The Instigator
danielawesome12
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Valladarex
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

If Extraterrestrial life exist should all Governments keep it classified from society?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Valladarex
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,518 times Debate No: 34400
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

danielawesome12

Pro

Key Debate Points
- In this debate it will be assumed that Extraterrestrial life exists.
- This debate will be 3 Rounds.
- There will be 72 Hours to argue per round.
- Voting will last for 1 week.
- Con may choose whether to begin His/Her argument in the 1st or 2nd round.

Key definitions
Extraterrestrial- originating, existing, or occurring outside the earth or its atmosphere. [1]
Classified- withheld from general circulation for reasons of national security. [2]

http://www.merriam-webster.com... [1]
http://www.merriam-webster.com... [2]
Valladarex

Con

Opening Statements

I accept, and I'd like to thank my opponent for allowing me to debate this topic. This should be an interesting debate.

I will be advocating that governments, if given the knowledge of extraterrestrial life, should tell the public. I will be assuming that my opponent means intelligent life that has the capabilities to visit Earth, as opposed to non-intelligent life.

Arguments

Society

One reason why governments should tell the public about extraterrestrial life is it would change societies everywhere. People, knowing that they are no longer alone in the universe, will be more likely to end conflict within our species and work toward helping humanity as a whole. People will begin to understand that the interests of our species are more important than the interests of specific groups of people. Alliances between different nations will grow stronger, and nations will search for commonalities as opposed to differences between them and other nations.

There are plenty of examples of this happening in times of crisis and war. For example, two ideologically opposite nations, the USSR and the United States, became allies and worked together to take on the greater challenge of defeating the Nazis. This alliance was made possible by the ability of average citizens to understand why the cause of ending the spread of tyranny is more important than remaining hostile to communism. Had the average citizen not known of world events, they would probably not like the idea of being allies with a communist country, and therefore ensure their representatives would not make the alliance.

The same would go with government and citizen actions in the event that we discover other intelligent beings. People would support the unification of humanity under a single banner to ensure that our species is as powerful and prosperous as the aliens. This common cause could only be made possible by the informing of citizens of these other beings.

Preparedness

This brings me into what this human alliance would do. Since we are not sure of the alien's intentions, humanity must ensure that we are well prepared for what they could bring to our planet. This means that we must build a large military and defense system that would allow us to protect ourselves better than if people didn't know. Without informing citizens of the discovery, it would be political suicide to ask for an increase in the military budget with no threat knowingly available to use that military on. In America, scapegoats such as Iran, North Korea, and China could only go so far. The majority of people already support decreases in the military budget.(1)

Scientific Advancement

Another reason why governments should inform people of the existence of alien life is that it would greatly increase demand for scientific progress. People everywhere will be inspired to help make our species as advanced or more advanced than the aliens, and so STEMs(Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) fields will increase substantially. This would greatly increase our chances of being a successful species, when compared to having an informed public focused on other things.

Counter Arguments


Panic and Hysteria

The reason why many people think that the government would hide information on aliens is that they think governments fear of the panic and hysteria that would result from this knew information.

This reaction to alien life would be short lived, and the benefits of keeping this information classified don't outweigh the benefits of telling the public. If these aliens have the potential to reach Earth, then it is inevitable that people will find out. Trying to hide such an important discovery would be futile, and the hysteria would only be worse if the governments didn't announce it at the time of the discovery. This is because people will lose trust in the very governments that are supposed to make them feel comforted in this time of great change.

Even if governments were able to keep such a secret, it would still not be worth it. The ability of citizens to respond to the new discovery would only be beneficial to humanity in the long run.


With my arguments outlined, I'll allow you to state yours and repond to mine.


Source:

1. http://www.langerresearch.com...
Debate Round No. 1
danielawesome12

Pro

I agree to your opening statements
"I will be advocating that governments, if given the knowledge of extraterrestrial life, should tell the public. I will be assuming that my opponent means intelligent life that has the capabilities to visit Earth, as opposed to non-intelligent life."

Society

1. Society in general highly fears aliens, many have even commited suicide for fear of alien life. [1] [2]

Religion

Obviously organized religion would still have some followers out of a possible 7 billion, but religions everywhere would lose thousands, if not millions of followers.

USSR and Russia

The USSR and America weren't in a cold War until after we fought the Nazis, The USSR and America were the 2 biggest factors in destroying Germany and Japan. [3] [4]
The cold war was started because the USSR and America were the only 2 global superpowers standing after World War 2 the Cold War was from 1947- 1991, therefore Con's point should be ignored. [5]

Scientific Advancement

Scientific advancement is controlled by our government, obviously the government could easily advance science in secret. They even make Nuclear Warheads in secret, as is obvious that citizens don't have the knowledge to make nuclear warheads and our government was doing that 50 years ago, just imagine how far ahead of us they are.

Sources:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk... [1]
http://en.wikipedia.org...'s_Gate_(religious_group) [2]
http://library.thinkquest.org... [3]
https://en.wikipedia.org...(World_War_II) [4]
http://en.wikipedia.org... [5]
Valladarex

Con

Society

"1. Society in general highly fears aliens, many have even commited suicide for fear of alien life. [1] [2]"

The two sources you give point toward a cult group, in which 39 people committed suicide. This hardly represents the over 7,121,476,343 people on Earth. So far, there has been no evidence presented that society would be negatively affected in the long run if people are aware that other intelligent life exists in the universe.

And even if there was evidence that the majority of people fear aliens, this doesn't mean that society would be better off without the majority knowing. Sure, there would be a short amount of time of panic and hysteria, but that passes. After the first few days/weeks, the world would be able to get much more prepared for contact with the aliens if they actually know of their existence.


Religion

"Obviously organized religion would still have some followers out of a possible 7 billion, but religions everywhere would lose thousands, if not millions of followers."

I don't see a problem with this at all. Personally, I think it's more of a good thing! If people would not believe in religions because of new evidence against them, why would we prohibit this truth from being known?

USSR and Russia

"The USSR and America weren't in a cold War until after we fought the Nazis, The USSR and America were the 2 biggest factors in destroying Germany and Japan. [3] [4]
The cold war was started because the USSR and America were the only 2 global superpowers standing after World War 2 the Cold War was from 1947- 1991, therefore Con's point should be ignored. [5]"

I didn't say the USSR and America were in a cold war during World War 2. My point remains valid, because it illustrates how ideologically different nations can work together toward a common goal. Goals could include competing with the aliens economically and scientifically, or in the event that the aliens are hostile, to fight the common enemy. These alliances can be done most effectively if the entire population knows about the goals and work toward them.

Scientific Advancement

"Scientific advancement is controlled by our government, obviously the government could easily advance science in secret. They even make Nuclear Warheads in secret, as is obvious that citizens don't have the knowledge to make nuclear warheads and our government was doing that 50 years ago, just imagine how far ahead of us they are."

It is true that governments have secretly funded and created new technologies such as nuclear weapons, but this doesn't mean it's more effective this way. For example, think of what we accomplished through the announcement of the goal of America to get to the moon. Americans everywhere became inspired and motivated to join in on this amazing task that would help with human progress. NASA began to employ a new generation of scientists and engineers that all helped in completing this goal. That national spark of interest in space was only made possible by the government informing the public about their plans.

Also, NASA would be greatly benefited from the government telling people about the existence of other intelligent life. People would likely support massive increases in the NASA budget, since interest in space development and exploration would be much higher. This would definitely result in greater scientific advancement.

Back to you.

Debate Round No. 2
danielawesome12

Pro

danielawesome12 forfeited this round.
Valladarex

Con

I wish people would stop forfetiting :(
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
danielawesome12ValladarexTied
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Reasons for voting decision: F.F.
Vote Placed by TUF 4 years ago
TUF
danielawesome12ValladarexTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by gordonjames 4 years ago
gordonjames
danielawesome12ValladarexTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made big statements without good reasoning to back them up. Most humorous was "but religions everywhere would lose thousands, if not millions of followers."