The Instigator
CGBSpender
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
endless47
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points

Nationality (on its own) is not a good reason to support something

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/6/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,158 times Debate No: 16914
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (3)

 

CGBSpender

Pro

It is not uncommon to see individuals who support people, sports teams, or even militaries simply because that entity shares in their nationality. In this debate, I will argue that, on its own, a shared nationality is not a good reason to hold or express support for any of the above stated (or other) groups.

The first round will only be for the acceptance or rejection of definitions. The following two rounds will be for arguments and rebuttals. I thank my opponent in advance for accepting this debate and look forward to a good debate.

Nationality- a body of people sharing common descent, history, language, etc; a nation (1).

Good reason- rational i.e. being internally consistent and founded on facts.

Support- to give aid or courage to (2).

(1) http://dictionary.reference.com... (World English Dictionary)
(2) http://dictionary.reference.com... (World English Dictionary)
endless47

Con

I would like to thank Pro for giving me this challenge and I look forward to having an engaging debate with him on this interesting topic.

I only object to my opponent's definition of "good reason", being that this term in itself is very arbitrary and opinionated. For some, a "good reason" in their view may not have to be based on facts. I think that we should each have our own definitions on the matter given its arbitrary nature.

However, I agree to all of the other terms set forth by my opponent and again, look forward to this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
CGBSpender

Pro

1. Good Reasons

To begin, I will address my opponent's rejection of "good reason". Firstly, the proposal that we should "each have our own definition on the matter" is an impossible one if a proper debate is to be had. If we each have our own definition, than it is possible that both sides may be right and the debate is undermined. Furthermore, the question of what makes a good reason is a debate on its own and so if there is not agreement to one single definition of good reason, the resolution of this debate will be distracted by the inner debate on "good reasons". It is necessary to have only one definition of "good reason".

Secondly, I would like to defend the definition in my opening comments.

"Good reason- rational i.e. being internally consistent and founded on facts"

Internal consistency is a must for the proper measurement of anything. Imagine a reason without the bare minimum of internal consistency: I would like to paint myself because working hard will give me money. The reason "working hard will give me money" has nothing to do with the proposal "I would like to paint myself". If we allow the definition of a good reason to be without internal consistency than anything becomes possible and again both sides can be right. For the sake of making the resolution debateable, it is necessary to have internal consistency a part of the definition of "good reason".
Regarding the necessity for the reason to be "founded on facts", I agree that fact is a difficult threshold to meet and so it is necessary to extend the definition to "founded on what are reasonably believed to be facts." This would make the new definition of good reason:
Rational- internally consistent and founded on what are reasonably believed to be facts.

Now it becomes necessary to defend the overall choice of rationality as criteria for a good reason. Rationality (or reasonability) can be found in foundational legal documents like The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Sec. 1 often called the reasonability clause) as needed justifications and limitations for actions (1). It can also be found in legal concepts ranging from due diligence (2) to criminal negligence (3). It is also essential to widespread ethical philosophies such as those of Kant, where it is the central concept (4). This definition of good reason, while it is not the only one, represents a commonly accepted societal, legal, philosophical, and moral view.

Far from being arbitrary, this definition of reason enables a clear cut debate in which examples can be straight-forwardly analyzed and discourse can move forward without vagueness and confusion. This definition of good reason is necessary for the good of the debate and so it is on these terms that I ask my opponent to accept it unless there is a better definition that improves the quality of this debate.

2. Argument 1 and implicit propositions

P1: That group shares my heritage
_____________________________
C: I should support them

For this to make sense there must be an implicit proposition that, regardless of all other factors, it is a good idea for the thinker to support the group and so there is a rational obligation to do so.

P1: That group shares my heritage
P2: Regardless of all other factors, I should support those who share my heritage
__________________________________________________________________
C: I should support them

The question becomes: where does such an obligation come from and what is it based on?

Let us examine the parties involved. There is the individual, the group, and the nationality, if there is a competition there may also be other groups of other nationalities. Which group there has authority enough to oblige a person to support another unconditionally? It cannot be the group being supported for than they might oblige everyone to support them regardless of nationality. It cannot be the nationality, for it is only the fact of shared characteristics and very few would argue that all brunettes should support each other. Therefore, if this obligation comes from anywhere, it comes from the individual themselves. If this is the case, than nationality cannot be placed higher than all other reasons because the individual is necessarily placing themselves higher (since the authority to oblige oneself is also the authority not to oblige oneself).

This obligation limits a person from examining other facts of the situation and so could only be considered a good reason, if shared nationality trumps all other factors in play. However, if that is the case than it logically follows that someone of the same nationality who is bent on destroying all people of that nationality and the history of the nationality itself should be supported. It does not matter if they have a "good reason" or not for destroying the nationality, it only matters that they are a part of it. Therefore, it becomes contradictory to support something because shared nationality is the highest of all obligations, if that something necessarily places itself higher than the existence and ongoing survival of that nationality. This example alone proves that the other factors must always be looked at in the case of supporting a group or cause.

2. The Toronto Maple Leafs

If a person supports a team because it is from their hometown or country, and because of that unconditional support that team degrades in quality, one is forced to ask what is the role of the fan? Is the role of the fan to cheer on a team, or to cheer a team on to victory? Seeing as how, within the context of sports, the purpose of a team is to win and it is chiefly from this possibility and the competition it generates that entertainment is derived, it only stands to reason that the role of the fan is necessarily to cheer a team on to victory. Therefore, if the unconditional cheering leads to a team no longer competing for its support than the quality of the game drops and the purpose of the team and the entertainment for the fan is undermined. Again, it seems that if the shared nationality is really what matters than its "honour" should matter by extension. The nationality itself is undermined if it is propounded unconditionally in the same way that the dodo never having had competition for its food became extinct soon after a predator (humans) came along (5).

3. The Nuremburg Trials

After World War II, many high ranking German officials were put on trial. The highest profile cases were dealt with at the "Nuremburg Trials (6). Case no.3 dealt with the judges of Germany (6). In it, the argument was made that the role of the judge is to execute, not question, the laws of their state (6). It is here that readers may see the most serious implications for believing that nationality is a good enough reason to support something. These judges followed the laws of Germany above all other moral, religious, personal laws simply because they were the laws of Germany and therefore technically legally binding. It was found in the opinion of the court that this defence was not adequate for the majority of the defendants (10/16 convicted) (6). This finding is an important one to look to in this debate and supports pro.

It has been shown that not only is it logically impossible, but it is sometimes detrimental and even dangerous to support a group or cause simply for its nationality. It is always necessary to look at the other factors in the situation, before support can reasonably be given. I eagerly await my opponent's rebuttal.

(1) http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca...
(2) http://www.ccohs.ca...
(3) http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org... see "Kant's Argument Autonomy and Freedom"
(5) http://www.amnh.org...
(6) http://law2.umkc.edu...
endless47

Con

Since my main problem with the definition of "good reason" was the portion regarding "founded on facts", I accept my opponent's revised definition and am ready to advance in the debate.

Rebuttal 1 - Implicit Propositions

When examining the parties involved in a situation like the one brought up by my opponent, he excluded nationality as a group that has authority to oblige a person to support another unconditionally on the grounds that nationality was only "shared characteristics". However, for many (youths in particular), members of the same nationality have similar cultures and beliefs. Also, members of the same nationality have often grown up together (even unpersonally) and therefore there is a bond within members of a nationality. Therefore, based on honor and these bonds, there is plenty of obligation in the field of nationality to unconditionally support those who share their heritage.

Rebuttal 2 - The Toronto Maple Leafs

Firstly, my opponent argues that unconditional cheering based on nationality drops the quality of games in sports since this leads to a team no longer competing for support. However, my opponent clearly stated earlier in his argument that the competition and entertainment generated in sports is derived from the goal of winning the actual games, not winning the support of its fans. Therefore, I don't see how my opponent's argument makes sense.

Argument 1 - Nationality is a good reason to be a fan of a sports team

I see three main reasons to become an actual fan of a team:
1) Previous family members or friends were fans of that team and influenced you to also be a fan of that team.
2) Bandwagon - Either a lot of the population are fans of that team, or that team has been doing relatively well, so you are convinced to be a fan of that team.
3) Nationality - You were born an area with an established sports team, so you become a fan of that team.
Given the situation that you have no family members that are fans of the sport in question, or that you are not a person to be susceptible to bandwagon (as that is sometimes looked down on by major fans of a sport), the only logical and rational choice left would be to become a fan of the team that you were born near. Like I mentioned above, there is a sense of pride and honor you gain from being a member of a nationality due to the culture and friends you were raised with. Therefore, based on those facts, it would make sense to make your decision of a sports team based on that.

Rebuttal 3 - The Nuremberg Trials

My opponent argues that case no. 3 of the Nuremberg Trials that followed World War II supports the pro standpoint based on the fact that the German judges who stood trial defended themselves with the argument that they were following the laws of Germany. However, during World War II and Nazi Germany, punishments for NOT following the strict laws of Germany were beyond harsh. After World War I and the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was in a huge economic depression due to the strict nature of the treaty. After Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party came into view, many pledged their allegiance to him because they believed that the Nazi Party would carry Germany out of their depression. Nazis had to follow the strict laws laid down by Hitler and the Nazi Party, or suffer the grave consequences. If Nazis believed that by following the strict German laws and being a Nazi was going to carry them out of their depression, then the majority of them were eager to do it. They were most likely convinced to follow the laws of Germany above all other laws because not only of the consequences that awaited them should they break those laws, but also because they wanted to win the war and support the party that would supposedly pull Germany out of one of their greatest depressions in history.

In these rebuttals, I have shown that my opponent's arguments are far from sound and how each of these situations (and other situations for that matter) support the con standpoint. Good luck to my opponent as we advance into this debate's final round.
Debate Round No. 2
CGBSpender

Pro

I thank my opponent for his rebuttals.

Implicit Propositions

"When examining the parties involved in a situation like the one brought up by my opponent, he excluded nationality as a group that has authority to oblige a person to support another unconditionally on the grounds that nationality was only "shared characteristics". However, for many (youths in particular), members of the same nationality... Also, members of the same nationality have often grown up together... and therefore there is a bond within members of a nationality. Therefore, based on honor and these bonds, there is plenty of obligation in the field of nationality to unconditionally support those who share their heritage."

There are many things wrong with the above rebuttal. First off, it only vaguely asserts how an obligation COULD come from the nationality, it does not actually show that the obligation DOES come from a nationality, rather than self-regulation. Obligation- "a binding promise, contract, sense of duty, etc." (1) The very nature of obligation means it must come from the individual themselves. Secondly, it is vague and unfounded. What is this "honor" based on? To what extent do these "bonds" extend? Thirdly, nowhere is it shown that such an obligation should be unconditional (this is merely asserted). Fourthly, even if it were unconditional, nowhere is it shown that an unconditional obligation would be rational. This last one leads to the fifth and fnal problem, this rebuttal entirely ignores the second, more important, part of my argument, namely, that an obligation for unconditional support is self-defeating (especially if it's based on the honour or well-being of the nationality). Given that the rebuttal does not address the contradictory nature of unconditional support, I will assume my opponent has conceeded the point.

Toronto Maple Leafs

"Firstly, my opponent argues that unconditional cheering based on nationality drops the quality of games in sports since this leads to a team no longer competing for support. However, my opponent clearly stated earlier in his argument that the competition and entertainment generated in sports is derived from the goal of winning the actual games, not winning the support of its fans. Therefore, I don't see how my opponent's argument makes sense."

Allow me to clarify the arguement for my opponent. If a team no longer feels compelled to compete for its fanbase, or the financial side no longer feels compelled to spend money on quality players, it will not play as well. The point of sports is to generate the highest quality competition possible. It is from this high quality competition that entertainment is derived. Therefore, teams are less likely to win games and fans are less likely to be entertained if they engage in unconditional support. If this is the case, unconditional support undermines both the quality of the game an the game watching experience and so is illogical for any fan to do.

Nationality is a good reason to be a fan of a sports team

Nationality may be a good reason to be a supporter of something, but that is not what is being debated. The problem is when nationality is the only thing considered and becomes unconditional support. Therefore, this argument is irrelevant as it does not show why nationality should be reason enough despite all other factors.

"Therefore, based on those facts, it would make sense to make your decision of a sports team based on that. "

To reitorate, yes, it might make sense to make your decision based on that that, but not solely on that.

The Nuremburg Trials

My opponent argues that there were many other reasons in addition to simple nationalityand included in the judges' defense. This may be true, but this only strengthens my previous argument. If, in addition to nationality, the judges followed orders for another reason and this still wasn't good enough to exonerate them, than it logically follows that it would be even more inexcusable if their only reason was shared nationality. Perhaps, using this example was an oversimplification, but it still demonstrates the point that nationality cannot be the only reason if one is to be said to have made a reasonable decision.

In conclusion, my opponent has conceeded key points, and raised trivial objections, all the while failing to give one reason why it is reasonable to support something based on a common nationality despite all other factors. To summarize my own points:

1) Unconditional support of nationality can lead to the support of a cause that destroys that nationality. This is a problem because if one is to assume nationality is a good enough reason on its own to support something, one must assume it is more important than all other factors, and if one is to mount a cause to destroy a nationality one necessarily assumes that another factor is more important. This is contradictory and so cannot constitute a good reason.

2) Supporting a sports team unconditionally leads to a poorer quality of sport and so undermines the purpose of cheering in the first place. It also robs that person of their entertainment and so helps no one. It therefore canot constitute a good reason.

3) It can sometimes be criminal and is entirely inexcusable in the eyes of the courts to support something simply because of its nationality. If it were a reasonable thing to do it would be excused by the courts./ Therefore it is not reasonable and so cannot constitute a good reason.

This has been an enjoyable debate and I thank my opponent and eagerly await his final comments and the verdict of the readers.

(1) http://dictionary.reference.com...
endless47

Con


Rebuttal 1 – Implicit Propositions


My opponent argues that because I said that an obligation COULD come from nationality and not how it DOES come from nationality, my rebuttal is wrong. May I remind my opponent and all other readers that there are always multiple reasons someone could do something for ANYTHING in the world. There is NEVER a single reason that everybody has to do something. However, my argument supports my standpoint of con against the original resolution: “Nationality (on its own) is not a good reason to support something”. My opponent has not rebutted against (and I can therefore conclude he has accepted) the fact that my argument supports the con standpoint that nationality (on its own) IS a good reason to support something.


My opponent also brings up the definition of obligation – the main part of that definition being “sense of duty”. Of course the obligation comes from the individual – it always is. An individual is NEVER restricted to not doing something. However, the “sense of duty” in my opponent’s definition is nationality, as I have argued.


In my argument, I have also made it very clear that youths (and many others) have unconditional obligations based on heritage. These kinds of people have grown up with bonds and honor based on nationality that they would die for. They do anything and everything for members of their own nationality. These unconditional obligations are also completely rational; you can’t help the way you are raised, and the way you are raised determines your attitude and look on things. Therefore, the ONLY choice they have due to the way they were raised is to unconditionally support those of their heritage, making their choices rational.


As far as my opponent’s argument that unconditional support for a nationality is self-defeating goes, my opponent still fails to see that the resolution that he made means that nationality alone CAN be a good reason to support something, but it does not mean that nationality ALWAYS has to be the reason to support something. Therefore, my opponent’s argument is invalid.


Rebuttal 2 – Toronto Maple Leafs


My opponent again argues that the main competition or entertainment that is generated within a sports franchise is the competition for a team’s fanbase. However, plenty of little league teams (who probably would have any fans if it weren’t for the children’s parents) certainly don’t have to compete for a fanbase, yet they function well. If a team has a quality, sturdy, unconditional fanbase, that doesn’t mean the team will stop paying for the best players it can. After all the team can still sell merchandise, etc. to those loyal fans. This being, the highest competition that fuels a healthy sports franchise is generated from the actual playing of the game, not the competition for a team’s fans. Therefore, it is completely logical for a fan to unconditionally support a team based on nationality, as per my “Nationality is a good reason to support a sports team” argument.


Re-Rebuttal 3 – Nationality is a good reason to be a fan of a sports team


My opponent again forgets the original resolution: Nationality (on its own) is not a good reason to support something”. In my opponent’s opening statement of this rebuttal, he says, “Nationality may be a good reason to be a supporter of something…” My opponent goes on to say that what is being debated is unconditional support, in contradiction to the original resolution. As I have stated before, there are always multiple reasons to do ANYTHING, therefore, my opponent’s rebuttal is irrelevant and my argument stands true.


Rebuttal 4 – The Nuremberg Trials


Once again, there is ALWAYS another reason that can be named for doing anything, because everyone’s motives are different. Therefore, there will always be some other factors, like my opponent mentioned, but that is the simple basics of life. Any other reasons that the German judges had during the Nuremberg Trials all tied into the basic category of nationality – their loyalties to Nazi Germany, as I have argued, would obviously fall under nationality. Therefore, nationality was the only main reason for their actions.


Conclusion


Overall, I have successfully rebutted all of my opponent’s arguments as well as making sound arguments myself. My opponent has also failed to successfully rebut any of my statements. Therefore, I urge a con vote.


I extend my greatest thanks to my opponent for a fun and intriguing debate, and I wish him the best of luck as we head into the voting stage of this debate.


Debate Round No. 3
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3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by medic0506 5 years ago
medic0506
CGBSpenderendless47Tied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: It was close, but I gotta give this one to pro. What pushed it over the edge for me was the argument that, "Unconditional support of nationality can lead to the support of a cause that destroys that nationality." To that, con had no effective counter. Pro gets the source points because con didn't use any.
Vote Placed by Haasenfeffor 5 years ago
Haasenfeffor
CGBSpenderendless47Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: win!
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 5 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
CGBSpenderendless47Tied
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Total points awarded:34 
Reasons for voting decision: Con took this in the end, which can be argued to be unfair as Pro could not respond, when they noted that there is never a single reason which can be justified in and of itself as an absolute and that nationality can, in this respect, be a reason and just that, a singular reason. This is a bit of a semantic but it still holds. Nice presentation from both, clear to read and novel resolution. 4:3 Con.