The Instigator
bluesteel
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points
The Contender
Markov
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Bestiality should be illegal in all cases in the United States

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
bluesteel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2014 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,429 times Debate No: 49237
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

bluesteel

Con

First round is for acceptance only.

Bestiality = sex between a human and a non-human animal

Because bestiality is currently legal in many states (such as Texas), the BOP is on Pro to argue for a change to the status quo.
Debate Round No. 1
bluesteel

Con

== Definitions ==

Bestiality = sex between a human and a non-human animal

"Illegal in all cases" means that Pro must prove that every instance of bestiality should be illegal, regardless of circumstances. If Con wins a single example where bestiality should be legal, then Con wins the debate.

Zoophile = a person who is sexually attracted to animals; the term is often used to denote someone who is part of the "zoophile" [or "zoo"] community, meaning the person has sex with animals on a semi-regular to regular basis.

== Argument ==

1) Animals can consent

---(A)--- Animals with advanced cognition and language skills

If the only reason that humans cannot have sex with animals is lack of consent, Pro loses because there are clear examples of animals that can give consent. Chimpanzees have advanced cognition and language skills, including the ability to learn human sign language.[1] In theory, a person could teach a chimpanzee enough sign language so that the chimpanzee could actually consent to sex with a human. In addition, Homo sapiens are the most advanced animal species currently discovered. If humans found an ultra-intelligent alien species, it would be classified as part of the "Animal Kingdom." Animalia is characterized as a group of multi-cellular organisms that are capable of movement. An intelligent alien species that met this characterization would therefore be considered an "animal." If this alien species was equally as intelligent as humans, it could most definitely consent to sex with humans.

Con wins even if you think bestiality should only be legal if it is with a small subset of [highly intelligent] non-human animals.

---(B)--- Less intelligent species can consent as well

Even dogs can consent to sex with humans. According to an expert zoophile, "Animals cannot verbally say yes or no to sex in our human languages but they have other ways to show how they feel. Surely a dog who has mounted, say his human lover, experiences pleasure. This is evident because of his orgasm. Female dogs have orgasms too. Once a dog for example realizes you as a sexual being, they show sexual desire quite often: females will sway their tales revealing their swollen vagina's and dry hump the air in front of you, males will become erect and try to mount. Anyone who is [a] zoo[phile] will be aware of when their animals want sex. More importantly, they will respect their animal partner when they do not want sex. Sometimes when you rub your partner down there they will pull away and sit elsewhere. That is how animals show they are either interested or not. If an animal does not enjoy what is happening to them they will show bodily signs of this: they will tense up, their eyes and ears will move, tails might jitter, and they will pull away. If you continue it could bring painful results: Dogs have powerful teeth and will bite you! Horses can break bones (or worse) with a single kick. Quite simply, it is obvious to see what causes pleasure and pain."[2]

This quote raises two important points: (1) consent can be inferred from an animal"s behavior, and (2) there are female zoophiles! If a human woman is having sex with her dog, it is hard to argue that the dog did not consent because the dog has to mount the woman and do all of the work. The dog could disengage at any time. Dog physiology is not conducive to the woman "being on top." Dogs can only do it doggy style. So there is literally no way that a female human could rape a male dog. The fact that zoophile sex happens between human females and male dogs proves consent.

The fact that wild animals have made sexual advances on humans proves that they want inter-species sex. "Animal sexual advances on, and attempted interactions with humans . . . have been documented by ethologists such as Kohler, Gerald Durrell and Desmond Morris, [and] Birute Galdikas who studied orangutans in Borneo. For example, Peter Singer recounts: While walking through the camp with Galdikas, [our companion] was suddenly seized by a large male orangutan, his intentions made obvious by his erect penis. Fighting off so powerful an animal was not an option, but Galdikas called to her companion not to be concerned, because the orangutan would not harm her, and adding, as further reassurance, that 'they have a very small penis,' As it happened, the orangutan lost interest before penetration took place, but the aspect of the story that struck me most forcefully was that in the eyes of someone who has lived much of her life with orangutans, to be seen by one of them as an object of sexual interest is not a cause for shock or horror. The potential violence of the orangutan's come-on may have been disturbing, but the fact that it was an orangutan making the advances was not." [3] [7]



2) Even if animals cannot consent, sex with animals is morally permissible

---(A)--- Animals are not morally considerable beings

Professor Oderberg argues that rationality is a necessary pre-requisite for a being to have moral rights because to be morally considerable, a being must have (1) knowledge of its moral rights, and (2) the freedom to exercise those rights. [4] Animals have neither. Animals lack the self-reflective ability to know that they have rights. Even if we granted moral rights to animals and gave them a right "not to be killed," an animal would not realize it had this right or know how to assert the right. In addition, animals do not have the freedom to exercise their rights because in our society, animals are viewed as property. An animal enclosed in a pen on a farmer"s land cannot assert that it has a "right to be free."

The same conclusion is reached through social contract theory, which posits that humans give up certain rights when they become part of a society. As John Stuart Mills explained, humans agree that in order for the proper functioning of society, when their rights come in conflict with another person"s rights (and thereby harm that person), the State can adjudicate these competing rights claims and prohibit certain behavior. However, non-humans are not part of the social contract, in part because they are not part of "society" [since animals are property, not members of society] and in part because they do not themselves agree to be bound by the social contract (i.e., they never "signed" the contract). Therefore, under Mills" harm principle, harm to animals cannot be a basis for prohibiting conduct. Conduct can only be prohibited if it harms another human being.

In conclusion, animals are not morally considerable beings, and therefore humans can do anything they want to animals. In our current society, humans can legally kill animals for pleasure when they are hunting. Since rape is generally considered to be less bad than murder, raping animals for pleasure cannot be worse ethically than murdering animals for pleasure [hunting]. The United States has no moral leg to stand on in banning bestiality unless it also bans hunting.

In addition, animals rape each other all the time and are never held to account. For example, approximately one-third of all duck sex is forcible rape.[5] If the concern about animal rape is the violation of bodily autonomy, there is no moral distinction between a duck raping another duck and a human raping a duck. Once again, the US has no moral leg to stand on unless it starts incarcerating ducks for committing rape.

Lastly, humans facilitate animal rape all the time. When humans breed animals, they often lock the female animal in a cage with an extremely enthusiastic male, and she is forced to copulate with him - whether or not she consents. There is no moral distinction between forcing an animal to copulate with another animal versus with a human [because the violation of bodily autonomy is the same]. The distinction cannot be out-of-species sex, since we force lions and tigers to breed (to form ligers) and donkeys and horses to breed (to produce mules). The only way that it could be morally permissible for us to facilitate animal rape is if animals are not morally considerable beings and are therefore merely property that the owner can do with as he or she likes.

Liger:



---(B)--- Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism posits that policies that cause more harm than good should be abandoned and policies that cause more benefit than detriment should be adopted. However, when evaluating harm in the utilitarian calculation, "harm to animals" is not considered (in our society). As philosopher Peter Singer has argued, if you take into account harm to animals, this mandates vegetarianism is most cases because humans could sustain themselves on nothing but vegetables and this avoids a great deal of suffering on the part of animals. The harm to animals would outweigh any marginal benefit to our diets or the pleasure from eating meat. Since the US is not a vegetarian nation, it cannot adopt a utilitarian framework that considers harm to animals as a factor. Ergo, if harm to animals does not matter, there is no reason that a human cannot have sex with an animal, even absent consent.

However, even if animals were morally considerable, there is no evidence that rape harms them. Many animals (such as ducks) are raped all the time by others of their species. This is a normal form of reproduction in the wild. Animals do not have the same complex psychologies as humans, and often do not attach the same emotional significance to sex. Our emotional attachments from sex stem from our pair bonding instincts, but most animals do not form long term pair bonds in the wild. For this reason, their bodies do not secrete the pair bonding hormones during sex that create long-term emotional attachments. So even if harm to animals were considered under utilitarianism, the balance would still come out in favor of allowing bestiality because there is little to no lasting psychological or physical harm from the sex.

The costs of illegality outweigh the benefits. Between 3.5 and 8 percent of Americans admit to having had sex with an animal at least once.[7] It would cost $5.4 trillion to incarcerate every bestiality offender in the United States. [6] In addition, studies show that sexual frustration leads to rape. [8] For example, when prostitutes and pornography are more available in a society, the amount of rape declines drastically.[8] If zoophiles are not allowed to satisfy their sexual urges on animals, they may take out their sexual frustration on other humans. On balance, making bestiality illegal does more harm than good.

3) Bestiality laws cannot be constitutionally enforced

It is impossible to enforce a bestiality law without violating the Constitution. People have a right to privacy, and the Supreme Court said in Griswold v. Connecticut and reaffirmed in Lawrence v. Texas that the bedroom is a private place that the State should not be barging into. The Constitution does not allow the law enforcement tactics that would be necessary to enforce bestiality laws because such methods violate the Constitutional right to privacy inherent in the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. Therefore, because bestiality laws are unconstitutional, vote Con.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
[3] http://tinyurl.com...
[4] http://tinyurl.com...
[5] http://tinyurl.com...
[6] $28,000 average cost of incarceration per year (assuming 2 years in prison); $10,000 cost to arrest [http://tinyurl.com...]; $42,000 per hour court costs (assuming a short 3 hour trial) [http://tinyurl.com...]
[7] http://web.archive.org...
[8] http://www.debate.org...
Markov

Pro

The arguments presented are flawed due to illogical assumptions about both the mental state of animals and their perceived sententious.

1). The Consent of Animals Isn't A Valid Argument

Animals' consent is a shoddy as proved by existent U.S. law. In the U.S. statutory rape laws vary from state to state, but their general consensus is that a 12 to 14 year old may not have sexual intercourse with someone 3 to 4 years their senior. My opponent may argue that a person may engage in intercourse with an animal that falls into said age requirements, but that potential rebuttal may be rendered inaccurate by the two following facts.
The Sally-Anne test is used to determine the point at which a child has developed a theory of mind. Almost 100% of children (not impaired mentally) over the age of four pass the test proving they posses a theory of mind. A signing chimpanzee (widely considered to be the most intelligent animal) has never passed the test. As, they are proved to lack what the average four year old does not, can we really say that an animal is really at a point of maturity, where they can consent to sex with a human?
If my opponent denies the previous argument by saying that statutory rape laws are determined by age of sexual maturity alone I present the following argument. There are over 2 million species of animals on this planet and it would be impossible to create laws around each of those animal's sexual maturities.

2). Sex With Unconsenting Animals Isn't Morally Permissible

My opponent has chosen to make this section of debate about the morality of animal rape and I will respond in such a style.
Though in the last section I demonstrated that animals lack a theory of mind it does not justify their being mistreated. My opponent argues that as animals can be legally murdered and imprisoned animal cruelty is ethical. I say that the law is in this case blatantly unethical and shouldn't be viewed as an ethical authority. I ask the voters, is it ethical to cause an animal pain just because they aren't sentient, and should we mistreat animals for no reason other than it being legal to do so?

3). Bestiality Laws Can and Should Be Enforced

My opponent says that the government must constitutionally stay out of people's bedrooms. She does not realize that the government already interferes with it's citizen's sex lives by illegalizing pedophilia, gay marriage (in most states), and even in 14 states sodomy. Blue steel should know this as she herself has publicly stated anti-gay beliefs (big issues of her profile). Her hypocrisy reveals her ignorance in this field of debate, and her points shouldn't be seen as being valid.
Debate Round No. 2
bluesteel

Con

Remember, based on the rules for this debate in Round 1, Pro accepted the burden of proof. Pro completely fails to justify bestiality"s illegality (in all cases). Pro does not offer any example of an ethical system that would justify the adoption of anti-bestiality laws. Pro merely attempts to shift the burden to me and offers a few scant refutations of my arguments. Do not let Pro bring up new arguments in the final Round because I do not have a chance to respond.

==Rebuttal==

R1) Animal Consent Isn"t Valid

Pro argues about age of consent laws. However, there can only be two possible justifications for age of consent laws: (1) people under the age of consent are not sexually mature, so they are too young to make decisions about sex [pre-puberty] or (2) people under the age of consent lack the emotional sophistication to consent because they do not realize the ways in which sex can be emotionally harmful.

As to #1, animals reach sexual maturity at much younger ages than humans, and only mature animals would show sexual interest in others. Animals are driven by biology, so without sex hormones coursing through their bodies, immature animals would never make sexual advances upon humans. Remember my argument about consent from last Round says that consent would be inferred from the animal"s behavior. So there is no need for complex laws (as my opponent claims) to define the age of consent for each animal. The rule would simply be that only consensual bestiality would be legal. And because sexually immature animals would never engage in sexual behavior, they could never be deemed to have consented to sex.

As to #2, remember my argument from the previous Round [under 2B], in which I argued that animals do not attach any emotional significance to sex. The burden is on my opponent to prove that animals can be harmed psychologically by sex. If animals cannot be harmed psychologically by sex, then the argument cannot be used that they are not "emotionally advanced" enough to consent. Because they do not have the same emotions as humans in the first place, animals cannot have these emotions "hurt."

Therefore, my opponent cannot use an analogy to sexually and emotionally immature humans to argue that animals cannot consent. If animals can consent, my opponent loses.

My opponent brings up that animals lack "theory of mind," but my opponent never explains what is uniquely important about theory of mind. Theory of mind is the ability to see something from another"s perspective. Here is the typical theory of mind test: There is a basket and a box in the room. The subject watches one person (Sally) come into the room and place a marble inside the basket. Then Sally leaves the room. The subject watches another person (Anne) come into the room and move the marble from inside the basket to inside the box. The subject is then asked where Sally will look for the marble when she re-enters the room. Someone without theory of mind will answer, "the box," because the person knows that the marble is in the box and is unable to see things from Sally"s perspective. Someone who has theory of mind says, "the basket," because this person realize that Sally did not see Anne move the marble, so Sally will still think it"s in the basket. However, my opponent never explains why "theory of mind" is necessary for consent to sexual intercourse. The burden of explaining this is on my opponent.

Thus, Pro offers no definitive proof that animals cannot consent. Therefore, Con wins the debate on the consent argument alone.

R2) Sex with non-consenting animals is morally permissible

My opponent merely asserts that "animal cruelty is unethical." He never explains why. Moral Nihilism posits that beliefs about morality are entirely subjective, and therefore the statement that "X is immoral" is nothing more than a personal opinion. There cannot be objective morality because people have disagreements about what is moral and immoral (e.g. about the death penalty, abortion, etc.) However, if there are no objective moral truths, then all morality is subjective, which means that every single moral assertion is simply one person"s opinion. And there is no reason that one person"s opinion is any more valid than another person"s opinion.

In contrast to Pro, who merely recites an opinion about what is ethical, I show that we cannot accept animals as being morally considerable beings because under utilitarianism, if animals were morally considerable we could not hunt them for pleasure and we could not eat them [because we could instead survive on vegetables, without causing pain to animals]. However, currently the United States allows hunting and allows people to consume meat. Therefore, there is no moral basis for considering animals to be morally considerable for purposes of bestiality, but not for any other purpose. In fact, rape is less bad than murder. And we can murder animals just for the fun of it [hunting].

In addition, my opponent drops the argument under social contract theory (SCT). SCT attempts to derive the ethical justification for the state"s use of power because people have an inalienable right to liberty. Mills argued that people choose to join a society for protection from other people, so they agree that the only time the state can restrict their liberty is when their actions might harm other people. Animals are not part of the social contract, so using the state police power to outlaw bestiality based on harm to animals is an illegitimate and unethical use of the state coercive power to impinge upon the inalienable right to liberty. Illegalizing bestiality therefore is itself immoral. The State should not be allowed to criminalize anything it pleases, otherwise it could make anything illegal. Thus, vote Con because there are ethical limits on the State"s power to criminalize. And harm to animals is not morally sufficient reason to restrain liberty.

R3) Bestiality laws can and should be enforced

In the case of statutory rape, the State has decided that protecting children is such a substantial state interest that it outweighs the private to privacy. However, this is not the case for animals. There is not a single Supreme Court case in which the Court has held that animal welfare is a reason to deny people their fundamental rights guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. Therefore, bestiality laws are still unconstitutional.

Pro claims that gay marriage is illegal in many states, but "illegal" in this context merely means that the State refuses to grant them a marriage license. It does not mean they are not allowed to have sex. Pro claims sodomy is illegal in 14 states, but these laws were found to be unconstitutional in the Supreme Court"s decision in Lawrence v. Texas in 2003. Pro also makes some claims about me being a hypocrite, but none of the views on my profile reflect my true beliefs. Even if they did, this isn"t a good argument.

In conclusion, Pro loses because Pro fails to offer any ethical system that would justify adopting a bestiality law, whereas I show that our current society has decidedly refused to recognize animals as morally considerable beings [because we can hunt and kill animals for pleasure]. There is therefore no moral justification for prohibiting even the raping of animals. Since Pro fails his BOP, vote Con.
Markov

Pro

Markov forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
thanks for accepting - plz type "I accept" for your first round :D
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by imabench 2 years ago
imabench
bluesteelMarkovTied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by ClassicRobert 2 years ago
ClassicRobert
bluesteelMarkovTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
bluesteelMarkovTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit so argument points an conduct points to Con. Pro should not have resorted to attacks on credibility as this did not help their argument.
Vote Placed by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
bluesteelMarkovTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited. Points to con.
Vote Placed by SeventhProfessor 2 years ago
SeventhProfessor
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Reasons for voting decision: FF