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we should have courage and reasons to have courage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/6/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,763 times Debate No: 13287
Debate Rounds (3)
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An American General, a Russian General and a British General were standing on the deck of a ship watching war exercises. The topic of discussion turns to human courage, and the Russian General boasts,
"Russians are the most courageous people on Earth!"
Upon which the American (naturally) challenges him: "Oh yeah?"
The Russian says, "Sure! Here, Yuri! Jump off the deck and swim around the ship!"
Yuri marches off into the freezing Atlantic without a word and does as he is told. The Russian turns around and says: "See, there's an example of courage!"
The American has to top this, so he calls up one of his underlings and gives him the order:
"Jack, Jump off the main mast into the ocean, and swim around the ship seven times!"
Poor Jack goes off without a murmur, and he too does as he is told. The American General says: "Now top that for courage!"
So they both turn around to the British General who has been standing around watching these antics silently. They ask him: "What about your people?"
The British General calls up one of his people and says: "Trevor, jump off the mast and swim under the keel of the ship, will you, old chap?"
Trevor stares at his general.
"Let me get this right. You want me to jump off the mast."
"And swim under the keel?"
"General. You must be daft!"
And so saying, Trevor turns around and saunters off.
Whereupon the British General turns to the other two and says, "Now there's an example of true courage."
Many Americans think that they understand the meaning of the word "courage but in true fact they don't. Courage isn't described by the amount of speeches and campaign that you give but is described by amount of action you take towards the specific action. A fast company article states that courage is the most desirable and messiest human virtue. I know the meaning of courage you see there is this gorgeous girl in my first period class whom I like. She looked like an African princess. Each time I see her in class, I try to ask her out but just can't muster enough courage. Anyway, one who describes courage as a way of expressing what you think about something through words or thought alone isn't just mistaking the true meaning of courage, but is a coward. The good coward from the civil war is one who reluctantly marches into every battle but flees at the first sign of bloodshed, he returns and prepares for the next day resulting to do better. Know I am not asking anyone to rush into a war untrained and unarmed but I am saying that you do it before you think about it. Jean Paul ones said that "a timid person is frightened before a danger, a coward during the time, and a courageous person afterward."
The idea of being courageous runs through every Americans mind including yours. We have to understand that we Americans just like the Russians often mistake courage for fear. We mainly do things because we are asked to do it and not because it is what we stand for. Just like poor Jack who is probably dead by know we also mistake orders or direction for courage. We must learn the distinction between fear and courage or many of us will surfer due to our lack of knowledge.
Don't worry; you may still be able to redeem yourself through these simple but crucial solutions. Responsibility, Respect, trustworthy, Caring and Citizenship; these are the five main human characteristic trait needed to successfully understand and exhibit courage.
Responsibility: one thing that many Americans have is responsibility. What is responsibility? Well responsibility is been able to accept and perform your various duties. We need this trait in other to be courageous at any time. To be courageous means to be disciplined which falls under responsibility. You also need common sense because you can't hope to burst into to a burning building to rescue someone with no equipment or experience in the name of being courageous.
The second stage to been courageous is to show respect. You must show other people respect by earning your respect from them. This includes been organized and you must think about the impact of people. The impact it makes affect if the citizens will accept your decision or reject you. If the topic harms the people then it is rational that they negate you but if it produces a positive impact on the people's life then they will most likely favor your decision or idea.
My next topic deals with trust worthiness because you must convince the people that they can trust your decision as the leader. It isn't enough to just mention the impact of your idea; you have to convince the people in that it makes a positive impact. For example, during you're a debate round you must convince your judge that your idea is better than your opponents. You must also convince the people that you qualifier to be there representative and they could trust you. In our past we can see that many famous people in the United States history had to convince people that they cared and they backed up their speeches with actions as a resource to their plans. They made people believe in them and they were able to secede.
Next I go to caring. Caring is the most crucial trait of all because you can't be respectful or trustworthy if you didn't care. Joseph Goldstein said that "Compassion motivates us to act and wisdom ensures the means are effective." You have to care for a person in other for you to help or safe them. You must care for a cause to fight against or for it. Compassion has nothing to do with achievement at all. It is spacious and very generous. When a person develops real compassion, he is uncertain whether he is being generous to others or to himself. You will be surprised how many people will see an abuse and let it go on due to lack of care.
The final stage is to accept the fact that you are been courageous helps or fix something you believe have to change in your environment. Citizenship also includes been courageous enough to report your best friend(s) when they are doing involved in any negative gang or in a cult. Citizenship deals with the being courageous towards your country and having your own beliefs and ideas. It doesn't matter what anyone else think of you as long as you are doing what is right and what you believe in.
As we look deeper into the term "COURAGE" we find out that just like the American and the Russian, we normally mistake courage for bravery and fear.


Thank you for the post I look forward to the debate.
Courage according to Aristotle is a human virtue/mean that falls in between two vices. On one side is foolhardy which is excess of courage and is a reckless action in cases where it is inappropriate or simply to ignore rational fear. This can be illustrated by one of your examples, in which someone runs into a burning building with no hope of survival. On the other side is cowardice which is excessive fear in cases where there is no cause for them or to surrender to irrational fear. An example of this is Xanthophobia or the fear of the color yellow or the word yellow. The color and word do not pose a threat yet the person still fears it. Courage is in the middle and is in which one is aware of rational fear and chooses the action which has the least reproductions and greatest benefits. So if a person is in a burning building (and the fire is not engulfing the building but is still large enough to pose a threat to you and the person in the building) you should assess situation and acknowledge the risks (am I able to enter this building without immediately dying) by acknowledging the risk you acknowledge that there is something to fear. However, you feel that given your certain abilities and current equipment you could save them and get out alive yourself and do so that is courage. Of the five traits you mention Responsibility, Respect, trustworthy, Caring and Citizenship. I feel that only responsibility could be linked to courage because you are doing what is the most responsible thing to do despite your fears.
Respect, trustworthy, Caring and Citizenship all seem to revolve around loyalty rather than courage. Your statement on citizenship is loyalty to one's country and is not what makes courage. Caring seems to be more of a loyalty to an idea, cause, or person. Trust worthiness is something you need to build loyalty between groups of people.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting this debate.
In my previous speech, I mentioned that we must differentiate courage from fear and this is one of the problems that we Americans shear. An article from describes fear as an illusive giant which we must overcome. my opponent mentioned that the other four characteristic of the human threat does not relate to courage however my opponent failed to realize that you cannot Aguirre courage with just one human trait, you need all five in other to realize and differentiate fear from courage.
Respect: As I mentioned in my previous speech, courage is standing on what you belief and also backing it up with action. If you have no respect for other peoples conscience or feeling, then you are not a courageous man for a courageous man would recognize others belief and respect it. An example would be one of a prime minister. A prime minister who destroys his country in the name of courage will not be seen as one but be seen as a tyrant, coward and a threat.

Caring and citizenship: yes I agree with my opponent when he said that these revolves around loyalty however caring as to citizenship is also a trait needed to become courageous. how do you hope to stand for what you belief in if you don't care? when a man cares he does according to a Michael Smith so when a man cares about a change in the environment, he will stand for it and will accomplish it. "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end triumph of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those scared and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." (Theodore Roosevelt)

Trustworthy: if we look back on our history, we can find that most courageous men have made themselves trustworthy through there various speeches and campaign. Throughout the Bible, we find God choosing seemingly unimportant people for important tasks. Moses had run away from Egypt and spent 40 years tending sheep in the desert when God called him lead his people out of slavery. King David was the youngest son of his father, and when the Priest Samuel asked to see all of Jesse's sons, no one thought to bring David in from the work he was doing. The Prophet Jeremiah responded to God's call by saying, "I don't know how to speak. I am too young!" (Jeremiah 1:6, Good News Translation). none of us would have chosen these two as leaders but God saw that they were trustworthy and he sent them off to a courageous quest which they accomplished.
we could find that contrary to what my opponent said, we must have all five traits to be courageous no matter what.


Is Hitler courageous because he stood up for what he believed in and also backed it up with action? Hitler also cared a great deal for his cause. Hitler also had many loyal followers who found him trustworthy and he gained them through various speeches and campaigns. All this you can't deny.

I assume you will you will say he didn't respect other people. He respected only certain people because a majority of German people feared Communism so Hitler set out to destroy it. Many Germans felt WWI was unfair so Hitler set out to take the land back. People wanted jobs, he gave it to them by constructing factories. Politics does involve respect form the voters and requires the politician to seem as though they respect the general population.

Can one have courage without fear? Let us look at this through various scenarios.
First scenario: If one man who is fighting in some war is hoped up on pcp and feels invincible. In his drug induced mind he believes he can't die he thinks the bullets will just bounce off him. So he gets out from cover and charges towards enemy (which is overwhelmingly large) only to get shot and killed. This man has no fear but is he demonstrating courage? No he is not he is demonstrating foolhardiness. The prime minister who my opponent mentioned also demonstrated foolhardiness and destroyed his country in the name of a cause. This is because both didn't think about the consequences of their actions and ignored what they should have feared. In the prime ministers case he may have been poorly equipped, which would have increased the chance of failure and negative consequences.

Courage is when one is aware of these consequences and is aware that they should fear them. However they feel given what they have to offer could make a difference to the outcome under these conditions. Since there is a risk there should be fear and since they feel they can make a difference they take a chance despite their fear. Therefore fear is important component to courage.

Respect is a good human trait but it is not necessary for courage. Scenario: A person is on top of a 100 foot tall
burning building and there is a building next to them about the same high that is about 5m away. The person is in a situation in which they should and rightfully so fear the fire. They also are in a situation in which they should and rightfully should have the fear of falling if they take the jump. However given the current physical ability they are in decent shape and feel they could make the jump and choose not to try and get through the fire (they make the jump and survive). Would it have made since for someone who is morbidly obese to try and make the jump or would they more likely survive the fire? None the less the person is demonstrating courage because they choose to do the action that could produce the most benefit despite their fear. You may say they could have died either way and therefore they were forced to do a courageous act. However, that would be faulty because they could have choose not to choose and could have just let what happened happen this would have been the cowards choice.

This Scenario also did not use the human trait trustworthiness, or citizenship. However, you could say it involved caring for one's own life but you could not say it is caring for others. Which leads us to the question can one not care and be courageous? I don't believe so because if you fear something you would obviously care about what the fear threats to fear it. Example If you care about a person you would to some degree fear bad things happening to them. If you care about freedom then you would fear things restricting it or destroying it.

My opponent said "we must have all five traits to be courageous no matter what." However I have demonstrated how we do not need all five traits to be courageous.
Debate Round No. 2


Good day to all
my opponent began his speech by asking the question of "is Hitler courageous?" the true answer is no. as I mentioned in my previous speech, A prime minister who destroys his country in the name of courage will not be seen as one but be seen as a tyrant, coward and a threat. Hitler only looked at the impact on the majority thereby ignoring the minority. This is an example of Respect. You must take into consideration the belief of every body and not to ignore the minority. Yes I agree that Hitler gave the Germans job but he did this forcefully by taking away the jobs of the Jews and giving it to the so called " superior beings". My opponent clearly misunderstood the fact that I mentioned in my previous speech that we must DEFFRENTIATE FEAR FROM COURAGE and not to eliminate fear in us. Fear is something that we can't get rid of.
My opponent mistakes courage for Tyrant. there is a clear difference between these two terms. In the case of Hitler, he displayed himself as a tyrant rather than a courageous person. A courageous Man would stand for the right thing but a Tyrant would seek destruction. Brave leaders come in different shapes and forms and only once-in-a-lifetime. We have one; no one come close to the bravery and elegance-Ethiopian style than the young, charismatic, soft-spoken mother and a natural leader like Ehet Birtukan Medeska. All tyrants are cowards and come in different shapes and forms too. They are many, but no one exhibited cowardice than the depot ruling Ethiopia and his butlers who served him with disgrace.
My opponent states is so called "Scenario" that "None the less the person is demonstrating courage because they choose to do the action that could produce the most benefit despite their fear" however he failed to realize that this is not an example of courage but of the will to survive. We must see that we need all five human traits to become courageous. First we have
responsibility, you must have common sense to reason with and make wise decisions.
respect if we have respect then we are responsible because it is our duty to be respectful to ourselves and others.
Trustworthy if we are trustworthy that means that others respect us and we respect ourselves
Caring: if you cared for something then you must have Trust in you that the thing you care for is truly valuable.
Citizenship: how do you expect to be courageous if you do not CARE for your country and try to make a change.
overall we must see that we need courage in our life and in order to do so we must have these characteristics.

Valuable sources:


I don't feel that Hitler by any means was a noble man or his actions were just. However someone could say he has demonstrated some of the traits that my opponent has defined. I knew my opponent would object to the idea that Hitler was courageous but I felt by doing so it would have allowed my opponent to reevaluate his ideas. Based on the argument that I delivered in the last two arguments one can conclude that the differentiation between fear and courage is that fear is a factor involved in courage but courage is not a factor involved in fear.
I feel that my opponent is confusing courage with noble leadership traits. If so I would agree that courage as well as all the other traits that my opponent has mentioned are, admirable traits for a good leader to have. I would even go further to add other traits that, I to feel are necessary for a good leader. However, these traits are not the defining traits of courage. My opponent keeps bringing up the word Tranny (is the basically an absolute ruler who abuses their authority and oppresses their subjects) and uses it as the opposite of courage. The opposite of courage is cowardice and foolhardiness not tyranny.
My opponent also seems to think that an individual who demonstrates courage is doing so for (what my opponent feels is) a noble cause. However, I beg to differ and feel that an individual who is partaking in unacceptable acts can demonstrate courage. How is a gang member fighting for a cause he believes in, differ in courage from a soldier who is fighting for a cause he believes in? Given similar circumstances in which both the gangster and the solider have reasons to fear action due to their situation (what is there to fear and what are the benefits/risks of taking a particular action to the given circumstance), they have an ability to choose what form of action they take. The choice they make determines if the act is an act of courage, foolhardiness, or cowardice.
If the person goes into a burning building to save their cat, favor cd, a person pick one KNOWING there is NO way they will even be able to make it to the cat, favor cd, person and will most likely die just by walking into the door. Furthermore, the act of walking into the building either has no effect on the outcome, in fact it made it worse because one more person is dead this is foolhardiness. That is not courage because there goal was to save the cat, favor cd, person and they acted upon it without really contemplating the risks and respecting what they should have feared. People will look at this person walking into the building and think what an idiot.
If the person goes up person is walking by a building and they hear someone yelling for help and they see a tiny old lady in a wheelchair is tipped over. The old lady asks them for help and the individual said "no I am too afraid I might stub my toe helping you, but I really wish I could help you." That is cowardice because there is no real threat and the fear prevents them from helping the old lady when they could easily take action in this situation and meet their goal of helping her.
Courage is in between these two things it is the balanced way to act. Let's go back to the example of the burning building in which person A sees person B in the building. The person A notices that in this case the fire is not fully developed also person A notices that the hoes near the house still works and they are able to soak there clothing in water to prevent it from burning and put out some of the fire. Person A also is fairly confident they can save person B but are aware of the risks that could happen. Person A still thinks with respect to the risks they can still save person B and acts upon it. Person A is demonstrating courage because they acted on something even though they knew the risks and they had reason to fear these risks.
You will also notice that in each scenario the action taken was for the sake of a just cause and that I mentioned earlier that I didn't think that courage had to be a just cause. This is because courage is an abstract though as well as justice and other things of similar nature. I am sure that my opponent would agree that part of courage is acting in accordance to your beliefs, and various statements my opponent has made support this idea. Since people differ in beliefs how does on choose what is right or wrong? Is possible that people on purpose believe in something they feel is the wrong belief? The idea of people not believing their beliefs are the right beliefs is ludicrous because if they didn't believe in an idea by default it is not their belief.
There is a government in which the vast majority of it citizens are happy and think it is the greatest thing on earth. However, an individual believes that the government is not functioning correctly, that they could do a better job, they have a group of followers that agree with them, and therefore they should overthrow the government. They can demonstrate courage even though the majority of citizens love the government. This is because they have something to fear (Treason which in the modern day, a conviction of treason is accompanied at a minimum by a long jail sentence and a heavy fine, and may merit the death penalty or life in prison under certain circumstances.) however the followers are very determined and he has support from other governments (who promise to send troops and aid for his cause) he feels that he can do it however he is aware that if he fails he will be torcher and hung but he is confident enough to take a chance. To some he is a hero to others a villain but he still demonstrated courage. He respected the ideas of some but not of others but he still demonstrated courage. If everyone respected everyone's views there would be no reason to fight because everyone would accept everyone for who they are right? Well maybe because what if we did live in this world and we respected everyone's belief except for one person who felt certain people should not live and started killing them. Should we respect his belief, his feeling and his moral thought and is that courage? No courage is an individual characteristic based on the INDIVIDUALS BELIEFS not on the group beliefs, and they act in a rational manner given the circumstance and in accordance to those beliefs.
Responsibility is doing something you ought to do. My opponent's statement on responsibility is "responsibility you must have common sense to reason with and make wise decisions." To degree this would be correct but this is more of idea that comes from responsibility rather than the defining characteristic of responsibility as a whole. Back to the revolutionist who is he responsible for himself, his country, and his followers. Since he chooses to follow his beliefs but is not a responsible citizen and he doesn't make a decision that is good for the general public. This doesn't mean he still didn't demonstrate courage because he is standing up for what he believes to be true in a situation in which fear is understandable and is rational.
My opponent failed to address Round two paragraphs five and six which addressed a situation in which no other individuals are involved. My opponent dismisses the whole idea altogether and seems to think that the will to survive is not a courageous act. Choosing not to choose is a choice and choosing not to act is and action. To state that the act of pursuing a goal in life or willing one's self to live is not courage than this conversation is pointless. Without the will to live then the five traits are meaningless. If one cannot find the courage to fight and pursue life how can one purse anything at all.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by darkhearth 7 years ago
awesome debate
Posted by Stimple 7 years ago
i guess i will give it a swing
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
Long opening argument. Likely there won't be an opponent for a while.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
Intriguing debate topic, but tbh I'm not interested. I suggest making it an open debate.
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