The Instigator
Thoguth
Con (against)
The Contender
boozeandbabble
Pro (for)

The US public education system teaches students what free people should know.

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Debate Round Forfeited
boozeandbabble has forfeited round #4.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 335 times Debate No: 98145
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

Thoguth

Con

I'm taking the Con here. My thesis consists of two main points:

1. Free people of today need to be educated on certain things beyond mere "workforce skills".
2. The US Education system, does not sufficiently educate its citizens on these things.

I don't know a lot about setting up rules, or debating (My credentials are: "I agrue a lot on the Internet") but I'm taking the Con here, and I think what I'd just say is ...

Round 1: Thesis / Counter-Thesis
Round 2: Initial Arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Closing

Thanks for participating!
boozeandbabble

Pro

Yous'a liar. The guvment teach what they wants. You gets ruffdog withit, and WHAM! They just whoop'd ya azz. You best believe that. You go outs say'n diffrunt, they steal yous in the jaw.
Debate Round No. 1
Thoguth

Con

Thank you, Boozeandbabble, for taking a part in this conversation. I look forward to exploring our thoughts in more depth as the discussion progresses.

My thesis has two main points:

1. Free people of today need to be educated on certain things. -- There are skills that free people must know, such as how to discern truth from fiction, how to tell a "convincing" statistic from a lie, and rather than simply "which partisan to trust" (which is what you'd expect a slave to be educated in), free people need to understand Why to trust one partisan or another, and when and how to call them out as doing something misleading to prevent others from being swayed.


2. The US Education system as it stands, does not sufficiently educate its citizens on these things. -- And it hasn't for a long time; maybe ever. The modern debate, in freakin' 2016, is over "college affordability" and for some, over whether universities "adequately prepare students for the work force". But we are not merely a workforce. We are a free citizenry with duties that go along with that--including not just voting, but participating wisely in the journalism, the conversation, and the voting process. And we don't. College grads can't tell real news from fake. And even the idea of "artes liberales" as in the things free people should know (as opposed to "liberal arts" as a kind of generous smorgasbord of different knowledge skills) ... that idea is for the most part nonexistent.

Your thesis, that the government does teach whatever it wants, is actually an excellent point toward what I am saying. Ideally, the government of a nation that is "of the people, by the people, and for the people" should be one which is responsive to what the people want. But when is the last time the government did anything that was really what the people wanted? It's just a bunch of rich white dudes doing, for the most part, what rich white dudes want. Occasionally they might throw a little scrap out for the non-rich-white-dude, but the main activity they're doing is taking care of those who are already in power.

It's easier to take care of those in power, if you have voters who will believe whatever crap the highest bidder wants them to believe. So why should we expect government-run schools to deliver students who can think critically about disinformation?

And when you have a society of people educated to trust someone else to do their thinking for them, you de-facto do not have free people at all. Instead, all you have is a society of people who depend on others to think for them. If we acquiesce to such a dependent mode of thinking, we surrender to slavery of thought, where rather than thinking for ourselves, we are at the whims of the elite ruling class, who we are expected to trust to do the thinking for us.
boozeandbabble

Pro

Thoguth, yo words gots a bit of truth to'em, but yous forget'n that uncle Sam don't give a dammed. They teach what needs know'n in a guvment control'd spectacle. Now you try to flip they script. Hell nah. You lose. Up, down, and sideways, you gets club'd.
The best thang is to play along. Alright withit. Everybody gets they cheese.

You suggest'n rebellion. Nah. No cheese for you.
Debate Round No. 2
Thoguth

Con

I'm not suggesting rebellion, I'm simply suggesting awareness. We as a culture, as thinkers, and as influencers of others, need to be mindful of the need, not just to equip ourselves to think freely, but also to encourage others to equip themselves as well. For now, at least, thinking freely is not an act of rebellion. It is possible, if we continue to cultivate generation after next that is worse than the one before it at independent thought, that we could reach a point where it is seen as rebellious to think freely or to advocate critical analysis--but for now, we still enjoy the freedom to do so.

If you want to "get the cheese" by running the little maze that Uncle Sam wants you to run, you can do that, but at the end of the day, that still just leaves you as a rat in a cage, just with a little bit of cheese for your trouble. As citizens, we can (and I'd say more, we have a duty to) improve the country, one person at a time, if we can encourage real analysis and thought.

But my position here is not inherently one of action at all. Before we can take action, and independently of any action we might take, there's value in just seeing a problem for what it is. If we skip that critical element of analysis, we may spend tremendous effort trying to address the wrong problem, or to address it in a way that is ineffective or worse, counterproductive.

There is certainly a lot of action to be taken. But the first step of any effective action has to be evaluation of the problem. And that's where we are: There are skills free people need to know, and in the U.S., our education system is not providing them. This is a problem.
boozeandbabble

Pro

How you gonna liberate the schools, and usher in yo critical analysis?
Schools start teach'n too heavy, then they students fill themselves up with righteous indignation and make a mess. Too much learn'n make a make trip over his own hubris and go round his block fix'n thangs that people want left alone.
Nah, keep those kids caged.
Debate Round No. 3
Thoguth

Con

I'm glad you're asking about solutions. It is not really my thesis, but you're wise to recognize that if this is the problem that it is -- and it is -- we're in a kind of dire predicament.

There are skills that every citizen needs to know, to keep a people-driven government healthy and effective.

There are skills that every free person needs to understand, just as part of being free.

And the public education system is woefully failing to provide for these desperate needs.

It's kind of scary to really let it sink in, how far from a healthy spot that we are in. In the political arenas, there's a lot of theater and drama over freedom dying because this or that person got into power. Who gets into power is just a symptom, though. This is the real underlying problem.

And it's a bad one, right? That's the bad news. But there is good news, too!

Seeing the real problem with clarity, gives us the power of focus. Rather than simply being unnerved at things we know are beyond are control and feel hopeless, this is a real situation that, while difficult, is a tractable problem. If we can educate and rededicate to these values in a way that brings a healthy free-minded, thinking and responsible people back to the fore, we'll be okay. Things can really be okay.

We do not have to rely on the government to do this education. If we did? RIP us. The government is unresponsive to the populace because this is already so widespread. But the populace has some tools of its own. We have non-government educational organizations, we have ground-up influence (not a policy center in DC directing educators to it, but a neighbor re-awakening in a neighbor who is an educator, the critical spark of an idea, that free minds must be capable of making reliable judgments on their own. We have children, and we have message boards.

We can do this. We all have friends and neighbors who are educators; some of us are in school on our own.

Technology has put us in a perfect place to start a New Renaissance. We can share it on Facebook. We can Tweet it and Medium it and ... Instagram and Snapchat it if we have to. (Oh dear Lord, I hope it's not necessary to take it to 4chan... but if it comes to that, we can go there, too.)

And we are not some lonely island; though it is rare, there's an undercurrent of the educated that will serve as ready allies in this re-cultivation (nearly an entirely new crop) of independent minds. In the thinking industries--Silicon Valley for certain--there is a craving, a hunger for capable problem solvers. While many lazy industrialists and oligarchs see independent thinkers as a terrifying threat, Entrepreneurs see them as life-blood. And Entrepreneurs on board with this movement means money as well.

But before we can launch a reboot of freedom of thought... before we start that big, ambitious, hard project to make things better with the full force of all our resources... First of all, we have to see the problem for what it really is. And we see it, don't we? Once the pattern is in your mind, we cannot unsee it. Let's take this knowledge and move forward in wisdom, on a path to make our future better.

We can do this.

Thanks for your participation here boozeandbabble. Look forward to seeing you around the site in the future. (When we aren't busy working toward an educational renaissance, right?)
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Debate Round No. 4
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