The Instigator
Pro (for)
9 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Plants ought to have the right to vote

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/21/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 534 times Debate No: 81272
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (16)
Votes (2)




This is a debate sent to KingofEverything.
Resolved: Plants ought to have the right to vote. This resolution should focus on the United States.

The Burden of Proof is split evenly.

plants - the group of organisms in the kingdom Plantae
right - legal guarantee
vote - a formal indication of a choice between two or more candidates or courses of action, expressed typically through a ballot or a show of hands or by voice.
ought - have a moral obligation to

**Actually read the definitions. I've had two debates that had to end abruptly because my opponents simply do not understand that this is a debate about the ethics or impacts of botanical suffrage, NOT the feasibility. I know it's not feasible, don't argue that, that's not the point of the debate.

1. Follow structure
2. You accept to the round structure and resolution, terms, etc. as provided in R1. These cannot be changed.
3. No deconstruction semantics. plagiarism, trolling or forfeiture.

Round structure:
Round 1. Acceptance ("I accept" will do)
Round 2. Constructive arguments
Round 3. Rebuttals
Round 4. Defense


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I affirm the resolved: plants ought to have the right to vote.

My value today is justice, simply and traditionally defined as giving each their due. The criterion for upholding justice is the upholding of human rights in plants. Prefer this value because it is something that is the overarching virtue of all individuals, as Plato writes in Republic. Prefer this criterion because the codification of human rights is the act of giving each individual their moral dues, entirely upholding justice in the broadest sense of the word.

Observation 1. Human rights extend beyond the human.
Baxi of the University of Warwick, 1998, writes:
  • "The very term "human rights," ... is itself problematic ... The abundance of its meanings may not be reduced to a false totality ... [n]or may we succumb to an anthropomorphic illusion that the range of human rights is limited to human beings; the new rights to a clean and healthy environment ... take us far beyond such a narrow notion ... The expression "human rights" shelters an incredibly diverse range of desire-in-dominance politics and desire-in-insurrection politics."
This means that viewing human rights as a solely human endeavour is anthropocentric and not what human rights is really about. Human rights extend to non-humans, such as plants.

Observation 2. Democracy is a human right.
The United Nations in 2015 write:
  • "The values of freedom, respect for human rights and the principle of holding periodic and genuine elections by universal suffrage are essential elements of democracy. In turn, democracy provides the natural environment for the protection and effective realization of human rights. These values are embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and further developed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which enshrines a host of political rights and civil liberties underpinning meaningful democracies."

Thus, democracy is something that protects human rights overall, and must be upheld when we look at the value I provided. We must extend democracy to plants in order to affirm human rights; something warranted by both the prior observation and this one.

Contention 1. Botanical suffrage helps boost the economy.
The democratisation and furthering of democracy within nations has a net benefit on the economy. This is because consumers are able to purchase more because they feel as though they have a say within the economy.
Elias Papaioannou, Gregorios Siourounis in October 2008 say:

  • "First, compared to the pre-transition period, average growth (indicated with the purple dashed line) seems to be higher in the democratic years. Second, compared to the world average, annual per capita GDP growth in democratisation countries drops significantly during the transition; yet after the consolidation of representative rule growth fluctuates at a higher rate. It seems that as democracy consolidates, growth rates stabilise at a higher rate (compared to the non-democratic years). The graph suggests that in the short run there may be non-negligible transition costs, but in the long run growth stabilises at higher rates."

This means that there is a net benefit in the economy when there is an increase in democracy or a democracy is established, empirically. Countries with higher rGDP per capita have higher interest rates: this means that while the marginal propensity to consume is the same, there is a higher benefit for those that choose to save: an increase in cash available - people are positively effected because they are able to consume more under the same amount of income.
A lack of democratisation or a lower amount of democracy means that interest rates are low: hurting consumers for choosing to save their money. Inflation rates often outpace the interest rates, meaning that people are losing money and can consume less with the same income.

Contention 2. Botanical suffrage solves terrorism
Foot, Professor of International Relations, St. Anthony’s College, Oxford, 2003 says:
  • "gross violations of human rights generally tend to be the mark of a state that might, wittingly or not, provide the base from which terrorist cells can operate, or be hospitable to the establishment of links with transnational terrorism, or through it actions foment violent unrest that spills over its borders"
As said earlier, suffrage is an inherent human right; and Foot here is saying that denying human rights is the mark of a country that can harbor a terror cell. The US has a moral obligation to protect the lives of its citizens in order for it to continue to exist; if there are no people left alive due to terrorism, the government has failed its job and must cease to exist. There are thousands of lives saved when we don't ignore human rights - therefore, we should notice the impact of refusing to give human rights (chiefly, suffrage) to plants is a large humanitarian one.

Contention 3. Botanical suffrage solves genocide.

Hoffman, Chair of the International Executive Committee of Amnesty International, Nov 2004 states:

  • "History shows that when societies trade human rights for security, most often they get neither. Instead, minorities and other marginalized groups pay the price through violation of their human rights. Sometimes this trade-off comes in the form of mass murder or genocide, other times in the form of arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, or the suppression of speech or religion. Indeed, millions of lives have been destroyed in the last sixty years when human rights norms have not been observed.' Undermining the strength of international human rights law and institutions will only facilitate such human rights violations in the future and confound efforts to bring violators to justice."

If we disregard the human rights of plants, we are advocating for the United States to possibly commit genocide against its own citizens because it has the ability to. Having human rights such as suffrage in plants allows for us to prevent millions of deaths in the US simply because we allow for plants to have a say in their own life.

Thus, I affirm. I look forward to my opponent's arguments and remind them this round is only for constructive arguments, so refutations are barred.



I apologize if this argument is rushed, I have been busy.

Plants lack the proper intelligence to make good votes. A plant cannot restore enough knowledge to suddenly understand politics and know to make the right decisions. Consider this, there are some pretty stupid people out there, and I mean this in no offense to those people, and if plants are not even that smart, imagine the awful decisions they would make. They would be too dumb to vote for someone, and with thwireless maximum intelligence, they would break the rules and vote for global domination.
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent is negating the resolution because plants aren't smart enough to be able to vote. That is breaking the fundamental concept of democracy - only giving the right to vote to those that you feel are qualified enough to vote.
Consider this - it was thought that black people were not smart enough to vote, so they were not given the right to. Is that a valid reason to deny access to suffrage that helps democracy flourish and for the people to prosper? No; democracy must be upheld no matter what.
By negating my opponent is trying to limit democracy, and as I explained in R2, there are a lot of negative impacts when you limit democracy.

Also, my opponent's argument comes from feasibility, something that if he read R1, he would know is not the core concept of this debate. We are arguing morality, not feasibility, so just throwing that out there.


People could spam vote by writing down a vote for every single plant they own, since it's quite obvious that plants couldn't write something down a sheet of paper. A good president that may do much for a country could lose to another George Bush depending on the amount of people that have the most plants.

Other than spamming, the fact that there would be no way to tell who they are voting for would waste people's time. We don't need to study plants so deeply and train them to vote, since humans voting is already enough. Plants have no reason to vote other than for spamming, which i believe is illegal.

Plants lack the information and knowledge to know about if they are going to vote or not, so they wouldn't be upset about not having the right to vote.

We have enough political issues with just humans, and we don't need plants to get in the picture. Also, by your logic, if plants should have rights, wouldn't killing them be murder? If yes, then you will get a bunch of pointless court cases on plant killings. If no, people can just kill plants to make sure they can't vote.

Also, since plants can't technically do the voting, it is really just a decision made by humans. You are supporting the resolution of humans being allowed to vote multiple times, which is basically spamming and has no use.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent doesn't rebut my case at all. This means that every argument of mine is left standing and at its full weight.

I don't have anything to do in this round because it was solely defense against rebuttals. My opponent can only defend against rebuttals in this round - they cannot rebut.

"Thanks for the debate" is a pleasantry that I feel has lost its value, much like "how are you?". I am going against the current and I am not going to thank you for the debate becuase there wasn't one because of no real arguments.

Vote pro.


You're right. I need to work on my debating.
Debate Round No. 4
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by KingofEverything 12 months ago
Btw, my argument was not a semantic, but that people can use them to cheat and that plants wouldn't make good decisions.
Posted by KingofEverything 12 months ago
I'm new here Lexus.
Posted by Lexus 12 months ago
If you want to complain about me wanting to keep a debate an actual debate you need to prioritise. Framework wars aren't debate - they are a waste of time.
Posted by Lexus 12 months ago
Because that's literally the only thing the con will advocate for. I can say "no, ought =/= can" and then I win ... it's not a debate.
Posted by tejretics 12 months ago
> Moti Mizrahi contends that ought does NOT imply can.

The point is not *whether ought implies can,* the point is if you can even *argue* that. Why is there a rule preventing such an argument?
Posted by tejretics 12 months ago
@Lexus - Yes, he contends that. My point is, why aren't you allowed to argue that "ought implies can?" You can be *allowed* to do that, right? I mean, what's the point of that rule? A framework war can result in it, since it's the only way to argue this . . .
Posted by Lexus 1 year ago
Feasibility - can X do Y?
Basically the con on this res. would only say "plants can't vote, therefore the res. is negated". That's not the point of the debate so I got rid of feasibility
(also the "ought" in the resolution means that arguing that X can't do Y is invalid ;) )
Posted by Rami 1 year ago
What do you mean by feasible? By the way, Lexus, I'd want to do a debate like this, but I would want to argue inanimate objects should have the right as opposed to living organisms, because I can't do a debate seriously with a resolution like this.
Posted by Lexus 1 year ago
@tej, Moti Mizrahi contends that ought does NOT imply can.
Posted by KingofEverything 1 year ago
I made the mistake of arguing for feasibility.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 11 months ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: con conceded at the end, and pro was right--con didn't really rebut pro that well. He did make a case for saying that humans were voting for their plants, but that didn't mean humans COULDN'T vote for their plants [no arguments for that case]
Vote Placed by famousdebater 11 months ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con doesn't argue based on morality as R1 says. Then Con technically concedes in the final round of the debate.