The Instigator
ksungw105
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Potoczak
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Monkeys should be considered persons.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 601 times Debate No: 66838
Debate Rounds (4)
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Votes (0)

 

ksungw105

Pro

(1.) "I believe the idea of animal rights has reason, not just emotion, on its side (327. 1. 8)."

(2.) "All of our duties regarding animals are indirect duties to one another- to humanity (327. 3. 16)."

(3.) "Pain is wrong because of the pain that is caused, we cannot rationally ignore or dismiss the moral relevance of the pain that your dog feels (328. 1. 6)."

(4.) "Like children, however, some animals are the objects of the sentimental interest of outhers. You, for example, love your dog or cat. So those animals that enough people care about, though they lack rights themselves, will be protected because of the sentimental interests of people (328. 4. 2-4)."

(5.) "... we have direct duties to those human beings who do not have a sense of justice-- young children, for instance, and many mentally retarded humans. And yet it seems reasonably certain that, were we to torture a young child or a retarded elder, we would be doing something that wronged him or her, not something that would be wrong if other humans with a sense of justice were upset. And since this is true in the case of these humans, we cannot rationally deny the same in the case of animals ( 330. 1. 4-6)."

(6.) "A utilitarian accepts two moral principles. THe first is that of equality: everyone"s interests count, and similar interests must be counted as having similar weight or importance. White or black, American or Iranian, human or animal-- everyone"s pain or frustration matter, and matter just as much as the equivalent pain or frustration of anyone else ( 331. 1. 2-3)."

(7.) " Some will say that animals have some inherent value, only less than we have. Once again, however, attempts to defend this view can be shown to lack rational justification. What could be the basis of our having more inherent value than animals? Their lack of reason, or autonomy, or intellect? only if we are willing to make the same judgement in the case of humans who are similarly deficient. But it is not true that such humans-- the retarded child, for example, or the mentally deranged-- have less inherent value than you or I. Neither, then, can we rationally sustain the view that animals like them in being the experiencing subjects of a life have less inherent value. All who have inherent value have it equally, whether they be human animals or not ( 335. 2)."

(8.) Monkeys are animals and animals have all the rights listed above.

(9.) Therefore, monkeys should be considered persons.
Potoczak

Con

I am assuming it is fair to say any premise of mine you do not directly address is agreed upon. I am also assuming any premise you do not revise from your original argument is irrelevant.

In response to your Premises.
(1.) I disagree; animals deserve to be treated in a humane manner.
(2.) I agree; Humans do have certain duties towards the protection of animals due to the fact that they, like a child are unable to care for themselves.
(3.) I agree pain is wrong, but I do not understand why the pain of my dog pertains to monkeys being considered a legal persons.
(4.) I do not understand this premise because it has several claims.
(5.) I do not understand this premise because it has several claims.
(6.) I do not understand this premise because it has several claims.
(7.) I do not understand this premise because it has several claims.
(8.) I agree, monkeys are equal to all other animals, but if your biggest point is that monkeys share the same "rights" as all other animals than by that logic you"re not only arguing monkeys as persons but all animals to be considered persons.
(9.) Monkeys should not be considered persons.

My Argument
(1.) Humans are self- legislative and morally autonomous.
(2.) Monkeys lack the capacity for free moral judgment along with the inability to intelligibly defend themselves within a court of law.
(3.) The holders of rights must have the ability to comprehend rules of duty, governing all including themselves.
(4.) The holder of rights must recognize possible conflicts between their self-interest and what is just.
(5.) Only humans have the ability to discern between the morality of what should and should not be done by understanding facts of any given case.
(6.) Humans are obligated as the superior species to care for and protect animals from immoral treatment; for example Adults take special care when playing with young children and young children must take special care when playing with pets.
(7.) All animals deserve to be treated in a humane manner; they do not deserve to be considered a person under the law.
(8.) In law a person can only be charged criminally when the guilty deed is done with a guilty mind, therefore no animal would be able to be brought to criminal trial.
(9.)Therefore, monkeys should not be considered persons.

Questions
In 8 and 9 you claim, "Monkeys are animals and animals have all the rights listed above. Therefore, monkeys should be considered persons". Since this is true you are not only arguing monkeys should be considered persons but you are arguing all animals should be considered persons. If all animals were considered persons like you have proposed would a human be charged with a crime for eating an animal once that animal is considered a person? If all animals including monkeys have the rights you listed than all animals not just monkeys should be considered persons.

Comments
Please define "rights" and "Persons"
Please clarify what rights you attempted to argue in your original statement.
Debate Round No. 1
ksungw105

Pro

I agree with on number 1; humans are self-legislative and morally autonomous. In addition, monkeys or animals also have just like humans. In the 16th century, philosopher Descartes stated that animals were just automata. Automata(autonomous) is any red-blooded machines without thoughts or wishes.

For your argument number 2, I believe that I previously mentioned children do NOT have the ability to intelligently defend themselves within a court of law either. Just like monkeys can"t. Please refer back to number 5 from my list.

For your arguments number 3 and 4, who are the holders are you talking about?

I believe humans do have the ability to discern between the morality of what should and should not be done by understanding facts of many given cases however not all of them. Also I disagree that humans are the ONLY ones with the ability. To talk about morality, animals have the same emotions as humans do. From my research, Frans de Waal, professor of psychology at Emory University, who led the study of morality of monkeys, said:
"I am not arguing that non-human primates are moral beings but there is enough evidence for the following of social rules to agree that some of the stepping stones towards human morality can be found in other animals."
I agree and disagree with your argument number 6 because not all the humans take care and protect animals. Think about chickens, cows, pigs, turkeys, and so on. Do humans take care and protect them from the immoral treatment? or do they raise them for their benefits of making profits out of animals?
Adults take special care of who? the animals or the young children?
In some families, animals are part of their families; often, dogs and cats are dominant pets that humans take care and protect. Yes, some people don"t necessarily understand how animals can be part of a family.

I agree with your statement number 8, but humans are NOT the only species with emotions or thoughts. The feelings of guilty can be seen in monkeys as well. A book titled, "Can animals be moral?" (oxford University Press) presents that mammals such as chimpanzees, monkeys, and dogs can choose to be good or bad. It explains why mammals also have the morality just like humans do. If they have the ability to be either good or bad, they can tell the difference between right and wrong. The wrongness would give feeling of guilty for monkeys. How humans feel guilty. The only difference would be that there is no such thing as a law for monkeys in humanoid society.

In respond with your questions, Yes, I am considering many other animals are other rights as humans. However, it doesn"t mean that all the animals are like monkeys. Philosopher, Tom Regan describes all of the things I mentioned in round 1. What are monkeys? Simply, they are animals and therefore, they are considered persons. Monkeys are very highly intelligent, have feelings and morality.

A person from the philosophic view, it is a self-conscious or rational being with reference to his or her social relationships and behavioral patterns as conditioned by the culture.

Rights mean fitting or appropriate; suitable.
Potoczak

Con

1. You said and I quote "I agree with on number 1; humans are self-legislative and morally autonomous. In addition, monkeys or animals also have just like humans."- Are you claiming monkeys and other animals are self legislative and morally autonomous?
Also you stated "In the 16th century, philosopher Descartes stated that animals were just automata. Automata(autonomous) is any red-blooded machines without thoughts or wishes." The statement you used essentially reading "Animals are as autonomous as any red blooded machines without thoughts or wishes" does not help your side what so ever but seems as if it helps my side. According to your statment Descartes never mentioned the word humans but he did describe "red blooded machines without thoughts or wishes." Human beings clearly are not the red blooded machines without thoughts or wishes but instead animals. I interpret that quote as saying all animals are equally autonomous because they do not have thoughts nor wishes. Bacteria along with animals do not have thoughts or wishes, are you suggesting that bacteria also deserves the rights as you and I? I believe you should ask a monkey or any animal of your choosing whether or not they would like to be considered a person, if you can generate and sort of understandable response I believe it would be a breakthrough for the animal kingdom.
2. You have asked me to refer back to one of your original premises but in order for said premise to be acknowledged it must first be put into standard form. As I previously stated premises 4-7 are illegible because they are not put into standard form.

2. I agree with you, monkeys AND children do not possess the ability to intelligently defend themselves within a court of law. To be recognized as a person within a court of law you must be able to intelligently defend yourself, this point is arguably the most important piece of evidence in deeming monkeys unable to posses rights. That is why monkeys, animals, and children have legal guardians and that is also why monkeys will never be considered a persons.

3-4.Within premises 3 and 4 I am speaking about the holder of rights, the holders of rights are exclusively human beings.

Who do you call when an animal breaks the law? How do you arrest a lion? Tiger? Rabbit? Pig? Frog? Gorilla? The police force has a difficult enough time dealing with rational human beings, now they must worry about animals breaking the law?
Affording a monkey a trail by jury made up of his peers would mean that a jury of monkeys and a judge who is also a monkey must determine whether or not the defendant was guilty or not. If this is not true please explain how a monkey would be tried in court. Also where would convicted monkeys spend their time in prison? The whole point of prison is to remove an irrational being from society and give them time away from society to realize the crime they committed was wrong. A monkey or any other animal simply can"t decipher between right or wrong let alone realize they committed a crime, that they did a bad thing.
If monkeys were afford the same rights as human beings theoretically a monkey could run for president, a monkey could win the presidential election" Imagine that.
Animals do not have the physical ability to communicate these emotions in an understandable and intelligent manner.
6. As previously stated animals deserve to be treated in a human manner. Some people may feel that TORTUREING AN ANIMAL OR HUMAN MAY BE MINIMALLY MORALLY JUSTIFIABLE in certain situations but I disagree. Torture of an animal or human will never be minimally morally justifiable, we can agree on that?
7. Adults are tasked with the responsibility to take care of the members of their family that simply could not take care of themselves such as children and family pets.
8. To be considered a person under the law you must follow the law. You just conceded the fact that no animal could follow the law within our society.
9. Your original claim put monkeys and all other animals on the same level and you culminated all of your points to say "Monkeys are animals and animals have all the rights listed above" therefore you are no longer arguing for monkeys but all animals to be considered persons under the law.
I do not agree with your definition of rights.
I do agree with your definition of "Persons"
Debate Round No. 2
ksungw105

Pro

I hope you are keeping in mind that we are looking at things in philosophic manners. Philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. If red blooded machines aren"t humans, what are they? Yes, they can be animals but if humans are not part of red blooded cells what are we composed of?

For your statement number 2, I explained further in round 2 for my premises 4 through 7 with examples. What standard form are you using? or what standard are you preferring to? Just to clarify your idea, all my words and format are in standard form: a level of quality or attainment.

You have stated in round 1 that monkeys do not possess the ability to intelligently defend themselves within a court of law. I am saying that so are children. Children are just like monkeys; they both can not defend themselves. If humans are born with all the ability to do at age of 25, an adult, then why children need a guardian(s)? You"ve said that "That is why monkeys, animals, and children have legal guardians and that is also why monkeys will never be considered a persons.". Are you saying that children are not persons? What are children then?

Thank you for clarifying the holders of rights. Back with your statements 3 and 4, refer back to round 1 if you need, monkeys have rights too. Let me break down into simpler way. All the humans are different; every individuals are unique in their own ways. There are different backgrounds of people. For example, cultural differences play big role wherever one goes. It is rude or degrading for Japanese if one tips them at a restaurant. Also, it is wrong to honk at Norway because honking means emergency at Norway and if one honks at a road people will panic thinking that there is an emergency. There are more differences within humans culturally and the appearances of themselves.
The humans don"t really understand monkeys and so are monkeys. However, does one from the United States fully understand another from Angola?

My question is that can an American communicate well with a Yugoslavian? If the communication fails at any reason, does that mean they are non-human beings? or at least one of them? No, because they can communicate perfectly within themselves (American to American). So are monkey, they can communicate with each other just like humans. It is the matter of fact how well persons are well-surrounded with another species.

Please use correct spellings for your words. Also, if you have disagreements with my definitions of many listed above, what are yours?
Please define rights, persons, red-blooded machines or cells and explain your statements.

I see that you are restating lots of my statements and they are wrong or you disagree with them. Will you please clarify how? why?
Potoczak

Con

1. Lets refer back to the quote. "In the 16th century, philosopher Descartes stated that animals were just automata. Automata(autonomous) is any red-blooded machines without thoughts or wishes." Yes humans are made up of red blood cells, we agree on this. You failed to mention the characteristic of the "Red blooded machine" that I brought into question. The quote clearly describes these "Red blooded machines" as having no thoughts and no wishes. Humans clearly have thoughts and wishes, for example "I wish this debate was over" and "I don"t think a monkey could read this statement". So the "RED BLOODED MACHINES" described within your quote clearly are not human I don"t think this is controversial at all. The red-blooded machines described within your quote are animals.
To further break down your quote of "In the 16th century, philosopher Descartes stated that animals were just automata. Automata is any red blooded machines without thoughts or wishes" Descartes quote broken down into stanard form is this. 1. Animals are automata. 2. Automata is any red-blooded machine without thoughts or wishes. 3. Therefore, Animals are red blooded machines without thoughts or wishes. We can agree humans posses thoughts and or wishes?
I do not believe there can be any other interpretation of this quote with the information you have provided.

2. In round 2 and 3 you do not have any premises numbered. In round 1 you failed to put your argument into standard form when you included several sentences within each premise. In class our professor went over standard form for this project, and it was clearly stated that within round 1 each premise included within your standard form argument must be 1 sentence. Simply, any claim that was numbered in round 1 needed to be a single sentence so it could be easily understood and agreed upon.

2."Children are just like monkeys; they both can not defend themselves." We agree then that children and monkeys cannot defend themselves within a court of law.

3.Tipping in Japan and honking in Norway hold no relevance to this debate.
"The humans don"t really understand monkeys and so are monkeys" What do you mean by this?
Regardless of communication barriers between two human beings they still have equal rights. As stated on "OHCHR.ORG" (office of high commissioner of human rights" human rights are described as "Inherent to all human beings whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our HUMAN rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible." Your distinction between Angolans and Americans being of separate ethnic origins holds no weight in a debate over the rights afforded to human beings because we are all equal.

We have already agreed upon a definition of persons.
Your definition of rights "fitting or appropriate; suitable" does not apply within this debate. I believe this definition of rights is most suitable "a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way."
I did not bring the term "red blooded machines" but I believe the red blooded machines lacking thoughts and wishes are non human.

Being Sentient and rational are the two main differences between humans and animals. Monkeys are simply red blooded machines lacking thoughts or wishes and do not deserve to be afforded the same rights as you and I.

In last two rounds you haven"t numbered any of your points, please number your points in order to reduce confusion and stay on the same thought line.
Debate Round No. 3
ksungw105

Pro

To answer your first statement, I agree that monkey mostly likely would not able to read "I wish the debate was over". However, I highly believe that if they were taught how to read and write, they will be able to comprehend it. Scientifically, monkeys are very intelligent; they don"t have the ability speak the language much however if it"s written and they were to be taught they can understand as well. Human"s brain and monkey"s brain are similar. Therefore, the process of learning something new such as language is similar.
For better understanding, I will use myself as an example. I learned how to speak, write, and understand a foreign language-- English. I might not be the best English writer, or speaker. However, I am capable to do what everyone else can do as their first language as English. Learning another language takes time and effort. It also depends on the individual; how much are you willing to learn?

2. I don"t think I failed at any point to put things in standard form. From what I heard from the class of formatting the debate, numbering the premises were ONLY necessary for round 1 to start off. I clearly remember the professor said paragraph forms are fine for the rest of rounds expect round 1.
Yes, it is understandable that numbering things can simplify and might give easier steps to follow up. However, it was not necessary to number every single round.

You have mentioned that "Children are just like monkeys; they both can not defend themselves." We agree then that children and monkeys cannot defend themselves within a court of law.
My question for you is how are they different then?

I believe I gave reasonable examples how every person is unique. Please refer back to round 3-- examples of other cultures.

If you still don"t understand, then ask yourself, how do I interact and communicate with people from Vietnam?
Just because you can"t speak another language and you are not used to his/her culture, it doesn"t mean they are not humans. Monkeys have their own too, just like every other culture in the world.

Therefore, monkeys be considered persons.
Potoczak

Con

1. I don"t believe you understood what I meant when producing those quotes. The point was to show as a human being I clearly possess THOUGHTS- "I don"t think a monkey could read this statement" and WISHES- "I wish this debate was over"

Your quote referred to red-blooded machines incapable of Thoughts and wishes well as I demonstrated human beings clearly are capable of thoughts and wishes. This goes to show that he was speaking of non human animals.
In regards to using yourself as an example for monkeys learning how to read and writes it is irrelevant unless you are in fact one of the animals you are arguing for. Yes, Human beings are capable of learning how to speak, write, AND understand foreign languages. NO non-human has ever done all three of these things.

In general human beings are capable of this feat. Monkeys and other animals are incapable of learning several languages as you have. Monkeys do not possess the physical tools to understand several languages nor can they produce the sounds necessary to speak our language. No matter how hard you cant teach a monkey how to debate.

2. Debating the format of this debate in the last round is irrelevant to determining whether or not monkeys deserve to be considered persons.

We agree monkeys and children can not defend themselves within a court of law. The difference between human children and monkeys really boils down to the fact that children although they have limited rights they will someday (hopefully) become rational adults. Monkeys on the other hand do not grow to be rational adult humans. Monkeys will never be able to understand after committing a crime why that crime was wrong, leaving prison useless.

Yes, every human being is unique but what does that have to do with monkeys being considered persons?

You ask "If you still don"t understand, then ask yourself, how do I interact and communicate with people from Vietnam?"

Humans have many different ways of communicating with each other regardless of what language they speak. I don"t believe it is necessary for to list the many different ways I personally could communicate with a Vietnam but I will mention that you serve as a living example to this question. I could learn the Vietnamese language or they could learn English, because we are human beings and we are mentally capable of learning new languages.

Just because you can"t speak another language and you are not used to his/her culture, it doesn"t mean they are not humans. Monkeys have their own too, just like every other culture in the world." Equality amongst humans was never in question.
I agree that just because I cant speak another humans language doesn"t mean they are not a human and just because I cant speak a monkeys language it doesn"t mean they aren"t a monkey because they still are a monkey.

MY ARGUMENT
(1.) Humans are self-legislative and morally autonomous.
(2.) Monkeys lack the capacity for free moral judgement along with the inability to intelligibly defend themselves within a court of law.
(3.) The holders of rights must have the ability to comprehend rules of duty, governing all including themselves.
(4.) The holder of rights must recognize possible conflicts between their self-interest and what is just.
(5.) Monkeys do not have the ability to recognize possible conflicts between their self interest and what is just nor do they possess the ability to comprehend rules of duty, governing all including themselves.
(6.) Humans cannot intelligibly reason with Monkeys.
(7.) Most people can reason well enough to determine how to act so as to respect the basic rights of others, monkeys can not.
(8.) Therefore, Monkeys can not be considered persons.
Debate Round No. 4
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