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Round 1. ShadowXIX V sublime4372: Historical Injustices

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posted on Sep, 2 2004 @ 06:01 AM
Debate 5

The topic for this debate is "A society has a moral obligation to redress its historical injustices."

ShadowXIX will be arguing for this proposition and will open the debate.
sublime4372 will argue against this proposition.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

No post will be longer than 800 words and in the case of the closing statement no longer than 500 words. In the event of a debater posting more than the stated word limit then the excess words will be deleted by me from the bottom. Credits or references at the bottom do not count towards the word total.

Editing is Strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements only one image may be included in each post. No more than 5 references can be included at the bottom of each post. Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references.

Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate.

Judging will be done by an anonymous panel of 11 judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. Results will be posted by me as soon as a majority (6) is reached.

This debate is now open, good luck to both of you.

posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 01:22 AM
A society has a moral obligation to redress its historical injustices. This statement is true for many reasons. I will first state that this should be a truly moral action by the society it should not be forced , but should be done with concern of what is right and just behavior. To have this action done any other way would be a injustice in its self.

We must learn from our history or we are doomed to repeat it.

Societies all over the world and through our History have committed acts of injustice against each other and even against their own people. These acts live long in the memory of the people affected by these actions. These acts can help shape the future generations of the people that lived through these injustices in negative ways.

The past is not dead it lives on through the children of those that lived through such events.We need to escape the moral swamp into which we might sink.

For as a Society we must redress these action too truly begin the healing process. It is a process of steps that must be taken to have any hope of making amends for past misdeeds. Apologizing is the first step in this process. Time by its self does not heal all wounds. These actions will not only help to mend the rift between the societies and cultures affected but also help to define the society trying to make amends for it historical misdeeds.

Just moral actions can be more powerful then military might. If our dreams of the future are to exceed the reality of the past. We must as a people take the moral high road.

posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 11:18 AM
First of all, I'd like to thank Kano for having allowed me in this forum. I look forward to a good spirited debated with ShadowXIX. I've enjoyed his posts in the past and I'm sure this will be no different.

I was excited to see this topic as it is one I have strong feelings about. In society many decisions are made everyday which adversly affect people. No matter how someone votes on an issue, the end result will inevitibly upset someone. To what degree depends on what the issue is. Society acts for the good of the majority, not the individual.

If we look back on the 2 major injustices, we would find slavery and the holocaust. Both terrible things that must never be allowed to happen again. However, with slavery, it was common and accepted. Not saying that is was right, but it was accepted. While the holocaust was never accepted by the masses, in Germany it was. Untill the US and her allies put a stop to it. And, the US split in 2 over slavery. Many, many people lost their lives trying to stop it.

Now we fast-forward a hundred years. There is talk of reparations? Oh my god! Is there still slave alive? Well, pay that man !! Oh- you mean their isnt one alive today? Well who wants reparations? Their great-great-great-great grandson? Umm, why? Was he enslaved? Was he beaten and forced to work for free? Were his children raped and taken from him? No. Well then why pay him? Can he vote today? Can he ride on a bus anywhere he chooses? Can he have a job that pays well? Is he FREE ? Yes. Then he has been paid.

If you look at the holocaust, that was probably the single worst crime to humanity ever recorded. Millions dead. At the end of the war, the Jews were returned to Israel and given a new special turn at life. The US will forever stand by thier side and defend them.

Mankind needs to learn from history. We need to take from it both good and bad expieriences. We learn and grow from it. What we shouldnt do is relive it over and over. Nor should we pay a desendant for the injustices their great-great-great grandparent suffered.

It was alderwoman Dorothy Tillman from Chicago who stated in her motion for reparations for slaves, " Keep your 40 acres and a mule, We want a Lexus" That sums up the problem perfectly. Most cases are not because of pain and suffering. Its about greed and wanting success without working for it. My great grandfather died fighting in Germany for the Allies. What am I entitled to? Nothing because Im white? or not a Jew? Where does it stop?

Lets never forget what happened to these people. Lets never allow it to happen again. Let's talk about it in school and teach people all the lessons learned from it. But lets not let any more people profit from it. Remember, wounds will only heal with medication and time. If you constantly pick at the scab, it will only keep bleeding.

posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 02:33 PM
My oppenent raises a good point with talk of reparations and the injustice of slavery in America. Reparation is often thought of as having to do with monetary gain. This is understandable as we live in a very monetary based society.But lets look at the very Definition of the word reperation


1. The act or process of repairing or the condition of being repaired.
2. The act or process of making amends; expiation.
3. Something done or paid to compensate or make amends

To another word that are very important in context of this debate,redress


1. To set right; remedy or rectify.
2. To make amends to.
3. To make amends for

For we as a society to redress these past injustices does not always have to require us to do this in a monetary way. Though sometimes it is indeed justified that we do so. If as a society if we can change just a few peoples minds and make those people feel better, by the simple act of apologizing and condemning past misdeeds should it not be done?

Lets talk about monetary reperations in context of one of the worst injustices committed by the young country of the United States. The injustice perpetrated upon the Native Americans. We pushed these people from the lands of their birth and those that would not move were wiped out. It is a history of lies, murder, and broken treaties on the part of the American Goverment.

Heres is a map of the land that has been returned to a society that at one time owned this entire country. Look at those little specks of color those are what the Native Americans have to call their own. Alot of that land is in areas that are mostly desert quite undesirable land.

(I will link to a full version PDF of the map)

Now today there is not a single Native American alive that lived through the events that had them forced from their land. Should we just say that it is History be happy with what you got and not return any more land because it happened so long ago. Is there any Native American today that has not been shaped in one form or another by the way their ancestors were treated?

PDF version of map

posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 03:46 PM

Is there any Native American today that has not been shaped in one form or another by the way their ancestors were treated?

We all have been shaped by the way our ancestors were treated. Mine fled a communist nation, crammed themselves on a tiny boat with little food and came here with nothing. Through hard work and saving they were able to buy a home, raise a family and teach us the values of hard work and principle.

The native americans did not believe in land ownership. The concept for foriegn to them. Due to ignorance, our government gave those people a raw deal. However, through the years special provisions have been made for them. They have special tax-exemptions and a guaranteed land to live on. That is more than Uncle Sam has given to me. They receive the full benefit of the government, without having to contribute as much. The opportunity is there for them to take. If they don't take advantage of the programs available to them, thats their own fault. Also, nothing is stopping them from attending college and joining regualr society.

Now having dealt with those 3 groups, my question is this: Where does it stop? What about the Brittish treatment of the revolutionaries? What about the treatment of POWs in Vietnam? What about Abu-Garib? Where does it end?

We are human beings. We make mistakes. Punishment is dealt out. Justice is served. If YOU are wronged, YOU have means to repair the damage. However, will the great-grandchildren of a prisoned Iraqi be able to sue us down the road? If you do it for one, you have to do it for all.

Also, how do you determine who is going to receive money and how much? What is my ancestor was a slave that was beaten to death? Do I get more than one who escaped through the underground railroad? How can you prove a link? It would flood a government that is allready swamped with more important things.

The best that can be reasonably done, is to move on. Enforce the laws and make sure it never happens again. What you don't want to do is keep opening the wound. It will never heal.

posted on Sep, 3 2004 @ 05:05 PM
The goverment has indeed put aside land for the Native Americans and also special provisions such as education scholarships programs,Grants and even tax-exemptions. These are great examples of a society redressing is past injustices.

All these things are a great help to the Native American people. This helps to offer opportunities to people, which they might not other wise have and are a good and just thing. I can't imagine if these people were not allowed even these amends for past injustices. Every person that takes advantage of these programs is proof of the good that can come from redressing past issues. Every Native American that uses these programs to go to college and better themselves is a shining example of the good that comes from helping to right past wrongs.

These things might not heal all wounds but they are indeed the right thing to do and really do help people.

A recent example of redressing past injustices has to do with, The Japanese American Incarceration during World War 2. On February 19, 1942, after Japan's attack at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This event sent into motion one of the our country's worst constitutional failures.

Under the authority of Executive Order 9066 over 120,000 Japanese Americans were Incarcerated in camps,Without regard for due process or basic constitutional guarantees. This has a grave injustice to the Japanese American people.

In 1978 the (JACL) the Japanese American Citizens League started a campaign to redress these past misdeeds. Calling for restitution in the amount of $25,000 per internee, an apology by Congress acknowledging the wrong, and funds to establish an educational trust fund.

We have to notice that even though the asked for money to make amends they also asked for a apology. The simple act of a apology by the goverment was overlooked for thirty years. This also shows how important just saying that we were wrong could be and how important it is to the people affected.

In June 1983, the (CWRIC) Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians recommended as remedies an apology by Congress and the president, monetary compensation of $20,000 to each surviving victim of the government's 1942 orders, and the creation of an educational trust fund. In April 1988 and on August 10, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the bill authorizing redress payments for Japanese Americans.

I believe this was the right thing to do on the part of the goverment. I do think it would have been better if the goverment started these actions instead of the JACL. That would have made a better example for the world to follow. I think we have to be proactive in dealing with the injustices we commit instead of waiting decades or even centuries after the fact.

Abu-Garib is a great example if we punish the guilty and make amends now it will be a great example to the rest of the world. If we do it right now we will not have to worry about the people of Iraq bringing this up many years down the road. Even now we can realize this was wrong it will not take many years for us to see this and we should address the problem now.


posted on Sep, 4 2004 @ 11:49 AM
As my opponent brought up, there were also the Japanese who we paid off after the internment camps. Well, personally I have a problem with that. After all, we were ATTACKED BY THE JAPANESE. That was done to protect our citizens. We dont deserve that? We have to pay them back for the inconvenience of protecting them? What do you think would have happened if we didn't? The lynch mobs would have surely dealt them a fate worse than we did. Also, the fears of more spys and covert ops made the people scared.

Bottom line, we did what we thought was right. When the war was over we released them. Now look the camps in Germany and Poland. How many did THEY let go?

As time proceeded though, people sought to be paid for their "suffering" Well, what about the sailors who were asleep that sunday morning? Who is going to pay them? Japan? How much of a price would you put on that? You can't. Our men were killed and wounded. They gave their lives for us and not one received any sort of "compensation".

The United States is the most powerfull country in the world. Decisions made here affect the world. As the most powerfull country, we should apologize to noone. It weakens our power abroad. People will begin to think of us a limp-wristed wimps who are afraid of hurting someones feelings.

Take for example, Iraq. We chase the little rats allover the city untill they hole up in a mosque. Then we have to back off because thats a holy site. "If we blew it up, there will outrage around the world !!" I think thats wrong. If we blew it up, the people doing this would realize that they are not safe anywhere and we will go to ANY length to stop them. We need a backbone, and havng one means never saying your sorry.

I do not believe our government is evil. I do not feel we are out to get anyone. I truley believe that we act on the good of the whole and that means sometimes people get screwed in the process. Wounds are made, scabs form, the wounds heal and sometimes there is a scar left. Thats the way life is. Noone ever promised anyone that their life would be perfect.

The past is past. We should never stop learning from it, but our eyes need to be focused ahead, not behind. Its time to move on.

posted on Sep, 4 2004 @ 03:52 PM
The United States is indeed one of the most powerful countries in the world. I think that redressing past misdeeds is not a act of weakness.

It takes a strong man to admit when he's wrong

George Washington once said- To err is natural; to rectify error is glory.

Mistakes are human nature we are imperfect beings. When we seek to rectify mistakes it is a showing of what is best in humanity. Rather then a weakness this is a strength in humans and in goverments.

Many of my examples have been about the United States. I did this because this is the country of my birth and I have the most knowledge of its history. But America is not alone in redressing past misdeeds. It is also not alone in committing historical injustices as cannot think of a single society that has not committed a act of injustice in its history.

A great example of another country redressing past injustices is the German goverment. With German Holocaust Reparations in , In September 1952 German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer signed an agreement that the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) would provide $715 million in goods and services to the State of Israel as compensation for taking in survivors; $110 million for programs to finance the relief, rehabilitation, and resettlement of Jewish Holocaust survivors.

In my opinion this action was not a act of weakness by the German people. Nor was it "Blood Money" as some would argue. I think this was a example of what is the best in humanity.


posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 02:46 AM
Konrad Adenauer signed the agreement because Germany had no choice. In September 1945, shortly after the end of the Second World War, Jewish leader Chaim Weizmann submitted a memorandum on behalf of the Zionist Jewish Agency to the governments of the United States,Russia, France and England demanding reparations to the Jewish people from Germany. With Hitler defeated, we readily agreed and turned up the heat on the new German "Government" to sign an agreement. Also note again, Germany was a defeated weakened country that had to bow to pressure from the west.

My opponent also quoted George Washington. Nice but I prefer Alexanders Pope's orginal quote which reads "To err is human, to forgive is divine" Now again, to the victims should come compensation from where we can find it, but not to the descendents. There comes a time in life where you grow up, and stop blaming the past for your present problems.

Everyone remembers September 11th, but what I remember was the 12th and the 13th and pretty much the next few weeks. What I remember was, for the first time in my life, I felt as if every single person in this country stood together side by side, and were Americans. Not slaves, not Jews, not Indians. Americans. I remember all the people volunteering to go to NYC and search or clean or whatever was needed. That is the attitude we need to keep.

Yesterday is gone, today is almost over, start getting ready for tomorrow. The things that have happened in the past were terrible, but we as a society learn, grow, change then move on. Thats the way its been, thats the way it should stay.

posted on Sep, 5 2004 @ 02:53 PM
I would like to thank sublime4372 for a great debate, I would also like to thank Kano for giving me the chance to take part in the debates. This was my first debate and I enjoyed it very much.

I would like to talk alittle more about the the 1952 German Holocaust Reparations. This was not only Restitution to the survivors for the millions killed in the concentration camps, but also for the goods and services stolen from the Jewish people. What happen to the money,gold,jewelry,and all other goods of the Jews sent to camps they did not get to bring their belongings with them they were stolen.In July 1998, Volkswagen AG admitted that it had used labor from 15,000 slaves during the war.

If I stole a gold ring from a man only to be brought to justice after the man had died should that ring not be returned to the child of that man?

It is the morally right thing to do. Germany did the morally right thing when they did this, And that is the core of My arguement.

Redressing historical injustices is often a hard thing to do for both sides. Having to relive painful memories. Its so much easier to let these thing die in the past. But that is not the morally right thing to do. To Redress past issue does not even mean we always have to open our pockets some times a apology is just as important.

The principles by which a goverment functions have a great influence on the moral and ethical behavior of the people who live under that goverment. Governments serves as a model for what are acceptable and moral actions.

So yes a society has a obligation to redress its historical injustices,even if it is only a moral obligation.


posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 02:20 AM
As this debate comes to a close, I would like to thank Kano for putting it together and my opponent, Shadow XIX, for giving me a chance to see both sides of a good arguement.

In out society today, there lays a large segment which continually tries to blame all of their present day problems on yesterdays wrongs. While this proved to be true in some cases, in most it is not. If you examine our society there are many many people, who suffered wrongly in some way. These people found the fortitude to carry on and made a success of themselves. These people were able to learn from what life dealt them, and grow.

As a society, we should do the same. Learn from the past, then move on. To the people that are alive and lived thru any atrocity created by our government, we should apologize and rectify. But when the last slave died, so should reparations. Our societies laws protect everyone, regardless of color or creed. Everyone is now truely equal. While racism still exists, there are far more legal avenues to follow to rectify it. Slavery is dead, and we have moved on. The only reason a black person should have a problem obtaining gainfull employment is a lack of skills and or education.

Ours is an everchanging world. In light of recent global events, we need to look to tomorrow more than ever.

I have demonstrated how we have corrected out wrongs that America has done, and I feel I have proved that we have done enough and it is time to put this issue to rest. The past is just that, the past. Tomorrow will be here and we better be ready.

posted on Sep, 6 2004 @ 06:22 PM
Well done folks, the crack-team of judging Ninjas are on to it. Results in a day or so.

posted on Sep, 7 2004 @ 02:20 PM
Results are in, the winner of this debate by a margin of 6-1 is ShadowXIX. Well done to both of you, and we hope to see sublime4372 back in future tournaments!

Judges Comments:

This one has to go to ShadowXIX with only a slight hesitation. The lack of quote tags or italics in some of his posts made it difficult for me to distinguish between the author's words and those of the source.

All-in-all, a good debate, but ShadowXIX had the superior arguments and more complete supporting statements.

This debate about moral obligation was argued more on the point of whether or not a group deserved recompense for injustice by sublime4372 - there is a big difference between moral obligation of the offending party and the subject of whether or not the offended deserve to have a wrong righted.

ShadowXIX did a much better job debating the moral issue at hand and therefore gets the win.

Hands down this one goes to sublime4372. The posts were of better quality and his opinion was conveyed much better.

A very interesting debate and a pleasure to read, well done guys.

I think however that sublime slipped up with the Native American comparison, he/she basically admitted that it was right to redress them, his concern seemed to be how much? However, he/she had basically confirmed that they should be redressed, it should just be moderated how much and therefore did Shadow's work for them.

Best of luck to ShadowXIX in round 2.

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