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10 most recent arguments.
1 point

I'm guessing this is yet more banter, but anyway:

I don't agree with identity politics. Maybe there are tendancies that Jews are untrustworthy or whatever else you want to accuse them of but I believe the individual should be judged on the basis of the individual and not targeted by some blanketing action towards a percieved group they belong to, though I admit this result will probably depend on the severity of the crimes of the group. I won't stand for expelling Jews from my country as have supposedly been done with others on that basis if that's what you're suggesting.

2 points

tl;dr: Natural selection has become less dominant overall due to the dilution of selection criteria and reduced culling. Genetic health is probably getting worse due to unrestrained mutations combined with a tendancy towards chaos. I'd say things will get worse, but we could probably fix it with some meddling in gene editing.

Yay! An apolitical question that isn't more shit-talking between the regulars here.

I imagine you're referring to health and QOL as a result of natural selection so I'll start with that. I'm not an authority on anything here, but I enjoy this topic, and as a result I'm probably going to go off-topic from OP's intentions, hehe.

While hindering death is still ultimately good, probably, there are some additional issues that stem from this.

Improvements to healthcare and compassionate treatment towards the disabled has led to people with genetic abnormalities thriving where they would otherwise be less likely to pass on their genes. Mutations are great because that's how we evolve in the first place, but in general the majority of them are bad; randomly changing a system that relies on order will result in regression more often than improving it.

I believe this reduced 'culling' rate results in a feedback loop that leads to an increased spread of 'bad' genes in the gene pool that leads to increases in inheritable disease and poor traits, eg. diabetes, poor eyesight (though other potentially more prevalent causes obviously exist). Essentially, the more a society invests in treating the symptoms of a genetic issue, the more significant that issue becomes, costing further resources to treat the issue with each passing generation. I imagine this will continue until we either adopt a rather evil policy of active genetic curation or learn to use gene editing tools to treat the cause rather than the symptom. The former will probably never happen as things stand presently, but I think this issue has the potential to reach a critical mass where this may be necessary if the latter is not seriously considered, as there are significant stigma and ethical concerns against gene editing that may get in the way for some societies.

It's not all bad though. While improving healthcare is primarily only going to benefit those that require it, general standards of living have increased and average life expactancy is at its highest, which probably means that good mutations thrive more often too. evolution is based on chance, so it is also likely that a beneficial mutation dies out too in a harsher environment. Many traits are also derived from a necessary sequence of harmful mutations before having a beneficial effect eg. evolutionary development of a new organ is initially going to be a useless lump of dead weight that draws energy. Long live the appendix haha.

So for health, probably for the worse, at least in the short term until we take command over our genetics.

Then there's the criteria for natural selection in a survival perspective. In the past the most important criteria for an organism to pass on genes was obtaining energy, typically food, followed by procreation. These days subsistence is typically a given, so there's more emphasis on attracting a mate, of which the criteria: A - changes with time rather rapidly as cultural ideas and preferences shifts in and out of fashion and B - cover a massive range of strategies. There are literally infinite ways to be attractive to someone which can be as mundane as having a topical interest or skill. For the most part I think this also leads to open season for mutations, as culling criteria change by the second in evolutionary timescales, such that natural selection is perhaps not as significant for us than it was in the past for the traditional criteria of survival, resulting in further unconstrained mutation. There will probably always be certain traits and behaviours that are bad for passing on genes though; namely infertility, disfigurement, and asocial personalities.

So for natural selection itself, I think we've greatly diminished the significance of the process from a survival perspective. Whether that's good or bad depends on the purpose of the selection though.

You can also look at the purpose of the selection. Survival isn't necessarily the only result to be selected for so long as the trait isn't mutually exclusive with survival or procreation. Western society is meritocratic, so we /should/ be breeding people for success in their respective jobs that happen to exist and be relevant at the time, provided they exist for long enough for the snail pace evolution requires for us slow-breeding humans.

A more constant trait as an example of this would be intelligence, as this is generally a consistent indicator of success. You could consider this a good thing if you believe technological and cultural advancement fall under that umbrella, but intelligence may also have links with depression, so from a QOL standpoint this could be very bad. Depends on your priorities I guess.

There are probably a few more continuous traits/behaviours that are like intelligence, maybe sedentary lifestyles or humour, but for most professions and societal interests I think it's a bit of a crapshoot where through success by any manner that society deems significant enough to pay for, literally any trait can be selected for. By this reasoning we're technically selecting for everything from agility for dancers to dick/breast/arse size for porn stars to actions per minute for Star Craft loving Koreans. Are any of these things better? Largely it will depend on context in which the trait is being tested in, but I imagine for the vast majority of people, any genetic 'improvements' like this will probably go unrealised and as such are wasted investments. Personally I think many of the things people do for a living are a waste of time too, so I can't say all these traits being selected for are unilaterally for the betterment of mankind even where they are being realised. And since this judgement will be different for different individuals, cultures, and over time for a ridiculous variety of valid criteria, it's impossible to get an absolute conclusion as to wether the results of modern natural selection are good or bad for the species.

1 point

Sorry I'm late, haven't checked CD in a while. I'd be interested in hearing your take if you're still willing.

1 point

Provided nobody takes over and turns it into fascism, I think communism would be better. I don't mind sacrificing speculative efficiency or 'progress' for a lifestyle everyone can enjoy without the threat of not having basic needs of food, water and shelter being met following failure.

That's not to say fascism would be awful. Fascism could be perfect with the right person and their management. I think the main problem is that even with the right people, they eventually die and another takes their place.

2 points

The farmers took up new jobs after adjusting professions and switching to an urban lifestyle.

While I appreciate you pointing to lessons of the past, I don't believe it's applicable to today due to the amount of time that passed between the automation of farming and the jobs today, the differences in scale of population and population growth under limited resources and space, the increased rate at which we are and will be turning to automation which for now would be jobs requiring data entry, basic mathematical manipulation, the remainder of large scale manufacturing, as well as anything machine learning can be trained to do. Lastly, quite importantly, though hypothetical, that in the face of an AI singularity it's meaningless to create new jobs solely for the purpose of having a human do it.

It is important that these changes are done over time in our current economic system, as people need time to adjust to these new careers. Especially as the newly created jobs as well as those that will be relatively untouched in the near future will largely require in depth specialised education. Something a middle aged generation with a limited lifespan simply won't all be able to adapt to, or to a lesser extent the entire population, since as we are now there's only so far we can go with education.

1 point

No, because it's an unstable situation that doesn't hold any particular company liable via consequence and harms all companies involved in that economy.

If a company decides to cut costs by pursuing further automation, they cut some of the overall income potential from consumers, harming all businesses, but also cut costs, allowing them to do whatever they do for cheaper, putting them relatively ahead of other companies. They come out on top, only it's on top of a pile that is reduced overall.

There is still an incentive to cut costs, and those that don't cut costs are more likely to fail due to reduced sales.

The only way I can think of to achieve the outcome you specify would be to have isolated systems, where you can only hope or else must intervene that none or few of them go for automation, in which case it wouldn't be the survival of the fittest individual company, but the wisest group of competing companies within an isolated economy.

Without intervention this sort of system is likely screwed. Wealth redistribution is one such solution, bypassing the issue of consumer income from employment, and rather giving a share of what is already virtually free automated work being done.

1 point

If automating caused unemployment less people could buy what they're offering and their profits would decrease. This is true overall, but this isn't considered when deciding to cut costs. I'm saying companies can and will blindly destroy their income source in the short sighted pursuit of eliminating costs.

1 point

That's just not true

Yes, it is. There is a correlation between intelligence and prosperity, but it is in no wy absolute. Aside from that, the intelligent take loans, paying others interst to give their ideas a mere chance. But for any large moneymaking scheme, a very large amount of capital is required to get anywhere. Think businesses, homeowners, traders.

Then you should've done better in school so you would look more appealing for grants and scholarships.

I'm sorry, but this is short sighted. We still need people to do the jobs we give shit pay for. On average something like $1300 is paid before insurance kicks in, and that doesn't include insurance payments. Others may be paying far in excess of that. This is a huge hit to the wallets of most of the working class, and if caught by surprise they're screwed. Anyone with a family will typically be struggling to keep up as is. Funding healthcare via taxation means the people that need the help will effectively be paying a little less, not all at once.

Maybe that's what your looking for

A diversion to something you agree with? Both would be good though.

How are we tripping them up? Public education, paid for through taxes

Yes, this is something that is done to help them. There are other things that aren't. Healthcare is one of them, something that truly results in no second chances.

Why should they get multiple chances in life

Well if nothing else I get where you're coming from now. I don't agree with that sentiment though. Too much is left to chance in life to not give at least some leeway. You've been heavily focused on the poor though, what about the converse, where those with inherited wealth, or those that obtained wealth disproportionate to their effort and risk, or those that obtained wealth unfairly are able to easily afford healthcare?

1 point

Those who want to cut them off should be free to do so. Those who want to help them (give them second chances, hire them, pay their medical bills, etc.) are still free to do so.

That's a good point. I don't think that's a consistent idea in policy but fair enough. Are you at least consistent with this view? I think insurance, particularly mandatory insurance, would fall under similar scrutiny if you were.

You seem to think that nothing can happen unless the government does it

I don't think nothing can happen outside government, but policy is far more reliable than relying on goodwill. Particularly through something as harshly operated as taxes.

The most important things should not be in the hands of government because government is unfailingly inept, ineffective, wasteful, and inefficient

This is true in some cases, but I'd say leaving it in the hands of regular people is worse. Charity has been going on for a long time for the same issues in the same places. When you donate to help solve a problem it's disheartening to see no change as a result of a lack of support. What's more, charity programs have to market themselves to even reach you. That's a very inefficient process right there.

This isn't even outside your own country though, I would have thought most would be in support, or at least a majority, such that taxation funded healthcare would appease most. Even if you didn't care for others, there's a self interest too. Nobody would want to find themselves in a situation where they can't treat a cancer, or have to consider abandoning a child that will cost too much to treat because of some unfortunate condition. Supposedly about a third of us are in for a date with cancer, perhaps more given increasing lifespans.

1 point

The reality is that people die no matter what healthcare policies we have or what care they receive.

True. But not all deaths are unpreventable at that time. Better policies can result in fewer dying.

You think taxes are enslavement? Everyone receives healthcare, this is a fundamental service, everyone should have access to it. Therefore everyone should be expected to pay it.

Displaying 10 most recent debates.

Winning Position: Ethics of marketing.
Winning Position: Alternate Personality Theory
Winning Position: Unresolved
Winning Position: Unresolved
Winning Position: inaccurate
Winning Position: suggestion for CD
Winning Position: narp

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