Debates can be informative, captivating, elevating and even entertaining. On September 26, 2016 television viewers can watch the NFL game of the week or a debate for the ages – not quite all the ages.
1500 – 1551: Since the Valladolid Debate occurred in Spain from 1550-1551 during the Spanish wars of conquest in the New World. It concerned a theologically and politically pressing issue at the time: did the native peoples of the Americas deserve the same treatment as free men? (sound familiar???) Or did Christian teachings and natural law make colonization and oppression imperative? The debaters were a Dominican friar and Bishop of Chiapas. Both parties said they won, but neither received the desired outcome. (Oppression is still rampant, not here – but there! You know over there!)
1830: And the Webster – Hayne Debate. A Senate debate in 1830. The debate began with a beef between Northeast states and Western states over a plan to restrict western land sales. Senator Robert Hayne of South Carolina argued on behalf of states’ rights. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts argued that “America was not just a collection of sovereign states, but a popular government, erected by the people; those who administer it responsible to the people; and itself capable of being amended and modified, just as the people may choose it should be.” (Hurray for Senator Danny Webster – Danny, Danny, he’s our man, If he can’t do it, nobody can!!)
1858: Oh, here comes the biggy. Lincoln Douglas Debates in 1858. A total of seven debates throughout the congressional districts in Illinois. Total divisiveness in the nation regarding sectional rights, and the issue of slavery. Lincoln, the Republican (can you believe it!) was a newcomer to the antislavery movement. Lincoln lost the state election, but the Republicans received more popular votes than the Democrats (how the hell did he lose??). Lincoln gained a powerful reputation in the North, and soon became a possible presidential candidate. Senator Douglas won the debate, but lost favor with the Democratic administration and he was stripped of his power in the Senate.
1948: This debate is somewhat esoteric, but still very famous??? Frederick Copleston versus Bertrand Russell. The debate was in 1948 on BBC Radio. The existence of G-D* was the subject (What else is new). The debate is one of the most famous theological conversations ever recorded. Copleston, a Jesuit priest, relied on Aquinas, while agnostic Russell looked to David Hume. Hume believed that the limits of human understanding rendered any conversation about G-D* inherently meaningless (Right on!!) Copleston asserted that everything in the Universe is contingent, and hence the Universe as a whole must also be contingent. Russell counted with: “If every man who exists has a mother, and it seems to me your argument is that therefore the human race must have a mother, but obviously the human race hasn’t a mother – that’s a different logical sphere.” (Well said Bertrand – good for you!)
2016: And now we have Hillary and Donald and @#$”+_()*&%^$@!(“?>##*&*(‘/.
*By G-D, is meant GOD, (my fingers are crossed) but it is not acceptable to write the word G-D, or type G-D. It is like when the government decided to place the words ‘under G-D ‘, in the pledge of allegiance. When you say it no one cares about the spelling. Saying G-D is fine, even if you say “G-D damn it!” But don’t you dare commit to paper the word G-D – forget it! It is not the same, but similar to “step on a crack, break your Mother’s back.” Well, maybe not quite the same.