Login/Sign Up




Is America's diversity a strength or weakness?
Society

sodomojo
Aug 31, 2011
6 votes
10 debaters
2
1
1
1


+ Add Argument

5
Strength (why?)


teachme
Sep 02, 2011
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: lyagami Show

Lyagami...you bring up a very interesting and valid argument. I was listening earlier to the radio, not realizing until it was announced, that it was a Christian station based in NYC. They were discussing Mayor Bloomberg's recent decision to not allow clergy and prayer during the upcoming Ground Zero commemoration (9/11 ceremony). Bloomberg's office has argued that "the service should stay focused on the families of the victims," and none of the other nine services included clergy.

Needless to say (I realize that all this may not be news to you), the radio show was encouraging their "faithful" to call in, and to sign petitions. Bloomberg, of course, was made out to be an evil, atheist dictator who's bent on erasing our "true heritage." Evidently, a moment of silence is just not enough...there has to be a clergyman (or clergywoman) to say the words.

Various religious and political figures have urged the mayor to reverse course and allow a "short statement" from a priest, minister, rabbi, and imam at the service, but during a radio interview late last month, Mayor Bloomberg stated: "There's an awful lot of people who would like to participate and you just can't do that...so, the argument here is elected officials and those who were there at the time."

So, how do you please everyone? Personally, I feel he made the right choice. If America wants to live up to its ideals, it must treat all people equally...and if it means doing without clergy and prayer...but allowing for a moment of silence, then so be it! One thing is for certain...we may never be all "grown up," because change is a fact of life, and as diverse as we are, we will keep changing on a consistent basis...lol

We may be experiencing undue tensions lately, but given all that we have to cope with, and the coming elections, I'd say that it's all pretty "normal" and expected. We live in a democracy, and with all our diversity, there has to be at least some underlying tensions...but again, with tension, comes change...and with change, comes growth. At the very least, it will be an interesting exercise deciding what road we are on...even if the road goes in different directions, or stops being a road altogether...and turns into a river. :)

 
yoli
Sep 02, 2011
1 convinced
Rebuttal
@ teachme,

Can I give 2 convinces? I think you, and lyagami have covered good points so far. I would side with diversity being a strength.

While diversity may sometimes get in the way of becoming unified, if we can learn to create unity, and peace in certain areas, than we gain strength.

 
teachme
Aug 31, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Diversity is inherent in nature, and indeed a strength. We all have our own apparent strengths and weaknesses, and it has always been 'survival of the fittest,' according to whatever environmental pressures and challenges should arise. So, it goes without saying, that without diversity, our chances for success and survival, as a whole, are diminished.

 
exocet
Sep 01, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Diversity of what ?

 
teachme
Sep 01, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: jaredscolton Show

Jared, you say: "The beliefs, customs, and morals they bring with them influence our nation to change for the better and help create a better world."

Please explain...there are no beliefs, customs, and "morals" of other countries that you disagree with, or that go against American ideals and principles? After all, we have our own. There are many countries, for example, that do not believe in equality...and their beliefs, customs, and practices reflect that.



 
exocet
Sep 01, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: teachme Show

Beliefs, religions, race, culture, geography, languages... maybe it's diversity of living organisms, is that vague enough for you ?

 
exocet
Sep 01, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: teachme Show

From the title, it's not obvious ... you could be referring to any aspect of humanity. Vague. If the title was about the diversity of religions/beliefs/language as being good for the usa, that would mean something because obviously every single person is unique in a myriad of ways. Are people good for the USA ? is what your title means

 
teachme
Sep 02, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: sodomojo Show

Yes, Lyagami did a much better job at explaining than I...though, something tells me, Exocet knew full well to begin with.

To clarify my statement: "The very things that make people diverse, not "individual," perhaps I should have said AND "individual," but I was referring to diversity in regards to multi-ethnicities, languages, religions, etc...the various groups that individuals belong to.

What we all bring to the table, with respect to our heritage, in addition to what makes us unique, as individuals, which is what Exocet was saying.

In either case...enough distractions...anyone else, other than Lyagami, and I...interested in debating???

 
exocet
Sep 02, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: sodomojo Show

Look in a dictionary, diversity= a state of being diverse, a range of different things. Im enjoying the diversity of opinions in this debate.

 
therabidrabbit
Sep 02, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
People here are different. It's good because difference in society can emphathize each other's good points

 
lyagami
Sep 03, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: skiingfool435 Show

Actually, I can see that. I can't very well think of many ways in which religious diversity can really effect the productiveness or innovation of a nation. Mostly since it seems more of a mechanism to define appropriate conduct, regulate social norms, and provide some measure of comfort to the events immediately following death. Of all of those mechanism the capacity to control social norms seems like the only one that can really be a strength or weakness for the country as it could dictate public acceptance in regards to other facets of public diversity.

For example, lets take polygamy (as a once religious practice) into account. Polygamy itself could be seen as a element of diversity since it greatly changes the family dynamic, not that you have to agree with the practice itself but it certainly colors the view of the world by those involved (as does monogamous marriage). It is very likely that this practice was changed in 1890 due to pressure exerted by other more highly held sentiments (social norms) outside the Mormon community, whether subtlety or forcefully. Hence the Mormon church no longer supports and in fact denounces the practice due to the social norms derived from other dominant religions in the region(country).

In that context I think religion can be taken into account in diversity, I just don't think that competition or innovation is something widely sought by those that seek to grow their religion, and hence may not make the best example of your point.

 
yoli
Sep 07, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
@ Enzod1022

I agree with pretty much most of what you have posted, and your post is well-written, therefore convince for you.
I understand that the negative aspects of diversity can take a toll on America, but we should probably ask ourselves if the negatives, outweigh the positives. You also made a good point that ethnicity shouldn't be over emphasised either, however to be American to me means to be all ethnicities united as one, and we can embrace our backgrounds while embracing our nationality as well.
There is one more strength/weakness I would like to add, when we emphasize our nationality more than the spirit within this country, and all of its people that can divide us. It is the spirit of mankind, of each unique person that helps build this country. I realize the word spirit may or may not mean the same to all, or might sound confusing, but let me attempt to explain. Skiingfool435 made a good point in that we are not very different. Our spirit is the part of us that we all share, and our spirit unites us. The spirit of America strives to maintain, freedoms, equality, justice, pursuit of happiness, and rights for all, at least in this country.
Nationality may make this country stronger, but I think it is important to also ask if we are making the rest of humanity weaker.
There seems to be a greater spirit in all countries, and Lyagami made a good point in that America seems to have lost its identity, and at the same time trying to reflect to many sentiments at once.
So in my opinion our diversity allows many people to live in this country peacefully, and overcome challenges together. I would not stop to identify America as just a country, but a representation of our spirit that we share with the rest of the world. Since we are of many different diversities, I believe the spirit of America cannot exclude other countries, nationalities, etc. Therefore we are all american in a sense, and we cannot continue to go to war with ourselves as a whole.
There is room to grow, and change, Teachme explained that very well.

 
teachme
Sep 08, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: enzod1022 Show

I think, in the case of the U.S. of A, our national identity embraces, but does not compete with our ethnic diversity, and vice versa. In fact, some social scientists have argued that America is not exactly a "melting pot," but one might call it a kind of social laboratory for various ethnic groups to co-exist...maintaining their ethnic identities...at the same time they pay allegiance to our national identity.

 
+ Add Argument

1
Weakness (why?)


lyagami
Sep 01, 2011
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: exocet Show

Protip 1: A debate filed under "Society" and dealing with diversity isn't likely going to deal with biodiversity of flora, fauna, or even species distribution.

Protip 2: A debate discussing the diversity of a nation is referencing all of the "unique in a myriad of ways" differences that make up each individual in that nation. Which should let you realize that the discussion in this case focuses on the vast number of differences in individuals not one element of the populace.

Conclusion: There are debates with worse titles that have had coherent and relevant entries on their respective topics. To ask for clarification and then protest that "topic is vague", and now to ask if what OP originally meant to ask was "Are people good for the USA ?" is hilarious. Not sure if Troll or just likes dancing around the obvious.

 
lyagami
Sep 01, 2011
1 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: teachme Show

While I can see diversity as you describe it to be a strength overall. I will take the opposition in this topic, if only for a handful of reasons. I will concede that Americas diversity throughout history has contributed greatly to where we are today. However, I wonder if this diversity is brewing some of the more volatile aspects being realized more recently.

For example, with all the differences we have among our inherited (or adopted) cultures, religions, and views of social norms it seems harder for the country as a whole to really agree with one another of where we want to go, and if we do get that far we can't agree of which path to take, and if we get beyond those two we can't decide if we want to drive or walk, then we can't decide between boots or sneakers, jeans or shorts, white shirt or blue shirt, and so on or so forth. The nation seems to be dividing itself up into clicks and even those with common view in certain areas see infighting among those who differ in other areas. And while this has probably been going on for a while it seems to have become even more skewed with the recent events in the economy and with foreign liberation movements.

In a nutshell this nation recently seems to have lost its identity it is trying to be and reflect too many sentiments at once, and can't decide who it wants to be when it grows up. Maybe the nation is just growing through puberty since the public sentiment seems to be much more angsty of late. To be clear I think diversity has be a strength for America in key areas throughout history, but I think when diversity outweighs unity it can become a dangerous weakness.

 
enzod1022
Sep 06, 2011
1 convinced
Rebuttal
I would have to declare it a weakness. However, I do not draw this conclusion from the basis of ethnic superiority or ideal inbred racial traits, but from the negative consequences that come with a diverse society. Many people may disagree with me, but I feel that a country that emphasizes their ethnic diversity over their national identity is weaker for it. Of course I do not mean for everyone to completely reject their backgrounds, but extreme devotions to one’s tribe can be extremely harmful to a diverse society.

 
jaredscolton
Sep 01, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
America is the nation it is today because of its diversity. People from all over the world come because they see a nation where anyone can exist and live peacefully. The beliefs, customs, and morals they bring with them influence our nation to change for the better and help create a better world.

 
teachme
Sep 01, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: exocet Show

People...what else?

 
teachme
Sep 01, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: exocet Show

Well, I think what's obvious is that we are not debating the biodiversity of America's flora and/or fauna. What's left, is people...who are diverse based on the very things you listed. :)

 
teachme
Sep 01, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: exocet Show

Funny how you assume it's my title...it's not. Perhaps the person who did post the debate could spell it out for you...but my assumption is that s/he was referring to just that...diversity of religion, beliefs, language, ethnicity, etc. The very things that make people diverse, not "individual." There are no clones walking around, and we don't expect any anytime soon.

There is only so much room to write the heading for a debate. Sometimes it's necessary to omit the obvious. If you think the obvious is "vague," or unclear, I can't help you anymore than I have tried. I'll leave it up to the person who posted the debate, should they come forward.

 
sodomojo
Sep 02, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: exocet Show

Go to Google images, search "diversity", and tell me what results you get.

Everything that we as people in society can bring to the table can be included in the discussion, that includes everything you listed above.

In other words...listen to lyagami's Protips.

 
teachme
Sep 02, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: yoli Show

Thank you, and well-said, Yoli! :) ...Convince, for you, too! ;)

 
lyagami
Sep 02, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: exocet Show

As Elzar would say, "OK then."

 
sodomojo
Sep 02, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: exocet Show

The context in which "diversity" was used in my original question has already been identified.

However if you still can't understand the plain English used to answer your critiques, when everyone else has and are already onto debating, well then I can't do anything about that.

 
skiingfool435
Sep 02, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
3rd option, neither.

Controlled studies examining racial diversity as a driver of competitive advantage in publicly traded companies have found neither benefit nor harm. Diversity likely isn't what we often think it is--Christians aren't very different from Muslims, Democrats aren't very different from Conservatives, Blacks aren't very different from Asians, and Women aren't very different from Men.

 
canislupus
Sep 03, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
It is a weakness as far as national unity is concerned, but a strength as far as innovation and choice is concerned. You have to ask yourself what your priorities are before you can really answer this question.

 
enzod1022
Sep 09, 2011
0 convinced
Rebuttal
Rebuttal to: teachme Show

@ Yoli as well. I can appreciate the fact that America has adopted a consensual feeling of ethnic pride. Other than Native Americans, we can all claim our roots to another country, and most of us take great pleasure in brandishing it; it’s what Americans do. However, by embracing a celebration of diversity, we inevitably succumb to internal divisive forces that a country such as China would not experience. If you’re as interested in the concept of tribalism as I am, you may know what I’m getting at. However, this “melting pot” as Teachme has put it, is the important part of our culture and American heritage that in the end gives us our world renowned spirit and perseverance. I just wanted to give you my two cents on why this trait could also be a negative force nationally.

 


Use these tags to find similiar debates

society Abortion alcohol america Animal animals army art ban BBC black Britain British Capitalism child children Chinese Communism control convinceme council Court crime criminal culture death death penalty Debate Democracy drugs Economy education England english equality ethics EU evil food Frankie Freedom Gay girls good Government Great Britain health House of Lords human illegal Internet Islam Judge Justice language Law lawyer Legal lesbian Liberty life love marijuana marriage men money morals murder music Muslim Obama opinion parenting parents peace people police politics poor Porn pregnancy prison privacy punishment race racism religion Responsibility Rich Rights School science sex slavery smoking social society Students suicide technology terrorism the UK UN United Kingdom united states USA VanCam Video Games violence war weed white women world