The Instigator
RyuuKyuzo
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
aaronyero
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

There is Likely No Conspiracy To Hide The Cure For Cancer

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
RyuuKyuzo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2016 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,381 times Debate No: 84427
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (24)
Votes (3)

 

RyuuKyuzo

Pro

Resolved: There is likely no conspiracy to hide the cure for cancer.

In other words, contrary to popular myth, it is doubtful that pharmaceutical companies (or governments for that matter) are intentionally hiding the cure for cancer from the public.

The burden of proof is set on the balance of probabilities, meaning it falls to me to establish that it is more likely than not that no such conspiracy exists, whereas Con will attempt to show that it is more likely than not that there is a conspiracy to keep the cure for cancer a secret.

Rules:

1. First round is for acceptance
2. No new arguments in the final round
3. No semantics. Issues with definitions should be taken up in the comments section prior to accepting the debate
4. users with Elo scores <2000 need not apply

Acceptance:

This debate cannot be accepted at this time. If you are interested in taking this debate, say so in the comments section.

aaronyero

Con

Hello my friends! Today I will be arguing why there is a conspiracy to hide the cure for cancer! Let's begin!:

Now let's start out with the money conspiracy. " There is far more money in treating a disease then curing it!"- Family guy https://www.youtube.com... . Not all good doctors are good people, hospitals get more money from treating cancer than curing it. This is how much money people get from treating cancer: http://www.drugwatch.com... . "The drug"s manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, will charge $141,000 for the first 12 weeks of treatment and $256,000 for a year of treatment" - Wall Street Journal. Look at that, now before you say that's not a lot let's look how much people have cancer in america.

How many people have cancer: http://www.cancer.org... , this is a big list of money to add up. How many males have cancer: 6,876,600 How many women have cancer: 7,607,230 . Multiply that by 256,000 and we get 3,707,706,880,000 dollars a year. If I did the math wrong someone correct me. Anyways do you see that amount of money? This is why there is a conspiracy to hide cancer.

Vote Con my friends!
Debate Round No. 1
RyuuKyuzo

Pro

I thank my opponent for is opening round. My opponent contests that there is a lot of money in treating cancer, the implication being that big pharma would intentionally keep the cure for cancer a secret in order to continue profiting off of cancer patients. There are multiple problems with this assertion.

1. It assumes the value gained from curing cancer is less than the value of treating it

Think about how rich and famous the team of scientists that finally cured cancer would be. Remember, not everyone involved in cancer research/treatment profits from all cancer patients. Every nation, company, and individual scientist only gets a piece of the pie, and the quickest way to get a bigger piece of the pie for oneself is to make all your competitors obsolete.

Furthermore, consider countries with socialized medicine. These nations clearly have a financial incentive to cure cancer, because it would cut costs for them tremendously. Keep in mind that for this conspiracy to work, every privy nation would have to be in on it, even though most nations wouldn't actually profit from doing so.

"But what about the insurance companies? They have a lot of money and influence over the health care system!" Well, what about them? Insurance companies don't make money spending on expensive cancer-treatments. In fact, the healthier their payees are, the more profit they make, so while they do have a lot of money and influence, their interests are actually to cure cancer so they can cut costs.

It's easy to fall into the mental trap of assuming an entire industry is in collusion with one another, but when you stop and realize an industry is actually comprised of several small groups in competition with one another, the idea that each group would voluntarily forgo such a profitable option when there's nothing but a backdoor-deal keeping their competition from curing cancer and taking all the profits for themselves, the idea of a conspiracy becomes incredulous.

2. It ignores non-profit cancer researchers

Not everyone in the cancer-game is doing so to meet a bottom-line. Consider the vast number of universities and non-profit medical organization who can and do make frequent breakthroughs in cancer research [1][2]. What possible reason would there be for a non-profit organization to intentionally hide the cure for cancer to stuff the pockets of corporations they have no allegiance to? It's not like they stand to gain anything, themselves.

3. Cancer researchers have families, too

Think about the researchers who specifically got into studying cancer because they knew a loved one who passed away from cancer, or how about the corporate fat-cats who have children that have developed leukemia. You may think some of these people genuinely value money over their loved ones, but all it would take is one person who values human life more than money to ruin this neat little racket they have going on. Are these people really willing to let their friends, families, and potentially even themselves die just so they don't have to manufacture a cure that would have earned them untold billions, anyway?

4. A profit incentive doesn't prove conspiracy

Just because there's a lot of money involved in treating cancer doesn't prove, or even indicate that the cure is known and intentionally kept a secret. This hardly even qualifies as circumstantial evidence. There's lots of money in lots of other industries, but that doesn't prove they, too, have some sort of conspiracy controlling how they operate, so we can't assume such is true for the cancer industry without more compelling evidence. It must further be considered that we already have many examples of these companies choosing cures over profit [3][4][5]. Why don't we see the suppression of vaccines and antibiotics? Considering how prevalent measles and tuberculosis could be right now, why do these corporations continue to invest in spreading the cure, rather than coming up with some phony shortage so they can instead sell us treatments?

There's simply too many unanswered gaps to use the profit incentive as evidence of anything.

Conclusion

Prima facie it may seem plausible to suggest that there is a conspiracy to hide the cure for cancer, but once all the relevant information is considered, it becomes crystal-clear that not only is there no evidence the cure is being hidden, but there isn't even a real incentive to do so. As such, we have no compelling reason to assume any such conspiracy exists. The resolution is affirmed.


VOTE PRO


Sources


1. http://www.cancer.org...
2. http://www.nejm.org...
3. https://medium.com...
4. http://www.academicjournals.org...
5. https://www.behance.net...
aaronyero

Con

Okay, let's break this down!
1.
My opponent states that the researches would be rich if they made a cure. I don't believe this, first of all it's not the researchers that are doing this, it's the companies. The company would lose business if the research team finds a cure. Second of all, we don't know how much money you would get for selling the cure, you get 3 billion dollars for treating it and there is no aggression towards you. Third let's use some logic here, you find a cure for cancer, but then you sell it for a high price. Do you really think human rights activist are going to turn a blind eye, your making people pay a really high price just for a cure that could save millions of people. And last but not least, it would be the researchers that would get the money not the companies that sell the drugs that treat the cancer. They are the one who gets that 3 billion dollars a year.Pretty sure the companies will do everything in their power to stop the researchers so they can continue profiting.

2. My opponent talks about non-profit cancer researchers. It's not the researchers making the money, it's the companies. My opponent then says " what possible reason would there be for a non-profit organization to intentionally hide the cure for cancer to stuff the pockets of corporations they have no allegiance to?", that's the thing, researchers and companies are not friends. The companies that make cancer drugs have so much money, don't you think they would do everything they can to stop these guy.

3. My opponent then talks about money, I already discussed the researcher part alot, saying that it's not the researchers who get the money it's the company. First of all let me state that money changes people, everyone knows this. So maybe if the leader of a large company has a kid with cancer, do you think he would allow a cure to be made for his kid, but let his entire company die, losing all his money? Before you pick either one, remember that money changes people for the worst.

4. In this one my opponent says there isn't any hard evidence to prove that companies are hiding the cure of cancer, well this is a debate, we are sharing our opinions if there is a hidden cure for cancer or not. I don't know how I would find out if it is hidden or not, I mean I think i'd rather take my chances arguing online then breaking into a company and finding out the truth, then getting arrested. But, even without evidence I could use common logic. Like I said, a drug company gets 3,707,706,880,000 dollars a year. This is a lot of money, these companies rely on people with cancer for their profit. If there is no more cancer, then their company will die out. You really think a rich person with 3,707,706,880,000 dollars is going to let a cure for cancer be made? No, it would destroy their company.

My Conclusion: Companies are the ones who get the money, not the researchers. Second money changes people, you really think a leader of the drug company is going to let their company die over their kid? Like I said money changes people, you might think that money would never change you, but no matter who you are it will change you( oh and the mix of power will put the icing on the cake). Third, there isn't no evidence, this is why it's a conspiracy. This is why we are arguing about a conspiracy, but like I said we can use common sense. A company that makes 3,707,706,880,000 dollars a year isn't going to let a cure be made for cancer, it profits off cancer. So if cancer is made, then the company is going to die, and the money with it. So the leader of the company would do everything in his power to hide the cure, or stop it from being made.
Debate Round No. 2
RyuuKyuzo

Pro

1.

Con contends that we don't know how much money a company might make from a cancer cure. Firstly, this isn't an argument either way. Just because you can't think of a reason why there might not be more money in the cure, doesn't mean there's definitely less money in the cure. What Con fails to realize is that a cure for cancer would make almost the entirety of the cancer treatment industry as we know it obsolete, which means however much money there is in treating cancer right now would, after the release of the cure, all be going to whomever it was that made the cure, rather than having all that money be dispersed across the entire industry. That's the profit incentive. In a competitive market, firms battle for market-shares, and nothing allows you to soak up profit shares better than releasing a better product that makes your competition's services obsolete.

Con mentions something about human rights activists not allowing companies to charge egregious prices for the cure. This is a "just so" argument [1]. Con has provided no reason to think these companies would over-charge on the cure, or even that they would need to. He just asserts this to bring up an irrelevant hypothetical.

2.

Con responds to this point with a non-sequitur. It may or may not be true that researchers and health care corporations have an antagonistic relationship (Con hasn't actually shown this, he merely asserts it), but this is irrelevant. The point of my argument is that the existence of non-profit cancer research shows that there are players in the cancer industry who can't be temped to deliberately hide the cure for cancer for the sake of profit margins because they've already decided they aren't interested in profiting from their research. For this reason, for-profit cancer treatment corporations actually have an enormous incentive to find and market the cure for cancer as quickly as possible, because if a non-profit organization cures cancer first, they go out of business and lose out on all the potential market-shares they could have had.

3.

My opponent talks a lot about how cancer researchers don't make money from treating cancer, the corporations do. This isn't true (the researchers who cure cancer would undoubtedly become rich) but even if it was, this is actually an argument against Con. If Cancer researchers don't stand to profit from treating cancer anyway, then what reason do they have to keep the cure a secret? Just to continue lining the pockets of their greedy corporate overlords? That seems incredulous.

The meat of Con's argument here is that "money changes people". He's essentially arguing that, yes, corporate leaders would allow their friends, family, and even themselves to die of cancer to keep up profit margins (again he assumes there's no money in curing cancer). I guess it will just come down to what you, the voter, thinks; is it more likely that cancer-treatment corporations love money more than the lives of their families and even themselves, or is it simply the case that the cure for cancer hasn't been found yet?

4.

Con argues that this is a debate, and therefore he's not expected to provide evidence for his claims, merely his opinion. While it would be unfair to expect Con to provide hard-hitting proof that the cure is known, keep in mind that the BoP for this debate is set at the balance of probabilities, meaning >50%. All Con has to do is provide enough evidence and reasoning to suggest it's more likely than not that the cure is known an intentionally being kept secret in order to win. Unfortunately, simply pointing out that there's a lot of money in treating cancer and stating his opinion on the topic is not enough to meet this burden. I strongly urge the voters to consider all relevant factors, not just a single number void of context, when considering whether or not they think there is a conspiracy to hide the cure for cancer.

Conclusion

Con has provided no new evidence or reasons to suggest there is a conspiracy to hide the cure for cancer exists. His argument relies entirely upon pointing out that there is money to be made in treating cancer and from there he conjectures that this is enough to justify a believe that such a conspiracy exists. This argument fails to be compelling and, more importantly, fails to meet the BoP. While Con has yet to give a convincing reason to believe this conspiracy actually exists, I've given several reasons for why such a conspiracy not only likely doesn't exist, but why it can't exist. When all relevant facts are considered, it is clear there is no grand conspiracy to hide the cure for cancer, and so the resolution is affirmed.


VOTE PRO


Sources


1. https://en.wikipedia.org...
aaronyero

Con

Alright, I am going to have to put this into google docs. I kinda made it a bit too long, anyways the argument is long, but it's worth it. As I gathered enough evidence. Hopefully you read through it all, even though I kinda made it really long https://docs.google.com... . Hope fully this is convincing enough argument, I tried my hardest on this one.
Debate Round No. 3
RyuuKyuzo

Pro

My opponent doesn't seem to be aware that circumventing the character-limit in a debate is considered cheating, and has opted to post his arguments in a google document. Seeing as I can't reasonably respond to 15,000 characters worth of arguments with only 8,000 characters without either misrepresenting my opponent or underdeveloping my own counter-arguments, and considering how much of his arguments are tangential or pre-emptively debunked in argument I've made in earlier rounds, I will instead extract any new arguments from his round and respond to them directly.

"with a cure you don't get returning customers"

The money any individual actor in the cancer-treatment industry stands to make by being the only one with a cure is far greater than what they stand to make by limiting themselves to whatever market-shares they can manage to acquire via treatment. Furthermore, 1.6 million people are diagnosed with cancer every year [1]. You don't need repeat customers when 1. all current cancer patients will come to you, and 2. you'll be getting nearly 1.6 million new customers annually.

"My opponent always forgets that it's the company and for-profit researchers that profits from treating cancer, not non -profit researchers."

Why is this relevant? Is Con suggesting the for-profit organizations secretly control the non-profit ones? He needs some kind of evidence of that, merely asserting it isn't enough. Of course non-profit organizations won't profit from the cure; that's the point. They have no profit-incentive to keep it a secret, and their existence threatens the profit margins of for-profit organizations, because if they find the cure first, the for-profit organizations are likely to go under.

"The company would want to stop the non-profit researchers from making the cure public, the company would probably just steal the cure from them and send a hitman after them, or bribe them with loads of money."

Again, Con presents a "just so" argument. Just because something is hypothetically possible doesn't mean it's true or even likely. This didn't happen with any of the other diseases modern medicine has cured [2], so why would we expect it to happen, here? Con has no answer.

"This is a example, showing corrupt cancer charities. Take my advice and google " corrupted non-profit cancer charities", you will find a large amount of results. This shows that these " non-profit" charities, could actually be the " for-profit" charities in disguise, more of these " non-profit" charities continue to be exposed!"

This may seem compelling at first, but keep in mind it only takes one honest non-profit cancer-research organization to break that cartel. Just like how an oligopoly can't gouge prices if it has even one competitor operating independently and selling at a lesser cost, so too can this hypothetical collusion of for-profit cancer organizations not afford to intentionally not produce the cure if there's even one non-profit organization not under their control, because sooner or later the cure will get out, and at that point it'll be too late for them to secure their position at the forefront of the industry like they would have been able to if they hadn't so foolishly assumed they couldn't make money curing the disease most sought-after to be cured.

Conclusion

Con has provided no compelling reasons to think that there exists some sort of collusionary relationship between all cancer-treatment/research organizations. Keep in mind, if the cure was known, then it would take the complete cooperation of all actors in the cancer-treatment industry to guarantee the cure never got out. Even one dissenting party looking to stab everyone else in back in order to market the cure themselves would ruin this cartel. Since that hasn't happened, it's reasonable to assume it's because no such cartel exists. Even if such a thing existed, Con has failed to convincingly show there is a financial incentive to keep the cure a secret. There is money in curing diseases, especially a disease as prolific as cancer. Finally, we already have several example of researchers curing diseases and those cures being released to the public. Either they're making money off these cures, which proves there's a profit incentive to curing a given disease, or they aren't in which case we have proof that the medical industry is willing to lose profits for the sake of mankind's betterment. In either case, we have a compelling reason to believe the conspiracy to hide the cure for cancer is merely a myth.

At every stage of reasoning, this conspiracy becomes less credulous, not more. It requires you to assume 1. there's no money in the cure, 2. big pharma could successfully control every actor involved in treating cancer, 3. despite being willing to cure other diseases, the cure for cancer is uniquely considered worth hiding, and 4. these people would be willing to let themselves and their families die if need be to keep the cure a secret. If you don't believe any one of these things, you can't say that, on balance, it is likely there is a conspiracy to hide the cure for cancer, and therefore the resolution has been affirmed.


VOTE PRO


Sources:

1. http://www.cancer.org...
2. http://www.mnn.com...



aaronyero

Con

Skipping the last round, I broke the first rule by accident. So to make up for it I am going to skip the last round.
Debate Round No. 4
24 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
Alright, it's second on my list.
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 1 year ago
RyuuKyuzo
I'd like to get some content-based votes in if you have the time. The character limit was 8k.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
So, I could vote based solely on the violation of the character limit in R3, but if you guys want, I can still read through the debate and come to a decision. What I'd do is cut off any characters beyond the character limit (someone let me know what that limit is) and evaluate the debate as presented, merely awarding conduct to Pro as a result of the violation. Let me know what you guys want.
Posted by Rosalie 1 year ago
Rosalie
I will try and have a vote up by tonight.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
Great topic Ryuukyuzo.
Posted by aaronyero 1 year ago
aaronyero
Thanks friend.
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 1 year ago
RyuuKyuzo
You can skip the last round to keep the round-count even. Or you can just argue in all the rounds. I doesn't bother me either way.
Posted by RyuuKyuzo 1 year ago
RyuuKyuzo
Don't worry about it.
Posted by aaronyero 1 year ago
aaronyero
Screwed up. I didn't read the first rule I am not use to the first round is for acceptence even though I had to accept in the comments to be allowed to do the debate. I guess I had to accept twice.
Posted by aaronyero 1 year ago
aaronyero
I would like to challenge you.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
RyuuKyuzoaaronyeroTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Given here: http://www.debate.org/forums/economics/topic/80759/ Ugh, guys. Ugh.
Vote Placed by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
RyuuKyuzoaaronyeroTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con exceeded the character limit giving Pro an unfair amount of arguments to reason to. This is poor conduct since character limits are called limits for a reason. They were in the debate rules when accepting the debate and con should have seen this. Acceptance to the debate is acceptance to the rules.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
RyuuKyuzoaaronyeroTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con circumvented the character limit and admitted to violating the acceptance rule, so conduct to Pro.