The Instigator
Divergent24
Pro (for)
The Contender
6gty5jf
Con (against)

Should white people be proud of their race?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/22/2017 Category: People
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 872 times Debate No: 101230
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

Divergent24

Pro

I am taking the pro position, meaning that I believe that white people should be proud of being white. My opponent will take the con position, arguing the opposite.

Rules:

R1 - Acceptance
R2 - Opening arguments
R3 - Rebuttals and second arguments
R4 - Defence, rebuttals and closing arguments
6gty5jf

Con

I accept the terms of your debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Divergent24

Pro

Before I make my case, I would like to clarify the meaning of white pride. White pride is being proud of being white. Nothing more, nothing less.

With that in mind, I will present my first argument: that white people have a lot to be proud of. From the Colosseum in Rome to Stonehenge in Britain, from the Colossus of Rhodes to the Parthenon in Athens, from the Eiffel Tower in Paris to the Houses of Parliament in London, from the Empire State Building in New York to the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy - white people have achieved so much throughout history. In addition to these stunning and beautiful sites are inventions by white people, such as the lightbulb, television, aeroplane and almost every other thing you use in your everyday life. I think that white people should feel proud of these achievements that their race has made, and that they should embrace their rich heritage. After all, the achievements of the white race are absolutely unparalleled throughout history. For this reason, I think that white people should be proud of being white.
6gty5jf

Con

Thank you for clarification; I understand "white pride" in this context to mean "proud of being white".

1) A Tale of Two Prides

Now, I would like to suggest the distinction of two different types of pride: Logical Pride and Illogical Pride. Let us deal first with logical pride.

Logical Pride is pride with an axiomatic origin. Put simply, it's an effect with an obvious cause. "A man is shot in the head, and shortly after dies". This is an example of an obvious cause and effect: gunshot the cause, death the effect. Logical Pride follows this same course. "A painter paints a masterpiece lauded by all, filling him with pride". Anyone can see why the painter is proud, even if one wouldn't take pride in such an activity themselves, because the cause and effect of the pride are clear, and no assumptions are made on the part of the one who is prided.

Illogical Pride, on the other hand, occurs when the cause for pride is nebulous. "A man rapes and murders a woman; he feels pride for his actions". While it is certainly true that no one can dissent if the man claims he is proud of his actions, the core of the question is not whether or not he can feel pride, but if he ought to. In this scenario an assumption is made on the part of the pridee(if you'll excuse the neologism), namely, that his actions are recognized by others to be something that merits pride.

This typification of pride sets it as binary, and as such can be formulated thusly:

Illogical Pride = 0
Logical Pride = 1


2) Outlining Goals of the Debate

With all of that in mind, we can now set our goal for the debate. So here is the question:

Should white people be proud of their race?

Given the nature of this premise, we can also formulate the goals of this debate as binary:

Pride should not be felt for being white = 0
Pride should be felt for being white = 1


This is clearly compatible with my posited hypothesis of two prides, as the question does not demand quantification of how much pride(merely if pride should be felt at all), nor does it demand that negative values be weighed, as the negative of pride is shame, and is thus no longer pride. And so, the question can be postulated thusly:

"Absolute Pride Value" of being white = X

My goal in this case is to prove that X = 0, and Pro's is to prove that X = 1.

3) Conclusion Demonstrated Through a Parable

A boy is admitted into a school that automatically accepts everyone who is applied to it, even if they did not apply themselves. No one once admitted is allowed to change schools. The boy is put into a class with 49 other students, all of whom have the highest possible grades, and are renowned throughout the school for their acumen. The boy's own grades are abysmal, far below average. The class is conducted as such that the boy has never met any of the other students in his class; each student goes to the classroom and takes all their classes while no other students are present. Should the boy feel pride for his classmates?

If the boy feels "pride" for his classmates and their accomplishments, then what he feels is not pride at all, but simply respect. Inversely, if the boy feels prides in himself for having such prestigious classmates, he is a sycophant, deriving selfworth from the merits of others.

The school is the world we live in, the boy is any white individual, and his classmates are the great(white) figures of ages past.

So in summary, considering that on one side there is no pride at all, being simply respect, and on the other the pride is parasitic in nature, and seeing that parasitism is widely considered to be a negative thing that is not desirable and therefore should not be prided, we can conclude that the "absolute pride value" of being white = 0.
Debate Round No. 2
Divergent24

Pro

Before I make my argument, I would like to address a few problems with the parable demonstrating your conclusion. First of all, the sentence stating that "The boy's own grades are abysmal, far below average" heavily implies that white people today, who are represented by the boy, are underperforming when compared with their ancestors and great white people historically, who are represented in the parable by the 49 other students in the class. I would disagree with the idea that the accomplishments of white people today are 'abysmal' when compared with the accomplishments of white people historically, and thus, with the assertion in the parable that the new boy is to represent white people, or any given white person, today, has 'far below average' grades.

Secondly, I would like to point out the fact that, while you suggest in your parable that the boy has absolutely no connection to or relationship with his classmates, the complete opposite is true when looking at white people today and historical white people or figures. Ignoring the commonly accepted truth that many, if not most, white people today are descended from famous white figures of history such as Charlemagne, white people today are still connected to historic white people. They are connected culturally, for instance, to their historical counterparts. They continue traditions, for example, which were started by white people hundreds or even thousands of years ago.

Bearing this in mind, I shall propose a revised version of your parable as my second argument, demonstrating that X=1:

A boy is admitted into a school that automatically accepts everyone who is applied to it, even if they did not apply themselves. No one, once admitted, is allowed to change schools. The boy is put into a class with 49 other students, all of whom have the highest possible grades, and are renowned throughout the school for their acumen. The class is conducted as such that, while classmates never meet each other in person, classwork and projects are done collaboratively, in a chain-like fashion, where each student does work to the best of their ability and then passes their work onto the next student, in order that it can be improved on and have more work added to it. Some students contribute less than others, and some even unintentionally lower the overall quality of the project as a whole, but the quality and quantity of work done both increase over time. Each student contributes in some manner, including the boy, who tries his hardest to do the best work he possibly can, so that he can hand a further improves and revised project onto the next student.

Should the boy feel pride for belonging to the best class in the school and actively working to keep, maintain and improve on the work of his class as a whole?
6gty5jf

Con

1. Maintaining Integrity of First Argument by Clarification and Refutation

First, I will concede that my parable was a bit crude and accept some culpability in my opponent's misinterpretation of some of it, as well as admitting that one of the main points of my argument was glossed over in a manner that I deemed sufficient, but which was by no means readily apparent. I will begin to rectify these missteps immediately.

The reading "The boy's own grades are abysmal, far below average" as "[implies whites today under perform compared to whites historically]" misses the actual point of the boy's abysmal grades in the story; a point intended to demonstrate that the vast majority of people's (including white people's) achievements and contributions to society are negligible. I have assumed everyone party to this debate to be an individual of average standing, whose own achievements are incomparable to those of great figures past. My own accolades are infinitesimally smaller than Albert Einstein's. I assume Pro's are similarly dwarfed by Louis Pasteur's(if he contends that his accomplishments are on par with Louis Pasteur's, I'd like to point out that the burden of proof to show that is entirely on him). Imagine Jimmy the Burger Flipper was suddenly redacted from existence; society wouldn't be the slightest impoverished. Likewise, if Enrico Fermi's existence was redacted, society would lose much.

My Opponent's revision of my parable supports this conclusion as well, "some even unintentionally lower the overall quality of the project as a whole" suggesting that some individual's values will be negative, allowing us to intuit, since there are both positive and negative value individuals. that there will also be individuals whos value will be null, that is to say, zero. Given the existence of zero value individuals, we can once again ask, if you were one of those boys in the parable, a zero value individual, should you feel pride in the work you hadn't contributed to?

This leads to the point I skirted too lightly in my previous argument, the role of merit in legitimizing pride. The examples of the painter and the murderer were intended to convey a simple premise: one should only feel pride in that which has merit. Actually, My Opponent has subtly affirmed this idea in his opening argument;"With that in mind..." to "...unparalleled throughout history" is a litany of the merits of people who were white, displaying an unspoken understanding of the principle that merit legitimizes pride. We will apply this principle to great effect in a moment, and without the need for vague parables.

It is also claimed by Pro "many, if not most, white people today are descended from famous white figures of history such as Charlemagne". Ignoring for a moment that this statement relies entirely on verification, and none is provided, there is a very important difference between "Most white people are descended from a(one, single) great, white person like Charlemagne" and "Most great, white people are the ancestors of a(one, single) white person". I do mean that this is a very important differentiation, so bear it mind, for we shall return to it.

With my previous arguments exonerated, I feel confident in wading into my own refutations.

2. Two Fallacies

There are two fallacies, one siring the other, that My Opponent's argument is guilty of. So far, only the argument that the ancestors of the white race have done many meritorious deeds has been posited to prove white people should be proud of their race. This argument is a Complex Question Fallacy{1} because it assumes an unverified tenet: that people should be proud of their ancestor's merits.

My position is that merit is a consequence of action, which means ancestry can not bring merit, because ancestry is a consequence of conception(birth), and sequentially conception requires no action on the conceived's part. He has demonstrated the link between merit and white's ancestor's actions, but he has not even attempted to establish the link between the descendant and the ancestor's actions. He has utilized his conclusion, that white people should be proud of their race, as a premise for arguing that white people should be proud of their ancestor's merits, which in turn was his argument for white people being proud of their race, which leaves him guilty of Circular Reasoning{2}.

3. The Ethnic issue

If my argument is to be refuted now, one must construct a counter to illustrate why inheriting random, unchoosable attributes(such as race) is a merit. But even if one manages this, there are more impediments to proving the "absolute pride value" of being white = 1.

Let us return now to our poor, hapless assistant, Jimmy, who only a short while ago had his existence redacted, and assume the aforementioned point was proved.

Jimmy should be proud of Jimmy's ancestor's accomplishments
Jimmy's ancestors were white
Jimmy's ancestors accomplished great merits
Therefore, Jimmy should be proud of being white


This is invalid. Even here there is still a logical lacuna. Supposing one explained why Jimmy should be proud of his ancestors, it would remain unclear why Jimmy should be proud that he's white. This is where the point about Charlemagne comes into play: even with the assumption that Pro's unfounded claim is true, and most white people are scion of some famous, white figure, it is preposterous to think that most white people are the scion of all or most famous, white figures.

Knowing this, one would have to explain why one should use a more generalized association for merit, and therefore pride, inheritance, such as "the white race", as opposed to a more specific one, such as ancestry! And this is only the half of it, because immediately after that, one would be left with the unhappy task of convincing his listeners why a more specific association such as "the white race" should be used over a more generalized one such as "the human race"!

4. The Ethical issue

Believe it or not, there is more. If all of this wasn't enough to show unequivocally, that one shouldn't be proud of being white, and if one could explain that there is merit in birth, and that ancestor's merit could be inherited that way, and that pride should be felt for it, and that one should use a more general criteria than ancestry for determining this, while at the same time demonstrating that a more specific criteria than the human race should be used for this, they would still be left with an intransigent problem: The ethical issue. Once that causal channel of responsibility is opened, one must account for ALL actions carried out by ALL whites. You would have to account not just for accomplishments, such as the light bulb and nuclear fission, but also the atrocities of the Holocaust and The Spanish Inquisition. Then, to determine if you one should be proud, you would have to morally quantify every action ever taken by any white person(after all, if you are going to take feel pride for "the white race", it is not sufficient to take into account merely the actions of the most famous of the race, but the actions of the whole, entire race) and then find the difference between the negative actions and the positive ones. If this difference was positive, you could say "absolute pride value" of being white = 1.

Some might say that's a Herculean task, but in reality it is a Sisyphean one. You see, even if you proved that point, you would lose the audience, because you would then be making the claim that everyone is equally culpable and credible for everyone else's actions, a concept that no one could possibly take seriously. After all if one takes just enough credit to taste succulent pride, what stops them from taking so much that they claim they did those things themselves?

{1}https://en.wikipedia.org...
{2}https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SirHarrison0 1 year ago
SirHarrison0
con, I understand what you're coming from. but saying simply because those people are more achieved than you doesn't mean you can't be proud of them and if they are the same race can't be proud of it? blacks are proud of what their grandparents did to give their sons and daughters equal rights to white sons and daughters. so why can't white be proud or happy for what their ancestors did?
Posted by iwhit29 1 year ago
iwhit29
of coarse you should be proud of your race
Posted by Iacov 1 year ago
Iacov
@SirHarrison0 hopefully that is the path con takes but unfortunately in today's society I don't think that sentiment is shared by many on the left.
Posted by SirHarrison0 1 year ago
SirHarrison0
the majority of what con will say will apply to any race. if white people can't be proud to be white, than black people can't be proud. Indian people can't be proud. i'll keep an eye this debate.
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