The Instigator
Astal3
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
A341
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points

Technology is the key to our destruction

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
A341
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/12/2014 Category: Technology
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,271 times Debate No: 58792
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (16)
Votes (3)

 

Astal3

Con

So I would like to start my opening statement by saying I understand the destructive capacity of technology. Such as the effect of nuclear weapons, deforistation and pollution. All of those are great examples of what happens when technology is used unchecked. Even though those are true my argument is about technology in itself. One has to remember that technology is more than just your smartphone or car; technology is anything that improves the quality of life or enhances abilities from a simple shovel to a towering space rocket. Humans as animals are actually very weak when stacked against the animal kingdom. The only thing that keeps us from being hunted is our ability to invent and use tools. As I stated before there is technology that exists that is more harmful than not; but technology as a whole helps ensure humanities long term survival as a species. I look forward to hearing my opponents argument.
A341

Pro

Eighty years ago no one had heard of the nuclear bomb, no one knew the destructive power of splitting the atom, now eighty years later we are terrified of a single person dropping off a backpack and reducing most of a city to dust.

In the last eighty years we as a species have multiplied our destructive power an untold number of times just in the last eighty years we have invented or hugely refined:

Nuclear weapons (capable of ending the human race)
Biological warfare (capable of ending the human race)
Chemical warfare (capable of killing billions if the worlds stockpiles were released in urban areas which would lead to the end of civilisation and probably the end of the human race after a few generations)

We are now at a point where we as a species possess the power to annihilate our selves, all ready we have had one near miss with the cold war, potentially two if you count the chance that Germany could have got the bomb in WW2 [1], next time we might not be so lucky and even if our luck prevails what about the time after that and the time after that and the time after that, our luck will not last forever.

We are also at a point where we are increasingly urbanised, our new technology allows use to live in closer proximity to more people than ever before which allows disease to spread quicker than ever and our massive population which is sustained by technology means that there is more chance for a super virus to develop which could destroy the human race.

Technology is also destroying our atmosphere, the fruits of our technological achievement, the cars and planes and power plants and space ships are filling the atmosphere with carbon 14, methane and other harmful substances which could lead to a future where we could no longer live.

And yes you are correct in stating that the very reason we still live is because of our ability to create useful technologies I myself would not be around today if it wasn't for modern technology and I'm sure that is the same for many if not most people and yes you are correct when you say that it has allowed us to last longer as a species than we probably would have without it (I doubt we could have survived the fluctuating climate from 15,000 to 8,000 BC without technology) but the thing that makes us strong will also kill us.

(I am aware this isn't a perfect analogy) Lets say there is a soldier who is exceptionally talented, he is able to survive in battles because he has a talent for war, for a time that sustains him and allows him to live but eventually his reputation spreads and his enemies become determined to kill him; the thing that allowed him to live also killed him.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Astal3

Con

I have already stated that I recognize the potential for humanities self destructive habits and I completely agree. But history has proved that any time humans get involved the potential for disaster escalates. Technologies ability to cause destruction is also matched by its ability for good. Aka. Modern medicine. Running water. Shelter. Solar panels. Engineered crops to feed populations. The only reason nuclear weapons and everything else pose such a big threat is because humanity as a whole is divided. And if that doesn't change then it won't matter what we do or have we will wind up destroying each other if something natural doesn't do it for us. It isn't the technology itself that is the problem it is how it's applied. To say that technology is what will destroy us is like saying guns kill people. Guns themselves do not kill people it is the people using the guns that kill people same thing with technology. We can use it for good or bad. And history has show that when people ban together we can overcome any natural occurrence. Especially when good use of technology is employed but it is the fact that we are divided that creates such a massive potential for disaster. Which that leads in to globalization but for the sake of keeping on topic I won't go there. It may seem like a fantasy ideal but it doesn't take away the fact that it exists and is possible. To say that technology is only the key to our destruction I feel is just accepting defeat and we should just give up now. Everything my opponent said about the potential for disaster is absolutely true. But everything in life has a potential for disaster and nothing is set in stone. We now have the capabilities yes to destroy ourselves but also to overcome obstacles that our ancestors could only dream of accomplishing. I argue that if technology can be the key to our destruction then it can also be the key to our salvation as it has been for thousands of years. It is all how you apply it. With all due respect to my opponent I beg people to see the statement technology is the key to our destruction as jumping to a conclusion. It could be the key to our destruction. But it doesn't have to be. And for that reason I argue you should vote against the motion.
A341

Pro

"But history has proved that any time humans get involved the potential for disaster escalates."

And this is an argument for your side of the resolution? Yes I agree, when humans get involved the chance of a disaster increases. We are not built for the modern world, we evolved to survive on the African savannah and because of it we have tendencies that and dangerous when placed in a context where the push of a button could turn the surface of the planet into irradiated dust.

You list several benefits of technology and yes I agree there are many benefits without which the carrying capacity of the planet would most likely be less than ten percent of our current population. And I already accepted that without technology we probably wouldn't have made it past the ecological upheaval at the end of the last ice age, however just because some examples of technology has allowed us to survive as a species (e.g. vaccines, fire, the wheel ext) doesn't mean that other examples of technology (e.g. nuclear weapons, biological weapons, ect) will not lead to our destruction as a species.

You then go on about how the only reason nuclear weapons are dangerous is that humans are divided and yes in some utopian reality where all of humanity shared the same goals nuclear weapons would not be a problem (the chances are they wouldn't even have been invented) but in that society the chances are we would not be nearly as technologically advanced as we are in our current society. Think about it, almost every invention we have today owes some of the credit for its invention to warfare for instance modern computing was invented to crack German codes in WW2 [1] and the ammonia fertilizer used to feed billions of people owes its invention to a chemist working for the Germans who was designing gases to be used on allied troops in WW1 [2]. With that in mind it is important to realize that we live on a world that is deeply divided and seems to be getting ever more so with no reconciliation in sight this utopian dream you have is just that, a dream.

Your last point was that technology can also be our salvation. My response is simply technology can save the world an infinite amount of times but it only has to destroy the world once.

I will finish up my argument with this, humanity has never invented a weapon and then not used it. The worlds superpowers are stockpiling ever more advanced weapons capable of ending the world in hundreds of equally devastating ways, a similar situation happened before. In 1914 the worlds superpowers had been stockpiling weapons for a quarter of a century the idea was mutually assured destruction the leading thinkers and politicians of the time were adamant that no nation would be stupid enough to risk annihilation but then a spark happened and plunged the world into two world wars. We are now at a point where the worlds superpowers are stockpiling again but now the weapons they are stockpiling have truly world destroying power, as we have seen from history mutually assured destruction hasn't worked in the past and won't work in the future.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
They'll probably have somebody drop out that you can replace.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
I'm sure he will.
Posted by Astal3 2 years ago
Astal3
I never got around to it but ill still send him a message and maybe he will line me up for a different debate.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
You should sign up ASAP if you're going to do it. I think that BSH1 is only letting one more person sign up. I assume he wants a field of 16 people so the flow is easier. Multiples of 8 seem to work well for tournaments.
Posted by Astal3 2 years ago
Astal3
Alright I will definitely look into that, Thanks man.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
Joining that tournament will help you get acclimated to the site and debating a little better. It will also get you to know some of the better debaters.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
Astral, you should join Bsh1s tournament and tell him I recruited you when you sign up.

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by Astal3 2 years ago
Astal3
I try to be like that with every debate but my most developed skill is social intelligence. So when it comes to complicated theories and subjects such as religion I have to pick and choose my battles. Sometimes I can jump right in while others i need to actually research more before I will even believe what I am saying.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
I like debates where I can use arguments pertaining to transhumanism. Even if I'm playing devil's advocate. I pretty much try to accept every debate I see like that.
Posted by Astal3 2 years ago
Astal3
Where we're you yesterday. It took me forever to find someone to accept this. But no worries I debate this kind of stuff a lot. Just snoop in every once and awhile and there is sure to be a debate open.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Astal3A341Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Fundamentally, there are two questions to be answered in this debate: will humans be destroyed, and by what means? The former question gets some analysis from both debaters, though it seems that logically, humanity will at some point be wiped out. Con states that technology is more likely to be a long term salvation and that natural disasters will eventually be our destroyers, and Pro contends that technology is most likely to be the form our destroyer takes. Both debaters are missing some links and warrants, but the clearest message I'm getting is from Pro - he gives me a solid statement of how it could happen, some examples of where we've come close, and a bevy reasons why it's imminent. The argument that it's actually humans doing the killing really doesn't change the fact that technology is the enabler, and I don't get any solid reasoning as to why nature will get us first. Technology may be good in many ways, but it's still our most likely downfall.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
Astal3A341Tied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro must prove that technology is the one and only "key" to our destruction. Pro has not done so. Beter sources though.
Vote Placed by Romanii 2 years ago
Romanii
Astal3A341Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Both Pro and Con agreed that technology both has the potential to do great good for humanity and totally annihilate it. However, Pro showed via logic and historical example that technology's potential uses in warfare and its environmental harms are very likely to destroy the world eventually. And, as Pro pointed out, "technology can save the world an infinite amount of times but it only has to destroy the world once," which pretty much seals the deal in terms of who won this debate. Good effort by both sides, though.