The Instigator
Mikeee
Pro (for)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
Calvincambridge
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Agriculture was mankind's biggest mistake.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Mikeee
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/13/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,182 times Debate No: 18334
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (4)

 

Mikeee

Pro

Pro will have to prove that the invention and use of agriculture was dis-beneficial and made life worse than before the agricultural revolution (before 100,000 BCE). Pro will also have to show how humanity would still be-able to survive without the invention and use of agriculture.

Con will have to prove that the invention and use of agriculture was beneficial and made life (the quality of life) better after the agricultural revolution (100,000 BCE to today) and acceptance and use of agriculture either as whole regions or individual areas. Con will also have to prove that humanity would not have been able to survive entirely or as the dominate species without the invention and use of agriculture.

Terms:
Agriculture: The domestication of plant or species for use and convenes of humans (farming, herding, genetic altering, etc.)
Humanity: all human beings collectively; the human race; humankind.

Not a religious debate in anyway

First round is for acceptance only.
Calvincambridge

Con

I accept and ask who has the burden of proof.
Debate Round No. 1
Mikeee

Pro

Both sides share the burden of proof.

In the agricultural lifestyle more people have poorer quality of life than people who lived in the pre-agricultural lifestyle, the hunters' and gathers' era. There are a lot of misconceptions about both ways of life and to open my argument I will address the misconceptions of pre-agricultural lifestyle. When most people think of hunters and gathers, they think of caveman, barbaric savages with a small brain and little knowledge. This is obviously untrue, both genetically and historically. Cavemen where modern-men, homo sapiens-sapiens, who had the same genetic makeup as twenty-first century man. Despite what most people think, hunters and gathers where smart. In order to hunt successfully, which they did because they all didn't die out, you need to be able to coordinate a plan to take down a larger animal and have the knowledge to find it by tracking which way it went. It also takes a considerable amount of knowledge to know how to gather. You can't just pick anything and think it was safe to eat, you needed to know what you could and could not eat, and where to find these different foods. If you put a murderer in the wild they might survive a few months, if even the first week, but these hunter and gathers where able to survive well over a few thousand years.

Most people often believe that all these nomadic people did was, go around getting enough food for day to day meals and had no free time to invent and innovate. This is also false. Early man is much like other apes and mammals, the first and main priority is to feed themselves so that they would not starve and die, but they also had lots of free time. If mammals spent all of their time either getting food or sleeping, they would have died out in the first generation. After food is obtained, obviously they have to take the time to eat it, and they also use their free time to reproduce, which is how new generations come along. Shelter is also a basic need, which takes time to obtain, weather it is a tepee or natural protection from the elements. When not either hunting or gathering, tools and weapons where made so that they could continue to hunt or gather.

Now knowing that pre-agriculture life is more complex and advanced than most people would have originally thought, it shows that in both ways of life basic needs are taken care of, the only difference is how food was obtained, which leads me to my next three points.

The development of agriculture lead to issues and problems that did not exist in the world of hunters and gathers, post nomadic lifestyle problems consisted of; ownership of possessions , which lead to conflicts and wars, inequality between genders, races, and cultures, health related issues such as diseases, and dramatic impact on the world.
For my first point, I will discuss how agriculture led to ownership of possessions, which had a negative impact on the human race. In the world of hunter and gathers, the only thing anyone ever owned was his or her own personal tools that they used, and the food the they obtained, which was shortly eaten, because they never kept more food that they could eat or carry, they did not get surplus amounts of food and store it, they got what they needed day to day. When people started to farm they yielded a harvest and obtained a surplus that they ate when their farm did not yield anything. The surplus that they didn't need became wealth and they could focus on other things such as crafts and trades, thus speculation of labor occurred and eventually turned in to complex societies, you know how the rest goes. We can agree that today there are people, who work hard to make enough money to feed themselves and their family, and there are people who don't work because they have enough money that they could buy anything that they could possibly want, these two distinctions are called classes. Obviously they are not the same, with the distinction of classes the focus did not revolve around the group, but rather on the individual and their own family. Because some people have more and some people have less, the people with less want the same as everyone else, which leads to conflict and war over possessions, territory, etc. So in conclusion, having possessions was beneficial to some, but for most, as is evident through history, the majority is lower class. Low class eventually revolt and fight, causing conflict, war, and death; whereas, before anyone owned a substantial amount of possessions, killing of another human over material items was never done, not to say that it didn't happen, but there where never full blown wars and battles in pre-agriculture times.
Calvincambridge

Con

I do not believe pre agricultural people were dumb but things were generally the same but diffrent. This is not semantics. the same things happen back then as well as now just in a diffrent manner . Many issues were in pre-agricultural society war WAS one of them. Apparently societys which are tribes or pre-agricultural fight wars. http://www.opendemocracy.net...;

Life was just diffrent but not any better or worse.
Debate Round No. 2
Mikeee

Pro

The next round of this debate will be; my rebuttals and my second major point.
Rebuttal

You said that during the pre-agriculture time period there where wars, but what do you consider a war? Obviously there where fights between tribes, but even gorillas and great apes fight each other over things such as territory and mammals of the opposite gender, it is only natural. When the hunter and gathers fought wars, they didn't scheme and make preparations, they just attacked, and they didn't have any military equipment or an army. What I consider to be a war is intentional warfare between two major opposing parties, such as the Persian wars or WWI and WWII, wars that had purpose and where planned out, involving a military and an army with people who trained to kill other humans.
My next major point; Overall health

Today we have all sorts of doctors and people that help fix problems with our bodies, weather it is physical or internal damage. In the pre-agriculture lifestyle most of these occupations would not be needed and they only one that may have any value is first responders to help with physical damage done to someone's body. It is likely that people did something like fall off a cliff and break their leg or lose their arm to the animal they were hunting, but the fact of the matter is that they were stronger (bones) and could take the abuse the elements did to their bodies. If they had not already, it is likely that they did figure out how to help broken bones, such as using a splint to make it strong again and physical rehabilitation. This is just a minor part of general health.

Other health issues that did not exist where diseases that are directly related to the development of domestic food and animals. One example of diseases not existing is when most of the Native Americans died due to exposure of small poxes, which the colonist where immune to. Big outbreaks of diseases did not happen because there are diseases and viruses that developed only because of domesticated foods. After the development of agriculture, specialization of labor happened, and people eventually started to live together in clumps of cities where there was a higher possibility of epidemic outbreaks and the spread of germs and diesis. Agriculture allowed for the explosion of human population which also coincides with people starting to live in cities and confined areas, which lead to radical health and social changes (I will talk more about social changes next round). It is a basic biological fact that population is limited by the ability of the habitat to maintain it. Because there are now more people in the world then the habitat in which we live in can handle, there is mass starvation and conflicts.

My last point about health in pre-agriculture times is diet. Our natural habitat was able to maintain human inhabitance until the population explosion. It is fact that hunter and gathers and a more varied and nutritious diet than farmers did.

"Skeletons from Greece and Turkey show that the average height of hunger-gatherers toward the end of the ice ages was a generous 5′ 9″ for men, 5′ 5″ for women. With the adoption of agriculture, height crashed, and by 3000 B.C. had reached a low of only 5′ 3″ for men, 5′ for women. By classical times heights were very slowly on the rise again, but modern Greeks and Turks have still not regained the average height of their distant ancestors."
This quote clearly demonstrates that the overall health of hunter and gathers was better than that of the farmers and the complex societies.

This these points being made; would a world that we were healthier and had less conflict be better than life today with all of its complex issues?

http://michaelgreenwell.wordpress.com...
Calvincambridge

Con

Calvincambridge forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Mikeee

Pro

I will save the rest of my argument for another debate on the same topic...
Calvincambridge

Con

Calvincambridge forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Mikeee 6 years ago
Mikeee
I'm re-debating this at:

http://www.debate.org...
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
CON can negate by finding a "mistake" worse than agriculture, especially according to his opponent's standards.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by kohai 5 years ago
kohai
MikeeeCalvincambridgeTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Simply put: pro didn't forfeit. Obvious troll iis obvious
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 6 years ago
Man-is-good
MikeeeCalvincambridgeTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Excellent debate by Con who thought that refuting only one of Mikee's well thought out points [the increase of exposure of diseases, warfare, in contrast to the egilitarian societies and tribes of the Stone age] and forfeiting at a crucial point in the debate would suffice to win him a debate.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
MikeeeCalvincambridgeTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Smart move by Mikeee saving his arguments and predicting that CC will forfeit the last round as well. CC had SG mistakes and forfeited losing conduct. His source was irrelevant to agriculture.
Vote Placed by curious18 6 years ago
curious18
MikeeeCalvincambridgeTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: I don't agree with Mikeee, but Calvin never presented any arguments.