The Instigator
dcarvajal1990
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points
The Contender
AustinHill4
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Memory Erasing Drugs are Unethical

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,545 times Debate No: 18613
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

dcarvajal1990

Con

Within recent years scientist have discovered that the drug propanol may be effective in erasing fear based memories when they are recalled. This has sparked a debate within the scientific community regarding memory erasing procedures ethical implications. Here's a link with more information:

Rules:
5 rounds
My opponent can argue from whatever ethical standpoint he or she wishes (Deontology, Utilitarianism, etc.) and I will argue based on those grounds
The burden of proof will be on my opponent to show why research within this field should be limited or stopped altogether due to its negative ethical implications.
AustinHill4

Pro

My opponent in the comments section stated that his "comments" were all somewhat Utilitarian in thinking and I am more than happy to argue under that form of thinking. Now I would like to set up the definition for clarification and better understanding. Utilitarianism is an ethical theory holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes the overall "good" of the greatest number of individuals over the greatest amount of time. As stated by Plato It is "the greatest good for the greatest number of people over the greatest amount of time". So because of the parameters set up by my opponent in his "comments" we are not arguing the affects of these drugs on the individual receiving them or the benefits to the individual. We are talking about the results in society and whether it is beneficial to society as a whole because they are the greatest number of people and so whatever is good for them out weighs the good for the individual.

So now that we have established the parameters of the arguments in this debate. I will move on to talk about the unethical results of mind erasing drugs. First and foremost I watched the link my opponent posted and I wonder if he watched him it himself because he stated several observations from the Utilitarian point of thinking whereas if you watch the clip you will see that it is from a very teleological point of view. In that it talks about the end result for the individual and disregards the means used to get there. Such as other memories getting lost. Also it talks about how it would be harmful to society, which in this debate is the majority. My opponent stated that the burden of proof lies on me to prove why the research of such a drug should be limited in if not stopped all together. So I ask if it does not fulfill the parameters of this argument setup by utilitarianism I believe that my new and only burden of proof is that of showing how the use of such drugs is more harmful to society as a whole then it is helpful and so making it unethical for us to continue research.

Now I would like to state and briefly explain the attacks and evidence I will be using to show that the use of such drugs is unethical which I will explain in more detail in the next round. First erasing memory is equivocal to erasing evidence and in the same way detrimental. For example if you committed a crime and then someone else cam along and erased a record of that crime how could you be tried and I believe that my opponent would agree you could not be tried and therefore you would not be guilty but still a criminal. In the same way if you were to erase a memory or memories from a persons mind you are preventing the use of those memories in development and further decisions. This is harmful to society and to the individual. I would ask my opponent this; if you erase evidence of a crime are you endangering societies safety? I would say that you are. If you allow there to be research towards a drug that can effectively erase any and all desired memories then you are destroying evidence and that is not ethical. Also you are destroying a person's identity whether or not they know it when you erase person's memories you erase more than you thought you where going to it is inevitable. Even the video that my opponent posted confirms this. It pointed that as we find out more about the brain we are discovering that the brain is a "web" of neurons and so if we destroy one memory it affects others.

Second exploitation of any thing is a problem and since we have not yet gotten a complete hold on the problem of other illegal drugs what reason do I have to believe that we can control a drug that would be legal but have the ability to facilitate unstoppable crime. By unstoppable I mean simply that with out the ability to remember no one would have to lie and no one would have to cover. As long as you can take care of any surveillance systems, after you do the "job" all you have to do is pop a pill and its like nothing ever happened so that again goes against utilitarianism and everything we have been fighting for in the war against drugs.

So to recap and to help my opponent to understand my attacks first I brought forth the definition of Utilitarianism by Plato. Second I brought up an attack about destruction of evidence and how when you destroy a certain memory you destroy others that you didn't intend to. And lastly I brought up an attack about exploitation and how if we can't control the "controlled" substances on the street what ethical grounds do we have to introduce and new and more widely applicable drug that will be available to the public.
Debate Round No. 1
dcarvajal1990

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for his opening arguments and I will accept the new parameters he has set for the debate

Opponents first objection:

First erasing memory is equivocal to erasing evidence and in the same way detrimental. For example if you committed a crime and then someone else cam along and erased a record of that crime how could you be tried and I believe that my opponent would agree you could not be tried and therefore you would not be guilty but still a criminal. In the same way if you were to erase a memory or memories from a persons mind you are preventing the use of those memories in development and further decisions.

While I do agree with my opponent that this scenario would be detrimental for solving crimes, this example is irrelevant because memory erasing has been found to be effective only on fear and addiction based memories. A criminal that commits a crime will not associate that specific crime with either of these two unless he's an addict to crime in which case he would forget about his compulsions and he would no longer be a danger to society. This would be ethical from a utilitarian standpoint because every potential victim that would be affected by this crime had the drug not been used would no longer be in any danger. Furthermore, governmental officials could pass legislation that would only fund memory erasing techniques that are for fear based mental disorders and addiction disorders. This would be beneficial for society since 18 percent of the adult population suffers from some sort of an anxiety disorder and an additional 1 out of every 5 deaths would be prevented from health complications due to smoking alone.

Opponents Second Objection:

Also you are destroying a person's identity whether or not they know it when you erase person's memories you erase more than you thought you where going to it is inevitable.

This is what research is for. We don't know all of the underlying mechanisms of the brain but new research may yield new information on how we can destroy negative memories without hurting a particular person's identity. Also if the person does not like what they have become due to a traumatic event who are we as a society to tell them they can't change?

Opponents third objection:

Second exploitation of any thing is a problem and since we have not yet gotten a complete hold on the problem of other illegal drugs what reason do I have to believe that we can control a drug that would be legal but have the ability to facilitate unstoppable crime. By unstoppable I mean simply that with out the ability to remember no one would have to lie and no one would have to cover. As long as you can take care of any surveillance systems, after you do the "job" all you have to do is pop a pill and its like nothing ever happened so that again goes against utilitarianism and everything we have been fighting for in the war against drugs.

This is pretty much the same as his first objection just worded a little differently. Again, the pill would only be effective only on fear and addiction based memories so the pill would not serve any purpose for the person committing the crime.

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.popsci.com...
http://www.haaretz.com...
AustinHill4

Pro

AustinHill4 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
dcarvajal1990

Con

Pro Forfeited this round so my arguments still stand.
AustinHill4

Pro

AustinHill4 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
dcarvajal1990

Con

I'm going to assume this is a concession. Vote con.
AustinHill4

Pro

AustinHill4 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
dcarvajal1990

Con

dcarvajal1990 forfeited this round.
AustinHill4

Pro

AustinHill4 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by AustinHill4 6 years ago
AustinHill4
I have been very busy lately and so unfortunately will not be able to continue this debate take it as a victory for you if you must but know that it is not because I cant answer your arguments it is because I have no time to I am very sorry and I appreciate you time.
Posted by dcarvajal1990 6 years ago
dcarvajal1990
are you going to forfeit again? if so I will take it as a concession.
Posted by dcarvajal1990 6 years ago
dcarvajal1990
I'll do it on the Comment thread as I've already posted the rules. Memory Erasing drugs are ethical because:

1. They can be used treat a variety of mental disorders that cause human suffering including panic disorder, PTSD, and phobias.

2. The availability of these treatments would increase the patients options in his or her treatment thus increasing the likelihood of being freed from their mental handicap.

3. Barring researchers from developing these drugs when early research shows this could potentially cure fear based mental disorders is unethical because of their potential to decrease human suffering.

These are all based on somewhat of a utilitarian stance feverish the reason why I didn't want to post any arguments was because I wanted to argue based on my opponents ethical framework.
Posted by feverish 6 years ago
feverish
Make your stance clear, being Con suggests you believe they ARE ethical, and I'm not sure whether that's your actual position.
Posted by tvellalott 6 years ago
tvellalott
You forgot to add the link.
Posted by toe-nay-nay 6 years ago
toe-nay-nay
This isnt ground shaking science and will never reach out to humans. Its like an awesome idea to mess with like a GPS tracker on a T.V. remote. Its cool and can be done but it will never gain popularity and production
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
dcarvajal1990AustinHill4Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: FF. Personally I wish I could get rid of most of mine.