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Posted by Sadie-ki-ki (U12222818) on Tuesday, 1st July 2008
I personally do not believe that America can be considered a civilised country.
How can a government of the developed world justify execution of its citizens for crimes? How can they expect people to pay for basic healthcare, let thousands of people buy houses on the sub-prime mortgage market when they should be fully aware that once the economy declined these people wouldn't be able to afford repayments and would be homeless, permit pop-groups like Prussian blue to exist who spread neo-nazi ideas, let half of their population become overweight, declare war on a country on the basis of false intelligence and a desire for oil? How can they be permitted to blatantly infringe the basic human rights of others by detaining them endlessly without charge based on vague suspicions?
I sound like a bit of a lefty here, but I'm really not, I'm conservative through and through. I just don't understand how a country can not provide even the slightest bit of help for its citizens/abuse the rights of people generally and still be called civilised.
I am fully aware that Britain faces some of the same problems, but I honestly can not consider America's attitude and treatment of citizens and others
to be in line with a modern, democratic country.
Assuming that I'm not going to get arrested by the FBI or whatever by spreading anti-America messages, what do people think? Is America's conduct as a nation just? Can we call it a civilised nation?
Posted by deity_slayer (U10641887) on Saturday, 5th July 2008
If that means America isn't civilised, then neither were most of the other civilisations throughout history, including us up to after WW2.
Posted by kerrythekiwi (U7585944) on Monday, 7th July 2008
Ah, I'm glad you did this
'How can a government of the developed world justify execution of its citizens for crimes?'
We had executions too at one point in time... maybe this means nothing but executions could correalate with a highly religious nation. Executions existed in Britain noticibly in Victorian Britain, which was deeply, fundamentally Christian. So is America. Still, this is only a theory, nothing more. As for it being a developed country, I have no answer for that.
'How can they expect people to pay for basic healthcare'
There is health insurance that can be acquired in America (though it doesn't supply for people with certain diseases, which I think is wrong). Still, Britain is the nation with NHS, no other. Wouldn't this mean all nations other than Britain can be called 'uncivilised' to an extent? Are private doctors, who make you pay for healthcare, 'uncivilised' too?
'let thousands of people buy houses on the sub-prime mortgage market when they should be fully aware that once the economy declined these people wouldn't be able to afford repayments and would be homeless'
I'm giving you the answer 'I have no real answer for this' because you may say, again, that I have left a part of the argument out and would be killed for that in a real debate
Still, maybe the argument 'why does Britain allow its open door policies to remain, and then struggles with creating enough homes for immigrants, and for native Britons?' could be raised in return to this.
'permit pop-groups like Prussian blue to exist who spread neo-nazi ideas'
Who are they?
I suppose an argument could be that, as it is a pop group, it is down to interpretation. There are bands that sing about promiscuity, thinking of women only as objects for sex, and self-harm. Neo-nazi ideals are but a drop in these filthy waters. Neo-nazi ideas are horrible, there's no getting away from it, but these other three examples I gave you are in the music we listen to in our day-to-day life.
'let half of their population become overweight'
I think this may be a case of profit over nation. Like Britain will never ban cigarettes because it brings in too much money through tax, America's fast-food state is profitable and it is unlikely it will change easily.
'How can they be permitted to blatantly infringe the basic human rights of others by detaining them endlessly without charge based on vague suspicions?'
'I am fully aware that Britain faces some of the same problems'
When I read this first, I thought 'oh my god, this person isn't even considering Britain's problems', but then I read this and relief swept through me
'but I honestly can not consider America's attitude and treatment of citizens and others
to be in line with a modern, democratic country.'
That's the thing about modernisation. For example, Australia gave women the vote in 1901, while Britain gave it in 1918 (though some say that they consider the real giving of the vote 1928). Countries modernise at different speeds, and none can say they have reached the peak of modernisation. It's complicated to meet the feelings of all aspects of humanity - eg, some people think the NHS is bad, some think it is good. Maybe America is still striving to modernise - but modernisation does not necesarily have to meet your own personal feelings of modernisation.
Not that that justifies it, but that is my argument against it.
'Is America's conduct as a nation just? Can we call it a civilised nation?'
Are you relating a civil nation to a just one? I think that isn't really the case, though I think they will relate to each other. Civil by definition means 'having advanced cultural and social development' and 'refined in tastes'.
This does not mean that a 'civilised' nation is a just one. Okay, so 'advanced cultural and social development' would imply an advance in social morals, but a 'just' nation is by definition a morally correct one, which I feel no one person, or nation, can ever accomplish. There are just too many clashing morals of one nation (and the natural hypocrisy of the mind), to deal with to make anything truly 'just'.
Posted by octoparrot (U10596886) on Tuesday, 8th July 2008
"'How can they be permitted to blatantly infringe the basic human rights of others by detaining them endlessly without charge based on vague suspicions?'
guantanimobay. (is that the right spelling?)
Posted by JamSarnie (U11439403) on Saturday, 12th July 2008
I have to say it sounds like Britain is become uncivilised too.
"let half of their population become overweight"
That's awful, yet 1/3 of scotland is too.
"declare war on a country on the basis of false intelligence and a desire for oil?"
And we followed them into it!
"infringe the basic human rights of others by detaining them endlessly without charge based on vague suspicions?
The 42-day detetion span! It's under investigation by the EU.
"I'm not going to get arrested by the FBI or whatever "
Dude, it's starting to sound like Haiti. Maybe it is... scary thought.
Posted by U12002942 (U12002942) on Thursday, 17th July 2008
'let half of their population become overweight'
I don't think you can put the entire blame on the American government that 1/2 of their population is overweight; at the end of the day they're not physically forced to eat junk food, it's their choice and they can say no. Yes, they do have alot of fast-food companies, and yes McDonalds targets kids etc , but to be honest the government don't really care; if they make profit, they'll be happy.
Posted by U11828727 (U11828727) on Friday, 25th July 2008
'There is health insurance that can be acquired in America (though it doesn't supply for people with certain diseases, which I think is wrong). Still, Britain is the nation with NHS, no other. Wouldn't this mean all nations other than Britain can be called 'uncivilised' to an extent? Are private doctors, who make you pay for healthcare, 'uncivilised' too?'
No, Sweden has a national health system, so does Canada and what do you think those European health cards are for? If their purpose is so that British people can get free healthcare in other European Union countries, then they must have it for their citizens too, or else the system would prove rather unpopular with everybody but Britsh people. No, it's shameful that the USA doesn't have an NHS when pretty much everywhere else in the developed world does, which they see themselves as the centre of. They were considered liberal back in the 19th century, but now the world has progressed far beyond them and they're stuck where they were in the 1800s, just with more cars and big corporations.
Posted by kerrythekiwi (U7585944) on Monday, 28th July 2008
'No, Sweden has a national health system, so does Canada and what do you think those European health cards are for?'
That didn't even cross my mind. Sorry. I even have one of those health cards, and it didn't cross my mind at all.
'No, it's shameful that the USA doesn't have an NHS when pretty much everywhere else in the developed world does, which they see themselves as the centre of. They were considered liberal back in the 19th century, but now the world has progressed far beyond them and they're stuck where they were in the 1800s, just with more cars and big corporations.'
The USA probably has a reason for that, though I can't imagine what. Still, like in the UK, some people think the NHS is falling to pieces - maybe the USA has seen our example and chosen not to follow our footsteps in case similar opinions arise?
But is not having an NHS enough to brand America 'uncivilised'?
Posted by Style Council (U2373822) on Monday, 28th July 2008
You can't blanket every American with their political issues, it's not their fault.
As for the obese thing, America is the home of the biggest burger chain in the world, of course they are obese.
The key to America is the American Dream.
You make your own fortune, without assistance from the govt or anyone else, almost a self made selfishness.
Thats how you have to understand America, and because of it they are the richest country in the world
(With help from German colonialists, America is an imigrant country remember)
Posted by JamSarnie (U11439403) on Tuesday, 29th July 2008
"self made selfishness."
As opposed to what?
Posted by Harry (Host) (U11897324) on Thursday, 31st July 2008
Hi all, we liked your debate so much we made it Debate of the Week. We put some food for thought up at www.bbc.co.uk/school...
Good work and congratulations for the high standard of debate. You can now write on your CVs that teh BBC has selected your debate topic for a special feature
Posted by Igneousiceman (U9732327) on Tuesday, 5th August 2008
How do you define 'civilised' anyway? =D
Posted by NeonPixie (U12002543) on Wednesday, 3rd September 2008
America has it's faults.
Every country does.
It may be an 'uncivilised' country, but I like it. I've never been before though.
My boyfriend is from Washington DC. That's probably why I like it.
But also, you can achieve so much more in America than the UK.
I don't really think about all that technical stuff that has been mentioned.
I just think of how many hot guys there are and that you can get a better job.
That's what I think anyways.
Posted by U13269047 (U13269047) on Friday, 5th September 2008
america is one of the worlds superpower, and they cant ven help their own people
Posted by U13400138 (U13400138) on Monday, 22nd September 2008
How can a country with almost 12000 civilians killed with guns by other civilians a year be considered civilised? (Rhetorical Question)
Posted by Sarah (U2244381) on Tuesday, 14th October 2008
This might seem a bit long winded, but it will be worth reading, I promise.
I agree with you 100%, there is no way that the USA can be considered a civilised country.
Just this evening I was watching Sally Jessy Raphael (it was on when I turned on, I don't usually watch it). There was a mother on there whose 11 year old son was on the school bus and had been joking and laughing with his friends, getting wound up, just as kids do. He was talking about how waste drops from aeroplanes, and how it "bombs" the houses.
He then said (something along the lines of) "if I did that, I could kill everyone on this bus", which admittedly, he should not have said, but he is an 11YR OLD KID.
At about 10am, he was removed from class by the head teacher (principal in America) and taken to the office, where the bus driver and a police officer were waiting. The bus driver who reported it verified what he had said. He was asked if he'd like a parent present and said yes. The mother was called once, on one phone- she has three. The father was not contacted.
Then the boy was HANDCUFFED, and taken to a detention centre and placed in a cell. His mother was EVENTUALLY called, and went to find her son after he'd been in the cell for FOUR HOURS.
The mother was intending to get her son out, but it was Friday night, and was told he'd be in there ALL WEEKEND.
It turns out that he was in there for SIX DAYS.
The boy and his younger sister have been pulled out of school- understandable, as they are in danger of being locked up for getting hyped up and saying stupid things.
He is now under house arrest until he goes to court on 26th APRIL.
I find this astonishing. The USA cannot call themselves a civilised nation when 11 year olds are being put in detention centres for 6 days and they have 12000 deaths a year due to gun crime, because of their 1:1 man:gun ratio.
What do I think of civilisation in America?
I think it would be a good idea.
With thanks X
Posted by Twiggaloo (U13702454) on Wednesday, 19th November 2008
Having actually lived in the 'United States of America' (Calling themselves 'Americans' is being for lack of a better phrase 'full of themselves'. The are other countries on those continents, Canadians and mexicans are Americans too.)I can tell you that almost everything is basesd on money. The reason why doctors charge money (and a lot of it at that), is because they know that they can get away with charging about $20,000 (Roughly ₤6349.20 last I checked) to reattatch the fingers to you hand and a couple thousand dollars to X-ray photograph a broken limb. A lot of jobs in the USA revolve around using your body, even the 'pencil pushers' (office workers) have to do a lot.
On the subject of the death penalty, USA citizens are deeply devided on the subject. The majority of the country's 'liberals' want to get it banned. most of the country does no know how manny millions of dollars go into each 'Death Row' inmate ($3.5 million dollars or roughly ₤1.2 million). That money is almost all lawyer fees, someone who is on 'Death Row' has the right to make as many pleas to the state on delaying their execution or getting out of it entirely, the average wait for execution is abou 13.5 years.
Another thing that most USA citizens do not know is that some of the people the are executed are innocent of the crimes that they have been charged with. In California (one of the USA's west coast states), there was a largly covered issue on the death penelty. In california, they have stopped using all forms of execution other than the leathal injection. The issue was that the 'medical technitions' who were administering the lethal injection (great job huh?), were not properly trained and there was talk of getting rid of the death penelty in California. Sadly California still has a death penelty.
I summery, while a large portion of the USA says 'let 'em fry', the rest would rather have the inmates serve life terms in prison.
On the subject of going to war with only speculations and theories, the two tallest buildings in the country had just been demolished and the president was worried about popularity, so he sent the US Army to Afganastan. When he saw that the USA still wanted more revenge, he decided that he wanted to go to Iraq. Some people, mainly those that live on the USA's west caost think that the president wanted to make a name for himself, or maybe show his father who had been in office 8 years before how the invasion should have been carried out. (George W. Bush's father George H. Bush also invaded Iraq durring his term as president, though he was responding to the Iraqi invasion of Kuiat.) The result is that the USA has dug itself into a hole that will take at least one presidential term to get out of, last that I had checked, if the USA left Iraq in the state it was, a civil war was likely to spark between the Suunis and Shiites. Hopefully Obama will be able to pull them out of there without anymore grief.
Thanks for reading.
Posted by U13823151 (U13823151) on Wednesday, 11th February 2009
allah help Amereica and the people.
Posted by DaveM (U13834168) on Monday, 16th February 2009
Can we sincerely call ourselves civilised? A country where very little communication exists between different walks of society? If a person murders and could easily murder again for an unjust reason, should we not execute him in defense of another potential victim? America is a place like any other. Full of perfections and imperfections alike. Perhaps we should look at the phrase: before taking the stick out of someone else's eye we should remove the log from our own. God help us all? Perhaps helping ourselves and eachother is a wise tactic instead of critisising others. As far as self improvement goes: those that can do, those that can't critisise.
Posted by Esjay (U13949851) on Wednesday, 6th May 2009
America has surely made bad mistakes in the past- every country has, but America being such a powerful country, it just gets a lot of the blame.
We can't forget all the good things America has done; if it wasn't for them, we might be occupied by the Nazis at the moment!