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

Quickfire Debate - Night 1

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...
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 1/17/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,545 times Debate No: 68470
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (1)




10 minute debate.
2000 character limit.
'Select Winner' voting.
The topic is chosen from one of the 60 listed here:;
via a random number generator.
21 folks!

I, as instigator, will be PRO.

The topic shall be:
  1. Should America provide foreign aid to countries that kill and sell items from endangered animals.
As PRO, I will be arguing that America ought to provide foreign aid to countries that kill and sell items from endangered animals
CON will be arguing that America ought not to provide foreign aid to countries that kill and sell items derived from endangered animals.


R1. Acceptance
R2. Constructive Arguments
R3. Arguments and Rebuttals
R4. Rebuttals, closing statements


1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. Any rule infraction is frowned upon and is considered a forfeit.

Note: impossible to accept. I'm leaving this up for personal reference and will open the debate up later.

Real-time communications is a must. I prefer to use this google hangout:


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Cost benefit analysis
America ought to provide foreign aid to countries that kill and sell items from endangered animals. Foreign aid is responsible for saving human lives. '

"The lifesaving power of aid is so obvious that even aid critics acknowledge it. In the middle of his book White Man’s Burden, William Easterly (one of the best-known aid critics) lists several global health successes that were funded by aid. Here are a few highlights:

  • “A vaccination campaign in southern Africa virtually eliminated measles as a killer of children.”
  • “An international effort eradicated smallpox worldwide.”
  • “A program to control tuberculosis in China cut the number of cases by 40 percent between 1990 and 2000.”
  • “A regional program to eliminate polio in Latin America after 1985 has eliminated it as a public health threat in the Americas.”

While endangered animals only number a few, they are not as important as the lives of the millions of people that foreign aid helps to save.

Humanity is important.
Are we really going to let children die of smallpox and tuberculosis because of a few endangered species being poached? I assert that human lives, especially the fact that there are quantitatively more human lives (2 million people suffer from AiDS, malaria, etc.[2], and foreign aid really helps to alleviate these problems) than there are endangered species' lives at stake. Biodiversity of these commercializable species are not our concern. We simply don't have the luxury nor the obligation toward these species. Tigers are endangered, so what?



Thanks Pro. Especially for instigating a topic I know nothing about. Woot!

C1. Human Natural Values
The institutes that donate aid to these countries have an interest in preserving the environment and habitat of our planet. With the provision of aid, we have a tool at our disposal for exercising our national self-interests. We do this already with other considerations, such as pollution, global warming, etc, which do not directly affect humans economically. Thus our values are less myopic than humanitarian.

C2. Animal Rights
By providing aid at the expense of animal well-being we in turn make the statement that we put animal rights and values below our own. But there is no apparent reason why we should do this. Animals are known to experience pain and suffering, and thus very well-established ethical systems such as altruism or utilitarianism would equally regard animal suffering with humans.[]

C3. Depletion of Genetic Diversity
It is a human-self interest scientifically to maintain a large bio-diversity, since this allows for greater scope in gene therapy, research, as well as loss of habitat.
Debate Round No. 2


CON says that we have an interest in preserving the environment and habitat. Sure, but does extinction of endangered species affect our environment and habitat? Between 200 to 2000 species go extinct every year[1]. This periodic extinction has not caused any significant known problems to the functionality of the world. Thus really, the transition from being endangered to being extinct for these endangered species really doesn't have any negative effects that are worth our concern. Thus even if we have an interest in preserving environment and habitat, endangered species are not included in this concern

I will let the readers weigh this argument against mine on humanity. Are human lives or animal lives more important? I assert that animal lives are more important and that, since endangered species are by definition quantitatively few in numbers, the milllins of human lives at stake in foreign aid, when weighed against the animal lives of endangered species, are much more significant. Endangered animals just aren't worth more concern than the people whose lives can be saved by foreign aid.

As I've pointed out, 200-2000 species go extinct every year. There has been no correlation to the extinction of these species and environmental damage or loss of habitat. Not that it matters. Human lives are simply more important. Why should we care about endangered species and their relation to genetic diversity? In fact, they're being endangered is part of the evolutionary cycle



Envisage forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


For the sake of fairness, I'll just extend all arguments.
CON will post the R3 that he had intended to make and the debate will be judged based on all completed rounds.

Thank you for reading. The quickfire was fun.
Thank you Envisage for participating.
Good night folks.


Thanks Pro.


Cost benefit analysis

If Pro is going to do a cost-benefit analysis then he needs to consider the impacts that poaching of endangered animals has and weigh them up. It is difficult to qualtify the effects of poaching, but the two most well-known are those of blue whales and rhinos, which originally had populations in the hundreds of thousands, which are now just a fraction of that.[][]

Secondly, Pro does not weigh up the impact of successful aid to the actual economic input of aid. For example, one thousand programs of aid with only one success story isn’t particularly good cost-benefit trade. Pro has not assessed the cost.

Furthermore, the very reason why many of these animals are endangered in the first place is because of human activities, especially in poaching and loss of habitat. Furthermore it is not appropriate to use today’s figures, since they represent a suppressed population. A flourishing population would be significantly larger, thus we are not just denying the animals that are immediately killed of their lives, but of the entire putative population that it would be if it recovered (hundreds of thousands-millions).

Pro argues smallpos and tuberculosis is a problem, yet smallpox has been eradicated! It no longer exists!!
[] Thus Pro is talking nonsense, furthermore Pro is overly simplifying his numbers., Just because there are 2 million people with AIDS, etc, doesn’t mean the impact of aid is to eliminate all 2 million. We know that aid for AIDS has been rather ineffective when we have implemented it.[][]

Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by PointlessQuestions 1 year ago
Smallpox Technically Does Still Exist If Only In Laboratories
Posted by Beginner 1 year ago
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
I was trying to add pictures but it lagged the clock... so it didn't show correct time...
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
I wrote it in word, I still have it
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
Sure ok
Posted by Beginner 1 year ago
or are you no longer able to retrieve your r3?
Posted by Beginner 1 year ago
I'll let you post whatever you had to type in R3 and just simply extend for my last round
Posted by Beginner 1 year ago
I noticed. That sucks.
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
I missed by about 10 seconds...
Posted by Envisage 1 year ago
Computer so slow...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 1 year ago
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Pro has two major contentions: 1) human lives > animal lives. 2) Higher quantity of lives are saved. The quantative argument is a wash as Con counters that we are dealing with suppressed species. While Pro's human lives impact is intuitively higher than animal lives, Pro gives us no reason why I should weigh human lives as greater beyond just asserting that they are. Con counters that animal lives should be equally valuable since they can feel pain. This point is left unrefuted by Pro. It is further cemented with Con's offensive argument that biodiversity is beneficial to humans which is also left unaddressed by Pro. A clear con win. I think it would have helped if Pro had argued speciesism or explained in some way why human lives are more important.