The Instigator
MasturDbtor
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
Magicr
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Legalize Bestiality

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Magicr
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/16/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,984 times Debate No: 24737
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

MasturDbtor

Pro

It may be "icky" but that is not any good reason to have laws against it.
Magicr

Con

I accept.

Definitions:

Bestiality- Sexual relations between a human and an animal [1].

BoP

"It may be "icky" but that is not any good reason to have laws against it."

All I must do to fufill my BoP is present a good reason to have laws against it.

My opponent must prove that there are not good reasons to have laws against it

C1: Animal abuse is and should remain illegal

I can elaborate if my opponent needs me to, but I don't think it necessary.

C2: Sex without consent is abuse

Abuse- To force sexual activity on [2].

C3: Bestiality is sex without consent

Animals are not capable of consent, therefore engaging in a sexual act with an animal is sex without consent, which is abuse.

Therefore, bestiality should remain illegal.

I look forward to my opponent's response.

Sources:

[1]- http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

[2]- http://www.thefreedictionary.com...




Debate Round No. 1
MasturDbtor

Pro

Thank you.

1. "Animal Abuse"

We already do a great number of far more unpleasant things to animals that are not considered to be abuse.
-We mutilate their genitalia.
-We kill them and eat them.
-There are many dogs which to be healthy both physically and psychologically must run for several miles every day, but owners who fail to do this are typically not charged with abuse or neglect.

2. Consent-
1. We do not ask animals for their consent to kill them so we can eat them.
2. Putting that aside what does Con base this assumption that animals can not consent on? Animals may not speak our languages, but they can and do communicate. Otherwise every time an animal had sex with another animal it would be rape. That's doubtful given that pairs of animals often stay together at least for a short period of time, if all animal reproduction had to involve rape the recipient would take off leaving as soon as they could.
Furthermore, there are even animals that do understand human language. Some apes can be taught how to sign. Some parrots can learn how to talk. Scientists are just beginning to decode prairie dog language, opening up the possibility of humans having full-on conversations with them in the future.
http://www.npr.org...
Dolphins are also noted to have language.
http://www.npr.org...
Magicr

Con

Animal Abuse

My opponents argument here is that we do many other things that much worse to animals, so legalizing bestiality would not be so bad in the grand scheme of things. I do not deny that these things are also bad, but just because there are worse things going on does not mean we should continue to add to the problem before we fix those things.

I would like to provide an example to illustrate what I am trying to say. For the purpose of this example, let us assume that homicide is legal, but robbery isn't. My opponent's argument is equivalent to saying in this situation that homicide is worse than robbery, so we should make robbery legal, because homicide is worse, rather than make keep robbery illegal and making homicide illegal as well.

We should fix other abuse problems, not legalize more abuse.

Consent

"We do not ask animals for their consent to kill them so we can eat them.'

Neither do we ask humans for consent before killing them.

"Putting that aside what does Con base this assumption that animals can not consent on? Animals may not speak our languages, but they can and do communicate. Otherwise every time an animal had sex with another animal it would be rape."

My opponent is correct in saying that animals can communicate amongst their own kind, but to expect an animal to be able to knowingly consent to sex with a human is a ludicrous proposition.

"Furthermore, there are even animals that do understand human language. Some apes can be taught how to sign. Some parrots can learn how to talk."

An unevidenced claim. While some scientists claim that a few apes have been taught sign language, there is still a divide in the scientific community of whether these apes actually have a full understanding of the human language [1]. As far as parrots go, they do not actually understand the language, but rather just repeat what they hear [2].

"Scientists are just beginning to decode prairie dog language, opening up the possibility of humans having full-on conversations with them in the future."

This is far from the conclusion reached in my opponent's source. From his source:

"'But what does it mean?' Slobodchikoff wonders. 'We have no way of getting at it'" [3].

Currently, our communications with animals are not sophisticated enough to warrant a claim that animals would be able to consent to sex with a human.

Conclusion

My R1 argument still stands.

Sources:

[1]- http://en.wikipedia.org...(gorilla)

(Koko the gorilla)

[2]- http://en.wikipedia.org...

[3]- http://www.npr.org...
Debate Round No. 2
MasturDbtor

Pro

Consent

Con claims our communications with animals are "not sophisticated enough" for consent.

How sophisticate does communication have to be for "consent" to be valid? When a husband and wife are snuggling together in bed and his foreplay just gradually turns into sex without a single word being spoken is it rape or is their body language enough to establish consent? Suppose they are spooning and both move in for penetration at the exact same time, so neither can be said to have been the one to have "initiated" it and there's no basis to say one is dominant during the sex. Which one is the rapist? Are they both guilty of raping each other?

Consider this scenario, a dog gets an erection, jumps onto a person and starts humping them and eventually gets around to penetration. The person passively sits there and takes it of their own free will, letting the dog initiate each and every part of the sexual experience, neither pushing any move on the dog or even hinting at it. How can the dog be said to be being raped or abused in this case when the dog is initiating it and the human is participating by just letting the dog have its way?

Animal Language-Dolphins

While there is considerable debate in the scientific community about the ability of apes to understand sign language, Con completely glossed over my point about Dolphins.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

In his experiment where he studied the ability of dolphins and humans to learn how to communicate with each other John Lilly found that bottlenose dolphins had an immediate grasp of basic semantics. Later it became apparent they could grasp syntax, distinguishing "bring the doll to the ball" from "bring the ball to the doll". The correlation between the bursts of sound from the dolphin's blowhole and the instructor's speech went from nearly zero to almost perfect.
Magicr

Con

I will begin by pointing out that my opponent has dropped the "Animal Abuse" argument. By doing so, he has conceded that in some cases, bestiality is a form of animal abuse.

Consent:

"When a husband and wife are snuggling together in bed and his foreplay just gradually turns into sex without a single word being spoken is it rape or is their body language enough to establish consent? Suppose they are spooning and both move in for penetration at the exact same time, so neither can be said to have been the one to have "initiated" it and there's no basis to say one is dominant during the sex. Which one is the rapist? Are they both guilty of raping each other?"

Let us look at the definition of rape.

Rape- The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse.

So in my opponent's example, neither of the parties was guilty of rape, because neither was forcing sex on the other. So in this case, they did consent in several ways: Through their marriage and through body language.

"Consider this scenario, a dog gets an erection, jumps onto a person and starts humping them and eventually gets around to penetration. The person passively sits there and takes it of their own free will, letting the dog initiate each and every part of the sexual experience, neither pushing any move on the dog or even hinting at it. How can the dog be said to be being raped or abused in this case when the dog is initiating it and the human is participating by just letting the dog have its way?"

In this scenario, my opponent is correct. This is not animal abuse. However, this is one possible example. There are plenty of examples I could give where a human forced them self on an animal. This is animal abuse.

The resolution is that bestiality should be legal, not that animal initiated bestiality should be legal. Because the resolution is not limited in this way, my opponent is arguing that all bestiality should be legal. In many, if not most cases, bestiality is not animal initiated. The resolution would legalize these scenarios as well, thus giving way to animal abuse.

Although my argument is not true in every single case, it does not need to be true in every single case. I quote from the unchallenged BoP statement in R1:

"All I must do to fulfill my BoP is present a good reason to have laws against it."

I do not need to prove that bestiality is animal abuse in every case. All I must do is prove that it is animal abuse in at least one case. I have fulfilled my BoP.

Animal Language- Dolphins

"While there is considerable debate in the scientific community about the ability of apes to understand sign language, Con completely glossed over my point about Dolphins."

I glossed over the point about dolphins because there was no evidence for my opponent's claim. Until such evidence was presented, I did not need to respond.

So, dolphins.

First of all, who would want to have sexual relations with dolphins?

Regardless, I do not need to prove that every single animal is not possible to give knowing consent. Once again, the resolution is not whether dolphin bestiality should be legal, but whether the practice as a whole is legal.

I think it is fair to say that dolphins would not be in the majority of animals involved in this practice. There is no evidence that most animals that would likely be involved (dogs and cats) are capable of communicating this consent to most humans.

Conclusion

I believe that my opponent has misunderstood his BoP. His job is not to find exceptions, such as an animal forcing them self on a human or one animal that can communicate very well, but rather to prove that there are not good reasons to have laws against bestiality. He must show what is gained by legalizing bestiality, compared to the very possible animal abuse that would occur from such an action.

So although there are a couple of exceptions to my original contentions, the argument as a whole still stands when looked at with my and my opponent's BoP in mind. It is fair to say that at this point in the debate, we have a strong case against bestiality in most cases, and a fairly weak case against it.
Debate Round No. 3
MasturDbtor

Pro

Abuse

In some cases, yes bestiality can be animal abuse.
As Con himself states rape is "The crime of forcing another person to submit to sex acts, especially sexual intercourse."
For the sake of argument we'll assume you can substitute "animal" for "person".
Even if nothing is said between the human and animal this does not mean the animal has been forced to have sex.

"In this scenario, my opponent is correct. This is not animal abuse."
Con has conceded that consentual sex between a human and an animal is indeed possible.

"The resolution is that bestiality should be legal, not that animal initiated bestiality should be legal. Because the resolution is not limited in this way, my opponent is arguing that all bestiality should be legal. In many, if not most cases, bestiality is not animal initiated. The resolution would legalize these scenarios as well, thus giving way to animal abuse."

This is a very huge stretch.
For starters even if bestiality is legalized that does not mean that the separate animal abuse statutes which exist in every jurisdiction would have to be rewritten to make animal abuse legal in the case that the offense coincided with bestiality. "Animal abuse" would still be illegal, so in the case that an act of bestiality also happened to involve animal abuse(such as the use of force) then that act would still be illegal, it just wouldn't be prosecuted as "bestiality", only as "animal abuse". Bestiality being illegal necessarily implies that the person could be convicted if the prosecution merely proved beyond a reasonable doubt that sexual relations were going on, even if they didn't prove it was abusive in any way. Bestiality being legal, while animal abuse is illegal means that a person who rapes an animal could still be prosecuted for "animal abuse", just that merely proving there was sex would not be enough(and indeed unnecessary if they could prove there was any abuse outside of the sex as whether the abuse was sexual or not would be legally irrelevant), they would have to prove it was abusive.

Saying that putting out a resolution as "Legalize Bestiality" necessarily means I am proposing to legalize it in each and every case no matter what else is involved is as ridiculous as saying that if I were to post the debate that "Sex Between Members of the Same Sex Should Be Legal" that this would mean I wanted it to be legal even when it was rape or involved minors, or that if the topic were "Legalize Marijuana" that this would mean I'd be in favor of letting children use it or letting people sell it laced with impurities or allowing people to force others to use it.

If that was what I was proposing then the proper title of the debate would have been "The commission of bestiality during a crime ought to be an affirmative defense to any criminal charges". But that's not what I said, so any illegal action that is being committed at the same time whether it be animal abuse, stealing someone else's animals, unlicensed possession of some species that requires licensing to possess, or even a non-animal related crime like reckless driving if they are having sex while driving a car would still be illegal.

""All I must do to fulfill my BoP is present a good reason to have laws against it.""

"It" being "bestiality" itself. Citing that some cases involve abuse and therefore we have a good reason for banning bestiality is like citing cases of women being raped by men and saying that we should ban heterosexual adult sex.

On Dolphins

Now that Con has conceded from his response to my example of the couple above that consent need not involve verbal communication to be valid this part of the debate is a moot point. Animals are clearly capable of non-verbal communication with humans, including whether something feels good or bad. Ever go to pet a cat or a dog? You can clearly tell whether the dog is OK with you petting it or is not in the mood.
Magicr

Con

Before I begin, I would like to correct a small mistake I made in R1. In my C3 I said "Bestiality is sex without consent." I should have been more specific and said "In many cases bestiality is sex without consent." This is my amended contention.

BoP

Understanding this is vital to determining who wins the debate. It appears that my opponent is not completely aware of what his BoP is. It is not simply to provide a couple of examples of how bestiality is not animal abuse, it is to show that there are not valid reasons to keep bestiality illegal.

My BoP is to show how bestiality can be harmful. I do not need to show that in every case bestiality is harmful, just that it is in a significant number of cases.

I have shown that most animals are not capable of making an informed consent, and in many cases the action would not be animal initiated. By doing this, I have fulfilled my BoP. There is sufficient reason to keep bestiality illegal.

Abuse

My opponent admits that bestiality can be animal abuse.

"In some cases, yes bestiality can be animal abuse."

Done. End of story. There is sufficient reason to keep it illegal. Unless, of course there are reasons to legalize it that outweigh this. My opponent has not presented no such reason.

"Con has conceded that consensual sex between a human and an animal is indeed possible."

It is possible, but in many cases it does not happen this way. This point is really irrelevant.

"For starters even if bestiality is legalized that does not mean that the separate animal abuse statutes which exist in every jurisdiction would have to be rewritten to make animal abuse legal in the case that the offense coincided with bestiality. 'Animal abuse' would still be illegal, so in the case that an act of bestiality also happened to involve animal abuse(such as the use of force) then that act would still be illegal, it just wouldn't be prosecuted as 'bestiality', only as 'animal abuse'."

Because this debate is not concerning any specific jurisdiction, we cannot assume that such anti animal abuse provisions exist. Because of this, we must only look at the possible results of legalizing bestiality, not other laws that may or may not be present in certain jurisdictions.

In many cases bestiality is animal abuse so there is not reason enough to legalize it.

Dolphins

"Animals are clearly capable of non-verbal communication with humans, including whether something feels good or bad. Ever go to pet a cat or a dog? You can clearly tell whether the dog is OK with you petting it or is not in the mood."

Petting and telling if its in the mood is in no way enough consent to justify sex.

Conclusion

My case still stands.
Debate Round No. 4
MasturDbtor

Pro

Possible Harm=/=Good Reason to Be Illegal

"My BoP is to show how bestiality can be harmful. I do not need to show that in every case bestiality is harmful, just that it is in a significant number of cases."

WRONG. It is not to show how it can be harmful, it is to show that it should be illegal. You are making a huge leap in logic by saying sometimes it is harmful therefore that is a good reason to have a law against it.
It is the same as saying that since human-human sexual relationships can be harmful if they involve rape or are with a minor that we have a good reason for human-human sex to be illegal.

Animal Abuse Statutes

"Because this debate is not concerning any specific jurisdiction, we cannot assume that such anti animal abuse provisions exist."

There is not a single jurisdiction that would allow animal abuse, and this assumption can be made fairly just like if this were a debate about sex between humans and if that should be legal we could assume the jurisdiction already bans child abuse.

But for the sake of argument let's say there was no statute against animal abuse, that's not a reason to ban bestiality. That's like saying if a jurisdiction has no laws against rape that it would be a good idea to pass a law against having sex (regardless of whether or not it was consentual) rather than to simply rectify the situation by passing a law against rape. Likewise if a jurisdiction doesn't have a law against animal abuse the best thing for it to do is to pass a law against animal abuse, not one against bestiality.

Fairness

People committing an act not in itself wrong (which Con has conceded to by admitting bestiality can be consentual) should not face punishment just because some other people who commit the act do it in a way that is wrong, especially when it's possible to punish those others for the "wrong" that they do without punishing the person not doing anything wrong while doing it.

Petting Example

Con seems to think that in my example I meant "in the mood to have sex" let me reclarify.

"Animals are clearly capable of non-verbal communication with humans, including whether something feels good or bad. Ever go to pet a cat or a dog? You can clearly tell whether the dog is OK with you petting it or is not in the mood to be petted."

It's not considered assault every time you pet an animal just because it didn't tell you you could, likewise it should not be considered rape just because the animal didn't verbalize consent. Consent can be communicated nonverbally. If the animal shows any sign of resistance, then that's a rejection of consent and time to stop.

Conclusion

The proper way to deal with sexual abuse of animals is with laws against animal abuse(without specification about whether the abuse is sexual or not) instead of laws against bestiality that would apply whether or not abuse was present. Con's arguments against legalizing bestiality focuses on cases that would either A. remain illegal under animal abuse statutes or B. Would be best dealt with by passing animal abuse statutes, in which case having bestiality illegal would be unfair to people who do it without abusing animals.

Vote Pro!
Magicr

Con

Possible Harm=Good reason to be illegal


"'My BoP is to show how bestiality can be harmful. I do not need to show that in every case bestiality is harmful, just that it is in a significant number of cases.'

WRONG. It is not to show how it can be harmful, it is to show that it should be illegal. You are making a huge leap in logic by saying sometimes it is harmful therefore that is a good reason to have a law against it."

Not wrong. Here's why:

Pro completely dropped my contention in R1 that animal abuse should be illegal. By doing so he conceded this contention. Animal abuse should be illegal. I have shown how bestiality can be harmful to animals. In other words, I have shown how bestiality is animal abuse. It has been conceded that animal abuse should be illegal. Therefore, by showing that animal abuse is harmful, I have shown that it should be illegal.

My BoP was to show that bestiality is harmful, because it had been conceded that animal abuse should be illegal. My statement was not incorrect.

"It is the same as saying that since human-human sexual relationships can be harmful if they involve rape or are with a minor that we have a good reason for human-human sex to be illegal."

Not at all. My opponent is not arguing that non abusive bestiality should be legal and abusive bestiality should remain illegal, he is arguing that bestiality should be legal. In his example, that is like saying that some human sexual relationships are not harmful therefore all human sexual relationships, including rape should be legal. Because the generality of his position allows for a great deal of abuse, the resolution is negated.

Animal abuse statutes

"There is not a single jurisdiction that would allow animal abuse"

The resolution of this debate is not limited to the United States. There are numerous jurisdictions around the world that do not have laws against animal abuse [1]. Also, in some countries such as Australia, that animal protection laws do not do enough [2].

This proves that it cannot be assumed that animal protection laws exist or are enforced, therefore, in some cases, affirming the resolution would lead to animal abuse.

"But for the sake of argument let's say there was no statute against animal abuse, that's not a reason to ban bestiality. That's like saying if a jurisdiction has no laws against rape that it would be a good idea to pass a law against having sex (regardless of whether or not it was consensual) rather than to simply rectify the situation by passing a law against rape."

I have already addressed this during my argument under the "possible harm" section. That applies to this argument to, but additionally, I will provide another, different, argument.

In most cases, sex between humans is consensual. As far as bestiality goes, my opponent has not presented sufficient evidence proving that most animals are capable of consenting to sex. We have deemed that children who can speak are not capable of making such a decision, so why should we say that animals are capable of doing so. In most cases, bestiality cannot is not animal initiated and in most cases, animals are not capable of consent. Therefore, in most cases bestiality is animal abuse. This is not true of human sex. In most cases human sex is consensual. Therefore we cannot compare the two as my opponent has done.

Fairness

Ooh, a new argument in the last round. How exciting!

"People committing an act not in itself wrong (which Con has conceded to by admitting bestiality can be consensual) should not face punishment just because some other people who commit the act do it in a way that is wrong, especially when it's possible to punish those others for the "wrong" that they do without punishing the person not doing anything wrong while doing it."

Yep. I conceded that perhaps dolphins are capable of human language and consent. Who f**ks dolphins? And nonverbal consent may be used, my opponent has not proven that most animals are able to consent, even non verbally.

Petting example

"Con seems to think that in my example I meant "in the mood to have sex" let me reclarify."

No, I understood the argument just fine. I was just saying that you can't compare petting to violating sexual integrity.

"If the animal shows any sign of resistance, then that's a rejection of consent and time to stop."

I would agree. But some people won't stop. Animals can be forced into doing things very easily because of the power humans possess. And the resolution says nothing about consent. It just says bestiality should be illegal.

Conclusion

If the large majority of bestiality cases are abusive, then is it worth depriving those very few of people the chance to have foo foo with fido? I argue yes. My opponent has not provided evidence to show that most bestiality cases are non abusive. It is very easy to imagine many scenarios that are abusive.

In order to fulfill my BoP, all I had to do was to give one valid reason that bestiality should be illegal. I have done so by showing how bestiality is animal abuse in most cases, and therefore should be illegal.

I thank my opponent for this interesting debate.

Vote Con!!

Sources:

[1]- http://en.wikipedia.org...

[2]- http://www.animalsaustralia.org...




Debate Round No. 5
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
Oops, my bad. There's a typo at the end of my R3 argument. I said:

"It is fair to say that at this point in the debate, we have a strong case against bestiality in most cases, and a fairly weak case against it."

I meant to say that there is a strong case against bestiality in most cases, and a fairly weak case FOR it, not against it.

Sorry about that.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by HunterSego 4 years ago
HunterSego
MasturDbtorMagicrTied
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Total points awarded:52 
Reasons for voting decision: Con said, "Who f**ks dolphins?" which was unnecessary. I noticed grammatical mistakes in Con's arguments. Pro's logic made more sense to me and I don't think that Con did a convincing job against Pro's arguments. Pro didn't have a source for some of the things he said.
Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 4 years ago
TheHitchslap
MasturDbtorMagicrTied
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Total points awarded:16 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Pro, for not cussing Spelling to Con, Pro made several errors Con fulfilled his BOP, and used several sources while Pro used metaphors and fallacies. Thus logic dictates I must side with Con. Intriguing debate guys!