The Instigator
numa
Pro (for)
Losing
35 Points
The Contender
Yraelz
Con (against)
Winning
39 Points

the ideals of our founding fathers should not be the basis for how contemporary america is run.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,507 times Debate No: 3332
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (22)

 

numa

Pro

when we think of our "founding fathers" , names like thomas jefferson, patrick henry, and benjamin franklin come to mind. we typically think of the late 1700s era, when important documents like the constitution of the united states of america was written. however, people began settling in america (on a large scale) since the early 1600s. people came to america for a number of reasons, most notably in pursuit of religious freedom (to practice whatever religion they chose without punishment or imposition from the government), and for economic and political gain.

our founding fathers came up with a cohensive document that outlined american goals, laws and ways of life. however this document, the constituion, has been ratified and amended a total of 27 times since its completion in 1787. this is because times and opinions have changed. for instance, women are now granted the right to vote, whereas they were unable to according to the original laws of the constitution.

this important change should set a precedent for future ratifications of the constitution. additionally, personal opinions and beliefs of our founding fathers should not weigh so heavily in terms of contemporary american politics. for instance, i see references to the founding fathers and their intentions numerous times a day on this website. especially from libertarians and republicans. now i would argue that our founding fathers were indeed libertarian in nature in terms of their political beliefs. yet the primary political parties in this country are democrat and republican, not libertarian.

on a personal note, however, most of the founding fathers identified as christian, and therefore upheld christian values and ideas in terms of what they felt should and should not be legal. an example is their belief that the term marriage be restricted to include only women and men.

republicans are essentially governmental libertarians. however they want to impose the judeo-christian beliefs of our founding fathers into the law. this type of governmental imposition is what our founding fathers were trying to avoid. and while guys like tom jefferson and ben franklin may have disagreed with ideas like gay marriage and abortion, their view on morality should not be the basis for today's laws.

our culture and society has shifted and changed over time due to movements such as women's suffrage, civil rights and more. circumstances from the 1700s are different from circumstances today. an additional example is gun rights. back in the 1700s, the united states feared the british militia and other enemies entering their homes and posing a real threat to their families. plus, the population and population density, plus overall way of life, is completely different from today. thus the right to an individual's ability to bear arms is completely understandable. however in today's day and age, due to the current american culture (and other factors), it is completely unnecessary and in fact harmful for many people to own handguns or other fire arms. yet conservatives argue that our founding fathers believed it right to be able to have them, and so we should think that way too.

that way of thinking is flawed. i can list other examples of irrational comparison, but i digress for now. i await my opponent's response before providing additional argument.
Yraelz

Con

Haha, I find myself in firm negation of the topic above. Let us begin with a study into the topic itself.

"our founding fathers" as my opponent has mentioned mean the men who helped to create this country.

"should not" the opposite of "should be" in other words my opponent is arguing from an extreme.

"the basis"- foundation.

"the ideals of"- in this case the ideals is modifying founding fathers. Thus "the ideals" are all the ideals our founding fathers had.

In other words my opponent argues that none of the ideals our founding fathers had should be used as a basis for how this country is run. Therefor I am going to be presenting the bill of rights. As these are all ideals of our founding fathers:

1. First Amendment – Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, press, and to peaceably assemble; right to petition.

2. Second Amendment – Right to keep and bear arms.

3. Third Amendment – Protection from quartering of troops.

4. Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

5. Fifth Amendment – due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, eminent domain.

6. Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and rights of the accused; Confrontation Clause, speedy trial, public trial, right to counsel.

7. Seventh Amendment – Civil trial by jury.

8. Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment.

9. Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Bill of Rights.

10. Tenth Amendment – Powers of states and people.

Those would be the first ten amendments (as copied from Wiki, yay Wiki!) these are the ideals of our forefathers. My opponent is urging that they should not be the basis of contemporary America. If my opponent truly feels none of these amendments should be followed then I urge him/her to show why all 10 should not be followed.

Furthermore my opponent makes a few strange statements such as,

"republicans are essentially governmental libertarians. however they want to impose the judeo-christian beliefs of our founding fathers into the law. this type of governmental imposition is what our founding fathers were trying to avoid."

Apparently in this passage my opponent disagrees with republicans and then cites the founding fathers as a reference. This is an example of my opponent apparently agreeing with an ideal that the founding fathers had.

So while I do agree that some of the founding fathers ideals should not be the basis of contemporary society I cannot see where all of them should not be. Thus I advocate:

"Some ideals of our forefathers have become outdated and should not be the basis for contemporary American society."

Thanks.
Debate Round No. 1
numa

Pro

i don't even see the point in continuing with this debate if my opponent is only going to argue semantics. indeed i did not intend for this debate to be a grammar lesson or a pseudo class on sentence structure. if my opponent feels the need to use rhetoric in order to win this debate, so be it. i figured any contender who chose to take on this debate would be willing to debate based on merit, that is, compare opinions and facts, not be as juvenile as to argue around my wording of the topic.

i do agree with my opponent's resolution when he stated, "some ideals of our forefathers have become outdated and should not be the basis for contemporary american society." i believe that is exactly what i meant in terms of the debate topic. however i did not realize that people would be so petty; apparently my opponent took on this debate in order to attain another win under his belt by using sarcasm to exxagerate my ideas. good one.

con has said, "in other words my opponent argues that none of the ideals our founding fathers had should be used as a basis for how this country is run." that is not what i meant to say at all. i think anyone with a little common can see how maybe my magniloquence was a little off this time. sorry. but since it has been addressed, i will state instead that fine, i do stand by whatever nonsense my opponent has thrown at me due to me probably being unable to take it back.

in that case my new resolution regarding the topic of debate has been slightly changed from my original intention. i will state now that i do not agree that ANY (are you happy?) ideals of the founding fathers should be the basis for how contemporary america is run. i believe there should be a time period (a decade? two?) for which the constitution should "expire" and be replaced with new, updated laws that take into consideration the changing times and economies.

it is likely that many of the laws (a majority if not all of the bill of rights) would remain as they are today, as would most other aspects of the constitution. things that americans begin to disagree with, for instance, a restriction on gun rights (this is just an example) due to the changing times and whatnot, can be amended to reflect current american values as voted upon via democratic process to be determined and also voted on. i believe this would give americans hope that things can be changed, promote an interest in politics because people feel that their efforts can and will actually make a difference (to reduce apathy), and be a more fair and cooperative way of passing and or changing laws. and if it isn't true for everyone, then it's at least true for the people who would have an interest in expanding or restricting the constitution to protect our rights.

if there is a concern that this will take too much time or cost the government too much money, i argue that it would not take much innovation for americans to come up with an easy, cheap, reliable and somewhat efficient way of doing this. i suppose my argument is that the beliefs of a few white christian well-off property owners back in the 1700s cannot possibly reflect the views and beliefs of the diverse and progressive american citizens that live and pay taxes in our nation today.
Yraelz

Con

I will stand by my counter advocacy that ""Some ideals of our forefathers have become outdated and should not be the basis for contemporary American society."

As far as the what you apparently intended this topic to mean goes, I would agree with you. In fact, I don't see how someone could disagree with you. Times change, people change, everything that worked 250 years ago isn't going to flawlessly work now. If it was we might as well just bag our democratic system, set a rigid principle rubric and never change.

However this does not change the fact that SOME ideals, such as human rights, and personal freedoms stay consistent throughout memorable history. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." I think these three listed as the inalienable rights of man have not changed over time.

So I guess my conclusion of this round would be a few things:

a. Word your resolution in the exact manner which you mean it, followed by your actual speech.

b. Vague resolutions usually will not be taken except on semantics. For instance if you say, "its possible the sky will turn red" no one is going to want to take it for the simple fact that its impossible to advocate against such a possibility.

c. Thus the resolution, "Some of our founding fathers ideals....." would probably not be taken, except my someone who was pretty sure they would lose.
Debate Round No. 2
numa

Pro

so my opponent practically conceded. we agree on the resolution (the constitution should be rewritten) and the fact that i worded the topic of debate differently than how i had intended. however i stated that i was up for the challenge and chose to stand by the original topic that i had created. my opponent then advised me to word the topic of debate how i actually meant it... which i did, because i said that i will stand by the original topic of debate. then he went on to points "b" and "c" which were basically advising me to be careful how i word future debates. meanwhile, i'm still not sure what the point of this is because i already stated I STICK BY MY ORIGINAL TOPIC. my opponent wrote, "thus the resolution, 'Some of our founding fathers ideals.....' would probably not be taken, except my someone who was pretty sure they would lose." right, but i didn't say SOME of our founding father's ideals. HE said that. look at the topic: i said the ideals of our founding fathers. my opponent was right in round 1 when he said the topic had implied that i meant ALL of their ideals since i did not clarify otherwise. so i stuck by that. what is the point of all this then? in round 2 my opponent offered nothing of substance other then to point out, "that SOME ideals, such as human rights, and personal freedoms stay consistent throughout memorable history. 'Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' I think these three listed as the inalienable rights of man have not changed over time." right... which is why i said earlier that those rights along with the bill of rights probably would not change much if at all. but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be brought up to discussion and a vote.
Yraelz

Con

Hmmm.....

Most of everything I offered in my last argument was simple advise to my opponent. In some way he construed this to mean that I had conceded the debate, I disagree.

In round 2, my opponent states that he agrees with the original topic of debate and goes on to state, "i will state now that i do not agree that ANY (are you happy?) ideals of the founding fathers should be the basis for how contemporary america is run."

Thus in my round 2 I disagree with the line, "However this does not change the fact that SOME ideals, such as human rights, and personal freedoms stay consistent throughout memorable history. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." I think these three listed as the inalienable rights of man have not changed over time."

These are some of the ideals of our founding fathers, thus my opponent must advocate that none of them should be the basis for contemporary society. Instead in his round 3 he quite clearly states, "right... which is why i said earlier that those rights along with the bill of rights probably would not change much if at all. but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be brought up to discussion and a vote."

Which is perfectly fine, they can be brought up for discussion in vote. This does not change the fact that these ideals of our founding fathers should still be the basis of contemporary society. My opponent admits this when he states that they would probably not change much if at all.

Thus I stand in firm negation of the resolution with my counter proposal, "Some ideals of our forefathers have become outdated and should not be the basis for contemporary American society. "

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by zakkuchan 9 years ago
zakkuchan
PRO shouldn't have conceded what CON wanted her to. She could have fought back against what Yraelz was doing to the debate, but she simply didn't. That's where she lost it.
Posted by SweetBags 9 years ago
SweetBags
i just realized the last sentence in the first paragraph should say untopical not untypical.
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
Oooo a debater, this is exciting.
Posted by SweetBags 9 years ago
SweetBags
pro, there are better examples of different times then gun rights, like the internet, cars, planes, and other things that weren't even imagined back when the constitution was written. by using the guns analogy you weaken your case, and take the debate into a untypical place where you argue over gun rights.
con, i understand why you do an analysis of the res, i do it when i write a case, but i think it is unnecessary in this instance. for future reference, the founding fathers had more ideals then the bill of rights, those are just the ones that they forgot to put in the original constitution.
pro, while your semantics point is valid, its unnecessary to insult your opponent. however, by changing the resolution mid round (a bad idea in any circumstance) you forfeit the ground you gained in the first speech. instead of changing the res you should of argued against his analsis. again, you needn't use gun rights, a better example would be that of privacy concerns.
con, you kind of waste this round in nullifying your previous argument, but seeing how pro changed the res it was already nullified
pro, dont let him get to you, you presented an real case, your opponent didnt.
con, your case is based around semantics that are borderline abusive, try not to do it again
to be perfectly honest, i find this a mockery of what debate should be about. instead of argueing against pros ideas, con argued semantics. i would love to vote pro on this, expessially because pro was the only one to have a real case, by conceeding the resolution to cons interpretation she nullified her own case and lost.
BAD ROUND!!!!
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
Some part of you knowing that makes me sad lol. Apparently I'm being voted against because I'm a meanie. Oh NOEZ!
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
Hey, it's the Backstreet Boys!
Posted by writofmandamus 9 years ago
writofmandamus
Pro, on the basis that con is a jackass by arbitrarily defining and attacking semantics
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
theLwerd: You should consider rereading the debate. I'm not sure if you understood what my opponent accepted as the resolution in round 2.
Posted by HandsOff 9 years ago
HandsOff
I've learned that it's okay to be general in your debate resolution, and even to be wrong with your semantics. There isn't much room in the resolution box to craft a detailed statement. But if you do not clean it up nicely in your opening remarks (or at least the comment section), semantics can derail the whole point of your debate and give your opponent the opportunity for an easy win.
Posted by brittwaller 9 years ago
brittwaller
lol at the two comments below.
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Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
numaYraelzTied
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Vote Placed by numa 7 years ago
numa
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