The Instigator
mahanson
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
m4j0rkus4n4g1
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Are dogs better than cats?

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 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/29/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 237 times Debate No: 74476
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

mahanson

Pro

Argument #1: Dogs are smarter than cats

Animal Behaviorist Stanley Coren says "The average dog can learn 165 words; that"s equivalent to the vocabulary of a 2-year-old child." Whereas, cats cannot compete with a 35 word vocabulary. Dog lovers say their vocabulary skills help them be especially aware of what is going on around them.

I have spoken.
m4j0rkus4n4g1

Con

Thanks to my opponent for this debate. As many of us have pets, and most of those pets are cats or dogs, I think this debate is something we can relate to.

I want to point out two things:

1) my opponent has the burden of proof to show me why dogs are objectively better than cats. While it is possible to argue from the standpoint that cats are better than dogs, this is not what I wish to argue, largely because I do not think it is true. I will be upholding a neutral stance, and thus all I must do is show why my opponent's arguments do not prove that dogs are better. At the end of the debate, I hope we will all be able to continue enjoying our favorite kind of pet, without having to assert that one is better than the other.

2) if possible, I would like to understand what my opponent means by "better". This is, perhaps, one of the most confounding words in the English language when it comes to objective statements. Rolling Stones might have listed Jimi Hendrix as the "best" guitarist in the world, but it seems foolish to assume that Jimi Hendrix is literally going to be better in every way possible than every guitarist ever to exist. Thus, it seems likely to say that whatever one views as "better" is not simply that which has improved qualities in every aspect, but only in those aspects which one views to be the most important.

I feel that this is safe grounds to say that "better" is ultimately subjective, and therefore could be difficult, if not impossible to argue objectively.

However, as no definition has been provided, I will provide one which Pro may concede to or deny. My definition is simply the result of a Google search for the word "better".

better - adj. the comparative of good and well. (not the only one, but the one most likely to be applicable here)

As I assume my opponent is not asserting that dogs, on balance, are healthier than cats, I take "better" to mean something which is comparatively more good than something else. So, my opponent must prove that, all things considered, dogs are objectively superior to cats.

So now to refute my opponent's argument. I take three issues with Argument #1.
1.
Please provide a link or reference to show that the Stanley Coren you are quoting actually said this. Right now, I only have your word on the matter. I would like to see if this man has the credentials you say and upholds the statement you quote.
2.
A quick Google search of smart gives this definition:

smart - adj. having or showing a quick-witted intelligence. (again, not the only one, but the one that seems most applicable)
It would seem that, to understand "smart", we must understand "intelligent". So what does a Google search of "intelligence" come up with (this is a simple way and I am well aware of the fact that intelligence is a hotly debated topic in many fields of study)?

intelligence - n. the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.

Do you see why it is problematic to make broad statements about intelligence using only one skill? Obviously, intelligence is not simply how many words an organism can learn. If that were the case, the definition of "smart" or "intelligence" would come up quickly as "how many words an organism can learn". So, assuming the source -- which my opponent did not cite -- is correct, the fact that dogs can learn more words than cats does not prove that dogs are "smarter" than cats. Many more tests would need to be conducted to show that dogs beat out cats in many areas of intelligence.

3.
Let's just assume, however, that all that my opponent has claimed thus far is true, and that dogs are smarter than cats. Are we to say that the property of being more intelligent than another organism is necessary and sufficient cause to then be better than that organism? Or, put another way: assume you have three children, and one scores higher on tests, can memorize patterns and words better than the other two, and is the overall most intelligent. As a parent, must you conclude that this is the child that is the "best"? Perhaps some parents might say that, but I hold that this would be troublesome on many levels, as this does not allow for children to have different quantities of equal importance. So, even if dogs are smarter, it seems discriminatory to say that this property makes them better than cats.

Good luck to my opponent and I await the next round!
Debate Round No. 1
mahanson

Pro

mahanson forfeited this round.
m4j0rkus4n4g1

Con

Until my opponent brings forth another argument, I will simply extend my own. Dogs are not inherently better than cats.
Debate Round No. 2
mahanson

Pro

mahanson forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
mahanson

Pro

mahanson forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
mahanson

Pro

mahanson forfeited this round.
m4j0rkus4n4g1

Con

m4j0rkus4n4g1 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
No votes have been placed for this debate.