The Instigator
triangle.128k
Con (against)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
UtherPenguin
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Saudi Arabia is not that bad of a country

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
triangle.128k
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/28/2015 Category: Places-Travel
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,287 times Debate No: 77051
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

triangle.128k

Con

This debate will be about whether the country of Saudi Arabia is a good country to live in or not. I will be arguing that Saudi Arabia is not a good country, UtherPenguin will be arguing why it isn't that bad of a country.

Format

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Main arguments
Rounds 3-4: Additional arguments and rebuttals
Round 5: Additional arguments/rebuttals and you must state why you did better than your opponent



UtherPenguin

Pro

Debate accepted. Good Luck m9!
Debate Round No. 1
triangle.128k

Con

Introduction

Saudi Arabia is a middle eastern country which is under theocratic rule. Theocracy is proven to be a bad form of government, secular nations have often shown that they do better. Saudi Arabia has a large amount of human rights violations, it is oppressive towards women and ethnic/religious minorities and etc.



Religious Freedom

One thing about Saudi Arabia that constitutes it as a bad country is it's oppresion of religion. People whom aren't Muslim can only publically practice their religion in a private place or inside their own home. [1+2] A country should not prohibit such a basic right to individuals. Saudi Arabia also has a strict and literal interpretation of the Qu'ran and Sharia law. One thing that this prevents is critical thinking, people aren't going to question their religion one bit. Islam is enforced and all it's values. A Jew reading a Torah in public would likely get arrested. A non-muslim in Saudi Arabia must also abide by nearly all Sharia laws or bad things could happen. A person shouldn't be attacked or anything for simply questioning Islam and applying critical thinking

To further show religious intolerance, textbooks in Saudi Arabia have shown this: [3]

"The report's findings contradict claims made repeatedly by senior Saudi government spokesmen that they have thoroughly revised their educational materials. Over a year ago, Saudi embassy spokesman Adel al-Jubeir stated: "We have reviewed our educational curriculums. We have removed materials that are inciteful or intolerant towards people of other faiths." The new Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, while on a nation-wide speaking tour earlier this year, asserted: "We eliminated what might be perceived as intolerance from old textbooks that were in our system." Just last week, on May 18, the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud Al-Faisal stated that "…the whole system of education is being transformed from top to bottom. Textbooks are only one of the steps that have been taken by Saudi Arabia."

However, the report shows that these textbooks:

  • Condemn and denigrate the majority of Sunni Muslims who do not follow the Wahhabi understanding of Islam, and call them deviants and descendants of polytheists.
  • Condemn and denigrate Shiite and Sufi Muslims' beliefs and practices as heretical and call them "polytheists;"
  • Command Muslims to "hate" Christians, Jews, "polytheists" and other "unbelievers," including non-Wahhabi Muslims, though, incongruously, not to treat them "unjustly";
  • Teach the infamous forgeries, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, as historical fact;
  • Teach other conspiracy theories accusing Freemasons, Lions Clubs and Rotary Clubs of plotting to undermine Muslims;
  • Teach that "Jews and the Christians are enemies of the [Muslim] believers" and that "the clash" between the two realms is perpetual;
  • Instruct students not to "greet," "befriend," "imitate," "show loyalty to," "be courteous to," or "respect" non-believers;
  • Assert that the spread of Islam through jihad is a "religious duty;"
  • Instruct that "fighting between Muslims and Jews" will continue until Judgment Day, and that the Muslims are promised victory over the Jews in the end;
  • Include a map of the Middle East that labels Israel within its pre-1967 borders as "Palestine: occupied 1948."



sources
http://www.expatarrivals.com...
http://www.uscirf.gov...;

https://freedomhouse.org...



Torture

Saudi Arabia is known to torture people much like in medieval Europe. For example, an Australian in Saudi Arabia was sentenced to 500 lashes for "blasphemy" [1] This isn't uncommon either, A saudi blogger known as 'Raif Badawi' was sentenced to 1000 lashes for insulting Islam. For this reason, his wife and Children have even fled to Canada. [2] He was also sentenced to 10 years in jail for such a minor thing.

Simply making a joke about Islam could have dire consequences, a good country shouldn't allow for such torture against this little of a thing. Recieving so many lashes for something that small is immoral, the UN recgonises this as a human right violation.


sources
http://www.israelnationalnews.com...
http://www.theguardian.com...

https://treaties.un.org...


Women's rights

Women in Saudi Arabia suffer from discrimination and unequal rights to men. A good country should dictate equal rights to both genders. Women can not travel alone in Saudi Arabia, in fact some women have even escaped Saudi Arabia due to their horrible treatment. Women and men are also mostly forbidden to interact with each other publicly as they are often segregated. Women are also often treated poorly compared to men, as 53% of Saudi men report that they find domestic violence acceptable. 30% of men have even reported as abusing their wife or such. Women also must literally hide themselves in clothing.


sources
http://listverse.com...
http://www.wnd.com...
http://www.ijreview.com...





I don't have much time to write my other arguments so I will end it here
UtherPenguin

Pro

Main Arguments.

1. Economy

The economy of Saudi Arabia is rated among one of the ten best in the Middle East. With a GDP of 748 billion USD, it is higher then both Iran (368 Billion USD) and Lebanon (44 billion USD), Saudi Arabia also sits on the largest oil reserves in the world, accounting for at least 20% of the world's oil. Making the country home a growing migrant working population. Saudi Arabia is also a major member of OPEC. Making the country one of the world's most influential exporters of oil.

The economy of the country is strong, hence it attracts immigrants. Making the country economically prosperous.

2. Education

Public Education in Saudi Arabia from Primary school to Post-Secondary is open to any Saudi citizen. As a result, student debt for University and College graduates is virtually non-existent. Compare that to student loan debt across the United States:



As of 2010, King Saud university has ranked as #8 best university in Asia.

3. Immigration

(This is more or less an extension of my first argument)
Saudi Arabia is fairly attractive to foreign and migrant workers. At least 10% of the Saudi population consists of immigrant workers. Even if they are not citizens. Especially towards professional workers whom are provided with housing, generally tax-free salaries, paid education for the worker's children and a free ticket back to the immigrants home country. Many of these advantages are not seen by most migrant workers in the Middle East or other countries.

Sources:
1. https://www.saudiembassy.net...
2. https://en.wikipedia.org...
3. https://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://www.expatsblog.com...
5.https://d28wbuch0jlv7v.cloudfront.net...
6. http://he.moe.gov.sa...
Debate Round No. 2
triangle.128k

Con

1. Economy

Lebanon is a much smaller country so it's not the fairest sense to compare it to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has grown it's economy by oil, however renewable energy sources are improving. Due to increased efficiency of renewable energy sources, reliance on oil is likely going to shrink.

RENEWABLES-PRIMARY-PRODUCTION-2013

This chart shows how much progress the EU alone has made on renewable energy. The US and many other countries are also making progress with more efficient renewable energy. With this, Saudi Arabia and other middle eastern countries may not last. Second, the economy really can't outweigh the human right violations.


2. Education

Pro insists that King Saud university is ranked #8 in Asia. However, from his sources we can see there are many ranking systems. On other charts, King Saud is shown as much less than the 8th best university in Asia.


3. Immigration

Immigration in Saudi Arabia isn't that high with only 10% of immigrant workers.

Pie chart of ethnic groups in Saudi Arabia Pie chart of religions practiced in Saudi Arabia

We can also see the diversity rate in Saudi Arabia is not very high, the religious diversity is even worse. You would be brutally oppressed if you aren't a Muslim in Saudi arabia.


Pie chart of ethnic groups in IsraelPie chart of religions practiced in Israel


In Israel, we can see that the diversity rates are much higher, and there are many non-Jewsih people in Israel. Any non-muslims in Saudi Arabia likely never tell anybody seeing as they would be oppressed, as they can't worship in public either.




Human Rights

Saudi Arabia has a bad record of human rights under international law. In a country like Israel on the other hand, we can see that Israel has anti-discrimination laws. Israel also has laws respecting religious freedom as well as political and legal rights. In my previous argument, i've mentioned about the freedom restrictions in Saudi Arabia. Such restrictions on freedom wouldn't make it the best place to live.



Sources:

https://freedomhouse.org...
http://www.pbs.org...
http://he.moe.gov.sa...
http://breakingenergy.com...
http://www.carbonbrief.org...


UtherPenguin

Pro

Rebuttals (Apologies if these rebuttals are short)

Introductions:

"Saudi Arabia is a middle eastern country which is under theocratic rule. Theocracy is proven to be a bad form of government, secular nations have often shown that they do better. "

No proof is given for this statement. Neither has there been evidence to show that the correlation was because of theocracy.

Reliigous Freedom:

"A country should not prohibit such a basic right to individuals. "

While such is agreeable, you fail to prove why a good country should prohibit basic rights, this assertion was not followed with a reason as to why this should be present in an ideal country.

Torture: "Saudi Arabia is known to torture people much like in medieval Europe. For example, an Australian in Saudi Arabia was sentenced to 500 lashes for "blasphemy" [1] This isn't uncommon either, A saudi blogger known as 'Raif Badawi' was sentenced to 1000 lashes for insulting Islam. For this reason, his wife and Children have even fled to Canada. [2] He was also sentenced to 10 years in jail for such a minor thing. "

Lashing as a means of punishment is not recognized as a form of torture by the UN. Whether or not public criticism of the state Religion should be a punishable crime is subjective, and whether or not said criticism is "minor" is also subjective.

"Simply making a joke about Islam could have dire consequences, a good country shouldn't allow for such torture against this little of a thing. "

Once more, this is another subjective assertion. As said previously, Whether or not public criticism of the state Religion should be a punishable crime is and whether or not said criticism is "minor" is also subjective. As religion is strictly upheld in Saudi Arabia, undermining of it is seen as a crime.

Women's Rights:

"Women in Saudi Arabia suffer from discrimination and unequal rights to men. A good country should dictate equal rights to both genders. Women in Saudi Arabia suffer from discrimination and unequal rights to men. A good country should dictate equal rights to both genders. "

This argument is once more based of a personal belief. Whether or not the ideal country is to treat both genders indiscriminately is up to opinion, in Saudi Arabia, it is seen as the sufficient use of gender roles.
Debate Round No. 3
triangle.128k

Con

My opponent has not given a detailed enough argument, so my refutals are going to be short.



Theocracy

The cons of Saudi Arabia which i've brung up, much of these aspects apply to other islamic theocracies.


Religious Freedom

A country should give basic rights because it's a human right. It is immoral to give a hard time to others over minor religious beliefs. People are still humans, some may have different religious beliefs but it's not a good reason to give cruel treatment to a person for that. While extremist beliefs are understandable, there's no reason against denying another live human being with feelings and emotion the freedom of thought. Furthermore, it may be likely for Islam to be false. If Islam were proven to be false, the middle eastern theocracies would have wasted their whole time.

Another point is that international law by the UN defines human rights as this: [1]
"Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom from slavery and torture, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more. Everyone is entitled to these rights, without discrimination."

We can clearly see that by treating muslims superior to others in middle eastern theocracies, they are violating international law.


Torture

My opponent gives no proof of the statement that lashes aren't recgonized as torture. Even so, it's common knowledge that they can be painful and damaging to health. Further more, it's not right to torture and threaten one's health over expressing free speech. Raif Badwan has been suffering from poor health concerns from the lashes he recieved in Saudi Arabia. If Islam really wasn't right, then he was simply tortured for no reason at all. [2]


Women's rights

As I mentioned before, human's rights apply to everyone, not just men. International law set by the UN says that both genders must be treated equally.

Giving women less rights also effects social/economic efficiency. The women back at home working could easily be helping the economy or whatever, but instead they're stuck at home.













http://www.un.org...
http://blogs.reuters.com...
UtherPenguin

Pro

UtherPenguin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
triangle.128k

Con

Pro forfeited
UtherPenguin

Pro

Apologies but I must concede this debate. I forfeited my previous round because I could find no way to argument from my current position or to rebut my opponents arguments.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
"Saudi Arabia is not that bad of a country" should be "Saudi Arabia is not that bad a country."
Posted by triangle.128k 1 year ago
triangle.128k
@Theunkown What about Pastafarians?
Posted by Theunkown 1 year ago
Theunkown
Atheists are labelled terrorists and are a 'threat to the regime' in Saudi Arabia.
Posted by triangle.128k 1 year ago
triangle.128k
@Berend I think you can be an atheist in Saudi Arabia legally if you don't publicly announce it.
Posted by Berend 1 year ago
Berend
Maybe not, but that's what I thought while laughing when I first saw the title. I once knew this guy who was a secret atheist who lived there who had to be all hush hush about it, even around his "loving" family. No idea what happened too him.
Posted by triangle.128k 1 year ago
triangle.128k
@Berend UtherPenguin really wasn't aware of most of what goes in Saudi Arabia.
Posted by Berend 1 year ago
Berend
Oh no, getting whipped for something like speaking out against Allah... Nope, not a bad nation at all.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 1 year ago
Midnight1131
triangle.128kUtherPenguinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF, and concession by Pro.
Vote Placed by Theunkown 1 year ago
Theunkown
triangle.128kUtherPenguinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfieted and explains that his forfeiture was because he couldn't find other arguments/rebuttals and concedes the debate. Ignoring the last 2 rounds, I would still have given Arguments to Pro, I find it laughable that Pro argues that religious discrimination and gender discrimination being bad is subjective. Pro did successfully argue that the economy of KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) is great. Since we are talking about living standards of the country, con could have done better arguing that income is not evenly distributed especially among migrant workers. Con's point about the reliance on renewable energy didn't really hit its mark, since oil demand is still going up, and KSA has huge reserves. That said, Con was correct to point out that the economy is one small point won for Pro out of many lost. Thus, Con wins the debate even ignoring the forfeit+concession.
Vote Placed by Berend 1 year ago
Berend
triangle.128kUtherPenguinTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: While Pro did concede, I still should state that the arguments and graphs provided by Con displayed the country to not be as great and showed the points of religious freedom, women's rights, etc which I find making his case more convincing.