I was in a debate a while ago but it just seemed like it was going nowhere.
Here is what my opponent was saying:
“That doesn’t follow. If the universe is indifferent, then we are free to construct our own moral systems; if there is nothing objectively wrong with exploiting animals for our own ends, then any kindness we extend to them will be solely for our own peace of mind. In which case, myself and many others are perfectly happy to continue exploiting animals if it means increasing the totality of human happiness, comfort and safety.”
“animals cannot be oppressed. They can have death and cruelty needlessly inflicted on them, but they do not and cannot understand why you are doing so, unlike humans.”
“Animals don’t “deserve” anything. You are still treating them like persons, which they are not.”
“I think it’s quite obvious why humans are more important than other animals.”
“Because “intelligence” is more than just book smarts - our social qualities are not stored in our kidneys, they are a result of our comparatively enormous brain. Social qualities include compassion and a sense of ethics, which we have developed to a level literally unimaginable by any other animal.”
“There are genuine differences between humans and non-human animals. Don’t believe me? Where are the animal liberation groups… staffed by animals? You’d think that if non-human animals truly were our equals, it would show somewhere, but it doesn’t.”
“I think it would be more accurate to say that exploitation is OK as long as what is exploited cannot realise its exploitation - minerals and crops have no comprehension at all, and non-human animals don’t have the concept. It doesn’t make sense for exploitation to be wrong otherwise, unless it’s merely an egotistical exercise in salving our own consciences.”
Basically he was saying that if animals can’t contribute and participate in society they are worthless.
I was not sure how to respond to his points so hopefully you can help me know what I should’ve said.