The Instigator
komachi
Pro (for)
Winning
18 Points
The Contender
diety
Con (against)
Losing
14 Points

Should we attempt to preserve endangered species?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/29/2009 Category: Science
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 11,038 times Debate No: 8466
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (5)

 

komachi

Pro

As we all know, humans' sheer existence destroys natural surroundings and pollutes the planet, making animal habitats inhabitable. Because this situation is partly humans' fault, if not purely our fault, we should do our best to preserve and protect these species, from snow leopards to white rhinos. Although some may argue that protection of endangered species stalls big business and merely stalls the inevitable, I believe that the loss of these species will only confirm humans' status as destroyers, and will result in a planet that our future generations cannot enjoy to the fullest.
diety

Con

Thank you for creating this debate.

"Should we attempt to preserve endangered species?"

Should we?

Well, it's really up to us. If we like these species then we can, but if it gets in the way of our interests we really don't have to. As you said, the extinction of endangered species is inevitable. You say that we humans are destroyers ( I feel offended. I'm just as much a part of nature as a lion or a disease), but if you look outside the box you'll find that these animals' environments are just as much of destroyers as we are.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

99% of species that ever lived have died. I don't think that was because of humans

:)

"and will result in a planet that our future generations cannot enjoy to the fullest."

We're big boys. We don't need no cuddly cute zoo animals, of freaking lions/tigers/bears to enjoy life. Heck, I'll go take a ride on a roller coaster or play a videogame any day before going to a zoo.
Debate Round No. 1
komachi

Pro

Thanks for accepting.

You say that humans only have a responsibility to preserve species "if we like", because (correct me if I am wrong), you believe that endangered species pose no benefit to society except for entertainment purposes. However, in life-rich and endangered areas like the Brazilian rainforest, many creatures are on the verge of extinction. If these creatures die, it could ultimately prove detrimental to the lives of human beings. Why? Because scientists are deriving more and more medicinally useful compounds from the chemicals naturally present in many organisms.

http://environment.about.com...
http://www.rain-tree.com...

If humankind loses access to these useful organisms (ergo, said organisms die) without any attempt to preserve these species, humankind will have lost the valuable potential benefits these organisms bring.
diety

Con

"However, in life-rich and endangered areas like the Brazilian rainforest, many creatures are on the verge of extinction. If these creatures die, it could ultimately prove detrimental to the lives of human beings. Why? Because scientists are deriving more and more medicinally useful compounds from the chemicals naturally present in many organisms."

Well.... like I said it's totally up to us.

"If humankind loses access to these useful organisms (ergo, said organisms die) without any attempt to preserve these species, humankind will have lost the valuable potential benefits these organisms bring."

Well, I bet many species throughout the existence of the earth could've been useful to humankind as far as making medicines and food and whatnot. However..... 99% of these things are extinct.

Also you have to remember, not every single important species is endangered. And even if they were, through evolution new species will eventually arise as life will adapt to mankind's newly-shaped environment

:)

We have no obligation to protect endangered species. It's not our moral duty, and it's not necessary for our survival. Statistically, practically every species that exists on earth today will die in 20 million years or so. We only shall preserve these species if we want to and it serves our interests

The resolution is negated

Thank you
Debate Round No. 2
komachi

Pro

"The resolution is negated"
First off, I'd like to take issue with this statement. In no way, shape, or form am I willing to leave this debate without a good fight. Thank you.

"We have no obligation to protect endangered species. It's not our moral duty..."
If it's not our moral duty, then please explain to me why millions, even billions of people on the planet feel differently. If it's not our moral duty, then what is it? Is it something people donate their life's savings to because they're bored? Because they don't have anything better to do? If that were the case, then they would save their money for, say, orphanages instead. But because saving endangered species IS our moral duty, these citizens proudly send their money to organizations whose job it is to protect these species.

I'd like to share with you these quotes I've found.
"Diversity of life and living systems are a necessary condition for human development" (Ishwaran & Erdelen, 2006, p.179).
Species should be saved for "aesthetic and moral justifications; the importance of wild species as providers of products and services essential to human welfare; the value of particular species as indicators of environmental health or as keystone species crucial to the functioning of ecosystems; and the scientific breakthroughs that have come from the study of wild organisms" (Wilcove & Master, 2008, p. 418).
In short, the preservation of endangered species is not necessary to the human race only because of their potential value in medicines. They're necessary because, in order for humans to survive, biodiversity is crucial. Biodiversity has helped in places like Yellowstone, in which gray wolves were released, and contributed positively to the environment there. Biodiversity also benefits us, keeping healthier ecosystems.

And please don't tell me you wouldn't be sad if all the giant pandas died out.
Thank you.
diety

Con

Alright then, let me rap this baby up.

"We have no obligation to protect endangered species. It's not our moral duty..."
If it's not our moral duty, then please explain to me why millions, even billions of people on the planet feel differently. If it's not our moral duty, then what is it? Is it something people donate their life's savings to because they're bored? Because they don't have anything better to do? If that were the case, then they would save their money for, say, orphanages instead. But because saving endangered species IS our moral duty, these citizens proudly send their money to organizations whose job it is to protect these species."

You have not proven that protecting endangered species is a moral duty. Rather, you emphasized how people spend valuable time and energy to protect these species, and that doesn't imply duty. I can spend valuable time and money on cleaning and upgrading my car, but that doesn't mean I have some kind of obligation or duty to do so. To answer your questions, people feel differently about endangered species and act on them because it is not their moral duty, but their opinion.

"In short, the preservation of endangered species is not necessary to the human race only because of their potential value in medicines. They're necessary because, in order for humans to survive, biodiversity is crucial. Biodiversity has helped in places like Yellowstone, in which gray wolves were released, and contributed positively to the environment there. Biodiversity also benefits us, keeping healthier ecosystems."

Ok let me say it like this. We were able to survive thousands of years without medicines. We have produced medicines not because we were obliged to, but rather to serve our own self interests. We wanted to live longer, so we made medicines. If we have an obligation to make ourselves medicines, we have an obligation to give ourselves a $500 an hour bonus at our jobs.

Also, your whole argument only concerns endangered species. Keep in mind that there are plenty of species out there, extinction is natural, and when species disappear new species will eventually emerge.

We need only to serve our interests, and if endangered species doesn't interest us we have no obligation to preserve them. Endangered species also aren't always good for us either. Some of them can eat us or spread disease to us. There's plenty of species that I wish were around such as T-rexes or a foot-long misquitoes. However, if they were around it's not our obligation to preserve them if they conflict with our interests (heck they'll probably cause us to be an endangered species.)

"And please don't tell me you wouldn't be sad if all the giant pandas died out."

Aww, I would cry....

:)

I'm just kidding, we could make virtual new ones.

Anyway the resolution is negated.

Please vote CON.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by JustinWy 3 years ago
JustinWy
This is a topic where when we compare the benefit of an ecological destructive activity we are weighing a known value, the profit of the act, versus an unknown value in the loss of biodiversity. Every species lost is a permanent loss of genetic information, and as most species have several symbiotic relationships, some obligatory each loss threatens further possible permanent losses. Profit can usually be displaced, a species rarely can be successfully.
For the record total dollar benefit from ecosystem services to humans (calculated by what you would have to pay should the service were bought) : 33 Trillion a year, 1.8 time global GNP ( Costanza et al, The Value of the World's Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital, NATURE Vol. 387, 15 May 1987 (p 253-260)
Posted by the-nature-lover 5 years ago
the-nature-lover
what is ergo?
Posted by komachi 7 years ago
komachi
"We", I think, is the human race in general, or those humans who have the power and capability to help endangered species.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 7 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
Who is we?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Ulota 7 years ago
Ulota
komachidietyTied
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Vote Placed by studentathletechristian8 7 years ago
studentathletechristian8
komachidietyTied
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Vote Placed by vorxxox 7 years ago
vorxxox
komachidietyTied
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
komachidietyTied
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Vote Placed by komachi 7 years ago
komachi
komachidietyTied
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