The Instigator
ClashnBoom
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Toviyah
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points

July beginner's Tournament. Animals don't deserve rights.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Toviyah
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/8/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 579 times Debate No: 77405
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)

 

ClashnBoom

Con

Thank you Lee001 for setting this up and thank you in advance Toviyah for accepting.

Full Resolution: Animals should have little to no rights.

Animals: non-human, a living organisms with emotions and or can feel pain.
Rights: deserved of moral or political treatment.

Rules:
1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or sources must be used within the the debate.
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil atmosphere at all times meaning including in the comment section of this debate.
5. No trolling or semantics
6. No bias.
of the topic
7. The BOP is shared.
8. Debaters must follow this format:
R1:
Con: Lays down the rules.
Pro: Opening statements and arguements.
R2: Both Arguments and rebuttals
R3: Both Arguments and rebuttals
R4:
Con: Closing statements, rebuttals and constructive criticism.
Pro: Closing statements and constructive criticism.
9. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss of a conduct point and due to the severity of the rule breaking a full loss can be given.

Thank you and good luck.

Toviyah

Pro

Thanks clashnboom! I hope this is an enjoyable debate. I accept the terms and conditions.

I'll give a single argument (only one to preserve time and space) as to why Animals should not receive rights.

Argument From Reciprocity

The argument runs thusly:
Premiss 1. Only those who respect the rights of others deserve rights.
Premiss 2. Animals do not, and indeed, cannot, respect the rights of others.
Premiss 3. Animals do not deserve rights.

The argument is deductive, valid by modus tollens (P-->Q, -P, --> -Q).

Defence of the premises

Premiss 1. This assumption is central to the way we live our everyday moral lives - and indeed, run society and the criminal justice system. Think about murderers and paedophiles, who do not respect the rights of their victims. What do we do? We strip them of their rights, by putting them in jail, corporal punishment or other punitive means. In simple terms, we apply our ethics according to premiss one: we deny rights to those who deny it of others. This indeed appears to be a universal norm, across all societies.
This is based on the principles of Scanlon's contractionalism, i.e., the idea that "morality is based on contract or agreement" [1]. Since animals cannot adhere to this contract, they deserve no moral treatment. This principle (contractionalism) is evident by the very fact that ethics is not an altruism: not everyone simply deserves ethical treatment for no cause - there must be a reason why one deserves to be treated morally. If we deny this, then ethics would be merely a brute fact, which makes little sense when one considers the relativism of ethical truths (hence this very debate). As a result, we must transcend individualistic theories of ethics. Indeed, for the sake of the argument, we need only to accept a weaker underlying principle that ethics is (a) an interaction involving two (or more) people, and (b) is a rational process - both hopefully rather evident: (a) because ethics is by definition the moral treatment of others, and (b) because ethics requires moral deliberation (e.g. deliberating whether or not to steal).


Premiss 2. This premiss seems undebatable. Clearly, animals are not rational beings. Consequently, they cannot cognitively register the receipt of ethical rights. As Kant states:

"Beings whose existence depends not on our will but on nature have, nevertheless, if they are not rational beings, only a relative value as means and are therefore called things. On the other hand, rational beings are called persons inasmuch as their nature already marks them out as ends in themselves". [2]

In other words, Kant draws upon a straightforward distinction between us and animals: we exist in an end of ourselves, owing to our rational and free actions. However, animals have neither rational nor free thought (i.e., higher consciousness). If this is the case, though, then they cannot possibly respect the rights of others as they have no comprehension of rights. Thus, lions care only for food when they tear apart a deer and have no guilty conscience. It is clear from their behaviour that animals do not act in a moral way for the sake of morality. Indeed, ethical truths necessarily require rational explication. Since animals cannot do this, one must reject the idea that animals can act ethically as an end of itself, and a fortiori, respect the rights of others. [3]
Even animals such as dogs (or higher animals such as gorillas) do not recognise these rights - indeed, the way they act is simply in accordance to a stimulus-response and a Darwinian-esque survival instinct, with no rational choice in relation to moral behaviour (choice to do right or wrong is central to moral behaviour). If we respect animals, they accept it only as a benefit of survival - not on purely ethical principle, in stark contrast to humans. We should, therefore, never expect animals to respect principles of moral rights. They have no moral consciousness in the way that rational beings (i.e. humans) do.

Premiss 3. A moral obligation to animals, therefore, is unnecessary. Morally, rights can be given only those who both a) comprehend rights and b) respect the rights of others. Since animals can do neither of these things, they do not deserve rights. The argument follows from the first two premises by modus tollens.

Over to you, Con.

Sources:
[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[2] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[3] Ibidem
Debate Round No. 1
ClashnBoom

Con

ClashnBoom forfeited this round.
Toviyah

Pro

Extend arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
ClashnBoom

Con

Thanks for accepting Pro. I too hope that this will be a intellectual and enjoyable debate. With that said I am truly sorry for forfeiting. I honestly thought I had until today to post my arguments.


Arguments:

1.Animals Feel.
Animals are an important portion to the world's evolution. Why do animals deserve to be treated better by humans? Humans created the concept of ethics, where an advanced psychological being, the human, treats another with emotions and empathy. By these ethics, murder and torture, for example, are considered crimes. While one could argue that it is a necessity for humans to help each other for the survival of the human species, ethics was, in fact, made as the building blocks of civilization and society for humanity. So, humans gave rights and welfare great importance. Yet, why are animals not given the respect they deserve? After all as I've said animals made humans evolve the way we did and without animals we would have never needed to evolve. So shouldn't we respect them? At least by not having bull fights, dog fights and such. Like the legendary Mahatma Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

To review.
1. Animals can feel emotions and physical and feel pain.
2. By the basic human concept of ethics, they do not deserve infliction of pain by humans, bound to follow these ethics by society.
3. Humans have caused great harm and destruction to the Earth, while animals have merely helped the ecosystem balance. Humans did greatly influence global warming and made it worse.


2. We need animals for our survival.
For instance the honeybee. We are partly responsible for their demise. We need them.

1. Are they really disappearing?
Yes. "Nearly one-third of the world's crops are dependent on honeybees for pollination, but over the last decade the black-and-yellow insects have been dying at unprecedented rates both in the United States and abroad."

2. Do we really need them?
To live? Not necessarily. But to live normally yes. "The bottom line is, if something is not done to improve honeybee health, then most of the interesting food we eat is going to be unavailable," warns Carlen Jupe.

Are humans party responsible?
Yes. "So what's killing the honeybees? Pesticides — including a new class called neonicotinoids — seem to be harming bees even at what should be safe levels."

Remember the bee is just one example.

Sources
http://time.com...
http://www.businessinsider.com...
https://m.youtube.com...

Rebuttals:

I will post it in the next round.

Toviyah

Pro

Thanks Con! I urge the voters not to take into account round 2 for their vote. Onto the rebuttals.

My opponent makes two main points:
-Animals feel
-We need animals for our survival

Point #1: Animals Feel

Con states: "Humans created the concept of ethics, where an advanced psychological being, the human, treats another with emotions and empathy."

This may or may not be the case, but it seems to admit that morality is a social construction, and by extension, subjective. If indeed 'humans created the concept of ethics', then there would be no objective source of morality. If this is the case, however, then it is hard to see how Con can uphold their argument. If ethics is a social construct then rights as an objective reality don't exist. How then can we give them to animals? Simply, we cannot.
It thus seems that in his argument, Con shoots himself in the foot. If morality is a human concept and a human concept alone, then there would be neither a duty nor reason to treat animals morally, for that would require an objective foundation to morality.
More precisely, I do not see how this means that 'animals feel' as Con states. Why should the fact that morality is a social construction mean that animals feel? It would be useful if my opponent could elaborate on this point.

Again Con States: "Animals have merely helped the ecosystem balance. Humans did greatly influence global warming and made it worse."

Again, this may or may not be the case, but isn't, I think, relevent to the motion. Many things help the ecosystem balance, yet we do not grant them rights on that basis. Plants are a prime example [1], which are vital to any ecosystem, thus benefiting humans, yet we do not give them rights (whether we protest against their demise or not, they never have rights in the conventional sense). Also, the latter point may be countered by a simple example: the cow. A UN report in 2006 showed that cows, by methane emissions, contribute more to global warming than all cars put together [2]. Animals, therefore, may be detrimental to the environment, pace Con.

Point #2: We need animals for our survival

Against this, it may be said that animals are one of, if not the only, sources of food for a great deal of the world's populace: thus, especially in more impoverished regions of the world, animal rights, especially that to life, would severely thwart human well-being. E.g. Eskimos and whales. Namely, human right to well-being: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family". Article 25 (1) [3]. This shows, at the least, that animal rights should not be a universal principle, contrary to Con's argument. If they were, then humans across the globe would suffer. Surely we should place human rights above those of animals in most cases.
Thus I do not disagree that we need animals for our survival. However, this does not at all entail that they deserve rights! To the contrary, only by denying animals' right to life can many survive at all. In order for humans to flourish, animals cannot.

In short, I don't think Con has developed his points enough to make a cogent, holistic argument.

Sources:
[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.independent.co.uk...
[3] http://www.un.org...
Debate Round No. 3
ClashnBoom

Con

ClashnBoom forfeited this round.
Toviyah

Pro

Extend arguments.
Thanks for the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
@Clash:

Rebuttals *does* equal arguments. But since you get rebuttals in R2 and R3, you can't post *new* rebuttals in the final round, only defend your original rebuttals, no? That's what the purpose of Rule 3 is...
Posted by Lee001 1 year ago
Lee001
I'd appreciate if you finish this today if possible. I need to post Round 2 by the end of this week.
Posted by ClashnBoom 1 year ago
ClashnBoom
The due date was yesterday? What!? I thought it was this morning. Anyway sorry I'll make double arguments this round.
Posted by ClashnBoom 1 year ago
ClashnBoom
You feel righ. I don't know how to respond.
Posted by Dookieman 1 year ago
Dookieman
There are so many things wrong with this argument made by Pro. I'm actually frustrated that I'm not in this debate, because I feel like Con will not know how to respond to that argument adequately.
Posted by ClashnBoom 1 year ago
ClashnBoom
No people might think rebuttals = arguments. And he gets to post arguments in R1.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
What? You can make new arguments in the final round? That's entirely unfair
Posted by ClashnBoom 1 year ago
ClashnBoom
Ignore the first comment please. :)
Posted by ClashnBoom 1 year ago
ClashnBoom
Before voting please be aware that rule 3 only applies to pro.
Posted by ClashnBoom 1 year ago
ClashnBoom
Before voting please be aware that rule 3 only applies to con.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 1 year ago
TheJuniorVarsityNovice
ClashnBoomToviyahTied
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Reasons for voting decision: just bc your a beginner doesn't mean ya gotta be a noob, FF vote goes to con.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
ClashnBoomToviyahTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro as Con forfeits. Con's case were weak, with two arguments: animals feel, and humans can't live without animals. Con fails to establish a link with either of these arguments. The lack of link undermines all impacts. As a voter, the lack of links is a sufficient reason to say Pro wins these arguments. Pro's responses to Con's A1 and A2 themselves concern the lack of links, so those counter-points are the strongest impacts against Con's case. Con fails to negate. Pro argues that to be part of the moral community (MC), one must commit moral actions. In other words, immoral actions forfeit the right to be part of the MC, and rights only apply within the MC itself. While the argument could have done with more explanations, it in itself is sufficient to negate. The argument is dropped by Con, so Pro's impacts and counter-impacts are sufficient to affirm. As such, I am obliged to vote Pro.
Vote Placed by Dookieman 1 year ago
Dookieman
ClashnBoomToviyahTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture by Con.