The Instigator
LR
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
NRod
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points

Should Monkeys Be Considered Persons

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
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 2 votes the winner is...
LR
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/24/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 410 times Debate No: 67519
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

LR

Pro

1.Animals are not our (as humans) resources. (325.2.1)
2."Such beasts are not mere things to be used as cruelly as we like no matter how trivial the benefit we derive." (365.3.4)
3."Non-human mammals have essentially the same right not to be harmed or killed as we do." (344.1.3)
4."Mammals are not only sentient but have other mental capacities as well." (345.3.2)
5.All sentient beings have inherent value. (334.3.9)
6. "The basic moral rights of at least some non-human animals are in no way inferior to our own." (344.1.1)
7.Therefore, monkeys should be considered persons.

Primarily, animals are not here for us, they are not our resources. Animals were not put on this earth to be eaten by humans, or to be worked on in cruel lab experiments for science, or exploited for sport or money for our own entertainment. Animals don"t exist for humans to benefit from them. The system that permits us to perceive animals as our inferiors, does not entitle us to really care about the harm done to the animal, including the pain or death that they suffered. (326.2.1-4)
Sentient beings are those with "the ability to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively" according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Such beings are entitled to equal rights. Rights are "valid claims, claims to certain goods and against certain beings, i.e., moral agents. Moral rights generate duties not only to refrain from inflicting harm upon beings with inherent value but also to come to their aid when they are threatened by other moral agents." (346.2.5-6) Inherent values are values that we all have as individuals, and that we are something more than measly vessels. It must be that all who have inherent value, must have it equally; gender, race/ethnicity, religion, place of birth, and so on should not matter. Also one"s talents and skills, intelligence, prosperity, personality, illness and/or disease, adored and admired, or despised, are beside the point. (333.4.5-7) All of those who have inherent value have an equal right to be treated with respect, to be treated in ways that does not make them feel reduced to inferiors, as if they merely existed as resources for others. One"s value as an individual is independent of their usefulness to another. To treat someone in a way that neglects to show respect of that individual"s independent value, is to act immorally and violate the individual"s right. To act morally is to be "concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character", according to Merriam-Webster dictionary. (333.4.8-10) This concludes that every interest matters and each interest must be counted as equivalent importance. Whether it is in the case of a human or an animal, everyone"s pain or frustration is significant, and is just as significant as any other being"s pain or frustration. This also concludes that animals are indeed sentient beings with other mental capacities in addition. These capacities contain emotion, memory, desire, the use of general concepts, deliberate acts, and self-awareness.
Although animals may be deficient in many of the abilities that some humans acquire, such as reading and writing or performing higher mathematical equations, many humans cannot perform such abilities neither. It would be wrong to say that these human beings, that are similar to animals in the sense that they might not be able to read, write, or solve math problems, have less inherent value and less of a right to be treated equally and with respect compared to others who can perform such functions. Some people might say that only humans have inherent values, or that humans have more inherent value, because humans have reason, intelligence, and self-sufficiency. But again, there are individuals who lack such qualities, such as infant, young child, or mentally deranged person, and are nonetheless worthy of having value, even with their lack of usefulness to others. (335.1.1) It is our similarities as sentient beings, rather than our differences that counts. (334.3.1-5) Animals do without a doubt show similarities to human beings regarding fear, instinct, and conditioning. (342.3) And the most principle similarity is that sentient beings are each an experiencing subject of life. A subject of life is a "conscious creature having an individual welfare that has importance to us whatever our usefulness to others." (334.3.6) This means that subjects of life have wants and perforations, beliefs and feelings, recollections and expectations. We, as subjects of life, also experience pleasure, pain, satisfaction, and frustration. (334.3.7-8) This concludes that animals, including the ones that are eaten, hunted, and experimented upon, must be considered experiencing subjects of life with inherent values.
NRod

Con

1. Animals do not have an understanding of morals.
2. Monkeys do not know what is morally right and what is morally wrong.
3. Personhood does not have a formal definition so the criteria of what defines a person are unknown or vary.
4. Assigning personhood isn’t necessary for establishing protection rights.
5. Monkeys are given animal rights which protect them from human abuse and confinement.
6. Therefore, monkeys should not be considered persons.

My opponent does not give a definition of what a person or personhood is.

A person is a being that has certain capacities or attributes constituting personhood. The definition of personhood is constantly changing and defined differently by many people.

Lori Marino views all other animals with a brain as persons. Bioethicist Joseph Fletcher’s definition of personhood included such things as self-awareness, self-control, a minimum level of intelligence, a sense of time (including a sense of the past and future), concern for others, curiosity, and so on.

The legal definition of a person is as follows: “An entity recognized by the law as separate and independent, with legal rights and existence including the ability to sue and be sued, to sign contracts, to receive gifts, to appear in court either by themselves or by lawyer and, generally, other powers incidental to the full expression of the entity in law.”

http://www.duhaime.org...

What defines a person and personhood varies from each individual.

I will define a person as a person who can be held accountable for their actions, has legal rights, and can make rational decisions.

Pro: “Rights are “valid claims, claims to certain goods and against certain beings, i.e., moral agents. Moral rights generate duties not only to refrain from inflicting harm upon beings with inherent value but also to come to their aid when they are threatened by other moral agents.” (346.2.5-6)”

Animals do not have an understanding of morals. They do not know what is morally right and what is morally wrong. Many animals are entirely instinctual. But we as human beings, capable of distinguishing what's morally right from morally wrong, know that it would be wrong to harm them unless they have brought harm to us.

Moral is of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior.

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Monkeys are unable to claim their own rights. It is us humans who give them the rights. Until monkeys are able to tell us they deserve the same rights as humans then they will not be given them. Animals are incapable of distinguishing right from wrong and in order to be moral one must know how to distinguish the two.

Humans have rights because rights imply responsibility and an understanding of how society and the law works. All of human civilization is built on us not only understanding our own rights but also understanding the rights of others. Letting animals have rights equal to humans completely shatters this: Not only are they not human, but we have no idea if they can even comprehend this status and these rights that we've given them.

Pro: “One’s value as an individual is independent of their usefulness to another. To treat someone in a way that neglects to show respect of that individual’s independent value, is to act immorally and violate the individual’s right. To act morally is to be “concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character”, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary. (333.4.8-10) This concludes that every interest matters and each interest must be counted as equivalent importance.”

If monkeys are made to be persons would they be held accountable for violating the rights of other persons? What if a monkey harms another monkey? Will they go through court or be put into jail? Yes, we should treat everyone as equally important and not base them on their usefulness to us, but does this really constitute that monkeys should be considered persons? Just because we view them as equally important does not mean they should be considered persons.

Pro: “Whether it is in the case of a human or an animal, everyone’s pain or frustration is significant, and is just as significant as any other being’s pain or frustration. This also concludes that animals are indeed sentient beings with other mental capacities in addition. These capacities contain emotion, memory, desire, the use of general concepts, deliberate acts, and self-awareness.”

Yes, monkeys can feel emotions. That is because they have what neuroscientists call, an amygdala. http://neuroscience.uth.tmc.edu...

This is what allows us to have very basic and instinctual emotions. Yes, they can feel pain. That is because, like every other animal and human on this planet, they have sensory neurons. Does that make them any more or less a person? No, it does not. They are not considered people because they cannot talk and they are not capable of forming higher level thoughts, other than very basic and instinctual thoughts such as the need for food, shelter, and sex.

Because they are incapable of defining a right, they are incapable of intentionally demonstrating that they wish to claim some version of rights, and they cannot take moral responsibility for their actions.

Animal rights are given to monkeys. Animal rights is the belief that animals have an intrinsic value separate from any value they have to humans, and are worthy of moral consideration. They have a right to be free of oppression, confinement, use and abuse by humans. There is no need to label monkeys as persons if they are already given a right to be free from human abuse.

Pro: “A subject of life is a “conscious creature having an individual welfare that has importance to us whatever our usefulness to others.” (334.3.6) This means that subjects of life have wants and perforations, beliefs and feelings, recollections and expectations.”

What is meant by subjects of life have perforations? Perforation is defined as a hole made by boring or piercing; an aperture passing through or into something.

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Pro: “This concludes that animals, including the ones that are eaten, hunted, and experimented upon, must be considered experiencing subjects of life with inherent values.”

With this sentence my opponent says all animals are to be considered subjects of life. So insects would be considered subjects of life with inherent value that should be given the same rights as humans? The way my opponent defines “a subject of life” can include any animal.

Debate Round No. 1
LR

Pro

I seem to disagree with my opponent"s legal definition of a person, that is "an entity recognized by the law as separate and independent, with legal rights and existence including the ability to sue and be sued, to sign contracts, to receive gifts, to appear in court either by themselves or by lawyer and, generally, other powers incidental to the full expression of the entity in law." There are many individuals that you could identify as persons without necessarily meeting the criteria of this definition. Take into consideration an infant, a child, and/or a mentally disabled human being. You would normally consider these as persons, but that would not be accurate according to this definition.
A person should be defined as a sentient being. One with "the ability to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively." In this case, anyone that can feel and distinguish any type of emotion, including pleasure, pain, satisfaction, and frustration would be considered a person. Among these persons would be infants, children, and the mentally disabled, as well as animals.
I also disagree with the fact that all human beings are capable of determining what is morally right and what is morally wrong. Again, I will bring up the example of an infant, a child, and/or a mentally disabled person. An human being living the younger years of their lives does not necessarily know what is considered right and wrong according to morals; after all they are only children, who still have much to learn about the world and morals. A mentally disabled individual"s brain does not quite function like a fully functioning individual"s brain. They may not be able to distinguish between right and wrong any more than children or animals can. This does not (and should not) mean that a child or mentally impaired human are less of a person for not being able to comprehend such morals and be denied of their rights, and the same goes for animals.
I disagree with my opponent"s claim about monkey"s not being "more or less a person" because they "cannot talk and are not capable of forming higher level thoughts." Not only are monkeys considered sentient beings, with response to painful stimuli because of their sensory neurons, but they are indeed capable of higher levels of thought. Monkeys are known to create tools to obtain food. An example of tool making is when chimpanzees sharpen sticks to utilize as spears while hunting. Some monkeys have complex approaches for hunting that necessitates teamwork from others. Monkeys also seem to be aware of their place and rank in a group. They can alternate the behavior or insight of others with trickery. Monkeys can also distinguish between family members and other members of the same species. They can learn to use symbols, such as sign language, and they can understand characteristics of human language, as well as numerical values. An example of animal language research, where animals model human language, is the chimpanzee, Nim Chimpsky. This chimp was taught over one hundred signs in his lifetime. Kanzi the bonobo used a keyboard with lexigrams, which are symbols that match up to objects and ideas, to communicate along with sign language. Koko the gorilla was also taught how to sign to communicate with human, and can understand about 2,000 spoken words of English. Monkeys can also use their higher mental capacities to solve problems. In research done by Wolfgang Kohler in 1913, he studied and observed how chimpanzees would regain bananas that were not in their reach. In order to obtain the bananas, the chimps stacked ladders made of wooden crates to climb up. When the food was placed in a cage, the chimps used sticks to reach out to it. (http://en.m.wikipedia.org...)
Granted, these tasks are not something that can be done by many animals, but these functions may be performed by a monkey. This then, in a sense, makes them closer to a human being than many other animals.
I do apologize about the misunderstanding about "perforations" it was a typo on my behalf. I meant to say things that they prefer, or preferences.
NRod

Con

PRO: “I seem to disagree with my opponent’s legal definition of a person,”

My opponent did not understand why I listed the several definitions of a person. The definition was put there along with the others to show that it varies from person to person and even the law, which is where the legal definition I provided came from. There is still a continuous debate on what the definition of person and personhood is. How I defined a person is as follows: “I will define a person as a person who can be held accountable for their actions, has legal rights, and can make rational decisions.”

PRO: “A person should be defined as a sentient being. One with “the ability to feel, perceive, or experience subjectively.” In this case, anyone that can feel and distinguish any type of emotion, including pleasure, pain, satisfaction, and frustration would be considered a person. Among these persons would be infants, children, and the mentally disabled, as well as animals.”

Yes, both animals and humans are sentient. However, that is where consciousness comes into play. In terms of consciousness, a human is significantly much more conscious than an animal. A human can beg the question of “why are here, how do we exist and where did we come from?” and proceed to make attempts at answering that question. An animal cannot because it has a significantly lower level of consciousness and therefore cannot perform higher level thoughts and beg the question of their existence like why are they here, how do they exist and where did they come from with attempts to answer it. Humans can also create and appreciate art. They can give meaning behind the art. There is no evidence that an animal can create a piece of art and then appreciate or give meaning to it.

PRO: “I also disagree with the fact that all human beings are capable of determining what is morally right and what is morally wrong. Again, I will bring up the example of an infant, a child, and/or a mentally disabled person. An human being living the younger years of their lives does not necessarily know what is considered right and wrong according to morals; after all they are only children, who still have much to learn about the world and morals. A mentally disabled individual’s brain does not quite function like a fully functioning individual’s brain. They may not be able to distinguish between right and wrong any more than children or animals can. This doesn’t (and shouldn’t) mean that a child or mentally impaired human are less of a person for not being able to comprehend such morals and be denied of their rights, and the same goes for animals.”

Whether an infant is considered a person or not is a completely different debate topic. Children are conditioned through operant conditioning while monkeys or animals are conditioned with classical conditioning. The child is able to tell you why it responded in the way it did and it can give you its reasoning while a monkey cannot. Though one child might respond that, “yes it was wrong for so and so to murder such and such because of this and that,” another child could respond with an opposing answer. Children can formulate reasons, but very basic ones. That is because their minds are not as developed as adults and therefore cannot provide more detailed and in-depth reasoning. A mentally disabled person can understand morals. The illnesses that cause one to be mentally disabled vary and some are not as severe as to cause their moral judgment and understanding to be impaired.

https://en.wikipedia.org...

PRO: “Not only are monkeys considered sentient beings, with response to painful stimuli because of their sensory neurons, but they are indeed capable of higher levels of thought.”

My opponent does not understand what I meant by higher levels of thought. Higher level thought does not constitute making gestures based on very simplistic patterns that were taught to them. Higher level thought does not constitute making a tool in order to increase chances of survival. Cave men built fire for survival, but does that mean that they were capable of higher level thought? Only until much later into the evolutionary tree were they able to. This goes back to what I stated previously of classical conditioning. By higher level thought I mean they can raise questions about the universe, study it, question their existence, why are they here, what are they for? We do not know if animals can have these sorts of thoughts. As I stated previously humans can have these thoughts.

PRO: “I do apologize about the misunderstanding about “perforations” it was a typo on my behalf. I meant to say things that they prefer.”

Thank you for clearing up the misunderstanding. I will now address the claims my opponent made properly now. Yes, all life is important and should be treated as such. We should not be treating life well based on what we think their usefulness is but rather treat everyone as important because that’s what being moral is about. I agree with this. They are and can be valued as well as respected. Does this mean monkeys should be considered persons? No, being a subject of life with inherent values does not mean you should be considered a person. Many religions view animals as sacred and respect them but still do not see them as persons.

Assigning personhood isn’t necessary for establishing protection rights. There is such thing as animal rights which are given to monkeys. Animal rights protect the animal from abuse, confinement, and oppression from humans. They have an intrinsic value separate from any value they have to humans, and are worthy of moral consideration.

Debate Round No. 2
LR

Pro

I have read the different definitions of what is considered a person and I have to say that I still disagree with my opponent"s definition of a person and that whether or not an infant is considered a person is an entirely different debate topic.
An infant should indeed be considered a person, they are sentient beings and they have legal rights. But an infant obviously cannot be held accountable for their actions and make rational decisions. According to the legal definition of a person, which as my opponent states is "an entity recognized by the law as separate and independent, with legal rights and existence including the ability to sue and be sued, to sign contracts, to receive gifts, to appear in court either by themselves or by lawyer and, generally, other powers incidental to the full expression of the entity in law", in infant would not be considered a person. Yet infants and young children still have rights. It could not be because they signed a contract, because clearly, they cannot understand and accept the terms and conditions of such a thing and would then not be able to sign the document, much like an animal. So why do infants and toddlers have rights, when they aren"t considered persons? Perhaps it is because they are given rights because people care about them, specifically their parents and family. (328.3.4) The same thing could go for animals. Because of the being"s loved ones" sentimental value and interest upon them, they are protected by rights. Infants and animals should then be considered persons due to the fact that they are sentient beings and that they do have rights.
I also do not agree with my opponent about a human being "significantly much more conscious than an animal." Not all humans can necessarily, answer the question of "why we are here, how do we exist and where did we come from." Take into account an infant once more. An infant is clearly a human being, but would not be able to answer that question for mostly two reasons. One, since the newborn has only begun to live its life for a little while, it probably does not understand such questions, and two, it has not yet learned and accomplished how to speak properly. Animals would be under the same category, they may not be able to read and understand questions, and they definitely would not be able to talk and answer back in plain English. So in this case, levels of consciousness should not matter. It would be more appropriate to consider that both monkeys and humans are sentient. After all "pain is pain, wherever it occurs." (328.1.4)
I must actually disagree with my opponent on the fact that mentally disabled persons can understand morals. Although I do agree that some mild diseases, ones in which it may not cloud their judgment and understanding of morals, may occur, there are many mental illnesses where the impaired being would not be able to function like the rest of us concerning the principles of what is considered right or what is considered wrong. In many cases of individuals with mental retardation, medical experts have determined that because of the reduced mental capacities, individuals with such a disability lack the capacity for many basic mental functions, such as, reasoning, memory, and most importantly, the ability to decipher between what is right and what is wrong. This means that many mentally retarded individuals do not fully understand the consequences of their own actions, nor fully understand the emotions that other individuals may be experiencing. (http://www.theonion.com...) In most cases of psychopathy, the individual has poor judgment, cannot decipher between the good and the bad, is unable to learn from previous mistakes, and simply is not able to experience emotions, such as, guilt, compassion, and sorrow. (http://www.cognethic.org...) In both of these mental illnesses, the individuals are unable to make moral decisions, but does this make them any less of a human being? Of course it does not, these people are human, sentient beings, much like monkeys who may not be able to make moral decisions, and they deserve rights as well.
NRod

Con


PRO: I still disagree with my opponent’s definition of a person and that whether or not an infant is considered a person is an entirely different debate topic.


I say that it is a different debate topic for what my opponent argues about in the following paragraph. This is about monkeys not infants. There are people out there that believe infants are not people. I will refer back to my forth premise again, “Assigning personhood is not necessary for establishing protection rights.” By the legal definition no, an infant would not be considered a person. Yes, it is still given rights, so to be given rights and to be protected you do not necessarily have to be considered a person. Humans who have the ability to make these decisions are the ones who do it for the infant, but when would an infant be in court anyway? My opponent has not actually addressed the definition I gave them but kept referring to the legal definition which I explained was to show how the definition for what constitutes a person or personhood varies from person to person, or different societies.


PRO: So why do infants and toddlers have rights, when they aren’t considered persons? Perhaps it is because they are given rights because people care about them, specifically their parents and family. (328.3.4) The same thing could go for animals. Because of the being’s loved ones’ sentimental value and interest upon them, they are protected by rights.


Humans who are able to understand that these beings need rights are able to give it to them. Humans understand the morals and think rationally for why such beings need rights. Humans fight for animal rights because they see it that animals should be treated morally.


PRO: Not all humans can necessarily, answer the question of “why we are here, how do we exist and where did we come from.” Take into account an infant once more. An infant is clearly a human being, but would not be able to answer that question for mostly two reasons


Humans do not answer the question, they ponder it. After pondering the question they then attempt to answer it rationally. They do not need to have a definite answer but the ability to be able to think of such a question is what allows for higher level thought. Obviously an infant is unable to think about this because it is an infant and has not fully developed. It must wait until it is fully developed and then be taught the skills it needs. What human cannot ponder such a question or eventually ponder it?


PRO: So in this case, levels of consciousness should not matter. It would be more appropriate to consider that both monkeys and humans are sentient. After all “pain is pain, wherever it occurs.” (328.1.4)


To define a person as just a sentient being can include many species of animals. It will include insects, birds and fish. Would these species also be seen as persons? Would my opponent agree that they should be put on the same level of rights as humans? How would we go about creating rights for such animals? There is obviously a limit that must be made of what should be or should not be considered a person when defined as just a sentient being.


PRO: This means that many mentally retarded individuals do not fully understand the consequences of their own actions, nor fully understand the emotions that other individuals may be experiencing. (http://www.theonion.com...)


The source my opponent uses as support for their argument is from The Onion. The Onion is a site that posts satirical news articles about current events going on around the world. Many of these stories are false and should not be taken at face value. The article is said to be written by a man, Warren Lee Hill, who was in prison for murdering his girlfriend and while in prison he murdered his cellmate. His execution was postponed because of the controversy of him being qualified as mentally ill. My opponent either did not read the article or did not get the satire as it was very evident in the way he describes himself. The author of the article was also written by the man being executed. This is not a credible source and I will not take it seriously.


PRO: In most cases of psychopathy, the individual has poor judgment, cannot decipher between the good and the bad, is unable to learn from previous mistakes, and simply is not able to experience emotions, such as, guilt, compassion, and sorrow. (http://www.cognethic.org...) In both of these mental illnesses, the individuals are unable to make moral decisions, but does this make them any less of a human being? Of course it does not, these people are human, sentient beings, much like monkeys who may not be able to make moral decisions, and they deserve rights as well.


This is another entirely different debate topic. It is not known as to whether psychopaths do have morals. It is understood they have a different view of how their world operates. Most disregard right and wrong or just have no understanding of it which is why they are not held morally responsible for their actions in some cases. Some psychopaths do understand morals but just do not care for them. Usually when a psychopath commits a crime people will consider them not to be a human being or a person, they disassociate them as an evil object. The answer to this topic is something that has not been decided upon. My opponent cannot ask that question because my opponent is making the assumption that psychopaths have no sense of morality, despite us not coming to a conclusion on that. They are still considered human beings because psychopathy is a personality disorder that affects their judgment, not them being humans. Monkeys cannot make moral decisions or judgments because they do not have an understanding of what morals are in our society for they are animals and do not live in our society.


Debate Round No. 3
LR

Pro

As this debate comes to an end, I have decided to keep all of my premises.
1.Animals are not our (as humans) resources. (325.2.1)
2."Such beasts are not mere things to be used as cruelly as we like no matter how trivial the benefit we derive." (365.3.4)
3."Non-human mammals have essentially the same right not to be harmed or killed as we do." (344.1.3)
4."Mammals are not only sentient but have other mental capacities as well." (345.3.2)
5.All sentient beings have inherent value. (334.3.9)
6. "The basic moral rights of at least some non-human animals are in no way inferior to our own." (344.1.1)
7.Therefore, monkeys should be considered persons.

As I have stated before, animals are not human resources. They were not evolved to partake in horrific lab experiments, or to become exploited for mankind"s own entertainment. Yet numerous people seem to believe that it does not matter that animals are harmed, since they are on this Earth to only benefit humans. An animal"s pain will only matter if it affects and troubles a human(s). (326.2.1-4)
If such a system is believed, it can be concluded that humans have no duty directly to animals, but rather an indirect duty, which signifies only duties concerning them. This view also determines that since we do not owe anything to these animals, we cannot possibly wrong them; we can only commit wrongful acts involving animals. For example, if a person kicks your dog, they would be committing a wrongdoing towards you because they have upset you and/or damaged your property, which is immoral; but they would not be committing a wrongdoing to your dog. Your dog is no more harmed than an inanimate object would be harmed. To justify this view, some could say that your dog does not feel or care about pain and so it is not bothered by and unaware of the harm done to him/her. But this would obviously be false because dogs are mammals and mammals, including humans, are sentient beings. Claiming that a dog, or any animal, cannot feel pain would be saying that humans do not care about and/or cannot feel pain either, which clearly is not the case. After all, "pain is still pain wherever it occurs." (327.3.4-15 " 327.4.1-2 - 328.1.4)
Also, as I have stated in the previous arguments, infants and very young children, along with brain-damaged, senile, and comatose, cannot sign contracts because they do not have the sense required to comprehend morality, which would mean that they cannot receive rights. Yet, these human beings indeed have rights because of the sentimental interests of their loved ones. The same goes for animals. They cannot comprehend contracts, so they cannot sign them, therefore they would lack rights. (328.3.3-5 " 328.4.1-2) If infants and children can receive rights without having to understand morality and signing a contract, then so should monkeys. Some animals are protected by rights because of the sentimental interests of their loved ones, but others are not fortunate enough. Monkeys being tested in laboratories for "scientific purposes" are examples of animals lacking rights. These animals are being put through excruciating pain, being tested over and over daily for unnecessary research, all for the benefit of mankind. (336.4.5-8) Whereas a human can clarify that they are willing to undergo such treatments in the name of science, an animal cannot refuse, and they are not given a chance to. (341.4.5-6) "If suffering is bad, then it is bad for any individual who suffers." (365.3.8) If we cannot put a human being through such torture without their consent, we should not be able to put an animal through such torture neither.
There is no concrete moral distinction between animals and human beings. Just as human beings, animals can reason, communicate with each other, and care for their young. Animals also have things that they want and prefer, and characteristics of moral relevance, such as love, course of thought, and affiliation. (342.2.1-4)
Monkeys are sentient beings with additional mental capabilities as well. These capabilities consist of feeling, recollection, belief, use of general concepts, deliberate action, and self-awareness. Due to these capabilities, these animals are subjects-of-a-life that have inherent value. And we as human beings have a duty to not harm those with inherent value. (345.3.3 " 345.4.1 " 346.2.3)
Mostly everyone approves of animal rights, for protection against human abuse, so why can we not accept most animals as moral equals to us? (352.1.2) After all, human beings are mammals, a part of nature, we are only one species among millions. (372.3.2)
NRod

Con

1. Animals do not have an understanding of morals.
2. Monkeys do not know what is morally right and what is morally wrong.
3. Person or Personhood does not have a formal definition so the criteria of what defines a person are unknown or vary.
4. I will define a person as a person who can be held accountable for their actions, has legal rights, and can make rational decisions.
5. Assigning personhood is not necessary for establishing protection rights.
6. Monkeys are given animal rights which protect them from human abuse and confinement.
7. Therefore, monkeys should not be considered persons.

Many of my premises are still the same because my opponent was not able to give much information to disprove them. I added my definition of a person to my premises and edited my third premise. It is still true that animals do not have an understanding of morals. Monkeys are unable to know what is morally right and what is morally wrong. Personhood or what would make a being a person has not been defined and is still being debated among today. Because there was no definite definition part of the debate was arguing about what would be a proper definition. My opponent said anything that is a sentient being should be considered a person whereas I defined person as one who can be held accountable for their actions, has legal, rights and most importantly can make rational decisions. I pointed out the flaw in my opponent’s definition that defining a person as any sentient being will include many different species of animals. I questioned whether all these animals should also be considered persons and should be given the same rights.

My fifth premise has not been proven wrong, that assigning personhood is not necessary for establishing protections rights. Beings can still be given rights and not be considered persons. This leads to my sixth premise which is about monkeys having animal rights. Animals are given rights yet are not considered persons. There can be a push for a better understanding of animal rights or additions to it. This proves that a being does not need to be considered a person to be given rights. Many times my opponent would bring up mentally disabled humans as reasons why monkeys should be considered persons. My opponent claimed that mentally disabled people are unable to understand morals. A mental disability does not hinder most humans from thinking rationally, understanding morals or having higher levels of thoughts. In conclusion, monkeys should not be considered persons because they are unable to understand morals, assigning personhood is not necessary for establishing protection rights, and they cannot achieve higher levels of thought. We can still value them as beings and still give them rights but that does not mean we must consider them persons.

Towards the end my opponent kept bringing in other claims that were debatable as proofs or facts, such as infants being considered persons or claiming that psychopaths do not have moral understanding. I felt this made us go off-topic. Infants are given rights because of humans understanding of morals. It is unknown as to whether psychopaths can understand morals, but it is known they have a different view of what constitutes right and wrong in the world. One of the sources my opponent provided was from an unreliable site for satire. This shows they did not background check the reliability of the source used.

This debate was extremely difficult for me as being on con meant I was against most of my personal views on this subject. At first I had a hard time trying to put myself on the opposing side of my views but once I was able to it became easier. I pulled through and looked for many flaws or facts that I could to try and disprove my opponent and their claims. I looked at the sources she provided and tried to find faults in those. It was quite humorous to see an Onion article used as a legitimate source. I did my own research to try and better my argument. Overall this was a very interesting debate and I had a lot of fun with it.

Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by ReformedPresbyterian72598 1 year ago
ReformedPresbyterian72598
Well, try treating a monkey like a person and see what happens.
Posted by Kreakin 1 year ago
Kreakin
What are the reference numbers refering to?
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 1 year ago
MyDinosaurHands
Con's pic is so hot I might just have to vote for him based solely on that.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Reeseroni 1 year ago
Reeseroni
LRNRodTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Lol sure!
Vote Placed by Krazzy_Player 1 year ago
Krazzy_Player
LRNRodTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made sound arguments and also better formatting.