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The Contender
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Is humanity a defective species?

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Debate Round Forfeited
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/18/2017 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 776 times Debate No: 101118
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
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I have to come to believe that humanity is broken for many reasons. We do not support the environment in a positive way, unlike any other organism which does help the natural ecosystem, even through the destruction it causes, making us the only one. We genetically modify plants and animals and create toxic, and unnatural chemicals/materials, such as plastic, and radioactive energy sources that nature may not be able to redress even after we are gone. Animal species are now going extinction at a maximum rate of 100 times faster than they should be, because of human beings. We are not helpful for the evolution of life as a whole because we are killing off other species, damaging the environment, and burning up resources.
Another thing that makes us defective is the way we all treat our own society. We are the only species that imprisons its own kind or gives its own kind a reason for the imprisonment and the only species that murders itself needlessly for psychotic reasons. We should not need anywhere near some of the mental health treatment that is pretty much foreign to other animals and we are also the only ones that become addicted to dangerous man made substances that harm ourselves and society. We are all driven by little green slips of cotton to do what we do, because money puts us in power of other human beings. We have reproduced to epidemic levels. This will cause serious problems for our planet in the future.


First, I would like to thank my competitor, bravevline, for instigating this debate. On the topic on whether humanity is a "defective species" I cannot argue against the atrocities that are caused by humanity in its entirety throughout history. Instead, I look to the nature of our existence to guide me on determining how defective our species is. The nature of existence is such that animals are to procreate and survive. To do otherwise is to end the species. Beyond philosophical and religious contexts, what other reason is there for humans to exist?

Humans, like all other animals, procreate to continue the existence of its species. Humans are quite effective at this, with nearly 7,378,900,000 alive as of March 20, 2017 (United States Census 2017). Recent estimates project the world population to increase to "9.6 billion in 2050 and 10.9 billion in 2100" (Gerland et al. 2014, 247). By comparison, there is an estimated 600 million dogs, 1.6 billion cattle, and 410 million chickens (CAROdog 2017; Food and Drug Administration of the United Nations 2014).

Humans, like other animals, are self-interested in survival. While an animal may at times do something that seems contrary to its survival, it generally behaves in a manner that allows for the protection of itself and, frequently, its family. Humans are also adept at this task. Because of the remarkable characteristics of the human brain and body, humans can create tools that can assist in survival and pass this knowledge to future generations. Humans make clothes to protect against elements, build shelters to secure against weather and other animals, mass produce food to keep the species nourished, and create medicine that keeps heals the sick. In fact, no other modern species has the potential to protect itself like humans.

Objectively, if the purpose of existence is to simply survive and continue the species, in what ways are humans defective? My opponent makes many claims describing how humans are a defective species, but many of these claims, such as murder and prison, stem from human philosophies of virtue, which is something that is not widely occurring in nature. Long ago, the species created societies so that humans can protect and support each other. In doing so, societies formed concepts of virtue and decency that should be maintained for the good of the species.

For those that cannot or will not comply with these standards of society, the options to protect the society are to kill the individual or exclude the individual. In nature, exclusion and death are often the same. Should we just kill all who violate society"s standards? Prisons are quite a humane alternative. It is society"s way of sustaining and protecting itself by ostracizing nonconforming members, while not infringing on the member"s ability to survive. In most cases, it is meant to re-educate the violating member as to the standards and reintegrate them into the society, which is more than most social species ever provide.

My opponent also criticizes money, claiming that it consumes the lives of humans and gives humans power over each other. I reject this perspective as highly speculative. The use of money is a vital part of modern society. For a period, humans survived on communal offerings, where certain members would hunt and others would grow food. As societies progressed, there came a need for certain individuals to perform tasks that did not contribute to the procurement of food, such as soldiers to protect the society and engineers to improve living conditions. How can such a person, who is a vital member of society, survive without the procurement of supplies needed to survive? The person would survive through payment and trade.

The individual can get paid, perhaps with a chicken and some vegetables. What is the person needs clothes? Trade the chicken for some clothes. What if the person with clothes does not want or need a chicken? Now the individual cannot get what they need to survive. Suddenly, there is a need for a standard currency that is usable to purchase any goods or service. As in nature, a person must apply their skills to acquire their means to survive or barter. So too must a person apply their skills in a society to receive money. Money is simply an extension of a natural process of procuring items and trading them for different items to survive.

Finally, I want to address my opponent"s concerns for the species" impact on the environment. Humans are expanding quickly and their influence has a profound effect on the environment, but this is not uncommon. All animals affect their environment, whether positively or negatively. Many animals, if left unattended, can cause the extinction of a different species. Swarms of migratory locusts can quickly overwhelm an area and devour its vegetation. Cattle and goats, when left uncontrolled, are known to cause severe damage to the grasslands they graze in. Other animals are highly invasive and can cause drastic changes to the vegetation and animals living in newly invaded areas.

It is because of humanity"s ability to communicate across generations and develop tools to perform tasks that they are aware of these kinds of influences in the natural world. Efforts are made to reduce the species footprints. Do other species plant trees? Do other species knowingly protect animals in their natural habitat to ensure the species can survive? Do other species intentionally mandate reduced population growth to prevent over population of the world? Other species simply procreate and survive. To say that humanity"s influence is only positive is grossly negligent, but one cannot deny the efforts humans put in place, more than any other animal species, to reduce the effects of their influence.

None of these arguments and rebuttals matter, though, because this issue at hand remains whether the human species is defective. As I originally addressed, the purpose of life, beyond the religious and philosophical perspectives, is to survive and procreate. In both matters humans are quite effective. The world population continues to grow rapidly, which is proof of the ability for the species to continue its existence. Humans develop languages to communicate, societies to assist and protect each other, and tools to improve their living conditions and survival. It is because of these reasons that humans are superior to most animals and have taken a dominant position among the animal kingdom. Quite the opposite of a defective and broken species.


CAROdog. 2017. "Statistics on Dogs." CAROdog. Accessed March 20, 2017.

Food and Drug Administration of the United Nations. 2014. "Live Animals." FAOSTAT. Accessed March 20, 2017.

Gerland, Patrick, Adrian E. Raftery, Hana "evč"kov", Nan Li, Danan Gu, Thomas Spoorenberg, Leontine Alkema, Bailey K. Fosdick, Jennifer Chunn, Nevena Lalic, Guiomar Bay, Thomas Buettner, Gerhard K. Heilig, and John Wilmoth. 2014. "World Population Stabilization Unlikely This Century." Science 346, no. 6206 (October 10): 234-237.

United States Census. 2017. "U.S. and World Population Clock." United States Census Bureau. Accessed March 20, 2017.
Debate Round No. 1


And thank you, Superspork, for also being a respectful competitor. It appears that you agree to some extent that our species is defective, due to your comment "Instead, I look to the nature of our existence to guide me on determining how defective our species is." While it is true that our population has reached record numbers, and surviving and procreating is ultimately the primary goal for all living things on Earth, I do think that we are starting to become a hazard for all life on the planet as a whole, even though we may not had been in the past. One thing that leads me to believe this is our self perceived higher intelligence. Perhaps we did not start out as a danger to the planet, but because of our higher intelligence, we have become so, and it probably will not take much longer for evolution to either do away with us, or set us back quite a bit, but because of our higher intelligence, we have learned how to make our methods of survival more efficient, but this is a bad thing as many of our new ways pollute the planet and destroy parts of it in irreversible ways. We have been responsible for dumping toxic waste into the ocean which will have has already damaged many aquatic ecosystems. We deforest complex systems of natural flora, fauna, lakes, and rivers to build our buildings out of unnatural, mass produced materials. Even the devices we are using to debate with have caused damage by the manufacturing process and ewaste (a term the simply refers to all electronic devices discarded, including smart devices, telephones, computers, etc.) that is created just because we think we need a brand new iPhone every year. All this has happened because our intelligence has allowed us to make survival exceedingly easy, compared to past humans are other animals, and gives us time to worry about finding ways to pleasure or comfort ourselves, or simply to feed our ego in order not to be looked down on by other members of society. Not only are we going to continue killing off record numbers of other species, but in the future, we might make survival extremely difficult for ourselves.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by bravevline 3 years ago
Actually, I have heard of that. It doesn't surprise me.
Posted by romanpiso 3 years ago
Have you ever heard of the 1%? Also know as the Oligarchy. We, of the 99% only live in a world that is virtually controlled and owned by the 1%. We would have to take our world back from them before we could make any real difference. They are the ones who are destroying our world, out of greed. They have been dumbing down the masses for centuries. Yes, out of ignorance, the 99% have also damaged our world. But the fault still rests with those who caused that ignorance.

Oligarchy And Ancient Genealogies

Napoleon Bonaparte & The Holy Roman Empire

The New Classical Scholarship: The New Forensic Study Of History
Posted by Superspork 3 years ago
Thank you. Hopefully I got a good grade. I will find out next week. I did a statistical analysis of the relationship between voter self declarations of Independent partisan affiliation and the approval ratings of Congress and the President. There is a popular belief that people are increasingly declaring Independent affiliation, despite a strong tendency to generally side with one of the two major parties, because it is "fashionable to be an Independent." I think my paper helps to refute this claim. Almost no correlation between President approval and Independent affiliation, but a very strong correlation between Congress and affiliation. Obviously, approval ratings are not causing affiliation shifts, but it does suggest that the recent increase in Independent affiliation is connected to the electorates' perception of how Congress is performing. This will help lead to my thesis paper in a few months.
Posted by bravevline 3 years ago
You're fine. You have made some great points already! That's really the point of any debate in my opinion. Hope you did good on your assignment!
Posted by Superspork 3 years ago
My apologies for the forfeiture. I ran over on writing my term paper for school and could not respond in time before the time ran out.
Posted by bravevline 3 years ago
I acknowledge that. I've already posted the debate, however, and I've got a few points too, so I'm going to go with. I think it's an interesting topic to be discussed!
Posted by canis 3 years ago
Species exist as long as it is possible. Defects do not exist.. Just changes.
Posted by bravevline 3 years ago
Broken/defective, possibly for lack of a better word, because we have become like a plaque on this planet. We are not good for evolution, we destroy the Earth, and we ourselves are our biggest predator.
Posted by Superspork 3 years ago
You have an interesting topic. Can you define "defective species" and "broken" for this debate? Also, what are the terms and conditions?
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