The Instigator
ConservativePolitico
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
BlackVoid
Con (against)
Winning
12 Points

Informing People of the End

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
BlackVoid
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/1/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,667 times Debate No: 20822
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (23)
Votes (5)

 

ConservativePolitico

Pro

Situation: an asteroid is heading for the Earth. There is nothing that mankind can do about it and the fate of the Earth is sealed.

The world has three months left until complete destruction.

The debate:

Pro: argues that the government should tell the people of their findings as soon as they found out the news.

Con: argues that the government should never tell the people of their fate.

First Round acceptance only.

This should be an interesting debate.
BlackVoid

Con

Thanks for starting this CP, looks pretty interesting.

I await Pro's opening argument.
Debate Round No. 1
ConservativePolitico

Pro

The way I see this debate going is in more of a philosophical direction rather than a hard facts direction but we'll see how it plays out.


The Terminal Patient

I want to start out with an analogy. If a doctor gets a patient and after doing some tests he discovers that the patient has a rare form of terminal cancer. Now knowing the patient is going to die he decides just not to tell them and sends the patient on their way. Now if someone discovered this in today's society that doctor would be sued out the yin-yang and would certainly lose their right to practice and might even be jailed.

Why does the doctor tell the patient their dying when there's nothing they can do about it?

The Right to Know

The doctor tells the patient that they're terminal because they have a right to know when they are dying and if someone possesses the information about the person's fate they have no grounds to keep this information hidden. This can be transfered to the government in this situation. The government, especially the government of the United States is (supposedly) based on the principle "by the people, for the people" meaning that if the government works for the people, like it is set up to do, we can compare them to our doctor. As a government for the people they would have no right to withhold such information from them. People have a right to know their fate if someone else knows. Why should the government know the fate of the world and hide it from the world?

Equality

If the government knew about this asteroid and yet failed to share the info with the people they would be giving themselves an unfair advantage. The precious few who knew about the asteroid would have the time and ability to live out their last few months the way they wanted to while denying that right to everyone else. They have no right to do so.

With this information the people in government would spend time with their families, right old wrongs, do things they always wanted to do while not giving the rest of the world the chance to do the same. The idea is unfair and simply wrong. A select few would get to come to terms with themselves while the rest of the world went to their deaths unknowingly.

Personal Responsibility

Now I'm sure my opponent is going to address the possibility of mass chaos and unruliness that will likely come with such an announcement however I believe in personal responsibility coupled with the right to know ones fate. If the news breaks and the world goes to hell then that is their decision to live their last days out in that manner. Everyone needs to take personal responsibility at the end because everyone has the right to come to terms with themselves before dying if someone has the ability to provide them this luxery. If the last days are chaotic that will be because people have decided to act in a manner they see fit and they have the right to do so.

Last Meal and Last Rites

In today's society even criminals who are executed get a last meal and last rites. Even criminals, murderers and serial rapists, are provided whatever meal they want before they die and then are given last rites, the opporitunity to speak with a priest and come to terms with their death. These privilages are granted by the government on any given day to the worst of our criminals, so why shouldn't these same rights be given to everyone by the government? The right to eat what you want before you die, the opporitunity to consult a priest, old friends, old enemies and right some wrongs in your life and come to terms with the end.

If criminals get this right then everyone should get this right.

In conclusion:

- Everyone has the right to know their fate if the information is availible

- Keeping secrets from the people is immoral and wrong

- Keeping such a secret is unfair to the people and advantageous to a lucky few who don't deserve the right that they would deny to others

- Criminals get a last meal and last rites, the people of Earth should be provided the same opporitunity

Thank you.
BlackVoid

Con

Thanks for the opening argument. I'll start by giving my own arguments then refuting his.

My opponent correctly predicts my argument that the world will be thrown into chaos if this news breaks loose. So lets get to it.


C1: All hell breaks loose

1. Humans only follow laws if there's an incentive to do so. This is because laws are inherently restrictive; they limit actions we are allowed to carry out. I hate my boss, but even though I'd like to, I wont punch them in the face because I would be fired and thrown in jail. Plenty of people have grudges against other people and would love to abuse or kill them, but won't due to the threat of jail and/or death.

2. Informing the public of eminent doom de facto removes all laws. There's no incentive to follow them anymore because it doesnt matter if you're caught and thrown in jail; you were going to die anyway.

3. When laws are removed, crime flourishes.

A. Logic: Common sense tell us that if we legalized murder, rape, and theft today, then in a couple weeks the crime rate would be at an all time high. Even if some people dont join in the charade due to their own sense of morality, plenty of others will. Murder would be widespread, and people like Megan Fox/Jessica Simpson couldnt walk the streets anymore due to the threat of rape. There would be nothing stopping people from breaking into stores and stealing that iPod or video game they always wanted. The world would be turned to shambles.

B. Empirics: In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, almost all law enforcement had either deserted the city or were wiped out. This caused the crime rate and violence to skyrocket since there was no longer any incentive to follow the law (1). Hundreds of people left in the city also began to loot convenience stores without a care in the world, and many of the stolen goods were non-essential items (2).

C. Conclusion: Don't tell the public that the world is about to end. They will lose all incentive to remain civil, and murder/rape will skyrocket beyond anything we've ever seen. This answers most of my opponent's arguments. If the world erupts into chaos and violence, this will interfere with people's ability to fulfill their "bucket list" and do the things they want to do before they die.


C2: NASA conflict

Under this resolution, the government is the only entity that already knows the world is three months from destruction. NASA, being a federal program, would then be working on developing or finishing any existing space shuttles in the hopes that we could launch a couple hundred humans to another planet, giving us a chance to live on. However, if the entire public was made aware of the approaching asteroid, tens of thousands of people would be busting down NASA's doorstep and fighting each other, trying to get on the shuttle themselves. Imagine the NASA control room being flooded with hundreds of people fighting over who gets to get on the spaceship. This would interfere with the building process, especially if the fighting becomes explosive due to people bringing firearms. The conflict and chaos would prevent any shuttle from ever being completed, preventing anyone from even having a chance to live elsewhere, and condemning all of humanity to guaranteed extinction.


C3: Nuclear strike

1. India and Pakistan have fought three full-scale wars over who rightfully owns the area of Kashmir (3). This conflict has lead both countries to feel absolute resentment towards the other. They arguably hate each other more than any other 2 countries in the world. Each nation would like to see the other burn.

2. The reason they haven't fought each other recently is because both have acquired nuclear weapons, so both sides fear nuclear destruction if they engage in aggression (4).

3. Letting them know that the world is going to end in three months removes any such incentive to avoid hostility. They will start war immediately, knowing that they have nothing to fear but a death that's going to happen anyway. Due to the volatility of the situation, the war would quickly turn nuclear, at which point both sides send every nuke they have at the other, resulting in a planet that is either destroyed or unliveable due to pollution created by the explosions. The world would end well before the three month deadline.

This is just one possible scenario. Nations like Iran, which could develop a nuclear bomb any week, could also feel inclined to start a nuclear war if they know they're going to die anyway. Al Qaeda would kick any possible plan they might have into action immediately if they learned what's going to happen. And who knows what would go through Kim Jong Un's mind.


So there's several disdvantages to informing the public. Lets look at Pro's case.



Terminal Patient/Right to Know


His terminal patient example is not comparable because its an isolated incident. If we tell one single person that he's going to die in three months, then that's fine. There is no far reaching impact beyond the grief that he and his family feels. However, when we tell the entire world, that everyone is going to die, this has massive consequences. As shown, not only does murder and rape become widespread, but the human race itself gains no chance of survival. This threatened the public's right to life and security. Protecting the public's right to security is more important than protecting their right to know.


Equality


Turn - Plenty of people wouldn't want know that they're about to die. Consider this line from the movie, The Bucket List:

"A survey once asked 1,000 people, if they could know the exact date of their death, would they want to know? 96% said no." (5)

96%. Of course, being from a movie, its questionable as to how accurate that is. But its undeniable that many people in the world wouldn't want to know the info my opponent wants them to. In essence, he forces this information onto a public that may or may not want it. And its understandable as to why people wouldn't want to know of this asteroid. If I were told this, my last three months would be lived in a pure state of panic and anxiety, knowing that I was just weeks away from death. Others would feel this way too. This makes this Equality argument non-unique, because even if I'm unfairly withholding information some people may want, he's also forcing information onto people that may not want it.


Personal responsibility:

Pro says that even if the world turns to chaos and crime in its final days, that's fine because its the public's decision as to how they want to live their lives out. This is absurd. If I'm on Death Row and a week away from death, I dont have the right to go kill six more people just because "that's how I want to live out my final days". People aren't entitled to living a life of crime just because they only have a couple months left.


Last Meal/last rites

This whole argument is an appeal to tradition. His argument is "criminals get a last meal, so citizens should too." Well, why should criminals get a last meal in the first place? There is no warrant.

But more importantly, extend the World Chaos and Nuke War impacts. If the world turns to hell (or is torn apart by war) in its final days, this will interfere with my ability to have a last meal and rites. I can't have a last meal if I'm dead. So I dont think there's any benefit drawn off this argument anyway. But even if everyone did get a chance to have their favorite meal before they die, its undeniable that my disadvantages are greater in magnitude. The cons outweigh the pros.


Good luck to my opponent in his next round.



1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://project195.org...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://www.thedailybeast.com...
5. http://marysbestmovies.net...
Debate Round No. 2
ConservativePolitico

Pro

All hell breaks loose

My argument stems from the fact that I believe in the right to choose, I believe in free-will for all. If people are truly free to make their own choices then I think that they should be free to choose how to live out their last days on Earth. No one has the right to deny someone the right to live the way that they want to, especially in the face of death.

a) 61% of people, according to one poll, believe that people are inherently good. [1] If given the choice I think most people would rather spend time with their family, right old wrongs and reconnect with past friends than rob a bank or punch their boss in the face. Will everyone behave well in the face of crisis? No, and I'm not even going to pretend that they will but the good would outweigh the bad in this situation. The law is not the only thing keeping order in the world, for some it is, for a small portion but I think that there is an underlying fabric of human decency that really keeps the world in order. Not laws.

Logic: You say that a good host of people, if given the chance, would rape, murder and steal without a care in the world. This goes to say that there is a large portion of the population that is sane, stable and knowingly obeys the laws out of fear only but this is not the case. In order to murder and rape and commit other violent crimes a person's brain has to be fundamentally different than that of a regular person's brain.

"You see, I truly believe that murderers are mentally ill," she explains. "Their brains don't work like the rest of ours do. To deliberately kill someone requires crossing a profound boundary. Most of us couldn't do it. We couldn't even think about it. But they can. They do. Why? Because they're mentally ill." - Elaine Sharp, defense attorney [2]

Would you murder, steal, rape if you knew you could get away with it? Would your parents? Your teacher? Your best friend? I have a hard time believing that they would. There will be those few broken or damaged individuals who would yes but I think that compared to the good that will come out of telling people it will be a trivial and manageable few. As a whole people will not act in this manner, people are inherently good and people with normal thought processes will not commit violent crimes because they can't.

Empiric: Hurricane Katrina was an isolated incident where people were thrust into a position of survival. They looted to survive, they were pushed to the edge of desperation by losing everything. In our situation people will be given warning, they will retain all of their belongings, their families etc until the time of simultaneous death. The two situations are completely different and can hardly be compared.

Nasa Conflict

Your argument, in the form it is currently in, is purely illogical. You would rather condemn the entire human race to extinction rather than deal with a little crowding in the NASA control room? Either way, this argument doesn't really pertain to the argument at hand. If this news was broken tomorrow do you think NASA could build an interplanetary colony ship in three months? I don't. We haven't been to the moon in over 25 years, we've never been to Mars. What makes you think they would be able to put something together so quickly? I don't think they would be able to. Therefore this project would not exist and your argument is thus void.

Nuclear Strike

What would be the incentive for nations to blow each other up in this situation. I fail to see the reason. If your enemy is going to die in three months anyways, why would you risk retaliation when you can just wait and let it happen naturally? It would be like murdering a cancer patient. What would be the point? Why would India and Pakistan care who owns Kashmir in the face of crisis? They wouldn't. The reason countries fight for land and power and weapons is so that they can secure themselves for years to come, to set themselves up to be in a position of power for a long term future. People don't fight for land so they can rent it, or hold it for a short period of time.

Truly there would be no incentive to go to war unless it was for destruction's sake alone and if countries would be so bold as to go to war just for the sake of killing on another then there would be war in Taiwan, Korea and Iran today but there isn't because people don't fight for no reason. Instead of inflaming tensions a crisis would do well to erase them. The future would mean nothing so why fight? Nations and groups would be concerned about their own problems, their own families to worry about people of distant or no relation to them.

Equality

Firstly your source is indeed from a movie which means it has 0% credibility (sorry but it's true).

However, I did find a few polls, mostly on forums, about this and most fall more on the lines of 40-60 [3] in favor of not knowing but it is much closer to half and half than the 96% you threw at me.

Also these numbers are a little skewed for a big reason: they are based off a question that, in most people's minds, cannot be answered.

If I really had a way to tell you when you were exactly going to die you would be curious at least and ravenous at the most. It's easy to nonchalantly answer a question that lies in the realm of fantasy but it would be much harder to turn down this information if it was really presented to you.

Also, you say you would be giving people information they DON'T want to know. However, you can't justify denying the people who would want to know the right of knowing in favor of the group who doesn't want to know. People are entitled to certain knowledge but people do not have a right to ignorance. Could you with hold the cancer patients diagnosis on the behalf of the wishes of a friend? Of a stranger? No of course not, so why do you have the right to deprive the people who would want to know that knowledge in favor of a group who doesn't want to know?

Knowledge is power and with knowledge people can do good things, make their own decisions and will be free to live and make choices on their own merits.

Last Meal

Since my opponent has challenged the validity of a last meal and last rites I will present a different position. Should we eliminate such organizations as Dreams Come True, the ones who give children their dream before they die? No. In our society, stemming from the compassion and good people feel, those close to death have a right or a privilege to live their last days out in a way they want to.

Also your argument about the world being torn apart in the extent you describe is pure speculation.

Depriving The Good

Tragedy brings people together. After Pearl Harbor we stood together as a nation in the face of evil. Was the naval base in Hawaii looted? No. On 9/11, Americans flooded to New York to help and give support not loot the abandoned area around Ground Zero. By not telling people of their end many will die with regrets. Telling people about the end gives them the chance to: reconnect with people, make amends, find God if they so choose, seek forgiveness, come to peace with who they are, come to terms with their life, come to terms with the end, say things that they've always wanted to.

Most people would take advantage of these things if given the chance. Isn't there something you'd want to tell somebody before you die? Perhaps you want to apologize to someone, ask forgiveness. Under your plan you would never get that right and millions could needlessly die with regret.

I think the government would have the responsibility to tell the people so that they could fully pursue their rights to partake in these things. People have a right to have a chance to make amends. Given the situation it is only fair.

[1] http://www.helium.com...
[2] http://www.theatlantic.com...
[3] http://www.mmo-champion.com...
BlackVoid

Con

Thanks for the entertaining debate so far.


C1: World chaos


Pro repeats his argument that people have the right to choose how they want to spend their final days, even if its a life of chaos. He doesn't respond to my argument that this is irrational, because its like saying a death row inmate 1 week from execution should be allowed to go out and kill six more people if he wants to, because he has a right to live his last days the way he wants. Extend. Here's another example: if a terminal patient finds pleasure in stealing, he's not allowed to do it even though its how he wants to spend his final days.


a. Humans inherently good???

My opponent cites a poll where 61% of people said they believed people are inherently good (so people wouldnt kill and steal if they knew about the asteroid). Unfortunately, people believing something doesnt make it true. Remember, everyone thought the Earth was flat at one point.

Moreover, my opponent doesnt really substantiate his claim that humans are good by nature outside of this one poll. He uses the phrase "I think" to support his argument that the world won't turn to hell, with no real warrant/reasoning behind it. There's no specific logic provided as to why humans are inherently good. In comparison, I gave you the empirical proof that people would turn to crime (through the Katrina example), and the common sense argument that the murder/violence rate would rise substantially if they were legalized (which affirming basically does).

Logic: This quote is important. Pro says, "In order to murder and rape and commit other violent crimes a person's brain has to be fundamentally different". However, the defense attorney source he gives to support this only talks about murder. The quote does not mention rape, theft, and "other violent crimes". Thus, his quote doesnt apply to any of those latter three abuses, meaning my side proves they will occur if the news breaks loose.

As for murder itself, all his defense attourney quote does is say that killers have different brains. This doesn't respond to the argument that murder would go up if everyone knew there would be no consequences for doing it. Killers are weird =/= murder rate will stay the same.

Empirics: Agreed, a lot of goods in the Hurricane Katrina aftermath were stolen for survival purposes. However, he ignores my sourced argument that many of these goods were non essential, such as jewelry and electronics. People stole them because they could. Moreover, he makes no response to the increased crime and violence rate in the wake of the destruction. Thus, I have empirical proof that, when people don't have to follow the law (such as in this asteroid scenario), people break the law. This accesses all the arguments about how affirming would skyrocket crime rates and potentially cause nuclear assault from extremist nations.



C2: NASA Conflict

NASA is currently engaged in 93 different research and building operations (1). They are extremely divided and strewn out. However, if we learn an asteroid is approaching, they would be able to focus all their resources on one mission; building a space shuttle (or more likely, upgrading an existing one, such as Atlantis or Orion) to send some humans to another planet, giving us a chance for survival. Considering that everyone will actually be working on the same project, timeframe isn't really an issue, answering my opponent's objection. At that point, extent the argument that this possibility will never happen if we inform the public of impending doom because they will be busting down NASA's doorstep and interfering with the building process, by fighting amongst everyone over who gets to leave the doomed planet. Even if my shuttle plan is crazy and only has a 1% chance of working, thats better than the 0% thats guaranteed by informing the public of the space rock.



C3: Nuclear strike

Pro questions why rival states would want to destroy each other when they're going to die in three months anyway. Actually, the fact that they're going to die anyway makes no difference. For instance, most of the current US population will be dead in 60 years due to old age, but just because we're going to die anyway doesnt mean Al Qaeda doesnt want to destroy us right now. Same applies to any other war.

Moreover, terrorist states like Pakistan and Iran believe that destroying their enemies will lead them to Jihad, creating a direct incentive to start a nuclear war during this three month deadline. The reason there isn't war right now is because aggression would be reciprocated by the enemy state, harming both parties. But if made aware that the world is about to end, they no longer have to fear the ramifications of their actions, creating incentives to start wars right now. This leads to a destroyed world well before our three months is up. This means no last meals or last rites.



Equality:

To determine whether a majority of people want to know of impending doom, we must compare my source from a Hollywood movie to his source from an online gaming forum. Thankfully, both sources actually support my side. My source says 96% of people wouldnt want to know they're going to die, his says 61%. Either way, I have a clear majority of people telling you they DON'T want to know about this asteroid. This is an independent reason to vote Con in this debate round.

However, Pro says that actually both our polls are skewed because if you were literally confronted by someone who could tell you when you would die, you'd be more likely to say yes. There's no warrant whatsoever explaining why that would be the case. Its just blankly asserted. I'll just as easily say that people would actually be LESS likely to want the knowledge. I give the warrant that this knowledge (in context of the asteroid) would be unwanted because it would cause the person to live out the rest of their lives in panic and fear, knowing they're days away from death. Thus, my interpretation of the polls are warranted, Pro's is not.

Pro then repeats that people have a "right to know" and that I'm depriving them of this right. However, he never responds to my argument that protecting the public's right to security (which I do by preventing mass chaos) outweighs protecting the public's right to know. Since if people die in wake of this knowledge, those people won't be able to "know" anything.



Last meal:

To save space, I'll go ahead and grant that having a last meal is a good benefit. However, group this with my Contentions 1 and 3. Remember, a skyrocketing crime rate and large-scale war interferes with people's ability to have a last meal, since thousands of people will die before they even get the chance to have one.

Pro then says my world chaos argument is pure speculation. Well I'm sorry, I thought this debate was about a hypothetical scenario. I didnt know we were debating about something thats actually happening :/


Depriving the Good

Pro talks about how Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Centers weren't looted when they were destroyed. Neither of these relate to my argument. My argument is that when there is no incentive to follow laws (whether it be because police aren't around, or because it doesn't matter if you're arrested) people break the law. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 did not involve laws being removed, so these aren't responsive.

Finally, Pro says if you affirm, people will be able to say their last goodbyes, right past wrongs, etc. I would argue that, in addition to my C1 and C3 nerfing this, living your final days in paranoia outweighs this benefit. If you Know you're going to die in three months, that will be literally the only thing you can think about for the rest of your short life. Knowing the end is weeks away will induce such fear and anxiety, the negative emotions would outweigh any possible benefit you could achieve.


Good luck to Pro in his final round.


1. http://www.nasa.gov...
Debate Round No. 3
ConservativePolitico

Pro

Chaos

I'm not saying that people should be allowed to run around and slaughter people if they want to. What I'm saying is that inmate on death row is given the right to talk to a priest, call family, eat what they want etc. That is what I mean by wanting to live out their final days in the way they wish to.

Once again I will point out that people with tendencies to exhibit violent behavior have mental abnormalities that make them more prone to such activity that most people do not have. [1] Yes, this goes for all violent behavior, rape and armed robbery included. This being said, the majority of people will not choose to spend their last days in an orgy of destruction. The crime numbers in the United States are actually quite low [2] and even if you multiplied the numbers by 10 it would not be enough to justify sending millions of people unknowingly to their death.

a.

Using the crime rates I posted in my source we can see that, Americans, in general have very low rates of crime. Also, people's tendency to veer towards religion, the nature of guilt and the charity organizations around the world point to a human race that is inherently good.

Logic

I addressed the abnormal mind part above, however I would like to reiterate that this means that most people would not take the chance to partake in these activities, some would, but the majority would not. Most people do not display this abnormality and therefore would not show inclination to partake in such violence.

Empirics

You cannot discern their motivations just by the nature of the things they stole. Perhaps the grocery store is underwater and the CVS has already been looted. Then what? If Best Buy is next store then you'll bust in and take a TV to trade or sell later. You cannot tell their motivations for stealing but bets are that it was for some sort of survival, preservation for the future.

The Nature of Crime

The majority of crimes stem from desperation such as poverty, drug use, mental illness. Now, without a future to stride for, without the fear of neverending poverty the need to steal, to store money away, to hold up a store essentially vanishes. If you don't have to worry about paying your loan off next summer you might not have to stoop to crime in order to achieve this goal. Very few crimes are committed for the sake of doing evil, and the ones that are are due to abnomalities in the brain. This being said, I can safely say your argument for the crime rates are overexaggerated.

Nasa

You argument is interesting yet I still think it isn't viable. It took 8 years for us to develope a rocket capable of going to the moon [3], but going to the moon in this case wouldn't be enough. We would have to go to Mars or beyond while sustaining a habitable ecosystem for us to live in off world. This just isn't viable, especially not in three months. We couldn't even maintain a self sufficient biodome here on Earth and the one we tried failed miserably. [4] That being said, even if your (very generous) 1% chance was possible here's a solution:

Kennedy Space Center functions like a military base, there's a gate, buffer zone etc. Move some military personnel down to Cape Canaveral and have them protect the Space Center while the project is underway by promising them a spot on the spacecraft when their mission is done. Simple. They would have an incentive to protect Canaveral and would do so.

Viral Information

You would never be able to keep something like this a secret so not telling the people would be pointless. The scientists that discover it would tell their wives, who would tell their kids, who would tell their friends, etc. All it would take would be one facebook post, one comment to the media and everyone in the world would know in a matter of days. Keeping a secret in today's world is nearly impossible especially without incentive to keep such a secret. The scientists would tell someone and the news would gradually spread. So by telling them early you therefore eliminate the speculation of rumor and the mistrust that comes with it.

Nuclear Strike

Your argument doesn't make sense. While each person in the US is only liable to another "60 years", the United States as an entity will stand until destroyed. Al Qaeda doesn't hate individual Americans, they hate America. There's a difference. There is a future to impact, times to plan for, kids to raise, security for the next generation but in our scenario that goes away and without that many of the things that would propel a country to war will be destroyed. Why would Pakistan care about Khashmir when the world will be rubble in a matter of weeks? They wouldn't.

Jihad would not be called in this situation. Jihad is a holy struggle to advance the will of Islam but there will no longer be a future to advance Islam into, so why would they bother? If I told you that you'd be dead tomorrow, would you spend today trying to hunt down the bully you hate and beat him up? I doubt it.

Equality

First of all your source is a MOVIE! So my source is truly the only source there is, showing that there is one poll on a forum website informally taken from internet nerds showing a single number. Based on this I move to throw the polls away.

Either way, I don't think such polls are reliable sources of information for the reasons posted. Until such a situation occurs we cannot tell how people really would want to react? We can't.

The right to know does not outweigh the right to security. Security can be procured on individual, local, state and national basises. People in a neighborhood can band together in order to protect themselves but these people cannot ban together and find out this information. The government has a respsonibility to the people to share this information because people are capable of their own security but they are not capable of discovering such information on their own. Also, these people are going to die anyways, so like I've said before, they should have right to access certain rites.

Last Meal

I said that your chaos is speculation but that was poor wording. I meant that, based on the information I have provided, the level of crime and chaos you have tried to display is overblown and overexaggerated. Criminals are offered the right to induldge in their favorite food and humanity should be provided the same right. We are elevated above common criminals!

Depriving the Good

Humanity has the right to grieve for itself, to correct old wrongs, to eat their favorite meal before they go and to spend their last days in the arms of their kids, their wives, their mothers and fathers. They have the right to reflect on their existence, come to terms with their own mortalitiy and make peace with themselves.

Chaos might remove some laws but it also brings people together. Tragedy unites people and the outpouring of love and forgiveness in this situation would be unfathomable and you have no right to stop such good. In fact denying this right is borderline evil. If you're feeling paranoid and anxious don't you want to be with loved ones? Or do you want to die in a cubicle wondering when your break is coming?

When you die don't you want to die in the arms of your lover? With your bestfriend? Laughing with old pals? With your pet? On your couch? Don't you want to be surrounded by love and comfort when you go?

Give the people the right to be like that. Everyone dies, give humanity the opporitunity to die on its own terms. Give the people the right to die in the arms of their spouses. Let the best of human nature come out in the end, allow people to choose where they want to die, allow people to forgive and find peace.

Thank you.

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[2] http://www.nationmaster.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...(rocket_family)#Early_development
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
BlackVoid

Con

I'll start by thanking CP for this entertaining debate and being a good opponent. This topic was great, and I'm sure there's plenty of other arguments we didnt have space to make that others might try out sometime.


C1: Chaos

1. My opponent pulls a Mitt Romney and flip-flops on his original argument. In R2 he said, "If the last days are chaotic that will be because people have decided to act in a manner they see fit and they have the right to do so." Now in R4 he says "I'm not saying that people should be allowed to run around and slaughter people if they want to". So first he says people have a right to be chaotic, but now he says they don't. So Its now clear that people turning to crime or violence in their final days is a bad thing, and they don't have a right to do it.

2. He drops that his Mental Differences argument doesn't answer my contention 1. Just because criminals are inherently different doesn't mean that the crime rate wouldnt rise if the news broke loose. Criminals are weird =/= crime rate stays the same.

3. How much crime?

Pro says "the majority" of people won't turn to crime. I agreed to this last round. However, he drops my R3 argument that even if its a minority (1 in 4 people committing crimes) thats still chaos on a worldwide scale, interfering with the quality of life in our last three months.


(by the way, his crime statistic source says 21.3% of people are crime victims (1). He says this is "low". Um...what?)

Based off the latter two concessions, this whole contention clearly flows Con.


Humans inherently good???


Pro makes a puzzling quote that "Americans, in general have very low rates of crime"

21.3% (his source) is not low.

He also says that "even if you multiplied the numbers by 10 it would not be enough". But thats a 213% crime rate....

Logic:

He repeats that "the majority" of people won't turn to crime. As previously stated (and dropped), it doesn't take a majority of people to cause havoc on a worldwide scale. Even if its 1 in 4, thats 25% of people stealing and killing, knowing they have no consequences to fear from their actions.

Empirics:

Pro refutes my looting argument, but he still has no response to the increased violence and crime rate after Hurricane Katrina. My argument is mainly about violence, so this is concrete proof of what will happen under a Pro ballot.

Anyway, Pro says maybe looters in New Orleans stole unnecessary goods like TV's because the grocery store was underwater, so they stole from Best Buy. However, I could just as easily say that more TV's weren't stolen because the Best Buy was underwater and not the grocery store.

But lets be realistic here. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that, when people are stealing TV's, jewelry, and other unnecessary goods, its because they want to make an extra buck without having to work for it, not for "survival". This is empirical proof of my position. When people can break the law without worrying about the consequences, they do. If there were no police officers, crime would go up. If laws are removed, crime goes up. If people are going to die in three months and thus dont have to worry about getting caught and put in jail, crime will go up. Its pretty simple.


"Nature of crime"

This is a brand new response he's making to my C1. By debate standards you ignore new arguments made in the last round.


C2: NASA

His ONLY response is "we couldnt do all this in three months". He never responds to my rebuttal that NASA is engaged in 93 different operations in the status quo, and in this Doomsday scenario, all 93 would be cancelled and be relocated to working on space travel. This multiplies NASA's workforce and speed several times over, making this a feasible operation.

His Kennedy Space Center alternative is another new argument made in the last round. By debate standards its ignored.

Conclusion - humanity has a slight chance for survival under my plan. Pro's idea of informing the public guarantees our doom.


C3: Nuclear strike

This also clearly flows Con. Everyone is going to die eventually, but that doesnt stop people from starting wars and killing others anyway. All Americans will naturally die off over many years. But Al Qaeda still wants to destroy us themselves anyway. In the same light, even if a state will be blown up in three months, there still will be inventive for a rival state to destroy them beforehand. As the argument in R2 stated, there's actually MORE incentive, since they don't have to fear repercussions. "Lets go ahead and destroy them. It doesn't matter if they attack us back, the end of the world is coming".


Viral Information

Another brand new argument made in the last round. This should have been made in R2, not R4.


Equality:

Okay, so now he wants us to throw BOTH our polls away, now that we know that they both support my side. *Sigh*. I'll agree to this just because of this next argument:

Pro completely drops my rebuttal that people would choose not to know because of the anxiety it would produce. If you knew you're dead in three months, you couldnt think about anything else this entire time. You would feel intense paranoia and other psychological problems, knowing you're days from death. This is completely unanswered, and thus serves as independent reason to prove that people DON'T want to know about the asteroid.



Last Meal:

Group with my C1. The debate here is basically has essentially become a rehash of the world chaos argument.


Depriving the Good


Pro writes a lot of paragraphs here, but only a couple sentences actually respond to my argument from last round. I showed that informing the public of the asteroid makes everyone live the rest of their lives in fear, knowing they're days away from death. Pro says that this anxiety would be offset by being able to die in the arms of your loved one, with your best friend, or laughing with old pals. Well, if I'm a day away from death, I'm not going to be laughing. Even if I'm with someone I love just before my time, that won't erase the paranoia of knowing that we're all about to die. Humans are biologically wired to fear death, which is why we work so hard to avoid it. So if we know 100% that we're going to die in three months, we will experience intense paranoia and psychological trauma. Even if we're able to be with friends and family in our final days, the negative emotions produced from the knowledge obviously outweigh that positive.


Conclusion:

I wish I could share the same worldview as my opponent. I wish I could believe that in the face of death, everyone will stay calm and civil. But they won't. Maybe if this were a Hollywood movie they might. But its not. Three months from inevitable death, humanity is not all going to join hands and sing "Kumbaya". Rape, theft, and violence would become extremely widespread, since people don't have to worry about being imprisoned anymore. Sure, a lot of people might hold out due to their own sense of morality. But just as many will realize that this is their chance to take everything they've ever wanted, by force, whether it be an object or a person. People who've always wanted to punch their boss, beat up that guy at work they don't like, etc, will do it because they don't have to fear consequences; they're going to die anyway. This leads to a chaotic world where laws arent enforced and crime flourishes in the world's final days. And if this applies to every day rivalries, it definently will to world leaders like Kim Jong Un and Mahmoud Ahmenijad, who now have nothing holding them back from nuking their enemies into submission to fulfill their own twisted desires.


Thus I urge a vote against releasing this knowledge, and the corrupted world it would induce.



1. http://www.nationmaster.com...

Debate Round No. 4
23 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mestari 2 years ago
Mestari
Pro forgot the most important argument. If humans knew the world would end then they would lose all reasons to restrain themselves, thus you could practically have sex with any hot chick you knew. Why would she care? The world is ending anyway.
Posted by fatcheese1 2 years ago
fatcheese1
Hi i m new to debate.org I m found this debate very interesting and I just made this account to post this comment.
If I was con in this debate I would have included how society would function if it were to know its end. 1. If the world would end the value of currency would be reduced to zero, therefore there will be little or no value to go to work and everyone would rush to spend their last days redeeming themselves and finishing unfinished goals. 2. The world we live in is interwoven with each other. If the people who run the electric company stops going to work there will be no power. If the people who provides gas for cars were to stop going to work people will not be able to travel. If the pilots who fly the planes were to stop going to work food from other countries would not arrive. etc 3. Therefore society would collapse and supplies would steadily run low and looting and rioting erupts and cause chaos. 4. This chaos would prevent most if not all people from achieving their goals and last wishes because they would be bound to their homes and would have to focus on their struggles for survivals even for the last 3 months of their lives.
Posted by BlackVoid 2 years ago
BlackVoid
Dang, I should have run that in the debate :(
Posted by BlackVoid 2 years ago
BlackVoid
Well if humans naturally abided by order and accountability, there would be no reason to create laws in the first place.
Posted by Grae 2 years ago
Grae
I would argue the sheer fact law exists is proof that humans want order and accountability, rather than license to "rape, steal and murder".
Posted by imabench 2 years ago
imabench
I smell a debate that is a candidate for debate of the month in February *like*
Posted by ConservativePolitico 2 years ago
ConservativePolitico
Will do, probably after this one is done.
Posted by Maikuru 2 years ago
Maikuru
Cool. Let me know.
Posted by ConservativePolitico 2 years ago
ConservativePolitico
hmmm "mentally ill" isnt the right term.

It would be more like "People who rape, steal and murder are fundementally different than those who don't"

I'll consider it
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
Only some are
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by baggins 2 years ago
baggins
ConservativePoliticoBlackVoidTied
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Reasons for voting decision: If I were to know that the world is about to end in few days, what will I do? Most probably I will spend the remaining time with my family, or go on a long cherished trip over which I have procrastinated for so long... But as per Con, under such a situation all of us would start looting the whole neighborhood since we would have no incentive to do otherwise. Con's complete case rests on paranoia about humanity. 4:0 to Pro.
Vote Placed by thett3 2 years ago
thett3
ConservativePoliticoBlackVoidTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Voted on the space shuttle plan--people would fight to get in the shuttle and the probability of its success would go down.
Vote Placed by Double_R 2 years ago
Double_R
ConservativePoliticoBlackVoidTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. Pros case mostly centered on peoples rights to decide how they wanted to live their final days, however Cons argument showed that the conditions which make Pros case worthwhile would no longer exist. Cons claims may have been somewhat exaggerated, but he supported his case with proof that people, even if inherently good, will resort to measures below the standard of morality expected in a controlled society. He also showed that the resolution would not lead to a controlled society.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 2 years ago
Maikuru
ConservativePoliticoBlackVoidTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The chaos argument is the one of significance. Last meals and one's right to knowledge mean nothing if the entire world has broken into madness. Pro concedes that some people would become violent. Well, on a global scale, we're talking millions conservatively. Con gives the only real-world example of such a situation, with Pro's only rebuttals based on good faith and dropped polls. Con's nuclear war and NASA arguments are very weak, but chaos alone gives Con the argument vote.
Vote Placed by wmpeebles 2 years ago
wmpeebles
ConservativePoliticoBlackVoidTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate. I'll say Con had better arguments. Con did a very good job at explaining his case and pointing out the flaws of Pro. Pro couldn't explain that chaos wouldn't occur. Hurricane Katrina was a good example.