Instigator / Pro
1
1417
rating
158
debates
32.59%
won
Topic

If the world was going to end in 30 days, governments should declare the news rather than keep it a complete secret

Status
Finished

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

Voting points
1
1

With 2 votes and same amount of points on both sides ...

It's a tie!
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
People
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Winner selection
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
5,000
Contender / Con
1
1490
rating
5
debates
40.0%
won
Description
~ 639 / 5,000

Assume that the apocalyptic event is devastating and powerful, resulting in the end of the human race if nothing is done. Whether it is preventable is up to speculation.

Government: political leaders, or those representing the people controlling the government. "Declare the news" means it can be televised, on newspaper, online, etc. "Keep it a secret" means say nothing and try to keep people from finding out.

This is the recommendation of actions of majority of worlds' government, for simplicity. We are thinking about positives and negatives of each side. I am arguing they should declare the news, rather than say nothing at all.

Added:
Criterion
Pro
Tie
Con
Points
Winner
1 point(s)
Reason:

The resolution contains nothing to imply absolutes (all cases, all governments), and the description clarifies room for discussion of avoidability; so I'm going to have to treat this as an On Balance debate (as in most cases).

R1
Pro builds a case about the stupidity of denial when it will probably leak, plus people seeking closure, using a terminal cancer patient as an effective analogy.
Con counters denying that should is real, "one can only think it should." Which I'll agree with, but not in a way that favors con, since barring any reason not to, I indeed think that.

R2
Pro for some reason segways into national security, and argues the difficulty in keeping it a secret if any government with the knowledge tells their people.
Con reminds us that some governments are controlling enough (China with their golden shield as an example) to indeed keep it a secret, no matter what the rest of the world knows. He pushes the should angle more, and insists if pro is wrong about any hypothetical government con should win.

R3
Pro repeats his benefits in people seeking closure, and asks for con to meet a side of the BoP related to why keep it a secret.
Con denies having a BoP, since all he needs to do is disprove Should as a meaningful word (by default, con does not have a BoP, and him not having to argue how pro wants him to is wholly fair even on a case like this where there was some implied but not explicit role assignment... but again, the whole should doesn't exist, just isn't doing anything for me in light of any benefits shown to show that there is indeed a should).

Conclusion:
This would have been more enjoyable with focus on any of the ways the world could end. I do applaud con for massive improvement, even while relying so much on that one point set the risk that if a judge doesn't buy it, there is a massive shortage on fallback. In the end, I am giving this to pro, but only by a small margin. I would say arguments are very close to the tied margin, with the slight benefit (really should have been more...) unchallenged by any drawbacks favoring pro.

I should also mention that just because it's the right thing to do, would not fly without that slight benefit of letting people use the remaining time as they see fit.

Added:
Criterion
Pro
Tie
Con
Points
Winner
1 point(s)
Reason:

First off, I really hate the kritik CON came with. The resolution isn't MEANT to be a factual statement, it's an OPINION. One that the debaters disagree on and will argue one way or the other. CON's approach strikes me as bastardly, and I'm discounting that argument here and now.

Second, CON's criticisms of "it's US centric" seemed to miss the point except for maybe the point on the Freedom of Information Act. PRO's arguments were that "this should happen in all cases" using evidence that was from the US that could also be cross-applied to other countries.

That said, CON makes a good point: "There is nothing in how you framed this debate that excludes scenarios in which keeping it a secret would be justifiable for national security reasons. You are simply focusing on certain examples and not on others, when other hypotheticals in which it would be justifiable in the context of such a legal/moral standard are equally valid."
I'm also factoring in BoP here. The resolution is plural, meaning PRO must try to support that all governments should declare the news under ANY world-ending circumstance... This is bad for PRO, because I can think of a few reasons governments might keep it secret. None of which were NAMED, but as a voter I'm at least reminded by CON that the possibilities exist.

PRO's only real counter to this point was to argue that it isn't national security, it's "world security." And while I suppose that's true, I think that misses the central idea of what CON is arguing.

Anyway, PRO's other stuff about "the people's right to know" is good and all, but I'm not given any reason to prioritize that moral doctrine over, say, minimizing death.

My VERDICT is CON.