The Instigator
madmax
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
m93samman
Pro (for)
Winning
24 Points

High school public forum ought not confront sensitive religious topic

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/11/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,303 times Debate No: 13622
Debate Rounds (1)
Comments (5)
Votes (5)

 

madmax

Con

Today, I stand on the firm negation of the resolved: "high school Public Forum Debate resolutions should not confront sensitive religious issues." My standard for the following round will be the maximization of preventing societal transgression in the US. Its criterion will be defined as maximizing the practice of righteous duties (as defined by the US Constitution and its Amendments) by the government and its citizens in the United States as much as possible. My criterion is directly correlated with my standard because the US Constitution has been the quintessential foundation of America's system of justice, citizenship, and most significantly, freedom. If citizens cannot uphold its obligations, then the entire infrastructure falls down.
My first contention is that any limitation or restriction upon the free flow of ideas and subsequent discussions upon these ideas is both a blatant and unacceptable endorsement of censorship and hence an attack on the US Constitution. Furthermore, such prohibition means that America would be embracing a paramount tenet of dictatorship, communism, and other anti-democratic governments. The First Amendment in the US Constitution clearly states: "Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech." It makes absolutely no statement whatsoever that puts a limit on the citizen's liberty to discuss "controversial" topics, and explicitly states that the freedom of speech is an inherent, unalienable right given to all citizens. Nor does it unambiguously establish "separation between church and state" – it mentions that Congress will make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Now, since Public Forum is an unbiased debate in which claims must be supported by proven, factual evidence rather than arbitrary, abstract ones, it will not burden the students with indoctrination or propaganda upon a certain religion. Now, if citizens were to undermine it and materialize the atrocious idea of verbal suppression, the preferred criterion of fulfilling the obligations given by the Constitution can no longer be achieved (and the standard can no longer be attained).
My second contention is that such resolutions addressing religious issues will provide debaters with unprejudiced, accurate information about various religions, ergo promoting religious tolerance. In fact, according to USA Today, only 47% of the surveyed adult knew Dalai Lama was Buddhist; 52% knew that Ramadan was the Islamic holy month. This is an astounding series of figures. And lack of knowledge in religions will ultimately lead to intolerance and prejudice. For instance, in America, the religion of Islam carries a very negative connotation ever since a small extremist faction caused 9/11. This intolerance is literally an "intrusion" to the freedom of religion given by the Constitution, because it grants all religions protection. Now, since Public Forum is a debate based upon unbiased, impartial facts that must originate from credible sources, no outrageous stereotypes (i.e. All Muslims are bad people because a tiny faction of extremists caused 9/11) or offending remarks will be brought into the round. Rather, it will provide exceptional educational value to Public Forum debaters (which is the primary goal of high-school debate) by giving proven, impartial facts about the both sides of the debate. If we can give these debaters an exposure to the truth, rather than biased stereotype, their tendency to be religiously-biased will be curtailed tremendously, ultimately effacing religious intolerance. This phenomenon fulfills the preferred standard and criterion in the round, because by reducing religious intolerance, we are defending the First Amendment in which the protection of freedom of religion is guaranteed as an inherent right to all Americans; ergo, we will be preventing societal transgression because by upholding the virtues of the Constitution, we are fulfilling our rightful duties/given laws as citizens.
m93samman

Pro

I thank my opponent for this debate.

== Rebuttal of Con ==

My opponent provides 2 contentions to uphold his advocacy. The first is that "any limitation or restriction upon the free flow of ideas and subsequent discussions upon these ideas is both a blatant and unacceptable endorsement of censorship and hence an attack on the US constitution." Consider the following responses.

---> 1) The US does not endorse ALL free speech. For example, defamation of character, libel, and slander all are unacceptable abuses of "free speech" http://www.expertlaw.com... We can't expect EVERYTHING one says to be protected under the constitution. What is known as "reckless disregard for the truth" is not a protected speech.

---> 2) Many cases have covered this issue; it is, as an issue, discussed in depth here http://www.yale.edu... If my opponent is for absolute freedom of speech, he is obliged to defend the teaching of religion and creationism, as well as evolution, in mixed classrooms. Clearly, this is an area where censorship is reasonable.

My opponent proceeds to claim that censorship will lead us to communism, dictatorship, and other anti-democratic governments. This is totally unwarranted; we've had censorship since the Scopes trial and otherwise, we still are the US and A.

My opponent's second contention argues that addressing religious issues will inform a relatively unenlightened public about a topic- religion- that people are generally uninformed about. I'll leave this, and assure the audience that it will be addressed in my case.

== Pro Case ==

1) There is no reasonable resolution that could confront a "sensitive religious issue" without forcing students to defend a controversial, apparently hateful position.

Look to any "sensitive religious issue"; one will find it difficult to claim that a fair debate can be extracted. e.g. The ground zero mosque in a debate context would force debaters to defend a position that denies constitutional rights to people on the basis of religion. Had the topic been terrorism in the Middle East, debaters would have to defend an extremist Islamic ideology that Muslims themselves don't embrace. It is simply unfair to force anyone to debate an issue that inherently corners the debater into an unfortunate predicament where, without even analyzing it, we can see that there WILL be bias.

2) Religion in the classroom has been disruptive.

http://www.journaltimes.com...
We see that, even without a prompting discussion, students among themselves can get potentially violent, verbally or even physically when it comes to religion. I'm not going to get too far into detail; all I'm going to do is point out that it is not reasonable to accept religion as a topic of discussion in a heterogeneous society.

In conclusion, what we're left with is an icky quagmire. If an atheist was to debate, how could you expect him to defend a religion? If a group of Muslims were forced to oppose the construction of the ground zero mosque, how would they react? If zionists were forced to defend Palestine, what could result?

Thank you, I urge a pro ballot.
Debate Round No. 1
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by twsurber 6 years ago
twsurber
POFO topic with a modified LD swager :o) Debate should be able to discuss most any topic without regard to sensitivity. Gandhi once said that opposing sides can be in conflict without infliction of violence. Issues are oftentimes resolved by discussion.
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
It's not. There are sensitive religious issues, that doesn't make all religion sensitive.
Posted by Ste93 6 years ago
Ste93
why is religion a sensitive topic?
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
:O what a beach. I'm just playing in the sand
Posted by TheParadox 6 years ago
TheParadox
Wow, way to copy and paste my entire argument.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by S98-SAMMAN 6 years ago
S98-SAMMAN
madmaxm93sammanTied
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Vote Placed by shadow835 6 years ago
shadow835
madmaxm93sammanTied
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Vote Placed by gavin.ogden 6 years ago
gavin.ogden
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Vote Placed by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
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Vote Placed by twsurber 6 years ago
twsurber
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