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The Contender
Con (against)
10 Points

You can take a savage out of South America but you can"t take the savage out of a South American

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/26/2014 Category: People
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,068 times Debate No: 58187
Debate Rounds (2)
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Uruguayan international and Liverpool FC forward Luis Suarez is, yet again, facing a lengthy ban from football for biting another player, this time an Italian defender during the Uruguay v Italy World Cup match this week.

In behavior reminiscent of a ravenous chimpanzee devouring a captured monkey, the famished South American footballer started chomping away at the shoulder of Giorgio Chiellini in order to satisfy his voracious appetite. [1,2]

But we really shouldn't be surprised that Suarez once again resorted to consuming human flesh. That's because he is from South America where tribes of primitive hunter gathers still roam the forests, plains and jungles looking for food and where human sacrifice has long been a tradition of the resident natives. [4,5]

It is foolish of us to believe that we can civilise these savages by bringing them to England to play football. Even when they are given proper houses to live in, Western consumer items to use and modern clothes to wear, when these socially-backward thugs are hungry they revert to type and bite chunks out of people's limbs.

That said, South American savages can be very good footballers so we shouldn't try and prevent players like Luis Suarez coming to Europe to ply their trade, but we should take the necessary precautions to protect their fellow sportsmen from harm and that means forcing untamed South American wild men like Suarez to wear muzzles like dangerous dogs have to. That's because you can take a savage out of South America but you can't take the savage out of a South American.

Thank you.



Introduction and Misc. Observations

I thank Brian_Eggleston for instigating this debate, and I am excited to debate such a prominent, long-lasting member of this site, especially as the topic is a change from typical topics.

The resolution of this debate is “You can take a save out of South America but you can’t take the savage out of a South American”. Thus, Pro will be arguing exactly as the resolution states. Given that the BOP lies on Pro, all I have to do is to negate his arguments for the resolution. I do not necessarily have to give arguments against the resolution, although it would significantly bolster my case if I did so. With that in mind, let’s move on.

The world “savage” is one that is central to the debate. Given that Pro has not provided a definition, I shall do so.

          • Savage (adj.): Cruel and vicious; aggressively hostile [1]

Pro’s Case

Pro’s case for the proposition can be summarised by the following points (if I straw-man, I apologise; I am merely attempting to put the case into points).

1) (Example): Suarez’s actions against Chellini were “savage”
2) This is “unsurprising” given that South America is home to acts such as human sacrifice for long periods of time.
3) With that in mind, it is thus absurd that people of these “savage” cultures can be “civilised” through acculturation.
4) Despite this, South Americans can be useful assets to English Football (as an example), and thus they should be allowed to go to England, provided necessary precautions eg. “wearing muzzles like dogs do.

As a response to Pro’s case, I will provide several criticisms; all focussing on the idea that South Americans are not “savage”.

1) Firstly, his usage of Suarez as an example to show that South Americans are “savage” is invalid, for it commits the hasty generalization fallacy. The website defines a hasty generalization as “drawing a conclusion based on a small sample size, rather than looking at statistics that are much more in line with the typical or average situation.” [2]

As an example, I could argue for instance, that all feminists are d!ickheads, due to the fact that my neighbour, who happened to be an outspoken feminist, often used condescending language and raged at people when they happened to disagree with her views. Yet, this is obviously invalid. However, this is what Pro has done, by using Suarez as an example of South Americans. As another example, I could argue that Zanetti’s admirable actions on and off the pitch makes it so that South Americans are people of integrity and noble-mindedness. However, obviously, this is not necessarily always the case. Thus, Pro’s usage of Suarez as an example cannot be used as a typical example of South Americans.

Furthermore, it is simply possible that Suarez’s actions were due to succumbing under intense pressure, and thus does not represent him fairly. After all, the World Cup is an event that is watched worldwide, and Suarez was participating in an intense match that would decide whether Uruguay or Italy would progress through to the Round of 16, while being marked by one of the most skilled defenders today. Hence, it is absurd to use Suarez’s actions as a general example.

2) Pro also argues that South America is home to acts such as human sacrifice and is still full of hunter gatherers as another example of the “savageness” of South America. However, when one appeals to cultural relativism, this is irrelevant. Cultural relativism is defined as the view that ...civilization is not something absolute, but ... is relative, and ... our ideas and conceptions are true only so far as our civilization goes." [3] Cultural relativism can be justified simply through observation that different cultures have different moral codes of conduct. James Rachels expains this through using an example:

"1. The Greeks believed it was wrong to eat the dead, whereas the Callatians believed it was right to eat the dead.

2. Therefore, eating the dead is neither objectively fight nor objectively wrong. It is merely a matter of opinion, which varies from culture to culture. “ [4]

Thus, from the point of Western civilization, there is no objective standard to judge the actions and moral codes of people from other cultures. All there is our opinion, and what we judge to be correct.

3) Point number three, the argument that it is not possible to “civilise” these cultures from allowing them to experience Western culture is dependent on points 1 and 2 to be correct. I have already provided a critique of these points.




[4] The Elements of Moral Philosophy 4th Edition (Rachels)

Debate Round No. 1


I would sincerely like to thank Aithlin for his generous comments and his excellent rebuttal.

In response, all I can say, due to the extreme brevity of time I am unfortunately able to commit to this round, is that in the World Cup, Luis Suarez represented Uruguay, which is a country in South America and, therefore, Luis Suarez represented South America.

Now, my opponent might try and argue that the South Americans disowned Suarez after his latest display of savagery but they didn't. Why? Because they don't think he did anything wrong. They think it is fine to go about munching other people when hungry. Why? Because they are savages just like Suarez. {1,2,3}

Very sorry I didn't have time to elaborate but I hope you get my point.

Many thanks to my opponent once again and I urge you to vote for him in consideration of his superior contribution.

Thank you.



I thank Brian_Eggleston for his response and clarifications, as well as his integrity in asking the voters for me. Thus, on behalf of the final point, I encourage, but not demand, voters to at least award him the conduct points.

Due to time constraints, and lack of a device to sufficiently type a reasonable reply (I am currently using a mobile phone to type this), I will leave this round rather short.

Pro previously provided a succint response to the various arguments I provided in Round 1. Essentially, he is arguing that the South Americans did not find anything wrong with Suarez's (admittingly, quite disgraceful) behaviour on the pitch, and hence, it could be concluded that they still are savages. Such a reply falls short on three grounds, which I shall quickly state.

First, as already noted in my opening arguments, cultural relativism - the belief that there is no objective standard of right and wrong, only different beliefs of right and wrong from different cultures, based on a variety of factors - can adequately explain this. Thus, notions of there being an objective standard in which to judge South Americans do not exist. Pro has not provided a response to this argument.

Secondly, it simply may be that South Americans simply admire Suarez as a footballer, and feel obligations of solidarity towards him, in spite of his actions. Interestingly, Pro's 3rd source backs this up, with Suarez being described as a "national hero". Thus, it cannot be concluded that South Americans are "savages".

Thirdly, Pro's sources only describes the reactions of Uruguayans towards the Suarez incident, rather than South Americans as a whole. Yet, Pro is using these statements from Uruguayans to make a generalization about South Americans as a whole, which is does not logically follow.

In conclusion, none of Pro's arguments for the resolution are viable, and numerous criticisms could be provided at them. Hence, the resolution has been negated, and thus, I encourage a vote for CON.

Many thanks to Pro for instigating an interesting debate, with a change of topic from many typical debates on this site.
Debate Round No. 2
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2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by YaHey 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Thanks pro, a middle aged white guy, for you obvious expertise in South American cultue
Vote Placed by Romanii 7 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro seems to have conceded in the last round, in saying "I urge you to vote for him in consideration of his superior contribution"... nonetheless, this debate was a very entertaining read, so props to both debaters :)

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