The Instigator
theif519
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
morgan2252
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Value of Life: Human Life over Animal Life

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
morgan2252
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/9/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 9,758 times Debate No: 27993
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

theif519

Con

Would it be selfish for humans to see themselves as superior to others, enough to value the life of another human over that of an animal? I can understand that it is Human Nature to see one's species is superior to another, and even a feeling of superiority within the species, subdivided by race. To avoid giving my view an overly-sensationalist touch to it, I wish to know why it is that the life of a human is more important than the life of an animal.

On testing:

Why is it that testing on animals is justifiable yet testing other humans is seen as wrong and immoral? After all, if the testing is meant to improve the life of other human beings, why not just test on another human? As much as I know that it would be idiotic to think that a view on testing can change anything, and knowing that it probably will never stop as long as there are diseases and vaccines to test, suggestion would be to limit testing to volunteer Humans and non-human primates. I do not see the testing on non-human primates as right or ethical, however it would be a compromise.
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On to the Euthanasia of Animals compared to assisted suicide of humans:

Why is it that animals are 'put down' because they can not find owners to take care of them, while those with terminal illnesses and those who suffer from chronic pain disorders are forced to suffer? I do not envy either side, as one remains alive to experience the constant horrors and suffering so the 'loved ones' can delay the inevitable and watch the sufferer just... suffer. Many people believe that religion is a valid reason to stop this, however I will not accept it as a viable answer. Religion is a highly debatable topic and I would rather keep it out of this debate, but my reason is that not everyone shares the same views, and thus one person who does not should be held to suffer because the 'loved one' believes it is a sin, or that their deity is testing them by putting them in such an agonizing position anyway.

I also do not envy the Animals that are put down either... is it not cruel to kill an animal because no one will accept it, yet to have orphanages and foster homes for human children to be adopted? Compare the orphanage to an animal shelter if you will; if a child is not adopted by a certain age, they go to a foster home and are taken care of until someone will adopt them, otherwise they just turn an adult and go on with their life (I have not done much research on the adoption process, correct me if I am wrong). However, for an animal, one that will not be adopted in a couple of weeks, and since majority of the ones adopted at the ones that are kittens and those with previous owners that just abandon them or are unable to take care of them, or worse, are rescued from abusive owners (next issue discussed) are all put to sleep because no one wants them. They are killed because no human wants to own one. Why is this justifiable? Overpopulation maybe? (Another topic I will discuss). A compromise would be something similar to foster homes for domestic animals, or some way to prolong the ticking clock that counts down their inevitable death; to be 'put-down' because they become an 'inconvenience,' but when a human is in massive pain and wishes to end it, their death would be an 'inconvenience' to the 'loved ones' which, pardon me for saying, is rather selfish.
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On to animal abuse and crimes for doing it:

Killing another human being is consider wrong by society unless it is in self defense, and even then it is debated upon whether or not killing an attacker is actually 'self defense' or just murder. The jail time is normally around... what, 25 to life? Life in jail for just killing a human... and I say 'just' because killing an animal can land you from 2 to 5 years in prison... and even then, if you have a good lawyer and make it seem like an 'accident' then you won't even have to worry about it. Those whom are caught abusing animals, or worse, killing them, get minor time, while killing a human can land you in jail for the rest of your life. If someone is abusing an animal and the animal retaliates, the animal is the one that is 'put to sleep' and the one who is abusing the animals gets away or with minor jail time. Although, I do not deny that there are cases where an abused animal does win in a case against an abuser, the cases are to few and far between, and the court favors humanity.

Another thing, on the road if you do not make an active attempt to miss a person in the middle of the road for whatever stupid reason, you get charged with either murder or manslaughter. However, hit an animal? Keep going, just roadkill, nothing to see here. Matter of fact, if you did try to swerve out of the way of an animal (unless it's a deer, which is killer, literally, to you and your car) you would be ridiculed for doing so and possibly even arrested for endangering other drivers. If one has to endanger the lives of others by swerving out of the way due to some person's stupidity, why not the same for animals? If you do not for animals, then why do you have to for Humans? After all, the Human (assuming not suffering from mental retardation) should know that it is wrong to cross the street in the middle of an intersection or Highway, right? Compromise: Raise the jail time for killing an animal intentionally to 10 years per animal. If the person is a child under the age of 13, have them admitted to a psychiatrist. No laws on roadkill, but discourage it, arrest those who go out of their way to kill an animal, but do not punish those who at least not make an attempt to miss it.
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Overpopulation/Population Control:

There are over 8 Billion humans in this world. That is a LOT of humans out there. In fact, there are so many that a certain country, China, was it? Had the highly controversial "One-Child" policy. It has had many pros and very few cons, but one of the cons was that it infringed "Human rights and forced abortion" which is much more humane than, say, killing X amount of Y should stop Z from happening... why not apply this to humans as well? The One-Child policy has had positive effects economically and increased the overall health (No more lack of resources, ain't that grand?). Why not just limit all humans to have an X amount of children? Or, like they do animals, euthanize them? Start with the sick and elderly, eh? Or perhaps the young? Or, not even differentiate and kill at random until there are an ideal amount of humans alive, right guys? Guys? Guys? Compromise? Have a One-Child policy all over the world and enforce it, that way it would definitely cut back on the resource problem we are experience, especially since we are not the only ones using the resources y'know, animals do too (talking about forests, food, water, etc.)
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Last but not least, the value in and of itself:

Why is it that Humans value the life of another human over an animal, perhaps even a pet of their own? I have asked quite a few people I know who they would choose to save, their beloved pet, or a stranger. Majority of them said they would save a human in an instant, but could never explain why, at least not logically, just that they felt it was right. There were few that said that they would hesitate and have to think it over and would depend on the "context" although I already explained the hypothetical situation to them. I however, would not hesitate to save the life of my cat over the life of a stranger. However, I do not value the life of an Animal above that of a Human, but rather I view all life as equal and my choice would be based on sentimental attachment. I would choose my mother over my cat in a heartbeat, but my cat comes above the lives of many, including other cats. I would save both, however, if possible.

This is my first debate on here, so it hope it ends up being a fun debate. GL;HF
morgan2252

Pro

I do agree that animals do not deserve to be tortured. But the reality is, animals don't have the same rights as humans. If we were "equal" to animals, we would be able to join a pack of wolves as if we were one of them. However, the wolves wouldn't see it that way. In the same way, you can't give a lion an iPod and a television set and expect them to use it as we would. Animals and humans are not the same, and that is okay.

My opponent said that animals at the shelter are "put down" after a few weeks if they are not adopted. I'm not saying this is untrue. But the "abandonment" by their owners really means the animals have mental issues. If you wanted to take your cat with you, you could always buy a cat carrier and take it wherever you're moving. And the reality is, when an animal is euthanized, it's completely painless. No suffering required. I believe they should do this to humans that need it, too, but that's another debate. There's a reason animals are put down.

As for overpopulation, people are, no doubt, valuing human life over those of animals. This is human instinct. I believe that early humans had to believe this to survive. If you wanted you species to live, you had to make sure humans reproduced before you became concerned about another animal. It's selfish, I know, but it is nature. I'm pretty sure if another animal was the superior species, they would be the same way. On this very website, there was an opinion section that talked about helping other countries. One person said that we needed to fix the problems with our own country before helping others. I do have to admit, that person had a point. The human race is very similar. We have so many problems we need to fix before we move on to saving animals.

I would also like to point out that animals humans consider to need "rights" are closer to us in evolutionary terms. For example, most people don't think of a black widow spider needing "rights" when it nearly kills you. Plants are also living things. Once again, they are much farther away from us in evolutionary terms. When you pick a flower, we don't consider that "murdering" a plant. There's a reason people choose to support animal rights and not plant rights.

Finally, you do have to realize that when you eat steak or chicken, you are superior to the cows and chickens. Whenever you eat anything, you have to understand that you are destroying a life, whether animal or plant. When you wash your hands, you are killing bacteria. But that's the way nature is. Nothing will ever be equal. And though it may be hard to accept, there will be times you need to.

Source:
Smetanka, Cindy A., and David K.C. Cooper. "Animal-to-Human Organ Transplantation Is Ethical." Biomedical Ethics. Ed. Viqi Wagner. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "The Ethics Debate in Relation to Xenotransplantation." Scientific and Technical Review 24.1 (Apr. 2005): 335-342. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 9 Dec. 2012.

P.S. This is my first debate , too. Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
theif519

Con

My opponent states that "If we were 'equal' to animals, we would be able to join a pack of wolves as if we were one of them." Just because one can not join a pack of animals and be like them, does not make one superior or inferior to them, as a matter of fact, a pack of wolves may not accept another animal as a part of their pack, but only because they are different, but it does not make one superior to another. A wolf may see it's packs survival above the lives of others, but it also may not see it as being superior, just necessary. Another interesting thing about animals is that there are stories about a pack of wolves taking in very young humans as apart of it's own pack and raise it themselves, called "Feral Children" or "Wild Children." So, if humans are naturally superior to animals, why is it that a human requires to nurtured by another human to become human, but if without human contact it becomes 'like an animal'? Perhaps Humans and Animals are not so different after all, but rather it is how they are raised that makes them 'superior' to animals? As domestic animals are seen as different from wild animals, superior in ways because they can tolerate the presence of a 'superior' being, humans?

My opponent states that "... you can't give a lion an iPod and a television set and expect them to use it as we would." However, technology made for humans and built by humans, are tailored FOR humans, not animals. There are cases in which animals have adopted their own tools used for their own specific purposes, that being to make their survival easier, instead of using luxury tools like an iPhone and Television set. What would an animal need with an iPhone or a Television set? If some alien species handed us a piece of super advanced technology, would we use it in the same way they would? Would we be able to utilize it's full capabilities? And finally, would their technology being super advanced make them 'superior'?

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My opponent states that: "But the 'abandonment' by their owners really means the animals have mental issues." A rather bold assumption there, not all pet owners abandon their animals because they have 'mental issues,' in fact I am sure that very little animals have any issues mentally or physically that causes the animal to be given up. However, regardless of what has causes the owner to give up the animal, the fact remains the same, the animal, whether or not they have 'mental issues' are put down after a while if they are not to be adopted. You are justifying the killing of an animal because no one will take it, because it is "completely painless," which yes, it is a more 'humane' approach, but the end is the same, they die. Now, if the owner could just take their cat or dog with them in a cat carrier, why is it they leave them behind? Perhaps because the place they are moving to has a strict "No pet" policy. If the same place had a "No Child" policy, would the result be different? I mean, you can always get another child as you can get another pet, can you not? I do not see why there can not be a foster home for abandoned animals to give them more time, especially for the ones without 'mental issues' since, as you stated, is a valid enough reason to euthanize one. The reason for animals being put down are ridiculous, because the owners are not responsible or can not afford to take care of the animal, it is the first thing given up rather than to change their lifestyle and spending to support both the animal and themselves. I am not suggesting that animals not be put down, as there are valid reasons to, but I am suggesting giving them more time, as stated in my compromise, a place where they can be given a few more years to stay alive and be amongst the 'superior' beings.
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My opponent states that: "As for overpopulation, people are, no doubt, valuing human life over those of animals. This is human instinct. I believe that early humans had to believe this to survive." So it is natural for a human to believe he is superior to others, instead of being one with the animals like feral children are and can be? Being on the top of the food chain, sure, but destroying nature to make living more luxurious? Sure, I can believe chopping down trees en masse to make sure that people have homes or paper to write on, or anything really, I am not suggesting that this is entirely wrong (nor entirely right) but to take responsibility for what one has destroyed, like say, planting another tree to replace the one cut down? My point is, survival of the fittest, I get that, all animals see it this way, but why does that make one superior? Putting one race over another is selfish, but necessary for survival as you said, but prioritizing your own race's survival above all others is different from doing it at the expense of other races. If another species was superior in every way to us, whether or not they would do the same, worse, or better would depend on that species. I agree that one should fix ones own problems before attempting to fix others, but it is different from doing it at another's expense, as we do to animals.

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My opponent states that "I would also like to point out that animals humans consider to need 'rights' are closer to us in evolutionary terms." When one is threatened by another, it is instinctual to fight or flight (flee) from that situation, which is okay, as it is defending oneself, however why is it that defending yourself from another human whom is trying to kill you punishable by law? Why is an animal fighting back in self defense considered in the wrong and killed because of it? The animal does not even need to kill the human, only harm or threaten to do harm, and not just the animal that gets in trouble, but the owner is reprimanded as well. I am suggesting that perhaps it is time to give animals right, perhaps not EQUAL rights, as the Human race is much too arrogant to do so, but a LESSER rights perhaps. Plants are alive too, but whether or not they can apply to have rights, let alone need them, is another debate. Plants are, in fact, necessary to the survival of all life, as they produce the oxygen we breathe, so needlessly destroying so much of it is foolish and irresponsible of the Human race, especially since they are not replanted after being destroyed.
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My opponent states that: "Finally, you do have to realize that when you eat steak or chicken, you are superior to the cows and chickens..." Correct, I do understand that it is necessary to survive, but it does not make you superior to the cattle or chicken you slaughter to eat it; if a pack of Wolf devours a human, does that make it superior to that human? If a cow or chicken were omnivores and killed and devoured a human, would that make them superior? If two species feasted on each other, would that make the two superior to each other at the same time? Circular logic, eating something does not make you superior. Killing other animals for survival is natural and apart of instinct for all animals, however, that is for food, doing scientific experiments or abusing an animal is different, or even hunting them for the hell of it, is much different. Not saying Hunting is wrong, as it as all animals hunt, but no animal hunts down other animals because it finds it fun and thrilling, but rather because it is necessary. I am fully aware that not all life is equal, but it is how I see things when and if I would have to make a decision; being human or animal means nothing, my decision is based on my emotional attachment to the person or animal, not choosing one because it is more valuable.
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The compromises I have given in my first argument is basically just giving Animals a lesser form of rights Humans have, or "Lesser Rights" as I coined.
morgan2252

Pro

In the last argument, my opponent talked about an alien having extremely advanced technology and asked "would their technology being super advanced make them 'superior'?" According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, 'superior' means higher in rank, status, or quality. The new alien technology would definitely be more quality and would be of a better rank than our technology today. They would definitely be superior.

My opponent also points out that euthanizing an animal is still killing it, and says that the people who euthanize their pets are "not responsible." I'm not saying that every human being is necessarily responsible, but if an animal is going wild while the owner tries to prevent them from doing so, is that the owner's fault? Should the owner get blamed even though they're trying their best to keep the animal calm?

My opponent says "I am suggesting giving them more time, as stated in my compromise, a place where they can be given a few more years to stay alive and be amongst the 'superior' beings." But what if you have a wild animal tearing up your house and putting you children in danger? Or is the animal excused because the owner is "not responsible?" The reality is, most of the poor animals from the pound are NOT socialized properly and they DO have mental issues. I have gone to people's houses and seen their cats and dogs that they "saved" from the shelter. They are aggressive. And every year, thousands of dogs are bought from the shelter, and taken back after a few days because of the animal's personality. It would be much easier for the animals if they were euthanized in the first place.

Another one of con's statements was that we have luxurious lives, as opposed to animals. It isn't true. There will never be absolute luxury. Just like animals, we have our hardships, too. However, they are much different ones. Animals face the hardships of trying to survive, while humans are past that. Humans deal with politics, technology, education, jobs, etc. What makes humans "superior" is that we've gotten past the stage of simply surviving.

Finally, my opponent says, "it does not make you superior to the cattle or chicken you slaughter to eat it." But once again, according to the Oxford Dictionary of English, 'superior' means higher in rank, status, or quality. So, if you are of a higher rank in the food chain, according to the definition, you would be superior. Con also says, "If two species feasted on each other, would that make the two superior to each other at the same time?" That sounds great in theory, but there's a reason the food chain is progressing. There's a reason we have predator and prey. Two species do not eat each other at the same time. My opponent also states " if a pack of Wolf devours a human, does that make it superior to that human?" You have to remember, humans are omnivores, and omnivores are not supposed to be on top of the food chain. So why are we? Humans, like I said before, got past that point of survival. Once they did that, they started to innovate. That's what sets us apart form the rest of the Animal Kingdom. Our minds. Our intellect. So yes, wolves should be superior to humans. But humans overcame that obstacle, making us the greatest species on Earth (for now). If there is a fall of the human race, and another species becomes the most powerful species on the planet, they will be superior to us. I am not saying animals are much different form us. I am saying we earned our right to be superior, despite the fact the odds were against us.

As for hunting for sport, you have to be a complete idiot to think that's fun. Don't ask me why people do it. I have no idea how it relates to this topic.
Debate Round No. 2
theif519

Con

My opponent stated "According to the Oxford Dictionary of English, 'superior' means higher in rank, status, or quality." Yes, that is all well, you have discovered the denotation of the word 'superior,' however you are implying that having superior technology makes them superior to the human race entirely, not in, say, one particular aspect that they are superior in. If the race of advanced species has superior technology, but are not as intelligent as the average human being, or weaker than the average human being, that would mean that, by definition, are inferior, but by your logic because they are inferior or superior in one aspect, they are inferior or superior in every aspect. Let us say that Humans are superior in strength, but the advanced species is superior in intellect (by average, as every person, or alien is different from the next) then by your logic they are both superior to each other, rather than being superior in one aspect. Also, please keep in mind that being superior, as in being in higher in rank or status does not mean that you are superior in quality. Superiority in one area does not make you superior in general, you must weigh the (no pun intended) Pros and Cons before making such judgement.

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My opponent stated "I'm not saying that every human being is necessarily responsible, but if an animal is going wild while the owner tries to prevent them from doing so, is that the owner's fault?" I would also appreciate it if you quote what I said instead of paraphrasing what I said to use it against me, it does not gain many points in an argument. What I said was that animals are given up because the owner can not be responsible for it, which is why they give them up, and it can be because of financial problems, not that euthanasia stems from irresponsibility, but it is a cause for it. You are not even seeing the bigger picture anymore, but focusing on small example, on whether or not the dog is feral or non-domesticated. Also, most animals become aggressive because they feel the need to defend themselves, in which case majority of the time is caused by being abused by previous owners and has grown a, rightfully earned, distrust of human beings... however, since the definition of domestication is the "adaptation to intimate association with human beings," because of his distrust of humans due to the animal's past abuse, it must be euthanized... The owner does, as a matter of fact, sign the paperwork for the adoption process, entitles YOU, the 'superior' being, the human owner, to take full responsibility for the animal. A domesticated animal only lashes out if it feels threatened, remove the aggressor and you have a calm animal, simple solution.

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My opponent states (again) that "But what if you have a wild animal tearing up your house and putting you children in danger?" Once again, an animal only lashes out if it feels threatened (which can stem from past abuse), and you sign a waiver that you are completely responsible for the animal. I also stated in my previous argument, the animal is normally put to sleep because of this non-domestication. The reality is, these animals have been abused in the past by humans who have either been careless or deliberately cruel to others, and I do not see how it is right that a human may be abusive to animals and get a light sentence while the animals that have gone through the abuse have, rightfully, grown a distrust toward humans in general and feel threatened when around, thus no longer being domesticated and end up being euthanized because of this. You are justifying their euthanasia and again and not mentioning HOW they got those mental issues and became non-socialized. You are the blaming the animals for reacting as any human would under such circumstances of being abused by another species entirely, and sometimes by humans themselves (See misanthropes), they grow a natural distrust towards them. The cats and dogs that are 'saved' from abusive relationships become defensive and are acting on instinct, as all humans have, called fight or flight, and since they are locked in a cage or trapped in the corner, they can not flee, so they fight. What about those who abused those animals? They get out of jail or pay a fine and are on their way, but the animals are put down because of what they did. The animals personality is not what is making it violent, it is the distrust of humans that cause them to be taken back. And lastly, you directly state that, because they are abused by humans, they should be euthanized in the first place... justifying the death of the abused animal and disregarding the 'superior' being that abused them, the Human.
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My opponent states that: "It isn't true. There will never be absolute luxury. Just like animals, we have our hardships, too." I must share my disbelief at this statement... do humans necessarily need a smart phone? Why not a regular phone that provides calling and texting? Even a telephone is not needed, after all we did go without it in the past, correct? Do we need television? Why not just read the newspaper? Those forests aren't gonna chop themselves down, right guys? Did I say that humans do not experience hardship? No, I have not. Have I stated that humans live luxurious lives? No, once again you are paraphrasing what I said and are attempting to use it against me. You stated that animals can not use an iPhone and a Television, which ARE luxury items in and of itself and not necessary for the survival of the human race, after all we survived without them before, have we not? You state that Humans are past that hardship, being survival, and now deal with things like politics, technology, educations, jobs, etc. So, how are these not lives of luxury? Perhaps because you have been spoiled into thinking that these are not luxuries, as even humans in third-world countries have to struggle in survival. However, enough about how spoiled the human race has become, the fact remains that humans have a lot of luxury items, and stating that an animal can not use one, let alone has a use for one, is a bad argument.
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My opponent restates the definition of superior. My response is: You once again imply that being superior in one aspect makes you superior in every aspect, or just in general. Yes, you would be superior... ON THE FOOD CHAIN. To clarify, my statement of "If two species feasted on each other, would that make the two superior to each other at the same time?" was mostly to humor your assertion that eating one another makes the being superior to the other. Decent point on predator and prey, which definitely shows how one may dominate another on the food chain, but it does not make them generally superior to another. All it proves is that one is superior in strength or speed. Two predators at the top of a chain, say a Lion and a Tiger, may fight each other, and one that wins eats the other. The one that wins may be superior to the other, but it does not mean that the entire race is superior to the other, as the fight could go either way. Humans are isolated from wildlife, and thus are not apart of the food chain as they do not live amongst those higher in the food chain. Does not make them superior, as I have suggested, a feral child grows up in the wilderness. I do not doubt the human's ability to adapt to situations, as it is what humans pride themselves on, but humans are not superior in all aspects as you are saying. I will agree with you a bit on the last part, humans have shown to be superior at adaptation and intellect, however, my question still stands, does being 'superior' in certain aspects make your life more value than another that is superior in other aspects?
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I am comparing hunting for sport to hunting for survival; food
morgan2252

Pro

Sorry I forgot to cite my sources for my last argument.

Sources:
(1)Oxford Dictionary of English
(2)http://mycropht.wordpress.com...

One reason humans are superior is their creation of the art of persuasion. The shelter employees do a very good job of persuading people to adopt a shelter pet. Since I feel the whole shelter argument is beside the point, I will leave you with this: the pets they show you on TV are the gentlest ones they can find. If you think shelter pets are great, you probably haven't had one (unless, of course, you are really lucky).

I would also like to say that humans do deserve the "luxuries" we have, since we created them. After all, aren't the people reading this on their computer enjoying those "luxuries" right now? My opponent acts like he/she is above this, which, evidently, is not true.

Also, my opponent stated "you are implying that having superior technology makes them superior to the human race entirely" and "Yes, you would be superior... ON THE FOOD CHAIN" However, con is completely missing the point of the debate. We want to know if human life is superior to the lives of other animals. Of course, this is a matter of opinion, which is why we're debating in the first place. The reality is, humans are not superior to animals in all aspects (for example, lions may have bigger teeth than us). The question is, are humans superior to animals in MOST aspects? Here is some support of why humans are superior:

*As I said before, humans, who should be in the middle of the food chain, are on the top of it.
*Humans domesticated animals. Not lions. Not wolves. Not beetles or ants. Humans.
*Humans have created things such as written language, empires, civilization, art, mathematics, and even modern technology.
*Humans are the only animals that know how the universe really works.
*Humans created a website where people can debate their personal beliefs
*Humans discovered E=mc2 (squared)- a key to understanding how things work
*Humans had the power to destroy the environment, and are now using their knowledge of math and science to create ways of protecting it.
*Humans are currently exploring the universe, and are starting to prepare for a journey into deep space...

THAT is what sets us apart form other animals. Our intellect and creativity is unlike that of any other being on Earth. Seriously, get to the heart of the matter. We wouldn't even be debating this right now if people didn't have the possibility of being superior. Human beings have, and will continue, changing the world.
Debate Round No. 3
theif519

Con

I admit that the topic I have chosen is misleading as my argument is actually on Animal Rights, which I have clarified in the comments section, with the value of life as a supporting detail rather than the main idea. Copied and pasted from my comment posted 5 hours ago, which was after your first response:

>>> To clarify, I am for Animals have rights, as saying animals have no rights because they are 'inferior' to Humans is arrogant and foolish, however I am not stating that animals should have equal rights to humans, as that would be foolish in and off itself, but rather Animals should have LESSER rights, enough to protect them from abusive humans (Jail time for killing animals), prevent them from being needlessly killed because they are considered unwanted by humanity (Foster homes for animals to prolong the process of euthanasia, a few years compared to a few weeks), and possibly even considering wildlife and domestic animals as a whole when making environmental changes (Destroying forests to benefit your own survival? I guess it is justifiable, but at the very least plant one or two trees for every tree destroyed. Take responsibility for animals that lose their home due to destroying said forests by finding them a new home. Prioritizing ones race above others is fine, but doing at the expense of another is not). And finally, the scientific experiments done on animals is sickening and should be better managed (not stopped, as it would be an unreasonable demand, and it it would be disregarded) to better suit the life of animals. If an experiment proves far too dangerous to test on humans, it should not be tested on animals. If, however, the experiment will have a low or non-existent chance of the death of the animal, then perhaps they can. Also, a failed experiment in which an animal is suffering must be euthanized to minimize the pain it will cause, the experiment must not be done again until significant improvements are done. Blah blah blah

Point is, animals lives should be put more into consideration than it is right now, and the aftermath of the choices humanity makes affects animals in many ways, as humans should take responsibility for their actions. <<<
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Now to answer you:

My opponent states: "The shelter employees do a very good job of persuading people to adopt a shelter pet." You are once again missing my point; the owners were the ones that have made them the way they are. My point still stands. The point of the shelter is on why animals need rights, or Lesser Rights, as stated in my opening argument. Another thing I would like to ask is, if having a pet be aggressive due to 'mental issues' is a good enough reason to put them to sleep, why do they not put humans with 'mental issues' to sleep?
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My opponent states: "I would also like to say that humans do deserve the 'luxuries' we have, since we created them." Cool, so... your point is? I said humanity does not NEED luxury items to live, I never said that they do not deserve it. Please stop paraphrasing me to try to use it against me, and if you are, at least do it correctly. Humans have created luxury items, yes. Do humans deserve them? That depends on the person. Do all humans have luxury items? No. Are you going to be making more of these assumptions? "My opponent acts like he/she is above this, which, evidently, is not true." So, knowing that luxury items are not needed for survival makes me act like I am above luxury items? Are you listening to what you're saying/reading what you are typing?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My opponent states: "... con is completely missing the point of the debate." I suppose this would be mostly my fault because of my title, but I clarified my main point and supporting ideas in the comment section. My argument is on the value of life: 1. Why is the life of a Human worth more? 2. Why is the life of an Animal worth less? 3. Comparing and Contrasting: Human Life vs Animal Life. 4. Animal Rights (Stated in the comments to add clarity to my argument).

Are Humans superior in more aspects than other animals? Undoubtedly. My question was would this make their life worth more than that of another animal. Is the life of a human worth so much more than that of an animal's that when a human kills an animal he gets punished lightly, but if an animal kills a human in self defense it gets killed?

Also, not to be anal, but:

* True
* To domesticate is to make it more friendly to humans. Why would another animal need to do this? Other animals see each other as equals and competitors, not as being superior beings that are high enough to tame another animal as a pet.
* Humans are capable of many languages, yes, and have found ways to communicate effectively. I do not dispute that
* Humans do not, and possibly will never know how the Universe yet, only create theories on how it works.
* True. However, an animal would have no need for it.
* E=MC^2 is not an explanation of how things work. Energy = Mass x Speed of Light^2 tells you how much energy there is inside a certain amount of mass. It does not tell you 'how things work.' However, it has paved the way for more scientific achievements.
* Humans have the power to destroy the environment, and the power to fix it. The environment would not need protection if humans have not messed it up in the first place.
* Space exploration is such a nice thing. However, we have not even visited Mars yet, let alone solar system, let alone left our galaxy, let alone universe.

Humans will, undoubtedly change the world, but for better or worse is not clear.

So... back to the topic that I meant to choose: Animal Rights. Lesser Animal rights or no? I will not disagree with you that, yes, humans are superior to animals, but I will on the worth of one life compared to another (as I stated my reasons in my opening argument)
morgan2252

Pro

Sorry for the misunderstanding about the topic. In that case, I will change the direction of my argument.

For this argument, I want to answer my opponent's questions. My opponent asks, "1. Why is the life of a Human worth more? 2. Why is the life of an Animal worth less? 3. Comparing and Contrasting: Human Life vs Animal Life. 4. Animal Rights (Stated in the comments to add clarity to my argument)."

My opponent says, "Are Humans superior in more aspects than other animals? Undoubtedly." We can both agree that human life is more superior. And as we all know, superior things are greater in importance. I'm not saying that animals are worthless, but they are simply less important. As for the reasons humans are superior, I posted that on my last argument.
(If you would, take a moment to let me say something that saddens me. My opponent tries to point out fallacies when I made the points of why humans are superior to animals. It appears [notice what I am saying this based off my powers of observation, and I am NOT making simple assumptions] that based off of what my opponent says, he/she has not done much research on very recent space studies. I, however, have many of recent astronomy books [which, by the way, are AMAZING]. My opponent said, "Humans do not, and possibly will never know how the Universe yet, only create theories on how it works." That's very plausible, considering that I'm currently watching a series on Netflix called, 'How the Universe Works.' When I said humans knew how the universe worked, I simply meant that they knew way more than animals. But if you want to take it literally, the fact is that people have knowledge of our solar system, galaxies, galaxy clusters, different types of stars, black holes, stars that create black holes, etc. My opponent also says "E=MC^2 is not an explanation of how things work. Energy = Mass x Speed of Light^2 tells you how much energy there is inside a certain amount of mass. It does not tell you 'how things work.'" This formula actually does tell how things work. Nuclear bombs work because a certain amount of mass is being transformed into pure energy. This formula may also be the key to figuring out how the universe was created; the big bang. Many believe the big bang is the opposite of a nuclear bomb; instead of going form matter to energy, we would be going from pure energy to matter. So yes, it can tell how things work.)

(My opponent says, "Space exploration is such a nice thing. However, we have not even visited Mars yet, let alone solar system, let alone left our galaxy, let alone universe." The human race has been around for only a million years, and in the history of Earth, that is a very short time compared to the billions of years the Earth has been around. In fact, we didn't even have electric technology until the past few centuries. Space exploration in the future is very hopeful. My opponent also states we haven't been to Mars yet. However the Curiosity rover, I believe, is on to something. [The false carbon compound does not count. Scientists did not really expect to find any in the simple sand, but will be heading the rover to Mount Sharp where they hope to find some.] Also, I read on the NASA website that in 2020, there will be another rover launch to Mars using the same plans as Curiosity but with better technology. In the next decade, NASA will be sending tons of things to Mars. Even now, NASA is working on packing for Mars, including how we'll get exercise, eat, breathe, etc. We are preparing for space exploration. Now, back to my point.)

My opponent would also like to know why an animal's life is worth less. Isn't this the same as asking why a human's is worth more? However, if you would really like an answer, I will give you one. Animals eat, sleep, and die. Humans used to be the same way, until we gave our lives value. Humans created civilization. Humans created the possibility of getting themselves into the history book. Humans created things like lightbulbs and philosophical ideas. Humans have the power to think. And whether they do it for better of for worse, humans do still have the power to change the world. This is very unlikely for an animal to do in the near future.

To answer the third question, animals are similar to humans in that they eat, drink, sleep, and reproduce. But like I said in the preceding paragraph, the biggest factor that separates humans from animals is that they have the power to think- beyond instinct. We are intelligent.

And as for animal rights, I would like to include a quote from Tibor R. Machan, author of ' Putting Humans First: Why We Are Nature's Favorite.'

"Animals other than human beings do not have basic rights. It is a matter of ethics and not of the laws of human societies that animals ought to be treated compassionately and kindly by people -- because people can empathize with their pain but not because they have rights as human beings do. If they had such rights, they would, among other things, have to be held accountable for killing or maiming fellow animals in the wilds."

When people talk about sad things happening to animals, they are simply empathizing with their pain, as mentioned in the quote above. And once again, this only appeals to your emotions and ethics, and not to your mind. After all, in the wild, female spiders will eat their husbands. Should they get the death sentence for cannibalism or murder? Other animals will fight in order to attract a mate. Should they get charged with crime? When you think of it practically, giving animals rights makes no sense.
Now, I turn the debate over to my opponent for the final argument to begin.

Source:
http://www.nytimes.com...
Debate Round No. 4
theif519

Con

My opponent states: "We can both agree that human life is more superior. And as we all know, superior things are greater in importance." I agree. However, the importance of something is, as you said, depends on your "emotions and ethics" as for some, a superior item may be worth less to a person who has grown a sentimental attachment to it. Does superiority make something more important? Varies from person to person, but most likely yes.

My opponent states: "When I said humans knew how the universe worked, I simply meant that they knew way more than animals." Since when does knowing more of something mean you know everything about it? Quoted directly from you: "Humans are the only animals that know how the universe really works." This statement states that Humans know how the Universe works, in which case is different from as you said, "I simply meant that they knew way more than animals." That also implies that other animals have a concept on the how the Universe works. "This formula actually does tell how things work. Nuclear bombs work because a certain amount of mass is being transformed into pure energy. This formula may also be the key to figuring out how the universe was created; the big bang. " May =/= certainty. You are mistaking theories for truths. I can see how things like this may be in your astronomy books, but these topics are related to theoretical and quantum physics.

My opponent states: "The human race has been around for only a million years, and in the history of Earth, that is a very short time compared to the billions of years the Earth has been around." Your original statement: "Humans are currently exploring the universe, and are starting to prepare for a journey into deep space..." Stating that Human beings are "exploring the universe" made me jump to conclusions, and for that I apologize; however, would it not have been better to say "Humans are attempting to explore the Universe" or "Humans are exploring the solar system" as this first step hasn't even been accomplished yet. "We are preparing for space exploration" would have been much better.

Back to the main point.

Opponent: "Isn't this the same as asking why a human's is worth more?" That all depends on whether or not you see superiority/inferiority as the only means of judging someone's worth. For one thing, a doctor has a PhD, tons of money, tons of friends, loving family, and a wife and kids. However, this doctor has much experience and has aged well over the years. A child of about the age of 4 is dependent on his family, has almost no friends, does have an okay family, and has a mother and father who fight all of the time. The doctor is superior to the child in every way; age, finances, looks, knowledge, social life, et al. This doctor is superior, and by your logic, worth more than the life of the child, am I right? If you had to choose one or the other's life to save, who would it be? The doctor can continue to save more lives and live his superior life to the fullest. The child may go down a bad path, or perhaps even surpass the doctor in the future, but this is irrelevant. One is superior to the other, would saving the life of the doctor be a better option than, say a child's? Why and why not?

"Animals eat, sleep, and die. Humans used to be the same way, until we gave our lives value." I think you mean "Animals ONLY eat, sleep, and die" as humans do the same thing. However, is it not generalizing a bit that all Animals just do these three things? Reproduction is definitely something you missed. Some animals even help nature just by being around and doing their native thing. Humans, however, do not naturally have a role in nature besides, as you said, ruling and being superior. Which also includes destroying nature as well, but as you said, the life of humanity is far above those of animals and plants. "Humans created the possibility of getting themselves into the history book." Funny, as humans were the one who created the History books in the first place, unless you mean a theoretical 'history book'. The history of the Human Race: How it's arrogance destroyed the world and all it's inhabitants. "And whether they do it for better of for worse, humans do still have the power to change the world." In my first argument, I am giving ways as to how Humans can do better and more positive. Matter of fact, if humanity ever discovered how to recreate the big bang, it could impact the entire Universe. What ever happened to "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility"?

"But like I said in the preceding paragraph, the biggest factor that separates humans from animals is that they have the power to think- beyond instinct. We are intelligent." My argument of comparing and contrasting Human and Animal life was done in the first argument. This is a huge contrast, yes, but is missing the comparisons and other contrasts that I stated in the first argument. They were already solved anyway, so this debate is being wrapped up (This is the last round of the debate, your response will be the last.)

"And as for animal rights..." I said animals should have LESSER rights, not equal rights, but still rights of its own. Humans, being the superior beings know better when it comes it conflict, and so they should be the ones to suffer consequences when they do wrong upon an animal. If an animal does wrong without good reason (Self Defense, or is provoked in some deliberate manor) it shall be euthanized If a human does wrong to an animal without good reason, he should be jailed for 5 to 10 years (5 being minimum) and should no longer be able to own a pet (Goes on his record). Animal testing will be more 'humane' in that no dangerous experiments will be done upon an animal more than once if the results turns out to go foul. Basically, see my first argument and compromises on Lesser Rights, it explains everything (Remember, you only have one more response before the debate ends). Also to reiterate, the Lesser Rights will be distributed between domesticated animals and wild animals; domesticated getting more as they live around humans, wild getting less because there are unpredictable and uncontrollable situations.

"...And once again, this only appeals to your emotions and ethics, and not to your mind." Emotions and Ethics are in your mind, however, I believe you were referring to the cognitive and logical thought process. "female spiders will eat their husband" Perhaps Insect and Plant rights will be discussed in another argument, but as stated above, lesser rights will be distributed between domesticated and wild-life; domesticated getting more and wild animals getting less (enough to at least not be tortured). "When you think of it practically, giving animals rights makes no sense" Stated many times before, the rights I am suggesting giving to animals is significantly less. Speaking of rights, whether or not someone is charged for murder or cannibalism is based on law enforcement. Another thing would be to specify what 'murder' is, done by law enforcement. The Universal Human Rights linked below. I am suggesting, once again, to give animals Lesser Rights, not Equal Rights. Laws dictate on whether something is a crime or not (except for Slavery and inhumane treatment such as torture).

To wrap everything up: Humans are superior (in more aspects) to animals, that much is true, however are judging by superiority/inferiority the only ways to judge the worth of a person? What about sentimental attachment? If you had to choose between two human beings, would choosing the 'superior' one in the most aspects be the 'right', or best choice? On to animals: Animals deserve rights, but not equal to humans, but lesser rights; rights that dictate their treatment by Human beings to make sure it is not cruel and unjust. Also that the laws accommodate to the Lesser Rights as well. See my opening argument for Lesser Rights and compromises.

http://www.un.org...
morgan2252

Pro

My opponent states "One is superior to the other, would saving the life of the doctor be a better option than, say a child's? Why and why not?" My opponent is forgetting that this is the matter of the value of an animal's life over a human's life, not adult's life over a child's life. Even so, there's a reason people would choose to save the child's life over the doctor's. The doctor is more valuable now, but when the doctor is dead, and, say, the child becomes a doctor, the child's life is more valuable. The only reason say the child's life has more value is that they have more life to live; more potential. I personally feel that this is a very unreasonable, misleading metaphor for this topic, since there is little potential for animals to become as intelligent as humans in the near future.

My opponent says, "Perhaps Insect and Plant rights will be discussed in another argument, but as stated above, lesser rights will be distributed between domesticated and wild-life; domesticated getting more and wild animals getting more and wild animals getting less." I would like to point out that an insect is an animal, and the only reason we feel sympathy for cats, dogs, rats, cows, etc. is because they are closer to us in evolutionary terms. These animals and humans are mammals. However, people squish bugs every day without feeling the need to "save" them. Is this not what the entire argument was about? All animal's rights? First con makes the claim that all animals need some, lesser rights, but once I mentioned animals people rarely consider, he changed his argument from giving all animals some lesser rights to only domesticated animals having them. To prove this, in his first argument, he said, "Another thing, on the road if you do not make an active attempt to miss a person in the middle of the road for whatever stupid reason, you get charged with either murder or manslaughter. However, hit an animal? Keep going, just roadkill, nothing to see here." The fact is, wild animals, like raccoons, are not domesticated. My opponent is not supporting his claim. And, since humans domesticated animals in the first place, we deserve to have power over them.

No offense, but my opponent can be a hypocrite sometimes. He tries to take the things I say and interpret them the wrong way, just as he accuses me of. For example, "Quoted directly from you: 'Humans are the only animals that know how the universe really works.' This statement states that Humans know how the Universe works, in which case is different from as you said, 'I simply meant that they knew way more than animals.' That also implies that other animals have a concept on the how the Universe works." For those that did not get my point, humans know about stars, black holes, the fact that Earth goes around the sun, and other things about the universe. Animals do not. It is that simple. However, my opponent does not appear to see it that way. The fact we are debating about space when we are supposed to be debating about animal's rights is silly. If anything, my opponent is trying to say that I change my claim while he doesn't admit he is constantly changing his.

For example: I would also like to quote some things said in his pat arguments:

"I am suggesting giving them more time, as stated in my compromise, a place where they can be given a few more years to stay alive and be amongst the 'superior' beings."

"The owner does, as a matter of fact, sign the paperwork for the adoption process, entitles YOU, the 'superior' being, the human owner, to take full responsibility for the animal."

"Justifying the death of the abused animal and disregarding the 'superior' being that abused them, the Human."

Notice that "superior" in quotes is used to in a sarcastic manner to say that humans are not really superior to animals. However, con later says, "My opponent states: 'We can both agree that human life is more superior. And as we all know, superior things are greater in importance.' I agree." Once again, con is changing his ideas. So why is con trying to accuse ME of this? As far as I can tell, he is the one who is really changing his arguments.

Furthermore, my opponent says, "Emotions and Ethics are in your mind, however," This really depends on how you interpret it. Ethical appeal, (ethos) is often referred to as "the hand." Emotional appeal, (pathos) is represented by "the heart." Logic, (logos) is, of course, "the brain." When you think of it this way, emotions and ethics do not appeal to your mind.

My opponent also creates the impression that the human race has done nothing good by saying, "The history of the Human Race: How it's arrogance destroyed the world and all it's inhabitants." If humans were truly arrogant, we wouldn't even be having this debate right now. Even I, who am denying that humans will destroy the Earth, have to admit that humans have harmed the environment. If we were arrogant, people wouldn't be creating alternative energy sources like solar panels (I see those all the time nowadays), we wouldn't be recycling (every classroom at my school has one), and we wouldn't have a whole day dedicated to planting trees and helping Earth. The reality is, humans are admitting their mistakes, and they really DO care. And despite our past, it doesn't mean we can't change the future. That's what we are, and will be doing; changing the future for the better.

Source:
http://changingminds.org...

One last message to voters: please don't be biased. I understand that many people are trying to prevent the cruelty of animals. I agree with this, too. But you have to remember, SOMEONE had to take up my opponent's challenge. (When I saw the challenge, I noticed it had 51 views and no one had actually taken the challenge yet. That said, con had a pretty good opening argument.) I chose to do this debate because I love seeing other people's ideas and seeing where they come from. So please, vote based on who did the better job, and not based on what you personally believe. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by theif519 4 years ago
theif519
To clarify, I am for Animals have rights, as saying animals have no rights because they are 'inferior' to Humans is arrogant and foolish, however I am not stating that animals should have equal rights to humans, as that would be foolish in and off itself, but rather Animals should have LESSER rights, enough to protect them from abusive humans (Jail time for killing animals), prevent them from being needlessly killed because they are considered unwanted by humanity (Foster homes for animals to prolong the process of euthanasia, a few years compared to a few weeks), and possibly even considering wildlife and domestic animals as a whole when making environmental changes (Destroying forests to benefit your own survival? I guess it is justifiable, but at the very least plant one or two trees for every tree destroyed. Take responsibility for animals that lose their home due to destroying said forests by finding them a new home. Prioritizing ones race above others is fine, but doing at the expense of another is not). And finally, the scientific experiments done on animals is sickening and should be better managed (not stopped, as it would be an unreasonable demand, and it it would be disregarded) to better suit the life of animals. If an experiment proves far too dangerous to test on humans, it should not be tested on animals. If, however, the experiment will have a low or non-existent chance of the death of the animal, then perhaps they can. Also, a failed experiment in which an animal is suffering must be euthanized to minimize the pain it will cause, the experiment must not be done again until significant improvements are done. Blah blah blah

Point is, animals lives should be put more into consideration than it is right now, and the aftermath of the choices humanity makes affects animals in many ways, as humans should take responsibility for their actions.
Posted by phantom 4 years ago
phantom
I was going to accept, but I think you're probably looking debate someone who is con animal rights.
Posted by theif519 4 years ago
theif519
I never stated it was wrong, as I know that what is right and what is wrong varies from person to person and is normally influenced by society and peers... and also the conscience of the person too, if that counts. I am asking and attempting to understand why people see it as right to value human life more than that of an animal, and inquire into how they can do X, Y, or Z to animals but then not do it to themselves and call it inhumane.

You can logically explain why killing is considered wrong, although it is influenced by your view on it. One can say that killing is considered wrong because A) God said it is a sin, B) It is against the law (leads to circular logic, as the first one can as well) or perhaps even C) I do not want someone to kill me, so I will not kill others. Another could argue that killing is right because A) God said it is good (in another religion) B) It is encouraged by my peers, or C) I kill people who annoy me and ignore those who do not. None of these are right and wrong, but it is to the person, and an elaboration on to why you think that way is good enough.

Sorry if I'm being a bit incoherent, it's 4:30 in the morning, pardon if I end up not replying for a while and fall asleep... it's not you, it's me, I know ;)
Posted by 1Devilsadvocate 4 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
What exactly is the resolution?

You wrote:
"Majority of them said they would save a human in an instant, but could never explain why, at least not logically, just that they felt it was right."

Can you explain logically why it's wrong?
There is no logic when it comes to right & wrong, (at least without god), right & wrong are feelings, or non existent.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Chuz-Life 4 years ago
Chuz-Life
theif519morgan2252Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con makes many great arguments for the idea that animals have as many rights as man does. However, rights are a construct of man. They are not something that animals (especially less intelligent animals) can even begin to imagine or comprehend. Congrats on a very well conducted debate.