HOW to UNDERSTAND "JUSTIFIED" in this DEBATE
- Let's recall that CON neglected to define JUSTIFIED in the description or in the opening round of the debate.
- In fact, PRO's precise assertion has gotten increasingly fuzzy with each restatement of thesis.
- CON's TOPIC="Americans Ought to Feel National Pride (PRO/CON)"
- CON's RESOLUTION in DESCRIPTION: "Americans are justified in feeling national pride."
- CON's R1: "I intend to defend the following statement: Considering the balance of US accomplishments, actions, and conditions throughout our past and in present day, Americans are unjustified in feeling national pride."
- CON's R2: "I confronted Pro's attempt to reject my balanced approach to assessing whether we should be proud of the United States."
- CON's R3: "I have contended that this debate is about whether we deserve to feel national pride."
- If we settle on CON's latest standard as "DESERVE to feel", then we ought to note that CON never used the word DESERVE before R3.
- If we use Oxford to define DESERVE as "do something or have or show qualities worthy of (reward or punishment)" we find that we're still on the hook ethically. How do we evaluate whether all AMERICANS are worthy of collective punishment if we don't know what that punishment is ?
- CON would say that any speeding ticket is justified so long as you were speeding, regardless of the consequences
- PRO argues that if the penalty for speeding is death, then the speeding ticket is unjustified (or undeserved to use CON's standard)
In essence, we have two competing standards for what "justified" means in this debate. Pro has argued "justified" refers to the consequences, whereas I have argued that it refers to the facts of the case
- PRO defined UNJUSTIFIED as ""not shown to be right or reasonable" citing Oxford in R2
- PRO argues that PRO defined the term first and has used the term with consistency, while CON keeps offering new frames on thesis. PRO's has argued that an absence of any patriotism would prove unreasonable and wrong for the US. CON's latest standard, DESERVE, is nevertheless subject to tests of ethics (right and wrong) and reason. Ethical considerations and a rational evaluation of consequences are just as much "facts of the case" as CON's list of accusations.
- Wiktionary defines JUSTIFIED as "having a justification"
- JUSTIFICATION is then defined as "a reason, explanation, or excuse which provides convincing, morally acceptable support for behavior or for a belief or occurrence.
We ought to to favor my definition because it allows for a more straightforward understanding of this topic
- Set aside CON's lately conceived dichotomy of "deserve vs desire" and just go by the dictionary definition.
- Is it right or reasonable for every citizen to participate in the state without any justified pride in that participation, especially when some citizens are entirely innocent of the failures delegitimizing pride?
- Is a belief that all Americans must be punished for the crimes of some Americans reasonably excused by the magnitude of some past harm?
- Let's recall that desirable is CON's word, PRO calls National Pride essential citing the self-harms that accompany failed self esteem.
One can lack national pride and still arrive at the conclusion that a stronger, fairer, and more just democratic society should be pursued. One can observe the good and the bad in our country and resolve to increase the good and decrease the bad. They don't need to feel pride to do that.
- one does not need to be proud of their nation to conclude that it is preferable that China and Russia be stymied in their attempts to spread authoritarianism
- One does not need to be proud of their country to recognize that it is morally preferable for the state to continue functioning efficiently in service to the public good.
- PRO calls this claim unfounded. Most other nations have a shared ethnic and geographic history that forms a nationalistic bond older than modern forms of government but the US is a land of immigrants drawn together by an experimental idealism. In our nation, Patriotism is the glue that holds us together.
- The Founding Fathers thought so:
- Benjamin Rush argued:
- "Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families."
- President George Washington reminded us:
- "Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism, more than any appellation derived from local discriminations."
- Encyclopædia Britannica likewise calls Patriotism the glue of democracy:
- "At the heart of .... patriotism lies the belief that to be stable, democratic societies require a strong sense of allegiance on the part of their citizens. Not only does the high degree of pluralism that characterizes contemporary societies potentially give rise to tensions and disagreements among citizens that may destabilize the polity, modern democratic states committed to a degree of equality rely on the willingness of citizens to make sacrifices for the common good. Hence, in the eyes of advocates....of patriotism, stable democratic societies require a strong sense of solidarity.
it's not as if pride in the nation is the only source of emotional motivation Americans can draw on. As Pro has pointed out, we can be proud of the minorities who persevered and fought for their rights. We can be proud of our liberties today. We can be proud of the fact that we have peaceful and fair elections. We can use these sources of pride to continue pursuing the public good. (we can also draw on sources of shame as motivators).
- CON concedes the debate again. CON defined NATIONAL PRIDE as "satisfaction arising from the accomplishments, behavior, and condition of the USA in the past and present."
- American civil rights, liberties, elections, etc fall well within the circle of US accomplishments. If we are justifiably proud of these accomplishments as CON asserts, then we are experiencing NATIONAL PRIDE by CON's definition and CON disproved.
What Does it Mean to Have National Pride?
The first question - which is the question we're addressing in this debate - asks us to consider the country in its totality (this is the "balanced approach" my opponent has maligned me for. I did not shift goalposts. See my R1 conclusion). The second question only asks to consider parts of the nation.
Again, CON is redefining a term defined by CON at the outset of this debate. CONs multiple iterations on thesis did not ask us to consider "the country in its totality," which word does not appear in CON's argument until R2. CON asked us to consider AMERICANS. Americans are 330 million individual parts of America who are individually capable of feeling shame and pride in one another and ourselves simultaneously. There is no American monolith that can only feel one way about itself.
The resolution that "AMERICANS are JUSTIFIED in FEELING NATIONAL PRIDE" stands proven.
In R2, CON agreed with PRO that Americans are justified in feeling ambivalent, including feelings of pride.
In R3, CON agreed with PRO that Americans are justified in their pride of civil rights, free elections, and liberty.
VOTERS should accept CON's confirmation of PRO's position as well as PRO's argument and find for PRO in this debate.
Please VOTE PRO!