The Instigator
ThePhilosopherKing
Con (against)
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The Contender
eggplantapocalypse
Pro (for)
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Do humans have an Obligation to Provide rights to Animals?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 399 times Debate No: 84378
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ThePhilosopherKing

Con

What sort of obligations should human beings have towards non-humans? In our current societal moral system this topic has gained much attention. Certain instances of animal cruelty cause a larger public outcry than others. For example, the animal abuse to a dog versus a cow. The former will warrant a public backlash to a larger degree than the latter. Reasoning for this derives from a type of connectedness of the abuse to the dog and morality affecting a human being. This type of moral reasoning is an example of an indirect theory. Two other theories are generally included in philosophical thinking: direct but unequal theories, and moral equality theories (resource 1). For the purpose of this debate I will be assuming the role of an indirect theorist.

I will begin this debate by asking my opponent a question which I will then provide a response. What sort of rights ought to be given to non-humans? Why? Do any exceptions exist?

Resources:

1. http://www.iep.utm.edu...
eggplantapocalypse

Pro

I believe non-humans ought to be given the same basic rights as humans. Starting with; the right to live, the right to not be tortured, the right to not be slaves, and so on.

I am unaware of any argument that would make it so animals should not share our basic rights. Due to moral inconsistencies, arguments such as; animals having little to no intelligence, no conscious, little to no emotional capacity, large differences in anatomy to that of humans, different perception of pain, or natural order, have no merit and cannot help to justify excluding animals from the moral community.

I will break down each of these arguments one by one, starting with,

LITTLE TO NO INTELLIGENCE: babies and adult humans with severe mental disabilities are not excluded from the moral community due to their lack of intelligence.

NO CONSCIOUS: you could argue that many humans have no conscious. Regardless, it's all too obvious animals are sentient beings. Proof:
Alex the parrot. The first animal to ask an existential question: https://en.wikipedia.org...
Chimps have a sense of fairness: http://www.livescience.com...
This article: https://www.psychologytoday.com...

LITTLE TO NO EMOTIONAL CAPACITY: there are humans that have little to no emotional capacity. Regardless, consider the fact that nearly all dog owners believe their pets experience emotions. Or this: http://www.livescience.com...

LARGE DIFFERENCES IN ANATOMY: humans come in all sizes, shapes, and colours. We can look VERY different from each other. Appearances hardly matter.

DIFFERENT PERCEPTION OF PAIN: I've never understood this argument. If you broke a dogs leg, it'd howl and wail like mad. It'd convulse and roll around in agony. If you broke my leg, I'd do the same thing, more or less. In fact, it might be worse for the dog, because I'd have some comfort in understanding that I'd be taken to a hospital and eventually heal. Regardless, they undoubtedly experience some kind of pain. We do all have nervous systems don't we.
Also, https://www.psychologytoday.com....

IT'S NATURAL: you can't look to nature for moral justification. "Lions eat meat, and so do many other animals. Why should it be unethical for humans (who are animals) to eat other animals?" Because you could also say "Ducks rape, and so do many other animals. Why should it be unethical for humans (who are animals) to rape?" and "Grizzly bears are occasionally filial cannibals, and so are many other animals. Why should it be unethical for humans (who are animals) to eat their own children?" and so on.

Exceptions: There are actually 30 basic rights, and some are only suited for humans. Such as, workers" rights and the right to education.
Debate Round No. 1
ThePhilosopherKing

Con

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eggplantapocalypse

Pro

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Debate Round No. 2
ThePhilosopherKing

Con

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eggplantapocalypse

Pro

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Debate Round No. 3
ThePhilosopherKing

Con

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eggplantapocalypse

Pro

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Debate Round No. 4
ThePhilosopherKing

Con

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eggplantapocalypse

Pro

eggplantapocalypse forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
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