Compulsory euthanasia for over-60s (debate)

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Who should win?

Team 1- TF & Dr Giggles
9
47%
Team 2- Blu & Current
10
53%
 
Total votes: 19

Umbrielle
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Re: Compulsory euthanasia for over-60s (debate)

Post by Umbrielle » Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:44 am

NOTE: Well, I volunteered to step in for Dr Giggles, but by the time I did, TF had already written up most of the rebuttal against Current and I contributed relatively little. I hope this is okay. Please enjoy anyway!

@Current: I noticed that TF linked to your argument. Could you maybe link to this one too? I'll link to Blu's when he posts it up so everyone can read the debate without having to look for the next part.
My opponent argues that those over 60 are an economic drain, and incapable of feeling pleasure.
Less capable, rather than incapable. Thus, the pleasure generated by particular activities or items is maximised by giving them to the young rather than the old. Oldies may be capable of having fun, but not so capable as youngsters in the same circumstances.
What, in the history of humanity, has been the general trend of old age? Well, what is considered "old age" has consistently moved back, time and time again. At the time of the Greeks and Romans, most people died before thirty. Nowadays, the world average is what? 67. And that's the world average. If you are lucky enough to live in the United States and not, say, sub-Saharan Africa, your life expectancy rises quite a bit more, to closer to eighty. In some countries, almost ninety. And that's still the average life expectancy, which means that you'll likely live longer than that if you avoid making stupid mistakes.
Actually, life expectancy stayed about the same for the first 990000 years of human evolution. And even now, we can't realistically presume that further technologies will be developed to extend life. But nevertheless, an extension of survival wouldn't necessarily solve a dampening of endorphin receptors. The failure of old people to experience pleasure wouldn't go away. And the introduction of new technologies/medicines would be accompanied by further taxes and costs on working youths.

For instance, MRI machines which are often used to detect tumours in the elderly cost about US$2 million and they require a CONSTANT supply of liquid nitrogen and/or hydrogen. That shi- poo is expensive and it only gets worse. Health care costs per capita increases by an annual average of 4.6%, reaching its peak after the age of eighty. In other words, we've only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to health care costs for the elderly. Remember, the money's gotta come from somewhere.

That's right, you'll be paying for daddy's health care.
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What's that? You don't want the burden of keeping him alive and miserable?

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Sucks to be you.

And so, such an extension of life has just as much potential to limit the quality of life of the community as a whole. Under utilitarianism, even with a little value attributed to life itself (still secondary to pleasure), we are obligated to prevent this. Nature may long have achieved this necessary culling through predators and such but now we have an obligation to step in and do it ourselves for the good of all.
Right now, my opponent is asking you to give up one-third of your life, for a jet-ski.
We aren't presuming that a jetski is the surest means of generating pleasure. Feel free to choose something else. In general, though, jetskis are 'hells fun'. Also, it's not a simple matter of sacrificing life for jetskis. It's sacrificing the dreariest stages of life for more wealth, leisure and joy in the time of life when you're physiologically more capable of enjoying it. Even just with finances, it has been found that spending on leisure drops significantly as age increases. That means that grandpa's savings aren't going into making himself comfortable. They're just sitting there, waiting for him to die. If you hurry that process up, you could have the new Xbox about 30 years earlier. Could you honestly live with yourself if you let yourself live without Halo 4 until you were 40 something? (It's expected to have a lot of cool explosions and stuff, you'll love it)
Do you care to take a guess how medical technology will advance before you hit that age? Follow the trends. Science feeds on itself. Medical advances come faster and faster every year. Your life expectancy will be greatly extended in the next decade alone, at the rate this is going. By the time you're sixty, which for the average user of this forum is forty years from now, can you imagine how long people will live? Can you imagine the discoveries we might make, on reversing aging, on making life more and more enjoyable no matter how old you are? Let me tell you, I am not betting on the side that says science stopped growing and the future will be just like the present, only later. I'm betting on the side that looks at the trends of humanity, and knows that today's sixty might be tomorrow's thirty.
With the reception of endorphins, no changes are in sight. See above regarding medical technologies. (Technologies=tax)
But that's only one mistake my opponent makes. Utilitarianism, he argues, is a most valid moral system, and I happen to agree. But the true core of utilitarianism, the only way to use it correctly, requires one to assign the proper utility to everything. So, what is the utility of life?...This, I fear, is the rookie mistake of all rookie mistakes for utilitarians
Utilitarianism, as described by Bentham and Mill in the original publications, bases merit on utility which is itself principally pleasure. Life stands only as a potential for further pleasure. Basically, a choice between a happy death and a bit of extra time in suffering isn't a choice at all. Even if we add a utility value to life, pleasure remains the principle focus. How can we say that the life of one is more important than the pleasure of another? Life does indeed have a value but that value is not so great that the miserable lives of old people would outweigh the taxation woes of an afflicted younger generation. No mistake has been made by my colleague. For your misguided attempt to undermine us, krisnera zhazh tan vred.

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Would you believe that the utility of life can be reduced to simple neurochemicals, to dopamine and endorphins? That if you lack those, your life is no longer worth living?
Yes, do go ahead and try to live without them. Tell us how valuable that life is. Accepting modern neurochemistry, it would suck- hard.
Or is it you, plugged to a machine feeding you drugs and giving you mindless pleasure? Do you enjoy a game more, when you earn your victory, or when you enter a cheat code and the screen flashes "You Win"?
You seem to miss the point- jetskis. Free jetskis for all of us. Jetski --> fun --> utility --> moral obligation to make it happen. The established value of fun cannot be overriden by some transient notion of the inherent worth of life, no matter how miserable it may be.
Human life has huge utility, even without dopamine. Human life is far, far more precious than simply saving money and buying jet-skis. My opponent tries to hide that, to say it is worth little after a while, that you can easily outweigh it.
Yet it is not quantifiable, whereas the reception of dopamine is. Give me an established figure- other than 'huge'- and we might consider it. Please overlook the crudity of the metaphor (insofar as the physics), but solid figures cannot be outweighed by gas (or wispy ideas).
It is rare to find something worth more than life, whatever the age.
And yet we are willing to risk our lives for others, for the peace and security of our countries if we go to war, for the joy of our children if we work in brutal mines, for the chance at enjoyment if we were prisoners or refugees. (Note well, tunnelling out of North Korea may indeed be dangerous for your health.) If life itself, in any form, outweighed everything else then we should actually live in bubble-wrap or in a harmless virtual simulation such as you suggest. The lotus-eaters seem to be the only ones who hold true to your notion of utilitarianism where experience and freedom and joy are worthless when compared to just being alive. We, however, are willing to take risks and enjoy ourselves out in the real world because we see the quality of life as just as important as the quantity. If you disagree, let us know from your bubble-wrap dome.

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You look ridiculous.
And if my appeals to you have failed so far, I have one last thing to say. I appeal to you as Animorphs fans, this time. As you know, Animorphs is being re-released, new editions. As you might also know, if these new editions are successful, Scholastic is considering a sequel to Animorphs. A new series. Now, these new releases take several months each. If they are successful, several years will have passed before the new series of Animorphs starts. And Katherine Applegate is 54. If you choose to end the lives of those over 60, you are killing also the author of Animorphs, when she might be in the middle of writing the eagerly-awaited second series. Can you, in good conscience, do that?
Since this is an Animorphs forum, our impressionable readers are sure to eagerly agree that Katherine Applegate should never die before finishing the sequel. However, as my opponent has stated, this second series will happen only if the new releases are successful. Even then, I'm sure we're all aware that sequels aren't always as good as the original. Myself being an Animorphs fan, I would like very much for the sequel to be shiny and wonderful with the trappings of all that is good in the world, but there is no guarantee for anything. If the sequel ever turned out to be horrible to the point where it was better if it had never existed, then it would hardly be worth anything as an appeal. No emotional fallacies, please.

Try some Neomorphs instead.
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Re: Compulsory euthanasia for over-60s (debate)

Post by TetraKill » Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:52 am

Damn. I think the real debate that should be considered is whether euthanasia should be used as a substitute for natural selection before genetic predispositions or disorders turn our descendants into bed-ridden piles of slop as these genetic problems propagate.

Anyway the main argument for team 1 here is the fact that they drain the youths monehs, however this can be avoided by cutting off the money supply from taxes to elderly people, and letting them cope with it all themselves. The benefit of this is there is no costly effort in setting up euthanisation centres as well as the effort needed to track down runaway old people, who have stolen a ferrari or something and made their getaway at 3 MPH. Really, it's much easier to cut off the money and not put any effort towards euthanisation programs, and then be able to laugh at the results.

Although I'd willing put the effort and money towards euthaisation as long as they find a way to make it funny.
I'll think of something to put here later.

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Re: Compulsory euthanasia for over-60s (debate)

Post by TF. » Wed Jan 12, 2011 4:15 pm

Damn. I think the real debate that should be considered is whether euthanasia should be used as a substitute for natural selection before genetic predispositions or disorders turn our descendants into bed-ridden piles of slop as these genetic problems propagate.
Perhaps, if that were the topic. And we aren't actually entirely serious here.
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Re: Compulsory euthanasia for over-60s (debate)

Post by TetraKill » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:15 am

I thought it was serious ;)
I'll think of something to put here later.

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Re: Compulsory euthanasia for over-60s (debate)

Post by TF. » Sun Jan 23, 2011 6:44 pm

So, Tetra, want to join team 2? We're stalemated at the moment.
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Re: Compulsory euthanasia for over-60s (debate)

Post by TetraKill » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:19 am

Ok, although I don't think I'll be able to think of that much, but I'll try.
I debate in real life, so I might get technical.
I'll think of something to put here later.

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Re: Compulsory euthanasia for over-60s (debate)

Post by TF. » Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:23 pm

Be as technical as you want. There are no specific rules for what you can use in your argument or how long it can go for. Give Current a PM to see if you can get any tips.
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Re: Compulsory euthanasia for over-60s (debate)

Post by TF. » Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:45 pm

I believe we may now announce the debate to be officially dead.
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Re: Compulsory euthanasia for over-60s (debate)

Post by Current » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:13 am

I suppose we could. We won by one vote, but I guess the judge has to make a ruling.
What is not the answer to this question?

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Re: Compulsory euthanasia for over-60s (debate)

Post by The_Brigadier » Sat May 28, 2011 5:20 pm

I voted for TM because his argument has pretty pi'tures. Im s0 deep n fillosofical it hertz. :D
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