Instigator / Pro
8
1488
rating
96
debates
32.29%
won
Topic

If scientists could create artificial but convincing memories for consumers for free, they should

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
6
Sources points
4
4
Spelling and grammar points
2
2
Conduct points
2
2

With 2 votes and 6 points ahead, the winner is ...

oromagi
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Science
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
5,000
Contender / Con
14
1947
rating
92
debates
100.0%
won
Description
~ 139 / 5,000

Soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRJ_DuXP6IM&ab_channel=Krinku1

If any word is unclear, ask in comments first before accepting.

Round 1
Pro
Definitions (from Google)
Though obvious, worth a shot since it's Oromagi. 
scientists: a person who is studying or has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural or physical sciences.
Artificial: made or produced by human beings rather than occurring naturally, especially as a copy of something natural.
Free: not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes. (meaning the consumer decides) AS WELL AS... having no cost.
Should: more beneficial than harmful. Because I did not say, all, always, or even ought (moral obligation), that means we consider its overall uses and impact. Consider if the topic was "death penalty should be implemented", this obviously does not mean, even if the person is already dead, we should electrocute them, or even if the person is innocent, we should kill them, no. There are obviously other restrictions and laws in place around the idea that make it more complex than "I can name one example that goes against death penalty, therefore you lose".

Introduction: The memories may be fake, but they allow the person to live a good life from thereon forth and fulfill their desires. Consider the similarity to watching porn to get off, or playing video games to relish in being a "super powered being". The value for entertainment and pleasure to be gained is immense. "Free" may seem like a huge burden, but "free" also infers little cost on the scientist's side, other than their efforts needed to instill the artificial memory. There seems to be much benefits from this system.

Argument: To the Moon
To the Moon is a game that presents a company that does precisely this. It is extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, to argue against Sigmund Corp.'s technology. They are volunteers who help old people accomplish their final wishes, by implanting artificial memories of what was accomplished. Though the gameplay itself has been criticized for being mundane, the story has been heralded as incredible and inspirational. As this game review site notes, "To the Moon forced me to think about my own life and my own regrets and asked me what I would change if I could. I may not have a machine that can rewrite my memories, but if I did, I wouldn’t want to forget this game."

A) Why a more generalized form? -- It is entirely plausible that the younger (not quite near death bed) still needs the expansion of this incredible memory creation tech. As this site seems to know, 20% of the population is complaining about the memory lost. The re-construction of these memories can be crucial to bring back sanity and to cure dementia. It's a health solution to a major disease. If a person's family wants it, it seems reasonable. What's wrong with this?

B) Other benefits, skills -- right now, high level skills such as being a rocket scientist or high level engineer are incredibly difficult to teach and take a ton of knowledge. But if you were able to construct this memory, similar to a computer's RAM, it may be entirely plausible to have very young geniuses conduct these high skill level jobs and contribute to scientific progress. Based on the To the Moon speedrun of 2 hours, we can estimate even if it's a near lifetime of experience, we can quickly reduce even 10,000 hours of learning material very quickly

C) Isn't immoral -- VeryWellMind notes that humans already have false memories (and Psyc. today confirms it). Is con saying this is also immoral, despite already similarly occurring due to human biology and weaknesses of the mind? That would be absurd to claim. As other studies already note even false memories already instilled in people are hard to identify, precisely what is the problem if I request one of my dreams to be fulfilled as an implanted memory? Indeed, I wonder.

In To the Moon, Johnny just wishes he could have gone to, well, the moon, with his wife River. Many, many people similarly have unfulfilled wishes and regrets. He even wrote a song for her. But as her mental condition worsened he never accomplished his dream. He laid in his death bed with this sole regret. As the scientists went back to discover in the past his near impossible promise, they managed to piece together the information and created the artificial memory, along with his experience that resulted in his -- and the game play's -- incredibly moving feelings and powerful ending. As we hear his beep, beep, beeeeeep -- cut his life short, even we think, ah, perhaps we would like to have this conducted on ourselves as well. Because the ability to establish a better story, a small white lie, is worth it. It is moral. You should do it. We can learn incredibly difficult skills very quickly. We can completely revolutionize our current world, and honor the past. If you won't do it for Johnny... perhaps, you'll do it, For River? 

I rest my case.
Con
Thx seldiora!

IF SCIENTISTS COULD CREATE ARTIFICIAL but CONVINCING MEMORIES for CONSUMERS for FREE, THEY SHOULD

DEFINITIONS:

OBJECTION: PRO failed to source definitions.

OBJECTION: PRO states that these definitions are from Google but Google does not publish a dictionary

  • Nevertheless, CON accepts PRO's Lexico definitions for SCIENTIST and ARTIFICIAL 
  • CON objects to the other two definitions offered.
OBJECTION: PRO offers two contradictory definitions of FREE while not following PRO's own source for usage

  • PRO failed to note that the prepositional phrase "FOR FREE" has a single meaning as defined by Lexico.
      • FOR FREE means "without cost or payment."
        • PRO has added a secondary definition that contradicts his dictionary's usage.
          • PRO first offers an adjective form of FREE- not under the control of another and uses a non-dictionary clarification "meaning the consumer decides."  That is, PRO wants voters to read the word FREE as an adjective modifying the adverbial prepositional phrase "for consumers."
          • But PRO also offers an adverb, non-dictionary form of free, "having no cost,"  modifying the verb CREATE
        • Many words have more than one meaning but when writing for clarity (and particularly when defining terms in a debate) the usage of any term should be as unambiguous as possible
          • PRO asks us to read FREE as both an adjective modifying consumers and an adverb modifying CREATE.  PRO's deliberately ambiguous definition and usage in the thesis suggests argument in bad faith
      • Therefore, CON objects to PRO's secondary usage and asks voters to disregard this usage.  PRO's source and CON agree that FOR FREE has one meaning and that meaning is "without cost or payment."
OBJECTION:

  • PRO offers an expansive non-dictionary definition for SHOULD. 
    • Since PRO has demonstrated satisfaction with Lexico as a dictionary source, CON asks voters to dismiss PRO's overly expansive definition and rely on Lexico instead.
      • SHOULD is "used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions"
BofP:


  • "When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim typically has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim especially when it challenges a perceived status quo."
    • PRO is the instigator of this debate as well as the maker of extraordinary claims and so bears the entire BoP in this debate. 
  • CON interprets PRO's resolution to mean that given the requisite technology, scientists should manufacture human memories without charge. If CON can show that scientist have no duty or obligation to  make free fake memories, PRO's thesis must fail.
PRO1:

  • PRO argues that false memory implants as depicted in the 2011 Sci-Fi video game To the Moon are "extraordinarily difficult" to argue against because the brain-washing scientists are well-meaning volunteers.
    • A fictional story in any medium offers little credible evidence towards the value of future tech. 
      • Popular fiction depicts faster-than-light spaceship travel as simple and safe but that is not an argument for the simplicity, safety, or advisability of some future FTL drive.
      • Sci-Fi is not fact.
    • The scientists in To the Moon overwrite the early death of one man's brother as well as his early love life.  They remove the truth and rewrite the whole of this man's life so that man feels less discomfort in his final days.  To me such a complete rewrite of personal history is a corrupt denial of truth, whether or not the rewrite is voluntary.  
      • PRO argues that a comfortable falsification of one's personal history is a desirable response to life's hardships. 
      • CON argues that pain is part of how we learn to survive.  Numbing an athlete's pain receptors prevents that athlete from sensing potential injuries and adapting, increasing the likelihood of future injury.  Likewise, re-writing our painful memories prevents us from learning from errors and adapting.
PRO2:

  • PRO argues that reconstructing real but lost memories might be therapeutic
  • OBJECTION:  The ethics of creating credible fake memories is our subject here.  Restoring authentic lost memories is clearly outside of the boundaries of this debate topic
    • CON asks voters to disregard this argument as irrelevant
PRO3:

  • PRO argues that downloading skill sets can effectively replace real education with major time saving advantages.
    • CON requires evidence supporting this argument.
PRO4:

  • PRO argues that because humans create false memories naturally, artificial memory-making can't be immoral
    • As if the content of these memories is besides the point.
      • Wouldn't it be immoral to rewrite a US President's memory of 9/11 to make China the culprit, even if the POTUS was a willing requester and that is how she wants to remember the event?
    • That's like arguing that because humans unintentionally kill one another, intentional killing can't be murder.
      • Many natural human functions are immoral in some contexts








Round 2
Pro

Very well, I accept the new definitions. I was running out of space to be honest, hah, but Oromagi has still not negated the fact that the product standard is that consumer does have the choice. Unless Oromagi shows that people cannot have the right to change their own memories, then he fails on a moral basis. 

Oromagi has argued that the "corruption of truth" is unacceptable, despite my research showing that people already falsely remember events, showing that creating artificial memories may not be as bad as he makes it out to be. Secondly, he says we need research to actually show that people would be able to learn quicker, well, since it is science fiction, this is tricky to truly prove, but consider that RAM in hard drives transfer over very quickly. In May 2015, the Wikipedia is 51 GB in uncompressed format. Using a calculator, even a poor rate of 15 MBPS results in 8 hours. Eight. Hours. To learn entirety of Wikipedia. Now I'm sure there's some geniuses who can read entire of Wikipedia and memorize it in 8 hours, but few people in real life would be able to accomplish this. But regardless, if even Wikipedia which contains a ton of encyclopedic knowledge can be transferred over quickly, I don't see the problem with professional research and knowledge to be transferred in a similar way.

Oromagi tries to name an extreme example, but this would be like punishing people for believing in Flat Earth or the 9/11 Hoax. As long as he doesn't force everyone else to change their memory without permission of them first, then it is fine for the POTUS to believe that China is at fault for whatever. This is not a problem. We even have freedom of speech in US so he could even say "China is the problem" and it would not be against our set laws.

Conclusion: Oromagi has not negated my article that says that false memories already exist, and hence artificial memories would be equally acceptable. I have shown that file transfer of information is insanely fast so would greatly help knowledge and skill gain. People have the right to alter their memory and I don't see the problem with that.
Con
Thx seldiora!

IF SCIENTISTS COULD CREATE ARTIFICIAL but CONVINCING MEMORIES for CONSUMERS for FREE, THEY SHOULD

DEFINITIONS:

PRO concedes all CON's objections to definitions. 

  • FOR FREE means "without cost or payment."
  • SHOULD is "used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions"

BofP:

  •  Unless Oromagi shows that people cannot have the right to change their own memories, then he fails on a moral basis. 
    • This statement is wrong.  The subject of PRO's thesis is SCIENTISTS not CONSUMERS.  The right of any CONSUMER to commit willful self-deception is entirely irrelevant to our debate.  Whether SCIENTISTS have a responsibility to preserve the objective truth is our topic.


PRO1:

  • PRO dropped
    • "A fictional story in any medium offers little credible evidence towards the value of future tech. "
  • PRO dropped
      • "Re-writing our painful memories prevents us from learning from errors and adapting."
PRO2:

  • PRO dropped
  • "Restoring authentic lost memories is clearly outside of the boundaries of this debate topic."
    • CON asks voters to disregard this argument as irrelevant
PRO3:

  • CON required evidence "that downloading skill sets can effectively replace real education with major time saving advantages."
    • "this is tricky to truly prove, but consider that RAM in hard drives transfer over very quickly. In May 2015, the Wikipedia is 51 GB in uncompressed format. Using a calculator, even a poor rate of 15 MBPS results in 8 hours. Eight. Hours. To learn entirety of Wikipedia."
      • Tricky indeed.  If this is PRO's best evidence than the argument obviously fails because reading an encyclopedia is no substitute for learning.
        • PRO seems to be saying that people can learn skills through language, as if simply placing rote information in the brain is what it takes to learn something but we know that is only the most superficial aspect of learning.
          • Human memory is not stored in text format and only a small part of memory is language.  It is an incredibly sophisticated amalgam of experience, sensation, emotion, impression, prior skill sets and habits, bias, observation, persuasion, and prioritization at least.
            • PRO seems to claim that he can teach humans to ride a bike by transferring the Wikipedia article on CYCLING but consider all the unique information sets required to perform even this simple skill.
              • balance
              • proper breathing
              • proper form
              • pedaling
              • braking
              • orienteering
              • negotiating traffic
              • reading signs and signals
                • etc, etc, etc,
                  • NONE of these essential, non-language skills are covered by Wikipedia.
                  • Consider the terabytes of data required to accurately explain proper balance or breathing to a naive brain.
            • How does PRO propose to make this data navigable or retrievable by the human brain?  You can tell a human brain that a red traffic light means stop but that brain won't have that information readily available except by frequent repetition and association.
        • PRO says he can make instant rocket scientists with a simple download but CON argues that PRO has not even considered the complexities of human learning, much less human memory.
          • Nor can PRO show that even if one could transmit all the requisite information that a different brain would be able to process that memory effectively.  Different brains learn differently.  Different brains might have wholly different hierarchies of association and prioritization that might be incompatible with other people's memory.
        • PRO's claim stands totally unproven and (as CON concedes) unprovable.
PRO4:

  • PRO doubles down on corruption of truth
    • people already falsely remember events
      • An intentional self delusion is a far greater harm than a natural self delusion, which can at least be corrected by education.
    • this would be like punishing people for believing in Flat Earth or the 9/11 Hoax.\
      • The question is not whether to punish people for believing falsehood but whether it is ethical to knowingly provide false belief.
    • it is fine for the POTUS to believe that China is at fault for whatever.
      • False. 
        • US Presidents are constitutionally required to execute their office faithfully
          • FAITHFULLY means "consistent with reality"
          • No president may constitutionally believe or promote a lie knowingly, particularly a president in command of world ending technology
        • Furthermore, Federal law requires that
          • whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the [US Govt] knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up... a material fact shall get 5 years in prison, 8 years if it involves international terrorism
      • No person could morally invite a self-deception but scientists and governments are especially constrained in the name of preserving an objective reality, which is itself a manifest good
  • No scientist could ethically participate in PRO's horrible plan 


Round 3
Pro
Alright, let me get back on track with the arguments. With regards to the topic, the consumer is highly important in this procedure. With sick patients, scientists try to research for cure to diseases for them. This is similar in a way. That's why I'm arguing that consumers' wants should be able to influence scientists. Otherwise, there is little reasoning for space research and colonization. Government can be consumer too, after all (as con even mentions the president).

Firstly Oromagi says rewriting the bad memories prevents learning and development, but what if it causes more suffering than it is worth? It's better to sweeten the deal with PTSD and trauma than have the person suffer a handicapped life constantly reminded of the worry and needing support. Being unable to overcome depression and problems, leading to suicide (one of the leading problems and causes of death!), that's what contradicts con's arguments here.

Secondly, Oromagi says the memories must absolutely be authentic, but still gives no support for it. I said it was convincing enough, and so with patients' families potentially backing the information and giving details, would it truly be a lie to remember the names, faces, and best moments of your family? Just because it is artificial, does not mean it is completely false (not the truth). The treatment of dementia patients still stands as a strong reasoning. 

Thirdly, Oromagi claims that just because I gave a text based example, this is the exact way that this will be transferred. Nonsense. Already, videos solve the solution of visual information and hearing. Our machines can record electrical stimulation from the brain, this is common sense. If we can play this back to people, bingo, there's the muscle memory as well. Even without sci-fi, we're already moving onto tactile simulation. Each and every worry of con solves itself. Just as we have many methods to teach people normally, is it too much of a stretch to say that studying genius's minds and combining with current VR simulations can eventually teach these skills equally well? Just as we adapt to different people's learning styles, we could analyze a person's own memory techniques to improve not only the machines, but also research on the realm of memory itself. 

Fourthly, Oromagi says scientists seek the truth. But is there really such a thing as "truth"? It is widely known that "science proof" cannot be 100% certain, and what furthermore, scientists do not necessarily negate the idea of white lie, as morality is beyond simple formulas or objective measures. Tell me, on Johnny's death bed, would a scientist truly be as mean and as objective as asserting the lack of evidence of heaven, the lack of evidence towards reincarnation, and the nihilistic viewpoint that his legacy on the universe's 13 billion life span was negligible? No.

Con is implying that scientists must always be cold hearted and pure to mechanisms and facts. But real life is much more complicated than so. Common sense tells us a "thank you" or even a "God will be with you" speaks volumes about mankind's ability to bring emotion into play and value the idea of something more than the cold hard facts. If con is correct, that means no scientist should believe in god (due to not knowing it to be the truth)! But this ironically negates the possibility of what if something IS the truth, and we just haven't found it yet? Con asserts that education can fix the problem I gave, but I doubt your false childhood memories or strong emotional mistaken memories can be remedied with the concepts given by teachers.

Finally, Every person, and even president has lied at some point. But there is a difference between a slight exaggeration, a misinformed report, a forgotten detail, and betrayal of the country and leaking of secrets. Sometimes, we just want to convince ourselves that Everything's Alright, even when everything is wrong. We must take our time to gather our thoughts to craft a better tomorrow, establish a solid foundation. Sometimes it takes a bit of elaboration, a bit of exaggeration. Even history, our "recorded memory" as far as we know, has been altered by the victors to suit a more tone. And why can't we do the same to our own memories? 

Conclusion: If you had a dream yourself, if you wanted to do something but could not manage to, scientists should use this technology for you. If you want to remember your family against the mental derailment of old age, scientists should use this technology for you. If you want to even try to research the possibility of learning skills and abilities beyond your own, scientists should use this technology for you. And even if we fail to shoot the stars... there's a high possibility, that you'll reach all the way To the Moon.

Thank you, and vote for pro.
Con
Thx seldiora!

IF SCIENTISTS COULD CREATE ARTIFICIAL but CONVINCING MEMORIES for CONSUMERS for FREE, THEY SHOULD

BofP:

  •  The subject of PRO's thesis is SCIENTISTS not CONSUMERS.  Whether SCIENTISTS have a responsibility to preserve objective reality is our topic.
    • With regards to the topic, the consumer is highly important in this procedure. With sick patients, scientists try to research for cure to diseases for them. This is similar in a way. That's why I'm arguing that consumers' wants should be able to influence scientists. Otherwise, there is little reasoning for space research and colonization. 
      • Our thesis is formulated as "If SCIENTISTS could do X, SCIENTISTS should do X". 
        • Obviously, any good scientist is going to engage in ethical considerations at the "could do." 
          • A doctor who put his customer's wants ahead of ethics is likely to do more harm than good.
            • For example, consider a doctor getting rich off overprescribing painkillers.
          • Space exploration that prioritizes consumer demand over ethics conjures up the failures of 17th century colonization.
            • PRO would have us building gold mines and lo-grav bouncy castles on exoplanetary moons before we learned that we were xenociding sentient microbes living off volcanic fissures.
          • So any good scientist will say, I can't create ARTIFICIAL but CONVINCING memories to overwrite existing real memories because that act would be a distortion of reality and rewriting of the truth.
            • The truth is never similar to some disease in need of curing with falsehoods, as PRO suggests.
PRO1:

  • PRO dropped all "to the Moon"  arguments in R2 & R3.
PRO2:

  • Irrelevant argument.  PRO did not contest in R2 or R3.
PRO3:

  • CON required evidence "that downloading skill sets can effectively replace real education with major time saving advantages."
    • In R2, PRO argued that 51 Gb of text could be downloaded in less than 8 hrs.
      • CON showed that text downloads hardly represent the technology or scale of data needed to replicate even simple memories much less describes what technology is required to overwrite human memory. 
      • videos solve the solution of visual information and hearing.
      • Again, PRO fails to explain how video will overwrite human memory.  If subjects know they live in a world with alterable memory and suddenly they remember something that look like video without smells, or tastes or touches or emotional associations then subjects will quickly suspect their memory has been replaced, which doesn't meet PRO's requisite that memories must be convincing.  Video will not convince. 
      • Our machines can record electrical stimulation from the brain, this is common sense. If we can play this back to people, bingo
        • Again, PRO fails to explain how these stimuli will overwrite existing memory.  For evidence, PRO offers an article about scientists working on a replicate the sensation of human touch which offers no answer to our questions.
      • PRO dropped the argument about data size increases even though video requires far more data to communicate a single idea.  
        • Anybody who's tried to share a simple video compared to a simple text knows that audio/video requires exponentially more bandwidth than just text.  Adding additional senses like touch or taste or smell will likely require further increases in bandwidth.  Who knows how much bandwidth will be required to transmit an emotion, much less a truly convincing memory.  
PRO4:

  • CON argued that as part of their job, scientists have a responsibility to know and discover and disseminate the objective facts of reality
    • PRO 2nd, 4th, and 5th arguments in R3 continue the reject the truth as valuable
      • Oro says the memories must absolutely be authentic, but still gives no support for it
      • is there really such a thing as "truth"?
      • Every person, and even president has lied at some point
        • PRO makes a number of emotional, anecdotal appeals for falsifying our reality- that truth is subjective, that some degrees of pain take priority over reality, that scientists will overwrite beliefs with objective facts but PRO seems totally blind to the way truth works.  That facts are stubborn and the truth will out.  PRO breezily argues for erasing painful memories without ever gamin out scenarios. PRO would erase the trauma of battle without considering how to explain the battle scars.  PRO would erase an unpleasant relationship without considering the impact on future paternity suits.  PRO would even let leaders alter reality to suit their politics before making choices on behalf of their constituencies. 
CONCLUSION 

  • George Santayana wisely advised that "those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it," but PRO doesn't mind.  PRO's plan would damn the future for a little individual, false, unsustainable comfort in the now.  Scientists, however, have to think bigger than that.
  • PRO dropped 3 of 4 arguments and lost the moral case.
  • Thanks to voters
  • Pls. VOTE CON