The Instigator
debatinator
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
Ragnar_Rahl
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

THBT the Salem witch trials were a true parallel to the McCarthy investigation.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,607 times Debate No: 3535
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (8)

 

debatinator

Pro

It is. Even Sparknotes says so. HA! And I've been around longer than you. As you youth would say, "loser"!
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

There is a term for your fallacy here, it's known as the "argumentum ad authoritatem." Simply because sparknotes says something does not make it so.

Parallel, in the use the resolution is putting it to, means this: occurring or existing at the same time or in a similar way; corresponding.

Now what happens when we emphasize the parallel, by placing an adjective like "True" in front of it? This would mean it would have to be especially corresponding, i.e. it had better be a darn good analogy.

But here's the problem. It's not a good analogy. The Mccarthy investigations had a few highly important qualities that are not paralleled in the Salem witch trials. One, Communists (not just people with communist beliefs, but people actually affiliated with the Communist Party of a nation we were essentially at war with, i.e. traitors) were actually successfully and demonstrably discovered by the Mccarthy investigations- the investigators were acting on real-world facts with a real-world threat of people who actually intended to enslave them to a Communist government. Whereas in Salem, witches were evidently entirely imaginary, and the moral standard by which they condemned these "witches" was based on an imaginary metaphysics- Christianity. Any real witches (pagans) would not have moved to the Massachusetts Bay colony, they couldn't possibly be that stupid.

Two, Communism kills. By the truckload. The only people who ever exceeded Hitler in number of deaths they are politically responsible for are Mao and Stalin. I have yet to see a death toll for tyrants motivated specifically by Pagan ideology, or any other form of "witchcraft."
Debate Round No. 1
debatinator

Pro

Before I begin my speech, I would like to emphasise that our definition of the 'Salem witch trials' are from reference to that of the book "The Crucible by Arthur Miller". However, fear not, the events from the book do not deviate from the real version of the events very much.

The proposition is not so much dependent on whether or not witches and communism were metaphysical or not, but rather, the true analogy lies in the willingness and the ease in which the judges and the public were willing to believe that there were. In the Salem witch trials, the victims, or more appropriately accusers of witchcraft did not really believe in witchcraft at all, e.g. Abigail Williams and the other girls are fully aware that their 'confessions' to witchcraft were done entirely in pretence. What is to be noted is the PUBLIC opinion and the prosecutors and judges who have so willingly believed in what the accusers have accused. As John Proctor supports this point by directly quoting: "Are all the accusers born holy in the name of God's fingers?" This reinforces our point on the willingness of Danforth (the judge) and the government of Salem in believing the accuser without much question. Likewise, this is also the case for communism. In both cases we see examples of mass hysteria that perpetuates rumours. We see the willingness of the general public and authority (Salem theocratic government represented by Danforth/Hathorne, and the US Government) to believe these rumours of witchcraft/communism without any substantial evidence.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"
The proposition is not so much dependent on whether or not witches and communism were metaphysical or not, but rather, the true analogy lies in the willingness and the ease in which the judges and the public were willing to believe that there were."

Willingness to believe a truth and willingness to believe a falsehood do not make much of a good analogy.

"his reinforces our point on the willingness of Danforth (the judge) and the government of Salem in believing the accuser without much question. Likewise, this is also the case for communism. In both cases we see examples of mass hysteria that perpetuates rumours."

No, you already abandoned that case, don't bring it back now. Hysteria: "exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, esp. among a group of people : the mass hysteria that characterizes the week before Christmas."

The threat of communism was not exaggerated but simply reflected in the excitement- and the excitement was not in fact "uncontrolled," people like Mccarthy controlled it quite carefully.

"We see the willingness of the general public and authority (Salem theocratic government represented by Danforth/Hathorne, and the US Government) to believe these rumours of witchcraft/communism without any substantial evidence."

We had subtantial evidence then that communists were present (including the uncoerced declarations of communists), and that they were engaged in criminal activity (including the declarations of the foreign councils who were made for the explicit purpose of inciting such activities). Soviet records have since confirmed this evidence.

Truth and falsehood are not "true parallels."
Debate Round No. 2
debatinator

Pro

debatinator forfeited this round.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

Unlike Senator Mccarthy, you do not seem to have been silenced by a vote of censure or anything parallel to it, but by your own volition or laziness. This is a sign that one has abandoned one's position for lack of evidence. You were online a day ago, so we know that you aren't having computer problems sufficient to cause your forfeit- only more logical problems. :D
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
It might be valid if you were trying to make the point that the tongue is pink, or something similar. Otherwise no, it's ignoratio elenchi.
Posted by PublicForumG-d 9 years ago
PublicForumG-d
Hey woah, sticking tongues out is definately a valid debate tactic.

Spitting is for the hardcore debaters. :D
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Which is not a valid debate tactic.
Posted by XsamacadoX 9 years ago
XsamacadoX
or it could mean tounge stick out thpbbbbt!
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
Sorry, disregard that last comment. I just realized that stands for "This House Believes That".
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
Question before I decide on whether to take this debate: What does "THBT" stand for?
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by Jamcke 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Xera 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by lorca 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by blondesrule502 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Spiral 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Ragnar_Rahl 9 years ago
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