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Need a help with my debate case.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/4/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,749 times Debate No: 18627
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So for an assignment in my debate class i have to turn in an aff case tomorrow. I am doing LD so the current resolution is: Justice Requires the recognition of animal rights. This is my first case i have ever written and i need a little help. I have picked my value which is going to be speiesism. I am having trouble finding a criterion. I have a general idea for my contentions but im not sure if they'll work. Here is what i have so far......

Many of today's animals do not have rights. In rare cases certain species, such as cats and dogs, are given legal protection. This only proves severe discrimination when it comes to animal rights. For this reason I stand in affirmation of the resolution which states: Justice requires the recognition of animal rights.

Speciesism is defined as "The assigning of different values or rights to beings on the basis of their species membership." This term was coined by philosopher Richard D. Ryder in 1973 to describe the widespread discrimination that is practised by man against other species. Believe it or not speciesism is discrimination and like all discrimination it either overlooks or underestimates the similarities between the discriminator and those being discriminated against.

Thats pretty much it. Do i need to write more for my value? This whole debate thing really confuses me so if you can help i would really appreciate it. Thanks!


Ok, so I know this isn't a real debate and I probably shouldn't have taken this. But I did so because it was likely that other good members of the site would have seen it the same way and not accepted. That would mean that the person who did accept would have been a lesser member/troll who wouldn't have been able to help my opponent much.

3 hour debate limit, so my opponent probably won't get back to me in the later rounds cause it'll be 3 in the morning. But you can continue to pm me during the debate or after if you need more help.

First off, Speciesism isn't something the aff should be running at all. Speciesism says that some species deserve more rights than others. So basically, humans deserve the most rights, animals deserve less, and insects deserve none. Technically, you can support speciesism and animal rights since animals still have some rights under that system. But in general, the idea behind speciesism is that less intelligent species deserve less rights, which is bad for animals. So you don't want to go for it.

Secondly, speciesism isn't a value. The value is supposed to be something vague and undeniably good, like Life, quality of life, Justice, Societal Welfare, etc. I've judged and watched a few debate rounds on this topic, and 90% of them had Justice as their value. You should too because the word itself is in the resolution.

Justice has a lot of definitions, but the one most people will go for is the one talking about fairness.

The criterion is going to be determined by the arguments you're actually running. So we'll go there first.

You'll need 2-3 contentions, but since you're cutting it close just make it 2. You've got to think of 2 reasons why animals should have rights. I'm gonna name the taglines of some common arguments but you'll have to expand on them yourself.

1. Animals can feel pain/suffer
2. Animals have emotions
3. Animals have interests (like, they want to live, not experience pain, mate, etc)
4. Discriminating against animals is no different than dicriminating based on race or sex
5. Animals are innocent (they generally don't hurt humans unless in self defense)

Pick 2 of those arguments (or something else if you can think of it) and make them contentions. You're waiting til the last minute so you won't have the time or motivation to write a complete case. But you need to write at least 2 paragraphs on each point for it to look presentable to the teacher. Formatting will earn you more points, so make sure to bold or underline the value and contention taglines. Itaicize quotations.

In the first paragraph you'll need to explain the tagline in detail. For instance, if you say animals can suffer, give a quote from a source saying this is true. A quick google search should give you evidence for it. If you say animals have interests, just point out how their instincts tell them to survive, avoid danger, etc.

In the second paragraph, you need to specifically explain why the animal's ability to do X is reason to give them rights. For instance, "Being able to experience suffering is grounds to give them rights because..." Look up some quotes from Peter Singer. He's the end-all-be-all on animal rights. He should have some quotes somewhere on Google talking about the points I brought up.

I'll see if you respond and we'll go from there.

Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for taking this debate even though it isn't a real debate!
That is really all the information i needed. So, i changed my value to justice. My criterion is
1) Discriminating against animals is no different that discriminating based on race or sex
2) Animals feel pain/suffer

I wrote a few paragraphs on each and i think I'm good. Also your right i really didn't take the 3 hour time limit into consideration, but its due tomorrow so i guess it doesn't really matter after that. I just needed a quick answer. If i have any more questions i will PM you. Thanks again for you help. If its any consolation I'm 99% sure you'll win this debate!


Ok, you're probably needing to do other stuff right now so I'll keep this short.

"1) Discriminating against animals is no different that discriminating based on race or sex
2) Animals feel pain/suffer"

These should be contentions, not criteria. The contentions are the actual reasons that animals should hav rights. Thats what those are.

So it should go like this

Value- justice

Criterion - X

Contention 1 - Discriminating against animals is no different that discriminating based on race or sex

*insert detailing papragraphs*

Contention 2 - Animals feel pain

*insert detailing paragraphs*

Your criterion should be Rejecting Speciesism. Its what you use to acheive your value in regards to the resolution. The trick is that the criterion has to to relate to each of your contentions. Rejecting Speciesism relates somewhat to both your arguments, so go with that. Good luck.

Debate Round No. 2


So i promise this will be my last question (tonight). I finished my case. Its good enough to turn into my coach, i honestly don't even think she reeds them (more of a completion grade). I do have a lot more work to do before any kind of a tournament.

Also i meant to say contentions, it was just a typo. Sorry.

Criterion=The opposite of speciesism?

So what exactly is the opposite of speciesism?
If speciesism is "The assigning of different values or rights to beings on the basis of their species membership."


There is an opposite to Speciesism which I couldn't think of initially. Its Biocentrism. It says that all creatures on earth should be treated equally and given moral consideration. That would be the ideal criterion.
Debate Round No. 3


However with biocentrism all species would have equal rights. Wouldn't you run into a lot of problems with that because of people making arguments about how we then have to respect a cat as we do another human. Would a better criterion be something about how animals should only have rights to an extent. Like the right to be respected and the right not to be abused.

Should my arguments be towards animals having rights equal to humans or is it just animals having any rights in general?

If its just any rights in general then wouldn't you run into less arguments if you chose a criterion that just states that they are _______ enough to be granted some of the basic rights? What would this criterion be?

Sorry for the _______ i couldn't think of the work, i'm tired and i'm logging off. Thanks for the help i'll check your answer in the morning.


Sure, that would be a great alternative. I just listed the opposite of Speciesism like you asked, but it looks like you've found something better.

Your best bet is indeed to say that we should give animals rights, but not the same rights as humans. Thats where the issue of Natural vs Legal rights comes in (though his should only come up in a debate at Qualifying level).

So if you're going for the approach of treating animals with respect but still differently than humans, then you're respecting their natural rights. Natural rights are things like life, freedom, liberty. As opposed to Legal rights, thigns like the right to vote, free speech, etc. A good criterion then would be Respecting Natural Rights. Note that many people do have actions as a criterion rather than a belief, such as this one.

My 2 cents

Debate Round No. 4


Braden126 forfeited this round.


BlackVoid forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by BlackVoid 5 years ago
Don't log off yet I have to tell you something.
Posted by WriterSelbe 5 years ago
Oh, God. This is the weirdest debate topic ever. The wording is so screwed up. I remember when I first heard about this...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Just to be clear, this isn't a loss of conduct for Pro as he did nothing wrong but rather a gain in conduct for Con for being so helpful to the new member.