Instigator / Pro
1404
rating
52
debates
25.0%
won
Topic

If you can only save one from a dangerous fire, a famous painting is preferable to a cat

Status
Debating

Waiting for the contender's third argument.

The round will be automatically forfeited in:

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Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
5,000
Contender / Con
1485
rating
3
debates
16.67%
won
Description
~ 756 / 5,000

Premise: There is a fire in a museum with unknown causes. You MUST save one, a cat, or a famous painting. Whichever you decide, you are guaranteed to succeed, but the other will be completely destroyed/dead. You are unable to stop the fire. There is nothing else at stake, not other paintings, not other cats, not other people, except your own safety.

Famous: Well known, celebrated, renowned, many people visit this regularly

"You": A regular visitor of the museum

Cat: a small domesticated carnivorous mammal with soft fur, a short snout, and retractable claws. It is widely kept as a pet or for catching mice, and many breeds have been developed.

Preferable: The benefits would outweigh the negatives, and the majority of the time you should do this

Round 1
Pro
The idea is simple. A famous painting has power and effect over people. The top 100 most famous in particular have a notable effect and impossibility to reproduce the true effect of (https://www.brushwiz.com/most-famous-paintings/). Whether it be the Mona Lisa, or Starry Night, The Scream, all of these have incredible attachment to the artist. IESA says itself, art history "incorporates fields like social history, aesthetics, economics, politics, and anthropology. It is important because it gives you exposure to other humanities subjects, relating them to draw conclusions and critical evaluation of different artworks. The learning process also helps to learn about crucial times in history and know exactly how the experience of that timeline was like". Imagine if we lost Leonardo Da Vinci's best work. Everyone would feel ashamed for not having saved the Mona Lisa when they could. Look at the most expensive paintings list (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_paintings), even the cheapest one is over 25$ million. Not only do you retain the value of the painting as a cultural impact and educational value, you may also receive some compensation. After all, the museum greatly values its paintings. The story of you going into the museum to save Mona Lisa is far more inspiring and powerful than saving a no name cat. You would definitely go on the national news, and get a little fame and glory. If you can only save one, you might as well get something out of it. Not to mention the cat may panic and scratch at you all the way through, making your saving much harder to accomplish than the painting.

Unless con can prove a cat has cultural, artistic, and economic value more than the famous painting, he loses the debate. 

I rest my case.
Con
Pro resorts to the principle of objectivity when he states A is Preferable to B.

While the debate in hand is clearly a matter of choice from different perspectives, Pro actively chooses to ignore that dimension and goes on with imposing his opinion on the subject and argues to prove why a painting is to be preferred to be saved over a cat. That leaves Con to deal with it in the same approach but with certain pints of specificity that will aid in his edging out for a victory in this debate.

ARGUMENT

Instincts. In any of the similar case as this, human instinct is the first thing that will precede any of the actions. So, whether one saves the painting or the cat, he has taken his decision either following his instincts or avoiding it. But the presence of mind cannot be discredited because of a strong make-up of mind at the same time.

Instincts of Self-Preservation. It is a widely accepted psychological fact that humans are driven by three fundamental instinctive features for survival [1] one of which is self-preservation; in other words a tendency of protecting oneself. Since a fire is involved in the scenario, it would be safer in this regard to protect myself leaving either of the cat and the painting to be burnt down. However, while this appeals to a certain amount of people, some of the others will try and save both the "valuable" matters from the brink of danger which brings me to my third point-

Instincts of Social Connection. Humans have an obvious tendency to socially connect and co-exist with not only other humans but with all the other species as well. This instinctive inspiration to build up a connection is what sets humans apart from any other member of an ecosystem. However, with the term "social" in, preserving social history or aesthetics also falls into the category. But the degree of connection between humans and another species and that between humans and other inanimate artistic creations with social values are to be boldly considered. In a word, a specific connection between humans and cats is way bigger than the supposed relationship between humans and a world-famous art form. Detailed in my next point-

Inter-species Psychology. If the psychological relationship between a human and another non-human species is positively embedded in human nature, it actually means that this relationship evidently chains back to human instinct. In fact, Edward O. Wilson of Harvard University Press reported in 1984 that the affinity of humans to other animals lies in an evolutionary development of civilizations as humans connected to other human beings survived adversaries contrary to those who isolated themselves from the animals [2]. So, there is a survival instinct adjoined with the humans particularly in a situation like the debate entertains with.

Humanitarian Side. Humanitarianism is now a popular movement not only among the atheists or the secular but also within the theist and even religious communities [3]. Humanitarians approve of prioritizing humanity before anything else and with the rise of organizations like World Wildlife Organization (WWF), it is safe to say that protecting animal rights and ensuring animal welfare are integrally a part of such an ideology [4]. According to the new-humanitarianism, protecting domestic animals, not to mention the endangered wildlife species, is a huge part of the humane aspect of humanitarianism [5]. In other words, not protecting any species from independent endangerment events is rendered inhumane.

Anthrozoology Extension. Anthrozoology is a modern interdisciplinary science that elaborates on human interaction with animals and vice-versa and the essentials involving this positioning. One of the main factors according to the discipline is that the entire food web comprising of food chains is dependent on every single member of that particular chain, due to demise of any one, the entire system is compromised and may even collapse. Since, leaving a cat off to die is equivalent to killing off one, it definitely affects an entire ecosystem with a massive frequency. Apparently, loss of an artistic piece doesn't threaten our survival.

REBUTTAL

Unless con can prove a cat has cultural, artistic, and economic value more than the famous painting, he loses the debate. 
Pro's take on importance of the paintings is justified, but I'll point out that Pro only expressed what he'd do, not what everyone should whereas Con attached evidences why the cat should be saved because of psychological, scientific and humanitarian issues. According to Con's articulation, Pro contradicts humanity, science and basic human instincts, so

VOTE FOR CON!

REFERENCES



Round 2
Pro
Instincts of Self-Preservation-- Con contradicts himself here. Our museum famous paintings is a way to preserve our culture even if we go extinct, perhaps future intelligent beings can discover them, if they re-evolve on earth. Because you are forced to choose one or the other, and you are not in danger, this argument is in my favor.

Social Connection+Inter-species Psychology: And yet, we hunt animals very often. We pollute the air and have little care for other animals. We keep them in zoos and constrict their freedom. There are many contradictions to con's argument. An expert has analyzed Cats and realized their exact flaws:

Compared to a stranger, the dogs become more disturbed when their owners leave, and interact with them more when they return. By contrast, Mills' cat experiments — which are still ongoing and haven't yet been published, but were featured in a BBC special last year—haven't come to the same conclusion. On the whole, the cats seem disinterested both when their owners depart and return.
 
The article does not Cats can show some "affection", but this is largely limited, and as I haven't specified the cats' relation to the person, it would be even more difficult as the article concerns OWNERS of the cat. Notice how in the premise this just seems to be a random cat lost at a museum and thus ruins con's argument. The expert further gives a study that show cats don't like being pet. And don't even mention being picked up in a fire, no no. That's horrible. The cat would have an unpleasant experience even if you do save it, and once again, who is more likely to visit the museum? People who value cats above paintings? Or the other way around?

Humanitarian : irrelevant. Cats are not endangered. If this was one of the last 100 cats in the world, perhaps it is worth saving, but otherwise...

Anthrozoology Extension: Inaction is not the same as murder. You can't compare the two. Con gives in to the slippery slope fallacy and assumes that ONE cat will destroy the ecosystem if you let it die. 

Con has FAILED to negate the cultural, educational, and story impact of the famous painting. He has FAILED to negate the potential monetary compensation should you save the famous painting. Con has FAILED to negate the fact that a stranger cat would scratch and cause you harm, while the painting would not do such thing. The painting can live on for centuries, while Cats cannot. Vote for pro.
Con
REBUTTAL

Con contradicts himself here. Our museum famous paintings is a way to preserve our culture even if we go extinct, perhaps future intelligent beings can discover them, if they re-evolve on earth.
Pro doesn't understand my point at all. I proved in my argument that there is a survival instinct adjoined with animals whereas Pro tries to do the same here with paintings without any solid evidence. He resorts to a multiple uncertain and vague terms to back him up with survival values- "perhaps", "future intelligent beings", "re-evolve" etc. So, the argument is in Con's favor.

yet, we hunt animals very often. We pollute the air and have little care for other animals. We keep them in zoos and constrict their freedom. There are many contradictions to con's argument.
Pro here points out several flaws in human nature, terms them as contradictions to Con's argument. It's like saying some of us engage in murder, crimes and robberies and so we are not worthy to be called humans. However, Pro's response to inter-species psychology was besides the point anyway, where I proved the connection between humans and non-humans for survival, Pro resorted to some independent mentalities of people around. 

Compared to a stranger, the dogs become more disturbed when their owners leave, and interact with them more when they return. By contrast, Mills' cat experiments — which are still ongoing and haven't yet been published, but were featured in a BBC special last year—haven't come to the same conclusion.
It sounds like Pro offers a personal agenda against cats here. So, if there was a dog in the fire, would he save it? If not, the entire comparison here fails him completely as an argument.

who is more likely to visit the museum? People who value cats above paintings? Or the other way around?
How many of the world population can afford to visit a museum? According to statistics, 9.6 million people visited Louvre in France in 2019 and that's the highest record of that year drawn by any art museum which makes up about only 1.2% of the total population of the world. Now, according to Pro, only 1.2% of the world is contributing to human preservation while a study found 95.6 million cats in 68% of total households in America. So, it's clear how Pro doesn't address the people involved with museums and arts are the people who are more aesthetic and fancy rather than practical and general. Statistically the arts and museums have an insignificant force behind retaining survival issues. But, cats and animals in general have had it through the evolutionary landscape.

irrelevant. Cats are not endangered. If this was one of the last 100 cats in the world, perhaps it is worth saving, but otherwise
What part of "inhumane" does pro not understand? Leaving an animal to die for unreasonable causes is more than pathetic and according to new-humanitarianism that is not humane at all. Pro sounds absolutely irrational as he demands animals to be treated in terms of availability.

Inaction is not the same as murder. Con gives in to the slippery slope fallacy and assumes that ONE cat will destroy the ecosystem if you let it die. 
The possibility of the food chain to collapse is higher particularly in this case. Because now letting a living animal burn out to ashes limits the decomposition ability of a certain level in the pyramid and frees another which in turn damage all the side chains, thus the web continues to be affected in the long run. A conscious and scientific individual will always heed to this aspect and rationale of the situation here.

ARGUMENT

Lost Arts. There have been hundreds and thousands of paintings lost or stolen or destroyed over the years and yet we are here enjoying a civilized life and celebrating the remainder artistic creations and having this debate. With technological advancement and online revolution, we have built a new world off all our shortcomings. Paintings to preserve cultures may have been a large but not an integral part of it. Unless Pro proves how those stolen arts would have uplifted our cultural status even more, this debate stays in Con's favor.

Morality Standards. It would be highly immoral for a living animal to be let die despite having a clear choice. Religious theists would always prefer the animal over a mere painting. Even atheists having humanitarianism as their standard should recollect and prefer the same.  So, from any moral point of view, saving the cat would be the right decision to make.

I rest my case for now, as I demand a neutral observation to see how Pro was basically just propounding his own point of view on "cats" and was not clear about the survival case with paintings.

Pro has failed to represent HUMANITY, SCIENCE and PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTROL and so I believe I have taken the lead in terms of RATIONALITY and refuted all the irrational claims he has been articulating.

I request Pro to answer the question in the third rebuttal so I can proceed with my next argument.

VOTE FOR CON!




Round 3
Pro
While the humanity extinct does seem like a bleak argument, keep in mind that while we survive, our heritage still lives on. Leonardo da Vinci is dead, but his future lives on. So self-preservation still wins out in the end. Secondly, Con tries to assert again using the pets as a special value we hold, however, this is a random cat who may as well run away the instant you make it out of the museum. The inter species connectivity argument falls short in the end, and it is similar to hunters shooting random wolves without any hesitation. We would have had to gained special value towards a stranger cat within seconds, which is hard to believe on my part. 

Con destroys himself again by asserting just how unvaluable cats are. I already said if only 100 cats existed in the world, they would be incredibly endangered. But 1/95.6 million cats is an incredibly small number, smaller than the chance of you struck by lightning, or getting in a car crash. Considering the fact that you can list 100 most expensive or influential paintings as my source gives ,but not 100 most valuable cats, it seems evident that paintings are far far more valued by humans than cats. Finally, con states the humanitarian idea that cats dying would still be immoral, but we STILL think about putting animals "out of their misery" by killing them even faster, like horses that we send to race. And consider THAT is actively killing them rather than inaction or even saving one of human's great culture values. He has not confirmed that humanitarian values outweigh monetary in the millions, culture impact of incredible nature, and inspirational legacy. 

Con's food chain argument completely falls apart under scrutiny. He has not established merely ONE animal burning to ashes causes the entire food chain to collapse. The fire death rate for humans are in the millions, yet the food chain has not been destroyed. This generalization fallacy is simply absurd.

Vote for pro.
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