The Instigator
tejretics
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Ra1n
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Animal Rights

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Ra1n
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/26/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 761 times Debate No: 68923
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)

 

tejretics

Pro

This is the Animal Rights debate. It lasts 3 hours per round, with 3 rounds. Each argument can have a maximum of 10,000 characters. The topic is animal rights, which I strongly support.
Animal rights is hereby defined as: the idea that all non-human sentient animals are entitled to the possession of their own lives, and deserve proper welfare. In this debate's definitions (though the definition might be slightly inaccurate), animal rights is inclusive of animal welfare, and therefore animal rights vs animal welfare arguments are invalid.
Round 1 is for acceptance only, and no arguments.
Round 2 is the presentation of arguments.
Round 3 is the rebuttal and conclusion arguments.
Ra1n

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
tejretics

Pro

Animals are an important portion to the world's evolution. Why do animals deserve to be treated equally to humans? Many years ago, humans created the concept of ethics, where an advanced psychological being, the human, treats another with emotions and psychological environmental-fostering such as compassion. By these ethics, murder and torture, for example, are considered crimes, as is cannibalism. While one could argue that it is biologically necessary for humans to help each other for the survival of the human species, ethics was, in fact, made as the framework of civilization and society for humanity. So, humans gave rights and welfare great importance. Yet, why are animals not given the same respect? As the legendary Mahatma Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." Why do other non-human species deserve such equal respect?
1. Animals can feel emotions and physical impulses. They feel pain, et cetera.
2. By the basic human concept of ethics, they do not deserve any direct infliction of pain by humans, bound to follow these ethics by society.
3. Humans have caused great harm and destruction to the Earth, while animals have merely helped the ecosystem balance.
4. Animals cannot commit "crimes". What an animal does is morally justifiable as animals have a varied notion of "ethics", and do not have the psychological complexity to understand these ethical propositions. Therefore, animals have not committed crimes, and do not deserve infliction of pain.
Research on dogs and arthropods at the University of Lincoln showed that these animals react to stimuli by a nervous charge pattern similar to that of humans while experiencing emotions, proving that animals are capable of emotions. Thus, I conclude with the fact that animals deserve equal respect, welfare and rights, and do not deserve to be treated in cruel conditions of factory farming, slaughterhouses and laboratories that practice animal testing.

Sources - en.wikipedia.org, peta.org, en.wikispecies.org, www.thetimes.co.uk, www.nytimes.org
Ra1n

Con

Since my opponent has not specified a certain category of animals, i.e. dogs, I will assume he is talking about all sentient animals. I will begin by providing some definitions.

Animal: A living organism which feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...

Sentient: Able to feel, see, smell, hear or taste

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

The key point to this debate is that my opponent is not merely championing the rights of all animals to be treated humanely, but he is in fact saying that these animals should have the same rights as those of humans. This will be the premise I will be basing my argument on.

My argument

I think that from a simple understanding of the premise my opponent is trying to defend, and an understanding of the definitions associated, it is quite clear his position is impossible to be defended. All I have to do is pull up a list of rights that all humans should be entitled to and then show that all animals cannot or should not possibly have the same rights.
  • Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
  • Everyone has the right to own property
  • Everyone has the right to education
To cut a long debate short, I think these three rights are more than enough to deal with. They were all taken from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which I think we can all agree is a good measure on what we all consider to be rights humans have. Now let's consider why these rights should not or cannot extend to all animals.
Right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law

This right would cause severe limitations on animals of all kinds all around the world. If we are going to treat animals as we do human beings, then we should naturally hold them accountable according to our laws. This includes trespassing and theft. What do you hear when you wake up in the morning? When I wake up, I hear the chirping of birds in my backyard. I have not granted them permission to be there and have in fact yelled at them to go away. Unfortunately, they would not leave, and I could not call the police to arrest them for trespassing on my property. This is just one of a million examples of why animals cannot be considered a person before the law.

Everyone has the right to own property

If every single sentient animal on this planet had the right to own their own little plot of land, even if it was one centimetre squared, there would not be enough earth for everyone. (I have not researched the exact numbers on this, feel free to prove me wrong). The earth simply cannot fit so many property owners, and even the very idea of owning 'property' arises from a human need. It would be therefore unrealistic to assume all animals should have this same right as humans.

Everyone has the right to education

It would be kind of interesting to see what would happen if all animals have the same brains and learning capacities as humans do. Unfortunately, this was not how the world was made, and only humans are capable of learning (or to a smaller extent, some animals such as apes and dogs). But clearly the earth worm that gets eaten by the early bird in the morning cannot be capable of learning anything we try to teach it in the short course of its life.

I think it is clear by now that Pro's contention is impossible to support. Animals are simply different from humans in too many ways. Does this mean we should go and abuse animals? Does this mean they are nothing to us, and we can torture them and do whatever we like to them? No. Animals too should be treated fairly. However, it is clear that they should not have the same rights as humans because they are biologically different from us in too many ways.
Debate Round No. 2
tejretics

Pro

Rebuttal:

"Thus, I conclude with the fact that animals deserve equal respect, welfare and rights ..."
I said equal rights, not same rights. By animal rights, I mean the fact that animals should not be treated as property. The clear definition for animal rights has been given in the same debate. And animals deserve equal respect to humans.
By animal, I mean sentient species in the kingdom Animalia: "multicellar, eukaryotic organisms that ingest other organisms for sustenance, of the kingdom Animalia" are animals, and any sentient species that follow this description, I consider animals. Generally, these organisms respond rapidly to stimuli, and that sentience is what I refer to. I said "same respect", and "equal rights".
Therefore, this argument is not valid.
Ra1n

Con

I will first address my opponent's initial argument, then my opponent's rebuttal to my argument.

My opponent's argument

My opponent has listed a bunch of websites at the bottom of their argument in 'Sources', but no direct link to these sources have been made. I therefore ask you to disregard any of these sources as my opponent has not showed any correlation between the links he has provided and the claims he is presenting.

Pro has explicitly stated that 'murder and torture' are crimes that animals should not be subjected to. As we are talking about all sentient animals, this means we can no longer kill flies, mosquitoes, spiders, cockcroaches, and every other animal that may not only be a pest, but may be life threatening. The world has evolved in such a way that killing is a necessary and - often - a daily process we go through. If tomorrow everyone stopped killing every sentient animal in the world, the whole world would surely collapse over the next few years.

"Animals can feel emotions and physical impulses. They feel pain, etcetera."

Pro has failed to support this claim whatsoever and I have no reason to regard it as true. Certain animals may not have nervous systems which are capable of feeling pain, while other animals such as the earthworm to not have the psychological complexity to contain emotions, yet they are still considered sentient.

"By the basic human concept of ethics, they do not deserve any direct infliction of pain by humans, bound to follow these ethics by society."

These ethics were only created with humans in mind, they obviously cannot encompass all animals. We are not ethically nor morally oblidged to help a mosquito by offering it our blood. Furthermore, we cannot assume all animals operate under the same ethics as us. It would be stupid to think that just because we think murder is bad, tigers and lions will stop eating meat and killing animals and turn into carnivores. These are ethics that solely apply to humans and should therefore be limited to human interactions.

"Humans have caused great harm and destruction to the Earth, while animals have merely helped the ecosystem balance."

There is no way to seperate humans from the 'ecoystem'. We as humans are products of evolution and are therefore an integral part of the ecosystem itself. All our actions and decisions arise as a result of evolution and biological processes; we are not some sentient beings that have descended from another planet to wreck the ecosystem on earth. There is no such thing as a good or bad impact on the ecosystem, we simply function in the way that has resulted due to evolution.

"Animals cannot commit "crimes". What an animal does is morally justifiable as animals have a varied notion of "ethics", and do not have the psychological complexity to understand these ethical propositions."

Pro just shot himself in the foot. This point clearly supports my argument that humans are inherently different to humans and should be treated as so. A spider has no notion of good or bad, it simply feels the urge to bite us, and nothing we do can change that primal instinct. It would therefore be reckless to assume they are operating under the same code of conduct or ethics as we are.

"Research on dogs and arthropods at the University of Lincoln showed that these animals react to stimuli by a nervous charge pattern similar to that of humans while experiencing emotions, proving that animals are capable of emotions. Thus, I conclude with the fact that animals deserve equal respect, welfare and rights, and do not deserve to be treated in cruel conditions of factory farming, slaughterhouses and laboratories that practice animal testing."

This research was not sourced to anywhere that we can check at all and thus should be regarded as unreliable. Furthermore, through the application of Occam's Razor, which states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected, and Morgan's Canon, which states that "In no case is an animal activity to be interpreted in terms of higher psychological processes, if it can be fairly interpreted in terms of processes which stand lower in the scale of psychological evolution and development", it is clear that the nervous change patterns shown in these dogs may be a simple biological reaction rather than any heightened form of emotion.

It is now clear that even without addressing Pro's final round, I have already won the debate as I have refuted all of Pro's points numerous times and in all areas. For the sake of clarity however, I will address his rebuttal in the third round as well.

My opponent's rebuttal

The main (and only) point made by my opponent in this round is that he said 'equal rights' rather than 'same rights'. However, I believe it would be hard to find 'equal rights' for being equal in the eyes of the law and owning property. This naturally stems from the fact that at our core, humans and other sentimental animals are innately unequal, and therefore any attempt to instill the idea of equal rights in animals would never work out.

Furthermore, you would not give the 'same respect' to a baby mosquito as you would do to a baby human. You would caress a baby human, or at least try not to wake it up (or suffer the consequences), but I assume most sane and rational people would kill a baby mosquito, or a mosquito of any age for that matter.


Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@fire_wings

Votes can be removed after the voting period, but only if they were reported before the voting period. And, they can be reported in some exceptional circumstances -- this clearly isn't one.
Posted by fire_wings 1 year ago
fire_wings
Tejretics, I saw one that actually did.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@Balacafa

We can't report votes after the voting period has ended.
Posted by Balacafa 1 year ago
Balacafa
You know that you can report that vote and it will probably be removed.
Posted by bat9581 1 year ago
bat9581
I could already tell you are for animal rights (by your image), I also have one supporting animal rights (more specifally against dog fighting, as you can see).
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
The usual animal rights vs animal welfare debate does not apply; in other words, animal welfare is a primary goal of animal rights. So, one must not argue that animals do not have rights, but they deserve welfare etc. They should argue against the fact that animals are equal to humans.
Posted by Wylted 1 year ago
Wylted
What do you mean animal rights is inclusive of animal welfare?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by PointlessQuestions 1 year ago
PointlessQuestions
tejreticsRa1nTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: I Felt Con Had More Convincing Arguments And Pro Used Wikipedia And PETA As Sources, Wikipedia Being Non-Reliable And PETA Being Biased.