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Humans are an intellectual beings.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/25/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,459 times Debate No: 35994
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
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This is an interesting topic I would like to debate about. I am looking forward to debating with whoever is willing to accept my challenge.

Ps. I apologize if I make some mistakes due to the fact that this is my first online debate ever in my life.


A very interesting subject that I am intrigued to debate you on. I wish you luck in the second round.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you. I wish you luck too.

First of all, I would like to specify intellectual beings as suggested by Piccini. Intellectual beings are beings that have a considerately high EQ and IQ compared to other beings. Also, intellectual beings would be able to solve problems head-on, whether it's as small of a problem as quarrels between individuals or as big of a problem as a global crisis like global warming.

1. Humans claim that they are an "intellectual being". However, looking back at the past, the Great War and World War II were caused from greediness and small quarrels between leaders of countries. If humans really are smart, they would have sorted out the problem peacefully and would not have any means of using forces and military armies.

2. Humans had been discovering about the universe and trying to build spaceships to go out and conquer other planets. They call this an "advanced technology" and "in-dept knowledge". In truth, what humans currently know about the universe is so little it couldn't even be compared with a pin in the ocean.

3. Humans had been destroying the nature; polluting rivers and oceans, contaminating the air, and cutting down trees. If humans really are intelligent and wise, they should know beforehand the problems they're creating for themselves; the problems that won't be fixed in time and cause a disastrous effect to the human race, like the saying "Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten." Furthermore, fish and other animals are being killed at an extremely rapid speed, causing species after species to go extinct. Without any prevention, mankind would be the last living race and would have nothing to eat.

4. Medical cares are improving all around the world. However, it is not good enough. Cloning had been successful in laboratories. Animals had been cloned. What about humans? Why aren't you being cloned so that your internal organs could be replaced in case of some accidents.

I am looking forward to seeing your replies.


First off, I would like to provide a wider range of definitions of intelligence that you have provided; yes, intelligent beings are often described as needing to be able to solve problems head on, but it is far larger than that. Intelligence can be described as (per the "capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity; aptitude in grasping truths, relationships, facts, meanings, ect.". Whilst the ability to solve problems comes under some of the definitions provided, it also entails communication, speech, self-awareness and the ability to learn.

But with that said, onto the rebuttals;

1. They cannot solve problems like warfare - Often times, problems such as conflict and warfare cannot be sorted out by simple communication and diplomacy, as much as we would want. Warfare comes about by a number of reasons, often long standing tensions, such as what happened in both of the World Wars. The failure to make peace with the perceived enemy often chalks up, not our disability to make intellectual peace, but to make emotional war. Humans are animals, and like a number of animals, not only do our brain make rational decisions, but our emotions make irrational decisions. Emotions are the feeling often dissociated with rational, intelligent thoughts, and the way we evolved, as animals, often dictates that we should use emotion, not intelligence, as our prime mover, despite the fact that the intelligence is still there. Think about times during which warfare could of perceivably broken out (the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Blockade, ect.), and think of the damage that could of been done. Even in times of heightened emotion, humans can pull together, and use what they learnt, discern the facts, and come to a completely rational, intelligent compromise.

2. Our inability to explore space - This argument essentially fails to realize that space exploration is incredibly expensive and dangerous. Our ability to advance so far is an achievement within itself, but our lack of knowledge about said exploration is lacking. This, however, doesn't mean we're not intelligent, for as I stated before, intelligence is also the ability to learn, and that is what we have been able to do; learn from previous mistakes and build on them. Our scientific achievements, whilst obscured by governments in the past (the European dark ages for instance) chalks down more to human corruption (emotion) than it does to our lack of intelligence. Besides, would you be saying that we aren't intelligent if, in the future, we made advanced spaceships and planetary colonisers; scientific advance just takes time.

3. Humans destroying nature - I would like to say, before the modern age (1800 to now), the popular conciousness didn't know of global warming, or the far reaching effects of pollution; but as I've said before, lack of knowledge doesn't equal lack of intelligence. Today, thousands of people are protesting against large scale pollution caused by corporations, but our failure to do anything comes down to emotional corruption, caused by the greed of people and corporations (but let's not get into that). As I have already stated, emotions, and the ability to control them, would not make us any more intelligent than we could presently be, and would, in theory, make us less human (but again, let's not get into that). Governments around the world, together, right now, are bonding together to fight back against carbon emissions and global warming. This togetherness, this ability to (attempt) to solve problems, is something that is said to be defining attribute for intelligence, and our disability to completely solve it today can be chalked up to our complete misunderstanding and lack of foreknowledge in the past.

4. Medical advances - This could possibly be rebutted with the same arguments put out by the "space exploration" rebuttal, but contains language that needs to be looked into. As I stated before, our lack of scientific advance in the past doesn't mean we are any less intelligent, and the fact that today we are advancing more quickly than ever before is a testament to our intelligence, not a detriment. The fact that you bring up human cloning is an interesting point, and is more of a moral debate, especially after stating they would be used for harvesting internal organs; something of which is going to be completely unnecessary in a few years, due to the advent of 3D printing, and the advances into the bio-engineering of internal organs.

Conclusion - Humans, no matter how emotional we get, no matter how much knowledge we lack, we still are intelligent beings, especially today, with the advent of technologies and innovations in all field of life that were not thought possible 10 years ago. Our progress today is a testament to our intellect, with the ability to cure many diseases, solve problems peacefully through international co-operation, and our opening advances into a new age of space exploration is truly a mark of our true intelligence.
Debate Round No. 2


I apologize if my language wasn't appropriate for a debate. Can you give me some advices of something not to do..? This is one of my first times doing official debates.

Because my English isn't that good, there are some points that I don't fully understand. I will summarize your rebuttals so that you may fix my understandings if I am wrong. (it's ok if the summary is only a little off and doesn't cause much misunderstandings)

1. Warfare could not be solved because they are caused from from long lasting conflicts. The failure to stop wars isn't from the lack of intelligence but is from making irrational decisions based on their emotions. Learning from the past, it is better to make decisions based on emotions. However, at intense times, humans could pull their minds together and make rational decisions.

2. Humans had been learning from past mistakes and developing their sciences, achieving what is now an amazing achievement. The reason humans don't advance that much is because of human corruption and not the lack of intelligence. Also, the cost of space exploration is incredibly high. The technology humans have nowadays is a proof of intelligence itself. Scientific advance takes time.

3. Understood

4. Current medical advancement is a proof of humans' intelligent. It could not advance so fast due to insufficient funds.

Conclusion: Understood

My rebuttals

1. The failure to control emotions and let emotions control is a proof of our lack of intelligent. Looking back at the past, most conflicts occurred from emotional conflicts; most irrational decisions were made based on emotions. Not being able to surpass emotions, humans are no different from other animals; getting mad when hit or being scared when threatened. If humans really are smart, they should be able to intact their minds all the time and solve problems rationally, whether it's their daily life problems or warfare.

2. Being an intellectual being, humans should learn the fact that sticking with the current space exploration programs, the advancing of technologies would be slow. However, by changing the materials and goods used to build spaceships to other less expensive alternatives would be a large help to the advancement of the technologies.

3. It is humans' fault that the facts about global warming wasn't available in the past. If only humans are intelligent, the problem would have been known long time ago and easily solved before it gets out of hands. Also, protestants don't change the fact that nothing had been done to help reduce and prevent global warming. Something that would be more effective should be done instead. It shows that they are not learning from their actions. Humans falling for greediness is to blame the fact that they aren't intelligent enough to overcome it. Being able to control emotions would largely help humans become intellectual beings. Being able to control emotions is also being able to control greed. Without greed, things that aren't beneficial to humans won't be done and instead, only beneficial things would be done. The government slowly bonding to fight back against carbon emissions is so slow that by the time the have bonded and is ready to seriously stop global warming, the Earth would've become the Sun.

4. Many medical advancements didn't come from our intelligent. They came from mistakes. For example: Penicillin. Being able to advance faster than humans could in the past doesn't make them intelligent. Being intelligent means learning and adapting to problems. Nevertheless, being able to do it fast enough so that you don't die is also a must.

Conclusion: Humans, no matter how many rational decisions they made, no matter how much knowledge they have obtained, as long as they still lose to emotions and greed, they are not intelligent. You could call this advancements less stupid, but not more intelligent.

Only stating that humans learn from the past makes them an intellectual being, humans always advance, whether it's slowly or rapidly, not solving problems such as global warming because the knowledge wasn't acquired in the past, is not rational. Animals do learn. By intellectual beings, I agree with the given definitions. However, I would like to add that by being an intellectual being, it means that these intellectual beings are high in intelligent and is on average smarter than other existing species. (on Earth)


Wow, my computer has been acting up lately, but I'm back for some rebuttals;

1. Failure to control emotions - Your criticism of our failure to control our emotions is a noted one, but it doesn't make sense when you get down to the core of it. Since when did humans have to control our emotions all the time to be considered intelligent. Throughout history, extremely intelligent men and women have made blunders, but that doesn't mean we lack intelligence. Intelligence can still be compatible with emotions, such as in the case of brutality. I don't want to get to graphic here, but if you have a victim (for any reason), it would be more intelligent to gang up on them than to go in alone. This emotional response is wrong on almost all accounts, but as already stated; intelligence comprises of many factors, including working together, for right or for wrong.

2. Space and technology - I agree, staying with our current models and technologies of space exploration would make our push away from Earth far slower over time, but you also must remember, we still need to discover, produce (on a mass scale) and sell these future technologies. Materials such as carbon nano-tubes have taken years to create, and it will be even more years before we can actually create them on a mass scale. Using our intellect and combined knowledge, we will be able to achieve this in far fewer years than ever before.

3. Global warming - I get the point you're trying to make, but humans had the knowledge they were limited to before the evidence for global warming began to appear in the 1950's. If we did not have the knowledge beforehand, we would never of known what could, or could not have happened. This is the same as the nuclear bomb; debate raged over what the bomb could do, and it would be humans first testing of it in 1945 in which we finally found out. Whilst this didn't stop us from dropping the bomb on Japan, we have been able to learn from these mistakes, and since WW2, we have been able to avoid nuclear war, using our knowledge and intellect. We now have the knowledge and intelligence to be able to bind together and stop global warming in very much the same manner as avoiding nuclear war since 1945.

My final thought on this point is that governments are combining quickly to put an end to climate change and the runaway greenhouse effect. The Kyoto protocol has been in effect since 1997, and in that time, the vast majority of nation-states have joined (with either binding or non-binding) targets of ending global warming. The same goes with the internal USA; whilst the government may support growth of the polluting corporations, the majority of citizens within the US do want to protect and defend the environment. Just because a minority of humans are "not intelligent" doesn't mean the rest are.

4. Medical advances - Yes, many advances have occured by accident, but a large amount has not. Take Louis Pasteur for instance; his advances in the field of micro-biology, vaccines and medicine have significantly improved the health and well-being of men, women and children across the globe. Taking the knowledge and information he had been given, he used his intellect to make significant leaps forward for the human race. Whilst his story may only be one, it is one of many, as thousands, if not millions of humans throughout history have been able to set aside differences and work together, using the knowledge they had available, and advance as a species using their collective intelligence.

Conclusion - Intelligence comes in many forms, either for good or for bad, it encompasses many aspects. From the deceleration of a war, to the ability to work together to advance humans overall well-being, we use our collective knowledge and intelligence to move forward everyday. And whilst some, the vast minority for instance, may have other plans for our world and our species, I can assure you that the vast majority is ready and willing to actually use the organ between their ears and progress.
Debate Round No. 3


I would like to thanks my opponent for his thoughtful arguments. It is finally round 4. I wish him luck in the final round.

For now, my rebuttals:

1. Humans never have to control their emotions all the time. It is because they are yet to be considered intelligent. It is a normal thing for you to gang up on your enemies. It is a basic common sense. If you go alone and die, then it is you being stupid. Right or wrong, without emotions, humans will be able to make the best choices. Suppose a train is coming and your friend is standing on the track. You are standing right next to the switch and could switch the track for the train. However, there are two strangers on the other track. What would be best here? Normally, people would choose to save their friend and let the two strangers die due to their emotions. Without emotions, people won't switch the track and only one life would be lost instead of two. With emotions, two lives lost for one.

2. Advanced technologies don't always need to be produced on a mass scale to be sold to normal people. Sometimse ignorance is needed for better advancement. It is like a chess game; a strategy called gambit. Looking at our world right now, it could be predicted that resources on Earth would be completely depleted in the near future. Instead of producing advanced technologies on a mass scale and selling it to the population, scientists might as well ignore the population for the time being and continue advancing the future technologies so that they would be able to get resources from other planets at a lower and beneficial cost. After that, they could start producing high-tech materials for the population.

3. The fact that the nuclear wars are being prevented with our knowledge and intellect is half right. However, it is mostly being prevented by the fear and greed of humans; fear of dying and greediness, wanting to have things for themselves and their country. Without fear and greed, many problems would have resulted in a nuclear war by now. Only the minority of the population trying to stop global warming is like trying to move mountains with a tea spoon. It is moving forward but isn't going to reach its conclusion.

Governments binding to prevent the greenhouse effect from going from worse to worst is like making war; what you see isn't what it is. Wars are created for the money and resources of the opposing countries. Likewise, the governments who control countries, being controlled by greed, just want money. Making new products and satisfying the population would allow them to continue the position as the government, allowing them to corrupt even longer and get wealthier and wealthier.

4. In order for humans to be considered intelligent, the majority of the population would have to have an appropriate amount of knowledge and intellect. Yes, there are some less stupid people who exists or existed. However, that does not makes the human race an intelligent species. I agree it is not a bad decision for people to join up and work together though. That would be more effective as an individual and as a whole.

Conclusion- The only thing between the ears is air. It is true that people are working together to advance humans overall well-being and to move forward. Nevertheless, the majority of humans are still being manipulated by greed and emotions, causing them to make irrational decisions. This, proves the fact that humans are less stupid from before but is yet to be an intellectual being.


Thank you for your reply, and I too wish you luck for the final round;

1. Humans and emotion - Except for moral choices. Humans need emotion sometimes to guide them, as individuals, through tough times in their lives. Just because they had to make a hard decision doesn't mean they aren't intelligent; all it means is that we are emotional creatures, with the capacity of understanding and intellectual conversation. Humanity, and modern life, isn't as simple as a game of 1's and 2's; its far more complicated. Without emotion, we would basically be robots, willing to do work without a forethought of morals or sympathy. We would continue to take down the environment to help ourselves, we would continue to slaughter animals just to further our own comfort. We will feel bad about pulling that leaver, and there will be sorrow, but we can't act like robots, if we aren't to lose our humanity, and our true intelligence for togetherness and sympathy.

2. Technology and resources - What I meant with the "mass production" and "selling" aspect of the argument is that you shouldn't sell to the population, but to private companies or investors. These technologies will cost a lot of money up front, and you would need both the support of both companies (who would probably be the ones to invest and partake in astronomical mining) but also the population, who through taxes, would probably be investing in some way or another. I don't want to get too far away from the question asked, so I'll stand behind my argument; these technologies will cost a lot of money, and our failure to progress into far flung future technologies is not due to a lack of our intelligence, but to funds, lack of knowledge at this time, and the fact that technological process, whilst slow, is speeding up thanks to innovations brought about by our intelligence.

3. Global warming - Was it truly fear and greed that didn't bring about nuclear war? Perhaps, but it is probably more likely that they (government leaders) saw the destructive events that happened at both Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and believed that they, and their population, shouldn't be brought to a nuclear end. The want to survive appears in all populations, and that isn't stimulated by greed, but by nature. The leaders knew damn well that they could escape somewhere more safe, perhaps a bunker, but they still didn't bring doomsday to their people. Is it because of greed? No, it is because they probably truly cared for their people, and they wanted to protect not just themselves, but also the citizens. This want to protect human beings, and the environment (to an extent) from certain death proves of the leaders compassion for the masses, and them having the intelligence not to blow up the world.

I think the point I'm trying to make is that protecting the people, as well as protecting yourself, is as much a part of nature as it is human intelligence and sympathy. We need to get back on track with this argument, and not stray to far into new subjects.

4. Human togetherness - Yet it doesn't make them non-intelligent either. Your argument is that humans beings need to have substantial "intellect" and "knowledge" to be considered intelligent. Further more, you have stated that human beings, as a species, need to be intelligent as a majority. Where do you draw these lines; the ability to speak, the ability to work together, the ability to do one basic human action. Humans, throughout history have been working together towards goals, and every time their was a bump in the road, we have moved past it. Slavery is all but gone, homophobia is on the decline, women having voting rights now. This is a sign that we, humans, as a species, are beginning to become more open, and more intellectually aware of each other, and our compassion has all but gone up ten fold. Our new fond ability to work together is a sure sign that we are intellectual creatures.

Conclusion - Life isn't simple, it is a hard game to play. Intelligence cannot be defined by a simple action, nay a line drawn in sand. Our actions taken today may be based around emotions, but our true intelligence is found within working together, and that is what we have done. Progress, both in technology and in society have allowed us to go to the deepest trench of the ocean, to the moon itself. Today, we are progressing faster and faster, and our emotions, whilst they sometimes get in the way, don't distract from our true capacity for knowledge and problem solving.

Again, I would like to thank Pandas, and wish him luck in the final round of debating.
Debate Round No. 4


1. Humans and emotion - As you have stated, life is not a simple game. However, that is only as it is right now; living life with emotions. If humans could control their emotions, life would be even more simple than drinking water or breathing itself. Make decisions that are best for themselves. Help others by taking care of yourself. Don't be a burden to others. Ignore any sympathy. Remember the rule "survival of the fittest". The weaks will die and that is not a bad thing. Instead of suffering through their life and end up dying miserably, they could be reborn or go to heaven or the afterlife.

Nowadays humans are already taking down the environment to help themselves, let alone slaughtering animals just to further their comfort. Tigers, bears, whales, and many other animals that are not meant to be hunted to be eaten, are hunted down for decorations or unreasonable reasons. There is no sorrow or sympathy in these slaughterings. There is nothing; only the thought of living on. (and greed)

2. Monies are things people use to pay for things and define how much things are worth. Rare materials are worth more so it cost more. Rare things that are hard to find cause "scarcity". If only humans get rid of the scarcity of materials needed for space exploration, whether through experimentation or obtaining from nature, the cost would be significantly lowered.

3. I still stand my point that corruption and greed are what prevented nuclear wars. Government wanting to protect their country and continue the post as the government is so that they could continue with corruption. When the country is in a poor state (after wars), there would be less things for them or it would be harder for them to corrupt. No one wants to protect human beings. Wars are going on all around the world right now and barely anyone cares. They also care for the environment to a minimal extent; they will always care for the environment as long as the environment is financially beneficial to them somehow. This, is what truly prevents nuclear wars.

4. There are bumps everywhere right now, whether it's prostitution, human trafficking, or illegal drugs. Countries are fighting with each other. There will always be a place with no sign of peace of togetherness. Let alone togetherness in the world when kids and civilians still fight with each other. There are many racists in this world; Black, Asians, or third-world countries.

Conclusion - Life will be very simple if humans could control their emotions. Without emotions, humans would be able to make flawless decisions purely based on their intellect. How well they make their decisions will be fully dependant on their intellect, not being intervened by emotions. Also, advancements don't always represent intellect. Stupid people could advance too.

Lastly, I would like to thanks the Pro for giving me an enjoyable debate with interesting arguments. I wish him luck for the voting period. Thanks.


Here we are, the final round of debating, and without a further ado;

1. Humans and emotion - Survival of the fittest doesn't fit with our world view today; we humans, right now, living on Earth, need to look out for ourselves, the environment, and countless other small things. Emotions and intellect (as you stated, working together) can often be used in unison, such as the protection of animals. We often stop the brutalisation of animals because of two reasons; 1. We care about animals due to our emotions, and 2. Without a large number of animals, the ecosystem would probably fall into itself, an example of intelligence. Without sympathy, we wouldn't have a planet, without intelligence, we wouldn't be trying to put a stop to the gross destruction of our forests and environments. Emotions and intelligence can often work in unison, and when this happens, it works.

Doesn't this point go against what you stated in your previous one; "survival of the fittest is not always a bad idea" and "ignore any sympathy". Yes, humans over hunt and yes, we do do it for inane, ridiculous reasons, but look around you, people are now fighting back. With the advent of new technology, we have been able to kill more efficiently, but with that efficiency came more and more people fighting against it. Today, the amount of people that support the slaughter of animals and the environment is grossly outnumbered by those who want to save and protect, and our ability to work together collectively, as a species, towards the protection of the enviroment shows our true emotions, and our true intelligence.

2. The cost of resources - This proves nothing to the question at hand, and besides, humans have been making breakthroughs into discovering and/or developing these "scarce recources", I've already said it. All that is needed now is a matter of time, and it will happen; humans will develop far better materials, humans will develop new and better ways of getting to space, it is all there in my previous arguments. Our ability to move forward, using the information we have is not a burden on the question of intelligence, but lifts the idea that humans are intelligent beings.

3. War and peace - But it proves they're intelligent. You stated in the second round, one area of intelligence could be defined as humans ability to solve problems, and they have done that. Dictators or democratically elected people, despite the amount of corruption, have been able to not ignite a nuclear war. Whether is was for themselves or not (we don't know what was going through their heads) one thing is certain; we are not dead and dying from the radioactive fallout of nuclear war, something that proved the quick thinking of leaders in times of crisis. On your second point, yes, humans care for the enviroment for financially beneficial reasons, but they also care for its protection. Does the UN, which is primarily an international, "not-for profit" organization protect the enviroment because of its financially stable when its intact. Did so many nations sign the Kyoto protocol just to protect their income, and finally, are so many nations right now (like my home Australia) SPENDING billions of dollars on protecting the enviroment a proof that they care for it "just for the money". For all of the points, I do not think so; I believe that nations, and their inhabitants, as the majority, wish to protect the enviroment to actually see it survive, and continue, another proof of our intellect.

4. The bumps in the road - Yes, there are bad things going on in the world, and yes, there have always been bumps in the road, but if you looked around the world, you would see those bumps are filling. Wars are no longer as conventional and destructive as they once were, racism and bigotry is falling all over the world, humans are truly beginning to come together to help protect the enviroment, save animals, as well as people, in need, and further our knowledge and information about the sciences. It may take time, but our "bad" emotions are no longer getting in the way of progress like they once were, a final proof of our true intellect of togetherness, and progress over many fields.

Conclusion - We have gotten so far in the 200,000 years of our existence. We started off as hunter-gatherers, followed by small settlements, followed by kingdoms, followed by empires, followed by the democratic world we live in today. All over, progress is furthering, our knowledge is furthering, or ability to grasp what it means to be human and our continuing quest for peace is furthering. Yes, the bumps have been the road, and there are plenty more ahead of us, but by the rate we are going, we will be able to protect the enviroment, we will be able to save animals and planet species that are at risk, we will put an end to war, we will see out the end of the century, together as one species, knowledgeable and intelligent.

I would like to thank Pandas for an incredibly interesting debate, and the time he has given up to debate over the past few days, and I too wish him well in the voting period.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Pandas 4 years ago
I know the debate had ended but I would like to add that farming animals is a proof that we aren't saving animals because of our emotions.
Posted by Pandas 4 years ago
Only a minority of the nature had humans surpassed. The majority, such as hurricanes, thunders, earthquakes, and many more, are still being controlled by nature.
Posted by TemperedEmpire 4 years ago
Except for carving out canals, building huge cities, making artificial rivers, and stopping the rivers to place down our dams.
Posted by Pandas 4 years ago
The world was shaped by nature. Mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans, or landscapes, are all shaped by the nature. Humans barely did anything to the world.
Posted by HUMEnitarian 4 years ago
We have shaped the world, yes? Not out of instinct but with our minds, right? So I guess we could be called "intellectual"
Posted by Piccini 4 years ago
It might help the debate if you state your definition of "intellectual being"
No votes have been placed for this debate.