The Instigator
MTGandP
Pro (for)
Winning
32 Points
The Contender
aleale21
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Overall, 1984 is worse than Brave New World.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/15/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,406 times Debate No: 12349
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (5)

 

MTGandP

Pro

My first real debate in 8 months. This should be exciting.

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Procedure

Definitions will be created and clarified in round 1. Debate will not begin until round 2.

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Definitions

By "1984" and "Brave New World" I refer to the worlds that these books are about, and not to the books themselves. You cannot live in a book, obviously. So "1984" really means the fictional world created for 1984. (1984 refers to the novel, not the time period.)

worse: Less morally preferable. I will allow the debaters to make whatever arguments they want as long as they argue that their world of choice would be morally worse than the other. For example one could argue that one world is more oppressive than the other, and is therefore less morally preferable because oppression is morally wrong.

Hopefully, further definitions are not necessary. Please use common sense. If my opponent wishes to clarify anything, he or she should do so in the next round.

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Although it is perhaps not defined as well as one would like, please stay true to the spirit of the resolution. I wish good luck to my potential opponent, and will be looking forward to this debate.
aleale21

Con

A definition? Less morally preferable is not an objective view, in my opinion. From my moral standpoint, things may appear different then from others.
Yet I see what you are saying. We can debate this from a sort of common moral standpoint. As for the debate at hand, Brave New World presents a world/era where the world is not only controlled by a dictator physically, but in fact physiologically. What I mean is that Brave New World's 'World Citizens' are far beyond indoctrination, but have a common, bleak, mindset. Sorry to get my point out in round one, this was my first debate.
Debate Round No. 1
MTGandP

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this challenge, and look forward to an exciting debate.

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Contention 1: Physical vs. Physiological Control

My opponent is right that 1984 exhibits physical control while BNW exhibits physiological control through genetic modification and conditioning. After considering both, it is simple to determine that physical control is much worse.

In BNW, people are happy. Misfits like Bernard Marx are just that, misfits; and people who don't quite fit in with society will never be as happy. But nearly everyone else in BNW is very happy. Each individual is especially suited to their task in life, and is both good at it and enjoys it. Imagine if the world of today were like that! There would be no more miserable people working at desk jobs they loathe just to make a living, no more manual laborers who would much prefer a more mentally stimulating job but couldn't afford an education. BNW is not oppressive; on the contrary, it would be a wonderful place to live.

Contrast this with 1984. People are arbitrarily divided into either the proletariat or the Party. The proles are poor, hapless and ignorant. Even workers in the Outer Party aren't much better off. Everyone is subject to strict control by the Inner Party. People are constantly watched on telescreens. Unlike in BNW, the oppression is active. The masses are indoctrinated by the propaganda of Big Brother.

How would you like to be constantly reminded that "BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU"?

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Contention 2: What Is Control?

The genetic control and social control in BNW is no worse than that of our current world, or of the world of 1984. In any society, there will always be widely-held cultural ideas that are difficult to get away from. In any living being, behavior will be defined by genetics. We as people are for the large part controlled by our genetics, and yet we do not consider ourselves to be oppressed by them. That notion would be absurd. Our genetics don't oppress us; our genetics /define/ us.

Genes created by humans are not any better or worse than genes created by natural selection. Either we are "oppressed" by humans, or we are "oppressed" by natural selection. The genetic control in BNW is not bad at all.

Similarly, people are to an extent defined by the ideas of their culture. Cultural memes, however they arise, do serve to define people but could not be said to oppress people. Are Germans "oppressed" by their cultural love of schnitzel and sausage? Of course not; that would be absurd.

The "control" in BNW is no different from the genetic or cultural situation in any other society. The active oppression of 1984, on the other hand, is far darker and more harmful to the general wellbeing.

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Contention 3: Happiness

This contention is simple. In BNW, people are happy. They are perfectly suited for their tasks, they are pleased and entertained, they love what they do. In 1984, the proles are poor and can't do anything about it, and they know it. Even the members of the Party are not especially happy. They may be wealthier, but their stations in life are hardly any less hopeless.

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Contention 4: Knowledge

We can probably agree that it is better for people to know what's going on than to be lied to. In 1984, the government has a massive propaganda mill that constantly lies to the public. Arbitrary wars are used to keep the public in thrall.

In Brave New World, plenty of people know how the genetic modification works, they know that they are given sleep conditioning. And they are okay with it, because they know that it is what holds their society together and makes people happy. In BNW, people are not lied to. People can accept the truth. Because the truth of BNW is, in the end, not all that bad. I wish the same could be said for 1984.

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I await my opponent's rebuttal.
aleale21

Con

Thank you for a good debate.
However, I feel that a rash statement was made in both your analysis and comparison of both books. I will try to keep my response short and to the point, because that is simply how I debate.
Would you rather be watched by big brother, or would you rather BE big brother. In 1984, at least the proletariats have rights, and even party members are not indoctrinated at the level of BNW. From an average moral standpoint, it is simply worse to be the 'big brother' than to be surveilled by one.

Thank you, and I await an exciting argument.
Debate Round No. 2
MTGandP

Pro

I've never seen a debater who used such concise arguments. However, my opponent's conciseness will be his undoing. He has failed to address any of my contentions, in particular contentions 3 and 4.

"In 1984, at least the proletariats [sic] have rights, and even party members are not indoctrinated at the level of BNW."

If you have read my arguments, then this statement will make no sense. I have already shown this to be false. In BNW people are no more "indoctrinated" than in any other healthy society.

I hardy see why it would be worse to be the Big Brother, and how that relates. Is my opponent saying that every person in BNW is like Big Brother? If not, then how is this relevant?

Allow me to recap my arguments, which have not been adequately addressed. 1984 has direct physical control that causes great suffering; BNW is not oppressive any more than our genes are oppressing us right now. Control in 1984 is very real, while in BNW the control is no different from how anyone is controlled by their own culture or genetics. In BNW people are happy, while in 1984 they simply are not. And in BNW people know exactly what's going on, while in 1984 they are lied to.

Thank you.
aleale21

Con

aleale21 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
MTGandP

Pro

Regrettably, my opponent has forfeited with only one round to go.

Well, folks, you've seen my arguments, and you've seen my opponent's. I provided four powerful contentions. My opponent asked a single question. I think the choice is clear: vote PRO.
aleale21

Con

aleale21 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by MTGandP 6 years ago
MTGandP
I think that's as good an argument as any.
Posted by Xer 6 years ago
Xer
I hated the grammar that Huxley used in Brave New World -- just incredibly annoying. I liked 1984 more.
Posted by MTGandP 6 years ago
MTGandP
Yes it was.
Posted by Vi_Veri 6 years ago
Vi_Veri
Well, that was disappointing.
Posted by feverish 6 years ago
feverish
Interesting stuff. When I saw the title I thought you were saying BNW is a better book lol.
Posted by Vi_Veri 6 years ago
Vi_Veri
o.O
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 5 years ago
Man-is-good
MTGandPaleale21Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con could have challenged whether the world of Brave New World, with its physiological control, equaled to that of today's world, but, as MTGandP said, his concise responses, which failed to address anything Pro wrote or even make an argument (a question is NOT an argument)...costs him the debate...
Vote Placed by Maikuru 6 years ago
Maikuru
MTGandPaleale21Tied
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Vote Placed by MTGandP 6 years ago
MTGandP
MTGandPaleale21Tied
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Vote Placed by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
MTGandPaleale21Tied
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Vote Placed by Vi_Veri 6 years ago
Vi_Veri
MTGandPaleale21Tied
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