The Instigator
curreylo
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MrDelaney
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Why time control is the best super power.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
MrDelaney
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/10/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,878 times Debate No: 48816
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

curreylo

Pro

I will prove while time control is the best (and safest) super power of all, and that it has the least amount of downsides in comparison to all other super powers. I define time control as the ability to stop pause rewind and fast forward all aspects of time, this includes being able to change events of the past that you have lived through (you can't go back to dinosaur ages). When you traveled back in time you would retain all your knowledge but your physical form would be reverted back to what it was at the time you decided to travel back to. When you would travel forward in time you would age as expected and go through life as a sort of A.I. Think of it as an extremely intelligent program that would make choices judged from previous choices you had made and act like you from the time you began to fast forward.
MrDelaney

Con

I have to say, this sounds like fun.
Thanks to Curreylo for setting this up.

I will argue against the resolution that time control is the best (and safest) super power of all, and that it has the least amount of downsides in comparison to all other super powers.

While I find it a bit unorthodox, I accept your definition of 'time control.'

Since you didn't provide definitions for the remainder of terms, I will offer my own.

I will take 'safest' to mean 'that which is most likely to be protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury.' [1]
And I propose that by 'downsides' you are once again referring to it's supposed level of safety.

I look forward to hearing your arguments.
I should warn you, though. I have travelled into the future and seen the outcome of this debate.

Best of luck.


[1]http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Debate Round No. 1
curreylo

Pro

Thank you MrDelaney for accepting. You of all people should know that the future can be changed then.

My first and foremost point is that you can prevent any bodily harm to your self. Which might not be the case with most superpowers. For instance, flight, there is always the chance of flying into something at a great speed which could be greatly damaging. Same with super strength, whats to stop you from accidentally crushing someone in a hug or dropping a building on yourself. Of all the superpowers you will be the safest and be able to do the most with time control.

My second point is the fact that with time control you could learn about everything and become skilled at anything because you have unlimited time. You could read as many books as you wanted and practice whatever skill you wanted for as long as you wanted. You could with enough practice and perseverance become the best at everything, or at least a close second.
MrDelaney

Con

Curreylo’s arguments seem to rely on the idea that ‘time control’ is the ‘best’ super power due to it’s ability to prevent bodily harm to yourself and it’s ability to give the person who has the power the time to do an infinite number of things.

My argument against this will rely on two key points. First, how do we measure what is the ‘best’ of anything. Secondly, how do we measure ‘safety.’

Once I examine these two standards, I will demonstrate that Curreylo’s concept of ‘time control’ does not meet either one. That alone will meet my burden of proof for this debate. But, I will go one step further and propose an alternative super power which is superior to Curreylo’s ‘time control’ in both aspects.

1. How we measure what is ‘best.’

Best is defined as, “of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality.[2]” This of course forces us to ask, what is the quality which is most desirable in a super power? We must keep in mind when considering this that we are discussing super powers in and of themselves. The resolution that pro is arguing is that ‘time control’ is the best and safest super power of all. He has made no qualifications as to WHO holds this power, and so we must judge the super power outside of the context of the person who may hold it. This means that we must consider the inherent potential of the super power in question.

For this reason, I argue that the ‘best’ super power is the one which maximizes human well-being while causing the least amount of harm. Maximizing human well-being is the only reliable standard by which to judge powers when we do not know who will wield them. Otherwise, these powers could be used for evil, and I can’t imagine my opponent want to argue that evil is ‘the most desirable quality’ we are looking for.

I do not expect Curreylo to have a problem with this standard of measurement. As you can see, this definition encapsulates everything Curreylo mentioned in his previous argument (preventing bodily harm, learning skills, knowledge, etc). All of those factors can easily fall under the umbrella of ‘maximizing human well-being.’

2. How we measure ‘safety.’

As I mentioned in Round 1, safety is taken to mean, “that which is most likely to be protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury.” More succinctly, I would say that which is ‘safest’ is that which causes the least amount of harm. So, you will notice that my definition of ‘best’ already encapsulates the concept of ‘safety.’ This is as it should be, because the ‘best’ super power would be the safest if, in fact, it caused the least amount of harm. Therefore, having folded ‘safety’ into our definition, and keeping in mind that we are discussing super powers in and of themselves, we can agree that the ‘best’ super power would inherently meet both of the following criteria:

1. maximize human well-being

2. cause the least amount of harm

3. 'Time Control' does not maximize human well-being.

Our world is a complex web of interactions, of cause and effect. Everything we do sets off any innumerable effects, which in turn affect other people’s lives. Their actions in turn affect even more people’s lives. Therefore, when someone travels back in time and changes the course of events in their own life, they are changing the lives of countless other people as well. I argue that ‘time control,’ by its very nature, takes away other people’s free will by changing the course of their lives without their consent. Clearly, taking away choices made by free will is not maximizing human well-being.

4. 'Time Control' does not cause the least amount of harm.

As stated above, our world is a complex web of cause and effect. Going back in time to change an event has the potential to create what is possibly the greatest harm imaginable.

Cause and effect, by the limits of our universe, are bound by time. Cause precedes effect every time. However, by going back in time to change an event, the relationship between cause and effect is inverted. Going back in time becomes a cause for an event the has already occurred. This has two possible outcomes:

1. The time traveler is forced into a repetitive loop of time.

2. Our entire universe could collapse in a paradox of time.

For example, if Curreylo were to go back in time one week and change an event, it is quite possible one week later he would need to go back in time again in order to put that same effect into motion.


This of it like this : POINT (X) in time -----(one week)----Point (Y) in time.


At (X) Curreylo committed an action in his life. A week later, at (Y) he travels back in time, going back to (X) and changes his action. As he explained in Round 1, the moment he went back in time, he took with him all the knowledge he had up to that moment. In fact, it is only because of this knowledge that he has decided to go back to (X) and change his action.

By doing that, he broke the chain of cause and effect and made a new decision at (X) based on knowledge he had gained at (Y). This now means that (X) can and will only happen if (Y) happens. This requires that Curreylo travel back in time to (X) every time he reaches (Y). He must do it, like the characters on Lost who had to continually punch the numbers in the hatch [3], otherwise his past even will never happen, which means his present would not exist. Clearly being trapped in a loop of time is not causing the least amount of harm. The alternative is that he not continue in this loop, in which case his present would cease to exist and the entire fabric of time may unravel on itself.

I cannot imagine that anyone would argue that any supper power capable of destroying time itself is either the ‘best’ or ‘safest’ super power possible.

5. ALTERNATIVE PROPOSAL

As an alternative I propose the super power of healing.

Healing, by it’s very nature, works against harm. I would go so far as to say that I require no argument to state that healing maximizes human well-being while causing the least amount of harm.

More so, with the power to heal oneself you could be virtually immortal, giving you the time to do exactly what my opponent claimed as a benefit, “read as many books as you wanted and practice whatever skill you wanted for as long as you wanted.”

The power of healing does more, inherently, to maximize human well-being as well as cause the least amount of harm.

It is clearly a ‘better’ and ‘safer’ super power than ‘time control.’

I look forward to my Curreylo’s response.

(though I’ve already read it, and so this argument contains all rebuttals to it).

[2] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

[3] http://lostpedia.wikia.com...

Debate Round No. 2
curreylo

Pro

I can agree with your definitions of best and I'm very much impressed but there is one small issue I must address.

Addressing the Time paradox issue: When I stated my definition of "Time control" I said "When you traveled back in time you would retain all your knowledge but your physical form would be reverted back to what it was at the time you decided to travel back to." By this I mean you literally reverse time. For example if MrDelaney were going throughout the day and decided he wanted a PBJ for lunch then later he decided that he actually wanted to eat a burrito for lunch then when he traveled back to lunchtime everything he did that day would be unwound and made as if it never happened. Think of it as a VCR and once you hit rewind all those "scenes" haven't happened yet. It has occurred to me that I might not have made my definition of "time control" apparent enough and I should be penalized accordingly.

As for healing being superior to time control. I admit it comes extremely close but it falls short in one small area. If someone dies is there a way to cure them of death? No but you can change that with time control. Yes and by this time control is superior to healing.
MrDelaney

Con

“I can agree with your definitions of best”.

I am glad to know that Curreylo accepts my definition of best and that we can proceed with that as a basis on which to judge ‘time control’ against all other possible super powers.

The definition states that the ‘best’ super power would that the one that both maximized human well-being and causes the least amount of harm. I offered cases against each of those criteria against the resolution that ‘time control’ was the ‘best’ super power. I would like to point out that while Curreylo offered a rebuttal to the second point, in regards to the safety of ‘time control’ and potential paradoxes, he failed to offer any rebuttals to my argument that ‘time control’ does not maximize human well-being. I will have to assume then that my argument stands, and that ‘time control’ has been shown to have the potential to not maximize human well-being. This on it’s own would already mean it is not the ‘best’ super power by the definition which we’ve both agreed to.

I will now respond to each of his rebuttals.

1. The Time Paradox Issue

Curreylo said:

When I stated my definition of "Time control" I said "When you traveled back in time you would retain all your knowledge but your physical form would be reverted back to what it was at the time you decided to travel back to." By this I mean you literally reverse time. For example if MrDelaney were going throughout the day and decided he wanted a PBJ for lunch then later he decided that he actually wanted to eat a burrito for lunch then when he traveled back to lunchtime everything he did that day would be unwound and made as if it never happened.”


I feel that my argument may have been misunderstood. I will attempt to clarify it here. The key point that opens the door to a time paradox is the fact that “you would retain all your knowledge.” As mentioned in the previous round, our world is a web of cause and effect. Let us look at a clearer example.

Once again: Point (X) in time ----- (one week passes) ---- Point (Y) in time

Given the natural laws of our universe something can only happen at (Y) if something occurred at (X) to cause it into existence. And, the opposite can be said. Given the natural laws of our universe nothing that happens at (Y) can ever cause something to happen at (X), because that point has already been lost to time and ‘cause and effect’ is a time based principle. In other words, under our normal natural laws (X) can cause (Y), but (Y) can never cause (X).


Time travel, by it’s inherent nature, inverts the relationship between cause and effect.


Let’s assume that at (X) Curreylo takes a test and fails because he has not studied, and as a result is unable to graduate. He then spends the next week studying, gaining all the knowledge he needs in order to pass the test. At point (Y) he “rewinds” time to (X), but retains all his new knowledge. With this new knowledge, that he gained in the future, he now passes the test with flying colors and graduates. So, looking at the entire series of events it is clear that he passed the test at (X) because of the knowledge he had gained by (Y). In this case (Y) is the cause of (X). The only reason he had the knowledge when he needed it to take the exam at (X) was because he gained it afterwards at (Y).

A week later he reaches point (Y) again. In order to pass the exam which he already took he would need to go back to (X) again. If he does not travel back to (X) then he will not have passed the test, because it is only through the new knowledge he took back with him at (Y) that he was able to pass. The new knowledge was a direct effect of the time travel. If he does not travel back in time, he will not have the new knowledge to pass. Thus, he will have failed the exam which he already passed, and he would have graduated from the school that he did not graduate from.

This is clearly a paradox.

The consequence of such a paradox could possibly cause time to collapse upon itself. I stand by my assertion that any super power that could cause time to collapse upon itself, and potentially destroy the universe as we know it, is clearly neither maximizing human well-being nor causing the least amount of harm.

In order to avoid this paradox Curreylo must take the exam and then, a week later, rewind time to take the exam again, over and over for an eternity. I can't speak for Curreylo, but spending an eternity taking an exam does not sound like a super power that is maximizing human well-being or causing the least amount of harm.

But, it is either that or destroy the universe as we know it.
Clearly, 'time control' is not the best super power.

2. Healing

I will remind readers that my burden in this debate only forces me to show that ‘time control,’ as described by Curreylo, is not the ‘best’ super power. I am not required to prove an alternate but did so merely to illustrate the possibilities. I feel that I have cast enough doubt on the power of ‘time control’ to reasonably conclude that it is not the ‘best’ super power.

That said, Curreylo says that healing is inferior to ‘time control’ in that there is no way to save someone from death. That alone may be true. However, our debate is not about one specific aspect of a power, but which is the ‘best’ super power of ALL.

While ‘healing’ may not be able to bring one person back from the dead, it also does not hold the power to destroy the entire universe. I ask, which power do you feel is the ‘best’ super power? The one that could easily collapse the fabric of the universe, but could possibly bring someone back from the dead? Or the one that could not bring someone back from the dead, but would never cause any harm whatsoever to anybody.

Remember, we have agreed our definition of best is that which maximizes human well-being and causes the least amount of harm. It is clear that healing surpasses ‘time control’ by that definition overall, regardless of whether there are specific instances where one would be preferable to the other.

‘Time control’ is not the best super power.

Debate Round No. 3
curreylo

Pro

curreylo forfeited this round.
MrDelaney

Con

Unfortunately it seems Curreylo has forfeited this round.

My arguments still stand.
Given the definition we have both agreed upon it is clear that 'time control' is not hte best super power.

Hopefully Curreylo will be back for Round 5 in order to finish his debate.
Debate Round No. 4
curreylo

Pro

curreylo forfeited this round.
MrDelaney

Con

Well, it seems that this is another debate wherein my opponent has had to forfeit.
Being new to this site, I am beginning to see that this is the unfortunate norm, not the exception.
This is the fourth debate I have taken part in, and the third that has ended in forfeits.

Regardless, I feel I made my case in this debate as well as I could.
And I believe Curreylo did not rebut my arguments in any significant way.

I think it is clear that 'time control' is not the best super power.

I'd like to thank Curreylo for the interesting topic, as well as the first few rounds that we had.
It really was a fun discussion.

And to those who may be reading this, I thank you for taking the time to do so.

Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by MrDelaney 3 years ago
MrDelaney
It seems I mixed myself up when talking about the "Time Paradox Issue" in Round 3.

The paragraph ends with: "Thus, he will have failed the exam which he already passed, and he would have graduated from the school that he did not graduate from."

It should obviously read: "Thus, he will have failed the exam which he already passed, and he would not have graduated from the school that he already graduated from."

Apologies for that.
I will assume you understood what I intended.
Posted by curreylo 3 years ago
curreylo
Hahahaha yeah I saw a small loophole.
Posted by MrDelaney 3 years ago
MrDelaney
I see you revised it to include only events you have lived through.
There goes my argument.
:)
Posted by MrDelaney 3 years ago
MrDelaney
I assume 'time control' includes the ability to go back in time and change the course of events?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
curreyloMrDelaneyTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeits taken into account and tips the scales in con's favor.
Vote Placed by Defro 3 years ago
Defro
curreyloMrDelaneyTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con effectively refuted Pro's arguments. Due to Pro's forfeits, Pro also loses points in conduct.