The Instigator
Nametaken
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
KADET_4N6
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Is Columbus Day really a good thing to celebrate?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Nametaken
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/23/2012 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,614 times Debate No: 23803
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (30)
Votes (2)

 

Nametaken

Con

I don't believe Columbus was a man to be celebrated. He did, of course, discover America, but he remains a man of arrogance, spite, conceit, and, above all else, selfishness & self-righteousness.

-Columbus initiated the policy of enslaving Native Americans and treating them as though they weren't human, causing the genocide of an estimated three million people indigenous to America.

-Even after he had been met with generosity by the Arawak, he still imprisoned them and sold their tribe into extinction in less than fifty years, and in his first report to Madrid he referred to their generosity as ignorance and naivet´┐Ż, and only mentioned them as good for slave labor.

-He claimed the first sight of land aboard his ship, even though one called Roderigo had seen it first. He took the yearly pension of 10,000 a year for this and left his sailor to rot.

-He lied about finding mines of gold so that he could receive a title, and when he returned from Madrid he took fifteen hundred Arawak Indians and took the five hundred best of them aboard his ship to be used as slaves, and when he reached the eastern coast, two hundred of them had already died.

-His men were savages and he let them be; they took women and children for sex and labor, and once they saw two Native American boys who each had a parrot, and they each were beheaded for fun, and their parrots were taken.
(This information was obtained from a book called "People's History of the United States" by Howard Zinn)

Really, why does he deserve a day in his honor, when clearly he didn't and doesn't deserve it?
KADET_4N6

Pro

I am thankful to accept this debate.

I am debating that Columbus Day is indeed a good and important day to celebrate.
Definition
Columbus Day- A holiday on October 12 celebrating the discovery of the Americas.

All of your current information is attacking Columbus as man, as well as his deeds, but you are not attacking Columbus Day itself. It is merely a holiday in celebration of a new era of exploration. While Columbus did commit atrocities, that is not what Columbus Day is about.

I contend that Columbus Day is an important day to celebrate because it celebrates human discovery and is historically important,despite the fact that Columbus was by no means a hero.

I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 1
Nametaken

Con

Thanks you for accepting my debate.

You are right, I am attacking the man and his character and actions. And I believe that human discovery is a good thing to celebrate. But is this man's name really what should represent this? This man represents a man of ignorance, who did not accept any other culture but his own. I believe that if Columbus day should be celebrated, it should be named something else. I believe Columbus Day shouldn't be celebrated, because it is indeed to honor the actions of the man it is named after - but perhaps a different name and different representation of human discovery would be more appropriate.
Anticipating your response greatly.
Thanks.
KADET_4N6

Pro

Despite Columbus's ignorance, if it had not been for his daring to make the voyage across the ocean, then it would have set mankind backwards. You are right that he was barbaric towards the natives, but in all honesty it would have been the same way for any other European who inevitably would have made the voyage, his action towards the natives was a reflection of the cruel times that man lived in. We should celebrate the holiday if not solely on the fact man has advanced past that phase.

Plus it also celebrates the beginning of an era in which mankind who develop rapidly, it is likely that if Columbus did not go, mankind would have been set back by decades.

You can say he was overly cruel to the natives but it was nothing like what would happen when the Portuguese arrived.

In the end, it also true to say that the indigenous population would have been decimated by disease no matter who came first.
Debate Round No. 2
Nametaken

Con

Ignorance IS a disease. Ignorance and pride, I believe, is what causes many major problems in today's society. That time was cruel, yes, but when met with generosity one was usually to return the favor; in Columbus's case, however, he thought their generosity something stupid and irrational; he thought it based off of an incapacity to reason properly, which is insulting and a reflection of arrogance. His daring was of course necessary for America to be discovered, but at what cost? If he had taken the time to learn of the Indian's ways as he ought, and respect their culture, there would be no need for the millions of dead people. Eventually someone would have made it across the Atlantic - perhaps it should have waited, anyways, so that mankind could mature enough so that when the time came to face another foreign culture they would not be so inclined to treat them like animals. These were intelligent human beings that died. Tribes became extinct. Is the compromise of the indigenous people and their driving in near extinction is what progress is about, then I think progress is going in the wrong direction. Shouldn't we celebrate the day that perhaps Spain agreed to explore overseas? But, since that conquest was for riches and slaves, it wasn't anything noble. In my opinion, these things were just events that happened in the course of history; Borders are always being threatened, a country is never really secure. What are we celebrating in Columbus Day, then, really? Just another explorer in search of riches and slaves. He mad the Natives of this land slaves. So he was "brave" enough to set sail to the end of the world - I believe it was just another part of his arrogance.
KADET_4N6

Pro

"If he had taken the time to learn of the Indian's ways as he ought, and respect their culture, there would be no need for the millions of dead people."

The native people were hurt by factors such as slavery without a doubt, but you are blaming Columbus's lack of respect for their culture for the deaths of most of the indigenous people which is simply not true, regardless of his respect for their culture they would have still picked up diseases from Europe which is what truly caused the most killing, not slavery or subjugation.

You cannot entirely blame Spain for being headstrong either. We look at the Roman Empire as one of the greatest civilizations of all time yet they paid absolutely no attention to the local culture, they only cared about subjugation of the people they conquered. Spain and Columbus were very similar to the Roman Empire in this aspect.

You are making assumptions that I do not consider these people human beings which is just wrong, I'm simply saying that what Columbus did, regardless of his character, is worth commemorating as it began a new era in history and is very important to mankind's development. You still have not attacked that part of the argument, the only thing that has been attacked is Columbus as a person which is truly not what Columbus Day is about, it is about America's discovery.

Thanks for the debate, it was interesting back into history.
Debate Round No. 3
30 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Nametaken 4 years ago
Nametaken
Yes, that makes sense.
Posted by sadolite 4 years ago
sadolite
One more thing. Do you know what you and every single maniacal genocidal maniac have in common when it comes to philosophy? A one world govt with no boarders. "History teaches" us if one cares to learn from it instead of rewrite it. It teaches us that one man who holds all the power will absolutely be corrupt and become a genocidal maniac. There needs to be more countries and more borders not less.
Posted by Nametaken 4 years ago
Nametaken
Okay.
Posted by sadolite 4 years ago
sadolite
In my opinion you are unworthy of speaking Christopher Columbuse's name and most of all unworthy of the freedoms and life style you live today. You hold everything and everyone who made your life possible in complete and total contempt.
Posted by Nametaken 4 years ago
Nametaken
Okay.
Posted by sadolite 4 years ago
sadolite
"So if we didn't have any borders at all, what would they be fighting us for? Control over what? "

You are utterly hopeless, I explained it, You concured, and still don't get it.
Posted by Nametaken 4 years ago
Nametaken
Thank you for explaining. Okay, firstly, I don't think that countries have no meaning in history. Of course they do. But they were built on the concept of "this is mine, that is yours." Now, I already know that borders are what keeps the maniacal genocidal maniacs out of the country, but they are fighting for the borders, or more accurately, they want to control everything inside the borders, so if we didn't have any borders at all, what would they be fighting us for? Control over what? I'm not saying borders aren't important. I'm just saying that, while you are right about the fact that it keeps those people out, people can still destroy from the inside (Like with the fall of the Ottoman Empire) and that borders are here waiting for the world to be stable, which will never happen. Borders give us enemies. They are made to keep people out. What does that tell a person? When I put a fence between myself and another? Do you think that message is one of peace?
Anyways, I understand what you say, that it is to keep out wrongdoers and people who want tyrannical and crazy things. But whether or not there are borders, there are people, and people are the ones who came up with borders and fight for them in the first place. Borders are not what shape history, people are. I keep repeating it because it sums up my point.
Posted by sadolite 4 years ago
sadolite
Alright I will explain. You say countries have no meaning to history. "Countries" and "Borders" are what separate you from "maniacal genocidal maniacs" like Pol Pot Stalin, Mussolini Saddam Hussein the list goes on and on. People "Pledge Allegiance" to "Countries". It is clear you don't. But you don't because you are naive. You are complacent and believe that you and you alone don't need anybody to protect you from tyranny. You think the US will just go on forever and ever with no "Allegiance" from anyone. You think you are enlightened and above it all. Well you are not. You are someone who CAN'T be counted on for anything but criticism in times of trouble and war. You are in essence "The enemy from within". You view the very "People" and your "Country" as the evil of the world and not the last best hope for enduring freedom on this planet. If the US dies the whole world will plunge into chaos and tyranny. You think people all over the world look at the world through the same myopic prism you do. I can assure you that you are in a spectacularly small minority. A vast number of "PEOPLE" who "Pledge Allegiance" to other "Countries" on this planet would see you wrapped in garb and uneducated with no rights at all. It is "Americas boarders" and "People" like me who "Pledge Allegiance to America" that prevents this from happening to you. Not your sense of enlightenment or your perception that the majority of people on this planet think like you or that things will "eventually happen"
Posted by Nametaken 4 years ago
Nametaken
Actually, I am wrong. I do gain some practice out of this.
Posted by Nametaken 4 years ago
Nametaken
I did not wish to gain anything of it. I just wanted to let you know that I am not some college kid who has something to gain out of this. And could you please explain further? I do not see how that takes away from my point. Christopher Columbus was a person, who caused an effect.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by K.GKevinGeary 4 years ago
K.GKevinGeary
NametakenKADET_4N6Tied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I stand on this issue on middle grounds, conduct fine for both, spelling fine as long as I can read it for both, sources con, arguments go to con for being more persuasive. Columbus Day is a holiday of discovery but Columbus is still the man being celebrated in that discovery that he stumbled upon Con attacked Columbus character dismantling any integrity to the holiday. Though Pro had points not to be dismissed but con earns the arguments for being more persuasive on the holiday. Easy read.
Vote Placed by twocupcakes 4 years ago
twocupcakes
NametakenKADET_4N6Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: I'll vote tie. Pro gave good reasons, but Con argued well. Con makes a strong attack against Columbus's character. Pro claims the the actions of Columbus outway his character. Pro conceded character too easily. I would have liked Pro to defend Columbus's actions better. (pretty much everyone before the 1800s was highly immoral by today's standards.) Short read.