The Instigator
Sc2
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
y16
Con (against)
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0 Points

Animal Rights

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 273 times Debate No: 67182
Debate Rounds (4)
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Sc2

Pro

1. The basic moral rights of at least some non-human animals are in no way inferior to our own.
2. Non-human mammals have essentially the same right not to be harmed or killed as we do.
3. Normal, mature mammals are not only sentinent but have other mental capabilities as well.
4. These include the capacities for emotion, memory, belief, desire, the us of general concepts, intentional action, a sense of the future, and some degree of self-awareness.
5. They are not only alive in the biological sense, but have a psychological identity over time and an existence which can go better or worse for them.
6. Thus, they can be harmed or benefited.
7. Therefore, monkeys should be considered persons.
y16

Con

1) The rights of animals are protected by laws and if broken, the offender is penalized.
2) Yes, mammals and other animals have mental capabilities, but they aren't enough for that mammal or animal to be treated like a person.
3) Meaning mammals or other animals don't have the abilities to communicate in human ways therefore cant be held accountable to pay taxes, hold jobs, serve in court duties, et cetera.
4) Mammals and other animals don't have the abilities to rationalize situations, meaning they cant properly assess information or actions.
5) Therefore even though mammals including monkeys and other animals have feelings that isn't enough for them to be legally considered to be persons.
Debate Round No. 1
Sc2

Pro

Some mammals do have the ability to communicate in human ways. Monkeys in particular can be trained to write and communicate through sign language because the formation of their hands is similar to the formation of human hands. If monkeys are trained to write and communicate, then they can also be trained to rationalize situations and assess information. When treating monkeys as persons, we need to consider not just their feelings but the fact that if they work hard enough they will be able to process information and communicate just as good as humans can. Humans are not born knowing how to read, write or communicate. We must be trained, or raised, to these things; so why can't we do the same for monkeys when they are born? It would be better to treat monkeys as persons then to shut them out from the world. A lot of mammals are kept in captivity for various reasons. If we treated mammals, particularly monkeys, with the same respect as we do humans, then these mammals would have a chance to learn how to function the way a human functions. Instead of harming certain mammals, we need to treat them as our own. In reality, humans are mammals as well, so why can't other mammals be treated as humans are treated?
y16

Con

Yes its true that mammals can be trained to communicate, but that doesn't change the fact that they can not live on their own in a human environment. They can't be held accountable for their actions, and they can't hold down jobs, or pay bills, or anything of that matter. So in order for a monkey to become a person they would have to be independent in those aspects. Having a monkey, would be like having a child or having a disability adult, even though they can communicate, through writing or sign language, they wouldn't survive on their own without someone. With this, monkey should not be legally made persons.
Debate Round No. 2
Sc2

Pro

True, however we can consider monkeys persons without them being completely independent. For example, much like a disabled person, the monkey could have a human by his or her side to help them do things that they may not be able to do. Such as explaining things to the monkey through writing or sign language. With this, monkeys can legally be made persons as long as they have somebody by their side to help them with certain things.
y16

Con

If the monkey needs someone, as in human supervision then how can it be a person? By definition a person is one (as a human being, a partnership, or a corporation) that is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties. Monkeys can't be recognized by the law as the subject of rights and duties, just because they have feelings doesn't give them rational thinking. Monkeys don't have morals, they can't be punished when they commit a crime, they can't be held accountable to rules or laws because they can't rational understand situations. Just like a little kid that is also not considered a person, monkeys need a adult or another human to help its survival in a habitat that isn't their own. And even like little children the fact that they can communicate isn't enough evidence, or doesn't out weigh the negatives against monkey becoming persons. So in reality monkeys aren't fit to be persons.
Debate Round No. 3
Sc2

Pro

The monkey can have someone by their side for the first couple years of their life, just to train them and help them learn to think rationally. Then, just like an adolescent, the monkey can be left alone at a certain age to be an independent person. Just like children, monkeys will need training as well but once they are of a certain age they should be considered persons. Just because they are not exactly like humans does not mean they are not persons. With the proper guidance and training, monkeys can and should be considered persons, at least at a certain age.
y16

Con

The fact that they are not human definitely means that they can't be persons. You can't teach someone that can't totally communicate in humans ways how to think rational, that's something that humans are born with and develops over time. Monkeys are creatures that belong in the wild, they shouldn't be captured and forced to adopt to human ways. No matter now much training you give to a monkey it will never be able to get a job or sustain a real job, it would never be able to rational completely understand the value of money and what exactly its used for, and a monkey could never be charged or arrested or tried because the rights of America don't extend to monkeys. With those reasons in mind, it is not a good decision to make monkeys person. Monkeys should just stay monkeys, the only things that become persons over a period of time are children no other organisms would make sense.
Debate Round No. 4
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