The Instigator
Pro (for)
2 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Should we contact uncontacted tribes

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/25/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,608 times Debate No: 57143
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




I will be arguing that we should contact uncontacted tribes. As I will be using the Bible in my argument, I'd like Con to either be a Christian or to accept Biblical points. Also I'd like both parties to keep the discussion civil, as this can be a sensitive subject.
4 rounds, 72 hours, ten days.


I accept. We start arguing on the second round though.
Debate Round No. 1


"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. " Matthew 28:19-20. When God tells us to go to all nations, he means all nations, and he is displeased if we refuse. (Read Jonah). However, in the past when Christians decided to go to a people, they messed it all up. They intermingled western culture with religion, and taught it as one thing. But western culture is not necessarily the best thing, and forcing them to live like us is wrong.
However, although we shouldn't change the good parts of their culture, their lives need to change. It seems unkind, even cruel to leave them live the way they are without ever telling the about Christ.
Now I understand the risks. They are not immune to many diseases that we carry. They can easily get sick. But by making contact we would be able to have better medical care then they have now. We would be helping them.
Also, we say" let's not contact them". But what it they want to contact us? For example, one tribe, a Mashco Piro tribe, tried to make contact with us for three days. We didn't let them. By this point we're not just "letting them live the way they want to live" we're forcing them to stay uncontacted.
Have fun!


Yes, the fact that we can cure diseases that we carry, that is very true. But Ebola came from a tribe! Until the 1970's, Ebola wasn't known to any Western Countries, until it was discovered by scientists. We don't have a known cure for Ebola, and if that is a disease with even modern technology we cannot cure, what says that other things tribes carry in terms of diseases can be cured?

Also, you would bring up the argument whether Nations or the People should be involved in the contact. Outsider humans have been in contact with tribes for a long time (Western people). If we are discussing nations though, very few nations that are Christian have tribes in them. If you mean the Church, most churches do not have the funding (Except organizations of Churches) that can fund a mission there. Not even considering the governments might not want to tamper with local culture, in fear that the people of that nation will get angry at the government.

In regards to disease, you are saying that we can cure diseases that we hold that they can get. That is true, but for example lets look at people we already know exist. In Africa for example, healthcare is to a minimum. We don't have the infrastructure to support these people. The United States even tries to send help but many of the governments outright refuse the assistance. Not only saying that many nations need more money to keep their known people alive than contact people who they don't know.

Not only that, but if they have been uncontacted for so long, is it even plausible to think that they want to be contacted? Some do, I do understand that, but the majority of them are not willing to be contacted, some will respond with aggressive force to be independent.

And who would determine what is good for their culture? The nation, the people, the world? Introducing foreign religious beliefs alone will get you killed in some of these tribes. Others will laugh at you.

And not to be mean to the Western World, but our track record of how we deal with "contacting" isn't really peaceful. 99% of the time, it started as peaceful, and then we found a resource that we wanted, and we occupied them, killing anyone who standed in our way.

Not only considering this, but look at all the poor, uneducated, unhealthy people we have around us. We have enough of a problem already that we should be dealing with before we even consider going to people who have no idea of who we are and telling them about how "good" is Western Culture.

Also considering that the Pope has been trying for a long time to try and assist people in his own nation.

Contacting uncontacted tribes doesn't sound logical if they are going to be thrown to the dirt like we have to the rest of society already.
Debate Round No. 2


Thanks, Con, for your response. But I'd like to show you why I disagree.

You have given me three arguments, (a) that contacting other tribes may be dangerous for us, (b) that other nations may not be pleased with us getting involved in their issues, and (c) that we already have too much to worry about, so we shouldn't think about others.

But you didn"t really talk about religion. Apart from religion, contacting these people may seem unprofitable. But religion is the most important part of everyone lives. Religion is why I have a hope to live, religion is why martyrs can sing as they are burned alive, and religion is sometimes why people commit suicide. It mean life or death. It has the most important role in everyone"s lives, and these people are not an exception. I believe that Christ would give them a new hope they have never had before, and that it would dramatically change their lives.

But would it be for the better?

To start out with, we should probably look at how they live.

These people are not ignorant of religion. They have their own. They worship spirits which they claim to see in visions.

"Shamans control these spirits by inhaling a hallucinogenic snuff called yakoana. Through their trance like visions, they meet the spirits or xapirip"."

"During the ritual, the men leave the Earth behind as they travel to the iwa, the domain of the forest spirits. They reach this place through a doorway that takes the form of a hunting shelter, a portal between worlds. The men take turns to enter, and as they reach the iwa they encounter the souls of their ancestors and the spirits of the forest."

And their everyday life is hard. Sometimes they starve, sometimes they are sick.

"Cattle, goats and sheep are vital to most tribes" livelihood producing blood, milk, meat and hides"Cattle are highly valued and used in payment for bride wealth. They are an important defence against starvation when rains and crops fail. In certain seasons families travel to temporary camps to provide new grazing for herds, surviving on milk and blood from their cattle. The Bodi sing poems to favourite cattle."

"However, life is far from perfect. One in every two children born in the rainforest dies before their second birthday, and if they make it to forty years of age they are considered tribal elders. Most rainforest dwellers who make it through childhood tend to die from a disease trivial to western medicine."

So something needs to change for these people. They mainly need Jesus, but they also need medicine, food, and other things of that sort which we take for granted.

But is that what they want? You say for most of them it"s not. But if these people are never contacted, how can they choose? It is like saying that a bird in a cage doesn"t want out. How can these people know what it is like in the world if they don"t have the chance?

However, you did give some good reasons for why we should be cautious.

(a) It could be dangerous for us.

Yes, this is true, but I would say it is worth it. There are many dangerous things we do today that we all agree are worth it. Diseases carried by these tribes can be harmful, but it is still worth it. And yes, it could be dangerous for us to tell these people about Jesus, but since when has evangelisation been safe? There are certain risks you must take.

(b) Other nations may not be pleased with us getting involved in their issues.

Yes, were a nation to step in and deal with these tribes whether or not the local nation agrees would be unreasonable. But for a missionary to tell the tribes about Jesus should not cause a problem.

(c) We already have too much to worry about so we shouldn't worry about others.

That is why I am arguing for a few missionaries to go to these people, not all of out Western World to get together and decide exactly how we are going to help them. This doesn"t have to be a big deal. This doesn"t have to be another burden on the world's shoulders.


Thank you for your answer.

There are a few parts that I fail to understand though. First of all, you speak of religion majorly, and how they need Jesus more than anything else. I can disagree with that.

It may seem petty and myth-like for their religion to be what it is, but think of it this way. They have had their religion longer than the entire Western World has had Christianity. They would not abandon these beliefs, no matter what. If you do believe that they would consider them, I would have to ask you a question. Would you abandon your beliefs because aliens told you that Christianity was the wrong religion, but the aliens didn't have any scientific proof that their religion existed? Most likely not. You would stick to what you have known your entire life.

Involving contact, many tribes have contacted at one point and time outsiders. Some people travel the Amazon (Very few, but it happens), and the humans who had been in the outsider world contact the tribes. I would not wish do disrespect anybody, but for fact, every 'tribe' that you say was uncontacted was contacted at a certain point and time in human history, and every one has refused to leave their beliefs. I don't think 6000 years can go by and nobody get in contact with these tribes at SOME point in that human history.

Another question that can spark up is whether it is actually worth it. You say that it is, but with all of these risks, is it actually. If you have ever read the book "To Kill a Mockingbird", think of it this way. The tribes are the Mockingbirds. They have never harmed us, if you really think about it. They have helped conserve places like the Amazon by being there, and have helped save tigers and other animals from extinction, because they in a way defend them. By potentially harming them, that would be a sin. It is wrong to attack those who never attacked you.

A question that can be also debated. The local nation is where it is, so therefore, the nation is responsible for contacting the tribe. Its like if I had a living artifact in my house, and because it is an artifact, you deem I have no right to keep it, and you barge into my house because your belief system says otherwise. That is exactly what you would be saying by denying the countries that the tribes are in the right to speak about it.

Not to mention the fact that nations have never really been sympathetic to Natives (Native American Genocide, Inquisition in Latin America, Darfur, African Colonization, etc.). What you propose is something similar to Colonization, in what became imperialism.

Some of my language did sound harsh, but I did not mean to bring upon disrespect to you.
Debate Round No. 3


I think that there has been a miscommunication. You seem to think that I am arguing for forcing these people to accept Western culture. But I am not. I meant to make that clear when I said that western culture is not necessarily the best thing, so we shouldn't compel them to live like us. All I am arguing for is spreading the gospel.

But you seem to think that they have already heard.

As proof you say that their ancestors had to have been told at some time in history. This may be true, I do not know. But what I do know is that that doesn't mean that this generation has heard. They need a chance too. But would they even consider exchanging their religion for Christianity? Would I accept a belief that Aliens told me about? (I do not accept the "not scientific"proof" part.) No, I would not. But in the past, tribes have changed. Look at the Huaroni, for example. So it may be that they will change, and it would be wrong to refuse them the chance.

But should we get involved in other nations issues? Let me put it this way. You have a dog in your house which you force to stay inside. It has no idea that there is a world outside. If I come and give it walks, would that be wrong? You would probably say yes because it is your dog, not mine. You'd say that you should be able to do what you want with it. But these are people, not dogs, and that makes a very big difference. If you were to keep your daughter inside like that, she would most likely be taken away from you.

Yes, I have read "To Kill a Mockingbird." In it it spoke of harming and cruely treating innocent men. I am proposing doing the opposite. I say we should treat these people like we would want to be treated, not forcing them to stay in their cage of ignorance, not keeping them in the dark. How is that "potentially harming them""? The only example you found was westernizing them. But what I have been proposing is giving them Jesus, medicine, food, shelter, and anything else they need. You are proposing forcing them to stay uncontacted, I am proposing giving them a choice.

Thanks for your arguments. They made me really think a lot more than I would have on my own. Good luck!


The problem of what you say is a few things. First of all, saying that we are not harming them would be void for a couple of reasons. First of all, we couldn't provide them food, water, shelter, and things like language learning, classes for them to understand how to be independent, and many other things. We can barely do that for the people we already know! That could be a reason. Saying that Missionaries have not gone to Africa to assist people in corrupt governments can be shown all over. Not only that but you are saying that we should give that generation a chance. How would that be possible. That would mean we should bug every generation that is in their area every 10 years to give each generation a chance? That would be very questionable.

We would not keep them in a cage of ignorance. First of all, every religion is somewhat of ignorance. I do not propose that Christianity or any religion is above another. That would directly interfere with Christianity by saying that God does not love all, but loves those who defend his religion only. Not only that, but you cannot compare my house to a country. A country has heavy weapons, artillery, and usually have a good army. That would be proposing that we would go to war with a country possibly to stop them from not contacting their tribes in their area.

Not only that, but you mention the Huaroni people. As a result of Christian Missionary, they have though gotten an education and now have permanent forest settlements, but they have also lost 2/3 of their land and the last 1/3 had to be fought in a court room. Their land is still being logged by corporations that have no interest in helping them. In this sense, we are forcing them out into the open, where they will be susceptible to many diseases such as Polio and many others. Considering that Africa is still quite undeveloped, we should actually focus on helping the known people there instead of the unknown people there. Helping the unknown people there would provide nothing to assist the world.

Not only that, but also consider that when you said the Huaroni people, 5 tribes apart of that ethnicity still don't want to be apart of the western world.

I thank you for a great debate! I have never had a debate with a religious person without it getting really heated! I thank you so much for having a structured and good argument.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by gotleib 7 years ago
That is true
Posted by InnovativeEphemera 7 years ago
You had an agreement to accept biblical points. This is contextually important for this debate because Pro wishes to contend that because the bible says to do something, you should do it. This does not mean that you must /agree/ with the point that he has given, otherwise it wouldn't be a debate, it would be a conversation. Agreeing to entertain his contentions that are based on the bible and then refuting them is not analogous to saying that you won't accept his points /because/ they are biblical. If either of you would like a more detailed RFD or clarification on a point post a comment but I don't seem to be getting notifications here so if I don't reply for a while flick me a PM. Otherwise, best of luck in your future debates!
Posted by gotleib 7 years ago

We had an agreement that faith would be accepted in the debate, and I would allow him to use faith as a defense.
Posted by Jesusfan 7 years ago
Gotlleib, are you trying to say that their religion is as good as Christianity? I didn't want to talk about that during the debate, because it would get off topic. But is that one of the things you were saying?
Posted by Jesusfan 7 years ago
Beautiful old cultures?!!!!!
Posted by schachdame 7 years ago
Am I wrong or is this trying to justify messing up beautiful old cultures for the sake of missionary?
Posted by gotleib 7 years ago
I am not Christian, but I have a belief system. But I find no issue you using the bible to your assistance.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by InnovativeEphemera 7 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: This was surprisingly tight for something that Con would ordinarily have had the upper hand on from the beginning. Pro's arguments only made sense with his particular world view, and Con should have more strongly picked up on the fact that preaching the gospel is inherently immoral. Unfortunately at this point I was leaning towards Pro. However, In the final two rounds Con made slightly stronger refutations and managed to get on top of the issue, although it could have been done much more strongly. Therefore, arguments to Con. Pro made good use of sources, so points awarded there. Conduct and spelling were equal, both had minor grammatical errors but they were effectively even. Good luck to both of you.

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