Date: Sunday, January 24th 2016
Participants (from 14 countries):
USA: Rick, Jami | Argentina: Johny | Algeria: Faycel | Iran: Taregh, Rojhano, Noorola, Hiwa, Shima, Somayeh, Melika | India: Robin, Hassan | Bangladesh: Azamu, JA | Nepal: Grace | Indonesia: Tibi, Dewi | Romania: Flory | Philippines: Lala | Morocco: Imad | Egypt: Amy | Japan: Masato | Tunisia: Marwa
Panel PRO (Team A): Somayeh, Taregh, Rojhano, Shima, Faycel, Noorola, Imad, Amy, Masato
Panel CON (Team B): Melika, Grace, Johny, Jami, Dewi, Hiwa
Audience (Team C): Tibi, Azamu, Lala, Flory, Robin,
Late: Marwa, JA, Hassan
Team A summary:
- In order to live in harmony with other people, we need rules.
- When joining a new organization, group or place, we need to know what the rules are and if we want to fit in and not cause problems, we need to respect those rules.
- When it comes to politics and politicians, whenever some politician is elected, we need to follow the rules they impose even if we don’t agree with them because those rules are good for our country.
- Every society needs rules because without rules, there will be chaos. People would be doing whatever they want without any concern for the well being of other people.
- There are two kinds of rules: the ones we must obey and the optional ones. For example, we are subjected to our government rules but we are not subjected to the rules from certain groups; because if we do not agree with those rules, we can always choose not to be part of those groups.
- We should always follow the rules because they are the structure of the system.
- Since childhood, we obey rules. Our parents rules, school rules, then as adults, we follow companies’ rules or rules from our workplace. All our lives we are being taught and indoctrinated to follow rules.
- Rules are meant to stabilize the society as well as to organize our lives.
- We should obey the rules and regulations because they are there to comfort us and to make our lives easier.
- Rules do not confine us. We can still keep some freedom.
- Even though some rules are stupid and need to be changed, we need to maintain the discipline to follow them.
Team B summary:
- Human beings are neither perfect nor fixed in time; we always change and the rules change along with us.
- Rules are not absolute, they are conditional to situations.
- If the slaves of the past would’ve obeyed the rules, we would still have slavery today.
- There are still many countries in this world which undermine and discriminate against women. If we want to progress and emerge from a primitive society, some rules need to be adapted to the modern times.
- There are some rules that are being imposed for people’s safety but there are others that are simply unfair. Such as men-focused rules. When we have a society whose rules are meant to favor men, we have as consequence a sexist and manly society. This goes against human rights, gender equality and fair human values.
- Many women feel powerless and suffer from the consequences of these countries’ rules. (If not all women).
- Rules are not perfect; people make mistakes.
- Not all rules are meant to protect people or to keep order, rather to control people in favor of a small group of people.
- Some rules should be bent: For example if you are driving and in the back seat you have your wife (or a very important person for you) who is either injured or pregnant and his or her life depend on whether you reach the hospital on time by going a little bit faster than the speed limit, any person who really cares about his or her life would exceed that speed limit.
- We also have our personal rules, which are not imposed by any government or authority. These rules sometimes should be broken to give space to the relationship in terms of having a successful relationship.
- Sometimes our friendships or romantic relationships depend on how flexible we are with our personal rules.
- There are rules that are meant to hurt others, such as ancient rules found in certain books which people consider sacred. Good people overlook these rules for the obvious reason that they are harmful and were not written to look after the well being of humanity. These rules in particular were written to control people and make them fight in favor of a small group.
- When it comes to Politics, the rules made by some politicians and political parties are not always to look after the welfare of the society. They impose and come up with rules that favor the interest of the corrupt and dishonest, not for taking care of you, me or any other. Rather for taking what they want from us and keeping us shut.
- If we don’t break some rules, we won’t be able to show integrity. We need to stand up and fight for our rights because our thoughts, feelings and voice matters! They cannot impose their oppressing unfair laws and expect us to follow them blindly just because they occupy a position as authority. If we put them in that position (by elections) then we can take them out too through law and the legal process.
- The first thing to think about is whether the rule is there to protect us or to screw us. We need to be smart and recognize when someone is trying to take advantage of us.
- Rojhano to team B:
a) “Do you think everyone can recognize what’s wrong and what’s right?”
b) “What would happen to the society if everyone breaks the rules?”
Dewi’s answer: “Yes, everyone can recognize good from wrong. We are all different with different feeling and mindset but that doesn’t mean everyone will go about braking rules just because they’re different. There will always be war and peace but that not always has to do with braking rules of following rules.”
Hiwa’s answer: “We do not live in a dream. We are not perfect and people make mistakes in terms of creating rules. Silence in not an option when something is clearly wrong. People should stand against the rules that are wrong and one of the ways to recognize good from wrong is through experience.”
- Imad to team B:
a) “Do you support breaking traffic rules when they are made to protect people?”
b) “How would you feel is you are selling goods and some people come and steal your goods?”
Johny’s answer: “My examples were specific. I wasn’t talking about breaking traffic rules just to see a movie, or just to stop and see the flowers. I was giving examples where someone’s life depends on whether you reach the hospital on time or not. Breaking the traffic rules is only okay when it comes to emergencies, not for trivial things. We agreed that these traffic rules are there to protect people’s life, then if what’s the point of respecting that rule if the person you are driving to the hospital will die just because you didn’t go a bit faster? If the aim was to protect people’s lives, then we should care more people’s lives rather than avoiding getting an infraction ticket.”
Regarding to the second question:
“I don’t have anything against protecting your things. But if there are rules that are not meant to protect your goods, your life, people’s welfare and interests, then I don’t see why we should keep them.” (The rules)
Johny’s question for team A: “What matter the most: people’s life or being a good citizen?”
Taregh’s answer: “People’s life.”
Johny: “I rest my case.”
Melika’s answer: “People are not perfect nor do they make perfect rules. Rules are conditional.”
For team A: “If you were in an emergency and need to get a family member to the hospital immediately, would you break the rules?” (Traffic rules)
For team B: “What makes you sure you won’t hurt others by breaking these rules?”
Somayeh: “If it were a family member, of course I would break the rules to save a life, because it’s an emergency. But we are not always in an emergency.”
Taregh’s answer: “It depends on the area. There are populated areas where you cannot afford to break the traffic rules.”
Johny’s Answer (to second question): “Statistics. Risks are always there. Exceeding the speed limit will not always result in accidents. When someone’s life depends on the decisions you make, the risks become less relevant. The most important thing is to save people’s life. Having an emergency doesn’t mean you will suddenly lose all your senses and driving skills. On the contrary, you may sharpen them. Risks of causing accident are a possibility, yes, but not a certainty. The phrase “better later than never” is not applicable in this case because then person will “never” reach the hospital ALIVE if you stop and respect all traffic rules when it’s possible to avoid them in order to save his/her life.”
Team C summary:
- There have been people who became famous and successful by breaking some rules. This shows that we should not always follow all rules.
- If we look at the animal kingdom, there are many species that follow different rules within their own habitat. Even ants follow different rules. We are the only species that have values such as humanitarian values. We are not creatures that do not think and only follow rules that are imposed to us. It’s important to recognize the fact that we can know when to break them.
- Sometimes, the very people who make the rules break the rules. We see that within the senate or with the clerics at the traffic department and judges who were stopped by the traffic police for breaking the some traffic rules.
- Rules are for poor and ignorant people who either cannot understand them or power to work around them. Money corrupts people and gives opportunity to be above the rules.
- The society is corrupted in such a way that the law does not apply to everybody.
- The most important thing is people. Rules can be modified according to the times and situations. One example would be the Nazi rules against Jews and other people. Or rules against who follow certain religion, or against people with certain sexual orientation. We should never follow such an anti-humanitarian rules.
- Tibi voted for Team B.
- Flory remained undecided.
- Azamu voted for Team B.
- Robin voted for Team B.
Team B won this debate. There was a bonus chat after the debate and the topic was: “Name 3 personal rules that define you.”
Thanks everyone for participating! Below are the links to listen to this discussion.
Rules should always be followed | Recording File | January 24th 2016
For people who did not join the live discussion, feel free to contribute the ideas in the comment blanks below.