Debate Info

Yes No
Debate Score:13
Total Votes:13
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Argument Ratio

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 Yes (3)
 No (4)

Debate Creator

jessald(1915) pic

Does it make sense to view humanity as a single organism?


Side Score: 5


Side Score: 8
1 point

I find myself leaning toward this way of thinking more and more lately. All of humanity is one organism, and individual humans are like the cells of that organism.

The internet is what has made this shift in perspective possible. We can now exchange ideas at a very rapid pace. Eventually we will all be able to communicate as rapidly as the cells in our bodies communicate with one another. As tools which facilitate the exchange of ideas, such as the one we are using now, become more advanced and widespread, I think this perspective will become more and more widely adopted.

What are the implications of this way of thinking? Well for one thing, I think people will eventually stop seeing things in terms of "you vs. me" and "us vs. them". Eventually there will only be "us". And then we will live in a communist utopia, because there will no longer be a need for us to compete with one another.

Side: yes
4 points

I agreed with this. Then I read the other argument. Now I agree with him. Lol but we will be one step closer to utopia. An Anarchist utopia.

Side: yes
3 points

I think this is a matter of focus - Looking at a whole body it seems that the cells that make up that body are one organism, but with a microscope you see all sorts of individual fights and powerplays going on inside the body - the body needs both bacteria and white blood cells to survive - even though they somtimes fight with each other. I think the same thing goes for society, from a far (as most high class buisness people and economists see it) you see the market being a great unifying distribution system (sort of like a blood system) but if you look closer you see different suppliers and other market competiors competing with each other.

Side: yes
1 point

Anyone interested in this kind of viewpoint should read "General Systems Theory in Physics and Biology" by Ludwig von Bertalanffy. The scope of general systems theory seeks to explain and understand systems as small and simple as a single cell to systems vast and complex like the universe. Unlike other approaches to science, it emphasizes holism over reductionism, and organism over mechanism.

"Since Descartes, the 'scientific method' had progressed under two related assumptions. A system could be broken down into its individual components so that each component could be analyzed as an independent entity, and the components could be added in a linear fashion to describe the totality of the system. Von Bertalanffy proposed that both assumptions were wrong. On the contrary, a system is characterized by the interactions of its components and the nonlinearity of those interactions." [1]

For me, it makes sense to view human life as dynamically integrated with larger complex biological adaptive systems that ultimately incorporate all forms of life. All nature is a continuum that can be seen to function in eight "nested" hierarchical levels: cell, organ, organism, group, organization, community, society, and supranational systems.

For more information about this viewpoint, see "The Living Systems Theory of James Grier Miller" [2]



Side: yes
2 points

It could do.

If it weren't for one set of cells continuously exploiting many other sets of cells so that cell could become fatter. OR if these fat cells hated the idea that they worked together in the single organism. They didn't need to work together with the other cells because they had raped, killed, exploited and religiously converted all the other cells in the past and their quest for survival had passed and they were now economically stable. Because they didn't like to share they thought of a few ideas which would sound fair, but would actually be selfish. They would call them individualism and capitalism. What this meant was because of their economic stability they only had to take care of themselves and not others. Of course that didn't cancel the option to work towards a better single organism, and some of the fat cells decided to work with the skinny cells. However most fat continued to live off the skinny cells, not to ensure a better single organism, but a better themselves. However due to being fat these cells also became lazy. The work of the good fat cells had done its job and the skinny cells (who were always more numerous than the fat cells) due to their hard work and perseverance were slowly starting to gain weight. It had come to the point where many skinny cells were actually not much slimmer than the fat cells. Whether these skinny cells decide to become fat cells in mind as well as economic prosperity is something we have yet to see.

:D I could go into much much more detail, but I got bored myself.

Side: No
1 point

So just to clarify... Who do you see as the fat cells? Who are the skinny cells? And if you don't like capitalism, then what economic system would you prefer?

Side: No
1 point

In general? Westerners. I'm pretty sure you knew what I meant though.

I'm not too sure if it's capitalism I dislike so much or capitalism in western societies - how it is applied and it's mix of politics, like libertarianism, ex-colonialism, selfishness etc.

It's done amazing wonders for many poor parts of the world - like when vietnam freed up it's market. I would say I'm always for collectivism/communalism, conservatism (not the american type) patriachism etc. It's hard to explain because there's lots of good things and bad things from all different types of societies. I just prefer to see a world where we know where we're going instead of rushing through everything and realising our mistakes too late.

Side: No