaw war because the people who are killed don't like it or look down on those who kill them? And black people were once stigmatized by the majority of society but should being black be outlawed?

"But i would say religions differ everywhere, and whereas people disagree on religion in perhaps America i'd say most US citizens love america. So even if a buddhist and christian may not get on religiously, they will still agree most likely that a flag burner is bad"

You ignore the thousands of religious wars and religious based violence around the world. And who cares if they agree that a flag burner is bad. Does that mean that flag burning is inherently bad?

"The only time social stigmatization happens is when a few people are shunned or looked down upon, so religions are usually big and would not be the subject of "stigma.""

Judaism is a religion and yet they were stigmatized for hundreds of years. And regardless of whether certain religious groups are stigmatized or not(they are) you still ignore the fact that they cause much more violence then any flag burner.
200machao

Con

Ok first, start at the top, where he says driving cars can kill people too, i agree but id say cars are a part of infrastructure and are necessary unless you wanna ride horses,unlike protests, which people can find other less radical ways to express.

Once again,m he ridicules the notiom of sending someone to jail fr leaving on a curling iron, i contend that if that curling iron starts a fire and kills someone's child, i think society would agree thatm person should ACCEPt PARTIAL BLAME.

Go to how he says i shouldnt belittle the power of protests, i will belittle the power of protests in the situation of genocide, because honestly if something like the hitler regime was going on, i would not rely on the "power of protest" and neither should you.

We definitely differ here(on smoking). We'll let the voters decide if people should be able to decide what they ingest or if we should have a fascistic authoritarian government.

Don't let him link everything to a "facist government" he does this nonstop, don't let him do this hes trying to get you to perceive me a tyrant, but smoking and alchohol doesnt necessarily have to be STOPPEd, it just has to be LIMITED, unless you think people should have so much autonomy they can get drunk and smoke and spend all their money on drinking instead of their families, then id say youd be advocating the state of nature.

"Are you saying that there has never been a campfire to get out of control? And kids never go camping?"

True, kids go camping and campfires happen, but once again, campfires unlike burning falgs are not started in the middle of a street. Furthermore, not all kids go camping and those who do dont do it too frequently, whereas burning a flag can be done anywhere anytime, as protests are normal.

he says who cares what it looks to a patriot or a american, i'd say it matters because i think we can agre most americans like america, even though they might not like the politics, they can agree they like the place. He mentions racists, first off, hard core racists are not as plentiful as patriots, racism is growing less and less with integration.

Judaism is a religion and yet they were stigmatized for hundreds of years. And regardless of whether certain religious groups are stigmatized or not(they are) you still ignore the fact that they cause much more violence then any flag burner.

Ok good point, but judaism is only 2% of the world religions , on a scale factor, that's like 100 to 2, so im saying groups such as christians are stigmatized alot less, plus in the current era, jews have faced a lot less stigmatization.
Debate Round No. 3
socialpinko

Pro

"Once again,m he ridicules the notiom(sic) of sending someone to jail fr(sic) leaving on a curling iron, i contend that if that curling iron starts a fire and kills someone's child, i think society would agree thatm(sic) person should ACCEPt PARTIAL BLAME."

I'm not talking about what if someone gets hurt and who to blame. I am talking about how ridiculous it is to outlaw something because there is a CHANCE someone could get hurt. That is why I pointed out curling irons and automobiles. I don't really care about punishment as that is not the point of this debate. You are straying off topic. I am pointing out that everything can have a dangerous element and you have not reasonably shown why flag burning is any more dangerous then a cacmp fire or a curling iron.

"Go to how he says i shouldnt belittle the power of protests, i will belittle the power of protests in the situation of genocide, because honestly if something like the hitler regime was going on, i would not rely on the "power of protest" and neither should you."

I believe more in protesting then killing all who disagree with you but again you're getting off topic. I was making the point that there is nothing wrong with flag burning when it is a part of political protest.

"Don't let him link everything to a "facist government" he does this nonstop, don't let him do this hes trying to get you to perceive me a tyrant, but smoking and alchohol doesnt necessarily have to be STOPPEd, it just has to be LIMITED, unless you think people should have so much autonomy they can get drunk and smoke and spend all their money on drinking instead of their families, then id say youd be advocating the state of nature."

I don't think that you are a tyrant. I just think that the government shouldn't decide what people put into their own bodies. And it is certainly someone's right to get drunk and smoke and spend all their money on drinking. I'm not saying it's right though.

"True, kids go camping and campfires happen, but once again, campfires unlike burning falgs are not started in the middle of a street."

I think a fire in the middle of a flammable forest is more dangerous then one in the middle of the street. It's not like they're dousing others in the street.

"Furthermore, not all kids go camping and those who do dont do it too frequently, whereas burning a flag can be done anywhere anytime, as protests are normal."

Most people don't decide to burn flags either. And you cited no source saying that protests were more common than ccampfires.

"he says who cares what it looks to a patriot or a american, i'd say it matters because i think we can agre most americans like america, even though they might not like the politics, they can agree they like the place. "

Most American's like America. You again did not provide a source. And show why this means it is wrong to burn an American flag.

"Ok good point, but judaism is only 2% of the world religions , on a scale factor, that's like 100 to 2, so im saying groups such as christians are stigmatized alot less, plus in the current era, jews have faced a lot less stigmatization."

So you showed that majorities are not stigmatized. You still did not refute that religion has caused much more violence and damage than patriots who don't like flag burners.

To voters, con brought weak arguments that were easily refuted. As you have read, he believes the government should take away each individuals right to autonomy. Con got off topic way too much and could not defend any of his points. VOTE PRO!
200machao

Con

ON his VOters : "The opponen makes weak arguments and I refute them" is NOT a voter! He has to specify which arguments were so weak.

First: Extend the fact that i say protests aren't necessary whereas the examples he gives like cars are necessary and his second example of parachutes do not harm others. Furthermore, comparing the curling iron situation and flag burning, flag burning is worse because even if u buy that you shouldnt be at least help reponsible at all for causing a fire with a curling iron, you actively choose and want to protest by burning a flag.

The topic says "flag burning" and I am against it. However, this doesnt necessarily mean i have to OUTLAW it i simply have to LIMIT it, nowhere in the reslution does it say flag burning ought to be outlawed.

Go to the curling example, i was simply illustrating how certain actions wil cause serious harm and needs to be deterred somehow. Im saying to put a law against LEAvING A CURLING IRON ON AND BLAMING THE PERSON for doing so, not OUTLAWING THE IRON ITSELF.

"I believe more in protesting then killing all who disagree with you but again you're getting off topic. I was making the point that there is nothing wrong with flag burning when it is a part of political protest."

TYhis is where he is contradicitng himelf. HE reserves flag burning for enormous acts of governmental atrocity, such as genocides, not normal daily governmental activities, he conceded this. My argument is that burning flags isnt necessary for small governmental acts, and for large ones, burning a flag is too mild. He also says I am "killing everyone that doesnt agree," personally, i would not want people in the government having moral views about events such as genocides being good so in this situation I think people are entitled to their own opinions but governmental officials who think like this must be removed any way possible.

"I don't think that you are a tyrant. I just think that the government shouldn't decide what people put into their own bodies. And it is certainly someone's right to get drunk and smoke and spend all their money on drinking. I'm not saying it's right though."

Lets use the smoking and drinking example. Sure, you can drink all the soda and eat all the opocorn you want, the govt doesnt care. The only time the government DOES care is when they themselves are harmed. Drunkedness causes riving accidents, reckless behavior, and societal ailments such as death to the user, so the government has to limit this "right." I think this is reasonable considering drinking only benefits yourself whereas it almost surely harms everone around you either physically or emotionally(family members). Im saying you can still drink and have a good time, but just limit the amount, similar to what Im advocating for the flag burning. You say flag burning should categorically be permissible, in order to prove this false i only need to prove there OUGHT to be a limit.

"Most people don't decide to burn flags either. And you cited no source saying that protests were more common than ccampfires."
This is common sense. In this modern age, not everyone wants to go out and build a campfire in the middle of the woods, but even the youngest hipseter these days can walk on the streets and protest. I am arguing that if you allow people to express their views via burning flags with no limit, then thats going to be a problem, because every political group could burn a flag in public areas, and it could become a social norm.

"Most American's like America. You again did not provide a source. And show why this means it is wrong to burn an American flag."

Ok, please don;t get enveloped into a "source" battle. I will provide the source if you demand it in the comments section with a national poll, but honestly if the majority of americans didnt like america, they woulnt be here.

"So you showed that majorities are not stigmatized. You still did not refute that religion has caused much more violence and damage than patriots who don't like flag burners."

OK, first offf I'm not linking flag burning to war on a religious scale, i think those two are two very different things i was simply comparing the two. Second, it doesnt matter the amount of damage, the people are still going to be stigmatized and discriminated against, furthermore i make the argument that whereas christianity and judaism have some consensus within thei groups and at least have some people to basck them up, political views differ so much it is impossible to form a strong political alliance(just look at the USA, basically theres the Democrats and Republicans and then the "rest" category.

Voters:

First: I advocate limiting flag burning, not abolishing it, and this is reasonable, as almost every right is limited right now, even the right to speech is limited and so is the right to bear arms, if yo dont have a license, trefore im not linking into his idea of outlawing the action

Second: Stigmatization: If people are oing to be stigmatized then this is gonna be bad for them as well as society.

Third: Fire hazards: Whereas fires can be started alot different ways, protests are public and frequent and thus cause fires and causes smoking hazards alot more frequently, I think you'd agree limiting this to the public should be a government's obligation to the people.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by 200machao 5 years ago
200machao
you can post your arguments for your case on the next round if you want to and attack mine
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
I didn't tell con he had the BOP. He just took it upon himself to pose his arguments first. I'm not complaining though.
Posted by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
It appears if you expect Con to share BoP, you may want to relax this on future debates.
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
I'll be glad if anyone accepts. I was almost going to take it down.
Posted by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
I almost want to accept this debate, but I'm not sure :I

If this is still up tomorrow I think I'm going to accept this challenge!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Robikan 5 years ago
Robikan
socialpinko200machaoTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's reasoning was flat out ridiculous.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
socialpinko200machaoTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments were absurd.