First and foremost, I would like to thank PavlovianModel146 because without his diligent and exhaustive efforts this entire Debate would have been impossible.
I would also like to thank the judges, Phaedrus and KrisWest, as well as my teammates at ILO and our opposition at ILP for a well-fought first Debate.
I seek to fill Gamer's shoes as the fourth member of Team ILO and I can only hope to perform to half of the level that could otherwise be expected from the legendary Gamer. I would like to wish Gamer a speedy recovery and dedicate this post to him.
Judges, Teammates, Opposition, and Spectators Alike:
First a summary of what has happened:
Kawaki: The basis of Kawaki's post is essentially giving us examples of the great amount of harm that can be cause as a result of informing the public of the impending demise of the Earth as well as humanity. Kawaki provided examples of same. Kawaki states that ignorance is bliss, and does a superb job of going into our responsibility to all of humanity to leave them in the dark and let them live in bliss for another week.
I intend to both reiterate and expand upon Kawaki's premise.
Carleas: Carleas followed Kawaki's post with an excellent introduction/counter where he makes it apparent that long-term negative results of informing the public are not relevant because there is no long-term. In addition, Carleas points out the fundamental duty of the government, legally, which is to inform the public.
I intend to make Carleas abreast of some negative short-term effects which make not informing the public the superior course of action.
W.C.: My teammate, W.C., points out that it is not appropriate to throw ethics completely out the window simply because we know the end is coming. W.C. also believes that people, by and large, will live happier lives not knowing of their imminent demise.
I intend to touch on a few of W.C.'s points, although, my post is designed to expand more upon Kawaki's premise as W.C.'s post is largely a counter to the majority of Carleas' points. A counter that I feel was already successfully made.
Smears: Smears' post is very well-founded and stresses two major issues. The first of which is that it will give people that are Christians the ability to go out in prayer, maybe repent their sins. The second point that Smears makes is that it will give the people of the world the opportunity to either finish business or party it up.
I intend to argue directly against Smears' post while furthering what Kawaki has said.
As Kawaki said, ignorance is bliss.
I would like to point out that denial is also bliss.
It has occurred to me throughout the course of this Debate that nobody has pointed out the most obvious aspect of this scenario.
Nothing has changed.
The one thing that we have now is a timeframe, we know that humanity as well as the Earth will only exist for seven more days. Consequently, every individual human that inhabits the Earth will exist (at most) for seven more days. In short, we are aware that we are each going to die, but that changes nothing. Even if the Earth were not going to be destroyed within the next week, every individual human on this planet is going to die anyway.
My opponent's have seemed to post under the impression that the majority of the individual's inhabiting this Earth were not already aware they are going to die.
Smears points out that this seven-day forewarning would give individuals the opportunity to get right with God, in fact, it may give some the opportunity to convert to Christianity and get saved. I presume the reason for salvation is so that after all of these people die they can live peacefully in Heaven, though Smears did not explicitly state this.
The cheap and dirty argument here is to simply point out that not Smears, nor any other team member of ILP can prove God's existence and if God does not exist, this last moment of prayer or epiphany would accomplish exactly nothing.
However, in a Debate such as this, it is better to take the high road and view your opponent's argument in the most favorable light, so let us argue from the standpoint that the Christian God and Jesus exist as generally accepted.
If that is true, then Smears does have a point that it will give all individuals that are currently Christians the opportunity to have a last moment of prayer before the end of the world. However, since we must accept God as all-knowing, then God will be aware if all of the Christians are repenting of their sins ONLY because they know that they are about to die and will take action accordingly. Additionally, if people decide to turn in their Pascal's Wager card at the last minute and have a timely, "Epiphany," I would suggest that God might not look upon that favorably either.
Smears goes on to give us some excellent scenarios of all of the good that can be done if people are given the knowledge that we have only one week to survive. Smears speaks of the poor getting on cruise ships so that they can eat themselves sick for a solid week. I am very interested in figuring out when there is only a week left to live, who is going to volunteer to go down into the engine room of a cruise ship and shovel that coal into the burner to keep the ship going. I am equally interested in who is going to volunteer to take time away from family and friends to navigate the ship, to captain the ship, to clean up messes and cook this food so people can live in luxury.
Smears speaks of all of humanity acting in the most rational way so all of the poor of the Earth can be fed and die with big fat happy bellies, if only people will, "Act rationally," and pull together for that one week.
That won't happen.
First of all, if humanity acted as rationally as possible in every single circumstance, there would be nobody going hungry right now as we have enough wealth and goods that we could feed every single person on Earth. There is some Debate as to whether or not enough food exists at any given point in time to even feed all of the Earth at any given time, but using the United States as an example, surely we have enough resources to feed all of our own, but we do not feed all of our own countrymen.
Consider this, the United States is the leading exporter of soybeans, maize (corn), wheat and prepared food. In 2004, we exported 21,287,338,000 dollars worth of just the aforementioned goods, yet our own people in this country go hungry.(1)
In some of our own households, while there are homeless and destitute living nearby, some of us throw away what is left on our plates if we are done eating and no longer hungry. Restaurants throw away unfinished dishes while a homeless war veteran lay doubled-over in pain on a frost-covered street from hunger pains.
That's the human idea of behaving rationally.
Besides, how will this food be distributed to the poor? I imagine that most people if they know the world is going to end in a week are not going to go to the grocery store and stock shelves. I strongly doubt that the guys at the distribution centers are going to go into work so that the trucks can deliver this food all over various countries. I doubt that all of the high school kids working at McDonald's (a job many probably hate) are going to go into work and flip burgers for people, especially knowing that they are about to die and will be unable to use their checks for anything anyway.
Certainly, a few people will try to help others, but by and large, all distribution of goods will simply cease. As a result, more people will starve than there would have been if the masses were not aware of their impending death.
Smears mentions all of the world's drugs that would have to be done, but again, there is the matter of distribution. People that know they are going to die are simply not going to take the precious few moments of their lives that they have left and take drugs to everyone for a profit (assuming it is a sale) that they can't really use for anything anyway because nobody is working anywhere! Naturally the people that already have drugs will be able to use what they have, but even many of these people will run out of drugs (and since nobody is distributing drugs because they deem there to be no point) as a result, you have less people doing less drugs than what there otherwise would have been!
In short, all of these grand illusions of harmoniousness and continuity among all people of the Earth is nothing more than a dream and a perfect-world scenario. If it really was a feasible way to live, and if we (as humans) were really capable of completely pulling together and watching out for one another, then it would already be so.
According to Carleas:
"...Mass hysteria is only a bad thing because it slows productivity, it destroys infrastructure, it costs lives. In the circumstances as presented, these aren't considerations."
Carleas points out that any long-term consequences that would be derived from notifying the public do not warrant consideration because there is really no such thing as the long-term anymore, and I will concede that point to Carleas to an extent. Obviously, if everyone walking out on their jobs causes undue suffering in the way of stravation due to lack of food distribution (as indicated above) I would certainly consider that a consequence. One must also keep in mind that very few people will remain working for the utilities so there will be nobody to keep the heat/electricity/gas/water/air-conditioning/internet/cable or phone systems operational.
I do not want to dwell on this fact too much, but I would like to point out that without the Internet or phones people will not have the opportunity to say good-bye to loved ones that may be far away, which is the same as if the public were not notified at all. In addition, without the comforts mentioned above, despite the fact that people will live like it is the end, the comfort of living is dramatically decreased while suffering is increased and people that otherwise would not suffer do.
Carleas states above that mass hysteria cost lives is not a consideration and that is greatly disappointing to me. The loss of someone's life is not a long-term consequence of the mass hysteria that will take place, it is a short-term consequence. What three year-old little girl or little boy should see their father or mother be killed and possibly raped by people who have decided to throw civility out the window because it is the end. What father or mother deserve to lose their child to blood-thirsty murderers, or to see their children raped?
The fact of the matter remains that people will die that week that otherwise would have lived. People will go crazy when they realize that there is no more hope for humanity and many will be murdered, tortured and raped. There will be no more people working to guard the prisons and the inmates will inevitably escape and plague the streets with violence and hatred simply because they can.
Carleas states that the cost of lives is not a consideration, and I must disagree. Every moment, every second, Mr. Carleas, that the father or mother or daughter or brother or sister or son would have had with family that was lost because of the inevitable mass hysteria warrants consideration, and I think that everyone should know that.
On the other hand, there is one long-term consequence that does not warrant consideration and that is the government of the United States of America failing to inform its citizens of the impending tragedy. What difference does it make if the U.S. government fails to inform the citizens?
1.) Informing the public does not change the fact that everybody dies.
2.) If the public were to (for some reason) find out and revolt against the government it would make no difference because if the government were to tell the people, the collapse of societal structure is inevitable anyway. That, and everyone still dies when time expires.
3.) The Declaration of Independence guarantees us certain unalienable rights and among those rights are, "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," it is the opinion of Team ILO that the most important duty of the Government is to protect these rights and to protect its citizens. I would think that looking out for the ultimate welfare and livlihood (what short livlihood is left) of the citizens, a concept that represents the very foundation of this country would easily take precedence over the relatively new Freedom of Information Act.
Ignorance is bliss.
The one constant that has kept humanity ever moving forward and all of the individuals of both this country and this planet progressing and co-existing to whatever possible extent we can is hope. Hope for our futures, hope for our children, hope for our friends and our families, hope that we can better ourselves.
Hope that we will live to see the next day, the next week, the next year.
If you tell all of the people of this planet that we will become extinct in exactly one week, the hope for the future is ripped from each and every human being walking this planet.
When you kill that hope, you have killed all of humanity exactly one week before its time.
Is living it up, doing the drugs, having sex with the women, and in general, partying hard until the last minute of the Earth's existence the more romantic option?
But then, romance has ever been cowled in blood.
(1) http://www.fao.org/es/ess/toptrade/trad ... ryear=2004ILP,
Good luck in both the remainder of this and the rest Debate. Please respond at your earliest convenience. As it relates to time, I suggest we opearte from here on out by gentlemen's agreement to post as soon as we reasonably can.