The Instigator
ashariq
Pro (for)
The Contender
PyromanGaming
Con (against)

Should we start writing history with a lot more neutral perspective?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/23/2018 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 418 times Debate No: 111365
Debate Rounds (3)
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ashariq

Pro

Who discovered American continent? Is it Columbus? Really? But people who were living in America already knew it existed. So that is false. America is never discovered by any specific person. It just existed exactly the way other continents existed. Just that few people were not aware of its existence.

Similarly, when it comes to historical details about wars, the details are always lopsided towards the victorious side. Isn't it time to revamp the history and make it more neutral and truthful for the welfare of human future?
PyromanGaming

Con

So based on your argument i assume that you are only going to talk about facts rather than moral indoctrination we see in history books, if you are going to argue that i will address it in my future arguments.

So with your first argument about credit for discoveries, you mention the example of Columbus. The thing with Columbus is that despite not being the first person to discover america, he was the first person to actually document America, so he got the credit. The issue with this is that you can say this idea with many other discoveries, but you could not guarantee them because the discoveries were not documented. Discovery often includes documentation of what you discovered. Secondly, with many of these discoveries you cannot pinpoint exactly who (by what i believe your definition of discovery is) did it. If you can tell me which exact person discovered america i can bet you it would be written about in the future. And for the reasons previously explained, this means that Columbus is the best choice for who discovered america.

You then used the argument of factual bias, in your example with wars how the details are often screwed over. I know that the media does this but to the point where it's just lying and not a biased perspective, but i don't know where you got the screwed over information from. If you could tell me we could talk a little more about that.

The two arguments you present are self contradictory because in order to realize that the info is supposedly lopsided in history records you would have to know the whole story from history records in the first place! So those arguments are self-defeating.

This is my rebuttal for propositions' argument in round 1. Thank you!
Debate Round No. 1
ashariq

Pro

Those are few interesting points and I will address each of your concerns.

First point regarding the issue of documenting a discovery. Well, Columbus is the first Europen to document it. There has been evidence which shows that the Asians were completely aware of a continent towards their East. It is just that people who wrote the history did not have the knowledge of the document.
Also, none of us discuss "Discovery of Europe", or any other continent. Why do we have to mention that it was discovered? This gives more importance to people in Europe over the people who were living in America. Hence laying a basis of inequality among Humans. Well, a more truthful way of telling the story of Columbus would be "Columbus is the first European (well there have been undocumented evidences about settlements of Scandinavians far before that though) to document the European interactions with Native Americans". Again although the argument is focussed on the discovery of America, the same perspective would imply to Australia and other similar lands.

Regarding the point about rewriting war facts. Let us pick an example of World War II. What a kid studies at school are very lopsided and biased arguments. They are far from truths. On a deeper level, historians have always managed to document both sides of the story to the most extent but what a student gets to study is mostly a government propaganda. Whenever a student starts to read about a war from his/her textbook, he/she should have to get the information from both sides equally strong. Both the crimes, mistakes, good deeds and lessons of both axis and allied powers during world war should be put forth in order for a student to learn that a war is never "vanilla good vs bad" but a rather more complex difference of opinion expressed in an extreme form. Like I mentioned, I do understand your point about the contradiction of looking into history books to rewrite history. My point is to let a unbiased information reach a student when he/she reads History for the first time.
PyromanGaming

Con

Hello! I would like to continue the argument.

I would like to talk about your points for your last argument. Firstly, I have explained why Columbus was considered the first person to discover America. Columbus was the first name, not race, not culture of a person who discovered America. Like i said, people have been stating that Columbus was the first person to discover America because there are no other names that have appeared before him. There has been no definitive proof that the Asians already knew about America, while there has been with Columbus. Secondly, this is not racial bias or inequality among humans. The records that us Americans (i'm assuming you're from Canada or USA) were passed on from Europeans who settled here in the 16th century. The records have been passed on from thousands of years. We also know that few or zero Europeans lived in Asia where people would have possibly documented about America, so they wouldn't have known about it in the first place. This has just been information passed on for hundreds of years with no definitive proof that it's incorrect.

Secondly, you elaborated and clarified your point about wars. You brought in the point about where textbooks essentially morally indoctrinate the students reading them by not providing any alternative to the ethics that they are taught. So let's use your example of world war 2. Firstly, in order for a country to be stable and less likely of tyrannical government, we need to explain to people that what we don't value is wrong, especially when talking about World War 2 and Nazism. We have to understand the nature of democracy and it's tendencies to get screwed over. Hitler had power in a democratic society and rose to make Germany become one of the most evil societies that has ever existed. This was due to the stupidity of the people voting for a president who appointed Hitler (which similar things can happen here). I assume you don't want to argue that. We are taught what might be considered mistakes to many people like the nuclear bombings on Japan by USA. I don't think that the textbooks talk about the morality of these historical events in the textbooks, we as countries just have moral prejudices which judge what is deemed "ethical". We should also note that we have admitted our wrongdoings in the past and in the present like the conflicts against the First Nations which screwed them over and have tried to make up for it by giving them camps to themselves. So while we do have moral prejudices which we teach to our descendants, we need to in order to give them a proper morality. If we don't, we will start right back where morality began, in the earliest societies where tons of things that we can probably both agree are horrible were considered normal and okay.

This has been a very fun debate so far. Thanks!
Debate Round No. 2
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