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technoextreme
20th June 2009, 10:36 AM
The spokeman is not refering to exploding the buildings with the people in them. Think of it like the movie Fight Club. They do various acts of destruction as a way to fight consumerism and when they blow the major credit card company headquarters they make sure there are no people inside.
Why in god's name do people resort to this insane logic? You do realzie that these nutcases have failed in that regard and can provide cases where the bombs were an actual danger to people. ITS A BOMB. Bombs don't necessairly blow up when people want them to and when they don't they are a risk to everyone arround. You are ignoring the firefighters who put themselves in danger to estinguish any flames caused by the bombs.

RandFan
20th June 2009, 10:47 AM
Why in god's name do people resort to this insane logic? You do realzie that these nutcases have failed in that regard and can provide cases where the bombs were an actual danger to people. ITS A BOMB. Bombs don't necessairly blow up when people want them to and when they don't they are a risk to everyone arround. You are ignoring the firefighters who put themselves in danger to estinguish any flames caused by the bombs.It's terrorism and it exists for a reason. FWIW: It's effective. There are people and organiztions that alter their behavior due to this activity whether it is provide resources and a facility for reproductive health (abortion clinic bombings) or research.

Those who are the subject of it claim that it is very violent and life altering whether it causes physical injury or not. My home was broken into at night once and though no one was physically injured it left long term emotional scars.

It's not as begnin as some would think.

Cain
20th June 2009, 02:50 PM
Why in god's name do people resort to this insane logic? You do realzie that these nutcases have failed in that regard and can provide cases where the bombs were an actual danger to people. ITS A BOMB. Bombs don't necessairly blow up when people want them to and when they don't they are a risk to everyone arround. You are ignoring the firefighters who put themselves in danger to estinguish any flames caused by the bombs.

These are important considerations. Now import the same type of reasoning to the slaughterhouse and the factory farm, where you have documented mistreatment (not at all surprising given the billions of animals processed each year). An unnecessary exercise but, if you want, compare this to the number of people eco-terrorists have actually hurt or killed.

dudalb
20th June 2009, 02:58 PM
These are important considerations. Now import the same type of reasoning to the slaughterhouse and the factory farm, where you have documented mistreatment (not at all surprising given the billions of animals processed each year). An unnecessary exercise but, if you want, compare this to the number of people eco-terrorists have actually hurt or killed.


So you are not making excuses for terrorism?
Nice.

RandFan
20th June 2009, 03:03 PM
My thanks to you Cain for including me in your signature. My ego can take a break for awhile. And to answer Simon's question, I do think it is about me. :)

Of course it lacks context and as it is would likely cause someone to think A.) that I don't think rape is wrong or B.) I'm incapable of formulating a coherent argument against rape.

IOW: Out of context your quote is a lie.

"Every edit is a lie." --Jean-Luc Godard

RandFan
20th June 2009, 03:09 PM
An unnecessary exercise but, if you want, compare this to the number of people eco-terrorists have actually hurt or killed.So you are not making excuses for terrorism?
Nice.

This is Cain's version of coherency. To minimize one moral wrong find one worse. It's a form of Tu Quoque.

You do it to and you are worse.

GreNME
20th June 2009, 04:44 PM
This is Cain's version of coherency. To minimize one moral wrong find one worse. It's a form of Tu Quoque.

You do it to and you are worse.

Indeed, on both counts-- Cain's technique for 'consistency' being a form of Tu Quoque as well as equivocating the eco-terrorists with the likes of suicide bombers or something. It's just not that black or white. I oppose what the PETA and other eco-terror supporters do, but not because I think they're out to kill people. Instead, it's because they support criminal methods to achieve a purpose that is remarkably opposite to what their 'official' goals are-- they do more harm in their activities than good. Causes that are obviously worse for the individuals that might be recipient or even sympathetic to the cause itself, due to a nihilistic twisting of priorities and an advocacy of criminal (and sometimes violent) behavior. Sometimes it even bears the characteristics of cult-like behavior, but not in all cases.

ETA: oddly, a book that I think people of both sides of this "to (eat) meat or not to (eat) meat" debate would enjoy reading The Science of Good and Evil (http://www.amazon.com/Science-Good-Evil-People-Gossip/dp/0805075208) by Michael Shermer. It would appeal to both Cain's and Kevin's appeal to a utilitarian approach and to the evolutionary psychological approach RandFan (and, to a lesser degree, myself) have put forth. There's no real solid argument for or against veg[etari]an-ism, but the book is interesting and has some good arguments on morality. I'm not saying it's a good description of my own moral bases, but a lot of them are similar. The_Animus (and some others, including RandFan), you might be interested in checking it out.

RandFan
20th June 2009, 05:06 PM
ETA: oddly, a book that I think people of both sides of this "to (eat) meat or not to (eat) meat" debate would enjoy reading The Science of Good and Evil (http://www.amazon.com/Science-Good-Evil-People-Gossip/dp/0805075208) by Michael Shermer. It would appeal to both Cain's and Kevin's appeal to a utilitarian approach and to the evolutionary psychological approach RandFan (and, to a lesser degree, myself) have put forth. There's no real solid argument for or against veg[etari]an-ism, but the book is interesting and has some good arguments on morality. I'm not saying it's a good description of my own moral bases, but a lot of them are similar. The_Animus (and some others, including RandFan), you might be interested in checking it out.:) I have it and I've mentioned it in this thread to Keven on multiple occasions. It's a great book.

technoextreme
20th June 2009, 05:38 PM
My thanks to you Cain for including me in your signature. My ego can take a break for awhile.

I had no idea that I had been included in his signature.

thaiboxerken
20th June 2009, 05:44 PM
I think he places the most damaging points to his positions in his signature.

GreNME
20th June 2009, 07:10 PM
:) I have it and I've mentioned it in this thread to Keven on multiple occasions. It's a great book.

Maybe you mentioning it prompted me picking it up, and I just didn't consciously remember it. I agree it's a great book, though.

RandFan
20th June 2009, 07:42 PM
Maybe you mentioning it prompted me picking it up, and I just didn't consciously remember it. I agree it's a great book, though.Shermer, Dawkins et al raise an important point.

Do humans act morally because of moral philosophy? The answer is yes, to a degree. Formally, moral philosophy informs our legal system and ethics and helps mold the zeitgeist.

However, by and large, people don't reason their morality and we are as likely to act because of adaptive traits as we are because of laws and ethics.

For those interested I recomend:

The Darwin Debate (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jKAxYaCQuQ&feature=PlayList&p=377FD8253906EF3A&index=0&playnext=1)

Melvyn Bragg and a panel of scientists debate what Charles Darwin's theory of evolution tells us about ourselves and human society. Filmed in at the Linnean Society - the world's oldest biological society - in Piccadilly, London.

Panel:
Steven Pinker, professor of psychology at MIT
Meredith Small, Cornell professor of anthropology
Steve Jones, biologist and a professor of genetics and head of the biology department at University College London
Sir Jonathan Miller, theatre and opera director, neurologist, author, television presenter, humorist and sculptor.

MikeSun5
20th June 2009, 11:22 PM
I think he places the most damaging points to his positions in his signature.

I think he points out how retarded this thread has become.

Cain
20th June 2009, 11:34 PM
This is Cain's version of coherency. To minimize one moral wrong find one worse. It's a form of Tu Quoque.

You do it to and you are worse.

Here's some advice. Think twice before you commit yourself to using a term you do not understand -- even if you have used it before and, for whatever reason, nobody chose to call you on it. Take special care when using Latin, and extra special care with anything that has a whiff of "fallacy" to it.

"Technoextreme" suggests a moral principle: we are responsible for the consequences of our actions, even if the outcome is not intended. Moreover, even if nothing bad does happen, an action can still be condemned for its recklessness. There is no "tu quoque" because I am not arguing his (possible) failure to recognize actual atrocities invalidates his claim against eco-terrorists. Quite the opposite, I said "these are important considerations," so let's apply them across the board, which, yes, has to do with coherency and consistency.

It's funny you'd spout this sort of nonsense right after taking issue with my signature, which has been up for a few days. And on that I do not think anyone will entertain A), and the only people will take B) seriously are those who have had the misfortune to read your posts in threads such as this one.

--------------------
GreNME not surprisingly echos the same error but adds fabrication and innuendo.

"equivocating the eco-terrorists with the likes of suicide bombers or something."

Where do I do that?

And then:
"Sometimes it even bears the characteristics of cult-like behavior, but not in all cases."

Earlier you attempted a similarly slimy comparison, but against Kevin and myself:

"Considering you and Cain are making similar absolute arguments (if X then Y, no exception), one could infer based on your arguments alone that you were religious about this matter."

Even though you're the one mistakenly inferring an "absolutist" position, and then inferring other nonsense from this false position.

And as I've said before, I've read Shermer's book, wrote an e-mail to him and received a reply back. Now that Hotmail has a search function, I can reproduce it here. I've also read Pinker, Wright, Ridley, Dawkins, and others. More importantly, I also read moral philosophy, bio-ethics...

------------
technoextreme writes:
I had no idea that I had been included in his signature.

Maybe you guys are less perceptive than I thought...

thaiboxerken:
I think he places the most damaging points to his positions in his signature.

So, as I was saying about perceptiveness...

GreNME
20th June 2009, 11:40 PM
GreNME not surprisingly echos the same error but adds fabrication and innuendo.

"equivocating the eco-terrorists with the likes of suicide bombers or something."

Where do I do that?

http://image.grenme.com/thread/strawman.jpg

Cain, not everything I post is always about you. You're just fishing for stuff to get outraged about at this point.

Cain
20th June 2009, 11:52 PM
Hotmail sucks, so I do not have my original letter, which apparently criticized him for failing to cite Singer's work. The other stuff deals with ethical egoism and is-ought gaps in Ayn Rand's so-called "Objectivism" (Shermer is an ex-Objectivist).

I don't think I betray any confidences since I'm just some jackass writing a letter. This is from 3/27/04

[i]Dear [Cain]

Thank you kindly for such a long and thoughtful analysis of my book. Anyone who takes the time to both read and write about this deserves a response.

Ethical egoism: you are correct, and for the most part throughout the book I used other people's ideas not to summarize them textbook fashion, but as reference points for the development of my own ideas. I did include one very shorrt section summarizing a bunch of other ethical systems, only out of some obligation to show that I was not operating out of a vacuum. I like Peter Singer's work; it just never came up for me and I did not think to toss him into the bibliography just for completeness sake. His expanding circle of sentiments is an important concept.

In the first half of the book I'm using science to explain the origins of morality, much as one might use science to explain the origins of the emotions, the origins of intelligence, etc. In the second half of the book I'm using science to INFORM moral decisions, not necessarily make them in some final fashion. With science and reason I think we can come to some moral positions that are better informed and more rational than those made without science and reason, such as abortion, animal rights, etc.

It is wrong to torture animals because of the ask first principle ("Is it okay if I torture you?" as a thought experiment only, of course), and the principles of happiness and liberty. It is a higher moral principle to seek your own happiness and liberty while also trying to increase the happiness and liberty of even animals, especially primates and marine mammals.

I went to David Friedman's web page. I will read the paper you flagged on Rand. I had not seen this, and I like the work of both Friedmans.

Thank you again for the very useful feedback.

The important part is the middle-segment. I have no problem with the first half of his book, as he frames it. The second half, I have no problem as he describes it here, but I remember thinking he wanted to do more than merely "INFORM" morality, hence my query (this would also go part of the way in explaining RandFan's crazy views, though I am not blaming Shermer for that mess). Science can inform moral decisions: the other night on The Daily Show, Mike Huckabee claimed a fetus's heart begins to beat after 21 days. Science can tell us the heart is beating, but it cannot tell us if heart beats are morally significant.

Just now I had to ask "what the **** is the 'ask first principle'?" and Google's first hit takes me straight to Shermer's book:

http://books.google.com/books?id=igN6Q9weoYQC&pg=PA185&lpg=PA185&dq=%22ask+first+principle%22&source=bl&ots=UU2_093BVt&sig=wjuGORTutDIRta1AVG4-GTvzQqY&hl=en&ei=LmU8Sq-VPIiGsgO4o5SCCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1

Incidentally, in this section Shermer writes:
"If we cannot reliably turn to the Bible and other sacred texts to determine moral right and wrong, to whom shall we turn?"

Now apply this same standard to evolution-as-morality: incest, genocide, adultery, war, homosexuality, xenophobia. Which is why (I presume) Shermer wants to restrict himself to claiming science only informs.

Cain
20th June 2009, 11:53 PM
Cain, not everything I post is always about you. You're just fishing for stuff to get outraged about at this point.

I'm sorry for interpreting the following as having something to do with me:

Cain's technique for 'consistency' being a form of Tu Quoque as well as equivocating the eco-terrorists with the likes of suicide bombers or something.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 12:08 AM
Here's some advice.Here's some for you. Don't commit Tu Quoque fallacy.

There is no "tu quoque" because I am not arguing his (possible) failure to recognize actual atrocities invalidates his claim against eco-terrorists. Quite the opposite, I said "these are important considerations," so let's apply them across the board, which, yes, has to do with coherency and consistency. Doesn't fly. At best your "important considerations" can only serve to minimize by comparison which is exactly what you do.

It's funny you'd spout this sort of nonsense right after taking issue with my signature... Your signature is a lie without context and in your heart of hearts you know that.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 12:26 AM
...this would also go part of the way in explaining RandFan's crazy views...My "views"? My views are that evolutionary biology can explain why we have moral sentiment and why we behave the way we do. That our ability to feel empathy is an important aspect of our morality. That we evolved to have adaptive traits like reciprocal altruism.

So please, Cain, if you've any sense of integrity, quote the specific "crazy views"?

Science can inform moral decisions:Yep, that's what I've been saying all along. Nothing more nothing less. Kevin on the other hand has said over and over that what is natural (science) has nothing to do with morality. He was very specific in his claim.

If you deny it I will happily prove it.

Now apply this same standard to evolution-as-morality: incest, genocide, adultery, war, homosexuality, xenophobia. No one in this thread, AFAIK, has ever said that anything can or should be justified simply because it is an evolutionary trait or adaptation. That's just a strawman of your making. On the contrary, I've said, over and over that we should not confuse "is" with "oughts".

Cain, my position is the same as Shermer's, Pinker's, Dawkins and the rest. And for the record, I've accepted the idea of Singer's expanding circle and stated so on this forum a number of times. I like Peter Singer very much. I don't agree with everything he says but I gladly acknowledge that he is a respected expert and I'm happy to give him the deference that he is due.

If you honestly believe that my views deviate from theirs then please to identify which view or views that you think does so. It's rather poor form to assert that someones views are crazy without stating which views or why you think they are crazy.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 12:30 AM
The other stuff deals with ethical egoism and is-ought gaps in Ayn Rand's so-called "Objectivism" (Shermer is an ex-Objectivist). I could be wrong but I don't think Shermer was ever an objectivist. I've never been either for the record. From the beginning it struck me as woo. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Shermer's view was the same as mine.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 12:45 AM
My first two posts.

Please note that this post is a response about rape which I categoricaly state that I find repugnant.

(emphasis mine)


I do too. However, I'm curious, do I find it [rape] repugnant because:
I reason it so?
I share societal norms that view rape as repugnant?
The suffering of others disturbes me and my evolved natural inclination to procreate and pass on my genes pales compared to my evolved natural inclination to feel empathy during times of plenty and social cohesion?
All of the above?
IMHO, it's a bit simplistic to focus, in a vacuum, on a single variable (a single evolved natural desire). Our sense of right and wrong is a very complex dynamic of a number of variables including natural compulsions and drives. It's important to note that many of these are often in some degree of conflict.


For example:
I want to live.
I want my associates to live.
I don't want to be hungry.
I don't want my associates to be hungry.
During times of plenty and even during times of some famine all of these will guide my behavior. If resources are reduced sufficently and social cohesion breaks down #4 might become rather trite and #2 might become a liability.

In fact, if history is a guide, given desperate times, most of us would kill others to live.

We have the luxury to set aside many of our natural desires in our attempts to fashion a moral guide and we even reason fallacious any appeal to our nature in framing our morality. However we lie to ourselves if we honestly think that we truly can divorse our natural desires and inclinations from our sense of morality.

"Evolution is cleverer than you are." Orgel's Second Rule

But what does make rape wrong? Doesn't our natural ability to feel empathy figure into it?

If you took away the human ability to feel empathy and the evidence showed that rape was good for the human species then I can see how social norms could evolve for a society to see rape as moral.

You have a problem. By what measure are you declaring rape immoral in the first place? Morality is not a priori. So there must be some means to reason the morality or immorality of rape. I would posit that the means includes an appeal to our innate feelings of not wanting to see distress in others (see mirror neurons) and to reason that the best way to ensure that I'm not harmed is to not harm others (I "naturally" do not like to be harmed).

Cain, will you have the decency to admit the following?


I make it clear that I find rape repugnant.
I state that the suffering of those who are raped disturbs me.
I have formulated an argument for why rape should be wrong.
Your signature does not represent my position and is in effect a lie since it is quoted out of context.
Oh, and finally, can you identify what is so crazy about my ideas?

dann
21st June 2009, 12:59 AM
So no, we actually can't supply them.

This is just a myth! 'We're trying as hard as we possibly could, but we just cannot get it out to the poor people in need of it.'
People tend to starve in third-world countries for the same reason people tend to starve in the US: The food exists, a record crop globally, but the starving people don't have the money to buy it.
Very recent report from FAO:
The Director of FAO's Agricultural Development Economics Division, Kostas Stamoulis, said it is the first time in human history that there are so many hungry people in the world.
(…)
"We want to reduce this number, we can eliminate hunger in the world, we have the resources: the food is there. It's not lack of food. This year we have almost the record crop globally so it is not lack of food, it is lack of access to food by those that are hungry," he said.
http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-06-19-voa22.cfm


http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=4829338#post4829338

RandFan
21st June 2009, 01:05 AM
...the same reason people tend to starve in the US: The food exists, a record crop globally, but the starving people don't have the money to buy it. I don't think many people starve in the US. According to the CDC the only diseases that result from starvation occur in children who are being neglected.

dann
21st June 2009, 06:33 AM
No, you’re right. People may go hungry for the reason I mentioned, but it is exaggerated to talk about starvation in the USA. My bad: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/nov/03/uselections2004.usa

"People are not hungry these days," the Financial Times newspaper admitted, "because food supplies are not available; they are hungry because they are poor." (http://socialistworker.org/2003-2/471/471_06_Hunger.shtml)

Roboramma
21st June 2009, 07:01 AM
Thank you.

Of course the question of the hypo was people but that's perfectly fine because you get the point.

Great answers. Let me add or amend and tell me what you think.

They are making the best of the situation. No "bad". Bad requires an a priori assesment.
Morality to the degree that we enjoy is a luxury afforded us by our ability to produce a surplus of resources.
If we evolved to require the death of a sibling we might not view death the way we do now. We might not have evolved a moral sentiment that death is a bad thing.
Would you agree that if we were all socio-paths lacking any empthy or compassion our morality would likely be very different?

To 1. well, I still think it's a bad situation, in that it would be better if they didn't have to kill their sibling. I understand your point, that bad requires an a priori assessment. That's actually what's under discussion, right? Am I correct to say its bad?
2. Sort of. It certainly makes it easier to care about morality when the stakes aren't as steep. And I agree that our evolved sense of how we behave, if it evolved in that sort of environment, would be unlikely to coincide with the ideas of morality that I'm espousing. On the other hand, I still think those ideas would be correct.
3. Is agreed to, at least to some extent. I think it might be a little different: we'd likely still find our own deaths to be bad, and even the deaths of parents or other loved ones that happen at times that, in our evolutionary past, we might have been able to affect in some way. But certainly regarding the "sibling in the nest" we would not likely have qualms about killing it. Eventually some people might come along and look back and feel remorse and even question the morality of the act, but that would require that "abundance of resources" that you talked about.

To your final question, yes, definitely, I think our moral ideas would be very different if we were all sociopaths. I just think that shows that sociopaths, rather than us, are lacking in something.

Roboramma
21st June 2009, 07:07 AM
Shermer, Dawkins et al raise an important point.

Do humans act morally because of moral philosophy? The answer is yes, to a degree. Formally, moral philosophy informs our legal system and ethics and helps mold the zeitgeist.

However, by and large, people don't reason their morality and we are as likely to act because of adaptive traits as we are because of laws and ethics.
I agree that this is an important point, and I also think it's correct.

On the other hand, I also think that we can go beyond that and, for instance, say, "while I recognise that my moral viewpoint is deeply influenced by my evolutionary history, I want to rise above that and try to find the errors in my intuitive morality and correct them."

GreNME
21st June 2009, 08:02 AM
I'm sorry for interpreting the following as having something to do with me:Cain's technique for 'consistency' being a form of Tu Quoque as well as equivocating the eco-terrorists with the likes of suicide bombers or something.

Well, I forgive you, but mostly because your fault is in reading comprehension. For example, you obviously cut the full sentence, since my actual statement was (http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=4830536&postcount=507) "Indeed, on both counts-- Cain's technique for 'consistency' being a form of Tu Quoque as well as equivocating the eco-terrorists with the likes of suicide bombers or something." That was in response to RandFan addressing someone else (meaning not you).

Lika I said earlier, Cain, you're just looking for a fight at this point and are taking ridiculously dishonest measures to continue it. Which means, just like in the last thread, the point beyond any meaningful conversation with you has long since passed.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 09:43 AM
I agree that this is an important point, and I also think it's correct.

On the other hand, I also think that we can go beyond that and, for instance, say, "while I recognise that my moral viewpoint is deeply influenced by my evolutionary history, I want to rise above that and try to find the errors in my intuitive morality and correct them."Absolutely. I agree. Which is why I have always maintained that what "is" shouldn't be confused with what "ought" to be.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 09:48 AM
To 1. well, I still think it's a bad situation, in that it would be better if they didn't have to kill their sibling. I understand your point, that bad requires an a priori assessment. That's actually what's under discussion, right? Am I correct to say its bad?
2. Sort of. It certainly makes it easier to care about morality when the stakes aren't as steep. And I agree that our evolved sense of how we behave, if it evolved in that sort of environment, would be unlikely to coincide with the ideas of morality that I'm espousing. On the other hand, I still think those ideas would be correct.
3. Is agreed to, at least to some extent. I think it might be a little different: we'd likely still find our own deaths to be bad, and even the deaths of parents or other loved ones that happen at times that, in our evolutionary past, we might have been able to affect in some way. But certainly regarding the "sibling in the nest" we would not likely have qualms about killing it. Eventually some people might come along and look back and feel remorse and even question the morality of the act, but that would require that "abundance of resources" that you talked about.

To your final question, yes, definitely, I think our moral ideas would be very different if we were all sociopaths. I just think that shows that sociopaths, rather than us, are lacking in something.Hmmm....

Evolution has no goals. There is no evolutionary ideal. From an evolutionary perspective a species lacks something only if it is incapable of survival.

However, given that humans are a social species and given social norms I would have to agree that a sociopath is demonstrably lacking something very significant for his or her functioning in human society.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 10:39 AM
I would like to add to my list Frans de Waal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frans_de_Waal).

A Dutch psychologist, primatologist and ethologist. He is the Charles Howard Candler professor of Primate Behavior in the Emory University psychology department in Atlanta, Georgia, and director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center[1] and author of numerous books including Chimpanzee Politics and Our Inner Ape. His research centers on primate social behavior, including conflict resolution, cooperation, inequity aversion, and food-sharing. In 1993, he was elected to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 2004, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2008.

...

"The possibility that empathy resides in parts of the brain so ancient that we share them with rats should give pause to anyone comparing politicians with those poor, underestimated creatures."[2]

"I've argued that many of what philosophers call moral sentiments can be seen in other species. In chimpanzees and other animals, you see examples of sympathy, empathy, reciprocity, a willingness to follow social rules. Dogs are a good example of a species that have and obey social rules; that's why we like them so much, even though they're large carnivores."[3]

"To endow animals with human emotions has long been a scientific taboo. But if we do not, we risk missing something fundamental, about both animals and us."[4]

RandFan
21st June 2009, 11:20 AM
Sorry for monopolizing the thread at the moment.

A cartoon that explains nicely my position. It was one of the Stick Science (http://www.flascience.org/sshome.html)cartoon contest top ten entries (http://www.flascience.org/wp/?page_id=1066).

http://www.flascience.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/19.jpg

Cain
21st June 2009, 11:59 AM
Here's some for you. Don't commit Tu Quoque fallacy.

Doesn't fly. At best your "important considerations" can only serve to minimize by comparison which is exactly what you do.

The problem is you have not a clue what you're talking about.

Description of Ad Hominem Tu Quoque

This fallacy is committed when it is concluded that a person's claim is false because 1) it is inconsistent with something else a person has said or 2) what a person says is inconsistent with her actions. This type of "argument" has the following form:

1. Person A makes claim X.
2. Person B asserts that A's actions or past claims are inconsistent with the truth of claim X.
3. Therefore X is false.

As I said, even if he fails to apply the same scrutiny to other situations, it does not invalidate his concerns with regard to eco-terrorism. Speaking of fallacies of irrelevance, let's move to this is-ought business:

So please, Cain, if you've any sense of integrity, quote the specific "crazy views"?

I have traded well over one-hundred posts over your nonsense. From "ESS" to "social cohesion" to "memes" to your "feelings" to "what make rape wrong" to the notion that if society democratically votes to oppress a minority- then-it's-moral. You speak out of both sides of your mouth, and make stuff up as you go along. Most of this is documented in the 700 post long thread "Admit it, you believe in Animal Rights." (the voting to oppress-minorities-cultural-relativism nonsense came at the end of an earlier animal rights thread).

An above example on siblicide is similar to stuff you've posted in the past (paraphrasing): "If we evolved to kill our brothers, then killing our brothers would be moral." Maybe that would be regarded as moral but it does not tell us how we should act. And this is what Kevin attempts to get at over the 10+ pages.

Yep, that's what I've been saying all along. Nothing more nothing less. Kevin on the other hand has said over and over that what is natural (science) has nothing to do with morality. He was very specific in his claim.

The discussion between you and Kevin sounds familiar to ones from before between you and multiple people. Someone attempts to establish an is-ought, descriptive-prescriptive/normative distinction, you claim to agree in principle, and then immediately spout B.S. contrary to it. When people then point out that you're not observing the gap you quickly go back and quote yourself saying something characteristically duh-faced like "I recognize the is-ought gap."

Your signature is a lie without context and in your heart of hearts you know that.

As for my signature, again, I am limited to six lines and I can only give you one of them. Your (laughable) four point replies only support the idea you don't know "what make rape wrong." If it makes you feel any better, the main reason I quoted it -- and the main reason anyone quotes anything -- is for style rather than content. It has an "is our children learning" quality to it.

You wrote:
"I share societal norms that view rape as repugnant?"

So? What if society viewed rape as good thing, especially when it came to, say, killing all the men in a neighboring tribe and seizing their husbandless women? Let's say this also promotes social cohesion.

"The suffering of others disturbes me and my evolved natural inclination to procreate and pass on my genes pales compared to my evolved natural inclination to feel empathy during times of plenty and social cohesion?"

So let's suppose you're a sadist and rape scenes excite you. As I've no doubt said to you before, evolution may tell us why we like X or Y, but it does not tell us if X and Y are either moral or immoral, so spare me the point-inflation-all-of-the-above nonsense. Fact is we can bracket that stuff out and you are left with what exactly...?

there must be some means to reason the morality or immorality of rape. I would posit that the means includes an appeal to our innate feelings of not wanting to see distress in others (see mirror neurons) and to reason that the best way to ensure that I'm not harmed is to not harm others (I "naturally" do not like to be harmed).

And this is what's commonly termed the naturalistic fallacy. Your views are schizophrenic.
------------------
GreNME writes:
Well, I forgive you, but mostly because your fault is in reading comprehension. For example, you obviously cut the full sentence, since my actual statement was "Indeed, on both counts-- Cain's technique for 'consistency' being a form of Tu Quoque as well as equivocating the eco-terrorists with the likes of suicide bombers or something." That was in response to RandFan addressing someone else (meaning not you).

Hah, you are so full of it. A total weasel. I especially like the part about "forgiv" me (you have such an impressive track record for getting things right). Here you take two things that are technically true but irrelevant and twist them around. Yes, I did not quote the ENTIRE sentence. Yes, it was technically a "response" to RandFan even though you were commenting on me. Please, 1000 humble pre-emptive apologies for my poor reading comprehension but [I]who is "equivocating with the likes of suicide bombers or something"? At best that's sloppy writing and the "as well as" connector...? You're such a joke.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 12:12 PM
The problem is you have not a clue what you're talking about.

Person A: The behavior of X is repugnant.
Person B: Y does it also and it is worse.

You can flail your hands about all that you want but no one ever says, X does it to THEREFORE it's ok. Heres a hint: any abuse caused by factory farming doesn't tell us whether or not the actions of the animal right wing nuts is moral or not.

"If we evolved to kill our brothers, then killing our brothers would be moral." Maybe that would be regarded as moral but it does not tell us how we should act.Which IS all that I have said.

And this is what Kevin attempts to get at over the 10+ pages. Demonstrable dishonest BS.

Your (laughable) four point replies only support the idea you don't know "what make rape wrong." Dishonest and demonstrably so. I explain exactly why rape is wrong.

Your sig is a lie and you know it.

So? What if society viewed rape as good thing, especially when it came to, say, killing all the men in a neighboring tribe and seizing their husbandless women? Let's say this also promotes social cohesion. "So?" So I might, AS YOU SAY, regard it as moral. However, to demonstrate your dihonesty, I have made the point over and over that what society regards as immoral is but one aspect of what we regard as moral.


So let's suppose you're a sadist and rape scenes excite you. As I've no doubt said to you before, evolution may tell us why we like X or Y, but it does not tell us if X and Y are either moral or immoral, so spare me the point-inflation-all-of-the-above nonsense. Fact is we can bracket that stuff out and you are left with what exactly...? Again with your dishonesty.
I've noted time and again that "is" does not make for "ought".
You are arguing in a vacuum and ignoring EVERYTHING else that I've said. I've NEVER argued that morality is simply what an individual feels is moral.
So spare me your lies.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 12:22 PM
And this is what Kevin attempts to get at over the 10+ pages. That is a demonstrable lie. Kevin criticized me for suggesting that adaptive behavior or nature has anything to do with morality.

That is a fact.

You've now demonstrated that you agree with me and disagree with Kevin but you haven't the intellectual honesty to admit it.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 12:26 PM
there must be some means to reason the morality or immorality of rape. I would posit that the means includes an appeal to our innate feelings of not wanting to see distress in others (see mirror neurons) and to reason that the best way to ensure that I'm not harmed is to not harm others (I "naturally" do not like to be harmed).
And this is what's commonly termed the naturalistic fallacy. Your views are schizophrenic. And I've told you a hunderd times that assertion is not argument.

Shermer, Dawkins, de Waal, Wright et al agree with me. Empathy is A.) an innate feeling and B.) a necassary component of morality.


No naturalistic fallacy. As Shermer said to you. The science informs our morality.
Suffering (by definition) is bad.
I suffer when others suffer (see mirror neurons).
QED.

ETA: No, not the only basis or means to determine that rape is bad. Your strawman is getting awfully damn lame.

GreNME
21st June 2009, 12:50 PM
Hah, you are so full of it. A total weasel. I especially like the part about "forgiv" me (you have such an impressive track record for getting things right). Here you take two things that are technically true but irrelevant and twist them around. Yes, I did not quote the ENTIRE sentence. Yes, it was technically a "response" to RandFan even though you were commenting on me. Please, 1000 humble pre-emptive apologies for my poor reading comprehension but [I]who is "equivocating with the likes of suicide bombers or something"? At best that's sloppy writing and the "as well as" connector...? You're such a joke.

You're really a joke at this point. Read the post just above the one you misquoted to begin with. RandFan was addressing dudalb's statements (to you) about allegedly making excuses for terrorists, chiding the obvious hyperbole. You're being so ridiculously bull-headed at this point that you can't even parse parts of a conversation that actually defended you, and are trying to lash out at anything you can.

You're perfectly free to shoot yourself in the foot as you see fit, but don't get mad at me for telling you that you're pointing your attacks at your own feet.

Seriously, man, if you're so worked up that you're warping anything you can into some attack against you, perhaps you should take five breaths and a walk around the house before pressing "Submit Reply" next time. I'm willing to accept that it was an honest mistake on your part, but if you insist on trying to claim I was claiming you said something you didn't you're just going to continue to make yourself seem the fool.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 12:50 PM
Some quotes on empathy.

P.Z. Myers (http://seedmagazine.com/content/article/pz_myers_on_richard_dawkins/).

Empathy. It is both an extremely useful skill for navigating the complex social landscapes of human culture (so useful that it is taken for granted), and it is easily displaced onto nonhuman entities or objects. Most significantly, we have evidence from the neurophysiology of mirror neurons that empathy is to some extent hardwired into the brain. At least, it’s a better-documented biological property than obedience (which, as I recall from raising my own children, was not particularly reliable).


Pinker (http://www.empathicscience.org/pinker.html)

In addition, our brains have been evolving in a social context, so computations necessary for social living take place in various modules. For example, the brain has modules for "empathy, foresight, and self-respect."33 Our brains also have a "system for inhibition" which responds to such feedback as disapproval, moral suasion, punishment, and other types of social "influence."34 It is these mechanisms, plus "the universal pleasures and pains that make [the individual see] some kinds of change [as] desirable."35


"Mirror neurons had an inconspicuous start, says Daniel Dennett, director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University and the author of "Darwin's Dangerous Idea," and other books about evolution. "All evolutionary innovation begins with a mistake," he says. Some genetic mutation may have led to a misfiring set of neurons that enhanced hand-eye coordination. This "programming bug," as Dennett calls it, must have conveyed an advantage amplified by natural selection. And once simple mirror-neuron networks were established, he says, "they may well have played a big role in the evolution of empathy, and imitation, and social understanding."

Sword_Of_Truth
21st June 2009, 01:34 PM
These are important considerations. Now import the same type of reasoning to the slaughterhouse and the factory farm, where you have documented mistreatment (not at all surprising given the billions of animals processed each year). An unnecessary exercise but, if you want, compare this to the number of people eco-terrorists have actually hurt or killed.

This is Osama Bin Ladens thinking in a nutshell.

It's ok to knock over buildings full of innocent people because they don't live they way you want them to, therefore they must all die in the name of Allah animal liberation.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm typing this with one finger as I am finishing off the rack of pork ribs from Montana's that I had doggie-bagged after taking my dad out for fathers day last night.

applecorped
21st June 2009, 01:36 PM
This is Osama Bin Ladens thinking in a nutshell.

It's ok to knock over buildings full of innocent people because they don't live they way you want them to, therefore they must all die in the name of Allah animal liberation.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I'm typing this with one finger as I am finishing off the rack of ribs that I had doggie-bagged after taking my dad out for fathers day last night.

Southern style ribs? :)

Sword_Of_Truth
21st June 2009, 01:42 PM
Southern style ribs? :)

Texas Bold.

Dad and I both had the full rack of ribs. My brother couldn't stand the thought of the pigs suffering alone, so he had 3 or 4 chickens tortured and murdered for the wing & rib combo while mom had a cow sent to the death chamber along with a dozen shrimp.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 01:48 PM
Texas Bold.

Dad and I both had the full rack of ribs. My brother couldn't stand the thought of the pigs suffering alone, so he had 3 or 4 chickens tortured and murdered for the wing & rib combo while mom had a cow sent to the death chamber along with a dozen shrimp.I've never had Montana's ribs. I don't think they are availible in California.

However, having had Famous Dave's (http://www.famousdaves.com/) I feel as though I can die. I don't want to die but I'm not sure I can experience anything better.

I'm up for the challenge though. :)

thaiboxerken
21st June 2009, 01:56 PM
I've been to both Montana and Famous Dave's. I think Dave's is much better. Just don't buy beer there, it's way too expensive. You can join the PIG club at Daves and get free stuff on your birthday and once after signing up.

Sword_Of_Truth
21st June 2009, 01:59 PM
I've been to both Montana and Famous Dave's. I think Dave's is much better. Just don't buy beer there, it's way too expensive. You can join the PIG club at Daves and get free stuff on your birthday and once after signing up.

I'll have to keep Famous Dave's in mind should they ever open a branch up here in the great white north.

Thanks for the tip, you murdering speciesist bastards. :D

RandFan
21st June 2009, 02:03 PM
I'll have to keep Famous Dave's in mind should they ever open a branch up here in the great white north.

Thanks for the tip, you murdering speciesist bastards. :DIf god had wanted humans to be vegans he would not have made animals taste so damn good.

Just kidding of course...

I don't believe in god.

thaiboxerken
21st June 2009, 02:05 PM
I admit it, I'm a speciesist. I care more about humans than any other animals. I would murder 100 flies before murdering 1 human.

Sword_Of_Truth
21st June 2009, 02:09 PM
I admit it, I'm a speciesist. I care more about humans than any other animals. I would murder 100 flies before murdering 1 human.

I'm not a speciesist. There's no such thing.

PETA can call me a vampire too, there's no such thing as those either.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 02:11 PM
I don't know if there is such a thing as speciesist or not. I know that red wine goes well with London Broil and beer goes with ribs.

I'm not a sake fan but it's ok with sushi.

realpaladin
21st June 2009, 02:14 PM
I admit it, I'm a speciesist. I care more about humans than any other animals. I would murder 100 flies before murdering 1 human.
would you murder 1 human if it meant you were not attacked by 100.000.000 flies?

And how about if they had laaaasers?

thaiboxerken
21st June 2009, 02:17 PM
Sake is good with Kirin beer, or Asahi. Mmmmm sushi! I'm glad I live in an area where I can get sushi that comes to me on a conveyor belt. I'm 10 minutes away from Famous Dave's, 3 different Sushi places, and Irish Pub, a brew pub, 5 different 4 star restaurants and 3 different Thai places.

Oh, and no sign of Peta.

thaiboxerken
21st June 2009, 02:18 PM
would you murder 1 human if it meant you were not attacked by 100.000.000 flies?

That depends, is that human a member of Peta?


And how about if they had laaaasers?

Definitely, it's me or him.

Cain
21st June 2009, 02:19 PM
I love these diarrhetic posts. Lots of rapid-fire little bits of nonsense before the *********.

Person A: The behavior of X is repugnant.
Person B: Y does it also and it is worse.

You can flail your hands about all that you want but no one ever says, X does it to THEREFORE it's ok. Heres a hint: any abuse caused by factory farming doesn't tell us whether or not the actions of the animal right wing nuts is moral or not.

The irony here is that you're committing a fallacy of irrelevance while trying to frame me up for it. And you seem to be flailing, so I guess you'll try to impute that onto me as well.

So let's take a concrete example from my main man Don Rumsfeld. When American soldiers were captured by Iraqis and put on television, Rumsfeld said, quite rightly, that it violated the Geneva Conventions. Very good, Don. They did violate the Geneva Conventions. You committed a dozen other war crimes -- which do NOT excuse their crimes -- but you did violate Geneva Conventions, and if you're willing to impose those rules on others, then you should abide by them yourself.

Techno's point about taking into consideration the full consequences is important whether or not he sincerely believes it. It's also important regardless of what eco-terrorists do. I am not attempting to invalidate the reasoning, as I agree with it.

I like when you get all into a tizzy and start squirting out "demonstrably"s without ever, you know, demonstrating anything.

"So?" So I might, AS YOU SAY, regard it as moral. However, to demonstrate your dihonesty, I have made the point over and over that what society regards as immoral is but one aspect of what we regard as moral.

There's a difference between what is moral and what we regard as moral.

You are arguing in a vacuum and ignoring EVERYTHING else that I've said. I've NEVER argued that morality is simply what an individual feels is moral.

Of course not, you have your four bullet points, one of which redundantly includes "all of the above." And myself and others point to situations where human feelings lead to wrong conclusions, so then what's our guide?

What's sort of laughable is that you're replicating the behavior documented above. You make inconsistent statements and then point to them with pride, too dim to understand your own basic errors. Hell, you even repeated the is-ought mantra, a post-Kaufmanesque bit of self-mockery.

That is a demonstrable lie. Kevin criticized me for suggesting that adaptive behavior or nature has anything to do with morality.

That is a fact.

You've now demonstrated that you agree with me and disagree with Kevin but you haven't the intellectual honesty to admit it.

You poor thing. I repeated Shermer's claim in the sense that it's trivially true; science can inform moral decision-making -- for example, staging a dangerous rescue mission in outer space. Is it physically possible? What are the odds of success? What can we reasonably expect to happen if things go wrong? Almost everyone can agree with that idea, but no one says OMFG, F=ma is directly relevant to our ethical outlook on life. When you start talking about adaptive behavior, then you're venturing off into lala land. Vampires are adapted to eat human beings, but that does not mean feasting on human blood is OK. We might be adapted (or indoctrinated) to find rape revolting, but rape is good or bad regardless of how it makes you or society feel.

On your naturalistic fallacy:
And I've told you a hunderd times that assertion is not argument.

Shermer, Dawkins, de Waal, Wright et al agree with me. Empathy is A.) an innate feeling and B.) a necassary component of morality.

You know what, I doubt they would agree if they knew we were speaking in a normative context. But please, feel free to e-mail Shermer or Wright. They're available on the Internet. (Wright's at bloggingheads.tv and engages with his viewers. Shermer, we know, answers his e-mail. I don't know about Dawkins or de Waal.)
And your quotes from P.Z. Myers and others are irrelevant.

No naturalistic fallacy. As Shermer said to you. The science informs our morality.

1. Suffering (by definition) is bad.
2. I suffer when others suffer (see mirror neurons).

QED.


You don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about. Let's imagine vampires come along and murder a dozen human beings. This orgy of violence does not make them feel bad at all; it's a lovely, exciting experience. Now you're in a position of species-relativism. What vampires did is not immoral to vampires, but it is immoral to us. So how do you arbitrate right from wrong?

What I said in my Shermer post, what has been said before, is that adaptations are not a reliable guide and must be rejected just like the Bible.
------------------------
Sword of Truth:
This is Osama Bin Ladens thinking in a nutshell.

It's ok to knock over buildings full of innocent people because they don't live they way you want them to, therefore they must all die in the name of Allah animal liberation.

This is incorrect in its comparisons and content.
------------------------
GreNME:
You're being so ridiculously bull-headed at this point that you can't even parse parts of a conversation that actually defended you, and are trying to lash out at anything you can.

I ignored most of the rest of your post, as it did not interest me. What did interest me was "consistency" -- in scare quotes regarding a mistaken tu quoque "as well as" a bit of nonsense about suicide bombers.

Sword_Of_Truth
21st June 2009, 02:25 PM
I love these diarrhetic posts. Lots of rapid-fire little bits of nonsense before the *********.

You misspelled, and I suspect misused, "diuretic" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diuretic).

Sword of Truth:


This is incorrect in its comparisons and content.


False. My comments were highly accurate and logically sound. Your claim is groundless.

thaiboxerken
21st June 2009, 02:28 PM
Cain makes the claim that there is a difference between what IS moral and what we REGARD as moral. This infers that there is an objective morality out there somewhere. Cain, what is this objective morality and where did it come from?

RandFan
21st June 2009, 02:32 PM
The irony here is that you're committing a fallacy of irrelevance while trying to frame me up for it. No.

So let's take a concrete example from my main man Don Rumsfeld. Your tu quoque wasn't in response to any individual advocating the abuses caused by factory farming. I've told you once, it's not going to fly.

But you keep digging that hole and demonstrating your dishonesty.

There's a difference between what is moral and what we regard as moral. Duh! As I've said time and time again. Sheesh. Tell us something we don't know for once.

RE: Shermer and Wright. I don't need to email them to read what they have to say. FWIW, I spoke with Shermer and asked him what he thought. His views did not differ from mine. He likes steak BTW.

Let's imagine vampires come along and murder a dozen human beings. This orgy of violence does not make them feel bad at all; it's a lovely, exciting experience. Now you're in a position of species-relativism. What vampires did is not immoral to vampires, but it is immoral to us. So how do you arbitrate right from wrong?

Would you like to add a premise to your hypo because as it is there is no way of answering without making assumptions and doing so based on popular culture and fiction, not all of it consistent.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 02:43 PM
What I said in my Shermer post, what has been said before, is that adaptations are not a reliable guide and must be rejected just like the Bible. Bob Dylan once told me that name dropping was poor form.

In any event, moral sentiment is itself an adaptive trait.

Where does Shermer or any socio-biologist, bio-ethicist, evolutionary psychologist, etc., say we "must reject adaptations"?

I think that is all in your head. Just because you believe it doesn't mean that Shermer said it. Can you see the difference? Shermer said that science can inform our morality. Reciprocal altruism and moral sentiment being two important aspects of that.

GreNME
21st June 2009, 03:30 PM
GreNME:


I ignored most of the rest of your post, as it did not interest me. What did interest me was "consistency" -- in scare quotes regarding a mistaken tu quoque "as well as" a bit of nonsense about suicide bombers.

In other words, you ignored the inconvenient facts that point out why your insistence on accusing me of this is based completely on your own ridiculous twisting of what was actually said into what you want to argue about.

I suggest you go back and read it. You're only making yourself look unreasonable at this point.

Cain
21st June 2009, 03:53 PM
You misspelled, and I suspect misused, "diuretic" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diuretic).

http://dictionary.reference.com/dic?q=diarrhetic

False. My comments were highly accurate and logically sound. Your claim is groundless.

Well, that settles it. Never mind you're claiming I am excusing behavior that I am not. Never mind you claim animal rights terrorists do not mind blowing up buildings full of people, even though they do.

----------------------------
Thaiboxerken:
Cain makes the claim that there is a difference between what IS moral and what we REGARD as moral. This infers that there is an objective morality out there somewhere.

Well, if we want to be pedantic, it implies moral realism (readers infer, writers imply).

Cain, what is this objective morality and where did it come from?

Why don't you ask RandFan? And isn't it curious how meta-ethical discussions arise in threads dealing with animal rights but not elsewhere?
-------------------------
RandFan:
Your tu quoque wasn't in response to any individual advocating the abuses caused by factory farming. I've told you once, it's not going to fly.

Welcome to non sequitur world. *Facepalm*

RE: Shermer and Wright. I don't need to email them to read what they have to say. FWIW, I spoke with Shermer and asked him what he thought. His views did not differ from mine. He likes steak BTW.

Uh-huh. I don't doubt that he likes steak, but if you're suggesting his reasoning is at all similar to yours, then he should sue you for libel.

Would you like to add a premise to your hypo because as it is there is no way of answering without making assumptions and doing so based on popular culture and fiction, not all of it consistent.

Well, this is one way of avoiding of question. What sort of further background information do you think is necessary? Do you want to know if these vampires can be killed with a wooden stake through the heart? Ask specific questions because I'm not about to construct a literary universe populated by an original set of vampires. It's not like I said a swallow carries a freaking coconut.

In any event, moral sentiment is itself an adaptive trait.

Where does Shermer or any socio-biologist, bio-ethicist, evolutionary psychologist, etc., say we "must reject adaptations"?

Are you now deliberately trying to say unconscionably stupid things? Let's say you have a genetic line of people with a propensity to lie, cheat, steal, which contributes to their reproductive success. Just because they're inclined to do awful things does not justify their behavior. Just as humans inclined to eat meat, rape, and murder.

On another level, you're misunderstanding my reference and what I am saying. In the post where I included Shermer's e-mail (read this slowly) I took the reasoning he used against the Bible and imported it over to the naturalistic fallacy. I do not think I can explain this if you cannot understand the original post.

thaiboxerken
21st June 2009, 04:04 PM
Well, if we want to be pedantic, it implies moral realism (readers infer, writers imply).

Which is just a restatement of your implication that there is an objective morality. Feel free to give evidence that such a thing exists and where it originates.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 04:05 PM
Welcome to non sequitur world.Stating that it is a non sequitur doesn't make it such. Oddly enough, the example of Rumsfeld was.

Uh-huh. I don't doubt that he likes steak, but if you're suggesting his reasoning is at all similar to yours, then he should sue you for libel. Rhetoric. But you can email and ask him yourself.

Well, this is one way of avoiding of question. What sort of further background information do you think is necessary? Can the vampires exist without eating human blood? Are the vampires capable of empathy?

Are you now deliberately trying to say unconscionably stupid things?Look in the mirror my friend.

Cain, the things you say have logical consequences. I'm NOT making normative statements in regards to adaptive behavior. My position is not different from Shermer's. FTR: I'm a moral skeptic when it comes to Normative ethics. Meta-ethics, descriptive ethics, these things I'm fine with. Absolute moral truth? No such thing.

Let's say you have a genetic line of people with a propensity to lie, cheat, steal, which contributes to their reproductive success. Just because they're inclined to do awful things does not justify their behavior. Just as humans inclined to eat meat, rape, and murder. From what perspective are these things "awful"? You beg the question. You and I agree that they are immoral but then again, we evolved to perceive them as immoral, further, society has evolved do deem these things as immoral. Finally, we can reason them as immoral (we have the luxury and biological capacity to do so). If we as individuals and society had evolved to see them as moral and we lacked the luxury of modern scoiety to deem them immoral then we would percieve them as moral. End of story.

Cain, for crying in the dark, you have the wherewithal, based on my responses and the information I've provided from sources like Shermer and Dawkins to answer your own question. Next time answer it yourself.

There is no absolute morality. Morality is not a priori. It's a human and social construct. Until you get that through your thick skull you are just going to keep going in circles.

I took the reasoning he used against the Bible and imported it over to the naturalistic fallacy. I do not think I can explain this if you cannot understand the original post.I don't know how I can make this any clearer. I'm not trying to derive an "ought" from an "is". Like Shermer I only want to understand why humans have a moral sentiment and how that informs our morality.

That's it.

All the rest is a strawman in your head.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 04:22 PM
Which is just a restatement of your implication that there is an objective morality. Feel free to give evidence that such a thing exists and where it originates.He knows there is no such thing and so he will just ignore answering.

From Wiki regarding Normative Ethics. I'm posting it because I concur and not that Wiki is an authority.


In the 20th century, moral theories have become more complex and are no longer concerned solely with rightness and wrongness, but are interested in many different kinds of moral status. This trend may have begun in 1930 with D. W. Ross (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=D._W._Ross&action=edit&redlink=1) in his book, The Right and the Good. Here Ross argues that moral theories cannot say in general whether an action is right or wrong but only whether it tends to be right or wrong according to a certain kind of moral duty such as beneficence, fidelity, or justice (he called this concept of partial rightness prima facie duty).

Cain
21st June 2009, 05:06 PM
Stating that it is a non sequitur doesn't make it such.

No, it's a non sequitur because it does not follow -- are we really going to do this again now? Where you cry and whine and, in addition to "demonstrably" put out the one-word non-responses like "rhetoric"? Because I've done it all before.

Can the vampires exist without eating human blood?

They can, but remember vampires are adapted to feed on humans and much prefer it.

Look in the mirror my friend.

Do you have any other awesome comebacks from 40 year-old issues of Mad Magazine? That Bob Dylan line was hilarious. And what did you say about not believing in God.

From what perspective are these things "awful"? You beg the question. You and I agree that they are immoral but we didn't evolve to perceive them as moral nor does our society deem them moral. Further our moral reasoning does not deem them moral. If we had evolved to see them as moral then we would. End of story. You answer your own question. Next time answer it yourself.

You don't even know what it means to beg the question, and this answer is, not surprisingly, evasive. If you want to avoid the naturalistic fallacy, then you have to maintain that behavior is moral or immoral regardless of adaptation. This goes back to a fundamental distinction between what we regard as moral or immoral. People may regard slavery as OK, but that doesn't make it OK. A society may think genocide is laudable, and so on.

RandFan writes:
He knows there is no such thing and so he will just ignore answering.

This is a riot. The same comment Thaiboxerken took issue with you said:

"Duh! As I've said time and time again. Sheesh. Tell us something we don't know for once."

RandFan
21st June 2009, 05:18 PM
...put out the one-word non-responses like "rhetoric"? It is just rhetoric.

They can, but remember vampires are adapted to feed on humans and much prefer it. Easy. If they are capable of empathy then I would try to reason with them and get them to stop eating human blood. Otherwise we are screwed.

That Bob Dylan line was hilarious. Thank you, I enjoyd it myself.

You don't even know what it means to beg the question, and this answer is, not surprisingly, evasive. If you want to avoid the naturalistic fallacy, then you have to maintain that behavior is moral or immoral regardless of adaptation. I don't hold that anything is a priori moral or immoral regardless of adaptive traits.

You: There are objective moral truths.
Me: There are no objective moral truths. Morality is not a priori.


Let's cut to the chase.
Moral sentiment is an adaptive behavior (see Dawkins, Shermer, Pinker, Wright, de Waal, etc.)
What we percieve as "moral" is formed by many things including evolved adaptive traits.
We can reason beyond our adaptive traits (we need not be slaves to our nature, and besides, our nature is contradictory as it is).
That something is natural doesn't make it right (we should not confuse "is" with "ought").
Now, identify which premise you deem wrong and we will address that.

This goes back to a fundamental distinction between what we regard as moral or immoral. People may regard slavery as OK, but that doesn't make it OK. A society may think genocide is laudable, and so on. No argument. *That is what I have said from day one.

*(of this thread) I'll concede that my views of morality have changed some since I first came to this forum but I hold the scientific perspective that beliefs should be provisional.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 05:38 PM
Cain,

One more thing regarding your vampire hypo. Logic cannot resolve all moral dillemas. It's the nature of the beast so to speak.

From: Atheism Logic & Fallacies (http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/logic.html).

... logic is not a set of rules which govern human behavior. Humans may have logically conflicting goals. For example:

John wishes to speak to whomever is in charge.
The person in charge is Steve.
Therefore John wishes to speak to Steve.
Unfortunately, John may have a conflicting goal of avoiding Steve, meaning that the reasoned answer may be inapplicable to real life.

Cain
21st June 2009, 05:58 PM
I feel like a Daily Show correspondent sent out to interview a nutter.

Easy. If they are capable of empathy then I would try to reason with them and get them to stop eating human blood. Otherwise we are screwed.

But they're all like "noooooo, it tastes too good; have a little empathy for us." More seriously, my question asked how you arbitrate right from wrong, and I didn't mean negotiating a deal. They have a set of adapted behaviors -- feeding on humans is good. I mean, that's just science.

Thank you, I enjoyd it myself.

This is where I give a wide-eyed look to the camera.


Let's cut to the chase.
Moral sentiment is an adaptive behavior (see Dawkins, Shermer, Pinker, Wright, de Waal, etc.)
What we percieve as "moral" is formed by many things including evolved adaptive traits.
We can reason beyond our adaptive traits (we need not be slaves to our nature, and besides, our nature is contradictory as it is).
That something is natural doesn't make it right (we should not confuse "is" with "ought").
Now, identify which premise you deem wrong and we will address that.

I do not disagree with any of them. The problem, as I said, is in the application.

So there must be some means to reason the morality or immorality of rape. I would posit that the means includes an appeal to our innate feelings of not wanting to see distress in others (see mirror neurons) and to reason that the best way to ensure that I'm not harmed is to not harm others (I "naturally" do not like to be harmed).

Any sort of decent theory strives to be as spare as possible. So suppose we genetically engineer a human to enjoy rape. He appeals to his innate feelings, which tell him to do it... and he likes violently attacking women, enjoys the distress it causes. So for him it's moral, right? For you it's immoral. But there's no way for you to arbitrate these differences. He has his natural, biological feelings, and you have yours. Now, if you want to appeal higher still, then why not cut out all of this silly gobblygook about your feelings and mirror neurons? You're like a person trying to read into the Bible whatever moral belief system you already have but instead of the Bible it's the human genome.

As for resolving matters, one can think of morality as trumps. Of course it's difficult.

Kevin_Lowe
21st June 2009, 06:35 PM
That is a demonstrable lie. Kevin criticized me for suggesting that adaptive behavior or nature has anything to do with morality.

That is a fact.

You've now demonstrated that you agree with me and disagree with Kevin but you haven't the intellectual honesty to admit it.

This will be obvious to anyone who has actually been following the thread and understanding it, but on this point Cain is right and RandFan is wrong. Cain gets it, and RandFan doesn't.

To sum up RandFan's position, which inherently involves making a set of self-contradictory statements:

1. There is not eternal, a priori morality. (This is correct).

2. Therefore any objective moral statement that applies to all people in relevantly similar circumstances is empty. (This does not follow from point 1, but RandFan has repeatedly failed to grasp this despite many, many attempts to explain this).

3. We have some adaptive intuitions about how we should act. (This is correct).

4. Therefore we base all our moral claims on these adaptive intuitions. (This does not follow from point 3, but RandFan has repeatedly failed to grasp this despite many, many attempts to explain this).

5. Here comes the core contradiction: Although all our moral claims originate in adaptive intuitions about how we should act, we can use "reason" to beat these adaptive intuitions into different shapes that are better in some sense.

6. When someone says "Hang on there buddy, you just denied the existence of any moral values higher than adaptive intuitions, so how are you deciding what is better than just following our adaptive intuitions?" he responds with something vague about making society run better. Rape is not bad because we have an intuition that it's bad, it's bad because it gums up the works of society.

So to sum up the story so far, RandFan thinks we start by mindlessly following adaptive imperatives, and then we use "reason" to modify those imperatives to behave more efficiently as a society, and that's all morality is.

7. When someone says "So what about horrible things that don't gum up the works of society? Suppose it was efficient to slaughter our neighbours and rape their fertile women, or allow men to rape their wives, or allow prostitutes to be raped without legal consequences, or shoot street children, or gas the mentally disabled, or keep slaves, or burn shoplifters at the stake in public to deter others?" then RandFan runs the hell away and finds some distraction to hide behind until the scary question goes away, because he has absolutely no answer to it.

He's started with false assumptions and reasoned himself into a position where the only thing morally wrong with the great atrocities of history is that they were an inefficient use of social resources.

Interestingly, if he applied his position consistently he'd end up with something very much like an utterly brutal,objectivist consequentialism that didn't care about anything except the overall efficiency of a society.

I'm not calling him a fascist, by the way. I just think that he's incapable of critically reasoning his way through the things he types, hell-bent on showing his own cleverness by incorporating the pop literature about adaptive moral intuitions into his own half-baked moral philosophy, and incapable of hearing anything that casts doubt on the ill-made "moral" philosophy he's cobbled together. He's much more like a perpetual motion kook than a Nazi - a layperson convinced he's revolutionised a whole field of academic endeavour when in fact he's just stuck on some very basic errors.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 06:48 PM
...my question asked how you arbitrate right from wrong...(see post 563 (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=4832918#post4832918))

Not all moral conflicts can be arbitrated. I'm sorry Cain but there is not always a right or wrong answer.

I do not disagree with any of them. The problem, as I said, is in the application. Then, if you are honest, you don't have an argument with me as that is all my position consists of. End of story.

So for him it's moral, right? For you it's immoral. But there's no way for you to arbitrate these differences.Is there a society filled with these individuals? Has this behavior resulted in an ESS?

He has his natural, biological feelings, and you have yours.Here you err. You are making a hypo in a vacuum. There are a number of other variables important to the equation and your hypo is worthless as it is.

No one I know, least of all me, is arguing that an individuals feelings alone justify behavior. Yet you continue to make arguments as if someone were.

...why not cut out all of this silly gobblygook about your feelings and mirror neurons? You give me reason not to cut out feelings.

From your post (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=4831238#post4831238).

...the ask first principle ("Is it okay if I torture you?" as a thought experiment only, of course)...I don't want to be tortured because it causes suffering. Suffering is a feeling. A bad feeling. To base my morality on this I must consider my feelings.

That's what I've been trying to get accross to Kevin. We can't really navigate morality without feelings. In the end we have to "care" about something even if it is our own desires not to suffer.

Why that is so hard to understand is beyond me.

You're like a person trying to read into the Bible whatever moral belief system you already have but instead of the Bible it's the human genome. I'm not doing anything that Shermer, Dawkins, et al aren't doing.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 06:52 PM
And Cain, your Sig is still dishonest as I've stated that I find rape repugnant. But you won't include that in your Sig because it doesn't serve your ego.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 07:53 PM
my question asked how you arbitrate right from wrong, and I didn't mean negotiating a deal. They have a set of adapted behaviors -- feeding on humans is good. I mean, that's just science. It just dawned on me just how much of the mark you missed the point.

I'm not trying to negotiate a deal. I'm trying to make a compelling argument that my morals are superior to theirs (assuming they are capable of empathy). Suffering is bad. Killing humans for their blood causes suffering. If the suffering of others is of concern to them then they should forgo killing humans.

One more time. Though I've no doubt you will ignore it.

I DON'T hold that personal feelings, adaptive or otherwise, are a sole basis for moral judgement. Nor do I believe that one can argue that simply because something is natural makes it right. Nor do I believe that what "is" should dictate what "ought" to be.

I don't argue that the Vampires are right simply because they evolved to eat human blood. I argue that because it is an evolved trait it is understandable why they might percieve it as right. I would also arge that if it were the only way for them to survive then to them it would be right.

Unless they evolved to percieve that their own survival was insignificant to suffering. But you and I both know that is not a an ESS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionarily_stable_strategy).

Kevin_Lowe
21st June 2009, 08:26 PM
It just dawned on me just how much of the mark you missed the point.

I'm not trying to negotiate a deal. I'm trying to make a compelling argument that my morals are superior to theirs (assuming they are capable of empathy). Suffering is bad. Killing humans for their blood causes suffering. If the suffering of others is of concern to them then they should forgo killing humans.

Hey presto, now RandFan's an objectivist, specifically a hedonistic utilitarian.

Don't worry, he'll be back to moral relativism or fascist consequentialism in a minute and he'll still be denying that he's ever moved an inch.

Cain
21st June 2009, 08:32 PM
(see post 563 (http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=4832918#post4832918))

Not all moral conflicts can be arbitrated. I'm sorry Cain but there is not always a right or wrong answer.

Wow, that's a long way from your previous answer which began with the one-word sentence "Easy." I'm not talking about resolving the situation. Slavery in America was difficult enough to resolve, but somehow, given the kind distance of history, we recognize the institution of slavery as obviously wrong.

Are you really going to seek refuge in your excerpted quote from some webpage? Put trumps aside, have you never heard the expression "competing values"?

-Greg wants to do well on his ethics test.
-Greg does NOT want to cheat.

Then, if you are honest, you don't have an argument with me as that is all my position consists of. End of story.

Noooooo. See Kevin's last post, points 5-7 in particular. (Oh wait, you put him on ignore).

Kevin wrote:
So to sum up the story so far, RandFan thinks we start by mindlessly following adaptive imperatives, and then we use "reason" to modify those imperatives to behave more efficiently as a society, and that's all morality is.... When someone says "So what about horrible things that don't gum up the works of society... then RandFan runs the hell away and finds some distraction to hide behind until the scary question goes away, because he has absolutely no answer to it.

Is there a society filled with these individuals? Has this behavior resulted in an ESS?

What difference does it make? You're avoiding the question with a vague appeal to society. Are you looking for an efficient ratio of rapists to non-rapists?

Here you err. You are making a hypo in a vacuum. There are a number of other variables important to the equation and your hypo is worthless as it is.

And those variables would be what, exactly? Whether or not society is filled with these individuals? Whether or not it has "stabilized?" You're just trying to avoid answering the question, and your concerns are those of a crackpot. A... crackpot!

No one I know, least of all me, is arguing that an individuals feelings alone justify behavior. Yet you continue to make arguments as if someone were.

You give me reason not to cut out feelings.

You mix and match, reminding me of the proverbial advice from an old lawyer to a young grad: "If the law is on your side, pound the law. If the facts are on your side, pound the facts. If neither the law, nor the facts are on your side, pound the table."

I'm not doing anything that Shermer, Dawkins, et al aren't doing.

This is not a good argument. You consistently surrender whatever thinking is your own to those authorities. I remember in the other thread somebody posted a video of Dawkins coming out in favor of rights for gorillas, and then, lo and behold, you were in favor of rights for gorillas. Not that it matters but Dawkins has also compared eating animals to slavery, and claimed he lacks the "social courage" (maybe he said "moral courage" -- something courage). Who cares? Those guys are scientists, not moral philosophers.

I'm not trying to negotiate a deal. I'm trying to make a compelling argument that my morals are superior to theirs (assuming they are capable of empathy). Suffering is bad. Killing humans for their blood causes suffering. If the suffering of others is of concern to them then they should forgo killing humans.

OK, assuming they are not capable of empathizing with humans then how are your morals superior to theirs? How can you even say yours are superior to theirs? To use the term "superior" means you have reached a value judgment. How?

GreNME
21st June 2009, 09:17 PM
Hey presto, now RandFan's an objectivist, specifically a hedonistic utilitarian.

Don't worry, he'll be back to moral relativism or fascist consequentialism in a minute and he'll still be denying that he's ever moved an inch.

This isn't college debate class, so it's not like one has to stick dogmatically to one school of thought. Welcome to the world of greys.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 09:21 PM
Are you really going to seek refuge in your excerpted quote from some webpage? Put trumps aside, have you never heard the expression "competing values"? ?

You are a bit late. I allready covered that (see post 563).

Kevin wrote: So to sum up the story so far, RandFan thinks we start by mindlessly following adaptive imperatives, and then we use "reason" to modify those imperatives to behave more efficiently as a society, and that's all morality is.... When someone says "So what about horrible things that don't gum up the works of society... then RandFan runs the hell away and finds some distraction to hide behind until the scary question goes away, because he has absolutely no answer to it. To sum up. Kevin is engaging in a strawman.

You're just trying to avoid answering the question, and your concerns are those of a crackpot. A... crackpot! No. I answered the question so accusing me of avoiding it is a lie.

This is not a good argument. You consistently surrender whatever thinking is your own to those authorities. I remember in the other thread somebody posted a video of Dawkins coming out in favor of rights for gorillas, and then, lo and behold, you were in favor of rights for gorillas. Actually, Kevin introduced me to Singer's expanding circle long before that.

OK, assuming they are not capable of empathizing with humans then how are your morals superior to theirs? How can you even say yours are superior to theirs? To use the term "superior" means you have reached a value judgment. How?That's right. I did reach a value judgement based on reason and considering feelings. My morals produce greater well being for a greater number of people for a small sacrifice of giving up the Vampires desire to consume human blood. And my morals can resolve the first person question posed in your Shermer post.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 09:29 PM
Hey presto, now RandFan's an objectivist, specifically a hedonistic utilitarian.

Don't worry, he'll be back to moral relativism or fascist consequentialism in a minute and he'll still be denying that he's ever moved an inch. I've never been an objectivist. I'm not now nor have I ever advocated strict relativism. My morals are, as Shermer says, provisional (http://www.michaelshermer.com/science-good-evil/).

I'm not the one trying to defend moral absolutism all the while denying it.

Kevin, you are just projecting.

This isn't college debate class, so it's not like one has to stick dogmatically to one school of thought. Welcome to the world of greys. And this is the problem of Kevin and Cain. They've painted themselves into a corner and no logic or reason can sway them.

Kevin_Lowe
21st June 2009, 09:29 PM
This isn't college debate class, so it's not like one has to stick dogmatically to one school of thought. Welcome to the world of greys.

If you want to start a meta-ethical debate, then you open yourself up to being called on meta-ethical inconsistencies and/or contradictions.

What RandFan's doing now is endorsing something which is indistinguishable, when the rubber meets the road, from an objectivist, hedonistic utilitarian position.

You don't get to do that without being called on it if you're been claiming for ten pages that you're a moral relativist.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 09:33 PM
Moral sentiment is an adaptive behavior (see Dawkins, Shermer, Pinker, Wright, de Waal, etc.)
What we percieve as "moral" is formed by many things including evolved adaptive traits.
We can reason beyond our adaptive traits (we need not be slaves to our nature, and besides, our nature is contradictory as it is).
That something is natural doesn't make it right (we should not confuse "is" with "ought").
Now, identify which premise you deem wrong and we will address that.
Note that this is and has been my position and no one, not Kevin or Cain has invalidated a single premise.

So, they invent arguments for me AKA strawmen.

GreNME
21st June 2009, 09:42 PM
If you want to start a meta-ethical debate, then you open yourself up to being called on meta-ethical inconsistencies and/or contradictions.

What RandFan's doing now is endorsing something which is indistinguishable, when the rubber meets the road, from an objectivist, hedonistic utilitarian position.

You don't get to do that without being called on it if you're been claiming for ten pages that you're a moral relativist.

http://image.grenme.com/thread/NTSA.jpg

Now I see why RandFan has you on ignore. You're persistence with the circular argument is melodramatic enough to qualify for reality TV.

Kevin_Lowe
21st June 2009, 09:43 PM
I've never been an objectivist. I'm not now nor have I ever advocated strict relativism. My morals are, as Shermer says, provisional.

Here's (http://www.optimal.org/peter/ethics_skeptic.htm) quite a good response to Shermer's attempts at discussing morality.

I offer this link to people capable of rigorous, joined-up thought. RandFan, based on his previous behaviour in this thread, will read it without understanding it, then cut and paste some snippets he thinks look like something he's said in the past, and present them as if it proves that his position is coherent.

Calling your morality "provisional" is simply a cop-out. Human beings, at least the smarter ones on their good days, are capable of rationality and consistency. You don't get to excuse yourself from judgement on those grounds by saying "Oh, my position is provisional, it doesn't answer to criticisms of irrationality and inconsistency". In fact if you were being intellectually honest, the fact that your provisional position has been shown to have such problems should be the trigger for you to change it.


I'm not the one trying to defend moral absolutism all the while denying it.

GreNME has already run the "claim that Cain and Kevin are moral absolutists, when they have been completely consistent from the very beginning that they are objectivists if they are anything" gambit into the ground.

It does you no credit to sink to GreNME's level.

The fact that you can't grasp this after being told so very many times is somewhat worrying. Do you really not grasp the distinction?


And this is the problem of Kevin and Cain. They've painted themselves into a corner and no logic or reason can sway them.

I submit that you would have to have tried it in order to know.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 09:50 PM
I keep referring to you Kevin and that seems dishonest to have you on ignore all the while taking pot shots at you.

So I'll take you off ignore until I tire of this affair.

Calling your morality "provisional" is simply a cop-out.Saying so doesn't make it true.

Human beings, at least the smarter ones on their good days, are capable of rationality and consistency. You don't get to excuse yourself from judgment on those grounds by saying "Oh, my position is provisional, it doesn't answer to criticisms of irrationality and inconsistency". I've never done this. I've never tried to excuse myself from any judgment. You know that and I know that. And I can prove it. Well, I can't prove it but I can demonstrate that you won't disprove it.

That should be sufficient.


In fact if you were being intellectually honest, the fact that your provisional position has been shown to have such problems should be the trigger for you to change it. You've shown no problems. You've invented a strawman for you to tear down. I've given you my position and you've not rebutted a single premise.
Moral sentiment is an adaptive behavior (see Dawkins, Shermer, Pinker, Wright, de Waal, etc.)
What we perceive as "moral" is formed by many things including evolved adaptive traits.
We can reason beyond our adaptive traits (we need not be slaves to our nature, and besides, our nature is contradictory as it is).
That something is natural doesn't make it right (we should not confuse "is" with "ought").
Now, identify which premise you deem wrong and we will address that. Anything else is an invention in your head.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 09:51 PM
I offer this link to people capable of rigorous, joined-up thought. IOW, those who don't agree with you are dishonest. Ad hominem poisoning the well.

Cavemonster
21st June 2009, 09:56 PM
Here's (http://www.optimal.org/peter/ethics_skeptic.htm) quite a good response to Shermer's attempts at discussing morality.


From the link.
In the end, the golden rule is invoked as a test for morality. We all know the problems with this: It is moral to cheat on my wife provided that I don't mind her cheating on me?

Is based on a profoundly over-literal misreading of the Golden Rule and Shermer's as well as most intelligent people's reading of it. Let's see, I like ham so does the golden rule mean I should give people ham? That's the level he's interpreting it at.

There are some moral principles that we are quite certain of. For example: 'Improved self-esteem leads to a better life'.
That's not a moral principle, it's a claim (unsubstantiated) about a causal relationship with vague criteria

I could go on, but that would involve picking apart the whole article, as there's no reasonable points made in the whole thing.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 09:59 PM
You don't get to do that without being called on it if you're been claiming for ten pages that you're a moral relativist.I've never claimed to being a strict moral relatavist.


...we can construct an ethical system that generates a morality that is neither dogmatically absolute nor irrationally relative — a provisional morality for an age of science that provides empirical evidence and a rational basis for belief.

...a new theory of provisional ethics that challenges the reader to confront these timeless issues from a new perspective — one that suggests that both morality and immorality evolved in human biological and cultural evolution, that we can make free moral choices in a determined universe, that moral principles can have a sound rational basis supported by empirical evidence (without being dogmatically absolutist or dependent on an external source of validation), and that we can be good without God. That's it Kevin. I don't give a damn if you don't like it.

Kevin_Lowe
21st June 2009, 10:01 PM
Note that this is and has been my position and no one, not Kevin or Cain has invalidated a single premise.

So, they invent arguments for me AKA strawmen.

...I'm getting very sick of this.


1. Moral sentiment is an adaptive behavior (see Dawkins, Shermer, Pinker, Wright, de Waal, etc.)

Not quite right. Some moral sentiments are the result of evolutionary pressure towards behaviour that was adaptive in the past. Close though. Depending on what you include in the set of moral sentiments, some moral sentiments might be the result of reason too.


What we percieve as "moral" is formed by many things including evolved adaptive traits.

True.


We can reason beyond our adaptive traits (we need not be slaves to our nature, and besides, our nature is contradictory as it is).

This is the claim that has been responded to specifically, repeatedly and very recently, so claiming it has never been addressed is indicative of dishonesty or stupidity.

HOW do you think we can we "reason beyond" these adaptive, instinctive feelings, and where are we reasoning to? On what basis are we adopting some instinctive feelings as moral, and others as immoral?

The only offerings you've given us are social convenience or utility, which would make you a fascist objectivist consequentialist, or pain and suffering which would make you an objectivist hedonistic utilitarian.

In other words you've built a castle in the clouds of moral relativism, appeals to the naturalistic fallacy and pure denial. But when your castle encounters the real world, you have to immediately abandon it and become an objectivist or you end up with conclusions you can't stomach.

Yet you can't admit this after spending pages denying that objectivist moral philosophies make any sense, and more recently getting absolutism muddled with objectivism.


That something is natural doesn't make it right (we should not confuse "is" with "ought").

Yet throughout this thread you have constantly tried to introduce adaptive behaviours or sentiments as relevant to "ought" claims, and then constantly denied that you were doing this.

If there is a disconnect between "is" and "ought", you need to bridge that gap between the existence of instincts and the moral imperative to obey those instincts in some cases.

All you have to offer to bridge that gap, when we press you on it, are varying flavours of objectivist utilitarianism.


Now, identify which premise you deem wrong and we will address that.

Based on your previous behaviour I doubt it.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 10:12 PM
...I'm getting very sick of this.I can assure you that you are not as sick of me as I am sick of you which is why I put you on ignore in the first place. I've been on this forum for a long time and it is rare that I run into anyone as incapable of understanding such a simple point and who has gone to such lengths to protect his precious ego.

Depending on what you include in the set of moral sentiments, some moral sentiments might be the result of reason too. Pedantic but fine, I agree, not the point. My point was that our capacity for moral sentiment is an adaptive trait.

True.Hallelujah! Better late than never.

... is indicative of dishonesty or stupidity. Yeah, personal abuse is always a good way to avoid being put on ignore.

HOW do you think we can we "reason beyond" these adaptive, instinctive feelings, and where are we reasoning to?Are you saying that you lack the means to reason morality? Really?

Here's the thing Kevin, you can choose whatever moral reasoning you want and you can either take into account sociobiology or not.

That's it. All of the hand waving and brow beating is ENTIRELY beside the point. You may insert any moral philosophy you want into the blank line. RandFan is a __________. I don't care. I have a moral philosophy but I don't need to justify that philosophy to you.

I DON'T argue that adaptive behaviors must be taken into account to reason morality. I think it wise that we do so. So, I don't give a **** what you use to reason your morality. I'm with Pinker, Dawkins et al.


I think that the negative aspects of torture outweigh any benifits of torture.
I wouldn't want to be tortured.
Formulating a morality where I'm not tortured increases the likelyhood that I won't be tortured.
It distrubs me when I find out that others have been tortured.


If there is a disconnect between "is" and "ought", you need to bridge that gap between the existence of instincts and the moral imperative to obey those instincts in some cases.No. I only need recognize moral instincts and how they inform our morality.

Cain
21st June 2009, 10:27 PM
?

You are a bit late. I allready covered that (see post 563).

Um... that's the post I was referencing.

To sum up. Kevin is engaging in a strawman.

**** you, no. You always pull this ****. You reference these one word fallacies (even though "straw man" is two words) without any explanation whatsoever. But then I complained about this over five years ago. Anyway, it has a lot to do with you not knowing what you're talking about.

No. I answered the question so accusing me of avoiding it is a lie.

Where did you answer it? Quote your answer. Instead you asked ESS questions.

Actually, Kevin introduced me to Singer's expanding circle long before that.

Here's a gold star.

That's right. I did reach a value judgement based on reason and considering feelings. My morals produce greater well being for a greater number of people for a small sacrifice of giving up the Vampires desire to consume human blood. And my morals can resolve the first person question posed in your Shermer post.

Then this certainly does smack of a utilitarianism. You cannot parachute in self-contradictory beliefs when it is convenient to do so. It's like saying you're vegan between meals.

Oh, and the signature thing. Earlier I clicked on this thread, saw that post, and wondered if I had the right page (page 15). I'm not sure why you would again demand I change it if you're having so much fun reveling in a delicious irony, or whatever nonsense you wrote. Well, you can keep that up. Hell, if you post the hyperlink code, I'll put it into my sig. That argument is not anything you should be proud of. Anyone can reasonably dismiss a typo -- "what make rape wrong?" but that mess?

RandFan
21st June 2009, 10:32 PM
Um... that's the post I was referencing. Then you understand why it's settled.

**** you There's morality for you.

Where did you answer it? Quote your answer. Instead you asked ESS questions. Give me a minute.

Then this certainly does smack of a utilitarianism.? And?

RandFan
21st June 2009, 10:35 PM
Is there a society filled with these individuals? Has this behavior resulted in an ESS?

What difference does it make? You're avoiding the question with a vague appeal to society. Are you looking for an efficient ratio of rapists to non-rapists?I'm pointing out to you that a society filled with such people would likely be selected against (it's not likely to result in an ESS). There's a reason I point that out. You see, there's a reason evolution works. It's not perfect but for social animals it is not likely to produce animals who are largely anti-social.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 10:40 PM
Well, you can keep that up. Hell, if you post the hyperlink code, I'll put it into my sig.

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?postid=4831285#post4831285

That argument is not anything you should be proud of. Anyone can reasonably dismiss a typo -- "what make rape wrong?" but that mess?Yeah I know, we are not all you.

Kevin_Lowe
21st June 2009, 10:45 PM
I can assure you that you are not as sick of me as I am sick of you which is why I put you on ignore in the first place. I've been on this forum for a long time and it is rare that I run into anyone as incapable of understanding such a simple point and who has gone to such lengths to protect his precious ego.

You're so far off base it's not funny. The problem is not failure to "understand a simple point", it's that I understand the point very well and no matter how many times you restate it it is still a load of bollocks.

As far as my own ego goes, I've never put forward my own moral philosophy in detail in this thread. I've never even stated my own opinion or practises about the consumption of meat in this thread. This isn't about my ego, it's about your pet moral philosophy and it's glaring inconsistencies, which I'm not going to pretend do not exist no matter how much you shout.


Hallelujah! Better late than never.

To quote Cain, *** you. No. You don't get to pull that one.

I've taken for granted from the start people's that people's moral beliefs (note that I'm just talking about what individual people walking around believe) are influenced by their inherited behavioural tendencies.

What I've been arguing, with complete consistency, also from the start, is that this tells us nothing about whether those beliefs they are walking around with are actually moral.


Are you saying that you lack the means to reason morality? Really?

This has got to be up there with the stupidest straw men in this very stupid thread full of straw men.


Here's the thing Kevin, you can choose whatever moral reasoning you want and you can either take into account sociobiology or not.

That's it. All of the hand waving and brow beating is ENTIRELY beside the point. You may insert any moral philosophy you want into the blank line. RandFan is a __________. I don't care. I have a moral philosophy but I don't need to justify that philosophy to you.

I DON'T argue that adaptive behaviors must be taken into account to reason morality. I think it wise that we do so. So, I don't give a **** what you use to reason your morality.

So it's not a problem for you if your precious philosophy is internally inconsistent? If your beliefs don't actually make any sense? If it's nothing more than an overcomplicated, pseudointellectual way of reverse engineering your existing moral beliefs with the aid of pop science?

RandFan
21st June 2009, 10:54 PM
The problem is not failure to "understand a simple point"...It's exactly the point.

As far as my own ego goes, I've never put forward my own moral philosophy in detail in this thread.BFD. Your ego doesn't necassette you puting forward your philosophy. It's certainly with in the realm of possibility that your ego dictates your disagreement with what you think I've said.

To quote Cain, *** you. And YOU are lecturing me about morality. Nice.



What I've been arguing, with complete consistency, also from the start, is that this tells us nothing about whether those beliefs they are walking around with are actually moral.

BS (you've resisted from the start that adaptive traits have anything to do with morality and only relented after pages of my posting support from experts like de Waal, Dawkins and others.
There's no such thing as "actual" morality.
I don't know how I can make that any more clear. Of everything we've discussed nothing could be more stark than that silly assertion that there is "actual" morality is pure nonsense. It doesn't exist and never has. Morality only became a concept (as far as we know) when humans evolved and reasoned moral sentiment (other animals do in fact have moral sentiment, see de Waal).

So it's not a problem for you if your precious philosophy is internally inconsistent? If your beliefs don't actually make any sense? If it's nothing more than an overcomplicated, pseudointellectual way of reverse engineering your existing moral beliefs with the aid of pop science?I'm not infaliable nor am I dogmatic. I'm not incapable of changing any belief. I've chaned many beliefs over the years.

I provisionally accept the arguments made by Shermer, Wright et al. I didn't invent anything nor did I consciously add anything. I'm happy to go back to the sources and correct any error.

But that's not the point.

What I stated about sociobiology and evolutionary psychology I stand by and no one has rebutted it.

Kevin_Lowe
21st June 2009, 11:09 PM
BS (you've resisted from the start that adaptive traits have anything to do with morality and only relented after pages of my posting support from experts like de Waal, Dawkins and others.


Nope. Wrong. That is purely your straw man, and one I've pointed out many times before. It's never been anything other than your straw man.

Adaptive traits have nothing to do with morality, if we are speaking about morality as what is actually moral. They have something to do with what people walking around on the street believe to be moral, but then again so do religion and cultural values, and they aren't determinative of right and wrong either.


There's no such thing as "actual" morality.


You keep saying that. Yet when the rubber meets the road you just can't get out of invoking objectivist utilitarianism to justify your specific moral beliefs.

That's the contradiction you can't get out of, constantly snip from my posts, and utterly refuse to address.

If there's no such thing as actual morality, then slavery, genocide, torture, public executions for petty crimes, shooting street children, gassing the disabled, cannibalism and so on aren't actually morally wrong. They're just arguably inefficient ways to do things, and the minute someone shows the maths to demonstrate that society would be better off gassing everyone in our mental asylums then you'd have to endorse it.

I know you don't actually believe that. You are just unwilling or unable to pursue your stated beliefs to their logically necessary conclusions.

I don't know how I can make that any more clear. Of everything we've discussed nothing could be more stark than that silly assertion that there is "actual" morality. It doesn't exist and never has. Morality only became a concept (as far as we know) when humans evolved moral sentiment.

Yet you just can't get out of invoking objectivist utilitarianism to justify your specific moral beliefs.


What I stated about sociobiology and bio-ethics I stand by and no one has rebutted it.

Oh please. What you've stated about the facts of sociobiology nobody even disagrees with, so of course nobody has rebutted it. It doesn't make your overall position consistent though, and the inconsistency in your stated position is the problem you keep running away from or denying even exists.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 11:19 PM
It's never been anything other than your straw man.It's demonstrably correct. I've quoted you criticizing me for thinking that morality had anything to do with adaptive traits (paraphrased).

Adaptive traits have nothing to do with morality, if we are speaking about morality as what is actually moral.There is no such thing.

You keep saying that. Yet when the rubber meets the road you just can't get out of invoking objectivist utilitarianism to justify your specific moral beliefs. You are conflating the ability to make objective statements about morality with objective morality. They aren't the same.

If there's no such thing as actual morality, then slavery, genocide, torture, public executions for petty crimes, shooting street children, gassing the disabled, cannibalism and so on aren't actually morally wrong.
Thaaaaaats riiiiiight!!!!They're just arguably inefficient ways to do things, and the minute someone shows the maths to demonstrate that society would be better off gassing everyone in our mental asylums then you'd have to endorse it. There's a few problems with that.

My society evolved to see gassing mental patients as immoral and I, as a member of that society, have been indoctrinated with that morality (I, to a large extent share the moral zietgeist).
I have empathy and it would cause me to suffer to simply gas people who are weak.
I might someday become infirm and I don't want anyone to be easily able to exterminate me (supporting the prohibition increases the likelyhood that I won't be exterminated).
I've not seen any argument that would compel me to call for their extermination in the face of the above facts. You've certainly not presented one so far.
You'll have to do better if you want me to agree to eugenics or anything approaching it. BTW: Killing the infirm in social societies doesn't appear to be selected for. But I'll grant that predation would likely make that a moot point.

Cain
21st June 2009, 11:37 PM
I'm pointing out to you that a society filled with such people would likely be selected against (it's not likely to result in an ESS). There's a reason I point that out. You see, there's a reason evolution works. It's not perfect but for social animals it is not likely to produce animals who are largely anti-social.

Earlier you accused me of lying: "No. I answered the question so accusing me of avoiding it is a lie." When called upon this accusation to quote your answer you cite two questions you asked me and now you're saying those two questions made up a coherent answer? You also misunderstood the example, which involved genetic engineering, not natural selection. Oh, and you still failed to answer the question.

Everybody's sick of this thread, including myself, and I'm a raging moron for wasting so much of my Sunday talking to the Supreme Emperor of the Dunces, so I'll stop. I have work tomorrow, stuff I should have done today.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 11:40 PM
Earlier you accused me of lying: "No. I answered the question so accusing me of avoiding it is a lie." When called upon this accusation to quote your answer you cite two questions you asked me and now you're saying those two questions made up a coherent answer? You also misunderstood the example, which involved genetic engineering, not natural selection. Oh, and you still failed to answer the question. I sincerely thought I had been clear. Your question is nonsensical. It's like asking "what if we engineered square circles?"

Anti-social people are by definition not good for society. Your hypo is fatally flawed. That's why I pointed out that no society existed with a large population of anti-social people as an ESS.

There's a point to decent with modification and natural selection. Anti-social people tend to be selected against so claiming that you could engineer a society populated with antisocial types that would also be good for society is rather silly.

That's part of the problem you and Kevin are having IMO. You don't get that social evolution results in certain traits by default (social behavior). It's not perfect. It's going to include a percentage of anti-social folks but that won't be the norm. Recpricol altruism (see game theory) will be the norm.

RandFan
21st June 2009, 11:43 PM
{snipped, sorry}

Kevin_Lowe
21st June 2009, 11:52 PM
It's demonstrably correct. I've quoted you criticizing me for thinking that morality had anything to do with adaptive traits (paraphrased).

Yes you did. I've explained to you repeatedly that in those instances I was using "morality" to mean objective morality, not sociological whatever-people-think-is-moral.

I tend to do that, because the alternatives (moral relativism and moral absolutism) are so inane that they are scarecely worth discussing.

You're about unique in clinging to moral relativism even after the problems with it have been explained.


There is no such thing.

You are conflating the ability to make objective statements about morality with objective morality. They aren't the same.

You haven't got a clue what I'm saying, but we knew that.

Look, you either get to claim "there is no objective morality" or you get to appeal to objectivist utilitarianism. You don't get both.


Thaaaaaats riiiiiight!!!! There's a few problems with that.

My society evolved to see gassing mental patients as immoral and I, as a member of that society, have been indoctrinated with that morality (I, to a large extent share the moral zietgeist).

This is moral relativism. Moral relativism is incoherent.


I have empathy and it would cause me to suffer to simply gas people who are weak.

Not everyone throughout history has shared your views. (http://wjn.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/21/2/246) Anyway, since people's empathetic responses differ this is moral relativism, and moral relativism is incoherent.


I might someday become infirm and I don't want anyone to be easily able to exterminate me (supporting the prohibition increases the likelyhood that I won't be exterminated).

This is self-interest. A moral philosophy which is indistinguishable from self-interest is uninteresting to say the least.

I've not seen any argument that would compel me to call for their extermination in the face of the above facts. You've certainly not presented one so far.

That's not the point, as I suspect you are well aware. I have always phrased these arguments in the form "if it turned out that atrocities X, Y and Z were efficient you would have to endorse them".

I'm not saying that you're the kind of immoral person who supports genocide. If what you've just stated is an accurate depiction of your moral thinking though you are the kind of person who would endorse genocide if their society told them to endorse it, and it turned out to be efficient, and it was in your interests.

You'll have to do better if you want me to agree to eugenics or anything approaching it. BTW: Killing the infirm in social societies doesn't appear to be selected for. But I'll grant that predation would likely make that a moot point.

Not universally true. (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2160/did-eskimos-put-their-elderly-on-ice-floes-to-die)

RandFan
22nd June 2009, 12:07 AM
You're about unique in clinging to moral relativism even after the problems with it have been explained.Straw man.

Look, you either get to claim "there is no objective morality" or you get to appeal to objectivity utilitarianism. You don't get both. Nonsense. And for crying in the dark, if I make a point address the point and don't just gainsay. You are conflating objective morality with making objective statements about morality. Look, I can make objective statements about art. That doesn't mean that art is objective.

Now, if I'm wrong you are going to have to do better than simply contradicting me.

...this is moral relativism, and moral relativism is incoherent.

This is self-interest. A moral philosophy which is indistinguishable from self-interest is uninteresting to say the least.Blithely stating something doesn't make it so. Self interest alone might be uninteresting but it can very well be part of one's moral philosophy. IOW, there's nothing to preclude self interest as a consideration in formulating a moral theory. All else being equal a society with a lower likelyhood of harm to oneself is a better choice. Besides, wanting to live in a society for reciprocal altruistic purposes is not simply self-interest. And that you find such a theory uninteresting is hardly a persuasive argument.

That's not the point, as I suspect you are well aware. I have always phrased these arguments in the form "if it turned out that atrocities X, Y and Z were efficient you would have to endorse them".They would have to not only be efficient but they would have to meet the criteria of my conscience.

I'm not saying that you're the kind of immoral person who supports genocide. If what you've just stated is an accurate depiction of your moral thinking though you are the kind of person who would endorse genocide if their society told them to endorse it, and it turned out to be efficient, and it was in your interests. And IF my conscience and sense of empathy didn't dictate otherwise. I strongly suspect that my conscience would be pricked. The suffering of others bothers me significantly. I'd like to think that I would be one who would risk his life to hide Anne Frank. I don't know that for a fact.

Nothing about what I've said can predict how I would act had I been raised and indoctrinated in another society with different social mores.

Not universally true. (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2160/did-eskimos-put-their-elderly-on-ice-floes-to-die)Few things if any about social norms are universally true.

RandFan
22nd June 2009, 12:17 AM
I've got to go to bed and I don't know when I'll be able to log back on.

'night.

One more thing if I may.

And I don't blame you for critizing me on this as it is late in the game and I should have brought up earlier. Still it is a position that I hold.

I'm very skeptical of personal moral philosophy. I think it likely that individuals are more apt to rationalize their beliefs rather than adopt a coherent and logically valid philosophy on the grounds that it is reasonable and logical.

How does one control for confirmation bias? How do you know that you are not simply picking a theory that fits with your own moral sentiment or that your stated moral philosophy represents what you truly believe? How many Germans believed that they would have acted differently in the course of the Holocaust before it happened?

I honestly don't know. I do know that my philosophy has caused me to jettison a number of ideas that I think I'm better for including the acceptance of gay rights which even Obama and the a majority of the state of California is against. I did so largely because I reasoned that my personal opinions about gays and lesbians did not trump their rights as individuals. I put myself in their position and I thought I would not want to be treated the same. I also believe that if I live in a society that values the rights of individuals then my rights are more likely to be valued.

I honestly considered these things.

I don't know how many people do this and alter their decisions contrary to their personal feelings.

No, the conclusions I came to do not prove that my reasoning was sound but I think it was.

Sword_Of_Truth
22nd June 2009, 12:26 AM
http://dictionary.reference.com/dic?q=diarrhetic

Ah, touche.

Well, that settles it. Never mind you're claiming I am excusing behavior that I am not.

Your response to PETAs call to violence was "You have to understand, animals are getting hurt!" when it should have been "I am disgusted by the call to violence and want only peaceful debate".

You were at the very least excusing it, if not outright endorsing it.

Never mind you claim animal rights terrorists do not mind blowing up buildings full of people, even though they do.

No... no, they don't. That's a silly assumption to make given what they've actually said.

In fact, I think they prefer the buildings to be loaded with people. It isn't terrorism if it doesn't terrorize.

Consider again, PETAs position on the fruits of medical research: "Even if animal tests produced a cure for AIDS, we’d be against it."

Now Ingrid Newkirk is a bloodthirsty sociopath, but I don't believe she is an idiot. She knows what AIDS is, she knows what it does and she knows what will continue to happen without a cure or a reliable treatment.

But she doesn't care.

Compare PETA founder Newkirks comment with PETA spokesman Freidrichs quote: "I think it would be great if all of the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories, and the banks that fund them exploded tomorrow."

Note that his position is identical to Newkirks. Better that people should die than lab rats.

PETA has never said that it wants it's targets to be empty when they or their operatives carry out their attacks. And given their complete and utter disregard for sufferers of AIDS or other diseases, there is no reason to assume such.

The fact that Animus couldn't come up with anything other than a science fiction movie for his model of a bloodless terror campaign should tell you how realistic such an expectation is.

Cain
22nd June 2009, 10:52 AM
Let's wrap up this exchange as well.

Your response to PETAs call to violence was "You have to understand, animals are getting hurt!" when it should have been "I am disgusted by the call to violence and want only peaceful debate".

Which demonstrates you are ignoring the context of my remarks. We're talking about terrorist groups who blow up buildings and take care not to harm anyone, which runs contrary to Osama Bin Laden, who, as far as I know, wants to kill as many infidels as people. You see how those two philosophies are opposed? One which does not like the killing and the other that does?

Techno claimed eco-terrorists could still harm people because the flames might get out of control, or the bomb might not go off when it should. Indeed, and the terrorists would be responsible for those deaths. Now that we have incorporated this moral understanding into our outlook, and if we all accept it, then let's apply it to factory farms and slaughterhouses, where "unintended" abuses invariably take place.

And what sort of response do we see against a call for coherency? Nothing except faux outrage and mistaken allegations of a fallacy people do not understand, improperly capitalize, and, I'm guessing, probably cannot pronounce. In other words, angry cluelessness across the board.

You were at the very least excusing it, if not outright endorsing it.

And here are my controversial remarks:
These are important considerations. Now import the same type of reasoning to the slaughterhouse and the factory farm, where you have documented mistreatment (not at all surprising given the billions of animals processed each year). An unnecessary exercise but, if you want, compare this to the number of people eco-terrorists have actually hurt or killed.

The first sentence, as I clarified in numerous follow up posts in case the meaning somehow escaped anyone, agrees the considerations are valid. In other words, eco-terrorists would be responsible for the deaths of firefighters, people unaccounted for in the building, and so on even if far greater crimes are committed inside the building they're blowing up, or 10,000 miles away, or 20,000 years ago. I assume we all agree with that, yes? Cool. Now if you think this is an appropriate moral standard, then apply it consistently. Importantly, in the case of factory farms and slaughterhouses we do not use the words "if" and "could" because we're not speculating about some future death that may or may not happen; we'd instead be talking about deaths that have happened, are happening, and will continue to happen. But you people are incapable of confronting that argument, hence the tantrums, mistaken "fallacies," and misguided self-righteousness.

As for the rest of your post, you are talking out of your butthole. Perhaps RandFan can translate. I'm not fluent in butthole, but I've picked up a few things from this thread, and most of what you're saying is just irrelevant to the idea of foreseeable consequences and I'm not going to get baited into a discussion outside the purview of my original comments.

thaiboxerken
22nd June 2009, 11:02 AM
Are you going to produce your evidence of an objective morality, Cain?

Sword_Of_Truth
22nd June 2009, 01:04 PM
So PETA doesn't give a flying @#$% about victims of AIDS, but they do care about people in or near their terrorist targets?

What is your evidence for this absurd conclusion?

RandFan
22nd June 2009, 01:28 PM
I'm not fluent in butthole... I think most people would disagree but that's just argument ad numerum.

Danton
22nd June 2009, 09:10 PM
I think most people would disagree but that's just argument ad numerum.

As opposed to Cain's comment, which was simply an argument ad rectum.

Sorry, the grade-schooler in my head just wanted to make a butt joke. In Latin.

Now back to your regularly scheduled topic.

RandFan
22nd June 2009, 09:37 PM
As opposed to Cain's comment, which was simply an argument ad rectum.

Sorry, the grade-schooler in my head just wanted to make a butt joke. In Latin.

Now back to your regularly scheduled topic.:D

Welcome to the forum Danton. I suspect you will do just fine here.

Roboramma
22nd June 2009, 10:19 PM
Hmmm....

Evolution has no goals. There is no evolutionary ideal. From an evolutionary perspective a species lacks something only if it is incapable of survival. Sure, but I wasn't talking about whether they would be lacking something in an evolutionary sense, when I said sociopaths would be lacking something, I was specifically referring to morality: they would still be morally lacking, even if they couldn't see that.

However, given that humans are a social species and given social norms I would have to agree that a sociopath is demonstrably lacking something very significant for his or her functioning in human society.

Only current human society. It's not impossible that our future evolution could lead to a sociopathic species. But regardless of that, they would still be morally lacking.

Roboramma
22nd June 2009, 10:24 PM
I would like to add to my list Frans de Waal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frans_de_Waal).

Thanks for that: I'm a big fan of Frans de Waal, though I would like to get my hands on more of his books. :)

Regarding your quote, I think it supports the idea that we should extend some moral consideration to animals. Given that they are capable of some form of morality, that suggests to me that whatever it is that we consider meaningful about ourselves, which makes us extend moral consideration to all humans (rather, for instance) than only humans born in the same country as us, some other animals share some of the those characteristics.

Note, there is no "we are the same" here, just, "we have some things in common".

Cavemonster
22nd June 2009, 10:29 PM
Thanks for that: I'm a big fan of Frans de Waal, though I would like to get my hands on more of his books. :)

Regarding your quote, I think it supports the idea that we should extend some moral consideration to animals. Given that they are capable of some form of morality, that suggests to me that whatever it is that we consider meaningful about ourselves, which makes us extend moral consideration to all humans (rather, for instance) than only humans born in the same country as us, some other animals share some of the those characteristics.

Note, there is no "we are the same" here, just, "we have some things in common".

I'm curious why, in your view, having certain things in common means we should extend them moral consideration.

As far as I can see there is no "should" or "ought" without an "in order to".

In other words, there is no such thing as an action that's just good in some abstract sense on it's own, thats sort of a meaningless concept.

quixotecoyote
22nd June 2009, 10:32 PM
Only current human society. It's not impossible that our future evolution could lead to a sociopathic species. But regardless of that, they would still be morally lacking.

As mentioned before, sociopaths are detrimental to society, by definition. The label denotes the peak of anti-social (anti-societal) behavior.

Belz...
23rd June 2009, 05:08 AM
They believe that animals have the right to be free from suffering/killed for food.

What about plants, dammit ? What about plants ????

GreNME
23rd June 2009, 07:16 AM
For those interested, Ingrid Newkirk is going to have an interview today on our public radio station, on the program "Think" (which is otherwise a very good show). Here is the upcoming schedule (http://kera.org/radio/think/upcoming.php). There is a live stream (http://kera.org/audio) you can listen to, and I also believe there are podcasts as well.

I strongly encourage anyone and everyone (who wishes) to call in or send an e-mail (think@kera.org) to the program to ask about all of Ms. Newkirk's more controversial stances or the types of statments/actions taken that PETA would rather not address in a critical manner on a public forum. Of those:
Ingrid Newkirk in a Vogue interview on September 1, 1989: "Animal liberationists do not separate out the human animal, so there is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They are all mammals." She is basically taking a reversed approach to stating that animals deserve the same rights as humans.
.
Ingrid Newkirk in the New Yorker magazine, April 23, 2003 (this one is rich): "I’m not only uninterested in having children. I am opposed to having children. Having a purebred human baby is like having a purebred dog; it is nothing but vanity, human vanity." Oh, please please please someone ask her to elaborate on this on the air.
.
Ingrid Newkirk, November 12, 1999, The Chronicle of Higher Education: "Perhaps the mere idea of receiving a nasty missive will allow animal researchers to empathize with their victims for the first time in their lousy careers. I find it small wonder that the laboratories aren’t all burning to the ground. If I had more guts, I’d light a match." This was in reference to mailing threats to medical researchers with razor blades in the mail.
.
Ingrid Newkirk in the US News & World Report, April 8, 2002: "Our nonviolent tactics are not as effective. We ask nicely for years and get nothing. Someone makes a threat, and it works." Yes, she's straight out advocating and excusing making threats as a way to influence practices she disapproves of or dislikes.
.
PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich (at an AR conference): "I think it would be great if all of the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories, and the banks that fund them exploded tomorrow. I think it's perfectly appropriate for people to take bricks and toss them through the windows ... Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it." Yes, that is a public spokesperson for PETA advocating not only criminal behavior, but criminal behavior on a massive scale.
.
One could challenge Newkirk on the "one generation then out" doctrine that, while publicly stated by the president of the HSUS and not PETA, calls for the complete cessation of any and all breeding of domestic animals. The quote: Wayne Pacelle of HSUS, "One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." Ask what Newkirk thinks of such a statement. You may also want to add the following quotes of Newkirk's in case she tries to weasel out of it:
"In the end, I think it would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether." - Ingrid Newkirk, Newsday, February 21, 1988
"Pet ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation." - Ingrid Newkirk, Harper's magazine, August 1, 1988
"For one thing, we would no longer allow breeding. People could not create different breeds. There would be no pet shops. If people had companion animals in their homes, those animals would have to be refugees from the animal shelters and the streets. You would have a protective relationship with them just as you would with an orphaned child. But as the surplus of cats and dogs (artificially engineered by centuries of forced breeding) declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship — enjoyment at a distance." - Ingrid Newkirk, The Harper's Forum Book, 1989 (p.223)
"The bottom line is that people don't have the right to manipulate or to breed dogs and cats... If people want toys, they should buy inanimate objects. If they want companionship, they should seek it with their own kind." Ingrid Newkirk, Animals magazine, May 1, 1993
"We do not advocate "right to life" for animals." - Ingrid Newkirk in a message to Nathan Winograd, a no-kill shelter advocate.



Well, I think those would be a good place to start. Granted, I'm going to send these quotes in an e-mail to the show's producer and host, but if anyone wants to help get these questions actually asked and put PETA and Newkirk on the spot on-air that would be highly illuminating for those who will be listening here in the Dallas area-- particularly considering these animal rights groups just recently got a mandatory spay/neuter law passed last year.

Just a thought. You know, in case anyone was interested and has some free time today at 12 PM CST. :)

Rogue1stclass
23rd June 2009, 07:32 AM
I've said it before, I'll say it again, nothing makes smart people stupid (and arrogantly so) like philosophy.

GreNME
23rd June 2009, 07:36 AM
I just noticed that Newkirk's appearance is no longer listed for the 12PM slot, and that indeed the entire 12 PM slot isn't listed. Perhaps the folks at the radio station are updating their listing at the moment, but in case it doesn't come back up on the website listing, at 12 PM (noon) Central Standard Time (in Dallas), Ingrid Newkirk will be on the program "Think" on the local NPR affiliate.

ETA: yes, the webmasters were moving the schedule around to match today's schedule: http://kera.org/think

RandFan
23rd June 2009, 08:17 AM
For those interested, Ingrid Newkirk is going to have an interview today on our public radio station, on the program "Think" (which is otherwise a very good show). Here is the upcoming schedule (http://kera.org/radio/think/upcoming.php). There is a live stream (http://kera.org/audio) you can listen to, and I also believe there are podcasts as well.Thank you. Why is Ingrid Newkirk so bloody stupid? She's a woo from the word go.

GreNME
23rd June 2009, 08:45 AM
Here is the e-mail I sent to the program:

I know that Ingrid Newkirk's appearance on today's upcoming show is for her new book, but I am hoping that a critical analysis of her very radical and fundamentalist stances will be up for discussion in today's show. I'm not speaking simply of her 'animal rights' stance that is often touched on in their media blitzes-- Ingrid Newkirk in a Vogue interview Vogue on September 1, 1989: "Animal liberationists do not separate out the human animal, so there is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They are all mammals."-- I am also talking about Newkirk's advocacy for criminal behaviors by groups in more violent animal rights groups as well as her own stated opinion that she wishes for all domestic animals to be eliminated from human society altogether. Ingrid Newkirk has a history of making statements in public and in interviews to this effect, and it would be edifying for your listeners to hear what Newkirk has to say on her very controversial statements. Some examples of such statements:

* Ingrid Newkirk in a Vogue interview on September 1, 1989: "Animal liberationists do not separate out the human animal, so there is no rational basis for saying that a human being has special rights. A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They are all mammals." She is basically taking a reversed approach to stating that animals deserve the same rights as humans.
* Ingrid Newkirk in the New Yorker magazine, April 23, 2003: "I’m not only uninterested in having children. I am opposed to having children. Having a purebred human baby is like having a purebred dog; it is nothing but vanity, human vanity." Since humans cannot breed with other animals, statements of this type make no biological sense. Perhaps she could elaborate on the hyperbole.
* Ingrid Newkirk, November 12, 1999, The Chronicle of Higher Education: "Perhaps the mere idea of receiving a nasty missive will allow animal researchers to empathize with their victims for the first time in their lousy careers. I find it small wonder that the laboratories aren’t all burning to the ground. If I had more guts, I’d light a match." This was in reference to mailing threats to medical researchers with razor blades in the mail.
* Ingrid Newkirk in the US News & World Report, April 8, 2002: "Our nonviolent tactics are not as effective. We ask nicely for years and get nothing. Someone makes a threat, and it works." Yes, she's straight out advocating and excusing making threats as a way to influence practices she disapproves of or dislikes.
* Not Ingrid Newkirk, but PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich (at an AR conference): "I think it would be great if all of the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories, and the banks that fund them exploded tomorrow. I think it's perfectly appropriate for people to take bricks and toss them through the windows ... Hallelujah to the people who are willing to do it." Yes, that is a public spokesperson for PETA advocating not only criminal behavior, but criminal behavior on a massive scale. Newkirk, on the other hand, has been on record saying the following:
o "I find it small wonder that the laboratories aren’t all burning to the ground. If I had more guts, I’d light a match." - Ingrid Newkirk, November 12, 1999, The Chronicle of Higher Education
* I have yet to see any media interview of Newkirk challenge her on on the "one generation then out" doctrine that, while being called "one generation then out" due to a comment not made by Newkirk, calls for the complete cessation of any and all breeding of domestic animals. The quote: Wayne Pacelle of HSUS, Animal People News, May 1993, "One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding." While Ingrid Newkirk has not to my knowledge ever said the phrase "one generation then out," she has made the following quotes.
o "In the end, I think it would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether." - Ingrid Newkirk, Newsday, February 21, 1988
o "Pet ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation." - Ingrid Newkirk, Harper's magazine, August 1, 1988
o "For one thing, we would no longer allow breeding. People could not create different breeds. There would be no pet shops. If people had companion animals in their homes, those animals would have to be refugees from the animal shelters and the streets. You would have a protective relationship with them just as you would with an orphaned child. But as the surplus of cats and dogs (artificially engineered by centuries of forced breeding) declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out, and we would return to a more symbiotic relationship — enjoyment at a distance." - Ingrid Newkirk, The Harper's Forum Book, 1989 (p.223)
o "The bottom line is that people don't have the right to manipulate or to breed dogs and cats... If people want toys, they should buy inanimate objects. If they want companionship, they should seek it with their own kind." Ingrid Newkirk, Animals magazine, May 1, 1993
o "We do not advocate "right to life" for animals." - Ingrid Newkirk in a message to Nathan Winograd, a no-kill shelter advocate.

All of these quotes are cited, and are not simply fabricated attacks meant to insult Newkirk. These are statements made by Ingrid Newkirk herself, statements of her opinions and feelings on the issues listed above. Certainly they are applicable as data for a critical evaluation of what her stance truly is, and what her goals in radical advocacy and activism ultimately are. She has openly admitted to helping to pay for the legal defense of activist criminals who have tried to blow up buildings or kill people. An example of her admitting this: Montreal Mirror, March 2002: "M: You guys have taken a lot of heat lately for allegedly supporting occasionally violent organizations like the Animal Liberation Front. What’s up with that?

IN: Well, it’s not like this is anything we are trying to hide. About three times in our 21-year history we have thought it was a good idea—and still do—to defend some very good activists who have done some decent things for animals and who have happened to get into trouble. One of those people is Rodney Coronado, who is a very committed Native American animal rights activist and a decent person. He did something [firebombed a research facility at Michigan State University] that put him in prison for three-and-a-half years and I think that if we hadn’t provided him with a good legal defence he wouldn’t be back out doing productive things in the community again—like the good person that he is. We are very happy to have done that."

Some of the cases she does not mention (which are more than three) are as follows:

* Money given to ELF, who are considered a domestic terrorist organization: "We did it, we did it. We gave $1,500 to the ELF for a specific program." - Lisa Lange of PETA on the Fox News Channel
* PETA paid $27,000 for the legal defense of Roger Troen, who was charged with burglary and arson for a radical 'animal rights' raid on a University of Oregon building.
* PETA gave $7,500 to Fran Stephanie Trutt, who attempted to murder the head of a medical laboratory.
* PETA gave $5,000 to Josh Harper, who attacked Native Americans on a whale hunt. The attack consisted of throwing bombs, shooting flares, and spraying the Native Americans with a fire extinguisher.
* PETA not only paid more than $45,000 in legal costs for Rodney Coronado, but also 'loaned' $25,000 to Coronado's father during the course of the trial.

These are just some of the cases where Ingrid Newkirk's organization has been found to regularly support the legal defense of radical 'animal rights' criminals who have attempted murder, arson, breaking & entering, and other crimes against people in the furtherance of their cause.

I am not asking that the program become a litany of challenges about Newkirk's long and controversial history of radical statements, but I believe it would be for the benefit of everyone listening that a more critical examination of the positions and statements belonging to Ingrid Newkirk be considered during the show, because more often than not these points never come up in media interviews or are dismissed and let go. Considering the seriousness of these issues, I strongly feel that they deserve much more focus than they receive whenever Newkirk or her contemporaries are given air-time.

I'm asking these things not only as a critical thinker, but as a person who believes strongly in helping the health and welfare of animals. I've adopted animals from shelters (my current dog is a beautiful German shepherd who came from Tri-Cities Shelter), my home has been a dog rescue foster home many times (and will be many times in the future), and I am regularly in contact with people who work diligently and with a great deal of dedication to not only rescue dogs from bad situations, but to find them healthy, happy homes instead of winding up euthanized by a shelter-- a practice which PETA partakes in for more than 95% of the animals that they take in, a number which has gone up consistently (to 98%) over the past 15 years with PETA. My friends and myself, who care so much about animals that we often dedicate our free time to them, are so often at odds with PETA (despite their 'animal friendly' claims) and similar organizations that I'm greatly dismayed at the media attention these groups get, though admittedly that is what happens when an organization has such a large budget for media advertising and advocacy, which is lacking from local rescue groups despite the large organizations (like PETA) having huge budgets.

What I am saying is: from the perspective of an animal welfare advocate who deals with the problems facing so many animals here 'on the ground', Ingrid Newkirk does not represent or speak for us who are doing the work. I would strongly urge Think to consider contacting Nathan Winograd, author of the book "Redemption: The myth of pet overpopulation and the No-Kill Revolution", which more accurately examines the animal welfare issues that more people are going to be able to relate to and understand in a non-hyperbolic, non-sexualized-or-glamourized, and less media-frenzied manner.

Yeah, I used some stuff from an earlier post, and I know there's a bit of (purposeful) hyperbole in use on my end as well. Now I'm working on a set of questions to ask if I can get through on the lines there.

Roboramma
23rd June 2009, 07:53 PM
I'm curious why, in your view, having certain things in common means we should extend them moral consideration. Well, because I think that there are certain things about us which mean that we should be afforded moral consideration. The fact that we suffer is one of them.
It's the fact that other people share those things in common with me that suggests to me that I should extend them moral consideration.
Some animals share some of those same properties in common with me (though to a lesser extent), and thus I extend them some degree of consideration as well.


As far as I can see there is no "should" or "ought" without an "in order to". That's fine. I disagree. I think, for instance, even when something that would hurt others will make my life better, I should not do that thing.

In other words, there is no such thing as an action that's just good in some abstract sense on it's own, thats sort of a meaningless concept.

Well, we disagree about that.

Roboramma
23rd June 2009, 07:57 PM
As mentioned before, sociopaths are detrimental to society, by definition. The label denotes the peak of anti-social (anti-societal) behavior.

Well, if your suggesting that as a counter to the suggestion that a "sociopathic species" could evolve, I don't see the connection. Evolution is a process that occurs at the level of individuals (and even more so, at the level of genes) not species. It doesn't matter, for instance, if sociopathy is detrimental to a species, if it is selected for at the level of genes. Of course, in this environment it isn't, but that doesn't suggest no such environment could exist.

If you are suggesting that sociopathy is immoral because it is detrimental to society, I don't see the connection. Why is what is good for society necessarily good?
(I can see that in general it is good, but not by definition).

(Please note, I think sociopaths are immoral, but not simply by nature of being bad for society)

RandFan
23rd June 2009, 08:51 PM
Well, because I think that there are certain things about us which mean that we should be afforded moral consideration. The fact that we suffer is one of them.
It's the fact that other people share those things in common with me that suggests to me that I should extend them moral consideration.
Some animals share some of those same properties in common with me (though to a lesser extent), and thus I extend them some degree of consideration as well.I personally can't think of anything wrong with this and I suspect that this will be the dominant view in subsequent generations (in spite of PETA). :)

GreNME
23rd June 2009, 09:12 PM
Well, because I think that there are certain things about us which mean that we should be afforded moral consideration. The fact that we suffer is one of them.
It's the fact that other people share those things in common with me that suggests to me that I should extend them moral consideration.
Some animals share some of those same properties in common with me (though to a lesser extent), and thus I extend them some degree of consideration as well.

As RandFan says, I don't have a problem with moral consideration, and certainly the world is moving in that direction. I definitely try to live with such moral consideration, but that doesn't have to preclude the raising of domestic animals or eating meat.

Roboramma
23rd June 2009, 09:25 PM
As RandFan says, I don't have a problem with moral consideration, and certainly the world is moving in that direction. I definitely try to live with such moral consideration, but that doesn't have to preclude the raising of domestic animals or eating meat.

I agree. :)

MikeSun5
24th June 2009, 01:06 AM
I've said it before, I'll say it again, nothing makes smart people stupid (and arrogantly so) like philosophy.

:D Awesome. Sometimes you can feel yourself getting dumber just reading it.

quixotecoyote
24th June 2009, 01:56 AM
Well, if your suggesting that as a counter to the suggestion that a "sociopathic species" could evolve, I don't see the connection. Evolution is a process that occurs at the level of individuals (and even more so, at the level of genes) not species. It doesn't matter, for instance, if sociopathy is detrimental to a species, if it is selected for at the level of genes. Of course, in this environment it isn't, but that doesn't suggest no such environment could exist.


I'm not going to derail this into a discussion of evolution, but the distinctions you're drawing don't make sense. Species are comprised of individuals. If you posit selection for individuals that are detrimental to the species, you're saying that a group of individuals are detrimental to that group of individuals.

What I was saying that that a society cannot be designed to favor sociopaths because the definition of sociopath is someone with an anti-social personality disorder. Anti-social personality disorders are disorders that inhibit functioning in society. No matter what societal norms you imagine existing, a sociopath is someone who can't handle those norms, because that's what the word means.

Roboramma
24th June 2009, 02:19 AM
If you posit selection for individuals that are detrimental to the species, you're saying that a group of individuals are detrimental to that group of individuals.
No, I'm saying that some particular trait that is possessed by those individuals is detrimental, relative to some other possible trait, to the group as a whole. I'm also saying that, in spite of that, it can be selected for (and the trait which is of greater benefit to the group as a whole can be selected against) because it is an advantage to the individuals who possess it.

Note that advantage means specifically that they tend to have more grandchildren than their peers who don't have that trait, in this particular environment.

Group selection (which is what species level selection is), was a popular idea decades ago, but while it may certainly have some importance, most biologists recognise that it is generally swamped by gene-level selection.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_selection

What I was saying that that a society cannot be designed to favor sociopaths because the definition of sociopath is someone with an anti-social personality disorder. Anti-social personality disorders are disorders that inhibit functioning in society. No matter what societal norms you imagine existing, a sociopath is someone who can't handle those norms, because that's what the word means.

Then society breaks down. That doesn't suggest that our species no longer exists, it just suggests that we become and anti-social species. Most animals aren't particularly social, especially compared to us. There's no reason to believe that its impossible for homo sapiens to evolve in that direction.

Anyway, as you said, this is a derail. My appologies for participating in it, I just like the subject.

Drudgewire
24th June 2009, 06:34 AM
I've said it before, I'll say it again, nothing makes smart people stupid (and arrogantly so) like philosophy.


Something Awful's Doc Evil once summed up philosophy as perfectly as it will ever be summed up:

Philosophy was always a very interesting subject. The word philosophy comes from philo, meaning "wild, mind blowing :rule10 to think about," and sophy, meaning "until you grow up a little more and realize it's a dumb waste of time."

:D

Kevin_Lowe
24th June 2009, 07:59 PM
Something Awful's Doc Evil once summed up philosophy as perfectly as it will ever be summed up:

Ignorance isn't funny.

The logic and critical thinking vital to skepticism are taught in the philosophy department of a university, not the science department, as are the host of canonical logical fallacies used every day to keep debates on this board honest. For that matter the ethics lecturers will be in the philosophy department, and what we've just spent many pages discussing is the sort of thing you'd discuss in a first year ethics tutorial.

The discussion in a first year philosophy tutorial would be a lot more intelligent than the discussion in this thread, of course.

Metaphysics and Continental Philosophy could arguably fall in a hole without being missed, of course, but we're getting off-topic.

Drudgewire
24th June 2009, 09:20 PM
Ignorance isn't funny.


We'll just have to agree to disagree. :p

Sword_Of_Truth
24th June 2009, 09:31 PM
Ignorance isn't funny.

Eating KFC in front of emotionally hypersensitive PETA freaks, however, is.

MikeSun5
24th June 2009, 11:41 PM
Ignorance isn't funny.

This from the guy who makes lynching jokes. (no we won't forget.:nope:)

politas
25th June 2009, 12:46 AM
If you are suggesting that sociopathy is immoral because it is detrimental to society, I don't see the connection. Why is what is good for society necessarily good?Because that is the only non-religious source of morals that allows for rational discussion?

(Please note, I think sociopaths are immoral, but not simply by nature of being bad for society)Then what is the source for the morality that you follow?

Kevin_Lowe
25th June 2009, 12:48 AM
This from the guy who makes lynching jokes. (no we won't forget.:nope:)

If someone remembers it the next time they think of posting an unoriginal joke about eating meat to annoy PETA, my work is done.

Roboramma
25th June 2009, 01:00 AM
Because that is the only non-religious source of morals that allows for rational discussion? Well, I don't see any reason to consider what is good or bad for society to have any direct connection to morality. (I think that what is good for society is in general moral, but I'm much more concerned with individuals than society in general).

Then what is the source for the morality that you follow?
The idea that those things that I consider good for myself are good, and those things that I consider bad for myself are bad. Because I see no meaningful difference between myself and others, I can see that what is good for them is also good.

Of course this is very vague. A good example is that when I suffer (for instance, if someone inflicts pain on me) that is bad. I go from this to conclude that when others suffer, because their suffering is in no meaningful way different from mine, that is also bad, and for the same reasons (whatever they are).

Similarly, when I experience pleasure (for instance eating a good meal) I think of that as a good thing. So I think when others experience pleasure, that's also good. I think that my experience of happiness (for instance, last year I took four months off work to train yoga and brazilian jiu jitsu, and felt very happy throughout that time) is even better than pleasure (though the two are related to some extent), and so if others are happy, I similarly think that's better than simply having access to pleasure.

That's a pretty simplistic summary of my moral viewpoint, but I think it's valid. I don't see why "what's good for society" should be considered in general good. I think it generally is good because it tends to be true that "what's good for society" is "what's good for the individuals who make up that society", but I don't think that's necessarily always the case.

politas
25th June 2009, 02:09 AM
The idea that those things that I consider good for myself are good, and those things that I consider bad for myself are bad. Because I see no meaningful difference between myself and others, I can see that what is good for them is also good.This would seem to preclude you finding anything immoral if it cannot effect you due to category exclusion. E.g, you are not a child, so child labour is not bad for yourself. You are not homeless, so using homeless people for medical experimentation is not bad for you (and may be very good for you, if it leads to a cure for a disease that you might someday suffer from).

Of course this is very vague. A good example is that when I suffer (for instance, if someone inflicts pain on me) that is bad. I go from this to conclude that when others suffer, because their suffering is in no meaningful way different from mine, that is also bad, and for the same reasons (whatever they are).But how do you judge between conflicting suffering? A criminal held in prison suffers, and this suffering does nothing real to ameliorate any suffering they may have caused in the past. People in a coma have no awareness, so would not suffer at all if they were killed by euthanasia, and their families would in some ways have less suffering as a result.


Similarly, when I experience pleasure (for instance eating a good meal) I think of that as a good thing. So I think when others experience pleasure, that's also good. I think that my experience of happiness (for instance, last year I took four months off work to train yoga and brazilian jiu jitsu, and felt very happy throughout that time) is even better than pleasure (though the two are related to some extent), and so if others are happy, I similarly think that's better than simply having access to pleasure.And what if someone derives pleasure in a way that causes suffering to others?

Ultimately, what in your morality restricts your own choices and actions? If something causes you a great amount of pleasure, or relieves you a great amount of personal suffering, is it moral to do it, even though it may cause suffering for others, or restrict their ability to experience pleasure?

For example, if you find pleasure in listening to really loud music late at night, but it annoys your neighbours, is it morally right for you to crank up the volume as far as you please?

Sword_Of_Truth
25th June 2009, 02:11 AM
If someone remembers it the next time they think of posting an unoriginal joke about eating meat to annoy PETA, my work is done.

Right... meat is murder but racism is funny.

Got it, thanks.

thaiboxerken
25th June 2009, 06:48 AM
It's ok to make jokes about hanging people. Describing the luscious taste of meat though, that's just evil.

Drudgewire
25th June 2009, 06:57 AM
It's ok to make jokes about hanging people. Describing the luscious taste of meat though, that's just evil.


It's all about context, see?

Hilarious:

http://www.lethalwrestling.com/upload/300px-Lynching-of-lige-daniels.jpg



Tragic:

http://www.lethalwrestling.com/upload/big-mary-lynching.jpg


Kind of like how PeTA doesn't have any problem with suicide bombing missions as long as they're not carried out by donkeys. :rolleyes:

Kevin_Lowe
25th June 2009, 07:08 AM
I guess my remark must have hit home, if you've all still got sand in your reproductive organs over it.

Mind you, I can say in my defence that I don't think it would actually be funny to hang a black person to spite the civil liberties movement. If I did, I think that would make me a morally revolting, intellectually bankrupt idiot. Whereas I think you guys actually do think it would be funny to kill and eat and animal to spite PETA.

realpaladin
25th June 2009, 07:14 AM
It's all about context, see?

Hilarious:

http://www.lethalwrestling.com/upload/300px-Lynching-of-lige-daniels.jpg



Tragic:

http://www.lethalwrestling.com/upload/big-mary-lynching.jpg


Kind of like how PeTA doesn't have any problem with suicide bombing missions as long as they're not carried out by donkeys. :rolleyes:

How about next time you hang those pictures behind a spoiler tag?

thaiboxerken
25th June 2009, 07:15 AM
Whereas I think you guys actually do think it would be funny to kill and eat and animal to spite PETA.

There is no need to, there is plenty of meat at the market. I can simply eat a burger to spite PETA. ;)

Drudgewire
25th June 2009, 07:16 AM
How about next time you hang those pictures behind a spoiler tag?

Consider it done. :)

realpaladin
25th June 2009, 07:24 AM
Consider it done. :)
Thanks, not for me per se. But I just consider it a bit more tasteful not having to look at a dead person hanging from a tree.

Drudgewire
25th June 2009, 07:27 AM
Thanks, not for me per se. But I just consider it a bit more tasteful not having to look at a dead person hanging from a tree.


In retrospect, I agree and should've tagged it from the get go. :o

realpaladin
25th June 2009, 07:50 AM
In retrospect, I agree and should've tagged it from the get go. :o
NP, at least you show decent courtesy to retro-actively amend it. :)

Harpyja
25th June 2009, 08:18 AM
I'm still amazed that you people have yet to understand the intention behind Kevin_Lowe's post. It was meant to be satirical. I highly doubt that Kevin_Lowe finds the hanging of anyone to be hysterical in any way. What he meant was that committing an action just to spite an organization you disagree with is petty and stupid, as stupid as setting a forest fire because you hate those Smokey the Bear commercials. It's not funny or cute. It's just stupid, and that sort of attitude makes you look like an ignorant **** to anyone trying to look at the situation critically or anyone who disagrees with your viewpoint.

GreNME
25th June 2009, 08:32 AM
I'm still amazed that you people have yet to understand the intention behind Kevin_Lowe's post. It was meant to be satirical. I highly doubt that Kevin_Lowe finds the hanging of anyone to be hysterical in any way. What he meant was that committing an action just to spite an organization you disagree with is petty and stupid, as stupid as setting a forest fire because you hate those Smokey the Bear commercials. It's not funny or cute. It's just stupid, and that sort of attitude makes you look like an ignorant **** to anyone trying to look at the situation critically or anyone who disagrees with your viewpoint.

This is a joke, right?

It's not that most of us don't get Kevin's sardonic shot early on, it's that we have a problem with the equivocation inherent in his sarcasm. The last umpteen pages consist mostly of arguments about the bases for disagreeing with that equivocation, and challenging the bases Kevin (and possibly others) use for presenting that equivocation in the first place. Sure, there were tangents aplenty, but the nit and grit of the idea being mocked in Kevin's post is pretty clear.

Oh, I'm sorry: did I crack your broad generalization?

thaiboxerken
25th June 2009, 08:32 AM
No, harpy, lowe's sarcastic comment conveyed the message that killing an animal is just as bad as killing a human. To be more accurate, to kill an animal to spite PETA is just as bad as killing a black person to spite the civil rights movment.

The qualifier of "to spite" is irrelevant. Killing an animal is not as repugnant as killing a person. Also, I don't think many here actually have killed an animal just to spite PETA, but many of us have described the taste of meat to spite them.

Kevin_Lowe
25th June 2009, 08:43 AM
No, harpy, lowe's sarcastic comment conveyed the message that killing an animal is just as bad as killing a human. To be more accurate, to kill an animal to spite PETA is just as bad as killing a black person to spite the civil rights movment.

If you read what I actually wrote I said that killing a human for such a reason is slightly worse. I'd describe either action as psychopathic.

I regard the people who genuinely thought the "Ho ho, I'll kill an animal" posts were funny in about the same way you would regard someone who genuinely thought it would be funny to lynch someone to spite the civil liberties movement. They're not quite as bad, but they're close.

thaiboxerken
25th June 2009, 09:08 AM
When you say animals, do you include ants or spiders?

Sword_Of_Truth
25th June 2009, 01:31 PM
I guess my remark must have hit home, if you've all still got sand in your reproductive organs over it.

Mind you, I can say in my defence that I don't think it would actually be funny to hang a black person to spite the civil liberties movement. If I did, I think that would make me a morally revolting, intellectually bankrupt idiot. Whereas I think you guys actually do think it would be funny to kill and eat and animal to spite PETA.

Except for that fact animals aren't people, therefore there is no immorality in killing them.

Even less so when one is merely joking about killing them.

Roboramma
25th June 2009, 07:10 PM
This would seem to preclude you finding anything immoral if it cannot effect you due to category exclusion. E.g, you are not a child, so child labour is not bad for yourself. You are not homeless, so using homeless people for medical experimentation is not bad for you (and may be very good for you, if it leads to a cure for a disease that you might someday suffer from). I don't see that at all. I'm not a child, it's not child labour which is bad, it is the suffering of the children you engage in it. And as they are just as able to suffer as I am, I am able to recognise that their suffering is just as bad as my own.
I'm not saying that I think its bad because "It could happen to me too", I'm saying that I can recognise that suffering is bad because I've experienced it. So, if someone else has a similar experience, I can recognise that that is bad as well.

But how do you judge between conflicting suffering? A criminal held in prison suffers, and this suffering does nothing real to ameliorate any suffering they may have caused in the past. People in a coma have no awareness, so would not suffer at all if they were killed by euthanasia, and their families would in some ways have less suffering as a result. Regarding the criminal, I consider putting them in prison to be a way of discouraging others from commiting those same crimes, and perhaps of keeping that particular person from committing more crimes. Their suffering is justified on that basis.
Regarding someone in a coma, if they don't have a chance of waking up again, I don't have a problem with euthanasia (in theory). In practice determining those cases where it is fitting may be a little more messy.

And what if someone derives pleasure in a way that causes suffering to others? Then the "badness" of the suffering should be weighed against the "goodness" of the pleasure.
But I'm not saying that these are the only two aspects to morality. I can see a place for the idea of justice as well, for instance. I am not claiming that "pleasure is good, suffering is bad" is a complete formulation of my moral framework. I am only claiming that is it a part of it.

Ultimately, what in your morality restricts your own choices and actions? If something causes you a great amount of pleasure, or relieves you a great amount of personal suffering, is it moral to do it, even though it may cause suffering for others, or restrict their ability to experience pleasure? How does that follow? I only claim that suffering is bad, whether it is mine or someone else's, and pleasure is good, whether it is mine or someone else's. The only place that I personally come into it is that I know this because of my own experience of pleasure and suffering.

For example, if you find pleasure in listening to really loud music late at night, but it annoys your neighbours, is it morally right for you to crank up the volume as far as you please?
Of course not, because I don't weigh my own pleasure (or suffering) any higher than anyone else's, because there is no meaningful difference between their's and mine.

Kevin_Lowe
25th June 2009, 07:23 PM
Except for that fact animals aren't people, therefore there is no immorality in killing them.

The conclusion does not follow from the premise. There's no consistent, objective basis for deciding who is morally important that concludes that internet trolls are morally important and pigs are not.


Even less so when one is merely joking about killing them.

"I was only joking about killing them", he said around mouthfuls of bacon, "It's not like anybody here is actually complicit in such killings. The very idea is absurd".

When you say animals, do you include ants or spiders?

Nah. Only things with enough going on between their ears that they are comparable, at the very least, to a really dumb member of our species.

BTMO
25th June 2009, 10:23 PM
I may have to go hunting or fishing this weekend...

MikeSun5
25th June 2009, 10:53 PM
I regard the people who genuinely thought the "Ho ho, I'll kill an animal" posts were funny in about the same way you would regard someone who genuinely thought it would be funny to lynch someone to spite the civil liberties movement. They're not quite as bad, but they're close.

Yea, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

This whole line of conversation is sickening and absurd. The civil rights movement was about equal rights. Voting, segregation, etc. Your comment was M-&-***** racist. Hanging a person because of the color of their skin has nothing at all to do with killing an animal for food. That doesn't even have anything to do with killing an animal for sport. Or for fun.

Hanging a person doesn't have sh*t to do with civil rights, it has to do with HUMAN rights. The fact that you actually think you made a good point with that lynching joke is totally bonkers. The fact that you made a lynching joke is totally bonkers. Satire shmatire. That's going too far. Isn't anyone going to go back to the rape analogy? :rolleyes:

Sword_Of_Truth
25th June 2009, 11:08 PM
The conclusion does not follow from the premise. There's no consistent, objective basis for deciding who is morally important that concludes that internet trolls are morally important and pigs are not.

A.) Yes there is. It's called "Homo Sapiens". It's an objective, universal standard that can be detected by scientific means.

B.) Oh look. You called me a troll. Come back you can come up with an argument that isn't based on childish name-calling, k?

"I was only joking about killing them", he said around mouthfuls of bacon, "It's not like anybody here is actually complicit in such killings. The very idea is absurd".

Only one of the posts I made in this thread was written while under the influence of pork products. However, since killing pigs isn't immoral under any reasonable definition of morality, the distinction is irrelevant.

Sword_Of_Truth
25th June 2009, 11:15 PM
Yea, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

This whole line of conversation is sickening and absurd. The civil rights movement was about equal rights. Voting, segregation, etc. Your comment was M-&-***** racist. Hanging a person because of the color of their skin has nothing at all to do with killing an animal for food. That doesn't even have anything to do with killing an animal for sport. Or for fun.

Hanging a person doesn't have sh*t to do with civil rights, it has to do with HUMAN rights. The fact that you actually think you made a good point with that lynching joke is totally bonkers. The fact that you made a lynching joke is totally bonkers. Satire shmatire. That's going too far. Isn't anyone going to go back to the rape analogy? :rolleyes:

Somebody buy this man a bucket of chicken.

Kevin_Lowe
25th June 2009, 11:46 PM
Yea, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

This whole line of conversation is sickening and absurd. The civil rights movement was about equal rights. Voting, segregation, etc. Your comment was M-&-***** racist. Hanging a person because of the color of their skin has nothing at all to do with killing an animal for food. That doesn't even have anything to do with killing an animal for sport. Or for fun.

Hanging a person doesn't have sh*t to do with civil rights, it has to do with HUMAN rights. The fact that you actually think you made a good point with that lynching joke is totally bonkers. The fact that you made a lynching joke is totally bonkers. Satire shmatire. That's going too far. Isn't anyone going to go back to the rape analogy? :rolleyes:

What makes you so special, that it's not okay to kill you for a trivial reason, but it's okay to kill a dolphin or a pig for a trivial reason?

Careful now - you know that if you say something like "I'm special because I can do X!" then I'm going to say "So we can kill anyone who doesn't do X then?". So take some time figuring out your response.

A.) Yes there is. It's called "Homo Sapiens". It's an objective, universal standard that can be detected by scientific means.

Ah, that's very clever, and original too. A homo sapiens saying that an entirely objective test of whether or not a being is morally important is whether or not that being happens to be a homo sapiens. How much more objective can you get?

thaiboxerken
25th June 2009, 11:55 PM
Ah, that's very clever, and original too. A homo sapiens saying that an entirely objective test of whether or not a being is morally important is whether or not that being happens to be a homo sapiens. How much more objective can you get?

You can't. It's clear cut, it is arbitrary, but it is objective. You may not like it, but it is not a subjective standard.

MikeSun5
26th June 2009, 12:05 AM
What makes you so special, that it's not okay to kill you for a trivial reason, but it's okay to kill a dolphin or a pig for a trivial reason?

No need, I've made my position clear way earlier. Pigs and dolphins are incapable of morals, so dragging their "feelings" and stuff into a moral argument doesn't make sense.

I just see no need to equate things like murder and rape to eating meat. That's insane. If you respond to that with, "Well, what makes rape and murder wrong?" like others have, that just shows delusion on your part. People know why those are wrong, and if you don't, you need therapy and/or jail time.
Applying human things like morality to animals is anthropomorphism. Animals are not humans even if humans are animals.

I've said it before - morality doesn't justify eating meat or killing animals - supply and demand does. We live in societies. In civilization. Two words that animals have NO CONCEPT OF, yet two words that ultimately (an unfortunately) require their sacrifice.

realpaladin
26th June 2009, 12:12 AM
I've said it before - morality doesn't justify eating meat or killing animals - supply and demand does. We live in societies. In civilization. Two words that animals have NO CONCEPT OF, yet two words that ultimately (an unfortunately) require their sacrifice.

Don't forget taste! Some animals just taste so damn fine on the BBQ.

Redtail
26th June 2009, 12:43 AM
Don't forget taste! Some animals just taste so damn fine on the BBQ.
There are animals that don't?

thaiboxerken
26th June 2009, 12:47 AM
There are animals that don't?

Yea, sea urchin. Ewwww.

Redtail
26th June 2009, 12:50 AM
Yea, sea urchin. Ewwww.

Did ya peel it?

realpaladin
26th June 2009, 12:54 AM
Yea, sea urchin. Ewwww.
Anything tastes great with either enough ketchup or powdered sugar.

Roboramma
26th June 2009, 02:26 AM
A.) Yes there is. It's called "Homo Sapiens". It's an objective, universal standard that can be detected by scientific means.

But it's also arbitrary, at least in the way that you've formulated it. Why, for instance, would my suggesting that morality depends on being a close relative of mine be a worse moral standard?
That would also be objective (or could be if I defined some degree of relatedness, we could do DNA testing to determine if a person was or was not adequately related to me).
The problem, of course, is that it's completely arbitrary.

Now, I'm not saying your definition has to be arbitrary. Only that in the formulation that you've offered, it is.

Roboramma
26th June 2009, 02:31 AM
You can't. It's clear cut, it is arbitrary, but it is objective. You may not like it, but it is not a subjective standard.

I think that's also why Kevin was making a comparison to racism. The problem with racism is that it's also completely arbitrary: there's no meaningful distinction between myself and a black person, but there is a distinction. Now, that distinction is somewhat blurred (perhaps to the point of being meaningless at this point), but it even if it was completely clear cut and objective, racism would still be wrong. Why? Because it's a totally meaningless distinction.

The problem with this line of argument is that the distinction between me and a cow is not totally meaningless or arbitrary. I really do think that we have some qualities that give us more moral standing than cows, let alone fish or frogs. But I also think that the argument needs to focus on the ways in which this distinction is not arbitrary, not on the fact that it can objectively be made.

This is why I personally extend some moral considerations to other animals, but certainly not the same moral consideration that I extend to other humans.

GreNME
26th June 2009, 07:08 AM
I think that's also why Kevin was making a comparison to racism. The problem with racism is that it's also completely arbitrary: there's no meaningful distinction between myself and a black person, but there is a distinction. Now, that distinction is somewhat blurred (perhaps to the point of being meaningless at this point), but it even if it was completely clear cut and objective, racism would still be wrong. Why? Because it's a totally meaningless distinction.

Shhhh! You're ruining an entertaining exchange.

Cain
26th June 2009, 07:12 AM
Sword of Truth's latest brilliant contribution:
A.) Yes there is. It's called "Homo Sapiens". It's an objective, universal standard that can be detected by scientific means.

This is still an arbitrary moral distinction completely lacking in support. The same can be said for a person's sex.

This is why I personally extend some moral considerations to other animals, but certainly not the same moral consideration that I extend to other humans.

And indeed almost everyone thinks animals are worthy of some moral consideration, otherwise the people here would have no problem with torturing them -- unless they want to twist themselves into knots arguing that animal harm could cause a coarsening of the human spirit that leads to harming Homo sapiens.

politas
26th June 2009, 07:26 AM
How does that follow? I only claim that suffering is bad, whether it is mine or someone else's, and pleasure is good, whether it is mine or someone else's. The only place that I personally come into it is that I know this because of my own experience of pleasure and suffering.

Of course not, because I don't weigh my own pleasure (or suffering) any higher than anyone else's, because there is no meaningful difference between their's and mine.Then it sounds like you are functionally basing your morals on what is good for society (the group of people), rather than what you originally described.

thaiboxerken
26th June 2009, 10:00 AM
Then it sounds like you are functionally basing your morals on what is good for society (the group of people), rather than what you originally described.

Well, that may be true, if you include animals (wild and domesticated) as part of society.

Where do you draw your line, Roboramma? Is it ok to kill cows for leather and meat? Is it ok to kill chickens for food? Is it ok to rob chickens of their offspring (eggs)? Ok to fry a beetle and eat it. What if I killed a sponge just to use it as a cleaning tool? How about sea urchin, is it ok to kill and eat those too? If there are ants in my house and they can't be reasoned to leave, do I have to just plan on having long term roommates?

You may think that drawing a line on how to treat animals based on species is meaningless, but I disagree. There is a meaningful difference between a human and a cow, humans are people and sapient beings. Racism is based on a meaningless difference because people of all races think and have desires similarly. And because humans of all races are people.

Belz...
26th June 2009, 06:11 PM
Moral relativism is incoherent.

Wait, wait. Are you saying that two people can't possibly have different moral values ? Or are you claiming that one of those two people is necessarily wrong ?

RandFan
26th June 2009, 08:23 PM
If someone remembers it the next time they think of posting an unoriginal joke about eating meat to annoy PETA, my work is done.Given that they are pompous, arrogant, irrational and condone violence I think you've got your groups mixed up.

PETA thoroughly deserve mockery and derision. Not because they care about animals but because they are morally inconsistent.

I thought even you could figure that one out.

RandFan
26th June 2009, 08:30 PM
I'm still amazed that you people have yet to understand the intention behind Kevin_Lowe's post. It was meant to be satirical. I highly doubt that Kevin_Lowe finds the hanging of anyone to be hysterical in any way. What he meant was that committing an action just to spite an organization you disagree with is petty and stupid, as stupid as setting a forest fire because you hate those Smokey the Bear commercials. It's not funny or cute. It's just stupid, and that sort of attitude makes you look like an ignorant **** to anyone trying to look at the situation critically or anyone who disagrees with your viewpoint.Oh BS. Climb down off your soap box. PETA is a political organization with a dogmatic and intolerant bent toward those who disagree with them. They are the epitome of an organization that deserves actions just to spite them, they are up their with the GOP.

The comparison is over the top and so absurd that it invites derision and scorn in and of itself.

I don't think you guys who support PETA get it. Their crimes and hypocrisy are legend and well documented. That they share some of your world view doesn't excuse their excesses.

I'm unapologetically anti-PETA and would gladly tweak their nose anytime just to tweak their nose.

However, you want me to actively campaign to improve the lot of animals jusk ask, I'm there (as long as you don't support ALF or other terrorist organizations that is).

Telaynay's G'son
26th June 2009, 09:23 PM
It's my understanding that prior to 09/11, animal rights extremist organisations such as PETA were on the government radar in a big way. Didn't PETA give ~$14K to an ecoterrorist who is now sitting in a federal prison in Colorado for torching a ski resort in that state?

IMHO, vegans have an inherent problem in with what to do with the incisor teeth humans possess. Are they for tearing into that tofu burger with a vengance? Anthropomorphism is nothing new nor is there being no fix for stupid.

Kevin_Lowe
27th June 2009, 01:24 AM
No need, I've made my position clear way earlier. Pigs and dolphins are incapable of morals, so dragging their "feelings" and stuff into a moral argument doesn't make sense.

This is false on a couple of levels. Altruistic behaviour has been seen in animals, so it's false on that level. ("But that's just instinct!" you say. Well, RandFan will argue until he's blue in the face that it's just instinct for us too, to a significant extent). In any case, just because an entity is "incapable of morals" it doesn't follow that you have a license to suspend your own morals and do whatever you like to it. Cats aren't particularly moral, but that doesn't mean that it's okay for you to torture one for fun.


I've said it before - morality doesn't justify eating meat or killing animals - supply and demand does. We live in societies. In civilization. Two words that animals have NO CONCEPT OF, yet two words that ultimately (an unfortunately) require their sacrifice.

Are you claiming that we couldn't have a vegetarian society? Since we've established that humans can live without eating meat I'm not sure why you think civilization requires us to kill and eat animals.

Wait, wait. Are you saying that two people can't possibly have different moral values ? Or are you claiming that one of those two people is necessarily wrong ?

No. Yes, at least one is necessarily wrong in any useful system of morality.

politas
27th June 2009, 03:12 AM
Are you claiming that we couldn't have a vegetarian society? Since we've established that humans can live without eating meat I'm not sure why you think civilization requires us to kill and eat animals.
I'm claiming we can't have a totally vegetarian society, because there are too many uneducated people, and children would die.

Rearing children with a vegetarian diet requires a good understanding of nutrition. A much better understanding that many people are able to gain. Pretty much any combination of meat and vegetables is sufficient to provide nutrition. Vegetarianism is harder to do.

BTMO
27th June 2009, 04:17 AM
Yea, sea urchin. Ewwww.

Sea urchin is lovely!

Very salty of course, but a lovely creamy texture.

Oh, and I hooked 5 trout in an afternoon's flyfishing today...

:D

shawmutt
27th June 2009, 04:27 AM
Oh, and I hooked 5 trout in an afternoon's flyfishing today...

:D

Lucky bastid--I got my trout for the year and have to wait until next year. In this area, trout are farm raised and stocked in ponds, wide spring streams, and rivers for the expressed purpose of being caught. This time of year, whatever trout are left die in the warming ponds and shrinking streams--having fulfilled their purpose for the year.

...what were we talking about again?

BTMO
27th June 2009, 04:41 AM
Good god!

I walked into a river, fished, and can do it again tomorrow (if I want to drive for an hour...), walked out. And I was one of four people fishing that stretch. We all caught fish.

NZ is great.

Completely wild run browns, btw...

:D

Checkmite
27th June 2009, 05:50 AM
I will happily continue to keep bees, no matter how awful PETA thinks the practice is. I could say I'd glady keep more bees just to spite PETA's objections, but I actually like beekeeping too much, so it kind of loses the gravity.

PETA can feast on my undergarments.

RandFan
27th June 2009, 05:56 AM
Altruistic behaviour has been seen in animals...Well this is odd, I wonder if this fact can inform us about our own sense of morality. Hmmmm.....

..."But that's just instinct!" you say.For many animals, yes, for some like our close cousins the chimps and bonobos it's not all instinct. Perhaps hardwired rules of behavior coupled with socialy learned behaviors constitute a dynamic. Further, that understanding the interplay of the variables in the dynamic scientifically will help inform our morals.

Well, RandFan will argue until he's blue in the face that it's just instinct for us too, to a significant extent). You could at least have the courtesy, or honesty, to admit that I've addressed that contention and it's adaptive traits, not instinct that we are talking about. And I've made clear scores of times, not that you would care, that one cannot justify what we ought to do simply by what we are.

I don't care if you agree with me. It would be nice if you could at least understand what I'm saying and not put words in my mouth.

GreNME
27th June 2009, 08:21 AM
I will happily continue to keep bees, no matter how awful PETA thinks the practice is. I could say I'd glady keep more bees just to spite PETA's objections, but I actually like beekeeping too much, so it kind of loses the gravity.

PETA can feast on my undergarments.

This is actually one of the ways that PETA are flippin' morons. You keeping bees at this point in time(with so many disappearing) is actually a good thing, both for bees and for the ecologies they support.

shawmutt
27th June 2009, 11:09 AM
Bees are people too--they aren't meant to be kept for slave labor. I think we need to free all "buzz kittens" and stop this horrendous behavior of stealing their honey for our own selfish desires.





...mmm, honey...

Sword_Of_Truth
27th June 2009, 11:39 AM
But it's also arbitrary, at least in the way that you've formulated it. Why, for instance, would my suggesting that morality depends on being a close relative of mine be a worse moral standard?
That would also be objective (or could be if I defined some degree of relatedness, we could do DNA testing to determine if a person was or was not adequately related to me).
The problem, of course, is that it's completely arbitrary.

Now, I'm not saying your definition has to be arbitrary. Only that in the formulation that you've offered, it is.

It's not arbitrary at all. It's simply the existing standard used by almost every carnivorous or omnivorous species (I know of no species that subsists on cannibalism, all known meat eaters eat outside their species).

Your question about DNA testing is absurd. I know of no one who has required such testing to prove their species.

Belz...
27th June 2009, 05:09 PM
"I was only joking about killing them", he said around mouthfuls of bacon, "It's not like anybody here is actually complicit in such killings. The very idea is absurd".

I really wish somebody could answer my questions: what about plants ? Do they have a right to live ? And, if so, what do we get to eat ? Also, do we now prevent animals from killing one another or from killing plants ? And, if not, and I assume this is because it's their "natural tendencies", isn't eating a "natural tendency" to a human ?

Belz...
27th June 2009, 05:16 PM
No. Yes, at least one is necessarily wrong in any useful system of morality.

Amazing.

So if, say, a vegan refuses to eat animal products for some reason or another, and I gleefully eat animal products all the time, and we disagree and agree to disagree, one of us is still wrong ? How does that work ?

Belz...
27th June 2009, 05:27 PM
It's not arbitrary at all. It's simply the existing standard used by almost every carnivorous or omnivorous species (I know of no species that subsists on cannibalism, all known meat eaters eat outside their species).

Your question about DNA testing is absurd. I know of no one who has required such testing to prove their species.

Well, Roboramma has a point. It is kinda arbitrary to limit it to species. But it is objective and certainly very useful and justified: we need to eat.

Checkmite
27th June 2009, 06:17 PM
This is actually one of the ways that PETA are flippin' morons. You keeping bees at this point in time(with so many disappearing) is actually a good thing, both for bees and for the ecologies they support.

I've seen PETA's list of arguments for why beekeeping is bad. It is horribly, terribly wrong. Even the rare facts that they got right, they actually got wrong in some way or another. Just one long page of blatant misrepresentation and, occasionally, simple ignorance.

If any of PETA's other policies read the same way (I haven't bothered to look), then the policymakers PETA has working for them are utter fools.

RandFan
27th June 2009, 06:40 PM
If any of PETA's other policies read the same way (I haven't bothered to look), then the policymakers PETA has working for them are utter fools. My 2 cents: It's supreme arrogance. They don't give a damn about being accurate. They only care about their view. The cause is the view. If they shoot themselves in the foot (which they do with such frequency it's breathtaking) they don't seem to give a damn.

Cain
27th June 2009, 07:01 PM
It's not arbitrary at all. It's simply the existing standard used by almost every carnivorous or omnivorous species (I know of no species that subsists on cannibalism, all known meat eaters eat outside their species).

I'm sorry to report the alternatives are not cannibalism and starvation. People can survive without eating animals, and a vegan diet in no way violates your above tenet of food consumption.

----------------------
Belz:
Well, Roboramma has a point. It is kinda arbitrary to limit it to species. But it is objective and certainly very useful and justified: we need to eat.

You're conflating two separate notions -- the need to eat and eating animals.

Roboramma
27th June 2009, 07:14 PM
It's not arbitrary at all. It's simply the existing standard used by almost every carnivorous or omnivorous species (I know of no species that subsists on cannibalism, all known meat eaters eat outside their species). That doesn't change the fact that it's arbitrary. Moreover, the idea that other species use species as a moral category is something you'll have to support by evidence. Not eating members of their own species is much more well explained by the fact that it's just not a good idea than by the idea that they have constructed a moral framework in which they think its wrong to eat other members of their own species. (they still kill each other, after all).

But even if they do, it doesn't make it a non-arbitrary category.

Your question about DNA testing is absurd. I know of no one who has required such testing to prove their species.
I didn't suggest DNA testing to confirm one's species. I suggested it as an objective method of testing relatedness to me, and thus confirming an objective, but completely arbitrary, basis for a moral framework.

Edit: see my response to ken below for clarification on what exactly I'm saying.

Roboramma
27th June 2009, 07:25 PM
Well, that may be true, if you include animals (wild and domesticated) as part of society.

Where do you draw your line, Roboramma? Is it ok to kill cows for leather and meat? Is it ok to kill chickens for food? Is it ok to rob chickens of their offspring (eggs)? Ok to fry a beetle and eat it. What if I killed a sponge just to use it as a cleaning tool? How about sea urchin, is it ok to kill and eat those too? If there are ants in my house and they can't be reasoned to leave, do I have to just plan on having long term roommates? Yeah, I think most of those things are okay, so long as they are done in the most humane possible manner. I don't think that the harm in "killing cows for leather and meat" comes mainly from the killing, but rather from the life that the cow has as a result of it. Everything dies. And I don't think that most other animals have the sort of moral standing that affords consideration for things like "freedom" to make choices about their lives. If we can determine that a cow's "wild life" would be no better or longer than one raised in captivity for meat and leather, then I have no problem whatever with that.
Moreover, even if it is slightly worse, there is also a benefit to people to be weighed against that.
Finally, I extend more moral consideration to a cow than to a chicken, and far more to a chicken than to any sort of insect, because the ability to "experience" is far greater for the cow, and almost non-existent for the insect. I have no problem with killing ants for convience.

You may think that drawing a line on how to treat animals based on species is meaningless, but I disagree. Well, considering that I specifically said that it isn't meaningless, I think we agree about that.
There is a meaningful difference between a human and a cow, humans are people and sapient beings. Racism is based on a meaningless difference because people of all races think and have desires similarly. And because humans of all races are people.
As I said, the formulation "I am human, therefore better" is arbitrary and meaningless. But that doesn't mean it has to be. The formulation "I am human and have these particular qualities (like the ones you mentioned)" is neither arbitrary or meaningless. I'm only saying that it is those ways in which we are different that gives a different moral perspective.
I actually think we agree about that, as you seem to be making the same point above.

ZirconBlue
27th June 2009, 07:28 PM
If they shoot themselves in the foot (which they do with such frequency it's breathtaking) they don't seem to give a damn.

Of course not. Their own feet are human. Now, if someone shot an animal in the foot. . . .

Roboramma
27th June 2009, 07:33 PM
Then it sounds like you are functionally basing your morals on what is good for society (the group of people), rather than what you originally described.

Possibly, but it depends on how you define society. Moreover, its specifically the way in which individuals are affected that concerns me. Someone might say "homosexual marriage may not harm any individual, but it harms the moral fabric of society as a whole" or something. Now, we can debate the truth of that notion (I wouldn't accept it), but I also wouldn't accept that even if it were true, it would be an argument against gay marriage, because I don't accept the idea that something that doesn't harm individuals has moral standing.

(Of course, you could make an argument that "the moral fabric of society" is something that affects individuals, but again I see that as a different argument)

The point I'm making I guess is that society isn't valuable in and of itself, but due to the people that make it up, and it's those people as individuals that I'm concerned with, not some vague notion of "what's good for society".

I think we may actually agree with that. What we seem to disagree about is where the value I place on individuals comes from. I tried to give a framework for that earlier. And I think that same framework leads to some value being placed on, for instance, the suffering of some animals (the ones that can suffer).

Roboramma
27th June 2009, 07:50 PM
This is actually one of the ways that PETA are flippin' morons. You keeping bees at this point in time(with so many disappearing) is actually a good thing, both for bees and for the ecologies they support.

And this is a good point that I'd like to emphasis. The problem with PETA and some "animal rights" groups is that they are equating things on an incredibly naive grounds. Yes, I think that other species deserve some form of moral consideration, but: "Animals have some moral standing, so if I, as a human, wouldn't like something, it's therefore wrong to do it to an animal" is ridiculous!
If we thought on those grounds, we'd consider parenting to be a form of imprisonment.

Beekeeping is good for the bees. Raising cattle can, when done in a humane way, be good for the cows. Dogs enjoy being pets. So do cats. (when they are being mistreated, that may not be true, but we do have laws to deal with people who mistreat their pets)

Whatever problem that I have with raising livestock, at least in regards to the animals themselves*, is in how it is treated while its alive (not in the fact that it will be killed, nor in it's lack of freedom, nor in the fact that we don't give them the vote).

The problem with people like PETA is that they can't understand the differences between us and animals. I have been trying to make the point that there are meaningful similarities, but it should be obvious to everyone that there are some moral differences (I don't think we need to worry about protecting pigs right to free speech, for instance). Once we recognise that, some of the ideas of PETA become completely ridiculous.

*There may be environmental factors to take into account as well.

Kevin_Lowe
28th June 2009, 06:51 AM
I'm claiming we can't have a totally vegetarian society, because there are too many uneducated people, and children would die.

Rearing children with a vegetarian diet requires a good understanding of nutrition. A much better understanding that many people are able to gain. Pretty much any combination of meat and vegetables is sufficient to provide nutrition. Vegetarianism is harder to do.

Sorry, but the question wasn't "could we transition to a totally meat-free diet tomorrow with no ill effects on the children of idiots". It was "could we have a vegetarian society". As you say yourself, it's simply a problem of telling people what to feed their children. Even if some people were so totally stupid that they would darwinise themselves in a generation of vegetarianism I can't imagine that leading to the inevitable collapse of civilisation.

To Belz
I really wish somebody could answer my questions: what about plants ? Do they have a right to live ? And, if so, what do we get to eat ? Also, do we now prevent animals from killing one another or from killing plants ? And, if not, and I assume this is because it's their "natural tendencies", isn't eating a "natural tendency" to a human ?

Already answered. Pay attention. If it doesn't have a mental life comparable to that of a really dumb human I don't care. Plants do not have such a mental life.

As for preventing animals killing each other, if I could wave a magic wand and stop predation and parasitism in the animal world yet still have a working ecosystem that does all the things ecosystems are supposed to do then I'd wave it.

Pushing your shopping trolley past the bacon to the tofu is a comparatively trivial operation.

Amazing.

So if, say, a vegan refuses to eat animal products for some reason or another, and I gleefully eat animal products all the time, and we disagree and agree to disagree, one of us is still wrong ? How does that work ?

Let me rephrase that question for you so it is relevant.

If person A thinks "it is morally tolerable to take action Z", and person B thinks "it is not morally tolerable to take action Z", then one of them is wrong. I don't know which one, necessarily, but I know one of them is wrong.

That goes for any Z. Fill in the blank with anything you like.

Any further problems comprehending the answer?

Sword_Of_Truth
28th June 2009, 07:24 AM
Already answered. Pay attention. If it doesn't have a mental life comparable to that of a really dumb human I don't care. Plants do not have such a mental life.

Neither do any animals.

That is to say, I've never heard any dolphins squealing "9/11 was an inside job", "You can't hug a child with nuclear arms" or "Meat is Murder".


As for preventing animals killing each other, if I could wave a magic wand and stop predation and parasitism in the animal world yet still have a working ecosystem that does all the things ecosystems are supposed to do then I'd wave it.

I'm glad you realize that. Now shut up and leave us predators alone.

Pushing your shopping trolley past the bacon to the tofu is a comparatively trivial operation.

Loading up on bacon and passing the tofu is equally trivial.

GreNME
28th June 2009, 07:51 AM
Corn and soybeans are the two most patented seed types in industrial farming. This detail is related to the discussion of what benefits society and the environment.

realpaladin
28th June 2009, 07:56 AM
As for preventing animals killing each other, if I could wave a magic wand and stop predation and parasitism in the animal world yet still have a working ecosystem that does all the things ecosystems are supposed to do then I'd wave it.

While you are waving the real bacon goodbye... I was thinking... could you also wish for world peace, social equality and a bunch of ever-grateful photomodels for me?

realpaladin
28th June 2009, 07:58 AM
"You can't hug a child with nuclear arms"

Yes you can. But I will be doubting your mental health on why you would want to hug the child instead of first trying to ask it where the heck it had gotten the nukes from.

Aitch
28th June 2009, 10:19 AM
Yes you can. But I will be doubting your mental health on why you would want to hug the child instead of first trying to ask it where the heck it had gotten the nukes from.

The breakfast cereal market is getting really competitive! ;)

realpaladin
28th June 2009, 10:38 AM
:D

realpaladin
28th June 2009, 11:55 AM
Now, for the PETA and treating animals ethically anyway people...

Try this for a discussion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e6Tli7X9C8

Fish are being bred so they can be gulped down alive.

BartiDdu
28th June 2009, 12:30 PM
...it's simply a problem of telling people what to feed their children.

Not in a free society it's not. I choose not to eat meat but I could never endorse infringing the rights of humans to elevate the rights of animals. Informed choice is where it's at for me but even if we decide to 'educate' rather than 'telling' people, which of the plethora of contrasting dietary advice are we going to teach them?

The status quo seems fine to me on this, budget eggs (etc.) for those who's diets would suffer if they had to pay for free-range (and for those who don't care), free-range for those who wish and can afford to. and shelves and fridges full of alternatives for those who don't want either :)

RandFan
28th June 2009, 01:05 PM
Not in a free society it's not. I choose not to eat meat but I could never endorse infringing the rights of humans to elevate the rights of animals. Informed choice is where it's at for me but even if we decide to 'educate' rather than 'telling' people, which of the plethora of contrasting dietary advice are we going to teach them?

The status quo seems fine to me on this, budget eggs (etc.) for those who's diets would suffer if they had to pay for free-range (and for those who don't care), free-range for those who wish and can afford to. and shelves and fridges full of alternatives for those who don't want either :):) Great post. I also like the idea of choice. I also like the idea of free speech and the rights of ethical vegans or anyone who has an idea or cause to propigate their views.

Skeptical Greg
28th June 2009, 04:41 PM
....
Pushing your shopping trolley past the bacon to the tofu is a comparatively trivial operation.
....

Yeah, but cleaning up the mess after I have vomited up all that tofu, isn't so trivial ..

While were at it, what's up with all the soy meat substitutes I see at the grocery ?

Why do people who have given up meat, want to pretend they are eating meat ?

Kevin_Lowe
28th June 2009, 07:21 PM
Neither do any animals.

That is to say, I've never heard any dolphins squealing "9/11 was an inside job", "You can't hug a child with nuclear arms" or "Meat is Murder".

Animals like dolphins, chimps and parrots have reasonably complicated social interactions, are capable of mental tasks children can't reliably complete until the age of six or so, and can have vocabularies of tens or hundreds of words.

So by the rule you just endorsed, it's perfectly okay to pop a four year old on the spit-roast, since it's dumber than some animals.

"But it's got the potential to be smarter!" you cry, thinking that this is an intelligent response. Well, first problem: acorns aren't oak trees, and sperm aren't scientists. If you count future states as morally determinative then in the future we'll all be dead and you can stuff us in a crematorium now. What determines how we can treat an entity is what it is now, not what you reckon it will be at some arbitrary future time.

But even if you buy the ad hoc "potential" argument, it still doesn't get you off the hook, because brain damaged humans can spend their whole lives with a mental age of under six. Is it okay to keep them in steel cages their whole lives then kill them for bacon?


I'm glad you realize that. Now shut up and leave us predators alone.


If you're so dumb that you're incapable of rational thought, which may well be the case based on your posts, it would indeed be unfair to expect moral behaviour from you. Maybe we should put you on the same moral level as a bot fly larva and not judge you for what you do.

Not in a free society it's not. I choose not to eat meat but I could never endorse infringing the rights of humans to elevate the rights of animals. Informed choice is where it's at for me but even if we decide to 'educate' rather than 'telling' people, which of the plethora of contrasting dietary advice are we going to teach them?

The status quo seems fine to me on this, budget eggs (etc.) for those who's diets would suffer if they had to pay for free-range (and for those who don't care), free-range for those who wish and can afford to. and shelves and fridges full of alternatives for those who don't want either :)

I'm not surprised RandFan endorsed this, it's pretty stupid.

As we've clarified before, we're talking about whether it's morally right to kill animals for food just because you like the taste.

Meat eaters like to try to hijack the discussion into being about whether people should be allowed to eat meat, because that's a whole lot easier for them. For now, please assume everyone agrees you should be allowed to eat meat if you choose to do so, so we can get back to the real question which is whether or not eating meat would make you an immoral person.

Checkmite
28th June 2009, 07:27 PM
While were at it, what's up with all the soy meat substitutes I see at the grocery ?

You must not eat any soy products. Soybeans are pollinated by honey bees.

RandFan
28th June 2009, 07:36 PM
I'm not surprised RandFan endorsed this, it's pretty stupid.Because? I'm guessing there won't be an answer...

For now, please assume everyone agrees you should be allowed to eat meat if you choose to do so...I was correct, no answer, just invective and then you concede the point. First you declare it stupid and then brush it aside.

The poster doesn't eat meat but recognizes that PETA (this thread IS about PETA) doesn't agree that anyone should be allowed to eat meat.

...so we can get back to the real question which is whether or not eating meat would make you an immoral person. Look up, up there, the thread title, THAT'S the real question. I don't know why PETA is so bloody stupid. I only know that they are.

But I'll answer your question about meat consumption. No. It doesn't make me an immoral person.

Any other questions?

RandFan
28th June 2009, 07:46 PM
Kevin,

What I don't get is what's it to you? So we are all immoral? So what? You post as if you have feelings or perhaps a conscience. You post as if it bothers you that animals might suffer.

Kevin_Lowe
28th June 2009, 08:09 PM
Kevin,

What I don't get is what's it to you? So we are all immoral? So what? You post as if you have feelings or perhaps a conscience. You post as if it bothers you that animals might suffer.

You can keep wondering about that.

All I'm here for currently is to keep people honest, by pointing out bogus arguments. I don't think I'll run out of material any time soon.

I do think if you kill conscious beings in order to eat them you ought to have a better reason than "I like the taste of conscious beings better than that of plants", or "I can digest them so it's okay for me to eat them", or "it's marginally more convenient for me to eat them than to spend half an hour googling for nutritional advice once in my life".

RandFan
28th June 2009, 08:42 PM
I do think if you kill conscious beings in order to eat them you ought to have a better reason than "I like the taste of conscious beings better than that of plants", or "I can digest them so it's okay for me to eat them", or "it's marginally more convenient for me to eat them than to spend half an hour googling for nutritional advice once in my life". I'm a moral skeptic and find such arguments more likely to simply be an attempt to post hoc rationalize one's preferences. Not that the arguments can't cause change or that one shouldn't sincerely consider the arguments. Moral arguments can have profound effect on one's moral sense but I don't think anyone needs to justify his or her choices to anyone. We have laws, ethics and social convention. If you want to argue in an attempt to change the laws, ethics or convention then that is fine but expecting anyone to justify on a case by case basis for their actions is really asking someone to rationalize their actions post hoc.

If one truly is in need of justification for eating meat then I think Cohen and Ralston (http://www.csus.edu/indiv/g/gaskilld/SocialIssues14/Meat.htm) provide ample ammunition for that.

I've considered the arguments pro and con and I sleep quite fine at night. I suspect that my conclusions are based in part on what Pinker calls the moral sense and my indoctrination (I grew up on a farm slaughtering chickens and rabbits). I won't tell you that this makes my choice right only that it explains why I perceive it as right (along with serious considerations of the arguments made).

I should note that I was raised a conservative right wing Christian and I believed that homosexuality and pre-marital sex (along with a whole host of behaviors and beliefs) were immoral.

I'm now an atheist and fully support the rights of gays and lesbians.

I didn't come by my current sense of morality blithely or blindly. I seriously and sincerely considered the arguments and I'm fine with eating meat. How much of that is genetic or biological and how much of that is reason I don't know but I know that I've made an informed choice. Something you simply dismiss as "stupid".

FWIW: NPR interviews Steven Pinker on Morality as a 'Sixth Sense' (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18482797) (pinker deals a bit with eating meat).

Improbable Joe
28th June 2009, 08:57 PM
You can keep wondering about that.

All I'm here for currently is to keep people honest, by pointing out bogus arguments. I don't think I'll run out of material any time soon.

I do think if you kill conscious beings in order to eat them you ought to have a better reason than "I like the taste of conscious beings better than that of plants", or "I can digest them so it's okay for me to eat them", or "it's marginally more convenient for me to eat them than to spend half an hour googling for nutritional advice once in my life".
If you think the difference between living a "normal" versus "vegan" or "vegetarian" lifestyle only requires a 30 minute investment sitting on your butt at a computer, then you're worse than the PETA Nazis.

Further, I don't think you're here to keep anyone "honest." I think you're hear to pretend to that, while taking contrary stances in order to afford yourself a sense of moral superiority, and NOTHING ELSE. I'm sure you've proved to yourself that you are better than everyone else currently posting, or possibly better than everyone else currently living... but what else is there to you and your position?

GreNME
28th June 2009, 09:17 PM
You can keep wondering about that.

All I'm here for currently is to keep people honest, by pointing out bogus arguments. I don't think I'll run out of material any time soon.

That's about as useless and arbitrary reason for your continued ignoring of the numerous valid points presented to you as one might get from an eight-year-old about why they left a crap in the middle of the living room.

I do think if you kill conscious beings in order to eat them you ought to have a better reason than "I like the taste of conscious beings better than that of plants", or "I can digest them so it's okay for me to eat them", or "it's marginally more convenient for me to eat them than to spend half an hour googling for nutritional advice once in my life".

I think you should stop attacking the strawmen and actually read what people have already posted.

Really, do you argue this dogmatically against abortion? Against any and all war? Against the death penalty? You talk all this crap about consistency, so can you back up your own assertions or are you just getting off playing devil's deaf advocate?

GreNME
28th June 2009, 09:19 PM
Further, I don't think you're here to keep anyone "honest." I think you're hear to pretend to that, while taking contrary stances in order to afford yourself a sense of moral superiority, and NOTHING ELSE. I'm sure you've proved to yourself that you are better than everyone else currently posting, or possibly better than everyone else currently living... but what else is there to you and your position?

Same thing I've been thinking.

Improbable Joe
28th June 2009, 09:24 PM
Same thing I've been thinking.

To take that thought further(because engaging with that other person seems like a waste of time), shouldn't PETA start targeting lions and tigers for extinction? After all, how DARE one animal eat another!

Sword_Of_Truth
28th June 2009, 10:24 PM
All I'm here for currently is to keep people honest, by pointing out bogus arguments.

Ironic considering there hasn't been an honest statement out of you in this entire thread.

All you have done is beat up on straw men, hurl insults and ad-homs and attempt to dazzle us with your hyper-inflated opinion of your own intellect.

Improbable Joe
28th June 2009, 10:25 PM
Ironic considering there hasn't been an honest statement out of you in this entire thread.

All you have done is beat up on straw men, hurl insults and ad-homs and attempt to dazzle us with your hyper-inflated opinion of your own intellect.

Wow, it isn't just me?

Anyhoo, if you have a minute, should PETA advocate the destruction of carnivores?

GreNME
28th June 2009, 10:31 PM
All you have done is beat up on straw men, hurl insults and ad-homs and attempt to dazzle us with your hyper-inflated opinion of your own intellect.

In his defense, he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express one time.

RandFan
28th June 2009, 10:37 PM
Wow, it isn't just me?

Anyhoo, if you have a minute, should PETA advocate the destruction of carnivores?This is along the lines of an argument I've made for years. Life for animals in the wild is brutal and harsh. Predation, the elements, disease etc. Most animals die shortly after they are born. They are usually eaten. Dying of old age isn't a statistical possibility for animals. Neither is a life of bliss. However, some might argue that whatever an animal suffers in the wild doesn't give humans the right to kill and eat them.

Improbable Joe
28th June 2009, 10:42 PM
However, some might argue that whatever an animal suffers in the wild doesn't give humans the right to kill and eat them.

Yes, but those people are stupid. :eek:

What right does a lion have to eat an elk, or whatever it is they are munching on when I flip past Animal Planet?

Sword_Of_Truth
28th June 2009, 10:59 PM
In his defense, he did stay at a Holiday Inn Express one time.

He's Jerry Falwell in a fursuit. :p

realpaladin
28th June 2009, 11:04 PM
What I find most stupid about this thread is that people use their emotions as a starting point to keep a 'rational' discussion on why the emotions of others should change.

Sword_Of_Truth
28th June 2009, 11:07 PM
What I find most stupid about this thread is that people use their emotions as a starting point to keep a 'rational' discussion on why the emotions of others should change.

Bingo.

Improbable Joe
28th June 2009, 11:09 PM
What I find most stupid about this thread is that people use their emotions as a starting point to keep a 'rational' discussion on why the emotions of others should change.Really? How so?

realpaladin
28th June 2009, 11:15 PM
Really? How so?
Unless I were 'unstable' to begin with you can not rationalize me into a guilt-complex when I enjoy my next Whopper or Quarterpounder.

Same goes for the other way around; unless you were unstable to begin with noboday can rationalize you out of 'finding it immoral that people eat meat'.

Nutshelled the whole story for ya.

Continuing, in my book, just means you either have too much spare time on your hands or rather use discussion as a substitute for action to soothe your own guilt-complex.

Improbable Joe
28th June 2009, 11:22 PM
Continuing, in my book, just means you either have too much spare time on your hands or rather use discussion as a substitute for action to soothe your own guilt-complex.

So why do you post? Other than the sorts of ego-sustaining reasons that I've previously attributed to Kevin_Lowe?

Kevin_Lowe
28th June 2009, 11:22 PM
If you think the difference between living a "normal" versus "vegan" or "vegetarian" lifestyle only requires a 30 minute investment sitting on your butt at a computer, then you're worse than the PETA Nazis.

Further, I don't think you're here to keep anyone "honest." I think you're hear to pretend to that, while taking contrary stances in order to afford yourself a sense of moral superiority, and NOTHING ELSE. I'm sure you've proved to yourself that you are better than everyone else currently posting, or possibly better than everyone else currently living... but what else is there to you and your position?

An unexamined life is not worth living, according to Socrates. So in that sense I'm giving you the opportunity to live a life worth living, by reflecting on your own beliefs and behaviour, especially your belief in your own morality and rationality.

You should be thanking me.

Really, do you argue this dogmatically against abortion? Against any and all war? Against the death penalty? You talk all this crap about consistency, so can you back up your own assertions or are you just getting off playing devil's deaf advocate?

Assume, if it makes you happy, that not only am I totally inconsistent but also that I am Hitler.

It's your own beliefs and behaviour you should be worried about. If you can't maintain a simple, rational discussion about your food choices without descending into infantile antagonism and abuse, what does that say about you?

Improbable Joe
28th June 2009, 11:29 PM
An unexamined life is not worth living, according to Socrates. So in that sense I'm giving you the opportunity to live a life worth living, by reflecting on your own beliefs and behaviour, especially your belief in your own morality and rationality.

You should be thanking me.
Oh yeah, thank you Oh Wisest Person Ever, for pointing out the flaw in all of humanity, and all carnivorous animals, that we may die of starvation and/or malnutrition while maintaining the moral purity demanded of us by some yahoo on the Internet.

http://www.jamiedole.com/gifs/EyeRoll.gif

realpaladin
28th June 2009, 11:33 PM
So why do you post? Other than the sorts of ego-sustaining reasons that I've previously attributed to Kevin_Lowe?

I like to fondle my ego this way because I cannot find the physical watchamacallit to make it go 'sploo'.

Sword_Of_Truth
28th June 2009, 11:47 PM
Assume, if it makes you happy, that not only am I totally inconsistent but also that I am Hitler.

Hitler had a gift for convincing people to follow him. A gift that he used for the most depraved evil.

I don't believe you have what it takes to be Hitler.


If you can't maintain a simple, rational discussion about your food choices without descending into infantile antagonism and abuse, what does that say about you?

Funny you should ask that.

If you're so dumb that you're incapable of rational thought, which may well be the case based on your posts, it would indeed be unfair to expect moral behaviour from you... I'm not surprised RandFan endorsed this, it's pretty stupid.

Care to answer your own question?

I'm tempted to call KFC and have them send over another bucket of hostages while using your name, however the joke would backfire due to the name "Kevin Lowe" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Lowe) being highly respected where I come from.

thaiboxerken
28th June 2009, 11:52 PM
It's amazing how upset people can become over what's for dinner.

BartiDdu
28th June 2009, 11:53 PM
:) Great post.

Thanks RandFan :)

I also like the idea of choice. I also like the idea of free speech and the rights of ethical vegans or anyone who has an idea or cause to propigate their views.

Abso-piggin-lutely :) Bring it on :)

I'm not surprised RandFan endorsed this, it's pretty stupid.


So I get one thumbs up and one thumbs down which is fine based on the relative value or dis-value I ascribe to the posters complementing me or calling my post stupid!


Meat eaters like to try to hijack the discussion into being about whether people should be allowed to eat meat,

Maybe, but I'm a veggie so if it was a 'hijacking', it was not the case this time :)


As we've clarified before, we're talking about whether it's morally right to kill animals for food just because you like the taste....For now, please assume everyone agrees you should be allowed to eat meat if you choose to do so, so we can get back to the real question which is whether or not eating meat would make you an immoral person.

I would happily 'assume everyone agrees' if everyone's posts implied that they did. The idea of 'telling people what to eat', rings alarm bells for me, hence my post.

I also think it's a fine line between looking at the morality of an act and looking at concepts of rights, particularly with this topic, when the perceived immorality of meat-eating is very closely related to 'animal rights' - 'rights' which could not be protected by law without infringing human rights, the latter of which I consider to be inalienable.

As to the debate on why I and others see an apparently blatantly obvious difference between protecting the rights of (or just discussing the morality of killing) a four-year-old and those of a cow, a cute minc or a slug, I'm not interested.

I've thought about these things, I've made my choice and I live by it. I don't eat meat - but it's also easy for me to see how one could conclude that meat-eating is a perfectly reasonable way to feed oneself. And I would always defend a person's right to do so.

While were at it, what's up with all the soy meat substitutes I see at the grocery ?

Why do people who have given up meat, want to pretend they are eating meat ?

Should cutting off a large chunk of the available protein choices by choosing not to eat meat mean one's diet has to be restricted to a few protein options?

Some soy products such as tofu have been around a long time and are part of traditional Chinese fare, I'd guess because it's a healthy, and done right, a tasty alternative when meat was not available.

Many who make the decision not to eat meat on ethical grounds are very fond of meat - and for some I believe it's quite an undertaking. Why not have pseudo-meat, even if they are not that close in taste and texture to the genuine article, if it assists one live with a difficult choice?

Have the FDA approved Quorn for you guys yet*? It's been around for decades in the UK and I think it's great :) 1/ because it's so versitile and can taste good. 2/ It's a great source of healthy protein 3/ It (being fungus based) can be grown on waste vegetation so in terms of better use of land or methane reduction, it's a good option. Grow veg on land, eat what you need for your carbs, vitamins, fibre etc, chuck what's left in a big vat and grow your protein! How cool is that?

BDd

*From what I remember from years ago, the FDA considered it a 'new food' therefore requiring their approval (and associated tests & costs etc.) before US citizens were allowed to eat it!

Improbable Joe
28th June 2009, 11:55 PM
It's amazing how upset people can become over what's for dinner.

What's more amazing is that someone managed to become upset at the thought of other people becoming upset over what's for dinner! :jaw-dropp

RandFan
28th June 2009, 11:59 PM
What's more amazing is that someone managed to become upset at the thought of other people becoming upset over what's for dinner! :jaw-droppDamn you sir, damn you to hell.

RandFan
29th June 2009, 12:24 AM
So I get one thumbs up and one thumbs down which is fine based on the relative value or dis-value I ascribe to the posters complementing me or calling my post stupid! I gave it two thumbs up. I think Kevin gave you the finger. ;)

thaiboxerken
29th June 2009, 01:29 AM
What's more amazing is that someone managed to become upset at the thought of other people becoming upset over what's for dinner! :jaw-dropp

Really? I hadn't noticed. Perhaps you can show me evidence of this.

Aitch
29th June 2009, 01:44 AM
As we've clarified before, we're talking about whether it's morally right to kill animals for food just because you like the taste.


I take you don't think it is?

If so... When I was at university (a long time ago), I knew a woman who became a vegetarian because she didn't like the taste of meat. Was she morally wrong to do this? If not, could you explain why not?

realpaladin
29th June 2009, 01:50 AM
As we've clarified before, we're talking about whether it's morally right to kill animals for food just because you like the taste.

Meat eaters like to try to hijack the discussion into being about whether people should be allowed to eat meat, because that's a whole lot easier for them. For now, please assume everyone agrees you should be allowed to eat meat if you choose to do so, so we can get back to the real question which is whether or not eating meat would make you an immoral person.

My morals are none of your friggin' business!

Morals need a context and your context is not mine. And you can not make your context mine.

And now:

:pigsfly:k:

volatile
29th June 2009, 03:09 AM
I think you should stop attacking the strawmen and actually read what people have already posted.

How can they be strawman arguments when they've all been posted more than once in this thread?

GreNME
29th June 2009, 06:31 AM
How can they be strawman arguments when they've all been posted more than once in this thread?

Ahh, so demonizing is a valid argument technique?

Come on, Volatile. I have a whole lot more respect for you than that. Do you really think defending Kevin's behavior at this point is in any way useful?

volatile
29th June 2009, 06:37 AM
Ahh, so demonizing is a valid argument technique?

Come on, Volatile. I have a whole lot more respect for you than that. Do you really think defending Kevin's behavior at this point is in any way useful?

I haven't really followed his "behaviour", to be honest, and just skim-read the last few pages, so I don't know what you're referring to.

Nevertheless, your reply stood out as, quite clearly, the arguments KL cited are all used, more than once each, during the rest of the thread. Your accusation of "strawman" doesn't stack up - that's all I'm saying. It is quite clear that some posters here - yourself not included - use taste, fallacious appeals to evolution and / or laziness as "reasons" for their dietary choices.

GreNME
29th June 2009, 06:41 AM
Assume, if it makes you happy, that not only am I totally inconsistent but also that I am Hitler.

So, in other words, you're not going to answer. You're the one banging the drum of moral consistency, not me, but you're currently not taking questions.

It's your own beliefs and behaviour you should be worried about. If you can't maintain a simple, rational discussion about your food choices without descending into infantile antagonism and abuse, what does that say about you?

The irony of your accusation is not lost on anyone here, Kevin. And no, it's not about my beliefs and behavior at this point. I'm not waving some supposed flag of moral consistency. I asked you those questions because I already know the answer to at least two of them based on your post history, so I know full well you are in all actuality aware of the existence of relative morality and moral choices. You've crossed the line from making a rational, reasonable argument into the realm of playing some kind of self-appointed rhetorical and philosophical hall monitor. At this point, I have no reason at all to believe you have once posted in this thread in good faith, and your continued statements attempting to place yourself above all others here keeps confirming that assessment.

GreNME
29th June 2009, 06:45 AM
I haven't really followed his "behaviour", to be honest, and just skim-read the last few pages, so I don't know what you're referring to.

Nevertheless, your reply stood out as, quite clearly, the arguments KL cited are all used, more than once each, during the rest of the thread. Your accusation of "strawman" doesn't stack up - that's all I'm saying. It is quite clear that some posters here - yourself not included - use taste, fallacious appeals to evolution and / or laziness as "reasons" for their dietary choices.

You're being intentionally evasive. First: I used no appeal to evolution as a moral justification, I pointed out that the arguments claiming that eating meat had nothing to do with our development are wrong. Twisting what I said into something I did not is precisely an example of the intellectual dishonesty Kevin has been engaged in throughout the thread.

I don't think a side discussion of Kevin's rhetorical foibles is going to be productive. If you are interested in specific examples of Kevin's using strawmen arguments, more than one person has pointed out specific cases throughout the thread, including myself.

volatile
29th June 2009, 06:51 AM
You're being intentionally evasive. First: I used no appeal to evolution as a moral justification, I pointed out that the arguments claiming that eating meat had nothing to do with our development are wrong. Twisting what I said into something I did not is precisely an example of the intellectual dishonesty Kevin has been engaged in throughout the thread.

Did you see where I said "yourself NOT included", Gren? :rolleyes:

Nevertheless, you cannot call arguments "strawmen" that have actually been made with a straight face by numerous posters in this forum. If you think they're bad arguments - and they ARE bad arguments - take it up with those making them. But don't have a go at KL just for pointing out that a great number of people have a massive blindspot in their scepticism when it comes to what's for dinner.

GreNME
29th June 2009, 07:13 AM
Did you see where I said "yourself NOT included", Gren? :rolleyes:

I misread. My apologies.

Nevertheless, you cannot call arguments "strawmen" that have actually been made with a straight face by numerous posters in this forum. If you think they're bad arguments - and they ARE bad arguments - take it up with those making them. But don't have a go at KL just for pointing out that a great number of people have a massive blindspot in their scepticism when it comes to what's for dinner.

As I pointed out, Kevin has used them as blind spots, often in using arguments some people have made against others who haven't, but also in completely twisting what has been said into things that haven't, my comments about evolutionary development included. What makes it a strawman is not that no one has ever used such an argument, but that Kevin picks and chooses (incorrectly) when to argue against them.

I'd also argue that the choice for eating food isn't a matter of a skeptical blind spot, but a refusal to accept that eating meat is immoral. You could argue that the choice to refuse considering it immoral is a skeptical blind spot, but as RandFan, myself, and a few others have argued this is a matter that is relative to the values of the individual and the social unit. It's a matter of differing moral values, not a blind spot. The argument that it ought not be that way has, thus far, not been forwarded in any realistic fashion by Kevin and instead he's taken to appealing to (a self-appointed) moral superiority as the basis for his argument.

RandFan
29th June 2009, 07:23 AM
You could argue that the choice to refuse considering it immoral is a skeptical blind spot, but as RandFan, myself, and a few others have argued this is a matter that is relative to the values of the individual and the social unit. It's a matter of differing moral values, not a blind spot. The argument that it ought not be that way has, thus far, not been forwarded in any realistic fashion by Kevin and instead he's taken to appealing to (a self-appointed) moral superiority as the basis for his argument.Well said.

volatile
29th June 2009, 07:30 AM
I don't think I've ever seen either of you two articulate why diet is not a moral issue (in fact, I seem to remember both of you making moral arguments against animal cruelty).

For the sake of clarity - and the avoidance of strawmen - would you mind explaining why your dietary choices are not moral issues?

BartiDdu
29th June 2009, 07:35 AM
...a great number of people have a massive blindspot in their scepticism when it comes to what's for dinner.

Wow, that's an interesting one. Is the implication here that anyone who is consistently sceptical will by necessity come to the same conclusion on the meat-eating debate? If so it's rather a massive claim methinks! Doesn't it assume we all start off with the same premises when it comes to our source/s of morality?

Just a thought :)

BDd

Edit: I hadn't seen GreNME/RandFan's response before posting - but my point is not exactly the same so I'll leave it.

RandFan
29th June 2009, 07:37 AM
For the sake of clarity - and the avoidance of strawmen - would you mind explaining why your dietary choices are not moral issues?I can't speak for GreNME but I don't claim that dietary choices can't be moral issues. Swift's modest proposal springs to mind.

I think that what GreNME said was that having considered the arguments we do not find that eating meat is necassarily immoral (it can be). That's my sentiment anyway.

realpaladin
29th June 2009, 07:38 AM
I don't think I've ever seen either of you two articulate why diet is not a moral issue (in fact, I seem to remember both of you making moral arguments against animal cruelty).

For the sake of clarity - and the avoidance of strawmen - would you mind explaining why your dietary choices are not moral issues?

Easy. I am a human being. Not a Vulcan or a Borg. Rationality has it's limits regarding it's reach into my life.

GreNME
29th June 2009, 07:44 AM
I don't think I've ever seen either of you two articulate why diet is not a moral issue (in fact, I seem to remember both of you making moral arguments against animal cruelty).

For the sake of clarity - and the avoidance of strawmen - would you mind explaining why your dietary choices are not moral issues?

What? You obviously mean dietary choice regarding eating meat, but I'm not saying that what I eat doesn't have a moral value. I'm saying that the values are applied differently and to different things in my case. Like I stated many pages back, I feel that there are very logical and reasonably moral reasons for lowering consumption of meat, not only for the ability to better improve the conditions for livestock but also to minimize the ecological toll (keep in mind, I'm into conservationism) and quite possibly to lower greenhouse emissions (though I'm not 100% on that last one). The value system I apply to it doesn't have a problem with the death, but instead on the waste, and I'd agree that the current system for industrial food (with both meat and plant foodstuffs) is horrendously wasteful.

There's more as far as details and gradation within the value system, but if I had to give a quick nutshell that pretty much works.

Rogue1stclass
29th June 2009, 09:04 AM
I don't think I've ever seen either of you two articulate why diet is not a moral issue (in fact, I seem to remember both of you making moral arguments against animal cruelty).

For the sake of clarity - and the avoidance of strawmen - would you mind explaining why your dietary choices are not moral issues?

Did anyone ever say they weren't?

I'm pretty this discussion at some point encompassed cannibalism as well as eating horses and dogs. These are all dietary choices we make on moral grounds.

What I have issue with is someone saying that because I won't eat a toddler, then I shouldn't eat a pig. Morality doesn't work that way. It's not an either/or choice, it's a more/less choice. Immoral is an arbitrary line drawn when something contains so little morality that it becomes intolerable.

We do this with every single moral issue. Every single one. In this case, we draw the line at animals we consider companions.