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Challenge Match: Sheepslayer247 vs SonoftheSun- The Internet: Advantage or Disadvantage to the Human

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posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 12:59 PM
Much thanks to SonoftheSun for participating in this debate and for the topic itself. I'm sure this will be an informative yet difficult debate. I hope to do it justice.

"The Internet: Advantage or Disadvantage to the Human Race?"

Throughout history, the progression of mankind has been measured by it's technological advancements. From the stone age to the atomic era, we define ourselves by the advancements we have made not with culture or social structures, but by the tools we use and how we use them.

Our latest innovation, the Internet, began as simple research into packet switching and has grown to become part of a global paradigm that has a positive influence on the human race and many other aspects of our existence. Let's take a look at some examples.


Humans are social creatures. Not only is our well-being affected by the foods we eat and the water we drink, but our mental health as well and communicating with our fellow humans plays a vital role in the health of the human psyche.

No longer are we required to drop a letter in the mailbox to converse with a family member. Discussions can take place instantly over the internet through chat programs or social media sites. Pictures of the newest grandchild can be shared digitally. That friend you lost contact with in the past, can now easily be found on social media sites and that friendship can be struck-up once again.

Not only can the internet help friends and families come together but one can also find people or groups of people on the internet to discuss similar interests. The internet provides an important "common area" for people to discuss everything from quilting techniques to car repair tips. ATS itself is comprised of members that have used the internet to reach out to others in a social setting to discuss alternative topics.

E-mail services also provide an easy and popular way to communicate. Whether it's the individual or the business, e-mail has become the number one communication tool on the internet. E-mail provides a medium for business' to market their products and services to potential customers in a way that is non intrusive and low-cost.

Communication is just one benefit the internet grants us, but by far it can be considered the most important.


Another important and advantageous attribute of the internet is the ability to conduct business in a way that extends the brick and mortar establishments beyond the sidewalks of Main Street America. The small town business is no longer restrained to the local marketplace. The internet makes it possible for even the smallest of business' to bring their products and services to the global market.

E-commerce also benefits the purchaser as well, not just the business'. If certain products or services are not available in local areas, buyers can easily find what they desire from a digital marketplace and have it shipped directly to their doorstep.

Just this year alone, online sales are expected to net $226 billion. This number alone illustrates the impact and importance the internet has on commerce.


On average, each American spent $2504 on entertainment in $2010. That number is down slightly from previous years due to economic woes. The internet is available to provide entertainment in various forms and usually at little or no cost.

Sites such as Netflix allows people to rent their favorite videos and watch instantly through internet streaming. Youtube is a free website in which videos can be viewed and has become one of the most popular site destinations on the web. There are also a variety of websites that provide games, music, art and other interests that people enjoy.

This has been just a few advantages the internet brings to our daily lives. As we continue through this debate, we will look more in depth into other aspects of the internet that enrich our lives, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

The floor is yours Son.


posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 07:26 PM
Thank you Sleepslayer247 for accepting what should be an interesting debate. And a Big Thank You to the readers, members and staff for the continuous display of much appreciated civility and decorum. On this note, here is my opening statement and...

I am conceding this Round to my Opponent for a truthful opening.

Yep, you read that right! My opponent is speaking the truth, the Internet is filled with advantages. All of us here cannot deny that we (for most) use it every day and I mean every single day!! The reasons, as mentioned by my esteemed opponent, vary from personal entertainment, to communication made simpler, to e-biz.

Whether it’s socializing on Facebook, having fun on Twitter, reading our e-mails, playing online games or as a commercial venue, there is no denying, we do use it as an everyday tool and see it filled with advantages. Advantages that keep our minds occupied when we get a break from the rat race or feel that we do.

If you find that this is true, then by all means, the Rounds of opening statements must go to my opponent.


Yeah well, there is a but. There are always two sides to a coin. While we do indulge ourselves on surfing at tetra byte speed, we sometimes forget more important values and priorities.

I’ll be straight forward. In the following posts, I intend to show the other side of that coin:

• The Addiction

- Social Networking
- Gambling
- Online Games
- Chats
- Pornography

Addicting habits are serious. 6 million cigarette smokers that die every year are proof. 2.5 million deaths are attributed to alcohol consumption. Strangely enough, that is not what our media shows us in the advertising they pummel us with. No, what they show us are those hot girls and those cool guys on the beach, drinking Coors Light like it’s going out of style!! Or cool aliens drinking Budweiser...remember that? They don’t show us this graphic:

Sure, beer is cool, I love beer myself but what I am saying is that, without moderation, without control, it can lead to very dangerous behaviour. Addictions, without moderation, always turn out bad or ugly. You think the Internet is any different? If you think that you are not addicted to Facebook, or Google, or your online news, or your e-mails, or porn, or online gaming, or gambling, or even ATS for that matter, try to totally turn it off for a month and then get back to me...

• The Other Side of E-Biz

- Who Succeeds and How Many Fail

Staggering numbers but I’ll keep that in my sleeve for the second post.

• The Illusion of Control

- Who are The Real Benefactors?
- Is Online Freedom an Illusion?

Those are hard core questions. While you spend your time and money on line, some are taking advantage of it. It isn’t just the Net, it is all around us in our everyday lives and the Internet is no different. You are free indeed, free to lose some precious time and hard earned money. It’s a choice, some will say and I agree, but it is worth talking about just the same.

• The Future of Internet

- Artificial Intelligence
- Government Control

That is the scary part. While I will be discussing this possibility in the third and final post, let me remind everyone that what doesn’t necessarily appear to be harmful on the moment may surprise us all on the long term. Again, 6 million smokers, every single year, aren’t there anymore to tell the story. Yet, just thirty years ago, ads on television were showing that smoking Marlboros or Camels was the cool and manly man thing to do. Thirty years ago, smokers were the majority. We smoked in restaurants, on airplanes, at school. It isn’t that far in our past, folks. Science and medicine showed us that it wasn’t that cool, and that, on the long term, it kills.

I am not saying that the Internet kills but there is a truly bad side to it that cannot be denied, or ignored. Okay, maybe you never smoked. Good for you. But here’s a funny thought; perhaps you’ve used hairspray or know someone that did. You know, the CFCs one. Not too long ago, hairspray was the coolest thing ever. Straighten that curly hair or add waves to that rigid mop. Remember that cloud of spray around your head where flies or mosquitoes would freeze in midair?

It was all nice and dandy until someone showed us that the CFCs were destroying our ozone layer.

My intention, in this debate, is not to prove that the Internet will eventually kill us. I don’t think it will and I’ve slightly exaggerated my examples.

My intention is to show that there is a doubt, an uncertainty that the Internet is only, and solely, filled with advantages.

Because it isn’t.

Source - Smoking

Source - Alcohol

Thank you for reading. SS, back to you

posted on Dec, 15 2012 @ 10:01 PM
I must tip my hat to SonoftheSun for his style. That was a most unexpected tactic, but I believe you have unknowingly exposed the fatal flaw in your argument.

• The Addiction
- Social Networking
- Gambling
- Online Games
- Chats
- Pornography

These points, along with cigarettes and alcohol, do not point out the disadvantages of the internet. Instead they point out the human-factor and how the flaws of Man can turn even the most useful tool into a negative. The comment I made in my first post, that we are defined by our tools and how we use them, directly applies to this situation.

Even the most mundane items we use everyday have a dark side. For example, I think it's safe to say that a hammer has many advantages. We use it to build everything from the dog house for Sparky, or to hang drywall in a corporate office. Add the human factor and this useful tool can become a weapon.

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report, over 600 people have been murdered with blunt objects including, but not limited to, hammers and baseball bats.

Another example would be the car. The automobile has been instrumental in the growth of America and the prosperity it has experienced for many years but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released that around 43,000 people die in car wrecks each year.

Tools, such as the internet, that we take for granted can be used for nefarious causes. Do we blame the hammer, the car or the internet? No, the blame lies solely on the shoulders of the operator and in no way diminishes the advantages the tool provides.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ -------

I'd like to take the remainder of this post to point out other advantages of the internet.


Most of us know what it's like to live in a hectic environment. The hustle and bustle of the average day can be stressful and time consuming. But if you wish to work, take care of your family and receive and education, the internet can provide access to such services.

Local community colleges and big-name Universities alike offer education options through the internet for those that do not have the opportunity to physically attend classes but want to further their education.

In 2010, 6.1 million people took classes online at a cost much lower than attending classes at a university and 71% percent of those colleges are non-profit. Needless to say, the internet provides an education opportunity for the single-mother, new high school graduate and the average working man if they so desire.

Disabled People

Most of us may know what it's like to live a busy life, but very few of us understand the difficulties disabled people have just living a life as normal as possible. I was pleasantly surprised while researching for this thread that the internet is an important tool for many disabled people.

Many services we take for granted, but may be almost impossible for the disabled, are at their disposal online. Some examples are:

Transportation services
Emergency services
Shopping services (groceries)
Medical supplies
Social interaction

The internet can ease the difficulties these people experience and allow them a social outlet to interact when there be no other way to do so.


To close this post I would like to touch on the support that is available online for those in need. My opponent mentioned gambling, drugs, alcohol and other negative aspects of the human existence. There are a staggering number of support groups and sites that offer positive services for people that may be struggling with certain issues, including the examples he provided.

Not only can a person get information from these sites, but some provide the ability to talk to a counselor in their time of need. So if a person is depressed, suicidal or mentally compromised their is an online destination that is specifically designed to assist.

Considering the number of people that take advantage of online support groups, I find it hard to say that the internet does not have more advantages than not.


posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 03:46 PM
An education on internet?

Can my opponent really say this without laughing out loud?

71% percent of those colleges are non-profit.

Yeah...and hardly recognized when applying for a job. I’ll just leave at that.

Dear viewers,

the next two points that my esteemed opponent has raised – social outlets helping people - not only support the case I will be presenting but validates it.

Social networking is a great and dangerous tool. If it wasn’t, why would the police force have agents on line trying to filter out the potential predators or pedophiles that are lurking teenagers through online dating sites, Facebook and other such social networking communities?

Social networking is a great tool for the normal individual, it is a dangerous and deadly tool for the mentally ill that is on the lookout. Predators, pedophiles and other psychopaths were in their solitary confinements before the arrival of the internet, or not nearly as organized. Now they can talk together, exchange ideas or worse, plan the next move together.

Oh, and Al Qaida had a social network, let us never forget.

I believe you have unknowingly exposed the fatal flaw in your argument.

• The Addiction

- Social Networking
- Gambling
- Online Games
- Chats
- Pornography

My esteemed opponent may believe it if he wishes to, but he is wrong. Actually, this time around he has brought reinforcement to my argument.

Gambling is no longer considered an addiction but a mental illness. The internet presents a high risk for the gambling neophyte through sites that promote poker and other card games, casinos on line and just recently, lottery.

The security of your funds also comes to mind. Are your credit cards and bank accounts absolutely and without a doubt secured while using them online? A 1% chance of being ripped off means no.

Online games are the coolest thing now. Through your PS3 console or directly online, you have access to a multitude of games. Again, moderation here as in many other life situations, has left the building. Playing is fun but not at the detriment of your real social life – which isn’t on line – but in real life.

Chats are also fun. Make new friends, exchange ideas, learn a thing or two. Once again, one must use discernment for not falling prey to a predator or a pedophile but also, to another very dangerous possibility: endangering your marriage or relationship. Facebook holds the record at the moment. I don’t have a link for it as I didn’t save it at the time but did you know that eighty five percent of chat members flirt? Yeah...that’s 85% !!! Divorce galore for the lawyers...

And how about the negative influence the Internet can have on our children? Are we to turn our head and keep our eyes closed to this as well?

Here are a few red flags:

• Internet Addiction Disorder

Addiction is a little more than just good and bad people using a tool as my opponent proposes. It starts at an early age and progresses, for the worse. Here is something to think about:

In America alone, it has been estimated that around 10-15 million people are suffering from Internet addiction disorder, and this is increasing at the rate of 25% every year.

• Reduced physical activity

Keeping our children from going to play sports with their friends is no longer the punishment. Keeping them off the net and shutting the computer down, is.

• Easy access to pornography

We can supervise and monitor at home but unfortunately, they aren’t home all the time now are they?

• Vulnerability to Cyber Crime

I’ve already talked enough about that to make everybody sick, including myself.

Before I finish this post, I just want to touch the “online commerce subject”, just a tad.

It’s a staggering number of Businesses that fail within their first few years of operating, although there seems to be a gazillion studies online as to the percentage of Businesses that fail, generally figures appear to be well into the 90′s….

The 90’s as in 90% plus. 10% roughly make it. And my money is on superstores and super innovative businesses such as Amazon. The big superstores that have been established for a very long time just use it as a new way to attract customers. Businesses such as Amazon aren’t the majority, they are the strong minority.

I think that I have shown that the Internet is more than just a tool that bad people could use but that it is a weapon that bad people do use.

In my third and final post, I will conclude with the “what’s in store for us in the future” as far as the Internet goes and it might not be a pretty sight.

Source - Negative Effects of Internet on Children

Source - Percentage of Businesses that Fail on line

Thank you for reading. SS, the floor is yours.

posted on Dec, 16 2012 @ 07:22 PM
As this is my final post, I would like to again thank the readers and SonoftheSun. This has been a great debate and a challenge.

Oh, and Al Qaida had a social network, let us never forget.

I must concede this point. Al Qaida did have a social network. Al Qaida also used couriers to deliver hand-written messages as a form of communication. Does this imply that pencil and paper are a disadvantage to human kind?

I think not.

My opponents position throughout this debate, while appearing to be sound on the surface, seems to be completely based on an association fallacy.

association fallacy is an inductive informal fallacy of the type hasty generalization or red herring which asserts that qualities of one thing are inherently qualities of another, merely by an irrelevant association. The two types are sometimes referred to as guilt by association and honor by association. Association fallacies are a special case of red herring, and can be based on an appeal to emotion.

As an example, let's look at your local library. Yes, the library.

Most, if not all, libraries offer books on gambling, gaming guides and even pornography conveniently disguised as books of "interpretive art". Libraries also offer internet services! Any person, including an Al Qaida sleeper assassin, can walk into a local library and access the internet, chat services, social media or play a fast-paced game of Burrito Bison.

Since we are on the topic of libraries, it is important that we touch on an addiction that libraries perpetuate. That is the lesser-known addiction some people have to reading. I was just as surprised as anyone else to learn that even something as fundamental and necessary as reading a book could cause an addiction for some people. It may sound silly, but this is a real problem that affects people, just like a drug or alcohol.

Once again, we are at a point in which we have to ask ourselves how far we are willing to go before we realize that things like pencil and paper, libraries or the internet are not the cause of these issues my opponent discusses. As I stated previously, the problem lies within the personality flaws within each and every one of us.


While Al Qaida may be one example of how bad people can use the internet for unsavory purposes, there are many more examples of how the internet is used by groups that in no way wish to secretly concoct a nefarious plot.

For example:

The Modern Quilting Guild
The Online Writers Group
Down Syndrome Support Group
a vast network of sites dedicated to providing resources for parents....such as the Park Slope Parents.

I could continue, but I believe the point has been made.


As we all know, the mainstream news outlets, such as ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, have dropped the ball when it comes to truth in reporting or investigation. Independent journalists, with the assistance of the internet, have been able to bring to the forefront information that we do not receive from the MSM.

These independant journalists are able to provide live streams of unfolding events, live updates and additional context that we may not get from the sterilized corporate news.

In closing, let me reiterate that it's not about the tool itself, it's how we use it. While there may be examples of how the internet can be used negatively, we can easily say that the internet has brought many positives and opportunities to our lives.

We must not let the few exceptions of loosely-associated caveats tarnish the reputation of that which is otherwise useful, encompasses untold amounts of information and will be an advantageous tool to have in our arsenal as the Human Race moves forward to achieve the goals of the future.

Thanks again for reading. SonoftheSun.......swing away!


posted on Dec, 17 2012 @ 12:00 AM
Before heading into this closing statement, I wish to thank Sheepslayer247 for a formidable debate. I also wish to thank every single one of you that have taken the time to read what this match had to offer.

Closing Statement

The Internet - What does the Future hold?

Dear viewers,

There is no denying that for many of us, the Internet has changed the way we live. I must commend my opponent for showing the Internet’s positive side in a very pleasant way.

Throughout this presentation, I have indeed used associations in order to compare. Personally, I think that fallacy is an overstatement as the associations made were not irrelevant but indicative of a dangerous trend.

The Internet is a tool, yet we must not forget that we learn through experiences, some that have made us better, as a human race, and some that have made us worse. It is through those experiences of life that we can better understand what is ahead of us and make clearer choices.

The Internet – for the moment – has advantages and disadvantages and lays somewhere in the middle. Nevertheless, the future might change all of that and not at our advantage, not in the least.

[color=gold]Government Control

To this day, there is a certain freedom on the net for the avid surfer and / or everyday user. This will change, as security concerns become a reason for control. During the course of this debate, I have shown some dangers associated with the Internet, dangers that give our governments the very reason to start controlling it officially. Some of you may know, some of you may not but a control has already been put forward, as of last July.

President Barack Obama signed an executive order last week that could give the U.S. government control over the Internet.

An executive order that gives the government “carte blanche” on the way the Internet will become.

After being published by the Federal Register, executive orders take 30 days to become law. However, the president can amend, withdraw, or issue an overriding order at any time.

In a certain way, this is truly a fallacy as the government already controls and tracks what and who it wishes to, without consultation or approbation, while making all of us believe that it is legally under way.

It's a fact.

[color=gold]The Internet of the Future

You are already being tracked and catalogued all over the net, on every site and every search engine. Sites like Google are indexing billions of track records every single day. This is a reality. The next step – Artificial Intelligence – is already in the works. Sounds farfetched, doesn’t it? But is it really?

Analyzing data on a daily basis, comparing trends, exposing anomalies, calculating risks is all part of this process and it already exists, all over the net. All one needs to do is to add software that will take decisions based on the accumulated and analyzed data.

Software programmed to make a choice for you. It already exists on smaller scales. Software that is already present on some airplanes to prevent midair collisions. Software that enables your Ford Fusion to parallel park for you. Software that will decide the best course of action based on provided data.

Then there is the story that we often hear that our brain is much more complex than computers but researchers are already presenting studies that the Internet is in fact becoming more and more like our human brain:

The brain appears to be a vastly interconnected network much like the Internet, according to new research.

They are now comparing the Genome and ADN structures to the complex network that is the Internet. Artificial Intelligence isn’t a fantasy for much longer but is on the verge of becoming a reality. Probably not during our lifetimes but chances are that our kids or grand kids will get to experience this new and fantastic tool, that is an Artificial Intelligent Internet.

Now, let me end this debate with a simple question:

Based on our human history, when mankind creates something new, a new tool that is so fantastic that it changes our paradigms and dogmas, where does the end result lean, most of the time, towards positive outcome or potential risk of a threat to the human race?

Guns were tools meant for hunting, oil was a tool meant for transportation, satellites were tools meant for communications, nuclear physics were tools meant for renewable and cleaner energy. New and fantastic tools when they were created, all of them. I will agree that they were.

Source - Obama

Source - AI

Source - Brain

Thank you for reading.


posted on Dec, 20 2012 @ 05:16 PM
The judgments for this compelling and highly interesting debate are in!

Drum roll please....
Judge one said...


I enjoyed reading this debate and commend both participants.

This debate, in my opinion, has a clear winner. From start to finish Sheepslayer247 sticks to his points, refutes those of SonoftheSun, and continuosly gives examples of areas where the internet has been advantageous to humanity. Perhaps sheepslayer's side could have been further strengthened with more statistical data on the advancements parralleling the rise of the internet- literacy, education, economic, etc. Also, some examples where the internet has played a major role in social progress.

Still, SonoftheSun doesn't do quite enough to convince that the internet is a disadvantage. He gives many broad reasons, but not enough support. Things like centralized control, addiction, AI- there could have been added support for each of these points to build a stronger position. Also, perhaps some reasoning for how human civilization could be successful without the internet.

Congrats to sheepslayer247 on the win.

Judge Two

my thought...

Congratulations to both Sheepslayer247 and SonoftheSun.

Round 1, I felt went to SS, by giving us three major benefits the internet brings to humans, while on the other hand SonoftheSun simply concedes these points.

Round 2, I must again give this round to Sheepslayer, mostly because SonoftheSun agrees with most of his points, but argues instead the particulars of an online degree.

Round 3, Again I give this round to SS, with a tie in to social media and journalism, which by any account is the only good that's coming out from the world of journalism these days.

My thanks to both Sheepslayer247 and SonoftheSun.

winner Sheepslayer247

Congratulations to Sheepslayer247 for the win! And to both fighters for putting on a clinic in how it is done.
edit on 12/20/12 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)

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