The Instigator
kasmic
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
Debater930
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

A just society ought to recognize Animal Rights

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
kasmic
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 8/20/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,214 times Debate No: 78874
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)

 

kasmic

Pro

4 rounds/72hrs/3,000 Characters/Select Winner

Typical Rules
Debater930

Con

What is just?

In some cases the animal that wasn't killed for the sake of sentiment was also the same animal that could have fed 10 people before they perished. I assume you are referring to domesticated animals and animals that are used for furs and other bodily accessories.

In such case, to what degree of suffering do you find unjust, simply killing the animal or skinning it alive and leaving it in cages to rot from infections? Please clarify.
Debate Round No. 1
kasmic

Pro

A just society ought to recognize Animal Rights

It is my burden in this debate to show that animals have rights. If it can be shown that animal rights do exist it seems to me to follow that a just society ought to recognize them. Thus if I can show Animal Rights exist, I win this debate.

C1: There are no relevant differences between humans and animals that would impact rights

Society on balance accepts the notion that people have rights. Young and old, white or black, male or female, smart or dumb; humans have rights that ought to be respected. Despite these differences that humans have with each other, rights are accepted universally. From this we can conclude that the existence of rights is not impacted by these types of differences and are thus inherent. Certain rights exist independent of human differences. It seems reasonable to accept that all animals, human or not, inherently have rights despite differences. They ought to be respected.

Unless my opponent can show reasonable argumentation as to why humans, of all animals, inherently have rights for a reason not applicable to other animals then it follows that all animals have rights.

P1. Humans have rights
P2. These rights exist despite differences in look, intelligence, age, gender, size etc
P3. There are no relevant differences between humans and animals that would impact rights
C. Animals have rights

C2: Needless Suffering

To be free from needless suffering is perhaps the most fundamental right. If something is capable of needlessly suffering, inherently there exists a right to not be subject to such suffering. This leads us with one simple question. Can Animals suffer? The general consensus is that some animals do in fact feel pain. Many governments around the world recognize this truth and have in response passed regulations that minimize or eliminate such pain.

For example the U.S. Government has such regulations. "The requirement or recommendation to consider the recognition and alleviation of pain in laboratory animals when conducting research in the United States is constituted in federal law, regulations, and guidelines, enforced by the US Public Health Service Policy, and promulgated by various professional organizations"(1)

If we accept, as most do that animals are capable of needlessly suffering, then it follows that a just society would not allow such animals to suffer needlessly.

P1: To be free from needless suffering is a fundamental right
P2: Animals are capable of suffering
C2: Animals have a right to not needlessly suffer

Conclusion

Humans have rights. There are no relevant differences between humans and animals that would impact the existence of rights. Animals have rights. One of which is the right to not needlessly suffer. Just societies ought to recognize animal rights. Many countries, including the U.S. do recognize these rights. The resolution is affirmed.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
Debater930

Con

A just society can exist without Animal Rights, and still hold such a title.

Animals - Non-human, sentient organisms

C1: There are significant differences between human and animals, to the extent that animals can/are denied what we recognize as our inalienable rights. (SHORTENED DUE TO CHARACTER LIMIT)

While your logical statement does take the form of a universal affirmative (i.e, All of A has B, All of C is A, therefore all of C has B) and is not flawed in its process, it is flawed in the reasoning behind it.

[In agreement with]
P1: Humans have fundamental rights
P2: These rights exist despite differences in look, intelligence, age, gender, size etc
[Revised]
P3: There are significant differences between humans and animals that would impact rights (i.e, being a source of food, an entity for our amusement, respecting us vs. respecting them, etc.)
C: Animals have some rights, but are severely limited based on our needs

C2: Needless suffering, and recognition of sentimental value (SHORTENED DUE TO CHARACTER LIMIT)

[In Agreement with]
P1: To be free from needless suffering is a fundamental right
P2: Animals are capable of suffering
[Revised]
P3: Not all suffering is needless [In short, take into account scientific research and animal test subjects]
C2: Animals have a right to not needlessly suffer, however they should not be protected from all forms of suffering by human acts.

I think an important reference that can mediate the subject of suffering is Dr. Michael J Murray's response to Dr. William Lane Craig's view on animal pain (and the existence of God, a different subject). To summarize, it is very likely that animals do not actually "feel" pain the way we do, but instead react to the stimulant of pain as a defensive technique. It may recognize that its body is under the stress of pain, but it may not consciously feel it the way we do.

http://www.reasonablefaith.org...

C3: A Just Society

While animal rights can make a society seem just, it is not an obligation for society to recognize those rights of animals. Society is a human creation, and to take accountability of all living things is not an obligation for humans. Animals can suffer behind the curtains, but a society can still be seen as just because morality is not a typical quality applied to animals. As dull witted as this is, how I get an animal to be food on my plate or fur for my warmth and pleasure is devoid of morality, because I am satiating my needs. What is a question of being just or not, is how often I fulfill these pleasures and to the degree in which I do it. In the 19th century, buffalo were slaughtered by hunters for game rather than food. Whereas the Native Americans killed what they needed, and did so without law and order.

P1: A just society appeals to human needs
P2: Animals do not require human needs
C3: A just society does not appeal to animals

C: A just society can exist without animal rights, it has already historically occurred.
Debate Round No. 2
kasmic

Pro

Con’s definition of animal is ridiculous and unsourced. Animal cannot be reasonably defined as non-human as humans are classified as animals. (1) This is a truism as Homo-sapiens are a member of the animal kingdom.

C1: Con concedes P1 and P2 of my C1. Thus he is contending P3 and the conclusion.

Con Claims that there are significant differences between humans and other animals. First he claims that because animals are a source of food they are different. In the history of the world, humans have eaten other humans as food, as well as some other animals have eaten humans as food. Thus this first difference is not really a difference. Likewise as entertainment and respect. Do Humans not find amusement from other humans and show some respect to animals? Of course they do. All differences are negated. Even if they were not, my contention was not that there is no difference between humans and other animals. Rather that there are no relevant differences that would impact rights. So even if you were to grant these differences, con has failed to link the differences in a way that would impact rights.

Con’s conclusion concedes a main point in this debate. “Animals have some rights.”

C2: Like C1 my opponent does not contend my first two premises

Con contents that not all suffering is needless. This has zero impact on this debate as I never argued that all suffering is needless. I did argue that Animals have a right to not needlessly suffer. Con concludes that “Animals have a right to not needlessly suffer. “ This again concedes a main point in this debate.

Con claims that it may be likely that “animals do not actually feel pain the way we do.” He continues to say “It may recognize that its body is under the stress of pain, but it may not consciously feel it the way we do.” This is a weak argument of what they might “possibly feel.” Especially as modern science has all but concluded that many animals do feel pain. (Please see source from opening argument.)

C3: As a definition has not been provided for Just, I will provide one here.

BSH1 states that “Justice is fairness or reasonableness, as well as giving each their due.”(2) To apply this to this debate we see that “Needless suffering is neither fair, nor reasonable, nor due--it is, by its very nature, needless.” (2)

Con argues argues that “to take accountability of all living things is not an obligation for humans.” I have not argued that it is. What I have argued is that humans ought to respect an animals right to not needlessly suffer. This means not being the perpetrator of such suffering.

Thus as con has conceded that “Animals have some rights” and that “Animals have a right to not needlessly suffer,“ he has essentially conceded that animal rights do exist. Since they do exists it follows that a just society ought to recognize Animal rights.

(1) http://www.britannica.com...
(2) http://www.debate.org...

Debater930

Con

You're referencing me in the third person in a debate between two people, which is both highly amusing and disturbing. Regardless, you've cited sources that contradict your opening statement, as the debate.org citation does identify animals as nonhuman, for the sake of clarification within that debate.

In fact, I think this entire debate is already off course, we seem to be debating Animal Rights, more so than what constitutes a just society, and whether or not Animal Rights is a qualification for a just society. So with this that automatically removes both our first and second conclusions, as they are irrelevant. The title of this debate is "A just society ought to recognize Animal Rights", not "What constitutes Animal Rights".

So now that this should be cleared up, let us debate whether or not a just society really needs to recognize Animal Rights. First off, what is a just society? By definition and combination, it turns out to be "the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community, behaving according to what is morally right and fair." By definition, a just society is not obligated to recognize Animal Rights through law, however it is morally driven to respect [and therefore recognize] Animal Rights.

This debate was overall poorly constructed and it's clear that your intentions were to make the title as vague as possible to favor the pro side much more easily than the against side. Congratulations for wasting everyone's time.
Debate Round No. 3
kasmic

Pro

Clarification:

I refer to “Con” in the third person because a debate is addressed to those that read it. The voters that is.

Overview of debate:

Con claims that much of this debate is off topic. Though we have a definition of what Justice is, and as con has not contested it, it stands. “Justice is fairness or reasonableness, as well as giving each their due.” Being that we have agreed that Animals have rights it would seem that a just society… that is to say a fair, reasonable society would recognize those rights.

Con claims “, a just society is not obligated to recognize Animal Rights through law, however it is morally driven to respect [and therefore recognize] Animal Rights.”

This essentially concedes the debate as the term “ought” is the moral implication. If society is morally driven to respect animal rights it is synonomous to say that a just society ought to.

I apologize to con that he feels this was a poorly constructed debate. I did not intend it to be so. He also claims that I intentionally made the title as vague as possible to give myself the advantage. This is not so, I simply wanted to have a short debate on the topic. I could not care less if this was an easy win or a hard loss. I don’t debate for a record, and those who know me on this website know this to be true.

I am also baffled that con feels this was a waste of time. I thought it was enjoyable and did not intend for it to be less enjoyable to him.

Conclusion:

we see that con has essentially conceded. He has accepted that animal rights exists and in his own words that society “is morally driven to respect [and therefore recognize] Animal Rights.”

Thanks for reading. Vote Pro.
Debater930

Con

Debate concluded.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tejretics 2 years ago
tejretics
I can debate you on this, Kasmic, playing Devil's advocate as Con.
Posted by canis 2 years ago
canis
Puhh. You leave a lot of room for everything and nothing..what is "society", (not so relevant)..what is "ought"..What is" recognizien"..and what are "rights"...(how is it establised)..
Posted by debater720 2 years ago
debater720
i am just curious as to what type of rights you are talking about.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
Thats the only rule I care about.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
Sure, basically, no new argument in the last round.
Posted by Sarra 2 years ago
Sarra
Can you inform me on what typical rules are?
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
lol, I am not arguing that animals "should" be citizens either.
Posted by MagicAintReal 2 years ago
MagicAintReal
Well, you would have to argue that animals should be, not are citizens.
Either way, any rights that a society would recognize would be governmental, no?
A government for the people by the people.
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
kasmic
I am not arguing that animals are citizens....
Posted by MagicAintReal 2 years ago
MagicAintReal
If civil rights are included in this resolution, I might be interested.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by greatkitteh 2 years ago
greatkitteh
kasmicDebater930
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Comcession.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
kasmicDebater930
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: It's pretty straightforward - Con conceded the debate in R2. He concedes that some rights ought to be recognized, and even agrees that animals ought not be subjected to needless suffering. He argues that they're not equal to human rights, but that's really not the basis for this debate. All Pro needed to do to win this was show that animals are due any one right. Con conceded that they're due many rights, albeit not all rights and not in the same sense as humans are due rights. But that doesn't negate the resolution. All he did, throughout this debate, was mitigate Pro's case, and he did so incompletely. As such, since Pro has clearly met his burden, that's where I vote.