The Instigator
monkeychimps
Pro (for)
Losing
8 Points
The Contender
Nails
Con (against)
Winning
49 Points

Humankind is a parasitic species

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/20/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,057 times Debate No: 10533
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (10)

 

monkeychimps

Pro

Humankind or mankind are a parasitic species. From the instant we left the forests and began farming and developing settled civilizations we have drained the natural life around us for our own advancement, in the same way a parasite or virus can infect and live on us.
Nails

Con

The definition of parasite:
an animal or plant that lives in or on a host (another animal or plant); it obtains nourishment from the host without benefiting or killing the host[1]

Humans might be real @sses when it comes to the treatment of animals and the environment, but that wouldn't classify them as parasites. Rather than simply take the nutrients you need and leave the animal in peace as your average kind, parasitic vampire bat would do, humans viciously kill animals (for example, boiling lobsters alive) before devouring the dead flesh in many disgusting ways. The ancient Romans (prior to the discovery of spices) would let meat rot for days before consuming it in order to give it flavor. Esquimaux of North America would consume flesh raw. Some human tribes would even consume other humans. It is disgusting! Americans alone kill 9 billion chickens annually for consumption; that's 30 chickens per person![2]

I wish we could classify humans as parasites, but, alas, we can't. While we certainly don't benefit our hosts, we aren't friendly and parasitic enough to leave them be. We are a vile species that feels it necessary to slaughter our benefactors, an act that, according to Dante Alighieri, would place us in the 4th round of the 9th circle of hell, the lowest part of hell, closest to Satan, and the most despicable place one could possibly be.[3]

[1] http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
[2] http://www.upc-online.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...(Dante)#Ninth_Circle_.28Treason.29
Debate Round No. 1
monkeychimps

Pro

Thanks for your input.

I have to accept your definition of a "parasite" but if you read my statement closely you will see my reference to humankind is that of "parasitic":
Parasitic:
1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a parasite.

So my argument stands that we are "like a parasite" in the way in which we live, draining resources and destroying the natural environment around us wherever we live outside of forested pre-farming communities for personal gain.

You go on to speak of the destruction of animals for our own pleasure / nourishment which goes some way to proving my own statement. I agree that parasites do not kill for pleasure or without personal gain but in some regards the humans that do kill for enjoyment or profit are killing for a gain of sorts, albeit different from that of survival.

Therefore with the definition of my argument "Humankind or Mankind are a parasitic [Of, relating to, or characteristic of a parasite] species. I ask you to challenge me again.
Nails

Con

Pro seems to think that his new definition has somehow won him the round. I fail to see how; it changes nothing.

We kill the environment, we kill animals, we kill all that benefits us. That's PRO's own argument. This makes us fundamentally different from parasites.

Parasites are kind, loving creatures that take only what they need to survive from their hosts, while letting their hosts live on to be fed upon another day.

Humans are wretched beings, killing their hosts, cutting down trees, and slaughtering animals for food. This makes us quite unparasitic.

In conclusion,
Yes, we should strive to be more like parasites; but,
No, humankind is, unfortunately, not a parasitic species.
Debate Round No. 2
monkeychimps

Pro

Thank you Con.

To quote yourself
"Pro seems to think that his new definition has somehow won him the round"

I'm afraid Pro's definition has been the same from the initial argument:
"Humankind or mankind are a parasitic species"
This has not changed therefore please retract this statement. Your miss-interpretation of my statement in your initial argument led you to the conclusion that I have changed mine but that is not the case.

To re-iterate my statement once again:
"Humankind or mankind are a parasitic species" therefore (using the agreed - and only - definition of "parasitic : to be like a parasite") we are like a parasite upon the earth (if you will allow the simile that the earth could represent an organism upon which we are parasitic but do not entirely destroy it as we could do through the release of all of our Nuclear weapons).

You state that parasites are kind and loving creatures which is purely subjective and impossible to define or prove at present (since we cannot communicate with parasites as we know them).

You also state that parasites "let" their hosts live on yet you give no example and offer no proof. Maybe the parasites simply feed until they become so bloated they can no longer keep in contact with the host or require rest somewhere else? A virus for example is a parasite and can infact kill the host so your argument is definately flawed.

The purpose of my raising this argument was to engage with someone who really felt Humans are not parasitic in relation the earth (and therefore the natural environments around them). However you seem to show a definite resentment or hatred of Humankind quote: "Humans are wretched beings, killing their hosts, cutting down trees, and slaughtering animals for food." and have simply miss-interpreted the true meaning of my argument to pursue your own agenda. Getting hung up on the definition of a single word, parasitic, which in fact you broke down to "parasite" when that was nowhere to be found in my first argument.

I must hold that you have not contested humans natural parasitic tendencies to live off of the world and leave destruction in its wake (as parasites can open hosts to infections etc) but restrained enough not to completely blow the planet (or host) to oblivion....
Nails

Con

==================
=The Definition of Parasite=
==================

(Provided by PRO)
Parasitic:
Of, relating to, or characteristic of a parasite.

(Provided by CON)
Parasite:
an animal or plant that lives in or on a host; it obtains nourishment from the host without benefiting or killing the host

(According to PRO)
"The purpose was to engage with someone who really felt Humans are not parasitic in relation [to] the earth (the natural environments around them)"

Thus, to be parasitic, or parasite-like, in 'relation to to the earth' PRO must show that we live off the environment without benefitting it or killing it.

========
=Summary=
========

Simply enough: If we kill the environment, then we are not parasitic, because parasites do not kill their hosts.

PRO never contests that we kill the environment; he even says:
"we have drained the natural life around us for our own advancement"
"we live [by] draining resources and destroying the natural environment around us"
"humans that do kill for enjoyment or profit are killing for a gain of sorts"
"humans natural tendencies [are] to live off of the world and leave destruction in [their] wake"

Further, he drops my arguments that:
"Rather than simply take the nutrients you need and leave the animal in peace, humans viciously kill animals (for example, boiling lobsters alive) before devouring the dead flesh in many disgusting ways."
"Americans alone kill 9 billion chickens annually for consumption; that's 30 chickens per person!"
"We kill the environment, we kill animals, we kill all that benefits us."

If humankind were parasitic, none of the above statements would be true.
If humankind were parasitic, we wouldn't benefit the environment, but we wouldn't kill it either.
If humankind were parasitic, PRO would win this argument.
But alas, humankind is not parasitic because, as PRO agrees, we kill our host, the environment and the world around us.
Because humans are far worse than parasites in their relationship with the environment, you vote CON.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
I think the real problem was that you used the term 'parasitic' in the first place. It seems like you were just looking for a word with a bad connotation, and that you intended to argue that we had harmed the environment. A better resolution might have been "On balance, the environment has not benefitted from humankind" or something to that effect. When you use the word 'parasitic' you're not conveying that message exactly.
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 7 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
By 'interpret' I mean the sort if interpretation whereby if someone asks for chicken nuggets you go to the supermarket not the local mines.

I think people generally assume that you are meant to define your terms in the first round.

It was a great debate idea, but you just need to be careful with your terms.

Anyway, thats my advice, beyond that I have nothing so I'll shut up.
Posted by monkeychimps 7 years ago
monkeychimps
"quite reasonable to interpret" ? hmm I dont like this as it was the lynchpin of his entire arguement ;)

On what grounds was it reasonable to pick apart a single descriptive when my only chance to define the word (again we are hung on a single definition whilst missing the whole point of my initial argument rofl!) came in the second round and still is not accepted as correct (when it is of course correct as I wrote it and explained it means what it says and as defined in any dictionary) :)
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 7 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Precise wording can be important, one word can make all the difference in meaning. As the debate stood it was quite reasonable to interpret your use of the word parasite literally.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
How did you expect the debate to play out? I was to advocate that have lived in a peaceful coexistence with the world around us? Hardly.
Posted by monkeychimps 7 years ago
monkeychimps
A lot of debates seem to get hung on symantecs, to me a debate is about the topic or question in hand rather than quibbling over the definition (or incorrect interpretation) or a word why not allow some leniance and address the issues relevant to the topic rather than the restrictions of language? :)
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 7 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
You should have said,

"If we were to imagine planet earth as an organism, it would be accurate to describe the human race as parasites".
Posted by monkeychimps 7 years ago
monkeychimps
Hi,

Im a lil disapointed I got no votes lol but I have never debated before and lacked the summary structure of my opponent I think :)

Roy: No Im not serious about this I just wanted something emotive to have a good debate :)
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Tell me neither one of you is serious.
Posted by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
think nails won. Though Monkeychimps did well for his 1st
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