The Instigator
themightyindividual
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
FieryNyan
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The Automobile

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
themightyindividual
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/25/2016 Category: Cars
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 559 times Debate No: 88512
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

themightyindividual

Pro

Terms of debate:
This debate is about whether or not the personal automobile is beneficial to mankind.

First round: acceptance
Second thru forth round: argument
Fifth round: final statement
FieryNyan

Con

I accept. As my adversary has failed to define the words, I will take the liberty to do it.

Personal: Private
Beneficial: favourable or advantageous
Mankind: the human race, or humanity as a whole.

My stand: It isn't beneficial to mankind.
Your stand: It benefits mankind.
Debate Round No. 1
themightyindividual

Pro

Since the beginning of time, man has sought to go further and live life to a greater level of comfort. For most of history, the horse had to suffice for road travel. Certain advanced were made, and there was the invention of the invention of the steam engine. This brought about new possibilities in the field of travel and commerce. But with the invention of the internal combustion engine came the first car, a vehicle to replace the horse in nearly every respecf.

When cars were first invented, they were made by hand and they were made individually. Thus, the cost was enormous and only the wealthy could afford one. Now, due to many great advances in the automotive industry, almost anyone can afford a car.

Fast-forward to present day. The car remains the choice vehicle for travel. The car has allowed for the expansion of the middle class and the ability for one to live in a different setting than one works. The car has allowed for the common man as well as the wealthy man to be mobilized, to be able to navigate the entire nation at his disposal. Compared to other forms of transportation, the car is still the best way to travel within and between cities. I'll compare these different modes of travel to the automobile.

Walking:

Obviously walking isn't the most effective way to travel if your destination is more than 300 feet away. It is burdensome, tedious and slow. It is good exercise so that makes it recreational.

Bicycle:

Only effective on flat terrain otherwise slow and difficult. Relatively slow unless there is a lot of traffic on city roads.

Horse:

Animals are slower than cars and less predictable than machines. Also, maintenance and food costs are very high and street manure is a problem on a large scale.

Train:

A train is very fast between two points but typically the wait time and lack of privacy, combined with the fact that your destination is likely not the train station itself so you will have to travel by car to your destination from the train station.

Bus:

Very ineffective in every field. It beiny slow, uncomfortable, and lacking in privacy makes it the worst form of motorized transportation.

Plane:

Fastest form of transportation, however costly. Inefficient between destinations that are less than 150 miles apart.

The car only needs a road, no other infrastructure is needed. Public transportation requires an entire bureaucracy which raises the total economic cost since these jobs are not necessary. A car is the individual's vehicle. One does not need to rely on the work of others and does not need to work his schedule around the schedule of others. The car is one of the greatest inventions as it means that a person can move by himself across long distances without the lack of comfort that comes with a horse.

The automobile industry provides countless jobs as it employs workers in the manufacturing, assembling, and maintenance of the vehicle. It employs people in the upstream markets as well since more steel, oil, aluminum, and other materials need to be mined and processed to create and operate the hundreds of millions of automobiles on the road right now. This means more jobs, meaningful jobs, and more opportunity for growth both in people's careers and in the economy at large. All of this has meant a general rise in the standard of living and thus has benefitted mankind.
FieryNyan

Con

First off, thank you for this opportunity to have this amazing debate with you! I hope to have a fun, and challenging session with you, good sir. Let us begin!

Yes, I do believe automobile has come a long way, defeating many of its adversary, and finally standing at the top, overlooking the corpse of its enemies. However, do I believe private automobiles benefits humanity as a whole? No.

To make something beneficial for humanity, it means everyone has a share to the pie. So, to be able to debate on such a topic, let us imagine a world, where everyone owns a car, and let us see whether humanity as a whole benefits from it. For your sake, and the sake of continuum, let's assume even the rural areas have roads. Also, for the sake of the argument, since everyone owns a car, who needs train and buses, right?

With this scenario in place, let's see what'll happen. In Jakarta, jams have hit the worst it can ever be. At peak hours, traffic jam can last for hours and hours. Oh, did I mention that the population owning cars in Jakarta is only 21 percent? 48 million cars. Travelling 10km takes 3 hours. Let's imagine, 229 million cars. 4.8 times more cars. Would the jam last even more longer? Surely it will. So, with a much worst traffic, would it benefit those stuck in the jam? Hmm.

Next, petrol cost. Supply and demand. Laws of economics work on every goods. In this case, petrol. As petroleum usage increases, the price would naturally increase with it. Would the hike of petrol price benefit humanity? Well, now I hope cars was limited to selected individuals.

Carbon Emission. Okay, one can say that "But FieryNyan, carbon emission affects the environment, not humanity in general!" Well, it kinda does. Bad air quality = more sickness. Plus, it'll hurt the environment a lot, and promote pollution.

All in all, I would like to say that automobile does not benefit humanity as a whole. Sure, it does benefit many people. But benefit everyone? No. I believe the current mixture of transportation, this diversity, benefits humanity as a whole. So, to me, no, personal automobile does not benefit humanity as a whole.
Debate Round No. 2
themightyindividual

Pro

Let me start by saying that I do see Con's point that we lack the current infrastructure to support a world in which every person owns a car. However, more investment in public infrastructure could remedy that situation. My opponent did not realize that the hypothetical scenario he made up to prove his point also works in reverse.

The automobile has improved the living conditions for those who own one and also for those who don't. Think about how much more uncomfortable and inefficient busses and trains in metropolitan areas would be if every person who drives began using public transportation instead. The system couldn't handle it, it would fall apart. Think of the changes in supply and demand. Sure, gasoline usage per person would decrease but would fares? No. Fares go up when ridership goes up, and so does the wear and tear on the entire system. You see, a bus or metro system is centrally controlled and so maintenance is done with the consent of the authorities, and is typically not done well. The entire concept of public transit is designed to haul a relatively low number of people. An example of overload can be seen in northern California where the B.A.R.T. system operates. Ridership has increased steeply in the last 3 years and thus the system is falling apart. Large stretches of tracks have to be replaced every few months and the trains themselves have not been replaced in many decades due to the massive amount of inefficient planning that occurs when control of transportation is centralized.

Air quality concerns are real (though not as bad as many seem to think) but are caused by many factors, of which automobiles is one. Thus, many choose to purchase more efficient vehicles that save money and save the environment. I don't care about the environment so I drive a normal car but there are a lot of people that do so it winds up being less of a problem.

Thus, the automobile benefits greatly those who use it and benefits to a certain extent those who do not. In general it is beneficial though.
FieryNyan

Con

Ok, let me start off with this. I made the hypothesis not only on the current infrastructure. Of course, our infrastructure will fail to accommodate the scenario. Even so, do you think that investing more on infrastructure will help? One has to know that there are just so much you can do. Let's take up two actions one can take to improve the situation; Building new roads, and building highways.

Regarding building roads, some cities can no longer do this. For example, in Penang, due to its layout and current buildings, there is no more space to build roads, other than relocating current buildings. Instead of doing this, the government is improving it by building more public transports.

Furthermore, some cities are already matured. It has no place to build more roads. It's simply already... perfect. For example, some sectors in New York is already perfect. Parallel roads, intersected perpendicularly; they create perfect squares. Civil Engineers have always called this the perfect road system. With this, there is simply no way to perfect it. Worst thing? New York is already facing traffic jams, and most people there do not own a car.

Ok, let us look at another way we can improve our current infrastructure; building highways. We can either build roads on top of current roads, or digging a tunnel. The bad thing is, even with these, some cities will still face horrible jam if everyone owns a car, and the cost for it will be simply too much to benefit humanity.

You speak of our current transportation being horrid if everyone uses it. Yet, you argued by saying we can improve our current infrastructure. Instead of investing on roads, why not invest on more public transports? The thing about public transport is, governments can create and govern these public transport, making its price reasonable. Look at Singapore, for example. It's busing and LRTs are simply amazing, and most people do not own a car. The fare is dirt cheap, and the buses and LRTs are beautiful. In short, I'm saying that it'll be better for the government to invest on public transport than to just invest on roads, which will not solve the problem either, as explained above.

Speaking of Singapore, we can use it as our ideal infrastructure. Just enough roads for current cars, their buses are beautiful, it's easy to transit around using the LRT, and literally every stop is close to where you want to be, being at most a 5 minutes walk.

"The entire concept of public transit is designed to haul a relatively low number of people. "

False, Singapore's public transport is used by the mass.

"Large stretches of tracks have to be replaced every few months and the trains themselves have not been replaced in many decades due to the massive amount of inefficient planning that occurs when control of transportation is centralized."

If everyone drives a car, maintaining the road will be an even heavier burden than replacing its tracks. Regarding train and bus maintenance, the cost will be relatively cheaper than the total of everyone's car maintenance.

Air quality remains a huge concern. Why would I spend more to buy a environmental friendly car, when I can just use public transport, which purpose is to both reduce traffic jams, and also to help the environment? The fact that you do not care of the environment is itself a huge problem to humanity as a whole. Many people have the mindset that paying more for an environmental-friendly car isn't worth the cost, hence being a huge burden to our air quality. Furthermore, older cars tend to have higher carbon-emissions.

True, I never did say automobiles do not greatly benefit those who use it. All I'm saying is, it does not benefit humanity as a whole.
Debate Round No. 3
themightyindividual

Pro

Of course in some settings only a certain amount of people can own a car but that doesn't mean it only benefits them. Don't get me wrong, I understand that public transportation is beneficial to those who drive because it allows for more room on the road. But like I said before, this works both ways and so both systems benefit eachother. If we just had public transport then a tempoetry delay could cause widespread problems because nobody could get anywhere. With our current balanced transportation system, there isn't too much weight on either form of travel.

Since this debate is about whether or not the car is beneficial to humanity as a whole, and not about if busses are MORE beneficial, I have clearly won. I have proven that the car allows both users and non-users to get places faster by lowering the pressure placed on the transit systems and by moving faster and more efficiently.
FieryNyan

Con

"Of course in some settings only a certain amount of people can own a car but that doesn't mean it only benefits them. "

Uhm yes it does mean that it only benefits the drivers? Like what you're saying is because 5 people in the room is eating a cake, doesn't mean it only benefits them. Well, uh, it does mean it only benefits them lol.

"But like I said before, this works both ways and so both systems benefit eachother. If we just had public transport then a tempoetry delay could cause widespread problems because nobody could get anywhere."

Yea, I don't see how this is suppose to show that personal automobiles benefit humanity as a whole. You're saying that this mixture benefits humanity as a whole.

"Since this debate is about whether or not the car is beneficial to humanity as a whole, and not about if busses are MORE beneficial, I have clearly won."

Bold statement, considering I didn't mention anything regarding that. I said that personal automobiles would not benefit humanity as a whole. Considering that Pro just totally ignored all my rebuttals, it's amazing how he concluded with this statement. Simply, amazing. Let me do the same.

Ahem. Since this debate is whether or not a PERSONAL automobile is beneficial to humanity as a whole, and I've shown that personal automobiles would not benefit humanity as a whole in our current situation, nor in a hypothetical world that everyone owns a car, I have clearly won."

Coming back to my first point in this round "Just because I own a car, doesn't mean others would benefit from it. You would've won if the statement we're arguing is "Automobiles are beneficial", instead of saying "personal automobile is beneficial to mankind." By bringing this to the extreme and saying that it benefits humanity as a whole, just because a small population of the world uses it, you've already lost the battle. Since you're in the pro side, you got to prove that the personal automobile benefits every human being, where else all I have to do is to prove that it would not benefit one person.

"I have proven that the car allows both users and non-users to get places faster by lowering the pressure placed on the transit systems and by moving faster and more efficiently."

Ah, this doesn't prove anything lol. So we should all be thankful for beggars, since they chose not to get a job, and spared another employment chance for another person? Yea, sure.
Debate Round No. 4
themightyindividual

Pro

Con ignored my points on the external benefits of cars. He said it's the same as if "5 people in the room is eating a cake, it doesn't benefit just them". This is true because most people in the world use public transit instead of a car and so it's as if 5 people are eating cake and 10 people are eating pie, the pie-eaters and the cake-eaters should be glad that the others are eating something else. I should be glad there aren't more people on the road and people who use public transportation should be glad there aren't more people on the bus.

Further more, since the negative impacts of the automobile on humanity are superceded by the positive impacts, the total impact is positive.

Con's argument is akin to saying that the two story home is not beneficial to humanity because not everyone has one, or that cake isn't beneficial to humanity because not everyone has it, or that electricity isn't beneficial to humanity because not everyone has access to it. Something doesn't have to be used by everyone in the world in order to be generally beneficial to humanity. The fact of the matter is that two story homes, cake, electricity, and cars are beneficial to humanity as a whole merely because they have an overall positive impact.

Not to sway from the topic but, under communist regimes that use Con's logic that if everyone can't afford something it is not beneficial to humanity and what winds up happening is that the general standard of living falls (ironic, right?).

If I drive a car, and I am being positively impacted by this fact, and I am apart of humanity, isn't that enough to say that it is helping humanity? There are nearly a billion active cars, so I would say that is impacting a good enough portion of humanity that it is generally creating a positive impact.

Thank you for the debate it was very enjoyable, hope it was for you too.
FieryNyan

Con

I did not ignore your points regarding the benefits of cars. I rebutted them.


" 5 people are eating cake and 10 people are eating pie, the pie-eaters and the cake-eaters should be glad that the others are eating something else."

I like how you used the word "should". Yea, they "should" be glad. The same way this topic "should" be Personal Automobiles "should" benefit humanity. Just because the pie-eaters are enjoying their pie, doesn't mean they benefit anything from the cake-eaters. Similarly, people who use public transport benefits from the public transport; they do not benefit from people with personal automobiles.

"Further more, since the negative impacts of the automobile on humanity are superceded by the positive impacts, the total impact is positive."

HOWWW HOWWW. I literally spent a whole round telling you about pollutions. One single automobile benefits its driver. The carbon emission, however, is a drawback for everyone. Similar to smoking. Smoking only gives one person euphoria, but it damages the second-hand smokers.

"Con's argument is akin to saying that the two story home is not beneficial to humanity because not everyone has one, or that cake isn't beneficial to humanity because not everyone has it, or that electricity isn't beneficial to humanity because not everyone has access to it."

Yea, that's true. Electricity benefits only its users. Someone who doesn't use electricity do not share its benefits. Similarly, someone with the cake enjoys it; people not eating the cake do not benefit from it. And finally, only those staying on the double story home benefits from it. Not the whole of humanity. You don't get what I'm doing here, do you? Your statement was "Personal Automobile benefits humanity." It's false. Clearly. Only those who own an automobile benefits from it. And that's a fact.

"Not to sway from the topic but, under communist regimes that use Con's logic that if everyone can't afford something it is not beneficial to humanity and what winds up happening is that the general standard of living falls."

Yea, it's not beneficial at all. Let's say I create a time machine, but to travel every second back, you'll need to pay me 1 million dollars. Yea, sure, amazing invention. But if no one can afford to use it, clearly it doesn't benefit anyone, let alone humanity.

"If I drive a car, and I am being positively impacted by this fact, and I am apart of humanity, isn't that enough to say that it is helping humanity?"

Nope. It's like saying if one person loves murder, all of humanity loves murder. So yea, just because you're A PART (not apart) of humanity and you enjoy something, doesn't mean everyone is enjoying it.

"There are nearly a billion active cars, so I would say that is impacting a good enough portion of humanity that it is generally creating a positive impact."

Yea, and smoking benefits more than a billion people. It's also safe to say that it is impacting a good enoufh portion of humanity, so I can use this to say that Smoking benefits Humanity as a whole.

And finally, I'd like to conclude once again with this. Automobiles do benefit many people, but it doesn't benefit humanity as a whole. I'm okay with saying Automobiles are beneficial, but to make a vast claim that it is beneficial to the whole human race? That's totally out of the question

Likewise, amazing debate with you! I enjoyed every second of it. The thrill of just rebutting nonstop was great. I'd love to have another debate with you some other time :)

Cheers,
FieryNyan
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by whiteflame 10 months ago
whiteflame
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>Reported vote: ColeTrain// Mod action: NOT Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: Vote for the VU (Voter's Union) If you have any questions, feel free to PM me. [http://www.debate.org...]

[*Reason for non-removal*] The vote is clearly sufficent, examining the debate in tremendous detail and explaining the decision based on arguments made by both sides.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ColeTrain 10 months ago
ColeTrain
themightyindividualFieryNyanTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Vote for the VU (Voter's Union) If you have any questions, feel free to PM me. [http://www.debate.org/forums/miscellaneous/topic/84741/]