The Instigator
aamjed91
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
vand1832
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points

Monkeys should be considered persons in the eyes of the law

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
vand1832
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 508 times Debate No: 66937
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)

 

aamjed91

Pro

Amina Amjed
The Case for Animal Rights
Round 1

1.The use of animal for science, for commercial purposes, for agriculture purposes and for the purposes of sport hunting and trapping should be abolished.
2.We should regard animals just as we regard those who are unable to defend and protect themselves such as children, the disabled and the elderly.
3.The abuse of animals for science, for sports, for agriculture and for any other human entertainment or attainment of needs for humans is fundamentally wrong.
4.We, as humans, must stop treating animals as things and treating them as beings that are capable of feeling pain and suffering.
5.It is true, that the process of change regarding animals and the rights of animals is complicated and requires extensive amount of time and finance to bring about this change but even so it is much needed.
6.The idea of animal rights has reason if not just emotion.
7.We have a direct duty to ensure safety of animals from brutality, as we do to our children and to those humans around us who are incapable of helping themselves.
8.We should not overlook animals because they do not have the characteristics and components of a human being.
9.Using animals for scientific experiments and/or for sports" purposes is brutal and against morality.
10.Pain is pain wherever it occurs.
11.Some would try to justify the use, therefore abuse, of animals by referring to what is known as contractarianism.
12.Contractariansim is the belief, by some, that morality consists of a set of rules that individuals abide to voluntarily just as we do when we agree to a contract.
13.Animals cannot volunteer or provide consent to be or not be a part of a contract therefore they cannot be moral and not considered persons.
14.However, this is true for children as well. Children cannot consent to a contract without the permission and supervision of their parent and/or guardian. Just so, animals should be protected by their guardian(s), if one is present, with the same moral perspective as another human.
15.Theories such as the cruelty-kindness view and utilitarianism have been presented to justify the protection of animals but have not proved to be entirely effective.
16.Each view is flawed is some way to segregate animal and the rights that should be given to them.
17.By taking the inherent value approach, it is evidently clear that each individual is as valuable as the next and not just what that individual can do for others. Your value as an individual would not be regarded by what you can do for me and in return what I can do for you.
18.In that same respect, an animal is considered an individual who should be treated with the same rights as me and you regardless of what they can do for us.
19.We should not use and/or abuse animals just because by doing so, it provides for the good of others. By hurting or undermining one individual we inherently subject ourselves to condone acts of cruelty.
20.The rights view of moral theory rationally explains the domain of human morality.
21.It is true, that animals lack many attributes of a human such as reading, writing, building book cases or baking a cake.
22.However, it is also true that there are some humans who are incapable of doing some of the things that I mentioned above but we do not devalue them as an individual or say that they are not human.
23.As an individual, be it a human or a monkey, we feel things, want things, have certain expectations, we feel pain and excitement, we feel frustration and we also suffer from untimely death.
24.All who have inherent value have it equally regardless of them being human animals or not.
25.The fight for animal rights is analogous to that of equality for women and other minorities.
26.In regards to animals that are used in the field of science, there is proof of devaluing these animals by testing on them routinely as if their value is reducible by their usefulness to others. These animals are treated without any respect and in doing so the rights of animals are violated.
27.In the same sense, farm animals are kept in stressful close confinements or in isolation which causes them pain and suffering. This treatment, rather mistreatment of farm animals is rooted in the view which lacks the acknowledgement of animals as individuals with independent value. Instead they are viewed as resource for "humans".
28.Killing one human for selfish means does not satisfy our moral values than why should that be true of killing or torturing animals.
29.A right, properly comprehended, is a claim that one party may exercise against another. The victim of this claim can potentially be a person, a community, or even all human kind.
30.It should than be understood that rights in general are in every case claims or potential claims within a community or moral agents.
31.Rights can be defended or claimed by those beings that can make moral claims against one another.
32.Human can make these moral choices whereas animals cannot. Animals are not beings that are capable of practicing or responding to moral claims.
33.But rights cannot simply depend on the presence of moral capacity. If that were true then we would have to agree that humans who are brain damaged or comatose lack the ability to respond to or exercise moral claims therefore they have no rights.
34.Non-human mammals have the same fundamental rights as a normal mammal to not be harmed or killed.
35.Those that have a subject of life, like normal mammals and non-human mammals, have inherent value.
36.Animals have the ability to feel pain, satisfaction, need, pleasure, disease and death, just as any human being does.
37.Therefore, I argue, that animals, such as monkeys should be considered persons in the eyes of the law.
38.Rights of animals should be respected.
39.The use of animals in science; commercial animal agriculture; commercial and sport hunting and trapping should be indefinitely terminated.
vand1832

Con

1) Generally speaking, a right is a moral or legal claim (or potential claim) that one party may exercise against either another person, group, community, or " in very, very extreme cases " all of humankind.
2) Depending on the context of a situation, the content of a right can change drastically; therefore, in order to fully comprehend what rights, both specifically and generally, entail, we must be capable of discerning who holds the right, who has impinged upon that right, and why it is actually a right.
3) In other words, there are certain cognitive processes necessary for one to able to comprehend (and subsequently defend) one"s rights, regardless of the circumstance or the facts surround it.
4) To this end, it is safe to say that rights can only be enacted and intelligibly defended by those capable of these cognitive processes " essentially, beings that are capable of actually making moral claims against one another.
5) And the reality of this statement is that the only beings in existence that are capable of making such moral claims are, indeed, human beings.
6) Therefore, whatever else rights may be, it stands to reason that they are necessarily human; because human beings are, in actuality, the sole proprietors of the ability to make moral claims, which makes them, in turn, the sole proprietors of rights as a whole.
7) In addition, human beings are morally autonomous " that is, they have a significant amount of moral self-government, and are capable of making decisions of their own accord " as well as self-legislative, and are thus capable of exercising and responding to moral claims.
8) The same cannot be said for animals, however; in that they lack the capacity for free moral judgment that enables humans to be morally self-governing, as well as the ability to propose and respond to general moral claims.
9) Those that would hold rights are obligated to both have the capacity to comprehend the rules set before them, say, in society, which governs both themselves and their society as a whole; as well as the capacity to recognize and understand when there may possibly be a conflict between what is "morally just "and what would, for all intents and purposes, be in their best interest.
10) Arguably, this capability is an innate trait in human beings, but it is simply not so for animals " or any other animate creature that is not a human being, for example.
11) We give a certain reverence and respect to other animate beings in nature, of course, but we cannot infer that just because something is animate, is living, that it has a "right" to its life " because the ownership of rights and overall moral status is something that is not maintained by the vast majority of animate beings.
12) Overall, humans are, as I"ve stated before, self-legislative; they are also members of communities governed by moral rules, and possess rights.
13) Animals, on the other hand, are not self-legislative, and they do not (and cannot possibly) belong to communities governed by moral rules.
14) Therefore, they cannot possess rights the way that human beings do.
15) To this end, in conducting research on monkeys, for example, we do not violate their rights, simply because they have none to violate.
16) The assertion that we would be violating a monkey"s "rights", or it"s "right to life", in this example, because we are experimenting upon it, would be to abuse the word (or phrase) altogether.
17) In our dealings with animals, we may find that there are obligations that arise, but that do not arise because the animal is "entitled" to some sort of treatment simply because it is alive, or because of a "right" invoked.
18) These obligations, rather, may arise from such things as internal commitments, differences of status, special relationships, or even particular acts of kindness or circumstances " but none of these things are tied specifically to the rights of the animal in question, nor do they entail the moral argument for "rights" in the least.
19) Some may hold that there is a general obligation to do no gratuitous harm to living creatures, while others may hold that there is a general obligation to do good to living creatures when such a thing is reasonably within one"s power, or when someone is capable of doing so.
20) This is undisputed -- there is no excuse for treating an animal in any other way than humanely in our day-to-day interactions. As fellow sentient creatures, we owe them this much.
21) However, to treat animals humanely is not synonymous with treating them as humans; thus, it is not synonymous with treating them as holders of rights.
22) Some might raise the objection that if having rights requires being capable of making moral claims, and grasping and understanding moral laws, then humans that plainly lack those capacities -- ie., the brain-damaged, comatose, or senile -- must also be without rights.
23) But this objection fails, in that it treats an essential feature of humanity as though it were merely a screen for sorting humans, which is mistaken.
24) People that lack the capacity to understand the aforementioned laws are not ejected from the moral community as a whole because they lack the capacity; because the features that distinguish animals from humans is not akin to a test to be administered to individuals one by one.
25) Going back to the ability to distinguish what is morally correct and what is in one"s best interests, humans can act immorally often enough, but only they can discern whether or not this is a "good" or "bad" act; in the case of, say, monkeys, it is simply not so.
26) To this end, it can be said that only humans are capable of committing crimes -- because a crime requires one to recognize that an act one commits is wrong alongside the guilty act. This is known as mens rea.
27) Being that humans are able to distinguish between morally acceptable and unacceptable acts, especially in regards to those acts that we commit of our own volition, courts of law are able to establish mens rea in criminal cases -- such as murders and rapes.
28) But the same cannot be said for animals; they can not and do not differentiate between morally acceptable and unacceptable acts, and have no established set of moral principles within their community.
29) Moral principles, among laws and statues, are the basis of the law.
30) One cannot be recognized by the law if they do not have the capability to recognize and comprehend the principles established by the law, because, going back to the example of criminal cases, one cannot establish mens rea if the guilty party has no capability to assess what is "right" or "wrong" -- therefore making them completely devoid of a guilty conscience.
31) Animals, such as monkeys, cannot establish nor assess what is morally "right" or "wrong".
32) Therefore, animals, such as monkeys, should not be considered persons in the eyes of the law.
Debate Round No. 1
aamjed91

Pro

Amina Amjed
The Case of Animal Rights
Round 2
1.If it is true that we have to comprehend who is entitled to the rights of morality, then we must also assess who is moral.
2.Not all humans follow the regards of morality.
3.Those who commit murder are not moral beings.
4.Should they not be regarded as persons?
5.It is evident that animals have the ability to feel similar emotions as do human beings. For instance, the mother of a baby monkey would safe guard her baby just as would a mother who is human.
6.The sense of protection for one"s child comes can be considered a moral stand.
7.If an animal has moral maternal instincts that are reciprocal to that of a human, then that animal is also moral therefore should be considered a person.
8.I would disagree as to the fact that it is necessary for one to be able to comprehend one"s rights, regardless of the circumstances present. If that were true than we would be forced to agree that children, up to a certain age, do not have rights because they are unable to understand the complexity of those rights therefore they are not to be considered person(s).
9.We have a direct duty to safeguard our children from any harm.
10.They are unable to protect themselves so we have a direct duty to protect them. For instance, if I see my neighbor"s child, who is under the age of 5, in any harm, it would be my direct duty to ensure the safety of that child because it is my duty to humanity.
11.We do not assume that our children are our property. In simple terms property is a lifeless object, one that cannot function on its own and we can agree that someone who is living and breathing is in fact not a thing.
12.Similarly, domestic animals are considered human property. If an instance occurred where my neighbor"s dog was in danger, and I saved said dog, it is my indirect duty to my neighbor to ensure safety of that dog. Any wrong done to a domestic animal is a wrong done to its presumable owner, not to the animal.
13.Is it acceptable to assume that animals do not feel pain? Is there pain not their own but the property of their owners?
14.To this end, your claim that the only beings who are competent of making moral claims are only and human beings is disputable because if that were the case than adolescents would not be regarded as human beings.
15.Furthermore, animals, in their natural habitat are able to make certain moral judgments. If seen from the perspective of utilitarian, in a lion"s pack, it is imperative for members of that pack to hunt another animal to eat. Killing another animal would be seen morally just because this act brings about the best balance between satisfaction and frustration for everyone affected by the outcome.
16.In the case of a conflict between what is morally just and those who govern it, it is true that some complications may occur. But that can be analogous to what is moral and just for those who are incapable of making decisions for themselves such as children, comatose patients and those people with mental retardation.
17.It is our duty to make protect and ensure the rights of the people mentioned above and should be similar to our duty to ensure safety and rights for animals.
18.Animals are like children; they cannot properly communicate with us by using words that are comprehensible to human beings. But their actions and their emotions can enlighten us human beings as they would if they were human beings.
19.In your argument you state that just because something is animate does not necessarily imply that it has a right to life. Who makes the decision about who has the right to life?
20.The right to life is awarded to all creatures, animals and human alike, but to claim that animals cannot attain this right is to an extent a moral wrong.
21.I agree that animals cannot posses all rights that human beings do but it is disputable what rights they can and cannot posses.
22.Right to life is a right which is equally an animal"s right as it is human beings.
23.Their ability to function similarly as a person who is human should be sufficient enough evidence for them to be declared a person as an animal.
24.I would then again argue, that animals, just like humans have special relationships. Animals, just as do humans, mate and reproduce and show kindness to their off springs and are empathetic to their own kind in some instances.
25.I agree to your point that there is a general obligation to do no unjustified harm to living creatures while others may hold that there is a general obligation to do good to living creatures (which includes animals) when such a thing is reasonably within one"s power, or when someone is capable of doing so.
26.It is not imperative to be human to be considered a person. A human can be regarded a person but a person does not necessarily have to be human.
27.Some humans such as murderers and rapists do not adhere to what the norm is for morality. Then people such these not be regarded as persons because they lack the ability to make moral decisions and abide to what the human society has underlined as moral rights.
28.A K-9 working for the law enforcement would almost always protect its human partner because the dog is aware that it is his or her duty to protect the life of those around him/her. In the same way, police officers would protect their partners from any harm befalling them. In regards to human partners protecting each other, we would see this as a moral duty and this is also true for a K-9 dog or most domestic dogs because they know it is their duty to protect those around them.
29.Therefore, I conclude that monkeys should be regarded as persons for their evident ability to make moral decisions as do humans.
vand1832

Con

1) I can agree that both humans and monkeys, in the example that you used, share certain traits. As you mentioned, a monkey who is simultaneously the mother of an infant monkey would defend said infant from danger, just as a human mother would defend her own child.
2) However, I cannot agree that this maternal instinct would make a monkey a moral, rational being -- and therefore worthy of the rights that we, as humans, receive.
3) Contrary to what you have argued, maternal instinct and morality are not one and the same. Morality refers to the measure of right and wrong, in regards to a certain action, or lack of action. Maternal instinct, however, refers to an innate, almost fixed pattern of motherly behavior in regards to its child -- or, to put it differently, the bond between mother and child that causes a mother to behave as, for lack of a better way to put it, a "typical mother".
4) So while I will admit that it may be immoral in most cases for a mother not to protect her young from whatever dangers threatens it, it does not necessarily follow that all those creatures with a maternal instinct, human or otherwise, would also be "moral" creatures.
5) Morality is the measurement of either the help or harm that an act brings about; maternal instinct would be the act itself.
6) Similarly, morality relies heavily on the creature in question having a conscience -- a rational mind, capable of logic and reasoning.
7) For one to be a "moral" creature, one must be able to comprehend whether or not their act is helping or harming those around them. In the case of human and monkey mothers, both mothers would have to be able to comprehend, rationally, the moral consequences of their actions -- be they good or bad.
8) It is relatively simple to prove this in the case of the human mother, but it is not so for that of the monkey.
9) There is absolutely no proof that monkeys can think in the same way that humans can, -- that is, morally -- therefore, in the instance you mentioned, the mother monkey acts on instinct, and instinct alone.
10) There is nothing "moral" about acting upon instinct; and seeing as how most, if not all, of monkeys" (and more broadly, all animals") actions are made on instinct, -- the instinct to survive -- it is not terribly difficult to then argue that monkeys do not act, nor think, in a moral manner.
11) In light of all this, I feel that I can yet uphold my original conclusion, seeing as how rights require a moral mindset, and the ability to rationally comprehend right and wrong, and animals -- or monkeys, if we wish to be more specific -- can not actually do this.
12) I feel that this also applies to your example of a pack of lions, hunting and killing other animals to bring about the best balance of satisfaction and frustration for all -- and it being "morally just", in turn.
13) Perhaps in the view of the utilitarian, this is the case; I cannot exactly disagree with the fact that this would bring about the best "balance" of both satisfaction and frustration for all parties involved. However, it is debatable as to whether or not this is "morally just" -- or a moral judgment at all.
14) And the reasons why go back to my mention of animals acting upon instinct. It is a lion"s innate instinct, for example, to hunt and kill other animals. Not because it would bring about this utilitarian condition of a perfect balance, but because it would sustain their pack and keep them alive.
15) In the wild, it is not about being "morally just" -- it"s about the survival of the fittest.
16) In regards to the matter of children, I would again disagree; because, to a certain extent, children -- especially young children -- do not have the rights that, say, a young adult would have.
17) It is for this reason that we do not allow children to make their own, radically life-changing decisions, at least until they are of a certain age. Rather, these children rely on the decisions and the rational mind of their parents, because their parents are of a sound and developed mindset; thus, they are capable of thinking morally.
18) I suppose that it would have negative connotations to say that, in this regard, a child is their parents" property, but essentially, this is what it comes down to. At least, it is so, until they are of the legal age that allows them to become independent, and think for themselves.
19) But to call them this does not necessarily entail that they are "lifeless", and even besides for that, they are not of this status forever.
20) You argued that we have a direct duty to keep our children from harm, and I wholeheartedly agree with that; what I have proposed, to this end, is just one way of how we, as human beings, manage this.
21) Would you have it differently? If we allowed five-year-olds to make their own decisions based on their own, undeveloped perceptions of morality, do you not agree that there would undoubtedly be an eruption of chaos in society -- to say the very least?
22) I mentioned nothing about animals not being capable of feeling pain, thus, I agree with you when you say that when animals feel pain, it is their own -- inflicted upon them by someone who meant to injure them.
23) However, in the same regard that I spoke of young children, I feel I can also speak of animals. To some degree, domesticated animals are the property of the person whose home they belong to.
24) In addition, it is because of both the lack of communication in animals, as well as their incapability to make rational, morally sound decisions, that we protect these animals in the same way that we would protect our young children, until they are of age.
25) And, in the case of the K-9"s and their police partners, it can be argued that they protect their partners simply because they"ve been trained and brought up to do so.
26) If one has been trained to do something, they do it for the simple fact that it is all they know; that it is their job, and what they have been brought up for.
27) There is nothing "moral" about, nor is there any necessary "moral judgment" or "knowing" required in doing the one job you"ve been trained to do.
28) Animals may function similarly to humans, yes, but not in the ways that would satisfy the conditions necessary to obtain the rights of humans.
29) Therefore, I uphold my original conclusion, that monkeys should not be viewed as persons in the eyes of the law, because they very clearly do not have the moral capabilities required to be viewed as such to begin with.
Debate Round No. 2
aamjed91

Pro

Amina Amjed
Round 3
1.I agree to your point that having maternal instincts is not the only requirement for proving that someone is a moral rational being.
2.To that end, mothers that are human, at times lack these same instincts which are present in an animal but not in humans.
3.This is evident in the actions of those mothers who abuse their children and/or abandon them.
4.That only goes to show that not all humans are moral, rational being but are regarded are such just the same due our society"s shifting standards.
5.I do not argue that maternal instincts and morality are of the same. But, I do believe that without lack of morals one could not be seen as maternal. Thus, the lack of morality thereof would not signify a woman as having maternal instincts rather make her an individual who is unjust. Unjust humans are those who lack morals.
6.I fail to see why morality does not play a role in what is defined as maternal instincts in this instance. If one does not have moral values, then how is one able to assess what is right and/or wrong for their child.
7.It is hard to assume the action of either a human or an animal before the action has actually occurred be it good or bad. We cannot preempt the action of a human mother who wants to harm her child until she has done that harm. In the same way we cannot anticipate that an animal mother, a monkey in that case would bring harm to her child until after that is done.
8.To that end, we would have to forestall our judgment each and every time regarding the morality of an individual, human or animal, till after their actions.
9.There is in fact proof that monkeys can think the same way as humans can in some aspects of life, if not in all.
10.Monkeys that are detained in labs are at times able to respond to their human captors. Not only that, but there has been scientific research done which proves that animals have a way of communicating with each other which is analogous to how humans interact with one another.
11.It has also been proved that animals, just as humans have territorial instincts.
12.Animals share many characteristics with humans but denying them their freedom as individuals would seem that we are actually not moral beings.
13.Because we are unable to actually communicate to animals, in this case monkeys, we are unable to accurately examine if what they do is moral or not.
14.Humans on the other hand, we can communicate with, and are able to empirically determine, that they also at times, if not all, act upon instincts.
15.Not all human actions are based on morality.
16.To that end, we cannot say that these humans, who rely on instincts rather than morality, are not persons.
17.I do agree that children who are under the age of five should not make their own decisions especially if they entail life changing circumstances.
18.But, viewing children as property, is not a legal belief in all moral societies, it is only a social belief and does not stand true in all societies.
19.If I were to agree that it is our duty to protect our children because they are underage and cannot and should not make decisions for themselves than what should we asses for a person who is mentally impaired or one that is a comatose patient but in both instances these people have surpassed the age where one is considered a child. I present this point in a circumstance where a person was not born with a mental disorder but due to an unfortunate event came to this state. These patients are then unable to make moral decisions for themselves and are unable to communicate with us but we feel that we must make decisions on their part; decisions that would be morally just and rational.
20.In the case of domestic animals, it is true, that we have a duty to protect them as we do our children. I may have misspoken my point by not elaborating upon it.
21.To amend that point, I would insert that it is our duty to ensure the safety of all animals just as we do the security of domestic animals. Animals we regard as pets such as cats, dogs, birds, hamsters etc. are almost like humans to us. Somme people refer to them as their "babies". These sentimental attachments make them almost humane. We then would not want to bring harm to them in any way, which I am sure you would not disagree upon.
22.In the same way, hamsters and/or mice which are experimented on for scientific purposes are the same creatures but only because they are not domesticated we fail to regard them with the same sentiment and causing them harm. But if these animals were in our homes we would feel a direct duty to protect them.
23.It is true that a K-9 is trained to protect but then it is also true that just like the K-9, his/her human counterpart is also trained. The human individual also goes through extensive training to join the task force along with the dogs.
24.I agree with you that by receiving training for a certain task that training is all they know but that once again is one in the same for task force dogs as it is for task force humans.
25.These dogs, when they are required to use their senses to sniff out an object of interest, apply rationality and/or instinct to determine the location of that object.
26.I once again fail to see why animals are not regarded the same rights as humans when at times they can be prosecuted as human standards.
27.If an animal attack a human being, that animal is "put down".
28.This is similar to our criminal justice system where when one human individual brings life threatening harm to another such as committing murder, they are given the death sentence.
29.If animals can be put through certain aspects of human interactions than who is to say that they cannot be given the same rights in other regards.
30.Hence, I assert that monkeys should be regarded as person in the eyes of law.
vand1832

Con

1) I cannot dispute that there are some mothers that act in such a way that the public eye would not consider moral; those that abandon their children, for example, and those that put their children through both physical and mental abuse.
2) These are not moral acts -- far from them, in fact. Yet, in order to commit a moral act, one must have the capacity to discern between those acts which are "right", and those acts which are considered to be "wrong". Then, after weighing the pros and cons of their act, they commit the act.
3) This capability to discern whether or not an act is right is what makes a human being morally-comprehensive, and thus, deserving of rights.
4) Thus, the actor in this case -- an abusive and/or abandoning mother -- is still technically deserving of the rights that would be bestowed upon any human being. This doesn"t excuse their actions -- far from it, as whatever actions they would take in the hypothetical scenario are both unreasonable and immoral. But it is the act itself that is immoral; an act that they clearly had to have both weighed the good against the bad of, and comprehended what they were doing, and the consequences and presumptions that would follow in its wake, in order to commit.
5) This goes back to the notion of mens rea, which I discussed in the first round of our argument.
6) The act and the actor are two separate things, just as I argued maternal instinct and morality to be. Thus, while the act itself may be immoral, or frowned upon in society, the one committing the act is still technically a moral-comprehending human being.
7) Since they are a moral-comprehending human being, they are still entitled to whatever rights have been bestowed upon them.
8) But going back to the case of monkeys, and whether or not they deserve the same rights as any person would deserve under the rule of law -- it is precisely because we cannot communicate with them, and thus, cannot discern whether or not what they do is moral, that I have difficulty in jumping to the assumption that animals, namely monkeys, do act in a moral manner, and thus are deserving of the rights that you and I, as human beings, both share.
9) It is true that monkeys that have been detained in labs have been known to react to their human captors; however, it can be argued that is merely due to the stimuli of an unfamiliar environment, and not necessarily because they "sense" anything about the people that have captured them.
10) There is absolutely no evidence that animals can feel emotions the way that humans do. Thus, one might claim, for example, that the monkeys react to their human captors due to fear or anger, but we cannot say for certain that this is the case, assuming that it is at all.
11) True, humans and animals both have territorial instincts, and true, animals may have a way of communicating with one another that is synonymous with the way we humans communicate with each other, but these two similarities alone are not enough for one to be able to go on to claim that animals deserve the same rights as we do.
12) Communication skills are important, as are territorial instincts, but neither of these things can prove to us that animals can reason, and can comprehend right and wrong, just as humans do.
13) Instincts come naturally depending on the external stimuli one is born and raised in, and communication skills are something that are learned. Morality, however, is something that is innate and developed.
14) And if animals do have an embedded sense of morality, we have no way of knowing for sure. They may be able to communicate with each other, but they cannot successfully communicate with us -- with human beings.
15) Assigning rights to something that cannot actually put these rights to use, simply because they cannot (as far as we know) comprehend them, seems foolhardy -- not to mention, it degrades entirely the meaning of the word "rights".
If we would go as far as to assign rights to monkeys when we hardly know that they can assess them, then we may as well assign them to innate objects. In my opinion, it would be just the same.
16) I will concede that not actions are moral; but to say that not all actions are based upon morality is false.
17) The basis of morality is to weigh, or at least recognize, the difference between one"s perception of right and wrong actions. You may not believe, for example, that a thief is acting in such a way that is "morally sound", but to the thief, it is.
18) For the thief to commit his act of crime, he would have to have weighed either his perceived rightness or wrongness of his actions against each other, and then commit the act.
19) There is a very clear difference between a person"s sense of morality, and the morality of actions, as I"ve argued before.
20) I will concede that in my assessment of children, and how they should not be allowed to make their own decisions, I overlooked people such as comatose persons, or persons that are mentally disabled.
21) These people are well over the legal age, in some cases; but due to their disability (or incapacity, if the person is comatose), they aren"t truly capable of making decisions on their own. Yet, these people are moral human beings all the same.
22) And, of course, in the case of domestic animals, I would not disagree to the fact that we would not want to bring harm upon them. No animal owner would.
23) However, whether we refer to them affectionately, think of them as our children, or treat them in such a way that makes them seem like a "member of the family" -- we are not changing the fact that the animals is, in fact, an animal; and that, regardless of our sentimental feelings, animals are incapable of thinking rationally or morally.
24) Thus, though we may care for them deeply, it doesn"t necessarily mean that they are entitled to the rights that we have.
25) If nothing else, because we have the rights that we do, we need to protect them from whatever imminent danger they may face.
26) The same is said for monkeys, because they are animals -- regardless of how they are able to communicate with each other, or feel territorial.
27) Therefore, I sustain my original conclusion.
Debate Round No. 3
aamjed91

Pro

Amina Amjed
The case of Animal Rights
Round 4
1.The use of animals for science, for commercial purposes, for agriculture purposes and for the purposes of sport hunting and trapping should be abolished.
2.It is our duty to consider animals just as we consider those who are unable to protect and defend themselves such as the elderly, the disabled and children.
3.The unjust and immoral abuse of animals for science, sports, agriculture and for any other human entertainment or attainment of needs for said humans is fundamentally wrong.
4.We should not regard animals as resources.
5.Once we start viewing them as only sources, which is where we commit the fundamental wrong.
6.It is our direct duty to ensure safety of animals from brutality as we do to our children and to those humans around us who are incapable of helping themselves.
7.It is without a doubt that the process of change regarding animals and the rights of animals is complicated and required extensive amount of time and finance to bring about this change but even so it is much needed.
8.Using/abusing animals for scientific experiments and/or for sports" such as seal clubbing is brutal and against morality.
9.We should not overlook animal rights because they do not have the characteristics and inherent components of a human being.
10.Some would justify the use of animals by applying the theory of contractarianism.
11.Contractarianism is the belief, by some, that morality consists of a set a set of rules that individuals abide to voluntarily just as we do when we agree to a contract.
12.In this case, animals cannot volunteer or provide consent to be or not be part of a contract therefore they cannot be moral and not considered persons.
13.The same is true for children. Children are unable to consent to a contract without the proper consent and supervision of their parent(s) and/or guardian. Similarly, animals should be protected by their guardian(s), if one is present, with the same moral perspective as another human.
14. By applying inherent value, it is evident that each individual is as valuable as the next and not just what that individual can do for another but the value of the individual on its own; animal or human.
15.We should not use/abuse animals just because by doing so it provides for the good of others. By hurting or undermining one individual, human or animal, we condone acts of cruelty which are not morally justified acts.
16.The rights view of moral theory rationally explains the domain of human morality.
17.Furthermore, it is undisputable that animals lack many attributes as a human such as reading, writing, building book cases or baking a cake.
18.The fight for animal rights is analogous to that of equality for women and other minorities,
19.In regards to animals that are used in the field of science, there is proof of devaluing these animals by testing on them routinely as if their value is reducible by their usefulness to others. This view is a utilitarian view but not a morally just view pertaining to inherent values.
20.The aforementioned animals are treated without any respect and by doing so the rights of these animals are violated.
21.Killing a human being does not justify our moral values then why should that be true of killing or torturing animals.
22.A right, properly understood, is claim that one party may exercise against another.
23.But rights cannot simply depend on the presence of moral capacity.
24.If that were true then we would have to assent that humans who are mentally impaired or comatose lack the ability to respond to or exercise moral claims therefore they have no rights.
25.Rights can simply pertain to those that have a subject of life, like normal mammals and non-human mammals because they have inherent value.
26.We have to end the systematic oppression on these animals as our moral duty.
27.Non- human mammals have the same fundamental rights to not be harmed or killed as we do.
28.As you mentioned, that one always weighs the pros and cons of whatever decision they make in order to determine the morality of said decision, is not always accurate.
29.Some human individuals lack the ability to determine what is right and wrong which further enforces the point that they are not moral beings.
30.If it was necessary to only have morality as a component of being a person than some humans would cease to one.
31. The abusive act of a mother, towards their child then are not immoral, as far as the individual committing the act but is considered immoral to those who are in fact able to make moral and immoral distinctions.
32.Because we cannot properly infer and communicate with animals, as humans we cannot assume as you said that they lack the ability to actually communicate.
33.It is almost like one individual who speaks only one language, going to a different country with a completely different language. At this point this individual has to acquire the ability to learn or either try and find someone to be able to communicate with the people of this country.
34.I do not believe that by giving rights to animals we would inherently be degrading the meaning of "rights".
35.If anything we would be expanding upon those rights to make them more just towards every member of our community and the world which includes animals as well humans.
36.It is true that by regarding a domestic animal as part of the family we do not stop considering them as an animal and I do not argue that point.
37.If to a thief the act of robbery is moral than how can we not say the same in regards to animals?
38.If a thief can commit a crime and believe that he is doing so with moral justification than we cannot think that an animal does what it does without moral causation.
39.Once again, I state that rights cannot simply depend on the presence of moral capacity.
40.The abuse of animals, in any arena of life if wrong and should be abolished.
41.Monkeys, therefore, should be considered persons in the eyes of the law.
vand1832

Con

1) To summarize, I hold that a right is a moral or legal claim, either very real or potential, that one party may exercise against either another person, group, community, or an even larger group, such as all of mankind.
2) In order to invoke a right, and to that end, in order to obtain rights at all, one must be able to comprehend, specifically, what rights entail. To this end, it can be said that there are certain cognitive processes required of a being to be able to both claim that one has rights, and subsequently, defend those rights, should they be impinged upon.
3) As far as our knowledge goes thus far, only humans are capable of such comprehensive thought. They are capable of thinking morally, and rationally; thus, they are able not only to understand the notion of rules as the law has set them out for us, but they are able to weigh the moral rights and wrongs of actions.
4) Morality is a very important dynamic, in terms of rights. Morality helps us to understand whether an action is correct or incorrect, when weighed against both our conscience and the laws that society has set out for us.
5) Similarly, this is where we derive mens rea from -- that is, the guilty mind; for when one commits an act that is "immoral" in both the eyes of themselves and of the law, it creates something of a guilty conscience.
6) Only humans are capable of being tried and found to have mens rea in court, thus, it would stand to reason that humans are the only sentient creatures possessing a conscience, and a moral, rational, thought process.
7) It is for this reason that other creatures, such as animals (and even very young children), cannot be tried in court; in both of these cases, we speak of a creature that cannot rationally reason for themselves, thus, they have no sense of morality, or what is right and wrong.
8) Furthermore, if we were to grant animals rights in particular, it would be a waste of effort. Animals cannot comprehend rights due to their inability to rationally process such things the way we do; and if they are capable of doing such things, they have no way of showing it, because while some (like monkeys) are capable of communicating with each other, as a whole, they have no way of communicating these things to human beings.
9) In addition, human beings have a significant amount of moral self-government, and are capable of making decisions of their own accord. They are also self-legislative, and are thus capable of exercising and responding to moral claims.
10) The same cannot be said for animals, however -- or any other sentient creature, for that matter. Seeing as how all of the aforementioned features of human beings are required for one to be able to possess rights, it stands to reason that because they are deficient in these regards, animals would not be able to possess nor exercise rights.
11) As I stated before, if we were to assign rights to animals -- and all sentient creatures, for that matter, even trees and the like, which cannot communicate at all -- or assert that when such a creature is mistreated, its "rights" are being violated, would be to abuse or misuse the word altogether.
12) A popular view on the matter of animals (and animal cruelty, especially) is that there is a general obligation to do no gratuitous harm to living creatures; another states that there is a general obligation to do good to living creatures when such a thing is reasonably within one"s power, or when someone is capable of doing so.
13) Neither of these views can be disputed by me -- for there is no excuse for treating an animal in any other way than humanely in our day-to-day interactions. And it is as fellow sentient creatures that we owe them this much.
14) What is disputable, however, is the mistaken misconception that holders of these views (or raisers of these objections, rather) -- which state that treating animals humanely is synonymous with treating them as humans.
15) This is simply not so. To treat something humanely would be to treat it in a proper, reverent manner. It does not necessarily follow, then, that treating something humanely would immediately grant it the rights that we, as human beings, have been granted; the two are entirely different concepts.
16) Going back to the concept of mens rea, I have established that courts are able to try human beings in cases where a crime has been committed because they are able to distinguish between morally acceptable and unacceptable acts, and then commit these acts, whatever they may be, of their own volition. The same, however, cannot be said for animals.
17) Animals can not and do not differentiate between morally acceptable and unacceptable acts, and have no established set of moral principles within their community.
18) Being that morals are the basis of the laws that govern our society, it stands to reason that a creature cannot and should not be recognized by the law if they do not have the capability to recognize and comprehend the principles established by the law.
19) This is primarily because animals have no capability to assess what is "right" or wrong; therefore, they are completely devoid of a guilty conscience, which establishes mens rea to begin with.
20) Therefore, to this end, my initial conclusion was that animals, such as monkeys, should not be viewed as persons in the eyes of the law.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
cheyennebodie
If they were people we would still cage them. They get their excrement and throw it at people and each other.If you feel that way. Go to the zoos, buy the monkeys , and set them free.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Leo.Messi 2 years ago
Leo.Messi
aamjed91vand1832Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Animals should not be taken so seriously.. They are just animals.
Vote Placed by Mags2 2 years ago
Mags2
aamjed91vand1832Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I honestly think this is a irrelevant debate, but I agreed with con on everything.