The Instigator
ournamestoolong
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TheSkeptic
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

Ournamestoolong, pick your own debate! 1B

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/14/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 875 times Debate No: 7396
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (4)

 

ournamestoolong

Pro

I haven't been in a debate for a while so I will throw on of these out. Here's how it will work

Round 1: PRO - I post this
CON - You post three issues you would like to debate, and your positions on them (try to word it so that you are CON)

Round 2: PRO - I choose the topic that I want and then post an opening argument

The rest is like a normal debate

Good luck!
TheSkeptic

Con

I thank my opponent for creating this fun open debate - I don't think I've debated him before. So let's get it on :).

According to my opponent's wishes, I will be CON for all of the following resolutions/topics:

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Topics
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1. The Christian conception of God is true/The Christian God exists.

2. Late-term abortion is wrong.

3. Animal rights is the morally correct position.

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Conclusion
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As my opponent hopefully notices, I attempted to construct each of these resolutions in alignment with his beliefs (as states on his profile). Remember, I'm CON for all of these topics.
Debate Round No. 1
ournamestoolong

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate.

RESOLVED: Animal rights is the morally correct position
(I am going to draw a line and say that you may not argue that morals do not exist)

My argument is simple, and is divided into two parts.

1A: The Creationist Argument
IF you believe that God created the world in seven days, then animals and us share the same creator. We are all God's creations and should treat each other morally.

1B: The Evolution Argument
IF we evolved from primates, we have a large amount in common with them, so it is probable that we have the same thinking process. Animals can feel pain, they have the same neurological process as us. To cause an animal pain is to cause a being pain, a being, that could in fact be very similar to us. We evolved through the same process, so we are similar, and should treat animals with kindness.

Thank You.
TheSkeptic

Con

I thank my opponent for his quick response.

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Creationist Argument
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My opponent uses a vital word: IF. Obviously, I don't. So until he can prove Creationism, this point is invalid.

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Evolutionist Argument
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On the other hand, for this argument I agree with the premise that Evolution is true. Since that lifts the burdens off my opponent's shoulder (contrary to the Creationist argument), let's get to the meat of his argument:

My opponent argues that animals are sentient[1], which means to be able to feel pain or pleasure, then they should have rights. Ignoring the logical gaps in his argument, I will agree with this point. It's quite obvious that animals can feel pain or pleasure, but does this mean they get rights? To an extent, but definitely not what animal rights entails.

Animal rights states that "animals should no longer be regarded as property, or used as food, clothing, research subjects, or entertainment, but should instead be viewed as legal persons and members of the moral community"[2]. Basically, animal rights activists call for animals to be given the SAME rights as human beings. This brings me to my counterargument:

***Animals don't have same rights***
Simply put, animals don't have rights. For one to have rights, they must be a person[3], which is defined in philosophy as someone or something that is self-aware, i.e. conscious. Similarly so, a person is expected to be ethically responsible for their actions - which implies free will. Is my opponent willing to say that animals not only are self-aware, but have free will? Shall we jail a tiger for hunting down it's prey? Should they pay taxes like we do?

***Animal welfare***
While animals shouldn't be given the same amount of rights as human, they should have a certain amount. Because they are sentient, they can suffer. Thus, I advocate animal welfare as an alternative to animal rights. While animal welfarist agree that animals shouldn't be abused unnecessarily, they agree that animals are not on the same moral platform as humans. Therefore, they can be used as pets, entertainment, testing, so on and so forth[4].

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Conclusion
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I have adequately shown why animal rights steps too far across it's reach in the realm of philosophy, and how animal welfare would be a more appropriate position.

---References---
1. http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
4. http://www.bsas.org.uk...
Debate Round No. 2
ournamestoolong

Pro

Thank you for a interesting debate.

"My opponent uses a vital word: IF. Obviously, I don't. So until he can prove Creationism, this point is invalid."

I offered that as a argument for creationist voters. We both agree that evolution is true, so lets debate that.

"My opponent argues that animals are sentient[1], which means to be able to feel pain or pleasure, then they should have rights. Ignoring the logical gaps in his argument, I will agree with this point. It's quite obvious that animals can feel pain or pleasure, but does this mean they get rights? To an extent, but definitely not what animal rights entails."

I'm glad we agree that animals can feel pain, but we have opposing definitions of animal rights.

"Animal rights states that "animals should no longer be regarded as property, or used as food, clothing, research subjects, or entertainment, but should instead be viewed as legal persons and members of the moral community"[2]. Basically, animal rights activists call for animals to be given the SAME rights as human beings. This brings me to my counterargument"

I have different definitions
"The rights of animals, claimed on ethical grounds, to the same humane treatment and protection from exploitation and abuse that are accorded to humans." (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

"Rights (AS TO FAIR AND HUMANE TREATMENT) regarded as belonging fundamentally to all animals" (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

So animal rights essentially means fair and humane treatment to animals.

"***Animals don't have same rights***
Simply put, animals don't have rights. For one to have rights, they must be a person[3], which is defined in philosophy as someone or something that is self-aware, i.e. conscious. Similarly so, a person is expected to be ethically responsible for their actions - which implies free will. Is my opponent willing to say that animals not only are self-aware, but have free will? Shall we jail a tiger for hunting down it's prey? Should they pay taxes like we do?"

Animals don't have rights like we do. Obviously, they do not have freedom of speech, the press, or religion, but they do have the right to be treated humanely. Animals are not self aware, but they can feel pain. And as we are self aware, to knowingly inflict pain onto another being is inherently immoral.

"***Animal welfare***
While animals shouldn't be given the same amount of rights as human, they should have a certain amount. Because they are sentient, they can suffer. Thus, I advocate animal welfare as an alternative to animal rights. While animal welfarists agree that animals shouldn't be abused unnecessarily, they agree that animals are not on the same moral platform as humans. Therefore, they can be used as pets, entertainment, testing, so on and so forth[4]."

We agree here.

Thank you.
TheSkeptic

Con

I thank my opponent for a fast response.

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Definition of Animal Rights
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I'm sorry to say, but I'm quite disappointed. This debate has essentially turned into a simple clash of definitions. A quick read of my opponent's argument shows that he agrees with EVERYTHING I have said - about how many rights animals deserve, and how animal welfare should be adopted.

He claims that animal rights simply mean to give animals "fair and humane treatment". He pulls this definition from dictionary.com - Seeing as how this has turned into a definitions war, I will give the following responses:

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"...Accorded to humans"
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My opponent has failed to focus on that handy phrase in the end. Accorded[1] means, in the context of this debate, " to be consistent or in harmony". This means that both non-human animals and humans get the SAME rights. Read my opponent's definition, but remove everything from "claimed" to "abuse" and you can see my point clearly. The revised definition is: "the rights of animals are accorded to humans".

Yes, rights mean fair and human treatment to animals. But revert back to my opponent's own definition, and he see's that in context, it means fair and human treatments that HUMANS have as well.

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Opponent's perceived definition =/= animal rights definition
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Even if my previous argument was wrong, my opponent's attempt to redefine animal rights is still wrong. Dictionaries are tricky, because many times they define words that are subject to debate. For example, an entire debate is focused on what "life" is, or what "consciousness" is. How does a simple dictionary-look up solve this? It doesn't, so if one really wants to understand a word, they should look into different sources as well.

Take PETA for example. They are the primary organization in the world for animal rights. Heck, the phrase "animal rights" is synonymous with PETA. While some of PETA's actions are controversial, no one claims that PETA's philosophy is inconsistent with animal rights philosophy. Just look at this quote from PETA's website[2]: "People who support animal rights believe that animals are not ours to use for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, or any other purpose and that animals deserve consideration of their best interests..."

This obviously is in contrast to animal welfare, who believe that animals SHOULD be used in entertainment, testing, etc., but without unnecessary suffering. My opponent agreed with the animal welfare position, so now he's in an obvious dilemma.

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Conclusion
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If my opponent wishes to center his argument on pure definitions, then it shall be my pleasure to tear it down :). He has cornered himself with a paradox of definitions (he supports animal welfare and animal rights?), and I see no visible way for him to resolve this unless he tries to change the definitions. Which makes a debate useless if the meanings of words can be changed. Vote for CON!

---References---
1. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
2. http://www.peta.org...
Debate Round No. 3
ournamestoolong

Pro

I believe that this has become a petty debate on a definition that I cannot prolong. My opponent proved me wrong so I must forfeit.

I'm sorry.
TheSkeptic

Con

It's okay, nice try at the end anyway :)

You read it right. My opponent has forfeited, so vote CON!
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Defaulted CON, PRO forfeited.
Posted by ournamestoolong 7 years ago
ournamestoolong
Sorry about that, I really am.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
You - not much response though :/
Posted by ournamestoolong 7 years ago
ournamestoolong
Good debate anyway.
Posted by ournamestoolong 7 years ago
ournamestoolong
Ugh... I'm considering a forfeit
Posted by ournamestoolong 7 years ago
ournamestoolong
That was a hard refutation, good debate.
Posted by ournamestoolong 7 years ago
ournamestoolong
Ok, my argument may take longer.
Posted by ournamestoolong 7 years ago
ournamestoolong
Oh, I don't know. We agree on most of the issues I prefer.
I'll get on my argument in a bit.
Posted by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
Sorry? What topics do you prefer then.
Posted by ournamestoolong 7 years ago
ournamestoolong
You put me in a jam, I didn't much like any of those topics.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by bookwormbill111 7 years ago
bookwormbill111
ournamestoolongTheSkepticTied
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Vote Placed by trendem 7 years ago
trendem
ournamestoolongTheSkepticTied
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
ournamestoolongTheSkepticTied
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Vote Placed by TheSkeptic 7 years ago
TheSkeptic
ournamestoolongTheSkepticTied
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