The Instigator
iramski
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
SonicGhost
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Should the holocaust be a mandatory topic in school?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
SonicGhost
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,188 times Debate No: 67312
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (1)

 

iramski

Pro

There are so many lessons to be learnt from the Holocaust - good, bad, and way beyond ugly. How did it get to that stage? What drove the offenders, and what drove the rescuers? How do we ensure that, if something similar should arise, that we will never, ever remain bystanders? Bystanders were, in many cases, essentially passive offenders, because without their silent consent, the Nazis would have had a much harder time in doing as much damage as they did. The amount of good that rescuers did is testament to the fact that we have a choice, and that choice really does matter.

The Holocaust is what happened when discrimination and hatred got out of control. The truth is, these things continue to happen on a much smaller scale every day. The survivors at the Holocaust Centre here continually tell school kids who visit, "Hatred is a cancer, and it kills. It will kill the one who harbors it, too. Don't ever hate. We all bleed the same color if we're cut. We're all people. When you see someone being bullied, stand up and DO something - whether you get help or say something yourself, but don't just stand idly by. This is how tragedies happen.
The Holocaust shows us what happens when we stop seeing people as people; when we fail to see a person as a unique individual. I think it may have been Stalin who said it (though I could be wrong): "The death of one person is a tragedy. The deaths of a million people is a statistic." It is human nature to think this way, and in the hands of an evil person, it can cause utter devastation. But in the hands of the good, it can save lives and change the world.

We must remember so that the suffering of millions of people wasn't in vain - so that we can make this a better world, one person at a time
SonicGhost

Con

Firstly, I must thank Pro for instigating this debate.

Resolved: The Holocaust should be a mandatory topic in school.

As Pro has not offered any definitions, Con shall offer the following:

The Holocaust -The systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived “racial inferiority”: Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals.

School - Learning institutions in the United States of America.


The Con in this case value: Societal Good
The Con's value criterion being: utilitarianism, as all things moral in society must lead to a greater amount of human happiness in the population.

Contention 1: Teaching the Holocaust is difficult

Although in theory, teaching children about the dangers of dictatorships and how bad it may get when hatred and discriminations gets to extreme levels is good, however, one also has to think about the people teaching it to the children. When the topic is of some event that happened hundreds of years ago, predjudice, and personal beliefs do not come into play. But when the subject is something that has happened in the last century, and still touchy today, it seems bold to trust every history teacher in the world to teach the subject well. This is especially difficult when there are many times when a predjudicial child may be forced to learn about the Holocaust, and may even scream out his or her opinions on why the Jews must die. The reverse may also be the case, where a Jewish child may be offended by an insensitive remark from either his or her peers, or teacher. With all these problems that may arise in the classroom, the moral choice would be to avoid this complication, and to choose the route of least resistance: To avoid the Holocaust as a mandatory topic in schools, as the potential negative impact of teaching this subject will do more harm than the potential good it might do.

Contention 2: The Legality of this Proposal

Even if Pro was to refute Con's first Contention, this forceful implementation of curricula is simply not legal. According to the U.S. Department of Education, "The federal goverment does not: Set curricula or content standards for academic or professional subjects..." If Pro was to somehow break this law, and get their proposal through the Education system, the social unrest caused by the forceful implementation of curricula would be the same, if not more than the current curricula that the U.S. Federal Govt. is trying to implement (Common Core). Con argues the belief that forceful implementation of the curricula of a sensitive subject would cause more unrest than the implementation of Common Core, which is not a sensitive subject.

Contention 3:

It is true that learning about the Holocaust could be beneficial (minus all the preceeding rebuttal to that statement) but isn't more important to learn about one's own culture and history first? According to Lord Baker of Dorking: "Why I’ve got a thing against the Holocaust and all of that is I think you study your own history first,”. Focusing on one's own country's history will allow one to see the country in a better light and understand what stuggles it goes through, which is more relatable than the mass murder of Jews a century ago.


Rebuttal

Pro's Contentions:
- If we do not teach the Holocaust in schools, then a similar situation would arise, we would all be bystanders, and watch it happen.

Rebuttal:
There is no evidence in Pro's argument that backs up this contention. Pro has simply stated a claim, and has not backed it up with any evidence, apart from anecdotal evidence such as:

"The Holocaust shows us what happens when we stop seeing people as people; when we fail to see a person as a unique individual. I think it may have been Stalin who said it (though I could be wrong): 'The death of one person is a tragedy. The deaths of a million people is a statistic.'"

(This can be considered anecdotal because there is no proof that this will happen in the real world today.)

-The rest of Pro's arguments has no claim, and are only "lessons we can learn from the Holocaust".


Sources:

http://time.com...

http://www.ushmm.org...

http://www.washingtonpost.com...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

http://www.edutopia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
iramski

Pro

iramski forfeited this round.
SonicGhost

Con

Opponent ff'ed, all arguments on Con carry over. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 2
iramski

Pro

iramski forfeited this round.
SonicGhost

Con

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
iramski

Pro

iramski forfeited this round.
SonicGhost

Con

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
iramski

Pro

iramski forfeited this round.
SonicGhost

Con

Please direct all votes to Con, as Pro has ff'ed.
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by beelzebub5 2 years ago
beelzebub5
The Holocaust happened because the German people at the time believed that the Jewish people were at fault for World War I and Germany's economic shortcomings. People believed that because Hitler and the Nazis convinced them of such things. Hitler and the Nazis had an easy time convincing the people because the people were facing a great amount of economic and political turmoil during the Great Depression, and were desperate to have someone reassure them that they would achieve stability at some point in the near future. The point is, tragedies like this can happen a lot easier than we think they can, which is why it's important to teach and remind children of the tragedies that have happened, and why they happened. That said, I think we also need to focus on other crimes of race and religion and historical tragedies that have occurred, such as the Armenian Genocide, which occurred prior to the Holocaust, yet nobody remembers it. Teaching these things will not 100% guarantee that further events like them will be prevented, but it will at least give kids an understanding of the world around them. It's certainly better than keeping them ignorant and blissfully unaware that something like that happened so easily.
Posted by SonicGhost 2 years ago
SonicGhost
Just took up the debate... This might have been a mistake.
Posted by Mr.Chorlton 2 years ago
Mr.Chorlton
Not necessarily. History is as long as time with a vast amount of subjects to study which also teach equally important lessons. Also, history class should not be the place to preach to children a political opinion but rather to teach facts....political opinion can then be decided by the individual.
Posted by YassineB 2 years ago
YassineB
BDPersing, if you mean by religion any type of belief, then maybe teaching the atrocities of Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong... would serve better the purpose of showing how deadly religion can be.
Posted by BDPershing 2 years ago
BDPershing
If we teach the holocaust, then we need to teach the crimes of religion also, for the holocaust was a affect of religious belief. Also was not the only time such crimes were committed by religion.
Posted by YassineB 2 years ago
YassineB
Mandatory? No, every Nation, every People, every Country , every Culture have their History of suffering, making the story of suffering of one People Mandator for the rest defeats the very purpose of telling the story in the first place.
I am Con on this, I am just looking for Philosophical Debates now. ;)
Good luck finding a contender :)
Posted by TheSpoonyRealist 2 years ago
TheSpoonyRealist
No idea. I just argued that I was Pro Nazi Experiments with the same person though (I like a challenge), and I even found that less difficult than possibly coming up with an argument for this.
Posted by SirCrona 2 years ago
SirCrona
Who the heck is gonna argue against this?
Posted by Mike_10-4 2 years ago
Mike_10-4
Yes!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by jzonda415 2 years ago
jzonda415
iramskiSonicGhostTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeits the debate. Con successfully refuted Pro's arguments, had sources, and didn't forfeit a round at all. Con win.