The Instigator
AntiPatriot
Con (against)
Winning
34 Points
The Contender
Richard89
Pro (for)
Losing
15 Points

You should always be patriotic.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,064 times Debate No: 2049
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (21)
Votes (15)

 

AntiPatriot

Con

[Note: I am not simply challenging the notion of American patriotism, but challenging the idea of patriotism in general. I happen to live in America so I will base many of my arguments off of that premise.]

I realize I am treading some deep water here when I challenge the very notion of patriotism. But let me establish my position. I believe Bertrand Russell said it best when he was quoted: "Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons."

I assume I will be receiving accusations of treason and ignorance and be greatly hailed as disrespectful. However, I will try my best to present a logical defense for my arguments here.

I was born in America and I currently live in Southern Oregon. If it were my choice though, I would not claim citizenship to any institution or government. I will concede that the United States does have some good qualities based in its government. I am very grateful for personal freedoms that I am allowed to have and for the right to express my opinion. I also am a fan of the free market and am glad that the country which I live in is based on capitalism.

After saying these things, someone might say, "How can you be grateful but not patriotic? America has been so good to you, why can't you show some respect?"
As a response I would say, Yes, America has been fairly good to me. I live a happy life in this country, but freedom and happiness are NOT UNIQUELY American. If was born in the UK I would have almost all the same freedoms that I have here. (Probably more since the passage of the Patriot Act.)

Here I make a point that few Americans seem to be able to understand. "If I was born [outside of the US]..." is a thought that not very many people have. In fact, very few people from any country get outside of themselves and imagine what life would be like if they were not born in their own country of origin. Most Americans today would like to think that if they were born in Nazi Germany (I am very sorry for referring to Nazi's--I think they are used WAY too much as a reference... but I hope my point is clear), they would not have killed one Jew. But it is very egocentric and self-conceited to do so. If you were raised from infancy, believing that the Jews were the bane of your existence and told it was perfectly okay to kill them, I'm not saying you wouldn't have any choice, but it would be very hard for you to not believe what you were taught. Just as so many people inherit the religion of their parents for really no other reason than that was how they were raised. Or why so many Americans believe that the US is the best country in the world. Or why so many Chinese believe that China in the best country in the world. Or why so many Spaniards think Spain is the best country in the world. I hope I got my point across.

Americans love America for no other reason than that is what they were raised believing. I am simply open to the idea that America ISN'T the best country in the world. I realize that if I was born in virtually any other country, I would not think that America great. It is just by chance that I was born here and I don't find that as sufficient reason to pledge my allegiance to an all but perfect government.

As long as there is patriotism, there will never be peace. The fact that Americans were raised believing capitalism is the best, and the fact the Russians were raised believing communism is the best, almost led to nuclear warfare. For some reason, when people say that something "is the best", they feel the need to eradicate anything that is different. Why couldn't America be happy with capitalism on its own soil? Why do we find it so important to force our beliefs onto others, who clearly don't want our help? The ideas of superiority and inferiority are the causes of probably every war. The egocentric and seemingly inescapable idea that "I am right and you are wrong" has already does so much more harm than is will ever do good. Patriotism only fosters these feelings of superiority and too many people blindly support their government and its past.

I think that is enough to get the ball rolling.
Richard89

Pro

First off I would like to apologize for taking so long to accept this debate, but I have been rather busy so I take these up as time permits. Now then, I would also like to say that your statements are not in any way treasonous, but they are totally misguided. In regard to your quote from Bertrand Russell I will only say that he is the last individual I would ever look to for a definition on anything except perhaps physics. Looking at various online dictionaries you will come up with explanations that run like this:

Patriotism: A feeling of love and devotion to one's own homeland.

Patriotism: Love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it.

Patriotism: Strong feelings of love and devotion to one's country and, if necessary, one will fight to defend it.

"I was born in America and I currently live in Southern Oregon. If it were my choice though, I would not claim citizenship to any institution or government...I am very grateful for personal freedoms that I am allowed to have and for the right to express my opinion. I also am a fan of the free market and am glad that the country which I live in is based on capitalism."and then a little later you said: "It is just by chance that I was born here and I don't find that as sufficient reason to pledge my allegiance to an all but perfect government."

So basically you are saying that you are more than willing to enjoy all the freedoms and liberties America offers(thanks to her form of government), but you are unwilling to make any sacrifice for her should the need arise.

"freedom and happiness are NOT UNIQUELY American."

Of course freedom and happiness are not uniquely American, but America embodies both these qualities and more.

"If was born in the UK I would have almost all the same freedoms that I have here. (Probably more since the passage of the Patriot Act.)"

Thankfully the UK remains a fairly free nation. I respect the traditional values of government in the areas she has maintained them, but England has become a primarily socialist state which has limited certain personal freedoms we take for granted here.

"Here I make a point that few Americans seem to be able to understand. "If I was born [outside of the US]..." is a thought that not very many people have. In fact, very few people from any country get outside of themselves and imagine what life would be like if they were not born in their own country of origin."

Well I'm not sure how you can back that up. I, for one, have thought on life in other countries numerous times as I'm sure many, if not most Americans have as well. Every time I come to the conclusion that this is still the greatest nation in the world.

"Americans love America for no other reason than that is what they were raised believing. I am simply open to the idea that America ISN'T the best country in the world. I realize that if I was born in virtually any other country, I would not think that America great."

Wrong. Although it is true that Americans grow to love this country more as they grow older, it is not just because that is what they were taught. Americans love America because of what she continues to give us, freedom. The United States continues to have the largest immigration rate of any country in the world. Why is this? Countless millions have thought longingly of life in America, and millions have come to make America their home. This is obviously not because of what they were raised believing, but rather because they recognize that a new and better life really does await them here. This country we live in is the greatest melting pot in the world. People from every conceivable race and culture have come from all over the world in the last few centuries to make America what it is today. Try as you might to make yourself believe that America is not the greatest country in the world you will always be confronted by the inescapable proof to the contrary. Some of the most devoted patriots in this country are those who have immigrated. They realize better than those of us who have been born here that America and what she represents is worth defending and fighting for if need be. Let me just make clear that when I speak of immigration I am referring to legal immigration, although the illegal immigrants come here for the same reasons.

"As long as there is patriotism, there will never be peace. The fact that Americans were raised believing capitalism is the best, and the fact the Russians were raised believing communism is the best, almost led to nuclear warfare. For some reason, when people say that something "is the best", they feel the need to eradicate anything that is different. Why couldn't America be happy with capitalism on its own soil? Why do we find it so important to force our beliefs onto others, who clearly don't want our help?"

You keep portraying patriotism as an aggressive, offensive force when it is really the opposite. Patriotism is a love for one's country and a willingness to make great sacrifices to defend it. This does not always mean against a foreign enemy. Here it also means fighting in the political arena to defend her founding principles that made her great. In cases where nations have started wars it was not patriotism that drove them but rather a strong sense of national pride on the part of its people and a desire to see their country grow even greater(Germany in World War I), or, more commonly, the greed of the tyrant in control of that country. Patriotism is always what has stopped these wars, but never can you accuse patriotism of starting a war. You also accuse patriotism for the Cold War, but if you will read a few books on the subject you will clearly see otherwise. The U.S.S.R. tried to maintain a death grip over Europe after World War II and the United States was the only nation strong enough to stand up to the communist threat. We intervened to protect the nations of the world from having communism forced on them. It was not the Russian people that started the Cold War. They never had a voice in the matter and continued to suffer as much as any occupied nation. They also celebrated as much as any occupied nation when the Soviet Union collapsed. So as you can see patriotism was not the cause of the war, but once again it was the end of it. Communism was proven as a failed system when the Soviet government collapsed because of the patriotism and desire for freedom her oppressed peoples had. We have never "forced our beliefs" on any nation. The people we are helping clearly DO want our help(unless you were referring to the terrorists in that statement). As long as there are power-hungry tyrants in the world there will be a need for patriotism.

"Most Americans today would like to think that if they were born in Nazi Germany they would not have killed one Jew. But it is very egocentric and self-conceited to do so. If you were raised from infancy, believing that the Jews were the bane of your existence and told it was perfectly okay to kill them, I'm not saying you wouldn't have any choice, but it would be very hard for you to not believe what you were taught."

I saved this for last because it is a little off-subject, but I wanted to make sure that you understood that that kind of analogy is fundamentally flawed. It is not at all self-conceited. The only Germans brainwashed from infancy were the Hitler Youth(who obviously made up a minor portion of the Nazi army), so to lump all the Nazi war criminals into one brainwashed lump is simply inaccurate. In addition there is also that little thing called "conscience." Everyone has it and no one can escape it. So I reject the notion that it would be conceited for an American to believe they would never kill a Jew if placed in similar circumstances.

I wish I had more space to cover your arguments more thoroughly, but as it is I have just enough space left to finish here. I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 1
AntiPatriot

Con

<>

I didn't say that. Yes, like everyone else born here, I am willing to enjoy all the freedoms that America offers. I never said I would never make a sacrifice in order to keep those freedoms though. If there was an actual, imminent, foreign threat to the freedoms that we enjoy (like if Washington DC had been attacked and seized by another country), I would willingly join a militia/military to defend against this threat. Just because I'm not joining the Marines to go fight in the Middle East where our presence is brutalizing and unwanted, doesn't mean that I'm not willing to defend my freedoms and the freedoms of those who are being attacked.

<>

Sure America might "embody those qualities and more", but so do countless other countries. Do you think the slogan of Canada is "Captivity and misery!"?
Of course not. EVERYONE wants to be free and happy, and consequently MANY governments "embody those qualities".

<>

I will concede this point. The UK and Europe in general are becoming more socialist. However, my overall life satisfaction wouldn't be any less than it is here if I was born over there. I could be just as happy as I am here in many other places around the world--and so could you. Suppose you were born in Italy--do you honestly think that you would love America?

<>

America being the greatest country in the world has nothing to do with patriotism. If everyone based their allegiance to a country on its status in the world, then why doesn't more of the world claim allegiance to America? Why don't we have American patriots from Nigeria, and Mynamar? Sure "some of the most devoted patriots in this country are those who have immigrated", but certainly not a majority of those who immigrate, claim allegiance to America. My mother has a friend who is from Brazil. She won't stand up for the pledge of allegiance, and she won't get citizenship is America. Why? For the same trivial reasons that you would do the same in her country. She has a sense of patriotism for Brazil--and no other country. People get all offended when she doesn't say the pledge of allegiance--but put yourself in the same situation. Imagine that you had a business opportunity in Brazil and you ended up living there for 10 years. Would you be patriotic towards the Brazilian government and heritage? No. Why? Because you feel patriotic towards America. I don't get offended when she doesn't stand for the national anthem, but I think she is just as silly in her beliefs and her dedication to one country and one country alone.

That is exactly what patriotism does though--it engenders a sense of elitism and divides peoples of the world. When you are patriotic--you are patriotic to ONE country and ONE country alone. You think everyone else should be just like you. Why did we fight in Vietnam? Because the "threat of communism"? Communism doesn't kill people--tyrannical, fascist dictators do.

<>

If patriotism was the opposite of aggressive and offensive, then, again, why do we instigate so many wars? Could we survive if we left Iraq alone? Yes we could, and we could do it without sacrificing thousands of our soldiers and spending trillions of dollars.

<>

Whoa. "Patriotism" doesn't start wars? "A strong sense of national pride" does? I think you lost me. Even if those two aren't exactly the same, one implies and causes the other. Hence, using the transitive property:

Patriotism --> Strong sense of national pride

Strong sense of national pride --> The beginning of wars

Patriotism --> The beginning of wars.

I hope I didn't lose you there. And you say patriotism is what stopped all those wars? When a war is fought for the purpose of a war, in the end, there is a side of definite winners and a side of definite losers. It doesn't matter what side you fall on, you still have patriotism for your country. Just because the Nazi's lost WWII, doesn't mean that they conceded that they were wrong. They simply didn't have enough power to force their beliefs on others. The Allies did. Suppose that the Nazi's did win WWII and much of the world was under control of the regime. Do you think that they would call themselves the "Axis of Evil"? No. The winners of war get to write history, and thus the winners of war are always portrayed in a good light -- whether they were evil or not. Sorry... I kind of got of got off topic here.

You made some other arguments but I will let those stand for what they are. I would like to make some of my own points now.

When support the position that "You should always be patriotic", you are saying that no matter where you were born, you should be patriotic for the government that is sovereign over you. You need to get outside the idea of American patriotism. Let's talk about patriotism as it pertains to everyone in the world--not just Americans. You are saying that a Frenchman should love his government and no other, a Iraqi should love his and no other, and an American should love his and no other. What happens when everyone loves the government that governs them, is war. Plain and simple. If everyone thinks that they are right there are going to be a lot of conflicts in the world. If you eliminate the unconditional love for your country, you don't eliminate war altogether, but you could do away with a very large majority of it. I would like to know what you think patriotism does for world peace and tranquilty.
Richard89

Pro

"If there was an actual, imminent, foreign threat to the freedoms that we enjoy (like if Washington DC had been attacked and seized by another country), I would willingly join a militia/military to defend against this threat. Just because I'm not joining the Marines to go fight in the Middle East where our presence is brutalizing and unwanted, doesn't mean that I'm not willing to defend my freedoms and the freedoms of those who are being attacked."

Well I think I finally understand where you are coming from. If you believe in defending your country and the freedoms of others then you are a patriot. Plain and simple. However, it seems that you cannot separate patriotism and your disdain for the war on terror. I am not going to go off-subject by starting a debate on the war on terror, but I will say that our presence is far from brutalizing and that it is also far from unwanted.

"Sure America might "embody those qualities and more", but so do countless other countries. Do you think the slogan of Canada is "Captivity and misery!"?"

I wish I knew the names of those "countless" other countries. Canada is no better than England. It too is a primarily socialist state.

"I could be just as happy as I am here in many other places around the world--and so could you. Suppose you were born in Italy--do you honestly think that you would love America?"

Well you are welcome to judge for yourself if you would be just as happy elsewhere as you would be here, but I am fairly confident I would wish for a better life in America as many an Italian has. I realize we seem to have gone on numerous rabbit trails in this debate, but in the end this particular subject is irrelevant to the topic. Patriotism is not reliant on freedom, but rather the love one has for his/her country and people. One of the greatest examples that can be given is that of the Russian people during World War II. Even though suffering under an oppressive system and under the rule of the greatest mass murderer in history they came together in a most remarkable display of patriotism.

"America being the greatest country in the world has nothing to do with patriotism."

Of course not. I was simply rebutting your statement about America not being the greatest nation in the world. As for your mother's Brazilian friend, I can understand her still loving her native country, as anyone would, but I think it only strengthens my position even more that she chooses to live here. Since you did not say to the contrary I must assume that she came here because she realized that, love for her native country or not, America offered her opportunity that her country could not. You may continue to think reasons for patriotism "trivial" and dismiss them as "silly", but you do so most blindly.

"it engenders a sense of elitism and divides peoples of the world. When you are patriotic--you are patriotic to ONE country and ONE country alone. You think everyone else should be just like you. Why did we fight in Vietnam? Because the "threat of communism"? Communism doesn't kill people--tyrannical, fascist dictators do."

Patriotism does not divide, it brings together, and it certainly has nothing to do with believing everyone should be just like you. As to communism, it breeds tyrannical dictators. I'm not sure what Vietnam has to do with this, but we intervened to defend a nation from having the communist yoke forced on it. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a war micro-managed by politicians, but one we were winning before we decided to abandon Vietnam to its fate. Patriotism is all we have to defend against tyrannical dictators bent on dominating other nations. So once again I reject your analysis as completely inaccurate.

"If patriotism was the opposite of aggressive and offensive, then, again, why do we instigate so many wars? Could we survive if we left Iraq alone? Yes we could, and we could do it without sacrificing thousands of our soldiers and spending trillions of dollars."

Your objection to patriotism really only stems from one source if you are honest with yourself. Namely the Iraq war. We have never instigated a war. You are of course referring to the Iraq war and possibly the war in Afghanistan, but such is not the case. We went into Afghanistan because of the treacherous attacks of 911 and we went into Iraq because it too sponsored terrorism, refused to stop nuclear activity, and continued to be a threat to all other nations in the Middle East(most notable of which is our close ally, Israel) with its power hungry dictator. I realize this is a very unpopular position to take on this subject, but the fact remains it is the correct one.

"Whoa. "Patriotism" doesn't start wars? "A strong sense of national pride" does? I think you lost me. Even if those two aren't exactly the same, one implies and causes the other. Hence, using the transitive property:

Patriotism --> Strong sense of national pride

Strong sense of national pride --> The beginning of wars

Patriotism --> The beginning of wars."

Well since I lost you, please allow me to make the point a little more clear. Patriotism is not a strong sense of national pride. Once again I will point out that patriotism is a LOVE for one's country and people and a willingness to defend and sacrifice for the same. National pride is just that. A pride in one's country and, in certain cases, a willingness to increase her power and glory at the expense of other nations. Perhaps there is a better term for this, but national pride is the term that came to mind.

"you say patriotism is what stopped all those wars? When a war is fought for the purpose of a war, in the end, there is a side of definite winners and a side of definite losers. It doesn't matter what side you fall on, you still have patriotism for your country. Just because the Nazi's lost WWII, doesn't mean that they conceded that they were wrong. They simply didn't have enough power to force their beliefs on others. The Allies did. Suppose that the Nazi's did win WWII and much of the world was under control of the regime. Do you think that they would call themselves the "Axis of Evil"? No. The winners of war get to write history, and thus the winners of war are always portrayed in a good light"

I'm not sure what you mean when you say a war is fought for the purpose of a war, but as you pointed out both sides still have patriotism. The Allies responded defensively to the Nazi invasion. Your notion that the Allies forced their beliefs is totally false, and anyone who knows anything about World War II would tell you this. History was not written by the 'winners"; it speaks for itself. As you said, this is a little off-subject so I will leave it at that.

"When support the position that "You should always be patriotic", you are saying that no matter where you were born, you should be patriotic for the government that is sovereign over you...What happens when everyone loves the government that governs them, is war...I would like to know what you think patriotism does for world peace and tranquilty."

Patriotism does not mean blind loyalty to a government as I have repeatedly tried to point out. It is loyalty to your country. For Americans it also means defending the form of government they love and prosper under, but not a blind loyalty by any means. As long as there are evil men able to get into positions of power there will be war. PATRIOTISM DOES NOT CAUSE WAR. It is the defensive shield that these men come up against when attempting to subdue other nations. I already told you what patriotism does for world peace. It stops wars. You hold up a double standard. You said that you would join the military to defend freedom if invaded by another power, but later on you say that if unconditional love for your country was eliminated you could do away with a very large part of war. Don't you see the problem here? Without patriotism we are defenseless against tyranny.
Debate Round No. 2
AntiPatriot

Con

"Your objection to patriotism really only stems from one source if you are honest with yourself. Namely the Iraq war."

No. It doesn't. My opposition to the Iraq war stems from my previously held convictions. I object to many events in American history. The Iraq war happens to be one of them.

"We have never instigated a war."

Now, I don't know if you are referring to all the wars we have ever fought or just the more recent wars in the Middle East. The former would exhibit a dearth of knowledge on American history. The latter could also easily be contended.

"We went into Afghanistan because of the treacherous attacks of 911 and we went into Iraq because it too sponsored terrorism, refused to stop nuclear activity, and continued to be a threat to all other nations in the Middle East(most notable of which is our close ally, Israel) with its power hungry dictator. I realize this is a very unpopular position to take on this subject, but the fact remains it is the correct one."

Ha, I agree with you! Yes, we did go into the Middle East for those reasons. It doesn't mean they are justifiable.

"You hold up a double standard. You said that you would join the military to defend freedom if invaded by another power, but later on you say that if unconditional love for your country was eliminated you could do away with a very large part of war. Don't you see the problem here? Without patriotism we are defenseless against tyranny."

I am not holding a double standard. Self-interest is not patriotism. Yes, I would join the military, but not out of patriotism. It would be for (1) Self-interest, and (2) to defend against the world against a power that I felt was evil. In no way is patriotism one of my motives.

Without patriotism we are defenseless? That statement is entirely false. I will refer to the origins of our own country to support my claim. The coloziners of our country were from many different countries and all had various different interests. They did however, have one interest in common--freedom. I don't think it was the love of their country (which is what you define patriotism to be) that defended them from the oppressive British. They didn't even have a country. Hell, many them didn't even WANT a country. They were just a loose association of 13 colonies. Are you now going to try to contort your definition of patriotism so it fits this situation? The truth is, it was the very OPPOSITE of patriotism that led to the foundation of our country. When you accepted the affirmative of this debate, and using the definition that you provided for patriotism, you are saying that "You should always love and be willing to defend your country". (NOTE: Always is 100% of the time.) If the founders of this country had adhered to that maxim, they would still be in Europe--loving and defending their oppressive monarchies. Or they would be in the New World--still loving and defending their oppressive monarchies. Either way, this is not what happened and because there were people willing to be the opposite of patriotic, we now have America.

Instead of being patriotic, why can't we be compassionate? Sympathetic to the plight of others? Interested in self-preservation? In no stretch of the definition of patriotism, can it be claimed that these sentiments are patriotic. Patriotism would say that you should be willing to defend your own country. Sympathy and compassion would say that you should be willing to defend others--no matter what country. We don't need patriotism to defend ourselves--the instinct of self-preservation is enough for that. To say that patriotism has never started a war is very presumptuous. Perhaps if patriotism was defined as "love for and willingness to defend all mankind", then it would be more rational. A country is nothing more than imaginary lines drawn to separate people. You may choose to love and defend whatever you wish. I myself, however, am more interested in the well-being of all mankind -- no matter where you happen to live -- than in the limited and trivial scope of my countrymen.
Richard89

Pro

This being the last round I wish to thank my opponent for providing me this opportunity to debate this most vital subject.

"I object to many events in American history. The Iraq war happens to be one of them...I don't know if you are referring to all the wars we have ever fought or just the more recent wars in the Middle East. The former would exhibit a dearth of knowledge on American history. The latter could also easily be contended."

Well I'm sure you do object to many wars America has been involved in. However, I stand by my statement. We have never instigated a war. I invite you to give an example since you failed to do so. There is not a single war in our history that you can accuse America for being the root cause of. Therefore, the seeming lack of knowledge rests with you.

"Yes, we did go into the Middle East for those reasons. It doesn't mean they are justifiable."

Well if we are not justified to go into a country that aids, abets, trains, and funds our enemies then, pray tell, what would? I was rather surprised when I read that.

"I would join the military, but not out of patriotism. It would be for (1) Self-interest, and (2) to defend against the world against a power that I felt was evil."

Patriotism is love of country, but for an American it also means to defend the liberties and freedoms he/she enjoys. So it is definitely a self-interest. You said earlier that you would join the military to defend your freedoms AND THE FREEDOMS OF THOSE BEING ATTACKED. So you see that while patriotism is definitely a self-interest I also see that you believe in defending the freedoms of others as any true patriot would. I'm afraid you were a little contradictory there. As for your second point, looking at your previous arguments what right do you have to judge which powers are evil and which aren't? I would like to reference one of your previous statements:

"For some reason, when people say that something "is the best", they feel the need to eradicate anything that is different. Why couldn't America be happy with capitalism on its own soil? Why do we find it so important to force our beliefs onto others, who clearly don't want our help? The ideas of superiority and inferiority are the causes of probably every war. The egocentric and seemingly inescapable idea that "I am right and you are wrong" has already does so much more harm than is will ever do good."

Since you are such an advocate for world peace this seems a rather hypocritical statement. You say that the cause of war is that concept of superiority vs. inferiority and yet you would join the military to combat a power you felt was evil? You are contradicting yourself severely.

"I don't think it was the love of their country (which is what you define patriotism to be) that defended them from the oppressive British. They didn't even have a country. Hell, many them didn't even WANT a country. They were just a loose association of 13 colonies. Are you now going to try to contort your definition of patriotism so it fits this situation?"

That is simply historically and factually inaccurate. They DID have a country. The colonies operated as any other country in the world with established laws and independent government. The only difference between them and anyone else was the word "colony" and the nominal allegiance England laid claim to. They were a free society that resented any external interference in there government or laws. So your statement about them not wanting a country is completely false. So for one thing your concept of the original colonies is very shallow and for another it is perfectly clear that I have no need to "contort" my position.

"The truth is, it was the very OPPOSITE of patriotism that led to the foundation of our country. When you accepted the affirmative of this debate, and using the definition that you provided for patriotism, you are saying that "You should always love and be willing to defend your country". (NOTE: Always is 100% of the time.) If the founders of this country had adhered to that maxim, they would still be in Europe--loving and defending their oppressive monarchies. Or they would be in the New World--still loving and defending their oppressive monarchies. Either way, this is not what happened and because there were people willing to be the opposite of patriotic, we now have America."

Once again I make the point that patriotism is not blind devotion to government, but rather a love and devotion to one's country. It becomes rather tedious to have to continually point this out to you. Our founding fathers guided this country to freedom because of their love of country and their freedoms that they had enjoyed. The people were, in fact, extremely patient with the British government in the hopes they the king and Parliament would recognize their rights and grant them equal representation. The colonies were not opposed to being taxed as long as they received the same representation the people of England did. Taxation without representation was what sparked the conflict. Parliament failed to see the colonies for what they were and instead attempted to use them as nothing more than a source of ready income. Much to their chagrin they discovered what happens when attempting to ignore the rights of a free people. I don't have the space to go into a miniature history lesson, but I leave it as openly obvious that your statement in regards to our origin is completely false as well. As patriots our founding fathers had no other choice BUT to declare independence.

"Instead of being patriotic, why can't we be compassionate? Sympathetic to the plight of others? Interested in self-preservation? In no stretch of the definition of patriotism, can it be claimed that these sentiments are patriotic."

When did I ever say they were patriotic sentiments? In addition to that, what do those topics have anything to do with the subject?! However, I shall briefly address this rabbit trail. America is already the most sympathetic and compassionate nation in the world. She gives more humanitarian aid and donates more capital than ANY OTHER NATION. Patriotism is what we have for our defense, but to introduce these subjects is completely off-topic.

"Patriotism would say that you should be willing to defend your own country. Sympathy and compassion would say that you should be willing to defend others--no matter what country."

I will say again that you are going completely off-topic. A desire to aid other nations under oppressive governments has nothing to do with our debate. However, I will point out that you make these statements and then say that we should not be in Iraq where the people were oppressed by a tyrannical mass murderer who used biological weapons and terror on them. So even if you don't think we should have gone in to stop the sponsored terror camps and seize suspected nuclear WMDs one would think your "sympathy and compassion" would start to kick in.

"A country is nothing more than imaginary lines drawn to separate people."

Wrong again. Each country represents a different form of government, ideologies, concepts, etc. Some have prospered, but many more have not, all because of the choices those countries make in the area of government and the extent of voice given to the people. A country is so much more than lines drawn on paper.

"I myself, however, am more interested in the well-being of all mankind -- no matter where you happen to live -- than in the limited and trivial scope of my countrymen."

That would be great if we lived in a universal utopia, but unfortunately we need to look at reality. Your country is where it all starts. Americans have proven time and again that they are dedicated to bettering mankind. However, if you are not willing to defend these most vital and dearly held beliefs then you have no right to expect them to survive the evils of this world.

Thank you this debate.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Debate Round No. 3
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheWaywardWriter 10 months ago
TheWaywardWriter
AntiPatriot clearly has confused patriotism with nationalism.
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
@ bobsatthepub:

Yes it is a hard thing to measure. In fact, I could successfully prove that freedom is the worst form of slavery.
Posted by AntiPatriot 9 years ago
AntiPatriot
To sadolite:

I'm not just talking about AMERICAN patriotism in my debate. Would you say, "you should always defend her (your country) no matter what," to the people who live in Saudi Arabia? Get out of your egocentric hole and realize that there is actually a world beyond the borders of the United States, and that the United States doesn't OWN the world.
Posted by Richard89 9 years ago
Richard89
But it is freedom none the less. The right to make your own decisions and take some personal responsibility in life. People make bad decisions no matter what level of freedom they have. Freedom is fairly easy for me to measure as a Christian, but notice I said that America offers MORE freedoms than any other country.
Posted by bobsatthepub 9 years ago
bobsatthepub
Freedom is a hard thing to measure.
There is also the freedom to make poor decisions.
Posted by sadolite 9 years ago
sadolite
If you know of someplace better in the world to live move there. Otherwise if you find this country the best place to live you should always defend her no matter what. because if you don't, those things that you said you liked about America will disappear.
Posted by Richard89 9 years ago
Richard89
Sorry about the typo. The first "if" was not supposed to be in that last sentence.lol
Posted by Richard89 9 years ago
Richard89
I was not just referring to immigration in the last few decades, but throughout our nations history. The reasons I gave are the reasons they came. The "hamburger shop" theory is true in a sense for modern day immigration. People hear more about the freedoms they can enjoy in America than in any other country in the world. This is because of the fact that America simply DOES offer more freedoms than any other country in the world. I guarantee you that if MacDonald's couldn't afford all those advertisements if people didn't really love to eat there. ;-)
Posted by bobsatthepub 9 years ago
bobsatthepub
on the immigration point, America is probably a popular place to go for reasons beyond simply promised opportunity. It's much easier to get into then a place such as Australia (because when it comes to immigration we really suck). Plus America is kinda the place that everyone knows about. It's "freedom" and "opportunities" are advertised everywhere. Kinda like how we constantly see MacDonald's advertisements everywhere we go. The hamburger shop next door might have greater tasting burgers but more people will still go to MacDonald's because they hear so much about it.

...I think that made sense... haha.

I like AntiPatriots views when it comes to having no nationality and I would share them. Although I love my country, when it comes to war, I would not fight for my country at all, I would be fighting for what I believe to be the greater good. If I and my country agree on those terms then I would be more then willing to help the cause... well, that's if it was important enough to me.
Posted by AntiPatriot 9 years ago
AntiPatriot
Harlan: "How long have you had that picture, antipatriot? JUst yesterday or something I had the idea to use this photo, and was dissapointed to see someone else already had it."

I've had it for a couple weeks. I'm sorry that I beat you to it. I don't mind sharing... :) That's funny how you chose the Om though... because that was another choice of mine for an avatar.

TheGreatDebate: "antipatriot, are you an Anarchist?"

Not necessarily. My version of anarchism ends up being essentially a libertarian government. True democracy is very close to my anarchism. A government truly of the people should hardly be a government at all. Thus, many of my views are libertarian.
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