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REMATCH! On Balance People's Lives are Changing for the Better

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/30/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,261 times Debate No: 66071
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
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I lost this last time...let's see if I can win going for the opposite side (time for another REVENGE DEBATE!!)...round one acceptance only.
We will assume we're talking about our societies on planet earth, when we include the people.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


First let me start off with this argument:
1. World Over-population
The world lacks the resources to support the people living on it.


As more and more people are born, the resources grow scarce and people are getting hungrier and hungrier. Right now, the statistics are something like this:


The hunger rate has gone up so much compared to the past, nowadays one-seventh of the population is starving to death!


We clearly see here, the quality of life has gone down. Even the basic rights to life--and food of course that supports life--are hindered in modern society. Even counting merely countries that AREN'T super poor and under-nourished, the amount of people who can't buy food is still quite drastic:

It's a truly sad fact; people's lives aren't changing for the better--they're changing for the worst.

2. More and more crime
Crime is gradually increasing over time.



More and more crime-doers are getting arrested, apparent evidence of how malicious people really are.

The police force, along with legal rulings, are really not effective at all. More and more innocent people are becoming victims of these burgulars and murderers.

It seems apparent that people are growing more and more immoral and irrational, being forced to steal money, food, along with other things selfishly for their own needs. Partially, the lack of resources contribute to this. We see here, one thing leads to another, and as quality of life goes down, the amount of bad things (in general) done increase.

Let's move on to a different part of life shall we?
3. Corrupt politicians
Things aren't working very well for people on earth. Slowly, but surely, public corruption offenses are increasing, showing more of how people don't get better, and don't learn lessons, regardless of the fact that the crime is enforced. Look at the graph below. From 1992 to 2011, the conviction rate clearly increased from 1081 to 1107.
People are getting worse and worse. They are going to have to worry more and more about those starving children in Africa, those potential crimes, and not to mention corrupt politicians.

Another thing people have to worry about is environmental damage, which can inadvertently negatively effect people's lives.

We see Carbon Dioxide reaching very dangerous levels. Studies find that Carbon dioxide can cause "headaches, dizziness, restlessness, a tingling or pins or needles feeling, difficulty breathing, sweating, tiredness, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, coma, asphyxia, and convulsions." [source:] Why, before in 1800 you didn't have to worry about going outside and starting to sweat randomly and get dizzy! Now you have to worry about the sickness carbon dioxide pollution can bring? My god....these industries producingss are definitely getting worse and worse, causing people's lives to be worse and worse! I mean, look at China in the 1800's.

sure, they look a little grim, but they work well and work happy!

So far no pollution is seen. But now, the pollution is so bad, you can see it from outer space.


People can't even do anything in Beijing!


Before, people could go out, ride their bicycles, go to the market, talk with their friends, and not worry about this pollution. But now? Even at best, Beijing's air is VERY unhealthy, and that means people should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. People's lives are definitely changing for the worse.

Onto you Athiest.



Due to the premise for this debate being rather vague, I am going to specify it a little more for myself. If my opponent disagrees with my revised premise I would like for him to tell me so. My premise will be: The conditions for human life have improved over the span of history. Admittedly this is somewhat similar to the original premise, but I think that it will apply more fluently for both my opponent’s and mine own arguments.

My position as the Pro debater is to show, according to the new premise, that the conditions for human life have improved over the span of history. For my argument, history will only apply to the modern era, however my opponent is free to utilize any point in human history. Let’s begin!

Comparing life conditions in the Middle Ages to modern day

For my first argument I will compare the conditions, especially for the lower classes, of life between the years 600 CE to about 1500 CE. In the Middle Ages the peasants were generally either owned by a lord as practically slave labor (serf) or were forced to live on the manor because they had no other economic options [1]. The serf would get no salary whatsoever for their labors. The men were forced to wake up as soon as the sun rose and to go into the fields to work. The main breakfast meal would consist of a slice of bread, cheese, onion and a glass or ale. This would sustain them until a short noontime meal of more bread and ale. Then they would have to return to work until the sun went down (so they were working for much longer during the summer) and they would be allowed to return home to a dinner that would generally consist of the leftovers of the noon lunch [2]. Generally a serf would work for ten to twelve hours a day. Regular peasants, or villeins, would have a similar schedule. While they wouldn’t be forced to do this, they would have little choice as if they did not work hard enough, the lord would likely take away their land and possessions.

Comparing these barbaric conditions to modern days, it can easily be assumed that life conditions are far superior nowadays as they were back then. Sure, the lower classes still have hard conditions, but they are at least prevented from essentially enslavement and are always at least granted a minimum wage salary.

Another negative aspect of the middle ages, besides the dreadful working conditions of the peasants, was the absolute disregard for basic human rights. Justice was basically an unknown concept during the time. A common punishment for a peasant who stole something as insignificant as a cabbage would be hanging. Beheading, Dropping in boiling oil, stretching, whipping, draw and quartering, and bloody eagles were all also common punishments at the time. Nowadays very few countries even allow the death penalty, and for the ones that do, they have a far more humane system of execution (generally).

Comparing life conditions in the Victorian Era to modern day

The Victorian Era, essentially the Industrial Revolution, lasted from 1837 CE to 1901 CE [3]. During that time, great technological and philosophical revelationswere made, greatly advancing the human race. However, the time was also full of great atrocities which would never be allowed today.

In 1885 the Treaty of Berlin split apart the African continent into the regions of “Portuguese Africa”, “British Africa”, “German Africa”, “Italian Africa,” “Spanish Africa”, “French Africa” and “Belgian Africa.” The Europeans decided that they were a superior race and that therefore they had the right to colonize and utilize the African continent to their every need [4].

Several quotes from Motsoko Pheko, an anti-Imperialist writer for the Pambazuka News describes the atrocities committed by these Imperialists.

“The worst genocide also occurred in Namibia in 19O4. Namibia was then a German colony. The Herero people resisted German colonialism. A well armed army under General Lothar von Trotha defeated the Hereros at the Battle of Waterberg. The German colonial aggressors drove these Africans from their land to the desert where there was no water. Seventy percent of the Herero population died of dehydration in that desert. In South Africa the Khoisan people were exterminated by colonialists after being hunted like animals and dispossessed of their land.

“Colonised Africans were treated not only as sub-humans, they were denied basic rights such as education and the right to land for decent housing, farming, mining and fishing. Colonial functionaries were honoured for barbaric actions and atrocities. The British government honoured its colonial officials such as “Sir Andries Stockkenstrom”. He had earlier said:

“The question of robbing natives of their land is not whether it is right or wrong to plunder their land, massacre and exterminate the Hottentots, the Kaffirs...the simple question is will it PAY? But if the Bible and the missionary stands in the way of this one thousand per cent profit...If in short, they cannot promote the great work of converting a nation of shop-keepers into a nation of millionaires,...gun powder will produce a more efficient gospel for the purpose of our system of civilisation.” (R.U. Kenny, Piet Retief, Cape Town and Pretoria: Human & Reason, 1976 page 77)

When introducing inferior education for African mental enslavement in South Africa, Hendrik F. Verwoerd that arch implementer of apartheid colonialism said, “There is no place for him (the African) in the European community above the level of certain forms of labour. Until now, he (the African) has been subjected to a school system which drew him away from his community and misled him by showing him the green pastures of the European society where he is not allowed to graze.” (‘Apartheid: The Story Of A Dispossessed People, Motsoko Pheko page 15O Marram Books London 1984)

I apologize for not copying these quotes instead of my own arguments, yet I feel that Pheko has better authority to tell you of these crimes than I do.

Another terrible condition in the Victorian Era occurred in Europe during the Industrial Revolution. There were no regulations about the work conditions of many of the industries throughout Europe. Children were often recruited, or forced into the factories and put to work. Here is a list of some of the jobs that these children were forced to do:

Coal mines

Laundry for pay

Chimney Sweep

Sweated Trades

Factory Worker


Scare the birds from the fields

Pottery Making

Farm Worker

Textile Mill

Ship Yard

Pick Pocket

Seller in the Streets

Rail station

Domestic Servant

Hat Making

Rat Catcher


There were no regulations for the adults either. A large percentage of men were forced into coal mines and the conditions in the mines were even worse than those in the factories. They were forced to work for twelve to eighteen hours a day, the mines were dark, dusty and cramped. There was also the threat of explosions at every moment, and often times there were [5]. Nowadays we have government regulations regarding industries. Children are not allowed to even step foot in them, let alone work in them. The Coal Mines such as the ones described would never be allowed to exist either.

Back over to you, spaceking.

(I'll post sources in the comments since I am out of characters).
Debate Round No. 2


Middle Ages vs Modern day
First off, let me tell you that slavery is still prevailent in modern days, regardless of what my opponent claims that "people are prevented from enslavement".


30 million is absolutely terrible. It is a huge drop of quality from the serfs. At least later the serfs could earn their way out of the land, and 23 million people were freed by the Russian emancipation reform. [Mee, Arthur; Hammerton, J. A.; Innes, Arthur D.; Harmsworth History of the World: Volume 7, 1907, Carmelite House, London; at page 5193]
Therefore, we can conclude: in modern day there are more slaves than serfs during the Middle Ages in Russia. Not to mention that I haven't accounted for the population growth that might have occured between 600-1800 CE (therefore making the original serf numbers much, much smaller).

As for the grave punishments, while they were harsh, they are arguably needed. There's a reason under Draco's rule, his famous Draconian lawcode pretty much prevented all crime. You don't do crime under Draco. You kill, you die. You steal, you die. Hey, maybe the original law codes were better! They might not be fair, but they're justified.

Victorian Era vs modern day
Unfortunately for you, I'm pretty sure victorian era-- or at least, nearing the end of it--is part of modern development. I'd say that the last 100 years count as a progress that we can use for evidence that people's lives are changing for the worse. In fact, I'd even stretch the statistics out to the last 150 years. Unless my opponent can source a WORSE genocide a long time ago (much more long time ago than nowadays), then we can only assume that genocides are growing bigger, badder, stronger. Thing about the pattern starting from 1900's to modern day:
-Namibia genocide (opponent already sources its terribleness)
-World War One (37 million deaths!)
-World War Two [ from]:

Battle Deaths


Battle Wounded


Civilian Deaths


-War on Terror (110,000 soldiers and civilians dead, more still fighting over the old religious issue of Sunni vs Sh'ites, 150,000 soldiers STILL FIGHTING TO THIS DAY!!)


Not to mention that 3,000 people instantly died due to the 9/11 terrorism incident.

But of course, we cannot forget the incredibly bloody war--the civil war--with about 750,000 deaths! [source:]

The three most deadly wars of all time happened in modern day--the last 150 years--and the War on Terror is still occuring. The world is definitely NOT improving. Before, there were deaths, indeed, and of course, people died in combat, died in war, but to have so many consecutive devastating wars--not to mention WWII being the DEADLIEST MILITARY CONFLICT IN HISTORY, we have no choice but to believe that the world is changing for the worse, not the better.

Back to you. I hope you get time to refute my original arguments while rebuilding your own.



I'll have to keep this short as I only have 30 minutes left.

1. Over Population
My opponent claims that there is not enough food to feed the world. This is incorrect as there is enough food for over 10 billion people as of right now [1]. With the increased usage of GMO's (with are safe, mind you) it is probable that we will have enough food for the entire world for at least a century.

2. More crime
The reason why there has been more reported crime is because of two reasons. One being that since their is a higher population, as my opponent mentioned earlier, it is inevitable that crime rates are going to increase. Also, due to a better equipped police force there has been more arrests and less unreported crime. Therefore this argument actually goes against my opponents claim that the world is turning for the worse.

3. Corrupt politicians
The flaw with this argument is that politicians have been corrupt since the dawn of time. The only reason why their have been more convictions is because people are now more aware of political corruption.

4. Chinese Industry
My opponent claims that Chinese industry has decreased in quality (both for the workers and environmentally). This is untrue on a few regards. For one, historically the Chinese workers would have been exploited completely by the white men, as I showed in my original argument. Nowadays, Chinese industry is led by China, NOT European influences. As for the environmental impact, I acknowledge that China has dreadful air quality. However, China has made great strides towards changing this as they have spent 760 billion yuan ($76.8 billion) on improving air quality and decreasing pollution from industries [2].

While it is true that the quality of life today is anything but perfect, when we compare it historically, as I showed in my original argument, it is clear that our lives have improved greatly. I apologize for the shortness of my rebuttal, I will make sure to expand upon it next round.



Debate Round No. 3


1. Over population
Sorry about the unclear assertion, I had limited time. What I meant to say is that although there is enough food, most times the poor people cannot afford it, or the resources can't be shipped in time. Here is the passage from that perfectly shows exactly why even though enough food is available, people cannot obtain it and more and more people are going hungry every day.

Poverty trap

People living in poverty cannot afford nutritious food for themselves and their families. This makes them weaker and less able to earn the money that would help them escape poverty and hunger. This is not just a day-to-day problem: when children are chronically malnourished, or ‘stunted’, it can affect their future income, condemning them to a life of poverty and hunger.

In developing countries, farmers often cannot afford seeds, so they cannot plant the crops that would provide for their families. They may have to cultivate crops without the tools and fertilizers they need. Others have no land or water or education. In short, the poor are hungry and their hunger traps them in poverty.

Lack of investment in agriculture

Too many developing countries lack key agricultural infrastructure, such as enough roads, warehouses and irrigation. The results are high transport costs, lack of storage facilities and unreliable water supplies. All conspire to limit agricultural yields and access to food.

Investments in improving land management, using water more efficiently and making more resistant seed types available can bring big improvements.

Research by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization shows that investment in agriculture is five times more effective in reducing poverty and hunger than investment in any other sector.

Climate and weather

Natural disasters such as floods, tropical storms and long periods of drought are on the increase -- with calamitous consequences for the hungry poor in developing countries.

Drought is one of the most common causes of food shortages in the world. In 2011, recurrent drought caused crop failures and heavy livestock losses in parts of Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. In 2012 there was a similar situation in the Sahel region of West Africa.

In many countries, climate change is exacerbating already adverse natural conditions. Increasingly, the world's fertile farmland is under threat from erosion, salination and desertification. Deforestation by human hands accelerates the erosion of land which could be used for growing food.

War and displacement

Across the globe, conflicts consistently disrupt farming and food production. Fighting also forces millions of people to flee their homes, leading to hunger emergencies as the displaced find themselves without the means to feed themselves. The conflict in Syria is a recent example.

In war, food sometimes becomes a weapon. Soldiers will starve opponents into submission by seizing or destroying food and livestock and systematically wrecking local markets. Fields are often mined and water wells contaminated, forcing farmers to abandon their land.

Ongoing conflict in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo has contributed significantly to the level of hunger in the two countries. By comparison, hunger is on the retreat in more peaceful parts of Africa such asGhana and Rwanda.

Unstable markets

In recent years, the price of food products has been very unstable. Roller-coaster food prices make it difficult for the poorest people to access nutritious food consistently. The poor need access to adequate food all year round. Price spikes may temporarily put food out of reach, which can have lasting consequences for small children.

When prices rise, consumers often shift to cheaper, less-nutritious foods, heightening the risks of micronutrient deficiencies and other forms of malnutrition.

Food wastage

One third of all food produced (1.3 billion tons) is never consumed. This food wastage represents a missed opportunity to improve global food security in a world where one in 8 is hungry.

Producing this food also uses up precious natural resources that we need to feed the planet. Each year, food that is produced but not eaten guzzles up a volume of water equivalent to the annual flow of Russia's Volga River. Producing this food also adds 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, with consequences for the climate and, ultimately, for food production.


Again, I repeat, I do not own that massive passage, I've already sourced it, so please don't accuse me of plagiarism.

2. More crime
If the police are turning better, then why are there still riots? The most recent, famous one is the Ferguson riot. Even though the police supposedly "are better equipped", they are still quite unfair. In fact, military involvement had to be put to stop the riot. Thus we can only conclude, the police may be improving, but the problems are getting harder and harder to stop. It seems the problems are growing at a rate too big for these police to stop them.

3. Corrupt politicians
Still, more people means more possibility of corruption.

4. Chinese Industry
Even if these Chinese people are "exploited", at least they have new oppurtunities, unlike nowadays, with so much people in the burgeoning population of China, there's no way anyone can find a job.
To address the money spent, that is only a detriment to China's economy. Why, before China did not have to spend so much money trying to defeat pollution. Thus, this only helps me. Thank you, opponent.

The world is changing for the worse. As we over-populate, we damage the environment, our society, and ourselves. People's lives aren't changing for the better--to the contrary, they're changing for the worse. Vote me.


Thanks, spaceking for your rebuttals. As I have nearly run out of time, I will keep my own rebuttals short.

Middle Ages vs. Modern Day

I agree with my opponent that it is a common misconception that slavery no longer exists. However, there is a primary difference between modern day slavery (or human trafficking) and Middle Ages 'slavery'. This is that human trafficking is a publicly considered as a bad thing and there is an increasing international awareness about the issue. In fact, it has garnered attention from the White House itself. President Obama stated in 2012 that:

“Our fight against human trafficking is one of the great human rights causes of our time, and the United States will continue to lead it...”

However, during the Middle Ages the lords couldn't care less about the life conditions of there seemingly insignificant serfs/slaves. Due to the fact that this was a social norm at the time nobody, especially those in the higher classes, would ever object to this form of slavery. My opponent claims that serfs could at least work there way off the land. This is not true whatsoever because the serfs were bound to the land and they would never be able to leave no matter what. The villeins were a different story because if they managed to compile enough money they could buy their way off the land. However, this is an unlikely scenario because the villeins would never be able to obtain enough money to do this.

As for the next argument about torture/punishment. My opponent claims that these punishments somehow were justified. I would like to ask my opponent how beheading a peasant for something as innocent as stealing a cabbage is justified? This argument is makes absolutely no sense.

Victorian Era vs. Modern Day

I would like to ask my opponent how World War II qualifies as a modern day scenario? The War ended over seventy years ago and the world has changed tremendously since then. Because of the war the world has improved immensely due to the increased awareness of international atrocities. As for the Civil War, I don't even understand this argument.

Also, let it be noted that my opponent has failed to address my arguments about industrial conditions and European Africa.

Apologies for the shortness of my response.

Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
True :P
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
lol, pro WAS pressed for time
Posted by Hierocles 2 years ago
@Atheist, just so I know, are you going to accept my ISIS debate? If not, I'll challenge someone else.
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
(referring to round 2)
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
WHAO I'm impressed even myself by how well the two pictures blend together. Very nice!
Posted by Atheist-Independent 2 years ago
This should be interesting.
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
Posted by BLAHthedebator 2 years ago
I have a question.

In the first acceptance round, you say that we are talking about societies on planet Earth.

Which specific elements and parts of "society" are we discussing?
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
Too broad of a question for my taste.
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