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I am Pro animal rights and therefore my oppnent is against animal rights.
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 accepting without permission
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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).
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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.” 
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.  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. 
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.  Penicillin is a result of animal tests.  In fact, “virtually every medical breakthrough in human and animal health has been the direct result of research using animals.”  Non-veganism is beneficial to health.  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.” 
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.”  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.”  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.” 
I’ll put my references in the comments section due to character constraints.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
No round as agreed.