The Instigator
TheQuestionMark
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
whiteflame
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

This house supports the creation of a pet licence, hard to obtain and based on competence.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
whiteflame
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/25/2015 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 318 times Debate No: 80168
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

TheQuestionMark

Pro

Licence would be affordable, about "100, which would go to pet sanctuaries (kennels, Cat houses etc.). Cheaper for struggling families.

All pets considered.

Things such as criminal backgrounds would be considered, any animal abuse would cause a life-time ban. Houses would be checked for suitability-for example having a Husky in a small flat and a job that means your away most days would be cause for concern.

Interviews concerned with the care of the animal would also be a hurdle to overcome.

Round 1 isn't acceptance. You must everything 1 round ahead of me.

Round1: arguments (you)

Round2: arguments (me) rebuttals (you)

Round3: rebuttals (me) why voters should vote for you (you)
whiteflame

Con

Thanks to my opponent for challenging me to this debate. It seems rather odd for me to be negating the resolution before Pro supports it to any degree, but as Pro has requested that I start this debate in R1, I will do so.

A) The case

Let's start by understanding what Pro's case entails. He's requiring that individuals obtain a pet license in order to legally adopt an animal. Those criteria are the following:

1. Participate in multiple interviews aimed at showing general "competence"
2. Have minimal or no criminal background, with animal abusers being excluded completely
3. Own a space large enough to accommodate the animal of choice
4. Have a local job
5. Pay a small, "affordable" cost .

Starting with the vagaries, it's unclear what, if any, level of enforcement is at play here. Pro has three choices: fine them, jail them, or do nothing. If it's the fine, then Pro's implementing a classist system that will have no effect on the rich and a disproportionate effect on the poor. If it's jail time, then this system will cost far more money than it earns due to the incredible costs of jailing innumerable pet owners, not to mention once again disproportionately affecting the poor. If Pro elects to do nothing (which is what voters should assume, since he hasn't explained a means of enforcement), then his case is entirely ineffective, as no one is going to waste their time or money on a license without reason to do so.

Point 1 is vague. What does Pro mean by "competence"? Is he going to require that each potential owner take an IQ test? What sorts of questions are these people going to have to answer? Pro talks about interviews but never explains what they'll examine, by what metric they will assess it, or why it's even important. Pro just assumes all of these things logically come from his case.

Without any clear idea of the answers to any of these questions, all I can do is point out that the interviews are problematic. Considering that they're assessing general competency, we can assume that these would be numerous and lengthy, requiring individuals to travel out to a central location for them to be conducted. Once again, it seems clearly prejudiced against those of fewer means. Ignoring the massive amount of time lost to all of these individuals, the travel costs, and the reality that many of these people won't have a car or the public transportation means to get to these locations, the government would have to hire a tremendous number of individuals to cover every individual that currently owns a pet, let alone all of those who are planning on getting one. We're talking about 70 million dogs and 74 million cats, which amounts to at least 37% of all households in the U.S.[1] The head of each of those households will have to be interviewed, amounting to tens if not hundreds of millions of interviews in a short period of time.

Point 2 is also vague. Pro is unclear on what criminal backgrounds lead to problems being animal abuse. Would petty theft be used as a reason to negate pet ownership?

Point 3 and 4 are similarly vague. Pro uses an example of a Husky, but isn't clear on what the dimensions of the flat have to be in order to accommodate such a dog. He seems to be biasing the system against certain jobs for no clear reason and without clarifying what those jobs are. In both cases, he's once again biasing the system against the poor, requiring that they have a large living space and a variety of job options that don't require travel.

Point 5 is the only one that's clarified, but all he proves is that he's willing to do something to ensure that the poor are allowed to have pets. Of course, he's ignoring every other cost he's forcing on them, and this is really just a pittance by comparison, so it's really the least dangerous of the various requirements he's placing on people.

So Pro's case is hugely classist, essentially taking the capacity to have pets out of the hands of innumerable people on the basis that they should be able to afford major job shifts, bigger living spaces, spend a great deal of time traveling to interview locations and being interviewed, and willingly submit to extensive background checks. Any benefit the system could stand to gain from one-time payments for the licenses is far outstripped by the costs of making the system possible let alone enforceable " it would be more useful if the government just gave that money to these organizations.

B) Animal homelessness

Pro seems to have the perception that animal ownership is something that should be heavily screened for, as though we can reasonably risk a massive decrease in the number of homes that can accommodate the many animals that desperately need them. Currently, it's estimated that 70 million stray cats live in the U.S., and that's just the status quo for cats.[1] They're also exponentially increasing in number, with each cat and dog producing on average 4 to 6 kittens and puppies per litter, respectively.

What sort of life are these animals living? For the ones that are caught, it's not a very long life, with millions euthanized each year.[1] I would argue that even in animal abuse cases (which aren't nearly so frequent as the number of euthanized animals [2]), life is better than death. For those that aren't captured, their lives will be shorter, as both stray cats and dogs live markedly shorter lives than their owned counterparts, not to mention killing wildlife in order to sustain themselves.[3, 4] Strays live extremely hard lives, as videos like this show.[5] These animals pick up numerous diseases without treatment or vaccination and suffer from starvation.[4, 6]

Pro is adding countless more animals to the list of strays, each of which can continue to increase the overall population, leading to even more suffering and early deaths. Pro is condemning them to this life all for the sake of preventing a minimal number of cruelty cases, the vast majority of which clearly aren't as damaging. It's impossible to know just how many people will be forced to throw their pets out on the street or put them in a rescue where they're likely to be euthanized, but that number is certain to increase dramatically with his plan. Any harm done by owners in the status quo is immensely outweighed by the consequences of Pro's plan.

I hand the debate back over to Pro for him to begin supporting his case.

1. https://www.aspca.org...
2. http://www.humanesociety.org...
3. http://www.smithsonianmag.com...
4. http://news.nationalgeographic.com...
5. http://www.storypick.com...
6. http://scijourner.org...
Debate Round No. 1
TheQuestionMark

Pro

TheQuestionMark forfeited this round.
whiteflame

Con

Well... yeah, his account got closed. Oh well.
Debate Round No. 2
TheQuestionMark

Pro

TheQuestionMark forfeited this round.
whiteflame

Con

Well, that's it then.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
Yep, learned of that after I posted the round. Great stuff, that.
Posted by Balacafa 1 year ago
Balacafa
TQM's account has been closed.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
I'm more talking about you having your own set up instead of just porting in his. It's up to you, but I figure you'd rather have something a little different at least to suit your own tastes. In any case, I won't be accepting this until tomorrow when I have the time.
Posted by TheQuestionMark 1 year ago
TheQuestionMark
I just did this to see if you'd accept. It's quicker than sending a message because if you accept it basically means that you would have said yes and if you decline then it means that you would have said no. If I'd have sent you the message it would mean that I'd have to ask you and then challenge you if you said yes and that would be longer for me.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
...That's fine, but I'd posted in his comments to see if he'd either change the criteria or challenge me. I'm fine having this debate with you, but it would have been nice to actually send me a message ahead of time or post your own round instead of posting his.
Posted by TheQuestionMark 1 year ago
TheQuestionMark
You stated that you wanted to accept and me and Tommy.leadbetter are both Pro. We both agree and you said in the comments of his debate that you wanted to accept meaning that logic tells us that your position in this debate is con.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
...Any particular reason you're the one challenging me to this and not Tommy.leadbetter?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Balacafa 1 year ago
Balacafa
TheQuestionMarkwhiteflameTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
lannan13
TheQuestionMarkwhiteflameTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture