The Instigator
Stupidape
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Sdio
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Bee enslavement is immoral.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Sdio
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 508 times Debate No: 83386
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

Stupidape

Pro

Pro will contend for the resolution and con against.

Opening statement

Enslavement of bees or any other sentient being is wrong. Whether or not the bees produce any honey.
Sdio

Con

Bees are not self-aware, therefore they are not aware that they are working for human benefit. In their eyes, they are living a normal life. Although bees have been documented as having an emotional response, they are not capable of abstract thinking and therefore don't realize that they are working for human benefit. Slaves work for no payment. As bees do not posses a monetary system, it would be impossible to compensate them for their work.
So we have a creature that is not aware of what it is doing, cannot be compensated, and does not object nor is it able to object to it's human captivity. I do not believe using bees for their honey is immoral.
Debate Round No. 1
Stupidape

Pro

"Bees are not self-aware" Con

The majority of scientific evidence supports the contrary claim that bees are sentient, also know as self-aware. 2,500 studies showing animal sentience. [1]. Bees have a brain. "On its head, a bee has two sensory antennae. It also has five eyes" [2].

Bees have the ability to learn.

"The team then tested whether the bees could apply what they had learned to a new situation. Blue and yellow patches were replaced with black and white patterns of vertical and horizontal bars. The bees passed with flying colors, heading straight for the pattern that matched what they saw at the entrance. " [3].

"But they are capable of a surprising degree of higher cognitive function, including the ability to cope with the concept of 'sameness' previously thought likely to be the preserve of primates. Having learnt to associate a set of black and white patterns with reward or absence of reward, honeybees can transfer that learning to a new set of patterns, or even to another sense, a set of odours. " [4].

Bees have sensory organs, a brain, a nervous system, and the ability to learn. Bees are certainly sentient.

"they are not capable of abstract thinking and therefore don't realize that they are working for human benefit. " Con

Pro begs to differ. Bees can learn simple patterns. Therefore, its not much of a stretch to realize they are being cheated.

"As bees do not posses a monetary system, it would be impossible to compensate them for their work." Con

Alternatively humans could discontinue the practice of enslaving bees. Pro doubts bees would want compensation, instead bees want honey and freedom.

"So we have a creature that is not aware of what it is doing, cannot be compensated, and does not object nor is it able to object to it's human captivity. I do not believe using bees for their honey is immoral." Con

Bees are aware, bees seem to prefer honey and freedom to compensation, and finally bees need to be smoked in order to get near the honey without being stung. Bees swarming a person and stinging their captor when they try to steal the honey is the bees' way of objecting. Also, try sticking your hand in a bee's nest without smoking the bees nor protection and see what happens.

[1](http://www.livescience.com...)
[2](http://animals.howstuffworks.com...)
[3](http://www.scientificamerican.com...)
[4](http://www.nature.com...)
Sdio

Con

Con was incorrect in his definition of self-aware and was associating self-awareness with the human ability of utilizing abstract thinking, complex reasoning, using tools etc.

"Bees have the ability to learn."
A large amount of animals are capable of learning. I don't believe that because they are capable of learning simple tasks that bee keeping is immoral.

"Bees can learn simple patterns. Therefore, its not much of a stretch to realize they are being cheated."
Realizing they are being cheated is a trait that can be attributed to complex thinking. Bees are not capable of realizing their honey is being used for commercial benefit.

"Alternatively humans could discontinue the practice of enslaving bees. Pro doubts bees would want compensation, instead bees want honey and freedom."
This is pure speculation. There is no way to determine what a bee would want. Furthermore, bees operate around the queen of the hive. If the queen leaves the hive, the bees will follow. How can you speculate that bees would prefer "freedom" when they blindly follow their absolute monarch anywhere she goes?

"Bees are aware, bees seem to prefer honey and freedom to compensation, and finally bees need to be smoked in order to get near the honey without being stung. Bees swarming a person and stinging their captor when they try to steal the honey is the bees' way of objecting. Also, try sticking your hand in a bee's nest without smoking the bees nor protection and see what happens."
Bees are territorial, they attack out of instinct, not out of objection to captivity. If I tried to steal honey from a wild hive, I would get stung as well. It has nothing to do with captivity and more about territorial defense. Once the honey is gone, I doubt the bees sit around singing slave songs wishing for freedom. They go get more and repeat the cycle.
Debate Round No. 2
Stupidape

Pro

"Con was incorrect in his definition of self-aware and was associating self-awareness with the human ability of utilizing abstract thinking, complex reasoning, using tools etc."

First, Con is having an identity crisis and has got Pro and Con confused. Pro is stupidape and Con is Sdio.

Next, Con has rejected mainstream science's view on self-awareness. Con must now answer two questions. First, how do you define self-awareness? Second, are humans sentient? Pro has decided to stick to main stream science for this debate, and claims that both humans and bees are self-aware.

"A large amount of animals are capable of learning. I don't believe that because they are capable of learning simple tasks that bee keeping is immoral." Con

Pro contends this makes beekeeping immoral because there is no relevance differences between bees, human children, and humans who are severely mentally handicapped. It is well established that it is not okay to exploit children nor the mentally handicapped via sweat shops. Also, it is wrong to kill members of these groups to maximize productivity.

"Realizing they are being cheated is a trait that can be attributed to complex thinking. Bees are not capable of realizing their honey is being used for commercial benefit." Con

The latter sentence is correct. As for the former, I don't think it takes much cognition to realize when you have been scammed.

"This is pure speculation. There is no way to determine what a bee would want." Con

We can create a hypothesis and test the hypothesis via observation.

"Furthermore, bees operate around the queen of the hive. If the queen leaves the hive, the bees will follow. How can you speculate that bees would prefer "freedom" when they blindly follow their absolute monarch anywhere she goes?" Con

How about the queen bee's freedom then? Since the bees follow her blindly. Oh, wait she is trapped in a cell created by humans. She has a maximize lifespan of five years but never lives more than two because she is murdered to maximize productivity.

"A queen honey bee's life lasts between a year and five years." [5].

"Queens can live for as long as five years but most commercial beekeepers replace them every two years" (Shimanuki & Sheppard, 181) (and often yearly). "Replace" is a euphemism for killing the old queen." [6].

"Bees are territorial, they attack out of instinct, not out of objection to captivity." Con

Bees are smarter than you think. Animals are capable of communicating. It is possible that wild bees have learned to attack humans more aggressively from communicating with mistreated domestic bees. Crows for example can pass information about an oppressor to other crows.

"Since the mob members also then indirectly learn about the threatening person, the findings demonstrate how just a single crow's bad experience with a particular human can spread information about this individual throughout entire crow communities.

Given that crows have impressive memories, people who ruffle the feathers of these birds could experience years of retribution." [7].

Pro contends that its a reasonable hypothesis that bees are slightly more aggressive towards invading humans due to being mistreated in captivity.

Summary, mainstream science supports that bees are sentient. There is no relevant differences between bees, children, and the mentally handicapped. Already there are laws in place to protect the last two groups. It is inconsistent to withhold such protections from the first group, bees.

The only reason humans allow this practice to continue is enforcing the status quo and because humans think they are superior to animals. The status quo is not self justifying, some cultures perform human sacrifices, showing the danger of blindly following tradition.

Humans cling to their superiority despite evidence that humans are just as mortal as animals. By what right do we have to play God with other sentient beings? To take total control by imprisoning the queen bee. By allowing this injustice to be legal we are paving the way for other atrocities.

5. http://animals.mom.me...
6. http://vegetus.org...
7. http://news.discovery.com...
Sdio

Con

Pro has confused himself as Con was correcting his own mistaken definition in his original argument, admitting fault. Not accusing Pro of having an incorrect definition. Pro's entire first paragraph is now irrelevant and his questions won't be addressed.

"Pro contends this makes beekeeping immoral because there is no relevance differences between bees, human children, and humans who are severely mentally handicapped. It is well established that it is not okay to exploit children nor the mentally handicapped via sweat shops. Also, it is wrong to kill members of these groups to maximize productivity."

Comparing commercial bee keeping to the exploitation of a disabled human is ludicrous, but I'll entertain the thought. There are an abundance of relevant differences between bees and child/disabled slaves. Children and slaves are capable and willing to be compensated for their work. Human slaves are aware that they are slaves. Bees are not aware they are living in a bee keepers box nor can they communicate to their keepers their conditions, standards, or complaints they want in return for honey. To them, that box is their home and all they know is to take care of the queen.

"The latter sentence is correct. As for the former, I don't think it takes much cognition to realize when you have been scammed."
Bees do not have the mental capacity to deduct that their product is being sold for economic interests. Bees are not capable of rational thought or reasoning and therefore don't understand human socioeconomic structures.

"We can create a hypothesis and test the hypothesis via observation."
Sure, we could. Can you cite a peer-reviewed study in which a researcher managed to communicate with a bee to ask what it wants?

"How about the queen bee's freedom then? Since the bees follow her blindly. Oh, wait she is trapped in a cell created by humans. She has a maximize lifespan of five years but never lives more than two because she is murdered to maximize productivity."

The queen bee is unaware she is captive, as she doesn't have the mental capacity to understand the bee keeping process. Queen bees are generally confined to their hive anyway, reproducing and eating, whether or not she's in human captivity. The burden of proof that bees want freedom was on you as it was a point you brought up but instead you relied on speculation rather than documented fact. Also. the queen maintains her own slaves (drones). Clearly she doesn't have an issue with enslavement. Why are we wrong for doing the same thing?

"Bees are smarter than you think. Animals are capable of communicating. It is possible that wild bees have learned to attack humans more aggressively from communicating with mistreated domestic bees. Crows for example can pass information about an oppressor to other crows."
Ok....bees are also territorial.
http://www.helpabee.org...

Interesting fact about crows, I did not know that. However, it has no relevance to our debate, which is about bees. Unless you have a study that proves bees communicate with other hives, which is unlikely for the same reason ant colonies seldom coordinate...they're two different hives in the same area competing for resources. Certain bees have been known to wage war on other colonies.
http://www.scientificamerican.com...

"Pro contends that its a reasonable hypothesis that bees are slightly more aggressive towards invading humans due to being mistreated in captivity."
You speculate that bees possibly coordinate with other hives because an entirely different species is capable of doing so and that leads to a reasonable hypothesis? I disagree with your assessment for obvious reasons.

"Summary, mainstream science supports that bees are sentient. There is no relevant differences between bees, children, and the mentally handicapped. Already there are laws in place to protect the last two groups. It is inconsistent to withhold such protections from the first group, bees."
There are plenty of differences between a child and a bee. A child and even the mentally handicapped are capable of abstract thought and complex reasoning, unlike bees.

"The only reason humans allow this practice to continue is enforcing the status quo and because humans think they are superior to animals. The status quo is not self justifying, some cultures perform human sacrifices, showing the danger of blindly following tradition."
Humans continue this practice because its lucrative and not immoral since bees are not aware that they are essentially slaves. Not to display our intellectual superiority. (Although we are superior.)

"Humans cling to their superiority despite evidence that humans are just as mortal as animals. By what right do we have to play God with other sentient beings? To take total control by imprisoning the queen bee. By allowing this injustice to be legal we are paving the way for other atrocities."
Humans are apex predators. We aren't the strongest or fastest creatures, but we are intellectually superior. To deny human superiority over other animals is a bit of a stretch.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Stupidape 1 year ago
Stupidape
"You committed this fallacy by arguing about how enslaving humans is wrong, when your job was to talk about bee enslavement." Defro

I never implied in any way that my opponent was arguing that human slavery was moral. I was only using enslaving humans as a point of reference. That most people consider human slavery immoral and since there is no relevant differences between human children, the severely mentally handicapped, and bees that enslavement of all three should be considered immoral.
Posted by Defro 1 year ago
Defro
@Stupidape I haven't been on this site for a year so I'm not sure if the voting system still works like this, but when I was here last, you lose points for making logical fallacies, which are errors in reasoning that while may seem logical, actually undermine the logic of your argument. A straw man fallacy is the logical fallacy in which one substitutes his position for a distorted, exaggerated, or misrepresented version of that position.

How straw man fallacies generally work is like this:
1. Person 1 asserts proposition X.
2. Person 2 argues against superficially similar proposition Y, falsely, as if an argument against Y were an argument against X.

You committed this fallacy by arguing about how enslaving humans is wrong, when your job was to talk about bee enslavement.
Posted by Stupidape 1 year ago
Stupidape
I'm trying to learn and grow, can you explain further what you mean by this "Pro loses points in conduct for committing the strawman fallacy when he compared bee enslavement to human enslavement." statement? Thanks in advance.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Defro 1 year ago
Defro
StupidapeSdioTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. Really enjoyed reading it. However, Pro swayed from his burden of proof, and focused mainly on trying to show how smart bees were, which didn't significantly help his case. Whether or not a bee wants freedom doesn't determine whether or not bee enslavement is immoral. Plus, in the end it still wasn't established that the bees want freedom. Pro loses points in conduct for committing the strawman fallacy when he compared bee enslavement to human enslavement. The one good point that was on track was Pro's claim that humans should not try to play God just because they think they are superior to other animals, however Con easily refuted this by showing that as apex predators, humans are superior to other animals.