The Instigator
Bordenkircher
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
blameworthy
Con (against)
Winning
16 Points

The USA should adopt English AND Spanish as the official languages.

Do you like this debate?NoYes-2
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 5 votes the winner is...
blameworthy
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/2/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,164 times Debate No: 26856
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (5)

 

Bordenkircher

Pro

If you are against what the title says, please accept this debate. Please use more than personal opinion in your arguments. Do not use Wikipedia for a source, but instead, go to the bottom of the Wikipedia page, find the source, and cite the original website that the information was on. If you cannot find the source, then the Wikipedia information is not trustworthy.

Outline:
Round 1: Acceptance Round.
Round 2: Introduce arguments and try to defend them with logic and sources. Things like demographics and general opinion of Americans (polls) are great sources.
Round 3: Debate the arguments stated in round 2 by your opponent.
Debate Round No. 1
Bordenkircher

Pro

I believe that English and Spanish should become official language in the USA. Let's start off with some numbers. ~93% of Americans speak English or Spanish at home (http://www.censusscope.org...). Currently there is no official language. If the president wanted to, he could give all his speeches in Xhosa and then very few Americans would understand him. According to polls, ~67% of Americans think English should become official (http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com...). Due to the increasing number of Spanish-speaking people in America who do not speak English fluently, it would only make sense to include their language in as official.
blameworthy

Con

Let us be clear about one thing: America is not a European nation. The reason that there is no official language is that the government is not promoting any one culture over another and is not favoring any one group over another. Not all citizens speak English or Spanish; some areas are densely populated by Indians, African immigrants, Asian immigrants, etc. These individuals require access to governmental services and have the right to vote, and shutting down these services is unfair to these individuals.

My opponent's only argument is that the government could conduct its services in Xhosa/Obama could use a language nobody speaks. This is wrong for a few reasons. First, the status quo forces the state to provide services in a variety of languages so that it can best provide outreach to its people. In addition to Xhosa, the state provides services in English, Hindi, Chinese, and Spanish. Obama will never restrict himself to a random language that nobody speaks because then he would be endorsing a specific language, which is against the policies of the United States. Second, the harms that he presents are entirely imaginary. Despite the fact that we do not have an official language, governmental services are still offered in English. Obama gives his speeches in English, for example. The harms that he is claiming do not exist in modern society. Third, there are informal checks to this abuse, such as the existence of a democratic process. If the president ever attempted to pull such shenanigans, he would become so vastly unpopular that he would likely lose all support. In fact, the existence of a multi-party state checks this as well since the opposition would be see to not only highlight this abuse, but it would also be sure to translate the policies and speeches into English.

He next tells you that 63% of Americans want English to be the official language. This is emphatically false. The evidence that he provided you with is an online poll that is plagued by response bias insofar as only people who are interested in the issue and only those who visit CNN.com would be able to or bother to respond. Real statisticians would reject his poll and label it fake. In addition, even if the majority of Americans did support it, that does not mean it should become law or that it is true. If the majority of Americans supported killing me for no reason, that does not mean the government should do it. This is a republic and not a mobocracy.
Debate Round No. 2
Bordenkircher

Pro

I must make one thing clear for you. Official language does not mean only language. People would still be able to live and work here if they speak Chinese only.

Also, you misunderstood what I said about Xhosa. Few Americans speak it, and without an official language, the government could speak in Xhosa instead of English at government situations (like speeches, meetings, and writing of laws) if they so desired in order to keep their activity secret. It is unlikely, but possible.

Also, making a language official does not discriminate other peoples. There are no problems in Spain even though some people there don't speak Spanish. Not everyone in Russia speaks fluent Russian, but that doesn't matter, as they can still find jobs. I have no idea where you are coming from, but just because you don't speak an official language doesn't mean you can't vote. You are turning this official language debate into an official nationality debate.

Also, all polls and will have the problem of only interviewing a certain group of people, and all demographics will have the possibility that someone lied on a census. The presidential polls only have info from people willing to answer those annoying calls or go to polling sites, but they are still accepted. And you have to understand, there are some issues that should be granted upon due to mass support, and some which should not. If the vast majority of America wanted you dead, the government should act upon that as it is immoral (even though someone would probably murder you before the government got involved). If the vast majority of Americans want to change the flag, that should be done by the government as there are no moral problems involved.
blameworthy

Con

My opponent says that the official language does not mean only language and that people would still be able to live here if they speak Chinese only. This is actually false. "Official language" means that the government will only conduct business in that language, which deprives non-Spanish and non-English speaking citizens of their rights. Those citizens will not be able to have their languages used in government business and thus will not be able to receive governmental services. Living here is not enough.

He says that the government could possibly use Xhosa. Actually, no they cannot exclusively use Xhosa becuase then they would be establishing it as their official language and my advocacy is that we should not have any official language, be it English, Spanish, Italian, or Xhosa. He also drops the arguments about how this "harm" is empirically denied and the fact the existence of our democracy and a bipartisan state will prevent the government from doing this without severe repurcussion from voters. We already have checks in place to prevent this abuse, so there is no reason to counter it with a new policy that creates more harm in the process of preventng something that already cannot happen.

He then says that all polls are biased, including the presidential polls. The presidential polls, however, may be a little biased, but this is accounted for by the margin of error they present. His poll has no margin of error and is only restricted to people who read that particular article on the particular website (CNN.com). The presidential polls have as much of a random sample as possible and attempt to reduce bias as much as possble, while his poll basically makes every effort to be biased. This poll would not be accepted by any statisitician.

He next says that the government should do anything with mass support that is not immoral. He is now changing his argument; before he said that the government should do it because people want it. Now, remember that he gave you no credible evidence that people want it, and even if they do want it, it is still immoral because it deprives some citizens, as I noted before, of access to government services. Also, this is a republic and not a democracy, so even if a popular policy is not immoral, the government cannot do it if it is not permitted by the Constitutions. The Constitution does not give the government the power to establish an official language, so his argument is still wrong.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by TheUnderdog 4 years ago
TheUnderdog
BordenkircherblameworthyTied
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:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro was the only one to use sources, but didn't make a significant argument, while Con was able to successfully refut Pro's argument.
Vote Placed by wiploc 4 years ago
wiploc
BordenkircherblameworthyTied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had the burden of proof, but didn't make a significant argument.
Vote Placed by eastcoastsamuel 4 years ago
eastcoastsamuel
BordenkircherblameworthyTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con was able to sufficiently rebut all of Pro's points, and Pro was unable to repair his own points. Because Con's points remained strong through the whole round, and Pro's points fell, Con wins this debate.
Vote Placed by TheBloodyScot 4 years ago
TheBloodyScot
BordenkircherblameworthyTied
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 Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con had the most thought out and convincing argument.
Vote Placed by ax123man 4 years ago
ax123man
BordenkircherblameworthyTied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were not strong. Con did a good enough job refuting to get the argument point.