The Instigator
DonRCavalier
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
Aerogant
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Zealotry is the single biggest threat to the planet and to mankind

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
DonRCavalier
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/29/2014 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,008 times Debate No: 59724
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (34)
Votes (1)

 

DonRCavalier

Pro

Recently my daughter came home to inform me that some neighbors called her wicked and not a child of God and that she was going to burn in Hell for eternity. Some days later, another neighbor was overheard telling my daughter that President Obama is a terrorist and is possessed by the Devil. My daughter was 7 years old, the neighbors making the comments were young girls of about the same age and were from devout families of some religion. That's why I'm striking up this debate. We are a nation of extreme zelotry, raising our children to be the same, and when the programming starts at such a young age i cant help but think its impossible to undo. And this zelotry, this unwaivering fanatical certainty in ones belief and position, breeds some of the worst events on this planet and to mankind. The world will never fully heal from George Bush's "certainty" and "steadfastness" in invading Iraq and the Middle East to do "God's will" against the "evildoers." Bush was unwaivering in his certainty, and is to this day despite what actually occurred and was found. Unwaivering zelotry causes our political and corporate leaders to act out of their narrow perception of reality and beliefs , and the consequences effect millions of people, current and future generations. And as my opening example demonstrates, were teaching our children to do the same. And it worries me.

I want a discussion amongst open minded individuals about ideas on how to wrestle control of society from the ruling political, religious, and corporate zealots and how to prevent our children from being programmed and how to deprogram them before it's too late for them. I don't have hard figures, but I would guess roughly 50% of the U.S. population can be written off from any meaningful discussion right off the bat. These are the devoutly religious whom are certain in their beliefs and the Truth. This also includes many of the angry and bitter political zealots that are extreme right or left. They have no desire to think other than what they have always thought or have been programmed to think and believe. In my view they are not part of the debate, so if you are one of them don't take the challenge or I will simply bail on pointless arguing about who is right. And by the way these are not all "bad" people (bad and good are zealot terminology) and in fact many contribute much to society and to the world. Its just that the have been brainwashed from such an early age that if they did want to see and think about things differently they simply wouldn't know where to start. Another 25-30% of people are more open minded but will sit on the sidelines and be spectators to others debating. That leaves about maybe 20% that are willing to put it out there and get involved and perhaps make a difference.

Again, this isn't a religious debate and I won't debate on that premise. I will discuss with those with strong political views but if you belong to a political party then don't bother.

Let the fun begin...
Aerogant

Con

No, as demonstrated by the wisest of men, the most dangerous factor in human life is stupidity.
Debate Round No. 1
DonRCavalier

Pro

Thank you con for accepting the challenge. Our history is full of wise men and women...from Einstein to Twain to Mother Theresa...and maybe others. So it begins...your move.....
Aerogant

Con

You say zealotry is the worse, when stupidity is the only reason why it exists. Therefore, zealotry is not the worst; it's a result of something else that is.
Debate Round No. 2
DonRCavalier

Pro

So I think that what you are saying is that people are stupid first, and then they become zealots? I would be interested in why you think that, but I'm not sure it's relevant to my argument. If you're saying instead that stupidity is the biggest threat to the planet and to mankind instead, then OK I'm open to that depending on what your definition of stupidity is. If it's the strict definition, then I would argue that zealotry causes stupidity because fanatical rigid and unwavering beliefs cause some people to make bad decisions, cloud their judgement, etc. But I think maybe you are suggesting that "stupid" means people that have a certain view of things, maybe different than your own. Am I wrong?

Strictly speaking, "stupid" people rarely make their way into positions of power and influence that can effect world events. Zealots can....and do. That's why I think it's the single biggest threat. The George Bush example is an obvious one, but one has to look no further than the Middle East to see more profound effects. And don't think for a minute that it couldn't turn into something worse, like a dirty small scale nuclear event because it could. It's because the people in charge are not only highly influential, they are also zealots in that they have strong beliefs and are unwilling, or maybe unable, to compromise or see things differently. or maybe even to reconsider and question their beliefs.

When I say zealotry is the biggest threat, I mean that we put people in positions of power and influence that are unyielding in their beliefs, often regardless of public opinion. Our society (politicians, media, religious leaders) promote this, and we raise our children to be the same way. We admire those who are steadfast and certain, even if they march us right off a cliff. And the term "belief" is key here, because zealots with strong beliefs are not interested in other views or possibilities that may call their beliefs into question; they are only interested in ideas and information that supports their beliefs, and everything that the see goes through that filter. This is why politicians on opposite sides of the political spectrum can take the exact same set of data and form two completely different interpretations, each of which fits their own set of beliefs. This is also true of devout religions people, which you see all over the place on this Debate.org website. One can put an orange in front of them and they will insist that it's an apple, if that's what their belief system tells them it is. After all, there was no evidence of WMD in Iraq...but Bush was "certain." All of the evidence against it, the ideas about alternate forms of action, etc. were irrelevant. Middle Eastern zealots have beliefs about the West, and there is only one answer for them. And we are raising future generations the same way.

And that, to me, is very dangerous.
Aerogant

Con

All I have to ask is one thing, "is it zealotry? Or is it stupidity that convinces people that skin color has anything to do with people's character and potential?" What do all cases of zealotry have in common? Stupidity. Delusion. Fear. If people weren't stupid, there wouldn't be idiots basing things off as appearance and personal feelings.
Debate Round No. 3
DonRCavalier

Pro

Con, first some housekeeping.....
Looks like this is our last round (Round 4) of debate, so let's use the last round (Round 5) for some closing statements. I wasn't clear about that...or anything for that matter...at the beginning. This is my first debate.

I'm still struggling with the "stupidity" idea because I don't know what context you're using it in. As I said before, there are some very smart people that are extreme zealots. You're touching on race, and I would argue that racism is in fact a form of zealotry. But I disagree that cases of zealotry has stupidity, delusion, and fear in common. And I can't think of how mere stupidity is a threat to society per se (well, actually George Bush is both a zealot and extremely stupid). But if you couple it with zealotry, then it is. So what do all cases of zealotry have in common? This: Rigid, un-waivering, un-compromising BELIEFS. Again, emphasis on BELIEFS. And when zealots put themselves in positions of power and influence to act on their zealotry, well we all know the result. Zealots BELIEVE that the world should be according to whatever religious book they subscribe to, they BELIEVE that their political party is "right and good" and the others are "wrong and evil." They BELIEVE that climate change is not real, cooked up by those that are "wrong and evil." They BELIEVE that skin color indicates a persons character. BELIEFS are not scientifically testable. They are uncompromising positions. And zealots filter everything coming in, and will twist it to support their BELIEFS.

I have to say that I'm surprised and disappointing by the lack of interest on this topic. I don't think it would be difficult to demonstrate by historical analysis how zealotry - rigid adherence and unwavering allegiance - by those with power and influence has not systematically ruined a great deal of humankind and the planet.

"From the beginning of time men used God to justify the unjustifiable." - Salman Rushdie

"A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." - Carl Sagan

"It is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel." - Anatole France

"The only thing more dangerous than an idea is a belief." - Sarah Vowell

"Give a man with a death wish and a bottle of whisky and a loaded gun, you get a dead body. Give a martyr a quote from scripture and a pocked full of prayers and you get a room full of corpses." - Kevis Hendrickson
Aerogant

Con

You clearly do not know what intelligence is, if you call any of them "intelligent". Anyone that gets caught up in emotion and delusion are primates with no sense of awareness, but still know how to use and abuse the brain as any psychopath would. Want to know truly intelligent people that do harm? Serial killers. They are the true example of sheer intelligence, cunning and absolute destruction. They kill people based entirely on the need to kill - a psychological filling that stems from power and control. Intelligence - high intelligence - causes some men to see other men as toys, which causes the scariest and deadliest psychological traits to surface.
Debate Round No. 4
DonRCavalier

Pro

Actually I know what intelligence is and if you had used that word yourself, I would have understood what you meant. Instead you kept throwing out the word "stupid," which was ambiguous and I kept asking you what you meant by "stupid," and it sounded like you were using it subjectively. I have no idea what you're trying to get across in your last argument. Maybe you are trying to make a point that intelligence, or lack of it, is the biggest threat. If that's the case then it would have made this debate much more interesting, at least for me. But you just kept saying everyone was stupid.

Anyhow, in closing this out, I think zealotry is the biggest threat the this planet and mankind. Intelligence, or lack of it, have their own pros and cons. But when zealots gain positions of power and influence, then combined with their stubborn refusal to reason, make rational decisions, or to consider anything outside of their beliefs, they can cause actions that start wars, kill millions of people, destroy resources, and pollute the world. As they raise their children and teach others to be equally zealous, they threaten to propagate this danger for future generations.
Aerogant

Con

I used both stupid and ignorant, if you can't tell what I was meaning by that already, then you're just slow and lacking adaptation. You never see me complaining about how people write, or what they mean, because I get them every time; I have a natural talent in communication with anyone, because I do not waste my time worrying about trivial things as to make myself appear as if I am doing something constructive by wanking off some completely unnecessary concerns over another's typography. I even used stupid in context, as you can clearly tell what I was alluding to by reading everything which encompassed it.

Just like you don't understand stupidity; you don't understand zealotry. You just hate and show no analysis towards what you hate. There's no effort in what you do - only emotion. Maybe if you would get out beneath those flames, you could finally see the clear blue sky after letting what is inevitably so to unpardon your daily activities. If you are scared about your child being affected by those other girls, then you are just being emotional and reactionary, as there's a much bigger picture behind all of this that does not end at zealotry - it ends at fear and indifference; which gives birth to envy, control and the god-shaped hole.
Debate Round No. 5
34 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Aerogant 2 years ago
Aerogant
There was no context... you're like a pancake right now.

UK English is based off of Australian English. I'm certain that UK, itself, will confirm that for me. Go ahead and call the governor.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
Preston
and UK English isn't based of Australian English.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
Preston
English, context! use context mr. genius
Posted by Aerogant 2 years ago
Aerogant
What stemmed? It is not at all using specificity.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
Preston
I pasted what you said, you said it stemmed from Australia, and latin terms are shorter and used to describe the base of what something means in English.
Posted by Aerogant 2 years ago
Aerogant
There's no importance in Latin, hence why it's only used by know it alls that think using archaic terms is in any way healthy for communication.
Posted by Aerogant 2 years ago
Aerogant
No, I said English did not stem from Latin, because UK's English > USA English, while adding that UK's English is based on Australia.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
Preston
see how it applies.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
Preston
and its not a red herring, im backing up the importance of latin, which you argued doesn't matter.
Posted by Preston 2 years ago
Preston
you said that English stemmed from Australia:

English is not derived from Latin, do your research. I wonder what dialect is used by the British - which actually stemmed from Australians, and why it sounds like a better form of English. you didn't say dialect, you claimed the whole English language! so the kangaroos must have farted and everyone was like "oh now we speak english"
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Preston 2 years ago
Preston
DonRCavalierAerogantTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con doesn't refute arguments, and uses red herrings to debate.