The Instigator
Stupidape
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
DB8
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Utilitarianism must recognize animal's happiness.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Stupidape
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/21/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 273 times Debate No: 82900
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

Stupidape

Pro

Utilitarianism

"Though there are many varieties of the view discussed, utilitarianism is generally held to be the view that the morally right action is the action that produces the most good. There are many ways to spell out this general claim. One thing to note is that the theory is a form of consequentialism: the right action is understood entirely in terms of consequences produced." [1].

Resolution:
Utilitarianism must recognize animal's happiness.

Links

1. http://plato.stanford.edu...
DB8

Con

Recognize: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...
Identify (someone or something) from having encountered them before; know again

I ask you, audience, how is it that an inanimate concept such as utilitarianism can do such a thing as recognize?

Utilitarianism is an abstract concept [http://www.thefreedictionary.com...] in the form of a morality-oriented philosophy but can such a thing think, let alone recognize?

Utilitarianism has no memory storage, no senses and thus no way to recall, identify or 'know again' hence this resolution is false as if it must do something that it can't do then whatever has caused the need to do it has successfully killed it except that it can't die so this entire resolution is pointless and impossible.
Debate Round No. 1
Stupidape

Pro

Pro figured that there was a high probability Con would take this approach. Pro couldn't think of a better way to phrase the resolution.

Here is a similar resolution. "Full Topic

Justice requires the recognition of animal rights." [2].

The same argument Con makes could be made for this resolution. Justice an inanimate concept cannot require anything.

Looking at what Utilitarianism is "Though there are many varieties of the view discussed, utilitarianism is generally held to be the view that the morally right action is the action that produces the most good." [1].

Utilitarianism is a view. View "

: an opinion or way of thinking about something

: the things that can be seen from a particular place

: a picture of a place
" [3].

Using the first definition, an opinion or way of thinking about something. The view of Utilitarianism must recognize animal's happiness. Now here's the question can an opinion recognize animal rights?

Opinion "a belief, judgment, or way of thinking about something : what someone thinks about a particular thing" [4].

Pro contends that an opinion or a way of thinking can recognize animal rights. Now Con could make the argument that a person can only recognize animal rights, and an opinion can only reflect a person's recognition of animal rights. Since an opinion is an inanimate concept and concepts cannot recognize anything.

Which would mean the correct resolution would be Utilitarianism must reflect human's recognition of animal's happiness. Since a mirror cannot recognize anything, but can reflect. Either way this is all semantics.

" As between his own happiness and that of others, utilitarianism requires him to be as strictly impartial as a disinterested and benevolent spectator." [5].

From this above quote you can see the phrase utilitarianism requires. Obviously an inanimate concept cannot require anything. Yet, this is the way the language is written. Thus Con's argument is flawed.

All mammals are sentient and capable of feeling both unhappiness in the form of pain and happiness. "Consequently, the weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness. Non-human animals, including all mammals and birds, and many other creatures, including octopuses, also possess these neurological substrates.""[6]. Therefore, utilitarianism must recognize animal's happiness.

Links
2. http://www.debate.org...
3. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
4. http://www.merriam-webster.com...
5. http://www.utilitarianism.com...
6. http://www.livescience.com...
DB8

Con

Utilitarianism cannot recognize anything as it has no sensory input, no memory capacity and no recall logic capacity to enable to to do so. It is a philosophical concept incapable of recognizing or 'doing' anything.
Debate Round No. 2
Stupidape

Pro

Con continues to play semantics avoiding the issue of the resolution.

Claim: The English languages uses phrases where a concept recognizes another concept.

Warrant: "How does the law recognize and deal with medical errors?"[7].

Impact: This is a scholarly peer reviewed article. The phrase uses a concept the law and the word recognize together. Since scholarly peer reviewed articles are commonly accepted as the highest from of literature, the only conclusion that can be made is that Pro is correct. The resolution stands. Con has wasted two rounds of arguments on semantics.

Utilitarianism must recognize animal's happiness. Vote Pro, if only for conduct. Thanks for the debate.

Links
7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
DB8

Con

As we can see, A philosophical concept cannot recognize things.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: fire_wings// Mod action: Removed<

4 points to Pro (Conduct, Arguments). RFD in this document: Con totally drops Pro's case and all his arguments, and having bad arguments, which are not related, or rude.

[*Reason for removal*] (1) The voter needs to do more than state that one side dropped the other's case. That's not a concession. The side whose case was dropped may still have weaker arguments, and thus the voter must still assess Con's case. (2) The voter cannot simply state that one side had "bad arguments" - the voter has to explain why Con's arguments were problematic, and not merely assert it. (3) This is insufficient for conduct. If Con was rude, the voter needs to articulate how they were rude and why it suffices to award the point.
************************************************************************
Posted by BlackFlags 1 year ago
BlackFlags
Ha, this should be interesting! It seems like a paradox, or direct contradiction.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Balacafa 1 year ago
Balacafa
StupidapeDB8Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con drops all of Pro's case and resorts to a bad semantics argument. If a semantic is done correctly then it can be effective however Pro easily showed that it can be the case in the English language in which the verb is not directly done by the concept. Con drops this completely and drops everything that Pro says. Pro addresses all of Con's arguments showing why they are wrong and why they fail in this instance. Due to this, I vote Pro.
Vote Placed by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
StupidapeDB8Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con tries to run a deconstructional semantic argument, which fails in all circumstances. He claims that a concept cannot "recognize" something, but Pro proves that, while it isn't metaphysically possible, English grammar allows for such a phrase wherein the verb is not performed directly by the subject. Con drops this argument. Con drops Pro's argument that actually linked to the resolution; that is, under util, an animal's happiness must be recognized. The resolution is normative, entailing a shared burden of persuasion, but Con fails to present an actually topical argument of their own. Con's attempt at deconstruction semantics fails. Ergo, I vote Pro.