I Rebuttal: my opponent does not show what he has, round 2
I.a In the first round, my opponent waived. In the second round, my opponent is still waving by only defining need.What rebuttal needed for a definition known already? I acknowledge his definition. But then, my opponent declares that I have failed in my attempt to argue that not only must people desire to rank on the Kardashev Scale, but must need to rank. But, I do not fire all of my guns at once [I keep having to say this to opponents who want all my arguments in round 1]. No matter, I have more argument, and it is actually the reverse of my opponent’s expectation, to wit:
II Argument: Another limitation debate
II.a Russian cosmonaut, and astrophysicist Nikolai Kardashev, created an arbitrary scale by which to rate technology levels of civilizations based on planetary, star systemic, and galactic scale power to use those levels of energy production.
I say “arbitrary” because “civilization” itself is a relative term. “Civilization” does imply a certain ability to sustain its existence, but the energy production by lighting a fire is sufficient to do that. I am suspicious that this does not rate a Kardashev Type 0.1 civilization, so I am skeptical that “civilization” is even necessary to define. Let’s just assume it implies no higher technology than fire. As Kardashev says, we start with a planetary-level of technical advance, at least with regard to energy production. But the factor of energy production is arbitrary. It is fine for a planetary system limitation, although there are other factors Kardashev may have chosen, and ‘civilized beings of another planet/system/galaxy may choose another factor, such as food production, but I suppose that is energy consumption, as well. Perhaps a homeostasis of landmass use, then.
II.b The debate proposal is that “Humans do not need to become a Type I civilization on the Kardashev Scale.” The operative word in this string is not “civilization,” but “need,” my opponent alleges. Well, between need and desire, there is a difference, and understanding this is critical. A want is less imperative than need, so we have been taught to believe. But the fact is, civilization depends on needs, even at its least defined scale, such as mastery of fire. However, needs of the nature of basic survival do not define my Con position. Let a civilization answer all of its needs, we have still not achieved the level of technical advance necessary to enter Kardashev’s Scale, let alone advance beyond level I. Here’s why:
II.c Here’s my pitch, pure and simple: Limitations are the first step in a long process of a civilization in decline, not advance.
Said another way, needs, alone, do not drive technical advance to that scale.
Satisfying needs, alone, limit technical advance. Basic survival needs are satisfied by simple technology. Air, water, food, shelter, and sleep need no complicated technology to achieve. These five needs are the basics of human survival according to Maslow.
These five needs satisfy the first tier of survival: physical. There are, according to Maslow, three other tiers; in order: physical safety, love and belonging, and self-esteem. Each of these has descriptive requirements, like the five for physical survival,
but outlining them are beyond this argument. It is sufficient to know that each of them requires no more technology than the first tier of needs. Therefore, as said, needs, alone, do not drive technical advance to the Kardashev Scale.
Something else does.
III Argument: What drives technical advance sufficient to reach Kardashev Scale Type I?
III.a I’ll repeat the critical pitch of my contending argument: Limitations
[typically in the guise of resources as defined by the Kardashev Scale] are the first steps in a long process of a civilization in decline, not advance.
The something else alleged in my argument I.c [round 2] is: wants, or desires.
III.a.1 Wants can be satisfied at any tier of Maslow’s needs because they are not essential for survival, but they do enhance it, and there’s the step above needs that leads to real technical advance necessary to attain Level I of the Kardashev Scale.
And level above I will simply require added technology. This is why wants do the opposite of needs; wants free us to make continued steps in an equally long process of civilization in advance, not decline.
We read in Ecclesiastes 12: 12: “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”
So, is knowledge and technology ever at an end? One Dartmouth University professor says no. “Groundbreaking discoveries in physics, such as the realization of the importance of dark matter, for instance, have challenged this notion. The more we learn, the more it pushes the boundaries of what we don't know.”
One might ask, such as my opponent, “Do we really need to know the properties and effects of dark matter?”
We don’t know, and that’s not a satisfying answer. However, the proper question, according to my argument, is, “Do we want to know the properties and effects of dark matter?”
The simple, if satisfying answer is: We should want
to know because the effects just might be beneficial. Maybe dark matter is another energy resource, at least for a star system Level II, and maybe a galactic system Level III of the Kardashev Scale.
III.a.2 Sir Francis Bacon once said, “While philosophers are disputing whether virtue or pleasure
[or needs or wants?] be the proper aim of life, do you provide yourself with the instruments of either?”
Instruments are one indicator of some level of civilization, but, as Bacon alleges, having them does not imply they are being used, or used properly. Needs tend to satisfy without being compelled to advance further than needs. Therefore, contrary to the proposal of this debate that “humans do not need to become a Type I civilization,
in order to not just survive, but to survive well, to thrive and advance, humans must want
to become a Type I civilization, and more.
IV Conclusion: A reversal of fortune
IV.a My opponent has claimed I did not satisfy the requirement to prove we do need to achieve Level I of the Kardashev scale. In fact, I’ve demonstrated that we are well beyond half of that journey, but have not yet achieved it. I’ve not only demonstrated that we need reach that level, but that the only way to accomplish it is to expand our horizon beyond needs. We must want
to achieve not just the first level of the Kardashev Scale, but to extend our reach beyond that first level. There is no end to knowledge, and, therefore, there is no end to technology.
Why limit ourselves in that regard by merely satisfying needs? I ask for your vote for Con.
Holy Bible, Ecclesiastes 12: 12
Bacon, Sir Francis, De Augmentis Scientiarum,
George Routledge and Sons, 1907, pg 547