Instigator / Con

If we discovered alien eggs, we should destroy them


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics

After 1 vote and with 1 point ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Two days
Max argument characters
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Winner selection
Voting system
Contender / Pro

Alien: A species from another planet, not earth.

Egg: The egg is the organic vessel containing the zygote in which an embryo develops until it can survive on its own, at which point the animal hatches.

"We": Collective humanity as a whole. Pro only has to argue for majority of society gaining a net benefit from destroying the egg rather than keeping it alive.

Destroy: put an end to the existence of (something) by damaging or attacking it. Assume that destroying it is possible. Pro only needs to support killing the zygote, not the actual being.

Round 1
I am surprised that RM has accepted this I can I BB debate topic, as the Chinese entertainment style seem a bit out of his comfort zone. Nevertheless I thank him for taking this debate.

My argument is simple. The value for research is endless. We finally find proof of alien life, and experimenting on aliens is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the universe. People are generally optimistic about the idea of alien life-- "In these cases, the words used were more positive than negative, the team says, no matter whether the subject was microbial or technological alien life."; "As before, the respondents used more words indicating positive emotions, both for themselves and for humanity as a whole." Now pro must overcome the default consensus from science and the people's support. The Conversation magazine notes that even the idea of looking for more of the life can help humanity overall. "By producing broadminded scientists, familiar with multiple aspects of the natural world, the study of astrobiology therefore enriches the whole scientific enterprise. It is from this cross-fertilization of ideas that future discoveries may be expected, and such discoveries will comprise a permanent legacy of astrobiology, even if they do not include the discovery of alien life." So even without the finding of this egg, we would be encouraged.

To kill this egg is to set a future example and expectation, that aliens should just be exterminated without further ado. Pro must overcome the idea that this first instance of killing the egg would not encourage violence and warring behavior. If aliens are less intelligent than us, then we can just treat it as another species, and everything should be fine. If aliens are more intelligent species, then killing the egg is a horrible idea as they may come for revenge and people would have warned scientists not to do something so irreversible. Indeed, with freezing and careful containment methods, it's entirely plausible that we can keep the alien and observe it for future ideals. The fact that in this alternate universe we found an alien egg infers there is some method of space travel that we could learn from. By keeping it safe and sound, in the case that the aliens are indeed far above us, and within the natural parameter of evolution to survive, they could potentially also be grateful for our services and teach us something. Even if we receive nothing from the aliens, the kindness of saving the egg itself is to be deemed as a potential example for ourselves. We must value lives of other things, even if they are aliens or animals. Though we consume products we only do so to survive, and we do not know for sure if the alien is an endangered species that we must help reunite with their original kind. Indeed, imagine the reverse situation where humans were born in eggs, and we accidentally lost one on an alien planet. Should they destroy the egg and the fetus that is developing, just because they are scared? Humans can be reasoned with and can talk it out. A mother would most be most grateful to gain the egg that she had lost. Therefore, if we discovered an alien egg, we should not destroy it.
Round 2
False Dichotomy of Pro (and what the real dichotomy is)

Research vs destruction is negated even on the simplest of concepts; you can do your research and destroy it after. Nonetheless, let's explore just what the two sides are and what would happen to this alien once it's born. Pro would have you let it be born to feign mercy, only to keep it trapped, probed (ironic), tortured, tested both psychologically and physically to the point it breaks or dies... Is that merciful and kind? Do you think they're going to let the alien roam freely as a wild horse would? Of course not. What is going to happen to the alien(s) once it/they is/are born is merciless and immoral.

Pro comes at you from a stance of research vs destruction but in reality not only is research less merciful post-hatching, it's also able to be done on the eggs before we destroy them. We could destroy each one in a different way as part of an experiment that gives us useful results. On top of this where is Pro deriving the 'should' from? I offer you a different dichotomy; risk vs reward.

The alien is being born on a planet its genetic pool never evolved to inhabit. Would you hatch a fish egg on land unless you were merciless? Would you hatch a bird egg under water? This alien is not supposed to be hatched in our environment, it's here by mistake and if it does somehow survive our Earthly conditions what is it going to do once hatched? Do you think it's going to be friendly and amicable? How do we know? What if it has superpowers and wipes us all out before we can blink? We know absolutely nothing about this alien entity post-hatching, it's clearly an unidentified alien egg based on what the debate's title and description leave out. We would be better off getting rid of it because while it may make us seem hostile to the aliens, what exactly is more hostile; destroying some eggs as we do with chicken eggs for food on the regular or letting them be born and using their bodies for merciless research? On top of this, the aliens are probably either very clumsy as they let eggs fall into our hands or they're extremely sophisticated and brutal, merely seeing how stupid we are and if we'd let their hatchlings grow in which case they'd telepathically communicate plans and use the beings as secret agents or something. We know hardly enough to assume hatching the eggs is safe or worth the risk.

Setting the tone for future generations regarding alien life

I hate to break it to you but you can't compare this to human migration and paint me as a right-wing bigot. I am not suggesting to be hostile to all beings wishing to amicably set foot in our land, instead I am saying that the orientation should be towards destroying these eggs unless told otherwise and here is why:

If these aliens really wanted peace with us, they'd communicate with us to ask for the eggs back. Why are the eggs being neglected? What kind of being let their young perish? If they are either cowardly or clumsy enough to do that, they are hardly going to hurt us effectively in revenge and also clearly want nothing to do with us. They'd only increase hostility with us if we were holding their beings hostage, destroying the eggs and saying 'sorry we didn't want to take the risk' is actually less likely to cause brutal retaliation than us letting this entities grow, experimenting on them and abusing them, as many lab creatures have been.

If we are to set the tone for humans regarding alien life, we are to set the tone of mirroring. To entities that do not communicate with us, we should not assume they want anything to do with us and not force integration. This is not immoral, this is sensible. 
Round 3
So RM thinks that because there is a risk of the singular species causing immense destruction that we should immediately destroy it instead of trying to conserve it (maybe not even research as suggested), perhaps to use as evidence to seek out the alien life it came from. There are some problems with this argument. Firstly, it is very speculative, and we might die anyways, should there be more alien eggs and their mother/father (if such a concept exists) is so powerful and destructive. So it would be irrelevant anyways if we let the alien egg destroy us; and perhaps our pre-emptive research could show the traces of what could kill us (perhaps an unknown virus, energy, etc. that allows us to make an informed decision).

While con offers many questions, there is no doubt child neglect exists even among friendly and intelligent humans, so it is not too much of a stretch for even more intelligent beings (or equally so) to accidentally lose their child. Who knows, perhaps they were even scared of us humans and left behind this. We may abuse it, but precisely because of RM's worry (perhaps future instances of the alien), keeping it alive would arguably be more of worth, as within destruction there may still yet be dangers (consider the idea, destroying a nuclear bomb structure of an alien...). and so Con's argument works both ways and is a double-edged worry. My arguments about our optimism and the idea that we can friendly communicate with the unknown, being cautious but expecting good things (since, either it is a new species we have not yet discovered, or a species so well interconnected they can travel through space...), we could learn much more from the civilization by presenting ourselves as peaceful. Even without torture and cruelty, we may carefully test the egg and better think of a way to help or research the new aliens we have discovered. Vote for pro.
Con is being a 'con artist' in this debate and I will explain why.

The original position of Con was one of moral concern for the aliens and pitting research against destruction. When I argued that we can research on the egg and then destroy it (where the destruction itself can be done in a variety of ways and part of the research), Con then makes it about being good vs evil. When I then point out that the hatched alien will be mistreated and tested on like an object, Con again sidesteps by saying that we 'could be good' but would we? No, we would not allow an alien to roam freely and happily, we'd chain it up and test it in a secret government lab.

Con ignores my points entirely with regards to that the aliens are either too clumsy and dumb to be worth allying if they lost a series of eggs on our planet or near it (we may find them on the moon) or alternatively they are to be assumed hostile and dangerous whereby use destroying the eggs may be the only thing to instill fear in them to hold back taking over our planet with their hatched beings that they could communicate to secretly and which may have superpowers beyond our imagination that we can't fight back against.