The Instigator
Sorrow
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Spaztoid
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Should we respect our elders?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
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 6 votes the winner is...
Spaztoid
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 12,094 times Debate No: 11495
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (6)

 

Sorrow

Pro

I will be letting my opponent decide which stance to take. Also, he/she can either decide to start off with his/her arguments first, or wait after I have stated mine.
Spaztoid

Con

I thank my opponent for posting this argument. I look forward to an interesting debate.

As my opponent has afforded me the ability to decide which side I would like to debate, I will take what would be the Pro side of the debate.

====>Opening<====
The resolution, as stated, is "Should we respect our elders?" I stand affirmed that we should respect our elders. I will begin by presenting a few simple definitions.

====>Definitions<====
Should: Used to express obligation or duty [1]
Respect (v): To show regard or consideration for [2]
Elders: An aged person [3]

With these definitions, I will present my argument.

====>Argument<====

-----Human Rights-----
This debate is a rather simple one from the perspective of basic human rights. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was established during the United Nations meeting held in Paris on December 10, 1948;
"Article 1: All human beings are born equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed in reason and conscious and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty."
These two articles clearly state that all humans are to be treated equally, with dignity and respect, with no distinction of any kind. So the short answer is according to the United Nations, all humans, elder or otherwise, should be respected. [4]

====>Conclusion<====
All humans have the right to be respected, elders or not. It is a basic human right and so I stand by my position that elders should be respected.

[1] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[4] www.ohchr.org
Debate Round No. 1
Sorrow

Pro

I thank thee and wish Con best of luck.

I accept the definitions as stated, and I will be arguing that we should not respect our elders. I will remind you, however, that while there has been no specific meaning given to the context of "elder," I would like to say that it should be centered mainly upon our current generation of elders, rather than deceased ones in the past.

Counter-argument for Human Rights

The UN Declaration of 1948 was nothing more than what you had stated, a meeting. It served no purpose other than a general reminder to the public, with no distinction being bared as to the actions being done to respect our elders. Much like in the sense of respecting our elders, where we are obligated but not necessitated to do so, the UN Committee told the public the very same thing, that they are obligated to follow their working declaration, even if that meant no legal consequence would be suffered if people did not do as acted.

Respect is a choice. While everyone should respect another, the conditions met in order to attain respect will vary. With that in mind, I will present my contentions.

CONTENTION #1:

We all have elders, whether we like them or not. How our elders have treated us in the past will affect how we treat them. "An eye for eye" and "treat others the way you want to be treated" are two truisms I will borrow. Say you had an abusive father, or an alcoholic mother. Assume that whilst you were young, they never cared for you, or provided for you. Statistics have shown that children are much more likely to turn into and copy what their parents did to them while they were young (forgot the source, but w/e). If you were in this kind of parent-child relationship, would you want to respect your elders, given the substantial amount of abusive that was incurred?

CONTENTION #2:

Being old does not mean you should be respected. Let's assume if Hitler were still alive, which he probably wouldn't given that WW2 occurred over many decades ago. But let's just say he was alive, and well into the 100s. That would make him one of the oldest elders living. The older you are, the more respect you SHOULD deserve, even if it should always be equal. But lets just say he was alive. Would you respect him, no matter what, if the UN Declaration of 1948, which was drafted 3 years after the end of WW2, said to treat all humanity with the same degree of respection?

Also, lets take our species in retrospect. We are a very young species by a geological time scale. Should we respect sharks, who, if I'm right, have evolved and existed for a much longer time than we have? Take a look at the world around you. So many people have a profound hatred towards sharks, and many sharks are being hunted every day in spite of no reason whatsoever, only because they are generally thought to be man-eating animals who prey on us humans. Who is the one that is getting the respect, and who should be deserving of the respect?

CONTENTION #3:

Why respect the generation that made us into whom we are. Why respect the people who lynched blacks in public, who threw rocks at black children while they were walking to school, who got the younger generation into this current state of economic debt, where they will presumably suffer far more devastating effects than their elders have.

"I say to you this--future generations will have no moral obligation to pay back debts incurred before they could vote and even before they were born. That is unjust. Every generation must stand on its own. It is time we threw the Old People out of positions of authority in this society and turn it over to young people." - http://headinthegame.newsvine.com...
Spaztoid

Con

My opponent has presented an argument that is most interesting. Despite the nature of my opponent's arguments, they are still flawed.

====>Rebuttals<====

-----Human Rights-----
Con has stated that, "The UN Declaration of 1948 was nothing more than what you had stated, a meeting. It served no purpose other than a general reminder to the public…" and "…we are obligated but not necessitated to do so, the UN Committee told the public the very same thing, that they are obligated to follow their working declaration, even if that meant no legal consequence would be suffered if people did not do as acted." This is a factually flawed rebuttal in two ways.
The first, the UDHR was ratified by the United Nations, and is a legally binding document. In the same way that those found in violation of the United States Constitution or the United States Bill of Rights, an individual or government found to be in violation of the UDHR can be punished by international law. While respect is not something policed by the UN or any international organization, it is a human right none the less.
The second flaw is that even by my opponent's own words, we are obligated to act towards human with respect. According to United States law, a crime of negligence is a crime where an individual failed to act when he/she had an obligation to do so. Such crimes include child negligence, negligent driving, and by my opponents interpretation of the UDHR, disrespect to another human being.

-----Contention #1-----
My opponent raises a valid point, does a person who disrespects you or even abuses you deserve any respect? My opponent has made the argument that such a person does not deserve respect. "An eye for an eye," he has said. However, "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." If you allow yourself to sink to the level where you disrespect someone because they have disrespected you, you are as bad as they are.
Secondly, in legal standards, if someone wrongs you, that is not justification to wrong them back. Using my opponents example, if a parent was to abuse his/her child, that child would not be legally justified in abusing or wronging his/her parent. "Two wrongs do not make a right."
Finally, this contention covers a very limited number of cases. There are always exceptions to a rule, however in general, elders are still deserving of the same respect as any other person.

-----Contention #2-----
This is the contention I find most peculiar out of all of my opponents arguments.
First, my opponent mentions Hitler. There are two major flaws here. The first is that Hitler is one individual, whose actions do not represent the entire elderly community. There are always exceptions. The second is that there are laws regarding the respectful treatment of prisoners, despite their status. Hitler, regardless of his crimes, is still entitled to the respect due to any human being.
"The older you are, the more respect you SHOULD deserve, even if it should always be equal." Nowhere in the resolution or in my arguments is it mentioned that the older you are, the more respect you deserve. As a result, this statement is invalid.
Next, Con brings up points about humans treatment towards sharks. First, as defined, elders refer to people, not sharks; therefore this part of my opponent's contention is invalid. Second, peoples irrational fear and subsequent killings based upon that fear have no impact on whether or not elders deserve respect, therefore this contention is off topic.

-----Contention #3-----
My opponent asks the question of why we should respect the elders who made us into who we are. I hold the answer to this question to be almost self-explanatory. Without the previous generation, we would not exist as the people we currently exist as. Most individuals are not the result of the hatred, and speaking for myself, I would not have the same intellect or capabilities if not for my parents.
Next, most current parents (as in mothers/fathers not grandparents) did not participate in those lynching's, and those who did still deserve the same respect as any human being despite their crimes. This is not to say that their crimes should be forgiven, however they should still be treated with respect and dignity as any human would want to be treated. It would be a disgrace to the ideals that the civil rights acts created to say that those who were once did the disrespecting will not be disrespected.
Finally, while the quote my opponent brings up is an interesting one, it is off topic has nothing to do with respect.

====>Conclusion<====
Despite the arguments that my opponent has raised, he has failed to counter my arguments and has not proven that elders are not due the same rights to be respected as any other human being. I therefore yield the floor to my opponent for his next round.
Debate Round No. 2
Sorrow

Pro

Thank you for your response. I will attempt to summarize my entire arguments with one thesis: respect is earned, not given, simply due to title.

You are confusing respect as a natural right, which was apparently greatly exaggerated in your arguments. We are talking about the respect of the elderly, not the granted rights given to us at birth. We exercise the right of earning/giving respect, some people haven't earned theirs. Therefore, I would not say it is a God-given, or even a natural right. I wouldn't even go so far as to call it a legal right. No offense, but I think you took this way out of proportion. Disrespect of the elderly is not a crime when the situation provides itself.

The UDHR is NOT a legally binding document, please provide your proof/sources. It is entirely an OBLIGATION to SOCIETY and morals, with no issue being deserved in the judicial system.

"Originally the Universal Declaration was conceived as a statement of objectives to be pursued by Governments, and therefore it is not part of binding international law." - http://www.unac.org...,

Because most of us probably have never even signed this "contract" which would make it so, I would prefer to call it a social contract, which means that respect would be a hypothetical imperative, something not required for society to function, but would allow society to continue running smoothly. Philosophy deals with this heavily, but I do not want to bog down this debate. We are talking about respecting the elderly, not criminal abuse or negligent driving, which I fail to see the connection in this current debate - http://en.wikipedia.org....

But whom are we really disrespecting in these scenarios, the elderly, or the elderly's behavior? You don't respect someone just because of their age, you respect them based on their action and conduct. At least, that's the way I see it.

"An eye for an eye makes everyone blind." No, that only makes the situation even. It's called justice and equality, and apparently, your entire argument, and mine, was based on those two fundamental concepts, especially in a court of law. If you had abusive parents, would you respect them no matter what? Treat others the same way you wish to be treated, does that not apply here?

While I do not want to sound insinuating or irrational, you will never sink to the level of someone else just because you mimic the same thing they did. That is a natural causation, something all humans have. If someone punches you in the face for no reason while taking a stroll in the park, would you not punch them back? If someone shoots at you, can you not shoot them back? I find this legal, and perfectly acceptable given the situation, so long as it is REASONABLY DONE. Killing someone for stealing your lunch box would confine you to a jail cell for the rest of your life.

"Two wrongs do not make a right." Technically, in arithmetic, it does. Moving on, however - you are committing a fallacy just by saying that. Consider the following: "You shouldn't execute a murderer because two wrongs don't make a right." Now replace execute with disrespect, and murderer with elderly. Your sentence assumes a presupposed statement, this is circular logic and something we fail to see here, meaning your point is invalid.

Like you mentioned, there are always exceptions in life. Like Hitler. Every human is entitled to rights. In the end, if they should have those rights are determined by the actions they committed in order to receive those rights. Hitler does not and SHOULD NOT receive ANY moral or dignified rights. If you think he does, I would ask you to state why, and also state your address, please.
Spaztoid

Con

I would once again like to thank my opponent for this debate; he has indeed made an interesting opponent and has brought forward a good argument.

First, I will restate my argument as a condensed statement to avoid confusion, and then I will proceed with the final rebuttals.

====>Thesis<====
The resolution asks, "Should we respect our elders?" It is my argument that all humans, including elders have the right to be respected.

====>Rebuttals<====
My argument is that respect is a birth right. In this argument, I have stated in many different ways, several of which have been uncontested, that respect is due to all people regardless of age.

The UDHR is a legal document; however my opponent is correct in that the rules within it are not laws. However, any action breaking these rights can be punished under humanitarian laws. [1] In addition, even if the UDHR was not a legal document, it lays the framework for a moral system that has been accepted almost all over the world. Based solely on that moral standard, all people, elders and youth alike, deserve respect.

"But whom are we really disrespecting in these scenarios, the elderly, or the elderly's behavior? You don't respect someone just because of their age, you respect them based on their action and conduct. At least, that's the way I see it."
My argument, as stated, is not that you respect someone based on their age, but that all humans are equally deserving of respect. The resolution does not require me to prove that elders should be respected more or less than any other individual, just that they should be respected.
On the topic of actions and conduct, I do not particularly disagree that respect can be earned through action and behavior. However, all people are deserving of respect, actions simply serve to increase the level of respect that they receive.

" 'An eye for an eye makes everyone blind.' No, that only makes the situation even. It's called justice and equality, and apparently, your entire argument, and mine, was based on those two fundamental concepts, especially in a court of law."
An eye for an eye is not justice it's revenge. Revenge in any form is not justifiable.
Regardless, this argument is completely irrelevant to the debate and serves no purpose, so it is invalid because it is not topical.

"If you had abusive parents, would you respect them no matter what? Treat others the same way you wish to be treated, does that not apply here?"
Yes, by legal standards you do. The parents in this case would still be entitled to all of the same rights as any other human. This then leads into your second question. Hatred breeds hatred. If you allow yourself to continue the cycle initiated by your parents, then you are indeed being treated as you treat others.

Once again, an eye for an eye is not justice. Self-defense is one thing; however natural causation is not a legal defense and so if someone assaulted you, assaulting them back would not be justified.

In arithmetic I suppose they do. However, there is no logical fallacy here, the statement you provided is not my reasoning, and even if it were, your two examples are not equivalent. My point is that when you use an eye for an eye as justification for retaliation, you are committing an action of the same caliber as the person who first acted.

Finally, while the phrasing is a bit confusing, my opponent has made a clear point. Actions determine respect. However, my opponent still misses the intrinsic value of life and the inherent rights of a human being. Hitler did terrible things with his life, however that does negate his status as a human and therefore he is still deserving of the basic human rights.

====>Conclusion<====
My opponent has made an interesting argument. While his arguments are interesting, my arguments still prevail.
-Humans all have the right to be respected and treated with dignity, regardless of age.
-All elders, criminal or otherwise, are still humans and are therefore entitled to the aforementioned rights.
-An eye for an eye is not justice.
-There are always exceptions to the rule, however as implied, the rule still stands.
-My opponent has not refuted my major arguments
-My opponent has provided no compelling reason why elders a whole do not deserve respect.

All in all, it is clear that all humans deserve respect, including elders.

====>Ending Thanks<====
I thank my opponent for this debate, and I am glad to have participated in it regardless of its outcome.

[1] http://www.icrc.org...
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
Wow, that was a close debate. Infact, I have'nt ever seen a debate won by 1 point. Good debate, thanks.
Posted by Sorrow 7 years ago
Sorrow
fuuuuuuu i need 2 pts to win 1 pt to tie WTF omg =[

*nailbiting*
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
Yeah, the only two times I vote for myself is:

A.) When my opponet forfiets.
B.) When my opponet votes for his/her self. In that case, I vote to tie them in points.
Posted by Sorrow 7 years ago
Sorrow
I AM JK I LOVE WOMEN AND THINK THEY DESERVE MORE RESPECT THAN MEN.

ALSO, GOOD DEBATE. i kind of mixed up my sides as i chose pro but was con, even though the title was misleading. sorry T_T
Posted by Sorrow 7 years ago
Sorrow
spaz since u have not voted yet i wiill not vote either may the best man win.
Posted by Sorrow 7 years ago
Sorrow
liquidnazgul go back to teamliquid.net this is for debating not starcraft. say hi to manifesto and fakesteve for me btw <3

and, women these days -_-
Posted by LiquidNazgul 7 years ago
LiquidNazgul
"Lol @ Everybody deserves respect. Respect is something you earn."

True that. But that respect is earned through many ways, and not everyone agrees with the way respect is gained through some of those methods.
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
I actually agree with that point, other then I think all people deserve abasic level of respect until thier actions alter that level.
Posted by Korashk 7 years ago
Korashk
Lol @ Everybody deserves respect. Respect is something you earn.
Posted by Spaztoid 7 years ago
Spaztoid
" 'You shouldn't execute a murderer because two wrongs don't make a right.' Now replace execute with disrespect, and murderer with elderly."

So... the new sentence would read, "You shouldn't disrespect a elderlyer because two wrongs don't make a right." Hmm...

Thanks for the debate, good luck.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Teleroboxer 7 years ago
Teleroboxer
SorrowSpaztoidTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 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:04 
Vote Placed by Rockylightning 7 years ago
Rockylightning
SorrowSpaztoidTied
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 Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:61 
Vote Placed by laurenelainee 7 years ago
laurenelainee
SorrowSpaztoidTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Marauder 7 years ago
Marauder
SorrowSpaztoidTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 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:03 
Vote Placed by Korashk 7 years ago
Korashk
SorrowSpaztoidTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 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 
Vote Placed by loseexe 7 years ago
loseexe
SorrowSpaztoidTied
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 Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50