High school Public Forum Debate resolutions should not confront sensitive religious issues.
Debate Rounds (4)
1. first speeches
2. questions ONLY
3. answering those questions
4. closing speeches.
For clarification, I will define the terms:
High school: Grades 9-12
Public Forum Debate: persuasive and logical arguments in a manner that is accessible to a wide variety of audiences
Resolutions: advocacy for solving a problem or establishing a solution
Should not: ought not if leads to significant negative reaction
Sensitive: historically shown to provoke a negative reaction
Religious issues: conflict that stems from religion
On to my three contentions.
Firstly, Religion is taught in public schools. Not only has the supreme court rules that teaching religion in school is appropriate, it has repeatedly ruled that it is a civic nessesity. Justice Tom Clark wrote "It might as well be said that one's education is not complete without a study of comparitive religion or of the history of religion and its relationship to the advancement of civilazation." Regardless of whether a student choses to debate religious topics, they will be exposed to comparitive religious education as they should be. Stephen Prothero, a religion professor at Boston univerisity, said "Even if religion doesn't make sense to you, you can't make sense of the world without knowing something about the world's religions" If schools did not teach about religion, students would have an incomplete grasp on world history. Because they do teach comparitive religion, further exploring the more sensitive aspects in debate can do no harm, only expand the understanding of these issues and the education of those debating them.
Secondly, Students are not forced to Debate against their beliefs. Because Debate is a voluntary activity, no student will be forced to debate sensitive religious issues if he does not wish to. If for some reason a student has a problem debating the topic, they can simply chose not to debate that month. These students will not be deprieved of the opportunity to debate, as there are many other forms of debate with different topics that the debater could take part in for that month. Just because a few debaters have an objection to a topic, does not mean that the topic should be censored. The countless other debaters that want to take advantage of multipul benefits of debating sensitive relious should not be denied the opportunity to because of a select group of people. If the debater still wishes to debate in public forum, they can run cases that do not directly adress the sensitive issues. Both of these options are availible to all students, and so debaters are not forced to debate against their beliefs.
And third, We should debate sensitve religious issues. Seuanne Dolentz said, "Raising the question of religion and spirituality can start some heated debates, but that doesn't mean they should be avoided." Religious beliefs are personal beliefs, and like other personal beliefs such as poltical veiws, they should be debated. Aaron Meyers explains that ," Religion is given special privileges in most areas of public life, from politics to casual conversation ... People treat religion as if it is something immutable, like race or sex, rather than as a choice that a person makes for themselves." Religious beliefs are views people choose to adopt and like all other views they should be debated to fully understand their merits and downfalls. Refusing to debate about religion and thereby leaving it uncontested, inhibits the dissemination of valuable information and arguments about prominent beliefs that affect many facets of humanity. As Matt Cherry, the Executive Director Of the Council for Secular Humanism said, "religious and philosophical views should be every bit as open to debate and discussion as political beliefs".
It is for these reasons I urge you to vote con!
Many say that since high school students are technically adults, they should be able to conduct themselves as such, the same high school students that yell, scream and shoot spit wads. This doesn't apply to everyone, without a doubt, but for the select few without the ability to comprehend such topics, it can prevent copious of controversy and outside of debate complications.
Religion is a notoriously touchy subject, sometimes leading to war. While I'm saying Public Form Debaters will start the next Crusade, but it will lead to unwanted confrontations. In many religions, such as Islam and forms of Christianity, forbids it's followers to speak out against their religion. These rights should not be compromised to debate a topic that may or may not be implemented and is only to see how high school students conduct themselves in a controversial situation.
Another contention is that the amount of religious families in the United States, many may not let their children attend, and the ones that will attend will be few. Public Form Debate has had it's bouts with controversy in areas like politics and morals, but religion is what most people follow their lives by. Questioning someone's religion is the equivalent of questioning someone's existence.
1. How can there be "little to no evidence" when by case has its basis in facts. Are you saying that my facts are invalid?
2. You said that only a few debaters aren't mature enough to debate sensitive religious issues. Should the majority of the participants be punished for the immaturity of a few?
3. Doesn't debating sensitive issues teach debaters maturity and tact? Where else can we learn to be sensitive and respectful of other religions?
4. You said, "I'm saying Public Form Debaters will start the next Crusade". Is that a typo?
5. Please state exactly, with evidence from a actually source (NOT A BLOG), were it says that religious people cannot speak out against there religion?
6. The definition of Religious issues is conflict that stems from religion. How are student speaking out against there religion when they are not talking about religion at all, but issues that stem from it?
7. You said that parents will not allow students to debate sensitive religious issues, but some parents disagree with every resolution and debate participation numbers have been increasing, not decreasing.
8. You said, "Religion is what most people follow their lives by. Questioning someone's religion is the equivalent of questioning someone's existence." What do you say to alot of people, like me, who have no religion? Also, debating sensitive religious issues encourages tolerance and decreases bias. The UN states that "Education is the most effective means of preventing intolerance." And what better way to increase tolernance then to educate debaters about both sides of a sensitive issue. Refusing to debate sensitive religious issues would be refusing to understand the most controversial issues fully. In a Pew survey on basic religious knowledge, most Americans scored 50% or less. This directly relates to intolerance. 46% of Americas believe that Islam is more likey to encouarge religion, and 17% don't treat other religions with respect, and 46% of Americas believe that Islam is more likey to encouarge violence. James Moore said, "Knowledge of Islam will enable the American people to make rational decisions and increase religious tolerance and social justice." He went on to say Islam education would, "abolish harmful stereotypes, reduce prejudice and discrimination, and improve intercultural understanding." Clearly, religious education will increase tolerance, and the education gained by debaters is key to increasing tolerance. Eric English said, " Just as walking a mile in unfamiliar shoes lends perspective, switch-side debating increases appreciation of contrary opinions as the debater ‘‘tries on' an unfamiliar idea rather than relying on simplification, reduction, or rejection." How can debaters can decreasing bias views that the religion they hold inflicts upon them be considered a negative thing?
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