Challenge Match: Skyfloating vs. whatukno: Everything is Going to be Alright

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posted on May, 31 2008 @ 01:24 PM
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The topic for this debate is "The world is getting better and better."

Skyfloating will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
whatukno will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

Character limits are no longer in effect. You may use as many characters as a single post allows.

Editing is strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted. This prevents cheating. If you make an honest mistake which needs fixing, you must U2U me. I will do a limited amount of editing for good cause. Please use spell check before you post.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images, and must have no more than 3 references. Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.
When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.


Responses should be made within 24 hours. One single 24 hour extension can be used by a member by requesting it in the thread. If 24 hours passes without response, you may proceed with your next post. Members who exceed 24 hours run the risk of losing their post, but may still post up until their opponent has submitted their next response.

This is a challenge match. The winner will receive 2 ranking points, the loser will lose two ranking points.




posted on May, 31 2008 @ 02:46 PM
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Thanks to Chissler for opening this Match.

Thanks to Whatukno for accepting the Challenge.

Everythings gonna be alright

I will be arguing that the world is getting better and better. The purpose of doing so is to provide balance and perspective to a society that is jaded by daily news offerings of disaster, crime, genocide, war and prophecy of doom and gloom. Overwhelmed by the dark prospects the average joe falls into apathy and is no longer able to function as a happy and contributing member of society.

But the news-programming we receive on a daily basis does not reflect overall reality. Instead it zooms-in on the most horrific of events. "News" and "Journalism" focus on out-of-the-ordinary events in order to garner attention and sell papers. And out-of-the-ordinary mostly means disasters and scandals. This is how "news" has become to mean "bad news".

Why point this out? Because it is through the news media that most people have come to think that the world is a generally wicked and evil place and getting worse by the minute. The good, harmonious, peaceful, thriving would make for a boring newscast. People even pay for it when going to see an action movie or for a thrill-ride.

Who would pay for a movie featuring only a nice green meadow, some butterflies and a happy couple strolling around?


In this debate I hope to convince that...

...the world is getting more and more wealthy in an overall sense

...life-expectancy has increased

...the world is getting more and more healthy

...the world is, overall, getting more and more peaceful

...the overall population is getting more and more educated

...the world has better inter-relations and much better communication between each other

...the world is getting more technologically advanced

...the world is overall getting psychologically happier

...and there are thousands of reason to look into the future with optimism.


My argument will be supported by looking at the "bigger picture" and the overall scheme of things rather than cherry-picking the worst examples of humanity as the brainwashing mass-media and those who parrot its negative extremism like to do it.

Ever notice how each generation of people claims that "the good ol days" were so much better? Thats not true.

Ever notice how each generation has its prophecies that try to convince you that "the end is nigh"? Its never happened.

Notice how many of the more wealthy nations are even greater complainers than comparitevely poor nations such as India? I guess some of them have become too well-off.

In this opening I would like to introduce two key concepts in proving that the world is getting better:

1. Quality of Life

and

2. Standard of Living


It will be easy to show how both have been steadily increasing, hence my argument that "The world is getting better and better".

I look forward to providing some very interesting data that proves we are heading towards an age of social, political, economic, cultural, technological enlightenment rather than towards self-destruction and dark ages.

Socratic Questions to my Opponent:

1. Is it true that you have access to the Internet (and thus Open Communication to the rest of the world), enough Food in your fridge, clothing, shelter, a relatively healthy and plenty of acquaintances?

2. Is it true that more than 85% of all nations are currently at peace or ceasefire?

3. Is it true that doomssayers, in their fear-propaganda predicted widespread destruction for the year 2000?


Thank you.



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 03:41 PM
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To start I must give proper thanks and credit to Chissler for accepting this debate and to set it up and I would also like to thank my esteemed opponent Skyfloating for thinking up this subject.

"The world is getting better and better."

For whom I wonder? Certainly not I, if we were to go by a ten year cycle and show where I was compared to where I am today. I can tell you personally that this world is not getting better and better, in fact today the world is in a horrible state and it’s due to get worse.

Beyond the personal, economically this world is in a downward spiral, we are at war, disease and death are more rampant than ever before and the environment is detrimentally damaged.

My opponent will most certainly show how good life is to live and how there be hope around every corner. Each cloud will most certainly have a silver lining. However this just isn’t the big picture. Today, worse than any other time in the history of our civilization our personal freedoms are restricted, our lifestyles are pinched simply by petroleum prices, war, death, genocide, plague, hatred, intolerance, apathy, rage, crime, murder, all run rampant in the world with no signs of stopping the gaping wound which is our collective existence. The veins that are the ideals of liberty and justice run dry of the blood that is goodwill towards our fellow man. Our culture is atrophied doomed to starvation at the hands of corporate leaches and bi-partisan stalemating that encourage the rampant draining of our own ideals of happiness.

Even our own planed rages against us, violent storms, tsunami’s famine, drought, epic pandemics such as AIDS, earthquakes, and other planetary catastrophes show clearly that the world is certainly not becoming a better place to live.

To define pessimism versus optimism one often takes a glass and pours some liquid into it, then asks the question, Is the glass half full or half empty. In this debate I will show not only is the glass half empty, but the liquid that is in the glass will most likely kill you.

What is gone from life is so numerous to dwell upon it would certainly cause the most upbeat person to have to resort to Prozac in order to deal with the reality that life has become. To ignore all the problems that plague us as a collective whole is not only delusional it is fallacy to think in such a way. This I will show throughout this debate is the issue. Delusion and apathy in itself will also cause even more horrendous events because of lack of understanding and therefore lack of will to do anything about it.

One could look at our modern time and ignore the atrocities committed daily for various reasons. This would show that the world is getting better. However the delusion itself that our society, our planet and our lives are better now is to say the least masturbatory and only goes to further hide the real facts at hand each day on the news and what is happening in our lives every day.

Answers to the Socratic questions brilliantly stated by my opponent:

1. Is it true that you have access to the Internet (and thus Open Communication to the rest of the world), enough Food in your fridge, clothing, shelter, a relatively healthy and plenty of acquaintances?

No, not in the entirety of it, Yes I obviously do have access to the internet (however that access is of course limited as it is on a family computer and all communicative capabilities of that computer are monitored by others), there happens to be food in the fridge, enough for a family of 5 to exist, The clothes I do own have been given to me, no I am not in good health, and no besides the friends and acquaintances here on this website, (which constitutes the majority of my interaction with humanity) I am nearly completely isolated.


2. Is it true that more than 85% of all nations are currently at peace or ceasefire?

No, the country I am in, (USA) is certainly not at peace, nor is a ceasefire eminent or is one near in the foreseeable future; Peace is a relative term, to use this by definition…

1peace
Pronunciation:
\ˈpēs\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Middle English pees, from Anglo-French pes, pees, from Latin pac-, pax; akin to Latin pacisci to agree — more at PACT
Date: 12th century
1: a state of tranquility or quiet: as a: freedom from civil disturbance b: a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom
2: freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions
3: harmony in personal relations
4 a: a state or period of mutual concord between governments b: a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity
5—used interjectionally to ask for silence or calm or as a greeting or farewell
— at peace: in a state of concord or tranquility


Source: Merriam Webster Online Dictionary

To be at peace we must also take into account definition numbers 2, 3, & 4 therefore no country outside one being in a state like that of Shangri-La and Utopia could possibly be at peace.


3. Is it true that doomsayers, in their fear-propaganda predicted widespread destruction for the year 2000?

Indeed they have, they have also misinformed the public throughout history of the end of the world. This does not lessen the argument that today in relation to the year 2000 is better nor is the trend getting better. In fact by all accounts today versus the year 2000 is by far a worse world to live in, and that world is steadily growing worse and worse by the day.
Let me assure everyone that today in this day and age our lives are much worse off than they were just a scant 10 years ago. This decline in our collective wellbeing is certainly in a downward decline and will continue to decline until the point of rock bottom or when we cannot sink any lower. We have not hit this proverbial rock bottom yet and we have still a way to fall before reaching the end of this pit of despair.



posted on May, 31 2008 @ 05:08 PM
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Thanks whatukno. That was the expected essay on how terrible things supposedly are. It echoes not only mainstream media but strangely also "alternative" media. We have to ask ourselves: What is so "alternative" about the alternative-media if it promotes the same "poor us" attitude as the big news outlets?

It never ceases to amaze me how well-fed people with internet access, a car parked outside their door, clothing on and healthy hands to type on a keyboard can incessantly complain about how terrible things are. I can think of some people without all these benefits who´d have more reason to complain but often dont.

The only thing that beats this personal gloom is more objective data. I present to my esteemed opponent, the reader and the debate judges the Satisfaction with Life Index which is one of many ways science measures the overall happiness of the planet.





The green, blue and purple countries call themselves very happy to fairly happy and the orange and red countries call themselves unhappy to very unhappy.

From this we can derive several very important pieces of information:

1. That there´s a fair balance of happiness and unhappiness in the world, with a slight advantage for happiness.

2. That happiness is often associated with health, wealth and access to basic education (see source page)

3. 3. That we are moving more and more in the direction of happiness

How so? you might ask. Well, there are several indicators of this first point.

The former Eastern European countries, as they were under soviet rule used to be "red" (not only politically but also on the Life Satisfaction Index). Since having gained Independence from Soviet Rule, countries like Poland have turned Purple. Poland is in fact an excellent example of a very sad and apathetic nation turned happy as soon as their freedoms were restored.

The happiest countries (green), what do they all have in common? A "middle of the road democracy" political attitude...the direction the world is heading towards more and more, almost naturally.

The fact that a strong economy is a major but not the only happiness factor is shown (see source page) by the fact that one of the poorest countries in the world, Bhutan, ranks 8, far in front of the U.S.

And on to my opponents empahsis on Peace. It is true that at least 85% of all nations (this is a guess not an exact) are currently at peace in the sense of not waging war and if my opponent wants to deny that I will just have to count all the nations currently out of war and contrast that with the nations at war. And as for my opponent trying to change the definition of peace, the "Life Satisfaction Index" shows that even if we redefine what it means more than 55% of the world are at peace.

As for total 100% peace? Forget it. That wouldnt be the definition of a healthy world anyway. Why? Because that would mean conformity in the sense of everyone having to have the same opinion and wear the same outfits in order to have "peace". Thats not the type of peace we are heading towards.

In other words, there will always be conflicts, problems to solve, natural disasters, illnesses to be healed. But these do not taint the overall progress we are making as a humanity. Sometimes disasters bring us even closer together, make us stronger, make us care more about each other as in a wake-up-call.

What we are instead progressing towards naturally, is maturity in that differences are respected, diplomacy is valued to resolve problems, and things like the internet produce global mutual understanding between the different cultures and races.

"Wounds" left to heal are africa and israel/palestine and of course americas "war on terror". But meanwhile the rest of the world lives on in prosperity, peace, hope and aspiration.

Socratic Questions:

1. Would you agree that there are currently no newsworthy wars, epidemics,or natural disasters happening in North America, most of South America, Australia, the Pacific, Europe, most of Arab-Africa, Russia, most of Asia?

2. Would you agree that the country you live in is experiencing a level of prosperity, wealth and abundance of choice like never before in the last 5000 years?

3. Would you agree that regular TV-News shows mostly bad news while all the good news gets less air time?

4. When a shooting in a middle-east country is shown on the news, does this necessarily reflect what is happening in the rest of the country?

5. Have you ever seen the mountains, valleys, birds, trees, palaces of Iran shown on the prime time news as the main topic?



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 11:08 AM
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Thank you for your reply Skyfloating,
Yes the media and even the alternative media supports the claim that the world is getting worse and worse by the day. It’s due to the fact that the world is in fact becoming worse. People are dying every day due to horrible circumstances and people are being hurt every day, people are contracting disease and are spreading it worse now than ever before in our collective history as a species. In this day and age with the advent of so many media sources we are becoming more and more aware of the horrors that do go on in this world and it has a cumulative affect on our society as a whole.
If I have reflected the MSM and the Alternative media sources this is because this is what is happening in the world today.

Answers to your Socratic Questions:


1. Would you agree that there are currently no newsworthy wars, epidemics, or natural disasters happening in North America, most of South America, Australia, the Pacific, Europe, most of Arab-Africa, Russia, most of Asia?

No I would not agree, in fact there are newsworthy wars going on each day in this country namely the en.wikipedia.org..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">war on drugs, the war on drugs is a congressionally funded and mandated war that in fact pits our government against its own people. as well as in South America, the Pacific, Europe, Arab-Africa, Russia, and Asia. In fact by accounts listed in the link below we can see that major or minor conflicts are affecting every continent on the planet save for Antarctica and Australia. Of course Koala Bears and Penguins do not inspire much in the way of bad things.
this list shows the major and ongoing conflicts that are currently happening in the world today.


2. Would you agree that the country you live in is experiencing a level of prosperity, wealth and abundance of choice like never before in the last 5000 years?

Seeing as the country I live in has not existed for 5000 years the answer is obviously yes I do agree. However this has been declining within the last 30 years.


3. Would you agree that regular TV-News shows mostly bad news while all the good news gets less air time?

This is true, however this is because good news that is worthy of a newscast does not happen as often as the terrible things that we witness on the news.


4. When a shooting in a middle-east country is shown on the news, does this necessarily reflect what is happening in the rest of the country?

Absolutely not, the war in the Middle East and the terrible things that happen there are what get reported. It is a shame that we do not report on progress in the Middle East as it would have a stabilizing effect in the region.


5. Have you ever seen the mountains, valleys, birds, trees, palaces of Iran shown on the prime time news as the main topic?

Once, when a group of hikers (one) from my home town of Estes Park, Colorado, went hiking in a mountainous region of the Middle Eastern country of Kyrgyzstan they were taken hostage by IMU rebels.
AMERICAN CLIMBERS KIDNAPPED IN KYRGYZSTAN
So we can see by this story that indeed the mountains of the Middle East do get reported in the news. The mountainous regions of the Middle East are by far some of the greatest and most challenging hiking the world has to offer, sadly though many regions in the Middle East are not safe for American climbers to go trekking.
Today we see the decline and erosion of our civil liberties, the economy of the world faltering, the horrid ravages of prolific drug use, the pandemic of AIDS being worse than ever before, Mass genocide in Darfur, We still have the DMZ, China. In fact there is some sort of major or minor conflict going on, on each of the continents of the world save for Australia and Antarctica.

Socratic Questions:
1. Are you better off, financially now than you were 10 years ago?
2. Are you paying less for gas than you were 10 years ago? How about 5 years ago? How about a year ago?
3. Can any nation ever truly be at peace given all the criteria for peace laid out by the definition of the word?
4. Would a country that is truly at peace given all the criteria laid out by the definition of the word be worthwhile to live in?
5. Given the times we live in is it safe to assume that apathy and depression are indeed on the rise?
The United States in itself holds many of the most depressed cities on earth as examined 70 cities cited in this study reported in Men ’s Health show a ranking of C+ or less. This indicates that a majority of US cities are depressing places to live.

There is a reason for this; people don’t just become depressed for no reason. Outside stimuli and the adverse conditions of life in these places make it difficult for a person to maintain a state of happiness. Our environment is being ravaged by our society, the price of oil is at its highest levels ever, the drug trade is as prevalent as it ever has been, crime, violence and threats against our liberties are growing concerns for everyone. To the point that people are actually turning to survivalists in order to prepare for even worse times ahead.
Obviously people in the Darfur region don’t think that life is so grand or that things are improving. Murder, rape, and genocide are continuing in the region and show no signs of stopping.

This world indeed is going downhill. It will take time for it to reach bottom before things can get better.



posted on Jun, 1 2008 @ 11:57 AM
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The Human Development Index

In his last post my opponent concedes that things have gotten better the last 5000 years but have gone downhill the last thirty years. This claim is easily disproven:





To quote from the Source:


According to Human Development Index, life expectancy, literacy, education, standard of living, and GDP per capita are slowly increasing worldwide, although faster in some countries than others. The world population is increasing with 2.2 percent per year, expecting to reach nearly 9 billion by the year 2050. There is also an ongoing technology development, sociocultural evolution as well as economic development.


That should be enough evidence for now.


______________________________________

My opponent also makes the following claim:




good news that is worthy of a newscast does not happen as often as the terrible things that we witness on the news.


Is that to say that good news is not worthy of a newscast? Or that there is no good news?

A quick glance at the following Good-News Resources easily refutes that:

www.goodnewsnetwork.org


www.goodnewsdaily.com


www.goodnewsbroadcast.com

My opponent is basically saying: Since the news says the world is a bad place, it must be a bad place. Classical brainwashing.

But is it generally a bad place or is that only the focus of the news who thrive on fear?

I think Ive shown that the scientific facts refute the 8 oclock news.

I´d like the judges to note that in his last post my opponent admits that also focussing on the positive aspects of the middle east would have a stabilizing effect on the region.


___________________________

On to my opponents socratic questions (only the answers listed here):

1. Yes, Im financially better off than 10 years ago. I make about 4 times as much without working more than I used to. This is partially due to my optimist outlook that will not be beaten down by the negativity-programming the media is rife with.

2. As I live in Europe since some years Ive always been paying much more for gas than in the U.S. It doesnt bother me personally.

3. By your definitions no nation can truly ever be at peace. Thats correct. But a) Peace is not the only indicator of "things getting better" and b) Ive already shown how permanent peace would mean conformity and is actually not that desirable and d) It IS possible for the MAJORITY of the world to be out of war between each other, and that IS currently the case.

4. Ive lived in a few countries that are seen as generally being at peace, and yes, it was nice.

5. I could imagine depression being on the rise in some areas due to the negative programming that is partially subject of this debate. But as shown in the graph on this page, in overall, things are indeed getting better and better.

Here´s a little experiment:

Go watch a newscast on any channel. Notice how they say the world is.

Then, step outside of your hosuedoor. Notice how the world really is in most parts. Any bombs going off near you?

You can do this experiment nearly EVERYHWHERE in the world.

Heck, Ive travelled in Israel, Palestine and even Sudan and have yet to witness a bomb going off anywhere.

Is that to say problems dont exist? Of course not. But from the usual program-ming you get the impression that suffering is everywhere, when its not.



posted on Jun, 2 2008 @ 09:37 AM
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My opponent’s positive outlook during this debate does cloud his perception of the reality of the situation. It has made him take my answers out of context and use them incorrectly to his advantage.

His question was;

2. Would you agree that the country you live in is experiencing a level of prosperity, wealth and abundance of choice like never before in the last 5000 years?


My answer was appropriate and was this.

Seeing as the country I live in has not existed for 5000 years the answer is obviously yes I do agree. However this has been declining within the last 30 years.


The United States has not existed for over 5000 years. Therefore logically I could do nothing but answer yes to his question, as this is because without reference before 1776 this country has only a short timeframe to go on, and therefore I could not answer any other way than to say that we have more choice and wealth and abundance. However if we are to take in account that this country is less than 300 years old, we can see that within the past 60 years this country is not doing as well as it has previously, and we can see that our freedoms and choices are limited now more so than before, especially considering the last 30 years of this countries existence.

To take my statement out of context and to use it to gain perspective advantage my opponent shows the weakness in his argument and shows that his side of this debate does not lend itself to the truth of the matter.

As I have shown previously many places on our planet are in a state of war. Our country is in the midst of a war. To point out a flaw in my opponent’s graphic we in this country cannot be at a state of peace when we are actively fighting two separate wars in the world.

1 in 4 young women have some sort of an STD,
The global HIV/AIDS Pandemic has risen to it’s highest level ever according to the World Health Organization.


Obviously people infected with this disease cannot say the world for them is getting better. And this also disproves my opponent’s opening statement that the world overall is getting more and more healthy. Obviously increases in the world pandemic of HIV/AIDS contradict my opponent’s claim.

Homelessness in the United States is in fact on the rise, due to people defaulting on mortgages and losing their homes. 3.5 million People will experience homelessness in a given year. (Exact numbers on the amount of homeless in the United States is impossible to calculate due to the nomadic nature of being homeless) Children under the age of 18 account for 39% of the homeless population. 42% of these are under the age of 5. Obviously these people aren’t seeing the world getting better.

Gang Violence has remained virtually unchanged within the last reporting cycle according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Also in 2005 the United States alone I can tell you that 32,637 people cannot agree with my opponent’s optimistic views on this world getting better. These 32,637 no longer live, having taken their own life. According to the data provided in my link in the past 10 years the number of suicides has only slightly decreased. While the numbers of deaths due to suicide has in fact increased in the 45 – 64 year old age groups in the same 10 year data cycle.

Violent crime is up 1.3% according to the latest F.B.I. Data.

The stats, which we collected from more than 11,700 law enforcement agencies nationwide, show a rise in violent crime for the second straight year. The increase, however, is less than the 2.3 percent figure reported for 2005 and the 3.7 percent increase reflected in the preliminary six-month report for 2006 released in December.
This is from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and not through a media outlet.

The horrors of Darfur also, while no longer having the media attention it briefly held are still going on. There are 300,000 people that I can safely say that do not share my opponent’s optimistic view of the world getting better. These people men women and children are no longer breathing thanks to this world becoming a better place to live in.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobless rate has actually climbed from this time last year. These people obviously do not share my opponent’s optimistic views on this world becoming a better place.

I just want to show you the list of names of the brave men and women since 03/21/03 do not share my opponent’s view that this world has gotten better. These men and women have died serving their country in the Iraq war. By some estimates the number of Iraqi’s that have died due to the war has reached over 1,000,000 people. 1 million people that do not share my opponent’s optimistic view on this world getting better.

Half of the world according to the United Nations lives on less than two dollars a day, refuting my opponent’s optimistic claim that people are wealthier.

We cannot say that this world is getting better when the people on the planet that can undeniably refute this claim are not alive in order to have a say in the matter.




[edit on 2-6-2008 by chissler]



posted on Jun, 2 2008 @ 12:16 PM
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Onwards and Upwards to a Better Planet!

It is my philosophy and also personal experience that a positive outlook or positive emphasis/bias strengthens ones abilities to make good contributions and therefore is something needed if we want to make the world a better place.

Before this debate I thought I might be wearing rose-coloured glasses. But the research for this forced me to find some hard scientific data and get my facts straight about the world. And so I discovered that its not a positive bias I have but one quite realistic and congruent with what is actually happening.

I think that with the two combined sources "Satisfaction of Life Index" and "Human Development Index" I have already proven what everyone actually already senses to some extent: Life on earth is generally and in an overall sense getting better.

I admit it is getting better very slowly and there are plenty of problems we face (thanks to my opponent for pointing them out), but the overall progression in quality of life, standard of living and general happiness has been proven and the debate-point "The world is getting better and better" already conclusively shown.

What my opponent is now doing, instead of adressing the data presented, instead of refuting the graphs shown, he is picking the foulest of cherries from the overall sum of trees...just like the 8 oclock news taught him to do it.

His case can only stand by being very, very picky. Examples:

My opponent says:



The global HIV/AIDS Pandemic has risen to it’s highest level ever according to the World Health Organization.


So lets just ignore all the aspects of life quality that have gone up and lets ignore that most illnesses we fought with in the 18th Century have dissappeared and lets just ignore that cancer rates are declining
and pick this foulest of cherries as "evidence that the end is nigh".


HIV is mostly an issue in those countries shown by the "Life Satisfaction Index" not to be up to speed YET. But as evidenced, they are on their way there as health-education increases is dissemated to more and more parts of the world.

My opponent also writes:



As I have shown previously many places on our planet are in a state of war.


And I have shown that many are not. In fact, we´ve already established that most are not.



Our country is in the midst of a war. To point out a flaw in my opponent’s graphic we in this country cannot be at a state of peace when we are actively fighting two separate wars in the world.


My graphs referred to "Life Satisfaction" and "World Development", not only to peace, for reasons already stated.

My opponent then continues to cite statistics on the Homeless. Two errors in this:

1. He fails to prove that they are on the rise. Citing stats how they currently are does not equal stats over a timeline. Since the debate topic is "getting better and better" rebuttals have to be shown on a time-scale or time-graph.

2. He refers to things as they are in the United States, as if the U.S. were the only country in the world. Again...thats the foul-cherry-picking necessary to convince someone of doom and gloom.

Half of my opponents post is spent with the 5000 year vs. 30 years question. I do admit that I may have misunderstood his question. But since my opponent has still not proven a decline of life quality and standard of living either in a 5000 year span or in a 30 year span, I fail to see his point in emphasizing it

In a self-defeating manner my opponent then presents this piece of FBI-data:




The stats, which we collected from more than 11,700 law enforcement agencies nationwide, show a rise in violent crime for the second straight year. The increase, however, is less than the 2.3 percent figure reported for 2005 and the 3.7 percent increase reflected in the preliminary six-month report for 2006 released in December.


Foul-cherry-picking a 2-year span, ignoring the 3-year-span or even the 10-year span. Oh and by the way...what is the percentage of people who dont commit crime?


My opponent continues:




The horrors of Darfur also, while no longer having the media attention it briefly held are still going on. There are 300,000 people that I can safely say that do not share my opponent’s optimistic view of the world getting better. These people men women and children are no longer breathing thanks to this world becoming a better place to live in.


Yes. In the Life Satisfaction Index above, Ive already shown which parts of the globe are "wounded" or troublesome and which are not. Darfur is one of the troubled spots. This changes nothing in the overall data presented.

And my opponent further:




Half of the world according to the United Nations lives on less than two dollars a day, refuting my opponent’s optimistic claim that people are wealthier.



Again, the debate topic of "getting better and better" implies a gradual improvement comparing the past to the present and future estimates. If my opponent would like to counter my facts, time-comparisons are needed.


_______________________________


I understand that my opponent takes on the "the end is nigh" attitude for the purpose of this debate. But outside of it, the widespread fear in contradiction of the facts does pose a serious problem and works to the deteriment and general dumbing-down-into-apathy of many people.

Where might this general fear and rampant distrust in the face of an overall good situation come from?

Some clues:

1. Media-Brainwashing and Problem-Reaction-Solution

Cant sell any products without someone creating a problem first, right?

2. The Mean World Syndrome

With all due respect to the very serious problems we face as a humanity, those who continually distort everything to mean something bad on a regular basis might be suffering "The Mean World Syndrome"

3. We´re just not there yet.

But at least we´re slowly getting better and better.

So upwards and onwards...

dont give in to fear and apathy. Fight the forces of oppression, suppression and depression by lending hope, a helping hand and the strength only found in an overall positive attitude.

________________________________

Socratic Questions:

(1-4 are on the biggest events of the last century)

1. Is it a good thing that the Nazi´s were defeated in WW2?

2. Is it a good thing that the iron curtain between east and west fell?

3. Is it safe to say that the industrial revolution meant progress for us?

4. Is it safe to say that the Internet was a revolution in the way we communicate globally?

5. Do you realize people have been saying "the end is near" since the beginning of civilization?



posted on Jun, 2 2008 @ 11:17 PM
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That was a great post my friend I applaud you, however I believe I have found the flaw in your logic. Remember this debate is of course about "The world is getting better and better." Thus far we have only focused on the human element of this debate. But as my opponent has pointed out the world is not solely contained within the borders of the United States.

The answers to your Socratic questions: (is this a lesson in perspective?)

1. No. It’s not a good thing if you were a Nazi, they lost the war! Their world got far worse!

2. No. It wasn’t a good thing for the communist party of the former Soviet Union they lost the cold war! Thus not happy times for the old Soviet Union communist party followers.

3. No. The industrial revolution caused the rise in global pollution that is a main contributor in climate
change. (ill elaborate on the environment latter. thanks for reminding me
)


4. Yes on the communication. The internet is to blame for the rise in Teen Pregnancy, Child pornography, regular pornography so graphic and depraved accessible by 5 year olds with enough sense in their head to click a button. Identity theft, SPAM, and the inevitable isolation of millions of people, who instead of going out to communicate with others, instead sit at home in front of a computer screen and rarely if ever associate with other human beings. Interpersonal relationships between humans are spread out with the pretence of gathering humans together to collaborate in a way never experienced before by man and thus we also invent by the advent of this new communications tool the D Ego. The hiding of these individuals through elaborate screen names and even the development of entire “online” personalities that borderline multiple personality disorder.

5. “The end is nigh” phrase oft spoken by naysayers will happen eventually. Entropy will eventually destroy all life on this planet as well as all substance in the entire universe including black holes. So the nays Sayers are correct, just off on the timeline. The Universe began and so someday it will end.

__________________________________
Rose tint my world, and keep me safe from the trouble and pain

My opponent wants to tell you that everything in the world is going to be fine. That it’s getting better every day, that the problems of the world that are reported by news agencies health organizations and credible other sources are all overblown and don’t overall contribute to what he concludes is a shining happy world. Unfortunately bad things happen, and all the well wishing and happy thoughts don’t dispel the truth that we face every day whenever we turn on the news or read a newspaper or look up online.


My opponent also would like to paint me as a nay-saying-doom-and-gloom-end-of-the-world kind of individual. However what are missing is the facts from his argument to support this theory. The fact of the matter remains that I am not these things; however what I do say is that things will most certainly get worse before they get better. As a single person that is in the grip of a substance abuse problem, the world as well, will spiral out of control until such point in time that it hits its bottom and begins the arduous and difficult climb back up to a better world.


My opponent indeed does look through the world with rose colored glasses on, what he sees as improvement in the world in fact is just a small part of a more depressing whole. I have so far through this debate shown time analysis indicators that have shown a decline in our overall state. Unfortunately my credible agency sources are doubted, reliable news agencies are refuted and facts are drawn where there are no facts to be found. Unfortunately, my opponent chooses to hide his head in the sand, instead of looking around to the state that the world is actually in and to where it is heading.
 


Foul Cherry Picking

My opponent attacks my showing of verifiable data to prove my point as it’s “foul cherry picking”. Or that my position is so weak that it cannot stand without harping on non issues.

It would appear that my opponent sees the global pandemic of HIV/AIDS as a minor skin rash...

HIV is mostly an issue in those countries shown by the "Life Satisfaction Index" not to be up to speed YET. But as evidenced, they are on their way there as health-education increases is dissemated to more and more parts of the world.


Such a cavalier view on a global crisis certainly shows the apathy of my opponent and the problem with the world as a whole. It is exactly this kind of attitude that adds to the problems in the world and does nothing to solve them.

He also largely ignored the article that he himself linked for cancer rates that states…


Though breast cancer death rates are down, the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer shows that rates of new cases are still rising in women over age 50. Cancer rates also are rising in less common types, including adult leukemia, melanoma and liver.

Source: USA Today

While this article does show some positive signs in the fight against cancer it also goes on to say…


But Haluska cautioned that little or no progress has been made in treating the advanced, or metastatic, stages of the four most common cancers.


Little or no progress has been made, little or no progress indeed, and my opponent cited this article as a reason that the world is getting better. Sorry my friend however this does not spell good tidings for the world to me. In fact reading through the article it shows that only a limited number of types of cancer actually made any progress at all.

The World is a Vampire
I may be a media brainwashed uber downer. However from what I have seen the problems of the world are getting worse, much worse. Please allow me to elaborate…

Let us look at the problems affecting the environment. Certainly my opponent can concede that our problems are compounding daily. Chlorine and bromine cause depletion of the ozone layer around the southern pole. As my opponent has pointed out this debate is about the entire world and not just the United States. So certainly the ozone hole over Antarctica qualifies as a global event.



Figure 3-2: Schematic comparing several factors that influence Earth's climate on the basis of their contribution to radiative forcing between 1750 and 2000. Two principal categories of radiative forcing factors are the greenhouse gases and the combination of aerosols and clouds. The rectangular bars represent a best estimate of the contributions of these forcings, some of which yield warming and some cooling, while the vertical line about the rectangular bars indicates the range of estimates. A vertical line without a rectangular bar denotes a forcing for which no best estimate can be given owing to large uncertainties. Scientific understanding of aerosol effects is very low, as shown on the horizontal axis. Source: [/url=http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/stratplan2003/final/annexb.htm#IPCC,%202001d]IPCC (2001d)[/url]. For more information, see [/url=http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/stratplan2003/final/annexc-figure3-2.htm]Annex C[/url].


As you can see with the above link and reference source that the state of the global environment is not getting better. My opponent should also concede that environmental impact is a global concern and does not paint such a rosey picture for the state that the world is heading.

Let us not forget. Overpopulation How many humans can we squeeze onto this rock? It’s apparent in nature as shown by disease factors that when a species becomes overpopulated, starvation and disease becomes rampant within the herd. Obviously the same goes for the human animal. Even if we could control the spread of current diseases new diseases pop up periodically. These strains of disease are becoming more and more deadly targeting specific behavior patterns within the species. As I quoted before, 1 in 4 teenage girls has some form of an std as shown by the centers for disease control. All the while former diseases become resistant to treatment and mutate in order to survive.

Mathimaticly it breaks down like this, there is a grand total of 57 million square miles of land on the earth. (not all of which is habitable by the way) We have a population of 6,513,036 using the more positive low estimate. So therefore we must divide the population among the total land mass available. And we of course get the number 8.7516 per square mile. Getting tight in here if you ask me. That is equal to two complete families consisting of a father a son a mother and a daughter. In one square mile. Now add in what needs to be consumed by each of those people each day, Also account for the amount of livestock and agriculture is also needed to produce enough food stuffs for those two complete families, living on that one square mile parcel of land. Is the overpopulation problem on this planet sinking in? did I also mention that also all the birds, bees, flowers, trees, animals and insects also have to share that same one square mile of land with those two families?

To sum up this post along with my next post "The world is not getting better and better".



posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 07:53 AM
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Dear Readers, Dear Opponent, Dear Judges,

the universe is expanding. Our galaxy is expanding. The sun is shining brighter than it used to. Life expectancy, literacy, education, life quality, economy, standard of living and socioculture are increasing. Technology development is accelerating.

And yet, nobody wants to hear it:



Clear-Eyed Optimists
The world is getting better, though no one likes to hear it.

...And I will never forget that era's "educational" films of what life would be like in the year 2000. Played on clanky 16-millimeter projectors, they showed images of people walking down the streets of Manhattan with masks on, so they could avoid breathing the poison gases our industrial society was spewing.

...So imagine how shocked I was to learn, officially, that we're not doomed after all. A new United Nations report called "State of the Future" concludes: "People around the world are becoming healthier, wealthier, better educated, more peaceful, more connected, and they are living longer."




...and meanwhile my opponent laments that for Nazis and Communists the world has gotten worse. This final attempt to restructure the chessboard of this debate by re-defining what “better” and “good” mean is somewhat distasteful as most people define “better” to mean an increase in happiness, education, health, life-expectancy and life-nurturing systems.
So even when the U.N.s “state of the future” paper agrees that despite environmental and health issues the overall state of the world is getting better, the naysayers present to us the worst-case scenarious as evidence of the breakdown of civilization, such as the problems in the middle-east.

And yet:




Iraqis: life is getting better

MOST Iraqis believe life is better for them now than it was under Saddam Hussein, according to a British opinion poll published today.
The survey of more than 5,000 Iraqis found the majority optimistic despite their suffering in sectarian violence since the American-led invasion four years ago this week.


Oooooops


Before the reader gets angry, let me clearly state that I dont entirely agree with this timesonline article. I use it to point out that even in the worst cases there is a ray of hope.

Not that you will hear much about that, its being suppressed, because “The world is getting better, though no one likes to hear it”. Why? Maybe this is why:





Psychologist explains why your life is likely to be "worse"
NEW YORK—If you're dissatisfied, don't worry. No matter how good life is, a University of Michigan psychologist says, the way the mind works may rob you of a sense of satisfaction.
According to Prof. Norbert Schwarz, a research scientist at the U-M Institute for Social Research, how good we feel about our lives bears little relation to how good our lives are by objective standards. Instead, we often decide whether things have changed and in what direction by comparing the present to the past—a strategy that encourages pessimism.




This might be the reason my opponent thinks “child pornography” when I say Internet, and I think “global communication”. Of course there is no doubt that child pornography is a problem, but we have to compare the number of internet users who use it for crime to the number who use it normally. My opponents usual tactic is totake the 1% that is foul and use it as evidence for the state of the world. Are the judges seeing the pattern here?

My opponent goes on to say that entropy will destroy all life. But entropy only describes the dispersal of excess energy and has no relation to this debate. Im reminded of religious end-timers who predict all life will be destroyed by god and therefore it doesnt matter what we do, war is OK, and the righteous will be raptured. The modern slant on this are the ones who claim that “mother earth” will destroy humanity, who are “canerous vampires exploiting the resources of the planet” through natural disasters or “overpopulation” will be solved by wars. My opponent didnt specifically say thats how overpopulation should be solved, but many extremists take these lines of thinking to those extremes and create a cycle of forecasting suffering and then acting to perpetuate suffering. Fortunately this type of psychotic crap is lessening as our planet continues to head towards an age of social, politcal and economic enlightenment.

My opponent also points out that in other areas of cancer research, little or no progress has been made. So what about those areas in which cancer has declined? And what about the little progress that has been made? Meaningless to my opponent, I guess.

In continually pointing out environmental issues my opponent underestimates natures ability to heal itself, the vast scapes of land that are still thriving and the worlds concerted effort to follow protocols of environmental protection, which have produced a massive positive change in our environmental awareness over the last decades.

Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, Western Europe, North America, large parts of Asia are doing just fine. Eastern Europe is struggling after the fall of communism, but rapidly improving. South America is slowly getting better. The voice of moderation and reason is gaining momentum in arabian and persian regions and forecast a brighter future. Israel/Palestine is a problem we need to focus on responsibly and with goodwill. Africa...now that´s a real problem. But guess who has been helping with the situation. The wailing end-timer? No. The people who are determined to make things better are the ones who have been promoting the building of schools, access to education, water and basic foods.

If the reader wishes to learn more about what has been proven statistical and scientific fact, I recommend travel. Travelling will give you a radically different worldview than the one gained from watching the news or learning only through the internet. It will facilitate understanding, compassion, tolerance and the optimism required to make a real change.

My opponent did a good job in arguing his “side” but it is somewhat difficult in the face of the facts. But he neednt worry: Millions of naysayers are on his side willing to deny reality in favor of fear.

I am very pleased with this debate on a personal level. It has showed me where they real problems lie (thanks to my opponent) and it has also showed me that in the grand scheme of things, life is indeed getting better. This was verified by three separate sources:

1.The U.N. “State of the Future” Paper
2.The Human Development Index
3.The Life Satisfaction Index

So no matter how this debate is judged, I am satisfied with the results.



posted on Jun, 3 2008 @ 09:41 PM
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The World is not getting better and better

In this debate I hope to have proven several points, the first and foremost matter is of course that the state that humanity is in, does not paint a rosy picture, and the forecast does show that the state of humanity is in a decline and has been for quite a while.

Second I also would hope that I have proven that the state of the environment is in a desperate state of affairs. The problems with pollution and overpopulation are taking a toll on this world. We continue to pillage the rainforest on a daily basis, thereby removing this planet’s primary oxygen producing and pollution reducing feature. Once the rainforests are gone people our air quality will diminish and worsen over time to the point that the atmosphere can no longer support any kind of life.

As I have mathematically shown the present population means that there are 8 people per square mile on this planet. The figures I used does not talk about arable land, or land that is used for cultivation. That cultivation is the way we get food and raise livestock. This figure is actually a overestimation because not all the land available on earth is suitable for human habitation. Some areas are desert while other areas are arctic. And the population of humans on this planet grows by leaps and bounds every day. So we can see that the problem of overpopulation is indeed a growing concern and it not only affects us as humans in our lives getting worse and worse, it affects the world as a whole and makes the world get worse and worse.

I have also proven that the state of the internet, the great communication tool is also leads to the state of the world becoming worse and worse instead of better and better. Children being solicited online by sexual predators, or a person’s identity being stolen from them online, or SPAM, or other contributing factors that make the internet just another dangerous place for our children and us to visit, how can my opponent go and say what a great communications tool it is? While I can admit that yes the internet is a great communications tool, it also has its problems and those problems affect our world, and those problems are not getting better and better.


My opponent also counters his own strategy in this debate by this article. He downs my point of view because apparently I don’t have enough long term statistics however from this article he now suggests that looking at long term statistics is in itself pessimistic and shows how the world is getting worse. I mean do we have a case of flip flopping on an issue here or what?

My opponent wants to tell you how great the world is and how things are getting better. However he declines to realize the state of the world as a whole and the issues that aren’t getting better, but would rather pass them off as a small percentage of an ever better whole. However these small percentages are numerous and altogether don’t paint a rosy picture for the world as a whole. Small numbers as my opponent forgets are like drops in a barrel, they may not look like much to begin with but add them up over time and the weight of the matter becomes clear.

I have shown that the health of humanity is also getting worse and worse. With 1 in 4 teenage girls having contracted an STD, HIV/AIDS is a pandemic that is continuing to rise despite research and education into the subject. These problems are getting worse and worse.

I will leave you on one final thought
In this debate the only positive thing that we have come to a consensus on is the fact that my opponent has a bright outlook on life. As self diluted as that outlook is, it does go to prove that even when things look grim and the world is going to hell in a handcart, there will be those that will sing songs on the ride down.



posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 11:21 AM
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Off to the judges.

Stay tuned.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 12:20 PM
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Thoughts from our judges....



This was a very interesting topic because of it's ambiguity. What is "better"? Ultimately, this debate was about showing some sort of trend that would indicate things getting better or worse on a global level. Skyfloating's argument attacked this notion from the onset and did a very nice job of sustaining that argument throughout in a very organized fashion. Whatukno eventually brought his argument into line with showing a trend, but spent too much time in his first several posts "nit picking" various bad things happening around the world without showing a real trend or connection to things getting worse.

Overall, it was a really terrific debate. Hates off to both debaters for a good show. In the end though, I give it to Skyfloating.


Skyfloating is the winner of this debate.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 12:30 PM
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Cool.

Thanks for a pleasant debate whatukno.


I wasnt sure about the topic but learned it through this debate, from both sides.

And thats the awesome value of the debate forum: Learning.



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 10:02 PM
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Excelent Win! Good job Skyfloating. I had a lot of fun with this one. But a well earned win I hope to say.


I certanly learned quite a bit through this one myself.






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