Debate for Tejretics.
Full Resolution: Animals should have rights
I am Con, which means that Tejretics is Pro.
1. No forfeiting
2. No trolling
3. I really want good votes here, so min. is 3500 ELO. Sorry for people who are in the 3000-3400s.
4. Tej starts arguing in round 1, and waives the final round
5. No kritiks or semantics
6. Definitons are not arguable
7. No following the rules= loss.
1. Animal: any organism of the Kingdom Animalia ] not insects, sponges, you get what I mean, those animals like plankton.
2. Rights: Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory. Rights are of essential importance in such disciplines as lawand ethics, especially theories of justice and deontology.
Rights are often considered fundamental to civilization, being regarded as established pillars of society and culture, and the history of social conflicts can be found in the history of each right and its development. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "rights structure the form of governments, the content of laws, and the shape of morality as it is currently perceived."
The issue of animal rights is a pressing issue in today's society, especially based on the battle between the "abolitionist movement" which seeks to establish self-ownership in non-human individuals and the anthropocentrists, who seek to uphold that humans are intrinsically superior to animals. Since I was very young, I have been disturbed by animal cruelty and have since adopted a worldview of being strongly supportive of animal rights, and, later, other social issues regarding discrimination.
I will establish the procedural matters, by analyzing the resolution (henceforth "the res.") and the burdens required of each side. The res. states: "Animals should have rights." The terms have been defined by Con in Round 1. I will, therefore, analyze the burdens of proof/persuasion (hereinafter "the BOP"). Pro's BOP is to show that some non-human animals should have their rights recognized by society; Con's BOP is to show that society should not recognize non-human animal rights. The BOP is split evenly between both sides, since the res. demands recognition of a normative issue (read: whether it is desirable to recognize animal rights, or whether such an obligation rests on society). Normative issues are those based on desirability/obligation. The Oxford Dictionary defines "normative" as "establishing, relating to, or deriving from a standard or norm, especially of behaviour." This means normative issues are those that seek a certain standard to be established. As such, "burden of proof" in this debate is a misnomer; there is nothing to "prove." What Pro and Con have to do is establish positive reasons to affirm or negate the resolution.
The resolution has three parts: "animals," "should have," and "rights." Part 1 refers to, as defined in R1, non-human species of the kingdom Animalia. The resolution requires me only to prove that *some* animals, rather than *all,* should have rights. "Animal rights" still exist on the recognition of the rights of even *some* animals. "Should have," as seen above, establishes that this is a normative res. It means we are looking at what is desirable for society to do or acts as an obligation of society. Rights are, as seen in R1, dues. My BOP is to affirm all parts of the resolution: I need to show that it is an obligation/it is desirable by a certain standard for society to recognize the rights of animals. Con's BOP is to negate any part of the res.: he needs to show either that these rights should not be for animals, that recognizing these rights is undesirable for society, or that animals don't have rights in the first place to recognize.
German-American physicist Albert Einstein said, "Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." As I agree with him, I strongly affirm the resolution, that society should recognize animal rights.
Society should recognize animal rights because: (1) it is unjust and irrational to apply an inconsistent standard between humans and animals when they lack morally relevant differences, (2) fairness is critical to moral pursuit and it is unfair to deny animals rights, and (3) recognizing some rights of animals would actually benefit human society with little foreseeable harms that are outweighed. The premise of this debate is whether it is moral or within society's interests to recognize animal rights. Morality, by definition, is the medium for obligations to exist. The usage of the word "should" in the res. implies obligation, and morality is the standard by which to judge obligations. As such, society should judge what it "should" or "ought to" do by moral standards. The criterion to fulfill the premise is utility. Utility is defined as maximization of positive mental states (e.g., pleasure, fulfillment) and minimization of negative ones (e.g., suffering, sadness). Utilitarianism, the criterion that seeks to fulfill utility, holds that all sentient beings have interests and their interests have to be weighed equally against each other. My first contention will affirm this criterion as the best one to judge the premise, and in the process link it to animal rights, so I will not focus on that justification here.
The status quo recognizes animal rights in most places. There are animal welfare laws in almost every country. The res. only requires me to uphold that some animal rights be recognized. As such, even if I uphold the status quo, judges should vote Pro on account of my proving that animal rights should be recognized. Note that this does not mean the burden is on Con; as clarified above, the BOP is shared since the status quo is not self-justifying.
There is no rational reason to acknowledge human rights and not acknowledge animal rights. It is an assumption within this debate that human rights are recognized, as seen within the definition of "animal." As such, critiquing human rights would be criticizing the res. rather than fulfilling a positive burdne. This isn't sufficient since kritiks are prohibited by the rules.
Utilitarianism (util) in all its forms require equal recognition of interests of beings that don't have morally relevant differences. I argue that animals and humans don't have such morally relevant differences. The reason for that is that humans are also of the kingdom Animalia, and they are merely a species, of millions or even billions of species. A split between humans and other animals doesn't make sense, because there's nothing that makes humans unique outside of what makes any other species unique based on physiological traits. The only sound way to differentiate between humans and non-human animals morally is based on rationality. But there's no logical reason to believe that rationality is a criterion for rights. Currently, even those that are severely mentally enfeebled sufficient to be non-rational are granted some basic rights such as the right to life and right against torture. Similarly, animals -- which are of similar mental states -- should be granted such basic rights (except in extenuating circumstances, e.g. animal testing).
Outside of rationality, humans and animals are essentially the same psychologically, since they are able to experience pain and pleasure -- both of which are important in intuitive moral calculations.  Pleasure is inherently valuable in itself, since humans and animals both seek to maximize this pleasure. The same way, suffering is inherently undesirable, and both humans and animals seek to avoid it. Since nature offers the most coherent framework for morality, pleasure and suffering (read: positive and negative mental states) should be the basis to decide on moral actions. That is utilitarianism. Based on util, both animals and humans have similar interests: to maximize pleasure and minimize harm. This should be reflected in moral consideration.
Since humans and animals are psychologically the same outside of rationality (and rationality isn't a sound basis for recognizing morality, because there's no reason to do so, and even animals have such subtle, unique psychological differences, e.g., stronger senses), they should all be considered individuals of a certain class X. Under util, "X" has a consistent value. As such, they should be valued equally, since it would be incoherent to state:
X = 100
X = 100
X = 100000
X = 100
Giving humans alone greater value over all species that can feel positive and negative mental states (read: are sentient) is incoherent and intellectually dishonest. Therefore, make animals and humans subject to the same principle of utility.
Humans inherently value fairness. As established above, whatever is natural for people to care about establishes a sound framework for morality. Moral realism is best affirmed under a framework of positive and negative mental states. Respecting fairness and equality creates such a mental state. Under util, most people wouldn't appreciate discrimination against African-Americans or against women; racism and sexism are almost universally rejected, because they are unsound. To ensure that standard remains, it should be consistent. As established above, there are no morally relevant differences between humans and animals, so the same standard of equality should be applied.
Benefits to Humans
Recognizing some animal rights will benefit human society greatly. For instance, some animal rights (e.g., the Endangered Species Act) will have economic benefits. Extending rights to animals will also benefit human health. When a species becomes extinct, the ecosystem around it eventually falls apart. There exist "keystone species," such as lions, that are responsible for preserving ecosystems. Biodiversity loss is a driver of ecosystem change.  Ecosystem change will have severe adverse affects to humanity.
What are the harms of ecosystem collapse? Collapsing ecosystems will result in greater carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, thus trapping further heat. Global warming is a fact, and at the current rate of global warming, the Earth could soon become uninhabitable to humans.  Ecological collapse could also cause mass-extinctions, outbreaks, and deprive humans of land, clean air, and food security. As such, recognizing rights of endangered species is important.
For these reasons, vote Pro.
BoP is shared. I will be making arguments about Utilitarianism, endangered animals. Now, why am I arguing for no animal rights? Because this animals should not be in zoos debates are exact debates of animal rights, if animals have rights they should not be in zoos, if they do not have rights, they should be in cages.
Argument 1: Utilitarianism
What is the definiton Utilitarianism? It is this.
Utilitarianism: the belief that a morally good action is one that helps the greatest number of people
This basically means that if there are more good things than bad things, more benefits than diadvantages, they do it.
Okay so, what are the good things of animals not having rights, and animals in zoos
1. We can have animal testing, because animal testing is very important for us humans to have cures, medical issues, much more. This research has saved many lives, even animal lives, also humans. , , , 
2. Humans eat. We need protein. Also meat and seafood are good. If animals have rights, that means that we cannot eat meat and seafood, which is a major source of protein, because many people don't eat lots of beans because meat tastes better. 
3. Many animals will become extinct. Making zoos will not only save animals, it will make people have a chance looking at them.
4. There are so many things you can’t do if animals have rights, like you can’t fish, hunt, learn things in zoos, go to zoos, and it is hard to study from animals. 
There are just so many advantages for animals not having rights, but if animals do have rights, that means that we can’t fish, hunt, eat meat or seafood, study for animals, go to zoos, and the endangered animals will all die. If we want animals like pandas still to be alive, the zoo is the only choice.
Argument 2: Animals will become extinct
This is kinda like my fourth advantage, but it will be explained more.
Yes, endangered animals will be extinct.
Lets take an example of a siberian tiger.
“The Siberian –or Amur- tiger is considered a critically endangered species with the primary threats to its’ survival in the wild being poaching and habitat loss from intensive logging and development.”
My opponent can say that we can stop. But sadly we can’t. Fur coats are not only pretty, they are also very warm, good for the winter. So the tiger will soon become extinct. But if there are zoos, then we can at least know there are some tigers that are safe, but bored in zoos. Even if there are no tigers left, there will be in zoos. These tigers will have babies also. This is the only way we can stop this. Yes, many people are trying to protect tigers from hunting, but there is two more problems.
The first problem is habit loss.
“Tigers are extremely territorial though so they will fight other animals and other tigers that invade their space. This problem has become more of an issue due to the natural environment for tigers being destroyed at an alarming rate, as a male tiger may have a territory of up to 60 to 100 square kilometers, while females up to 20 square kilometers, as this numbers change according with the habitat and subspecies. As a result they have to venture into new territories to be able to find adequate amounts of food.” , , , , , , , 
This is a big space. However, tigers can’t use this much. People build homes, and there territory will be destroyed. This means that they fight with other tigers, but because the spaces are getting smaller, they have to fight, and one will probably die. , 
The last problem is food. There is not a lot of food in Siberia or any foods that a tiger can eat, like deer or rabbits. The tigers will soon starve. Many tigers even died because of this. If they are in zoos though, they can have food easily.
There are tons of advantages if animals do not have rights and if animals are in zoos. Vote for Pro!
Con drops my case and my framework, concedes my clarifications by omission. The only thing we disagree on is the definition of util. Con defines util as "the belief that a morally good action is one that helps the greatest number of people." First, that isn't utilitarianism -- util is the belief that morally good action is the one that maximizes pleasure and minimizes harm. It isn't human-specific. Let's just call it "Con's framework" hereinafter. Second, Con doesn't justify that criterion at all. I provided clear justifications for all-considering util, so prefer that framework.
Con also drops -- and, therefore, concedes by omission -- my observation that "animal rights" implies any rights given to any animals. Con's arguments don't show that animals should not have any rights at all, which is Con's BOP. Recognizing animal rights doesn't necessarily mean saying no to meat or animal testing, or zoos. It means giving them any right, including the right of endangered animals to not get killed, and so forth.
The "animals will become extinct" point is turned against Con. Con's own framework is about benefits to humans. Keystone species becoming extinct will cause severe harms, as established in my R1 argument, including allowing greater climate change via ecosystem collapse and causing further extinctions (e.g. mass extinctions) which will affect overall ecology and the human environment. For example, if lions go extinct, many species of plant will go extinct which will cause further ecological collapse and degrade the environment by disruption the oxygen/CO2 balance.
Thus, even if you buy all of Con's offense, vote Pro because Con doesn't fulfill their BOP while I do.
Of course, my position is a bit more extreme than Con's. I don't support eating meat when a person can easily access and afford nutritious vegetarian food; only if an individual's food security is compromised am I fine with eating meat. The reason is a simple pleasure/pain analysis: while the person might gain pleasure from the taste of the meat or seafood, the suffering the animal undergoes in the process easily outweighs. Pro's "utilitarian" standard is inconsistent, since he is weighing human pleasure/pain greater than non-human pleasure/pain, which is circular due to the nature of the resolution, and also is applying inconsistent moral standards since animals can also feel pleasure and pain. As established last round, such "speciesism" is intellectually dishonest.
I'm fine with clinical testing as long as it saves lives or brings more positive mental states than negative ones. It doesn't allow judges to vote Con since animal rights merely means recognizing some rights, as opposed to all of them.
For these reasons, and since I fulfill my BOP better than Con fulfills his, vote Pro.
Dude, I just didn't post my rebuttal round. I didn't concede. You said it was my choice in the comments, that is why I chose not to do my rebuttals, and as I can see, you said I concede your arguments when I was going to do my rebuttals now.
I accept my opponent's framework. BoP is shared
Rebuttal 1: Utilitarianism
My opponent says that human rights and animal rights are same, and says there is about billions of other species and humans are not the unique one. I don't find humans as important but they are unique. They are unique because they are the only animals to blush, the only ones who wear clothes, they are one of the only to have thumbs, many other ways humans are different from other animals. , , , , , , . My opponent says they can both feel pain and pleasure, but I stated more ways humans are more unique than other animals. For this, you can vote for Con. I don’t even get why Pro is talking about humans and animals are same anyways because I never said anything about no humans included in the definitions.
Rebuttal 2: Fairness
Because this argument from Pro is quite short, I will quote it here in the text.
“Humans inherently value fairness. As established above, whatever is natural for people to care about establishes a sound framework for morality. Moral realism is best affirmed under a framework of positive and negative mental states. Respecting fairness and equality creates such a mental state. Under util, most people wouldn't appreciate discrimination against African-Americans or against women; racism and sexism are almost universally rejected, because they are unsound. To ensure that standard remains, it should be consistent. As established above, there are no morally relevant differences between humans and animals, so the same standard of equality should be applied. “
I don’t get why Pro is talking about humans here. I didn’t compare about humans and animals in my definitions or anywhere. So Pro is just attacking false claims and does not even follow the topic animal rights, Vote for Con.
Rebuttal 3: Benefits for humans
My opponent says that humans will have better health with rights of animals. This is definitely false, because if animals have rights, we can’t kill them, and many animals are for medicines. My opponent says if animals do not have rights then ecosystems will be in danger and in ways, it will harm humans. Who cares about the ecosystems? We can’t even eat the animals if animals have rights.
There are clearly almost no benefits for animals to have rights for humans, but advantages of animals not having rights.
Even if you agree with Pro’s side, you have no choice but to vote for Con. Defense in the next round. I filled my BoP when my opponent did not.
Con concedes my observation that "animal rights" doesn't necessarily entail many rights for animals, nor does it entail certain rights. As long as I can show that even one animal right should be recognized, I win the debate (as observed in R1). The resolution states: "Animals should have rights." My position is to affirm that animals should have some rights. Con's BOP is to show that animals should not have any rights.
Con drops, and thus concedes, this. If this observation holds, I win on my third contention alone. Let me quote Con's rebuttal to it:
"My opponent says that humans will have better health with rights of animals. This is definitely false, because if animals have rights, we can't kill them, and many animals are for medicines. My opponent says if animals do not have rights then ecosystems will be in danger and in ways, it will harm humans. Who cares about the ecosystems? We can't even eat the animals if animals have rights.
There are clearly almost no benefits for animals to have rights for humans, but advantages of animals not having rights."
Con is clearly misrepresenting my argument. My argument was to afford the "right against hunting" for endangered species. It is an animal right, and is sufficient to affirm if upholded. The right against hunting afforded to endangered species won't stop us from "eating the animals," or restrict clinical testing, and so forth. Recognizing this one animal right has no harms and plenty of benefits for humans. Con's own framework is based on benefit to humans.
Vote Pro right there.
I've already established why I win this debate. Con's own framework, with regards to the right against poaching, does not combat with mine. Under both frameworks, a right against poaching is guaranteed. In fact, Con has no direct objection to this. All Con argues is that recognizing "animal rights," at least insofar as the definition of the abolitionist animal rights movement is concerned, will harm society. But the debate is about "rights of animals," not the "animal rights movement." I think that is quite simply why I win this debate.
Regardless, for the sake of completeness, I will proceed to defend my other arguments as well.
Con claims that I asserted that human rights and animal rights are the same.
This is a straw-man of my case. In other words, I never actually said "human and animal rights are the same." Here is what my argument regarding utility was: morality should be evaluated on the basis of pleasure and suffering. It shouldn't be evaluated on any other basis. It's clear that humans are a unique species of sorts, but every species is unique in the animal kingdom: that's the purpose of classifying animals into species. There are no differences between humans and animals that are morally relevant. Since suffering/pleasure is the base for judging morality, animals should be afforded equal moral consideration.
I agree humans are unique. But they are not "more unique," and Con hasn't established that. All individual species are unique. Con has dropped that there are no differences that are morally relevant. Con also drops my justifications of utilitarianism, which implies that Con concedes the pleasure-pain framework. As such, any objection with regards to humans being unique is irrelevant.
Con also says, and I quote, "I never said anything about no humans included in the definitions."
I don't understand what this means. Con and I agreed that "animals" does not include humans, but if Con wants to include humans, go ahead: in that case you have already lost the debate, because your whole argument on animal testing is based on the human right to life. Of course, Con's arguments indicate that I'm probably misinterpreting what Con means here: in which case, I request a clarification.
Con says he doesn't understand why I am talking about humans when the debate is about animals. The resolution says "animals should have rights." But who is giving the animals these rights? As I clarified in R1 (the clarification being accepted by Con), society is the one recognizing animal rights. Humans are the ones recognizing animal rights. Therefore, what humans value matters. The second piece of context here is merely reiterating my contention about utilitarianism: there are no morally relevant differences between humans and animals, so the same standard of justice is applied to both.
Con doesn't actually address the substance of the argument (in that fairness requires not discriminating, and species-ism is a form of discrimination).
I think I've done enough to merit a ballot in my favor. I'd like to thank my opponent for the debate so far, and I look forward to reading his round.
Thanks for the debate. I will make this short because there is not much to write.
I thank my opponent for this debate, I enjoyed it. BoP is shared. I will be making my defense of my arguments. My opponent failed to rebut all my advantages, for that reason alone, you can vote for Con. I thank my opponent for this debate.
My opponent says that animals become extinct is turned against me. Actually it is not. This is one of the advantages for animals not having rights. Read my 1st argument, it my fourth advantage or somehting, I wrote that if animals have rights, we can't put them in zoos, which we can't exlplore in zoos, which means that because animals have rights, and are not in zoos, they will become extinct. It is all connected, which means Pro fails to rebut this argument.
My opponent says that it is not the real meaning of util. Even though if I get the name wrong, my opponent did not rebut my argument. My opponent does not touch my advantages at all, for this vote for me.
My opponent says that some people might not like meat and seafood, and those things. My opponent drops all the other advantages I stated, but he says that they feel pleasure and pain, which is just 2, as I listed 4. For this also, vote for Con in the argument Util. My opponent failed to rebut the other 3, which makes this argument unrebutted.
I won't write what Pro said in his 3rd round, because that is unfair for him. But to conclude, My opponent dropped my argument Util and animals being endangered, which is all of them, for these vote for Con. I rebutted almost all of Pro's arguments also. No matter how much you agree with Pro or like his arguments, you have to vote for Con.
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