Does President Obama deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?I'm sure many people have heard of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to President Obama, but I'm confused as to why he won this award. Could...

Does President Obama deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

I'm sure many people have heard of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to President Obama, but I'm confused as to why he won this award. Could someone please explain the criteria for this award and how President Obama met that criteria (or how he didn't) or at least explain the process of how someone is chosen for this award.

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scarletpimpernel's profile pic

scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

President obama is the first black male to run for president and make it he should at least get credit for that! in general has there ever been a hispanic, afircain americain, or any other culture besides our own in the white house? Hmmmm.....i dont think so.

There are a couple of logical flaws with your reasoning.  To argue that President Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize because of his race is illogical because the prize has nothing to do with someone's race, ethnicity, etc.  When a person throws race into an argument such as this it not only clouds the issue--since race plays no part in the stipulations for the prize--but it also diminishes Obama's winning it.  It is an insult to him to argue that just because he's African-American he deserves the prize; such reasoning takes away from anything that he has done or will accomplish. Just as a white person would not like to hear that he won something because he is white; President Obama is not complimented when someone suggests that he won a prize because he's black.

 

 

MaudlinStreet's profile pic

MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

I would like to direct everyone's attention to the following website:

http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2009/press.html

Here, the committee clearly states their reasoning for awarding the prize to Barack Obama. For some, their reasoning may seem esoteric and too abstract, but they clearly state:

Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.

Thus, even though to many people it may seem like no progress has been made, those in the international community recognize Obama's commitment to diplomacy. Peace doesn't necessarily have to be promoted by invading another country. He has taken clear steps toward decreasing nuclear arms, and I think that they are recognizing the way he has stimulated international affairs. And to poster #9, why would the Nobel committee need to lick anyone's, let alone, Obama's boots? They are under no restrictions, no obligations to any country or ideology. What could they possibly gain by simply flattering him? It seems as though what they've gotten is a lot of flack over an honor many people don't understand in the first place.

 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that post 6's rationale behind awarding the President the Nobel Prize is probably closest to the reason why it was conferred upon him.  It might be seen as more of a repudiation of the previous administration and the challenges that this stance offered in the rest of the world than anything else.  If one accepts this premise, than in the articulation of a viewpoint that is contrary to another, the President might be seen as worthy of the award.

marbar57's profile pic

marbar57 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted on

Does President Obama deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

I'm sure many people have heard of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to President Obama, but I'm confused as to why he won this award. Could someone please explain the criteria for this award and how President Obama met that criteria (or how he didn't) or at least explain the process of how someone is chosen for this award.

I'm sure President Obama has good intentions and high hopes to establish world peace, but I have yet to see any of his pre-election promises come to fruition!  Just because he has charisma and is a forceful public speaker doesn't necessarily make him an advocate for peace or a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.  And, it's not promoting peace to be sending more troops to Afghanistan!  What happened to the promise to bring our troops home?   

My idea of world peace would be for everyone to mind their own business and get over themselves!  I am a Christian and we are taught by Jesus to "do unto others as ye would have them do unto you."  If everyone would follow his example, we would all be candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize!

mshurn's profile pic

Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In following this story, I have come to believe that the Prize was awarded to Obama because as the new leader of the free world, he represents a strong shift in the stated philosophy of the United States in relation to our place in the world, expressing the belief that peace must be pursued by searching for common ground and attempting to bridge the differences between people of all races, religions, and cultures. His commitment to lead in developing mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation for the common good and in focusing on what unites people rather than what divides them was acknowledged with the Prize.

scarletpimpernel's profile pic

scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In agreeing with post #2, your question is purely subjective, especially because of the prize's vague stipulation.  What one can argue is that in recent years, especially, the prize has seemed to be more of a popularity award than anything else.  There are certainly recipients who accomplished much less for fewer people than other nominees, but seemingly because they are better recognized globally, do not win.

On a side note, it is truly appalling that Gandhi never won the prize.  It does make one question how the committee actually decides on a winner.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The only criteria for awarding the Nobel Peace Prize is this from the will of Alfred Nobel, saying that it shall be awarded to

the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.

As you can see, that's a completely subjective criteria and so there's no way to say objectively that someone does or does not "deserve" the prize.

What the Nobel Committee said about their decision is that they feel Pres. Obama had started the world on a path towards nuclear disarmament and towards talking out conflicts rather than fighting over them.  See this link for their full statement.  http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2009/press.html

So... the short answer is that the Nobel Committee picks whoever they want, based on that fairly vague criteria.  Under that criteria, lots of people could potentially be said to deserve the prize.

parama9000's profile pic

parama9000 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

It is a prize given on a very subjective basis. Since President Obama did lead the world to nuclear disarmament, he is promoting for peace and has in that sense, done the best work for fraternity between nations.

vjoane13's profile pic

vjoane13 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

President obama is the first black male to run for president and make it he should at least get credit for that! in general has there ever been a hispanic, afircain americain, or any other culture besides our own in the white house? Hmmmm.....i dont think so.
hobbes's profile pic

hobbes | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

I think Pres.Obama doesn't deserve this prize . Before anyone of you start to protest or take umbrage at me I will like to tell you my side of argument-

1)Till today he hasn't done anything that deserves a nobel.

2)He has only talked about change not done any conrete work.

3)There are far more deserving people in world than Obama.

4)Nobel committe has done this, as an act of bootlicking nothing anymore.

epollock's profile pic

epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The only criteria you can judge if he deserves it is to accept the fact that it was awarded by the most prestigious group in society.  Granted, people may feel that awards have been given out in error, but I would give the Committeee the benefit of the doubt and say that he deserves it because the Committee had stated their reasons publicly, though I cannot remember them offhand.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Just because Alfred Nobel described no objective criteria for selection of people and work for award of Nobel Price does not mean that there are no other objective criteria that guide the Noble Committee in selection of recipients of Nobel Prize Winner.

I am sure that Noble Committee works with a fairly elaborate and well defined system for identifying, evaluating and selecting, candidates for various Nobel prizes that are much more elaborate and objective than the 34 word directive in will of Alfred Nobel, quoted in post #3.

Of course I am not implying that these selection procedures are 100% objective. As a matter of fact, I believe it is not possible to develop 100% objective and yet meaningful criteria in matters like evaluating contribution of individuals to world peace.

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