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

Should people who kill sharks be given a life sentence?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/5/2013 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,022 times Debate No: 34538
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




I believe people who kill sharks should be given a life sentence. Sharks play a major role in the ecosystem, they are more important than anyone thinks. Us humans have killed approximately 90% of all shark species (discovered) so far. If we keep killing them they will soon exist. Sharks only kill on average 4 people a year whereas we kill over a million sharks in a month. i see this as murder so why should people not be given life sentences for killing sharks and not just sharks but any kind of animal. Its murder! They way they kill sharks is horrifying as well, they drag them aboard the boat saw off their fins and chuck the shark back into the ocean to suffer in pain before finally it dies. I say its time someone spoke for these sharks who are screaming inside for help! Give these people who kill sharks a life sentence!


I've taken the liberty of forming a couple of questions regarding my opponent's side for my first round, in the stead of creating an argument as there are plenty of rounds for that. All the questions will, for the sake of making them more understandable, be to my opponent directly.

Instrumental Inquiries

1. Is this a matter of both working towards rights for other species and such as well as the pragmatism to the ecosystem, or merely the latter? To reiterate, are you arguing your side in favor of saving sharks for the good of the ecosystem and the well being of the sharks, and other animals, or simply for the good of the ecosystem?

2. Would this be the only charge as a justification necessary for the life sentence?

4. What constitutes murder?

5. What ratio would you find acceptable in order for this law to not exist? Rather than humans killing about a fourth a million of sharks per human killed, would you mind a ratio that would make it less of a massacre no matter how many are on which side?

6. If the method of killing sharks were not "horrifying," then would you find it acceptable?

8. Don't you hate consecutive prime numbers?

These questions are based (almost) entirely on implications from my opponent. As such, if a couple are not answered, I will simply assume the implication created in the original argument as the thesis Pro is working for.
Debate Round No. 1


1) i am arguing in favor of saving sharks for the good of the ecosystem and the well being of the sharks, and other animals.
2) Not necessary, Life sentence to people who kill sharks and other animals, and a fine and about 3-4 years in jail for being part of this inhumane act.
3) killing animals consists as murder as you are ending a living creatures life. I also will consider abuse as well as that can be called in some cases depending how violent as attempted murder.
4) i would find it acceptable if the killings of sharks by humans and humans be shark were approximately the same or close enough to it.
5)no i would no accept any killing of sharks or other animals as they are living creatures and they deserve to live. We must respect that sharks have been here since the dinosaurs and the oceans etc, are their territory and they have a right to attack when they feel threatened.
6) no

People need to remember that sharks have existed since the dinosaur age and therefore the oceans etc, are their homes and if someone enters it they have a right to attack if threatened. You also have to bear in mind that when sharks hunt for food for example, seals, they go blind and hunt using all of their other senses and that they attack from below so will only see a shadow, and when people are swimming or are surfing they look like a seal. But the majority of attacks are not fatal and only results in a loss of an arm or a leg or you might just need a few stitches. This only really happens with the big sharks such as a bull shark also know as a Zambezi shark in Africa.


Very well. I'm willing to accept that.

There are a couple flaws in giving all shark murderers a life sentence. It must be made understood that I, too, believe in a expanded utopian coexistence of species. I'm rather unconventional in my love for animals. Though it may hurt the authority of my side of the argument, and it will for my seemingly heterodox motivation, I've actually owned in a range from as domesticated as the most common dog species to those more in tune with their natural being, spiders and cockroaches.

In short, I have a strong wish for interspecies communication someday and strongly believe in animal rights as I'm pretty sure I've witnessed whales and gorillas smarter than a couple of human beings I've encountered throughout my life.

Notwithstanding this, your argument is still very contradictory in many ways.

Equal Eviction and Emancipation of Eradicators

We must give a life sentence to all killers of sharks.

Does this include sharks that attack other sharks? If so, this contradicts with your assertion that this is to prevent others from killing sharks so that they, as a genus, have a chance to grow, as a life sentence would definitely abate one's ability to contribute to the species.

What if there are two sharks with a life sentences in the same prison? If one kills another, does it simply go to solitary? Does it get the death sentence?

If it gets a death sentence, do those that kill it get a life sentence as well? Also, those that give it a life sentence would be considered murderers as well if cutting off a fin is murder, correct?

Now, this is clearly a ridiculous premise, so I'll assume you meant that this doesn't include shark on shark attacks. Sharks are perfectly free to murder each other with no consequence whatsoever.

However, doesn't this contradict with Pro arguing for animal rights? After all, if they're not treated like people, their rights are limited. The victim's rights are limited. The murderer's rights are limited. One half of that interaction involved taken advantage of exemption from the legal system.

So, all this considered, my opponent said "i would find it acceptable if the killings of sharks by humans and humans be shark were approximately the same or close enough to it." The least ridiculous ways to go about this would be to simply get sharks to ruthlessly murder humans or find a different way to disincentivize killing sharks that doesn't cause unequal rights for both. Being that my opponent doesn't want to be "inhumane," I'm going to rule out the former. Until my opponent suggest something for the latter, however, the opposition is incomplete.

Also, isn't it a bit strange that cutting off their fins isn't justified, but chewing off our appendages, Soul Surfer style, is okay because of mistaken identity? I wonder how that holds up in court.

Contradictory Central Customary Controlling

As part of my opponent's argument, it's been claimed "that sharks have been here since the dinosaurs and the oceans etc, are their territory and they have a right to attack when they feel threatened." I'm willing to accept that they have been here hitherto the extinction of the dinosaurs.

However, for the sake of equal rights between us, humans should feel that they have a right to attack when they, the humans, feel threatened by them, the sharks.

At what point would you think there's a right to self defense? Consider that you've called the entirety of all oceans as territory to sharks. Because they've been there the longest. It's customary. It's tradition. We can't disturb that.

There are also other creatures that live in the ocean, and have done so prior to the existence of sharks. In fact, with consideration of how much they've changed since the era in which dinosaurs existed (which is a rather large range, as they existed far longer than humans have), there's quite a bit of compartmentalization to be done, here. In layman's terms, new sharks have replaced the old ones. Evolution. Killing off those that can't survive.

Quite frankly, I wouldn't consider the sharks then and the sharks now the same. There's no necessity of inheritance of ownership to these sharks from their ancestors in very much the same way that the common ancestor I have with the modern gorilla has no obligation to give all the land in the world to both species.

You've also merely created two compartments. Land and water. There are deserts, forests, and mountains. Beyond that, we've created regions to own.

There's a system of territory under the sea as well. The entire ocean is not their home. Being in the ocean is not a justification for an attack. If I'm on the property of someone, and they speak a different language, we have a barrier that blocks our ability to understand each others state of trespassing and otherwise. As such, I would be uninformed and killing me would be unjustified. If I were attacked by the owner of the aforementioned property and I fight back, that constitutes self defense.

And if I kill this person, I would hardly say that's grounds for a life sentence.

If I attack a shark attacking me, and it doesn't stop, I will definitely try my best to murder it until it retreats. I won't simply surrender due to the inhumanity of this shark who's only mistaking me for a seal.

Also, for that matter, why is murdering seals okay and not sharks!?

"i am arguing in favor of saving sharks...and other animals." Evidently not.
Debate Round No. 2


1)This does not include sharks that attack other sharks as its extremely rare for a shark to attack other sharks.
2) This doesn't in my opinion contradict animal rights as they are animals not humans. The rights vary from animal to animal, land animals should be protected with additional rules such as ones that deal with abuse as well as murder.
3)Your theory is the ridiculous version, to reduce killing of sharks to about the same, just stop killing sharks, the only way i would find it acceptable if it was in defense but even then you should of been aware of all dangers, and basic knowledge of swimming at the beach is that if a shark tries to attack you to hit its eye to release you.
4) Most sharks automatically release us after the first bite as they realize that we are not their prey. so, therefore it is ok in my opinion and the fact you never should be alone when swimming in the ocean etc, and you would know never to swim at night or dawn as that's when sharks are most active.
5) We do not have a right to attack when threatened as we would be in their territory therefore we have no right except those to self defense, and sharks cannot be in our territory as they will dry out, suffocate and die.
6) Sharks are scavengers as they always go for injured seals etc, but will go for healthy seals if there are none. i do believe in evolution but the sharks are not killing of endangered species they kill massively populated species. Sharks would be able to survive if we stop killing them. Sharks used to be practically unknown until one event that happened in 1916 but wasn't the sharks fault as it was trailing the scent of a dead whale, because of this people in their masses have been killing sharks killing over 90% of all shark species just for a tasteless bowl of soup.
7) Deserts, forests and mountains are land. as land is made of dirt, soil in rock.
8)There is a small barrier i agree but if you what the sharks swimming near you, you can tell how they they feel by the way they swim/act.
9) It only consists as self defense if that person/shark/other animal remains alive.
10) I'm nor saying it is okay or not, but in my opinion sharks killing seals is ok as they need something to eat and seals are massive population and are not endangered whereas sharks are. But if a human killed a seal, that's a different story as for one, we don't eat seals, two, we kill over a million animals in a month alone so i believe there is not need for humans to kill seals where as sharks do.
11) i am arguing for all animals but i am arguing specifically for sharks as they are on the verge of extinction.


Although the end is nearing, I strongly implore my opponent to adopt or create some structure that allows her points to be more smooth upon reading. Titling each point and separate argument, bolding certain phrases and quoting what's being rebutted, all those would help me, as well as the potential voters, a lot. This is completely optional and can be disregarded, but I believe it would help everyone quite a bit.

I've also just discovered that this is Pro's first debate, something I hadn't realized when I accepted the challenge. (I'm rather prone to accepting whatever few Debate Challenges there are at any given time with a trigger happy finger.) Nonetheless, as I've already accepted, I won't be changing my course of argument and will be putting up as much a challenge as I have been. Good luck to my opponent.

Separation of Species: Sharks and Supplementary Sapients and Such

A point my opponent brings up: "This doesn't in my opinion contradict animal rights as they are animals not humans."

Each species gets different rights.

"The rights vary from animal to animal..."

It does make me wonder a bit on whether such a compartmentalization would be optimal. Consider that we, at one point, compartmentalized laws between the black and white men, women, and children of the United States of America. This was a time when the two ethnicities were considered different species altogether.

The issues emerged, of course, when there was, so to speak, interspecies coupling. How was this resolved? Simple: Those with characteristics of both compartments were restricted to the rights of those of the hypodescendent part of them.[1][2] That's to say that we considered anyone who was even the smallest bit black to be black over right, and they would then have their rights restricted to those who were black.

Now, with sharks and such. Let's put forth a situation. A shark impregnates a dolphin. Which rights would override the others? Now let's say the shalphin impregnates an octopus. Let's say at some point, a little human even gets in there.

Things can get messy.

For this reason, we tend to not have laws by race and ethnicity anymore. For the same reason, we ought to have universal rights for all the species. Compartmentalizing is complicated. It's also worth noting that a few of my opponent's other points are hinged entirely on the concept that each species requires an entirely different set of rights.

Being able to kill seals, for instance, is limited to sharks. Because they're endangered. What if we killed seals to feed to the sharks? It all depends on who eats it last, correct? Pro's saying it must be a necessity to the safety of the genus. Sharks have tons of food sources. They don't need seals. They just like it. If I like seal, do I get to go on a seal massacre?

The Instigator asserted that us taking the fins of sharks can be considered a very powerful thing. "Its murder!" However, this is not universal for all species. If I were to find I was even one part shark, would I be able to kill seals? Some species are remarkably close DNA wise, but they're still compartmentalized. Pro's also asserted that we can kill a massively populated species. If we took one shark and cloned it over and over and just kept it isolated in tiny aquarium until it was ripe to eat, would that be better? It wouldn't be endangered anymore.

I strongly advise that my opponent revise her side to account for universal rights for species of any kind. We need not any further discrimination and prejudice.

Inherent Inadequacy of an Initiated Invalidation

My opponent attempted to invalidate a point of mine with the following declaration and kind suggestion: "Your theory is the ridiculous version, to reduce killing of sharks to about the same, just stop killing sharks..." The theory that she's referring to, of course, is actually not a theory. It's a suggestion as well. I suggested that we ought to find a "...way to disincentivize killing sharks that doesn't cause unequal rights for both." I requested such, so as to make it fair to give a life sentence to those violating the disincentive. Note my opponent's failure to do so.

So far, it seems simply to surmise that there's a lot wrong with the idea of giving a life sentence to those who kill sharks under any circumstance, including flaws I've pointed out. I've requested rebuttals to these flaws and I've been disappointed. I hope my opponent does not repeat this in the following round.

Debate Round No. 3


When i said rights vary from animal to animal i meant that due to the animals needs and habitat as obviously animals don't all live in one place. unlike different skin coloured people as we all have the same needs and habitats so therefore in that case the same approach can be taken to a white and a black(or coloured) person. Animals have to be taken at a different approach because they all have different needs and habitats.
Animals could only really impregnate other species of its kind as its impossible (unless scientists intervene) for an animal to impregnate a different type of animal.
'If we kill seals to feed sharks ....' This would be unacceptable as can track seals a lot better than we come and to find a shark (unless your a shark expert) is extremely impossible. Small sharks have tons of food sources but sharks like the great white and the bull can only eat seals and dead whale carcases as they contain all the nutrients that are essential for them to grow etc.
Cloning sharks is wrong. 1. cloned sharks cannot breed 2. its a false life.
The only way you can sucessfully try to repopulated a shark species is sperm samples and clone them then you'd have to insert it into a sharks egg for it to work. which will be costly of which the goverments/organisasions can't afford.
I acctually asserted that we kill a species that is endagered of which the sharks kill a massively populated species as its essential for their survival.
I believe if someone murders a shark ( or other animal) they are taking a life so therefore they deserve a life sentence. I believe if someone attacks/abuses a Shark (or other animal) they should go to jail for about 3-4 years. Contributing into any 2 of these acts will also lead to a jail sentence in my opinion as they deserve it.

Anyone who enters oceans etc, should know all the dangers and be aware at all times. They should also know when not to go in and if they are attacked how to force the shark to release them. I learned that when i was 2 its not rocket science.


To my opponent: I'm going to preface what I'm about to say with this sentence saying that you should anticipate a bit of criticism in the following sentence for your arguments, and should avoid being offended as it's objective and constructive, meant only to help you in your future endeavors on this website. Please try to improve your spelling[1] and grammar, whether through automatic third party means[2] or simply by having a friend with you who's more adept with such to help, or simply relying on education you may have had; I have strong reason to believe that you're not fully understanding what I'm attempting to convey most of the time, and this could be a direct result of low reading comprehension on your side or Asperger's on mine, though I feel as though I'm delivering my points very well in spite of my condition and that you're almost ignoring the point I'm attempting to make with each sentence by either taking it at surface value very literally or by simply not refuting it at all.

I believe it's in the interest of the people in the future who will encounter you and the benefit of you as well for you to improve on your spelling, grammar, and reading skills. Perhaps that's why you're here. Either way, I hope that it will be improved in the future. Now, I'd rather not make an awkward attempt at a subtle transition, so I'll simply move on to the argument.

Invariable and Immutable Incoherence

As I stated above in my message to my opponent, there wasn't a very discernible limit to how simply adverse and difficult it was to decipher what was being said. John Nash Jr. is behind me with his throat slit and a knife in his hand. It's simply not decipherable by anyone but Pro herself.

As such, I'd like some clarity here. I suppose I could agree that this would be unacceptable as can track seals a lot better than we come and to find a shark, if I knew how that's possible. I don't understand what that means. Again, it could be on my end. Forgive me if this is a result of my condition. But I have major doubts that I'm the only one incapable of figuring out what this says.

I have a curfew, so I won't be able to complete my round here. I apologize. This will be all you have to rebut to. In the meantime, you can reiterate so I have a better chance of making an informed refuting of everything. Thank you. :)

  1. "Check Your Spelling"
Debate Round No. 4


I meant - it be unacceptable as sharks can track seals a lot better than we can and its extremely hard to find a shark - my apologies for the bad grammar and spelling of which can't help due to my medical issues and you were correct as i am on here to improve on them as well as my self confidence.
My major goal in life is to help people understand that we need sharks to maintain the ecosystem as they play a vital role. I also wish to help people understand how they are not all big blood thirsty creatures and are not out to kill us and help them understand how endangered they are etc.
In my believe when it is relevant a person who kills a shark or any other animal should receive a life sentence. Abuse i would believe should be 3-4 years roughly in jail.
I do believe sharks are not dangerous only a very select few are but even then we rarely get attacked by them. When you ever do go swimming or surfing at a beach always be aware of the dangers as the waters do belong to the sharks and all the other sea life. Sharks are nothing to be afraid of you just have to be aware they are there.
To truly understand them you have to swim with them and you'll soon realize there isn't anything to be afraid of. You also start to recgonise their personalities of which if there is an aggressive one you get out the water, but that doesn't happen offen. Most sharks are either shy or really affectionate and curious but like i said you to swim with them to believe it truley.
You have been a great candidate and with good luck :)



Ignorable Inaccuracies

The following facts, as stated by my opponent, are untrue and will be disregarded.

"Animals could only really impregnate other species of its kind as its impossible (unless scientists intervene) for an animal to impregnate a different type of animal."

I'm a bit...shocked that Pro has never heard of hybrids.[1] We've got:
  • Zebroids
  • Beefalos
  • Zubrons
  • Siamese Saltwater Crocodiles
  • Mules
  • British Mules
  • Killer Bees

<a href=; />

And in case you thought all that stuff I said about animals mating with other species and then those new species mating with others continuously was ridiculous, keep in mind that that's kinda how evolution makes leaps sometimes. And that I have examples. A male tiger can mate with a lioness to make a Tigon. A Tigon and a Tiger makes a Titigon. Seriously.[2]

In fact, our species has done this (assuming you're a human). Ever wonder what happened to the Neanderthals? Before they died off, it occurred to us, "We might benefit from f*cking these guys." Because they were very intelligent and strong.[3] We did the same with Denisovans.[4]

"'If we kill seals to feed sharks ....' This would be unacceptable as can track seals a lot better than we come and to find a shark (unless your a shark expert) is extremely impossible."

This can be neglected as an inaccuracy, because we're apparently supposed to know everything about sharks. Even at the age of 2, if we get attacked by sharks, we're apparently supposed to know how to fend them off. After all, "They should also know when not to go in and if they are attacked how to force the shark to release them. I learned that when i was 2 its not rocket science." So if you see a 2 year old getting attacked by a shark, don't help it. It should know. It should already know everything about sharks. Including how to track one and feed it seals.

I learned how to track them when I was 2. It's not rocket science.

Conscientious Cloning and Copying

So, according to my opponent, we shouldn't eat things that are deemed of having a "false life." It's only moral and ethical if you eat things that are alive. Here's the thing, if we kill those things that are alive, we get a f*cking life sentence. We can't eat things that aren't alive. We can't eat things that are. Oh, wait! That's right. We totally can! If there's enough of them!

By that logic, I can murder humans without consequence. Am I right? Huh? I mean, we have other food sources and that's unnecessary, but my opponent herself said that sharks have other sources. They can eat seals. OR, they can eat "dead whale carcases," so it makes sense that if they get to go about, murdering baby seals and whatnot, we get to murder each other.

I implore everyone to really analyze my opponent's side. It has so many holes and contradictions, I really feel it to almost be unnecessary to make an argument. Nonetheless, I accepted this debate and it was my duty. I don't regret it. I wish I caught that this was my opponent's first debate before accepting, but this was fulfilling to those standards. Notwithstanding that, my opponent made a very weak argument and I hope any potential audience is able to recognize that.

Vote Con.

Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by hightreason 5 years ago
I meant no implication to the argument whatsoever. I suppose what I am trying to say is that Con's round 5 came off as a a little insulting toward Pro when in fact Pro was closer to being correct on the issue than Con. It felt uncalled for.
Posted by TheDarkMuffin 5 years ago
I'm not entirely sure how that defeats my point. Should closely related species have the same rights? Is that your implication?
Posted by hightreason 5 years ago
Can't vote because of ID verification system so I will put my thoughts here:

Con definitely had better arguments overall. To be completely honest, I believe that Con's arguments were very weak at times. However, Pro failed to pick up on it and rebut the weak arguments and also Pro offered even more weak arguments and simply repeated herself a lot, so I would give arguments to Con.

Also, Con, while it is the case that some animals that are closely related can mate, this does not mean that any animal can mate with any other animal. A shark can absolutely not mate with a dolphin, neither of these can mate with an octopus, and none of these three can mate with a human. Your example was very silly and Pro was right to call you out on it. I'm a bit... shocked that you think a shark and a human could mate successfully.
Posted by sharkcrazy 5 years ago
in didn't say that 2 year olds should know i'm jus saying its common sense as i learned that when i was 2 so people of reasonable age should know how to fend sharks off.
Posted by sharkcrazy 5 years ago
good luck in your challenge to beat me.
Posted by TheDarkMuffin 5 years ago
Quite a long voting period, but I accept nonetheless.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by utahjoker 5 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Gave a better argument and had sources