The Instigator
Sean_Norbury
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
whatledge
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Should the government play a bigger role in the advancement of science here in America?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
whatledge
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/2/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 544 times Debate No: 45099
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

Sean_Norbury

Pro

Looking to debate someone who believes the corporate world can be trusted and more productive than the government when it comes to the advancement of science.
whatledge

Con

I thank Pro for instigating this topic. To start off, I would like to point out that it isn't a matter of "who can be trusted and more productive than the government" but rather, exploring what the purpose of government is.

The purpose of the government is not scientific advancements, and this certainly should not be their priority. This isn't to say that the government should have nothing to do with science at all, but this shouldn't be their focus. The job of the government is to mainly mantain law and order and protect human rights. Unless scientific advancement is necessary to do these two focal duties of the government, I argue that instead of focusing on scientific advancements, the government should be concerned with socioeconomic issues and international affairs.

Secondly, I also believe that there is little difference between corporations and the government in regards to scientific motives. The two are both institutions run by humans, and both have been shown to be corrupt consistently. I don't see how the government has any more credibility than a private industry/research facility. The two are inevitably linked, more or less the same coin, they both have special interests in mind and their goal is oriented towards profit (even the government's motive is based on lobbyists, special interests, etc).

What happened to NASA is a shame, for instance, but the priorities of the government should always be on taking care of the people (even if the government fails to do this in actuality).
Debate Round No. 1
Sean_Norbury

Pro

The purpose of government is to protect its citizens, maintain law and order, etc... Yes, you are correct. Science and technology are the two biggest driving factors when it comes to progressing our species forward. We are moving backwards in this country because of certain groups of people with insane ideologies scattered throughout the "land". Scientific advancement is necessary to do just about anything, including protecting America's citizens. Science helped us win the cold war. Science helped us end WW2. Science helps and protects us in all aspects of life. The government should be concerned with socioeconomic issues and international affairs, yes, that is their job. Those issues don't concern me as much as science does though.

I kind of agree with you about there being little difference between the government and corporations in regards to scientific motives, but that is only because corporations control our government. That needs to end. We have a man on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee that believes our planet is only a few thousand years old. He does not belong there. Why have a House Science, Space, and Technology Committee if we don't fill that committee with actual scientists, we place people who believe in fairy tales instead of facts on the committee. It makes no sense. The head of the Committee is a "Christian Scientist". Our government is a joke. Scientists in general need to play a bigger role in American politics, but the majority of them are spineless. I am not. I am a man of science and will never back down for any reason when it comes to following my moral compass. Our government is corrupt because of greed, which has basically become human nature, and because of corporations which thrive off of greed and selfishness. Scientists should be making all of the important scientific decisions in this country, not a bunch of religious fanatics.

I'll get into NASA in the next round.
whatledge

Con

"The purpose of government is to protect its citizens, maintain law and order, etc... Yes, you are correct. Science and technology are the two biggest driving factors when it comes to progressing our species forward."

While I agree to an extent, my point is that we must not blind ourselves in illusory ideas of progress while neglecting more important matters like taking care of socioeconomic injustices and oppression. This isn't to say that we should give up on science by any means, but we must be frugal and prudent in investing in these things. The government's main interests are not reliant upon science as of right now. Apart from not finding cure for select illnesses like cancer and AIDS, we have enough medical knowledge that allows us to have one of the lowest infancy rates in the world[1]. We have all the tools necessary to protect our citizens. We have the strongest military, are one of the most affluent countries in the world, and we are certainly the most influential country in recent history. We don't need to focus on science to solve our current problems. Our problems come from political and philosophical roots that needs to be the true focus of the government.

[1]http://www.cdc.gov...

"We are moving backwards in this country because of certain groups of people with insane ideologies scattered throughout the "land". Scientific advancement is necessary to do just about anything, including protecting America's citizens."

I've shown above why this is not the case. The country is moving backwards not because of any scientific devolvement, it is a philosophic decline, as people stop to think critically and the value of reason and wisdom is forgotten in greed, ignorance, and pride. Many fundamentalist religions fall under this category, but this is not a debate about them. My only point is that science isn't the answer here either. The answer lies in a revival of philosophy in public schools and introducing critical thought, revitalizing the education system (which is currently ineffective to put it in generous terms) another thing that our government should be investing in over scientific advancements.

"Science helped us win the cold war. Science helped us end WW2. Science helps and protects us in all aspects of life."

It also created nuclear weapons that could potentially destroy all life. Again, we should be seeking to avoid wars through diplomatic, philosophic approaches rather than resorting to violence and engaging in scientific arms races.

"The government should be concerned with socioeconomic issues and international affairs, yes, that is their job. Those issues don't concern me as much as science does though."

Socioeconomic issues concern all of us. Until the basic socioeconomic necessities are met, the government can hardly afford to focus its efforts on scientific progress. That is not the job of the government, and Pro has conceded this point already.

"I kind of agree with you about there being little difference between the government and corporations in regards to scientific motives, but that is only because corporations control our government. That needs to end. We have a man on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee that believes our planet is only a few thousand years old. He does not belong there."

Which is also why I think science should be separate from government, perhaps especially for the United States. Science should never become political. It should remain pure and is best handled by universities and private research institutions that have no ulterior motive other than broadening the pool of knowledge.

"Why have a House Science, Space, and Technology Committee if we don't fill that committee with actual scientists, we place people who believe in fairy tales instead of facts on the committee. It makes no sense. The head of the Committee is a "Christian Scientist". Our government is a joke."

I think this helps my argument as well. I do not think our government is capable of assuming the mantle of scientific progress. I understand your sentiments, and agree with them to an extent, but when our government can barely manage the socioeconomic necessities, I don't think adding another responsibility upon them (especially one as heavy as scientific advancement) is best.

"Scientists in general need to play a bigger role in American politics, but the majority of them are spineless. I am not. I am a man of science and will never back down for any reason when it comes to following my moral compass. Our government is corrupt because of greed, which has basically become human nature, and because of corporations which thrive off of greed and selfishness. Scientists should be making all of the important scientific decisions in this country, not a bunch of religious fanatics."

But could science transcend human nature, greed, and selfishness? I believe changes occur when a man is philosophically enlightened, not scientifically aware of his surroudings. Science has inherent limits, it cannot define what it means to be good, what it means to live and love, and the significance of existence. I believe this things are best explored philosophically.
Debate Round No. 2
Sean_Norbury

Pro

I feel like I repeat myself a lot on this site, but I guess that is only because I am here to debate my views which only change when a better point of view comes to my attention. I am not here to make my debates look professional and formal as I see you are. I do not care much for formalities. I believe that substance is more important. Science, Education, and the Planet are the three most important subjects to me. They are all inter-related with one another. The American Government will one day lead the world in saving the environment through science and education. I am very confident about that because I plan on making sure it happens. Humans are parasitic to this planet, there is no way to argue against that. America has more potential than any other country and that potential is mostly wasted because of the puppeteers of our government.

One of the problems with this country is that it is incapable of thinking in the long-term. You also seem to have this problem. There is not one human plight that deserves more attention than the plight our planet is facing. Unfortunately, humans are the ones who caused this mess so they will also have to fix it. These "Illusory ideas of progress" you speak of are only illusory because of cowards like you. You speak so philosophically, but yet you sound like every other brainwashed robot. You don't think we need to focus on science to solve our current problems? Science is the answer to every problem, it is a very broad word with many meanings. You are right about our problems coming from political roots, and yes we need to focus on that. The only way we will fix that problem is if we stand up to the corruption instead of being so complacent. People in this country argue and complain about so much, but they do nothing except talk. I imagine that you do a lot of "philosophical" talking, but I bet you don't take much action into making any of the necessary changes. And all that talk about being affluent and influential will soon be out of the picture because we are becoming the laughing stock of the world because of our circus of a government. '

I agree with you about the government investing more into education, but as I said before, science and education are intertwined with one another.

I am not a fan of war either, but unfortunately fighting is an instinctive trait in most species, especially humans. I was only showing the link between science and the government when I spoke about the wars.

Science does belong in Universities and other sorts of research facilities, the problems occur once those advancements leave and meet the corporate world of greed. If the government doesn't protect science, who will? Scientists sure seem pretty spineless to me. They produce great work, but don't have the spine to stand up and fight for what their work proves or what they believe in. That is why scientists belong in politics. They need to be out there arguing harder than the current idiots "running" our country. Those idiots are very aggressive in pushing their corrupt agendas, and scientists are soft and quiet in pushing their morally correct agendas. That needs to change.

Can science transcend human nature? Sure, why not. You philosophical types are the biggest cowards of all. I do a lot of thinking, like I am sure that you do, but I also do more than just think. I take action. Science has no limits. Science can teach morals. Science can do a lot more than you can sitting in your armchair with an old fashioned pipe in your mouth.
whatledge

Con

"I feel like I repeat myself a lot on this site, but I guess that is only because I am here to debate my views which only change when a better point of view comes to my attention. I am not here to make my debates look professional and formal as I see you are. I do not care much for formalities. I believe that substance is more important."

I agree, 100%. Only, I believe also that my arguments have substance.

"Humans are parasitic to this planet, there is no way to argue against that."

I never argued against this. But this is a problem that isn't fixed scientifically, in fact, the problems originated with science. Because we were carelessly mass producing things for the sake of convenience without fully understanding the reprecussions. This is why I don't understand this hurried rush for scientific advancement. The pace is fine as it is, what we really need to focus on is the people and the environment around us. Yes, we are polluting the eart like parasites, but that is a philosophic problem that derives from a careless use of technology and general disregard for future generations and other life forms. The origin of this is because people lack the perception the understanding to feel for others. Again, this is not something fixed by science, though science played a role in creating the problem. The solution is philosophy, not science. And the government should be focused on such. Science will do no good, if we do not have a sound philosophic base.

"America has more potential than any other country and that potential is mostly wasted because of the puppeteers of our government."

Which is why, America should fix the problems it has before attempting to make scientific progress to save the world. We can barely take care of our own.

"One of the problems with this country is that it is incapable of thinking in the long-term. You also seem to have this problem. There is not one human plight that deserves more attention than the plight our planet is facing."

What an odd accusation. My point is that there is no "thinking in the long-term" if the people are so philosophically inept that they do not understand/recognize that there is a problem at all.

"Unfortunately, humans are the ones who caused this mess so they will also have to fix it. These "Illusory ideas of progress" you speak of are only illusory because of cowards like you."

It is an illusory idea of progress, because you are seeking for some magical device that will fix all the problems of man. When in reality, these problems would not exist to begin with if people were more responsible, critically thinking, philosophically aware. I am no coward, sir, at least not in this debate. There is a flaw in your line of reasoning.

"You speak so philosophically, but yet you sound like every other brainwashed robot. You don't think we need to focus on science to solve our current problems? Science is the answer to every problem, it is a very broad word with many meanings."

So can you scientifically determine the meaning of life? Can you scientifically measure love? Can you using the scientific method prove empirically why I must value science? Can you scientifically explain morality and measure it? Science can never be the answer to every problem, because there is no such thing as an answer to all problems. Science is not broad at all. It is an empirical study based on empirical observations that are testable by the scientific method.

"You are right about our problems coming from political roots, and yes we need to focus on that."

I shall accept this as another concession.

"The only way we will fix that problem is if we stand up to the corruption instead of being so complacent. People in this country argue and complain about so much, but they do nothing except talk. I imagine that you do a lot of "philosophical" talking, but I bet you don't take much action into making any of the necessary changes. And all that talk about being affluent and influential will soon be out of the picture because we are becoming the laughing stock of the world because of our circus of a government. '"

I don't see how any of this follows that the American government should play a bigger role in scientific advancements, especially i you are conceding that the government is incompetent.

"I agree with you about the government investing more into education, but as I said before, science and education are intertwined with one another."

Not at all. Science is but one branch of education. Education at its foundation is based on philosophy (science by the way is also based on philosophy), which is simply said, the pursuit of wisdom/knowledge/truth. History and literature are just as relevant and important as science in education, if not more important. Science can teach you the biologic anatomy of a human being; but history and literature can teach you what it means to be human.

"I am not a fan of war either, but unfortunately fighting is an instinctive trait in most species, especially humans. I was only showing the link between science and the government when I spoke about the wars."

And I was only stating that war is not a reason why we should be investing in scientific pursuits. Philosophical, diplmoatic investments are far more valuable and a greater necessity. Science does not end wars, it just makes people scared of weapons. But I truly believe that in some distant future, a philosophically enlightened generation could live in peace. The future is not in science, science is but a stepping stone for the greater purpose and needs of philosophy.

"Science does belong in Universities and other sorts of research facilities, the problems occur once those advancements leave and meet the corporate world of greed. If the government doesn't protect science, who will? Scientists sure seem pretty spineless to me. They produce great work, but don't have the spine to stand up and fight for what their work proves or what they believe in. That is why scientists belong in politics. They need to be out there arguing harder than the current idiots "running" our country. Those idiots are very aggressive in pushing their corrupt agendas, and scientists are soft and quiet in pushing their morally correct agendas. That needs to change."

That's not true at all. There are numerous credible, non-profit research groups out there that work for the benefit of scientific progress. [1]

[1] http://www.aaas.org...

"Can science transcend human nature? Sure, why not. You philosophical types are the biggest cowards of all. I do a lot of thinking, like I am sure that you do, but I also do more than just think. I take action. Science has no limits. Science can teach morals. Science can do a lot more than you can sitting in your armchair with an old fashioned pipe in your mouth."

So what have you done with your science? I do not understand the merit of any of your supposed actions, as you have not actually stated what you have done for scientific advancement or benefited people in anyway. You accuse me of being a coward, but I don't understand why. I am not scared of science. I just see its inherent limitation. It has its uses, but it cannot by its own nature answer the more meaningful questions of life.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Sean_NorburywhatledgeTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not address the resolution presented and as such I have to give the argument points to Con. I am not sure if Con tried to move the debate focus in Round 1, but regardless the questions Con asked about funding went unanswered and so points to Con. I have decided to give Conduct points to Con after Pros ad-hominem attack in the final round. S&G are shared, as well as source points.
Vote Placed by Brendan21 3 years ago
Brendan21
Sean_NorburywhatledgeTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro fails to realize the difference in philosophy and science and failed to successfully counter Cons points. Without a philosophy to use science properly we could only worsen what damage we already do toward the earth with the current technology.