The Instigator
Yraelz
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
Johnicle
Con (against)
Losing
20 Points

Outer space exploration should be pursued.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,134 times Debate No: 4048
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (18)
Votes (10)

 

Yraelz

Pro

I am actually not to sure where I stand on this issue nor am I sure what all points I will be using status quo.

Thus I am going to allow my opponent not only to have the first speech but also to have the last speech, do with it what you will.
Johnicle

Con

It's nice to see that people (such as yourself) are finally getting some free time now that the "May Rush" is almost over. Good luck

I am against the idea of Space Exploration.

I advocate that everything that we can know (that comes with few costs) should be pursued. Learning about outer space is awesome but only when it is done with conventional means. Therefore, weight must be put onto the word "exploration."

I. Too many costs
When analyzing the resolution, you must look to the amount of costs placed upon us. BILLIONS of dollars is spent on NASA per year (evidence may be needed but I know it's a lot.) I challenge my opponent to show me what is so beneficial in outer space exploration that it is worth spending billions of dollars.

II. To few benefits
Certainly there are benefits (such as certain inventions) when you go to outer space, but all of those things could have been discovered without outer space exploration.

In the end... outer space anarchy seems to have little to no meaning to it. Exploring an area is not worth spending billions of dollars. Most of the exploring can be done by telescopes on earth... exploration is completely useless.

Thank you and good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
Yraelz

Pro

I'm going to make a nice set of logical points.

=======
Observation 1: My opponent has already agreed with my case.

A. My opponent stated,

"Most of the exploring can be done by telescopes on earth... exploration is completely useless."

B. The definitions of exploration are:

1.an act or instance of exploring or investigating; examination.
2.the investigation of unknown regions.

C. Therefor the exploring mentioned by my opponent through telescopes is indeed exploration.

========
Observation 2: Telescope exploration however is simply not enough.

A. A telescope can only see so much in the same way that our eyes can only see so much. There are many planets and moons in our own solar system even that we are unsure of. For instance the moon Europa is thought to have possibly 50 km of liquid water under its surface. Sadly we cannot verify for sure with just a telescope.

B. A telescope does not have the capabilities to take samples. Samples have the potential to show us where precious resources lie that may be exploitable in the future.

========
Observation 3: A telescope can only see so far. It can give us predictions, but to know for sure we will need to see for ourselves. My first point is actually a policy card.

A. THERE ARE OVER 17,000 POSSIBLE NEARBY HABITABLE STELLAR SYSTEMS- Turnbull & Tarter '03
[Margaret C. Turnbull, Jim C.Tarter, University of Arizona, SETI institute, "Target Selection for SETI. I. A Catalog of Nearby Habitable Stellar Systems", 2003, http://adsabs.harvard.edu......]

The primary topics of this dissertation are (1) target selection for searches for extrasolar life, especially for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and (2) remote detection of biosignatures, especially with regard to TPF. Chapter 1 gives a brief introduction to the field of astrobiology, and to the search for life on other planets. Chapters 2 and 3 ask, "What are the best places in the Universe to search for Earth-like life?" A class of stars, "habstars," is defined as stellar systems that are potentially habitable to Earth-like complex life. The physical properties of habstars are derived from the biological requirement of habitable zone stability, and these properties are translated into observable characteristics. In Chapter 2, the Catalog of Nearby Habitable Stellar Systems (HabCat), containing ~17,000 "habstars" within 300 parsecs, is presented for use as a new target list for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence with the Allen Telescope Array. In Chapter 3, HabCat is augmented with other targets of interest, including a list of ~250,000 stars within 1000 parsecs from the Tycho-2 Catalog that are likely to be main-sequence (based on their proper motions) F, G, K and M stars (based on their B-V colors), old open clusters, and the nearest 100 stars.

B. However to actually know for sure we need to examine these stellar bodies. This will require furthering technologies.

============
Observation 4: Discovering other habitable systems is essential to our long term survival.

A. While our earth is very nice it is in many ways a limited resource. We only have so much oil, we only have so much water etc etc....

B. There is a chance at some point that we will destroy our planet. This could be through Nuclear War or various other disasters.

C. There is a chance that our planet may collide with another stellar object at some point.

D. The only way to gaurantee our long term survival is to habitat other stellar bodies.

===========
Observation 5: The road to advanced space travel is the same road as alternative energy.

A. Many of the technologies considered for efficient space travel at this point yield massive amounts of energy. Technologies such as matter-antimatter annihilation and nuclear fusion.

B. Such technologies if developed for such a purpose would have the benefit of also steering us away from our dependence on oil and would serve as a very viable alternative energy resource.

=============
Observation 6: Anti-matter

A. At the start of this universe it is thought that nearly equal portions of matter and anti-matter existed.

B. If there is a universe of anti-matter out there it would be the greatest natural resource that we could locate. Matter vs. Anti-matter reactions yield the greatest amount of energy of any reactions known to physics.

=============
Observation 7: Intelligence.

A. To think that we are the only lifeforms that exist in this universe is fallacious at best. There are over 17,000 possibly habitable stellar bodies.

B. As water is the main prerequisite for life, even looking to our own solar system, there are over 40 different planets and moons thought to have amounts of either water or ice on them.

C. Considering this is only our own solar system and there are over 17,000 possibly habitable ones out there, there is a good chance at least a few have intelligent life.

D. Intelligent life would be beneficial for technology swapping.
Johnicle

Con

Observation 1-->

1) I have not agreed with your case
There are 2 types of exploring (as far as this round goes)… telescopes, and physical. Within this debate, however, you have to see that the resolution specifies the future tense when it states the phrase "should be pursued." Thus you have to see that telescope exploration MUST be thrown out when we have already reached the max of telescope explanation. It is humanly impossible to be able to see much past Pluto, AND anything you do find will be extremely vague and un-educational. Anything explored by telescope is basically a white dot in the sky that is bigger (through a telescope).

2) Telescope exploration is still too expensive.
-From- http://space.about.com...
-"Top 5 Telescopes Over $10,000.00"
--> Therefore you have to see that the amount of money that goes into creating telescopes (with few benefits from here on out) is extremely high. Not to mention that these telescopes are ones that you can buy let alone telescopes from NASA (such as "Hubble") that has had a launch into space PLUS 4 servicing missions. I have yet to discover what we are getting that is so worth the amount of money being spent on space exploration.

Observation 2-->

-Pro has yet to prove that the money spent on space exploration is worth the benefits. Cross apply my case to this point.

Observation 3-->

1) Cross-apply his "B" point against his "A" point… I have yet to see any proof or even logical analyses that says that we can get to these other planets or areas of living. We haven't even got to Mars yet for goodness sakes.

2) The evidence does not say WHERE these places are.

3) We can not use the possible ends to justify the means (of spending way too much money)

4) There aren't enough benefits of finding other life forms. Discovering a new race would be cool, but would provide few if any day to day benefits in society.

5) If we are ever to live in space, it will be in places already explored in status quo.

Observation 4-->

1) We can not use the possible ends to justify the means (of if we destroyed our own planet)

2) No earth equals no water… which equals eventual death anyway.

3) Unresolutional: The places that we would live would be in places already explored… including random "space" or even just the moon.

Observation 5-->

1) no proof… are these energy forms possible AND is it worth the route. Remember, we must be looking into the future with ALL possibilities… We (once again) can not use the possible ends to justify the means. Be realistic ;)

2) Nuclear fusion is already being created. Some nations are spending billions of dollars on it annually. Space travel would not push this at all.

3) WHEN fusion energy is discovered, other forms of energy would be unnecessary.

Observation 6-->

1) no proof

2) "IF there is a universe of anti-matter out there" (from his last speech)… IF shows that even he is unsure in the "investment" of space exploration

3) No proof that space exploration is the only way to get this incredible amount of energy

Observation 7-->

1) If we found other life forms out there, it would more than likely be some plants. Hollywood movies have truly mislead us to what kind of "life" could be out there. Look to our planet. The ONLY people with technology is the human race. The other MILLIONS of plants and animals have nothing. Therefore, the chance of being able to learn about other life forms and "swap technology" with them simply makes the investment useless and imprudent.

2) Keep in mind that these "17,000 possibly habitable stellar bodies" could very well be MILLIONS of light years away. ONE light year is approximately 5,880,000,000,000 miles. Therefore, if you were traveling 1,000 MPH, it would take you 245,000,000 days to get there (or 671,232 years). I want to see how close these places are and how possible it is to move our entire world to live there. In the status quo of trillions of dollars in debt and thousands of people starving per day, space travel seems to be money put to waste.

3) The 2009 NASA budget is 17.6 billion dollars.
-I don't know how much I really need to explain this, BUT I will anyway. We are in MAJOR debt. Our economy is down the tube. People starve everyday. Thousands of people are homeless. Thousands without jobs. AND you want to explore the universe? Exploring the universe might be a good idea when it is cheap and doesn't take away from the people that need our money in the status quo. But until then, I say that we should NOT pursue space exploration.

Thank You!
Debate Round No. 2
Yraelz

Pro

Observation 1: My opponent has already agreed with my case. In his last round he states that my resolution dictates future tense therefor telescope exploration does not count. This is not true, let us examine an example.

Example: Joey trains to become an athlete. At some point he becomes an athlete of mediocre ability. One night Joey asks himself, "should I continue to pursue becoming an athlete?" Thus Joey has effectively began something an now has the choice of whether he should continue to pursue.

The same is true of our resolution today. Space exploration via telescope is currently being pursued. Thus the question is, "should it be pursued?", the fact that my opponent has stated that telescope exploration is good means, "Yes, space exploration should continue to be pursued." Thus my opponent has effectively conceded this round to me.

Furthermore he goes on to state that we have already reached the final steps of telescope exploration. This is not true, if it were we not continue to develop newer and more high powered telescopes all the time. In fact, here are some examples of new telescopes this very year that are leading to ground breaking discoveries:

http://www.sciencedaily.com...
http://web.mit.edu...

Contention 2: My opponent argues telescopes are *too expensive*. This means absolutely nothing to me. Currently our nation is trillions of dollars in debt and we are spending billions on a war on the other side of this earth. If we are going to see any negative consequences from spending to much money then we are going to see them because we are blowing billions on a war. Spending 10,000 to buy a new telescope or even millions to create telescopes like the Hubble is at best unsubstantial.

Contention 3: There are over 17,000 potential habitable stellar systems out there.

My opponent accuses me of not telling him where they are, I have to apologize, as much as I would love to go into colossal detail on where each one is unfortunately the 17,000 specific places will not fit into a debate with only 10,000 characters. My opponent is simply going to have to trust that the fact that we have located 17,000 potential habitable stellar systems with our telescopes means that they actually exist. They are all within 300 parsecs of us.

My opponent then makes 4 other attacks on this contention that all actually fall under the contentions under it, thus I will address them then.

Contention 4: We need to ensure the safety of humanity.

First off my opponent claims that we cannot justify the means with the possible ends. What he doesn't realize is that the ends are not possible, they are in fact rather probable. It is increasingly probable as Stephen Hawking has stated that either we will end our earth or that a stellar collision will do so. Thus the only way to ensure our long term survival is to colonize other parts of space.

Secondly against the argument that this is unresolutional,

"Unresolutional: The places that we would live would be in places already explored"

I must state that this is my plan, I am planning on exploring at least some of the 17,000 nearby habitable stellar bodies. That way we would be able to live on them because we had already explored them.

Contention 5:

1). According to physicists such as Stephen Hawking and massive companies such as CERN, Yes, matter-antimatter annihilation is possible.

2). While it is true that nuclear fusion is already being worked on this will just mean that it is being worked on more. In other words perhaps in the status quo we have 100 amazing scientists working on nuclear fusion, now that it is also attempting to be developed for space travel we have an additional 20 amazing scientists also working on developing it.

Furthermore my opponent makes no claim that we are currently working on matter-antimatter to any great amount. Considering matter-antimatter annihilation is of a greater energy output than that of fusion is is a greater endeavor. My plan helps develop it.

3). Good, lets let the astronomers aid us in developing it.

Contention 6: I concede this point as it does not matter.

Contention 7: The 17,000 nearby habitable stellar bodies are called habstars.

"A class of stars, "habstars," is defined as stellar systems that are potentially habitable to Earth-like complex life."

Thus it is possible that these habstars do have complex life that could trade with us. And once again, as I stated above. We are currently spending massive amounts of money elsewhere. 19 billion is negligible.
Johnicle

Con

Observation 1 and Contention 2 (the money argument is also covered):

1) My opponent seems to be priding himself with the best possible for space exploration. He has gone all out toward the idea that telescopes can be accomplished, but you must examine all aspects of the resolution. He has not spent a single character on space exploration that deals with launches. Not to mention that these telescopes have to be launched into space anyway. In other words, has basically showed how good one aspect is but has failed to mention the other aspects. You have to realize that when you go into launches, you have to add in the deaths from astronauts (Columbia), pollution, and an increased cost. ALL of these things are not necessary.

2) 19 BILLION dollars is an unnecessary cost. My opponent has seemed to get away with since there is a debt already that we shouldn't try to fix it. That is a ridiculous claim. How are we ever going to get better if we just say there is just too much of it?
--> Because of this substantial waste of money, you must also look to the present. I truly believe that you should not get ready for the (possible) future until the present day and age is under control. You have no room to say that 19 billion dollars a year isn't that much when you are in extreme debt AND you have thousands if not millions of people starving every day. Jobless and homeless people need to be taken care of before any money is ever spent on space exploration. How can you say that we need a place to live in the future if not everyone has a place to live now. Money just shouldn't be wasted like that.

3) As far as wasting money in the war. Sure, but that is a different debate entirely. Not to mention that the amount of money that we are spending on the war is about 80 billion to 100 billion per year which is only 4 times as much as the NASA program. When you compare the amount of jobs in the NASA field compared to the war in Iraq, the math doesn't make sense. Especially when you see how essential each one is (even if you don't consider the war in Iraq essential which I really don't see it as essential, it is still helping more people (per dollar) than what the NASA program is. The only thing my opponent can claim is that we MIGHT be able to live at these places when we MIGHT blow up our own planet.)

Contention 3 and 4 (they are essentially the same argument):

This argument of the "17,000" inhabitable places is ridiculous to say the least. He says that they are all within 3 parsecs of us but what he fails to tell us is that ONE parsec is equal to 19,172,420,439,632.5 miles. This is actually LONGER of a distance than a light year. Perhaps he doesn't remember but we are not even close to even being able to conceive the technology of being able to transfer ANYTHING that amount of distance let alone 6 billion people (and increasing). He has yet to prove that by pursuing space exploration will EVER lead to this idea OR even that these scientists are after this idea. After this is ever capable of being achieved, the costs of year after year of money will certainly surpass the War in Iraq/Afghanistan multiple times. There are simply too many uncertainties.

Contention 5:

1) Cross apply contention 6 because he dropped it… :) It really doesn't accomplish anything but besides it being useless, it is important…

2) But onto the energy argument. If space exploration were to stop being pursued, then the scientists will STILL be able to research and discover alternative energy resources. In the status quo, there is an energy crisis, but you can't solve that by having most of your scientists in the field of space exploration. I guess if I were to offer a counter plan it would be to move the scientists to research fusion energy specifically :)… But seriously, more scientists would be available if space exploration was NOT pursued.

3) It is still possible to discover alternative energy without space exploration.

4) The anti-matter argument has little to no analysis or evidence. I don't even know what exactly it is and it offers NO reason to why space exploration should be pursued.

Contention 6: YES… flow this through and cross-apply it to EVERY argument in favor of CON!

Contention 7: I've already explained why these "habitable places" are unable of even being reached. It doesn't matter if you can live somewhere if you can't even get to it.

Summary of the round: In the end of this round, you have to see that there is no overwhelming reason to do space exploration. The amount of money spent could easily be spent on more important things such as feeding and housing people NOW in the STATUS QUO. I don't know if the world will ever end and I don't know if it is possible to ever transfer the world's population to another location. I DO know that it cost 19.2 billion dollars a year (2008 budget). Why think about future living conditions when the conditions now are not sufficient enough for everyone? The energy is already under billions upon billions of dollars (in Europe) in research and if you were to cancel space exploration the amount of scientists would be increased even more. In the end, there is simply no overwhelming reason to pursue space exploration. It costs too much for not enough benefits. The costs substantially outweigh the benefits.

Thanks for this great debate and I hope to debate you in the future…
Debate Round No. 3
18 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Johnicle 9 years ago
Johnicle
I think that you vote for who won the debate regardless of personal view... but if you have a personal view, express it in the comments section. It is best done in a kritical form but the RFD and "what I would have done" should be 2 separate things...
Posted by realistic 9 years ago
realistic
I must agree with derek. yes the point of debating is to win. which propells (hopefully) each debater to do his best and thereby illuminate the truth. a good debater can argue either side with equal effort despite their beliefs. you are both right. however, one must vote on the persuasiveness of the arguments. I find pros arguments more persuasive but don't feel I have yet earned the right to vote as I haven't yet debated. and, as an aside, if you seek the truth perhaps you should encourage critical comments to help prepare for future debates...
Posted by Yraelz 9 years ago
Yraelz
Actually I'm going to have to take stock with that Derek, despite the fact that you appeared to vote in my favor.

Unlike yourself I do not consider debate to be about finding the truth, I mean, yes, it definitely can be, but I do not feel it is necessary. If this site were focused on finding the truth it will be rather pointless, or rather, having a voting system would be pointless. One does not require a voting system to find a truth, and your vote in no way helps find the truth.

Furthermore finding the truth severely limits the amount of debates that would ever happen under a voting system. If the whole idea here was such then people would never make debates that had evident truths to them, they would never debate things that involved evident truths.

Debate is in essence a game like any other game. People play to win. People play to increase their intelligence, people play to stimulate their mind. The winner of a debate should not be who is debating the truth, but rather who is debating better.

If you want to find the truth then you need to vote against me because I did not used the points which you mentioned as the truth. This will help me locate the truth for myself and help other voters locate the truth.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 9 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Johnicle, debate was invented as mechanism for determining truth.
If one's purpose is to win irrespective of the truth, then this becomes little more than a place where people attempt to boost their egos by persuading (fooling) people into voting for them. Ask yourself - "Why am I trying to win?", what is the benefit?

As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter who's right - only what's right.
(And that's the way I'm going to play it ;-)

Cheers
Posted by Johnicle 9 years ago
Johnicle
I understand that people are entitled to their opinion and I respect that. I even find myself arguing against something that I actually believe in sometimes. But the fact of the matter is that the comment section is for your comments, and the debate is for the debate, and you are to vote based off the debate. Your comment offered no reason whatsoever that was from the debate. I don't even know if you read the debate or not... I just want you to vote based on the debate, not your personal opinion because if it were a popularity contest of people's beliefs, debate then becomes useless.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 9 years ago
Derek.Gunn
To me, the truth of the matter is always more important than the debate.
Pizza has always seemed to me to be more a fast-food luxury than a staple. What of cosmetics?

Being petty, one could argue that the all the employees and families of NASA, ESA and the various other space agencies are fed thanks to space exploration.
Being more serious, one could point out that weather forecasts, GPS units and satellite communications regularly save people's lives, and much of our knowledge of global warming (mankind's biggest threat) is also thanks to space exploration.

Very high and low temperature valves, teflon, super-lubricants, and...
Well there are websites full of spinoffs, e.g. http://www.thespaceplace.com... have a read, if you're more interested than just who gets the most votes in a debate.

Cheers
Posted by Johnicle 9 years ago
Johnicle
I'm sorry but that entire paragraph didn't mention a single thing in the entire debate. Those things MAY be true but hey, he didn't argue it. And as far as the last line you have, sure, we spend more money on pizza but that is because we need to EAT! How many people are fed from space exploration?
Posted by Derek.Gunn 9 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Necessity is the mother of invention.
The difficulties of space have produced many inventions.
Much of the drive to reduce the weight of electronic components came from the space programme.
This resulted in semiconductors - chips and therefore the computer in front of you right now.
Without the move to explore space, there would be no satellites, no GPS coordination/navigation, much poorer weather forecasting, much poorer communication of radio and TV, really a far poorer understanding of Earth in general.

I seem to recall that Americans spend more on pizza than the ISS, and more on cosmetics than all space exploration in any given year.
Posted by Johnicle 9 years ago
Johnicle
So Yraelz... have any big plans for your 100th debate?... only 6 away... Make it a 5 round for kicks and giggles... maybe make it like "Having 100 debates on a online website makes it obsessive"... that would be interesting...
Posted by Johnicle 9 years ago
Johnicle
well yeah but it IS harder than the other opponents
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