The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

Would a super-plague currently benefit human kind?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/25/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,215 times Debate No: 38116
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




This is not exactly my POV, I am just playing devil's advocate and debating for the purpose of debating. Thank you.
The human species is heading for a disastrous end right now. Our population is bourgeoning and expected reach anywhere between 8 and 10.5 billion persons between 2040 and 2050, our infrastructure will start to fail under the demands of this number of people and our water reserves are depleting as each year we have to supply more and more water and food to support ourselves. Quite simply put, we need less people.

The ends justify the means and I mean for us to survive.

During history, one of human kinds most major periods of science and reformation known as the Renaissance was caused or at least partially caused by a super disease known as the bubonic plague. It rid the beginning overpopulation of Europe, brought great minds back down to Earth instead of thinking about the afterlife and other heavenly affairs, and made food and land extremely cheap. Overall, it helped make the Renaissance into what it was, a time of reformation.

The notion is similar now.

If a super-plague were to happen, humanity would be able to rethink it's position and more easily institute laws that would ensure the long term survival of our species such as population control and more efficient farming to name a few laws that would help us.


Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
A super-plague would save the world from the forthcoming overpopulation, but it is necessary for this to happen since it's probably the only way to learn how to overcome it. I believe that it would just postpone overpopulation, just as the bubonic plague did.
Debate Round No. 1


My opponent maintains that the affects of a super plague would not be permanent, this is obvious as the human body has antibodies in order to prevent the same kind of disease from ravaging your body over and over again. However, first of all this is not the argument that I have placed forth. The key word in the question is "currently" and my previous statements demonstrate that it would currently benefit us.

However, having nothing else to do, I shall answer my opponent's statement.

Obviously the affects of only one plague aren't enough to keep a population at bay. But many different illnesses have that ability as a whole.

However, there is something that prevented this natural depopulation from taking affect in the 20th century, something that kept these diseases at bay.

Before the 20th century, population growth was extremely slow. Moving from 978,000,000 to barely 1,650,000,000. That population proceeded to increase to 6,122,770,000 in 2000. Many people would say that exponential growth led to this but this is not true. I'm going to use a bit of math to back this up. From 1800 to 1900 the exponential growth equaled 978e to the power of .00523 times, well, time which equals 100. Comparing this to the exponential growth of 1900 to 2000 which equal 1650e to the power of .01311x100. Long story made short, the exponential rate of 1900-2000(.01311)doubled, nearly tripled as compared to 1800-1900(.00523).

Now that we have the theory of exponential growth out of the way for the explanation of this unprecedented population boom, we lead to the next question. What caused this boom of population?

And that my friends is simple. The "miracle" of penicillin. Penicillin has prevented diseases from taking as much of toll as they would have been able to and I maintain that it led to the major population boost that took our population from "sustainable" to "suicide" because it prevented many deaths.

Many deaths that would have otherwise limited our population...


Try using logic and reason in debating.

If the plauge would hit currently or overpopulation in the future, is the benefit factor not what we want and what we are debating?

I proposed that human kind crashing beneath overpopulation in the future would have more of a benefit to the further-future that a super-plague starting in the near future.

A super-plague would just postpone overpopulation which would then devastate more of the infrastructure.
That is a simple presumption based on logic, reason and history.

You explained reasons for overpopulation, however, those are not important in this debate.

The only way to prevent future overpopulations would be going through one.

Notice how the plague has a health factor, not an overpopulation one.

If the world crashed beneath people, the human kind would probably find a way to modify/change the infrastructure or limit the population growth. A plague would not benefit our infrastructure, just science in making cures, which is contradictory to what we want.
Debate Round No. 2


"A super-plague would just postpone overpopulation which would then devastate more of the infrastructure."
Sir, last time I checked, roads and railroad tracks don't catch diseases.

But back to the debate.

Quite simple to say the alternative of "human kind crashing beneath overpopulation" would be much more harmful than just a super disease.

The way you describe it just doesn't describe enough in details the consequences of possible overpopulation. When humanity crashes, it will crash hard. There would be famine, poverty as the cost of resources rises exponentially with the amount of people using said resources, thirst.....

And did I mention war?

Yes, war. Resource wars. Nations not willing to just stand by and watch their people starve and fester in poverty beneath them. Their neighbor to the south has millions of tons of grain in reserve and a small military.... So, why not attack? There have been much less honorable reasons for war in the past. And the way alliances are currently set up right now among all the nations and the very little power the U.N. actually has, overpopulation could easily cause World War 3.

And it isn't just limited to contemporary warfare either, there could be Nuclear Warfare as well.
There are plenty of nations that would do it given the chance, heck, some of them are looking for a reason! India and Pakistan, Israel and Iran, any number of nations with an old feud. Even a limited exchange of Nuclear weapons would have a devastating impact upon the Eco-system of the world.

A super disease as compared to the above scenarios is so much more efficient and peaceful. Infrastructure would be maintained, there would be an abundance of land and resources... Hmm, sounds like a similar situation to the bubonic plague, doesn't it? It would also bring nations together to defeat a common enemy and might actually get us to work together for once.

"The only way to prevent future overpopulations would be going through one."
This is a false statement. There is never only one way, there's bad ways and good ways to do things but never only one one way. A bad way about going through this is just going over the edge, as I've explained in my previous paragraphs it would just be plain messy and inefficient, there's always better ways. Better ways than disease even, though humanity would never go through with this idea as our morals would never allow us to kill that many people as mechanically as that.

Oh, and by the way? The nice thing about disease is that it adapts, which is why anti-biotics are becoming useless, so that health factor thing you talk about is almost useless if the disease has any adaptive capabilities at all.

(Don't read below unless you want to read a little roid-rage, btw.)

I might say that you try taking your own suggestion and "Try using logic and reason in debating." yourself sir instead of insulting your opponents. I did not want to insult, but will not stand like a dolt to be insulted myself. Thank you very much.


TheSkepticSaviour forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Ragnar 5 years ago
Currently taking a macroeconomics class, and destruction of infrastructure in war can actually have long term benefits for a country due to not being weighted down by the cheap to run but outdated factories; allowing the losing side to outpace the winning one. The talk of the Renascence brought that to my mind, along with a production possibilities curve and how it relates to third world countries failing to advance since the investments to do such would call for less food production.

@Con: I really liked your ideas. Opening them up in a debate under such a resolution would be great to see (the debate would require the limitation of beginning with the assumption that a superplague would be a good thing). If not for the forfeited round I would have given them closer considerations for their strengths (R1 would remain a weak point), rather than just adherence to the exact resolution in question.
Posted by Aadron 5 years ago
That's unfortunate, same to you.
Posted by TheSkepticSaviour 5 years ago
I'm sorry I didn't find the time for round 3, I hope we will debate again sometime.
Posted by Aadron 5 years ago
Btw Ragnar, even though I'm new to this website and this is only my second debate, would you like to debate on a mutually agreed topic?
Posted by Aadron 5 years ago
Read your debate Ragnar, I have to say that you made some good points through out the whole thing. Good on you mate.
Posted by Ragnar 5 years ago
Throwing my two cents in there, R2 point 3:

Actually super diseases are quite beneficial to mankind; just our sense of compassion makes us dislike them.
Posted by 2-D 5 years ago
Interesting position. The trend in industrialized countries is toward lower population growth which may solve the problem.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: "A super-plague would save the world from the forthcoming overpopulation, but it is necessary for this to happen since it's probably the only way to learn how to overcome it. " -Con... The miswording of this, made it something of an accidental R1 concession, somewhat corrected in R2 with I proposed that human kind crashing beneath overpopulation in the future would have more of a benefit to the further-future that a super-plague starting in the near future." Which is also sadly a concession to the resolution. CONDUCT (con): I believe the positive conduct of a concession, outweighs the negative of a missed round. ARGUMENT (pro): See above.