Zealotry is the single biggest threat to the planet and to mankind
Debate Rounds (5)
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...
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.
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
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.
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.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Preston 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con doesn't refute arguments, and uses red herrings to debate.
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