The Instigator
MTGandP
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
Maikuru
Con (against)
Winning
32 Points

Patriotism is harmful to the human race.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/1/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 16,513 times Debate No: 7991
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (11)

 

MTGandP

Pro

I am challenging Maikuru to debate the one (interesting) issue that we disagree on. If he chooses to accept, this should be very interesting.

Definitions
Patriotism: Love for or devotion to one's country. (Webster's)
Harmful to the human race: Tends to be detrimental to the general well-being of the human race and/or human society as a whole.

Fascism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition (Webster's)

I affirm the resolution: Patriotism is harmful to the human race.
Note: In some of my explanations, I am speaking about an imaginary person named Bob and his country called Countryland instead of abstract concepts. I am doing this simply because it makes the pronouns easier to work with.

Contention 1: Patriotism is taking pride in someone else's accomplishments and feeling hatred towards those who are different from you.
This is a quote by a great man I know, and I think it really sums up patriotism. Patriotism encourages both of these irrational behaviors. My arguments for this contention are that 1) these are irrational and 2) irrational behaviors do more harm than good.
a. Patriotism is taking pride in the accomplishments of others. If Bob takes pride in his country, then he is taking pride in his country's organization and its values. Bob is not supremely responsible for the organization of Countryland, nor did he determine the values that his country would uphold.
Taking pride in the accomplishments of others results in an inflated ego. This can be beneficial since self-esteem is important, but it is harmful to have an inaccurate picture of one's own accomplishments. Accurate introspection is a useful life skill. And even if having an inaccurate picture of one's own accomplishments isn't harmful (which it may or may not be), it hurts one's ability to introspect.
b. Patriotism causes hatred towards other countries. When Bob thinks that his country is greater than all others, it follows that all other countries are lesser. When something else is lesser than Countryland, Bob frowns upon that thing, which can devolve into hatred. I think that we can agree that hatred is, for the most part, a bad thing.

Contention 2: Patriotism was a notable cause of both world wars.

Sub-contention 2a: Patriotism is a subset of nationalism.
Nationalism: loyalty and devotion to a nation ; especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups
Patriotism: Love for or devotion to one's country.
(Webster's)
These definitions are very similar, and according to these definitions, patriotism is a subset of nationalism. I want to make this clear, as I frequently cite patriotism in instances when nationalism is usually cited. Although nationalism does not imply patriotism, I argue in sub-contention 2b that for the purposes of this contention, they are the same.

Sub-contention 2b:
The time leading up to WWI was a time of great turmoil. Germany had just formed, and many of its citizens were feeling very patriotic. Germany was not alone. Competition between strongly patriotic countries led to heavy tensions, especially as countries and empires grew more powerful. These tensions eventually led to the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the beginning of WWI. Patriotism was an important cause of WWI.

WWII was influenced by patriotism of the worst form. After the rise of Hitler, Germany moved into fascism. Patriotism was a driving force behind this social movement: fascism is only successful when citizens believe their country to be better than all others. The rise of Hitler and Nazism was the primary cause of WWII, and patriotism was a driving force behind Hitler's rise to power. I think we can agree that WWII was harmful to the human race.

A general idea that can be taken from this contention is that patriotism causes war. If two nations each think themselves better than the other, neither will be satisfied while the other is still there, wasting space. Another prominent example of this is the United States: we use patriotism to justify invading other countries and "spreading democracy." Since America is obviously greater than all other countries, invading them is justified since we are helping them to be like us.

Contention 3: Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. (Bertrand Russell)

This is related to my first contention, in that I am showing that patriotism is irrational, and that this irrationality does more harm than good.

People may do good deeds or bad deeds for their country based on patriotism. They do these deeds blindly, simply because they are patriotic and want to support their country. Sure, patriotism can lead people to do good deeds as well as bad. But let us take Bob the patriotic one, and Alice the rational one. First, their country asks them to murder their children. Bob does it, since he is patriotic. Alice does not, because she sees that it is irrational to murder her children. Next, their country asks them to adopt an orphan. Bob still does it, since he's patriotic. But this time Alice also does it, since she rationally assesses the situation and concludes that adopting an orphan is helpful to humanity. Bob follows the morally correct path the first time, but not the second time. Alice follows the morally correct path both times, so Bob's patriotism is harmful to the human race while Alice's rationality is not. This goes to show that it is better to rationally consider each choice then to blindly follow what Countryland wants its citizens to do.

Getting back to the Russell quote, patriotism causes people to make important decisions based off of trivial information: that Countryland wants them to do it. This failure of rationality is more harmful to humanity than if people consider their choices and make them independent of what Countryland wants them to do.

Information on WWI, WWII:
(1) http://en.wikipedia.org... (note that this page has many sources, and I cross-referenced for credibility)
(2) History class notes from earlier this year
Maikuru

Con

Thanks so much to MTGandP for the challenge and I look forward to a great discussion.

::The Basics::

I stand in negation to the resolution: patriotism is harmful to the human race. Thus, the audience should identify Pro as the winner if patriotism is shown to be an overall detrimental force to the human race and Con as the winner if patriotism is shown to be an overall beneficial or neutral force to the human race.

I present no objections to my opponent's definitions and take this opportunity to reiterate them and present one of my own:

- Patriotism: love for or devotion to one's country.
- Nationalism: loyalty and devotion to a nation ; especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups
- Jingoism: extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy [1]

I ask the audience to make note of the distinguishing factors in the above definitions, as they play an important role in my opponent's case and my rebuttals.

::Rebuttals::

C1: "Patriotism is taking pride...and feeling hatred..."

My opponent identifies patriotism as undue ownership of the accomplishments of others. However, the above definition of patriotism clearly offers no relationship with such self-aggrandizement. An appreciation for one's country in no way necessitates the belief that one is in some way responsible for the country's accomplishments. What my opponent describes as patriotism in "Bob" is more accurately described as arrogance, a trait with no innate tie to patriotism.

My opponent also identifies patriotism as involving feelings of hatred towards those who are different. Once again, a glance at the definition shows that no such connection exists; neither affection nor loyalty to one's country obliges hatred toward others. In the context of this discussion, feelings of international inferiority or hatred can only be drawn from concepts such as nationalism or jingoism. Because my opponent has not demonstrated how patriotism leads necessarily to arrogance or hatred, any negatives associated with them are irrelevant.

C2: "Patriotism was a notable cause of both world wars."

Pro argues that because nationalism was a major component of the world wars, and patriotism is interchangeable with nationalism, patriotism can be considered a cause of the wars. Thus, if patriotism can be identified as separate from nationalism, my opponent's contention is refuted. Fortunately, Pro provided the definitions necessary to make this distinction clear.

My opponent would attribute acts of international aggression and superiority to patriotism, despite the fact that these traits find absolutely no root in the term. Patriotism and nationalism share the common element of national devotion, but while the former ends there, the latter goes on to include feelings of entitlement and prominence. Given that this is a clear distinguishing factor between the terms, they must not be used interchangeably when these additional elements are present.

The international hostility and violence demonstrated in the wars fit only the description of nationalism. My opponent's attempt to combine these terms despite their differing meanings is equivalent to equating cultural pride with racism, love with obsession, etc; just because these terms share common elements does not mean the negatives of one can be attributed to the other. Given that Pro has provided no evidence that patriotism and nationalism are identical or that one necessarily leads to the other, my opponent's contention is refuted.

C3: "Patriotism is the willingness to kill...for trivial reasons."

Pro claims that patriotism leads to irrational deeds, using an unusual example to illustrate his claim. However this example, which involves our friend Bob murdering his children because his country asked him to, is unrelated to patriotism for multiple reasons. First of all, patriotism does not imply that one follows unquestioningly the requests of their country, nor does it imply a belief that one's country is infallible. Once again, my opponent has attributed Bob's actions to patriotism when ignorance, blind servitude, and questionable moral judgment are more fitting reasons.

Secondly, my opponent suggests that patriotism inhibits independence and critical thinking skills, depicting the patriotic as mindless, obedient automatons. Of course, this description is not drawn at all from the definition of patriotism and no sort of evidence is presented to support it. Patriotism is understood as a position of appreciation for, not submission to, a country. In fact, a solely patriotic mindset is neither necessary nor sufficient to produce the actions described in Pro's example; blind obedience to the degree mentioned is more likely a result of fear of punishment or ignorance of alternatives than it is a result of national pride.

::The Benefits of Patriotism::

1. Social Support

By providing citizens with a sense of community and common loyalties, patriotism acts as a source of social support, motivation, and inspiration. Moments of national crisis provide common examples of the positives of patriotism, in which feelings of national devotion produce emotional and psychological stability for citizens. International sporting events also demonstrate the benefits of national pride, as athletes and spectators are inspired to represent their countries through outstanding accomplishments and enthusiasm, respectively [2].

2. National Improvement

True patriotism, which is often blamed for the mismanagement of governments, is actually a tool to correct such errors. Patriotism works to battle national and political apathy, opening up a pathway for constructive public discourse. Possessing the common goal of countrywide advancement encourages both governmental advocates and critics to voice their opinions in an open and free atmosphere [3]. Lacking patriotism would result in a developmental void, wherein many efforts to improve one's country, through either support or criticism, would dissolve from a lack of motivation or interest.

3. National Defense

By blaming it for the start of two world wars, my opponent misunderstands the innately defensive nature of patriotism. Patriotism proposes no position of authority, advantage, or privilege in relation to other nations, fundamentally excluding it from issues concerning international attacks. Instead, its message of devotion is more suited to a position of defense. To love one's country is to support its preservation, leading to greater interest in national safekeeping [4]. Whereas nationalism may encourage interference or hostility across nations, patriotism encourages only self-defense and internal stability.

I apologize for the brevity of my arguments but the character limit looms. I hope to elaborate and extend my arguments in R2.

::Closing::

My opponent's gripes with patriotism are based entirely on incorrectly associating it with separate concepts, such as arrogance, hatred, prejudice, and obedience. In reality, patriotism makes no overt or implied relationship with any of these elements. Furthermore, Pro has offered no logical connection between patriotism and the harms he attributes to it. To love one's country does not presuppose discrimination or irrationality, but instead allows for national support, improvement, and defense.

::References::

1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://www.voanews.com...
3. http://www.lewrockwell.com...
4. http://archives.chicagotribune.com...
Debate Round No. 1
MTGandP

Pro

"An appreciation for one's country in no way necessitates the belief that one is in some way responsible for the country's accomplishments. What my opponent describes as patriotism in "Bob" is more accurately described as arrogance, a trait with no innate tie to patriotism."
I frequently hear Bob say, "I'm proud to be an American." This is patriotism, is it not? But why should Bob be proud to be an American? That's like being proud to have blue eyes. He did not personally contribute to the achievements of America, so why should he be proud of them?

"My opponent also identifies patriotism as involving feelings of hatred towards those who are different. Once again, a glance at the definition shows that no such connection exists; neither affection nor loyalty to one's country obliges hatred toward others."
Patriotism is love for or devotion to one's own country. But why should Bob be devoted to his own country? Well, because his country is the best. Why be devoted to a country that's not the best? And if Countryland is the best, then other countries are worse. Worse countries do not deserve respect. One day Bob's not respecting other countries, and before you know it he's hating them. Although patriotism is not as severe as jingoism, it can frequently lead to it.

"Pro argues that because nationalism was a major component of the world wars, and patriotism is interchangeable with nationalism, patriotism can be considered a cause of the wars. Thus, if patriotism can be identified as separate from nationalism, my opponent's contention is refuted."
I did not say that patriotism was interchangeable with nationalism. I said that patriotism is a subset of nationalism. Nationalism includes ideas that are not patriotism, such as love for or devotion to one's ethnic background.

"Patriotism and nationalism share the common element of national devotion, but while the former ends there, the latter goes on to include feelings of entitlement and prominence."
Premise: I love and am devoted to my country.
Premise: The country most deserving of my love and devotion would be the greatest country.
Therefore: My country is the greatest.
Therefore: Other countries are not as great as my country.

Premise: It is better to live in a great country than to live in a less great country.
Therefore: Everyone should live in the greatest country.
Premise: It does not make logistical sense for everyone in the world to move to the greatest country.
Therefore: The greatest country should spread itself across the globe.
Premise: Some people will not allow the greatest country to peacefully take over.
Therefore: The greatest country should invade all unwilling countries for their own good.
Since my country is the greatest country,
Therefore: My country should invade other countries.

If all the premises are accepted, it logically follows from patriotism that other countries should be invaded.

C3.
One does not kill and be killed for one's own country without patriotism. Patriotism is a necessary step in mindless killing for one's own country. Even if it is not the only step (which it may or may not be), it is still a step. Without patriotism, mindless killing for one's own country is impossible. Therefore, patriotism is more harmful than a lack of patriotism in this respect.

* * * * * * *
Now for my opponent's contentions.

1. Social Support
Patriotism as a source of social support is redundant and unnecessary. Social support can be found in any sort of community; patriotism is not unique in that. And while international sporting events may be examples of national pride, they inhibit a sense of pride for the human race. The Olympics are, in the end, competitive. Would it not be better if the entire world was united in a sense of pride for the world? Patriotism, by fueling competition between countries, inhibits this sense of complete unity.

2. National Improvement
Improvement of some community is not unique to nations. Why national improvement? Why not instead world improvement? When one is devoted to improving the entire planet, patriotism is redundant.

3. National Defense
Without patriotism, national defense is unnecessary. Let's say Russia wants to invade America. But the citizens of Russia are not patriotic. With no patriotism, no one wants to join the military. The military has no support. So Russia is unable to invade America, national defense is unnecessary, and trillions of dollars and millions of lives are saved.
Maikuru

Con

Thank you, MTGandP, for your prompt reply.

::Rebuttals::

C1: "He did not personally contribute to the achievements of America, so why should [Bob] be proud of them…Why be devoted to a country that's not the best? And if Countryland is the best, then other countries are worse."

Pro asks why one would be patriotic if they didn't feel personally responsible for their country's accomplishments. However, I previously showed how no such arrogance is present within the definition of the term and patriotism is easily possible without it. One can feel love or loyal toward the safety, familiarity, unity, freedoms, accomplishments, and beauty of their country without feeling pride or personal responsibility for their creation. As I stated before, what my opponent describes as patriotism is simply arrogance.

Pro again claims patriotism involves hating others and feelings of national superiority. He has ignored my previous response to this point, which specifically stated that feelings of national superiority describe nationalism and jingoism, not patriotism. Patriotism, by definition, has nothing to do with supremacy, and thus has nothing to do with hatred. My opponent's argument consists solely of unsupported conjecture and misplaced attributes. This contention remains irrelevant.

C2: "I said that patriotism is a subset of nationalism…If all the premises are accepted, it logically follows from patriotism that other countries should be invaded."

Pro has presented a line of reasoning that, if true, would suggest patriotism leads predictably to a nationalist mindset. Therefore, my task is once again to show that no such link exists. Thankfully, Pro's line of reasoning is rife with flaws that serve to dismiss it outright. The start of my opponent's reasoning begins as follows:

"Premise: I love and am devoted to my country.
Premise: The country most deserving of my love and devotion would be the greatest country.
Therefore: My country is the greatest.
Therefore: Other countries are not as great as my country."

The first premise indicates patriotism, while the second premise, which involves comparisons across countries, indicates a shift to nationalism. However, no explanation is given as to how such a shift could occur within a wholly patriotic mindset. As I explained in R1, patriotism involves solely one's feelings for their own country and cannot involve judgments toward other countries. Furthermore, patriotism makes no implication that one's country is the best, only that one appreciates it. Just as I can love mom's apple pie but still enjoy blueberry pie (and even recognize it as better tasting), patriotism allows for the love of one's country without implying it is the greatest.

The rest of Pro's premises focus on nationalism and can thus be dismissed. Pro simply assumes that patriotism leads to nationalism without offering a single reason or piece of evidence as support. My opponent's assumptions, as well as this contention, are refuted.

C3: "Patriotism is a necessary step in mindless killing for one's own country."

My opponent has shifted his argument from patriotism as a cause of irrational deeds to patriotism as a necessary element for irrational deeds. However, like his original contention, this view is incorrect and misleading for a number of reasons.

First of all, patriotism does not inhibit critical thinking skills. To love one's country does not imply that this love is either a personal priority or a necessary component in decision making. Pro again depicts the patriotic as mindless automatons without a single shred of evidence or reasoning beyond his own assumptions.

Secondly, Pro continues to blame patriotism for the negatives of different concepts. He faults patriotism for acts of nationalism, which is equivalent to faulting cultural pride for acts of racism, faulting love for acts of obsession, etc. These pairs of concepts share common bonds, but they are also distinguished by critical elements. These additional elements are responsible for the problems, and it is essential that these terms are distinguished when the critical elements are present.

Thirdly, patriotism is simply not a necessary step toward acts of violence or the formation of aggressive military forces. Soldiers may choose to join the armed forces for a number of non-patriotic reasons, including personal growth, money, religious calling, an interest in military careers, a family history of similar professions, or even a desire to inflict harm on others. All of these examples would result in individuals killing and dying at the behest of one's government, yet none of them stem from patriotism.

::The Benefits of Patriotism::

1. "Patriotism as a source of social support is redundant and unnecessary…Patriotism, by fueling competition between countries, inhibits this sense of complete unity."

My opponent concedes that patriotism works as a source of social support, with his only complaint against it being that this support is redundant. This complaint is, of course, ridiculous, as the benefits of patriotism-based support exist regardless of whether or not citizens receive support elsewhere. In fact, an individual's opportunity to obtain support from multiple sources only serves to bolster its positive effects.

Pro goes on to accuse patriotism in sporting events as inhibiting worldwide appreciation. In reality, these events provide a common stage for worldwide athletes and allow individuals to recognize and appreciate the talents of other nations. My opponent's dissent is a result of his continued confusion of the terms patriotism and nationalism. Patriotism allows one to support their own country but does not inhibit the support of others; once again, just because I enjoy mom's apple pie does not mean that I dislike all other pies, nor does it mean that I dislike all other baked goods.

2. "Why national improvement? Why not instead world improvement?"

My opponent again concedes that patriotism encourages national improvement, complaining now that doing so is insufficient. Pro forgets that the resolution reads "patriotism is harmful to the human race," not "patriotism does not do enough to improve the human race." Patriotism acts as motivation to improve one's surroundings, which if anything is an essential step toward improving the world as a whole. Patriotism does absolutely nothing to discourage worldwide improvement, but the absence of patriotism may. Pro's rebuttal is baseless.

3. "Without patriotism, national defense is unnecessary…With no patriotism, no one wants to join the military."

I have already listed various non-patriotic reasons to join the armed forces, so aggressive armies would exist regardless of the presence of patriotism. Eliminating patriotism would not end war, as nationalism and jingoism are at the core of international attacks. In fact, given the defensive nature of patriotism (which my opponent does not deny), removing it would only increase a nation's vulnerability to attack. This is another baseless claim on Pro's part.

::Closing::

By continuing to discuss nationalism, mindlessness, arrogance, and other independent traits, my opponent fails to produce a single argument against patriotism. His attempts to connect these traits completely lack evidence or logical support, ignoring entirely the actual definitions of terms for his own assumptions. Furthermore, he has not denied patriotism is a source of social support, national improvement, and national defense.

I look forward to your reply and await the final round.
Debate Round No. 2
MTGandP

Pro

" 'Premise: I love and am devoted to my country.
Premise: The country most deserving of my love and devotion would be the greatest country.
Therefore: My country is the greatest.
Therefore: Other countries are not as great as my country.'

The first premise indicates patriotism, while the second premise, which involves comparisons across countries, indicates a shift to nationalism. However, no explanation is given as to how such a shift could occur within a wholly patriotic mindset."

I do not see my second premise as fundamentally nationalist. I only devote myself to things which are worthy of devotion; so if I am devoted to my country, it must be worthy of devotion. If I am most devoted to my own country, then my country must be the most worthy of devotion. It follows from this that other countries are less worthy.

"[P]atriotism makes no implication that one's country is the best, only that one appreciates it."
And why waste appreciation and devotion on an inferior country?

"Just as I can love mom's apple pie but still enjoy blueberry pie (and even recognize it as better tasting), patriotism allows for the love of one's country without implying it is the greatest."
Maybe you *love* mom's apple pie, but you're not really devoted to it.

Unlike pies, countries are competitive. They are each trying to be the best, which is likely caused by nationalist leadership. The non-nationalist patriots, therefore, cannot be loyal to every country. It was not possible during the Cold War to be loyal to both the Soviet Union and the United States, so patriots had to choose their side. And why choose the inferior side?

"Soldiers may choose to join the armed forces for a number of non-patriotic reasons, including personal growth, money, religious calling, an interest in military careers, a family history of similar professions, or even a desire to inflict harm on others. All of these examples would result in individuals killing and dying at the behest of one's government, yet none of them stem from patriotism."
When I see advertisements for the army, I don't see anything about money or religious calling. What I see is patriotism. Patriotism, while not *completely* necessary for a military, is a very important element. In addition, public support relies primarily on patriotism: a citizen who isn't in the military but supports it does not do so for personal growth or for his/her career.

"My opponent concedes that patriotism works as a source of social support, with his only complaint against it being that this support is redundant. This complaint is, of course, ridiculous, as the benefits of patriotism-based support exist regardless of whether or not citizens receive support elsewhere. In fact, an individual's opportunity to obtain support from multiple sources only serves to bolster its positive effects."
Devotion to a country and devotion to the human race are frequently mutually exclusive. See my America/Soviet example.

"Patriotism allows one to support their own country but does not inhibit the support of others; once again, just because I enjoy mom's apple pie does not mean that I dislike all other pies, nor does it mean that I dislike all other baked goods."
Yes, but pies are not competing. If there was a pie contest, you would be forced to choose between mom's apple pie and that really good blueberry pie.

"Eliminating patriotism would not end war, as nationalism and jingoism are at the core of international attacks."
Patriotism, while not synonymous with nationalism and jingoism, is a necessary element of both. Without patriotism, neither could exist.

Conclusion
Patriotism, while good on the surface, can lead to aggression towards other countries and can fuel competition. Without patriotism, nationalism would not be possible. Without patriotism, international cooperation would be more encouraged. Without patriotism, the world would be a better place. Vote for not just a country, but for humanity. Vote PRO.
Maikuru

Con

Thanks to MTGandP for this great debate. I really enjoyed it =D

::Rebuttals::

C1: Conceded

My opponent has abandoned his contention that patriotism leads to hate and arrogance. It was based entirely on a false definition of patriotism and was irrelevant.

C2: "I am most devoted to my own country, then my country must be the most worthy of devotion."

Patriotism cannot, by definition, stem from a belief of national superiority. What my opponent is describing is called nationalism and is fundamentally different. My opponent has failed to show any causal relationship between these concepts, despite having three separate rounds to do so.

Once again, love or devotion to an entity does not imply that entity is superior. If that were the case, parents would only love their "best" child, the entire nation would only support a single sports team, automakers would produce only their best model of car, and so forth.

The same analysis can be applied to patriotism; love or devotion to a country does not imply one finds it superior. Familiarity with or appreciation for particular aspects of a country is sufficient to produce patriotism, and relates nothing with other nations. My opponent has continued to ignore the actual definitions of patriotism and nationalism and simply perpetuates his own flawed comparison. As always, this contention is refuted.

C3: "Patriotism, while not *completely* necessary for a military, is a very important element."

My opponent has altered his argument for a second time, this time shifting patriotism from a necessary element of militaries to just an important element. However, this change has little to do with the actual contention and still fails to address any of my previous rebuttals.

I have already clarified (and Pro has not disagreed) that patriotism does not inhibit rational thought, and thus does not produce "mindless" military obedience. Also, aggressive military acts are unrelated to patriotism, falling instead within the scope of nationalism or jingoism. Lastly, the prominence of national symbols in military advertisements does not negate non-patriotic reasons for joining the armed forces, including money, a family history, and personal growth. The difference is that patriotism is the only reason that encourages a position of military defensiveness rather than aggressiveness. Pro's contention remains misguided and extraneous.

::The Benefits of Patriotism::

1. Social Support

"Devotion to a country and devotion to the human race are frequently mutually exclusive…If there was a pie contest, you would be forced to choose between mom's apple pie and that really good blueberry pie."

Please note that my opponent's response does nothing to refute patriotism as a source of social support. The stability, motivation, and encouragement it provides citizens are evident and Pro says nothing to deny this. At this point, his only claim is that such support would force citizens to choose their country above the interests of mankind in general. Fortunately, patriotism has nothing to do with matters concerning other countries and assuming it does stems from a misunderstanding of the term.

For the last time (I promise), patriotism does not imply, demand, suggest, or even ask one to consider their country superior or inferior to another. It is an isolated relationship of love or devotion between a citizen and their country. Individuals can retain their sense of patriotism during times of conflict, but any feelings of superiority related to other nations stem from a separate entity: nationalism. My opponent has failed in 3 rounds to connect these terms, so they remain separate and his rebuttal stands as irrelevant.

2. National Improvement

My opponent has abandoned his rebuttal against patriotism as a source of national improvement. In the previous round, he went so far as to concede that patriotism motivates citizens to act as an agent of improvement within their country. It serves to combat national apathy and works toward the greater good of all citizens. It also provides a common goal for seemingly opposing parties, encouraging dialogue and overarching national development.

3. National Defense

"Patriotism, while not synonymous with nationalism and jingoism, is a necessary element of both."

Again, my opponent's rebuttal does nothing to refute patriotism as a source of national defense. A love or devotion for one's country encourages efforts to ensure its preservation, thus increasing interest in national protection and security.

My opponent has ignored this issue and once again tries to blame patriotism for the negatives of nationalism. As anyone who has read this debate thus far already knows, those elements that make nationalism so dangerous (i.e. feelings of superiority and aggression) exist independently of patriotism and would continue to exist in its absence. Attacking patriotism in an attempt to end nationalism is akin to attacking cultural pride to end racism; the common elements of these concepts do not render them interchangeable, and eliminating that which is positive does not eliminate the negative.

::Conclusion::

Pro has not offered a single relevant source, example, or line of reasoning to demonstrate any harm caused by patriotism. Instead, he has spent his time arguing against nationalism and other separate concepts. By failing to show any relevant link between these concepts and patriotism, his entire case falls flat.

On the other hand, I have presented three unblemished benefits provided by patriotism: its production of national support, improvement, and defense. While Pro would describe patriotism as some harmful entity, he has conceded each of these benefits. The only arguments actually pertaining to patriotism in this debate are those that show the positive impact it has on citizens.

For these reasons, I strongly urge a Con vote. Thank you to MTGandP and all the readers!
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by watcha 5 years ago
watcha
Furthermore, patriotism makes no reference whatsoever to 'appreciating' a country - it is specially a devotion to that country above all others. You can appreciate countries without being patriotic, and thus patriotism involves significantly more than simple appreciation.

George Orwell said it best when he described Patriotism as 'devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force upon other people'.

The main problem with patriotism, and this is NOT nationalism, is it's divisive nature, which I feel the pro side did not focus on enough. All of the con's sides arguments in favour of Patriotism would happen with or without patriotism, so are irrelevant, apart from the 'defence' argument, which is exactly the fundamental problem. The fact that there are divisions within the human race is precisely the reason there need to be defences, and those divisions can only occur due to patriotism. Nationalism doesn't always have to be the cause of wars. Lets take an example of a resource shortage. Country A and Country B are divided fundamentally due to patriotism. Without patriotism the world would be one big undivided entity. Country A and Country B contain no nationalists. Country A has no food, no resources, and all its people are about to die. Country B has a surplus but because its people are patriotic, but not nationalistic, they don't believe they should interfere with other countries and they want to stockpile resources for the future. This division, with no nationalism, causes Country A to go to war with Country B as a last resort. An easy, and relevant example of why patriotism will most likely be the single human flaw which ends us as a race.

Contrast this to a nationalist war, and again, this war would not happen in the absence of patriotism. In other words, patriotism is a fundamental and necessary driver behind every war. Nationalism is not. Therefore patriotism is the prob
Posted by watcha 5 years ago
watcha
The whole reason the 'con' side won this debate hinges on the critical definition of Patriotism and it's misinterpretation and misunderstanding on the con side, combined with the failure of the pro side to explain why. Take the following:

'
"Premise: I love and am devoted to my country.
Premise: The country most deserving of my love and devotion would be the greatest country.
Therefore: My country is the greatest.
Therefore: Other countries are not as great as my country."

... Furthermore, patriotism makes no implication that one's country is the best, only that one appreciates it. Just as I can love mom's apple pie but still enjoy blueberry pie (and even recognize it as better tasting), patriotism allows for the love of one's country without implying it is the greatest.'

The original post is entirely correct (up until the point where he says that the best country needs to enforce its ways on other countries, which is the point at which it does become nationalism). Con misunderstands the difference between patriotism and nationalism. Both require that you believe your country is the best, and it is a false assertion that you can enjoy multiple 'pies' in the context of this debate. I contend that it is fundamentally impossible to be patriotic to more than one country, and as a result patriotism necessarily implies lesser feeling for other countries, and thus necessarily requires belief of or desire for superiority. If you are patriotic (devoted) to a country, you would defend it against all other countries in war. If you were simultaneously patriotic to another country, and the two countries went to war, what would you do? If you do nothing, you're not patriotic to either country, since how could you ignore the fact the country you are 'devoted' to is being attacked? Similarly if you pick a side, you're not being patriotic to any other country. In essence, since countries are naturally competitive entities, it is unpatriotic to one to be patriotic to ano
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
I have been bombed once. I've pretty much recovered though, since plenty of people helped out and the person who was bombing me got banned. I think it actually increased my win ratio overall.

I'll take a look at some of your open debates.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
I forgot to thank all the readers who took the time to review and vote on this debate following that bombing. I would very much appreciate RFD's and I'm sure my opponent feels the same =D
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Yeah, all my open debates in which I was winning were bombed yesterday. I have a few suspects in mind if you'd like to know who to look out for =D

By the way, have you ever been bombed? I know you're into RFD's and correcting previous bombing so you're on the front lines there.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
Wasn't I at 15 points or something for the last four months? And now I've suddenly gained about ten points. I suspect that mischief is afoot.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
"Anyone who agrees with me gets pie, and we all know that pie is superior to cake."

Thems debatin' words! Anyway, this was a great debate and it deserves a fair ballot.

Conduct: Tie
S & G: Tie
Arguments: By failing to link patriotism to nationalism, the negatives of Pro's case were misplaced. Also, the benefits of patriotism were essentially unchallenged by the debate's end, so points go to Con.
Sources: Pro's sole source (a wiki about the world wars) had little to do with patriotism. Con's sources supported each of the benefits he presented, so points go to Con.
Posted by MTGandP 7 years ago
MTGandP
"You know I was about to leave a comment, but Maikuru has done such a good job in hitting all the points that needed to be hit, saying the exactly right things, and coming up with very good arguments that which would have been exactly my own; that I don't think I need to show my side of the issue because Con has already done such a good job in doing this for me. Go Con!!! You have my vote so far!"
Yeah, Maikuru is doing a really good job. I actually have to think about my arguments before I post them.

"Anyone who reads through this entire debate gets props from me. Anyone who does that and agrees with me gets cake =)"
Anyone who agrees with me gets pie, and we all know that pie is superior to cake.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
@ charles15: Awesome =D

Anyone who reads through this entire debate gets props from me. Anyone who does that and agrees with me gets cake =)
Posted by charles15 7 years ago
charles15
You know I was about to leave a comment, but Maikuru has done such a good job in hitting all the points that needed to be hit, saying the exactly right things, and coming up with very good arguments that which would have been exactly my own; that I don't think I need to show my side of the issue because Con has already done such a good job in doing this for me. Go Con!!! You have my vote so far!
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Vote Placed by MTGandP 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by charles15 7 years ago
charles15
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