The Instigator
blond_guy
Pro (for)
Winning
22 Points
The Contender
aceofelves
Con (against)
Losing
13 Points

The United States should adopt the metric system.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/21/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 9,571 times Debate No: 2854
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (11)

 

blond_guy

Pro

First of all, thank you John Quincy Adams for giving me the idea to start this debate.

So here are some of my reasons as to why America should adopt the metric system.

1) America is one of the only countries to use this system, and still in school, all American kids are taught the metric system anyways. Therefore, there is no point in knowing about any other system.

2) Immigrants like me may come to America and have great math skills. However, the current system is irregular. The metric system makes sense, since it is based on 10 and has various common derivations of latin (e.g. centimeter, milimeter...).
aceofelves

Con

I'm looking forward to debating this interesting and refreshingly lighthearted topic with you. Note that << >> marks quotes by you, and ~~ marks a summary, whether my summary of your words or of mine. Feel free to use this precise symbology to help keep things clear for each other and our voters. Ok:

<<< So here are some of my reasons as to why America should adopt the metric system.

1) America is one of the only countries to use this system, and still in school, all American kids are taught the metric system anyways. Therefore, there is no point in knowing about any other system.

2) Immigrants like me may come to America and have great math skills. However, the current system is irregular. The metric system makes sense, since it is based on 10 and has various common derivations of Latin (e.g. centimeter, millimeter). >>>

I will start by summarizing what you have said thus far:

~~
The United States should adopt the Metric System because
1) Mostly, the rest of the world has already switched over, and students are already made aware of the metric system and how it works.

2) Immigrants, even intelligent ones, find our system irregular. They find it difficult to multiply or divide in order to convert units. Latin number roots such as cent and mil are neatly base 10.
~~

I would like to say that your first point is not a supporting reason for the Metric system, it is just an observation. So unless you tell me why, on a global scale, it is beneficial, you've thus far only given me one point to argue against (your second). Please explain why you think the fact that the rest of the world uses the Metric system is grounds for the US to convert (pun intended). Simply the fact that the rest of the world has switched over already is not any argument, since just because they use this system doesn't necessarily mean it's better. So we move on to point two, which so far is the only support for your thesis.

Your second point, that the Metric system is simple, has some merit to it. Over the years, cultures around the world have used different bases for enumeration. The Babylonians used the sexagesimal system, which was base 60. Other common systems include the binary and hexadecimal scales. The scale that enumerates by Base 10, the Decimal System has grown in popularity, under the process called "Metricizing," and for many years now the decimal system has been the most popular scale.

The US counts with the decimal scale, but two big things still remain outside the decimal scale: measurements (e.g. distance) and time. However, you don't hear anyone saying, "Let's make life easier by metricizing time so that a minute is 100 seconds, etc." That would take a lot of time and effort, and it is really something that is simple enough already. We do we need to dumb something down? If we're going to move the bar, let's raise it, not lower it. Learning the vocabulary for the Imperial system is no more difficult than learning the names of classmates or counting in French.

~~ Thus far, you have essentially argued that we should switch to the Metric system since everyone else is doing it and because it's a little easier to remember the worlds and numbers. I fail to see why this is grounds for making a drastic change in our nation's methods. ~~

I would also add that America has a strong sense of pride in holding on to the Imperial System. We're the leaders of the free world, with by far the largest productivity and economy in the world, so why should we conform? If anyone wants some conforming, let's let the rest of the world conform to our system... They got most everything else from us (car, electricity, internet, airplane, etc).

NOW: You chose Pro, so you have to argue FOR your thesis, which is that the "The U.S. SHOULD adopt the Metric system." Your job is to give some GOOD reasons to support why the US should switch over when we have been happily using the Imperial system for years on end.

I will withhold my biggest arguments for the rounds to follow. Your turn:
Debate Round No. 1
blond_guy

Pro

Ok so, so far your argument is "why should we conform?"
Please correct me if I'm wrong.

First of all, I don't think it's a problem for America to conform since all the other countries on the face of this world has the BETTER system. No matter how proud of it we are.

"Learning the vocabulary for the Imperial system is no more difficult than learning the names of classmates or counting in French."

The problem is not just the names as much as it is the numbers. I still don't remember how many feet are in a mile and I've been here 2 years in a half. I just know it's around 1000 and something. However American students learn the metric system in a week in science class. What's the point of keeping that system if we don't use it? As a student, I don't remember the last time I needed the Imperial system, I don't use it in math nor science.

"Let's make life easier by metricizing time so that a minute is 100 seconds, etc."

Metricize time? The metric system is all about DISTANCE, this debate is about the metric system.

"Your job is to give some GOOD reasons to support why the US should switch over when we have been happily using the Imperial system for years on end."

My father's a teacher in a public school, my mom is a college professor, neither them nor their friends who are also teachers would agree with you that "we have been happily using the Imperial system". And my colleagues in school say "Why do we need that sh*t if we don't use it anymore since elementary school?". And that's a great point, you spend years trying to get those kids to memorize how many feet are in a mile, inches in a foot, etc. and some of them still don't remember. But in a week we all know the metric system. It's a waste of teaching time, is that not a good reason? Learning about the metric system and only the metric system would improve the math and science skills of kids all across America.

So why should we conform? Because it is the BEST system.
England conformed without a problem, why don't we?
aceofelves

Con

Okay, I'll debunk your latest "arguments" before moving on to mine.

<< So why should we conform? Because it is the best system. >>

You cannot say that this is the best system since the only support for the metric system that you have provided thus far is that it's easier to remember, and that is hardly a reason for switching. You have NOT PROVEN or even given any good reasons why the metric system is better. I am surprised that someone as seemly intelligent as you cannot remember simple numbers such as 12 inches in a foot, 5280 ft in a mile, but then I realized you don't seem to understand systems of measurement at all. The following statement made by you shows your lack of understanding of systems of measurement:

<< Metricize time? The metric system is all about DISTANCE, this debate is about the metric system. >>

Let me teach you something about your beloved Metric System: It is certainly not all about distance. Volume and weight are equally important quantities measured by the Metric System. As the verb "to metricize" is not used very often, I can understand why you could think metricizing time is not a realistic request. However, the move to Metricize Time has been argued for years. The Metric system is certainly not limited to distance, as you so naively stated before.

<< England conformed without a problem, why don't we? >>

Realize that the United States is significantly larger than England. England is smaller than the state of Colorado. Comparing the success in England is pointless. This brings me to my next argument, that converting the United States of America to the Metric System would be an arduous and extremely expensive process:

The United States, being the world's largest economic powerhouse, has many uses for measurements. Here is a small list of all the changes the US would have to painstakingly change, resulting in massive costs:

* The shipping yards, train stations, and airlines which are essential to our nation's economic health all constantly be measuring/weighing cargo, fuel, luggage, etc.
* Industries have massive need to constantly measure a multitude of components. The factories must measure specific dimensions of parts, weigh components, measure volumes of liquids and solids, and many other measurements. Industries that must use these measurements include the:
textile industry,
automobile industry,
healthcare industry,
clothing industry,
construction industry,
transportation industry,
energy industry,
manufacturing industry,
cosmetic industry,
food industry,
mining industry,
steel industry,
lumber industry,
farming industry,
packaging industry,
oil refining industry.
There are many more industries that would also require measurements. They currently, efficiently use the Imperial System. Switching to the Metric System would cost the government and ultimately the private sector BILLIONS AND BILLIONS of $$$ (SKYROCKETING TAXES).

* The education system would have to print all new books phasing out the old system. You may know how much textbooks cost. The total cost would be in the MILLIONS if not billions of $$$. It's estimated to take over 10 years.

* The United States Armed Forces has a vast use for measurements for a multitude of components. The Navy, Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Marines would all have to change everything, potentially jeopardizing warfare as we know it. This would cost tax money and possibly the lives of American soldiers. Are you in favor of killing Americans for simplicity's sake? Your arguments suggest you are.

ESSENTIALLY: adopting the metric system would cost UNTOLD BILLIONS OF DOLLARS for the United States of America. If there are any advantages (you've not given any besides slightly more simplicity), they are thoroughly OUTWEIGHED (by either system, lol) by the MASSIVE DETRIMENTS, economic or otherwise, for adopting this policy in the most powerful nation on the planet earth.

*** To summarize what you should cover in your finale argument ***

~~ Your job is now to give outstanding, overwhelming evidence of the benefits, if any, of the Metric System's supposed advantage over the trustworthy Imperial System. In the event that you are able to come up with any reasons why (you think) your system is better, your next job will be to prove that those potential (imaginary) benefits are great enough to justify the loss of the billions and billions of US dollars that would be lost/wasted in this adoption process. $10000000000.00 is a vast amount of money, and only a conservative estimate of the conversion. It's undeinably not worth it. ~~
Debate Round No. 2
blond_guy

Pro

<>

I told you, we learn the metric system anyways, because 1st of all, mathematicians and scientists use the metric system when they give talks abroad. And 2nd of all, why do you think they use it in science and math when you go to highschool? For fun? No, it's because it is more efficient. If you disagree that it is more efficient then you are contradicting what thousands of scientists say so can we not have to argue that?

As to what you said about metricizing, you're right, I'm sorry. But either way your point on metricizing time has nothing to do with this debate because the metric system doesn't apply to time anywhere in the world.

<>

That is false, I did not find one that does.

<>

Nice Republican tactics. "What my opponent proposes will force us to raise taxes". Really nice. However even if they did use the Imperial System, how in the world would it cost "BILIIONS AND BILLIONS of $$$" as you said with such emotion?

<>

I thought the previous was nice Republican tactics, but whoa! "What my opponent is proposing is AGAINST America!"
Well, not until you find evidence that proves all those industries use the Imperial system. I even tried to do the job for you but there is no such evidence.
Plus, I wouldn't be "killing Americans" if people like you didn't get the beautiful idea of going into Iraq.

<>

Except for you, who trusts this system. I'll tell you something, scientists don't.

<>

When I heard this I thought you'd bring a valid argument against the metric system but not really. You didn't even "debunk" my arguments. Did you answer to the waste of time teachers spend teaching kids this system when they could be teaching them something else. Also, you underrate simplicity. Simplicity means hours of less work for many Americans.

In you last argument I'd like you to answer these questions DIRECTLY.

1) I gave you a reason as to why the metric system is better. Simplicity and logic (in the sense that it is logical that a centimeter is one hundredth of a meter).
2)You said in your previous argument:
<<$10000000000.00 is a vast amount of money, and only a conservative estimate of the conversion. It's undeinably not worth it.>>
1st of all, where do you get that number? 2nd of all, it's not worth it? It's not worth it to save time (months) wasted in schools? 3rd of all, I noticed the number you put up there in dollars. Funny, I don't remember the last time someone asked "hey dude, what's a cent? And how many cents are in a dollar?". 4th of all how do you people spell a word like undeniably incorrectly even with a spell check on this thing?
aceofelves

Con

aceofelves forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by christiandebater 9 years ago
christiandebater
I was born in America, I grew up in America, I grew up with the US customary, however I agree with blond_guy. The metric system is simply much easier. I still don't know how many feet are in a mile, yet I grew up with this. Maybe I just suck with numbers, who knows? But kindergarteners can learn the metric. I want to know what fool decided to come up with this.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 9 years ago
Derek.Gunn
There is a sort of metric time in use... "Internet Time"
Quite clever in some ways, there are 1000 ".beats" in a day.
It's the same time everywhere, so if you arrange to chat with several people, you just refer to a single time no matter where they are.
http://www.timeanddate.com...

The principle advantage of the metric system is that physics and other sciences have now evolved to use metric units. You'd be silly to use anything else. NASA and JPL have already adopted the system.
Posted by blond_guy 9 years ago
blond_guy
Oh I see C-mach, I thought you were making an argument.

Kusfraba, I couldn't agree with you more. I don't know why the hell we need to learn the imperial system ever in our lives. We should just dump it. The system was only created in the first place for primitive civilizations, it's not for us (like the bible, but I won't be getting into that).
Posted by Kusfraba 9 years ago
Kusfraba
Personally, I know from my experience in physics class that the metric system is FAR superior to the imperial. Although aceofelves' argument does look nice, I am inclined to agree with blond_guy on the "wasted time" point.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
I just stated an interesting fact, that's all.
Posted by blond_guy 9 years ago
blond_guy
Well nobody uses the metric time so that's not important.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
Besides, England STILL uses the Imperial system for numeros functions.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
Not to mention 10 days to the week, 3 weeks to the month, and 10 months to the year.
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
Sorry about that. I meant clock!!!
Posted by C-Mach 9 years ago
C-Mach
By the way, they did make metric time. 10 hours to the day, 100 minutes to the hour, 100 seconds to the minute, but it didn't catch on. As a matter of fact, I have a metric click on my computer!
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by cringer 7 years ago
cringer
blond_guyaceofelvesTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:14 
Vote Placed by out_n_proud_HINDU 9 years ago
out_n_proud_HINDU
blond_guyaceofelvesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by attrition 9 years ago
attrition
blond_guyaceofelvesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by claypigeon 9 years ago
claypigeon
blond_guyaceofelvesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by education4earth 9 years ago
education4earth
blond_guyaceofelvesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by Pride_of_Scotland 9 years ago
Pride_of_Scotland
blond_guyaceofelvesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by Derek.Gunn 9 years ago
Derek.Gunn
blond_guyaceofelvesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by GaryBacon 9 years ago
GaryBacon
blond_guyaceofelvesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by sadolite 9 years ago
sadolite
blond_guyaceofelvesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by blond_guy 9 years ago
blond_guy
blond_guyaceofelvesTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30