The Instigator
Zatheartstreet
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

Animals don't have souls!

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,078 times Debate No: 14960
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (8)
Votes (7)

 

Zatheartstreet

Pro

As this is my first debate, I want to let my opponent know that I might do spelling mistakes because English is not my first language.

As for my argument, the reason I opened this issue for debate is that there are some religious(or people with a 'world view' as mentioned in an irrelevant debate I found randomly on the site)who actually think animals have souls, which I doubt.
socialpinko

Con

Your argument is that animals do not have souls. If we could get a few things cleared up before the start of the debate that would be great. Your definition of soul. As you have not provided one I will. Soul- the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part. My argument will be that if humans were born with souls which are not detectable by any scientific instrument then the same principle would rightfully apply to animals. That is, if they had a soul it would be impossible to detect. Therefore it is impossible to disprove. You cannot prove that animals do not have souls just as you cannot prove that humans do have souls. You automatically lose the debate as you cannot prove your resolution. However, since there are only two rounds we might as well finish the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Zatheartstreet

Pro

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to have a debate which I haven't had before and I still don't find my way around the site...after posting the argument, I realized 5 minutes later, I hadn't written any actual arguments concerning the subject. So read my possibly weak conduction of arguments:

Why I doubt animals don't have souls?
-If they had souls there would be no difference between them and us.
-If they had souls they would have consciousness about what love is.
-Love is something we use when referring to other people.
-Because of love you feel an intimate connection between you and others.
Because of love you marry people, which you don't do with animals.
-If animals had souls they would speak.
-If they had souls they would use their strength(ex. lions, gorillas, leopards and other strong offensive, hunter species)to defeat us in need of space, food, weapons other things necessary to be a dominant species. In other words, we wouldn't be able to keep them in cages and have them under control which we can at the moment whenever we want.
-If you look at the Bible(advised for everyone not just for religious ones)you will find that God said during Genesis that people should rule over animals and every created life form on Earth that is not human.
socialpinko

Con

I am glad to have the oppurtunity to debate with you as well.
Now I will ,hopefully, refute your arguments.

(1)If they had souls there would be no difference between them and us.

Are you to say that because humans allegedly have souls, there is absolutely no difference between us humans? Your conclusion is fallacious.

(2)If they had souls they would have consciousness about what love is.

Research shows that some animals are capable of a very simple and non-complicated form of affection that we would call love. Are you to say that two animals who mate for life have completely neutral feelings for each other? Are you saying that the idea of a bond between a human and his/her dog is a joke? You have not defined love so actually your argument is not valid regardless of my refutations.

(3)Love is something we use when referring to other people.

This definition of love says otherwise. Love: affectionate concern for the well-being of others. http://dictionary.reference.com...

(4)Because of love you feel an intimate connection between you and others.
Because of love you marry people, which you don't do with animals.

First, not all marriages are due to love unfortunately. Second, if someone does not marry does that mean that he is incapable of love. Is he some sort of sociopath then? One does not need to marry to show love. And some animals mate for life, could this be considered a primitive animal form of marriage? Obviosly a dog does not have the cognitive ability to comprehend the elaborate rituals involved in human marriage. We came up with the ritual, not dogs. You mistake cognitive inferiority for a lack of a soul.

(5)If animals had souls they would speak.

There is no evidence that our souls are what makes us speak. This is evident when we see that people who have terrible industries of the spinal cord or brain lose the ability to speak. This also applies to other senses such as smell or sight. Also, you forget that many species of animals have their own version of communication. If a dog can verbally communicate an idea to another dog such as "This is my territory!" then what is the difference between that and human language? If you look at it in simple terms it's basically just a different language.

(6)If they had souls they would use their strength(ex. lions, gorillas, leopards and other strong offensive, hunter species)to defeat us in need of space, food, weapons other things necessary to be a dominant species. In other words, we wouldn't be able to keep them in cages and have them under control which we can at the moment whenever we want.

Again, you mistake cognitive inferiority for a lack of a soul. Having a soul, in the definition I provided: Soul- the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body. Nothing in this definition says anything about us using our souls to exert dominion over animals. That is rightly attributed to hubris and a larger cognitive ability on the part of humans. And to think that weapons are needed to be dominant is to go into an equation in an already hostile frame of mind. But that is off the point.

(7)If you look at the Bible(advised for everyone not just for religious ones)you will find that God said during Genesis that people should rule over animals and every created life form on Earth that is not human

Again, this says nothing of whether or not they have souls. Also, in order to use supposed divine revelation as evidence you not only have to prove god's existence but you must also prove that the Christian god exists. Neither of these are easy tasks and even if you were to prove the abramic god's existence, just because god told us to rule over animals says nothing. God in your citation has not even mentioned the soul, let alone existence of a soul in animals.

I enjoyed this debate very much and I again thank you for the opportunity. To voters, pro's resolution stated that he would prove that animals do not have souls. Although I proved in the first round that this was impossible because the soul, if it exists, is undetectable by scientific instruments. However I still heard his arguments and refuted each and every one of them. I did not state that I would prove that animals do or don't have souls. I honestly do not care one way or the other. I set out to prove that it was impossible to prove such a resolution and refute every argument that pro offered. I believe that I have done this so VOTE CON!!!
Debate Round No. 2
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Cobo 5 years ago
Cobo
Zarth shouldve use anthropocentrism
Posted by Zatheartstreet 5 years ago
Zatheartstreet
I can't...darn it.
Posted by Zatheartstreet 6 years ago
Zatheartstreet
I am to carry on to round 3, but first I need to sleep after a 12 hour shift at work. keep it up Dimi!
Posted by Dimmitri.C 6 years ago
Dimmitri.C
"if humans were born with souls which are not detectable by any scientific instrument," this seems like an extremely restrictive view and contradictory view to hold.
Posted by blackhawk1331 6 years ago
blackhawk1331
Your reference of the Bible was kind of contradicting to your argument. There is a patron saint of animals. If animals have no souls, then why do they have a patron saint?
Posted by Zatheartstreet 6 years ago
Zatheartstreet
thanks! I'm doing my best to improve as for my possible errors. I've never had a debate before, so with the lack of conducting skills and other things to provide a acceptable arguement, again, I'm doing my best to do so.
Posted by Sky_ace25 6 years ago
Sky_ace25
or write...whatever.
Posted by Sky_ace25 6 years ago
Sky_ace25
M8 there people who have English as their first language, and they speak worst than you do lol.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by BillBonJovi 5 years ago
BillBonJovi
ZatheartstreetsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Better arguments and sources from Con
Vote Placed by nonentity 5 years ago
nonentity
ZatheartstreetsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro did not provide a definition of 'soul', which may have been helpful. This was hard to decide because Con did not convince me that animals DO have souls, and I think Con had the burden of proof. However, Con's arguments were better than Pro's. I voted Pro because Con only refuted Pro's point, without asserting his/her own.
Vote Placed by Robikan 6 years ago
Robikan
ZatheartstreetsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro didn't offer any evidence for his claims.
Vote Placed by Cliff.Stamp 6 years ago
Cliff.Stamp
ZatheartstreetsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Clear argument to Con, pro simply asserted.
Vote Placed by Grape 6 years ago
Grape
ZatheartstreetsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con clearly made much better arguments.
Vote Placed by RougeFox 6 years ago
RougeFox
ZatheartstreetsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's assertions didn't seem to hold any weight in the first place and then con adequately refuted them.
Vote Placed by blackhawk1331 6 years ago
blackhawk1331
ZatheartstreetsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Do I really have to explain?