The Instigator
Stupidape
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Lexus
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Elephants should have certain inalienable rights.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/18/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 300 times Debate No: 82747
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

Stupidape

Pro

Resolution: Elephants should have certain inalienable rights.

This is a normative resolution.

Pro will contend for the resolution.
Con will contend against the resolution.

Elephant "a very large gray animal that has a long, flexible nose and two long tusks" [1].

Inalienable "impossible to take away or give up" [2].

Links.
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
Lexus

Con

I accept.

My case will hinge on the notion that having inalienable rights is necessarily harmful to ALL living things, not just elephants or humans, because it requires the existence of the State. Rights are bad for all living things because having a State to protect them is bad.

You can argue first, that was just what my argument was going to be about (unless I change my mind) - you have the BoP.
Debate Round No. 1
Stupidape

Pro

Elephants should have certain inalienable rights because they are sentient and have nearly the intelligence of humans.

Claim 1: elephant brains are similar to humans.

Warrant:" Interestingly, the growth and development of the elephant's brain is similar to that of mans. Both the elephant and man are born with small brain masses. The mass of the new-born elephant's brain is 35% of that of the adult, while Mans is 26%. Thus, there is considerable growth and development as the calf grows up. As the mass of the brain increases, so does the learning ability of young elephants.

Not surprisingly, evidence gathered from both anatomical details, as well as from behavioural studies, suggest that the elephant is a very intelligent animal. :)" [3].

Impact: Elephant should have at least some of the rights humans have due to similarities.

Claim 2: Elephants can pass the mirror test for sentience.

Warrant: "Elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror, joining only humans, apes and dolphins as animals that possess this kind of self-awareness, researchers now report." [4].

Impact: Elephants are surely sentient and can suffer.

It is clear that elephants should have at least some inalienable rights. Thanks for accepting the debate.

Links
3. http://elephant.elehost.com...
4. http://www.livescience.com...
Lexus

Con

C1. Intellectual similarities

Pro just doesn't offer any links between having a smaller brain at birth than in adulthood with providing inalienable rights. He just says that they are similar thus they should have rights. But, I can say this: a rock has an astounding 0% new-born brain mass as an adult rock, therefore it logically follows that they should have inalienable rights! ...
Wait, something doesn't add up; to jump from "intellectually alike" (which I agree completely) to they must be given inalienable rights is a falsehood. This contention just doesn't hold up because it makes no sense.

C2. Sentience

Pro falls into the same trap as in C1 - they provide no A->B->rights link; they have sentience->suffering->inalienable rights???? How exactly is this a valid mode of thought ... a robot can be coded to see itself in a mirror, but it shouldn't have inalienable rights - for it lacks the 'human-ness' that rights are constructed about.

Now, onto my case.

O1. Rights are only inalienable in a protective state that will have a means for protection ... inalienability doesn't mean anything if there is no state to ensure that there is inalienability.

My case will hinge on the idea that if you have a State to protect rights then you are the main cause of all problems in the world ... the framework that the Aff is arguing for necessarily requires the existence of a rights-protecting State - if they advocate against the existence of such a State then they concede the debate.

C1. The State undermines communal responses and will lead to human extinction.

Murray Bookchin, 1990, argues:
  • That "clarity," today, is gone. It has been replaced by ambiguity. The certainty that technology and science would improve the human condition is mocked by the proliferation of nuclear weapons, by massive hunger in the Third World, and by poverty in the First World. The fervent belief that liberty would triumph over tyranny is belied by the growing centralization of states everywhere and by the disempowerment of people by bureaucracies, police forces, and sophisticated surveillance techniques--in our "democracies" no less than in visibly authoritarian countries. The hope that we would form "one world," a vast community of disparate ethnic groups that would share their resources to improve life everywhere, has been shattered by a rising tide of nationalism, racism, and an unfeeling parochialism that fosters indifference to the plight of millions. We believe that our values are worse than those held by people of only two or three generations ago. The present generation seems more self-centred, privatized, and mean-spirited by comparison with earlier ones. It lacks the support systems provided by the extended family, community, and a commitment to mutual aid. The encounter of the individual with society seems to occur through cold bureaucratic agencies rather than warm, caring people. This lack of social identity and meaning is all the more stark in the face of the mounting problems that confront us. War is a chronic condition of our time; economic uncertainty, an all-pervasive presence; human solidarity, a vaporous myth. Not least of the problems we encounter are nightmares of an ecological apocalypse--a catastrophic breakdown of the systems that maintain the stability of the planet. We live under the constant threat that the world of life will be irrevocably undermined by a society gone mad in its need to grow--replacing the organic by the inorganic, soil by concrete, forest by barren earth, and the diversity of life-forms by simplified ecosystems; in short, a turning back of the evolutionary clock to an earlier, more inorganic, mineralized world that was incapable of supporting complex life-forms of any kind, including the human species.

C2. Genocide and war can only operate under the State.

Louis Rene Beres, 1994:

  • The State requires its members to be serviceable instruments, suppressing every glimmer of creativity and imagination in the interest of a plastic mediocrity. Even political liberty within particular States does nothing to encourage opposition to war or to genocide in other States. Since "patriotic self-sacrifice" is demanded even of "free" peoples, the expectations of inter-State competition may include war and the mass killing of other peoples. In the final analysis, war and genocide are made possible by the surrender of Self to the State.
Thus the affirmation's framework is inherently flawed; any change that they wish to bring is in a system that is entirely bad, thus any changes they make are bad unless they address the system itself - the State.

Don't let the aff get away with saying that inalienable rights are good - because, truly, they are only possible in the worst invention in human history. We need to take a step back and dissolve the state before we can even talk about the humanity of elephants.
Debate Round No. 2
Stupidape

Pro

"Pro just doesn't offer any links between having a smaller brain at birth than in adulthood with providing inalienable rights. He just says that they are similar thus they should have rights." Con

Humans have been given inalienable rights. Pro has proven elephants are very similar to humans. Since elephants are very similar to a creature that already has rights, humans, its a very small leap to state that elephants should have the same rights as humans.

The only way Con can wiggle out of this is if Con states that nobody should have inalienable rights, which is exactly what Con states in Con's rebuttal.

"sentience->suffering->inalienable rights???? How exactly is this a valid mode of thought ... a robot can be coded to see itself in a mirror, but it shouldn't have inalienable rights - for it lacks the 'human-ness' that rights are constructed about." Con

A robot that advanced should have inalienable rights also. As for lacking the humanness there are some who think that humans are extremely advanced robots. The wiring in our brain is similar to those of computers. DNA is a storage device not that much different from a hard drive on a computer.

"My case will hinge on the idea that if you have a State to protect rights then you are the main cause of all problems in the world ... the framework that the Aff is arguing for necessarily requires the existence of a rights-protecting State - if they advocate against the existence of such a State then they concede the debate." Con

Con seems to be arguing nobody or nothing should have inalienable rights. Neither man, beast, nor robot. Pro has no idea what Aff is or stands for.

Pro disagrees that a state's enforcement is necessary for inalienable rights to be respected. Think of two cooperative humans. Human A makes a noise that annoys only human B. Human B says "please stop that" person A agrees and stops making the noise.

Families function all the time by respecting each other rights. Often strangers cooperate, think two vehicles passing each other on the road and no law enforcement in sight. The strangers cooperate not out of fear of the state but because they don't feel like getting into a car accident.

Pro contends that inalienable rights are achievable through cooperation and a state is not necessary for these rights to be honored. Thanks for the debate, looking forward to Con's response. Elephants should have certain inalienable rights because they are so similar to a being that already has such rights, humans. Vote Pro.
Lexus

Con

Similarity does not equate to "they must be equal". Let's take a rock - most of these have carbon. We have carbon in us. Therefore, they should have inalienable rights. Um ... no. Similarity doesn't mean that you SHOULD do something ... pro doesn't offer a reason WHY this is so, just that it *IS*.

Inalienability is only possible when a state can protect the rights in the first place. I may have the hypothetical right to life without a government, but that right is not INALIENABLE if I do not have a government to protect this right. Elephants should not have rights because nobody should have rights. If pro's claim that "what humans have, elephants should have" holds up, then they must concede that because people should not have inalienable rights, ELEPHANTS should not, either!

Pro doesn't attack the idea that the government (the entity that controls rights) is bad with any logic, just saying that it is invalid. A sore loss for pro.
Debate Round No. 3
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