The Instigator
wolfgangxx
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
sqr47
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

We should neither hate Hitler nor respect Martin Luther King

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,962 times Debate No: 12189
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (22)
Votes (3)

 

wolfgangxx

Pro

Note that I am talking about hatred and respect for the people themselves and NOT the ideas they believed in.

Not sure if anyone will use this or not but lets start with the premise that there are no supernatural things such as souls or God(s) in this world.

definition of hate: dislike intensely; feel antipathy or aversion towards

definition of respect: to feel or show deferential regard for

Hitler: http://en.wikipedia.org...

MLK: http://en.wikipedia.org....
sqr47

Con

I thank my opponent for starting this debate and will begin my argument.

First of all I would like to point out that the title of this debate is misleading, as the Wikipedia link that my opponent provided leads to Martin Luther King Jr., but the title is referring to Martin Luther King.

(1) "Not sure if anyone will use this or not but lets start with the premise that there are no supernatural things such as souls or God(s) in this world."
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I will accept this premise

(2) "...NOT the ideas they believed in."
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I don't think that it is right to NOT judge people by their beliefs and opinions. People are defined by their ideas, especially when those people carry through with their ideas. On one side, Martin Luther King Jr. was the leader of the Civil Rights Movement through most of the 1960s, without him we would not live in the mostly tolerant and accepting world we live in today. On the other side, Aolf Hitler (indirectly) killed six million Jews and millions of other groups such as Gypsies and Catholics. I, being Jewish, obviously have very strong feelings about Hitler, and find it slightly offensive for someone to not have any feelings of dislike towards him. Without Hitler, we wouldn't have most of the Jewish stereotypes we have today. The other day my friend heard a story about a Jewish child in an art class. Some of his peers were standing near the kiln and upon opening it up, they turned to him and said something along the lines of "You're a Jew, get in." Which is obviously referring to the ovens that Jews were cooked alive in during the Holocaust. Now maybe these people shouldn't be defined by their beliefs, but if not, then definitely by their actions, which both Hitler and Martin Luther King Jr. should be.
Debate Round No. 1
wolfgangxx

Pro

Thankyou Sqr for accepting this debate, hopefully it will be the first of many. =]

As to the question of the title, the last thing I wished to do was mislead CON or the readers. I did not add the word Junior for the same reason that I did not add the word Adolf - they are both famous enough that they are still recognisable from their slightly shortened names. If you were to google Martin Luther King you will find that the first page of links are entirely about MLK Jr [1][2] because that is who people normally associate with the name MLK. I also added a link to a page about MLK Jr. as part of my definitions list in case some people were unsure as to whether I meant MLK Jr. or MLK Snr.

[1]http://www.debate.org...
[2]http://www.debate.org...

I sincerely apologise for any confusion caused.

I was somewhat suprised that CON spent the entirity of round 1 discussing whether he accepted my premises or not, I was under the asumption that if you disagreed with the premises of the instigator then you either did not accept the debate or messaged the instigator asking for a change in the premises since this would save a whole round being effectively wasted - which is what has, regretably, happened. I have asked other, more senior, memebers of the DDO community and have been informed that this is not standard practise and can be considered as bad conduct.

Luckily CON has agreed to my first premise - namely, that there are no supernatural things such as souls in this world; but he has rejected to my second premise that these people are not to be judged for their beliefs. However at the end of his paragraph, half of which was an annecdotal account of verbal abuse suffered by his Jewish friend, CON says: " Now maybe these people shouldn't be defined by their beliefs, but if not, then definitely by their actions" I shall take this as meaning that you would be willing to debate with the premise "Hitler and MLK are defined by their actions and so should be judged by their actions".

So without further ado, here are my reasons for saying that Hitler and MLK should not receive the hatred and respect they respectively receive from the public.

1) You would not hate a glass beaker because it was too small to hold the amount of coffee you wanted or if it broke when you poured hot water into it because you know this is not the glass's fault - it is the manufacture's fault for making it too small/ not heat resistant enough. Similarly you would not love the glass beaker which holds just the right volume or never shatters when boiling water is poured into it. This is all because we know that the glass beaker did not choose out of spite to shatter and spill boiling water everywhere or choose out of love to become just big enough for our cup of coffee.

2) So, logically, if we are at emotional neutrality towards a defective glass beaker which had no choice in its action of shattering; then we should also be at emotional neutrality to a person if it was shown that the person - like the beaker - had no real choice in his/her actions.

3) I am arguing that Hitler and MLK did not have any real choice in becoming the people they became because people are who they are down to a mixture of their genes and their environment. It is obvious that they had no choice in their genes so that leaves their environment. Their environment (the people, books, views etc. they are exposed to) are also not down to their choice - we cannot choose our parent's wages, and any "choices" they make which may change their environment (such as changing schools, moving to a new country, getting a new job) will have been made because of their genes and their previous environment.

A simple example: a tall teenager raised in a socioeconomically disadvantaged household who went to a inner-city school might "choose" to drop out and pursue a career in professional basketball. Ofcourse there will be numerous other genetic and environmental factors such as: lung capactiy, efficiency of cardiovascular system, body build, whether his parents are supportive of his dream, whether his parents feed him food of high nutritional value that allows his body to reach its full potential and enables him to be better at basketball. As you can see all the choices and actions we undertake are down our environment and our genes - both of which are beyond our control.

This is why we can no more hate Hitler than we can the glass which shatters when boiling water is poured into it - because neither had a choice in what they are and consequently what they did.
sqr47

Con

First off I would like to apologize for this...

"I was somewhat suprised that CON spent the entirity of round 1 discussing whether he accepted my premises or not... have been informed that this is not standard practise and can be considered as bad conduct."

I did not mean to do this, I am a fairly new member for debate.org, I think i joined less than a week ago, and this is my first debate that I consider legitimate. I really do apologize and will try to uhh... I guess try to figure out how to follow the rules of conduct more appropriately, are you aware of any way I could do this?

Ok now actually on with the debate.

(1) "Hitler and MLK are defined by their actions and so should be judged by their actions"
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I agree that that should remain my main argument throughout the debate.

(2) "You would not hate a glass beaker..."
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A glass beaker is an inanimate object, it obviously does not have any way to know right from wrong, does not know the alphabet, and in fact, does not have a brain. It does not have the capacity for emotions such as love or hatred, so when talking about Martin Luther King Jr. (I apologize for the part in my previous argument where I criticized you for using simply "Martin Luther King".) and Adolf Hitler I do not think comparing them to a glass beaker is a legitimate analogy.

(3) "... had no real choice in his/her actions."
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Are you trying to say that MLK had no control over his actions? I guess I understand the argument for use with Hitler, and I guess this is starting to relate with solipsism, but I really do not believe it is fair to assume that MLK had no control over his actions. But we obviously can trace the parentage of MLK and Hitler and figure out their social status, economic stability etc.

(4) Regarding your basketball player argument
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This does not make much sense regarding the argument, if there is someone that really wants to play basketball, but do not fit the physical criteria, they could simply try as hard as they could to reach these criteria to play. Even the disabled, if they really wanted to play, could join a team for the disabled, there are no real limits to what on can or cannot do.

Sorry for the short argument, I don't really have time for more, I'll hopefully elaborate on this and your next argument in my next argument.
Debate Round No. 2
wolfgangxx

Pro

"[...] I am a fairly new member for debate.org, I think i joined less than a week ago, and this is my first debate that I consider legitimate. I really do apologize and will try to uhh... I guess try to figure out how to follow the rules of conduct more appropriately, are you aware of any way I could do this?"

Well I read 8 or 9 debates before I started debating so try to read as many as you can to get a feel for basic debating conduct. =]

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Rebuttals
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1) CON agreed to my new premise so there is nothing to rebut here

2) "A glass beaker is an inanimate object, it obviously does not have any way to know right from wrong, does not know the alphabet, and in fact, does not have a brain. It does not have the capacity for emotions such as love or hatred,"

So? A person's emotions, thoughts and brain activity at any given moment is nothing but the result of a combination of their genes and their environment and so is not under their control. You might as well say that people are not see-through and sonerous for all the difference it makes.

"so when talking about Martin Luther King Jr. (I apologize for the part in my previous argument where I criticized you for using simply "Martin Luther King".) and Adolf Hitler I do not think comparing them to a glass beaker is a legitimate analogy."

I am saying that a person's actions are not really their choice as their actions and who they as people are are down to a mixture of their genes and their environment - neither of which they are given any choice in. This is why it is possible to compare the action of a glass breaking wth Hitler's action of initiating the genocide of Jews or MLK's action of standing up against racism since none of the actions are the choice of the individuals/ inimate objects.

3) "Are you trying to say that MLK had no control over his actions? I guess I understand the argument for use with Hitler, and I guess this is starting to relate with solipsism, but I really do not believe it is fair to assume that MLK had no control over his actions."

I am saying no-one has control over their actions. Why can it be applicable to Hitler but not MLK? Please provide reasons to back up your assertions.

"But we obviously can trace the parentage of MLK and Hitler and figure out their social status, economic stability etc."

Yes but i'm saying that since we are the result of our genes and our environment and nothing else, then we have no choice in who we are since we have no real choice in our environment or our genes. Its just taking the above one step further.

4) "Regarding your basketball player argument"

Firstly, I stated that it was "a simple example" not an argument.

"if there is someone that really wants to play basketball, but do not fit the physical criteria, they could simply try as hard as they could to reach these criteria to play"

Yes but there are also other who do fit the criteria and will also try as hard as they could to play and in this situation the people who fit the physcial criteria (lean, tall, good hand-eye coordination) would win out over the person who did not fit the criteria.

"Even the disabled, if they really wanted to play, could join a team for the disabled"

yes, but the disabled is restricted to disabled basketball (wheelchair basketball) because of their environment (a car crash perhaps) or their genes (a birth defect)

"there are no real limits to what on can or cannot do"

I'll assume you meant what "on[e] can or cannot do", an african aids orphan with stunted mental and physcial growth who stays for his whole life in sub saharen africa cannot become a billionaire buisness man.

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argument
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I feel that CON has missed the main point of my arguments in his rebuttals so there is no need to make any new arguments - he says himself in the comments section that his argument "sucks".

I shall simplify my argument into a syllogism to make it easier for him to rebut them:

1. We do not blame the glass for its action of breaking because it has no control over that action - we are at emotional neutrality to the glass
2. People also have no control over their actions because their actions are down to a combinaton of their genes and their environment neither of which are down to the individuals choice.
3. We should then be at emotional neutrality to other people - be it MLK or Hitler.

Oh and forgot to say this in the first round, welome to DDO!
sqr47

Con

Whatever I give up everyone vote Pro, he convinced me to some extent.
Debate Round No. 3
wolfgangxx

Pro

Well thankyou for that Sqr, it was an interesting debate while it lasted. =]
Debate Round No. 4
wolfgangxx

Pro

Vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 5
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wolfgangxx 6 years ago
wolfgangxx
Environments could never be identical also it does not matter if they share 99% of their genes - there is still a difference - and you have yet to give me a single possible factor other than the two i've named. It could only be proven wrong if you gave me a third factor I have yet consider - but you have not so your accusation of my argument lacking validity is groundless.

I do not care about my victory, simply that you back up your claims with solid arguments.
Posted by worldbound2006 6 years ago
worldbound2006
But see that issue can be argued against. MLK was just one of many civil rights activists. However his environment was identical to other african americans, who chose acts of violence over peace. Furthermore his DNA is 99.9% idenctical with everyone on the world, including violent activist (hell including hittler). Also genes determine what one will look like, not there disposition or ablities like dancing or fighting. Darwin proposed someting similar and was proven worng. Im not patronizing your victory you deserved it. However I was taught that if your argument can proven false in any instance then it lacks validity. Frankyly, your argument can be proven wrong.
Posted by wolfgangxx 6 years ago
wolfgangxx
then what would you say caused MLK to be a proponent of non-violent protest then? His soul? There is nothing other than the environment and genes, it could simply be an act of rebellion against what he saw as a vulgar and unappesing way to settle disputes
Posted by worldbound2006 6 years ago
worldbound2006
I was reading over this debat, and I have to say that I am very impressed that such a controversial topic was sugessted. I read the headline and I immedietly clicked on the link. However the delivery of this debate was only okay. I think there were several issues, however I only want to discuss one. When the PRO proposed that MLK could not have decided to be who he was, the CON should have focused on this contention right away. MLK stongly propesed a non-violent protest, despite the fact that he grew up in a period of intese hatred and segregation. By exposing both MLK's decisions and the fact that his environment encourgaed violenced (in reference to a prior argument made by the PRO) the CON would have shown the lack of validity within the PRO's argument. However because this was not done, it is obvious the winner is the PRO. Just some food for thought.
Posted by sqr47 6 years ago
sqr47
Only 8-0 come on everyone that's pathetic!! VOTE AGAINST ME!!!!
Posted by 1stLordofTheVenerability 6 years ago
1stLordofTheVenerability
"because that is who people normally associate with the name MLK."

-_- It is sad that this is true. I wonder how many people actually realize that they are two very different people?
Posted by sqr47 6 years ago
sqr47
Wow my argument sucks
Posted by sqr47 6 years ago
sqr47
Thanks, but I probably won't need to now.
Posted by wolfgangxx 6 years ago
wolfgangxx
Its a 5 round debate so you won't be too badly off, and if you do forfeit I won't introduce any new arguments in my half of the round so as you can have a chance to answer my points.
Posted by sqr47 6 years ago
sqr47
Eww I hope I'll have time to post the next argument, might have to forfeit and refer to both of your arguments in the next round.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by A_Truth_Seeker 6 years ago
A_Truth_Seeker
wolfgangxxsqr47Tied
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Vote Placed by sqr47 6 years ago
sqr47
wolfgangxxsqr47Tied
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Vote Placed by Yvette 6 years ago
Yvette
wolfgangxxsqr47Tied
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