The Instigator
ZarethEliany
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Thoht
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

animal experimentation

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/12/2019 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,124 times Debate No: 119865
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (0)

 

ZarethEliany

Con

Each year more than 115 million animals, Counting only vertebrates, Are subjected to experimentation with the supposed purpose of benefiting human beings. This includes practices such as forcing them to inhale toxic gases, Apply corrosive substances to skin and eyes, Infect them with HIV or remove part of their brains. Certainly, The number of nonhuman animals that suffer and die because of these practices is much less than that of those who are victims of the food industry, Or of individuals in the wild who suffer from natural events. Now, Since the basic interests of these animals in not suffering and not dying matter, It is nevertheless necessary to reflect on whether the experimentation with them is ethically justified.
We often associate animal experimentation with efforts to increase the quality and duration of human lives. However, As will be seen, This is not the objective pursued in most cases. In addition, Regarding those in which it is, There are strong ethical reasons to reject the current practice of animal experimentation, If we consider that it would not be justified with human beings either.

In the first place, The majority of experiments performed on non-human animals have no biomedical purpose, That is, They do not seek improvements in human health. In some cases it is about environmental impact tests of chemical products. In others it is about safety testing of cosmetic or household products. On other occasions, Non-human animals are used in military research.

All these cases have in common that the benefit that human beings can receive thanks to these practices is irrelevant or non-existent. Despite this, A large number of non-human animals are subjected to serious damage. Now, Reasoning ethically requires rejecting all forms of discrimination based on the characteristics of individuals that have nothing to do with their ability to be harmed or benefited. Not taking into account the damage that animals suffer in these experiments, Or giving them a minor importance, Simply because they do not belong to the human species, Is a type of arbitrary discrimination, Speciesism. Just as not respecting someone for their skin color or gender is unjustified, So is not respecting him for his species. From an impartial point of view, The suffering and death of these animals outweighs the trivial benefit obtained by human beings.

Experimentation with animals for environmental, Cosmetic or military purposes should, Therefore, Be rejected. Fortunately, Part of these practices are already being banned in some legal systems, As is the case of experimentation for cosmetic products in the European Union or India.
Thoht

Pro

Happy to think with you today,

I will outline my primary points for Animal Experimentation. If you'd like to proceed down any of these paths, Let me know and we can go into justifications in later rounds.

1. One of the primary goals of society should be to cure all diseases and ailments, Including death. This research will take far longer and result in more total deaths without animal experimentation. Including animal deaths.

The research to cure a disease in humans or understand the human brain will almost inevitably lead to improvements in our ability to take care of animals. This will likely save more animals than the initial cost in lives to figure out how to do this.

2. Many animals' life expectancy would not be all that much longer in the wild than in laboratory conditions in the first place.

3. I have no reason to care for animals. You say morality is all based on harm and benefit. I say otherwise. I value sentient thought and critical thinking. There are no conversations that can be had with most animals. The ones we can converse with are ruled out of experimentation that would not be conducted on humans. We have no proof that they have sentient thoughts. Whether or not they can feel pain is irrelevant. I assume if we could birth new species of each animal without the ability to feel pain your arguments would not change in the slightest. Suffering then can probably be ruled out as what you personally value. Death then is still on the table, But you don't value life. You aren't arguing against experimenting on plants and they are alive. Please correct me if I'm wrong on either of these counts.

Pain is not what should be valued. Death alone is not what should be valued. Sentient thought, Or intelligence should be.

Humans are indeed also animals, But I don't value other animals as 'persons' because they cannot think critically and communicate effectively. Intelligence, You could say, Is what I value.

There are indeed some species of animals that pass my tests. Dolphins, Some kinds of birds, Et cetera. But there are also many that do not. Those are the animals I don't lose a wink of sleep experimenting on.

4. If your thoughts on 'species-ism' are consistent, And you had a choice between saving 2 deer or 1 human, Which would you choose? What about 10 deer or 1 human? Where is your line? I don't mind consistent beliefs, But does yours stand to the test?

To conclude,

Research will lead to improvements in care for not only humans, But animals as well. There may be initial cost in suffering and lives lost, But there will be countless more lives that benefit from the research, Including animal ones.

In the future, We may be able to change all carnivores to not require meat to live. We may be able to cure all diseases that plague animals and make them immune to parasites, Et cetera. We may be able to help them all live forever. With the frontier of space, They may all eventually have their own worlds uniquely catered to them or we may be able to alter them so their intelligence is boosted to human or well beyond human levels.

This is not to say that everyone should be able to experiment willy-nilly with animal lives. Ethics boards should be required for all animal experimentation, And oft are in most western countries, At least.

Research into many fields requires the death of some. If any are to be harmed, I would prefer it be those animals with near zero intelligence and sentience. If we can use dead corpses, Those should be used. If we can create artificial organs to experiment on, Those should be used. Before things get to the animal experimentation stage they ought be passed through filters to minimize harm. Alternatives should be sought in all cases. Although I put little value on animals, There is no need for needless torture, And those who thrill on it are probably mentally unstable and should be watched or helped either way.

It should be noted that all things that require experimentation that do not get done on animals will inevitably be done on humans. Denying animal experimentation means these things will contribute to the suffering of humans and the death of humans, Including our elderly, Children, And newborns alike. Those things that don't require animal experimentation of some sort to be researched should be done without it to begin with for the most part, But there is no escaping the fact that the research will be done. If we don't allow for animals to be experimented on, Humans will inevitably be the test subjects.

May your thoughts be clear,

-Thoht
Debate Round No. 1
ZarethEliany

Con

What does "ethics beyond the species" mean? It means that there are no reasons to respect only those who belong to a certain species, Whether ours or any other.

Thus the central question arises when we talk about ethics and animals. Is this: should we only fully respect human beings? Is there any reason why, Even though we respect the animals of other species, We do not respect them as much as we do humans? Is there any reason why, Even if we take into account the suffering and enjoyment of non-human animals, Do not do it as much as in the case of human beings?

Most people believe that indeed there are reasons to not respect nonhuman animals as if we have to respect human beings. Many times they believe it without stopping to think why it should be like this. They take it for obvious. The problems begin when you try to explain why this is so. Here we are going to see this, And in particular we are going to see an argument that refutes that idea that we only have to take into account human beings.

Why respect only human beings?

In many occasions it is said that the motive for favoring humans to the detriment of other animals is that only the latter have certain intellectual capacities. Only they can conceive very abstract thoughts, Use a language, Solve complex problems, Understand the possession of responsibilities, Etc. And we think that we only have to fully take into account those who possess these capabilities. This excludes other animals.

In other cases, It is stated that we should only give full respect to those with whom we maintain certain special relationships of solidarity, Affection, Sympathy, Etc. And it is maintained that we have such relationships with other human beings, But not with the rest of the animals. Or it is said that we have a certain relationship of power that puts us in a situation superior to non-human animals, While among human beings our relationships of strength are more even. This is affirmed on the basis that such situation justifies that we only respect the latter. It is believed, Then, That it is legitimate to oppress the weakest, Simply because it is weaker.

Are these reasons for not respecting non-human animals just and relevant?

There are several reasons why these arguments do not succeed. In the first place, We can say that they are not based on a fair criterion. The reason is that we would not accept it if we were in the place of these animals. Suppose we knew that we were to see ourselves, For some reason, Private or deprived of our intellectual capacities. Or that we would be deprived of the sympathy of others. Or that we were to be in a situation of weakness before others. Would we accept, In such a situation, That they would not give us full respect? And what did they do to us, Therefore everything that is done today to non-human animals?

Obviously not. And if that is the case, We are following a double standard when considering other animals. We are not acting impartially. And we can consider that this is a way of acting unfair.

On the other hand, We can ask ourselves: does having certain intellectual capacities, Or certain relationships of sympathy or power, Really matter? To answer this, We must keep in mind what it means to respect. Respecting someone is taking into account how our actions may cause harm or benefit. And those who can be harmed or harmed are those who can suffer or enjoy. Therefore, We have reason to believe that we should respect those who may suffer or enjoy. This is whether or not they have certain intellectual capacities or relationships of sympathy or power.

There is no way to justify a barrier between humans and other animals

These reasons that we have just seen question the arguments in favor of respecting only human beings. But in addition to these reasons, There is a reason why such arguments do not work: that they do not serve to raise a barrier that distinguishes human beings on the one hand and other animals on the other.

Such an assertion may clash at first glance, But in reality it becomes evident once we examine the matter with minimal care.

Think, For example, In the case of intellectual abilities. There are many human beings who, Because they have suffered brain damage from an accident or illness, Do not possess such abilities. In fact, Any of us can find ourselves in such a situation at some point, Because anyone can suffer an accident that deprives them of these faculties. On the other hand, In the case of many human beings this happens from birth, Due to congenital diseases. And not only this, The fact is that all human beings lack those capabilities at least at some point in their lives. It happens
Thoht

Pro

I can't say I've ever seen anyone fail to respond to as many points their opponent brings up as you just have. Every claim and argument I have presented has been ignored besides one. So be it. I leave it to the judges to decide whether the claims I've made have merit. I submit my opponent fails to bring them up because she possesses no argument against them. I don't know why she would otherwise fail to address them. This debate has 10k character limit. She had plenty of room remaining.

1. Valuing Humans over Other Species

I can't help but notice you also did not respond to the situation I've presented. If you had to choose between pushing a button to kill a human or 2 deer at gunpoint, Which would you choose? What about a human or 10 deer? I submit that if you fail to address this again the judges should know that the answer is in opposition to the point you seek to submit to us. If you act as you say and value the life of animals the same as a human, The choice between 1 deer or 1 human would be a difficult one for you, Much less 2+ on one side.

People in vegetative states from accidents are not persons anymore. We kill them all the time. There's no reason not to. Those who were born or have significant impairments can still often do intellectual things animal cannot. Largely, We assume they have sentient thought and consciousness because we do. Again, Intelligent animals shouldn't be experimented on. There's nothing wrong with less intelligent animals being experimented on.

Morals are all arbitrary to some extent. We have to justify them. You're telling me that putting value on intelligence and critical thinking is a worse line than a line you fail to specify. You've brought up 1. Pain and 2. Life. Neither of these are better lines than intelligence inherently. I have already been over this. Life is not unique to the animal kingdom. According to the logic you currently use, Why value an animal life over an insect or a plant? Pain is also not unique to the animal kingdom, And I've addressed it as well. I presume you wouldn't stop valuing a person that could not feel pain.

The problem you bring up with my valuing the capacity for sentient thought, Critical thinking, Consciousness, Et cetera, Is that I have to value some humans above others? While this is not necessary for the sake of the argument (animal experimentation and valuing all humans above most other animals) it is easy for me to remain consistent on this.

Yes, If given the choice between killing a dumb human and an intelligent one if I had no other information about the individuals the choice would be easy for me. It wouldn't take a second of consideration. I would kill the dumb individual instead. This is hardly controversial. In critical situations we would preserve doctors and scientists instead of laypeople.

There's not much of a need for this to come into play. The world has enough resources for us to take care of all humans, And little research necessarily requires human sacrifices. There are already humans that sign up to be test subjects and are compensated for this kind of thing, And animals that can take the fall for even the most lowly human.

My values are consistent. Are yours? I have seen no sign of consistency from you. I will appreciate your position and agree with your hold on it if you show that you are consistent, But I don't even know what you specifically value at this point. Your thoughts are unclear. Do you value life itself? Persons? Pain? You are throwing out many terms and condemning a well-thought position while failing to present a clear idea of something which I or the readers could replace it with.

So please, Tell us what YOU value, And answer the question. 2 deer or 1 human?

The rest of my claims and arguments still stand.

May your thoughts be clear,

-Thoht
Debate Round No. 2
ZarethEliany

Con

You're right I still have not told you what my answer is. It is obviously I would choose the human but this debate is not about that. It is going about experimenting with animals if you do not understand you have to search the Internet then my point is that you are trying to divert the current topic to let me choose between the choice of race is obvious that I would choose my race. But it is very discriminatory on your part to tell me to choose because human or animal is to take a life and I am not the one to choose, So if you are going to speak it then face the issue of front saying why do you think this is right this is the only thing that you wonder is not asked you to make me choose between giving life or removing it, Examine your thoughts better.

From Zareth
To thort
Thoht

Pro

Zareth,

I gave you several arguments you responded to not at all. The only one you somewhat responded to in your R2 I expanded upon in my R2. Look at my R1 and you'll see my whole argument is not dependent on this point.

However, Since you have now answered, If 1 human life is superior to 2+ deer lives and some research that will benefit all deer and humans in the future requires testing on live subjects, Then I condone it.

It is not at all obvious that your answer would have been that you would not sacrifice a human life for 2 deer lives. Many people who are anti animal experimentation would say that every life is equal and that two deer would be the clear choice over one human. In the case where people think all lives are equal, It is consistent to say live animal experimentation should be stopped. The only question is replace it with what? You will contribute to human suffering. In the end, If you cannot get a global ban put in place your ban in your country will be nothing but a symbol. It will effect no real change.

I examine my thoughts in all of the debates I do. I am my worst critic. Here, I can't help but think you are the one who needs to analyze their thoughts better. I suppose I will submit my efforts to the judges to decide.

May your thoughts be clear,

-Thoht
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Chronosofwisdom 3 years ago
Chronosofwisdom
I actually side with Thoht on this one. Human lives are at the upmost importance on earth.
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago
omar2345
Would have voted on this debate but too much reading.
Sorry.
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
Thoht
The short answer is hedging our bets, Probably yes.
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
Thoht
I can give you a really complex answer to that if you'd like. . . But it's really hard to know for sure.
Posted by K_Michael_Tolman 3 years ago
K_Michael_Tolman
humans probably aren't going to stop experimenting. But should they>
Posted by Thoht 3 years ago
Thoht
Michael, Of course we have to.

1. It is going to happen whether we like it or not.

2. It is beneficial for the trillions of humans that will exist in the future.

A lot of people have a problem with experimenting on humans and animals but any research that requires experimentation on live subjects that may benefit all future man and animals is justifiable. We don't force humans to do this, But many animals insects and plants don't really appear to care, Or their lives are so short that it hardly does them any damage.

As far as animals in the cosmetics industry, I would want it avoided wherever possible. However, Again, Any experimentation that isn't done on animals will be done on humans. Females aren't going to suddenly stop using cosmetics. If animal experimentation is banned they'll either do experimentation in countries that allow animal experimentation (so it'll do damage to animals anyway) or the new policy for how to get cosmetics approved will require voluntary human experimentation. I don't see anyway around this.

Again, If you're a person trying to get animal experimentation banned it seems like the solution would be to find viable alternatives. This may indeed require you to be a scientist, Or find/fund scientists who are doing this, But even cosmetics research is finding what will harm humans and what will not. Their experimentation and results can be used for other industries.

Either way, If the resolution here is "ban all animal experimentation" I've already won if you allow it based on disease and death as well as efficiency (helping predators eventually not eat meat, Which should be a priority for anyone who calls themselves vegan or vegetarian or has problems with animal suffering)
Posted by K_Michael_Tolman 3 years ago
K_Michael_Tolman
@Thoht
"It should be noted that all things that require experimentation that do not get done on animals will inevitably be done on humans. "
Humans do not need to experiment at all. We are driven, Recklessly, Ever onward by the accomplishments of our predecessors in the scientific field. That doesn't mean that we have to.
Posted by K_Michael_Tolman 3 years ago
K_Michael_Tolman
While research towards disease and death is (at least partially) justified, What about animals suffering under the cosmetics industry?
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