Instigator / Pro

The world where everyone has a soul mate who they occasionally swap bodies with is better than our world


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

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After 8 votes and with 37 points ahead, the winner is...

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Clarification: world B, everyone has one corresponding soul mate who they are perfectly compatible with, emotionally, physically and intellectually. They are the same age. Starting from 16 years old, Every month’s last day, they swap bodies for 24 hours. This occurs until the two meet each other. I am saying it is more beneficial to live in world B than our current world.

Round 1
Unlike my debate with RM, I've hashed out the details. In this world the corporations and the people can prepare ahead of time so that you won't have something super big at the end of each month. This is similar to the two main characters' interaction in Your Name, where they wouldn't have missed out on anything severe if they did nothing but stay home all day. 

We have all sought out for true love. In this universe, every person has a corresponding soul mate who they learn a little about every single month. Though small, they can gradually gain information and try to reach the other. This could potentially prevent dangerous acts with rape, pedophilia, and even crime. Our evolution has grown to a level where we value food, drink, sex, shelter most out of anything. The third, combined with love, is invaluable gain. Normally, it is difficult to establish rapport. Many days and months pass by within dates before you are able to meet the standards of the average person. (144 days to say "I love you"?) A soul mate, in contrast, is destined to be with the person. Even with placebo effect alone, the two's intertwined fates would improve faster and better, allowing people to combat loneliness and depression.

Con might think, what about asexual people? How can they have "soul mate"? Merriam Webster says, "a person who is perfectly suited to another in temperament" (,or%20beliefs%20ideological%20soul%20mates). There needs no sex and there needs no romance. Platonic relationships are still strongly bonded, greatly helping orphans and those who live alone. 

With far less motivation to do crime, this world would evidently be better to live in. In addition, the knowledge gain is great. You have to learn about their family, their culture, and their lives. The new experience is beneficial and helps you sympathize with others as well. With this ability to empathize and live another's life, it is far less likely you are going to injure or harm others.

RM has noted, maybe you feel anxious because you are not yourself. But the "soul mate" means they complement your personality and your mind perfectly. I don't see the problem with anxiety disorder, because this person is the one you are meant to be for your entire life. The soul mate idea fixes the problem of multiple personality disorder or PTSD. They could even teach it previously in schools to help prepare you for this event, and lessen the impact of feeling unlike yourself.

Conclusion: By giving people the carrot to chase after love, and learn the new person's life, they are less likely to commit crime due to their new motivation. They empathize with others better, and are far less likely to suffer depression and loneliness. I will admit that the first 24 hours of work are likely lost, but the amount of work lost in one day is very minimal, and can likely be replaced by a swapped soul mate's job. Clearly, this world is superior to live in than our current world.
Fun stuff. Let's do this, Seldiora.

I won't be addressing specific definitions in this debate, though I will define some of how Pro's world works further in.

As for Burden of Proof, that's pretty basic: Pro's world has to outstrip the status quo world for him to win. I am under no similar burden. If Pro fails to breach that threshold, I automatically win this debate.

Onto the arguments!

1. The Nature of A Soul Mate

Pro claims that these would be individuals who they are perfectly compatible with on every level and would be precisely the same age. Assuming his world somehow accomplishes this automatically (it’s unclear how an entity would determine that two people are fundamentally and totally compatible), there’s a litany of associated problems.
First, people change over time. My emotional, physical and intellectual state are not the same as they were when I was 16: they are all malleable.[] So when Pro says that people are matched based on compatibility, he means compatibility based on these traits when they are 16. This world builds someone up to be your exact match, but even if you meet them at 16, that compatibility can diminish or disappear as they grow. This static designation is rendered malleable, but the perception of it stays static, and people who fail to form strong relationships with their soul mate would find themselves spiraling into depression failing to form a bond with such a person. 
Second, what if you don’t have a soul mate? We’re talking about a perfect match here, but human beings are such mixed bags that finding a perfect match will exclude many. Some people are going to be left out of this. Pro talks about loneliness but imagine being among the small subset of students who knows they don’t have a soul mate.
Third, however compatible a person may be, human attraction isn’t built on algorithms. You interact with this being who was perfectly suited for you, find that you don’t like or even actively despise them. Maybe they misused your body, or you’ve gotten to meet them and you just don’t hit it off. Again, imagine the loneliness of being a person whose objective soul mate failed to meet expectations.
Finally, as this is something decided by the universe itself, it would result in revelations that even the person themselves may not be aware of. Haven’t had a chance to explore your sexuality yet? Too bad! Time for you to learn you’re gay, and now that the universe has outed you, you’re far more prone to suicide and self-harm.[] Privacy practically disappears overnight, and so do some of the most intimate secrets we keep, practically guaranteeing widespread depression.

2. Sabotaging Relationships
Essentially, this is like an arranged relationship where the universe itself is telling you that any other relationship you choose to form is wrong. That’s going to affect any other potentially loving relationships you try to form. Any relationship established before the age of 16 is basically doomed. The moment you wake up in someone else’s body and its not the body of your high school sweetheart, you know destiny is working against you. Perhaps even worse, you know that every relationship going forward that you have with someone else is doomed to fail. Every relationship you build with someone else can only ever be compared with the perceived perfection of the soul mate. For those that can meet their soul mate, that might not be terrible, but for those without the means to travel to another continent where their soul mate lives, they and their soul mate may be forced to live in what I will call “relationship purgatory”: regularly experiencing the life of someone perfect for them while trying to make another objectively worse relationship work. And if you aren’t swapping bodies, then you know that no soul mate exists for you, dooming them to an existence with no possibility of finding a soul mate and leaving them to always feel as though they are settling for second best.
However, this doesn’t just sabotage other relationships; it disrupts the entire process of building a relationship, which is integral for forming the bonds that make a relationship strong. Pro appears to view this as a positive, arguing that “Many days and months pass by within dates before you are able to” say the dreaded words “I love you”. Pro never attributes a harm to this length of time, but the benefits are striking: longer periods of time spent dating lead to longer, stronger marriages.[] Essentially, you lose the strength that comes with building a relationship by not dating ahead of time. Your personal attraction to one another and the strength of your bond aren’t and cannot be decided by the universe. They are baked into the process of building a relationship.
So, what does Pro’s world lose? It’s not just dating, but also the slow process of understanding and opening up to one another. Intimacy isn’t a one-step process for any relationship in our world, but Pro compacts intimate understanding of your partner into 24-hour chunks. If you’ve been in a relationship, you know how awful this sounds. Intimate interactions build at different rates with different couples, but usually, you wait a while before you leave the door open to the bathroom while you’re on the toilet. That admittedly gross experience comes after years of building a life together, but Pro’s world places us directly in the body of our soul mate for 24 hours, meaning we will be performing all the intimate acts that we would normally be exposed to more slowly and from a distance. You can read every private message, know every intimate detail of their bodies, and do it all with someone who is a complete stranger.
3. Didn’t Do the Crime(?)
Pro’s argument for why this would reduce crime comes with absolutely no warrants beyond, essentially, “love conquers all”, linking having a soul mate to reduced loneliness or depression.
There are so many problems with this. First, Pro presents no correlation between this or any other feels of connection and a reduced propensity to commit crimes. Crimes are committed for a wide variety of reasons, including a wide variety of biological, psychological and sociological causes that do not include knowledge of a soul mate.[] The notion that it generates a form of sympathy or understanding is entirely theoretical, and it is impossible to determine the psychological impact of this interaction, much less how that will affect interactions with others. Second, a soul mate relationship is not necessarily one without troubles, and “people in troubled relationships are three times as likely to experience depression as those who aren’t.”[] If relationships like this are troubled – and the experience of having oneself laid bare is bound during one of the foundational moments in our growth is bound to create some problems – then depression could become more common, not less. Third, this assumes that everyone is more likely to build a relationship. If anything, knowledge of a soul mate who may live very far away from you, not speak your language, come from a family that is outright hostile towards you, etc. can lead to strong feelings of isolation. People may feel that all other relationships pale in comparison, functionally increasing their loneliness by isolating them from those around them in search of “the one.”
But Pro ignores the biggest problem with criminal activity in his world: how is criminal activity done in someone else’s body prosecuted? Chiefly, this regards what someone might do with someone else’s body, whether based in perversion, greed, masochism or sheer morbid curiosity. And it’s not just a question of whether we call death murder or suicide. Who dies if the body dies with someone else in control? Is the other person now stuck in a body that isn’t their own? Similarly, if someone goes into a coma, then who has the coma when they return to their original bodies? It’s also possible that they locked themselves in their room or even bound themselves before this occurs. Are they not responsible for keeping someone bound and gagged without food or water if that person is still wearing their skin?
These questions are fundamental to how crimes would be perceived by the justice system, and each could dramatically affect an individual’s willingness to commit those crimes. As Pro has left them unclear, we should assume that the legal system is utterly incapable of addressing this dimension of crime in Pro’s world. There is no precedent for this, and Pro provides no means to know whether someone actually did change bodies, so someone could commit crimes and play it off as though another person was in control at the time. Pro is creating a Purge-like situation where people can claim insanity every month to justify the worst crimes imaginable, and you’d never know if they were telling the truth.

Back to you, Seldiora!
Round 2
unfortunately, it seems once again I did not think this through. I had read up on XKCD's theoretical world where everyone has one soul mate []. I thought of Your Name, how it fixes the main problem by allowing the two to understand and swap positions. But I agree, even if your soul mate shifted over time, Whiteflame noticing how it destroys relation is a severe problem. Out of 7 billion people I trust that *someone* is most suited towards your personality, though Whiteflame takes care of this predestined idea and tells that the instant learning would be ... not so great. I remember that even Mitsuha and Taki's relation after meeting are... ambiguous at best, considering Whiteflame's analysis on relations. And the criminal activity does seem to be a realistic problem. I concede.
Part of what makes Your Name such a beautiful story is that both of them really were just two naïve young kids who were inquisitive enough to try to learn about each other without going too far, and even they had their moments. It also helps that there was the intrigue of Taki and Mitsuha being the only two people to whom this was happening, and so they didn't know what to expect and were interested in puzzling out the mystery. Gets a little harder when it becomes a worldwide event. Still I love debates like this where you get to explore alternate worlds, so thanks for the opportunity to think it through. I accept your concession.
Round 3
nicely done.
Appreciate it.
Round 4
i ded