The Instigator
ADreamOfLiberty
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
fnarkchang
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Bestiality/Zoophilia should be legal and is not inherently immoral

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/31/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 595 times Debate No: 39783
Debate Rounds (5)
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ADreamOfLiberty

Pro

(A) Explaining the Resolution

The resolution has proven itself vulnerable to misunderstanding or misrepresentation in the past therefore I will spell out exactly what it means.

Saying X should be legal/moral does not mean everything that belongs in that category is legal/moral; it means that something should not be illegal or immoral because it is X.

Example: driving a car should be legal and is moral

Misconception: running people over with a car is not moral, yet it qualifies as driving a car so driving a car shouldn’t be legal.

Clarification: Killing people is what is immoral and should be illegal in that action, not driving a car.

Therefore the resolution does not mean that every act of bestiality is moral and should be legal, but that an act is not immoral and should not be illegal solely because it bestiality.

(B) Preconditions

Because of the length constraints a completely specified argument is impossible, indeed it would take a small book. I will however assert some premises which my opponent must accept, if a potential opponent thinks these are unfair premises we can have a separate debate on that.

Premise B.1) Legality and morality are inherently linked, if something is moral it should be legal and if is legal it should be moral. Note this is not implying that if something is illegal at a given time or place it is immoral nor is it implying that if something is legal it is moral. Morality is independent of law, but law should be dependent on morality.

Premise B.2) Baring a full derivation and support of a moral theory, the relevant theory in the case of bestiality/zoophilia is mutual consent of interacting parties + reasonable avoidance of foreseeable pain or biological damage. No other moral standard shall be accepted. For those interested I hold a more constrained view as a universal principle for human society, i.e. consent is the prerequisite of all moral interaction between humans.

Premise B.3) The resolution makes a claim about what law should be but does not rely on any existing law, precedence, standard, or tradition of any kind. The fact that law has traditionally defined consent in a manner that makes it impossible for animals to demonstrate it in court is irrelevant. Only the definition of concept given here is to be referenced or used.


(C) Implications: From these premises I would like to preempt possible strategies of my opponent by implication. The premises above prohibit these strategies.

(C.1) B.1 means I will not entertain the notion that even if bestiality/zoophilia is moral it is somehow detrimental to society and that constitutes a legal basis for banning it.

(C.2) B.2 means that I will not entertain sentiments which associate the term morality with emotional appeals, religious dogma, or mindless whim. Consent and biological harm are well defined objectively verifiable concepts.

(C.3) B.2 & B.3 mean you are willing to debate the matter of consent or harm as defined here. A brief justification for excluding legally defined consent is given but the topic is still not open for contest in the scope of this debate.

I reserve the right to deem other strategies incompatible with the premises you accepted with the debate.

(D) Definitions

(D.1) Bestiality – the practice of interspecies sex specifically involving humans as one of the species.

(D.2) Zoophilia – the sexual orientation which describes a permanent sexual attraction towards animals by humans.

(D.3) Rape – the forcing of sexual intercourse onto an organism capable of intelligent self-determination without their consent. NOTE consent as defined below.

(D.4) Pain – the discomfort of an organism, established by some objective observation of behavior or biology.

(D.5) Biological Damage – the objectively observable harm that that impairs the value, usefulness, or normal function of some organ or tissue in an organism.

(D.6) Consentand this is important, is defined as “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something” http://oxforddictionaries.com... .

(E) Burden of Proof

My burden of proof is to show that it is possible that an animal can consent to sex with a human. The core argument relates this to the resolution. I believe this burden is met by the end of this first post. It is not sufficient for my opponent to simply assert I have not met the burden he/she must explain why my argument here does not do so.

My opponent’s burden of proof is to either defeat the argument for consent, or prove it impossible for a human to mate with any species without causing pain or physical damage.

(F) Informed/legal Consent vs Consent

I am fully aware that the idea of informed consent in legal circles is different and much stricter. I do not mean legal/informed consent when I say consent. No one who has a pet, no one who has partook in any animal derived products has ever had informed consent from any animals. It is an impossibility even for humans to give perfect informed consent because it presupposes that both parties are perfectly aware of the consequences of an action. Something that requires the ability to predict the future with 100% certainty.

In practice what is meant by informed consent is that one party discloses any information about the interaction which may reasonably be expected to affect the other’s decision. If one party does not have the information it cannot be given. If the other party is incapable of receiving the information it is not considered a requirement.

For instance, you bring an unconscious stranger into a hospital, the doctor will still treat them on the presumption that they want to be healed. This is implied consent but cannot be informed consent.

The point is that informed consent, while an objective standard, relies on the context of the typical human mind and language. It loses applicability beyond the scope of the human race, attempting to apply it to morals involving non-humans leads to contradictions and absurdities.

If in the ‘eyes of the law’ no animal can ever consent then no animal has ever consented to another animal. That means every single sexual encounter in the whole of history before mankind was in fact rape. I consider the above a valid form of Reductio ad absurdum http://en.wikipedia.org...

Finally I would like to point out that current legal precedence and tradition never tries to apply informed consent to animals. All anti-bestiality laws appear to be based on either religion or the concept of abuse. The law does not care about informed consent of animals now and I am not advocating that change. If a potential opponent does not think I have laid out valid reasons why informed consent is morally and legally inapplicable to animals, we can have another debate about it before they accept this one.

(G) Core Argument:

/ If a practice is moral it should be legal (Premise 1)

/ Bestiality is a moral practice – see Support of Morality

// Bestiality should be legal

(H) Support of Morality - Consent:

Under the constraints set out above the question is:

(H.1) Can an animal give permission or agreement to a member of another species for sexual interaction?

Remember since I only need one exception to break the rule, if there is ever a case where the answer to H.1 is yes I have established that immorality is not inherent in bestiality, I can say it is moral as per section A. There are two possible reasons why the answer to that could be no in all cases:

(H.2) No species is capable of communicating permission, agreement, or anything really to a member of another species implicitly or explicitly.

(H.3) No species is psychologically capable of granting consent to another species

That means if I can negate (show to be false) both of these statements then there must exist some cases where the answer to the question H.1 is YES.

/ ~H.2 / ~H.3 // H.1

(H.4) – Negation of H.3

Why would humans be the only species capable of accepting interspecies sex? How can observed instances of interspecies sex between two non-human species be reconciled with H.3?

(H.5) – Negation of H.2

(H.5.1) It is impossible for a creature to pursue an action to which it does not consent provided it does not fear retribution for failure to comply.

This can be established easily by looking at its negation which is “It is possible for a creature to pursue a course of action it does not consent to, even if there is no fear of retribution for failure to comply”. It’s a contradiction in terms.

(H.5.2) If a mind can agree with anything it must agree with itself.

Note: Reflexes are biologically and behaviorally differentiable from choice.

(H.5.3) Therefore even in the absence of verbal or body language, if an animal pursues a course of action where no negative consequences have ever been employed as the result of failing to pursue said course of action, then it has implicitly communicated its intention and its acceptance of the action. If that action is in fact an interaction it must also consent to the interaction.

(H.5.4) To compound that point most animals which zoophiles are interested in mating with are quite capable of body language and vocal communication of a basic sort. Note that “Yes” and “No” are very basic communications which any higher animal owner can attest to understanding.

These youtube videos are among thousands of publically available images, videos, and reports detailing the sexual advances towards humans by animals, it provides the last piece in my argument for consent, action implying consent absent negative conditioning. They may be posted as a joke but what they display is real.

http://scienceblogs.com...



(I) Support of Morality - Harm:

The burden of proof is on my opponent to demonstrate harm is necessary.

(J)I want to wrap up with an example question: Horseback riding. Do you believe a horse can consent to being ridden? How would you know?
fnarkchang

Con

Intelligence is a greater good for the progress of humanity than the gratification of libido.

Research have shown that those who abstain themselves from sexual activity, whether it be an inability to find a sexual partner or due to non-interest, tend to be more intelligent - University of North Carolina of Chapel HIll conducted a study that those who had an IQ above 110 with the average being 100, were likely to be virgins. Moreover, people with the sexual orientation of asexuality have an average IQ of 115.

Correlation does not imply causation - This argument can be used for the case above, but it is not an absolute argument, therefore the case that people who do not engage in sexual activity as much tend to be more intelligent as it is seemingly so, is still viable.

Now, if it were the absolute case that intelligence is linked with sexuality, then the promotion and the extension of sexual gratification would then harm society, therefore be immoral.

I also have a problem with C1
"(C.1) B.1 means I will not entertain the notion that even if bestiality/zoophilia is moral it is somehow detrimental to society and that constitutes a legal basis for banning it."

If something is detrimental to society, is it not then immoral? Then, wouldn't it be wise to entertain such thoughts to ban it?

From a perspective that acknowledges health, It would be absurd to hear that one with great mental health cannot gratify his sexual needs within the bounds of the human race. Moreover, if it were the case that Bestiality and Zoophilia were legal, then the human race would be vulnerable to an significant increase of sexual transmitted diseases and zoonosis, thus, bestiality and zoophilia is to be considered immoral as it brings more harm than sexual gratification which I would not understand why it cannot be satisfied within the bounds of the human race.
Debate Round No. 1
ADreamOfLiberty

Pro

"Intelligence is a greater good for the progress of humanity than the gratification of libido."
There is no dichotomy between intelligence and libido. I find the claims relating to this statement to be totally irrelevant. To say it outloud you are suggesting that bestiality should be illegal because that might improve the intelligence of zoophiles. Only the most desperate to condemn it could keep from laughing at that I think.

"If something is detrimental to society, is it not then immoral? Then, wouldn't it be wise to entertain such thoughts to ban it?"
I find that the idea of things being detrimental to society is almost always an anti-concept. What people really mean when they say that is "it's not as good as it could be." If someone is violating no rights they should not be subject to legal sanction no matter how anti-social anyone may think they are being. Furthermore it is often claimed that self-destructive (or even just non-productive) behavior in individuals is a 'detriment' so the state gets to step in.

Now zoophilia doesn't really have anything to do with that, they are no less productive or social than anyone else; but on principle I refuse to recognize the idea that just because a group of people or an activity is less useful to society than you would like does not give you the right to ban them/it.

However to answer your question, if you think it is immoral because it is detrimental then you aren't saying it's moral but still detrimental.

"From a perspective that acknowledges health, It would be absurd to hear that one with great mental health cannot gratify his sexual needs within the bounds of the human race."

No more absurd than saying someone with 'great?' mental health cannot gratify his/her sexual needs within the bounds of the opposite gender.

"Moreover, if it were the case that Bestiality and Zoophilia were legal, then the human race would be vulnerable to an significant increase of sexual transmitted diseases and zoonosis"
Incorrect, there are currently no known pure STDs between animals and humans and zoophiles have been having sex with animals regularly so if a plague was out there it would have hit us long ago. (Please don't say HIV, that is a hypothesis and it has not been confirmed and it could have spread just as easily by eating the undercooked meat).

Furthermore if risk of disease was a basis for banning consenting behavior then it would follow that we start with human sex given the danger posed by HIV and other well-known STDs. At this moment in time it is safer to have sex with a random domestic animal then it is to have sex with a random human.

"bestiality and zoophilia is to be considered immoral as it brings more harm than sexual gratification which I would not understand why it cannot be satisfied within the bounds of the human race."
It brings no harm, and I reject a moral standard which attempts to quantify and compare the good of sexual gratification and the risk of zoonosis infection without an objective method by which to do so.

fnarkchang

Con

"There is no dichotomy between intelligence and libido"

You have failed to recognize or address the studies and research I have presented which have shown the relation between intelligence and libido and then proceed to make a statement in which you cannot support, therefore there is no reason why I should change my thoughts of intelligence and libido.

"You are suggesting that bestiality should be illegal because that might improve the intelligence of zoophiles"

Can you objectively express what is incorrect about the said statement it instead of using ad Hominem? My beliefs are shaped by what I have observed and studied, and the studies have shown that those indulge in sexuality tend to be less intelligent. I'm not the one suggesting this, the studies are.

"But the stereotypical portrait of the zoophile as a woman-deprived, down-on-the-farm, and poorly educated male is presently being challenged by some contemporary findings. The most fascinating of these, in my opinion, is a set of two case studies published by University of Montreal psychologist Christopher Earls and his colleague Martin Lalumi"re, of the University of Lethbridge. The first case study appeared in 2002 in the journal Sexual Abuse and documented the story of a low-IQ"ed, antisocial, fifty-four-year-old convict who had a strong sexual interest in horses. In fact, this was why he was in prison for the fourth time on related offenses; in the latest incident, he had cruelly killed a mare out of jealousy because he thought she"d been giving eyes to a certain stallion. (You thought you had issues.) The man"s self-reported sexual interest in mares was actually verified by a controlled, phallometric study. When hooked up to a penile plethysmograph and shown nude photos of all varieties and ages of humans, the man was decidedly flaccid. Nothing happening down there either when he looked at slides of cats, dogs, sheep, chickens, or cows. But he certainly wasn"t impotent, as the researchers clearly observed when the subject was shown images of horses."
-Scientific American
Again, another study that supports my claim that zoophiles tend to be less intelligent and have irregular mental health.

"because a group of people or an activity is less useful to society than you would like does not give you the right to ban them/it."
Debatable. I'm slightly a social darwinist, and i'm good at arguing my case for it, but this isn't the matter that is at hand, so, all I want to say is that I don't agree with this because I don't believe every man born is equal.
"so if a plague was out there it would have hit us long ago."

HIV was present in society since the early nineteenth century (recorded ones at least), but was not scientifically identified until 1983, so the problem you have is that because there are no recorded "pure" STDs from animals, you assume that there isn't any, when the more reasonable conclusion is that they probably do and that we just haven't found it yet. Furthermore, there are many more varaibles to this case, like, how many instances of zoophiles actually have intercourse with other human beings, how often, or are there types of animals that are more prone to sexual diseases than others
.
"Furthermore if risk of disease was a basis for banning consenting behavior then it would follow that we start with human sex given the danger posed by HIV and other well-known STDs."
Of course, that is not practical in the society in which we live in today, but ideally, yes - If everyone was rid of their libido, i believe the society will become more intelligent and be more productive.

"At this moment in time it is safer to have sex with a random domestic animal then it is to have sex with a random human."
I doubt it. Although, not considered sexually transmitted, there are infections and diseases that comes through urine and feces which I doubt domesticated animals can clean themselves to the extent humans can.

"It brings no harm, and I reject a moral standard which attempts to quantify and compare the good of sexual gratification and the risk of zoonosis infection without an objective method by which to do so."
haha, you cannot objectively quantify how much pain someone goes through torture, so then are you to reject the moral standard that torture should be illegal? You do not need an absolute and objective method to make moral decisions. The point is that, there may exist a disease unknown at this point that may or may not devastate society, and the best decision is to limit and protect ourselves until complete, absolute, and thorough research that STDs are not present in animals (which I doubt by the way), not to extend our freedom and sexual gratification until such things do indeed become a problem.

personal query: Are you sexually interested in human beings? Do you think your attraction towards animals are equivalent to that of, say, my attraction to women. (Equivalent in the sense that you are able to find them as attractive as I find other women attractive).
Debate Round No. 2
ADreamOfLiberty

Pro

"therefore there is no reason why I should change my thoughts of intelligence and libido."
I don't care if you do, I said it was irrelevant. Laws should not be based on preventing people from doing anything but constantly building their intelligence.

"Can you objectively express what is incorrect about the said statement it"
In context it is irrelevant, as I said. There have been studies that show that people with animals live longer. Legalizing bestiality might cause more people to have animals. Therefore it might make people live longer. That is the kind of argument you are trying to make with this intelligence stuff.

You would base law on several consecutive layers of guessing and generalizations on the premise that the government has a right to force people to do what's best for themselves. That requires positive support from you not negative proof from me.

You never phrased your argument objectively I had to make a best guess, and this is my best guess:

#1 Fact: There is a statistical correlation between sexual indulgence and low intelligence
#2 Guess: Sexual indulgence lowers intelligence
#3 Guess: Zoophiles are more sexually indulgent than everyone else (or else you would be advocating a ban on sex in general)
#4 Super Longshot Speculation: Making bestiality illegal will cause zoophiles to occupy less of their time thinking about sex, thus allowing them to be more intelligent.
#5 Unwarranted political theory: if banning a behavior would cause some people to spend their time increasing their intelligence then it's justified.

Even if I accepted without question that your unlinked study is correct that only gets you number one.

"instead of using ad Hominem?"
You don't know how to recognize an ad hominem <- this isn't one either.

"Again, another study that supports my claim that zoophiles tend to be less intelligent and have irregular mental health."
You said nothing about any other studies with that conclusion, and this article (from what you posted, also unlinked) doesn't conclude such either. It cites one example. It isn't a study to boot, in case you didn't realize Scientific American is a magazine.

"Debatable. I'm slightly a social darwinist, and i'm good at arguing my case for it, but this isn't the matter that is at hand, so, all I want to say is that I don't agree with this because I don't believe every man born is equal."
I don't care if you think men are born equal, if you wanted to challenge the moral standard I use in my argument you should have done so in another debate as requested.

As for social Darwinism, poppycock I say; a more dynamic Nazi state would have won your race simply by winning an arms race which they almost did anyway. Ask not what you can do for society nor what society can do for you, but what you can trade with real entities like individuals or companies.

"when the more reasonable conclusion is that they probably do and that we just haven't found it yet."
It is just as reasonable that there are undiscovered human STDs just waiting to mutate into something terrible, or that there are undiscovered zoonosis that are far more contagious than STDs.

Yes plenty of variables which is why I will not accept a vague allusion to risk totally unanchored by any concrete evaluation. As of right now there are no pure STDs between humans and animals known despite continuous human animal sex occurring. As of right now for all we know the risk is less having sex with animals, and none for humans or animals if you have a clean bill of health for both parties.

"Of course, that is not practical in the society in which we live in today"
So you would ban all 'non-essential' sex, except you could never get the majority to go along with it; but since there aren't that many zoophiles you can enact your misguided policy... is that about the sum of it?

"I doubt it. Although, not considered sexually transmitted, there are infections and diseases that comes through urine and feces which I doubt domesticated animals can clean themselves to the extent humans can."
Your doubt is founded in ignorance. There are zoonosis but their number pale in comparison to the diseases humans can give to each other. Almost any viral or bacterial disease can be transmitted through unprotected sex. Therefore all else being equal you are less likely to contract a disease from an animal.

If the risk is not unique to sex the ban supposedly justified by that risk should be wider than sex.

"haha, you cannot objectively quantify how much pain someone goes through torture, so then are you to reject the moral standard that torture should be illegal"
If the standard attempted to say their pain wasn't 'worth' the information gained or what not. If it can't be quantified you can't perform a greater-than less-than comparison. There is no ‘harm outweighs the risk’ since you cannot weigh either.

"You do not need an absolute and objective method to make moral decisions."
If you admit it's subjective you have already placed it outside the realm of reason and rendered it unusable in debate. Your idea of what's 'worth it' is not mine.

"The point is that, there may exist a disease unknown at this point that may or may not devastate society, and the best decision is to limit and protect ourselves until complete, absolute, and thorough research that "

I could fill in: 'that disease is not present in X' where X is pretty much anything biological in the world. Any food. Any organism. Any chemical reaction.

I call BS, the phantoms of undiscovered diseases are infinitely ‘less critical’ than the rights of real people.

"not to extend our freedom and sexual gratification until such things do indeed become a problem."
Freedom is a right, the individual doesn't need an excuse to be free, you need a concrete justification to limit their freedom.

"Are you sexually interested in human beings? Do you think your attraction towards animals are equivalent to that of, say, my attraction to women."
Yes on both counts. If you're thinking of saying "why not just do women then" this argument is not about the variable convenience of sexual partners but whether it is wrong and should be illegal to have an animal sexual partner.

You may as well tell a bisexual "if you get to choose why don't you just choose to act straight". I can choose abstinence as well and would have to if there was no moral sexual release. However the resolution is not about whether zoophiles have outlets for sexual tension it is about whether sex with animals is moral.

fnarkchang

Con

Albeit the thought of mating between a human being and an animal makes me a bit uneasy, If it really is the case that what you see in animals is equivalent to what any other straight person sees in the opposite gender, then I agree that it is not inherently immoral.
Debate Round No. 3
ADreamOfLiberty

Pro

This is classic "me not knowing when to shut up" but why would my strength or quality of desire have any effect on whether the action is moral?

Do you not think pedophiles have a strong unalterable desire? Surely serial killers have some strong motivation?

I am just saying good intentions do not always make good actions, and I would never have tried to defend bestiality with that argument.
fnarkchang

Con

You're right, desire for a certain action does not mean that action is moral.

Prior to this debate, It wasn't that I found bestiality inherently immoral(I couldn't reason even to myself why it would be wrong), I was just uncomfortable with the how seemingly unnatural it is, and so I just pulled arguments out of my butt to see if I can make it work.

My attraction towards women is something that I believe I was born with and if it is the case that you are attracted to animals in the same manner (I'm taking your word for it), then I'm sympathetic towards your case, just as I am towards marriage equality. I find no absolute harm in your case and I am not one to limit someone's happiness just because I see it with unease.

As for pedophilia, I believe such cases are also debatable. However, when it comes to serial killers, i'm sure you and I can agree that harm is present.

Also, the consent argument is utter horsesiht . My dog wants to fcuk me all the time.
Debate Round No. 4
ADreamOfLiberty

Pro

"You're right, desire for a certain action does not mean that action is moral."
Excellent... then I guess this is pretty much a wrap.

"and so I just pulled arguments out of my butt to see if I can make it work."
Ohh.. well I guess that's better than pulling arguments out of your butt and not admitting it (cough cough wrichcirw)

"I'm taking your word for it"
Don't have much else when it comes to the minds of others anyway.

"Also, the consent argument is utter horsesiht . My dog wants to fcuk me all the time."
Yea, I ask people sometimes if they honestly think dogs only do things like that because they know you have your clothes on and nothing can happen.

BTW I won't mind if you just say "end" or some closing comment in the last round.

Debate Round No. 5
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