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

Animals Rights

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 9/10/2015 Category: People
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,208 times Debate No: 79488
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (49)
Votes (1)




This debate is currently impossible to accept. If you wish to debate this topic with me please post in the comments that you want to debate this and I will choose someone to debate this with me. If you accept without my permission you must forfeit all points.

I am Pro animal rights and therefore my oppnent is against animal rights.

Debate Structure

Round 1: My opponent may begin their argument (no acceptance required)

Round 2: Main points and justifications

Round 3: Rebuttals and a conclusion (optional)


No trolling

No forfeiture

No accepting without permission

Please ensure you have enough time for a fun and enjoyable debate

Failure to abide by the rules and the debate structure will result in the opposite side to the side breaking the rules receiving all points. Forfeiture should result in points being automatically awarded to the opposing side. No matter how good their arguments may be, a forfeiture is against the rules of the debate.


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).

All you need to do to enter this debate is to say the words...."I would like to debate this" .... in the comments.

Good Luck!



Observation: There’s no basis for debating this. The resolution is merely “animal rights,” without any being specific, and no full resolution drafted. A direct interpretation of the resolution would be “animal rights ought to be recognized,” since it actually offers a contextual basis while simultaneously forming a synonym of the resolution. One can interpret that it is human society that ought to recognize animal rights, per the Affirmative.


The resolution debates the requirements of normativity. Because of this, morality comes first in the debate. When one asks what society “ought” to do, one presumes a moral obligation. Thus, the debate shall come down to whether morality demands an obligation towards recognition of animal rights. This entails the question -- what is moral? Providing a framework for morality answers this question. Under my framework, I will critique aggregate theories and offer my own framework for morality -- normative egoism.

Under the resolution, we require some measure of desirability. An “ought” can only indicate moral desirability, and we require a framework that recognizes any moral desirability to link to the resolution. Only if recognizing animal rights is desirable, in some way, to a just society can it be considered an obligation to a just society. Mercer explains, “To understand what another has done is … to have a … description of the action he has performed, one that reveals it to be intentional … to know an agent’s reason for performing … action involves understanding his motivation in doing it. … It is not enough, … to understand what a person who intentionally sips from a saucer of mud has done … An interpreter has also to comprehend what in desiring to sip from a saucer of mud was attractive to him. … One way is to connect that piece of behaviour to one or more of the strange agent’s self-regarding ends. If we can see in sipping from a saucer of mud a way of maintaining self-respect, or even a way to delight in the taste of mud, we can understand the desire the agent had to sip from a saucer of mud. We need not connect his self-regarding end to an intention to realize that end in or through his action; we need only … connect it to an expectation of realizing it.” [1]

Understanding our actions can be explained by moral egoism. Ultimately, our own self-regarding ends ultimately decide what we do, and what we ought to do as well. Mercer continues:

“[W]eak … egoism is the doctrine that all actions are performed in expectation of realizing self-regarding ends. … [E]goism is the doctrine that behind any action whatever that an agent performs intentionally, ultimately there lies the agent’s expectation of realizing one or more of her self-regarding ends, an expectation without which the agent would not have performed the action. … if an agent does not expect to forestall his own unhappiness or to promote his self-image, …, in … performing an action … then that agent will not intentionally perform an action of that type. … some other self-regarding end, not as a consequence … but directly as part of engaging in that activity … To enjoy tennis is to take pleasure in playing tennis, and not, … to attain experiences of pleasure through playing tennis.”

There is more a priori evidence for egoism. Mercer argues,“Though weak psychological egoism is a doctrine ultimately answerable to empirical evidence, we presently have excellent a priori reasons for accepting it and attempting to construct psychological theories that include it as an organizing principle. … to understand the motivation behind an action, we need to understand the force of the consideration that motivates the agent, and the way to do this is to find a self-regarding end associated in the agent’s mind with acting on that consideration.”

To add on to the warrant, there is plenty of a posteriori means of verifying egoism. Most researchers agree that morality itself has evolutionary origins. [2] Many species display that they protect themselves. In fact, the purpose of evolution is to promote the survival of *the individual,* and all species have mechanisms that aid the individual. This egoism has been observed in evolutionary psychology. [3]


Egoism would entail that what is most moral is what ultimately benefits the moral actor. Thus, with regards to the issue of animal rights, it is moral for human society to do what benefits human society most. And I argue that recognition of animal rights would be a net detriment to society.

Animal testing can be cruel, but it is necessary. The former is easily affirmed, since animal testing involves exploitation of animals via cruel means. It violates the principle of animal rights, therefore is directly contrary to animal rights. But I argue that it’s moral, because it benefits society as a whole. Current treatments for multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, strokes, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, and polio would not have existed without animal testing. [4][5] Penicillin is a result of animal tests. [6] In fact, “virtually every medical breakthrough in human and animal health has been the direct result of research using animals.” [7] Non-veganism is beneficial to health. [8] Recognition of animal rights would entail no animal testing, which is not beneficial for society. Therefore—per egoism—society is obliged to *not* recognize animal rights.

Animals are not part of the moral community

To have any form of moral status, one requires rationality to process what that “moral status” even is. The moral community intrinsically demands for rationality. An animal cannot process what a “right” is. Take the home example. Rational beings *invented* the concept of “rights,” therefore rational beings can choose whether to bestow upon animals rights. Animals do not have concepts such as “murder,” or laws that do not permit exploitation. Exploitation exists in the animal world—predators kill prey, many species use “bait,” chimpanzees even use “weapons” (i.e. twigs) to catch and kill ants. If exploitation is moral for animals, it is moral for humans to do to animals as well. “The moral community is … organized around something shared in common by all of its members. This common factor is none other than the capacity for rational agency. … the capacity for rational agency is both necessary and sufficient for having moral status … rational agency is a necessary condition for having any sort of moral standing.” [9]

R.G. Frey argues that animals lack interests. They don’t “want” to be free of suffering, for instance, or free of exploitation. He writes, “If someone were to say, e.g. 'The cat believes that the door is locked,' then that person is holding, as I see it, that the cat holds the declarative sentence 'The door is locked' to be true; and I can see no reason whatever for crediting the cat or any other creature which lacks language, including human infants, with entertaining declarative sentences.” [10] Thus, as morality is based on desirability, we have no reason to bestow upon animals rights. Rights can only be bestowed due to desire.

Professor Carl Cohen says that, to merit being in the moral community, one has to respect the interests of others. He writes, “The holders of rights must have the capacity to comprehend rules of duty governing all, including themselves. In applying such rules, [they] ... must recognize possible conflicts between what is in their own interest and what is just. Only in a community of beings capable of self-restricting moral judgments can the concept of a right be correctly invoked.” [11] I will preempt a possible objection from Pro: why are the rights of infants and the mentally disabled recognized? Cohen argues, “Between species ... humans on the one hand and cats or rats on the other--the morally relevant differences are enormous, and almost universally appreciated. Humans engage in moral reflection; ... are morally autonomous; ... are members of moral communities, recognizing just claims against their own interest. Human beings do have rights; theirs is a moral status very different from that of cats or rats.” [11]

Frey writes, “to include the baby by means of the potentiality argument: the baby is potentially include the severely mentally-enfeebled by means of the similarity argument: in all other respects except rationality and perhaps certain mental accomplishments, the severely mentally-enfeebled betray strong similarities to other members of our species,...One might try to include both babies and the severelymentally-enfeebledby means of the religious argument: babies and the severely mentally-enfeebled possess immortal souls....the religious argument does separate both from Fido, who is not conceded an immortal soul by the argument's proponents.” [12]


I’ll put my references in the comments section due to character constraints.

Debate Round No. 1


Since my opponent has interpreted the resolution as: Animals ought to be recognised I will be arguing that. I will not respond to my opponent's arguments in this round because this round is for Main points and justifications only. My opponent should keep this in mind when they are posting their argument.

1) To accept that animals have rights only requires that one accept that there are certain things that humans ought not do to animals.

"To say that a being deserves moral consideration is to say that there is a moral claim that this being has on those who can recognize such claims. A morally considerable being is a being who can be wronged in a morally relevant sense." (2)

This debate is only concerned with human to animal interaction because animal rights exist only in animal to human interaction, as humans alone have the power to to recognize those rights while animals do not. To that end, there can be no expectation of reciprocation from the animals to humans. Do animals merit moral consideration? Can animals be wronged in a morally relevant way? Rights are the product of human reason, reason that enables us to recognize at minimum our obligation not to cause harm to the people and things we interact with.

Kant argues in "Groundwork" and that humans are innately superior to animals because humans are rational beings and therefore are ends themselves, "not merely... means to be arbitrarily used." According to Kant, "[animals] only a relative value as means and are therefore called things." Indeed, humans have the power to arbitrarily use animals to whatever ends humankind may desire, but merely having a power does not divest the holder of that power of all duty and responsibility with regard to that power.

In essence, simply because humans can abuse animals does not make us justified in doing so. That is not to say that humans and animals moral claims are equal, nor are human rights and animal rights equal. Because humans are superior (I cite Korsgaard's justification (2) for that assertion) our rights are superior to those of animals. Similarly though, that humans have superior rights does not strip animals or all rights or moral consideration. This is acceptable because merely "that non-human animals can make moral claims on us does not in itself indicate how such claims are to be assessed and conflicting claims adjudicated. Being morally considerable is like showing up on a moral radar screen—how strong the signal is or where it is located on the screen are separate questions." (2)

We accept that animals experience pain, but also that they are incapable of reciprocating recognition of rights and therefore we do not senselessly abuse animals or expect them recognize our right not to experience pain. If any being has an interest in avoiding pain, that being has a moral claim to pain avoidance because as Korsgaard so eloquently phrased it "to be in pain is a pain, and that is no trivial fact." (2)

What the moral significance of those claims are situational and beyond the scope of the resolution because if we accept that any being that has an interest in avoiding pain deserves to have that interest taken into account (recognized) by an individual capable of recognizing that right, then we accept that there are restrictions governing what humans may do to animals. From that conclusion we deduce that animals have rights; and that those rights are due recognition if they are to have significance.

By contrast, to assert that animals have no rights is to assert that there neither are nor ought to be any permissible limitations governing human to animal interaction. If animals have no moral claim whatsoever then there is no action, injury, or abuse which humans may inflict upon the animal kingdom with any consequence to the morality of the person causing the harm. Accordingly, animals are due the right to not be made suffer without cause.

2) If we accept that there are certain things that humans ought not do to animals, then the rights of animals must be recognized by a just society.

If animals have rights, then to violate them without cause is unjust. What may constitute a viable cause to violate the rights of animals is another debate entirely and vary by context, but we may stipulate easily that (like with human to human interaction -though the cause to violate the rights of an animal, given that animals have less rights than humans, need not be as compelling as the cause to violate the rights of a human) it is permissible to conceive of a situation where the rights of humans and animals may be in conflict and it would be justifiable for a human to violate the rights of an animal.

A just society is one that upholds the values of its citizens. Humans, by our nature, have a sense of humanity and compassion. We do not delight in the suffering of animals, and as such we do not cause what we individually consider to be unnecessary suffering or inflict senseless pain. If we as a society accept that there are certain things that humans should not do to animals, then the task of justice is to prevent those things (whatever they are) from occurring. Where animals have the right to not be subjected to unnecessary harm, any violation of that right is unjust. A just society then assumes the responsibility of preventing such an occurrence by codifying morality, accepted human ethical obligation into a system of law where penalties are established for violating those laws.

In that, the just society ensures that where any person violates those rights they are due consequence -and animal rights are recognized. If we accept that humans ought not bring about unnecessary harm to the animal kingdom, then we recognize animal right as individuals. A just society, being a reflection of the individuals it is constructed of, then is obliged to ensure that animals not be made to unnecessarily suffer. A society that does not recognize animal rights on any level does not accept any limitations governing what humans may or may not or ought or ought not do to animals, is unjust then because without recognition of animal rights on any level there is no restriction preventing senseless or causeless animal suffering.

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.





I haven't used numbers to show where my sources are before so hopefully this allows my opponent and voters to see where I have used my sources.


Pro and I have agreed that I can post my rebuttals in this round.

Observation One: Pro fails to offer an epistemological framework for morality. They talk about how the rights of animals should be recognized, and how some rights is sufficient to affirm, but they don’t justify that there is a generic right against suffering. Under my framework, animals only have those entitlements that are beneficial to humans, and they -- nonetheless -- can’t live free of exploitation. Pro drops my framework.

Observation Two: Both of Pro’s contentions misinterpret the resolution. The Round 1 definition of “animal rights” doesn’t match Pro’s new definition. Pro is adding a new definition, which can be rejected, as compliance with the R1 definitions is a rule.

Section 1: Framework

Pro doesn’t contest my framework, nor do they offer a framework of their own. This is problematic for Pro, since, under my framework, “animal rights” as defined cannot be recognized, and recognition of animal rights would be unjust. Pro merely presumes that “rights” and entitlements exist, and fails to justify such a framework where rights are recognized. Till that is justified, presume Con.

Section 2: Pro’s constructive case

(R1) Moral consideration for animals

Point 1: Topicality

Pro fails to note that “animal rights” encompasses the right to be free of *exploitation.* Other rights are irrelevant to this debate. I observe that -- for any topicality within the resolution -- the concept of animal rights encompasses only animals being entitled to the possession of their own lives. The argument isn’t topical. Animals having *some* rights doesn’t mean they are free of exploitation. Pro doesn’t offer a framework for morality, so prefer egoism -- under egoism, we help animals when *we want to,* and don’t help animals when we don’t want to. The argument isn’t topical, since some rights does not equal all rights. A “right” is only gained when humans *wish* to recognize that right, strengthening an egoistic framework.

Point 2: Animals do not require moral consideration

Turn the argument. Moral consideration for humans is entirely different from moral consideration for animals because of humans being able to achieve moral status by *having* some level of moral consideration for other species. It is *exactly because* humans have moral consideration for other species that animals cannot have the right to be free of all human exploitation. Addressed under my “moral community” contention -- without rationality, we cannot recognize animal rights.

Point 3: Human rights versus animal rights

Pro argues that human rights can allow direct violation of animal rights, but that doesn’t stop animal rights from existing. This is a bare assertion. “Animal rights” are not “rights gained by animals,” rather they are the right to be free of *human* exploitation. So if this can be violated by the *exact same* human exploitation that exists today, then “animal rights,” by definition, don’t exist. I strongly affirm that all exploitation practised *today* is justified, and that’s what the Affirmative has to refute. The Affirmative basically concedes this, but still argues “animal rights can still exist.” Note that Aff hasn’t shown that animal rights *do* exist as defined.

Conclusion: Pro has only shown that animal rights *can* exist, not that they do. Pro’s suffering argument doesn’t show how animals must be free from *all* suffering, even those permitted under my egoistic framework. Pro fails to justify any form of a framework where suffering is immoral. Prefer egoism, and this contention loses all offense.

(R2) Animals have rights as long as humans are restricted from harming them

“Animals have rights” is *not topical.* The definitions say nothing about “animal rights” being two separate terms -- it is an individual term, and is defined as being “the rights of animals to live free from human exploitation.” Here is the problem for Pro. Humans not harming animals in *some* way doesn’t mean animals live free of all human exploitation; living *free* of exploitation implies living free of any exploitation. Animal testing, for instance, is exploitation.

Further, Pro fails to justify a framework in which suffering merits non-violable rights. Till that is warranted, presume Con.

For these reasons, Vote Con.

Debate Round No. 2


R1 Rebuttals

Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time so I'll respond to my opponents main points but unfortunately I don't have time to respond to the framework however I ask that voters do not just vote Con based on this. It would be appreciated if voters would read the arguments rather than vote according to the framework.


Regarding animal testing...

Animal experimenters want us to believe that if they gave up their archaic habit, sick children and other disease and accident victims would drop dead in droves. But the most significant trend in modern research in recent years has been the recognition that animals rarely serve as good models for the human body.

Studies published in prestigious medical journals have shown time and again that animal experimenters are often wasting lives—both animal and human—and precious resources by trying to infect animals with diseases that they would never normally contract. Fortunately, a wealth of cutting-edge, non-animal research methodologies promises a brighter future for both animal and human health. The following are some statements supporting animal experimentation followed by the arguments against them.

“Every major medical advance is attributable to experiments on animals.”

This is simply not true. An article published in the esteemed Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine has even evaluated this very claim and concluded that it was not supported by any evidence. Most animal experiments are not relevant to human health, they do not contribute meaningfully to medical advances and many are undertaken simply out of curiosity and do not even pretend to hold promise for curing illnesses. The only reason people are under the misconception that animal experiments help humans is because the media, experimenters, universities and lobbying groups exaggerate the potential of animal experiments to lead to new cures and the role they have played in past medical advances.

“If we didn’t use animals, we’d have to test new drugs on people.”

The fact is that we already
do test new drugs on people. No matter how many animal tests are undertaken, someone will always be the first human to be tested on.Because animal tests are so unreliable, they make those human trials all the more risky. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has noted that 92 percent of all drugs that are shown to be safe and effective in animal tests fail in human trials because they don’t work or are dangerous. And of the small percentage that are approved for human use, half are relabeled because of side effects that were not identified in animal tests.

“We have to observe the complex interactions of cells, tissues, and organs in living animals.”

Taking a
healthy being from a completely different species, artificially inducing a condition that he or she would never normally contract, keeping him or her in an unnatural and distressful environment, and trying to apply the results to naturally occurring diseases in human beings is dubious at best. ,Physiological reactions to drugs vary enormously from species to species. Penicillin kills guinea pigs but is inactive in rabbits; aspirin kills cats and causes birth defects in rats, mice, guinea pigs, dogs, and monkeys; and morphine, a depressant in humans, stimulates goats, cats, and horses. Further, animals in laboratories typically display behavior indicating extreme psychological distress, and experimenters acknowledge that the use of these stressed-out animals jeopardizes the validity of the data produced.

“Animals help in the fight against cancer.”

Since President Richard Nixon signed the Conquest of Cancer Act in 1971, the “war on cancer” in the United States has become a series of losing battles. Through taxes, donations, and private funding, Americans have spent almost $200 billion on cancer research since 1971. However, more than 500,000 Americans die of cancer every year, a 73 percent increase in the death rate since the “war” began.

Richard Klausner, former head of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), has observed, “The history of cancer research has been a history of curing cancer in the mouse. We have cured mice of cancer for decades and it simply didn’t work in humans.” Studies have found that chemicals that cause cancer in rats only caused cancer in mice 46 percent of the time. If extrapolating from rats to mice is so problematic, how can we extrapolate results from mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, dogs, monkeys, and other animals to humans?

The NCI now uses human cancer cells, taken by biopsy during surgery, to perform first-stage testing for new anti-cancer drugs, sparing the 1 million mice the agency previously used annually and giving us all a much better shot at combating cancer.

Furthermore, according to the World Health Organization, cancer is largely preventable, yet most cancer-focused health organizations spend a pittance on prevention programs, such as public education.

Epidemiological and clinical studies have determined that most cancers are caused by smoking and eating high-fat foods, foods high in animal protein, and foods containing artificial colors and other harmful additives. We can beat cancer by attending to this human-derived, human-relevant data and implementing creative methods to encourage healthier lifestyle choices.

Animals are not part of the moral community

My opponent arguments regarding animals being part of a moral community raises a number of worrying questions. My opponent claims: "To have any form of moral status, one requires rationality to process what that 'moral status' even is." Babies have little understanding of rationality and moral status. People with specific mental disadvantages do not have a complete understanding of moral status. Does this mean that they do not deserve rights either? By your logic anyone or thing that cannot process what a moral status is does not deserve to have rights. Your argument may seem to make a valid point at first but if you put this in terms of human relations then you have made a huge mistake.

You continue to talk about the understanding of basic laws such as murder. As well as falling under my previous point this also can be used to question human rights. Again, by your logic humans shouldn't have rights. Animals kill other animals for food and so do humans. People intentionally kill insects (especially spiders) on a regular basis. Just because they are inferior in terms of size, this does not mean that they are inferior species. If a man killed a dog people woudl hate him. If a man squished a spider nobody would notice. Does this make human action any more or less moral than the actions of an animal. At least animals do it out of instinct, they need to kill to survive in the majority of cases. Humans do not need to kill for food. As well as killing for food, humans also kill for sport and kill for fun.

I'm sure that my opponent can admit that no human is completely the same and yet two competely different people can both be moral. Morality is individual and is shaped by that individual however there is a universal morality that is shared by the majority of human beings. This universal morality is not specific to animals and since we cannot inform them of it, they cannot be expected to know it and follow it. Animals kill, people kill. Animals kill for food. People kill for food, war, fun, sport and for money. Surely, you cannot say that animals are less moral than people. When was the last time an animal dropped a bomb? The answer is never. When was the last time an animal shot a gun? The answer is never. So before you speak about how immoral animals are. You should analyse the immorality of human beings in modern society.

My opponent attempts to show that people with severe disabilities and babies do count however the quote by Frey that my opponent has provided creates inconsistencies in their argument. As well as this being an extremely weak argument that doesn't have much relevance to the debate it is also a whole argument / rebuttal copy and pasted by my opponent. I have chosen to not elaborate on this further since this argument has not been worded properly; it has been copy and pasted and it makes very little sense to me. Until my opponent decides to rephrase this quote in their own words then I cannot properly refute it.


I apologize for not numbering my sources. As I mentioned at the top of this debate, I do not have a lot of time so I was in a rush when I was typing this.

My opponent should leave the next round blank. I have intentionally left out rebuttals to round 2 since my opponent will not get a chance to refute my round 3 arguments without having an extra round.

Vote Pro!



No round as agreed.
Debate Round No. 3
49 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
I wasn't referring to the debate with me and zaradi. When I was debating zaradi I looked at some of his previous animal rights debates and in those he used a similar framework.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago

The framework Zaradi used in his debate with you is nothing like this one...
Posted by famousdebater 1 year ago
That's a similar framework to Zaradi's one. I recently did an animal rights debate with him and the frameworks that he uses does look the same.
Posted by tejretics 2 years ago
@Balacafa - If you reported that vote, I *did not* plagiarize.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
>Reported vote: whiteflame// Mod action: NOT Removed<

7 points to Con (Choose Winner).

RFD: "Given in comments."

[*Reason for non-removal*] This vote goes through the arguments in the debate, weighs them against each other, points out where the voter saw flaws, and explains why the voter chose the winner they did. It does all of this with far more detail than the minimum requires.

Note: The note appended to the vote report was confusing. While the framework (rules) of the debate were agreed by both debaters to be not-entirely-binding, there's no evidence the framework (arguments) were agreed to be not considered. The vote as written is clearly talking about the framework of Con's arguments. The report also indicates possible plagiarism, but that wasn't touched in within the debate, and the comment posting regarding it was not conclusive. While a plagiarism accusation is one of the few situations where comments may come into play in a voting decision, at present there isn't enough that a voter would be expected to take it into account, nor is it absolutely necessary for a voter to do so when the accusation is outside the debate proper.

Posted by tejretics 2 years ago
Thanks for the feedback, Whiteflame.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
RFD (Pt. 1):

See, this is why I dislike 2-round debates. One round of argumentation and one round of rebuttal is just too little, and it offers no opportunities for defense. The debate becomes more about whose rebuttal is most effective at knocking down the other's case than it does about the strength of the original argument, since it's left open to any rebuttal without recourse.

And this really hurts both debaters. Like, really bad.

Pro's argument gets outed as lacking any solid moral framework, only implying that such a framework exists and supports his points. He also apparently has issues linking to the resolution via the definitions, as Con points out that his case is basically all extra topical.

Con's main substance " that animal rights must be abridged for the sake of medical testing " gets reamed hard in Pro's rebuttal, leaving Con without his main source of substance to support his arguments. We also only really start to get into whether or not animals are part of the moral community, which is a bummer.

In any case, the decision's still pretty clear. I can vote on two levels.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
(Pt. 2)

1. Since Pro makes no effort to produce a framework, and since this is a debate of what's most moral (to afford animals with rights or not), I really just have to see that Con a) produced a cogent framework, and b) upheld it with his arguments. As soon as I see that (and I do) the debate is over because he's the only one giving me objective reasons to support his version of morality. I'm sympathetic to Pro's arguments, but I can't support them based solely on his word that they represent the most moral system, especially when he's almost entirely non-responsive to egoism. And yes, the fact that Con posted his response to disabilities and babies ahead of time entirely as a quote does weaken the argument, but you do actually have to address it and not just write it off as indecipherable. He talked about potentiality for the baby, similarity for the mentally-enfeebled, and even the presence of an immortal soul. I don't find these arguments particularly convincing, but without rebuttal, there's little I can do but accept them.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
(Pt. 3)

With regards to whether he upheld them, Pro did a good job undercutting the substance that Con produced for support in R1, but there are a few problems with it. Least glaring is the fact that much of Pro's rebuttal seems to be against certain practices rather than the whole of animal testing, which at least makes me question whether animal testing, in any single instance, can still be moral. Second and more glaring is that Con's egoism framework precludes this kind of analysis. Note that egoism is not dependent on whether these actions lead to beneficial outcomes or not. Read back over the drinking from a saucer of mud quote, because it reveals that the only thing that matters is whether the individual in question had reason to believe that the ends were beneficial to them. Thus, it has little to do with whether there was an actual net benefit to them at the end of the day. So long as there's reason to believe that, sometimes, animal testing may produce a benefit, humans are moral in pursuing that benefit under egoism. Third, and most glaring, is that the rest of Con's substance is dropped. He talked about non-veganism being beneficial to health as well. Sure, it's just a sentence, but he only needs one piece of support for his argument. Even if I'm buying that Pro's rebuttal is a solid takeout of everything Con said with regards to animal testing, this point alone upholds egoism easily.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
(Pt. 4)

2. It's actually easiest for me to vote on topicality. Pro, you produced the definition. Adhere to it. You didn't have to define animal rights as "the rights of animals to live free from human exploitation and abuse," but you did, and when you do that you can no longer make arguments like "animals should at least have SOME rights" because it undermines your point. The ground is not skewed towards you with a definition like this. You had to argue that animals should receive at least enough rights to be free from human exploitation, which basically means you're giving them equal rights to humans. It actually could have been Con's ground to argue that animals should have some rights, since that's not a part of your ground as per the definition of animal rights. He chose not to take it, but that doesn't suddenly make it your ground. All you managed to do with these arguments was provide reasons why Con's argument may be faulty, but even if you'd shown that Con's argument was wrong, it doesn't do anything to prove yours right.

What you ended up doing was wasting your time on an extra topical issue. I can accept that animals should be free from needless suffering and still vote Con because of the definitions you set forth. I don't vote against you solely on the basis of topicality, mainly because Con's not giving me any ammunition to do so (his topicality lacks any elucidation of abuse), though also partially because an extra topicality just skews you out of arguments rather than deciding the debate in and of itself. What it does do is destroy almost all of your substantive arguments, leaving you with little to counter Con's case. You're leaving yourself wide open, and all on the basis of a definition you decided yourself that actually empowered your opponent.

So, for these two reasons, I vote Con.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
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