The Instigator
Shakespeare
Pro (for)
Losing
22 Points
The Contender
Kinesis
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

Humans are meant to attempt answering the questions of life

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2010 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,320 times Debate No: 10909
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (11)

 

Shakespeare

Pro

Humans are meant to attempt answering the questions of life.

I will let my opponent begin :)
Kinesis

Con

I thank Shakespeare for the chance to debate (and would like to register my pleasure that such an important historical figure has finally come back to life. I knew it was only a matter of time).

My contention shall be that humans are not *meant* for anything. We simply *are*. If we say we are meant for something, a creator with an intention and purpose in creating us is implied. If Pro wishes to take this road (and I can't think of any other at the moment), Pro must first demonstrate that such a creator exists, and then that that creator's intention in creating us was for us to answer the questions of life.

Until Pro does this, and having the burden of proof as both instigator and Pro, the resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 1
Shakespeare

Pro

Thank you Kinesis, my next debate topic is resurrection :)

Note: I am not saying that humans are to achieve correct answers, but that they instinctively; and therefore are meant to, try to achieve answers the best they can.

Kinesis said that "humans are not *meant* for anything."
Humankind is not meaningless. If you look around, it is quite obvious that humans are meant to be born and to live and die, and sing, and dance, to answer the questions that they long for answers to, and to do all of those darned things that humans do. The proof is in the pudding. The pudding is life.

Kinesis said that "We simply *are*." While that statement tries to be very zen, and all, here's something that will stroke your buddha as well: It is embedded in the DNA of all living things to try improving themselves and their circumstances. The human means of progression just happens to be knowledge. That, we gain from the phenomenon of question and answer. So, sir, you are saying that we, as a species are going nowhere, that we simply "are," until our time here is done.

There's no such thing as human nature, I guess....

Plus, the statement "We simply *are* ." truly makes more implications of 'creator and the created,' than my statements ever did.

I can think of a road to take, other than the religious one. One frequently traveled. Some would say that is the complete opposite of Faith road. It is the scientific route. By contesting that humans are meant to attempt answering life's questions, you are entirely denouncing the work of scientists.

Kinesis is either all-knowing or has some desire to be ignorant about the world around him, life, and everything...

Hey Curiosity, the cat is still alive.
Kinesis

Con

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My Position
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First, allow me to clarify my position. What I mean when I say that we simply *are*, is not that humanity as a whole is not going anywhere, not that human knowledge is not increasing or that we do not create and achieve goals. Indeed, it is not even that we do not attempt to answer the questions of life. It is simply that humanity is not meant to do any of these things. We just do, because our DNA and environment compel us to.

Perhaps an analogy would be instructive;

A rock is fashioned by random forces into a particular shape, and is washed downstream. A man finds the rock and realises it is the perfect shape for his sling. He uses the rock to hunt and kill a rabbit for his dinner.

Are we to conclude from this that the rock was 'meant' to kill the rabbit? Of course not; we simply say that the man had a lucky find; that the rock, through random forces and natural processes, happened to be the right shape for the man to use.

My position is the same for people. Pro can point to as many characteristics, attributes and desires that people have as she wants. But none of them go any where towards supporting the view that people are MEANT to do anything. They may attempt to do these things; they may succeed. But unless they were created with express purpose of answering the questions of life, which Pro has not demonstrated, then the resolution is unfulfilled.

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Pro's argument
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'Humankind is not meaningless. If you look around, it is quite obvious that humans are meant to be born and to live and die, and sing, and dance, to answer the questions that they long for answers to'

--> Pro contends that LIFE gives people meaning. But why? What special, intrinsic value is there in being alive that endows meaning? We are, at heart, simply complex biological machines; capable of many great things, certainly, but within the context of the universe utterly meaningless. Besides, none of this proves that humans are meant specifically to answer the deep 'questions of life' . Indeed, such things are moderately insignificant in the context of evolution, which we now know to be the process by which life was created.

'So, sir, you are saying that we, as a species are going nowhere, that we simply "are," until our time here is done'

--> I'm unsure what you mean by 'going nowhere' here. We're heading SOMEWHERE. It might be towards self destruction, or progress. I don't believe in the afterlife, if that's what you mean.

'Plus, the statement "We simply *are* ." truly makes more implications of 'creator and the created,' than my statements ever did'

--> Really? If that's the case, then I invite you to elaborate. In my experience arguments for a creator fall flat the moment they are examined in any detail.

'I can think of a road to take, other than the religious one. One frequently traveled. Some would say that is the complete opposite of Faith road. It is the scientific route. By contesting that humans are meant to attempt answering life's questions, you are entirely denouncing the work of scientists'

--> Humans are tools fashioned by nature and environment; without purpose, design or meaning. We have built in us curiosity about the world, wonder at the universe. It is a consequence of this that many of the brightest of us take the path of uncovering nature's secrets. It is not because of any specially endowed meaning, it is simply the way things are.
Debate Round No. 2
Shakespeare

Pro

Let's save my elaboration about creators and such for another time. I would say that it deserves its own debate.

You keep reiterating things about "natural processes." By nature, *meant* to occur.

My contention was not that being alive gives people meaning. Human purpose is endowed upon them by a culmination of things that they do. Not only in life. Unless you're saying that humans are not meant to die...

Kinesis said that "we are utterly meaningless within the context of the universe." This is disproved in that the human-dwelling planet of Earth is a part of the universe. The universe would unarguably be changed in some way in the absence of humanity.

I never introduced the concept of afterlives. They have nothing to do with my arguments.

*You, yourself were meant to attempt answering the questions of life.

You proposed these questions: "Pro contends that LIFE gives people meaning. But why? What special, intrinsic value is there in being alive that endows meaning?"

*You are meant to try finding some answer to them, because you are here:

Smile, you're on debate.org.

In conclusion, and as my main point: Events conspire as they do because they were meant to occur in that way. If they were not meant to be, they would not happen. Whether it is our DNA and environment compelling us to be curious beings, or a rock killing a poor little rabbit.

"It is simply the way things are," isn't it?
Kinesis

Con

Thanks to Shakespeare for the debate! I shall present by final round as a list of counterpoints;

'Let's save my elaboration about creators and such for another time. I would say that it deserves its own debate'

--> Very well. I think you have given up your only chance of victory in doing so, however.

'You keep reiterating things about "natural processes." By nature, *meant* to occur'

--> Actually, I only used that phrase once. Saying we were created by nature *meant* to occur is nothing but a rhetorical ploy, however, and really merits no response.

'My contention was not that being alive gives people meaning. Human purpose is endowed upon them by a culmination of things that they do. Not only in life. Unless you're saying that humans are not meant to die...'

--> I apologise if I misunderstood your position (the pudding analogy must have led me on a false trail), but it seems you finally understand my position at least. No matter what humans do, how they act or how they question, they are not meant to do any of it. They are not meant to do anything because they were not created for a purpose. They are not meant to live or die, love or hate, act kindly or cruelly, they just do these things because certain characteristics have been instilled in them by purposeless forces.

'Kinesis said that "we are utterly meaningless within the context of the universe." This is disproved in that the human-dwelling planet of Earth is a part of the universe. The universe would unarguably be changed in some way in the absence of humanity'

--> Change =/= meaning. There can be meaningless change. More specifically, there can be meaningless change in the absence of a creator. If a knife is manufactured by a company, that knife is created with a purpose- the purpose to cut, to be sold to make money. And because it was intentionally created with such functions in mind, it has meaning. It is MEANT to cut things, to be sold to make money.

On the other hand, in the rock example above, the rock was not meant to kill the rabbit. It just happened to fit certain functions. My argument is that humans are, in the context of meaning, like the rock and not the knife. Pro had to demonstrate that humans were like a knife, with the function of answering the questions of life, and she failed to do so.

'*You, yourself were meant to attempt answering the questions of life'

--> No. I was not created with the function of answering the questions of life-or if I was, you have provided no reason to think I was. Since the burden was on you and you failed to meet it, we are left with no reason to think humans are meant for anything at all.

'Events conspire as they do because they were meant to occur in that way. If they were not meant to be, they would not happen. Whether it is our DNA and environment compelling us to be curious beings, or a rock killing a poor little rabbit'

--> Huh? Events that are not meant to be can't happen? Why should we believe that? I think it obvious that events can still unfold in the absence of meaning. The indifferent laws of the universe plug away without any apparent purpose. A rock isn't meant to fall towards bodies of mass; it just does, because the laws of the universe compel it to.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Shakespeare 7 years ago
Shakespeare
My source was the pudding of life.
Posted by SexyLatina 7 years ago
SexyLatina
Nihilism ftw, is my reaction.
Posted by popculturepooka 7 years ago
popculturepooka
Ore, you gave conduct to pro.... (-_-)
Posted by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
Ore_Ele
And I only gave the conduct to Con, because Pro voted 7 for himself, including sources, even though he didn't use any.
Posted by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
Ore_Ele
No one listed any sources, so no one should win in this category.
Posted by Shakespeare 7 years ago
Shakespeare
Maikuru, I'm glad, at least that you got what I'm saying, but humans existence and engaging in certain activities DOES mean that as a species, humans are meant to perform such actions. If we weren't meant to do these things (bad or good). These things wouldn't occur. Do u have proof that they would? Exactly.
Posted by popculturepooka 7 years ago
popculturepooka
Arguments to Kinesis. Everything else tie.
Posted by atheistman 7 years ago
atheistman
I agree humans were not 'meant' to do anything, but I think humans should attempt to answer the questions of life.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
I was hoping this discussion would be a bit deeper but it was fine.

A: Con - Simply noting that humans exist and engage in certain activities does not prove that, as a species, humans are meant to perform such actions. Pro's arguments required either a more detailed explanation of how genetics inevitably determine actions or, as Con suggested, the existence of a higher power.

Other Categories: Tie
Posted by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
Ore_Ele
I'm hoping for a good debate on this.
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Vote Placed by twsurber 7 years ago
twsurber
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Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Shakespeare 7 years ago
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