The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

Animal Rights Ought to be recognized in society

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Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 10/4/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,263 times Debate No: 80503
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (78)
Votes (1)




Resolved: Animal Rights Ought To Be Recognised In Society


Round 1 is acceptance
No trolling
No forfeiture
The Burden Of Proof is shared
To accept you must be older than 13
To accept you must also have completed 40 debates
You must have an elo above 3000 otherwise


Animal Rights: the rights of animals to live free from human exploitation and abuse.

Animal: a living organism which feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli. (excluding insects, humans and bacterial life).

Recognised: acknowledged

Society: a community


Debate Round No. 1


Contention 1 - Morality

Humans have been given the capability to be moral beings. Animal rights teach us that certain things are wrong as a matter of principle, that there are some things that it is morally wrong to do to animals. Human beings must not do those things, no matter what the cost to humanity of not doing them. Human beings must not do those things, even if they do them in a humane way. For example:

"if animals have a right not to be bred and killed for food then animals must not be bred and killed for food."

It makes no difference if the animals are given 5-star treatment throughout their lives and then killed humanely without any fear or pain - it's just plain wrong in principle, and nothing can make it right.

Whilst you may argue that animal are immoral that is not a reason as to why we should behave in the same manner. Firstly, this argument raises a number of issues. The first issue that this raises is that animals are actually moral to some extent. They care for their families in most instances so therefore whilst they may not have the same rationality to the same extent as us, animals do have rationality though and this argument regarding morality is flawed.

A person with certain mental limitations does not have the same rational processing as other people - does this mean that thy do not deserve their basic human rights. The same concept can be used towards babies. Babies are not capable of moral thought - at least not to the same extent that adults can think. There is also another major flaw in suggsting that animals are irrational. Whilst animals may not all be as rational and moral as some human beings. There are many humans who have committed crimes much worse than th crimes that people claim that animals have committed. If you claim that animals are irrational then surely you must say the same about human beings. Human beings have caused things like, the holocaust, 9/11 and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Do you call those acts moral? The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki may be a debatable subject however very rarely do you ever see somebody debating whether or not the holocaust was moral as a serious debate.

Contention 2 - 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"

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.

Contention 3 - Responsibility

We have power and I am not denying that we are intelectually superior to animals, I just believe that they deserve rights. Elephants may be much bigger than us and possess bigger ears, but they don't build luxury sports cars for themselves or play elephant chess.

This power leaves us with two options. We could use this power to benefit animals, or we could use it to harm animals. Human self-interest would be the reason for wielding this power to hurt animals. Whatever we decide here - helping or harming - is what we have a moral responsibility to do. If there are ever any instances where the animal should be helped this should be considered to be a privaledge - if there are many such general instances it is a right. Let me explain - take the right to life, as an example. The animal wants to live. Helping it (the compassionate alternative) means not to kill it. Harming it (the selfish alternative) means to kill it. At the point where you are not harming it, you are giving that animal the privilege of life. When that principle is applied equally and fairly across many different types of animals, it becomes a general ethic for all animals, such that it can be properly called a rights that those animals now possess. What I am saying is that I believe that compassion is a more responsible alternative to selfishness. As the charter for compassion affirms: "Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community". Of course, just because it says that doesn't prove it's true, so what does?

We have recentlly been provided with the information scientifically that love - both towards people and animals - is better for us than being self-centered and careless. For example, we now know that compassion and love is positively correlated with happiness and healthiness. The concept that great power implies great responsibility is a popular one, and it seems, for good reason. Further research suggests that love is an evolved part of what makes us who we are. But these are ultimately the selfish reasons to not be selfish, which isn't a great standard. Even if you don't accept this assessment, the claim that compassion is never the better option towards animals in a given situation seems to me to be a very much mistaken notion.

In Summery:

To accept that animals have rights is to accept that there are certain things that humans shouldn't do to animals. Because there are limitations (moral or otherwise) governing what humans should and should not do to animals, animals have rights that stem from those limitations. Most reasonable humans do not abuse animals for this reason, and because most people disapprove of animal abuse (in the abstract sense) a just society that recognizes the rights and values of its members is required to recognize animal rights in order to be just.




God is dead. The affirmative’s appeal to the good is empty. Their values are groundless---unhinged from a source of ultimate significance, making them infinitely exchangeable. Their secular humanism is a cruel hoax: the thinly veiled attempt to resurrect the decaying corpse of the Christian god simultaneously kills him. Nietzsche:

Freidrich Nietzsche, Philosopher, late 19th Century (“Parable of the Madman.” Online)

  • "I seek God!"Whither is God?" … "I will tell you. We have killed himHow shall we comfort ourselvesWhat was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us?Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us---for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto." … "I have come too early," … "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. … deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars---and yet they have done it themselves.

The affirmative will brush off the death of God as irrelevant. Even without the firm guidelines of Christianity, we still have obvious ethical maxims to hang our hats on. Their thesis will be that morality can infuse action even without proof of a transcendental placeholder from which it is derived. But it is precisely in such a condition, when the telos of the good has vanished and the yearning for it remains, that morality transforms into its cheap opposite---a moralizing vengeance serving only as a hysterial mask for the vertigo of God’s vacuum. Brown:

Wendy Brown, Political Theory @ UC Berkeley, 2k1 (Politics Out of History. P 28-29)

  • the loss ofepistemological ground for … morality … does not quash the moral impulse itself. what form does this impulse take when it has lost its lodging in an abstract principle and vision of the good .. . ? It is when the telos of the good vanishes but the yearning for it remains that morality appears to devolve into moralism … at this point that one finds moralizers standing against much but for very little, adopting a voice of moral judgment in the absence of a full-fledged moral … vision. … the moralizer refuses the loss of the teleological and becomes reactionary: clinging without logical ground to the last comforting frame in the unraveling narrativeDespite its righteous insistence on knowing what is True, Valuable, or Important, moralism … marks both analytic impotence and … aimlessnessthe moralizing injunction to act, … might be read as a symptom of … paralysis in the face of radical … disorientation and as a hysterical mask for the despair that attends such paralysis. … a life force flattened into a passive or paralyzed stance toward the world turns against life as it turns against itself; … it paradoxically evinces precisely the nihilism, the antilife bearing that it moralizes against in its nemesis …”

The affirmative’s moralizing results in an inner-war against the self that outweighs all violence. Nietzsche 2:

Freidrich Nietzsche, Philosopher, 1887 (On the Genealogy of Morals. 2.16)

  • I consider bad conscience the profound illness which human beings had to come down with, under the pressure of … that change when they … found themselves locked within the confines of society and peace. Just like the things water animals must have gone through when they were forced … to become land animals or to die off, … suddenly all its instincts were devalued and “disengaged.” A terrible heaviness weighed them down. … These unfortunate creatures were reduced to thinking, … reduced to their “consciousness,” their most impoverished and error-prone organ! … on earth there has never been such a feeling of misery, … while at the same time those old instincts had not … stopped imposing their demands!they had to find new … satisfactions … All instincts which are not discharged to the outside are turned back inside. This is what I call the internalization of man. … The entire inner world, … acquired depth, fortifications with which … the state protected itself against the old instincts … made all those instincts … turn backwards, against man himself. Enmity, cruelty, joy in pursuit, in attack, in change, in destruction—all those turned themselves against the possessors of such instincts. That is the origin of “bad conscience.” The man who lacked external … opposition … impatiently tore himself apart, … this impoverished creature, … was the inventor of “bad conscience.” With him was introduced the greatest and weirdest illness, from which human beings … have not recovered, … a consequence of the forcible separation from his animal past, … there was now an animal soul turned against itself, … it required divine spectators to approve the dramatic performance which then began and whose conclusion is not yet in sight, … In himself he arouses a certain interest, … as if the human being were not the goal but only the way, an episode, a great promise . ..”

And, moralism makes solvency impossible---it symptomizes despair over effecting change at significant levels, ensuring the sources of violence remain unarticulated and unaddressed. Brown 2:

Wendy Brown, Political Theory @ UC Berkeley, 2k1 (Politics Out of History. P 35-36)

  • moralistic repreoachesRather than offering … substantive accounts of the forces of injustice … they condemn the manifestation of these forces in particular remarks or events. There is, … a politicsthatsymptomizes despair over effecting change at more significant levels. As vast quantities ofattention go to determining what socially marked individuals say, … the sources that generate violence and other elements of social injustice remain unarticulated and unaddressed. We are lost as how to address those sources; but rather than examine this loss … rather than bear the humiliation of our impotence, we posture as if we were still fighting the big and good fight in our clamor over words and names. Don't mourn, moralize.

Thus the alternative text: Vote negative.

Instead of tying your ballot to the affirmative’s convictions, use it to prod the latent assumptions of their value system. Critiquing their morality is necessary to craft a new orientation towards life that does not collapse into punitive violence. Brown 3:

Wendy Brown, Political Theory @ UC Berkeley, 2k1 (Politics Out of History. p 95-98)

  • the insistence on the importance of transcendent ideals … paradoxically affirms rather than challenges a figuring of the political domain as relentlessly amoral. It places the idealist actor at a distance … thus inevitably disappointed by it and … even prepared to renounce politics because of its failures and compromises … genealogy formulated by Nietzschemight function as … a ground that, … embraces the contingent elements of political life and also faces … the relative arbitrariness of values. … genealogical knowledge asreleased from conviction. … As Nietzsche describes this questioning, he also describes its productivity: "Out of my answers there grew new questions, … until at length I had a country of my own, … an entire discrete, thriving, flourishing world, … This secret garden is what genealogy intends to produce: this other way of conceiving the familiar, this radical displacement of the lay of the land through which we think and perceive ourselves, … Genealogy promises a worldview that is differently populated and oriented than the one in which we are steeped. "The project is to traverse with quite novel questions, … the enormous, distant, and so well hidden land of morality … to discover this land for the first time" This problem of morality . seems … to be … something detached, an isolated question mark; but whoever … learns how to ask questions here will experience what I experienced—a tremendous new prospect opens up for him, … a new demand becomes audible. … genealogy is a form of artful questioning, a way of asking "what really happened there" … we need a critique of moral values, the value of these values themselves must first be called in question—and for that there is needed a knowledge of the conditions and circumstances in which they grew, … questioning produces an experience of vertigo, and the vertigo gives way to a demand. The demand is not of a conventional … sort but rather seeks new knowledge …”
And, this K is especially effective against my opponent's case because not only is his first contention directly linking to morality, but all three of his contentions impose some attempt to dictate right and wrong courses of action by saying that it's wrong to inflict undue suffering and it's wrong to not treat animals compassionately when we have the higher standing. All of these attempts to discern right from wrong are links into the K.

And, the K negates in a number of ways:

First, it turns the contention level offense of the affirmative case by showing that the morality they claim supports animal rights actually doesn't support what they say it does, and only creates worse symptoms for animals.
Second, it internal link turns the case because the foundations for good and bad that they predicate their case off of are wrong.

Debate Round No. 2


I would like to introduce a framwork into this debate so before I begin on my rebuttals I will do that.


I have looked at some of my opponent's previous debates on similar topics and I have noticed that they have used egoism as a framework so I will like to counter this framework by showing how animal rights is necessary for human egoism.

Animal rights is beneficial for human beings. Without proper treatment and care that animal rights promotes animals will ultimately become extinct. The extinction of any species is ultimately damaging to the human race. It would have devestating effects if multiple animals didn't receive animal rights and ended up extinct. Here are some examples to back up this theory:

Termites are detritivores and decomposers, meaning they consume decomposing plant matter and play vital roles in recycling ecosystem energy, as well as in balancing biogeochemical cycles. Unlike other detritivores, the termite gut is unique in that it contains microorganisms that break down cellulose (building blocks for plants), which is indigestible without this symbiotic relationship. Think about it … what would we do without termites to clean up all the decomposing material? We might drown is cellulose-based litter, like autumn leaves and tree branches!

Contamination Control

Frogs act as bio-indicators, which means they indicate the health of their ecosystems. How? Frog skin is very porous and permeable, allowing substances present in the environment to be absorbed within their fatty tissues. Since these amphibians have the ability to live terrestrially and aquatically, they can indicate contamination dilemmas for both habitats. Since frogs will most often be the first animals to react to biological hazards, they are helpful for warning humans to take action.

Cycle of Life

Though not as effective as bats, frogs do help in insect control. They are also a food source to many carnivorous species and are needed for maintaining balanced ecosystems.



So, to begin with I do feel like I am just refuting quotes provided by my opponent and I didn't feel like there is much argument going on here but nevertheless, I will still attempt to refute my opponent's argument.


Yes, I linked my argument in with morals but I am not a believer in God and do not find this argument to be relevant to this debate. This debate could end up as a God debate however I am not prepared to go into that much detail and I do not want to go off topic so I will respond.

" God is dead. "

This is irrelevant to the debate and I do not believe in God. Since we clearly cannot agree with this point this argument is invalid and should not be considered in this debate.

My opponent continues his argument with a long quote regarding God being dead and nonexistent but I do not find this point to e relevant to the debate since we are not arguing about whether God agrees with the point or whether God is alive or dead.

The affirmative will brush off the death of God as irrelevant.


Even without the firm guidelines of Christianity, we still have obvious ethical maxims to hang our hats on.

This is also correct and therefore I fail to understand why exactly my opponent has based the majority of their argument on God and religion. If they admit that they didn't need to base it off religion then why did they? God and religion is not the source of morality.

Religion is frequently help up as a model of moral behaviour. Many holy books contain rules for how people must live in order to reach Heaven or some similar afterlife. Failure to follow those rules often means eternal banishment and punishment. A person who follows these rules and is “godly” is also presumed to be a moral, upright person, whereas atheists are frequently viewed with suspicion. After all, with no God to tell you how to behave, what’s to stop a person from doing whatever they like? A poll conducted by Canadian psychologists even placed atheists as more untrustworthy than rapists in the USA and Canada, showing that atheists are among the least trusted people even in North America.

In reality, there’s no evidence that atheists as a group are any more untrustworthy or immoral than any other group. There are dishonest atheists just as there are dishonest Christians and Muslims, and there are atheists who are paragons of good behaviour just like any upstanding religious person.

Religions do seem to incite violence. This does not always imply a direct causal relationship between religion and violence, yet, this is the opposite of what you’d expect if morality really did stem from God.

Religious texts are generally ancient, and they reflect the values of the times when they were written. Over time, our views of what is acceptable shift as our cultures progress, which makes many things found in the Bible or Quran seem outdated and highly problematic.

Consider, for example, the issue of slavery. Although there are some people who still believe that slavery is moral, the vast majority of religious people are unlikely to admit support for the ownership of another person. Nevertheless, the Bible has many references to slavery, carefully detailing the rules for proper slave ownership.

The affirmative’s moralizing results in an inner-war against the self that outweighs all violence.

Please expand on this idea. How does my moralizing argument result in an inner war against the self. A assume that you are saying that give animals rights will cause people to create conflict within their own heads. Even if it did, which I see no evidence for, how is inner war worse than terrorism, murder and rape? I will not expand on this point until my opponent answers this question because without this answered I will be unable to proceed with this argument.

" And, this K is especially effective against my opponent's case ... "

I do not understand why my opponent feels like they can use quotations to refute my case. I understand that morality is not specifically defined but that does not mean that right and wrong are the same thing. Is killing moral in your eyes? There is a universal morality that is followed by the majority and this is what we will be defining morality as. Since your argument related to Christianity I think that it is acceptable for me to use the 10 commandments as a rebuttal to this argument. We will use the 10 commandments as a base for morality. The 10 commandments teaches us basic morality, we will exclude commandments such as keeping the Sabbath holy since they have no relevance to this rebuttal or to this debate.

and only creates worse symptoms for animals.

I cannot refute this argument until they explain what they mean by this. Without any argument to go with this, this is merely a bare assertion.




Okay so long story short, my opponent just isn't doing enough work to understand the K and refute the K.

To start with, ignore the massive text at the top about how animals are necessary for humans egoistically. I'm not running egoism. If anything this is just another link into the K because he's saying that we ought to keep these animals alive and not persecute them, which rests on ethical assumptions of ought.

Start on Nietzche 1. Extend it out. God is dead at the hands of humanity. Our attempts to bring Him back to life via appealing to moral standards re-kills Him over and over again. Without God's life, there lacks an authoritative norm behind moral standards to give them reasons to believe them. Without God having the final moral say in what is actually good and what is actually bad, we wouldn't know if Pro's standard is the correct standard to live by.

His only response to this is that it's irrelevant because he doesn't believe in God, but a) your belief is irrelevant to determining whether or not God is dead, and b) your belief isn't relevant to my framework especially since I'm not running some kind of Christian theology.

Then go to Brown 1. Extend it out. The attempt to bring up other theories to base our moral impulses off of in the wake of the death of God creates a moralism that's without morality. Our desire for "good" is still there, yet the telos for the good has disapeered and it creates the exact opposite of morality.

His response to this is to literally concede that he thinks that we can find some source of good without God. This is word for word him conceding the link into the K. This means that affirming leads to the impacts. Don't let him get out of this link since when he said "Correct." in response to Brown 1's tag line he's verbatum conceding to the link.

And, all the massive wall of text below it concern biblical teachings isn't relevant to the K. My argument is that God is dead, so without His existence that no moral code has any kind of objective warrant behind why that is the correct way to live one's life. What the Bible says and what religion has done in the world is literally irrelevant to this point.

Then go to Nietzsche 2. Extend it out. Without God providing us our reasoning for doing things and giving us a source for the demands imposed on us, all of our impulses and desires are without a source and without a reason and become disvalued and disenfranchised. Nietzsche compares it to the evolution of water animals when they were forced to either adapt to land or die off. Our old impulses and desires still impose their demands on us, but we have to find new ways of fulfilling them. We pick something, anything, to work against, to demonize as the enemy and as something to be abolished and destroyed without any hesitation. And once it's defeated and eliminated, we have to find something else to strive against as quickly as possible. Without something to fight against, we tear ourselves apart in the downtime. Moralism is a constant physical and ethical struggle against ourselves and the outside world which encompases literally every individual on the face of the earth, which is going to out-weigh all other impacts.

His only response is that he doesn't understand the argument, but a) I just did, and b) Nietzsche literally walks you through the warrants in the card step by step. If you read the card, it's not that hard to figure out what it's saying.

Then go to Brown 2. Extend it out. Rather than address the root cause of our problems, to find ways to address the problems that we're facing and admit to our weakness and impotence, we prefer to ignore the problem and instead shift the attention away from our weakness and onto something else to fight. We'd much rather think that, despite our human flaws, we're still fighting the moral fight, still "fighting the good fight" than admit that we have no reason for believing what we believe. Within moralism, there isn't actually a way to solve for it. A society of moralism won't ever address the problem of moralism, instead preferring to just moralize harder and shift the attention away from the problem.

And, Brown 2 is especially damning because Pro doesn't make any kind of response to it and drops it entirely. This a) only solidifies the warrant in Brown. Instead of trying to respond to moralism and trying to answer back for how we can fix the problem, Pro doesn't address it at all, instead preferring to talk about certain animals that make our existence possible. Instead of addressing the problem, he continues to act as if he's "fighting the good fight", which makes it impossible for him to solve for the impacts of moralism, and b) means you shouldn't let him make a response to this in the last round because not only did he have the chance to respond to it here and didn't, but letting him make new responses in the last round is unfair to me.

Then go to Brown 3. Extend it out, because this is the most crucial piece and why you're ultimately negating at the end of the day. The way out of moralism is by negating. Instead of tying your vote to whichever belief system the affirmative decides to espouse at the end of the day, use it to criticize and poke holes in the assumptions of his ethics. This is the only way we can craft a new orientiation towards life that doesn't collapse into moralism. We need to critique moralism, not re-use it, and the only way to critique moralism is by negating.

This is the game-over mistake for Pro because he 100% drops this argument. There's no response made by him to address this at all in his last speech. And this is critical to the K since the alternative is the most important part of the K and he didn't put a single response onto it. Don't let him make a response to it in his last round since I won't have a chance to respond to it, plus he had the opportunity to address it and didn't.

And, even if he wants to use the Ten Commandments as an ethical system to try to get out of this, with God being dead even those lack warrant to why we ought to follow them since God's not there to uphold them anymore.

Since my opponent seems hella confused as to what it is I'm arguing, I'm going to give the tl;dr of my case right here. If he still doesn't understand what I'm arguing, that's on him.

Pro is advocating for some kind of moral good in his case. His arguments are that giving animals rights is a moral good and is morally right, which makes the assumption that his moral right is the correct moral right to live by and other moral rights are incorrect. My argument is that the only being with the ability to make something objectively right, since humans are inherently not perfect and flawed and capable of making mistakes, is God. The problem with this is that God is dead and we are the ones who killed him. Without His existence, there's no objective grounds to believe that any ethical system is the correct one. Pro attempts to say that God's death isn't relevant because we can still live good lives and do good things. Brown 1 says that this is exactly the problem - by attempting to try and "live good lives" and "fight the good fight" without some ultimate source of good, our appeals to good are groundless and without warrant, and it creates a form of pseudo-morality, which Nietzsche calls moralism, that becomes the exact opposite of morality. This results in an inner war of the self against their former impulses and the demands that moralism places upon them to act in some way, any way, so long as it's fighting against something. Eventually we just fight ourselves. And, within moralistic systems, trying to fix the problem isn't possible. People still believe that they're doing the right thing, still fighting the good fight, and so become blind to the consequences of moralism. The only way to escape moralism is by negating the resolution and questioning the assumptions of Pro's case.

This means you can extend the two turns out that the K makes on the Pro's case. He questions the warrant for the first but that's literally straight out of Nietzsche 2.


This makes the round relatively simple. The K stands and turns his case in two different places. I'm winning the K debate, which means that you can negate off of the alt of rejecting the affirmative case.
Debate Round No. 3



My opponent has chosen to ignore my framework. This is problamatic for them since under this framework animals have rights. Since my opponent has failed to refute the framework it is clear that this will affect their argument significantly.

Niezche 1

You have used God as a base for moral princaples which I clearly refuted by showing that you can be moral without God. I even demonstrated how God can make people immoral in this rebuttal. 'I do not believe in God' was only a very small fraction of the rebuttal that I provided for that.

Brown 1

I did say that God's death was irrelevant because it was. Just because I conceded that God's death was irrelevant that does not mean that I failed to refute the point made. I still argued based on morality and how we can be moral without God so whether or not God is dead, alive or non-existant, this had no relevance to my argument since we can be moral without God.

Nietzche 2

I have explained multiple timesthat we do not need God for morality. Again, my opponent is just stating things. He says:

"Moralism is a constant physical and ethical struggle against ourselves"

Yet, he fails to explain how. Just stating that moralism is a struggle against ourselves is meaningless without evidence. How is inner - struggle worse than terrorism or murder? You have stated that it will outweigh other impacts but again you have failed to provide me any reason as to why I should believe this. Is inner struggle worse than terrorism?

Brown 2

My opponent has gone back to making claims:

A society of moralism won't ever address the problem of moralism, instead preferring to just moralize harder and shift the attention away from the problem.

I do not see any sources to back up this claim. How can you know for certain that ever society of moralism wont address the problem of moralism. That is a huge claim that can only be satisfied by adequate source(s). Since I cannot address Brown 2 in any further detail I will just note that my opponent has tried to show how I misinterpreted it and just made an argument about animals being essential for our survival. However, whilst I have attempted to respond to every point made by my opponent they have completely dropped this argument and just said that it is irrelevant to their point.

Brown 3

When my opponent claims that it is "game-over" for me because I failed to refute this point, they are forgetting that they have missed some very important points made by me. They have failed to refute the points regarding animals being essential for our survival. They have failed to directly resopnd to any of my points in R2 since they have only used quotes and very little of their rebuttals actually came from them.

10 Commandments

God is not necessary for the 10 commandments to be a valid ethical system. Atheists do not believe in the Christian God, yet they choose not to murder and steal most of the time (this is the same for any group of people as stated in my previous round).


Consider what the world would be like if there were no traffic rules at all. Would people be able to travel by automobiles, buses and other vehicles on the roadways if there were no traffic regulations? The answer should be obvious to all rational members of the human species. Without basic rules, no matter how much some would like to avoid them or break them, there would be chaos. The fact that some people break the rules is quite clearly and obviously not sufficient to do away with the rules. The rules are needed for transportation to take place.

Why are moral rules needed? For example, why do humans need rules about keeping promises, telling the truth and private property? This answer should be fairly obvious. Without such rules people would not be able to live amongst other humans. People could not make plans, could not leave their belongings behind them wherever they went. We would not know who to trust and what to expect from others. Civilized, social life would not be possible. Without us being moral towards animals, this treatment will become a basic part of our lifestyle and civilisation will crumble.


To conclude this debate, I would like to thank my opponent for participating in this debate with me. This debate showed me a new perspective of why people choose to be against animal rights. This was not the path that I was expecting this debate to go on but nevertheless, this debate was still great fun to participate in.

I believe that I have won this debate for a number of reasons and I would just like to quickly go over those here.

My opponent chose to attempt to refute my arguments using the majority of his R2 arguments for quotes only. Since none of this was actually his content I do feel like I have spent this entire debate arguing with a number of different arguments created by a number of different people. I do not feel like I should lose this debate because I lost to people who weren't even writing this debate. Whilst, I credit my opponent for finding such good quotes and explaining them in detail, I do not feel like it is fair to use them to try and counter all of my arguments. None of these directly responded to my arguments, meaning that a number of them were dropped. Including a very important one regarding the extinction of animals having devestating effects on humans since they are essential for us to survive.

Again, I would like to thank my opponent for participating in this debate and I would also like to thank voters and other debaters for reading this far into the debate.



So two things that (apparently) need to be explained:

First, the K is relevant and applicable to the debate resolution at hand. Three reasons for this:

1. When we say that something "ought" to happen, we say that we are morally bound to take some sort of action. This means that the affirmative must advocate for some way to morally obligate us to respect animal rights. This means the K is relevant because I'm kritiking the ethics necessary for the affirmative to actually affirm the resolution, making the K resolutional.

2. When we say that something "ought" to happen, we assume that there are negative consequences that would result from having not done what we ought to do. For example, I might receive a bad grade on my final if I don't study like I ought to, therefore I ought to study. These notions of positive and negative consequences rest on further assumptions of good and bad i.e. making a poor grade on my final is a bad thing. The only way to distinguish between these good and bad things is through some sort of ethical or philosophical questioning, which is directly what the K is kritiking.

3. The K directly links to the implicit assumptions within the affirmative case about what good and bad is, saying that they make false assumptions that lack any kind of ultimate source or warrant to them. His attempt to try to advocate for the Ten Commandments is a) shifting the goalposts at the last second where I can't respond, which is insanely unfair to me because that was no where in his case, and b) still links because with God's death even the Ten Commandments no longer have the same source of ultimate significance that they had before. God existing would've given us reason to follow them, but now that he's gone there's no reason to necessarily say that they are the source of what we ought to be doing. Moreover, he's not arguing for the Ten Commandments because God said that they are true, rather because as he put it, they teach us some sort of "basic morality", which means that he's still linking to the K even if you buy his Ten Commandments idea.

Because the K is linking directly to the affirmative case, to say that it's not applicable to the debate raises the question of is the affirmative relevant to the debate. If the only reason the K is relevant is because it links to the aff, and the K isn't relevant, that would mean that the case it's linking to wouldn't be relevant either, as it being relevant is the precondition that makes the K relevant. This puts people saying that the K isn't relevant in a double bind, either a) the affirmative isn't relevant and you negate on a risk of offense in solving for the impacts of Nietzsche 2, or b) it is relevant and you negate on the undercoverage of the K.

Second, that quoting others to create the warrants and evidence is a reason to discredit the arguments I'm making. Three reasons this isn't true:

1. This makes warranting any kind of argument impossible. Debate relies on outside sources of information for the construction of arguments. I'm no expert on Pro's life, but I'm fairly certain when I say that neither of us have the credentials and expertise to talk about animal rights and philosophy and how animals impact the ecosystem without relying on the testimony or expertise of someone else. This is true of literally 100% of debate. By saying that this is true, debate becomes a contest of who can throw out the biggest number of bare assertions, stripping it of any kind of value and turning DDO into the comments of Youtube videos of the comments on Facebook posts.

2. If this is true, then neither of our arguments have any kind of warrants to them. He cites outside souces as well, meaning that he's quoting the sources he cites. While he's not being as forthright with his quoting, the fact that we're both relying on outside souces and experts to warrant the things we're talking about means that if we're not allowed to do this anymore, then neither of our arguments have any kind of warrants to them. This means that either a) the debate becomes irresolvable, in which case you reject the idea entirely, or b) you reject the idea anyway and just evaluate the arguments normally.

3. Even if just block quoting other authors is a bad thing, which isn't true, it's not like I'm not making any kind of outside analysis of what I'm talking about. Literally the entire last round was me going through the arguments I make and extending them out and re-explaining them in my own words and then explaining what they mean in terms of the debate in my own words. So even if you don't like me quoting other people in my case, I go in the very next round and re-make the same arguments in my own words and make my own analysis.

With that out of the way, we can continue to the debate proper.

What this debate ultimately comes down to is he gives a lot of reasons why we ought to value animals and why respecting animal rights is the right thing to do and that all of these things will lead to a more morally good society and that all of these choices to respect animal rights are in the moral good.

The K argues that his conception of morality lacks an ultimate source of significance and truth - why is his ethics saying that we should respect animal rights any more valid than my ethics saying that we shouldn't?

His claim is that we can still do good things without God's influence in morality, that we can protect all these animals that are necessary to human survival and we can do all these really good things.

My argument is that what he thinks is morality is actually moralism, a cheap opposite of morality that does the exact opposite of morality. With God dead and gone, with the ultimate source of any kind of moral truth gone from life, the reasons for why things are good and why we feel certain ways is gone. But those feelings still remain, this time without any kind of justification and source of validity (this is all coming out of Brown 1, by the way). This leads us to lash out against something, anything that these impulses tell us is "wrong", which in this case is animals not having rights. We throw ourselves at accomplishing this task, casting aside anyone in our way until it's complete, and then it's onto the next struggle, the next fight. Our lives become a constant cycle of fighting and struggling against something, even to the point where the only thing left to fight against is ourselves (this is Nietzsche 2, since he apparently can't find the warrants for why this impact is significant and the most important impact in the round despite me spending multiple rounds clarifying this). Even as we tear ourselves apart, moralism still has us believing that we're "doing the right thing" and "fighting the good fight", which means that even after we're all long dead and gone, those left will still continue to tear themselves to pieces, mentally and physically, all in the name of moralism (this is from Brown 2).

The only way to escape this cyclical violence is to reject the assumptions made by the affirmative and to critique their modes of thought. This is the only way that we can actually craft a lifestyle that doesn't collapse into the harms of moralism (Brown 3).

The big problem with this is that abosolutely none of this goes addressed at any point in the debate. The entirety of the K, aside from conceding to the link, goes 100% dropped.

This has two implications on the debate:

1. It really doesn't matter at this point that I didn't respond to his arguments about how respecting animal rights is a good thing and that protecting animals that are key to human survival is a good thing. The K is proving that the "good" my opponent is striving for isn't actually something we should be striving for, which functions a priori to his arguments.

2. It turns the arguments of his framework against him. His mentality leads to the destruction of all society as we war against anything and everything in the need to "progress" and "do good", meaning that the good ends he's trying to create within a moral society won't actually happen.

In their last round my opponent spend their entire time re-hashing the same claims of "I don't need god" or "What's the warrant for this?" that I spent all of last round going over. I've walked you through Nietzsche 2 time and time again. The warrants from Brown 2 are literally right in the text and I've explained it with my own words. If my opponent still can't understand my argument, then there's not a whole lot more I can do for that.

To Conclude:

The K goes massively unaddressed. The warrants in the K show that the good ends he's trying to reach by giving animals rights aren't actually good ends. The ends he reaches by trying to appeal to a morality with backing ends up devolving society into moralism. The harms of moralism are infinitely worse than not giving animals rights. The only way to prevent collapsing into moralism is by negating and critiquing the morality he appeals to.

And, don't vote me down for running this K. plz and thanks.
Debate Round No. 4
78 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by famousdebater 2 years ago
Thanks for the RFD whiteflame
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
RFD (Pt. 1):

The decision itself is straightforward: it's a clear win for Con on his Kritik. Pro conceded and then supercharged the link to his case, is never responsive to the impacts of the argument, and basically ignores the effects that doing these things has on the debate. I'll see if I can clarify what happened as the debate went on.

The first thing to understand is how a Kritik functions because it's important to understand why Zaradi decided to run this. So, what is a Kritik?

It's a non-unique disadvantage. What that means is that it's something that is not specific to the case in question (i.e. it's something that happens in other instances), but it's something that the case is making worse in some fashion. Usually, it applies to a certain mindset going into the case's construction, like "capitalism is good" (capitalism Kritik) or "impacts that apply to humans are the most important" (anthropacentricism Kritik). They involve quite a bit of theory, and basically attack you for your words rather than for the content of your case. That's why people generally don't like it - it detracts from the debate at hand, turning it into a comparison of theoretical arguments that often have little or nothing to do with the topic at hand, and it usually forces debaters to basically ignore their opening arguments in order to deal with it.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
(Pt. 2)

To be clear, I'm not exactly a fan of them. Zaradi's well aware of that because I've voted on several of his debates and, despite having picked him up on most of his Kritiks, I've always expressed a certain level of distaste for them. That annoyance isn't going to make me vote against him, nor, if this was a 7-point debate, would it have been reason for me to slam him on conduct. I do find it problematic that he'd choose to run such a technical argument against a fresh debater to the site on a very debatable issue, but Zaradi embraces his... assholishness, and his argument didn't contain any obvious misconduct. It's noob-sniping, but I don't punish that with points.

So, what is Con's Kritik doing, exactly? Well, it's actually not doing a tremendous amount, but what it is duing is very well warranted and potent.

First, it's explaining why Pro's case isn't producing any objectively positive impacts in this debate. This is basically the argument "morality is subjective" writ large; it's a common response to all manner of moralistic arguments, this one's just much better explained and examined, with Con precluding a number of potential responses. This point alone basically nixes Pro's impacts, since it's challenging the basis for what is a benefit and what is a harm. It's possible to argue that there is some basis for objective goods and bads, even if we presume God is dead. It's also possible to argue that subjective goods and bads should still be upheld. But Pro never really examined those possibilities, instead just asserting that his case was good because it has clear impacts on humans. That's really not enough to counter Con's arguments on this level.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
(Pt. 3)

Second, it's examining the negative impact of pursuing subjective moralism. He argues that this places us in constant conflict with the world around us, and that it also forces conflict within ourselves. Pro really doesn't address this, stating time and again that it's not clear (though it appears to be straightforward), and that the impact isn't comparable. I do think some impact analysis is missing and Pro could certainly have argued that "conflict" is a nebulous term leading to uncertain impacts (since not all conflict is bad, but I'll get to that shortly), but it's never really discussed. I think this was the first major missed opportunity for Pro, in several ways. He could have argued that this conflict happens most in the presence of other moral ideals that directly conflict with the life and well-being of other life forms, essentially saying that by denying Pro's case, you're denying an opportunity to reduce this conflict. He could have stated that that very conflict is what makes critiques such as the one Con advocates for as his alternative more likely to happen, since people have a reason to be interested (i.e. they might want to uphold it themselves, or might want to uphold a separate form of morality/moralism). Without that conflict, interest wanes and therefore the alternative is only transient without a case like Pro's. These aren't fully thought out, but they are the starts for something bigger that could have started to tackle this Kritik.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
(Pt. 4)

Third, it's explaining that the better alternative is to focus on critiquing the mindset that moralism is an effective substitute for morality. Again, I feel that this portion of the Kritik was vulnerable. Pro could have argued that critiquing moralism produces its own form of conflict, essentially pitting different forms of moralism against one another and causing the same problems Con espouses. If the alternative bites the Kritik, that's a potential reason to ignore it or even turn it against Con, depending on how you use it.

One thing to keep in mind in terms of all responses to Kritiks, you don't need to feel responsible for hitting every single piece. A Kritik is only as strong as it's weakest part " if any piece of it fails, the Kritik falls apart. That's part of the reason that every debater I tell every debater I coach that Kritiks should only be run by someone who's thoroughly capable of understanding all of it's pieces and has a lot of experience crafting them. Technical arguments require technical expertise. If you don't fall into that camp, then your goal is to know how to knock them down first and foremost. Understanding how to do so isn't necessarily all that difficult, but it also takes some practice, in order to know what you're looking for. Debating Zaradi is a learning experience, one that may not be broadly applicable on DDO, but which can come quite in handy if you're planning on doing NPDA, LD, or Policy debate. Take what you can from it.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
I'll have an RFD up on this either tonight or early tomorrow. Going to make it a little more extensive than I would otherwise, as famousdebater is my mentee.
Posted by famousdebater 2 years ago
I'm just defending him, since it is obvious that he isn't following the comments and I doubt that he will read all 70 of these comments just to catch up on the discussion.
Posted by Lee001 2 years ago
Okay, then stop arguing about the K and complaining about it if its DK's ideal.
Posted by famousdebater 2 years ago
@Lee -

I did give rules and I purposefully didn't provide a rule against Kritiks. I'm not against Kritiks as I am mentioning for the 10th time (at least). It is DK who is against this specific Kritik.
Posted by Lee001 2 years ago

No, he couldn't. Because unlike him, I'd give rules.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.