The Instigator
bluesteel
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
Juan_Pablo
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 2 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: 4,644 times Debate No: 49248
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (25)
Votes (2)

 

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.
Juan_Pablo

Pro

I accept!

(And though bestiality is legal in Texas, it's certainly not socially acceptable. However, other states criminilize bestiality to protect the rights of animals. Of course, there are a string of reasons why humans shouldn't go looking to animals for sexual pleasure. . . . )
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...
Juan_Pablo

Pro

In Round 2 my opponent makes claims that are blatantly false, which undermine her second main argument of her two main arguments.

Her second main argument is this:

"Even if animals cannot consent, sex with animals is morally permissible"

She defends this position with these five general assertions:

1) "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."

(She then goes on to argue that this means animals do not have rights, which is of course a falsehood. They very much do in virtually all nations that have now been industrialized for several decades and their rights are presently expanding [1].)

2) "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."

(Okay. But animals still have rights because numerous human societies have enacted Animals Rights, which protect animals from gratuitous human harm and abuse. Since humans are moral agents, their moral compass necessarily extends to their interaction not just with each other, but with the Earth, with the animals, and with resources. Animal Rights are there to place restrictions on what humans can do to animals and to their habitats! The concept of Animal Rights does not require animals to enunciate and defend their rights to humans. In fact, numerous federal laws within the United States and a multitude of International laws make it a crime to treat animals in certain abusive ways; the penalties range from a simple fine to incarceration [2].)

3) "Social contract theory...posits that humans give up certain rights when they become part of a society....However, nonnon-humans are not part of the social contract...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)."

(Here my opponent fails to fully understand what social contract theory is. In the United States and virtually all other democratic countries citizens are obligated to follow public laws not because they "sign onto them", as she frivolously asserts, but because they are bound to them by either being citizens or residents of the said country. In the United States [as most other countries] people are required to follow laws no matter their opinion of them or their citizenship status. No signature required. And when a law is broken, a penalty is almost always imposed. This legal principle is called "The Rule of Law" and its a cardinal foundation for the U.S. Constitution and other legal frameworks around the globe [3]. Humans are obligated to follow Animal Welfare Laws or they risk being prosecuted for breaking them.)

4) "Animals are not morally considerable beings, and therefore humans can do anything they want to animals."

(No; not true. The Animal Welfare Act of 1966 restricts how animals can be treated by dealers, in exhibitions, during transport and for scientific research. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act of 1978 requires the proper treatment and handling of all animals to be slaughtered in USDA slaughter plants plants. Numerous U.S. federal laws exist to protect wildlife, endangered, domesticated, and farm animals from gratuitous harm, mistreatment and neglect; this doesn't include the hundreds of states laws throughout the country that protect pets, wildlife, and endangered species from human neglect and harm, nor various international laws that exist, which the US conforms to, to protect animals and provide them with rights [2].)

5) "Animals rape each other all the time and are never held to account . . . 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."

(Yes. Many animals do rape within their own species. This is a theme found within nature. However, even this forced copulation is intended for the purposes of reproduction and generating progeny. And it's commited within a species capable of producing viable offspring. The sexual organs involved were meant to compliment each other. However, surveys consistently indicate that most human practitioners of bestiality are males, with sexual organs not intended and designed for sex with non-human animals [4]. As a consequence, harm to the animal [and the human] is of great public concern. Besides physical and emotional harm inflicted to the animal [something which sessions of bestiality have a high prevalance for [5]], there is also occassional harm inflicted to humans, which includes being impaled, trappled, and bitten by the animal, and disease transmission is also very common; bestiality is therefore regarded as a high risk activity [6].)


My opponents primary argument in ROUND 2 is that animals can (though not always) consent to sex, and therefore this justifies bestiality - sex between human and animal. What she completely fails to mention is that most sessions of bestiality are initiated by the human, often a male, without regard for the safety and wellbeing of the poor defenseless animal. In the legal sphere this is called "Sexual Assult" on animal [7], and it is presently illegal in 37 U.S. States; the number of states criminalizing bestiality has increased over the last decade [6]. Now CON is undermining her argument by suggesting that because some animals do consent to sex with humans this makes bestiality okay. But of course it does not, because most cases of bestiality are initiated by the human against the will of the animal; this is essentially rape.

Yes, many animals do rape their own kind, but this is natural and human laws cannot be extended to interactions between a pair of non-human animals. However, human sexual organs are not intended and designed for non-human animal sexual interaction. Sex between human and animal is simply ill-fated to be gratuitously harmful and emotionally disturbing to the animal.

As I explained earlier in this ROUND, my opponent is wrong to assert that humans are free to do whatever they wish to animals. We cannot. As of March 14, 2014, ALL 50 U.S. STATES have now made it a felony to inflict egregious abuse on an animal [8], which in many cases is also interpretted to mean sexual assault. That means that gratuitous, malicious abuse against animals is punishable with more than a year of incarceration in all states. Animal Welfare Laws and Animal Rights legislation is forcing humans to respect animals and treat them with dignitiy even though they cannot personally enunciate their rights and defend them.

And even in cases where animals do initiate sex with a human, they do so out of ignorance, not realizing what to fully expect or the possible longterm sexual abuse that might be inflicted on them by a more powerful human. This is why all bestiality should be outlawed. If animals do "consent" to sex with a human on occassion, it's only done in playful ignorance . . . but the damage that can follow is real.

Animals have been killed and injured because of sex with humans. Horses have died from being impaled by the limbs of sexually-aggressive men [9]. Goats, horses, dogs, sheep, chickens, cats, deer, cattle have endured the sexual advances of humans, the vast majority unwillingly, and have been injured by these sessions [10].

For specific case histories, see here:

http://www.pet-abuse.com...

These relations are fundamentally unequal. If the human wants to have sex with an animal, the animal is more often than not helpless to prevent it. Bestiality is necessarily an abusive, suppressive kind of sex. If the more powerful, more smarter human wants sex, what can the animal do to stop him? The defenseless animal is at the mercy of sexually aggressive human.

This is not a partnership of equals.

And these partnerships cannot be realistically and socially consummated because animals don't understand the notion of human rights. So if an animal bites a human, trapples him, impales him or otherwise injures him what can the human do? Take the animal to court?

Beastiality is simply something that society cannot approve of, because of the incredible complications involved. Therefore, with respect to law, it's best that human and animal go there separate ways sexually, and find amourous satisfaction within their own species.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://awic.nal.usda.gov...
[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[4] http://www.zoophilia.net...
[5] http://www.animalsandsociety.org...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[7] http://aldf.org...
[8] http://aldf.org...
[9] http://www.homosexinfo.org...
[10] http://www.pet-abuse.com...

Debate Round No. 2
bluesteel

Con

Remember, Pro has accepted the burden of proof. Last round, 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 engages in logical fallacies (as I will show). No new arguments in the last round since I do not have a chance to respond.

== Rebuttal ==

Pro divides my round into non-consent arguments and then consent arguments:

1) Non-consent

Pro further subdivides this into five categories. I don"t agree that these were the only important categories in my argument, but I will address Pro"s points in order and then say what he missed.

---(R1)--- Rationality is a pre-requisite for having moral rights

My source from the previous Round argued that to have rights, one must have the rationality to know that one has the right and to assert the right. In addition, to have rights, one must have a recognized freedom to exercise those rights. Animals lack the rationality to know they have rights and lack the freedom to assert a right to life, liberty, or property (the three basic rights enumerated by John Locke).

My opponent"s only response is that animals have legal rights currently in the US. He cites a source linking to the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) of 1966. However:

  1. (1) A legal right does not entail a moral right. My opponent never disproves that rationality is a pre-requisite to moral rights. In fact, my opponent never explains why adoption of the AWA was morally justified. The AWA is a bad law that impedes medical research. The ridiculously high cost of compliance with the AWA makes it nearly impossible for research laboratories at major universities to use animals in testing because the cost of running the lab is prohibitive. [1]

  2. (2) My opponent is merely engaging in a logical fallacy called an "appeal to tradition." [2] He is saying we should protect animal rights in the current context because we have done so in the past. He doesn"t prove that it is immoral to refuse to protect animal rights. If it"s not immoral to do so, there is no logical justification for protecting animal"s legal rights except "we have always done so" (which is a logical fallacy).


---(R2)--- Animals are not moral agents

My opponent"s main argument here is that humans are moral agents and we have a moral obligation to treat the Earth and animals humanely. However:

  1. (1) My opponent does not explain where this moral obligation comes from. It is too late to do so in the last Round, when I cannot respond.

  2. (2) My opponent just makes a bare assertion that we have a moral obligation to safeguard animals. I could just as easily assert that Moral Nihilism is true. The theory of Expressivism states that when people claim something is "immoral," they are just stating their personal feelings on the subject. [3] Their views have no objective basis and therefore have no power to bind the actions of others. My opponent fails to offer any ethical system to disprove Nihilism, which is the default position if no ethical system is offered.

  3. (3) I, however, offered two ethical systems under which animals are not considered morally considerable beings: social contract theory and utilitarianism. (a) Animals are not part of society nor bound by the social contract (since they can rape and murder without consequence), so they cannot be viewed as being worthy of constraining the actions of humans. Social contract theory says that humans only agree to cede their inherent freedom (that they would have in a state of nature) in exchange for the protection afforded by other people signing up for the social contract. If another does not or cannot agree to the contract, there is no legitimate basis for employing state coercion to prohibit a society member"s behavior [John Stuart Mills]. (b) Under utilitarianism, if animals were morally considerable we could not hunt them, breed them, or eat them. We do all these things. Therefore, under moral relativism, we do not accept in our society that animals are morally considerable beings. Any animal welfare laws we pass are just to make ourselves feel better, but are not based on any actual moral justification.

  4. The rest of my opponent"s arguments here are just more appeals to tradition.


---(R3)--- Social contract theory

My opponent claims that I do not understand social contract theory, but it is he that does not understand it. Social contract theory attempts to explain the reasons that the State can legitimately exercise its power over individuals. We begin by imagining a state of nature that pre-dates society. "According to Locke, the State of Nature, the natural condition of mankind, is a state of perfect and complete liberty to conduct one"s life as one best sees fit, free from the interference of others." [4] People then agree to give up some of their freedom in order to live in a society. [4] John Stuart Mills argued that the only reason that people give up this freedom is to be protected from being harmed by others. Thus, Mills concluded that "the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." Because animals are not part of the social contract, harm to them is not considered.

Because my opponent utterly fails to understand or answer this argument, he loses because it proves that harm to animals is not a moral consideration. The state does not ethically have the power - under the social contract - to proscribe harm to animals.

---(R4)--- We can do what we want to animals because they are not morally considerable

  1. (1) Here, my opponent just repeats his appeal to tradition and fails to justify why any of the laws he cites are ethical examples of State-imposed restraints on liberty (under social contract theory and the harm principle).

  2. (2) In fact, many of these laws were designed to protect people"s property interest in animals. Animal cruelty laws are usually only enforced when someone unjustifiably harms someone else"s pet or livestock. This means that these laws merely support the view that animals are property, not morally considerable beings.


---(R5)--- Animals rape each other so who cares if a human rapes an animal

==>(A) My opponent claims that animal sex organs don"t match those of humans, so they are harmed physically

However, as philosopher Peter Singer explains, the vaginas of most mammals are very similar in structure to those of a human female. [5] There is no evidence that bestiality causes any permanent physical harm to animals. In addition, it seems silly to object to minor vaginal abrasions when we can kill animals for pleasure [hunting]. Raping an animal for pleasure seems much less harmful than death.

Somewhere later in the Round, my opponent cites two sources (#9 and #10) that purport to show that animals were physically harmed by bestiality. However, both sources merely provide statistics for how often bestiality has occurred. They say nothing about physical harm. Dock my opponent "sources" for trying to pull a fast one.

==>(B) My opponent claims that animals are harmed psychologically by rape

  1. (1) However, his source #5 doesn"t say this. In fact, the study did not even look at animals. It"s just a study of juvenile offenders who had sex with animals. It talks about how some of these juveniles were emotionally abused as children. But it never talks about whether the animals had psychological problems. Dock my opponent "sources" for trying to pull a fast one.

  2. (2) There is reason to believe that animals are not psychologically harmed by sex with humans. 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.



---(*)--- Things my opponent missed under non-consent

My opponent completely drops the utilitarianism argument. This argument proved that harm to animals cannot be considered in the utilitarian calculation or else we would not be able to hunt, breed, or eat animals. My opponent has no response. Until we also ban those practices, we cannot adopt an ethical system that considers harm to animals as morally considerable. Therefore, harm to animals is morally irrelevant in our society.

My opponent also drops that in the utilitarian calculation, the detriments of banning bestiality outweigh the benefits. 8% of American men admit to having had sex with animals at least once in their lives. [5] The cost of incarcerating everyone who has engaged in bestiality would cost $5.4 trillion. My opponent drops this argument; don"t let him respond in the last Round, when I can"t respond to his response. In addition, my opponent drops the argument that if someone is desperate enough to rape a sheep, the same person may be desperate enough to rape a human if both acts carried the same penalty. At least if people take out their sexual frustrations on animals, humans aren"t harmed. Due to both the cost and the potential for increased rapes on humans, the utilitarian calculation proves that bestiality should not be banned.

In sum, the only possible justification for an anti-bestiality law is morality. Yet my opponent fails to provide any ethical system that would mandate a bestiality law, and he fails to even refute the ethical systems that I offer - which show that animals cannot possibly be morally considerable beings in our society. Therefore, the morality argument alone is enough for you to Vote Con.

2) Consent

My opponent"s only real argument is that "animals don"t know what they are getting themselves into" when they consent. However, see my argument above that animals do not attach the same emotional significance to sex that humans do (because many of them do not have pair bonding). Therefore, my consent argument still stands.

My opponent also drops my arguments that very intelligent species, like chimps and possibly aliens, are smart enough to verbally consent and to understand exactly what they are consenting to. My opponent thus fails to prove bestiality should be illegal in all cases. Even if you don"t like this argument, my opponent dropped it so you have to vote on it.

3) Impossible to enforce

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://speakingofresearch.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
[5] http://web.archive.org...
Juan_Pablo

Pro

In her ROUND 3 response, my opponent makes the following statement, in defense of moral nihilism - the view that nothing is inherently right or wrong, that anything can be and is fundamentally permissable in the world of natural/cosmic interactions [1]:

"My opponent just makes a bare assertion that we have a moral obligation to safeguard animals. I could just as easily assert that Moral Nihilism is true. The theory of Expressivism states that when people claim something is 'immoral,' they are just stating their personal feelings on the subject. Their views have no objective basis and therefore have no power to bind the actions of others. My opponent fails to offer any ethical system to disprove Nihilism, which is the default position if no ethical system is offered."

But if she's going to argue this, then why have laws at all? Here again she doesn't seem to grasp the very philosophy she's using to defend her own position. Moral nihilism asserts that everything is fundamentally permitted in the world, and this implies that humans don't have rights, that rules can be broken whenever and for whatever reasons. Why even bother establishing a society consisting of laws and order? Moral nihilism is the position that everything is permissible, simply because it can happen...it is a position that defends every possible reckless entropy within human society and interaction, since there is no objective basis for anything, which it asserts [1].

She's incorrectly applying moral nihilism, by saying that humans have rights but animals do not. Moral nihilism asserts that neither human nor animal have an objective foundation for morality and rights! Anything and everything goes; to put it bluntly, she had better be prepared to extend the implications of moral nihilism to her own rights just as much as she's applying them to animal rights (which she claims have "no objective basis" [2]).

Well, human rights are not objective either. They are exclusively subjective.

But the social theorist John Stuart Mill solved this problem for us. My opponent cites him as a source in ROUND 3, but once again it doesn't appear she fully comprehends what's being said. Here I'm going to repost what my opponent stated in her quote above:

"The theory of Expressivism states that when people claim something is 'immoral,' they are just stating their personal feelings on the subject. Their views have no objective basis and therefore have no power to bind the actions of others."

But for John Stuart Mill emotions were everything; they were the bedrock of morality and of social order in the world. John Stuart Mill was a founder and contributer of Utilitarianism, which is summed up in the creed of the Greatest-Happiness Principle:

"Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness, wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure, and the absence of pain; by unhappiness, pain, and the...[prohibition] of pleasure" [3].

To John Stuart Mill and in the philosophy of Utilitarianism moral rightness is decided, not by an objective quality, which Mill believed was impossible to establish on this topic, but by the feelings conjured by an action. If an action inflicted more pain upon a person or a group than it did pleasure, it was wrong; if an action provided more happiness to an individual or a group than it did pain, it was right [3]. Moral rightness then is decided by the Greatest-Happiness Principle, and this is the foundation stone of modern Utilitarianism.

Human Rights exist because they provide people interacting within a community with safeguards and legal protections from harmful, unwanted abuse. Public laws exist because they impose a structured order necessary to optimize the quality of life in a community - but also to eliminate or reduce gratuitous pain and harm.

John Stuart Mill elucidated that it's our wants, our feelings, our will to optimize the quality of life and increase social happiness that drives us to establish rights and to enact laws. What we want collectively and what we feel with respect to actions determines morality [4]. Using this justification he went on to denounce slavery and endorse complete human rights for the slave and he also championed women's issues and womans rights while he lived, which was rare in his time [5].

My opponent will also be shocked to learn, since she cites him, that John Stuart Mill was also a fierce advocate of animal rights! In his article In Defense of Bentham (Jeremy Bentham was a popular philosopher of animal rights), Mill argues that the Greatest-Happiness Principle applies to all interactions involving a human and another living thing, human or non-human [6]. Gratuitous (unnecessary) pain is immoral because it simply isn't necessary and it creates more distress on an animal than the situation calls for, even in the act of killing an animal for human consumption. In other words, pain is real for the animal and because it shows an aversion to pain, the distress should be reduced in it as much as possible, if not totally eliminated. The act of inflicting gratuitous pain on the animal Mill calls "animal cruelty" [6].



In ROUND 2 my opponent wrongly insisted that humans can do anything they want to animals. I showed that she was in fact wrong. In all 50 U.S. States it is now a felony to egregiously abuse a non-human animal [7]. There are hundreds of laws that restrict human behavior around animals - inside of research laboratories, on farms and slaughter houses, in the wild and inside the home. Laws protecting animals from gratuitous harm, neglect, poaching carry penalties that range from a fine to incarceration. The work of philosophers like Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Peter Singer and literally thousands of concerned Animal Rights supporters have helped to pass federal and state legislation to protect animals from brutal, unnecessary violence and harm.

Bestiality, or "sexual assault" on an animal in the legal sphere, is just another unnecessary abuse animals can go without when they interact with humans. As I explained in ROUND 2, most incidences of bestiality are initiated by the human, for the purpose of human pleasure, without regard for the animal, which can be anything from a small bird to a grazing cow. These relationships are fundamentally unequal, however, because the human always has the advantage, due to his intelligence, his power, and because he speaks the same language of the federal and state courts; the animal does not. There is no confident way to determine that an animal disapproved of being sexually violated once it has happened. For this reason beastiality, which is currently outlawed in 37 states, should be outlawed in all 50 U.S. States!

Because an animal cannot of its own freewill file charges against someone who has sexually assaulted it, the country - each state - has a responsibility to protect animals from this degenerate and twisted abuse. No man or woman should have the right to assert him/herself on a less intelligent animal in search of sexual gratification; we do not permit this between adults and children - pedophilia - because we recognize that a child, or a teenager, is less intelligent, less mature, less powerful than a human adult. Even if a child does consent, the human adult will still be prosecuted for taking advantage of the less intelligent, less mature, less cognitively-inclined child. The age of consent in all 50 U.S. States is between 16 and 18 [8] - several years above the age of puberty, when teenagers are already experiencing strong sexual urges. Why is this? Because in the United States consent requires an assumed level of intelligence and the capacity for good judgement; children simply aren't considered smart enough or rational enough to have sex with an adult and it's done to protect them from physical and emotional abuse.

Similarly, in the case of beastiality, the animal doesn't have the capacity to say "no" and communicate with certain words that it disaproves of the sex act during or after the fact. Therefore, to protect the animal, 37 U.S. States have passed laws outlawing beastiality completely. It's my contention that all U.S. States should criminalize beastility, to protect animals from sexual opportunists and habitual practitioners of beastility. Animals should not be used as tools to satisfy perverse human fetishes.

There are so many other, wonderful, less detrimental ways (to both the animal and the human) for the human to find sexual happiness. And they often involve consensual sex with another human adult.

Lastly, no animal on Earth is nearly as intelligent as a human being. For the last 40 years, biologists have been measuring relative animal intelligence using a parameter called the encephalization quotient (or EQ) [9]. The encephalization quotient is used by biologists to estimate the rough intelligence of an animal. Somewhat complicated to obtain, it considers an animal's brain and body mass and allometric effects. The rough intelligence of the animal is computed from the ratio between its actual brain mass and the predicted brain mass it would have if it fit brain-to-body mass trends in nature. The EQ has been found to coincide very well with observed complexity in animal behavior; it is also superior to the simple brain-to-body mass ratio scientists relied on over 50 years ago [9].

The chart below shows how humans compare to other species. (Higher values reflect greater intelligence.)

The Encephalization Quotient (EQ) is a measure used by biologists to estimate the rough intelligence of an animal. Somewhat complicated to obtain, it considers an animal's brain and body mass and allometric effects. The rough intelligence of the animal is computed from the ratio between its actual brain mass and the predicted brain mass it would have if it fit brain-to-body mass trends in nature. The EQ has been found to coincide very well with observed complexity in animal behavior.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] "Beastility should be illegal in all cases in the United States." Bluesteel, ROUND 3.
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...(book)
[4] Heilbroner, Robert L. The Worldly Philosophers. 1966. P. 108.
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[6] http://www.animal-rights-library.com...
[7] http://aldf.org...
[8] http://www.ageofconsent.us...
[9] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
25 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Blueberry_Goose 5 months ago
Blueberry_Goose
Bluesteel needs to be checked out by a psychiatrist. Sex with animals is filthy and reprehensible. I hope she doesn't have any pets and urge her to never adopt any.
Posted by dirtygabbchez666 2 years ago
dirtygabbchez666
Legal or not, having sex with an animal is a red flag to more serious problems. Like cutting, bulemia, asphixiation (however it's spelled), permiscuity, ect....Weather or not it is affecting a persons health and ability to function should be taken into consideration. Do they have a family and is it affecting their relationships...yadda yadda yadda.......The same with women with the re-born baby dolls who treat them as their real child who passed away.....that should be left to the individual and their friends and family or whoever these behaviors directly affect to decide if anything should be done about it. It isn't the governments job to get involved nor is it up to the public to start a debate on it. It's trivial unless you're being affected by it. Not all things are worth debating.
Posted by SebUK 2 years ago
SebUK
um I think sex with animals should be legal but wouldn't the claim 'that they can consent' be also used to legalise pedophilia?...
Posted by GWL-CPA 2 years ago
GWL-CPA
What a ridiculous debate.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
Well it's too bad Mikal feels I didn't a very good job standing my ground. I think I did an excellent job!
Posted by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
I'll post my ROUND 3 response today.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
I'll post my ROUND 2 response today.
Posted by Buggie111 2 years ago
Buggie111
Is that picture of Galadkis?
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
Plus those problems don't magically go away with human children when they are 16 as opposed to 15. Yours is an arbitrary form of paternalism. Even 30-year-old women and men have problems with everything you've said.
Posted by bluesteel 2 years ago
bluesteel
>Developing a powerful attachment to someone, even becoming emotional dependent (imprinting); being controlled and manipulated. A variety of issues come up.

None of that can happen to an animal.......... Animals don't have human brains. Many animals don't pair bond and aren't monogamous, so sex does not come with any emotional attachment.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
Actionsspeak
bluesteelJuan_PabloTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro lost on arguments, due to burden of proof.
Vote Placed by Mikal 2 years ago
Mikal
bluesteelJuan_PabloTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was pretty easy to judge. Even from glancing over this at the start and then reading it more in depth later, pro dropped a mess of arguments. He completely dropped constitutionality and the fact that if hunting and eating animals are morally permissible, then harm to animals cannot be morally considerable under utilitarianism. I think pro fails to understand the distinction between moral rights and legal rights and never justifies why the legal rights should exist using ethics. I just am baffled by pro not responding to the argument about hard. If we can kill and rape them, why can we not screw them. He constantly is failing to separate a legal argument from an ethical argument. Con was bringing this up from an ethics perspective and Pro never even bothers to touch it. If he was able to separate legality and ethics, he could have had a stronger case but his contentions were futile because they did not really touch cons contentions.