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Debate Info

13
7
Yes, there is. No, there is not.
Debate Score:20
Arguments:21
Total Votes:20
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Argument Ratio

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 Yes, there is. (13)
 
 No, there is not. (7)

Debate Creator

Harvard(659) pic



Is There Really a Distinction Between Humans and Nonhumans?

One might say 'language', but that is just a mode of communication. 

One might say 'reason', but nonhuman animals obviously reason.

So, if neither of the above two commonly believed factors sufficiently distinguish humans from nonhumans, then what else would? 

Yes, there is.

Side Score: 13
VS.

No, there is not.

Side Score: 7

Animals reason as a provable fact? Uh huh. Atheists claim chimps are our forefathers and closest intermediary relative, which is biologically and scientifically untrue on its face. Nevertheless, they (Chimps) literally throw poop around like it's a toy.

Side: Yes, there is.
Harvard(659) Disputed
1 point

Animals reason as a provable fact?

What is a chimpanzee doing when stacking boxes to climb to reach a fruit?

Atheists claim chimps are our forefathers and closest intermediary relative.

No, those like you claim that scientist make that claim when in fact their position is that chimps and humans share a common ancestor.

They literally throw poop around like it's a toy.

And humans clap as if it's sensible...

Side: No, there is not.
1 point

-----What is a chimpanzee doing when stacking boxes to climb to reach a fruit?-----

Using its evolutionary, created, "other", or "both", instincts of survival. Is sex based on reason or just necessary to further the species?

Side: Yes, there is.
1 point

No, those like you claim that scientist make that claim when in fact their position is that chimps and humans share a common ancestor.------

The actual scientific claim is that we are more closely related to pigs than monkeys...

Side: Yes, there is.
1 point

-----And humans clap as if it's sensible...-----

1)Clapping and throwing poop are hardly comparable logically.

2)Clapping is used to communicate or encourage (With humans). Throwing poop is simply animals not showing any sense of human reason because.... they are just... animals.

Side: Yes, there is.
1 point

Animals do often possess the capability for simple communication and reasoning, but the disparity between their ability and ours is enormous. In the case of the former, animals are incapable of communicating complex ideas to one another, and in the latter, an animal is considered particularly intelligent if it's capable of figuring out how to open a jar. Claiming the two to be equivalent regardless of their degree is like claiming jaywalking to be legally equivalent to mass murder because they're both crimes.

Side: Yes, there is.
Harvard(659) Disputed
1 point

[A]nimals are incapable of communicating complex ideas to one another [...].

That is a human function necessary for intraspecific progression and sustenance as it pertains to survival and reproduction. Separate mechanics does not sufficiently illume a vivid distinction between humans and nonhumans since the overarching goals are the same.

[A]n animal is considered particularly intelligent if it's capable of figuring out how to open a jar.

The sorts of animals that can open a jar are considered 'intelligent' as defined by humans in the same fashion 'Jaywalking' and 'Murder' are considered crimes as defined by the human convention of law. It is fallacious to construct a criterion (intelligence) specific to a certain group (Humans), extend it to an entirely different group (Nonhumans), and then claim that the group for whom the criterion was constructed fits that criterion better than the group used for distinction.

Side: No, there is not.
LichPotato(362) Disputed
1 point

"That is a human function necessary for intraspecific progression and sustenance as it pertains to survival and reproduction. Separate mechanics does not sufficiently illume a vivid distinction between humans and nonhumans since the overarching goals are the same."

First of all, what basis do you have for claiming the sole purpose of a particular human function?

Second, our ability to express complex concepts goes far above and beyond simple survival and reproduction; humans are the only organism to have deliberately and significantly altered their circumstances, and complex language is a crucial element of doing so.

Third, scale, regardless of "overarching goals", is still a distinction. Whether it's "vivid" or not is irrelevant.

"It is fallacious to construct a criterion (intelligence) specific to a certain group (Humans), extend it to an entirely different group (Nonhumans), and then claim that the group for whom the criterion was constructed fits that criterion better than the group used for distinction."

Intelligence is a fundamental prerequisite to reasoning in any meaningfully complex context; acknowledging it as a specifically human characteristic contradicts both your specific point (that animals are also capable of reason) and your claim (that no distinction between humans and nonhumans exists) as a whole.

The fact that you're even capable of questioning this (your doing so through an artificial medium, which, last I checked, animals are incapable of creating) proves a distinction between you (a human being) and animals. Although, said questioning requires the (apparently deliberate) ignorance of all relevant reasoning, so I suppose you're right on that account (if only in this particular instance).

Side: Yes, there is.
Atrag(5445) Disputed
1 point

The sorts of animals that can open a jar are considered 'intelligent' as defined by humans in the same fashion 'Jaywalking' and 'Murder' are considered crimes as defined by the human convention of law

I have a feeling that whatever measure of intelligence anyone mentions in this debate you going to say that it is the human definition. Care to edit your debate to include the definition of intelligence you will be using?

Side: Yes, there is.
1 point

I think so. It really boils down to who was able to evolve faster. Look at what we are now, we have means and method to remain at the top of the food chain....for now.

We are constantly surprised when an animal shows empathy towards another animal of a different species, but why? Why are we so enthralled when a creature we deem inferior shows human characteristics? Because we want to think ourselves both indispensable and superior. And in many ways we are but not always the best ways. Many predicaments animals are in now are because of human interaction. But again, we are the top of the food chain so there is a distinction. Take away our technology though....we won't be for long.

Side: Yes, there is.
1 point

1) We are much better at problem solving that most other animals, including apes.

2) We have been able to pass our knowledge on from one generation to the next allowing development of our collective knowledge.

3) Superior planning skills - we can work together over a period of months or even years to complete collaborative projects, taking it from an idea in our mind to the finished product. Art, literacy and development of new technology are examples.

Side: Yes, there is.
1 point

Self awareness is often a common subject when comparing the two. Though some animals also have the ability of self awareness (Orcas, Dolphins, Apes, etc), most can't recognize themselves in a mirror.

Side: Yes, there is.

One might say 'language', but that is just a mode of communication.

Yes, calling something human is just a mode of communication.

Otherwise, there are anatomical differences, and anything that comes under the species of Homo sapiens qualifies as a human... At least for now.

Though it seems to me that it's the genus Homo that you want to know of.

Side: No, there is not.