The Instigator
Harlan
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
oasisfleeting
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

In the scenario provided by "The Euphio Question", the retail of therein product would be wrong.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/17/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,746 times Debate No: 6563
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

Harlan

Pro

I am going to keep this first round short, in the event that no one will know what I am reffering to, and the debate will not be accepted...

This debate revolves around the scenario provided by the short story, "The Euphio Question", by Kurt Vonnegut. Off the top of my head, here is an abstract of it:

An electronic device is invented which, with the flip of a switch, can make all near it feel a stronge sense of euphoria. This device was named the "Euphio". This product is refined, and a character in the book is intent on vast commercial purposes for it (such as selling run-down houses with euphios in them to make it's inhabitants happy). The main character and narrarator of the story eventually opposes the idea.

The controversy -the "question"- presented by the story is whether it would be moral to have someone make profit off of selling synthetic happiness.

I disagree with this notion, and here's why...

1. It would take away the meaning of happiness- in the scenario, the euphios are extremely cheap, suggesting that the retail of them would be widespread, and they would be commonplace. While happiness is a very good ultimate goal to strive for, the synthetic, commonplace, and effortless substitution of happiness would take away it's meaning and therefore take away any illusionary meaning of life, which brings us to the next point...

2. It would result in overall apathy- as is seen in the story, when they sit around doing nothing for 2 days with the euphio on (during there test), it can result in a dangerous apathetic neglection of biological necessities. People would just stop caring and start dying.

There is something similiar to this which is in real life called "electric stimulation of the brain", or ESB. In tests done with this on mice, the mice almost always chose the ESB over food, even after being deprived of food for 24 hours. This shows that people will neglect biological necessities given a product as outlined in "the euphio question". (http://www.damninteresting.com...)

And that's all I've got for now.

-Harlan
oasisfleeting

Con

Topic: the sales of an apathy inducing product would be wrong.

The premise of this book sounds like anti illicit drug propaganda. Being very pro illicit drugs I will be more than happy to debate this with you.

QUOTE "1. It would take away the meaning of happiness"

This is incorrect because while it wouldn't "take away" the meaning of happiness it would ultimately redefine it for the users of the Euphio. Prohibiting the sale of the Euphio to these people would be taking away what makes them happy.

QUOTE "synthetic, commonplace, and effortless substitution of happiness"

I am troubled by the use of the word effortless. These users of the Euphio are enduring sleep deprivation and starvation in order to explore the way they feel when using the Euphio. Everything has a cost.

QUOTE "2. It would result in overall apathy"

Question: Did any of the Euphio's break in this story? If so what did the user do?

The resulting apathy would be detrimental for the users who could not use the Euphio in moderation and endured physical harm, and I see nothing wrong with this.
This is only going to introduce a new element into the overall evolutionary tree. As with anything the Euphio will not be for everyone, some people will find their happiness in hating users or trying to deny users access to their Euphio. Denying someone the opportunity to destroy themselves is the immoral action as I see it.

Stopping the supply or sales of the Euphio will not subdue the demand. In fact it will only drive up the value of the Euphio and force users into taking more drastic actions to acquire it, which will result in higher crime rates and a massive weakening of the economy due to a constant outflow of funds to foreign sources that still produce Euphio's.

I would just like to say that it's B.S. that I can't add html tags to my posts to make it easier to read.
Debate Round No. 1
Harlan

Pro

Harlan forfeited this round.
oasisfleeting

Con

oasisfleeting forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Harlan

Pro

I will respond point by point...

"[The assertion that the euphio would take away the meaning of happiness] is incorrect because while it wouldn't "take away" the meaning of happiness it would ultimately redefine it for the users of the Euphio."

I am not arguing that the euphios be taken from people who have them, I'm arguing that the original retail of them would be wrong. Earlier I said that it would make happiness meaningless. I would like to further elaborate on this now...

Basically, what the euphio would do, is it would make happiness something that can be had with the flip of a switch. Therefore, happiness would be everyone's all the time. And if everyone is happy, constantly, than no one is ever happy.
Happiness can only be defined if it has an opposite to compare it to: distress. If one is never upset, and is always happy, because "happiness" comes with only the flip of the switch, than happiness wouldn't mean anything. It would no longer be special.

"I am troubled by the use of the word effortless. These users of the Euphio are enduring sleep deprivation and starvation in order to explore the way they feel when using the Euphio. Everything has a cost."

Yes, but that's the point. They are too apathetic to care about those things. They don't feel any negative affects of neglecting their biological necessities.

"Question: Did any of the Euphio's break in this story? If so what did the user do?"

No, that didn't happen. It's a short story, not that much happens.

"The resulting apathy would be detrimental for the users who could not use the Euphio in moderation and endured physical harm, and I see nothing wrong with this."

The nature of the euphio is such that it would most likely render anyone so apathetic that they would not have the will to exercise modesty of it. There would be few people who would be able to resist it. It would be disastrous to make it available to the market.
I do not argue that government policies should prohibit said product, I am just saying that it would be wrong on an individual level to sell these.

"Stopping the supply or sales of the Euphio will not subdue the demand."

Which is why, in this hypothetical scenario, measures should be taken to prevent the demand in the first place.
oasisfleeting

Con

oasisfleeting forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
Bad conduct by forfeitures on both sides. Pro wins by virtue of unrefuted arguments.
Posted by Harlan 8 years ago
Harlan
Ya' know, I ought to start putting disclaimers at the beginning of my first rounds... I am notorious for missing the deadline for posting my argument. I'm that way with alot of things in life.
Posted by Harlan 8 years ago
Harlan
Sorry, didn't realize I was so close to the deadline. I started that over my 3-day weekend and now I've got homework to do.
Posted by Harlan 8 years ago
Harlan
"The premise of this book sounds like anti illicit drug propaganda. Being very pro illicit drugs I will be more than happy to debate this with you."

Hmmm... maybe. Kurt Vonnegut smoked, but was cinical about it, so it's hard to say.
Posted by Harlan 8 years ago
Harlan
Ah, that's too bad.
Posted by bored 8 years ago
bored
i wish I could debate this...but I would probably be on your side.
Posted by bored 8 years ago
bored
i wish I could debte this...but I would probably be on your side.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by theitalianstallion 8 years ago
theitalianstallion
HarlanoasisfleetingTied
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
HarlanoasisfleetingTied
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Total points awarded:30