Bestiality/Zoophilia should be legal and not inherently immoral
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 I hope are self-evident to my opponent. If they are not those topics must be clarified before meaningful debate on the resolution can be had.
1. Legality and morality are inherently linked, if something is moral it should be legal and if is legal it should be moral. The difference between them is the difference between what people think and what is. Morality is that which is right, the law is that which people (a majority of) think is right (as expressed through a democratic government).
2. To make moral claims one must have moral principles, to have moral principles one must have a moral theory. That is one must be aware of the field of philosophy which is ethics and subscribe to some system of thought in that field.
3. 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. For those interested I hold a more constrained view as a universal principle for human society, i.e. volition is the prerequisite of all moral interaction between humans.
From these premises I would like to preempt possible strategies of my opponent by implication.
#1 means I will not entertain the notion that even if bestiality/zoophilia is moral it is detrimental to society and that constitutes a legal basis for banning it. For those who consider this unfair I ask you to think of all those things demonstrably detrimental to society that the law does allow for on the basis of personal freedom.
#2 means that I will not entertain sentiments which associate the term morality with emotional appeals, religious dogma, or mindless. If it is not wrong and you wish to merely point out how it can sometimes be dangerous or play a negative role in someone’s life then I’ll leave you to it; that is not the resolution I wish to argue.
#2 also means that there is no such thing as ‘one case at a time’ moral judgments, nothing is good or evil in a vacuum but can only be so in the context of a mountain of previously derived facts. Identifying and challenging double standards is a key technique in discovering moral fallacies. If someone can use one standard of moral judgment in case A and another in case B on whim then no moral debate is possible. Therefore if you are someone who thinks comparing zoophilia to homosexuality or to the practice of eating animal meat is a red herring then you should not accept the challenge.
#3 means you are willing to debate the matter of consent, I love to debate ethics and no doubt I will on this site but if you do not believe consent is the moral principle involved here you are almost certainly going to turn this into a philosophical debate.
Some notes on terms:
I use Bestiality/zoohilia, some other people make distinctions between these terms; I mean the practice of interspecies sex specifically involving humans as one of the species.
Is zoophilia a sexual orientation? I think so, as far as the word has objective meaning. Bottom line is that some people desire sexual relations with animals. I do not believe the causes of this phenomenon are relevant to the debate nor do I believe there is enough scientific ground work to attempt to answer that question. The homosexual movement has been chugging away for decades and nobody really has a clue what causes it.
Consent, and this is important, is defined as “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something” http://oxforddictionaries.com... . 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 their 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. There is no consent informed or otherwise.
Under the constraints set out above the question is:
A.) Can an animal give permission or agreement to a member of another species for sexual interaction?
There are two possible reasons why the answer to that could be no in all cases:
1. No species is capable of communicating permission, agreement, or anything really to a member of another species implicitly or explicitly.
2. No species is psychologically capable of granting consent to another species
We can knock out #2 by the mere fact that this is an issue. Humans must be capable of granting consent to another species if they pursue sexual relations with them. Surely you could say humans are an exception but that would require some explanation. Why would humans be the only species capable of accepting interspecies sex? How could you reconcile this with observed instances of interspecies sex between two non-human species?
Even if a creature is incapable of choosing between acting and not acting a certain way it cannot be said that it does not consent. Instead it is more accurate to say that consent is not conceptually applicable to that species.
If a wasp stings you, you might think it was merely the sum of stimuli up to that point that caused it. There is not enough of an independent consciousness in a wasp brain to ever decide not to sting you given the same inputs. It is incorrect to say that the wasp accepts or refuses the interaction. It does neither but if you had to choose, it would be acceptance because if it did have the ability to choose obviously its actions would reflect its choice.
#1 is a little harder but not by much. Consider the following premise
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. In order for it to be possible a creature must be capable of pursuing a course of action which it doesn’t agree to. It’s a contradiction in terms. If it can agree with anything it must agree with itself.
Therefore even in the absence of verbal or body language (which is not true for all animals by any stretch of the imagination) 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.
Whether that decision is the result of some faculty of self-determination or is pure instinct is actually irrelevant. If it is pure instinct then the creature never had any freedom to violate. If it has self-determination then it is determining things for itself.
In summation if there exists any example of an animal showing through action absent negative conditioning the acceptance of sexual relations with another species the answer to question A is Yes, at least in some cases.
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?
Animals could have outlandish or familiar diseases that can be contracted from having sexual intercourse with them; you could become severely ill or possibly die. You could contract infections such as brucellosis, leptospirosis, or Q fever. You could contract various types of tapeworms and other forms of parasites. So only is it disgusting, it"s dangerous. Someone who has coitus with any domesticated animal has the ability to cause an international outbreak of any disease or infection, causing other people to possibly become ill or even die. It could even cause another form of animal extinction depending on the severity of the disease. It"s probably even more dangerous when it comes to diseases that don"t even have names yet or are unfamiliar to anyone trying to find a cure for it. This is probably one of the main reasons why it should be and STAY illegal.
Also, bestiality is a form of animal abuse. Animals cannot consent to sex, but they can oppose it; either way, the human is forcing it upon the animal for their own selfish (and sick) pleasure, and that, sir, is called rape no matter how you put it.
For example, if a man had sex with a woman and she did not oppose it in any way, does that mean she enjoyed it? No. Does that mean she wanted it? No.
It"s the same with the animal. Just because the animal is not using any type of harmful or opposing body language does not mean that the animal wants or enjoys the intercourse or other sexual act.
Additionally, zoophilia, which is the main cause of bestiality, is defined as a MORBID condition.
Characterized by or appealing to an abnormal and unhealthy interest in disturbing and unpleasant subjects, esp. death and disease.
It is not humanly proper, or accurate, if you will, to have a sexual attraction to animals. This makes zoophilia and bestiality abnormal, which ties into it being immoral.
Normally, when something is wrong with someone, or they have some type of mental disease " or morbid condition " it has the need to be treated for; this defends the fact that bestiality/zoophilia should be ILLEGAL.
Lastly, to answer your question about horseback riding, they cannot consent to being ridden - they can oppose it, though. But there"s a difference in riding a horse and having intercourse with one. Intercourse can cause pain and discomfort, while horseback riding (depending on the fit of the saddle and how well you ride) does not. An average horse weighs up to 1,300 lbs, they can feel the pressure of the person, but it does not hurt them. Also, having sex with a horse can kill a person " it happened.
It is my 'style' to respond to specific points of rebuttal to avoid the confusion of matching responses. It also reduces uncaught misunderstanding. If you believe I have disconnected an integrated statement please simply point out my mistake as opposed to accusing me of nitpicking or strawmen.
If they truly cannot consent then they must (not just can) oppose it in all cases. Now tell me how could such baseless asymmetry in volition come to exist? Why do they have a choice about other interactions with humans but not this one? Why can a horse choose to let a human ride on them, a dog choose to allow a human to pet him, a parrot choose to imitate human sounds yet they cannot choose something which by common sense and medical data would be considerably more pleasant?
I think you would have to believe in a God because the only explanation would be that God put such a specific mental barrier in place.
How do you explain the fact that animals will initiate sexual advances towards humans with no prior training? (rare but it does happen and I can provide references if asked) Has the devil taken over their brains?
"either way, the human is forcing it upon the animal for their own selfish (and sick) pleasure, and that, sir, is called rape no matter how you put it."
No ma'am (if you are a ma'am) if a human does not force it upon the animal it is not rape, and I have never seen any argument that came close to establishing that the only way to have sex with an animal is force. Indeed if you had some experience of animal psychology (and you may) you would know the basis of most domestication is trust and trade. Why in the world would a zoophile use force on their pet when a milk bone or the act itself is sufficient to acquire cooperation?
"For example, if a man had sex with a woman and she did not oppose it in any way, does that mean she enjoyed it? No. Does that mean she wanted it? No."
It does mean she consented. I think many women have found themselves in the above situation and some men too. You give and you take no?
I would never claim that animals always enjoy sex with humans, but I have no doubt that they do some of the time; if the human knows what they are doing. However let’s consider the case that they don't give a @$@% either way. Why is it wrong now?
"It"s the same with the animal. Just because the animal is not using any type of harmful or opposing body language does not mean that the animal wants or enjoys the intercourse or other sexual act."
It is a good indication that they do not object however, and you would be incorrect if you think that neutrality is the best a zoophile can hope for from an animal. There is somewhat of a problem in distinguishing the two for many female animals since their natural participation consists of standing still. However males can clearly show their active pursuit of the interaction. It is illogical to assume that just because it is harder for us to tell that females are any less capable than males of enjoying sex.
"Additionally, zoophilia, which is the main cause of bestiality, is defined as a MORBID condition.
Normally I am a fan of argument by definition but in this case the definition is incorrect, and I clearly dealt with this possibility in my opening argument: "I use Bestiality/zoohilia, some other people make distinctions between these terms; I mean the practice of interspecies sex specifically involving humans as one of the species."
Homosexuality was once considered a mental disease but suddenly that changed, it wasn't evidence or truth that changed but politics. I humbly submit that there is no objective definition of a mental disease that can be applied to zoophilia.
If an unhealthy interest in things like death and disease made someone immoral (or their acts) then we should lock up the goths and the nihilist. In my opinion such a characterization of zoophiles is ridiculously inaccurate, there are of course some nut case zoophiles on the loose who were abused as children and such, but most have a totally normal level of interest in death and disease.
I personally can't stand people who worship or delight in death, excuse the possible offense but Christians and other religious people often fall into that category as far as I can tell. Why is it that God had to die to save us from our wretchedness? You need to have a sacrificial mentality for that to make a lick of sense.
"It is not humanly proper, or accurate, if you will, to have a sexual attraction to animals. This makes zoophilia and bestiality abnormal"
It's not normal, it's clearly not the proper function of sex I'll give you that. However that is how the attraction mechanism works in zoophiles. The question at hand is not whether the desires should exist but whether the acts should be permitted. It is two different questions. If I had the power I would fix all deviant orientations right now.
"which ties into it being immoral."
Please justify that knot. I place no moral value on normalcy qua normalcy at all.
"Lastly, to answer your question about horseback riding, they cannot consent to being ridden - they can oppose it, though."
Again that is a contradiction in terms unless they must oppose it. If they do not oppose it then by definition they consent.
"But there"s a difference in riding a horse and having intercourse with one. Intercourse can cause pain and discomfort, while horseback riding (depending on the fit of the saddle and how well you ride) does not. An average horse weighs up to 1,300 lbs, they can feel the pressure of the person, but it does not hurt them."
You might have a point here if you did not undermine both of the crucial scopes. Intercourse can cause discomfort but does not typically do so, especially with some research and care. Riding can cause discomfort but does not typically do so, especially with some research and care. I do not see the difference in regards to pain.
"Also, having sex with a horse can kill a person " it happened."
So has riding a horse. Have you wondered at how a stallion managed to kill someone with their penis while in the process of opposing sex?
ReignPeer forfeited this round.
ReignPeer forfeited this round.
ADreamOfLiberty forfeited this round.
ReignPeer forfeited this round.
ReignPeer forfeited this round.
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||4||0|