The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Should hunting be illegal?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/21/2016 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 479 times Debate No: 97200
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I believe hunting should be legal.

To start this off, I should explain why humans have rights and animals don't. Humans have a natural tendency to form societies, similar to animal packs, but much more sophisticated. In order to keep our societies civil, we formed governments to keep the people in order. The best form of government turned out to be a representative democracy, which represented the people in the most effective way. In order to represent people in this system, they needed to be protected under the law, so the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and property (feel free to add the pursuit of happiness to that), protected the people in order to allow a healthy democracy and to allow for a civil society. If we decided not to form these governments, we would be in what John Locke called a "state of nature". Animals cannot form governments and are therefore always going to be a part of the state of nature. Therefore, animals do not have rights like we do.

We protect other's pets because they are the property of the person who owns them, and killing them is essentially destruction of property. This means that there is no legitimate moral opposition to hunting outside of people's feelings.


I accept and will argue FOR the illegality of hunting. More specifically, I will argue for the necessary regulation of hunting.

I agree with CON's premise that humans have rights. I also agree that animals do not share the same rights. I will not argue that animals should have rights equivalent to fundamental human rights as they are reflected in our (State/Federal) society's laws. I will argue and prove, as a supplement to my main argument, that animals do have some rights regardless of their non-participation in civilized society. But, the main thrust of my argument is as follows:

The weight of this argument in favor of illegality will rest upon two pillars. First, that rights carry with them corresponding responsibilities. You can think of a right and its corresponding responsibility as two sides of the same coin. Second, the right of hunting carries with it such responsibilities as natural conservation, stewardship, and personal safety.

There are, to my knowledge, two ancient and traditional motivations for hunting. They are survival and pleasure. The two motivations are not exclusive. And resolution of my argument depends on the interplay of the two. When examined from this basic level it is hard to find reason for either, or both, to take a place among other agreed upon violations of the law. For example, one cannot be found at fault, or in violation of the law, for simply having the desire to survive. Likewise, the desire for pleasure is also, in itself, not an enterprise that should find punishment from any legitimate legal authority. Furthermore, reality proves quite the opposite. We as a society and as individuals encourage health and happiness. So how can it be that hunting should be illegal?

Let's first take a look at hunting for survival. Survival is defined as both the need for regular food, and also any immediate emergency that would require a person to kill an animal for food in the face of starvation, or for self-defense, etc. Traditionally, hunting was ubiquitous. Survival was a very compelling challenge in the past. But even hunters from those times would agree that there are limitations to what one could do in the name of survival. Even survival has its costs. And there are times when survival cannot be used as a defense to an illegal act. I will when hunting is such an illegal act later in this debate.

Then there is pleasure. Pleasure is defined, in the context of hunting, as the "thrill of the hunt". Hunting itself is an art. And the advancement and accomplishment of hunting skill is sure to bring a person great satisfaction. Hunting is also commonly and traditionally a social activity. It's a fun thing to do with friends. It's also good exercise and gets one closer to nature. There's no doubt that there is pleasure to be had in hunting. And like most other pleasurable acts, there are the ever-present pitfalls of temptation and indulgence. In exercising the right to hunt for pleasure, a person must be vigilant against these pitfalls. The hunter must not lose his humanity. And laws must make it illegal hunting that harms either the natural order or the hunter.

So when is hunting legal? From my above introduction, I argue that hunting is only legal when it is done within limitations set by authority of law. It must cause no harm to nature or individual. I will further argue that the limitation required in contemporary society should be set high and wide as traditional justifications don't apply anymore. They are lost in modern society. This is factual.

Finally, I put forth that the burden of proof on the legality and benefits of hunting fall upon the hunter, or in this debate CON, as it is CON who has taken up their cause.

Thank you, I turn it over to CON.
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