Dog fighting is not something that should be made illegal in a nation where freedom is cherished so.
Societal values are a constant ebb and flow if ideals that change as frequently as do the tides themselves. There was once a time when it was considered justifiable to have human sacrifices in order to ensure that a marriage went well. There are a plethora of different activities that are despised by individuals within a society yet are still permissible by that society, why should dog fighting be any different?
My opponent claims that "dog fighting is a sadistic contest between two game dogs as a form of mere pleasure or gambling." They go on to provide a reason for why this contest is sadistic, "the injuries that are sustained by dogs involved in dog fights are frequently severe, even fatal." This is not a disqualification for many other sports that are viewed as socially acceptable by current standards. Martial artists of all kinds participate in what could be considered 'sadistic contests' according to my opponents definition; sports such as Boxing and Judo both frequently inflict severe injuries and on occasion end in death. The contests that are quickly gaining popularity in our society are increasingly brutal, mixed martial arts (MMA) is a perfect example of contests which are used for 'mere pleasure or gambling' and are getting more violent all the time as techniques become widespread and are improved upon. Historically these forms of entertainment that were often times propped up by the government itself including gladiatorial contests, jousting, and even the Olympics.
If dog fights are viewed as sadistic sporting event, then why are not sports such as Boxing or MMA viewed in a similar light. Furthermore, because these contests and forms of entertainment involve human beings being brutalized and dog fighting is not; I would argue that it is immoral to set the standard where dog fighting is illegal and the suffering of human beings in similar circumstances is still considered legal.
"Dog fighting should be illegal."
That statement carries a lot of weight; when you say that an act should be illegal you are claiming that there is something objectionable about the morality of the action itself. Because individuals have deemed this sport to be immoral they have successfully pushed for laws to be written against it's practice. The problem with this is that it is the government enforcing morality. We are continuously bombarded with objectionable material throughout our daily lives, yet the government does not restrict much of this material from being presented to us.
Does the government have the right to tell us what we can and can not do with our own property? Everyone can agree that these dogs are in fact the property of the owners, even if they were found on the street and picked up, they have been feed and trained to fight, the owners have invested some amount of labor into these animals; thereby making them their property. All laws against dog fighting are merely laws against property owners, and present the all too powerful slippery slope of diminished rights. Earlier I asked if the government has the right to tell us what we may and may not do with our property; the answer is that they do not have this right. The only thing that the government is allowed to do is what we give them permission to do; the only rights they possess are those we volunteer them. It is the citizenry whom are in possession of the rights to life, liberty, and property. Laws against dog fighting infringe upon these rights. It is a source of income for many families who use the gambling proceeds to feed their families. It restricts our liberty to live our lives the way that we see fit and not be forced to live our lives at the whim of an oppressive government. And it infringes upon our rights of property, to use what we have labored to create in a manner that we see fit to best serve our purposes.
Why is it that we have allowed the government to become so restrictive that they are allowed to tell us how to live our lives? The debate might be about dog fighting's legality today, but perhaps five years from now it is about the legality of walking on the streets at night; because a majority of criminals attack and cause injuries even death at night. We allow our freedoms to exist in a manner of degrees; so confident that we are doing the right thing at the right time we gleefully hand them over to our government in fear of the responsibilities that are attached to these freedoms. I am not suggesting that we should all become dog fighters, but the government should not have the right to say that we cannot. For they are our freedoms, and not the governments, just as it is our responsibility not to abuse those freedoms.
“The dogs aren’t choosing to put into a box together to fight to the death.”
Humans also have not chosen to be put in the same box yet nations often times have fought to the death, while this death does not always result in the death of the citizens it ends in the death of the nation-state, as well as the ideology with which it is associated. It is merely a matter of degrees and of scale.”
“Also, the injuries are far worse for dogs when they are forced to fight than humans…”
Again, this is a matter of degrees and of scale. Horrible atrocities have been committed in the name of a nation as well as in the name of an idea; genocides are an example of extreme suffering that is conducted in the name of an idea, such as eugenics.
“Most of the time the losing dog will be killed afterwards.”
The killing of an opponent in any conflict, for sport or in war, has happened throughout history and will undoubtedly continue to occur into the future. Also as you stated earlier, the injuries can be serious, if injuries are in fact that serious then would not killing the animal actually be the humane thing to do? As opposed to letting it bleed out, why would ending its suffering quickly be such a bad thing?
"We don't force humans to kill each other in America!"
Actually we do force humans to kill each other in America. Gangs often times have initiations which require a prospective member kill an innocent. Also American soldiers are often required to kill individuals overseas.
"It seams to me like you are not only suggesting that dog fighting be legalized, but that forcing humans to fight should be legalized as well."
Dogs do not have the same innate rights as human beings, they do not participate in government and therefore have no say in how it is run. Besides humans already voluntarily fight so why would it be necessary to create legislation to this effect?
"So you are basically saying '500 years ago WE used to kill each other, whether for force or for fun, it means that today we should force dogs to kill each other.'
Not at all, I am not advocating dog fighting, merely saying that legislation against dog fighting infringes on our rights. Just because I say it should be legal does not mean that I would become a dog fighter, nor would you.
"Dog fighting isn't a question of morality it is a question of cruelty. You could possibly say that euthinization of an animal is a question of morality..."
And cruelty is a question of morality, it is all relative to the individual. And Yes I would say that euthinization is a question of morality as well.
"Dogs may be property to there owners, but that doesn't mean that they aren't living breathing things that can think, feel, and hurt just as we can."
Just as are cows, chickens, and fish; we still use these animals for both food and for entertainment as well. Ex; rodeo, cock fighting, fishing.
"Stopping cruelty to animals is taking away rights. The same way enforcing laws against rape, burglary, and murder is."
Again, dogs do not have the same innate rights as do humans; rape, burglary and murder all infringe upon other humans (who are all equal) rights. Life, Liberty and Property are all infringed in these cases, but dogs fall under the last.
"Sometimes the government has to restrict us from doing things that can be horrendously cruel to others."
No, the government merely enforces the sanctions for these acts upon HUMAN interactions. It is not the governments role to tell us what we can and cannot do.
"I could say the same thing about a terrorist. They bomb buildings to feed there families... Anyways, the only people who make an income off of dog fighting is gang members who deal drugs during the fight."
How is it that terrorists bomb building to feed their families? What possible source of income could be generated here? You need to explain this statement more before I can respond to it. And obviously the people who go to these events also can make money without selling drugs by gambling; I have never been to a dog fight, but I can't imagine it only being drugged up gang members. Yes, drugs should be legal, but that is another debate.
"Maybe I want to live my life with the ability to force my children to rape each other. I think it's moral, so therefore it should be law."
Again, infringes upon the rights of another human being. Just because something may or may not be moral does not mean that it should be a law.
"Continuing the laws against cruelty to animals will not drastically change any lives"
Nor would legalization, average citizens are not going to start dog fighting because the law is lifted. Legalization also allows for regulation. When a black market is made public the undesirable elements dissipate. Regulation would reduce the number of deaths, and increase medical care for animals.
"That law would be incredibly ridiculous, but enforcing the law against dog fighting isn't ridiculous and will never lead to ridiculous laws."
There is no way to determine what sort of direction one law can lead the focus of future legislation. It is better to error on the side of personal freedom as opposed to tyranny.
"That statement has nothing to do with this debate here and now."
It was trying to prove a point, just as your comment about terrorists feeding their families was trying to prove a point. I could have said the same thing about your comment.
"If you think it is abusing our freedoms to dog fight, why would we ever have it [made illegal] in the first place?" (If this was not your intended meaning let me know).
For the same reasons that we made alcohol illegal in this country during prohibition. There are times when the government attempts to legislate morality, and these actions are doomed to failure, all it did was increase crime and create organized crime.
"... it is not something civilized societies do today."
That is a very ethnocentric view of things, how is it possible to determine which is better of two customs? I find the premise of this statement very questionable, and ask that you elaborate so I can better answer your statements.
Regarding your last point, war is not something that is used to protect the country in the explicit sense, war is an extension of political will. Because of this fact it could easily be argued that war is used on occasion 'just to have fun.'
Waiting for a response... anything at all.