The Instigator
KeiiTheRaVeN
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Veridas
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Anthropocentrism ought to be valued above biocentrism

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Veridas
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,279 times Debate No: 11655
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

KeiiTheRaVeN

Pro

I want this to be in a public forum format in a sense. I hope i get a response.
Today the resolution states that: Anthropocentrism ought to be valued above biocentrism
I offer the following definitions
Anthropocentrism-Interpreting reality exclusively in terms of human value and experience
Biocentrism- the extension of natural value to non-human, coporeal species
Ought- an expression of duty of obligation
Intrinsic Value- Of natural merit or importance
Observation 1: Humanity is the most coherent actor per this resolution. As biocentrism and anthropocentrism are systems of values that only humans may have. Ought is an expression of duty or obligation, so the question that needs answering is- what obligations do humans have
The resolution specifies that the conflicts we should talk about are conflicts between valuing anthropocentrism and biocentrism.
The resolution does not justify the destruction of nature if it would harm humanity. The anthropocentrism that we are concerned with is the anthropocentrism that clashes with biocentrism, when nature becomes a hindrance to the development and sustainability of homosapiens, it would be justifiable, or we ought to value people over nature.

#2 We can bever beat nature. If we fought nature we would lose. Seriously though, natural equlibrium ensures that one part of nature relies on the other. The destruction of one would destroy the other. So the ultimatium that nature would cease to exist due to human efforts, is completely ridiculous.

Contention 1: Humanity has an obligation to human life, but not nature.
Where it would conflict, we must choose to preserve human life.
Humans ought to be anthropocentric due to the natural order of things.

Sub Point A) Natural Equlibrium
Every animal makes use of all gifts and resources; humans are animals and ought to as well. That means we must value our ways over the "natural biocentrism" ways do. Do we have claws like a bears? Can we fun fast like cheetahs? We have a different resource, our mind, which must value over nature's goals and aspirations. What's truly natural is for every species to utilize their resources even if conflicts with the supposed goals of nature, because that is truly natural. No animal will stop to consider humanity's obligations, develop an obligation to us, and respond preserving our needs in place of their own. A beaver will build his dam on that river even if we have farms that depend on said river.

Sub Point B) In situations where nture clashes with human life anthropocentrism must be valued above biocentrism to preserve humans. The common ground held by Biocentrist is that they aren't advocating that we halt the use of resources, just that we provide value equally for all factors in the universe.

Contention 2) Biocentrism is illogical and impractical therefore flawed

Sub Point A) Biocentrism is illogical
Intrinsic value means that the subject is its own end. The good that produces is simply that it exists. Biocentrism is a human system of belief meaning humans are placing intrinsic value on things. Resources are a means to an end. Humanity does not value things simply because they ARE, biocentrism cannot value nature simply because it IS that's silly and therefore it would be a hindrance at best to value biocentrism at all. The only time it is justifiable to value something simply for being is to value a human being
This leads me to the impractical aspect, if resources had their own intrinsic value, then inherently through the use of resources we are causing harm. If we are to value all universal factors equivalently then we can never justify the use of any natural resource. Intrinsic value by implication is weighed equally no matter where the value is placed. So my destruction of trees to prodiuce the paper of wood I se today or the alteration of animals and plants into food is weighed as heavily as killing people.
Veridas

Con

Firstly I would reccomend posting sources for those precise definitions. No offence but the term "it depends on what your definition of "is" is" comes to mind.

Secondly, I would argue that the entire point of human systems and values is to measure and effect in terms that we dictate, therefore the very fact that we can place meaning on whether something is more beneficial to mankind or more beneficial to everything except mankind automatically implies that there are things we will have to sacrifice for the sake of the natural world.

Thirdly, considering the second point, precisely how much would you argue that what is effectively selfishness would aid mankind before it begins to hinder it? We could cut down every tree in existence for wood, but in turn our oxygen supply would be vastly diminished. We could mine every resource to extinction, but in turn would be faced with resource wars against ourselves. We could take everything and leave what we do not take to suffocate on poison air and drown in the sewage that is the leftovers from our society, to do that we would ultimately gain temporary but total Anthropocentrism because reality would become all about us. And it would kill us in the end.

Biocentrism, as you called it, interpreting reality from the perspective of everything except humanity is probably the only reason we haven't eviscerated this planet entirely. What few programs we have for environmental preservation have biocentrism at their core, and the only reason that businesses that rely on natural resources are still in business is their capability to find or create new sources of income from renewable materials like wood.

Note that the companies that do not rely on renewable materials for their income, like for example oil companies, do not care for biocentrism and instead argue for your Anthropocentrism.

You can throw definitions, official or arbitrary, around all you like. In the end it comes down to a simple question of how selfish humanity truly is. If we want to survive then we'd better make sure we're not as selfish as we like to say we are.

Nature is a series of scales. Each scale has two weights. Predator and prey, carnivore and herbivore, life and death, male and female, hot and cold, and so on and so forth.

Removal of one weight, or even affecting the mass of one weight too much causes the scales to tilt to the other end, which removes the balance of specific natural sects such as predator and prey.

It's called the balance of nature for a reason.

You seem keen to argue that humanity is automatically more important than the rest of the natural universe solely because you happen to be human.

Would you agree if you were a shark? a koala? a penguin? a heap of moss on a rock? a sperm?

Of course not, you would lack the sentience to do so, but if you had that sentience, I sincerely doubt you would agree.

We take, in my opinion, too much from this world as it is. To argue that we somehow deserve to have even more is frankly insulting.
Debate Round No. 1
KeiiTheRaVeN

Pro

I want this to be in a public forum format in a sense. I hope i get a response.
Today the resolution states that: Anthropocentrism ought to be valued above biocentrism
I offer the following definitions
Anthropocentrism-Interpreting reality exclusively in terms of human value and experience
Biocentrism- the extension of natural value to non-human, coporeal species
Ought- an expression of duty of obligation
Intrinsic Value- Of natural merit or importance
Observation 1: Humanity is the most coherent actor per this resolution. As biocentrism and anthropocentrism are systems of values that only humans may have. Ought is an expression of duty or obligation, so the question that needs answering is- what obligations do humans have
The resolution specifies that the conflicts we should talk about are conflicts between valuing anthropocentrism and biocentrism.
The resolution does not justify the destruction of nature if it would harm humanity. The anthropocentrism that we are concerned with is the anthropocentrism that clashes with biocentrism, when nature becomes a hindrance to the development and sustainability of homosapiens, it would be justifiable, or we ought to value people over nature.

#2 We can bever beat nature. If we fought nature we would lose. Seriously though, natural equlibrium ensures that one part of nature relies on the other. The destruction of one would destroy the other. So the ultimatium that nature would cease to exist due to human efforts, is completely ridiculous.

Contention 1: Humanity has an obligation to human life, but not nature.
Where it would conflict, we must choose to preserve human life.
Humans ought to be anthropocentric due to the natural order of things.

Sub Point A) Natural Equlibrium
Every animal makes use of all gifts and resources; humans are animals and ought to as well. That means we must value our ways over the "natural biocentrism" ways do. Do we have claws like a bears? Can we fun fast like cheetahs? We have a different resource, our mind, which must value over nature's goals and aspirations. What's truly natural is for every species to utilize their resources even if conflicts with the supposed goals of nature, because that is truly natural. No animal will stop to consider humanity's obligations, develop an obligation to us, and respond preserving our needs in place of their own. A beaver will build his dam on that river even if we have farms that depend on said river.

Sub Point B) In situations where nture clashes with human life anthropocentrism must be valued above biocentrism to preserve humans. The common ground held by Biocentrist is that they aren't advocating that we halt the use of resources, just that we provide value equally for all factors in the universe.

Contention 2) Biocentrism is illogical and impractical therefore flawed

Sub Point A) Biocentrism is illogical
Intrinsic value means that the subject is its own end. The good that produces is simply that it exists. Biocentrism is a human system of belief meaning humans are placing intrinsic value on things. Resources are a means to an end. Humanity does not value things simply because they ARE, biocentrism cannot value nature simply because it IS that's silly and therefore it would be a hindrance at best to value biocentrism at all. The only time it is justifiable to value something simply for being is to value a human being
This leads me to the impractical aspect, if resources had their own intrinsic value, then inherently through the use of resources we are causing harm. If we are to value all universal factors equivalently then we can never justify the use of any natural resource. Intrinsic value by implication is weighed equally no matter where the value is placed. So my destruction of trees to prodiuce the paper of wood I se today or the alteration of animals and plants into food is weighed as heavily as killing people.
Starting off with the first statement u mentioned about that we dictate the human systems and such. Yes i agree entirely thats exactly why our opinions are the only ones that matter and why animals opinions dont. Which is why they are not equivalent to us.
Next we will never destroy nature. We would be negating Abraham Maslow's heirarchy of needs which is impossible . We need nature to survive. In doing so we value it without even knowing. Biocentrism is stating that all forms of life have intrinsic value. But we still need to value humans more than anything else. We have an obligation to ourselves first so crossapply my contention 1 tagline. And the example of the trees. We cut trees for paper. We still need trees though but their are other organisms that give us oxygen. Are u saying there arent? We will never destroy nature to the point where we cannot use it.
Thirdly, yes i do argue that we value humans more than anything else. And animals value themselves more than anything else as well.
Veridas

Con

I'm pretty sure neither myself nor the commenters/judges of this debate really need a recap of your initial argument. For sake of clarity I'll place your arguments into quotes and answer each one individually.

"Starting off with the first statement u mentioned about that we dictate the human systems and such. Yes i agree entirely thats exactly why our opinions are the only ones that matter and why animals opinions dont. Which is why they are not equivalent to us."

Equivalency is irrelevant given that we are only capable of surviving due to them. Cows are made of beef, pigs are made of pork, we eat both these animals, but these animals also naturally create fertiliser with their faeces, it could therefore be argued that without cows or pigs, we would have no agriculture. That means vastly reduced quantities of fruits and vegetables, and if pigs and cows didn't exist, that also means no beef, no pork, no bacon, no leather for clothing, no truffles if you happen to be into that kind of thing, and no milk.

Stating that our opinions matter more because we're the only ones that have them is like saying that a man with four fingers is less important than a man with five.

"Next we will never destroy nature."

Who said anything about destruction? I'm referring to us reaching the point when we can no longer exploit nature for our own ends.

"We would be negating Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs which is impossible"

Um, ol' Mazzie's system focuses explicitly on human motivation without taking into account the effects of that motivation on the natural world. I fail to see how it's relevant to the so-called destruction of nature. Hell, it's been compared to Zen Buddhism which, if memory serves, teaches that all sentient beings are born with Buddha's virtue, and virtue, according to Wikipedia, is a sense of moral excellence. The peak of morality is to place others before the self. Therefore, I would argue that Mazzie's hippy happy hierarchy is directly contradictory to Anthropocentrism. Assuming you can't negate that hierarchy, as you yourself stated, that means that Anthropocentrism is an impossibility.

"We need nature to survive. In doing so we value it without even knowing."

The value of something is not dictated by an arbitrary value decided by mankind. Something's value in relevance to human opinion is pretty much arbitrary. The value of something when looking at it from the perspective of everything that isn't human, that is when we see it's true value in reference to this argument. The basis for this entire argument is the contest between perspectives, if you're only going to acknowledge one then your argument is doomed from the start, but I digress. Getting back on point, what value do you suppose gold has to, say, a lemur? How about penicillin or a pilum?

None. A Lemur could walk past these things and not realise their significance to us. That lemur could then come across whatever it is lemurs eat and consider it more valuable than the other three combined.

A poor person (or any person, really) will see the financial value to gold, a person with an infection will see medical value in penicillin, and a historian will see the historical value of an intact pilum.

That does not make these things important to the natural world. It makes them important to humans.

What is important is not dictated by how we can use them, what is important is dictated by how we might benefit from them. The current ultimate benefit at the moment would be a renewable series of resources from which we can keep our current standards of living without serious financial loss.

"Biocentrism is stating that all forms of life have intrinsic value But we still need to value humans more than anything else"

Not to the extent that you're implying.

"We have an obligation to ourselves first so crossapply my contention 1 tagline. And the example of the trees. We cut trees for paper. We still need trees though but their are other organisms that give us oxygen. Are u saying there arent? "

Don't put words in my mouth. I said our oxygen supply would be vastly diminished. Not gone.

"We will never destroy nature to the point where we cannot use it."

Once again with the destruction I never spoke about in the first place

"Thirdly, yes i do argue that we value humans more than anything else. And animals value themselves more than anything else as well."

I take it you've never seen a lioness defend her cubs, then? Gruesome but enlightening.

I'll be blunt with this, we are only alive today because of nature. We exist because of it. We can exploit it only so much before that exploitation begins to hurt us. Anthropocentrism will hurt us and hurt us badly in the long run. Biocentrism, by comparison, will at least ensure that we have the resources and the natural aid we need to produce drugs, food and materials. Tell me this, if an elderly relative gave you fifty dollars, would you then demand fifty more?

That's us. Nature has given us those fifty dollars, you are saying we should demand fifty more. We don't need it, we're not going to do anything with it, but you want it so you think you should have it.

Please don't act as if we're the only ones that matter.

And for the love of God almighty, make use of the spellchecker. I've been copy/pasting your spelling of Anthrop Centrism up until now, apparantely both that and Bio Centrism are two words, and that's ignoring all your other little mistakes. They make your arguments look bad and they make you look bad and it takes like five minutes. Seriously.

Sources:

Maslow's Hierarchy: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Buddhism: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Virtue: http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
KeiiTheRaVeN

Pro

KeiiTheRaVeN forfeited this round.
Veridas

Con

Stopgap for my opponent's argument.
Debate Round No. 3
KeiiTheRaVeN

Pro

KeiiTheRaVeN forfeited this round.
Veridas

Con

I take it Keith has given up.
Debate Round No. 4
KeiiTheRaVeN

Pro

KeiiTheRaVeN forfeited this round.
Veridas

Con

Let the voting begin.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Veridas 6 years ago
Veridas
I'm fairly sure they're really just perspectives of how we should consider ourselves as a species. Militant actions are probably unnecessary unless it becomes particularly important that certain areas of land just die in gratuitously violent ways.
Posted by headphonegut 6 years ago
headphonegut
do these ideologies require militant action?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by headphonegut 6 years ago
headphonegut
KeiiTheRaVeNVeridasTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07