The Instigator
Skept
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Xantog
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Human is an unreasonable animal.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/27/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 392 times Debate No: 105325
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)

 

Skept

Pro

Human is an unreasonable animal.

In short, the reason is the ability to make sense of things consciously or to verify facts.(https://en.wikipedia.org...) But, has human ever really used reason?

Firstly, There is nothing that human understand. We perceive objects by sensory organ, construct ideas grounding those perceptions, and transform those thoughts into new ideas. We cannot feel thing-in-itself. Our sensual experience is just a phenomenon occurred by an encounter of sensory organ and objects. That happening is not a knowledge of things. So concepts made by phenomena are also false. Even though we think that we are aware of things, those awarenesses are not truths.

Secondly, the human cannot verify facts. Induction is not a system for truth. We believe that sun always rises. In fact, we only know(of course, that is not the truth of thing-in-itself, but appearance occurring to us) that sun has risen.(sun rose today, the sun rose yesterday, the sun rose two days ago...) That does not demonstrate 'sun always rises.' Establishing truth is only probable by deducting from the fact. But we cannot know facts as previously noted.

Therefore, we are not using real reason. There are only pseudo-truths. My assertion is also in error. What can we know? I just feel that we are not reasonable being but pseudo-reasonable being.
Xantog

Con

If humans are unreasonable animals then there is no point to debate as we both are unable to reason with each other.
Debate Round No. 1
Skept

Pro

Yes. But if you are convinced of that human is the reasonable animal, you can logically persuade me. I want to listen to other voice, that is why I posted this debate.
Xantog

Con

Okay...I found a very good argument for this online by the website of speakingofresearch.com

"theory-of-mind-of-children
Theory of Mind is the ability to understand what other people are feeling and thinking [pp. 172-178 in (Blackmore, 2004); pp. 48-54 in (Gazzaniga, 2008)]. We do that by running inside our heads a model of what is happening in other person"s mind. Of course, the model is not always right, but nevertheless it is extremely valuable because it lets us predict the behavior of people around us. Theory of mind seems to require the right anterior insula, a part of the brain cortex that evolved very rapidly in apes. The function of the right anterior insula is to create hypothetical models of the internal state of our body in different circumstances (Craig, 2010, 2011). For example, when we imagine what it would feel like to stab our toe, is the right anterior insula doing that. Likewise, the right anterior insula can make a model of the internal state of the body of another person. Of course, theory of mind is much more than that and involves the cognitive abilities of many other parts of the brain. Research on theory of mind has revealed it to be uniquely human (Penn and Povinelli, 2007), although some studies claims to have found it in rudimentary form in chimpanzees (Call and Tomasello, 2008; Yamamoto et al., 2013). One negative aspect of theory of mind is that it often creates the delusion of attributing human consciousness to inanimate objects or animals. The same way we project our thoughts and feelings to a person that we see behaving in a way similar to us, we project human thoughts and feelings to an animal or an object we see doing something that resembles human behavior. This delusional form of theory of mind is responsible for the anthropomorphizing of animals that is so common in modern culture.
Episodic memory. There are two basic forms of memory: procedural and declarative [pp. 303-306 in (Gazzaniga, 2008)]. Procedural memory is present in both humans and animals and consists in the retention of perceptual, motor and cognitive skills that are then expressed non-consciously. For example, when we walk, swim, ski, listen to music, type on a keyboard or process the visual information we get from a television screen, we use procedural memory. Declarative memory stores information about facts and beliefs about the world, and can be further divided into semantic and episodic memory. Semantic memory is about facts in the world that stand by themselves, independently of our self, whereas episodic memory is remembering things that happened to us. That is, episodic memory retains events as they were experienced by ourselves in a particular place and time. Episodic memory appears to be uniquely human, because it involves subjective experiences, a concept of self and subjective time. This is important because it allows us to travel mentally in time through subjective experiences, while animals are locked in the present of their current motivational state.
guilt

Humans emotions. Mammals, birds and some other animals have a set of six basic emotions listed by Ekman: anger, fear, disgust, joy, sadness and surprise. However, we humans are able to feel many other emotions that regulate our social behavior and the way we view the world: guilt, shame, pride, honor, awe, interest, envy, nostalgia, hope, despair, contempt and many others. While emotions like love and loyalty may be present in mammals that live in hierarchical societies, emotions like guilt, shame and their counterparts pride and honor seem to be uniquely human. There is much controversy these days on whether dogs feel guilt and shame, there is evidence that they do not, but they may also have acquired this emotion as a way to interact with humans. What is clear is that many of the emotions that we value as human are not present in animals.
theory-of-mind

Empathy and compassion. Empathy is defined as the capacity to feel what another person is feeling from their own frame of reference. It is a well-established fact that many animals react to distress by other animals by showing signs of distress themselves. However, this does not seem to represent true empathy as defined above, but a genetically encoded stress response in anticipation of harm. Since empathy requires feeling what the other person is feeling from their own frame of reference, it seems to require theory of mind. Only if we stripe the requirement of adopting the other"s frame of reference we can say that animals have empathy. Empathy involves the newly evolved anterior insula in humans (Preis et al., 2013), bonobos and chimpanzees (Rilling et al., 2012). Compassion is currently thought to be different from empathy because it involves many other parts of the brain. It seems to be associated with complex cultural and cognitive elements. Therefore, it seems safe to assume that animals are not able to feel compassion.
Language and culture. Although animals do communicate with each other using sounds, signs and body language, human language is a qualitative leap from any form of animal communication in its unique ability to convey factual information and not just emotional states. In that, human language is linked to our ability to store huge amounts of semantic and episodic memory, as defined above. The human brain has a unique capacity to quickly learn spoken languages during a portal that closes around 5-6 years of age. Attempts to teach sign languages to apes has produced only limited success and can be attributed to a humanization of the brain of those animals, raised inside human culture. The effectiveness of spoken and written language to store information across many generations gave raise to human cultures. The working of the human brain cannot be understood without taking culture into account. Culture completely shapes the way we think, feel, perceive and behave. Although there are documented cases of transmission of learned information across generations in animals, producing what we could call an animal culture, no animal is as shaped by culture as we are.
Esthetic sense or the appreciation of beauty also seems to be uniquely human. Of course, animals can produce great beauty in the form of colorful bodies, songs and artful behavior. What seems to be lacking is their ability to appreciate and value that beauty beyond stereotypical mating and territorial behaviors. Even attempts to teach chimps to produce art by drawing have largely failed.
Ethics is the ability to appreciate fairness, justice and rights. It is at the very core of our ability to form stable societies and to cooperate to achieve common goals. It depends on theory of mind (which allows us to "put ourselves in somebody else"s shoes"); on social emotions like guilt, shame, pride and contempt; on empathy and compassion, and on cultural heritage. Lacking all those mental abilities, animals have no sense of ethics. Even though some studies have shown that monkeys have a primitive sense of fairness (particularly when it applies to their own interest), it is but a pale anticipation of our sense of justice. It simply goes to show how that ethics is rooted in our evolutionary history. The fact that animals cannot even remotely comprehend the concept of rights is a strong argument for why they should not have rights. What sense does it make to give animals something that they do not know that they lack?
use-of-language

Extended consciousness. They question of what is consciousness has been called by scientists and philosophers "the hard problem" due to the difficulty of answering it (Blackmore, 2004). Therefore, the related question of whether animals have consciousness, or what animals have it, remains similarly unanswered in the strict sense. However, based on their behavior, we commonly assume that animals like cats, dogs and horses are conscious and able to make some autonomous decisions. On the other hand, unless we invoke some mystical definition of consciousness, it is safe to assume that animals with small nervous systems, like jellyfish, worms, starfish, snails and clams have no consciousness whatsoever. They are like plants: living beings able to react to the environment as automatons. That leaves a lot of animals for which it is hard to guess whether they are conscious or not: insects, fish, octopi, lizards and small mammals like mice and rats. What has been becoming clear is that we humans possess a kind of consciousness that no other animal has: the ability to see ourselves as selves extending from the pass to the future [pp. 309-321 (Gazzaniga, 2008)]. This special kind of consciousness has been called by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio "extended consciousness" [Chapter 7 in (Damasio, 1999)] and allow us a sort of "mental time travel" to relive events in the past and predict what may happen to us in the future (Suddendorf and Corballis, 2007). Extended consciousness is based on our ability to have episodic memory and theory of mind. Episodic memory configures remembered events around the image of the self, whereas theory of mind allows us to create a model of our own mind as it was during a past event or to hypothesize how it would be in a future event. I should also point out that a few animals (apes, dolphins and elephants) may turn out to have episodic memory, theory of mind and hence extended consciousness. However, this is still very much in doubt.
Suffering and happiness. It is a common mistake to confuse suffering with pain and happiness with joy. Pain is the representation of a bodily state and the emotion associated with it (Craig, 2003). Likewise, joy is an emotion associated with an excited but pleasant body state in an agreeable environment. Suffering and happiness are much deeper than that, and refer to the totality of a mental state, encompassing cognition, emotion, and state of consciousness."
Debate Round No. 2
Skept

Pro

That posts only deals with truths in everyday sense, in other words, pseudo-truths. Those kinds of knowledge will help our survival, debating for policy, and developing machines, etc. But we are discussing philosophical problem. Genuine truth must have no counterexamples. There are many unproved descriptions in that posts. I want to show you a little.

Phrase 1: Definition is a promise. The promise is not the truth. 2: Counterexample: We cannot know other's qualia itself. 3: Writer also agrees the model is the truth with exceptions, but the valuable pseudo-truth. 4: Prediction does not secure the truth(~seems to require~). 5: Craig concluded that using empirical methods. We demonstrate scientific knowledge by mainly applying inductive reasoning. Researchers would have experimented with right anterior insula. They would have observed many times how right anterior insula to function. But observations does not assure that kinds of performing of right anterior insula as truth, as I referred in paragraph 4 of the first round. I stop here because you can also clarify pseudo-truths easily by adapting skeptical method like above.

People always treat incomplete truths and believe that those are truths. That is why I feel that we are unreasonable animals.
Xantog

Con

Western culture is founded on the belief that humans are reasonable. The idea that humans could be unreasonable in total goes against everything the American founding fathers believed and fought for. The founding fathers fought for the value of the individual overall, that one person can make more of a difference than all of society, and this still rings true today. They also fought for the blindness of the judicial system, 'blind justice' and this has been working for centuries, the idea of humans being totally unreasonable is contrary to these facts. Humans reasoned themselves out of the dark ages and into the Renaissance. Women reasoned themselves into suffrage in America.

If you are attacked by wolves, you cannot reason with them. If you are attacked by humans, you can reason, it has been done before.
Debate Round No. 3
Skept

Pro

Phrase 1~3: The belief and the ideal do not secure the truth.

4~6: How can you know 'blind justice,' 'Renaissance,' and 'women's suffrage' are more reasonable than any other system? You presuppose that non-western, non-modern culture are unreasonable and that we 'were' unreasonable.

7~8: Is there an example supporting your assertion? We know well humans unreasonably respond when attacked by something.
Xantog

Con

If you are attacked by wolves, you cannot reason with them. If you are attacked by humans, you can reason, it has been done before.
Debate Round No. 4
Skept

Pro

I defined reason in the first round. The reason you note is pseudo-reason. If humans attack us, we cannot understand everything, i.e., cannot reason, but can operate pseudo-reason by misunderstanding. I already discussed these in round one and three.
Xantog

Con

If humans have been surviving all this time on pseudo-reasoning then either we are incredibly lucky as that fake logic would never work in real life or perhaps, we make *reason* of what is not understood and apply that logical practice to it and if that logical practice works, we keep with it. No animal does this, we humans reason.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Skept 7 months ago
Skept
@Con
I cannot take an example because there is no truthful reason in the real world. Our transformed perceptions picture the reason. Definition of the reason is merely a promise, and you have talked about concept inconsistent with the definition.
Posted by Xantog 7 months ago
Xantog
whats an example of a real truth and not a pseudo.
Posted by Skept 7 months ago
Skept
@Con
Please read phrase 2~4 in the paragraph.
Posted by Xantog 7 months ago
Xantog
philosophy deals with survival.
Posted by Skept 7 months ago
Skept
@Con
I already presented a refutation for your last argument. You should have read my first paragraph in round three.
Posted by Leaning 7 months ago
Leaning
@canis
Not sure that applies really. Tigers, lions, and bears have all survived evolution. Not necessarily because they are reasonable. You could say there are reasons they survived rather than other forms of them.
Posted by canis 7 months ago
canis
Humans did not survieve evolution because they are unreasonable..
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