The Instigator
Republican95
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TheSkeptic
Con (against)
Winning
23 Points

Our National Motto Should Remain "In God We Trust"

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
TheSkeptic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/30/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,354 times Debate No: 9087
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)

 

Republican95

Pro

I recently read a debate with a similar resolution and I though to myself "Interesting topic, I think I can do a better job than that!".

So, here we go, see the title for the resolution.

==Definitions==

National Motto-A saying officially recognized by the federal government that is used to describe the intent or motivation of the state.
(www.wikipedia.org/wiki/national_motto)

==Arguments==

(a) Our current national motto reflects the history of our nation. Fleeing from religious persecution has become somewhat of an American pastime. One of the first stories a young child might learn about American history is how the Pilgrims (who were religious separatists) sent sail from England in 1620 on board the Mayflower to escape religious persecution. The voyage across the Atlantic in the 1620s was treacherous and there was a high probability that the ship would meet doom. Things did not improve much after the pilgrims landed in Plymouth. They made it just in time for the harsh Massachusetts winter; starvation, disease, and Indians were among there main threats. A similar story might be of how the Mormons left the American east in the 1840s to be able to arrive in Utah free from persecution. Although there trip west wasn't as near bold as the Pilgrims, they were faced with very real dangers (which ironically included starvation, disease, and Indians). What would ever persuade people to take such risks? I personally believe that these people had to trust in their God in order to persuade them to "get up and move". Religion impacted severely what these people thought and did, and without that religion the story of American history might have been very different. To this very day American history, culture, and politics continues to be shaped by religion. To leave religion out of our national motto is a symbolic way to try to remove religion from the American experience.
(www.wikipedia.org/wiki/the_mayflower)
(www.wikipedia.org/wiki/mormon_trail)

(b) The national motto does not violate the 1st Amendment. The first amendment states that "the government should make no law respecting an establishment of religion". First of all the national motto is no where near a law, it is just a saying that describes our country and its history/goals. A law is...

LAW-a system of rules, usually enforced by a set of institutions.

The national motto does not enforce a system of rules.
The only law in regard of the national motto is that the national motto is observed by the national government. It doesn't respect the motto itself, it respects its OBSERVATION.
(www.wikipedia.org/wiki/law)

(c) However, going on the premise that the national motto is a "law" it still wouldn't violate the 1st Amendment. How does the national motto respect any one religion? The word God is often misinterpreted as meaning the God of Christianity. So, many anti-motto'ers claim that why couldn't the national motto be "In Yahweh we trust" or "In Allah we trust". What many people misunderstand is that the differences between God, Allah, and Yahweh can be equated as the difference between Hello, Bonjour, and Hola. That is, they are just different languages expressing the same idea. The God of Islam, God of Judaism, and God of Christianity are in all reality the same deity.

(d) The "God" used in the national motto could not even mean a deity at all. The definition of God is:

GOD-an all perfect higher power.

Going on this premise we can accept that maybe the national motto isn't even referring to a deity at all. Maybe all that the motto is stating is that "America Answers to a Higher Power". This higher power could be, for instance, morality, the idea that there are things in this world that are wrong, and there are those things that are right. So, the motto of America could actually mean that American culture and government is rooted in the idea that we answer to a higher power, morality. Which is a totally agnostic statement.

I await rebuttals and thank whoever accepts this.
TheSkeptic

Con

I thank my opponent for creating this open debate, I hope it goes well.

I will refute my opponent's argument concerning the purpose of using the motto, and his argument that the word "God" may not even mean a deity. I am not contending that the motto violates the 1st Amendment, so there is no need for me to respond to this point.

====================
PRO Claims: The current national motto reflects the history of our nation
====================

Yes, it's true that the religion has a role in America's history - there is no denying that. However, just because religion is part of our nation's history doesn't mean it should be in our motto. There are several reasons as to why this lone historical fact is insufficient for making our national motto "In God We Trust":

1. It's true that religion can impact the lives of people greatly, and push them to strive for things they normally wouldn't even think of doing. The Pilgrims did indeed leave the Church of England so they wouldn't be persecuted for their Protestant beliefs, which differed from the Catholic beliefs in England. However, this isn't the whole story - what my opponent wants to do is attempt to shine the Pilgrims as helpless victims who merely want to express the ideal of freedom of religion. No, the Pilgrims themselves were just as bad as the Catholics!

Both the Catholics and the Pilgrims believed in "the Old World theory that sanctioned...the need for uniformity of religion in the state.[1]" In fact, there are numerous cases of Puritan ministers exiling members for not subscribing to their theological doctrines. You should read the link I gave - it shows that Puritans themselves were very intolerant of any religion then their own.

So let me ask you, shall be include that in our motto? Shall we edit the motto to say "We Shall Not Tolerate Any Other Religion Than Protestantism, In God We Trust"? I highly doubt you would say so, seeing as how absurd this is. So really, if you want to pull out the history textbooks it's actually more of a backfire. The Pilgrims didn't leave the Church of England to advocate freedom of religion, they left because they wanted to be the persecutors instead.

2. So many other things happened during/near the founding of America but how come they aren't in the motto as well? Why don't we talk about the driving out of Native Americans, or perhaps the widespread occurrence of slavery? The answer is simple - it's because choosing to include religion in our motto just because it was part of our nation's history is arbitrary, it's like saying Hitler and Stalin are evil because they have facial hair. Essentially, it's a non sequitor.

====================
PRO Claims: The current national motto doesn't respect any particular religion
====================

Of course, it's not designating any religion in particular, but it is respecting something - religion itself! The word God designated a deity - in which I will demonstrate in my next argument. Of course, there are some fringe definitions of God than can differ from this (pantheism for example), but these are so rarely talked about that it's almost unnoticed. The common definition of God is very likening to that of an Judeo-Christian conception, there is no doubting this.

So while the motto doesn't respect any particular religion, it does respect religion itself.

====================
PRO Claims: The "God" used in the current national motto could not even mean a deity
====================

I don't know what definition of God you cited, but all many dictionaries state otherwise:

From Merriam Webster[2] - capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a: the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe bChristian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind

From TheFreeDictionary[3]- A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.

From Dictionary.com[4]- the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.

You see, these are all the first definition that appears. It's quite obvious that the most commonly used definition of God is an "omni-entity", not a vague phrase such as "all perfect higher power". Sure, there may be fringe definitions such as calling your idol a god, but everyone realizes that the context of the motto is very different.

====================
My argument: The current national motto isolates a group of citizens, which is ill-suited for a national motto ====================

As shown by my previous arguments, the motto relates only to those who prescribe to monotheistic religions. The following are those who are isolated by such a phrase:

-Atheists do not believe in a deity, therefore they don't trust in God
-Agnostics do not know if a deity exists or not, therefore they don't trust in God
-Deists do not believe in a personal deity, therefore they don't prescribe any sort of relationship towards God
-Polytheists believe in more than one deity, therefore it's not only "God"

There may be more, but the point is that there is a group of citizens who are isolated from this motto. I argue that any national motto should strive to be a common point or ideal among all citizens of it's nation, otherwise what is the point of a national motto in the first place?

====================
Conclusion
====================

There you have it. I have responded to all my opponent arguments except the ones dealing with the Constitution (for the purpose of this debate, I am submitting that it doesn't violate the Constitution). However, I have shown that the national motto is ill-suited because it isolates a group of citizens, namely agnostics, polytheists, deists, and atheists. Any national motto that doesn't relate to all of it's citizens is an erroneous one and thus it should be replaced.

---References---
1. http://www.loc.gov...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
3. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
4. http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Republican95

Pro

I thank The Skeptic for accepting this debate. I will start by refuting his arguments.

My Opponent: "So let me ask you, shall be include that in our motto? Shall we edit the motto to say "We Shall Not Tolerate Any Other Religion Than Protestantism, In God We Trust"? I highly doubt you would say so, seeing as how absurd this is. So really, if you want to pull out the history textbooks it's actually more of a backfire. The Pilgrims didn't leave the Church of England to advocate freedom of religion, they left because they wanted to be the persecutors instead."

That is totally irrelevant. The fact of the matter is, the United States doesn't just favor protestantism, this is why it isn't in the motto. The fact of the matter remains that the Pilgrims left England to escape from religious persecution and that without a strong faith in the power of God the history books would be vastly different. A nation that doen't remember where it came from is a nation that doesn't know where it is going, this is why it is in our motto.

My Opponent: "So many other things happened during/near the founding of America but how come they aren't in the motto as well? Why don't we talk about the driving out of Native Americans, or perhaps the widespread occurrence of slavery? The answer is simple - it's because choosing to include religion in our motto just because it was part of our nation's history is arbitrary, it's like saying Hitler and Stalin are evil because they have facial hair. Essentially, it's a non sequitor."

Because those things don't make any sense. The national motto was established in the 1950s, far after Indian relations had improved and after slavery was abolished. A national motto must be relevant.

My Opponent: You see, these are all the first definition that appears. It's quite obvious that the most commonly used definition of God is an "omni-entity", not a vague phrase such as "all perfect higher power". Sure, there may be fringe definitions such as calling your idol a god, but everyone realizes that the context of the motto is very different.

I got my definition of God through my own definition, because definition varies to person-to-person. The term "God" has no intrinsic meaning, as does anything. We only assign meanings to terms based on our own experience. Therefore, if you decide to agree with the dictionary definition and the national motto offends you, you have no one to blame but yourself. The motto isn't the source of the problem, you are.

I yield things back to my opponent.
TheSkeptic

Con

I thank my opponent for his quick response, but I lament at the brevity. Such a short response will mean one of three things: he's a genius who needs only a few words to get his point across, my arguments were so horrid that large responses weren't necessary, or his responses are lacking. I opt with the conclusion that his responses are lacking - they are either strawmen or counterarguments that completely ignore what I said. In fact, he has even ignored some of my points. At this point the winner will be CON if PRO doesn't pick up his pace, and I will show why:

====================
PRO Claims: The current national motto reflects the history of our nation
====================

What my opponent is doing here is what many people are guilty of - looking at only one part of history while ignoring other parts. Because of their bias and preconceived notions, they look at history with a limited view, ignoring the bigger picture. A very common example of this is the zeal Americans give when discussing the famous Normandy Landings (also known as D-Day), which were the landing operations conducted by the Americans during World War 2. It's been preserved in tons of movies and books, and almost anyone will tell you this was a pivotal moment in WW2 - they couldn't be more wrong. The consensus now is that the Normandy Landings did NOT have a very significant effect on the outcome of WW2, it was actually the Soviets who turned the tide! They fought off German invaders and despite heavy losses - peaking at 10 Soviet casualties per 1 American causality a day - they still gained the upper hand.

So what does this lesson from history tell us? That we can easily be guilty of misconstruing past events, which is what my opponent has done. He said it was totally irrelevant that the Pilgrims were no different from the English in their attitude towards religious tolerance, and that we should just focus on the fact that they ran away for religious reasons. This is a perfect example of willful ignorance. The IMPORTANT fact of the matter that remains is that the motive the Pilgrims is laced with religious tolerance.

There should be no excuse. If you want to derive the national motto from the circumstance and reasons our Founding Fathers had for coming to America, then you must embrace the fact that religious INTOLERANCE was a major part of their motivation, which doesn't look too good, huh?

"A nation that doen't remember where it came from is a nation that doesn't know where it is going, this is why it is in our motto."
----> This sounds fancy and all, but I doubt you have any good reason for this. Wanna share?

"The national motto was established in the 1950s, far after Indian relations had improved and after slavery was abolished. A national motto must be relevant."
----> Now isn't this funny, my opponent completely contradicts himself! He states that the Indian relations and problem of slavery were resolved long ago, thus making them irrelevant. However, backtrack to his earlier statements and you'll see that he emphasis that "a nation that doesn't remember where it came from is a nation that doesn't know where it is going." My opponent is telling us to ignore the past and not ignore the past?! If he wants to avoid such embarrassing follies, then he should explain why the historical relevancy of religion matters while the historical relevancy of slavery and Native American relations do not. Otherwise, he is a prime example of a cherry picker.

====================
PRO Claims: The current national motto doesn't respect any particular religion
====================

My opponent completely ignores this point, he ignores my rebuttal that while the motto doesn't respect any particular religion, it does respect religion itself. The audience should take note of this.

====================
PRO Claims: The "God" used in the current national motto could not even mean a deity
====================

This is quite an amusing argument.

My opponent is actually saying that he can define whatever he wants, and act as if that is that. And in sense, he's true. If he decides that the definition of God is a hairy flying monkey, then he can go on about and do so. However, what he fails to realize is that words are used much more than just that. The whole basis of having definition and dictionaries is because yes, the definitions of words can change, but there is usually a majority CONSENSUS on what they are. It is society that determines the meanings of words, and it's up to the dictionaries to keep up with this (which is why there are so many updated editions as time goes on).

As I have shown, the modern coneption of God hasn't changed for hundreds of years - an "omni-entity" that is personal. This is the majority consensus, and thus is what the national motto depicts.

====================
My argument: The current national motto isolates a group of citizens, which is ill-suited for a national motto ====================

My opponent completely ignores this point as well, he has yet to show why a national motto that excludes a group of citizens should remain as it is. The audience should take note of this.

====================
Conclusion
====================

There really isn't much to say. His arguments either willfully ignore parts of history, contradict previous arguments, or attempt to argue definitions are always subjective. Not only are these arguments just plain bad, but he even ignores two of my arguments.

The winner is becoming quite apparent, vote CON.
Debate Round No. 2
Republican95

Pro

I thank my opponent for his response, but I lament at the bad manners and personal attacks.

My Opponent: "What my opponent is doing here is what many people are guilty of - looking at only one part of history while ignoring other parts. Because of their bias and preconceived notions, they look at history with a limited view, ignoring the bigger picture. A very common example of this is the zeal Americans give when discussing the famous Normandy Landings (also known as D-Day), which were the landing operations conducted by the Americans during World War 2. It's been preserved in tons of movies and books, and almost anyone will tell you this was a pivotal moment in WW2 - they couldn't be more wrong. The consensus now is that the Normandy Landings did NOT have a very significant effect on the outcome of WW2, it was actually the Soviets who turned the tide! They fought off German invaders and despite heavy losses - peaking at 10 Soviet casualties per 1 American causality a day - they still gained the upper hand."

But does that mean that we shouldn't recognize such events as the Normandy landings? If you want to go and celebrate the Soviet maneuvers during WWII, than I suggest you move to Russia. The Normandy landings were actually very important in a Allied victory in World War II.

If the Normandy landings hadn't occurred, or if they were a failure, the Axis might have won, or at the very least the war would have been dragged out. The US and UK moving through France/Belgium and the Russians advancing through Central Europe meant that Nazi Germany would now have to fight on two fronts, an east and west. This would require that they split their forces.

My opponent should really get his history straight.

As for "the zeal Americans give in discussing the landings", I have one question. Why shouldn't they? Even if we concede that the Normandy landings weren't a pivotal moment in WWII, it was a pivotal moment in the United States' involvement in Europe. So, it only makes sense that Americans feel a certain amount of pride in these events. This is why mothers are glad when their children first start to talk or walk, even though everyone learns to walk or talk one day. Should this mother not feel pride in this event because in the grand scheme of the universe, it doesn't really make much a difference? No. We have things in this country that we hold dear to are hearts, almost as if they are sacred, this is an important part of finding a national identity.

My Opponent: "So what does this lesson from history tell us? That we can easily be guilty of misconstruing past events, which is what my opponent has done. He said it was totally irrelevant that the Pilgrims were no different from the English in their attitude towards religious tolerance, and that we should just focus on the fact that they ran away for religious reasons. This is a perfect example of willful ignorance. The IMPORTANT fact of the matter that remains is that the motive the Pilgrims is laced with religious tolerance."

Even though these events might be misconstruction, we hold certain things as a country to be sacred, that is why we attach value to them. The collective has said: "The pilgrims left England to escape religious persecution", and that is what people hold true. If my opponent refutes the collective than he is also negating is own argument that the collective definition of "God" is the true definition.

My opponent could slap me with an argument stating that this violates the point I made earlier about historical relevance, and about how can a historical motto be relevant if it isn't even all the way true. Well, it must be relevant to Americans today, and most Americans claim that "The pilgrims left England to escape religious persecution", so how isn't it relevant today. Because it has the dreaded "G word"? That point we will be adressing later.

My Opponent: "Now isn't this funny, my opponent completely contradicts himself! He states that the Indian relations and problem of slavery were resolved long ago, thus making them irrelevant. However, backtrack to his earlier statements and you'll see that he emphasis that "a nation that doesn't remember where it came from is a nation that doesn't know where it is going." My opponent is telling us to ignore the past and not ignore the past?! If he wants to avoid such embarrassing follies, then he should explain why the historical relevancy of religion matters while the historical relevancy of slavery and Native American relations do not. Otherwise, he is a prime example of a cherry picker.

In order for a motto to be a good motto it must reflect the nation's history AND be relevant in the present day. "In God We Trust" does both.

My Opponent: "My opponent completely ignores this point, he ignores my rebuttal that while the motto doesn't respect any particular religion, it does respect religion itself. The audience should take note of this."

I did not respond to this argument because I would be addressing it in a later argument, the "no intrinsic meaning argument" and I wasn't going to waste characters doing so. But I will address it now.

No one is forcing you to observe the national motto. You don't have to where a t-shirt that says it, or have it tattooed on your forehead, or anything like that. The closest to that is that it appears on paper currency and coins, well if it really bothers you that much, such use debit and credit cards.

Come up with your own national motto, and observe it, or send it off to Congress, maybe they'll approve it. But, its not like this national motto that "respects religion" is forcing you to go to church. The church does not benefit the motto at all, they're is so much division in the religious community that the term God when defined amongst religious people varies. Therefore, it doesn't respect any one religion, or even religion itself. Its just words on money.

My Opponent: "My opponent is actually saying that he can define whatever he wants, and act as if that is that. And in sense, he's true. If he decides that the definition of God is a hairy flying monkey, then he can go on about and do so."

So, why can't your, sir? If I can define it that way, in a way that I am not offended, then why do all the people who are offended not?

My Opponent: "The whole basis of having definition and dictionaries is because yes, the definitions of words can change, but there is usually a majority CONSENSUS on what they are. It is society that determines the meanings of words, and it's up to the dictionaries to keep up with this (which is why there are so many updated editions as time goes on)."

So, the consensus gets to pick what words mean or not? Interesting argument. The American system of government is a somewhat-democratic system, wouldn't you agree? If you don't your just stupid, so I suppose you do. The CONSENSUS that my opponent loves so much, also has quite a say in what laws get passed and which do not (either by voting on legislators or objecting or supporting legislation by contacting their legislators).

Well, 76% of the American people identify as Christian. This is obviously a CONSENSUS. So, why shouldn't the motto reflect the majority of citizens?

==Conclusion==

I do admit, "In God we Trust" does have its problems. But what national motto wouldn't, lets look at some other options.

(a) E pluribus unum "Out of Many, One"
-This might offend those who believe that different ethnic groups should not reproduce together.

(b) Together We Stand
-This might offend those who are just plain Anti-American.

(c) (Insert motto here)
-(insert criticism here)

We could go on all day.

My opponent would probably inject that those who are offended by mottoes A and B make up a minuscule segment of society. Well, when 76% of Americans are Christians that leaves a lot less room for Atheists, Agnostics, Hindus, Jews, and Buddhists. VOTE PRO!
TheSkeptic

Con

My opponent "laments" at my bad manners and personal attacks, but I have done nothing of the sort. Sure, I have criticized his arguments using words such as "willful ignorance", but this is nowhere near an ad hominen attack. Because not only are such phrases directed only towards his arguments, but they are substantive and reasonable. In many argument he really did ignore major claims and facts, so what other word should I use besides that?

====================
PRO Claims: The current national motto reflects the history of our nation
====================

After reading my opponent's response, I could once again see the lack of understanding and knowledge on his part. Not only is his understanding of the history of WW2 lacking (a simple 10 minute Google research can get you the answer), but his rationale for including religion in the motto because of it's history is still punctured with holes.

To set things straight, the Normandy landings did NOT have a significant impact on the outcome of WW2. You will find that though the Allies were able to secure a foothold in Europe -- which was significant for the sole fact of keeping Communism out after WW2 -- it didn't do much for the future of the war as many Americans would make it out to be[1]. A brief reading of history will show that the Allies were unable to advance too much further into the mainland, and in fact most of the work thereafter was done by the Soviets. As I said before, the Soviets and Germans fought so much more that many times the ratio would peak to 10 Soviet casualties per 1 Allied causality.

However, even if my reading of history is wrong, this shouldn't be the focus of attention. My main point is that there are parts of history that can't and shouldn't be ignored. A historians job isn't just simply to piece together facts of history, it's also to INTERPRET, as best as one can, what events led to what. This is why there are debates among historians about many events.

But I'm not saying we should just ignore the Normandy landings - I never stated so, and my opponent is misrepresenting me. Of course Americans should be allowed to praise such actions, it's perfectly fine! Hell, I loved the movie Saving Private Ryan, and I honestly thank the WW2 veterans who conducted the landing operations. However, what I am saying is that we shouldn't forget about who created a bigger impact during the time - the Soviets. If we want to have an objective understanding of the war, then you have to admit to yourself that the Soviets at the time made a much more significant impact than the Allies. So really, my opponent's argument is totally irrelevant. I'm not saying we should ignore events that aren't as significant as others, I'm saying that we SHOULDN'T replace or ignore events that were the most significant - otherwise it's just arbitrary, or cherry picking.

So now let's focus on my opponent's reply - how does he account for the main motive that the Pilgrims had? A SIGNIFICANT motive for the Pilgrims was to spread their own religious tolerance, namely Protestantism. If we want to reflect an objective understanding of the historical effects of religion in our national motto, then we would in fact have to include religious intolerance - which I doubt even my opponent would agree to.

Seriously, reading some of my opponent's responses make me almost twitch. He actually claims that the national motto is relevant because "most Americans claim that the pilgrims left england to escape religious persecution." This is a blatantly obvious example of an argument ad populum. SO WHAT if most Americans believe that, is history dependent on the beliefs of ignorant Americans? As I said before, if you want an honest, objective understanding of history of religion reflected in our national motto, then you must concede to the fact that the desire to spread their own religious intolerance was a major reason for the Pilgrims departure from England.

"In order for a motto to be a good motto it must reflect the nation's history AND be relevant in the present day. "In God We Trust" does both."
----> Ah, so another reason? At face value, my opponent does nothing to explain why a national motto must reflect the nation's history. WHY must a suitable motto do this? I recall in previous rounds that my opponent stated something along the lines that a nation who doesn't remember where it came from doesn't know where it's going (presumably meaning it won't function well). Of course, this is a mere assertion that my opponent has NEVER backed up - he treats it as if it's common knowledge. This is why I'm not accepting his rationale; he has yet to even give a reason for it.

====================
PRO Claims: The current national motto doesn't respect any particular religion
====================

My opponent's argument here is so illogical I'm almost at a loss of words. He states that since no one is "forcing you to observe the national motto", it doesn't really matter what the national motto says - you can just ignore it. This is incontestably wrong.

Even if no one is forcing you to observe it, what it does do is prevent you from wanting to observe a national motto - since it isolates you (assuming you're an atheist, agnostic, etc.). For example, let's say I am a proud American patriot (to some extent, I am). However, I can't even acknowledge my own national motto because it excludes me! What more of a backlash then that; if citizens are denied just the opportunity to relate with the national motto, then the motto is unjust.

"The church does not benefit the motto at all, they're is so much division in the religious community that the term God when defined amongst religious people varies."
----> Yes, but all religions still use the word GOD meaning it still applies to them, irrespective of their personal definitions.

====================
PRO Claims: The "God" used in the current national motto could not even mean a deity
====================

"Well, 76% of the American people identify as Christian. This is obviously a CONSENSUS. So, why shouldn't the motto reflect the majority of citizens?"
---->This sums up my opponent's argument, revealing it's fallacious nature. There is a difference between arguing that a word's definition is granted by consensus and the justification of a national motto via justification - TOTALLY different situations. Words themselves are inherently just incoherible sounds; they need some sort of consensus to even make sense. However, the justification of a national motto is not dependent on consensus, because right and wrong are not determined by popular vote. These two situations are so different that I can't even imagine why my opponent has a hard time distinguishing between them.

As I've said before, the definitions of words are placed by consensus - you can have your own private definition of a word, but no one is going to go along with you.

====================
Conclusion
====================

Just because other mottos might offend others does not mean they should be used - feasibly anything can be considered offensive. Even if we are to believe all the other mottos my opponent presented are faulty, this doesn't mean the national motto should stay as it is. All I need to do is to show that the current national motto is unfit, which I say I have done.

In fact, we could feasibly have no motto! There is currently no reason my opponent has offered, so why should this be not considered?

---References---1.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by jalopydriver 7 years ago
jalopydriver
(READ ME 2nd) "...who believe that different ethnic groups should not reproduce together" is a gross mis-interpretation of the motto's meaning. The term "In God We Trust" was coined on coins due to the religious sentiment during the Civil War but was not our national motto until almost 100 years later. Te key is that it was used due to religious sentiment; it was an act motivated by religion which, again, is in violation of the 1st Amendment. One reference that may help, I believe, is in that of the Pledge of Allegiance. In the original, written in 1892, the words under god were nowhere to be found. That is because they were not added until 1954 (there were anti communism and atheist sentiments during this time that the word God would influence). According t Republican95's definition of god, which was quite amusing, this would not violate the 1st amendment. Apparently a federal judge from the Eastern District Court of California disagrees. On Wednesday, September 14th, 2005, "U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation 'under God' violates school children's right to be 'free from a coercive requirement to affirm God.'" It seems to me that it is a just a matter of time before the "In God We Trust" phrase is removed from our money and our country returns to the secular nature that was originally intended.

http://www.religioustolerance.org...
http://undergod.procon.org...
http://www.earlyamerica.com...
http://www.oldtimeislands.org...

(I apologize for all of the spelling errors. My keyboard is not functioning correctly and I forgot to spell check.)
Posted by jalopydriver 7 years ago
jalopydriver
Ha Ha Ha! That was fun to read! On this issue I am going to have to side with TheSkepic. Republican95's arguments were weak at best and fell far short from the target. A part of this debate focused on the pilgrims. It is due, in part, to their fleeing of Europe that the the fathers of this nation created a secular document we know as the Constitution. They saw the dangers of mixing church and state. Not once is the term god used in it. In fact, in article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, the same body of government who created this nation also agreed that.... "... (T)he Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion..." In this sense I agree with Republican95 in that we should have a moto that "reflects the history of our nation." Alas; the term God does not necessarily mean the Judeo-Christian god, but it does infer a monotheistic diety; in a country dominated by Christians what other god would be the conclusion? Specific diety aside, the word god has religous connotations hich is in violation of the 1st Amendment. The 1st Amendment dos not mean the government will not respect the idea of a specific religion but the entire concept of religion. By respecting the concept of religion athiests are open to the persecution by the government for their lack of belief. As far as the motto not being a law, Republican95 you are incorrect. In 1956, the president signed a resolution into LAW that the natonal motto be changed to "In God We Trust." This was partly done to "differentiate between communism, which promotes Atheism, and Western capitalistic democracies, which were at least nominally Christian." This shows that the motto was religiously motivated and thus in violation of the 1st Amendment. Prior to this the national motto was E Pluribus Unum and was part of our counties tradition far longer than our current motto. Also, Republican95, saying that E Pluribus Unum "...might offend those..."
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
I really enjoy this topic but Pro's arguments were painfully weak. I'll delve into greater detail following Con's conclusion.
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
brian_eggleston
I agree with Republican95 that it is an interesting topic and I would quite like to debate the issue but feel it would be inappropriate since I'm not an American citizen.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
This should be taken no problem.
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Vote Placed by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Republican95TheSkepticTied
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Vote Placed by patsox834 7 years ago
patsox834
Republican95TheSkepticTied
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Vote Placed by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
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Vote Placed by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
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