The Instigator
ramkrupa
Pro (for)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
headphonegut
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

RESOLVED: Anthropocentrism ought to be valued above biocentrism.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
headphonegut
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/20/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,712 times Debate No: 11482
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

ramkrupa

Pro

I affirm the resolution, RESOLVED: Anthropocentrism ought to be valued above biocentrism.
For clarification of this debate round, I offer the following definitions:
Anthropocentrism: considering human beings as the most significant entity of the universe
Biocentrism: considering all forms of life as having intrinsic value
Intrinsic value: value that a thing has "in itself," or "for its own sake," or "as such," or "in its own right."
Extrinsic value: value that is not intrinsic; that which has value not for its own self, but for the sake of something else

My value for this round will be utilitarianism, the theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness of the greatest number.

The criterion with which I will be defending my value is that of life, defined as a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings.

Contention 1 – Affirming maximizes life
A. According to the theory of enlightened anthropocentrism, also known as prudential anthropocentrism, all the moral duties we have towards the environment and other species are derived from our direct duties to its human inhabitants.
B. Humans have a vested interest in the protection of other species and the environment. If other species cease to exist, human civilization would not survive because of the lack of available organisms for food.
C. In order for humans to exist, other species must thrive as well.
D. Therefore, anthropocentrism strives to maximize the amount of life, thus achieving utilitarianism.

Contention 2 – Biocentrism causes the loss of life
A. Biocentrism states that each organism has its own intrinsic worth. This is impossible. When an organism is used as a means to further the ends of another organism, it no longer has intrinsic worth. For example, antibiotics, which are introduced to the human body to combat pathogenic bacteria, contain bacteria themselves. Under biocentrism, this bacteria, in the antibiotic drug has an intrinsic value in and of itself, and therefore cannot be used to advance the purposes of any other organism. Under this though process, the production of antibiotics would need to be halted, thus causing the loss of life.
B. According to Dr. Richard J. Whitley, president of Infectious Diseases Society of America and professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham, antibiotics are responsible for having saved millions of human lives as well as animal lives.
C. Therefore, only through valuing anthropocentrism above biocentrism can life be preserved and so utilitarianism achieved.
headphonegut

Con

NC ( this is an LD debate)
value: intrinsic value -- the principle of this is that regardless of what kind of entity it is in other respects, if it is a member of earth's community of life, the realization of its good is something that is intrinsically valuable. Therefore, it's good is prima facie worthy of being preserved, considered, respected, or promoted as an end in itself for the sake of the entity whose good it is. can't be treated as a mere means to an end.
Cr: equal consideration of interests --(the interests of every being affected by an action are to be taken into account and given the same weight as the like interests of any other being), if and only if it has the capacity for suffering and/or enjoyment.
my Cr. connects to my value by 1.the principle of equal consideration is about fairly considering the interests of certain sorts of beings. 2. But the capacity for suffering and/or pleasure(enjoyment etc. etc.) is a necessary prerequisite for having interests at all. - It doesn't make sense to say that non-sentient beings like plants and algae have "interests". -By the very nature of the case, it is in the interest of every sentient being that it experience enjoyment and avoid suffering. - to be capable of suffering and/ or enjoyment is to have interests; or at least that is the most basic level of having interests. It's the "threshold" for having interests. So all animals are worthy of equal consideration - and if all animals are worthy it holds that all animals are intrinsically valuable).
ATTACKS
pro c1- A.- "all the moral duties we have towards the environment and other species are derived from our direct duties to its human inhabitants." question How? and Why?
B.- if by "interest in the protection of other species" you mean killing millions of animals every year then yes they do

see the videos I agree humans "have a vested interest in the protection of other species and the environment".
wait isn't the "environment" being overly polluted by humans?
C.- "in order for humans to exist other species must thrive as well" I believe that this is called equal consideration of interests
D.- "anthropocentrism strives to maximize the amount of life" no it doesn't anthropocentrism is just another form of being conceded and thinking about yourself and even if we wanted to maximize the amount of life Africa and China would then be in bigger trouble. Humans over breed and they make livestock and animals over breed then they kill them.
sub-conclusion anthropocentrism do doesn't strive to maximize life therefore utilitarianism isn't achieved.
C2-he has already defined intrinsic value then redefines it again on this argument and his argument relies on the definition which is incorrect therefore the argument has fallacious logic
conclusion- his C1 and C2 are wrong therefore Neg wins due to not having any proof (Aff has burden of proof and must refute all arguments in order to win Neg just needs to negate).
ARGUMENTS
I have showed how my opponents arguments are flawed and now will move on to my own
C1- humans are not superior for several reasons
1.-historically popular reasons given for why women, and members of all races in general, should be treated equally while animals should not: reason 1 they all share at least one or more ( putatively significant ) trait that animals do not
(e.g., they are all capable of making rational decisions). therefore, men and women should be treated equally, while animals should not. :notice equal possession of a relevant trait merits equal treatment.*
yes men and women do have traits that animals don't but then there are also differences between men and women. So the equal sharing of a trait doesn't ground equal treatment nor equal rights. there is no trait by which every individual human is equal to every other (e.g. intellectual ability, moral capacities, capacity to experience pleasure or pain, etc. etc.). So we can conclude that equal sharing of a trait doesn't justify equal treatment for humans so animals should be considered equally with humans thus achieving intrinsic worth.
C2- Humans, simply by being members of the homo-sapiens, have a higher degree of intrinsic worth than any other species this is what Aff is basically trying to prove so by disproving this I should win
The idea of degrees of inherent worth is based on an obsolete, morally repugnant idea of a strict hierarchy of social classes. According to the picture, members of higher classes were more valuable and important than members of lower classes. As such, just by being born into a rich family automatically made you more valuable than poorer people, no matter what you do. Now we live in a democracy, and the class system seems morally absurd. No person is more valuable than any other, no matter how rich or poor you are. So, since the idea only gets justification from the false view of classicism, but at the level of species, not wealth. This idea is just as morally repugnant as the classicist idea. We're not more valuable than other life forms just because we're born into the "prestigious" human race.
Debate Round No. 1
ramkrupa

Pro

I'll begin by examining the differences in definition of "intrinsic value". My definition ("value that a thing has "in itself," or "for its own sake," or "as such," or "in its own right.") comes from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (http://plato.stanford.edu...), while my opponent fails to properly define the phrase. The phrase itself has no denotation related to "earth's community of life" and the phrase can be used universally and is not simply limited to this debate. Because the definition of my opponent's value is incorrect, vague and limiting, we cannot look to it, and therefore he is left with no value. LD is a value debate and because my opponent has no value, you must vote affirmative.

Moving on to the Negative's value criterion, when my opponent attempts to link the criterion and value together, he contradicts himself. He correctly states that "It doesn't make sense to say that non-sentient beings like plants and algae have 'interests'", which would strike down his own criterion.

Moving onto his contentions.

C1 - The example of treating races and genders equally is flawed. The debate deals with the human race and other species, anthropocentrism is not limited to any race or gender. Furthermore, humans of all races and genders are part of the same species, homo sapiens. The call for equality between humans is simply a call to see all members of the same species as same. Each member of each species must be treated equally, but each species should not be treated the same. Consider the species Shigella dysenteriae. This species causes dysentery. Now under my opponents case, this organism has an intrinsic worth and its interests should be considered equally with humans. That means, that in the millions of people that are infected with this disease should consider the interest of the bacterium just as much as their own. Under this (basically by negating) both the infected human nd the Shigella dysenteriae, would both die after some time. Therefore, biocentrism, reduces the number of lives (as I had mentioned during my Contention 2.

C2 - Again, going back to my attack on his C1. Social classes were between humans. The break from them was simply treating all members of one species the same. Like I said earlier, each member of a species must be treated equally but each species cannot be treated equally (go back to my bacteria example).

Now onto my case.

Firstly, notice that my opponent does not attack my value or value criterion. I have successfully conveyed how my opponent's value and value criterion are flawed and therefore I win the value debate. Further, please keep in mind that LD is a value debate and therefore you must affirm.

On to my Contention 1-A. My opponent asks why all moral duties toward the environment are derived from our duties to ourselves. I have clearly shown in my case that this is according to enlightened anthropocentrism (http://plato.stanford.edu...). Thus my opponent's attack on my C1-A falls, and my contention extends throughout the round.
Contention 1-B. Human's do indeed have a vested interest in the protection of other species and the environment. Human's are heterotrophic and therefore must depend upon other organisms from survival. And this doesn't mean "killing millions of animals every year". I myself am a vegetarian and therefore am not causing the slaughter of any animals. While I understand that I am still ending the life of other organisms, I point once more to our heterotrophic situation. And if humans are stopped from consuming other organisms, every other species must also be stopped from consuming other organisms. That would lead to the end of heterotrophic life. His attack therefore falls. Extend this contention throughout the round.
Contention 1-C. The part about other species thriving as well does not mean equal consideration of interests. It simply means that certain organisms must survive is humans wish to survive and some must not (going back to the bacteria example I provided). His attack falls, therefore this contention is extended.
Contention 1-B. As I showed earlier, biocentrism would lead to the end of heterotrophic life forms. Anthropocentrism would defend not only human population but all other heterotrophic population. His attack therefore falls and my contention extends.

Contention 2-My opponent states that my definition intrinsic value is incorrect. I have already explained why my definition is correct and in fact superior to my opponents and therefore his attack on this contention falls. My contention extends throughout the round. Furthermore, my opponent doesn't explain why my definition is wrong. He simply states it without providing any justification. This further proves that his attack is flawed.

Just to summarize: I have successfully attacked my opponents value, value criterion and his contentions. Furthermore, I have defended my own value and value criterion and extended my contentions. Also, my opponent has dropped my value and value criterion and therefore I win the value debate. I therefore urge you to affirm.
headphonegut

Con

Rebuttal
My definition of intrinsic value is the same as yours "promoted as an end in itself " I guess you forgot to read that part. So the definition argument falls, I am debating as for biocentrism as you seem to have forgotten tying the definition to my case. making it fall further. How is my value "vague and limiting"? I seem to have even extended my value so it could be fair to both of us. Your whole intro is wrong and incoherent and he drops or concedes my argument of sub-point D. on attacks. "it doesn't make sense to say that non-sentient beings like plants and algae have 'interests' ""which would strike down his own criterion" I guess you again seem to have overlooked where I said "if and only if it has the capacity for suffering and/or enjoyment" I find that it helps when you actually read what is being written or typed.
C1 - "the example of treating races and genders equally is flawed. The debate deals with the human race and other species"
(what I actually wrote)"historically popular reasons given for why women, and members of all races in general, should be treated equally while animals should not: 1. they all share at least one or more (putatively significant ) trait that animal do not " and then I attack this by saying " there is no trait by which every individual human is equal to every other ( e.g. intellectual ability, moral capacities, capacity to experience pleasure of pain, etc. etc.)." So again a failure to read or understand what is being typed leads to a faulty argument that has no basis for an actual argument. Further more his dysentery example again falls with "if and only if it has the capacity for suffering and/or enjoyment." again failure to read what is being typed.
C2- "now we live in a democracy, and the class system seems morally absurd. No person is more valuable than any other, no matter how rich or poor you are. So, since the idea only gets justification from the false view of classicism, but at the level of species, not wealth. The idea is just as morally repugnant as the classicist idea. We're not more valuable than other life forms just because we're born into the "prestigious" human race." ( the class system is basically People who occupy the same layer of the socioeconomic hierarchy are known as a social class (Basis, 1990:216). According to Henslin (2004:192), a social class is a large group of people who rank closely to one another in wealth, power, and prestige). again failure to simply understand
ON TO HIS CASE
C1 - 1.A his link isn't even about "enlightened anthropocentrism" this argument is a statement with no facts.
B- heterotrophic - capable of utilizing only organic materials as a source of food. this is a valid argument but because my opponent misunderstands biocentrism is basically saying that human are just another species not better than any other. All species are connected or interconnected it is undeniable that every living creature eats in that respect they are equal (letting nature takes it's course). So a course of nature would be death by other animals but humans do not just kill they overkill they unnecessarily kill (hunting). So argument falls (nice try though).

C2 - "when an organism is used as a means to further the ends of another organism" "Intrinsic value: value that a thing has "in itself," or "for its own sake," or "as such," or "in its own right." is this not contradiction which is incorrect or fallacious logic. so your whole C2 falls relying on the above statement and then contradicting it with your definition in that sense it is incorrect.

Just to summarize:"I have successfully attacked my opponents value, value criterion and his contention. Furthermore, I have defended my own value and value criterion and extended my contention. Also, my opponent has dropped my vale and value criterion and therefore I win the value debate." I therefore urge you to vote negative.

further attacks
Your criterion is how your value is achieved or upheld and my opponent defends life, but doesn't say how utilitarianism(the theory that the aim of action should be the largest possible balance of pleasure over pain or the greatest happiness of the greatest number) is achieved by life ( a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate being) .
My opponent has the burden of proof has not proved that anthropocentrism is above biocentrism in fact he has no case whatsoever because I have successfully made all of his arguments fall.
Debate Round No. 2
ramkrupa

Pro

ramkrupa forfeited this round.
headphonegut

Con

headphonegut forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ramkrupa 6 years ago
ramkrupa
Texas UIL (University Interscholastic League)
Posted by wjmelements 6 years ago
wjmelements
Who picked this topic?
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Vote Placed by True2GaGa 6 years ago
True2GaGa
ramkrupaheadphonegutTied
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Vote Placed by headphonegut 6 years ago
headphonegut
ramkrupaheadphonegutTied
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Vote Placed by ramkrupa 6 years ago
ramkrupa
ramkrupaheadphonegutTied
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