The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Shape-shifting is more useful than teleportation

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 471 times Debate No: 67765
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




I'm really just having fun on this one. My job is to prove that shape-shifting is better than teleportation, and vice-versa for my opponent. The BoP is shared. If it is decided that it is equal by the voter, it is a tie. I would prefer no forfeits. First round is acceptance.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Shape-shifting is better than teleportation for the following reasons:

1-More useful in a battle situation:
Let's face it: in the fantasy situations that have powers like teleportation and shape-shifting, you are going to have some fighting going on. True, in a battle situation, teleportation could help you get away, but shape-shifting provides much more failsafe approaches: you could turn into something small, like a bug, and run away, you could turn into a bird and fly away, etc. If you think about it, you probably wouldn't need to flee in the case of having a shape-shifting power, because you would kick butt.

2-More useful in a travel situation:
The only other appeal of teleportation is that you can travel really fast, but this is incompetent to shape-shifting also. You can turn into something with wings and fly there, you could turn into something really fast (maybe a cheetah) and run there, and so on. As with the aforementioned situation, there are myriad possibilities.

3-Shape-shifting envelops teleportation:
As the resolution is unconditional, meaning that there is no limit in the hypothetical situation, something that has the power of shape-shifting could theoretically turn into something with the power of teleportation. This means that whatever arguments my opponent makes really just help my side. However, my opponent cannot use the same approach, as you can't teleport so that you can be a shape-shifter.

I might bring in more arguments in the next round, so be warned.


The entire case of Pro assumes far too much and relies on far too little.

Firstly it assumes that you are a shape-shifter in a world where no one else is (or no one else has powers), secondly it assumes that usefulness is always to the self rather than to others.

Aside from this, it relies on the notion that more power is inherently more useful. this is the foundation of Pro's entire argument.

Stemming from those assumptions and foundation, more false assumptions and foundations can be found.

The entire battle arena theory is so irrelevant to this debate. What is more useful; the ability to avoid any and all conflict by immediate fleeing or the ability to tear someone to shreds and have to live with that guilt? Assuming you are a psychopath and this doesn't matter, there comes the further question which will inevitably leave you with less enemies (as clearly having enemies is not useful but avoiding making them is indeed).

It gets even more funny when Pro says that you can turn into a bird and fly away or a bug and run away. Good luck getting stomped on as a bug!The fact is that the most mathematically useful way to leave the fight unscathed and without enemies is to flee until they either calm down or die trying. Fleeing is done fastest by teleportation, there is no physical alternative that is possibly more energy and time efficient.

As for the notion that turning into a fast creature could ever equate to the usefulness of instantaneously appearing at the destination in an infinitesimally small amount of time with no physical energy tiring you out by doing so, this debate is about usefulness not sexiness. You don't need to make their ride look, or feel good, it just has to be the most useful of all alternatives to achieve the task it is designed to and teleportation hands down is the best travel mechanism possible by both standards of efficiency and inability to be harmed along the way.

Next, Pro states how one could shape-shift into a body capable of teleportation. Assuming this is true, Pro essentially has turned the user of shape-shifting into an omnipotent God-like entity. Usefulness is only relevant to an object, or situation where an entity of finite capabilities is trying to conserve its energy in the most efficient way possible to achieve its goal. Thus, if you let shape-shifters turn into any form capable of any power, they cannot find any usefulness in the power as now they have no limited resource which they wish to conserve. They can become immortal,invincible and omniscient al at once. Such a capable entity has no capacity to find usefulness in a power since they are incapable of needing to find anything useful or achieve any goals. Goals are set by entities that need to achieve them in order to achieve something that they could not achieve otherwise in a more efficient way. In other words, if the shape shifter wants to feel something, they merely need to turn into an entity capable of flipping their sensations an demotions like a switch, but the moment they do so, they have admitted that they need to feel in the first place and contradicted the very notion of their omnipotence. Thus, it follows that the moment a shape-shifter would even use a single power or have any concept of usefulness, they have immediately contradicted the very fact that they are omnipotent to begin with.

Now let's imagine a world where everybody teleports. This would reduce global warming as there'd be far less vehicles polluting the atmosphere, it would also increase our species' efficiency immensely as people could attend work and back in record time, with even more energy able to be used at work as the tiresome activity of traveling to and form (and the hours of the day wasted on doing so instead of sleeping or something else) would be abolished.

Now let's imagine a world where everybody Shape-shifts. First of all this is impossible to imagine, as the moment you imagine any form you contradicted their power. Secondly. this world would essentially become a 4 Chan[1]-esque society whereby everyone is totally and utterly anonymous. Actually, unlike with 4 Chan, there's be no moderators or Admins because everyone would be one. they merely have to shape-shift into a time-traveling, history altering entity and alter the entire history of the reality to be different to what it was intended to be by the others. In actual fact the first to destroy the others by shape-shifting into an annihilation machine would be the 'winner' according to Pro's definition of the motive of all humans (the battle arena) and the breadth of extra abilities that shape-shifting would allow (even teleportation).

The real irony of Pro's case is that it ignores the need of an entity to have limits, it ignores the concept of identity and doesn't understand how useful it is that we can't alter out identity at will. There'd be no motivation to compete against other corporations in order to produce high quality products as the moment you beat them, they'd shape-shift into you and kill you with their powers. If only you were shape-shifting, there'd still be not motivation as you'd constantly crave to be something different, just because you can. there'd be absolutely nothing fulfilling about you (whoever the present 'you' is) at all. the fact is that there is no perfect name, no perfect look and no perfect power to have. You'd constantly be self-loathing and in an unstoppable, incoherent state of angst whereby you'd always want to improve yourself and be too capable to do so that you'd never stop altering until you sit down and cry because you realize that perfect form is something impossible to achieve whereas perfect efficiency of transporting your body from one place to another is (teleportation).

The final point is that if you ended up coming up against someone who was either working with, or him/herself capable of 'canceling out powers' such as "The Haitian"[2] in the series Heroes, you would be fare more capable of recovering form an inability to teleport alone and fight being powerless than you would if you were recovering from the omnipotent extent of shape-shifting that Pro described it to be.

I conclude that shape-shifting is not more useful than teleportation and that Pro has not met their burden of proof thus far.

Debate Round No. 2


My opponent refuted my "battle arena theory" as saying that it would be easier to avoid any and all conflict. This is not true, to have the possibilities is much more useful. He then said " there comes the further question which will inevitably leave you with less enemies (as clearly having enemies is not useful but avoiding making them is indeed)." This is actually supportive of my side. If you take out one enemy, you have one less. As he said, "clearly having enemies is not useful."
Turning into a fast creature actually is a lot better, as with teleportation you can't see what's there until you're there. If you can fly, you can surveil the situation that you otherwise would've just dropped into.
To refute my point that shape-shifters can turn into something capable of teleportation, he talked about how in that situation, the shape-shifter would be much too powerful. This is looking a little too far into the situation. "With great power comes great responsibility," according to Spider-Man's uncle. The shape-shifter would have to know not to turn himself into a paradox and would therefore not continue trying to achieve the perfect entity my opponent speaks of. If they didn't, they might try enough to actually get there. He talked about a world where everyone teleports vs. a world where everyone shape-shifts. In a world where everyone teleports, he said, a lot less time would be wasted on travel. I already proved this point wrong.
If you had your powers taken away, teleportation going would actually hurt you a LOT more. You would've never had the chance to learn how to fight because you always immediately fled the conflict. There's where Con's case contradicts itself. As a shape-shifter, at least you would have some knowledge of how that sort of thing works. As a teleported, you would've immediately avoided any conflict. Therefore, this argument is actually supportive of my side.

To respond to my case being built on the foundation of more power being better, if you know how to use it, of course more power is better. Would you rather be alone if you were capable or incapable of defending yourself?


The fact is that fighting is unnecessary to a teleporting person. There is no need to fight enemies if you can avoid them. In addition there is no way that in a world of you being the only one with a power that any enemy can stop you teleporting to them, snapping their neck and teleporting away. Shapeshifting has zero advantages over teleporting if the enemy has no powers. If the enemy does have powers, it is safe to assume that it would be better to avoid them. In other words, the battle arena example doesn't help shapeshifting's case at all as there is no single, physical way to avoid a fight better than to teleport away.

My opponent then states that you would have to see where you are teleporting before you get there. Why would this be the case? Surely if you are flying above, you risk being spotted, being shot at and filmed and exposed as a mutant whereas when teleporting by the time people see you and scream, you'd be long gone. This point is also invalid as the moment you teleported somewhere that turned out to be a bad situation, you could just teleport out of it regardless. Also, a mind-controlling powered individual could alter what you see if you are flying but cant't alter what you see if you are teleporting there as they'd never think of tricking you in time.

There is no such thing as a perfect entity. The moment something is invincible, indestructible, immortal and flawless, it cannot possibly find anything useful and usefulness sis nullified as it has no need to use anything in the first place.

My opponent says you would never have learnt how to fight if teleporting because you would have always immediately fled the situation but this is entirely wrong. If you are always teleporting, you would be scared to be exposed as you cannot shape-shift your way out of the situation and can be caught eventually if people work out how to track you teleportation routes (as seen in the movie Jumper[1]). Shape-shifters have no fear of being caught as all they need to do is shape-shift out of any situation, they can shape=shift themselves any power they so fancy too, according to Pro. They would know how to fight only using powers, whereas those limited to teleportation may have ended up fighting powerlessly just to hide their mutation form the rest of humanity (as is seen in X-Men with people of varying powers[2]). I tis inevitable that those who have more power will struggle far more without it than those who had barely any in comparison. Higher loss of ability requires higher recovery time.

More power is not always more useful, it is sometimes less useful to have your energy wasted on powers that are detrimental to your well-being. Emotionally shape-shifters end up with multiple personality disorder (officially referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder by those with a mental health profession[3]) and often insecurities about their real appearance as they can fake looking better with such ease that they get depressed and anorexic about the 'real them'. There is no way this is more useful than limiting someone's only power to decreasing their travel times and increasing their mobility throughout the world.

Debate Round No. 3


AlwaysRight12345 forfeited this round.


LayersofLols forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by vi_spex 1 year ago
id rather travel between memories then conform to the identity of another
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con demolishes every Pro argument. Teleportation is better for not making enemies and for escaping battles and for just about everything, especially in a world where everyone has the power.