Bestiality/Zoophilia should be legal and is not inherently immoral
(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.
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.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) Consent– and 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.
(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?
I take up this debate in good faith and am going to try to follow Pro’s guidelines from R1. However, the rules Pro lays out are restrictive and labyrinthine to the point of being nearly impossible to follow. If Pro calls foul on some argument I make, I propose that judges evaluate the argument based on how well it captures the spirit of the Resolution. Basically, if I am directly attacking the idea that bestiality should be legal because it is moral, then my argument should be permitted. Judges should offer me leniency in meeting Pro’s restrictions because 1) The restrictions are quite elaborate and prone to misinterpretation- I shouldn’t be faulted for this and 2) Allowing Pro to disqualify my arguments encourages semantic and legalistic arguments, we should reject this strategy to preserve the quality of discourse on DDO.
C1: Bestiality as a practice is immoral
1) A practice if immoral if it has inherent features that render it impossible to sustain in a moral manner.
2) Demonstrating that a single act within a practice does not violate moral norms is insufficient in proving a practice moral. Such a demonstration only proves that a specific, qualified act is moral. As an example, punching random people in the face is an immoral practice even if there are a narrow range of situations which a specific act of face punching could be permissible.
3) The practice of bestiality is inherently structured so that rape and abusive sexual relations will form. Cross-apply my arguments about consent and obligations of care which demonstrate the inherently problematic nature of bestiality. The practice is therefore immoral.
C2: Pro’s argument fails
1) Pro doesn’t make any argument negating H.3- all he does is pose vague hypotheticals. In the absence of an argument negating H.3, Pro has failed to meet his BOP.
2) Humans are the only species capable of a lot of things. Legal contracts are an example of something only humans are capable of, because humans are the only species capable of making agreements. Pro’s first hypothetical does not lead in a compelling direction.
3) Non-human interspecies sex is non-consensual. I have just reconciled observed instances of non-human interspecies sex with H.3.
Negation of H.3:
Pro’s criticism of the applicability of “informed consent” consume the concept of plain “consent as well. Pro summarizes his critique by claiming that informed consent is inapplicable because it “relies on the context of the typical human mind and language,” yet the accepted definition of “consent” relies on concepts of “permission” and “agreement” which are wholly dependent on the context of human mind and language.
The concept of permission entails a slew of social and linguistic understandings unavailable to animals. To grant permission I must understand that another agent desires to do X, the other agent recognizes my moral authority to sanction X, the other agent is requesting that I sanction X. I must understand that I have the ability to refuse X, that if another agent does X without my permission I have been violated, etc. Permission, agreement, and consent exist within a massive moral framework that animals do not operate in.
I have trained my dog to go in her crate when I leave my home- I say “crate” and she enters her crate. How do we apply the concept of consent to this behavior? My dog is much happier lying next to the heater, but she obeys my commands. Is this because she understands that we have an agreement whereby I feed her and she obeys me? Does she evaluate her desire to please me against her desire to lie on the heater?
Finally, Pro has the burden to show that consent is a concept applicable to animals. Merely refuting my criticism is not enough- Pro must present a positive case that animals are psychologically capable of consent.
Animal’s inability to use language creates epistemic uncertainty in interactions between man and animal. This is problematic on two levels:
1) Establishing that animals are capable of consent
Humans have no way of asking animals if they are capable of consent. At best we can examine their behavior and hypothesize that animals have this cognitive capacity, but this will always allow for a large degree of uncertainty.
2) Establishing that an animal is consenting to sex
There is no way for humans to clearly communicate their intentions and preferences to animals or vice versa. The communication Pro relies on to establish consent will always be guesswork about what the animal wants and what it understands about the situation.
Pro will likely respond that epistemic uncertainty exists even in consensual relations between humans. This response fails for two reasons:
1) Animals lack the ability to clarify any uncertainty about their consent. Humans can clarify when their consent is misconstrued. Animals not only lack the means of clarifying consent, they lack the conceptual framework to even understand that clarifying consent is an option in an undesired sexual encounter. Additionally, animals lack the ability to clarify if a sexual encounter has become undesirable.
2) The epistemic uncertainty in normal human interactions exists only in an academic sense and is in practice non-existent. Humans have internalized a complex system of moral convention and social cues to reliably communicate out intentions. Animals exist outside of this system so that the epistemic gap is of a magnitude that is incomparable to the gap that exists between humans.
Again Pro is applying human concepts of the mind to animals. In what sense does a dog “pursue and action.” When a dog obeys a command is it pursuing an action or simply following an ingrained stimulus-response behavior? Philosophical debates exist concerning the extent to which human action is freely chosen, yet Pro has done nothing to show that the less complex minds of animals operate at a level which allows for moral terms like “consent” to come into play.
This point is especially salient with respect to sex- an activity which comes packed with automatic responses to sexual stimulus. If a dog brain is programmed to hump in response to certain stimuli, in what sense is it “pursuing” the act of humping?
Finally, we have no way of determining whether an animal fears retribution for failure to comply.
Again, Pro applies human concepts to animals. In what way does an animal mind “agree with itself?” Honestly, what does this even mean? How does a human mind “agree with itself?” I make hundreds of actions every day without any conscious decision or any self-awareness that is analogous to agreement. When I chew food I have no mental process by which I consent to behavior of my body- I just chew. Pro’s psychology doesn’t accurately describe humans, much less the massively disanalogous animal mind.
Pro’s use of “agreement” in this section is different from the morally relevant use of “agreement” in the definition of consent. Agreement in the context of consent refers to some form of decision or ethical orientation towards a situation. Agreement in the context of a mind agreeing with itself is at best some sort of passive understanding of agreement whereby the mind doesn’t stand in the way of whatever it is doing, at worst is an incoherent concept.
C3 – Bestiality violates the moral obligation of care
1) Individuals have the responsibility to protect the interests of those they have power over, especially when the power relation is non-consensual. This is why it is unethical for teachers to have sexual relations with students and offers at least a partial explanation for the immorality of sex with children.
2) Humans inherently exert a unique amount of power over animals. An animal sex partner depends on human caretakers for food, water, social interaction, access to bathroom facilities, etc.
3) This power imbalance makes it impossible to separate out coercive elements from sexual interaction. This power imbalance also makes any sexual interaction a conflict of interest. In the case of animals, the inability to report rape or seek justice after rape has occurred makes the obligation of care especially relevant.
C4 – Informed Consent is the only morally relevant form of consent.
1) Consent given while misinformed, uninformed, coerced, or in an irrational state of mind bears no moral weight. Pro concedes that animals are incapable of informed consent, so bestiality is immoral.
2) Pro’s objections are largely irrelevant- a doctor treating an unconscious patient is implied consent, not uninformed consent. Guess what, you can’t call waive the requirement of informed consent just because one party is incapable of receiving information- this is way you can’t have sex with people in comas.
3) Pro’s reductio is incoherent. I agree that all sex between animals is non-consensual; it isn’t rape because animals are not moral agents- just like it isn’t theft when a pigeon nabs a piece of your popcorn.
4) Informed consent does not require 100% certainty, it just requires that consent be given from a state of rational awareness.
C5 – Pro must show bestiality to be moral
To prove the portion of the resolution “zoophilia should be legal,” Pro must prove the premise listed in G: “bestiality is a moral practice.” This can only be done by showing that bestiality has some inherently positive moral characteristic; simply showing that bestiality is not immoral fails to meet Pro’s BOP.
Something can fail to be immoral without being moral. For example, sitting on a chair is generally amoral; it has no positive or negative moral characteristic. It is easy to prove that sitting on a chair is not immoral; it is difficult to prove that it is moral.
Separating coercive elements is just as easy as it ever was. Wanting sex and wanting to do what’s best for the animal could conflict, but the priority should be the later and this is no different than anything else a human would want from an animal.
Pro misunderstands my statement so allow me to clarify.
All ethical actions are necessarily made in specific real world circumstances. If class of activities has a structure such that it is ethically unstable or can only be practiced ethically under a stringent set of circumstances, then that behavior is not moral. In other words, if bestiality has inherent traits that make it very difficult to perform in a way that is not unethical, then bestiality is unethical.
This is the case because any sort of immoral practice can be rendered moral by specifying specific criteria that alter our understanding of the situation. I could argue that random face punching is ethical provided the person being punched happened to be committing a crime or the person punching was motivated by true love.
Compared to my opponents interpretation- an action which when performed is immoral 999 times out of 1000 is not immoral. If I do X and traits inherent to X cause that instance of X to be immoral then that trait is immoral.
Moreover, when we speak of what should be legal we aren’t arguing over individual actions but practices as a whole. If the overall practice of bestiality is immoral, then it shouldn’t be legal. We don’t legalize specific actions, we legalize a class of actions as they are actually performed. To talk of some hypothetical non-representative cases bear no relevance to how law or morality actually exists. Bestiality is the collection of real world acts of interspecies sex, not some idealized act as performed under hypothetically prescribed circumstances.
Pro claims that bestiality is moral in a wide range of situations but does not offer any evidence that this is the case. I have provided arguments for why consent is not possible in animals and for why the communication gap between man and animal makes animal rape probable.
Again, it very difficult to get accurate statistics on the frequency of human victims of rape; animals have no way to report rape. Allowing a practice for which there is no way to ensure moral accountability is immoral.
Pro argues that if an animal has a preference then it “psychologically grants consent” even if it can’t communicate it:
1) Simply having a preference is not granting consent. I may have prefer to a candy bar but that doesn’t mean I consent to someone feeding me.
2) Consent is NOT consent if it isn’t communicated. If Jack engages in sexual activity with Jill without any indication that Jill agrees to the encounter, this is non-consensual sex regardless of whether Jill preferred sex or not.
3) This argument doesn’t engage my criticism that animals are incapable of consent- it just tries to redefine consent to justify bestiality.
Pro seems to be arguing that because animals can be conditioned to perform certain behavior, this entails their ability to engage in moral agreements- a conclusion which does not follow.
Pro again reveals his failure to understand what gives consent its moral weight, he claims “agreement is merely a state where two mind’s decisions are consistent with each other.”
This definition is clearly false- A car is not “sold” just because a salesman has decided “I want to sell this car” and the customer has decided “I want to buy this car.” A car is only sold once the two decisions have been communicated to each other, once both parties understand the intentions of the other clearly.
This also illustrates Pro’s tendency to conflate different understandings of the word “agree.” Pro’s definition is more in line with the phrase “I agree with your opinion” but is irrelevant to the phrase “I agree to have sex with you.”
Finally, it is unclear that animals make decisions- Pro has the burden to show this to be true.
Pro misunderstands my list of concepts required to grant consent; it is meant to demonstrate the complex moral interaction involved in giving permission. To give permission, I must understand the concept of permission and what it would mean to withhold permission or to have my permission unethically transgressed- all things that animals certainly do not understand.
Pro responds to this with the odd claim that I wouldn’t feel violated if my girlfriend borrowed my car without permission. First, I might feel violated- I might feel that even if I would have said yes it was wrong to presume my agreement (this is the subject of more than a few TV episodes). Second, this illustrates the complex moral landscape required to navigate issues of consent and permission that animals are totally oblivious to- how would you explain to a dog that even though you would have said yes to sex, you hadn’t actually consented and so feel violated? Third, this has nothing to do animal's understanding of permission.
Pro concedes that the communication he advocates is “guess work for specific details” but maintains that this doesn’t entail guesswork for the overall interaction. The overall interaction is just the aggregate of the specific details, so if one is guesswork the other is as well.
Pro claims animals can withdraw consent- but my point is that they have no understanding of how to communicate this. Humans exist in a moral framework where it is well understood how to withdraw consent, animals do not. Behavior such as biting and pulling away are frequently a natural part of animal sex, so behavior is not a reliable indicator of withdrawn consent.
Even if there is some sense in which animals make “decisions,” they are decisions in a totally different sense than what is conventionally meant in the case of humans. When an animal “decides” to have sex it does not consider the risk of pregnancy, of disease, of the impact it will have on social relations, etc. Animal “decisions” bear none of the ethically relevant characteristics of human decisions.
Pro claims humans are programmed to hump- but we can use this example to tease out exactly how animal sexual behavior is disanalogous to humans. Dogs will impulsively hump the leg of a visitor without regard to the social setting, desires of the visitor, and without any sense of shame or pride after the encounter. Humans do not respond to sexual stimuli in this way.
Pro claims that when I chew food I do so by first giving myself permission. No one experiences the phenomena of chewing in this way. Judges, this is the psychology Pro relies on- Pro claims that when you put a piece of food in your mouth you are mentally going through the process of asking and giving yourself permission for every step of that process. I don’t know about Pro, but I chew in a fairly automatic fashion- I never give myself permission to chew, I just do it because that’s the behavior that is associated with eating.
Pro describes aspects of why power relationships entail an obligation of care, but he does not refute my premise that such an obligation exists. This obligation is in line with our moral intuition that it would be wrong for a jailor to pursue sexual relations with an inmate, it would be wrong for a guardian to mismanaged a ward’s inheritance fund, etc.
Pro concedes it is wrong to have sex if it would bias you towards an individual- this is precisely what makes it wrong to pursue a sexual relationship with someone you have complete power over. You are always at risk of putting your own sexual interests in front of the welfare of your ward.
Separating coercive elements is hard even between humans- that’s why workplace sexual harassment cases exist, why there is discussion about what counts as date rape, etc. If we have to explicitly explain that “no means no” in human relations, consider how much harder the issue becomes in relationship between an animal and the human that literally owns it.
Pro also doesn’t address my point that sex with animals is inherently a conflict of interest due to the power imbalance or the fact that animals have no means of seeking justice in the case of rape.
Pro doesn’t refute my argument that informed consent is the only morally relevant form of consent. For consent to be morally relevant, it must be made with an understanding of the agreement being made. An agreement with an agent incapable of understanding the terms of the agreement bears no moral weight.
Pro doesn’t address my refutations of his original comments on informed consent.
Pro only misses the point by repeating his nonsensical reductio. Non consensual sex isn’t a crime for animals because animals can’t commit crimes. It isn’t murder when a bear mauls a camper because bears aren’t ethical agents- its still murder when a camper mauls a camper.
Pro simply asserts that a moral practice is equivalent to a not immoral practice, stating A is ~A. But A is only ~A in a dichotomous situation. If the options are A, B, ~A, then either A or B is ~A.
In my R1 argument I explained how actions can be amoral- neither immoral nor moral. To win this debate Pro must prove that bestiality has moral content and is not simply amoral. He must do this to satisfy his original premise “bestiality is a moral practice.”
I am going to deal with (C5) because it affects (or not) the terminology in the rest. If you believe in such a thing as amorality then simply replace all my references of 'moral' with 'moral or amoral' in your mind. The law should not ban moral or amoral actions, only immoral ones.
If you know you prefer the candy bar you are psychologically capable of choosing to get the candy bar (or having someone bring it to you) which would be the internal mental element required for consent.
I will answer my opponent’s arguments in the order they were presented:
Pro can’t retroactively define the terms of this debate. This is unfair because 1) I allocated space in my previous speeches based on the original terms of the debate 2) Pro could always redefine terms in hindsight and 3) This case is particularly abusive because he is redefining a premise I am, by his rules, not allowed to attack.
Pro’s original R1 burden is to show that bestiality is 1) not immoral and 2) should be legal. Pro relies on the premise “If a practice is moral it should be legal.” Pro has presented no argument that bestiality is moral and so has failed to meet his BOP.
Pro’s redefinition renders his original premise as “If a practice is moral or amoral it should be legal.” This is substantially different from his original premise- under the redefinition the government would have no ability to govern amoral activities like traffic laws or routine border crossings or literally anything that isn’t inherently immoral.
Pro offers no coherent argument to dispute my face punching example. In R2 Pro concedes that random face punching is immoral but in R3 he does not dispute that if I happened to randomly punch someone committing a crime this would be a local instance of a moral act. Pro even says this instance of face punching would not be against the law, which in his concept of law and morality equates to saying the instance would be moral. This example demonstrates that local instances of ethical actions do not render a practice moral- e.g. one instance where randomly punching a person in the face happens to be ethical does not make the practice of random face punching ethical.
Pro fails to interact with my argument that a practice must be evaluated as moral based on how it is actually practiced. My claim is that features inherent to bestiality- namely psychological differences and a massive communication barrier between man and animal- render bestiality ethically unstable; even if these barriers could be overcome (which I maintain they couldn’t), the difficulty of doing so means that bestiality is prone to being performed unethically.
This is why Pro’s example of human sex fails. There is nothing inherent to human sex that renders it prone to unethical practice. A 95% rape rate could not be attributed to anything but humans intentionally committing rape at a very high rate. Alternatively, a 95% non-consensual bestiality rate could be attributed to humans projecting their understanding of psychology onto animals or being unable to reliably communicate consent.
Moral accountability is ensured in human-human sex by the ability of humans to report rape. Pro’s examples of covering up rape miss the point- unaccountability is inherent to bestiality. To get away with rape you have to actually hide the act of rape or obscure evidence. With bestiality there is no “getting away with it”- as soon as you finish raping an animal you know there will be no repercussions. Allowing bestiality functionally allows animal rape- there is no way to determine if an act of bestiality was rape since the victim can’t testify to lack of consent. This difficulty does not exist in human sex.
Pro says the burden is on me to demonstrate that non-consensual bestiality is prevalent. This sort of thinking is exactly why a practice that inherently lacks accountability is immoral. There is no way of determining how prevalent nonconsensual bestiality is, so no one could ever prove that it is prevalent. Pro tries to use the inherent invisibility of nonconsensual bestiality as evidence of its non-existence.
If there is no practical way to distinguish between consensual and non-consensual bestiality, it is immoral.
Pro claims he has made a non-explicit argument negating H.2. Pro should make his argument explicit so I can know what I am supposed to refute. Judges, don’t construct Pro’s case for him- if he doesn’t present an explicit argument then he hasn’t met his BOP.
Pro concedes that humans are unique in many aspects- this means it should not be surprising if we are the only species capable of consent.
Pro doesn’t interact with my argument- simply having preferences is not granting consent. He doesn’t refute my example.
Pro only says a preference is “the internal mental element required for consent.” I don’t actually know what he means by this- but something being required for consent does not make it sufficient for consent. My argument is that a lot more goes into consent than just preference.
Pro says “unless Jill is unconscious, etc.” but the only way for Jack to know that Jill is not in fact unable to object is to rely on communicated consent. How is Jack to differentiate a Jill who is unable to object from a Jill who is simply failing to object?
Communication is inseperable from consent because it is the only way to ascertain that the other party actually consents.
Pro posts a video of a dog knowing the name of objects. Knowing the name of objects is not the same as making a decision. Being able to pick out different toys is not the same as being able to consider the question “do I want to have sex?”
Pro does not refute that animals do not understand what it means to have permission transgressed- this is crucial to my point that permission involves complex moral concepts that animals do not have. If animals are incapable of granting permission they are incapable of consent.
Pro wants to rely on animal body language to determine if an animal withdraws consent, but again this is just guesswork. Animals lack the ability to communicate their preferences.
Pro concedes that animals can’t consider consequences of sex- this concedes my point that animals do not make decisions. If animals cannot consider circumstances or different courses of action then they are not making decisions.
Pro leaves most of my psychological analysis untouched. I offered an explanation for how the examples Pro cites as animals having concepts is indicative only of their ability to be conditioned for certain behavior. Extend my argument that responding to stimuli is not the same as having concepts and that permission and agreement are complex concepts that dependent on an array of other moral concepts.
Pro also doesn’t address my explanation of how his psychology of “permission” is flawed. I explained how simply engaging in an action is not indicative of the ability to grant permission. Permission is a complex moral interaction that depends on communication.
Pro has an incredibly naïve view of social interaction. In Pro’s world you can avoid conflicts of interest and bias by simply resolving to not abuse power.
In the real world people abuse power even when they have resolved not to and sometimes without even realizing it. In the real world, having a sexual relationship with a creature you have complete control over is almost inevitably going to result in at least some degree of abuse of power.
Simply being in a position of conflict of interest in unethical. No amount of resolving not to abuse power would convince us that a judge presiding over his own son’s criminal trial is an ethical situation.
Pro just asserts that animals will “let you know” if they don’t like something, presumably by whispering in your ear. This is irrelevant to my contention that bestiality is immoral because it violates obligations of care. The issue is the power imbalance between man and beast and the conflict of interest involved bestiality.
Extend that informed consent is the only morally relevant form of consent. Consent isn’t valid if it is given under false pretenses, etc. If I don’t know what I am agreeing to, my agreement isn’t morally binding. To say otherwise would allow for all sorts of manipulative and unfair forms of consent.
Uninformed consent is also morally incoherent- in what sense am I agreeing to something if I do not even know what that something is? Agreement and permission are incoherent without there being something to agree on. If I don’t understand the thing being agreed on then there is no way I have actually consented.
Three sections will be responded to in comments, there was no way to fit.
C1.1.1 It is not the randomness that makes random face punching tied up with immorality it is the fact that it inherently means that a good portion of the face punches were immoral. When Con gave a single qualified example he was not presenting a random distribution of punching but a single data point. Saying that is random is little more than pointing out the motivation which is irrelevant.
C1.1.2 To apply this analogy to bestiality you would have to say random acts of bestiality. i.e. you flip a coin to decide whether you will care about consent this time, or roll a dice to see if you’re going to beat the animal at the same time. Of course that will inevitably lead to immoral activities, yet still that which is immoral in them is that which should be illegal. Nothing else.
Lifting a ban on face punching does not mean that every possible situation (which would be all of them if it is random) is then legal.
“This example demonstrates that local instances of ethical actions do not render a practice moral”
C1.1.3 Afraid it doesn’t. As pointed out above, if ‘random’ was truly an attribute of a single moral instance then it would prove that a practice defined as the sum of face punching where all instances were ‘random’ is moral. But no single instance can have that attribute since to give an example you need qualify the act. If you did not qualify the act it may remain random but its morality cannot be evaluated and thus cannot be found to be moral.
“Pro fails to interact with my argument that a practice must be evaluated as moral based on how it is actually practiced.”
C1.1.4 Con fails to realize that the law doesn’t ban practices it bans classes of action defined by certain attributes. The moment you define a practice as something greater than the class it ceases to be relevant to the proper legality of the practice. We are not looking at the positive here because something is legal unless specified to be illegal. So saying something should be legal (as explained in section A) is equivalent to saying that the entire practice should not be banned.
C1.1.5 The practice of moral bestiality is moral. The law can and should ban what is unethical and nothing more. If someone (such as Con) needs to appeal to ‘how it is actually practiced’ they are attempting to confuse the issue. There is nothing that is moral on paper but immoral in the real world. Con is attempting to attach the non-essential immoral elements of some acts of bestiality to the essential elements of bestiality based on the notion that in the real world the former comprise the greater part of bestial events per time. Such a fallacy is precisely why a blanket ban is unjustified.
C1.1.6 The ratio of ethical to non-ethical acts within a certain category of action has absolutely no bearing on whether an act is ethical or not. Such would be circular reasoning if you tried to claim it. Since the law deals with classes of actions, and in the most abstract terms the law should be banning only unethical acts the said ratio is also irrelevant to which classes of acts should be banned.
If Con doesn’t call that interacting with his argument I’m not sure what would be.
“Alternatively, a 95% non-consensual bestiality rate could be attributed to humans projecting their understanding of psychology onto animals or being unable to reliably communicate consent.”
C1.1.7 But they are able to reliably communicate consent (as per arguments in round 1) which is why a 95% animal rape rate or even a 5% animal rape rate would need to be attributed primarily to intentional violation of consent.
C1.1.8 That doesn’t mean the law permits it. To say so would be equivalent to saying the law permits murder… if you hide the body well enough. It’s simply false. The inability to prove someone broke the law is not the same as the law permitting the illegal act.
C1.2.1 Moral accountability is not ensured by the ability to report rape. Otherwise the ability to report rape would mean that 100% of rapist are brought to account for their actions. This is false.
Nothing is ensured, it is helped.
All the law guarantees is that nothing done against it is legal. How well that law is enforced is quite a different matter from what the law should say.
C1.2.2 What you propose is that we can’t allow for the possibility of a perfect crime, so we must criminalize ethical acts in order to catch the others in the same net. Please justify this, especially in context of the phrase “innocent until proven guilty.”
C1.2.3 How can you reconcile this with premise B.1?
C1.2.4 Con contends that there is no way to determine if an act of bestiality was rape. That is false, if a video was made of the event it can be reviewed and the implicit consent of the animal determined. There is no way to tell in every case, which is also true of human rape since sometimes the evidence is destroyed.
C1.2.5 Animals can’t testify about whether they are raped, but neither can they testify about whether they had sex. Indeed the vast majority of human animal sex is never detected by anyone other than the participants. If the inability to effectively catch rapist means bestiality must be banned, why doesn’t the inability to effectively catch bestialist mean owning pets must be banned?
“This sort of thinking is exactly why a practice that inherently lacks accountability is immoral.”
C1.2.6 You mean the kind of thinking where someone expects another to back up their claims…
C1.2.7 There is for the person engaging in it. As for after the fact by a third party, why? That seems to be a blatant appeal to ignorance fallacy. ‘We don’t know, so it’s got to be the worst.’
C1.2.8 What about he-said-she-said cases? Two opposing reports, there is no guaranteed method for determining whose telling the truth so why isn’t sex for humans immoral for even numbers of participants?
C1.2.9 “Pro tries to use the inherent invisibility of nonconsensual bestiality as evidence of its non-existence.”
Con tries to use the claimed inherent invisibility of nonconsensual bestiality as an excuse for not supporting its existence?
You brought up the first claim of prevalence in round 2 under heading C1.2. My argument did not rely on it (and still doesn’t).
I did when you challenged it.
If we were uniquely the only intelligent social animal it wouldn’t be surprising, but since we aren’t it is surprising (and false).
The very origin of this heading [C2.3.1] betrays the origin of your confusion.
In C2.3 you tried to reconcile interspecies sex with H.3 by claiming they didn’t consent.
H.3 had to do with the internal mental aspects of consent. ‘psychologically capable’
In (C2.3) I made a substantial argument as to why interspecies sex established that mental element.
In C2.3 of your round 2 you forget the context and think that I had conflated the mental element with consent in its entirety.
In (C2.3.1), (C2.3.2), (C2.3.3) I reminded you that I was talking about internal mental element of consent since that was the context.
Finally here, you claim I didn’t interact with your argument and repeat that preferences aren’t consent. I didn’t refute your example because there was nothing wrong with it.
Walking people back over the debate is a really wasteful way to use characters, but if I don’t people can’t seem to figure it out on their own and I end up making giant forum posts it while someone tells me “should have been in the debate” This is in the debate, this is reviewing the debate and I would appreciate it very much if Con did not make me do this again, I cut parts I thought were important because I am now afraid to let these things go.
2. I did not redefine consent as a preference alone, please please review.
3. I’m afraid recognizing that the new word meant the new toy can only be a decision. There was no time to train her, no human cues behind the couch. She went back there and performed a logical operation. Logic + volition = decision. (Volition is established by dynamic behavior modification). It’s obviously not the same decision as deciding to have sex or deciding to go along with a sexual advance but that is irrelevant. The ability exists and if an animal chooses not to assert their will about sex they have still made a choice.
4. The interaction as a whole is what the animal reacts to as a whole; that is how we can know the sum but not the parts. If we isolated the parts (i.e. we used a control) we could determine what they think about details provided they care enough to react at all.
5. Conditioning/training is not exclusive with consent/decision making. There was no need to touch the questions you asked about your dog’s behavior other than the answers I gave. In fact at the very least training requires some intelligence, preference, and volition because it is a contradiction in terms to say you are training a new instinct into an animal.
6. I explained to Con why his explanation of permission is flawed: It doesn’t rely on complex moral interactions. It just relies on preference, volition, and communication.
The animal knows what is happening and knows how it feels about it; that's all it needs to know since that's the only responsibility I would place on them.
First, do not accept any of Pro’s arguments made in the comments. Debate arguments must be made in round- character limits exist to prevent never-ending debates and force debaters to be concise and efficient. I am subject to the same space constraint that Pro is, if I can obey the rules then Pro can too.
Note, each of my arguments C1-5 independently function to negate the Resolution. This means I only need to win one of them to win this debate.
Pro has no response to my C5 argument. Pro set the scope of this debate, so he must live up to his BOP. He must prove that bestiality is moral rather than an amoral act to satisfy the portion of the resolution that bestiality ought to be legal.
Pro doesn’t refute that amoral actions exist nor that the statement “if something is amoral or moral it should be legal” is substantially different from his original premise “if something is moral it should be legal.”
The random face puncher shows that a single data point is unable to render an act moral. My argument is that an act is inherently immoral if the features of the practice result in individual immoral acts.
Pro concedes this point by saying that random face punching is immoral because “it inherently means a good portion of the face punches were immoral.” This is my point- qualified instances of an act do not render a practice moral. Rather, the totality of the practice must be accounted for and if inherent traits of the practice result in immorality in the totality of the practice then the practice is immoral.
First, the analogy only functions to show that the factor that makes random face-punching immoral, the randomness, still permits qualified acts to be moral.
Second, my argument is that multiple levels of epistemic uncertainty, combined with high risk of abuse of power, are inherent to bestiality and make it morally unstable. Bestiality means always rolling the dice since animals are unable to fully communicate consent. This is compounded by uncertainty of whether or not animals are even psychologically capable of consent.
Every moral instance is a qualified act- whether its face punching, bestiality, or lying. When we say these things are immoral we aren’t evaluating whether or not it is ever possible to perform the practice in a moral manner, we are saying that these practices have inherent characteristics which make them morally unstable.
If starting your car every morning had a 50% chance of killing your neighbor, we would ban that class of action because it was immoral. We wouldn’t say “there are instances where it is ok to start your car, so it isn’t inherently immoral”- we would look at the actual practice and ban it as an entirety.
First, Pro is trying to qualify bestiality- it is moral when it is practiced morally.
Second, I am presenting the case that the “non-essential immoral elements” are essential because they are inseparable from characteristics inherent to bestiality, i.e. the communication gap, psychological differences, and massive power imbalance between man and animal.
Third, there is no such thing as a moral act on paper. All acts occur in the real world, tied up with all sorts of aspects that Pro would deem “non-essential.” The way an act is actually practiced is inextricably linked to its morality. If X has characteristics which cause its unethical practice, then it is inherently unethical.
If I could walk into a room and either eat cake or commit rape without repercussion, it would be immoral for the law to permit me to enter the room. Legalizing bestiality makes legal space for the rape of animals without repercussion. Pro said that “a law which permits a single instance of violating rights is improper.” If bestiality is legal, animal rape is legal since no instance of animal rape could ever be proven.
This is not the case with murder. Pro says you can always hide the body- but the fact is there is a body to hide. With animal rape there is no body to hide- rape and bestiality would look identical to the legal system.
Pro doesn’t address my point that bestiality is inherently unaccountable. The nature of the act is what obscures the fact that a crime took place.
Rape is not inherently unaccountable. To avoid accountability, a rapist must work to hide their crime; an animal rapist has no body to hide.
Practices which allow rape without repercussion are unethical, a practice which makes legal space for acts of rape is immoral.
Innocent until proven guilty means you are presumed not to have broken the law until demonstrated otherwise. It does not mean we should presume the innocence of all and allow practices that shield the guilty from justice.
I don’t know what Pro means by “this” or what his argument is.
Con contends video evidence could prove an act of animal rape.
First, this doesn’t address the issue of bringing up the rape accusation in the first place. Animals cannot bring rape charges to court.
Second, this in practice means that there is no way to determine rape since the number of cases where video evidence existed would be vanishingly small, if not zero.
Third, Pro assumes we can reliably tell what consent or non-consent actually looks like from video footage. We can never actually ask the victim and know for sure. Animals might appear docile because they are frightened - in the end it will just be guesswork, we will inherently be making a declaration that an animal has or hasn’t given consent; essentially consent will be determined not by what the animal agrees to but by what we think the animal agreed to.
Fourth, who will review the tape and determine if it was rape? In reality this would be done by battling court room experts while the jury presumed “innocent until proven guilty.”
Pet ownership is not relevant to the Resolution.
Pro says he only argues that preference is the required internal mental element of consent.
This doesn’t address my criticisms that preference alone is insufficient to show capacity for consent- that simply having preferences doesn’t incorporate the complex moral concepts involved in agreement and permission, that Pro projects shallow human psychology onto animal psychology, and that the capacity for consent is inseparable from the ability to communicate consent.
Jack and Jill was used to dispute that a lack of objection is the same as consent and that consent is only consent if it is able to be clearly communicated. Pro doesn’t refute this aspect of the argument, nor my argument about taking your wallet.
Pro tries to argue that if consent relies on human psychology, then consent has no moral significance for animals. This argument clearly falls outside the scope of the debate as Pro explicitly states in his BOP that he must show it is possible for an animal to consent to sex with a human. If Pro can’t meet his BOP, he loses.
My argument that consent relies on human language was that consent can only be performed within a complex moral framework animals do not participate in- e.g. an animal can’t grant permission if they don’t understand they have the moral standing to refuse permission.
My examples of conditioned behavior prove why preference and volition aren’t sufficient for consent- when I chew my food I am engaging these traits without engaging consent.
In Pro’s conception, simply being able to communicate “I want that” is enough for consent. But saying “I want this car” is not the same as saying “I agree to buy this car” and simply being able to say “I want this car” does not mean you have the moral understanding required to enter into an agreement to buy a car.
5. The evidence Pro uses to prove animal behavior doesn’t prove what Pro says it does. Even the scientists studying the dog that knows 1000 words contradict Pro. They specifically say that this case does is not an example of learning “abstract concepts like…children” but simply learning to associate nouns through brute repetition.  http://www.nytimes.com...
Pro ignores my entire case about obligations of care-humans have a responsibility to care for those they have power over and so engaging in sex creates an unethical conflict of interest, partially stemming from the potential to abuse power. This is especially relevant in the case of animals, where coercion and behavior modification are central to the relationship.
This is an ethical argument totally independent of animals’ ability to have or communicate consent.
Pro functionally concedes that informed consent is the only morally relevant form of consent. His only response is that the animal knows what is happening and how it feels about it and that this is adequate.
This means if I show that animals are incapable of informed consent, bestiality is immoral.
First, it is at best unclear that animals know what is happening- they could be confused about many aspects of the encounter. An animal could be responding to sexual stimuli without realizing it is having interspecies sex, an animal could be trying to reproduce without realizing that the other partner is only engaged in recreation, the animal might not be aware of the identity of the human partner.
Second, simply being aware of what is happening is insufficient for informed consent. Informed consent requires full awareness of the conditions of the encounter- do animals believe they will be rewarded for sex? Do they believe failure to have sex will disappoint their owners? Informed consent requires knowledge of the risks- do animals know about the health risks of sex? Do animals know they are having a sexual relationship with an actor which holds complete domination over them?
If con accepted this argument in the hope of confusing the term he has not done a very good job. One of his own statements agree with the dichotomy:
“A practice if immoral if it has inherent features that render it impossible to sustain in a moral manner.”
Without a dichotomy this statement makes no sense, it should be possible so long as the practice could be sustained in an amoral manner as well as a moral manner.
More importantly my moral standard (B.2) does not specify whether it is the requirement for a moral action or an amoral action. Since I accept the dichotomy I did not specify one, but rejecting the dichotomy does not significantly alter my debate since the standard is a standard of moral activities.
There are no inherent traits of bestiality which render it immoral. If you mean a single instance of immorality renders the whole practice immoral then driving is also an immoral practice. There is no need for law to be made on the lines of these arbitrarily defined practices. It can outlaw the immoral and permit the moral in the same practice.
Appealing to uncertainty is the informal fallacy appeal to ignorance. Animals are able to communicate consent, ‘fully’ is undefined in Cons statement. If an animal is not psychologically capable of consent their consent is irrelevant.
That is not what ‘we’ are saying it is what you say. When I say an act is moral or immoral I mean that using all provided qualification that act (and no other) is moral or immoral. The court is never asked to pass sentence on a practice but on a specific act. There is never a need to evaluate the morality of any arbitrary scope of ‘practice’ as a whole since only individual acts must be punished or permitted.
Thus the key information law relies on is not “how do I know this practice is moral” but “how do I know this act is moral.”
The immorality is the negligent risk of killing your neighbor then. If (such as in the real world) a person could reduce the risk to insignificance then it would be improper to ban starting cars.
Moral bestiality is the only practice that is relevant. If it exists at all it is improper to ban bestiality since that would include moral bestiality. If it exists then a practice defined as bestiality is moral since it contains no inherent immorality in its definition.
If Con’s argument relies on these risks being essential and inherent then we can simply drop this whole exchange on scope of practice because all that matters is that an act, each specific one; constitutes an immoral risk.
Evidence was provided in round 1. Con is still attempting to confuse who is relying on a bestial rape rate. I am not.
It would be immoral for the law to prevent you from entering the room. If you ate cake you would be innocent yet the law sends you to prison. This is unacceptable.
I denied that bestiality is inherently unaccountable, that is address. I pointed out that the act could be recorded which at least in that case would leave no doubt. If it was inherent it must be the case every time even with a camera. The work needed to obscure one’s crime has no bearing on whether what they did was truly a crime.
Then the practice of requiring proof beyond reasonable doubt is unethical. It allows rape without repercussions since the repercussions require that the rape be demonstrated to have happened beyond reasonable doubt. We know that not every case of rape can be demonstrated to have occurred.
This is inescapable.
Your implied premise that you don’t need to prove inherent immorality in order to ban a practice.
I’m Pro, Con attempts to rush past the fact that his claim of inherent unaccountability is shot.
They can’t bring bestiality charges either. You are already relying on someone other than the ‘victims’ to discover and report the behavior.
The prevalence rate is irrelevant, your claim was that it was inherently unaccountable.
I do not assume, I argue in round 1. If you have not addressed that argument by now I can only assume it’s because you don’t have a valid rebuttal. Frightened animals behave frightened. All we have for animals or people is what we think they agreed to. We can’t reach into the minds of others, we need to look at what they do and the sounds they make (among other things). Language is ultimately vocalizations, you are reasonably sure that the sounds relate to concepts of communication but you aren’t 100% sure, especially if your concept is identical to the other persons.
As it should be.
It is relevant to your point.
Preference and volition. Con has never established that complex moral concepts are involved in agreement or permission.
I don’t disagree with that aspect of the argument. It is important to know that lack of consent may be communicated. Animals can communicate lack of consent. If you let someone take your wallet while you could say or do anything to stop them, and showed no fear; then I would say you did consent.
No more than ignoring B.1 falls outside the scope of the debate. It hasn’t stopped you.
If you say “I want this car” you consent to taking the car, you can’t take it because the dealer hasn’t consented to let you take it until you agree pay. If we expected money for sex from animals there would be a problem, they could not possibly understand that you expect something unrelated. We do not, the act stands on its own. All that matters is whether they consent to the interaction which they are experiencing. I am not arguing that they consent to anything else nor does my resolution require that I so argue.
Incorrect. The article was written by Nicholas Wade, who is not a scientist studying the dog. His full statement:
“Chaser learns to link sounds to objects by brute repetition, which is not how children learn words. And she learns her words as proper nouns, which are specific labels for things, rather than as abstract concepts like the common nouns picked up by children.”
Is in direct contradiction with the statement of Dr. Pilley (the scientist who studied the dog, the statement being earlier in the article):
“Dr. Pilley also found that Chaser could be trained to recognize categories, in other words common nouns. She correctly follows the command “Fetch a Frisbee” or “Fetch a ball.” She can also learn by exclusion, as children do.”
Which says that Chaser does know common nouns.
If coercion is central to the relationship then either coercion is morally acceptable or the entire relationship is already immoral. Con claims this point is totally independent of consent, yet coercion is defined as the threat or use of force to undermine the need for consent. I deny that coercion is central to a healthy human-animal relationship.
Sexual interaction does not necessarily conflict with a duty to provide care and even when it does this conflict of interest is no different than any other time when a human wants something from an animal. (riding a horse, or the multitudes of animal competitions in the world) all of which are permitted on the trust that the humans involved will not forsake their duty to care and more importantly knowing that the law can punish abuse and neglect without banning entire classes of interaction such as riding.
Pro functionally concedes no such thing. Informed consent means the actor knows what’s going to happen beforehand and agrees to it before it starts. Consent can be given for experiments or just going with the flow, even if you don’t know where it will end up.
“Second, simply being aware of what is happening is insufficient for informed consent. Informed consent requires full awareness of the conditions of the encounter”
Then what in the world makes Con believe that Pro functionally concedes informed consent is the only morally relevant concept?
“do animals believe they will be rewarded for sex?”
They experience the reward during sex, that’s why you don’t typically need to use any artificial training whatsoever.
“Do they believe failure to have sex will disappoint their owners?”
I answered this already with the kennel question. It’s possible but it doesn’t matter.
“do animals know about the health risks of sex?”
No, not with humans, not with other animals, not with anything.
“Do animals know they are having a sexual relationship with an actor which holds complete domination over them?”
No they almost certainly do not see humans as entities with complete domination over them. They see us as leaders of the group, but their ability to defy us proves they don’t (always or often) see our authority as absolute.
My strategy in this round has been to make multi-layered arguments that negate the Resolution. The structure of my arguments means that Pro must win each of my contentions to affirm the Resolution, while I only need to win one to defeat the Resolution.
C2 is the first layer, though it actually contains two layers. In C2 I argue the consent is a morally complex interaction, for example I can’t permit something if I don’t know what it means to refuse permission or that violation of my permission would be wrong. This interaction goes beyond the psychological capacity of animals, so animals are not capable of consent. The second part of C2 says that even if animals were capable of consent, animals are unable to reliably communicate consent because animals exist outside the complex language/communication structure of humanity. Since communication of agreement is necessary for consent, an unreliable method of obtaining consent precludes the possibility of actually obtaining consent. The epistemic uncertainty of animal interactions renders consent impossible.
C4 is the next layer- even if Pro proves that animals are capable of communicating consent, consent is only moral if it is informed consent. Informed consent is what we require for all other interactions- if you lie, mislead, or take advantage of ignorance, then the consent you obtain is not moral. Animals are not fully aware of the risks or circumstances of interspecies sex so are not capable of informed consent. Pro conceded this point in R1 when he said “No one who has a pet…has ever had informed consent from any animals.” If I win that informed consent is required, I have won this debate.
C1 says that even if animals are capable of communicating informed consent, the inherent epistemic uncertainty of the act renders the practice immoral. Bestiality allows for rape without accountability and relies on guesswork to determine if consent is being granted. The inherent uncertainty of the practice hinders the moral practice of individual acts, making the practice as a whole morally unstable and thus immoral.
C3 argues that even if Pro wins 100% that bestiality meets the moral requirements of consent, bestiality still violates obligations of care. Bestiality is immoral because it is a conflict of interests and creates an institution prone to coercive sexual relationships.
C5 says that even if Pro defeats arguments C1-C4, he still has not met his BOP. C1-C4 only argues that bestiality is immoral; defeating them just proves that bestiality is not immoral. To meet his BOP, Pro must satisfy his own premise that bestiality is positively moral. Pro has never in this debate presented any argument that bestiality is moral. Pro’s only response is that we ought to accept a moral/immoral dichotomy, despite my examples of clearly amoral actions. Pro has not met his BOP.
B.2 says that consent is the “prerequisite of all moral interaction,” i.e. it is required for moral interaction but does not make an action moral.
Pro never refuted that amoral acts exist- e.g. sitting on a chair, nor that interpreting his premise as “either moral or amoral” substantially alters its meaning by prohibiting government regulation of traffic laws and border crossings.
The inability to reliably communicate and the massive power imbalance between man and animal are inherent traits of bestiality which render it immoral. These traits inhibit practicing bestiality morally, in the same way that the randomness of random face punching inhibits the moral practice of face punching.
There is a huge amount of uncertainty in the capacity of animals to consent- my R4 evidence shows that even animal psychologists argue about the capabilities of animals- as well as uncertainty in interpreting animal behavior into human terms of consent.
Pro says exploding cars shouldn’t be banned if the risk is insignificant, but the risk of immoral acts of bestiality is not insignificant.
I agree, each act constitutes an immoral risk- my point is that bestiality inherently has characteristics that create moral risk.
Pro doesn’t address my point that individual acts are always qualified and are always tied up with “non-essential” characteristics or that bestiality only exists as the practice of individual qualified acts. We can only judge the morality of a practice through all the acts that fall within it, i.e. how bestiality is actually practiced.
The point of my cake-rape room is that if such a room were allowed, rapists could just line up at the door knowing they could get away with rape. The possibility that they might do something benign does not justify allowing the opportunity to rape someone.
Moreover, Pro himself said “a law which permits a single instance of violating rights is improper”- allowing legal space for unaccountable rape permits the violation of rights.
With human sex these issues do not exist.
The crime of rape is based on violation of consent, so the crucial evidence is mind of the victim.
Under ideal epistemic conditions- a human rape will always be held accountable since the victim can testify their lack of consent. Under ideal epistemic conditions, animal rape may or may not be held accountable, since justice depends on correctly guessing the lack of consent of the victim.
Animal behavior is non-uniform- frightened animals may not always appear frightened.
Pro has only provided evidence that sometimes animals hump humans, not that video evidence can reliably be used to determine consent.
Pro says that if I don’t act to stop someone from stealing my wallet, I have consented. Keep this in mind when considering whose theory of consent is correct.
Money is not central to the car buying example. I need more than preference and volition to agree to take the car.
Imagine someone only capable of preference and volition trying to enter into a car agreement:
“Would you like this car for free?”
“I want this car!”
“Ok, do you agree to take it?”
“I don’t understand what an agreement is, but I want it!”
“Ok well I agree to give it to you, do you accept?”
“I don’t understand any of those words, but I want this car!”
Even if the dealer gives the car away, Mr. Preference hasn’t agreed to anything, he has just taken something he wants.
Agreement and consent require an understanding of the circumstances of the interaction and of the moral concepts involved with agreement and permission. Simply having preferences and the ability to act on them is insufficient.
Kaminski disputes Pilley’s claim that the dog knows common nouns- she says the behavior only “[shows] that the dog can combine words for different actions with words for objects.” The “common nouns” Pilley claims the dog knows are actually learned by the dog as proper nouns applied to specific actions.
A sexual relationship is different from other sorts of interactions. Anyone with even a basic understanding of human sexuality knows that sex is not the same as “any other time when a human wants something…” Extend all my arguments about how sex complicates power relations between humans, such as in the case of teachers or employment. Sexual relationships are especially prone to abuse, that’s why they are so tightly governed within human power structures.
The impossibility of holding animal rape accountable also plays into this argument. Humans will know they can abuse their power to fulfill their sexual desires without fear of repercussion.
Pro doesn’t refute that informed consent is morally required- this is why it is functionally conceded. Extend all my arguments that consent requires awareness of the circumstances of the interaction.
Pro concedes that animals are ignorant of nearly all the factors involved in sex- he merely brushes these factors off as irrelevant. Yet if I win that informed consent is required for consent to be moral, then these factors are relevant.
Pro also does not refute that simply being aware of the interaction is insufficient for informed consent- ignorance of factors like health risks are relevant, as are any beliefs animals might have about rewards or punishment associated with sex.
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