The Instigator
Caploxion
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
kbub
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

It should be considered morally wrong to kill sentient animals, without consent, for their meat

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
kbub
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/6/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,652 times Debate No: 43498
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (86)
Votes (4)

 

Caploxion

Pro

Hi, kbub.

5 rounds, 2 week voting period, 48 hours to argue and 8k characters. Standard debate rules (first round acceptance and last round is not for new arguments).

I understand that you're busy at the moment, but if you find some time, I'll be ready for you. If you want anything changed, feel free to ask me.

kbub

Con

I will accept this debate, but I want to check for clarity purposes if my opponent means:

"It should be considered morally wrong _for humans_ to kill sentient animals, without _the sentient animals'_ consent, for _the sole purpose of acquiring_ their meat _of their body_."

Looking forward to a lovely debate!

--kbub (Con)
Debate Round No. 1
Caploxion

Pro

I thank my opponent, kbub, for accepting this debate. To clarify, the title is exactly what I meant to put. I'm going to run through my stadard opening...


Suffering is bad

Suffering, in itself, is a bad thing. This can be determined by simply asking any sentient, rational being the question: "in a world where there is only suffering and non-suffering, which would you prefer?" Some may argue that suffering can be good if it means to strengthen character, or if to suffer less in the long-run. However, without any kind of context, with this dichotomy, we can determine that no rational being would ever pick suffering over non-suffering. Thus, suffering is bad (unless there is reason to suffer).

Animal suffering is bad

Animals that have meat, like humans, have feelings. If it is bad that a human is suffering to an extent, than it is equally that if another animal is suffering to that same extent. It is irrelevant how intelligent the animal is, whether it did something silly to make itself suffer, or how much ‘better’ humans are than other animals (humans are animals too). It is the suffering that is bad, and as to whom or what is suffering is of no consequence.

I will now argue that the suffering simply isn’t required. So, specifically, let’s look at Hilal meat were it is a requirement that the animal suffer before death (the slicing of the throat, followed by a draining of blood etc.). Clearly, the suffering inflicted of zero benefit (religious benefit, to be precise) and could be avoided by putting the animal to sleep beforehand. Thus, when it comes to the mass consumption of animal meat, suffering should never be a requirement in terms of both morality and practicality.

Killing animals is morally wrong

Let’s say that there was a woman sleeping, and that you found yourself hungry. So, you inject her with a poison that causes her no suffering, but kills her. You then begin to eat her, which was the reason for you killing her. It this moral? Clearly, it is not, because of the imposition on another sentient creature’s life for personal gain. If the woman was killed so that she may suffer less, and that she gave consent in a stable state-of-mind, then that killing could be considered moral, but such was far from the case. Similarly, putting a cow to sleep before killing it is not moral, as it is imposing on its life for personal gain and without consent.

Therefore, killing animals for their meat, without consent, under any circumstance, is immoral and should be considered as such.

Non-human animals do not have rights

This seems to be a favourite counter-argument of my opponents', and it is in fact a straw-man of my position. I will now demonstrate it to be a straw-man.

Animals not having rights means that animals do not have basic human liberties (the right to vote, freedom of speech etc.). However, it is not from having a right that a non-human animal should not receive suffering, rather, it is by experiencing suffering and having humans recognise that it is suffering do we, as humans, have a moral obligation to prevent suffering wherever we see. Suffering, by itself, is always bad, regardless of what or whom is experiencing it. Furthermore, if the non-human animal were put to sleep and killed, then the imposition on life would be immoral as the non-human animal would surely resist death should it have been awake and understanding of the impending death, meaning that it has not consented.

With the context of being required to be eaten in order to sustain human life, humans still understand the burdens of suffering and imposition on life they could inflict, therefore it remains immoral to kill a non-human animal for personal gain.



Conclusion

Killing animals for their meat can bring suffering to the animal, which makes the act wrong. It is also wrong to impose death upon another sentient creature without consent and for personal gain, which should make it immoral even if the animal is asleep (i.e. a lack of pain does not mean that an animal is consenting or that taking advantage of it is justified). It is from human capacity to understand suffering and imposition that we are morally obliged to act in accordance; non-human animals do not have 'rights' per say, but they do have sentience which should be respected.

kbub

Con

My opponent has specifically denied that he wishes the subject of the debate to be limited to humans' killing other sentient animals. Therefore, my opponent is arguing the proposition that "it should be considered morally wrong [for anyone, NOT JUST HUMANS] to kill sentient animals, without their consent, for their meat."

Contention 1: Anthropomorphism. My opponent claims that animals ought to be held by moral standards. This argument is extremely problematic because it anthropomorphises non-human animals. Anthropomorphism refers to the tendency of humans to improperly interpret the intentions of non-human animals to be human-like in nature. This tendency is extremely problematic, because it assumes that human values, emotions, and ideas are universal, when in fact this is not the case. By pretending that animals are humans, the true needs of the animals are ignored. For example, by assuming that certain domesticated animals ought to be "free," humans often ignorantly place animals in the wild that are incapable of defending themselves and suffer a quick death. It is this type of ignoring of the actual needs and communications of the animals that has allowed the maltreatment of animals in the first place. Chickens are another example of the evils of humans' anthropomorphising animals: While humans often assume that free-roaming chickens are not suffering (because if they were humans they wouldn't be suffering), in fact their bodies have been selectively bred to grow so large that they are literally in massive pain for their entire adult lives before they eventually die from the fatness [1].

Making a nonhuman animal follow the humans' idea of "morality" is utterly ridiculous, and quite problematic. Morality is a human-made concept developed by human philosophers. Non-human animals often have entirely distinctive social patterns, completely unlike humans. While rats and bees are very social animals, for example, beta fish are loners. Anthropomorphising animals as if they all had the same social ideals as humans can lead humans to ignorantly put animals in unnatural environments.

Contention 2: Anthropomorphism Part 2: Carnivores. Lions are one example of animals that have a different social style than humans, though not entirely unrelated. The pride of lions is their "pride" (or pack) [2]. Lions, unlike humans, must eat meat in order for them to survive and for their families to survive [2, 3]. It would be ridiculous for humans to hold lions accountable to humans' own style of morality when lions kill their prey in order to feed their children. Humans have a unique social position in the animal kingdom. Humans have to ability to choose whether or not to eat meat: Placing the same burdens on lions would be incredibly egotistical and ignorant; lions do not have the same structure or social choices as humans. Having humans believe that all lions are morally wrong when they eat would make humans have a grudge against them, which is problematic because when humans have a grudge against an animals they are usually proficient at slaughtering the same, and lions are already in a precarious ecological position: if poaching laws were relaxed (which is one possibility if humans begin thinking that lions are immoral) they could become extinct, which is certainly a moral wrong.

Snakes are also carnivores, and have even less of a human-like society. It would be ignorant and improper to assume that snakes should be held to morality, which is a thoroughly human invention.

Contention 3: Animal Ignorance: Arguments such as these is one reason why many persons ignorantly are opposed to nonhuman animal rights. They assume that animal activists are nutcases who do not understand the necessity of many animals to eat meat. They assume that vegetarianism/veganism is unnatural on this basis. This is completely not the case; in fact, vegetarianism/veganism is a very natural and healthy choice. However, by saying that carnivorous animals are subject to the same moral evaluation, my opponent continues the myth that animals rights is against the "Circle of Life" so to speak. Such a dialogue is bad for the animal rights cause that my opponent professes to protect; therefore his entire case ought to be rejected in favor of protecting animals in a more natural way, such as stopping the _human_ atrocities instead of holding nonhuman animals to impossible and thoroughly human standards.

Conclusion
Thus, while it may be immoral for humans to kill sentient beings for their meat, for other species it is sometimes a necessary way of life. My opponent is speciesist in that he assumes that the social values of humans are superior to that of nonhuman animals, and that therefore animals ought to comply to human standards. This anthropomorphic tendency has been the cause of a lot of nonhuman animal suffering, and even would threaten species were it this value system be universally applied to all animals, as my opponent suggests it should be. My opponents arguments are not only bad for animals directly, but also bring about ignorance about the vegetarian/vegan/animal rights movements by suggesting a thoroughly unnatural and ignorant stance on behalf of nonhuman animals.

Thanks for reading! Thanks also for a great debate, as usual Caploxion!

Sources:
[1] http://www.farmsanctuary.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Caploxion

Pro

Contention 1: Anthropomorphism.

My claim is not that non-human, sentient animals should be held to human standards, rather that non-human, sentient animals should be held to a moral standard of some kind. Clearly, as I argued, non-human animals should not have ‘rights’ because they are not human (e.gs. non-human animals don’t have the mental capacity to vote, they don’t have the capacity to understand public indecency etc.). Therefore, non-human, sentient animals should not be treated as humans.

However, non-human, sentient animals have a capacity, of perhaps a lesser level than humans, to feel empathy. Dr. Michael W. Fox writes, “If animals were incapable of empathy, of understanding another’s emotional state and having feeling for another’s distress, then we would find no evidence of altruistic behavior in the animal kingdom. But indeed we do.”[1] Here is a brief example wherein a dog tries and succeeds to help another dog in danger (video on right). [2] This, at the very least, gives us a slight insight as to the capacity that non-human, sentient animals have for understanding other animal’s emotions/ state of being.

A journal article by
Karine Silva and Liliana de Sousa titled: ‘Canis empathicus’? A proposal on dogs' capacity to empathize with humans [3], explores exactly what is suggested in the title. The article, which collaborates numerous other works, concludes that dogs do have a capacity for empathy, which has origins in their wolf ancestors (hunting in packs). Empathy is a social phenomenon that is, as you can see, not limited to humans (but, arguably, non-human, sentient animals have a lesser capacity for empathy).

Another report by White, in 2007, suggests that dolphins (and related species) have the capacity for empathy, and this was demonstrated by identifying spindle cells (nerve cells that convey empathy). [4]


I argue that because it is clear that non-human, sentient animals have a capacity for empathy, they should be morally bound, but not by the heights of human moral standards, rather standards of their own, relative to their capacity (so, a higher standard for those social creatures, and a much lower standard for those ‘loner’ creatures). In light of this, in no way have I anthropomorphised non-human, sentient animals.



Contention 2: Anthropomorphism Part 2: Carnivores.

Regardless of whether eating is required for sustenance, it is immoral to kill for the purpose of eating sentient, feeling meat. Perhaps you could be empathetic for the lions, as that is their evolutionary assigned method of consumption, but the act is still immoral. My moral framework, as I outlined in round 1, explains why it is immoral to kill conscious animals for their meat (because it is known that is causes suffering). The lion has a capacity to understand the suffering that it is inflicting (another social creature), and so it should be morally bound to an extent. In this case, it would become a decision of which of two options is less immoral (letting the lion starve or letting the lion eat now). I argue that letting the lion eat will not only cause the suffering of the animal eaten (although, the suffering resulting from the lion’s starving would subside), but that the lion will be obliged to eat many other sentient, feeling creatures in the future, hence creating an enormous amount of suffering by perpetuating its existence. Since I doubt the lion would be able to understand this future extension, I feel it unfair to hold it to this kind of human standard of morality. However, it is more than capable of understanding the suffering that it is imposing on its victim in the current situation, and thus the morality standard should extend from there.

The latter of kbub’s arguments suggests that allowing the extinction of lions would be, morally, the wrong thing to do. I argue the complete opposite; we should, as humans that can understand the predicament that a sentient, feeling state dictates, we are morally obliged to prevent unnecessary suffering. As I somewhat hinted to earlier, allowing the further procreation of lions would not only ensure monumental suffering of its prey, but an amount of suffering for the predator itself. The lion has to eat, it has to consume the meat of these creatures; why would you want to condone the existence of such a morally revolting creature?



Contention 3: Animal Ignorance:

Again, I am not “professing” ‘animal rights’, as I explicitly stated in my opening round, under the title: Non-human animals do not have rights.

I understand the need for animals to eat, and that’s precisely why carnivores should be disallowed from breeding. It’s the fact that these animals have to eat other animals to exist, and the fact that it is immoral to kill sentient, feeling creatures for their meat, that you can now see the two are incompatible. But I put it to you, again, as another human, which is the least morally problematic?-: allowing these terrible creatures to eat now and continue to cause suffering in the future, or to starve them to death and end the cycle of suffering? You, as a human, have the capacity to understand the question and the suffering involved, and hence you have the moral obligation to answer this question.



Conclusion

I’ll say it again so that it is clear: I am NOT arguing for animal rights in the sense that my opponent speaks of. I AM arguing for a lesser (than human’s), moral obligation for non-human, sentient animals to be held accountable to. This extends from their capacity to be empathetic towards other sentient, feeling creatures. I have also argued that humans have a moral obligation not to kill other sentient, feeling creatures for their meat, which my opponent seems to agree on.

Over to you, kbub.


References and sources

[1] http://drfoxvet.com...

[2] http://www(dot)youtube(dot)com/watch?v=qjOJmc2aCkI

[3]http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org...

[4] White, T. I. (2007). In defense of dolphins: the new moral frontier. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub

kbub

Con

My opponent concedes that many species of carnivores are required to kill other sentient animals for their meat in order for them to survive. Yet, my opponent claims that such activity on the part of the non-human animal still ought to be considered immoral.

Implications:
a. My opponent is obviously addressing humans in this debate, since only humans read. Therefore, my opponent is NOT appealing to the nonhuman animal to do something, but is instead calling for ONLY a human mindset/policy.

b. Indeed, my opponent says: "we [humans] are morally obliged to prevent unnecessary suffering." How are we to do that? My opponent argues that humans must ELIMINATE CARNIVORES. Specifically, my opponent is calling for two human policies. According to Pro, humans should (1) Prevent carnivores from breeding, and (2) force carnivores of sentient creatures to STARVE TO DEATH.

c. My opponent does NOT argue that this mentality would kill off entire species; instead, my opponent says that would be a good thing. My opponent also makes clear that this destruction of species would be against their consent.

Contention 1: Anthropomorphism

My opponent's claims that because animals have the capacity for empathy, they have morality, but to a lesser extent than humans. I won't bother rejecting my opponent's sources, because it doesn't matter whether or not they are correct; his conclusions are wrong regardless. My opponent's claims break a principle that has guided animal behavior psychology for more than a century: Morgan's Canon, which states that one should not claim that a behavior is caused by a complex process when it can be explained by a simpler one [1]. Simply having the capacity for empathy is a FAR CRY from morality.

My opponent showed a video of a dog trying someone. However, my opponent's sources even recognize that dogs have evolved in order to please their masters (humans), and thus the dog was most likely behaving in such a way that pleased her master in order to secure food. My opponent gave no evidence that rejects that. Additionally, my opponent gave no evidence that a predator feels empathy for her prey. Even if he did, my opponent does not give any evidence for empathy equally morality.

My opponent makes the ridiculous assertion that animals ought to starve themselves in order to save others, because they have the hint of a mental process that vaguely resembles a part of human morality. Non-human animals cannot be held to any sort of this kind of moral standard, and my opponent's continuing to claim this is an example of anthropomorphism, which as I have explained leads to human's maltreatment of animals. You must reject my opponent's Finding Nemo-like representation of non-human animals.

Contention 2: Speciesism

My opponent uses bad psychology to falsely claim that non-human animals have the capacity for an "inferior" morality, and that because of this fact humans have the authority to pass moral judgement over the non-human animals. In fact, this is quite hypocritical, since humans are the least moral creatures on earth, even by their own standards (let alone the standards of other species).

1. Even humans can't agree on morality; there is no way animals should be held to those standards. The crusades and 9/11 occurred due to humans' disagreement on morality, and caused slaughtering many innocent lives.

2. Humans are the least moral species. Only humans have committed genocide; only humans have institutions of slavery; humans have made more species extinct than any other; humans are responsible for global warming, pollution, dropping nuclear weapons, deforesting, and torturing and murdering 70 billion non-human species in factory farms [2]. Humans are omnivores and thus do not even need to kill animals, but are still the greatest criminals in the animal kingdom. Only 3% of Americans refuse to buy from the meat industry [3]. And yet, my opponent thinks that humans understand inter-species morality so well that they are able to pass judgement on entire species.

3. My opponent falsely assumes that humans are superior to other animals. This is same disregard for non-human values is what has led many animal species to become extinct, has caused global warming, and caused the genocide of non-human animals.

My opponent is literally advocating killing entire species because they do not conform to human (the most evil species on earth, even by their own standards) morality. This idea of human superiority to other species caused so many animals to suffer and be murdered in the first place.

Contention 3: The End of Life
My opponent literally advocates the extinction of carnivores. There are many more carnivores than lions. Here is a list of more carnivores than I care to count: [3]. And these are just mammals. My opponent would have killer whales, sea lions, and even dolphins die at the hands of humans [4]. Even most spiders are carnivores [6]. If carnivores are killed off or made to not have children, there would be a radical change in the already fragile food web that would cause additional starvation, additional extinction, and therefore additional starvation [5]. This cycle would likely make earth unable to support life for any species, including humans. Thus, my opponent's plan and mentality could bring about the greatest and most selfish, speciesist, hateful genocide of all time: the slaughter of everyone.

Contention 4: Utter Immorality
My opponent says that the destruction of carnivores would bring about an end to the cycle of suffering. This might be correct, since everyone would be dead. I must say firstly, though, that everyone would starve to death, which would obviously cause lots of suffering.

Even beyond the suffering though, this would be an utterly tragic occurrence. Trillions would die; even more including unborn offspring. All acts of compassion and morality would cease. It would NOT be a moral world, for there would be no one left to be moral.

I'm actually sympathetic toward humans' being allowed to take their own individual lives, but to kill others is very morally wrong. My opponent is sentencing innocent species to execution, even ones who have not killed other sentient animals. The entire planet would suffer.

I can barely conceive of killing another sentient creature because I think differently from that creature. My opponent has much more creativity than I, and suggests destroying entire species because they think differently from him, and bringing about the end of all life, or at least most lives. My opponent has the nerve to call this "moral."

Conclusion:
At best, my opponent advocates the end of hundreds of species, either by starving them or making them never have children (effectively killing any possible children of that species). At worst, my opponent is advocating something that will end all life. Why? My opponent insists that animals ought to follow human-like morality. This is extremely silly because humans don't follow human morality, and don't generally execute people (let alone species) because they don't follow moral codes. They certainly don't morally condone executing people for simply surviving.

Con may pretend he didn't say this. Remember, he states:
"The lion has to...consume...meat...; why would you want to condone the existence of such a morally revolting creature?"
"...carnivores should be disallowed from breeding"
"" which is the least morally problematic?-: allowing these terrible creatures to eat", or to starve them to death and end" suffering?"

[1] ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgan's_Canon
[2] http://www.lcanimal.org...
[3] http://www.theanimalfiles.com...
[4] http://wiki.answers.com...
[5] http://endangeredspecies.about.com...
[6] http://www.sciencedaily.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Caploxion

Pro

As by private request, I have agreed to make this the final round of the debate.

Implications:

a. Yes, I’m addressing humans, but I can still talk about what should be considered as moral for non-human animals without addressing them.

b. No, I do not argue that we must eliminate carnivores. Rather, we should stop them from breeding and eating other sentient animals. If the latter means that they starve to death (which seems likely), then this, I have argued, is the lesser of the two evils. Again, disallowing such immoral creatures to continue devouring other animals in such a way, is less evil than allowing it (in the long run).

c. Yes, it probably would kill off entire species, and considering these species are thoroughly deplorable in their moral conduct, I see this as a good thing. Disallowing them to breed would be against their consent, but they shouldn’t have that right, especially considering the context here. We are not directly destroying them (i.e. we’re not killing them), so the quarrel about consent is irrelevant.

Contention 1: Anthropomorphism

If these animals have the capacity (i.e. they can understand what they are doing will hurt the other animal), then they should be bound by a moral in respect to this. What my opponent argues is that this is a “far cry” from human morality, which as he admits, has a far higher standard. My opponent is unnecessarily restricting the concept of morality by saying that it can only be applied to humans. I am not proposing that human morality should be applied to non-human animals. Again, I have proposed a lesser level of morality, one that fits the capacity of non-human animals.


Contention 2: Speciesism

“My opponent uses bad psychology to falsely claim that non-human animals have the capacity for an "inferior" morality, and that because of this fact humans have the authority to pass moral judgement over the non-human animals. In fact, this is quite hypocritical, since humans are the least moral creatures on earth, even by their own standards (let alone the standards of other species).”

This is Ad Hominem.

1. “Even humans can't agree on morality…”

So it would be better to have no construct of morality than to have a construct of morality? My framework that I have argued for is more moral than the slaughter, suffering and terror that occurs in the non-human animal world via the relatively insatiable carnivorous creatures.

2. More Ad Hominem; just because someone is immoral, it does not mean that he/she cannot argue something that is moral.

3. “My opponent falsely assumes that humans are superior to other animals…”

I absolutely DO NOT argue that humans are superior to non-human animals, rather, I argue that humans are superior in certain aspects (such as intelligence) -- this is a straw-man. I also DO NOT argue that because animals can’t live up to human morality, they should be killed – another straw-man.

Contention 3: The End of Life


“My opponent literally advocates the extinction of carnivores.”

I advocate that these immoral creatures stop killing sentient, feeling animals for their meat. If that means that the species will become extinct, then so be it.

“If carnivores are killed off or made to not have children, there would be a radical change in the already fragile food web that would cause additional starvation, additional extinction, and therefore additional starvation.”

You could always limit the rate at which the prey bred, or even not allow them to breed. My opponent assumes that if were to stop carnivores from breeding, we would change nothing else afterwards to compensate.

Contention 4: Utter Immorality

Again, I’m not arguing that it would be moral to destroy these carnivores, I argue that it is immoral to let these carnivores wreak havoc on sentient animals, and that humans are morally obliged to act seeing as they can understand the suffering being inflicted. Everyone is not necessarily going to “starve to death”, as humans aren’t reliant on these animals. As for the carnivores, there may be other methods of feeding these animals, and these should be looked into. Their breeding could be lessened slowly, perhaps along with other animal’s – there are ways around causing catastrophe. But this is beside the point. Again, this is about choosing the lesser of the two evils.

Conclusion:

Believe me, I understand that what I have argued won’t be considered popular. However, I have provided a moral framework that can be applied to humans, considering what they are capable of. Don’t you think that humans could exist without meat, at least go without the few nutrients that (debatably) are found within meat? The suffering and imposition that results from killing animals for their meat isn’t moral. In a day and age where you can consume vitamins to make up for deficiencies, why not do that? Even if you don’t agree entirely, my opponent basically agrees with me.

One of my opponent’s main issues is that forcing species to go extinct isn’t moral. In response, I say that we aren’t forcing them, but would be setting up a situation where, if I’m honest, extinction seems likely. Again, I am not condoning/advocating the killing of these animals – the problem is not their existence, rather it is their actions. These animals create such a massive overall deficit, in terms of pleasure/suffering (the suffering inflicted on other animals and the suffering involved in being hungry), that it would be immoral to allow them to perpetuate the species’ existence. Sure, this isn’t exactly a pleasant idea, but it is far more preferable, morally.

Another of my opponent’s issues is that humans are immoral, and because of this, they can’t argue something that is moral/shouldn’t be imposing something that is moral. As I explained earlier, it should be clear that this is Ad Hominem.

A third of my opponent’s issues is that of anthropomorphism. Why is morality a concept that can apply only to humans? I have not tried to force human standards upon non-human animals; rather, I have suggested that animals can be held accountable to a lesser standard of morality, one that fits their capabilities. They are capable of empathy, some to a lesser extent than others, yet still capable. They have the capacity to understand the suffering being inflicted, should they not be held by a moral standard that reflects this?

Hopefully, my moral framework shines favourably in your eyes, and that the partial impracticality and superficial nastiness of it isn’t weighted higher than the moral aspect, after all, this is a debate about morality. Yes, it won’t be easy to lower the long-term suffering and imposition that is placed upon sentient creatures, but it would be moral.

I thank my opponent, kbub for a fierce opposition. I hope that what I have written has been worth you consideration :)

kbub

Con

Implications:
a. Pro conceded that he's addressing humans

b. Pro objects that he's arguing "that we must eliminate carnivores" but concedes that he wants to stop them from eating or breeding, which he admits would probably kill them and certainly destroy the species. I'm not sure the point he's making, but it looks like he concedes that his plan would kill most or all carnivores and carnivorous species.

c. Pro suggests that starving animals by forcing them to not eat food is not killing them. I beg to differ. Pro is suggesting that humans force animals to starve without their consent, so consent is highly relevant in this context. What Pro is talking about is a genocide against entire species. By placing the blame on animals Pro is turning attention away from the fact that he wants humans to kill hundreds of species.

Contention 1: Anthropomorphism

It is anthropomorphic to assume that nonhuman animals have a human-like moral code without sufficient evidence.

Having the capacity for empathy is not nearly sufficient evidence for human morality as I have pointed out. I am not restricting morality to humans, but pointing out that morality is a human-made construct. There are no non-human philosophers that had a say in the formation of morality that we see today.

All we can know from the fact that non-human animals have empathy is that, well, non-human animals have empathy--or an occasional emotional connection to the perceived state of another. My opponent assumes then that animals possess a moral duty to be selfless. My opponent has no evidence for that. My opponent assumes that animals have empathy for their prey. My opponent gave no evidence for that. My opponent assumes that animals have the moral capacity to starve themselves in order to save their prey. My opponent gives no evidence of this.

I previously stated that my opponent falls prey to Morgan's Cannon, which suggests that one should not assume a complex process when a simpler process can better explain the behavior (that is, one should default to the simplest explanation of behavior). My opponent entirely dropped Morgan's Cannon evidence, so it is therefore valid. My opponent clearly assumes a complex cognitive explanation when a simpler one is appropriate. My opponent NEVER opposes my claim that anthropomorphism causes suffering to animals, and that we shouldn't use anthropomorphism in debate--so therefore, because my opponent's arguments are anthropomorphic, his debate causes suffering to animals and should automatically be rejected. (Again, Pro didn't oppose that anthropomorphic debates should be rejected; he just said he wasn't being anthropomorphic. I have proved that he is, so he debate MUST be rejected.)

Transition to Speciesism:
Also, I never state that human morality is "superior," I only imply that it is "more complex." My opponent, however, says that animals have "inferior" morality. This is evidence for my opponent's debate being speciesist.

Contention 2: Speciesism

Even if you buy that Pro's arguments aren't anthropomorphic, there is no question that they are speciesist. My opponent's saying that human beings have a "superior" morality is speciesist and blind: Homo Sapiens have committed the worst atrocities of any species, including genocide, species extinction, torture, slavery, nuclear weapons, and global warming. Humans are the least moral species by their own standards. Nevertheless, my opponent simply assumes that all other species have inferior morals to humanity, and this assumption of inferiority is both speciesist and flat-out wrong.

My opponent claims that this is an Ad Hominem argument, but gives no explanation for why this is the case. This is a legitimate argument. If the human idea of morality is bad for humans, than Pro has no right holding nonhuman animals to these same standards. In fact, nonhuman animals might even be better able to teach humans than vise-versa.

1. I have thoroughly explained why "Even humans can't agree on morality..." My opponent does not disagree with that statement, but suggested that a moral construct is better than no moral construct. This might be the case, but if humans cannot agree on morality, than there is no reason why a single human system of morality should be applied to non-human animals. If this construct cannot be trusted for humans, than it would be absurd to assume that it works for non-human animals.
In his "Conclusion," Pro remarks that this system of morality would be unpopular. If it is unpopular among humans, why should we force non-human animals to follow it? Nevertheless, my opponent wants humans to starve off entire species based on trust in this morality. There is no reason for humans to trust this morality for themselves and there is definitely no reason to trust it as a justification for destroying hundreds of species, including possibly humans.

2. My opponent says my argument is Ad Hominem. This is completely wrong; if humans are incapable of coming up with an agreeable or good morality, then there is no reason for non-human animals to follow this morality. There is even less reason for humans to kill those who don't follow said "morality" (which, by the way, is unpopular even for humans).

3. My opponent says that humans should be allowed to judge and kill species that don't follow human standards. This sounds like my opponent is saying Homo Sapiens are superior. This is hardly a straw-man. My opponent also says that humans' morality is superior. My opponent says he never says if animals don't live up to human standards they should be killed. Allow me to remind my opponent: He claims that animals should be stopped from eating if they require meat to survive. This requirement for living is a human standard: Well, not even a human standard because humans don't follow it. It's a "Caploxion standard" by which Caploxion suggests humans kill hundreds of species.

End of Life:
My opponent admits again that he supports eradicating hundreds of species by starving them to death. I'll admit that ending life is one way of ending suffering, but it is still murder. Besides that, I have pointed out using sources that ending this many species will devastate the food web and create global starvation and the loss of life.

My opponent implies that humans could regulate other species to compensate. My opponent does not specify what that would entail, or if it were practical, or if it would save us at all. It is totally impractical and even impossible for a single species, Homo Sapiens, to regulate all other prey species' breeding. There is no reason to think that that would save anyone! Humans have never committed such a grad project. How long must they keep doing it? Why would that help? My opponent gives absolutely no justification/sources to think that all life, or even most life on earth would be extinguished through starvation. I have given evidence for you to think that everyone, even humans will all starve. At the very least, hundreds of species would starve.

Utter Immorality:
My opponent rejects my analysis of morality that I can't fully summarize because I'm running out of space (see above). Suffice it to say, my opponent claims that carnivores, through eating in order to survive (not immoral), are such immoral creatures that humans (very immoral) ought to kill them all (very, very immoral) to save their prey, who will probably die of starvation (very, very immoral) and allow all life, or even most life, on earth to perish (maximum immorality). These animals have committed no crime other than trying to exist and feel their families. Destroying them would be horrible for everyone, and hypocritical because humans eat meat when they don't need to. No utilitarian good, no justice, no morality, massive genocide.

Conclusion: I have made most of my remarks in my specific sub-sections, so please read those. Briefly, my opponent comes up with a ridiculous moral theory to forcibly starve hundreds of species.
Debate Round No. 4
Caploxion

Pro

As agreed, I am leaving this round blank.
kbub

Con

As agreed, I too will leave this round blank.

Thanks for the debate Cap! Thanks for reading everyone!
Debate Round No. 5
86 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Elshara 3 years ago
Elshara
I feel that within this debate, there is one point that was never touched upon. Where is the source of all animals and life forms needs and where does it branch off in to both diverse sovereignty and domestic or natural requirements dependencies foreknowledge adaptation, the limit to where intervention is needed or not. In other words, merging species social needs would require an overlapping interest that under normal circumstances would be scene in the wild as a predator prey relationship unless seen to be different such as what is familiar and what isn't. To an animal, the closest thing they have is instinct. As new instincts develop in their domestication, new challenges either overcome them or they get bred in to how they act and feel to react towards interactions with others of the same and of different species, just as they may perceive them as such. Humans are so diverse all the animals see from the wild zone is from a far, whether we intrude upon their lands or not. the judge us by our usefulness to them, to see if our instincts match their own. What we need is some sort of link that could tie us all in together as a pack, to be seen to be something we won't sanction for the sake and or meaning of something else. It's quite simple. To prevent a fight for dominance, stop it from manifesting, do something to help someone and they follow you in most cases, but don't let them be dependent on you for giving them the means to take you as their alpha. to teach an animal equality, show them your weak spot and make it clear to them you are to be protected but that if placed in a do or die circumstance, you both have the means to defend yourselves which means you have to do something for them first to be able to show them you are capable of both violent and non violent behavior, let it be known we both will stand up to fight for something we both mutually care for to lead us into each others friendship circles and beyond if we wish to try it as a sign of love.
Posted by spiderman12345 3 years ago
spiderman12345
I agree with kbub that it is not wrong
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
Hmmm...just caught that the resolution is worded that way, lol.

Well, if you can quote what you're saying from the debate, I'll take it into consideration, cheers.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
@kbub:

"That's why I said that we "Shouldn't" see it as immoral, not about whether it is metaphysically moral or immoral."

This statement is somewhat problematic. Morality is all about what one should or shouldn't do. Saying something "should" be immoral is redundant - it either is or it isn't.
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
@SocialismBeats Interesting idea. I tend to think that if we view life as simply avoiding suffering and suffering as being entirely evil, then that might be the case; however, I find that frienships and love and adventure (among many other things) are all things that could balance out some pain, and make me think life is worthwhile. But I do see where you are coming from. Let's agree to disagree.

@wrichcirw: I see what you are saying. Your RFD does make sense. One thing that I would say as explanation though was that I interpreted the debate not exactly as being about whether carnivores eating meat is immoral but about whether it "should be considered immoral." That's why I said that we "Shouldn't" see it as immoral, not about whether it is metaphysically moral or immoral.
Posted by SocialismBeatsGreed 3 years ago
SocialismBeatsGreed
The debate was a strange one, but I agree with Pro's position that we should advocate the total extinction of all carnivores and gravitate toward total a total herbivore lifestyle for ourselves and all beings.

Simply - if we allow for the extinction of carnivores, then yes they will suffer a somewhat unnatural death as something would have to intervene to either directly kill them or destroy their food source. Still, that is only one or two generations of suffering, as 100% of a species would die very quickly if their food source was completely eliminated. In stark contrast, if we allow the current life cycle to continue to perpetuate itself, then there will continue to be suffering for as long as the food source for these carnivores is sustained.

If you believe that 1a) suffering is bad, and 2a) that animals suffer by being killed, then it only makes sense that 1b) more suffering is worse than less suffering, and that 2b) more animals being killed is worse than less animals being killed. Thus, we can curve the number of animals being killed for their meat down to zero by eliminating the eating of meat, which over time will create less suffering.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
RFD:

https://docs.google.com...

Conclusion

So, this debate turned into a completely and utterly ridiculous advocacy. PRO sees carnivorousness as immoral, and thus advocates the extinction of all life on earth. CON says that PRO"s plan is immoral, but does not actually state that the opposite of what PRO advocates would not be immoral, i.e. that carnivorousness is not immoral. Nowhere did I see CON actually connect the dots and frame the debate around the resolution, whereas PRO did do this, unconvincing as her case became.

For this, I almost feel obliged to give the victory to PRO, even though IMHO it"s rather cheap and CON"s points are all valid...just that CON simply did not frame his points around the resolution.

So, I will abstain from arguments, because I found PRO"s advocacy to be absolutely and utterly ridiculous. Instead, I will just score conduct PRO for the ad hominem.

Basically, the way I saw this debate go is that all CON had to do was to reach out and grab the victory...but CON never did. :/

Strange debate. Strongly recommend that CON frame his arguments more tightly around the resolution.
Posted by Yevon 3 years ago
Yevon
If the Pro had chosen to accept the clarification that the Con presented the debate may have been more reasonable. To argue that naturally carnivorous animals are wrong to eat other animals without their consent is staggeringly absurd. I personally agree with the proposition that it is immoral for humans to slaughter animals when it is unnecessary for us to do so, but to argue that a shark is immoral to do so is incredibly stupid.
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
What puts nonhumans below humans is the fact that they aren't human? Do you see the circular logic?

That is: You say: Humans as a group are superior because they belong to the group "human" (sapient) who are superior."

You keep saying sapient is a measure of humananity's superiority. "Sapient" simply means human, literally. More circular logic. If you mean "wise" (which is unlikely), then only a select few humans count as "sapient."

adjective
1. wise, or attempting to appear wise.
2. of or relating to the human species ( Homo sapiens ).
noun
1. a human of the species Homo sapiens.

How is cutting the throat of an animal and letting her bleed before her prime for no crime in any way "humane," regardless of how "well" one treats this captive prisoner? Last time I checked, slaughtering innocent persons was not "humane."

You do not eat dog, cat, dolphin, horse, or chimps because they are not part of the culture. Dogs and cats are actually not very smart, relatively speaking. Pigs do far better at problem-solving puzzles. If you are waiting for a pig to tell you her complex fears of death, you will be sorely disappointed, because pigs haven't evolved to talk to homo sapiens. Likewise, what makes you think humans' fear of death isn't "mechanical" or "simple?" You forget that humans are part of the evolutionary process. The fear of death is a biological trait. Additionally, intelligence does not determine one's right to life. We both know that executing persons with mental handicaps is obviously wrong. Why should intelligence then be used as an excuse to execute other animals?
Posted by kbub 3 years ago
kbub
What puts nonhumans below humans is the fact that they aren't human? Do you see the circular logic?

That is: You say: Humans as a group are superior because they belong to the group "human" (sapient) who are superior."

You keep saying sapient is a measure of humananity's superiority. "Sapient" simply means human, literally. More circular logic. If you mean "wise" (which is unlikely), then only a select few humans count as "sapient."

adjective
1. wise, or attempting to appear wise.
2. of or relating to the human species ( Homo sapiens ).
noun
1. a human of the species Homo sapiens.

How is cutting the throat of an animal and letting her bleed before her prime for no crime in any way "humane," regardless of how "well" one treats this captive prisoner? Last time I checked, slaughtering innocent persons was not "humane."

You do not eat dog, cat, dolphin, horse, or chimps because they are not part of the culture. Dogs and cats are actually not very smart, relatively speaking. Pigs do far better at problem-solving puzzles. If you are waiting for a pig to tell you her complex fears of death, you will be sorely disappointed, because pigs haven't evolved to talk to homo sapiens. Likewise, what makes you think humans' fear of death isn't "mechanical" or "simple?" You forget that humans are part of the evolutionary process. The fear of death is a biological trait. Additionally, intelligence does not determine one's right to life. We both know that executing persons with mental handicaps is obviously wrong. Why should intelligence then be used as an excuse to execute other animals?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
CaploxionkbubTied
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Reasons for voting decision: see comments. Strange debate...very strange advocacy by PRO. While I found everything CON stated to be valid, CON never connected his arguments to the resolution. Hmm...after reading the ad hominem part again, I rescind my conduct vote. CON didn't breach civility with his ad hominem. Originally I thought that CON was accusing PRO personally of hypocrisy, but I now see he was making a statement about humanity in general.
Vote Placed by GarretKadeDupre 3 years ago
GarretKadeDupre
CaploxionkbubTied
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Reasons for voting decision: The carnivore argument about lions was the deciding factor for me in this debate. Con was far more convincing on this point. When confronted with the fact that Pro's morality would require carnivores to starve to death, he made a very weak rebuttal, essentially suggesting that they could find something else to eat (I don't buy it), starve to death (lol), or be coerced into extinction.
Vote Placed by johnlubba 3 years ago
johnlubba
CaploxionkbubTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I will vote for this debate on Sunday, Can you remind me one of you.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 3 years ago
whiteflame
CaploxionkbubTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments.