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Debate Score:17
Total Votes:20
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 What does it mean to be civilized (12)

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Mahollinder(898) pic

What does it mean to be civilized

I have always contended that to be civilized is not to be nice. It is to always find new and creative ways to not kill someone else. In your opinion, what does it mean to be civilized?

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3 points

"Civilized" is a human social construct, but I will give it a shot. To be civilized is to have a decent respect for human life in that one feels the demise or suffering of another human being brought on by another is wrong and stems from some misunderstanding. A simple respect for the quality of human life against the elements of the world could be rationalized as "civil."

Side: Possessing a Value of Human Life

Personally, when I think of this statement the first thoughts that come to my mind are society’s social construction of “right” and “wrong” and how people "should" act according to societies constructions. For example, society expects people to be clothed when they leave the house and go shopping. It is not acceptable for someone to decide they no longer wish to wear clothes and one-day hop in their car naked and take a shopping trip. Should this happen people would look at this person as stepping outside of societies borders of what is right and wrong and acting uncivilized.

Side: Civilized

Assuming that "civilized" is the direct opposite of "barbarian", then to be "civilized" means to be either Greek or Roman.

Side: Greco-Roman

To be civilized is to be cultured.

To be most civilized is to have works of literature, art, music far grander than that of the others.

Also, to have reached a state of conditions beyond impoverishment.

Side: to be cultured
alexi1012 Disputed
1 point

You don't have to have more than someone else in order to be civilized. In order to be civilized you must have some sort of moral values and uphold them. To be civilized means to have some level of refinement, education, morals, and values.

Side: to be cultured

To be civilized is to do with words what swords cannot, and when that fails, to conduct one's bloody business with honour, courage and loyalty to one's country and comrades. Essential is the ability to read and write, to listen and think, to speak, not to shout. To treat ladies with the care, attention and respect which are their inalienable rights, to act in a manner as constitutes the happiness of one's dependants before one's own.

Never to ridicule a person for their differences, never to hide one's feelings from those they affect. To carry oneself with honesty and dignity, never to steal or beg. Most of all to be true to oneself, one's friends, one's family and one's people. If a man can look into himself and say that he is as above, then he may without undue pride count himself amongst the civilized.

Of course, being English is a massive advantage.

Side: to be cultured
1 point

Well, sorry to say but the human race is generally uncivilized! In order to be, there should be no hierarchy, no persons with any particular power, no one with authority over anyone else, and no needless killing. Humans and animals alike. Only killing to feed yourself! In other words, a very different world!

Side: to be cultured
1 point

A good point, civil means being in general smart about how you act so you don't blunder or hurt unintentionally, so humans have got along way to go. As for there being no hierarchy it is a fact that there needs to be someone who knows how to do something so that it gets done right, which is why I like the idea of how guilds work as a governing body with out this head honcho but a lot of head honchos and an elected speaker who directs and keeps things civil. As for killing to feed yourself I assume you mean responsible killing where every thing is harvested and used for its function and only done when necessary not for want or for fun. Humans killing each other comes from greed, envy, pride and hate which are easy enough to overcome if you let it slide or talk it out. Why shoot someone because they slept with your wife when you could just ask him to leave then talk to her about why she did and then move on from there? Mind you, I can see how to some desperate people robbing some one seems like their only choice if they are homeless due to no fault of theirs. Even the idea that failure means prison can be a blessing to some homeless people, food and clothes provided, solid roof and walls and plenty of exercise and even a job and schooling. In a civil society crimes would be lower though not gone and homelessness abolished, everyone will not be so much as equal but they will receive their right share for what they give. I can only say civilization is those who keep trying for a better life for everything.

Side: to be cultured
alexi1012 Disputed
1 point

This has nothing to do with the question "what does it mean to be civilized."

Side: to be cultured
Jungelson(3959) Disputed
1 point

Hmmm, this was two years ago.. But I'll try to stretch my memory ;)

I was saying you need look no further than our own (so-called) 'civilistion' to see what it really is to be uncivilised.

Side: to be cultured