The Instigator
McPherson
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ConservativePolitico
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

"Holocaust" ought not be used to refer to the mass murder by the Nazi's

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
ConservativePolitico
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/30/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 862 times Debate No: 44939
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

McPherson

Pro

The word "Holocaust" is a liturgical term to refer to burnt offerings.

In today's world when we hear the word "Holocaust" we think of Nazi's and gas chambers and Jews. I say this is not only a misapplication of the word "holocaust" but is also incredibly offensive to all those who died en masse alongside Jews in and out of concentration camps.

1. The word "holocaust" is an ancient term spanning all the way the early Greeks. It means whole, burnt offering. These offerings were made in ancient pagan temples usually of animals but also sometimes of grains and incense, etc. Judaism, while detesting the burnt offerings of the pagans, nevertheless had holocaust rites for their own temple and synagogues and even homes. It was part of life. If Judaism still had its temple and priests and prescribed traditions according to their scriptures- Jerusalem would be tainted by the smell of holocaust for some distance surrounding their temple. The Jews had an entire market based on temple sacrifices - holocausts. The Christian savior, Jesus, even contended with these numerous businesses based in holocaust whipping around reeds and shouting and overturning tables crying out "stop turning my father's house into a den of thieves" It wasn't until after world war 2 and the great push for the creation of Israel thousands of miles away from the Germany in Palestine that "Holocaust" began to refer really to the Jews.

2. Limiting the word "holocaust" to the suffering of the Jews is excessively offensive to other demographics that lost millions of people to Nazi concentration camps and ideologies. Catholics claim 4 million lost as a result of Nazism. Ask any catholic who belongs to the Militia Immaculata how they feel about St. Maximilian Kolbe and his time in the concentration camps. Why would they not get politically correct access to the liturgical term just like the Jews? It's clear - the term was used for a political agenda being the creation of Israel by the international community in the nation of Palestine. Thats another debate. The point is in 2014 - the word "holocaust" is exclusive to the loss of the european Jews. I would ask whoever would rise to this challenge to show why that is proper in the spirit of truth. Why is the word "holocaust" not applied to every horrible mass murder - especially given its foundations are again pagan Greek.

I think words are an important aspect of who we are individually and collectively. When words are abused or reassigned meaning for the satisfaction of ulterior motives, suffering occurs.

The negation will be responsible for supporting the use of the word "holocaust" as it is commonly used today referring to the genocidal events performed by the Nazi's against those in Judaism.

I am asking anyone to see this to not look at my position as one that is "holocaust denying" its not. This is not a review or a debate of whether people in the estimated numbers we were told actually were murdered. This is about language and the effects.

Friends, words should be carefully treated and I am asking each of you to use the word "holocaust" in its proper contexts, liturgy.
ConservativePolitico

Con

I want to thank my opponent for an interesting debate topic! I will now post my responses.

Response

Definition of holocaust:

hol·o·caust [hol-uh-kawst, hoh-luh-]
noun
1. a great or complete devastation or destruction, especially by fire.
2. a sacrifice completely consumed by fire; burnt offering.
3. ( usually initial capital letter ) the systematic mass slaughter of European Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II (usually preceded by the ).
4. any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life.
Origin: 1200–50; Middle English
[1]

My opponent wants to argue that the word holocaust is primarily Jewish in origin and therefore somehow disrespects the other parties that were involved in this horrific atrocity when this is simply not the case. The primary definition of holocaust, as dating back to 13th century Middle English, is a great or complete devastation especially by fire.

The reason this definition is used is because the bodies of the victims in the Nazi purging were burned in furnaces. Thus the definition of holocaust, a great devastation by fire, is an accurate one to describe the event that took place. The reason why the Jews and the Jewish culture is the one most focused on (not solely focused on) when discussing the holocaust is because the Jews were a) targeted most directly and primarily by the Nazi regime and b) were almost completely wiped out.

The "complete" aspect of the definition of holocaust applies more directly to the Jews than to any other group as the Jews were almost indeed completely wiped out. This does not belittle the loss of life by other groups but the Jews were most publicly opposed. If you want to take it's traditional definition of a burnt offering we can use that too. The people deemed unfit by the Nazis were sacrificed on their alter of progress and purging. They were sacrificed to the gods of Nazism. That fits too. However, nowhere in the traditional English definition of holocaust does it refer directly and only to Jews.

The definition of The Holocaust does not exclude the deaths and suffering of other groups of people who were not Jews. In fact, it is widely recognized and falls under the heading of holocaust to include other groups the Nazis did not favor.

"During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived 'racial inferiority': Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and homosexuals." [2]

The Holocaust is just a name put to this event in history so that we may reference the mass Nazi killings of anyone of "racial inferiority", not just Jews. Similarly, the Colombian Exchange, the exchange of culture, foods, disease etc that occurred in the 15th century is referred to and can be associated with mass deaths but we do not claim that Columbus ferried all the stuff over himself. It is a name given as a point of reference.

1. The word holocaust is not primarily Jewish in use or origin and only became synonymous with the death of Jews because the Jews were the group most publicly and vehemently pursued by the Nazis.

2. The title of "The Holocaust" does not exclude people who were not Jews. It's not like the gypsies and Christians were killed in a different event. It's all the holocaust, it's all terrible and no one is disrespected or left out.

3. Given the definition of something consumed by fire, whether you interpret that as an offering, the fires of fascism or something else you can't ignore the fact that millions of lives were indeed consumed by fire. This was a mass genocide which ended for most in the furnace therefore making the word holocaust both haunting and relevant.

4. The title of holocaust is widely accepted. There is no debate or disagreement or malcontent about the title. It is widely accepted and it is widely known that the holocaust included more than just Jews.

5. The title of holocaust does not by definition rule out the other groups targeted and lost in the genocide.

Therefore, the name is relevant, appropriate and should stand as is.

Thank you.

[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://www.ushmm.org...
Debate Round No. 1
McPherson

Pro

Thank you.

The con has provided a definition that is far more contemporary than its roots. Any judge can do any search and know for a fact that the word "Holocaust" was an ancient greek term according to wikipedia specifically "from the Greek P01;_5;a2;_4;^5;`5;`3;`4;_9;`2; hol"kaustos: h"los, "whole" and kaust"s, "burnt")[2]"

THEN THE CON SAID : My opponent wants to argue that the word holocaust is primarily Jewish in origin and therefore somehow disrespects the other parties that were involved in this horrific atrocity when this is simply not the case. The primary definition of holocaust, as dating back to 13th century Middle English, is a great or complete devastation especially by fire.

AGAIN THE PRO SAYS IT WAS GREEK NOT JEWISH. THE JEWS FOUND THE GREEK HOLOCAUSTS OFFENSIVE!

My friend - you stated: "The reason this definition is used is because the bodies of the victims in the Nazi purging were burned in furnaces. Thus the definition of holocaust, a great devastation by fire, is an accurate one to describe the event that took place. The reason why the Jews and the Jewish culture is the one most focused on (not solely focused on) when discussing the holocaust is because the Jews were a) targeted most directly and primarily by the Nazi regime and b) were almost completely wiped out. "

This is irrelevant to the use of the word. 4 million catholics, again died, in concentration camps and for ideological reasons. And what have the whole sale slaughter of buddhists. I mean thank you for the history lesson BUT ITS NON RESPONSIVE. This is not about whether people died in furnaces... sure they did - Jews Christians Atheists Gays Orthodox thats entire point.. we have one religion capitalizing on a term that is liturgical in nature and who had a nation built upon the misuse of the word.

HE SAYS that it is an umbrella term...but does Israel allow immediate amnesty to non jews in their nation occupying palestine thousands of miles from where the Nazi's were? The answer is an absolute "no" and we all know it.

THE CON MAKES ONE ACTUAL ARGUMENT WHEN HE STATES
"4. The title of holocaust is widely accepted. There is no debate or disagreement or malcontent about the title. It is widely accepted and it is widely known that the holocaust included more than just Jews."

TO WHICH I SAY---- O B J E C T I O N!

Ad Populum Fallacy - wide acceptance does not make something correct or true

Non Sequitur Fallacy - it does not follow that the widespread misuse of the word "holocaust" is justification enough to continue to use the term in a context outside of liturgical language UNLESS YOU HAVE A POLITICAL AGENDA.

HOLISTICALLY MY OPPONENT SUFFERS FROM THE FOLLOWING ADDITIONAL FALLACIES

1. Straw Man Fallacy.
The con has postured his position as one that supports survivors of the mass murder enacted by the Nazi's. This is regrettable because this is not the point of the argument. No one disputes that some 60 million people died as a result of WW2. What is under dispute and is not refuted is the misuse of an ANCIENT GREEK LITURGICAL WORD to FUEL THE POLITICAL MOTIVATIONS OF ONE GROUP - the Jews and the creation of Israel thousands of miles away from the Nazi's.

MY OPPONENT SHOULD JUST COME OUT AND SAY IT - He thinks the word "holocaust" should be considered appropriate because he believes that Israel has a right to exist on that basis (or worse - the bible). IF HE DOESN'T THINK THIS he's certainly not helping the cause.

2. TU QUOQUE FALLACY

The con thinks, much like in his argument that its wide spread use is justification enough for the vernacular use of the word it well known among logicians that just because someone else has done a thing - it does not entitle you to the same act or conclusion.

ON A FINAL NOTE

While the con made a good effort to dismantle the PRO POSITION in stating that the Jews were burned upon what he called altars to the ideas of Nazi's and that any people mass burned can be umbrella'd under that term - that is horribly offensive even still. NO PERSON OF ANY RELIGIOUS OR NON RELIGIOUS PERSUASION NEVER WANTS TO THINK OF THEMSELVES IN THE CONTEXT OF BEING AN OFFERING TO AN EVIL NAZI IDEA GOD.

THE TRUTH IS he has absolutely provided NO REASON for why the word "holocaust" ought to still be used to refer to the mass murder enacted by the Nazi's against the Jews.

FRIENDS - genocide is universally known as evil. That's not under dispute. BUT VOTE ON THE FACTS:

1. "Holocaust" is greek and has, until recently, been used in liturgical context UNTIL there was a political incentive to "santify" one group of people who suffered among many other demographics who suffered under Nazism but never got a Catholic State in Mongolia or an Orthodox state in Ethiopia or an Atheist State in Brazil... Only the Jews- where the word "holocaust" was misapplied got a Jewish State in Palestine.

In 2014 we can be honest enough to admit when a sacrilege to an otherwise ancient holy word has been abused.

Thank you.

CAST A PRO VOTE!!
ConservativePolitico

Con

In an attempt to sound smart and put together my opponent has strung together a rambling argument that does not make much sense.

1. The roots of a word don't matter much when it's being used in contemporary language. In multiple historical accounts of how The Holocaust got it's name, it is derived from the term "holocaust" which was used since the 18th century to describe a death of a large group of people. It was used by many people including Winston Churchill who in 1933 used the word holocaust to describe American deaths in World War I [1]. So here we have a contemporary word describing the death of a large group of people, used by non Jews to describe the death of gentiles. I don't see where the debate is.

2. If you want to argue the merits of Zionists using the holocaust to create a Jewish state in the Middle East, that is a completely different argument. Just because Jews have attached special meaning to the word holocaust and used it for political gain doesn't mean that the initial naming of the genocide was wrong or that it is still wrong today. Stay focused on the resolution. The word holocaust was not "misapplied" as you put it. Misused at a later date? Perhaps but that is a different debate.

3. The word holocaust, in all of its meanings, ancient and contemporary fit the events of the holocaust. There is no good reason to disqualify the title because you are incensed about the state of Israel.

4. I don't have to make any arguments, technically, Pro has the Burden of Proof and I must just prevent them from fulfilling it.

5. How can you claim a word is "widespread" and "misused"? If a word has become widespread and taken on a new, contemporary use, stemming back from the 18th century, 200 years before WWII, who are you to claim it is misused? That may be your opinion but has no basis in debatable fact. The thing about language is that words take on new meanings, language evolves, and the way it does that is through widespread acceptance of the word by the people speaking. Therefore, the appeal to wide acceptance works when discussing when words became popular and entered the vernacular. This case the modern English word holocaust appeared in the 13th century and became popular for describing deaths of large groups of people in the 18th century and was thus applied in the 20th century.

Take this argument...

I. The word holocaust means the death of a large group of people, dating back from 13th century English, finding widespread use in the 18th century.
II. The Nazis caused the death of a large group(s) of people.
III. The Nazis caused a holocaust.

It's simple. The definition fits. The word has roots and uses stemming all across history, across cultural and political borders in multiple different languages. The meaning is clear: the death of a large group of people. It only becomes more appropriate when we examine how the bodies were disposed.

The word is not misused. It might have been a crutch for the Jews to create a state in the Middle East but that is a completely different debate.

- PRO has made no legitimate arguments except to show that he is anti-Israel.
- The word holocaust has multiple varied uses, all of which can be applied to the actions of the Nazis.
- Multiple groups and millions of non Jews died in the event known as the holocaust and are not discredited or forgotten.

Pro has not fulfilled the burden of proof.
Debate Round No. 2
McPherson

Pro

Well since the con is dissatisfied with my "attempt to sound smart" in a forum where you only read- I do apologize. It's funny how mingling words that don't belong can stab you later. On that note - I would like to see debate.org create a video recording system wherein timed speeches can be recorded to a timer. Hearing an argument and reading an argument are two different experiences... just like beginning to apply one word to another word. You only reassign a term when you need to associate it for a cause. Therein is the entire point of this argument.

Remember friends the topic has always been:

"Holocaust" OUGHT NOT be used to refer to the mass murder by the Nazi's.

The con has sought to persuade on you the grounds that it the widespread use of the word "holocaust" is acceptable ipso facto. When we debate "ought" we naturally are meant to spend a lot of time on the impacts of the acts and circumstances. That's how you, as judges, ought to vote.

Now I am new to this arena in general and have happily learned plenty of people are taking debate seriously so in future debates I suppose I'll commit to being more formal until we can convince someone to respond to the idea of timed, recorded speeches. Seriously though - thats a great idea.

I will address each of the con's points as they are numerically listed and tell you why you ultimately identify with the pro position.

To #1 I reply:

The roots of a word absolutely matter when it is being used in a contemporary language... AND IS offensive and hurtful in nature, is shrouded by a motivation the con acknowledges in reference to Zionist ideology.

There are many words that are originally rooted in very harmless or otherwise informative language. My mind goes to the word "black" and how likewise where the con fails to acknowledge the point of offense he can't grasp the term OUGHT.

AND ITS NOT LIKE "HOLOCAUST" IS THE ONLY WORD WE CAN USE. "Genocide" "Ethnic Cleansing" "Mass murder" are easy and accurate substitutes.

Most importantly in his first argument the con at last agreed that the word is a liturgical word rooted in the Greek. In a debate surrounded by definitions etymology is more accurate than what is gutteral. NO WAY!

Con's #2 I say:

He desperately wants to avoid the direct impact surrounding the debate. "Holocaust" ought not be used to refer to the mass murder by the Nazi's. Thats the topic. Again when we evaluate what we will to do - we consider circumstances, the act itself, and the consequences. The con doesn't want to talk about my argument for why the word "holocaust" ought not be used - that is - because of a horrible and offensive result - that is - using a sacred, liturgical word - as even they knew it to be - to apply it to the propaganda. It's offensive to Palestinians. It's offensive to every demographic that was whole sale victim of Nazi concentration camps and ideology.

Judges - when you vote please acknowledge that as the PRO I have provided and affirmative reason for why you "ought not" use this vulgur vernacular AND I EVEN OFFER THE ALTERNATIVE of "mass murder" as non-offensive, accurate replacement.
Please consider the consequences of actions and the circumstances that real people are in.

In the cons contention 3 he decides to just "go for it" and insist that "holocaust" is proper. All I have to say to this is why don't you explain this to a Palestinian.

Con 4: he says he doesn't have to make any arguments. TO BE FRANK:
He never made one... good debate, eh? Though I was sort of hoping he would. Then it wouldn't feel like this is a symposium.
Nevertheless he does assert, baselessly, that I never met my burden of proof for the topic which is... wait... what is it again?

Con 5 - I refer you all again to the logical fallacies he is still intoxicated by - Non Sequitur, Tu Quoque, Straw Man, Ad Populum... AND LETS NOW ADD "AD HOMINEM" - Don't allow the con to get away with this fallacy that basically demeans an argument based on the author. IT IS JUST MY OPINION BUT THAT DOESN'T ADDRESS THE FORWARD ARGUMENT I GAVE FOR WHY YOU OUGHT NOT. Burden of proof. Legion of boom. (Sorry had to)

In his cute "Take this argument" he errs again in the same boring way - yes it is the vernacular for yes the death of many jews (and others admittedly) and yes for the specific reasons of mass cremation. OH... "CREMATION" another accurate word that is not offensive and politcally charged. THIS DEBATE IS A CHALLENGE TO THE VERNACULAR - THE CON IS ONLY TELLING YOU THE VERNACULAR IS THE VERNACULAR. The con has no position.

Finally - the con said I'm anti-Israel. While that is entirely offensive - why would an objection to Israel as a nation be a reason to vote for con. Native Americans deserve respect in the language we use as modern Americans because of the genocide. WE RUINED THE TERM "MANIFEST DESTINY" LIKE THE CON'S ILK HAVE RUINED "HOLOCAUST"

"Holocaust" ought not be used to refer to the mass murder by the Nazis.... for good reason
ConservativePolitico

Con

I affirm that there is no good reason to change the name of the holocaust. Pro has given no solid reasons to show how the term is offensive.

If there was a great uproar, backlash, or other type of civil or social upheaval about the word then there would be more of a case. Saying "the word holocaust is offensive" just because you feel like it is is not the basis of a cogent argument. I have shown that...
A. Holocaust is used properly when referring to the mass killing of Jews by the Nazis.
B. There is no great backlash against the word.
C. It is widely accepted and has been for decades.

I am siding with the status quo, yes. I am defending the vernacular as Pro says because Pro has given no good reason to change what is already accepted.

I am challenging the claim that holocaust is a sacred and holy word, it's not anymore. It's been used in the vernacular and has been commonplace for use of this kind of event for centuries.

Pro is incensed about the use of the word but doesn't seem to have a good reason to be. One angry person does not give grounds to change a widely, worldwide, use of a word.

Pro also says that I both made fallacious arguments and that I made no arguments at all. Which is it? His debate was inconsistent and not compelling.

He had the burden of proof to show that the word Holocaust ought not be used. I have defended the fact that it fits, it's accepted, not offensive and should stay the way it is. Pro has given no compelling reason to change the status quo.

Besides saying that he feels like the word is sacred and offensive, which it doesn't seem to be, he has given no other good reason to change the vernacular and the status quo.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
McPhersonConservativePoliticoTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Word usage cannot be an ad populum fallacy, as Con pointed out, because usage determines meaning. That everyone understands the meaning is a sufficient reason to continue unless there is some very compelling reason to change. Pro's argument was sketchy and unconvincing; holocaust applies to the mass murder of any group, not just Jews, so for Pro's case to make sense the dictionary definition as it exists has to be first changed to make the term just apply to Jews. Con correctly argued from the dictionary definition, Pro did not.