The Instigator
mongeese
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
TheSkeptic
Pro (for)
Winning
58 Points

"Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment."

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/11/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,419 times Debate No: 8229
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (37)
Votes (13)

 

mongeese

Con

I negate the resolution: "Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment."

http://en.wikipedia.org...

As usual, I will allow my opponent, PRO, to make an opening statement.

Thank you to whoever accepts this debate.
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for creating this debate. On a personal note, I want the audience to realize that I am personally against the notion of giving animals equal rights as humans, but I am bored so here we go.

Since my opponent has instigated this debate, he still has the onus on him to put an argument. Until then, I will simply give on argument for a foudnation for my position, and await his replies (we have 4 rounds, no worries).

I argue that since animals are sentient, meaning they can feel pain or pleasure, they deserve to have the same rights as humans. I will expand on this argument later obviously.

Until then, I give the floor for CON.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Con

"I thank my opponent for creating this debate. On a personal note, I want the audience to realize that I am personally against the notion of giving animals equal rights as humans, but I am bored so here we go."
All right!

"Since my opponent has instigated this debate, he still has the onus on him to put an argument. Until then, I will simply give on argument for a foundation for my position, and await his replies (we have 4 rounds, no worries)."
Okay.

"I argue that since animals are sentient, meaning they can feel pain or pleasure, they deserve to have the same rights as humans. I will expand on this argument later obviously."
Alright, now to combat that argument, I say that animals haven't been proven to be capable of rational thinking beyond their natural instincts, and are much less intelligent than humans, and don't even have any way of asking for equal rights.

Now, I will first present an argument for...

Eat:
A religious view: If God didn't want us to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of meat.
An atheist view: People evolved from animals. Many animals eat meat by nature. Humans must have evolved to eat meat, because they have two canines (sharp teeth) which allow them to eat meat. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Thus, humans eat meat by nature, so humans should not be devoid of their right to eat meat.

Wear:
A religious view: In the Bible, God killed an animal to provide them with clothing to cover themselves, so God advocates using animal skins.
An atheist view: Eating animals and not using their pelts for anything would be a waste.

Experiment on:
It's either we experiment on animals, or we experiment on humans. For a fact, we do both.

Entertainment:
We hire people to entertain us. Why not pay animals food to entertain us as well?

Finally, if certain animals (cow, lab rat, etc.) were not bred to be used for food or experiments, we would have no reason to breed them, and the species would go extinct.

Thank you, and good luck with your argument.
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for his speedy response. Along with responding to my argument, he laid a cause for his own. Therefore, I will first respond to his rebuttal then attack his argument in a linear fashion.

====================
Sentience of animals
====================

---->>>"I say that animals haven't been proven to be capable of rational thinking beyond their natural instincts, and are much less intelligent than humans, and don't even have any way of asking for equal rights."

--> If this is my opponent's only counterargument, then it's entirely misdirected. Nothing in my argument even remotely hints at claiming that animals are as intelligent as humans, or can "ask" for equal rights. My argument simply stated that because animals are sentient, it should be followed that the right to life and well-being should be derived. My opponent still has a lot of work to do with this argument.

====================
CON's argument for eating
====================

Religious views don't concern me - if you want to argue for them, you have to first show their validity. This will apply to every argument after this, to avoid redundancy.

---->"People evolved from animals. Many animals eat meat by nature. Humans must have evolved to eat meat, because they have two canines (sharp teeth) which allow them to eat meat...Thus, humans eat meat by nature, so humans should not be devoid of their right to eat meat."

--> My opponent's entire argument commits the appeal to nature fallacy[1]. His argument basically says that because humans evolved to eat meat (which is partly true), then it should be our right to eat meat. This is entirely false. Just because it's natural does NOT make it right ,via the appeal to nature fallacy. For example, it's very common for animals to kill each other end disputes. So should humans be allowed to murder each other when they get into arguments? My opponent's line of reasoning says yes - demonstrating that his argument is bogus.

====================
CON's argument for wearing
====================

---->>>"Eating animals and not using their pelts for anything would be a waste."

--> You have yet to show why eating animals is moral, so the first part doesn't even need to be refuted again. And not using their pelts would be a waste? First of all, wasting something is not immoral. However, even if we are to assume it is this DOESN'T justify using animals for cloths because you have yet to show why it's moral to kill them in the first place.

====================
CON's argument for experimenting
====================

---->>>"It's either we experiment on animals, or we experiment on humans."

--> Or we don't have to experiment on either animals or humans. The thing is human testing involves consent, which is why it's allowed. Animal testing has NO consent from the animals - they don't get a say. Just because they don't have a voice (in the metaphorical sense) doesn't mean we should use them to our whims.

====================
CON's argument for entertaining
====================

---->>>"We hire people to entertain us. Why not pay animals food to entertain us as well?"

--> Because hiring people involves the people CONSENTING. They have to agree to the salaries and expectations of their job as entertainers. Do animals get to say no? Of course not.

====================
Conclusion
====================

I have defended my philosophical argument for animal rights, and shown why every example of how they can be used is unjust. I await my opponent's response.

---References---
1. http://www.fallacyfiles.org...
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Con

If this is my opponent's only counterargument, then it's entirely misdirected. Nothing in my argument even remotely hints at claiming that animals are as intelligent as humans, or can 'ask' for equal rights. My argument simply stated that because animals are sentient, it should be followed that the right to life and well-being should be derived. My opponent still has a lot of work to do with this argument."
My apologies. Maybe this will be more relevant.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Apes, dolphins, elephants, and magpies. Not exactly the animals we eat and wear and all that.

"--> My opponent's entire argument commits the appeal to nature fallacy[1]. His argument basically says that because humans evolved to eat meat (which is partly true), then it should be our right to eat meat. This is entirely false. Just because it's natural does NOT make it right ,via the appeal to nature fallacy. For example, it's very common for animals to kill each other end disputes. So should humans be allowed to murder each other when they get into arguments? My opponent's line of reasoning says yes - demonstrating that his argument is bogus."
Humans naturally have evolved to eat meat. It is in human nature. However, it is also in human nature to try to cooperate with others to solve disputes, before resorting to murder, and this has evolved into modern government. Other animals kill each other to end disputes immediately, unlike humans, who try to reach a consensus first. Humans still evolved to eat meat, and we still eat meat, so we should remain eating meat.

"--> You have yet to show why eating animals is moral, so the first part doesn't even need to be refuted again. And not using their pelts would be a waste? First of all, wasting something is not immoral. However, even if we are to assume it is this DOESN'T justify using animals for cloths because you have yet to show why it's moral to kill them in the first place."
There. My new argument re-supports this. Wasting something is not immoral, but nor is putting it to good use. If we kill an animal to eat it, we might as well salvage its inedible skin for use as clothing as well.

"--> Or we don't have to experiment on either animals or humans. The thing is human testing involves consent, which is why it's allowed. Animal testing has NO consent from the animals - they don't get a say. Just because they don't have a voice (in the metaphorical sense) doesn't mean we should use them to our whims."
It doesn't mean we shouldn't, either. Also, lab rats (http://en.wikipedia.org...) would go extinct if we didn't bother to breed them for usage in experiments.

"--> Because hiring people involves the people CONSENTING. They have to agree to the salaries and expectations of their job as entertainers. Do animals get to say no? Of course not."
It still ends up to the advantage for the animals. It is more ethical to feed an animal for entertainment than to not feed it and not use it for entertainment, especially when the animal has no other source of food.

"I have defended my philosophical argument for animal rights, and shown why every example of how they can be used is unjust. I await my opponent's response."
I have reinforced all of my arguments, as well as producing a fresh argument against the sentient point. I await my opponent's response, as well.
TheSkeptic

Pro

I thank my opponent for another quick response, though it's substance was somewhat lackluster. I shall refute his argument in a linear fashion, and demonstrate a serious hole in it:

====================
Sentience in animals
====================

Why does my opponent give me a Wikipedia link showing that there is self-awareness in some animals? How is this even related to my argument saying that since all animals are sentient, they deserve rights? In fact, my opponent's link can at best be used as an argument for MY SIDE. There really is nothing much left to say here - I've got nothing to refute but in fact more to gain from his link.

My opponent seriously needs to focus on this argument, since if I can maintain this ethical foundation, then his position seems grim.

====================
Justification for eating animals
====================

---->>>"Humans naturally have evolved to eat meat. It is in human nature...Humans still evolved to eat meat, and we still eat meat, so we should remain eating meat."

--> And if you bothered to read the description of the appeal to nature fallacy, you would realize that the ethical foundation for eating animals CAN NOT come from the fact that it's natural.

---->>>"However, it is also in human nature to try to cooperate with others to solve disputes, before resorting to murder, and this has evolved into modern government. Other animals kill each other to end disputes immediately, unlike humans, who try to reach a consensus first."

--> The sociological construct between humans and animals isn't as wide as you make it to be. Yes, we do have several distinguishing factors such as a language, a civilization/culture, and higher cognitive faculties. These are solely what allow us to dominate the Earth. HOWEVER, we still fight, we still murder, we still steal, and so on and so forth. These behaviors can easily be explained by evolution, meaning it's present in most animals today. So is it okay to commit murder in a heat of passion because it's natural? NO.

You aren't even addressing my counterarguments, but simply going around them.

====================
Using animals for clothing
====================

---->>>"If we kill an animal to eat it, we might as well salvage its inedible skin for use as clothing as well."

--> So my opponent concedes his original argument, and basically aligns it with his previous justification for eating animals. Okay, but of course his argument for eating animals is equally empty of reason. So until he can rescue the first argument, both of these arguments will sink.

====================
Animal testing
====================

---->>>"It doesn't mean we shouldn't, either."

-->Uh...YES IT DOES. My opponent basically just said the opposite of my argument, a claim with no evidence or reason to back it up. I stated that just because something isn't smart enough, doesn't mean it deserves less rights. All my opponent said was the opposite. A completely unsupported argument.

---->>>"Also, lab rats (http://en.wikipedia.org......) would go extinct if we didn't bother to breed them for usage in experiments."

-->Which is why it should be our responsibility now to take care of them. Because it was humans who first bred them purely for our uses, and it should be our responsibility to fix this. I can imagine programs trying to find ways to integrate them into a natural evnvironment, or maybe even creating one for them.

====================
Animal entertainment
====================

---->>>"It still ends up to the advantage for the animals."

-->Uh, not always. Have you ever seen circus animals? Besides that, there are many cases of animal abuse in domestic homes - a simple flip on the television can attest to that.

---->>>"It is more ethical to feed an animal for entertainment than to not feed it and not use it for entertainment, especially when the animal has no other source of food."

-->Supplying animals with food (their lack of food most likely results from the spread of humans) is a good thing, but forcing them to be your pets and/or for human entertainment is NOT ethical. It's like me going up to a hobo, giving him food and shelter, but forcing him to entertain me. If the hobo wants out, he should be allowed to. But can an animal do that? No.

====================
Conclusion
====================

My opponent stated that he has produced a "fresh argument against the sentient point". I really hope that this isn't true. He has no substantial argument against the ethical underpinnings of my argument, and every other example of applied ethics (not using animals for food, clothing, etc.) crumbles in succession. If my opponent really wants to refute my ethical basis, he should start by NOT giving me links that support my position.
Debate Round No. 3
mongeese

Con

"My opponent seriously needs to focus on this argument, since if I can maintain this ethical foundation, then his position seems grim."
I pointed out that not ALL animals are sentient. Only a few of the more advanced ones are. You said nothing against this, really.

"And if you bothered to read the description of the appeal to nature fallacy, you would realize that the ethical foundation for eating animals CAN NOT come from the fact that it's natural."
Our ancestors ate meat. Our grandparents probably ate meat. Meat is part of the human diet. Human taste buds have evolved to enjoy the taste of meat. We enjoy the taste of meat, because meat is good. Meat, meat, meat. Also, my opponent has not countered the fact that we only breed cows, chickens, and pigs for meat (well, cows for dairy, too, but the PETA is against that, too), and if eating meat was outlawed, farmers would have no incentive to breed such animals, and it would lead to a severe decline in reproduction, and one goal of animals is supposedly to reproduce successfully in large numbers.
And if you really think about it, how many animals are there that would kill another member of its own species? Not many. They mostly just fight for a while, but they never kill. And that is reflected in human nature, so why not throw in meat?
Finally, animals acknowledge that there is a food chain, and there has always been a food chain as long as there has been food, before humans. Humans simply arrived to be at about the top of every food chain, although sharks and polar bears are ahead of us. If humans can be eaten by animals because they are meat, and humans can eat meat, they should actively participate in their local food chain and EAT MEAT!

"You aren't even addressing my counterarguments, but simply going around them."
I attacked your nature fallacy. That was your counterargument, right?

"So my opponent concedes his original argument, and basically aligns it with his previous justification for eating animals. Okay, but of course his argument for eating animals is equally empty of reason. So until he can rescue the first argument, both of these arguments will sink."
That WAS my original argument. Because we have correlated eating and using for clothing, I guess nothing further needs to be said.

"My opponent basically just said the opposite of my argument, a claim with no evidence or reason to back it up. I stated that just because something isn't smart enough, doesn't mean it deserves less rights. All my opponent said was the opposite. A completely unsupported argument."
You said that A didn't imply B. I said that it didn't imply the opposite of B, either, and that there may be a lack of correlation. You didn't defend this part at all.

"Which is why it should be our responsibility now to take care of them. Because it was humans who first bred them purely for our uses, and it should be our responsibility to fix this. I can imagine programs trying to find ways to integrate them into a natural evnvironment, or maybe even creating one for them."
Even with such programs, the population of lab rats would never recover to the "glorious heights" that it reached when lab rats were the primary test subjects for scientists. And high population is a goal for animals, which we fulfill.

"Uh, not always. Have you ever seen circus animals? Besides that, there are many cases of animal abuse in domestic homes - a simple flip on the television can attest to that."
I'm pretty sure that the circus animals would rather perform and be fed than never fed at all. Also, you do not provide any sources for animal abuse in the home, and a circus website or video would really have helped your case, but it would be too late to do so next round, as it is the last.

"Supplying animals with food (their lack of food most likely results from the spread of humans) is a good thing, but forcing them to be your pets and/or for human entertainment is NOT ethical..."
Forcing them to be your pets? The cats in my neighborhood walk around everywhere, with no restrictions. They could very easily try to live out in the woods; I bet some of them have. However, they always go back home, because they know that home has food. And as for entertainment, horses have been used for entertainment by jockeys for centuries, and they develop bonds with their horses, so it's not just a feed and entertain thing.
http://www.suite101.com...

"It's like me going up to a hobo, giving him food and shelter, but forcing him to entertain me. If the hobo wants out, he should be allowed to. But can an animal do that? No."
This implies that we should never give the animal a chance. This would mean restricting the animal to never entertaining for food, on the basis that the animal might be unhappy with it. Most animals would rather entertain than starve. Entertaining for food is just about the only option many animals have in today's society, so we should give it to them.

"My opponent stated that he has produced a 'fresh argument against the sentient point'. I really hope that this isn't true. He has no substantial argument against the ethical underpinnings of my argument, and every other example of applied ethics (not using animals for food, clothing, etc.) crumbles in succession. If my opponent really wants to refute my ethical basis, he should start by NOT giving me links that support my position."
I said that not all animals are sentient (a statement that supports me, not you), which you never refuted.

Anyways...

In conclusion, people naturally eat meat, and eating meat is natural, and people are meat, and have been eaten for their meat, so they are part of the food chain, so they should participate in the food chain by eating meat.
The clothing part has been linked to the eating part, above.
If humans did not experiment on, eat, or use animals for entertainment, many animals would find themselves going extinct, with damages to the population greater than any little program could fix.
Animals need to be given the chance to entertain for food, which is the same chance that my opponent would give for a hobo.
Vote CON.

Thank you for this debate.
TheSkeptic

Pro

I'm impressed with my opponent's speed, but not with his argument. Perhaps if he slowed down and took my time, his arguments would have more substance.

====================
Sentience in animals
====================

---->>>"I pointed out that not ALL animals are sentient. Only a few of the more advanced ones are. You said nothing against this, really."

-->...ladies and gentlemen. My opponent has no real argument. Why? Because he categorically confuses the difference between SENTIENCE and SELF-AWARENESS. To be sentient is, as I stated before, the ability to feel pain or pleasure. One does NOT have to be self-aware to be sentient; practically every animal on the planet is sentient while self-awareness is arguably in only a select few. My opponent's severe misunderstanding of such a simple concept throws this argument in my favor.

====================
Eating animals
====================

---->>>"Our ancestors ate meat. Our grandparents probably ate meat. Meat is part of the human diet. Human taste buds have evolved to enjoy the taste of meat. We enjoy the taste of meat, because meat is good. Meat, meat, meat."

--> Again, my opponent commits numerous fallacies. JUST BECAUSE IT'S NATURAL OR COMMON DOES NOT MEAN IT'S RIGHT. He's repeatedly committing fallacies here and there, and to point out the flaws would be redundant on my part.

---->>>"Also, my opponent has not countered the fact that we only breed cows, chickens, and pigs for meat (well, cows for dairy, too, but the PETA is against that, too), and if eating meat was outlawed, farmers would have no incentive to breed such animals, and it would lead to a severe decline in reproduction, and one goal of animals is supposedly to reproduce successfully in large numbers."

--> I have replied to this with your lab rat example. I stated that it should be our responsibility to take care of them, and attempt to find or integrate them into an environment they can live on by themselves. Since we bred them solely for using them (and thus violating their rights), it should be our responsibility to try to fix this and accommodate the rest.

---->>>"Finally, animals acknowledge that there is a food chain, and there has always been a food chain as long as there has been food, before humans. Humans simply arrived to be at about the top of every food chain, although sharks and polar bears are ahead of us. If humans can be eaten by animals because they are meat, and humans can eat meat, they should actively participate in their local food chain and EAT MEAT!"

--> Again, you are committing the appeal to nature fallacy.

---->"I attacked your nature fallacy. That was your counterargument, right?"

--> YOU DID NOT ATTACK IT. You merely committed it. Voters, do realize that my opponent hasn't given anything substantial to show why this fallacy is wrong; he just merely breaks it over and over.

====================
Using animals as clothing
====================

---->>>"That WAS my original argument. Because we have correlated eating and using for clothing, I guess nothing further needs to be said."

--> And I have refuted it. Because you yourself admit that using animals as clothing can only be justified if you can show that eating them as food is right. Since your attempt at that failed, this argument sinks as well.

====================
Animal experiments
====================

---->>>"You said that A didn't imply B. I said that it didn't imply the opposite of B, either, and that there may be a lack of correlation. You didn't defend this part at all."

--> Look closely at what my opponent states. In reply to my statement that A =/= B, he argued that this doesn't mean it didn't imply the "opposite of B". What would the opposite of B be then? My opponent gives a vague, actually none, definition for opposite and neither the voters or I can tell what he means.

But let's pretend that by "opposite of B" he means the "opposite truth value". So in context with my statement, he MERELY STATES THE OPPOSITE. An ungrounded assertion that should be tossed out the window; my opponent has no argument here.

---->>>"Even with such programs, the population of lab rats would never recover to the "glorious heights" that it reached when lab rats were the primary test subjects for scientists. And high population is a goal for animals, which we fulfill."

--> There are several serious problems with this answer. First of all, lab rats don't need to recover at "glorious heights" - when was that ever a concern? High population is NOT a goal for animals because animals don't consciously have abstract goals such as this. My opponent is on the wrong footing here.

====================
Animal entertainment
====================

---->>>"I'm pretty sure that the circus animals would rather perform and be fed than never fed at all."

--> If you read my hobo analogy, then you will see that this is a false idea. We should simply give them a habitat, where they can have the freedom to what they will. Feeding hungry animals is fine, but forcing them to be your pet or entertainment is NOT. Here is my analogy one last time:

If I went up to a hobo and gave him food and shelter, than this is a moral (or at least not immoral) thing to do. However, I tell him that at the cost of this he must be my personal entertainment. After awhile, maybe he considers to quit - and he should have the right to. YET, can animals quit? No.

---->"Also, you do not provide any sources for animal abuse in the home, and a circus website or video would really have helped your case, but it would be too late to do so next round, as it is the last."

--> If you seriously doubt the existence of animal abuse in the world, even only if it's a few cases, then you really need to start Googling.

---->>>"This implies that we should never give the animal a chance. This would mean restricting the animal to never entertaining for food, on the basis that the animal might be unhappy with it. Most animals would rather entertain than starve. Entertaining for food is just about the only option many animals have in today's society, so we should give it to them."

--> This statement only applies when the quote is seen in context. It obviously refers to forced animal entertainment, or when the main motive is to recruit animals for entertainment. While yes, it is okay to have a bonding relationship with an animal that includes some rudimentary form of entertainment, it is not okay to have all the other animals to be forced into entertainment. The key word is forced - they should just be left in the wild to roam free.

====================
Conclusion
====================

My opponent's argument, I'm sad to say, are monstrously unconvincing. Even as a personal animal welfare advocate (meaning we can use them to eat, wear, experiment, and entertainment), his arguments are not even close to entertaining. Over the course of this debate, he has violated the same fallacy over and over, confused the difference between sentience and self-awareness, and ignored obvious facts. The decision is clear, vote PRO.
Debate Round No. 4
37 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Zak99 4 years ago
Zak99
Wow, Con's whole argument is religious? Plus, what a ridiculous statement!- If God didn't want us to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of meat. I'm only 12 and I realize how uneducated you are. Humans are made out of meat too...it's called muscle.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Oh snap...
I realize what I did...
I typed "sentinent" into Wikipedia, instead of "sentient"...
And it redirected to "Self-awareness"...
Why did the two terms have to be so similar???
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
I made statements. They were true. An argument can be based solely off of observations.
Posted by Charlie_Danger 7 years ago
Charlie_Danger
Snelld...
...is absolutely correct, you could even furthermore make the claim that carnivorous animals have more than just two canines. Our teeth (humans) are far closer to that of herbivores than that of carnivores. Many an herbivore can be found with teeth that apear to have a canine formation, that doesn't stop them from being an herbivore, moreover, the "canine" teeth are used to chew harder non-animal food.
Posted by Charlie_Danger 7 years ago
Charlie_Danger
If you weren't attempting to interpret/impact that "fact" than it is irrelevant to the debate.

So who's right? You (which means that your argument falls) or Kefka (which means that you are wrong)?
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Kefka, I was just stating facts. I made no interpretations with those facts, and facts alone aren't unintelligent.
Posted by patsox834 7 years ago
patsox834
<"Well of course there's arguments against it">

And, up to this point, Mongeese hasn't used any of the one's I had/have in mind.

Still, though, this debate has kept my interest, which isn't easy to do, haha.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
@Kefka:

You probably believe in animal welfare (as do I), the belief that animals shouldn't have to endure unnecessary suffering. However, they don't have the same amount of rights as humans (they can't vote for instance).
Posted by Kefka 7 years ago
Kefka
"I say that animals haven't been proven to be capable of rational thinking beyond their natural instincts, and are much less intelligent than humans, and don't even have any way of asking for equal rights.". I am for animal rights but to an extent; I believe in the good treatment of animals as living beings. But this quote by Mongeese, is just ridiculously unintelligent. Simply because something is less 'intelligent' (which is still under debate imo since we kill each other over the most menial of things while animals kill only for food) that it should not be treated well? And since they cannot ask for equal rights they should not be rewarded them? Wow, just wow. Equal rights should be appointed to all who draw breath, though human fascism creates adversity and drives people to have to work for freedom, which they shouldn't have to; though unfortunately, humans just love to control everything. Again, I don't believe an animal is a human or should be treated as a human but they deserve good treatment, not just objects of the necessity to eat.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
I'll be done soon - no worries.
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Vote Placed by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
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Vote Placed by thejudgeisgod 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by KeithKroeger91 7 years ago
KeithKroeger91
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Vote Placed by sherlockmethod 7 years ago
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