The Instigator
JBphilo
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
StalinIncarnate
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Non-humans animals should have equal rights to humans

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 1 vote the winner is...
JBphilo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 726 times Debate No: 71344
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (14)
Votes (1)

 

JBphilo

Pro

I will be arguing that humans have a moral responsibility towards non-human animals. This responsibility finds its grounding in a utilitarian moral framework. I will argue that animals should be included on an equal basis to humans when making moral decisions and that animals have equal rights to humans. These rights are based on natural and not societal reasons. Equal rights should be extended to non-human animals where practical (this may not be practical in some instances such as in the right to vote).

Definitions.
Utilitarianism: the doctrine that an action is right in so far as it promotes happiness and minimises pain, and that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the guiding principle of conduct.
Right: a moral or legal entitlement to have or do something.
StalinIncarnate

Con

I'm intrigued. Present your argument.
Debate Round No. 1
JBphilo

Pro

Thanks for accepting this debate. Should be an interesting one. Looking at the comments I will for simplicities sake use the word "animal" synonymously with any non human animal. Though I believe that in reality such a distinction is morally irrelevant as I shall go onto explain. A key step in animals rights is to remove this dividing line that assumes a difference (and to some a superiority) of humans over animals. We are all animals and the title of the debate was used to get people thinking about this.

Now to set out my argument.

Utilitarianism holds that an action is moral if it maximises the pleasure and minimises the pain of the greatest number. Equal rights I believe is to be included equally in this 'greatest number'.

If we accept this moral system then we must encompass animals. This is why.

Utilitarianism is concerned only with pleasure and pain. Pleasure and pain, it is largely accepted, are (or are mirrored by) chemical reactions in the brain. Humans and non-humans share this capacity. Some humans may have a greater capacity than some animals and some animals a greater capacity than humans. Therefore it must be concluded that being a human does not make one's moral worth any greater than another animal.

One may respond in several ways
1. Human pleasure and pain is different and therefore superior to any animals.
2. Humans are superior in intellect.
3. Humans are superior in a morally and rational sense.
There may be others but I'll leave it at this for the moment.

These responses are flawed and here is why.

1. Human pleasure and pain is different and therefore superior to an animals.
Philosopher and politician J. S. Mill made the distinction between higher and lower pleasures, famously asserting that he'd rather be Socrates dissatisfied than a pig satisfied. Essentially there are higher pleasures such as reading or listening to music which are greater than lower pleasures such as partaking in sexual intercourse or eating an apple. Of course animals are not capable of some of these higher pleasures. Does this mean that there is something superior about being human? I believe not. If a human could not read Shakespeare for example, should that make them less valuable than a human who can. If no then we have to conclude that the distinction between higher and lower pleasures is meaningless. If yes then the conclusion must be that not all humans are equal and there is not a significant difference between humans and animal rather just a sliding scale from those who can experience higher pleasure to those who can only experience lower pleasures.
In response it could be argued that these higher pleasures bring more pleasure and minimise more pain and therefore are more important. For instance if we were able to read and enjoy reading then the more philosophy would be known to us. With this greater knowledge there would be more people working towards a more utilitarian world. I would agree with this but there is still the problem that this does not make humans per se superior to animals as not all humans meets this criteria. To accept this would mean abandoning the notion of human rights and human equality. For instance imagine we were living in the 18th century. We were driving a carriage on a narrow street alongside a pavement. You see a white man in front of you on the road. Unless you alter your course onto the pavement the carriage would with a near surety kill him. Now on the pavement is a black man. If adhering to the argument of higher pleasures being superior you would have to run over and kill the black man. In the 18th century it was far more likely for whites to experience higher pleasures than blacks. Black men were largely slaves or ex-slaves and certainly would not have access to the level of education of their white counterparts. This would mean the white man should be saved because he can read better. I'll leave you to bite the bullet here.

2. Humans are superior in intellect.
This still fails as the word "human" does not require a being with a certain level of intellect. Therefore the distinction here is not between humans and animals but between those with a certain level of intellect and those without it. Depending on where you draw the line some humans will be in the group without intellect and some animals in the group with it. Think about this. If a human was born without a brain somehow, they would be human. Their DNA would match with human DNA. However, they would possess no intellect. Therefore, there is nothing special or superior about being human. I would expect my opponent to accept that this brainless human should not have superior rights to an animal. Furthermore, numerous animals, chimpanzees, parrots, pigs, crows etc. possess superior intellect to many mentally disabled humans.

3. Humans are superior in a morally and rational sense.
My above arguments can also be applied here. I have another argument here which I may choose to expand if needed at a more appropriate time in the debate.

To conclude, we cannot claim that humans are superior than animals on grounds of a capacity to experience higher pleasures, or a higher intellectual level or on the ability to be moral. Not all humans are capable of these and some animals are more capable of them than some humans. We now face the choice of whether we want to remove rights from the mentally disabled of humanity or give rights to animals. I opt for the latter.
StalinIncarnate

Con

StalinIncarnate forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
JBphilo

Pro

Sorry you didn't quite manage to get your argument in on time mate. As debates should be just about the arguments put I hope voters will judge us on arguments alone. I extend my arguments from last round.
StalinIncarnate

Con

Beginning with statements above, I will began refutation. I would like to point out the sheer amount of quotes and hypothetical plethora he exhumes. For me, this is going to be difficult to address, because there's so much!

Pro states very weakly to why Human Utilitarianism is NOT superior to that of our animal counter parts, he makes Only one point to justify his platform! As he stated below.

Of course animals are not capable of some of these higher pleasures. Does this mean that there is something superior about being human? I believe not. "

Well, what is your justification?

"If a human could not read Shakespeare for example, should that make them less valuable than a human who can."

No, that's quite a subjective and narrow statement. I don't care if another can read Shakespeare, the same I don't care for a Goat that can juggle. That's not a productive purpose, therefore NOT relevant.

"In response it could be argued that these higher pleasures bring more pleasure and minimise more pain and therefore are more important."

What is your reasoning?

"We were driving a carriage on a narrow street alongside a pavement. You see a white man in front of you on the road. Unless you alter your course onto the pavement the carriage would with a near surety kill him. Now on the pavement is a black man. If adhering to the argument of higher pleasures being superior you would have to run over and kill the black man. In the 18th century it was far more likely for whites to experience higher pleasures than blacks. Black men were largely slaves or ex-slaves and certainly would not have access to the level of education of their white counterparts. This would mean the white man should be saved because he can read better. I'll leave you to bite the bullet here."

You know, If I was a Neo-Nazi, or perhaps a White Supremacist, I would consider any of that rational or logical, but I'm not, so therefore I don't. That's utter nonsense, no hyperbole meant whatsoever. And even more inflammatory, you made a Statement to whether I would run someone over the road, in the 18th century. I wouldn't run either of them over! That's the correct answer. I'm intrigued for you to give me your answer. You "Bite the bullet", sir.

"2. Humans are superior in intellect.
This still fails as the word "human" does not require a being with a certain level of intellect. Therefore the distinction here is not between humans and animals but between those with a certain level of intellect and those without it. Depending on where you draw the line some humans will be in the group without intellect and some animals in the group with it.. Think about this. If a human was born without a brain somehow, they would be human. Their DNA would match with human DNA. However, they would possess no intellect. Therefore, there is nothing special or superior about being human. I would expect my opponent to accept that this brainless human should not have superior rights to an animal. Furthermore, numerous animals, chimpanzees, parrots, pigs, crows etc posses superior intellect to many disabled humans."

First of all, my opponents makes many unsubstantiated claims and statements, and no references whatsoever. Allow me to refute them.

"Think about this. If a human was born without a brain somehow, they would be human. Their DNA would match with human DNA. However, they would possess no intellect. Therefore, there is nothing special or superior about being human."

First off, No Human can live without a Brain and function, and the majority of Humans Are not missing Brains, therefore this argument is completely invalid and irrelevant. Humans are the smartest terrestrial beings we know(1).
(https://www.google.com.mx...)

"Furthermore, numerous animals, chimpanzees, parrots, pigs, crows etc posses superior intellect to many disabled humans."

Almost comedic. Could you please provide some evidence to support your claims?

"3. Humans are superior in a morally and rational sense.
My above arguments can also be applied here. I have another argument here which I may choose to expand if needed at a more appropriate time in the debate."

No, your arguments do not apply. You must justify why you think that, you cannot point around at what you said, because what you said is Unsubstantiated, without evidence, unsupported, and wrong.
I you want me to take this argument seriously, then prove how ANY other other being is capable of Morality and Rational sense.

Overall my opponent has made completely ludicrous statements without any reference or evidence from ANY sources. It was hard to take this in a serious sense.

Apologies if there are grammatical errors or typos. I have to communicate Via my Phone and a Spanish Keyboard, Currently I am on vacation.
Debate Round No. 3
JBphilo

Pro

"I would like to point out the sheer amount of quotes and hypothetical plethora he exhumes. For me, this is going to be difficult to address, because there's so much!"
I would appreciate it if Con stuck to attacking the argument and not how it is made. Furthermore, I"m sure voters will agree, I laid out my argument in a clear and coherent manner so I am struggling to understand where Con is coming from.

"Pro states very weakly to why Human Utilitarianism is NOT superior to that of our animal counter parts, he makes Only one point to justify his platform!"
Firstly I"d like to point out that I made three arguments to justify this. I did this in the fashion of a refutation of the arguments one may give to justify a significant difference between animals and humans. If the arguments give against a view do not stand up then that view should not be accepted. That is what I attempted to show. Any arguments I neglected can be brought up by Con and I will attempt to reject them as invalid or unsound. The three arguments I addressed where the following:
1. Human pleasure and pain is different and therefore superior to any animals.
2. Humans are superior in intellect.
3. Humans are superior in a moral and rational sense.
Furthermore, I"d like to point out to Con that the quantity of arguments is in no way synonymous with the quality of an argument.

Rejection of 1. Human pleasure and pain is different and therefore superior to any animals.

"Well, what is your justification?"

"If a human could not read Shakespeare for example, should that make them less valuable than a human who can."

No, that's quite a subjective and narrow statement. I don't care if another can read Shakespeare, the same I don't care for a Goat that can juggle. That's not a productive purpose, therefore NOT relevant.
Indeed this is relevant. If you accept that it is subjective and that you do not care whether someone can read Shakespeare then this means you accept my argument. Namely, that it does not matter whether one is capable of experiencing higher pleasures or not. You admit that this is irrelevant thus accepting my argument.

"In response it could be argued that these higher pleasures bring more pleasure and minimise more pain and therefore are more important."
What is your reasoning?

This is me trying to postulate what one may say in response to my argument. This style is a good way of building a strong argument. If you accept that this challenge to my argument is not a worthy one then we should not discuss it further. Perhaps you could find a more adequate challenge to my argument if you agree this one is not a good one.

"We were driving a carriage on a narrow street alongside a pavement. You see a white man in front of you on the road. Unless you alter your course onto the pavement the carriage would with a near surety kill him. Now on the pavement is a black man. If adhering to the argument of higher pleasures being superior you would have to run over and kill the black man. In the 18th century it was far more likely for whites to experience higher pleasures than blacks. Black men were largely slaves or ex-slaves and certainly would not have access to the level of education of their white counterparts. This would mean the white man should be saved because he can read better. I'll leave you to bite the bullet here."

Again you appear to be confused. This argument was meant to be reductio ad absurdum. It was meant to show that running over the black man would be wrong (as you accept). If you accept this then the capacity to experience higher and lower pleasures [1] is irrelevant. If this capacity is irrelevant then it cannot be used by those opposing animal rights.
A point aside on the topic of utilitarianism (irrelevant to this debate but I have to mention it). You say "I wouldn't run either of them over!" Well I"m afraid that is not possible in the thought experiment. You would have to run one of them over. Even by not acting you would run one over.

Rejection of 2. Humans are superior in intellect.

Brainless human example.

"No Human can live without a Brain and function, and the majority of Humans Are not missing Brains, therefore this argument is completely invalid and irrelevant."
Firstly, I would like to point out that that criticism would make the argument unsound not invalid. [2] Secondly, this was a thought experiment and as many thought experiments it was not meant to be scientifically accurate but merely to get you to think about the value of human life. If you would like a more scientific modification then here it is. A human has a disease which means they cannot think. They would still be human. Their DNA would match with human DNA. However, they would possess no intellect. Therefore, there is nothing special or superior about being human. I would expect my opponent to accept that this diseased/ unthinking human should not have superior rights to an animal." Now can you challenge my argument that being human does not necessarily imply greater intellect and that therefore humans should not have greater rights than animals on these grounds.

"Furthermore, numerous animals, chimpanzees, parrots, pigs, crows etc posses superior intellect to many disabled humans."
"Almost comedic. Could you please provide some evidence to support your claims?"
Its it almost comedic that you respond by branding the argument comedic. Of course some animals have superior intellect to some humans. There are humans that cannot think. Assuming you admit animals can think then the conclusion that follows is that some animals are superior in intellect to some humans. An example of low intellect in humans are those with the condition lissencephaly who have IQ scores lower than 20.[3] An animal has a greater IQ than that. For instance parrots have been shown to be as intelligent as four year old humans.[4]

Rejection of 3. Humans are superior in a morally and rational sense.

Ok I will state why my other argument applies here.
P1: Morality requires a capacity to reason
P2: Some humans cannot reason[3]
C: The word "human" does mean a being that can reason.

Therefore, again we see that we cannot discriminate between humans and animals on the grounds that humans can be moral. We cannot claim that human life matters more than animal life. This is because this statement is backed up with the justification that humans (as true by definition) are capable of morality. This justification is wrong as not all humans are capable of morality. Therefore, being human in itself does not make one more valuable.

"Overall my opponent has made completely ludicrous statements without any reference or evidence from ANY sources. It was hard to take this in a serious sense."
I"m sorry if you thought so. Many of the points I had made I felt were obvious to any reader. Anyway, in an attempt to please my opponent I have attempted to include scientific evidence. This evidence I feel backs up what was already obvious to the majority of readers.

[1] http://plato.stanford.edu...
[2] http://www.iep.utm.edu...
[3] http://mostextreme.org...
[4] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
StalinIncarnate

Con

Pro, I would ask that you double space the lines between my statements and yours when you"re quoting, because it"s difficult to differentiate when they are so close.

"I would appreciate it if Con stuck to attacking the argument and not how it is made. Furthermore, I"m sure voters will agree, I laid out my argument in a clear and coherent manner so I am struggling to understand where Con is coming from."

I didn"t criticize in that manner for the Lolz, or to damage your integrity, but that is the truth, and I was indeed having difficulty understanding your thought process and Platform. There is no rules, I have the ability to address the debate as I see fit.

Pro forgets to quote my statements in the second refutation. Pro shouldn"t be making it this difficult for me to debate.

"Indeed this is relevant. If you accept that it is subjective and that you do not care whether someone can read Shakespeare then this means you accept my argument. Namely, that it does not matter whether one is capable of experiencing higher pleasures or not. You admit that this is irrelevant thus accepting my argument."

No,It"s indeed not Relevant, for the reasons of being Narrow Minded and Irrelevant. I"m not accepting your argument whatsoever.

"Again you appear to be confused. This argument was meant to be reductio ad absurdum. It was meant to show that running over the black man would be wrong (as you accept). If you accept this then the capacity to experience higher and lower pleasures [1] is irrelevant. If this capacity is irrelevant then it cannot be used by those opposing animal rights.
A point aside on the topic of utilitarianism (irrelevant to this debate but I have to mention it). You say "I wouldn't run either of them over!" Well I"m afraid that is not possible in the thought experiment. You would have to run one of them over. Even by not acting you would run one over."

My confusion stems from the Notion that I must Run a Individual over. Regardless of whether I"m right or wrong, That doesn"t corrolate to the argument. I would ask you keep on track.

"Its it almost comedic that you respond by branding the argument comedic. Of course some animals have superior intellect to some humans. There are humans that cannot think. Assuming you admit animals can think then the conclusion that follows is that some animals are superior in intellect to some humans. An example of low intellect in humans are those with the condition lissencephaly who have IQ scores lower than 20.[3] An animal has a greater IQ than that. For instance parrots have been shown to be as intelligent as four year old humans.[4]"

Does it not bother you your comparing a vast Minority, to a Majority? That"s called false equivalency. You cannot do that in debate. Do the majority of Humans have exceptionally low IQ"s? I would assume you say no, declaring this argument invalid. And even then, ALL animals would have to be smarter then disabled Individuals, there creating inequality over more intelligent animals over less intelligent animals.

"Ok I will state why my other argument applies here.
P1: Morality requires a capacity to reason
P2: Some humans cannot reason[3]
C: The word "human" does mean a being that can reason."

Morality does not require a capacity to reason, see Religion.
I looked at your link, and this condition you speak of is for 1. Extremely rare. 2. Very few people EVER are born with it. 3.Yet again, I false equivalency. Comparing ALL animals, to that of Very few Humans.

"The word "human" does mean a being that can reason."

I don"t recall saying that.

"Therefore, again we see that we cannot discriminate between humans and animals on the grounds that humans can be moral. We cannot claim that human life matters more than animal life. This is because this statement is backed up with the justification that humans (as true by definition) are capable of morality. This justification is wrong as not all humans are capable of morality. Therefore, being human in itself does not make one more valuable."

I"ve explained to you how these arguments are invalid and with much Bias and False equivalnecy.

"I"m sorry if you thought so. Many of the points I had made I felt were obvious to any reader. Anyway, in an attempt to please my opponent I have attempted to include scientific evidence. This evidence I feel backs up what was already obvious to the majority of readers."

Viewers, the evidence provided by Pro is not Scientific in any way. He provides 2 links to Philosophy Storage Sites, and then 2 on another obscure site. There are no author marking left by anybody, and no scientific links or journals attached, so I would ask for explanation towards how there "Scientific"
Almost all points were confusing, Indelible, and incoherent. I had difficulty following along.
He leans heavily on this "Evidence", however I point how there unsupported by actual scientists.

Conclusion.
Pro Provides Ludicrous Evidence that is unscientific and Obscure, (exception being Stanford Link,) Makes Biased Claims, and Makes False equivalencies, as I pointed out, and Makes it difficult for me to understand the debate, because of him not quoting multiple statements from my platform.

I apologize for my sardonic tone obviously felt in this Round. I felt my opponent made ignorant and little researched claims, and did little to support them.
Debate Round No. 4
JBphilo

Pro

I would appreciate if Con put forward more arguments and substantiated arguments. He criticises me for making unsubstantiated claims but the few claims of his have not support whatsoever.

You claim that the ability to experience higher pleasures such as reading Shakespeare is not relevant. However, that is exactly what I have argued. The ability to experience higher pleasures is often given as an argument against animal rights. So it is an argument, that you, as Con, could make. You accept that this is not the reason for prioritizing humans over animals so we no longer need to address this argument as you obviously do not see it as the reason why you prioritise human rights. I would ask you to offer an alternative argument. You can do so, but since its so late in the debate I can no longer respond.

"My confusion stems from the Notion that I must Run a Individual over. Regardless of whether I"m right or wrong, That does not correlate to the argument. I would ask you keep on track."

Con, you seem unaware of the use of thought experiments. They do not necessarily have to be something that happens in reality but merely be a possibility. So it is possible that you may find yourself in a situation when you have to chose between killing a white man or a black man. Ethics is largely made up of hypothetical situations which challenge the ethical theories in hand. I can still ask the question of you, when put in such a situation, whether you would prioritise the white man or black man. If the thought experiment needs further refining so the carriage has no breaks and that you could not stop then take this as part of it. Without brakes you would have to run one of the men over and be forced to make such a choice. Search Michael Sandel lecture on youtube for a similar thought experiment.
Now with this example I was trying to show that if you ran the black man over because blacks are less likely to be educated in that period then this translates in a meaningful way to the debate over animal rights. It is supposed to show that valuing life on the factor of intelligence was morally wrong. The black man is less intelligent (just as many animals are less intelligent than humans) but it does not feel right to run him over instead of the white man, for this reason (you even admit that you do not want to choose). This is the right response. We should not value life on intelligence. However, many people in Con"s position would argue that humans are superior as they are more intelligent. Your response of not wanting to run either over shows the thought experiment worked. You do not want intelligence to be a factor in your argument for humans being superior to animals. What then is your argument?

"Does it not bother you your comparing a vast Minority, to a Majority? That"s called false equivalency. You cannot do that in debate. Do the majority of Humans have exceptionally low IQ"s? I would assume you say no, declaring this argument invalid. And even then, ALL animals would have to be smarter then disabled Individuals, there creating inequality over more intelligent animals over less intelligent animals.

Firstly, it is exactly this point I am challenging you on. It does not matter what the majority of humans are. It is wrong to say that the majority of humans possess *insert relevant factor that makes some persons superior to others* and then to say that makes all humans superior. Yes, cases of mental disability in humans are rare but that makes no difference. You have given humans this superiority for a reason, be it intelligence, morality, ability to experience higher pleasures etc. But is it not more accurate to give rights to only those who meet the criteria. For instance, only intelligent people have rights (this would be more accurate as it would exclude non-intelligent humans). When you say humans are intelligent that is merely a stereotype to aid language"s simplicity. It is harder to say that all humans are intelligent except those with condition y and condition x. An ethical theory should not be limited by the simplicity of language but should be accurate. I am arguing that the word "human" does not mean someone intelligent necessarily and that therefore the group with rights (if intelligence is your measure of the importance of life) should not be called "human" but rather the group of "intelligent persons".
Secondly, if your critique did work it would make my argument unsound not invalid.

"Morality does not require a capacity to reason, see Religion.
I looked at your link, and this condition you speak of is for 1. Extremely rare. 2. Very few people EVER are born with it. 3.Yet again, I false equivalency. Comparing ALL animals, to that of Very few Humans."

I would challenge Con in the claim that following the blind commands of a religion is reason. And even if it was these humans to low intelligence and animals do not possess religion (probably because of their low intelligence).
I would point out that Con"s listing is a little dodgy since all three points in the list amount to exactly the same claim.
Furthermore, it does not matter whether the condition is rare. Those suffering the condition are human (DNA matches). They cannot reason. Therefore, not all humans can reason and thus the term human does not encompass the description "one who reasons". Why is this important? Because if reason is what makes life important then it cannot be consistent to claim that all humans have this right as not all humans have a capacity to reason.

"The word "human" does mean a being that can reason." "I don"t recall saying that."
No, that"s because you did not. I said that. But I think you have not convinced yourself that you do not believe this.

"Viewers, the evidence provided by Pro is not Scientific in any way. He provides 2 links to Philosophy Storage Sites, and then 2 on another obscure site. There are no author marking left by anybody, and no scientific links or journals attached, so I would ask for explanation towards how there "Scientific". Almost all points were confusing, Indelible, and incoherent. I had difficulty following along. He leans heavily on this "Evidence", however I point how there unsupported by actual scientists."

Firstly, the first two links are philosophy sights because the claims they support are solely philosophical ones.
The others are articles about scientific studies that have taken place. I think that you can have a good level of certainty that these studies have taken place. A simple google search provides large amounts on the topics raised in these articles.
None of my points are heavily reliant on scientific evidence (please tell me which are- all are thought experiments!).
I would be interested to hear whether readers share this belief my arguments are incoherent- Con certainly has not adequately explained why.

Thanks for the debate and best of luck!
StalinIncarnate

Con

StalinIncarnate forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by StalinIncarnate 2 years ago
StalinIncarnate
You know, I was going to finish it this morning in fact. Sorry, I'm leaving for Mexico at 9 with my family today, and I was packing and preparing and such. I would ask the Viewers and Pro extend Neutrality.
Posted by StalinIncarnate 2 years ago
StalinIncarnate
ACK. I DIDN'T MEAN TO FORFEIT. I HAD MY ARGUMENT READY.Apologies.
Posted by really12 2 years ago
really12
Does your debate imply that meat production should be formally abolished?

Don't get me wrong I own and love a shih Tzu dog and a ginger cat as well as a myriad of fish and I must admit that they are the most loving and loyal brings I have met (my human friends and family excluded).

You must understand that animals integrated into society are divided into two groups, livestock and pets, livestock are bred for meat production and consumption for our sustenance, whereas, pets are those furry members of our families.

Of course, in the wild, there is wildlife that are unfortunately becoming extinct due to deforestation and oil spills as well as poaching. That is where the PETA, RSPCA, and WNSF come in to make sure that these animals are treated fairly and justly.

One more thing, direct animal abuse is actually a violation of statute law, so unless if you're implying that those who directly abuse animals should face the death penalty? Then animals already have equal rights to us.
Posted by Times 2 years ago
Times
So you start out claiming humans have no reason to assert they are superior to animals then you start giving reasons for our responsibility to not act like animals because we are superior? You are a constant contradiction. If you agree that only humans possess certain qualities that are superior and more valuable then it stands to reason that preserving the superior form of life becomes the more important consideration.

My point is that as you claim we are just animals then animal behaviors to eat each other without evil intent can be easily seen in humans too where we eat and hurt animals to preserve our existence and happiness. Artificial human constructs created by man to serve man's society needs

Your man on an island makes no sense, if he is alone then he can't be immoral to himself and nobody else would want to hurt him for moral means.

It is fact that Blacks were enslaved by fellow Blacks, those Black lives had value so they were preserved and sold, after slavery ended we saw generation after generation of genocide from those same areas. Slavery was evil this is true, but it was also an evil that preserved the most lives and led to possible greatness for future generations that was impossible without slavery. Today we have some of the greatest scientists, artists, athletes and teachers, all only being possible because their forefathers lived and became slaves instead of being killed.
Posted by JBphilo 2 years ago
JBphilo
You claimed that the some will dominate the others. I assumed you were hinting at the claim that humans are justified in doing immoral acts to animals just as as you put it, a tiger chews on an antelope. Your response suggests I misinterpreted this since you are now talking about how non-human animals are not responsible for their actions.

I would agree that non-human animals largely are not evil or immoral and never suggested otherwise.

You claim I am trying to enforce human morality onto animals. This is not the case. I am claiming that we should as humans rise above animals who don't know any better. Instead of claiming animals are wrong to kill each other I am claiming humans (who possess reason) should put this reason above their pleasure and treat animals equally.

You then seem to assert morality relies on a form of social contract between members of a certain group. There are numerous problems with such an approach. For instance it would exclude a man on a desert island as he is not part of the community. If the community get pleasure from killing him, by your standards, it is the moral thing to do so.

You claim opinions change over time but by your social contract theory the slavery situation was a moral one. As the slaves were not part of the social contract their interests were irrelevant. Slaves gave their white owners pleasure (e.g. income). The white owners were part of the social contract and by your standards would be moral people if they kept slaves.

I would reject your claim that slavery was the moral thing to do in order to save the most lives. If not on a factual challenge there is the case that two rights do not make a wrong. I'm sure there are simpler examples of slavery where the fellow blacks did not round the slaves up. In this situation we clearly see that slavery in itself is wrong. Furthermore just prolonging a life of misery is not necessarily the moral thing to do.
Posted by Times 2 years ago
Times
@ JBphilo

The animals in question have no capacity to understand what morals are, the lion eats the antelope not because the lion is "evil" or to be "cruel" to the antelope, it eats the antelope because it is hungry and because it CAN eat the antelope.

You seem to be trying to force Human ideas of morality onto animals but if you truly believe that we are all animals then the most logical thing to understand is that it would be better to apply the animal way of thinking to humans and understand that morality is a construct of humans to help us get along with each other, not with other kinds of animals in a similar way that lions do not eat each other but will eat anything other than a lion.

Your slavery example is a little weak, times and morals change depending on the point of view of the observer, again based on what group of humans have deemed "Good" or "Bad" for their community. If not for slavery those Blacks would be dead. All Black slaves were put into slavery by fellow Blacks that would have killed them instead of selling them into slavery. So can we say that slavery was in it's own way the moral thing to do to save the most lives?
Posted by JBphilo 2 years ago
JBphilo
@JP_Hatecraft
Preferably the con accepts the utilitarian framework as otherwise we'll be arguing over the issue of utilitarianism. However, I do not personally mind if it comes to this as I can argue well for utilitarianism. Preferably though we should host a second debate in order to do that.
Posted by JBphilo 2 years ago
JBphilo
@ StalinIncarnate

"The word animal implies that it's not human." You are mistaken, the word animal encompasses humans so the word animal does not imply its not human.
Posted by JBphilo 2 years ago
JBphilo
@ Times

You seem to be a realist. You accept animals should have rights. However you then claim that certain groups become dominant. Wrongly, I think, you leave it as that. Yes certain groups will become dominant but that does not mean it is moral that they do so. You may as well say all humans have rights and accept that if the Russians blow up the USA it was immoral but ok because they were the dominant group.

Furthermore, what are your views on sexism and racism? Should we accept nature or fight for what is moral? In the slave trade it was clear white people were dominant over black people. In the same way before the 20th century women were dominated by men. If we do not fight for what is moral and accept that some groups will be dominant then nothing will change and the world would be a worse place for it.
Posted by Times 2 years ago
Times
Animals do have the same rights, the problem is, some form of life will become dominate and everything else will be subject to the will of the dominate life. When the tiger is chewing on the antelope, that tiger and their family is happy, that antelope is not.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Dynasty2468 2 years ago
Dynasty2468
JBphiloStalinIncarnateTied
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 Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited too many rounds.