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"Famer's debate tourney, Skepsikyma VS Buddamoose Round#1"

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/3/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,718 times Debate No: 30910
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (21)
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Resolved: 'Better to live a life with no friends with money than a life with many friends with no money.'

1st Round: Rules, definitions and acceptance
2nd Round: Opening arguments ONLY
3rd Round: Rebuttals ONLY
4th Round: Defense, final rebuttals and conclusion


Better: More useful, suitable, or desirable [1]
Life: The interval of time between birth and death. [2]
Friend: A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts. [3]
Money: A medium that can be exchanged for goods and services and is used as a measure of their values on the market, including among its forms a commodity such as gold, an officially issued coin or note, or a deposit in a checking account or other readily liquefiable account. [4]
Many: Amounting to or consisting of a large indefinite number. [5]
No: Not any; not one; not a. [6]



I accept this debate and the definitions my peer supplied in the first round. Good Luck Skepsikyma
Debate Round No. 1



Alright, I will be arguing that it is both more useful and more desirable to live a life with no friends and money than it is to live a life with many friends and no money. I will be doing this by contrasting the situations which each of these scenarios would necessitate. In doing so I will at once support my own case and undermine my opponents due to the nature of the resolution and thus support the pro side.

My primary argument will deal with the fact that the state which I am arguing against, that of possessing many friends but no money, entails many situations which are less useful and desirable than the proposed alternative. The first of these is the inability to pay taxes and fees, as they are collected in monetary form and the inability to possess money makes it impossible to pay them. This means that a person may not own land or a home, which are subjected to property taxes. They may not own a car, which is subject to inspection and registration fees. They may not own a phone, or subscribe to any service such as electricity, running water, heat, internet, and cable/satellite television. Furthermore, any debts incurred would never be paid and soon all credit would be denied to this individual. This closes the door would be closed for a college education. In fact, this person would rely on two things for every aspect of their survival: bartering, and the kindness of their friends. This brings me to my second point.

Since it has been established that anyone living under a condition which precludes money must survive on either barter or charity for their survival, it ought to be noted that much time will be consumed by their friends. Certainly it is apparent that the maintaining of friendships requires an investment of time. One must then ask oneself: “Is it possible to survive entirely on the barter system while maintaining such friendships?” Seeing the bounds of the resolution specify that the person in question must have many friends and no money, I stress that the time required to maintain friendships must be invested. When one takes into account the amount of time invested to live by the barter system it becomes evident that it is impossible to exist by it alone. One must make, by hand, vast amounts of goods and then seek out those with whom to exchange them. Since wage labor is prohibited, one does not have access to the capital used in mass production unless one purchases it themselves, which cannot be done due to the ban on the possession of money. I therefore hold that such a person would be dependent on their friends for survival.

My final point is that, while friendship has been shown to have a positive effect of the happiness of both parties involved, the relationship only provides such benefits when it is free of dependency. If a person is dependent on their friends for self-esteem the relationship can lead to depressive symptoms. Friendship contingent self-esteem (FCSE) was studied recently and the following conclusions were reached: “In Study 1, the authors developed a measure of FCSE. Both FCSE and others’ approval correlated with self-esteem and depressive symptoms, but when entered simultaneously in a regression equation, only FCSE significantly predicted self-esteem and depressive symptoms.” [1] Studies of dependent friendships in African American female friendships found that such relationships create “untenable dynamics which endanger the friendship and threaten to inhibit the women’s growth.” [2]

I argue that the condition of possessing “many friends but no money” is vastly inferior to the condition of possessing “no friends with money” due to the chronic over dependency and dismal standard of living implicit in the former circumstance. While the preclusion of friends is not a good circumstance to find oneself in, it does not preclude acquaintances who may fulfill some similar functions quite handily: “Using network data obtained in the 1985 General Social Survey, expressions of happiness are shown to increase with the size of a person's discussion network and decrease with the prevalence of strangers in the network. The density of especially close relations in the network has no direct effect on happiness. It is the negative impact of strangers rather than the positive impact of close relations that determines expressions of happiness. The network size and stranger effects remain strong even after respondent differences in socioeconomic status, age, sex, race, and domestic situation are held constant.” [3]. This research shows that a large network of loose associations can provide a degree of happiness roughly on par with that provided by several close friends.

The fact that a person with “no friends with money” will be able to live a life replete with many of the comforts denied to the alternative, without the toxic dependency which their position necessitates, makes them the better choice, overall, for such a life is surely more useful and more desirable.






Thank you for the excellent first round Skepsikyma. And thank you to those who read this debate for taking their time out to judge it. In this round I will argue for why it is better to have friends and no money, rather than money and no friends. I'll do so by arguing from multiple points, these points being:

- Physical Health
- Mental Health
- Lack of necessity of money in friendships
- Feasibleness of lving without money

P1: Physical(physiological) Health

For most, the knowledge that lack of friendships, and close social interaction having negative effects upon a persons mental well-being, is rather common. But what most dont know, is the lack of friendships has a negative impact upon a persons physical health as well. For example, "A 10-year Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends.[1]"

Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina(Greensboro), Rebecca G. Adams, even writes, " "There is just scads of stuff on families and marriage, but very little on friendship. It baffles me. Friendship has a bigger impact on our psychological well-being than family relationships.[1]"

And it has a profound impact upon physiological well-being as well. From the previously mentioned study, to others. Such as a study of 3,000 nurses diagnosed with breast cancer, in which it was found that those with no close friends, were 4 times likelier to die from the disease, then those with 10 or more friends. Strangely enough, the amount of time a person spend with those friends, and how close they were distance-wise to one another, didnt have any impact whatsoever on the likelihood of survival. Just the mere fact of having close friends, was enough to increase the chance of survival.[1]

Friendships also have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks, and fatal coronary heart disease. As well as reducing a persons risk of even contracting something as simple as the common cold[1]. So we see, evidence in studies is rife with proof that friendships are largely important in maintaining ones physical health. Which is quite important indeed.

P2: Mental(psychological) health

For most this is obvious enough. Building and maintaining close friendships is a boon to ones mental well-being. Having close friendships allows one to:

"- Increase their sense of belonging and purpose

- Boost their happiness

- Reduce stress

- Improve their sense of self-worth

- Help one cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one

-Encourage one to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise[2]"

Indeed with no friends it is quite the obviou conclusion to draw that a person would develop a mental condition known as "loneliness." Loneliness does not mecessarily mean that a person need be alone, but rather it is a state of mind in which a person feels alone or isolated. One can be surrounded by plenty of people, but without close friends or relationships to form bonds with, a person quickly develops the condition. This condition has severe negative impacts upon a person, those impacts include increased risk of:

" -Depression and Suicide
- Increased stress levels
- Decreased memory and learning
- Antisocial behavior
- Poor decision-making
- Alcoholism and drug abuse
- The progression of Alzheimer's disease
- Altered brain function[3]"

As one can see, lack of friends is shown to be a cause in a wide variety of mental issues, that have long-reaching impacts upon a persons life. And what good would money with no friends be, if one is having to deal with the multitude of health and mental problems such a lifestyle entails?

P3: Lack of necessity in money in friendships

Now instead of scientific studies, or sources for this section. I'll mainly be speaking from experience. As someone who has had a wide variety of friendships in life, that a commonly misheld belief by a large number of people is that friendships require at least some minimal amount of money to thrive. This is entirely untrue. There are plenty of things two friends can do that require not a single cent, and indeed, the most vital aspect of any friendship requires no money at all.

What is that aspect? Communication of course! Friendships develop, in my humble opinion, when two people communicate enough to where not only do they have a reasonable knowledge of the other person, and their personality and tendencies, but to where they come to trust that person, and deeply respect their opinion, and cherish the time they spend together. True and lasting friendships, arent built upon money, or activities, but rather, upon open communication and trust in one another.

Money plays little into whether or not two people will be friends, and if it does, its not really a true friendship at all!

P4: The feasibleness of living with no money

One could easily claim that living with no money is impossible, or unfeasible. It really isnt, and there are plenty of people who do so even today.

A great example is Daniel Suelo, of Moab, Utah. Since the Autumn of 2000, Suelo had lived a life without any money at all. He still has friends, he still survives, and is immensely happy and fulfilled doing so. Sure, his life is hard, but even with money, life is difficult.[4]

Another example, and this one shows that even families can do so and be happy with their decision, is the Fellmer family of Berlin, Germany. Who survive, and thrive, without the use of currency. How do they survive? By doing jobs in exchange for shelter, food etc. indeed, bartering does play a large part in their lifestyle, but so do activities like, for lack of a better term, dumpster diving. The things that people throw out, are in alot of cases, still usable, still edible, still able to be bartered with.[5] And just from this alone, we see that even living without money, it is possible to raise a family, and maintain friendships.

Another example is Heidemarie Schwermer, who has lived without money for almost two decades! Schwermer does say that friends at times become frustrated by her transient lifestyle, but the beauty of it is, that for those who no longer want to remain friends, there are those who are more than happy to remain friends.[6]

There are many other examples of people, families, that live without the use of money, but just from these examples alone, one can see it is not only feasible. But on too of that possible to grow and maintain friendships, and even families while living this type of lifestyle. Not only that, but one can also see from my arguments, that a lack of close friendships is a contributing factor to many health and mental problems, and even lessens the lifespan of an individual.

Thank you all for reading this, and I look forward to my peers round 3. In which we will address each others arguments, and attempt to refute/rebut them.







Debate Round No. 2


I would like to thank my opponent for his argument, which I will now attempt to dismantle.

His first premise is that the amount of friends has a positive impact on physiological health. His strongest source appears to be a study on breast cancer and social networks; however I would argue that this study far from conclusively shows this. It notes that “However, women who were socially isolated were more likely to be current smokers and engaged in lower levels of physical activity. They also had lower protein consumption and were more likely to be taking hormone replacement if postmenopausal.” [1]. I see it as perfectly possible that either these traits themselves, or some other personality trait which lead to them, also lead to social isolation. In this case the number of friends would not be the causative agent, just a manifestation of a deeper root cause. I cannot find in the article any mention of this possible shortcoming, though they do mention another: “if health care providers are overrepresented in nurses' networks, these findings may overstate the per se benefits of social networks and exemplify the need for adequate care after diagnosis.” [1] In other words, since the sample size consists entirely of nurses it is also possible that an extensive social network includes a disproportionate number of doctors, and that it is access to their advice, not friendship per se, which brings about the disparity in mortality. The other very strong study, the one concerning very old Australians (ages 70 and up) is to be expected of people who live in a state of dependence and is not reflective of the overall population. The heart disease study also lists smoking as another cause. While I am not disputing that friendship has an effect, I do argue that the Times article which was referenced hyperbolically rephrases and selectively cites research to make the impact seem much larger than it actually is.

His second premise is that friendship has a positive impact on psychological health. His second source does not cite peer-reviewed research to support their claims, while the third seems to contradict my opponent’s point. It links to another article which states that “a widowed man might feel lonely over the holidays even though he is surrounded by his family and friends” [2] and that loneliness spreads through social groups. For these reasons I would argue that loneliness has little to do with friendship, as they are not at all mutually exclusive, and networks of friends can become a vehicle for the spread of loneliness. In any case, I do not dispute this point, though I have argued that relationships which do not meet the threshold of friendship as per our definition can still instill such benefits and cited peer reviewed research which supports that point in my own arguments. [3]

Though my opponent’s third premise is supported anecdotally, I do not dispute it.

My opponent’s fourth premise, upon further examination, falls apart quite readily. All but one of his examples use money. When it comes to Schwermer, “The only payment she accepts, however, is enough to cover her train fare.” [4] The family article states “Though Fellmer uses no money, he said Palmer does use a little, mainly in the form of child support she receives from the government, which is granted to all children.” [5] Since they are a family, they cannot really say that they use no money if one person uses it for family expenses. Mr. Suelo, though he does live without money, hardly fulfills the requirement of ‘many friends’ in his hermit-like existence, nearly died after misidentifying a cactus, and accepts the idea that he will simply die if he ever falls seriously ill. I don’t think that this state of existence is one that many people would call better than the alternative presented by the resolution, even if it did meet the requirements set forth therein. [6]









Buddamoose forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent has regretably failed to respond to my arguments. I will therefor use this space to briefly restate it:

Due to the hardship inflicted when one lives without money, and the stress and dependence which such a life would breed between friends, it is better to live a life with no friends with money than a life with many friends with no money. The lack of friends imposed by the conditions which I am defending does not preclude acquaintances and other positive relationships, which can provide benefits similar to those which accompany close friendships. This further supports my argument.


Vote for Pedro(I mean Skepsikyma) XD

Cause i totes forfeited yo
Debate Round No. 4
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 7 months ago
I'd be curious to see how people position themselves on whether it is better to live a life with very little money and lots of close friends with whom you have fulfilling relations, or whether its better to live a life with lots of money (enough to last you a lifetime), but with very few friends say, one or two (definitely not more than two) and you aren't even particularly close.

I agree that the black and white choice is a bit unrealistic.
Posted by Skepsikyma 3 years ago
I know, this debate was depressing for me to argue. I'm glad we don't have live by such starkly black and white choices; it seems that my options were narrowed to forever alone and death by cactus xD.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
lol. So I read the resolution. What a bitter, pessimistic, and totally depressing thing to believe. Too bad it's probably true.

Posted by dylancatlow 3 years ago
Kudos to your definition of friend, by the way. It doesn't necessitate mutual affection at all, so 'friend' could mean 'one who I stalk, but never talks to me.' I would have never caught that :)
Posted by dylancatlow 3 years ago
So Ayn Rand is my friend? Cool!
Posted by Skepsikyma 3 years ago
The definition agreed upon was: "A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts." Anything not prohibited by that definition is allowed, and it did not specify that the friendships were mutualistic. If we had not defined terms then your protest would be valid, but we defined them precisely to avoid such ambiguities as what is implied by the resolution, because such standards are mercurial and thus unreliable.
Posted by dylancatlow 3 years ago
It's implied that the two resolutions are extremes, and that would necessarily mean the friends are good friends, not just barely hanging on to the definition.
Posted by dylancatlow 3 years ago
I think it's implied that the friendships would exist on non-arbitrary means, thus meaning the friendship exists despite the dependency.
Posted by Skepsikyma 3 years ago
I don't recall arguing that they wouldn't last, only that the dependency implicit in such relationships would deprive them of the benefits which they usually entail.
Posted by dylancatlow 3 years ago
Skepsikyma, you make an error when you support your resolution by arguing friendships wouldn't last without money. It is assumed they would, by definition, per the resolutions of this debate. It's sort of like trying to argue it wouldn't be bad to get into a car crash and die because you might not die.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: !ff