The Instigator
Sireesh
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Beginner
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Respect for Life

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Beginner
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/21/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,269 times Debate No: 35835
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (2)

 

Sireesh

Pro

The starting point of wildlife conservation is the understanding that no meaningful conservation can be carried out unless one understands that all life must be respected for what it is, and that we leave our misconception that humans have a better claim to life, or to the earth and what it offers.
After so many centuries of intellectual thought and evolution, if we still have people talking casually of clearing forests, or of killing animals, talking of forests and wildlife as if they were living because we have been merciful, or because we let them be, it is something to be ashamed of.
We might have progressed scientifically or in making our life superficially more comfortable, bringing more conveniences to us, but we have only bound ourselves in the artificial world we created for ourselves, whether in small settlements, or big cities. Far from nature, from the true beauty of life and from most of creation. We are the proverbial proud rose of the real world, obsessed by ourselves, worth nothing to the earth, making no contribution except in messing it up, and misled by our misconceptions of self worth and farcical progress.
I do not deny the importance of progress, nor do I say that we all wear leaves and get back to living in caves. But it is important that while we work towards the betterment of humans, just like any other species, we must not overlook the larger reality that we are not isolated, we cannot live in isolation. We might choose to ignore it while it exists, but if the variety of life-forms we ignore were to go, our basic survival will be doubtful.
The next time there is a question of whether there is merit in conservation, remember this- humanity has progressed scientifically and culturally, but it is important to exist in harmony and sync with nature, for however much we may progress, nature is still as untameable, mystifying, and forceful as ever.
To conclude on a positive note after a somewhat pessimistic, lecturing essay, I should say that there is still hope, that as long as we spread the word and there still are people reading websites like these, conservation is not an impossible dream. If you like nature, if you think you can work for it, try and make a career out of it. If not, make it a hobby, catch hold of a camera, even a phone will do. Breathe in the fresh air of the natural world; take in the full frame beauty of nature. Go to that park, watch that squirrel running around, and you"ll understand why each life form is as good as any other.
Beginner

Con

I thank my opponent for setting up this philosophical debate, and hope to have a time of it.
I will be starting my argument with several points to directly contend against what I assume to be PRO's premise: All life should be respected.
My opponent presents a compelling case against the notion of both apathy (giving no concern to the destruction of non-human life forms) and human superiority. It is comprised mainly from the following bases:


1. The man-made environment under which man lives is 'fake' and therefore inferior to that developed by other life forms.
I will quote my opponent :

-We might have progressed scientifically or in making our life superficially more comfortable, bringing more conveniences to us, but we have only bound ourselves in the artificial world we created for ourselves, whether in small settlements, or big cities. Far from nature, from the true beauty of life -

My opponent says that the 'artificial world' we've created is both far from nature, and that nature is true beauty.
The basic assumption : everything manmade is inferior to everything not manmade (the true beauty of nature). I find this very unfair. What makes man inferior to non-man? Unless my opponent can prove that man is inferior (meaning not better nor equal to), I cannot see a reason why the creation of man is not as natural or as beautiful (maybe even more so) as the creation of, for example, bees. Bees create their own living environments, the beehive, and they are automatically considered natural (and therefore beautiful). When man makes something, it is automatically marked as 'artificial' or 'superficial' (and therefore not beautiful). Is this fair? NO!
I argue: Is man not a part of nature?

Despite my opponent's closing statement:
- each life form is as good as any other -
I cannot help but feel that a more adequate summary of my opponent's philosophy is :
"Each life form is as good as any other except for the human one."








2. If all other life forms were to be removed, humanity would not be able to survive.

- if the variety of life-forms we ignore were to go, our basic survival will be doubtful -

What my opponent indicates here is true. Our survival would be less than doubtful. It'd be impossible. Everything we consume are products of other living organisms (Our food and our Oxygen is largely generated by living photosynthetic units : plants). If these living organisms were to disappear forever, man (and all other plant-consuming life-form) would not survive. This is however, beside the point.
The logic runs thus:
2a. survival is important
2b. the existence of other life forms sustain our survival

therefore

2c. it is imperative that we conserve and respect the existence of other life forms.

This logic however, fails on its first point. The significance of survival is completely subjective. My philosophy runs thus : nothing is important. Any significance assigned to any object or objective only holds value to the assigner. Let me explain it this way. If all life were to die, what objective loss to the universe would we be able to observe? The fact is, there are none. Any argumentative support for life can only be subjective because life is not necessary.
Even if we were to run this logic assuming 2a is correct, we would find that the respect endorsed in 2c plays no part. Conservation? Yes. Respect? Doesn't really matter as long as conservation is implicated. Since the topic of this debate is based on respect, my opponent's argument, although it complements nicely a plea for conservation, does not really call for respect.


For the PRO side to secure victory, it must establish the following:
1. conservation and respect are objectively relevant
2. life is necessary
3. nature is true beauty, and that man is indeed not a part of nature (recall my beehive analogy)


Without further ado, I pass the argument over to PRO.
Debate Round No. 1
Sireesh

Pro

My opponent has presented a very nicely framed argument that would sway many. It has certain basic flaws though, especially in his interpretation of my first argument. I would first like to counter his rebuttals before placing new points on the table.
-That I give an inferior position to the creations of man:
I have to clarify this point, and firmly protest over this interpretation of my argument. I do not give second place to men. I believe that artificial things are as good as natural things, and that is a basic premise for me to say we shouldn't return to the jungles. My issue is really this: While artificial is good, one must not get so engrossed in it that one forgets what it is based on. Build houses and multistory buildings, but do not forget that they rest on the earth. A major preoccupation with artificial things is a problem as it disconnects us from nature, and results in a feeling that natural is inferior to artificial, and this leads sometimes to us not fully appreciating the necessity of nature.

-Respect towards nature is irrelevant:
While my opponent may have phrased his argument differently, I think the above is what he means. While I agree that conservation is more important and that humanity would exist even without us respecting nature, it would require a lot of political will, and transfer of knowledge at the top of governments, for all time to come. Clearly, that is not possible, and a respect for their role in our lives will not be misplaced. Conservation can be best perpetuated by respect, as evident by the conservation practices prevalent among many communities around the world, as part of their spiritual and religious beliefs.
-Life may be inconsequential:
While it may be a romantic notion to say nothing is important, one who believes nothing is important would not respond to my challenge. Life is important, to find the purpose of life, if not for anything else. Those who truly believe life isn't important wouldn't care anyways.

Over to Con!
Beginner

Con

I thank my opponent for his response and will go directly into rebuttals, but first I would like to elicit this list from round 1 as reference:

For the PRO side to secure victory, it must establish the following:
1. conservation and respect are objectively relevant
2. life is necessary
3. nature is true beauty, and that man is indeed not a part of nature (recall my beehive analogy)

Now I will go into rebuttals:

My opponent says :
"-That I give an inferior position to the creations of man:
I have to clarify this point, and firmly protest over this interpretation of my argument. I do not give second place to men. I believe that artificial things are as good as natural things, and that is a basic premise for me to say we shouldn't return to the jungles. My issue is really this: While artificial is good, one must not get so engrossed in it that one forgets what it is based on. Build houses and multistory buildings, but do not forget that they rest on the earth. A major preoccupation with artificial things is a problem as it disconnects us from nature, and results in a feeling that natural is inferior to artificial, and this leads sometimes to us not fully appreciating the necessity of nature."

I don't know what you saw of your argument, but I saw a clear segregation of man and nonman (man into unnatural/artificial and nonman into natural/beautiful - 'true beauty of nature...'). You can deny that you've done this, but it doesn't change the fact that you actually did, whether or not it was intentional. What makes the structures of man artificial? Here you've ignored my argument: "is man not a part of nature?" Man is just like any other organism with its evolutionarily developed facets and traits. I therefore contend that anything man creates is just as natural as the things created by other living organisms. This response, while attempting to reestablish my opponent's contention to the reader, does not properly respond to number three on the list. Since my opponent
a) did not establish that nature is true beauty
b) man is not a part of nature (for if it is, and I argue that it is, then everything it does must be natural)



My opponent then addresses number 1 on my first objection (and here I will paraphrase to save you time):
-Respect towards nature is irrelevant.
In his response, my opponent attempted to establish that, through respect for life, humanity is more able to motion toward conservation. While this argument is very likely true, it doesn't actually establish objective relevance, an obligatory must, in harboring this respect. Think of it this way: Let us say that each and every one of the Earth's inhabitants has already worked together to implement as many measures of conservation as possible. In this environment, is respect necessary? With conservation already in place, respect, the means through which we attempt to achieve the goal of conservation, is no longer necessary. Through this example alone, I'm sure even my opponent must agree that, in reality, respect and conservation hold no objective relevance.




The third paragraph in my opponent's realm seeks to establish the significance of life. And here I will quote my opponent's main defenses:
1. "one who believes nothing is important would not respond to my challenge."
2. "Life is important, to find the purpose of life, if not for anything"
3. "
Those who truly believe life isn't important wouldn't care anyways"


I cannot ignore the fact that these three points are really just floating statements with no supporting logical or objective explanations. I would like to ask my opponent to prove each and every point beyond reasonable doubt through either likely evidence or logical construction.

Number 2 in this line of assertions states that life is important, to find the purpose of life, if not for anything.
The logic basically works thus:
-If life is not important for anything
then
-life is important to find the purpose of life.
While making this assertion, my opponent fails to consider the fact that 'anything' reaches to all things&ideas. The act of finding the purpose of life conforms to anything. This assertion has therefore been nulled by itself.
Number 1 and 3 are simply irrelevant. Importance and necessity are completely different entities. Attempting to establish the importance of life is meaningless in the context of this debate. I reiterate the arguement that life is not necessary, therefore, respect for it is not something we must have.

Once again, for the PRO side to secure victory, it must establish the following:
1. conservation and respect are objectively relevant
2. life is necessary
3. nature is true beauty
4. man is indeed not a part of nature (recall my beehive analogy)

*note - I've separated #3 into two parts so that my opponent does not accidently ignore these points in his rebuttal.

On to PRO!
Debate Round No. 2
Sireesh

Pro

Sireesh forfeited this round.
Beginner

Con

I extend all my arguments.
Debate Round No. 3
Sireesh

Pro

Sireesh forfeited this round.
Beginner

Con

I now place this debate in the hands of you voters. Have at it!
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Beginner 3 years ago
Beginner
HAha level.. I didn't forfeit. xD
Posted by Beginner 3 years ago
Beginner
You said exactly what I thought you'd say after I said what I thought that you thought what I'd say : Nothing at all. :D
*Grammar fix
Posted by Beginner 3 years ago
Beginner
You said exactly what I thought you'd say after I said what I thought that you thought what I said : Nothing at all. :D
Posted by Sireesh 3 years ago
Sireesh
now let's see if you say what I think you'll say :D
Posted by Beginner 3 years ago
Beginner
Wow, you said exactly what I thought you'd say. :D
Posted by Beginner 3 years ago
Beginner
Ooh I like forward to reading this. :)
Posted by Beginner 3 years ago
Beginner
It's fine, I don't want you to feel rushed. Just do your best! :D
Posted by Sireesh 3 years ago
Sireesh
Must say, Good reply, Opponent! Will respond in a day, caught up in something. Good sparring partner I've got though.
Posted by Beginner 3 years ago
Beginner
I think I could have organized my thoughts better...
Posted by mrsatan 3 years ago
mrsatan
I agree that, if any animals(including humans) life is important, then all animal life is equally important. I'm assuming when you mention the casual killing of animals, you mean hunting for sport (a concept I can't stand), rather than for food. Am I correct in that assumption?

I'm tempted to take the challenge although I would be debating against my own beliefs. But I'll wait to accept and give someone who actually believes differently to take it first.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by jzonda415 3 years ago
jzonda415
SireeshBeginnerTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: F.F
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
SireeshBeginnerTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF by pro.