The Instigator
bluesteel
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
Jevinigh
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points

Bestiality should be illegal in all cases in the United States

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
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: 1,384 times Debate No: 49238
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
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.
Jevinigh

Pro

I accept the challenge but let it be known due to health issues I may operating at full power.
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. I don"t think anyone would contend that it would be immoral for the two main characters in Avatar to have sex, even though one was a hyper-intelligent blue alien female and other one was a normal human male.

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. [T]he consent issue is really a smoke screen for the icky factor. By and large people are disgusted about the idea so they claim consent is a big issue when in fact it is not."[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.

In addition, my opponent cannot argue that "this is all due to training" because there are many documented cases of animals making sexual advances towards humans in the wild. "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. Philosopher and animal welfare activist Peter Singer reports: While walking through the camp with Galdikas, [she] 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,' . . . though the orangutan lost interest before penetration took place," presumably because it couldn"t figure out how to undress her. [3]



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."

In addition, animals cannot be moral agents because moral obligations are reciprocal. If you have a moral obligation not to kill me, then I must have a moral obligation not to kill you. However, rights-claims cannot be asserted against animals. As Professor Oderberg explains, "[E]ven the most hard-line animal rightist does not advocate prison (or worse) for chimpanzees that go on random killing sprees, as they are known to do. Nor do they advocate forcible prevention of lions from eating gazelles " "They can"t help it," it is said." [4] As Sam Harris has explained: "A moral agent is defined as any being able to make moral judgments and be subject to them. Moral agents must possess two faculties. They must be self-aware else they could not make judgments with respect to their own actions and so could not be held responsible. And in as much as moral judgments are stated as propositions, they must have a faculty of language. This is why non-human animals are not moral agents." Because moral agency is a necessary pre-condition to having moral "rights" [since moral obligations must be reciprocal], animals have no moral rights [and therefore no entitlement to be treated a certain way].

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 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.

In addition, the costs of illegality are not worth the benefits. Between 2 and 8 percent of the US population are zoophiles.[7] It would cost $5.4 trillion to incarcerate every zoophile 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.

[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://tinyurl.com...
[8] http://www.debate.org...
Jevinigh

Pro

The task of pro is establish illegality of bestiality in all cases in the United states. To contend this, Con has provided two major points to why legalization is prudent and a minor case made about the resources required to incarcerate offenders. On this last point I am inclined to agree with con that the resources needed to incarcerate offenders is an issue. How ever on her two main moral arguments there are large and semi unsettling issues.


Consent.

This seems to be the core of Con's argument. In this she used examples of female humans primarily engaging with males of another species. Consent here is clearly established on the part of the animal but A law cannot be written to such a narrow perspective of events where a human female shows a willingness to engage in intercourse and a male of a different species follows what is arguably instinct but still clearly consensual. How ever, If this is legally recognized, than the scope must also apply to human males engaging with female animals, consent is not so obvious here. This argument is based on what is legally called "Implied consent" in other words the other party took no action to oppose intercourse, but how can it be proved legally that this is the case? One one party is competent to testify in court. While the Narrow examples given by con are correct in their scope- they are missing an important part of a requirement for consent.

Consent is a continuous act, not something that is given once. In order for both parties to have consent, both parties must be able to withdraw their consent at any time but when the Human male/Animal female scope comes up this is not likely to be the case. An animal cannot provide consent that is legally satisfactory to be presented in court. But there is an even larger issue with this argument that I have yet to touch on.

In order for consensual sex to be recognized under law, Sexual crimes must also be recognized. Just like it is is possible for a chimpanzee to consensually engage in intercourse with a human female, it is also possible for a human to be raped by a vastly physically stronger animal.

Animal as offending Agent:
http://www.nytimes.com...

There are any number more stories out there, but social stigmas prevent such stories from being widely publicized. This is a typical behavior we see in many rape victims in a human on human scenario:
http://www.nij.gov...

You can imagine why a case of a dog forcing them selves on a human woman is not reported or talked about. How ever even a few documented cases establish that is a crime which can be committed.

Human as offending agent:
http://www.thefword.org.uk...
And there are probably plenty of instances but I need only establish the crime has taken place to highlight why this is a major problem.

I remind you now, only one of the parties is competent to testify in court. to argue that an animal is competent to consent to sexual intercourse legally means they must also have rights and a competence to withdraw consent in a legally recognizable way. For this to be the case, an Animal would need the right to press charges against a human sex offender and like wise a Human must be able to press charges against an animal offender. Both incidents are absurd, but the animals that can consent to intercourse by your example are clearly capable of sexual offense.

This opens a huge can of worms... What about horror stories of women being forces to have intercourse with a dog?... What legal liability can the animal have in this instance? If beastaility becomes legally permissible under the terms put forth by Pro, These questions must be answered as well. For an animal to have the right to consent to sex it simply must have the right also to withdraw consent and be entitled to legal rights and protections that this entails.



Moral agency

This is not an argument that is all believable from pro, but more over it too suffers from an extension of its basic premise. If an animal does not have basic rights because it is not recognized as a morale agent than logical consistency dictates the same argument be extended to human children who lack moral agency. They too would not be protected from sexual assaults nor would they have any basic legal protections from murder or abuse of any kind until they are a "Morale agent". This is not the way our legal system works and Its not the way any of us want it to work. Further this argument like wise would void Animal protections from abuse and mistreatment, as the basic rights afforded to them currently are redefined under this logical premise as being reserved for those deemed morally competent.

This has all sorts of implications, extension of logic to its conclusions makes the proposition that lack of Moral agency dictates a forfeiture of basic rights is a dangerous proposition to put forth. You are getting into a an of worms that opens up issues such as aborting a human baby after it has been born from the womb since it lacks moral agency it to would not be afforded basic protections of law, this would be a simple extension of the basic logic behind what Pro has proposed.


Utilitarianism.

Though on its most basic levels I am inclined to agree with Con on this point that incarceration of offenders is a waste of resources how ever above I have outlined the major legal consequences of legalization of bestiality and it requires a complete re wiring of basic premises in our legal system and the consequences are massive either way. The utility of these consequences is not out weighed in anyway by a comparatively small expenditure in recourse to maintain its illegality.





Debate Round No. 2
bluesteel

Con

Remember, Pro has the burden of proof. Last round, Pro completely fails to justify bestiality"s illegality in all cases. No new arguments in the last round since I do not have a chance to respond.

== Rebuttal ==

R1) Consent

Pro argues that consent would be a problem for bestiality, especially for men-on-animal action. However, if the law required the consent of the animal, this would be no different than sex between humans. All of Pro"s same concerns are present with human sex, in which implied consent is the norm. When people actually have sex with each other, it is rare for the man to ask the woman "do you consent to what is about to happen?" and for the woman to verbally respond, "Yes, I consent." In most cases of intercourse, the consent is implied from both partner"s receptivity to the other"s touch.

By making this argument, Pro basically concedes that animal-on-woman action is morally permissible. Because Con only needs to win that bestiality should be legal in some cases, this concession is an automatic win for Con.

In addition, Pro drops the examples of the chimpanzee (who learns sign language) and the hyper-intelligent alien. Verbal consent is possible in both cases. Con wins even if bestiality were limited to cases where the animal can verbally consent.

Pro also says that for some reason, if bestiality were legal we would have to make it illegal for an animal to rape a human. I don"t see why. Bestiality is legal in Texas, but Texas does not put animals in jail for rape. It simply doesn"t make sense to do so, as I explained last round. One-third of male ducks would have to be put in prison.

R2) Non-consent // animals are not morally considerable beings

Pro says that children - like animals - lack moral agency. However, this isn"t true. (1) Children are rational beings who are capable of knowing what rights they have. (2) Moral obligations can be asserted against children. Children who commit murder are put in prison. Children who commit rape are held accountable for their actions. (3) Children are part of society so are included in the social contract. Children agree to be bound by society"s rules, whereas animals do not. (4) For the purposes of the harm principle and utilitarianism, harm to children is considered, whereas harm to animals is not. As human beings, children are treated as inherently considerable beings. Thus, children are morally considerable beings, whereas animals are not.

My opponent doesn"t answer any of my examples here. It makes absolutely no sense to say that murdering an animal for pleasure is legal [hunting], but that raping an animal for pleasure is illegal since rape is a less bad crime than murder. If animals are morally considerable beings, we would not be allowed to hunt them, breed them (which often involves animal-on-animal rape), or eat them.

Under utilitarianism, Pro concedes that the cost of locking up all the zoophiles in prison is not worth the benefit. However, he says that we have to fundamentally change our legal system to legalize bestiality. This argument makes zero sense because multiple states currently allow bestiality. It requires no special change to the legal system - you simply don"t prosecute people who have sex with animals. Animals are generally treated in the United States as being property and not being morally considerable beings. It is voting Pro that requires changing the entire legal system because adopting Pro"s ethical system means changing many other rules in society.

Conclusion: because Pro has the BOP and fails to provide an ethical justification for why bestiality should be illegal, vote Con.

P.S. Dogs like it ruff.
Jevinigh

Pro


Con has cherry picked my argument and ignored the part about having to over haul the legal system to accomodate legalization. Additionally Con operates under something of a delusion that she can shovel off Burden of Proof. Fact of the matter is that an animal is apable of rape and i have established that. The law is no capable of acomidating a case of rape between a man and animal because an Animal is not LEGALLY competent. it is not capable of knowing its wights, As is basic sense but also established in primary argument. Furth Con counter the point by attempting to say that children are morally competent but this is inocrrect, a child BECOMES morally competent but an infinte is not morally competenent. Unlike most of the animal kindgom where the offspring comes out ( in most species) with the majority of its mental capacity already developed, Humans continue to mature metally out side of the womb for the majority of their mental development. The lack of moral agency extends in your argument to void infants and animals of basic rights.

I have given you a solid reason why not to legalize beastality nationally. Our legal system is not capable of dealing with the legal problems presented by the capacity of a human or an animal to press charges of rape, thought the capacity for rape clearly exists. Texas may have legalized it but the very first tiem Major inicdent comes forth that undermines the legal deifnitions of consenual sex and protections of humans against sexual abuse.

You cherry picked it, taking what you wanted to hear and disregarded the rest. The votes will decide.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by ADreamOfLiberty 2 years ago
ADreamOfLiberty
I have done an analysis of this debate http://www.debate.org... posts 308-313.

Voters around here continue to incense me with their sloth and incompetence.
Posted by Jevinigh 2 years ago
Jevinigh
Alright, we are still on- I am just waking up.
Posted by Jevinigh 2 years ago
Jevinigh
Wait a moment, you flipped the positions on me? I was under the impression I was taking the legalization stand point.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
bluesteelJevinighTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a tough debate to decide on due to the nature of the issue addressed and the common norms we adhere to. I think both debaters made poor arguments based on morality etc. For me the only question that needs to be addressed in this debate is the consent question. Con showed that consent is possible, and that it is not always verbal confirmation even in humans. As such argument points go to Con. All other points are shared and well done to both of you.
Vote Placed by emospongebob527 2 years ago
emospongebob527
bluesteelJevinighTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro drops the majority of Con's arguments and then accuses him of cherry-picking simply because he has nothing better to do.
Vote Placed by Mikal 2 years ago
Mikal
bluesteelJevinighTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I have no idea how anyone is voting pro on this. Most of the RFDS I have seen failed to even pick up most of cons initial premises. Again cons strongest point goes to utilitarianism and pro pretty much concedes this point and says they are almost inclined to agree with con. I am pretty sure Pro is aware they lost by the end of the debate. They claim con is "cherry picking" Their argument. That is almost a acknowledging that con ate their premises up from certain standpoints. Cons second strongest point was that animals can be killed and harmed, rape is no different to this or at least that was the initial premise. Pro almost left that untouched . I think this is a pretty clear call, Cons contention on moral agents almost went untouched and pro practically conceded to his premise on utilitarianism. Sources are virtually incomparable as well. By the end of round 3 con ran away this pretty decisively.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
Actionsspeak
bluesteelJevinighTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had a stronger argument, while Con needed falsly accused Pro of failing to meet the BoP. However Con did have better sources, and more sources.
Vote Placed by The_Scapegoat_bleats 2 years ago
The_Scapegoat_bleats
bluesteelJevinighTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con has put a lot of effort in establishing things like "Aliens are animals", while clearly the discovery of alien life would necessitate introducing new categories. "Consent" doesn't work like Con sees it, Pro makes a much better case here. Both dropped points, Con used more sources, but many were biased to begin with. I see arguments go to Pro for the acute definition of "consent", the rest is tied.