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Animal Rights

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5/9/2014 10:48:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago

Seeing how no definitions were presented on the part of Pro, the definitions of Con will stick for the rest of the round.

Right: Legal contract granting and restricting capabilities (SEP 2010)


Value: Justice, defined as the administration of what is just or fair (Webster 2010)

Value Criterion:

VC: Utilitarianism, defined as granting the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people (Princeton 2009)

Observation 1: Animals do not possess the ability to create contracts. This means that they cannot possess rights, according to my definition of a right. Not recognizing animal rights creates a utilitarian benefit. Roger Scruton said in 2000, that "Animals are unable to enter into a social contract or make moral choices, and for that reason cannot be regarded as possessors of rights", including utility toward their benefit. "Rights in some way stem from the capacity for sophisticated abstract thought. They come from an implicit contract made between the members of society, and even the smartest animals are unable to comprehend the concept of the social contract. (Kant, on Contractualism)"
Any "bad thing" we can do to animals is morally neutral because they don"t have emotions or the ability to create rights at the level humans do. (Cognitive Structure of Emotions) Roger Scruton argues that rights imply obligations. Animals cannot fulfill any obligations, and therefore cannot be granted rights.
IMPACT: It would not make sense, under utility toward Justice, to recognize animal rights. Having rights implies that you are able to enter into a social contract, which animals cannot do. Any society who recognizes members as having rights who do not also have obligations, undermines its own utility and therefore Justice.


I. The usefulness of Animal Experimentation

Researchers trying to treat and prevent diseases have depended on animal testing for decades. According to the Foundation of Biomedical Research, "animal research has played a vital role in virtually every major medical advance of the last century." Animal testing requires that we don"t recognize animal rights. Animal research led to the development of anesthetics, insulin, transplants, and vaccines. The Department of Health and Human services states that "animal experimentation has increased our average lifespan by 23.5 years. It is also key to cancer research and AIDS treatment. "You can"t be for aids research AND animal rights" (Americans for Medical Progress 2011)

The British Royal Society and the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research of the U.S National Academy of Sciences argue that "virtually every medical achievement in the 20th century relied on the use of animals in some way", and that "even sophisticated computers are unable to model interactions between molecules, cells, tissues, organs, organisms, and the environment, making animal research necessary in many areas."

IMPACT: Granting animals rights would destroy any chance of developing vaccines and cures for serious medical conditionins, therefore destroying utility and therefore any chance at Justice.

II. The usefulness of animals for Food

In areas such as Alaska, Northern Africa, or other places with extreme conditions, plants do not have sufficient resources to grow. This makes vegetarianism impossible. In these places, animals MUST be killed and eaten for food in order for the human population to survive. Not doing so condemns, literally, millions of people to starvation, which clearly destroys utility.

IMPACT: granting animals rights would be disastrous to millions of people. Without being able to use animals as a food resource, we would be unable to grant utility to the people, and therefore Justice would be unachievable.
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5/9/2014 11:08:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
So, Mr. Conservative, foetuses can't make contracts. Neither can born infants.

I guess there is no immorality in abortion or murdering young children, then?

Or are you just stuffing things into idiotic generalizations to justify your narrow worldview?