The Instigator
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0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Animals Deserve Inalienable Rights

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/8/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,564 times Debate No: 16936
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




I'd like to thank who ever accepts this debate. I will present my first case after stating Definitions, Pro & Con, and Rules.

---- Definitions ----

Animal - a living organism that feeds on organic matter, typically having specialized sense organs and nervous system and able to respond rapidly to stimuli.

Inalienable - unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor.

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 law and ethics, especially theories of justice and deontology.

Side Info: It's up to the opponent to accept these definitions, he may decline them and post up his own.

---- Pro & Con ----

Pro - Will be chosen by me, I believe Animals are owed and deserve legal rights.

Con - Will be chosen by the opponent, he will debate that Animal are not owed nor deserve legal rights.

Side Info: By legal rights I mean that they should not be tortured, nor should they be killed without painkillers in the process of making them into food citizens eat. These are some of the rights but there are much more.

---- Rules ----

1. No new cases in round 5.

2. Take this debate as only a debate nothing more, nothing less.

3. All type of sources will be allowed such as videos, links etc.

4. Have fun.

Side Info: It's up to the opponent to accept these rules, he can decline them if he desires.

Thank you and good luck.

---- Contention ----

1. Animals have served our country, our people and this world. Yet we go day in and out, abusing them killing them (without painkillers) when we please and torture them. Horses have serve our police officers in this country as well as in many wars, we use dogs daily because of their great noses and smartness. Dogs have become the partners of cops all around the world because of there great devotion and intelligence and strength, yet the Dog and Cat are among the few animals that have rights. This shouldn't be allowed every single animal should have the right to live and die when nature calls. I do agree that society loves to eat certain animals such as chickens, cows but why not use painkillers? It is proven that animals go through fear, and as well dream but also bleed and feel pain. I will post a link of a video that shows the great suffering that animals endure because of us humans neglecting to give them rights and use painkillers to kill them through the process animals go through to give our society food.

2. When we kill animals we need to be aware that we kill among the smartest creatures on earth. I will use an example of an Elephant. They are able to solve problems on their own, able to display sense of humor. The ability to mimic sounds, an elephant is capable of mimicking a passing truck. Elephant use their surrounding to their advantage and make possible jobs that they can't do on their own. These animals are amazingly intelligent and yet we kill them and torture them in circus. We treat them as nothing else then we treated slaves. We whip them and beat them. One of the links I will show you is of elephant being tortured by Ringling Brother Circus, even though they got sued they got away with it and still get millions of dollars from people who pay and support this torture without even being aware of it.


---- Conclusion ----

I tell this to the audience and the opponent animals are intelligent, wonderful creatures which feel pain and serve us well. Yet we treat them as nothing else but trash. I will let the opponent present his case, thank you and vote Pro!


I am extremely pleased that my opponent has presented such a marvelous welcome and starting case. I look forward to presenting my arguments, as well as thoroughly debating them (something five rounds gives us ample time to do.) As a disclaimer, please note that the arguments I present are not necessarily the stances I adopt on animal rights. I will now hit multiple areas of the introduction as well as my opponent's case, and finally onto my own.

First, definitions. I concur with the definitions presented for animal and inalienable. I mostly agree with the 'rights' definition, but I'd like to make a clarification. My opponent's definition recognizes multiple forms of rights, mainly legal, social, and ethical. Legal systems are useful when implemented in government, however they have no place in philosophical debate. We are debating core values, specifically whether animals are inherently entitled to inalienable rights. Legal systems are not necessarily based upon pure philosophical reasoning, and are subject to corruption and ignorance. Because of this, legal rights should not be the rights debated here because of their unstable and subjective nature. This also applies to social rights brought about by social conventions. Humans agree and disagree on a great many things. We must always remember that to err is human, and that humans are capable and frequently make errors. For instance, Christians would likely, in majority, agree that Jews deserve to live. Nazis, however, would likely in majority agree that Jews don't deserve life. These conflicting points of view cannot both be right at the same time, meaning one group is wrong. Because social rights are subjective upon the individuals concocting them, social rights should not be the type of rights debated here today.

The rights that are best suited for this debate are ethical rights that are reached through philosophical and logical reasoning. This allows us to arrive at objective conclusions (as far as rationality goes) as opposed to subjective ones.

As Con, I will be vying for what my opponent suggests. I'll briefly elaborate. I am arguing that animals are not naturally entitled to any rights at all, regardless of the situation in this world.

I'll now present my arguments and then refute the arguments presented by the opponent. Note that these are different points of view. Two of my arguments may be unable to coexist with one another, however they are all valid arguments against inherent animal rights.


My first argument is from a moral nihilistic point of view. Moral nihilism reasons that there are no objective standards in the world. This is because there is no way to justify a "master standard". Because there is no master standard, you can only have standards justified by other standards, back ad infinitum. When we have no standards that are objective, then we have no rights that are objective. This is because rights come from standards, as they have to be warranted and come from somewhere. The lack of objective rights does away with the idea of inherent rights. This is because an attribute of an inherent right is that it is always granted, objectively. Since no rights are objective, no rights are inherent. Since no rights are inherent, animals cannot possibly have inherent rights.

The opponent may argue that animals feel pain and "deserve" to have rights, however there is no reason to believe this. The fact that the animals feel pain only implies that they desire not to feel it. Personal desire, or animal desire, does not give rights, and especially not inherent rights. My opponent also says they "deserve" rights, but why? There is truly no standard that we can derive animal rights from. Animals are useful to us, but that doesn't grant them rights anymore than a thief has the right to steal because it's useful to him. Some animals are comparatively intelligent, but this does not warrant rights either. In conclusion, there are no objective, inherent rights because of the lack of inherent standards.


This argument is from the view of utilitarianism, which states that the most "right" action is the one that is most useful. As humans, our actions should be for what benefits ourselves most. Let's look at an example. Imagine that there is a cow that is to be used for food by humans. This cow is to be executed, but it can be executed in two different ways. One is by a hammer to the head and the other an injection of painkilling drug and then a knock to the head. In both situations, humans get an equal amount of usable meat. In both situations, the cow will inevitably die. No one is hurt more by either one of the situations over another. The difference between the two, is the the painkiller situation costs a lot more. This cost is completely unnecessary. The cow will eventually be dead. There is no advantage to giving this cow painkillers before it dies.

Giving animals painkillers before execution was a right my opponent claimed animals inherently had. However, there is no warrant for this, and I have just shown by example why this does more harm than good. Because my opponent presented this right in his examples, he is bound by it. Me showing that this is not a right animals have brings down my opponent's entire case.


C1) My opponent's first argument states that animals serve our country. This is completely true, however it does not warrant that they have rights. We can abuse animals and them still be just as useful to us. Even if they weren't, moral nihilism says that it doesn't matter, because inherent rights don't exist anyway. My opponent claims that animals should be allowed to live "until nature calls", but his only warrant is that they can be useful, something that doesn't grant inherent rights. For a parallel, picture a child with a weapon. This child can do many good things with this weapon, however he can also do many bad things, such as hurting himself or others. Animals are the same. They can help us, or in many cases hurt and kill us. Their usefulness is subjective to the situation. This shows that situation alone can't grant inherent rights because they aren't even always useful and good in every situation.

C2) My opponent's second point is dealing entirely with intelligence. First of all, I mentioned before that intelligence doesn't warrant rights. Animal intelligence can be entertaining and useful, but can also hurt us. Lions can dance around in a circus ring using their intelligence, but they can tear our throats out with their intelligence as well. Intelligence, we must also realize, is simply a characteristic. It is certainly a unique characteristic, but there are many other unique characteristics as well. For example, foot size, voice volume, flesh color, fur length, wingspan, and scale thickness. Just like intelligence, none of these other characteristics give any sort of entitlement to rights.


I've shown through two separate points of view why animals do not have inherent rights. I've also refuted by opponent's arguments and provided, what I hope is, a response to my opponent's argument that he will find satisfactory. I wish my opponent good luck in the rest of the debate and await his response.
Debate Round No. 1


KiwiTortuga forfeited this round.


My opponent's account is closed so thus he has forfeited. We can expect forfeits for all remaining rounds. My arguments have gone unrefuted and my opponent has failed to defend his own. Because of this, vote Con.
Debate Round No. 2


KiwiTortuga forfeited this round.


Ad_Infinitum forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


KiwiTortuga forfeited this round.


Ad_Infinitum forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


KiwiTortuga forfeited this round.


Ad_Infinitum forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Ad_Infinitum 5 years ago
Apparently my opponent's account is no longer active. Great.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: FF