The Instigator
KRFournier
Con (against)
Winning
69 Points
The Contender
Kleptin
Pro (for)
Losing
24 Points

Only you can prevent wildfires.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+17
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 17 votes the winner is...
KRFournier
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/15/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,783 times Debate No: 9496
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (39)
Votes (17)

 

KRFournier

Con

Ah, the infamous Smokey the Bear and his illogical and unrealistic expectations. Nary an American born citizen exists who cannot recall from memory the baritone plea, "Only you can prevent forest fires." As though this unreasonable expectation weren't enough, his current motto is now, "Only you can prevent wildfires." It's not enough that you are responsible to save the forest, but the grasslands are your sole responsibility as well.

I am firmly against Smokey's motto. I disagree that only you can prevent wildfires. No, I more than disagree. I assert that it is absolutely impossible.

1. Smokey's motto is logically incoherent.

only - adj. 1. Alone in kind or class; sole: an only child; the only one left. 2. Standing alone by reason of superiority or excellence. [1]

you - pron. 1. Used to refer to the one or ones being addressed: I'll lend you the book. You shouldn't work so hard. See Regional Notes at you-all, you-uns. 2. Used to refer to an indefinitely specified person; one: You can't win them all. [2]

The key word in the phrase, "only you can prevent wildfires," is "you." It either refers to the reader as an individual or to all the readers. Either way, the adjective "only" renders Smokey's demand logically meaningless.

If smokey is addressing us as individuals, then we have a logical contradiction. In this scenario, when I read Smokey's brainwashing propaganda, I read it to say, "Only KRFournier can prevent wildfires." But when Christopher Walken reads Smokey's mind-altering subliminal messaging, he reads, "Only Christopher Walken can prevent wildfires." This is a logical contradiction, as it cannot be the case that simultaneously only KRFournier can prevent wildfires and only Christopher Walken can prevent wildfires.

If smokey is addressing humanity in general, then his command should read, "Only you all can prevent forest fires." Still we have a logical conundrum. "Only" is a restrictive adjective but "all" is an inclusive adjective. Either Mr. Bear is blowing smoke, or the term "only" is superfluous. Even if we can make sense of Smokey's creed, we still have the next problem.

2. Humans, individually or collectively, cannot prevent wildfires.

From 2002 to 2006, 16 percent of wildfires were caused by lightning. [3] What kind of psychotic Ursidae insists on humanity stopping natural weather phenomena? How long before Rusty the Armadillo insists that only you can prevent trailer park destruction? It's plain to see, it's absolutely impossible for anyone to prevent wildfires without first having the ability to prevent lightning.

CONCLUSION

Smokey the Bear has been making irrational, impossible demands on humanity for 65 years. [4] His motto is illogical and his expectations unreasonable. I think it's time for Mr. Bear to lay off the Smokey for a while and come to his senses. As it stands, the resolution is negated. It is not true that only you can prevent wildfires.

SOURCES:
1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
2. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
3. http://findarticles.com...
4. http://www.smokeybear.com...
Kleptin

Pro

I thank my opponent for this debate.

Smokey the bear's catchphrase was not originally developed by any western man. In actuality, this is a phrase that hails from the Ancient East, lost and disfigured through the mists of time.

Long ago, in ancient times, China was plagued by massive flooding, which killed livestock and citizens by the thousands.

http://en.wikipedia.org...(ruler)

King Yao, also known as Tang Yao, passed on the duty of halting the floods Gun, one of his subordinates. Gun attempted to halt the floods by building giant earthen dikes, but alas, his plan failed. The floodwaters were far too strong to stop the catastrophic flooding that threatened to wipe out Chinese civilization before it began.

Gun's son inherited this task, and set about creating a system of river channels that had the dual purpose of lessening the impact of the flooding, as well as providing irrigation water to the farmers, turning a mighty natural force of death, into one of life.

Gun's son was very diligent in his task. It took thirteen years to complete, and legend has it that when he started, he was only five days married to his wife, and that she was with child. Over the thirteen years, he passed by his house three times without stopping to enter even once.

"he first time he passed by hearing that his wife was in labor. The second time he passed by, his wife was holding his son's hand as he was learning his first steps. The third time, his son greeted him and enjoined him to come in for rest"

This master of water, tamer of the rivers, and epitome of diligence, was none other than YU THE GREAT.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

As a result, King Yao bypassed his own son as heir and gave the throne over to Yu, who served as the first emperor of China, establishing the Xia dynasty.

Smoky the bear is thus echoing the Chinese legend, in stating that only YU, whose mastery over water and natural disaster, can prevent forest fires and wildfires. Of course, this traditional phrase has been marred by romanization of Chinese words, and lost its meaning through time, we can still understand the meaning.

Only YU can prevent wildfires.

The responsibility rests not with us, but with the great Chinese Emperor, who has proven himself more than capable of controlling the natural disasters which plague mankind.

I look forward to my opponent's response. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
KRFournier

Con

Ah, a worthy opponent indeed. Upon seeing Kleptin's acceptance of my challenge, I immediately went into action, training hard for today's match up. Lot's of logic drills, protein shakes, and a good night's sleep. I'm now sufficiently carbed up and ready to face this titan of debaters.

1. Smokey's propaganda affirms You rather than Yu.

Take a look at this rather disturbing advertisement: http://fly4change.files.wordpress.com...

Imagine the poor seven year old that looks upon this poster for the first time. The emblazoned words "Only You" grab his attention first. He stops to consider this. "Only me?" he thinks. He stares upon the finger pointed directly into his soul. The bear's sad eyes reach out to the child's sense of compassion as if to say, "you wouldn't allow terrible things to happen, now would you?" The child begins to draw nearer the poster in a gesture of willingness to help. He pauses to consider the beast's trustworthiness and finds security in the bear's manner of appearance: shirtless, hairy, jeans with a belt; just like Uncle Joe. The boy, now open to the bear's plea, considers this new great expectation. "I don't know if I can do it alone." he thinks. Then his eyes fall finally upon the shovel clenched tightly in Smokey's left hand. What need does Smokey have for a shovel? A threat, or just a tool to bury the innocent squirrels and rabbits slaughtered due to the boy's lifelong inaction? The boy finally wills himself away from Smokey's presence, ridden with fear (http://www.wildanimalfightclub.com...) or guilt (http://tcritic.com...)... or perhaps both.

Smokey's propaganda as seen here clearly indicates the pronoun "you" rather than the person "Yu." One would be hard pressed to encounter any other interpretation.

2. Given Yu, the resolution still fails.

The sad truth is that Yu the Great has failed to prevent wildfires both in China and in the world in general. There is no doubt of Yu's mastery over China's flash flooding. However, his achievements do not apply to wildfires unless a causal link can be made between digging channels and the elimination of lightning storms. Indeed, none can be made. To make matters worse, Yu's ability to prevent any wildfires, arson or otherwise, for the last several millennium has been seriously hindered by the rather daunting obstacle of death. So you see, if we replace you with Yu, then the motto becomes a bald faced lie, since Yu is in even less a position to prevent wildfires than you.

CONCLUSION

No matter how you dress a turd, it still stinks. In my first round, I showed how both the singular and plural forms of the word "you" pose a problem. The singular pronoun results in a logical contradiction. The plural version is linguistically irrational, but even a generous interpretation still encounters the impossibility of humanity to prevent lightning induced wildfires. In my second round, I showed how substituting Yu still results in the resolution's negation. There is simply no denying it, you/you all/Yu cannot prevent wildfires.

Those finally free from the guilt and fear of Smokey's oppressive agenda may thank me via private message or in the comments. I live to serve. Thank you.
Kleptin

Pro

I thank my opponent for the debate and shall now conclude:

I apologize to my opponent and to the audience. The reason why I have delayed my response is that I have been mulling over a moral dilemma.

There is a secret that I have been holding back from humanity, and I believe now is the time for me to reveal it.

Smokey the bear is actually talking to me.

Contrary to what my opponent says, there is no contradiction. Smokey the bear is addressing me and me alone, so even though it may be confusing who he is referring to, the message is still true.

I am the only one who can prevent wildfires.

I not only have the ability to protect the world from wildfires but I can also control the weather. Be it rain, hail, sleet, snow, tornadoes, hurricanes, or even lightning, I can manipulate them all.

It is no trouble for me to prevent wildfires, as I can simply choose to prevent lightning from striking. However, this is only if I so choose.

Thus, you can forget about everything that my opponent has said about this issue. There is no contradiction, no confusion. Smokey the Bear was talking to me, and Smokey the Bear was right. Only I can prevent wildfires.

I thank my opponent for this debate, and hope to do this again sometime. Until then, I urge the audience to keep my secret.

Or I'll start a wildfire where you live ;)

VOTE PRO.
Debate Round No. 2
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Eitan_Zohar 4 years ago
Eitan_Zohar
This is Kleptin's way of conceding, I guess. XD
Posted by sadolite 7 years ago
sadolite
Geometrian, You need to call the forest service and the EPA in California and explain this to them. And then tell them if they would clear cut swaths of land shaped like squares wide enough to prevent fire from spreading they would not have these out of control forest fires and also once they cut these fire breaks, every couple of years they can set controlled burns and the fire breaks they cut would contain the fire and they would have what nature intended without all the homes being burned down every year. They just don't get it in California. We do it in Florida all the time. Do you ever hear about raging wild fires in Florida? We have a hundred times the vegetation that California has. And yes, we have droughts and fires are a big threat to people and homes just like California, only difference is, the govt in California has all their proverbial heads up their a##es.
Posted by Geometrian 7 years ago
Geometrian
Note that wildfires are actually necessary to maintain a healthy forest ecosystem.
Posted by sadolite 7 years ago
sadolite
Kleptin you gave up! I expect better from you Yu Yall. But any way, only the EPA and The forest service can prevent forest fires. They have to allow clear cutting and controlled burns and this will take care of the problem. Until that happens you will continue to see out of control forest fires and grass fires burning peoples homes down regardless of how they start. You have to burn the old growth in order to prevent small fires from ballooning into raging forest and grass fires. Fire prevention 101. Environmentalist are clueless. They kill more and destroy more by not clear cutting and conducting controlled burns. We can't have particulates in small amounts we have to have them in huge choking amounts.
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
"But...the resolution is about wildfires, not forest fires."

Oh yeah. I guess that means they would have to destroy everything in the wild that can burn.
Posted by Kleptin 7 years ago
Kleptin
But...the resolution is about wildfires, not forest fires.
Posted by Freeman 7 years ago
Freeman
All right, I will finally reveal how Kleptin could have won this debate.

Smokey the bear lives in the forest and thus probably has many friends in the logging industry. By "you" this megalomaniacal bear was referring to the lumber industry, of which he is a secret member.

Forests fires can only occur if there are forests to catch on fire. Therefore Smokey has clearly been advocating, for over 65 years, that he wants the logging industry to destroy all of the world's forests. And as it turns it they have already accomplished much of this work. Within 200 hundred years they will probably already have fulfilled this psychotic ursidae's diabolical plan.
Posted by silntwaves 7 years ago
silntwaves
haha. i would have nvr thought someone would debate on this. actually if i were to debate this..i would have gone with pro :D
Posted by Agricola 7 years ago
Agricola
I cant vote for you Kleptin. In fact, I cant vote for anyone at all.
But I think people can reduce wildfires. That cant be denied despite of your weird theory.
But KRFournier is better than you in these ;
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Posted by Agricola 7 years ago
Agricola
Oh, Kleptin. you're funnier than the Jewish Carpenter himself. what are you gonna do next time? Walking on water?
Btw, just dont bring lightning on my back yard. I've already had enough :-D
17 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by gtvwls8 7 years ago
gtvwls8
KRFournierKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Vote Placed by philosphical 7 years ago
philosphical
KRFournierKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by kylekyle114 7 years ago
kylekyle114
KRFournierKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
KRFournierKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
KRFournierKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:24 
Vote Placed by rlbodsfo 7 years ago
rlbodsfo
KRFournierKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by silntwaves 7 years ago
silntwaves
KRFournierKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Vote Placed by yulyssis 7 years ago
yulyssis
KRFournierKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 7 years ago
Vi_Veri
KRFournierKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by RaulzIzMe 7 years ago
RaulzIzMe
KRFournierKleptinTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50