The Instigator
Briannj17
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Zarium
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Hedonism is Prevelent in the Nature of Humans

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/10/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,133 times Debate No: 84867
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (22)
Votes (0)

 

Briannj17

Pro

I will be arguing that the key in human nature or what drives us to do what we do, is to do what gives us the most net pleasure. (Pleasure - Pain = net pleasure)

Hedonism: the ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life.
https://www.google.ca...

Prevalent: Common or widespread.
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Human Nature: Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics"including ways of thinking, feeling and acting"which humans tend to have naturally, independently of the influence of culture.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

1. No kritiks/semantics
2. Breaking rules = loss
3. You accept definitions
4. Don't troll me. Punishable by losing the debate and an capital punishment through Jaguars.

Round Structure:

R1: Make your argument.
R2-4: Arguments/Rebuttals
R5: Closing Remarks. You can address previous arguments, but don't offer new ones.
Zarium

Con

Thank you for this debate, I really like the topic.

I would like to add that the Rules applying to me, I am stating are applied to you - For the same reasons (I have had debates where people have directed the rules at their opponent, omitting themselves) - This is likely not you, however I am starting the habit now.

To begin with - I will concede that Hedonism is A prevalent trait in the nature of humans, That is a fact, not an opinion that my opponent has made.

However my understanding of the debate my opponent has raised, is signifying that Hedonism is THE prevalent trait in the nature of humans. This is where we differ in opinion. (If my assumption is correct, if not I can rectify my stance to maintain the debate, however this is my understanding).
I would ask that my Opponent corrects me if my understanding is not correct, though it appears quite apparent from your 1st round details.

My Stance in this Argument is as follows :

I believe that the Prevalent trait in the Nature of humans is the creation, concern and care for their young - To shorten: Procreation.

Definition :

procreate
verb
  1. (of people or animals) produce young; reproduce.


People may want to chase their pleasures (Be that what they may) - However the Imperative function and drive in our nature, is to procreate - to raise said offspring to be 'better' than the previous model (i.e. Parent).

Procreate is often misinterpreted as 'Sex' - however it is the production of young - which does include sex, however this adheres to the raising of the child, such as knowledge, social skills, danger and spatial awareness, etc.

I will extrapolate further in the coming rounds, however this is the topic I will be representing.
Debate Round No. 1
Briannj17

Pro

Alright let's begin...

First of all what your argument comes down to is, "Procreation is the prevalent trait in the nature of Humans"
Now I will shape this to support my claim that pleasure is what drives us to do what we do.

"...(The) drive in our nature is to procreate..."
Be that as it may everything we do, we do for the pleasure it gives us. First there are steps in procreating.
First let's define procreation...

Procreate: (of people or animals) produce young; reproduce.
https://www.google.ca...

First we all know that people (and other organisms) gain pleasure from reproducing. But let us discuss what pleasure is,

Pleasure: a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.
https://www.google.ca...

Now let's discuss from a scientific standpoint what causes pleasure.

The brain contains a pleasure center which is a set of brain domains, specifically the nucleus accumbens, that is shown to produce great pleasure when it's stimulated electrically. Another part is the septum pellucidium, which is also considered to be the pleasure center, while still others mention the hypothalamus when referring to the pleasure center for intracranial stimulation. The experience of pleasure that can also be shown, has been linked to activation in the orbitofrontal cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex and the insula, while also showing activity in different brain regions, such as the nucleus accumbens, which is associated with pleasure unconsciously expressed. As of late, the brain mechanisms causing pleasure have been shown in more detail. An active research group around Kent C. Berridge has shown that pleasure is not a unitary experience. Instead, pleasure consists of many brain processes including liking, wanting and learning caused by consecutive overlapping brain networks. This research has been suported by the use of objective pleasure-elicited reactions in humans and other animals such as the behavioral "liking"/"disliking" facial expressions to tastes that are homologous between humans and many other mammals. http://lsa.umich.edu... Recreational drug use can be pleasurable. Some drugs, directly create euphoria in the human brain when ingested. The mind's natural way is to seek out more of this feeling (supporting my theory) which can lead to dependence and addiction. Berridge and Robinson have proposed that addiction results from drugs hijacking the "wanting" system through a sensitization of the mesolimbic dopamine system.
https://en.wikipedia.org...

It is also shown that during reproduction the brain releases chemicals causing pleasure.http://www.salon.com...
Therefore supporting my argument that people act for pleasure and that only.

Next in procreation is raising the child. Science also proves that raising a child is pleasurable. http://sonjalyubomirsky.com...

This is due to the same chemical reactions in the brain that stimulate the pleasure. Because what could be greater to a person than to create a person that could change the world. The pleasures of raising a child are clear in the media. https://www.google.ca...

In Conclusion...

With all arguments rebutted I look forward to your response.
Zarium

Con

Great Response - However it is an anticipated one.

I will refer back to my previous round as to my understanding of the debate - I asked my opponent if I was correct in my assumption as to the reason, and it has not been clarified, I will assume my opponent has conceded that my understanding is correct.

The reason why I firstly did this, and then refreshed in this round, it to show you that traits and actions have multiple effects to the human psyche. Actions that may be started to appease one aspect of our nature, our 'drive' - will affect and have reactions that sustain other aspects of our nature. This debate, however, is THE prevalent trait in human nature.

My opponent has clearly and succinctly clarified the positive side, which I will shape to fit my side of the argument.
The previous round of my opponent has clearly shown that we are 'rewarded' for doing tasks that are deemed in our nature, Our body reacts by releasing chemicals and endorphins that give one a 'feel good' feeling.

Again, I concede that Hedonism is A trait to human nature - We like feeling good. We like that we feel good, when we feel good.

However, The reason why I maintain that Procreation is THE prevalent trait for Humans' - is because it makes us do things we DON'T want to do.

Please see the following links to express my ideals regarding this :
https://nationalparentsorganization.org...
https://www.quora.com...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

As you can see in the articles above, parents have sacrificed their lives to sustain the life of their children. People do not get rewarded from this, except the 'winnings' they claw from the surrounding world themselves.

People doing things because they want too, and because it makes them feel good - Is completely logical.

People doing things because they want too, and they know there is no physical reward (likely the opposite), is deemed not only illogical, but only explainable when one is driven by their nature to take action.

Every human being has an innate maternal instinct, (Do not be fooled by the femininity of the word, men are maternal too), I was unable to find a survey online(due to lack of prior need, I am reading up on the parameters so future debates will not have this issue, apologies), however I ran a verbal debate through co-workers today - around 30, and 29 of them answered yes to the question; "Would you save a child that was in danger nearby you? Even if you were hurt?".

All expressed distaste to the idea, however conceded that regardless, they would try to rescue the child, even if they had no 'blood' ties.
The one person who said no, is a bit of a joker, and I have personally witnessed him jump into a river to save a bottle of beer, so I can assume that a Child would not really be much of a stretch!

The ideal of Hedonism stimulate the ideal that you wish to preserve life for as long as possible, to maintain the chances of pleasure being had; This is a in no way a bad thing, and may be pretty high on the list of a humans priorities (I don't know what I would do without my game time) - However, Very few decisions based on pleasure lead to death.

Conclusion :

I believe I have effectively debased my opponents original topic, and sufficiently proven my point.

I would like to encourage my opponent in any rebuttals he has devised while reading this, however if he is willing to concede my point on the matter - and as long as he is - I would like to use the remaining time to discuss the nature of pleasure, I feel you have much knowledge and insight on the matter, and I would like to extend this subjects duration as long as possible.

If you have rebuttals to my points raised, I will gladly respond with earnest, as I do love your thoroughness and knowledge, and any point you raise will surely lead to at least 20 thoughts I would never have thought on my own.

Thank you, :)
Debate Round No. 2
Briannj17

Pro

Well howdy! Now is the time. Let us negate.

After you posted those heroic tales of how parents sacrificed themselves for their children you posted something I would like to discuss in depth....

"As you can see in the articles above, parents have sacrificed their lives to sustain the life of their children. People do not get rewarded from this, except the 'winnings' they claw from the surrounding world themselves."
On the contrary people do get rewarded from the physical processes I discussed last round. In this round I would like to discuss to you the processes involved in acts of heroism such as the ones you posted.

Adrenaline: a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion.
https://www.google.ca...

"The stressor -- for example, the sight of your son pinned beneath a car -- stimulates the hypothalamus. This region of the brain is responsible for maintaining the balance between stress and relaxation in your body. When it's alerted to danger, it sends out a chemical signal to your adrenal glands, activating the sympathetic system, which sends the body into an excited state. These glands release adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine), hormones that create the state of readiness that helps a human confront danger. Together, these hormones raise heart rate, increase respiration, dilate the pupils, slow down digestion and -- perhaps most importantly -- allow muscles to contract."
http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com...

Now I remembered something I posted last round about adrenaline and the hypothalamus. So i did some research and found out that adrenaline is directly involved with pleasure.

" In the presence of perceived danger to life and limb, our adrenal glands pump out large amounts of adrenaline (also called norepinephrine), which is closely related to dopamine " the chemical messenger in the brain that plays a major role in pleasure and addiction. Danger also triggers the pituitary gland and hypothalamus to secrete endorphins, the pain-suppressing and pleasure-inducing compounds that are mimicked by opiates, including heroin." http://www.drweil.com...

So there is a reward system going on in the body when people act as heroes. So I can make an argument that the man or woman saved the child because they wanted to maintain that pleasure and I'd have facts to back it up. Therefore your argument fails.

In conclusion...
With all arguments rebutted....Tha-tha-tha-thats all folks! For now anyways. I look forward to your response.
Zarium

Con

Zarium forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Briannj17

Pro

Extend arguments.
Zarium

Con

Apologies for that, and thank you Pro.

I will reference my first two round points : "I will refer back to my previous round as to my understanding of the debate - I asked my opponent if I was correct in my assumption as to the reason, and it has not been clarified, I will assume my opponent has conceded that my understanding is correct.

The reason why I firstly did this, and then refreshed in this round, it to show you that traits and actions have multiple effects to the human psyche. Actions that may be started to appease one aspect of our nature, our 'drive' - will affect and have reactions that sustain other aspects of our nature. This debate, however, is THE prevalent trait in human nature."

My opponent has attempted to dismiss the validity of my claim, simply because his pattern can be made to fit the mold. Before he even raised his points, I had already raised that while doing one action or drive, this may be in tandem with another (We do have the capacity to multi-task). By your logic I could say that there a millions of polls out there in the web that show that having and raising ones children is the most rewarding and pleasurable thing ever, and we would be done with this debate. It doesn't work that way, I would like to ask for more than just a defensive argument next time.

(source for example : http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au... )

I understand that you can show evidence that proves that people are happier when adrenaline is coursing through their veins - however dismissing the why - does not dismiss its validity, nor prove yours to be a foolproof case.

You may respond saying, "Why would it be Happiness? Couldn't the response be something else?" - But using the definitions of emotions in Descartes' Error (http://www.protevi.com...) - You can see emotionally, the body does not have many choices to really choose from. (would fear help in a life or death situation, or a laugh at pain foolishness towards the demise one strives for to protect their children? Note: Pro, these are not merely "Heroic Tales" as you put them, People actually died, their children have had to live without them, and the suggestion that they would remove themselves from their children's lives because they get a temporary reward..... surprises me to say the least.)

I also see you seem to be mixing pleasure with happiness, and grouping them together as 'rewards' now - I would like to ask that we remain to one set of definitions for Hedonism please, Pleasure is difficult enough to evaluate objectively. (Note I say happiness, in terms to the opiates reference - I have first hand been under the effects of Morphine, and my memories are full of happiness, not pleasure).

Now with the rebuttal's rebutted - My original point still stands : In the case of a life or death situation, People/Parents are not just enjoying the buzz while they risk their lives to save anothers; This equates to procreation being prevalent as a trait, which is what we are discussing here (not if we can show that one fits into another) - but what is THE prevalent trait in human nature.

I still stand with Procreation.
Debate Round No. 4
Briannj17

Pro

Interesting round....
" I would like to ask for more than just a defensive argument next time."
Why? You only gave me one argument to rebut. That being the dad or mom rescuing the children. I also believe I provided substantial evidence against you.

"I understand that you can show evidence that proves that people are happier when adrenaline is coursing through their veins - however dismissing the why - does not dismiss its validity, nor prove yours to be a foolproof case."

Why not? I rebutted your arguments now is the time to supply some more. I proved that adrenaline rushes induce pleasure and I can say that with research to back it up. You cannot prove that the parents didn't act out of comfort while I can prove that they did. It's as simple as that.

"Note: Pro, these are not merely "Heroic Tales" as you put them, People actually died, their children have had to live without them, and the suggestion that they would remove themselves from their children's lives because they get a temporary reward..... surprises me to say the least.)"

Why did they want to save their children? Wouldn't it make them sad or mad if their children died? Hedonism makes the claim that people act for the most net pleasure. Obviously these parents loved their children, so they acted for the most pleasure. Saving their children's lives were more pleasurable then living without them. Therefore unless you can prove I am wrong my theory stands.

"(Note I say happiness, in terms to the opiates reference - I have first hand been under the effects of Morphine, and my memories are full of happiness, not pleasure)."

Pleasure: a feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.
https://www.google.ca...

Pleasure: a cause or source of enjoyment or delight
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Enjoy: to experience with joy; take pleasure in
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Joy: a state of happiness or felicity
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

I rest my case. Pleasure is a synonym to joy and therefore is a feeling of happiness.

In Conclusion...
Well a great debate. Since my last round went unrebutted my points still stand. Con could not find a specific instance where people don't act for the most pleasure. As for me my name is Brian N. Johnson and thank you for reading.
Zarium

Con

"(Pleasure - Pain = net pleasure)

Hedonism: the ethical theory that pleasure (in the sense of the satisfaction of desires) is the highest good and proper aim of human life.
https://www.google.ca...;

That is the definition of your first round.
I am aware of other versions of pleasure, however following your clearly defined rules there - I will ask that it be dismissed, as otherwise we are arguing on two different plateaus of definition - Please follow the rules you placed in round 1 : "1. No kritiks/semantics"

Satisfaction of desires does not occur while under the effects of Opiates - thus it is to be ignored; This in turn debunks your standing, as adrenaline cannot be considered THE drive a person is under when in a life or death situation with their children, as there is literally no way you can prove that Adrenaline is the satisfaction of their desires, when no one desires a life or death situation with their children being the gamble chips. Basic logic and common deductive reasoning will show my point to be the case here.

That is why I asked for more than simply a defensive argument (once that has holes poked into it, It is difficult to get back on track of the actual debate topic), I wanted to see what other avenues we could address.

Now as your rebuttal has been addressed, my original point still stands - Procreation is the prevalent trait in human Nature. This can be further enforced when the original settings are used in context.

===
"Why did they want to save their children? Wouldn't it make them sad or mad if their children died? Hedonism makes the claim that people act for the most net pleasure. Obviously these parents loved their children, so they acted for the most pleasure. Saving their children's lives were more pleasurable then living without them. Therefore unless you can prove I am wrong my theory stands."

Very good point, however this is probably something I should have raised to you - just worded slightly different.
Why did they want to save their Children? Wouldn't it make them sad or mad if their children died?
Hedonism is the chase of desires and the satisfaction they will gain from this - Wouldn't the prevalent drive (Procreation), be further enforced by Hedonism, as what is more satisfactory than doing the one thing you want to do more than anything in the world - save "your" family?
The very fact that 'achieving' satisfaction by saving their children would indicate that Hedonism is the secondary effect that happens after the fact. They had to save their child (Procreation) - before they felt good about saving their child (Hedonism). Alternatively they had to be in the process of saving their child (Procreation), for the Adrenaline affects to be had (Hedonism).

=====

My opponent raised that Hedonism is the highest good and proper way of life, then addresses that due to the fact we cannot prove that people are not motivating themselves in the process to save their children, solely to save the children - due to the fact that adrenaline is activated.
I would address this by saying that assuming people's only priority is their chemically induced enjoyment/satisfaction is completely missing the dynamics of the scenario. People do not plan trips to the beach in accordance to the shark migratory route, so they have to either save their child or die trying.... By saying I cannot "prove" it - you have forced me into a mould that is impossible to break - I'm not there with my psycology degree and medical apparatus to test these people in those situations.

However, I have more than amply provided evidence there are times that Hedonism is not the prevalent trait in human nature, and by that I will stand until further information is provided (probably elsewhere or in the comments, as this is the last round).

I have given the situation, We have both given information that proves our point, I think it is now for the voters to decide who was 'correct'.

I still stand with my point of Procreation.

Thank you again, you have successfully opened my views on a subject further than I could have on my own - I have greatly enjoyed this debate, so much so that the previous round I stunned myself into a forfeit, simply because I couldn't decide what points I wanted to raise! :)

Thanks everyone, I hope you have a good weekend.
Debate Round No. 5
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Zarium 1 year ago
Zarium
NOOOOOOOOOOO

I had written and re-written 6 drafts for my response there, trying to find the perfect string of words, and I nearly had it too....

sorry Briannj, I will pick up again next round, however I think we can chalk that one up to me stunning myself by not accepting what i wrote, till it was too late... :(
Posted by CodingSource 1 year ago
CodingSource
A debate between two good debaters.
Posted by Briannj17 1 year ago
Briannj17
Yeah no problem.
Posted by Zarium 1 year ago
Zarium
I have an argument I believe I can maintain for the rounds - However due to the last debate we had, My standing with you is probably not what it could be.
Are you happy for a second debate?
Posted by matt8800 1 year ago
matt8800
I suppose I overthought it because I didn't know anyone that thought most people preferred pain so didn't imagine that would be debatable.
Posted by matt8800 1 year ago
matt8800
OK, that clarifies. If you are simply saying that humans have urges to move towards pleasure and away from pain, I would not take that debate.
Posted by matt8800 1 year ago
matt8800
If you are saying that humans mostly share the same theory that they should live primarily for pleasure, Ill take that debate.
Posted by canis 1 year ago
canis
Yes. It must be prevelent. Imagine the opposit.
Posted by Briannj17 1 year ago
Briannj17
Humans exist with urges to live hedonistically. That is what I am essentially saying. If you notice the comments below were made three weeks ago. That was before I changed the title today and reinstated my debate like Mikal said.
Posted by matt8800 1 year ago
matt8800
Or are you saying that most people consider the theory of hedonism to be true?
No votes have been placed for this debate.