The Instigator
ADreamOfLiberty
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Citrakayah
Con (against)
Winning
4 Points

Zoophilia/Bestiality should be legal and is not inherently immoral

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Citrakayah
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,280 times Debate No: 39425
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (37)
Votes (1)

 

ADreamOfLiberty

Pro

(A)Explaining the Resolution

The resolution has proven itself vulnerable to misunderstanding or misrepresentation in the past therefore I will spell out exactly what it means.

Saying X should be legal/moral does not mean everything that belongs in that category is legal/moral; it means that something should not be illegal or immoral because it is X.

Example: driving a car should be legal and is moral

Misconception: running people over with a car is not moral, yet it qualifies as driving a car so driving a car shouldn’t be legal.

Clarification: Killing people is what is immoral and should be illegal in that action, not driving a car.

Therefore the resolution does not mean that every act of bestiality is moral and should be legal, but that an act is not immoral and should not be illegal solely because it bestiality.


(B) Preconditions

Because of the length constraints a completely specified argument is impossible, indeed it would take a small book. I will however assert some premises which my opponent must accept, if a potential opponent thinks these are unfair premises we can have a separate debate on that.

Premise B.1) Legality and morality are inherently linked, if something is moral it should be legal and if is legal it should be moral. Note this is not implying that if something is illegal at a given time or place it is immoral nor is it implying that if something is legal it is moral. Morality is independent of law, but law should be dependent on morality.

Premise B.2) Baring a full derivation and support of a moral theory, the relevant theory in the case of bestiality/zoophilia is mutual consent of interacting parties + reasonable avoidance of foreseeable pain or biological damage. No other moral standard shall be accepted. For those interested I hold a more constrained view as a universal principle for human society, i.e. consent is the prerequisite of all moral interaction between humans.

Premise B.3) The resolution makes a claim about what law should be but does not rely on any existing law, precedence, standard, or tradition of any kind. The fact that law has traditionally defined consent in a manner that makes it impossible for animals to demonstrate it in court is irrelevant. Only the definition of concept given here is to be referenced or used.

(C) Implications: From these premises I would like to preempt possible strategies of my opponent by implication. The premises above prohibit these strategies.

(C.1) B.1 means I will not entertain the notion that even if bestiality/zoophilia is moral it is somehow detrimental to society and that constitutes a legal basis for banning it.

(C.2) B.2 means that I will not entertain sentiments which associate the term morality with emotional appeals, religious dogma, or mindless whim. Consent and biological harm are well defined objectively verifiable concepts.

(C.3) B.2 & B.3 mean you are willing to debate the matter of consent or harm as defined here. A brief justification for excluding legally defined consent is given but the topic is still not open for contest in the scope of this debate.

I reserve the right to deem other strategies incompatible with the premises you accepted with the debate.


(D) Definitions

(D.1) Bestiality – the practice of interspecies sex specifically involving humans as one of the species.

(D.2) Zoophilia – the sexual orientation which describes a permanent sexual attraction towards animals by humans.

(D.3) Rape – the forcing of sexual intercourse onto an organism capable of intelligent self-determination without their consent. NOTE consent as defined below.

(D.4) Pain – the discomfort of an organism, established by some objective observation of behavior or biology.

(D.5) Biological Damage – the objectively observable harm that that impairs the value, usefulness, or normal function of some organ or tissue in an organism.

(D.6) Consentand this is important, is defined as “permission for something to happen or agreement to do something” http://oxforddictionaries.com... .


(E) Burden of Proof

My burden of proof is to show that it is possible that an animal can consent to sex with a human. The core argument relates this to the resolution. I believe this burden is met by the end of this first post. It is not sufficient for my opponent to simply assert I have not met the burden he/she must explain why my argument here does not do so.

My opponent’s burden of proof is to either defeat the argument for consent, or prove it impossible for a human to mate with any species without causing pain or physical damage.


(F) Informed/legal Consent vs Consent

I am fully aware that the idea of informed consent in legal circles is different and much stricter. I do not mean legal/informed consent when I say consent. No one who has a pet, no one who has partook in any animal derived products has ever had informed consent from any animals. It is an impossibility even for humans to give perfect informed consent because it presupposes that both parties are perfectly aware of the consequences of an action. Something that requires the ability to predict the future with 100% certainty.

In practice what is meant by informed consent is that one party discloses any information about the interaction which may reasonably be expected to affect the other’s decision. If one party does not have the information it cannot be given. If the other party is incapable of receiving the information it is not considered a requirement.

For instance, you bring an unconscious stranger into a hospital, the doctor will still treat them on the presumption that they want to be healed. This is implied consent but cannot be informed consent.

The point is that informed consent, while an objective standard, relies on the context of the typical human mind and language. It loses applicability beyond the scope of the human race, attempting to apply it to morals involving non-humans leads to contradictions and absurdities.

If in the ‘eyes of the law’ no animal can ever consent then no animal has ever consented to another animal. That means every single sexual encounter in the whole of history before mankind was in fact rape. I consider the above a valid form of Reductio ad absurdum http://en.wikipedia.org...

Finally I would like to point out that current legal precedence and tradition never tries to apply informed consent to animals. All anti-bestiality laws appear to be based on either religion or the concept of abuse. The law does not care about informed consent of animals now and I am not advocating that change. If a potential opponent does not think I have laid out valid reasons why informed consent is morally and legally inapplicable to animals, we can have another debate about it before they accept this one.


(G) Core Argument:

/ If a practice is moral it should be legal (Premise 1)

/ Bestiality is a moral practice – see Support of Morality

// Bestiality should be legal


(H) Support of Morality - Consent:

Under the constraints set out above the question is:


(H.1) Can an animal give permission or agreement to a member of another species for sexual interaction?

Remember since I only need one exception to break the rule, if there is ever a case where the answer to H.1 is yes I have established that immorality is not inherent in bestiality, I can say it is moral as per section A. There are two possible reasons why the answer to that could be no in all cases:


(H.2) No species is capable of communicating permission, agreement, or anything really to a member of another species implicitly or explicitly.


(H.3) No species is psychologically capable of granting consent to another species

That means if I can negate (show to be false) both of these statements then there must exist some cases where the answer to the question H.1 is YES.

/ ~H.2 / ~H.3 // H.1


(H.4) – Negation of H.3

Why would humans be the only species capable of accepting interspecies sex? How can observed instances of interspecies sex between two non-human species be reconciled with H.3?


(H.5) – Negation of H.2

(H.5.1) It is impossible for a creature to pursue an action to which it does not consent provided it does not fear retribution for failure to comply.

This can be established easily by looking at its negation which is “It is possible for a creature to pursue a course of action it does not consent to, even if there is no fear of retribution for failure to comply”. It’s a contradiction in terms.

(H.5.2) If a mind can agree with anything it must agree with itself.

Note: Reflexes are biologically and behaviorally differentiable from choice.

(H.5.3) Therefore even in the absence of verbal or body language, if an animal pursues a course of action where no negative consequences have ever been employed as the result of failing to pursue said course of action, then it has implicitly communicated its intention and its acceptance of the action. If that action is in fact an interaction it must also consent to the interaction.

(H.5.4) To compound that point most animals which zoophiles are interested in mating with are quite capable of body language and vocal communication of a basic sort. Note that “Yes” and “No” are very basic communications which any higher animal owner can attest to understanding.

These youtube videos are among thousands of publically available images, videos, and reports detailing the sexual advances towards humans by animals, it provides the last piece in my argument for consent, action implying consent absent negative conditioning. They may be posted as a joke but what they display is real.

http://scienceblogs.com...


(I) Support of Morality - Harm:

The burden of proof is on my opponent to demonstrate harm is necessary.


(J) I want to wrap up with an example question: Horseback riding. Do you believe a horse can consent to being ridden? How would you know?

Citrakayah

Con

My thanks to my opponent for creating the debate. I'd like start out by noting that I cannot in good faith argue that zoophilia is inherently immoral in a vacuum. Rather, I must argue cascade effects--the secondary effects of a decision. Namely, testimony.

On Rape

Even if Pro has shown that an animal can consent to sex with a human, one cannot by itself be the end-all of morality. We must consider the consequences our actions have down the line. We have a method to identify human rape victims--identification. It's far from perfect, tragically, but it does exist, and people do have their rape victims testify against them.

Animals cannot testify. The only way to be make reasonably sure that no animal is raped and someone legally gets away with it is to have a blanket ban. Animal body language and behavior is difficult to understand, so trying to get them to testify by exposing them to the person in question is not guaranteed to produce a predictable response--not to mention the ethical questions of forcing a rape victim to confront their rapist.

On Law

I would give a reductio ad absurdum as well. There is a specific instance, based on a doctrine of harm, where murder would be ethical. Should we then legalize murder? Note that Pro did not say that the premise of B.2 was to be applied to all things, so it's not a given that consent matters in such an instance.

Clearly, we must keep in mind the results legalizing something has on the people as a whole. It's for these same reasons that we define a legal age. Obviously, some people below that age limit have the emotional maturity of someone above it, but that is where we as a society have decided that there are too many people not emotionally mature below the line, and if we raised it above that we'd be harming many people.

The same applies to zoophilia. Legalizing zoophilia is extremely risky, and will lead to it being pretty much impossible to prosecute people who rape animals, or drug animals to have sex with them, because people are proven innocent until guilty.

So until we in the ability to talk to animals (if that's possible), the solution that has the least harm associated with it would be to use drawn imagery.
Debate Round No. 1
ADreamOfLiberty

Pro

I didn't expect so small a response, but I thank my opponent for distilling their argument to so pure a form.

"Animals cannot testify. The only way to be make reasonably sure that no animal is raped and someone legally gets away with it is to have a blanket ban."

I have heard this argument before, let me start off by ceding one of your premises at least.

Animals can't talk, making it exceedingly difficult to obtain after the fact reports on anything they may experience or see.

However that is about all I will cede. Your other premise is false and by the time it is resolved to a reasonable true premise it no longer functions in your argument.

This premise is: we can make reasonably sure that no animal is raped and someone legally gets away with it.

Unless by 'legally get away' you mean being found not guilty, no one ever legally gets away with a crime. If evidence beyond a reasonable doubt cannot be provided for any reason the person is innocent since they are innocent until proven guilty. The fact that guilty men go free is not proof that the law is insufficient or even the police force. It must be admitted that in an imperfect world there is simply not enough evidence to convict every criminal.

This is true not just of animal rape but animal sex, I guarantee you can't prove that 99% of the human animal sex that has occurred in the past year ever happened. If 'legally getting away' means being found not guilty of animal rape (and all sex is classified as rape) then people are and will continue to be 'legally getting away' no matter how illegal bestiality gets. The idea that any society can be reasonably sure animal rape, animal sex, or any other crime under the sun does not occur is flawed because no matter how stringent the law it cannot produce evidence or alter the burden of proof.

However I am far more interested in the third premise you did not explicitly specify, that is: If for some reason it is too hard to find the evidence needed to convict a criminal, the law should be altered or extended in order to criminalize more than it did before.

Now this very well can affect the conviction rate for a certain crime, but only in so far as proving the previously non-criminal but related act is easier.

I’ll use an example with your standard human sex. Say someone isn’t satisfied with what they perceive to be the number of rapist who haven’t been convicted. They think that the law is letting them off because in cases of ‘he said vs she said’ it convicts no one since that is not proof beyond reasonable doubt.

Their proposed solution is to put a blanket ban on sex without signing consent waivers and having a camera record the event. This most certainly would solve the ‘he said she said’ cases and would probably reduce at least some kinds of rape.

But does that alone justify it? I say it does not. Coming from the perspective of objective liberal ethics everything that is not immoral i.e. right-violating is itself a right. Therefore since sex between consenting adults is not immoral, it is a right. If it is a right, it cannot be contingent on any duty, such a duty would make it a privilege extended by the party demanding the duty. Therefore it is not just your right to have sex with a camera watching you, but to have sex without a camera as well.

On the grounds of practicality every right can be trampled on, and if that is an acceptable mode of operation for a government I don’t see much point in governments.

So while I cede that it would be easier to find evidence against a human rapist than an animal rapist (all else being equal) I reject the notion that it is proper to make a moral act illegal in the hopes of catching some immoral acts in the net.

What you have essentially done here is say that even if an animal has not been raped, imprisoning someone and taking an animal out of a loving environment is the price ‘we’ have to pay in order to catch more real rapist. It is not a price I would pay, it is not an exchange you are qualified to evaluate unless the only one whom you are claiming should go to jail for doing nothing wrong is yourself.

There are two separate problems here, what is wrong and should be punished, and how you prove that someone did something wrong. Conflating them is unjust and can only punish guilt more effectively at the expense of punishing innocence as well. Something legal tradition and the spirit of rational liberalism has been rejecting for hundreds of years.

I’d also like to make another point, animal’s inability to report on past events is not limited to sex, but includes everything. They cannot tell you if they’ve been beaten, if they’ve been forced to stay somewhere very uncomfortable, if they’ve not been given enough food. If it is proper to ban sex because animals can’t tell you if they’ve been raped, why is it not also proper to ban having animals left alone with humans since they cannot report these abuses?

It is the same situation, it is far easier to abuse an animal and not get caught than abuse a human; and the punishments are less steep to boot. If preventing the general class of interaction is the solution to lightening the state’s burden of proof then why not outlaw owning pets?

“There is a specific instance, based on a doctrine of harm, where murder would be ethical.”

I must not subscribe to the ‘doctrine of harm’ because there is no such instance in my book. The only killing I support doesn’t fall under my definition of murder. Same deal for the law, there is no permitted murder, just permitted killing.

“Should we then legalize murder?”

If there was even one instance of moral murder, then yes that proves the quality (element of definition) that makes something murder is not immoral. Therefore murder qua murder should be legal.

“Clearly, we must keep in mind the results legalizing something has on the people as a whole.”

.. in order to minimize negative results, not to change our minds about legalizing or banning it.

“Obviously, some people below that age limit have the emotional maturity of someone above it, but that is where we as a society have decided that there are too many people not emotionally mature below the line, and if we raised it above that we'd be harming many people.”

Yes the age of legal consent is arbitrary, and it does deprive those under and above it of freedom. But it just so happens I am not a fan of that idea either. I think a more objective system should exist, a test of sorts would be better than a hard coded age.

At the end of the day I think the process of growing up is an exception to the standard rules of individual liberty because parents or legal guardians have a duty to protect children even from themselves. If and when both child and guardian agree that duty is void and the process of maturation is over the ‘child’ should be given the full rights and responsibilities of a human individual including the right to consent. I see an arbitrary legal age or arbitrary test of maturity as simply the cut-off point so neither guardians nor their wards can hang on forever as that would be unfair to the other. I do not see it necessarily as a society illegalizing something moral for the sake of preventing harm.

“The same applies to zoophilia. Legalizing zoophilia is extremely risky, and will lead to it being pretty much impossible to prosecute people who rape animals, or drug animals to have sex with them, because people are proven innocent until guilty.”

That’s right people are innocent until proven guilty... and I say if they’re innocent of raping animals until proven guilty; that’s damn well what the law should say. Not “oh I don’t want to give you the benefit of the doubt because it would be too hard to prove you guilty”.

Note: drugs can be detected via medical tests.


“So until we in the ability to talk to animals (if that's possible), the solution that has the least harm associated with it would be to use drawn imagery.”

(1) First off I am very interested in the study of animal communication (for obvious reasons) and I have come to the inevitable conclusion that for the vast majority of animals there is no advanced communications to intercept. What we see and hear is the best they’ve got. Scent is a common communicator of state information but it is almost certainly involuntarily sent and at best is analogous to facial expressions.

In other words the animated children’s movies with talking animals that just can’t understand humans is fiction. There is no reason to believe that domesticated animals communicate any better with each other than they do with us. As they learn our tones and body language so we can learn theirs and animal owners do this almost unconsciously everyday.

There are some exceptions, but in those cases it’s quite obvious that we are out of the loop; cetaceans for instance.

(2) Keeping 1. In mind, if avoiding the harm of animal rape is the goal, then what of all the breeding programs in the world? Surely if sex is so risky the biggest source is in an animal’s own species? Ah but this is not considered because that is supposed to be natural right? Can’t keep animals from having sex with each other or there won’t be anymore.

So do you see that as a necessary evil or do you think that animals mostly aren’t harmed by sex within their own species?

(3) Finally I couldn’t understand ‘drawn imagery’ in context.

Citrakayah

Con

Unfortunately my reply must be short, as my workload has been large.

I’ll use an example with your standard human sex. Say someone isn’t satisfied with what they perceive to be the number of rapist who haven’t been convicted. They think that the law is letting them off because in cases of ‘he said vs she said’ it convicts no one since that is not proof beyond reasonable doubt.

Their proposed solution is to put a blanket ban on sex without signing consent waivers and having a camera record the event. This most certainly would solve the ‘he said she said’ cases and would probably reduce at least some kinds of rape.

While it is true that that would cut down on rape, utilitarianism states quite clearly that in such an instance we must weigh the good done against the harm done. In this case, the harm done includes an incredible amount of interference in people's private lives (pretty much everyone's), making sex flat-out impossible for some people, and gigantic enforcement costs.

Banning zoophilia, meanwhile, means that a very small number of people will not be able to have sex with something they are attracted to (and frequently it isn't the only thing). The trade-off seems to favor making it illegal.

I’d also like to make another point, animal’s inability to report on past events is not limited to sex, but includes everything. They cannot tell you if they’ve been beaten, if they’ve been forced to stay somewhere very uncomfortable, if they’ve not been given enough food. If it is proper to ban sex because animals can’t tell you if they’ve been raped, why is it not also proper to ban having animals left alone with humans since they cannot report these abuses?

Simple. Physical signs. Being beaten, malnourished, or forced to be someplace uncomfortable is usually obvious, and leaves distinct signs. Not so with rape, especially rape that involves drugs.

That’s right people are innocent until proven guilty... and I say if they’re innocent of raping animals until proven guilty; that’s damn well what the law should say. Not “oh I don’t want to give you the benefit of the doubt because it would be too hard to prove you guilty”.

That applies to people breaking laws. Not people doing things that are morally incorrect.

Note: drugs can be detected via medical tests.

Not always, and especially not if time has passed.

So do you see that as a necessary evil or do you think that animals mostly aren’t harmed by sex within their own species?

I would see it as a necessary evil.

(3) Finally I couldn’t understand ‘drawn imagery’ in context.

Porn. Pornography that is not photography or video.

Debate Round No. 2
ADreamOfLiberty

Pro

"While it is true that that would cut down on rape, utilitarianism states quite clearly that in such an instance we must weigh the good done against the harm done. In this case, the harm done includes an incredible amount of interference in people's private lives (pretty much everyone's), making sex flat-out impossible for some people, and gigantic enforcement costs."

Unless you are admitting that this utilitarian princible is subjective (and nobody can argue against the subjective, it's a bit like faith in that way) you have some objective method to quantify good done and harm done, obviousy in the same units if you are checking if good >= harm.

May I see this calculation in full in the next round?

I would also ask for your explanation as to how your argument is not essentially that preempted in C.1. It seems you are just ignoring my argument that it is moral and saying that doesn't matter because it would cause more harm if it was legal. (although causing harm is inaccurate, it wouldn't cause any harm any more than the right to be free from unwarranted search and seizure causes harm by making it easier to escape punishment)

"Banning zoophilia, meanwhile, means that a very small number of people will not be able to have sex with something they are attracted to (and frequently it isn't the only thing). The trade-off seems to favor making it illegal."
What is the cut off point for you? When do the rights of a minority cease to be critical? Is it an absolute number as in the case of God destroying Sodom and Gomorrah or a percentage of the population?

What right do you have to sacrifice the liberty of even one man? (Sorry to be melodramatic but you invited it by leaning entirely on pragmatism)

"Simple. Physical signs. Being beaten, malnourished, or forced to be someplace uncomfortable is usually obvious, and leaves distinct signs. Not so with rape, especially rape that involves drugs."
Not if the investigation occurs a month afterward. There are ways to inflict pain without leaving evidence. The electric collars often used to keep animals in an area can be manually triggered at one's sadistic will and if the police ask one can just say "that stupid dog just won't learn."

Food can be laced with very unpleasant tastes and yet not malnourish the animal.

If the animal is taken out of the very uncomfortable place they could recover and have no physical signs within minutes.

An animal could be completely immobilized by ropes and restraints and left that way for days and yet when the ropes are gone no one can tell it happened after the blood starts flowing again.

The animal could be subjected to mental torture, being constantly yelled at and frightened. Being worked to exhaustion looks like a well exercised animal after a nights rest.

Is it really your postulation that sex is the only form of animal abuse in existence that can't be easily detected after the fact? If it is, doesn't that say something in of itself?... like maybe sex was arbitrarily added to the list despite having little in common with the rest?

"That applies to people breaking laws. Not people doing things that are morally incorrect."

Well correct me if I'm wrong but your last argument seemed to have nothing to do with the morality of human-animal sex. You tried to justify a ban by saying it would catch more animal rapist. You did not say having consensual sex with an animal is immoral because somewhere out there someone else might be having non-consensual sex (and I thank you for not saying it because it is ridiculous).

You said it was risky, not wrong. Just as in a hypothetical world where all sex had to be recorded by camera abolishing that requirement would risk more rape but it would not make sex without a camera wrong (because it never was wrong).

You clearly implied that animal rape was what was immoral, and that was your basis for banning animal sex.

My counter is then: If rape is the real crime (that which is immoral and deserves punishment) then people should be presumed innocent until proven guilty (as with all other crimes) no matter what the inherent difficulties in gathering evidence may be. It is unjust to take something that does not deserve punishment and make it a crime because you find the presumption of innocence troublesome for the real crime.

"Not always, and especially not if time has passed."
That's true for most everything except deep tissue scaring and bone breaks.

"I would see it as a necessary evil."
I must ask what your standard of good and evil are then, and what inviolate goal gives context to 'necessary' in that statement. It's not necessary (for survival) to eat meat or have pets so we could stop all animal breeding programs right now.

In fact every animal who has have contributed to the gene pool has 'risked rape' so why should they not be dealt with as you deal with humans who take this 'risk'?

"Porn. Pornography that is not photography or video."
If someone falls in love with a painting, I think there really is something wrong with them. If the painting loves them back there is something wrong with my understanding of reality.

Porn is a poor substitute for a lover.

Citrakayah

Con

Unless you are admitting that this utilitarian princible is subjective (and nobody can argue against the subjective, it's a bit like faith in that way) you have some objective method to quantify good done and harm done, obviousy in the same units if you are checking if good >= harm.

Well, obviously there isn't a scientific method to measure pain or harm--yet. However, it's absurd to argue that it is entirely subjective because of that. Most reasonable people can agree, for instance, that one death is less harmful than two deaths (barring side effects), that spending a relatively small amount of money is less harmful than widespread poverty, et cetera.

I would also ask for your explanation as to how your argument is not essentially that preempted in C.1. It seems you are just ignoring my argument that it is moral and saying that doesn't matter because it would cause more harm if it was legal. (although causing harm is inaccurate, it wouldn't cause any harm any more than the right to be free from unwarranted search and seizure causes harm by making it easier to escape punishment)

Well, to a certain extent one should reject section B, because you basically are trying to make it so that your opponent has no arguments by pre-emptively banning most of them. Not cool.But my argument depends on the quote, "Morality is independent of law, but law should be dependent on morality." There's arguably enough of an opening for me to get this argument through.

Moreover, I would argue that how ethical taking an action is should be based on the probability of different results. For instance, it's unethical for me to shoot at someone even if I miss and kill a Hitler clone... unless I'm guaranteed to miss whatever I'm shooting at.

How many zoophiles can honestly say that they are completely sure as to the behavior of animals they are attracted to? How many can say that they will not give the animal a disease, or vice versa? How many can say that they are sure that the pieces of anatomy in question are even compatible? We do not allow people to discharge firearms randomly because doing so is stupidly risky. The same, I think, applies to mating with an animal.

Pro may argue that his explanation of the resolution eliminates my argument. Despite the problem that it is one more time when he tries to neuter his opponent, most people who drive cars manage to avoid doing something stupid with them. If something is so incredibly prone to abuse that it's too risky, then it should be banned. Or shall we allow people to own diseases like Ebola because one person might not screw it up?

What is the cut off point for you? When do the rights of a minority cease to be critical? Is it an absolute number as in the case of God destroying Sodom and Gomorrah or a percentage of the population?

To answer your questions in order:

1. See below.
2. When they are so prone to abuse that the most ethical thing to do is eliminate them. In otherwords, hardly ever.
3. Percentage. Of course.

What right do you have to sacrifice the liberty of even one man? (Sorry to be melodramatic but you invited it by leaning entirely on pragmatism)

I don't care about liberty. I don't care about rights. I care about making sure people don't get hurt, and protecting them. I will do anything for that. There is no rule, in my opinion, that does not have a scenario where it should be violated. Freedom of speech? Still illegal to spill the location of the safehouse of people in witness protection. Freedom of religion? You don't get to sacrifice people, even if they're willing. Freedom of assembly? If there are so many people that the floor's going to fall in, we're going to break it up and move you someplace else.

Nothing is absolute. I don't have some magical "right." What I do have is a brain, and reason, and the ability to use that to determine the most ethical course of action.

Not if the investigation occurs a month afterward. There are ways to inflict pain without leaving evidence. The electric collars often used to keep animals in an area can be manually triggered at one's sadistic will and if the police ask one can just say "that stupid dog just won't learn."

Food can be laced with very unpleasant tastes and yet not malnourish the animal.

If the animal is taken out of the very uncomfortable place they could recover and have no physical signs within minutes.

An animal could be completely immobilized by ropes and restraints and left that way for days and yet when the ropes are gone no one can tell it happened after the blood starts flowing again.

The animal could be subjected to mental torture, being constantly yelled at and frightened. Being worked to exhaustion looks like a well exercised animal after a nights rest.

Is it really your postulation that sex is the only form of animal abuse in existence that can't be easily detected after the fact? If it is, doesn't that say something in of itself?... like maybe sex was arbitrarily added to the list despite having little in common with the rest?

To answer your questions respectively, yes (assuming that you screwed up and meant rape, and that detection is happening very shortly after the fact), and don't be ridiculous.

Well correct me if I'm wrong but your last argument seemed to have nothing to do with the morality of human-animal sex. You tried to justify a ban by saying it would catch more animal rapist. You did not say having consensual sex with an animal is immoral because somewhere out there someone else might be having non-consensual sex (and I thank you for not saying it because it is ridiculous).

It has everything to do with the morality of human-animal sex. Act-utilitarians are perfectly capable of supporting making something illegal even if it's acceptable in rare circumstances. Keep in mind that by not making something illegal, you're basically saying, "By all means, go out and do it!" When something does go wrong, that is at least partly your fault.

You said it was risky, not wrong. Just as in a hypothetical world where all sex had to be recorded by camera abolishing that requirement would risk more rape but it would not make sex without a camera wrong (because it never was wrong).

It's a great deal less risky, though, and the harm resulting from the law is a great deal more.

You clearly implied that animal rape was what was immoral, and that was your basis for banning animal sex.

Yep.

My counter is then: If rape is the real crime (that which is immoral and deserves punishment) then people should be presumed innocent until proven guilty (as with all other crimes) no matter what the inherent difficulties in gathering evidence may be. It is unjust to take something that does not deserve punishment and make it a crime because you find the presumption of innocence troublesome for the real crime.

Okay, I think you're misunderstanding me.

After the fact, the rape is what's wrong. The action is completed. We can know what has happened and what the consequences are.

Before the fact, the risk is what's wrong--the risk that you are committing rape, or will harm your partner.

I must ask what your standard of good and evil are then, and what inviolate goal gives context to 'necessary' in that statement. It's not necessary (for survival) to eat meat or have pets so we could stop all animal breeding programs right now.

See act-preference utilitarianism.

In fact every animal who has have contributed to the gene pool has 'risked rape' so why should they not be dealt with as you deal with humans who take this 'risk'?

Courts aren't equipped to take every single member of the animal kingdom out of the wild and put them on trial for a crime to which there are usually no witnesses, and for which the imprisonment of them would cause a total ecological collapse. Nature isn't great, but it's what we're stuck with.

If someone falls in love with a painting, I think there really is something wrong with them. If the painting loves them back there is something wrong with my understanding of reality.

Animals are not shown to have romantic love. Love, sure, but that's no different than the love they have for someone who isn't a sexual partner but a close friend or family member.
As far as I know, romantic love is exclusive to humans.
Debate Round No. 3
ADreamOfLiberty

Pro

“Well, obviously there isn't a scientific method to measure pain or harm--yet. However, it's absurd to argue that it is entirely subjective because of that.”

I don’t know how to interpret the idea of ‘partially’ subjective. Something is either objective or it’s not. If you have a method that I can follow to reproduce your conclusions on which harm is greater or less than what risk; then that is an objective measurement. If you don’t it’s subjective no matter how many people happen to agree with your conclusions.

“Most reasonable people can agree, for instance, that one death is less harmful than two deaths (barring side effects), that spending a relatively small amount of money is less harmful than widespread poverty, et cetera.”

You are comparing similar events, you haven’t measured them you are just saying 2X > X. Can you compare whether one death is less harmful than you being poor?

“Well, to a certain extent one should reject section B, because you basically are trying to make it so that your opponent has no arguments by pre-emptively banning most of them. Not cool.”

If you weren’t going to accept the premises in section B you should have started a new debate. This is the last round and there is no room for me to support them. Not cool! I can’t stop anyone from voting but I am really quite surprised at the number of people who said this variant leaves them no arguments. In my experience claiming the animal is harmed or doesn’t consent is the first line of assault. I can only conclude that that part of my argument is so perfect no one dares challenge it :p

“But my argument depends on the quote, "Morality is independent of law, but law should be dependent on morality." There's arguably enough of an opening for me to get this argument through.”

Except I also made a premise for the moral standard to be used in the scope of the argument. I’ve had 10,000 word debates about morality on other sites. If it was reasonable to expect that we could argue about moral standards and then argue about how that standard is applied to bestiality I wouldn’t have that premise. (I had to cut 2,800 characters from the response I wrote to this)

“Moreover, I would argue that how ethical taking an action is should be based on the probability of different results. For instance, it's unethical for me to shoot at someone even if I miss and kill a Hitler clone... unless I'm guaranteed to miss whatever I'm shooting at.”

If I drive high and drunk it’s a lot more risky than driving alert and sober, but what you are talking about is outlawing driving because it’s hard to prove someone drove drunk or high after the fact. You are not talking about a risk, but proving that an unwarranted risk was taken.

“How many zoophiles can honestly say that they are completely sure as to the behavior of animals they are attracted to?”

If you mean completely sure of how an animal will react they don’t need to be sure of how they will react in order to avoid raping them or hurting them since the animal can communicate non-consent or pain almost instantly.

“How many can say that they will not give the animal a disease, or vice versa?”

The vast majority, they are checked by doctors and their pets are checked by vets regularly.

“How many can say that they are sure that the pieces of anatomy in question are even compatible?”

The vast majority again. This information is easily inferable as well as explicitly available thanks to the zoophile community.

“We do not allow people to discharge firearms randomly because doing so is stupidly risky. The same, I think, applies to mating with an animal.”

Interesting example because people actually are allowed to roam into the woods and randomly discharge their firearms at any random animal who happens to wander by save humans and their pets. In a split second of incompetence a firearm can kill someone. The same is not true of sex with animals known to have compatible anatomy. The greatest risk most zoophiles take is that they do something the animal doesn’t like for 1-2 seconds before they stop. There is no real risk of rape unless the human intends it or is well below normal intelligence.

“If something is so incredibly prone to abuse that it's too risky, then it should be banned.”

It seems like this is a novel approach from you. Everything you said before had to do with catching animal rapist, not risk inherent in the practice.

So what makes bestiality as risky as Ebola? Can you even demonstrate it’s riskier than homosexual sex given the HIV issue?


“2. When they are so prone to abuse that the most ethical thing to do is eliminate them. In otherwords, hardly ever.”

You have not demonstrated that the most ethical thing is to ban something ‘prone to abuse’. You don’t seem to feel the need to accept the moral standard I set for the debate so I am certainly not going to accept utilitarianism just because you started using it. I am interpreting ‘prone to abuse’ as meaning hard to catch animal rapist because you haven’t established anything else at this point.


“3. Percentage. Of course.”

What is the percentage?

“I don't care about liberty. I don't care about rights.”

I can see that….

“I care about making sure people don't get hurt, and protecting them. I will do anything for that.”

Some people will do anything for liberty and rights. Will you hurt them to ensure the dominance of your moral standard?

“There is no rule, in my opinion, that does not have a scenario where it should be violated.”

Except the rule that one should not engage in bestiality it seems.


“Nothing is absolute. I don't have some magical "right." What I do have is a brain, and reason, and the ability to use that to determine the most ethical course of action.”

I have a brain, and reason, and I have asked you to tell me how you determine the most ethical course of action and you said ‘Well, obviously there isn't a scientific method’….


“To answer your questions respectively, yes”

What about randomly shocking (electric) or scaring the animal? (already pointed out)

“It has everything to do with the morality of human-animal sex. Act-utilitarians are perfectly capable of supporting making something illegal even if it's acceptable in rare circumstances.”

You have not established it’s only acceptable in rare circumstances, but only that it’s harder (than where the victims could speak) to prove in a court of law that a specific instance was unacceptable after the fact.

You know it occurs to me that is probably why rapist often kill their human victims. The law is causing people to killed ontop of being raped. Would act-utilitarians then be required to advocate the repeal of rape laws?

“Keep in mind that by not making something illegal, you're basically saying, "By all means, go out and do it!"

Which is exactly what I think about human animal sex. I never said animal rape should be legal, so I am saying “by no means go out and rape animals, but by all means have consensual non-harmful sex with them.”

“When something does go wrong, that is at least partly your fault.”

How much more is it my fault then, if the enforcement of the law is itself something wrong?

“It's a great deal less risky, though, and the harm resulting from the law is a great deal more.”

No the act of consensual sex is no more risky without cameras than with. We were talking about the chances of punishing or preventing rape. Risk of non-conviction, not risk of immorality or harm.

Again how did you determine that such a law would result in more harm and prevent less risk than banning bestiality?

After..Before the fact, the risk is what's wrong--the risk that you are committing rape, or will harm your partner.”

I guess I did misunderstand you. I did not see any arguments for an inherent risk of rape or harm before this round.

You can eliminate the risk of rape to 0% by learning about animal communication beforehand and testing your understanding of that communication with the individual animal beforehand with non-sexual interaction.

You can eliminate the risk of harm to below 1% (just a guess and that part comes from the uncertainty of medical tests) by checking yourself and the animal for contagious diseases and reading up on the actions you are planning on performing.

In other words for an individual the risk can be mitigated to insignificance. Animal rape (and human rape for that matter) does not occur as random percentage of sexual encounters but because one party actively chooses to ignore the consent and comfort of the other.

“See act-preference utilitarianism.”

Is sending me off the Wikipedia to support your moral standard any more fair then handing it out as a premise in the opening argument? I did look it up but I am going to respond in the comments.

“Courts aren't equipped to take every single member of the animal kingdom out of the wild...”

Who needs to talk about wild? There are breeding programs in zoos, on farms, and pet owners throughout the world decide independently to allow their pets to have sex.

“Animals are not shown to have romantic love. Love, sure, but that's no different than the love they have for someone who isn't a sexual partner but a close friend or family member. As far as I know, romantic love is exclusive to humans.”

I won’t argue against that, but humans have romantic love and zoophiles aren’t going to have love or romantic love for a piece of porn. So I say (as if it isn’t obvious) that they aren’t the same and porn is not a substitute for a real partner. And even if it’s not romantic love in the classic human style it’s nice to be loved by the love of your life.

I have one last question to ask before I leave you to the last round. What if you made bestiality legal only if you record the act (as with my example law) so that it can be reviewed and the animal’s behavior can be assessed to determine whether they consented?

That would seem to solve the after the fact evidence problem. When in doubt the accused can hand over the video and prove their innocence (I still say they shouldn’t have to).

Citrakayah

Con

I don’t know how to interpret the idea of ‘partially’ subjective. Something is either objective or it’s not. If you have a method that I can follow to reproduce your conclusions on which harm is greater or less than what risk; then that is an objective measurement. If you don’t it’s subjective no matter how many people happen to agree with your conclusions.

I am referring to the fact that there is no unit for "harm." There are not units referred to as "Hurts." (Play on Hertz. I'm so funny.)

You are comparing similar events, you haven’t measured them you are just saying 2X > X. Can you compare whether one death is less harmful than you being poor?

Yes, but it will be a bit fuzzy. That's the nature of ethics. Determine what, exactly, is right, is often difficult and fuzzy, because perfect knowledge is impossible. If perfect knowledge was possible, it would be quite simple: Measure to what degree individual people affected prefer different outcomes, and choose the one which people prefer the most.

If you weren’t going to accept the premises in section B you should have started a new debate. This is the last round and there is no room for me to support them. Not cool! I can’t stop anyone from voting but I am really quite surprised at the number of people who said this variant leaves them no arguments. In my experience claiming the animal is harmed or doesn’t consent is the first line of assault. I can only conclude that that part of my argument is so perfect no one dares challenge it :p

No, it isn't perfect at all. But you're arguing whether or not something is inherently that way, meaning that so long as you can come up with one example of an animal mating with a human that wasn't harmed in the process, you can declare a win. That's exactly why, if your intent was to make it so you could cite one example, just one example, no matter how theoretical, and win, then Section B must be ignored.

Except I also made a premise for the moral standard to be used in the scope of the argument. I’ve had 10,000 word debates about morality on other sites. If it was reasonable to expect that we could argue about moral standards and then argue about how that standard is applied to bestiality I wouldn’t have that premise. (I had to cut 2,800 characters from the response I wrote to this)

So? That moral standard doesn't help your case. The moral standard is only that, regarding bestiality only, we should judge decisions based on consent and harm.


If I drive high and drunk it’s a lot more risky than driving alert and sober, but what you are talking about is outlawing driving because it’s hard to prove someone drove drunk or high after the fact. You are not talking about a risk, but proving that an unwarranted risk was taken.

On the contrary. I'm talking about outlawing drunk driving because it's risky, or outlawing discharging a weapon inside city limits because it's risky. You seem to think that there's little to no risk associated with the act of bestiality, but your very words betray you: "No I didn't, if you have sex with your dog; that's your full sex happiness + the dogs happiness instead of just your lesser masturbation happiness," you say, and then when asked, "In otherwords, you automatically assume that the dog is in favor of the idea," you say, "My whole gosh darn argument is about that." The thought that an animal might not want sex doesn't really seem to cross your mind.

It seems like this is a novel approach from you. Everything you said before had to do with catching animal rapist, not risk inherent in the practice.

The two are one and the same, in my opinion, because both are, indeed, about risk. I'm not only talking about risk inherent in the practice, I'm talking about risk from deeming it acceptable and allowing it. There will be diseases spread, there will be health complications, there will be animal abuse.

So what makes bestiality as risky as Ebola? Can you even demonstrate it’s riskier than homosexual sex given the HIV issue?


I didn't say that it was as risky as Ebola, merely that it was risky--as far as being riskier than homosexual sex, at least both people at risk in that (one should hope) actually know what the risks are. Animals don't.

You have not demonstrated that the most ethical thing is to ban something ‘prone to abuse’. You don’t seem to feel the need to accept the moral standard I set for the debate so I am certainly not going to accept utilitarianism just because you started using it. I am interpreting ‘prone to abuse’ as meaning hard to catch animal rapist because you haven’t established anything else at this point.

You set no moral standard for the debate apart from a moral standard relating to bestiality. You say, specifically, "the relevant theory in the case of bestiality/zoophilia is mutual consent of interacting parties + reasonable avoidance of foreseeable pain or biological damage." Nothing there about which laws are moral, because as you note, while the two ought to be linked in some way, they are not equivalent. Similarly, that's how I can support blanket bans on things like murder, or assault, despite the possibility that there are very exceptional circumstances in which they are justified and, indeed, morally required.

I'm using utilitarianism to turn your argument back on itself. You say that what is ethical should be legal. Fine. But with everything except the act of zoophilia, you left yourself open to any moral theory I could chose. I chose utilitarianism. Therefore, the ethical thing to do is to pass laws which maximize total utility. Therefore, since what is ethical should be law, we are bound by law to pass laws which maximize total utility. Applying B.2 to B.1 is therefore impossible, as it would be a paradox.

Some people will do anything for liberty and rights. Will you hurt them to ensure the dominance of your moral standard?

Obviously, if by "dominance" you mean "is making the laws."

You have not established it’s only acceptable in rare circumstances, but only that it’s harder (than where the victims could speak) to prove in a court of law that a specific instance was unacceptable after the fact.

You know it occurs to me that is probably why rapist often kill their human victims. The law is causing people to killed ontop of being raped. Would act-utilitarians then be required to advocate the repeal of rape laws?

No. Far more people would then be raped, and there are other factors besides imprisonment that goes into someone's decision to kill a rape victim.

I guess I did misunderstand you. I did not see any arguments for an inherent risk of rape or harm before this round.

You can eliminate the risk of rape to 0% by learning about animal communication beforehand and testing your understanding of that communication with the individual animal beforehand with non-sexual interaction.

Firstly, no you can't. You can't eliminate any risk to 0%, the very idea is absurd. Secondly, I sincerely doubt that most zoophiles have that degree of knowledge; people study for years to get that knowledge.

In other words for an individual the risk can be mitigated to insignificance. Animal rape (and human rape for that matter) does not occur as random percentage of sexual encounters but because one party actively chooses to ignore the consent and comfort of the other.

Nope. Someone can rape someone else without fully understanding that the person isn't not consenting.

Debate Round No. 4
37 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by ADreamOfLiberty 2 years ago
ADreamOfLiberty
"Lose singlehandedly, more like."

Incorrect.
Posted by Citrakayah 2 years ago
Citrakayah
Lose singlehandedly, more like.
Posted by ADreamOfLiberty 2 years ago
ADreamOfLiberty
and proceeded to win single handedly :p
Posted by InVinoVeritas 2 years ago
InVinoVeritas
Pro jerked it to Con's profile pic throughout the entire debate.
Posted by ADreamOfLiberty 3 years ago
ADreamOfLiberty
lol you're even too stupid to know you're supposed to vote on the content of the debate. This site is a joke, thanks to people like you votes can be taken about as seriously as hard dates for the rapture.
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
Conduct to CON because PRO called me "pathetic vermin."

rofl
Posted by ADreamOfLiberty 3 years ago
ADreamOfLiberty
"Let me assure you that you are not now, nor could you ever be, my type."
This is what I get for using the imprecise vernacular of our times. What I meant was:

You pathetic vermin, your pseudo-intellectual musings are of no consequence to the truth or my belief in it.

YYW, the world needs a lot more people like me. I am one of the most principled people you may ever encounter. I've prayed to God and if he's up there he's not taking sides.

Search for mercy from the barrel of a gun, logic has none to spare.
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
Liberty says: "Screw you?"

@liberty

Let me assure you that you are not now, nor could you ever be, my type.
Posted by ADreamOfLiberty 3 years ago
ADreamOfLiberty
"You set no moral standard for the debate apart from a moral standard relating to bestiality"
and I related the morality of an action to it's proper legality with premise B.1 right before the moral standard for bestiality.

"As CON more or less noted, in that animals cannot consent"
You need to do better than 'note' the claimed falsehood of your opponents conclusions in a debate.

"Inherent wretchedness that stems from the moral cavalierly which follows in consequence from unprincipled analytics."
Thems debating words.

"If not, then to the extent that men like you walk this earth, may God have mercy on us all."

Screw you?
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
Liberty, it is my sincere hope that yours is a troll account meant only to illustrate the inherent absurdity of the vile, debase platitudes you put forward. In that way, I can only long for the possibility that yours is an account meant at once to be illustrative of the inherent wretchedness that stems from the moral cavalierly which follows in consequence from unprincipled analytics. If so, then perhaps yours is a compelling satire. If not, then to the extent that men like you walk this earth, may God have mercy on us all.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
ADreamOfLibertyCitrakayahTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: This debate reduces to the following point advanced by CON: "You set no moral standard for the debate apart from a moral standard relating to bestiality." PRO attempts to, in this debate, affirm both the morality and implicit necessity of legal permissibility for zoophiliabeastiality. The concept of consent was a central aspect to that end. As CON more or less noted, in that animals cannot consent, any sexual contact between humans and animals would therefore amount to rape because animals can not consent to that sexual activity. This is based on CON's premise that only sexual activity for which their is consent is moral, and implicitly all sexual contact for which there is no consent must likewise be immoral. I want to point out as well that I am utterly disgusted by PRO's arguments for a series of reasons -but that disgust, however substantial or visceral, could not be described as bias which would impair my ability to fairly judge this debate. Alas, I feel sick for having read this.