Instigator / Pro
4
1473
rating
101
debates
31.68%
won
Topic

On Balance, having a "Love Meter" for couples would be Beneficial

Status
Finished

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

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

With 2 votes and 8 points ahead, the winner is ...

RationalMadman
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Miscellaneous
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
12
1694
rating
294
debates
67.35%
won
Description
~ 420 / 5,000

Love Meter: A science fiction concept that can measure how much you love your partner and vice versa, and the intensity of these feelings. Assume that in this alternate universe the "love meter" is the standard/norm and I will try to argue that the Love Meter is beneficial to society with good and bad considered together.

Couples: People who are planning to date, dating together (in a relationship), or even married.

Round 1
Pro
A love meter would be good pattern for to detect cheating or when the marriage has gone stale. If you realize your partner doesn't love you at all, you realize how absurd this love is. A lot of people pretend to love to get money or some other benefit from you. The Love Meter for couples would prevent this and stop con artists as their number would be very low for people they try to lure in and act nicely. As such, Love Meter would net a benefit for couples.
Con
Forfeited
Round 2
Pro
extend
Con
Honesty isn't always beneficial

The pain of being cheated on is only felt when one discovers they were cheated on. Similarly, the agony of being in a loveless relationship is only felt when one side really get it hit home that they're in one and that this needs to change. It's one's right to be ignorant of their relationship's passion and to stay together for rational reasons, such as the emotional wellbeing of their offspring.

Love isn't at all the only thing to measure and weigh up for a couple 

Having a love meter would revolutionise how couples measure their success and approach a lack of passion. Instead of valuing trust between them, simply enjoying one another's company in an asexual manner (or lustful manner if its the opposite scenario), they will learn to only value the degree of passionate affection felt on an emotional level for each other. Let's say one partner is depressed or feeling less love for a variety of reasons that aren't to do with valuing their partner and the relationships less, this would inspire people leaving partners when the relationship should be fixed, rather than fixing it and helping their partners out of the passionless rut they have gotten themselves into. This would not even help couple's therapy because it would completely violate the part of therapy which is encouraging one to open up and consensually reveal to the other how they feel, instead it would become a blackmail scenario where it's 'what have you got to hide?' Imagine couples where one partner highly values personal privacy and loathes surveillance but the other does not. This would become a very toxic situation where one would keep refusing to be measured because they don't want that invasion of privacy and the other calls them disloyal and loveless due to that... It's a terrible idea.

Why would this even work?

I am not asking 'how' but 'why' it would work. Even if you could measure the degree to which one feels intensely emotional in a positive manner around another, what about the anxiety they feel about being measured by the love meter? How can the love meter distinguish that from the anxiety felt regarding the partner? How about the fact that maybe someone is cheating on their partner and is a sociopath who enjoys it? Wouldn't they feel very passionate around their partner? 

I am not exactly dissecting the scientific specifics here, I am saying that the core reasoning behind more vs less love felt at any given moment isn't always about the success of a relationship or genuine devotion to one's partner.

There is a reason that polygraph tests can be tricked:

What about open relationships?

Open relationships can be healthy, some would argue the world would be a better place if we weren't pushed into monogamy and if neither partner in a relationship felt a deep pressure to make the other love them, instead letting things naturally flow in an anarchic manner where each is with the other while their passion lasts, goes to another and comes back in a polyamorous manner.

A love meter would only seek to incite conflict and toxicity in an otherwise healthy arrangement where neither needs to envy the other's partners.

Round 3
Pro
RM says that love is not all there is to the couple, but if the couple doesn't mind a low love number on the meter, then it shouldn't matter in the end. It is when the true emotional values have come to test, especially within cheating relations, that this meter is able to show the most benefit. RM says partners should respect privacy, I agree on this. If you don't want your love meter shown to your partner, it should be fine. In our world we already do not know how much exactly the others love us, except through actions and words (which may be hidden from true intentions). If you were so toxic you HAD to have a number validate the love, then perhaps you do not deserve this relation.

The "why" is useful, I think, for measuring for first impressions and potential. If you had been dating a girl for a few months and you learned her love meter was only, say, 30~40 out of 100, while yours shows much closer to 100 (ex. 70~80). Since love is give and take it would seem logical that the numbers should be around the same. If both are just a fling the numbers should be low, and it would be a bit disturbing to see a perfect 100 on a shallow relationship. Similarly, a long term marriage where both are similar to best friends should have very high compatibility, and you'd expect 70~80's maybe 90's range on the couple. To have a 0 on a long term marriage would raise eyebrows and draw attention to precisely why these two married. There are of course, loveless marriage, but with the numbers clear to both of the couple, the marriage would be much more precise in terms, once you see your lover's low love score, and know not to take it too seriously.
Con
If the couple don't mind a low love-meter rating, it can't be beneficial for them, so Pro loses in those scenarios, not Con.

Pro completely drops the point about privacy and that all this does is remove the entire element of trust from the relationship, with regards to trusting and feeling passionately safe around someone. Instead, that safety and trust will only come from a machine reading, removing the purpose of 'reading people' and having feelings for someone based on them pre-reading.

Pro completely drops the open relationships aspect on top of ignoring my points regarding the futility of the 'love meter' since it's reading heart rate, passion etc and this can be held back even due to the anxiety of being read by the love meter alone (or can score high based on feeling intense anger or hatred). I asked 'why will it work' and Pro seems to have dodged this entirely, I even draw parallels to how polygraphs can be tricked and/or inaccurate.

Pro nearly concedes the debate with this line:

If you were so toxic you HAD to have a number validate the love, then perhaps you do not deserve this relation.
After a series of half-concessions to me, Pro ends their first paragraph with this statement of surrender. The fact that even Pro agrees that when and if it would be something desirable to read (the love meter), the relationship is so bad and futile that the people shouldn't have needed it at all to know how unloved each was/were, displays complete agreement with the sentiment of Con. 

This is not a debate of absolutes, despite the debate's topic saying 'beneficial' without hints to what qualifies it. This is a debate if, on balance, love meters are net-detrimental/neutral or net-beneficial for couples. I argue the former and Pro keeps agreeing.