1. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    Debate: To Save The World Or Not

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mugen shiyo, Jul 29, 2011.

    The fate of humanity has been brought to trial. Two men stand in testimony. One argues why humanity should be saved. The other argues why they should be destroyed.

    If you were either for or against humanities destruction, what arguments would you present?
     
  2. Metus
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    Metus Senior Member

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    An argument for destruction-

    There is no real reason for humans to be here--the universe and logic exists with or without us. While we are alive, we subject ourselves to suffering. If the goal of humanity is to avert as much suffering as possible, it is unnacceptable for humanity to continue.

    Human beings are unsustainable. We grow and expand into infinity, and we will eventually consume all other life for our survival, or be wiped out by a natural event prior to that. It might be in a thousand years, it might be a million, but the end is coming eventually. Therefore, is it not more cruel to subject the larger future population to the end of humanity through the collapse of our sun or starvation than to euthanize everyone painlessly?

    While it is possible for a perfect version of humanity to reach equilibrium, that will never happen as long as we have free will. If you remove free will, we cease to be human, and thus the destruction of mankind is meaningless. (As we would be computers.)
    If we keep free will, we will go on to consume or destroy everything else.

    Another theory is that emotion is an illusion. We are complex organic calculators which do not comprehend the meaninglessness of our feelings and existence. A house fly isn't sad that it only lives a few days. It cannot comprehend a meaningful existence. It believes that it is important because it cannot understand a higher existence. This argument says that we are not advanced enough to realize that free will is an illusion. This argument would not provide a reason to destroy us, but it would remove a reason not to beyond, say, vandalism lawsuits.



    Note that I do not actually think that humanity should be destroyed. I'm just being the devil's advocate for the sake of a hypothetical argument. If this were real, I'd be on the pro-human side all the way. :D
     
  3. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    I'm with China on this one. Every species needs a predator to keep its population in check.
     
  4. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    To say we are too important to destroy would be a pretty week argument. Clearly, all our achievements only benefit ourselves and, arguably, not all of us.

    Ant's consume as much or more as a human by proportion, though. If the argument is to destroy humanity to spare he world from an uncontrolled ravager, than locusts and ants and everything would have to be destroyed because if humans die out, something else will take our place and grow out of control.

    @ Quezcatol, I would say humans are their own predator, but I couldn't be sure. Overpopulation increases sickness and aggression, definitely. It's complex, but I would say there are factors that will definitely limit human expansion before it goes out of control.
     
  5. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'll defend the buggers. Tis an easy one to make. To a rapt courtroom, I simply play a Mozart symphony. If that fails, I will dig out some photos of Penelope Cruz.
     
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  6. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    Watch the movie The Day the Earth Stood Still. (I'm too lazy to italicize here, sorry.) It's not really a great movie, but it does present the argument as to why humans should not be eliminated entirely by aliens who are trying to protect the environment from the human environment killers.
     
  7. Quezacotl
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    Quezacotl Contributing Member

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    The law needs to be the predator. Though I am not partial to dictators nor am I partial to strict enforcement, it needs to happen. Humanity can be saved or it can fall to a sustainable population.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    You could always watch Picard's defense in the pilot episode of Star Trek the Next Generation :D
     
  9. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Humanity is worth saving. Especially when there are people as beautiful as Zooey Deschanel, Patrick Steward, and Thomas Pynchon.
     
  10. chacotaco91
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    chacotaco91 Senior Member

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    Pro-humanity. I had a cool idea in my head of aliens arguing over space-coffee whether they should destroy Humanity for the hell of it.

    Let them live
    -by Xilltarzizagar of planet Furby

    Many argue for humanity's meaninglessness; but is it just as meaningless to have humanity's non-existance? Why not have them talk and walk and build and war. It is a fairly more interesting and dramatic than mere nature running its course.

    We say destroy them for nature. Are they not nature in of itself, not natural? They are flesh and blood, though they destroy flesh and blood to thrive. Nature itself will live far beyond their existence so why should it feel threatened?

    We say they're an immoral species. What species is moral anyway? We all do what will will for survival. If an antelope could develop shelters and weapons against lions, they would likely find no moral qualms against using them. It is an interesting part of humanity that they now possess so much power that that their main problems are what to do with it. Destroy the planet? leave the planet? Distribute or misuse the power? Intelligent life is a gift by the universe to add color and variety to its already vibrant web of evolution, time, physics and chemistry. I see no reasons to squash a species that only exhibits the great ability of our natural world to evolve ever amazing things.

    Let them live. If they do not kill themselves anyway we will see where they will go. Perhaps that will technologically evolve into something beyond humanity, into cleaner creatures with better gastro-intestinal fuel economy. Perhaps they will one day create universes of their own, like we've done ourselves to great personal satisfaction.

    You'd like to kill all of humanity so that various forms of cockroaches or parrots will evolve into beautiful and varied lifeforms over millions of years? Well, I'm afraid I find that quite boring. Evolution might not randomly produce another species like homo-sapiens; so who then will create hit dramas like Boardwalk Empire?, or birth great individuals like Bear Grylls? I think no other species is up to the task.

    Let them live.
     
  11. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I agree with saving humanity. As horrible as things are a lot of the time, there are some really beautiful people/things/moments on this earth that make me happy to be alive.
     
  12. TheHedgehog
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    TheHedgehog Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything), said (and I'm paraphrasing), if you were to pick a dominant species, one to be a steward to the earth, the overseer of all else, you would not pick humans for the job. I have to agree with him, put to an extent.

    Because like Gigi said, we have some really good people on this earth. Our planet just has too many of a certain type of person.
     
  13. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    Lol. The alien thing does sound cool, Taco. I think I have all the same opinions as you do. It probably wouldn't amount to much either way except I don't get to see if we blow ourselves up.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'd just haul out the history books and current news reports as proof enough that humanity is on the whole [too few/rare exceptions aside] hopelessly and inherently violent and should be done away with, to avoid spreading its horrors elsewhere in the universe...

    btw, i'm vaguely recalling there was an excellent [quite long!] british film made about just this situation back in the late 30s or early 40s... if it it's not a figment of my imagination and you can find it, i strongly suggest you check it out, though i can't agree with the decision of that fictionally optimistic court...
     
  15. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    How do you know what a house fly thinks? Humans always think they are the final step in evolution, and everything we don't understand are below us on the evolution ladder. But some creatures like a few reptiles, insects and fish have been around for millions of years, even predating dinosaurs in some cases. Human have been around less than 100.000 years. (humans as we know them, at least. No counting pre-homo sapiens.) Why then would they simply stop evolving, yet humans sped through the whole evolution process in a fraction of the time? It doesn't make any sense.

    We humans think we rule the planet, and in a way maybe we do. But should we rule it? No. We think we are so damn perfect, but all we do is ruin our own planet and destroying everything else in the process. Not only that, but we have destroyed billions of homes already without a second thought. Countless species have been wiped out, just so we humans could have little bit more comfort. Even then we are so arrogant we keep finding new laws and ways to punish each other. Why do we do it? Because we are bored? Because we are evil? Because we are arrogant? No, it's because we put a random idiot in charge and blindly follow him or her into oblivion without a second thought. We keep saying we have free will, but in the big picture, we don't. If we had free will, we would have done something about the mess we have buried ourselves in and tried to save our own home. Or for that matter, we could have decided our home was lost and moved. We wouldn't keep fighting among ourselves and tried to blame everyone else for our problems instead of doing something about it.

    So should humans be wiped out or saved? I would give them a hard kick in the butt and told them to wake the hell up! If that doesn't help, wipe them all out. It's for the better good.
     
  16. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Humanity is worth defending and keeping. Yes, we are violent, stupid and selfish, but we are also peaceful, intelligent and selfless.
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I believe that the human race is basically beneficial, despite its worst representatives' high visibility.

    And we are still young. Our potential has yet to be fully imagined, much less realized.

    Sorry, Maia, I do not share your pessimistic view of humanty, despite other areas in which we are in close agreement.
     
  18. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    I'd go with the one bad apple spoils the bunch analogy on that one. You can be good your whole life, even win Nobel Peace prizes, but if you like to kill children on your off time, does that excuse you from punishment?

    Humans are the same way. When you look at it generally, throughout all of history, what are people like? In the case of arguing against destruction, I think we'd fail on that one.
     
  19. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    "One bad apple spoils the bunch" is a really bad way of looking at any group of people. There's no rational reason to take the bad characteristics of one individual and impugn an entire group. This kind of thinking serves the basis for stereotyping that has in and of itself led to many human evils.

    No, the idea that is would be OK to eradicate the an entire species based on the fact that a certain percentage of that species are bad is the idea of a mad man, in my view.
     
  20. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    I would like to throw it at a couple of key figures also, but when I think about it, it seems most people who argue and complain about the abusive rich and powerful and corrupt would probably do that same thing if they had been exposed to the same opportunity for power and wealth.

    For instance, killing people is bad. Eating them is definitely abominable. Yet there are a lot of people who would like to be vampires. The basic premise behind a vampire is that you have to kill and kill an kill without end and you are more likely to kill human beings than not. A person is righteous right up until that point of temptation when the offer is there right before you. I think deep down, their is a primal selfishness in everyone and given the opportunity, we would become abusive and disconnected in the least, for the most part.
     
  21. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    I see what you mean. However, it would be interesting to do an experiment. If I had the power to eliminate all the "bad" people on Earth right now and that just left everyone else, do you think that would be the end of bad people or would those formerly "good" people, who now see an opportunity, become bad?
     
  22. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I am in full agreement with this. We are a young species, still maturing.
     
  23. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    A certain percentage of those people will become "bad," or a certain percentage of their offspring will. There's no way to eliminate it from human society. Humans are essentially enlightened animals (some more enlightened than others), and we retain much of our animal nature. If you let some other animal species evolve to our level of intelligence and become dominant, I doubt you'd see any improvement :)
     
  24. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    Hmmm...I think Enlightenment would be a relative subject. I think science has already proved the systematic thought, reasoning, and mentality behind tha behavior and action of certain forms of life like ants and viruses are on par or even higher than our own. But they are so much smaller and our presence limits the ability of theirs to grow and evolve freely. As they are prey, their actions as a whole species are tuned in to survival and they don't or wouldn't have the time for excess thought about stars, science, and all that like we would. That's my own thought behind it. Overall, you are right, there would be no difference between one species and the other. All would try to dominate if they could, in whatever way their nature lets them.
     
  25. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I disagree on the "thought" and "reasoning" comments. Viruses, for example, have no ability to think or reason whatsoever.

    Ants belong to an order of insects called Hymenoptera, which also includes social insects like wasps and bees. They do exhibit some complex behaviors, and there is some good evidence that the colony as a whole acts sort of like a superorganism (because individual brains within the population vary according to the role of the individual, or even a stage of life - for example, in certain male ants the brain shrinks after mating season and grows again before the next mating season so it can perform the tasks to attract a mate; the female ant brain shrinks after it has been successfully mated; both of these conserve physiological resources that are not needed). The point is, I suppose, that there is some very interesting insect behavior, and they do interesting things both individually and as a "superorganism," but when it comes to things like "thought" and "reason," I'm not aware of anything that really demonstrates this is going on, and certainly nothing to indicate they are on-par with or exceed humans in this regard. Even Neanderthals seemed unable to exceed modern humans in this capacity and they had much larger, complex brains than insects.
     

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