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Old 28th November 2012, 05:10 AM   #201
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Releasing animals from mink farms has caused those places to close and never re-open,
It's also buggered up many natural ecosystems by releasing a previously unknown savage top predator into a formerly stable environment including in some places nearly wiping out the local mink.

Whoops.
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Old 28th November 2012, 05:42 AM   #202
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Originally Posted by foxholeatheist View Post
If we are making no meaningful distinction between the morality of eating certain species than I think that baleen whales may be the biggest mass murderers of all time.

Stop the krill slaughter!!
Plancton is not a vertebrate animal
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:55 AM   #203
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Plancton is not a vertebrate animal
Why stop with vertebrates?Why take any life at all?
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Old 28th November 2012, 06:59 AM   #204
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Nominated. For the Hall of Fame of Bad Arguments. When did our standard for rights become the "potential to do great things"? And how do we define "great"? It turns out chimps must be "less capable of making decisions" than infants, much less strung-out junkies. And if we're going to create this new standard, then we should really follow through: people with Down's Syndrome can be infected with HIV.



Even though I think it's generally regarded as trivially obvious that experimenting directly on humans would yield far more insights than current animal research -- in part because it's relatively low-hanging, forbidden fruit -- let's put aside the question of which would lead to "faster cures" -- and reframe it as another tool in the toolbox. "Ethical concerns" impede progress on the headline grabbing diseases you mentioned.


ETA: I wasn't going to bother with this, but for the sake of completeness.

re: nothing and share a lot in common


I didn't say you did... but just now you sort of did...



It's troubling how the organisms on earth fail to respect our hard line for differences between homo sapiens and other species. I know people who are NOTHING like me. They like the Beatles whereas I prefer the Stones. They have light hair whereas I have dark hair. They eat meat; I don't.

It's like Bentham said, "The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' nor, 'Can they create an 18th level Paladin' but 'Can they suffer?'"
How do you know that plants don't suffer?
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Old 28th November 2012, 07:07 AM   #205
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Old 28th November 2012, 07:31 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Why stop with vertebrates?Why take any life at all?
I'm curious, too. Where do we draw the line? Some creatures are both plant and animal. Do we have to give them "rights"?

Is anyone here willing to host a colony of headlice to save the bugs?

You're willing to bankrupt people to "save" the mink...what about brown algae? Rabies? Houseflies?

Or is all your love and sympathy just reserved for fluffy stuff?
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Old 28th November 2012, 07:34 AM   #207
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Few will argue that animals are not suffering when they get killed
Count me as one of the few. It depends entirely on the manner of the death, just as it does with humans. I think humans can die without suffering, so it stands to reason that animals can as well.
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Old 28th November 2012, 07:54 AM   #208
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Quote:
Plancton is not a vertebrate animal
Why stop with vertebrates?
I agree. It seems like a very strange argument/distinction.

PETA fans have been complaining about me setting an "arbitrary" dividing line between human/non-human, but here you are willing to divide a line based on existence of a back-bone.

Some invertebrates have shown pretty complex abilities, including tool use and the ability to reason (Octopus, the Portia spider.) Should not invertebrates be given the same considerations as vertebrates?

And as another poster pointed out... what about things like head lice (or bed bugs, or any one of dozens of "pests"). Are PETA members willing to serve has hosts for these animals?
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Old 28th November 2012, 07:57 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
Why stop with vertebrates?Why take any life at all?
I know you're being facetious here, but that's a valid question. If you had the ability to live without killing other creatures, would it be moral to do so?

And as to the dividing line about which you and DragonLady inquired, I believe most AR supporters would say sentience is the quality that engenders animal rights. Obviously, then, plants and plankton would be excluded.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:04 AM   #210
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Suppose you voiced an opinion supporting the compassionately euthanizing a terminally ill patients, and Mr Critic turns around and says "ok, so you support murdering people on the street?". Mr Critic interrupts your incredulous laughter with the argument "Euthanasia? Murder? Both turn living people into dead people, what's the difference?"

Now, you can very well agree that its superficially true euthanasia and murder actually does create dead people, and simultaneously argue that are relevant differences between them. For a start, motives: motive behind one isn't the comparable to the other, argument's for one do not justify the other, arguments against one aren't necessarily arguments against the other. And so you've shown Mr Critic's grossly obtuse argument is barely more than a DOA word game.

Your comment on shelter euthanasia vs animal experimentation is exactly analogous -- except this time, you're Mr Critic.

But, we're not talking about two different practices with similar results; we're not talking about "euthanesia as opposed to murder in the streets". We're talking about euthanesia as opposed to euthanesia.


Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
No different from the way that you depend on products which may be, directly or indirectly, a product of human slave labor, while objecting to human slavery in principle. Metals and minerals used in electronic equipment have a very strong chance of being mined by slaves or people working in very unsafe environments. If you live in a first-world country where computers and electronic devices are omnipresent, your entire livelihood is directly or indirectly built on the backs of human slaves. That's an argument against slavery, not for it.

With the understanding that your money is supporting human slavery, imagine if I criticized you using the exact same rhetoric leveled against animal rights activists: I'd call you a hypocrite who tacitly endorses human slavery. You'd object for obvious reasons products of that nature are omnipresent, you can't choose to avoid them even if you wanted, and it just isn't sensible to be criticize for choices where you have no alternatives. It's exactly analogous the the criticism you're trying to level against PETA, only applied to the unethical treatment of humans.

This argument is again spurious. Firstly, the term "slave labor" is emotionally-laden scare language. No, foreign labor (whilst pay and working conditions may at times be much less than Americans, even to a point that's objectionable) is nothing at all like slave labor; the workers still get paid a wage that lets them afford housing and food, and they go home at night and sleep in beds in places they likely either own or rent. Even sweat shops, for their deplorable conditions, still don't constitute slavery. Slavery is chattel ownership of humans. There may in fact be places where the workers are indentured, or even worse yet might actually be objectively considered "slaves" by the real definition of the word; but these places are not highly prolific, and you have absolutely no way of knowing or proving whether anything I have in my house or use on a daily basis was produced by such individuals. For instance, I don't have iPads or $100 shoes, if these are the sorts of things you're thinking of. So no, it's not necessarily true that I benefit from slave labor at all in any way.

Whereas, it's not merely a rhetorical thought-stopping cliche to say that certain PETA members (among many others) take medicines that were developed partially through animal research, because as they themselves have pointed out, there aren't any alternatives they could be using instead.

Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
But since we're talking about experimentation, let's talk about experimentation: you likely object to syphilis research on non-consenting human subjects between conducted between the 1930s - 1970s, even if the studies tangibly benefited 1000s of people. And human experimentation trials involving radiation toxicity, biological warfare, hypothermia, high-G throughout the 20th century had an enormous human cost, though the outcome saved lives. Is that an argument for more human experimentation? By your own argument, not only is it permissible, but it'd be unethical not to continue the trend of human experimentation.


I think PETA holds opinions similar to mine: animal experimentation is absolutely permissible in all the areas where it would be acceptable to experiment on mentally similar humans.

There's no such thing as a "mentally similar human". Even severely mentally-retarded humans still have capacities for reasoning and learning above and beyond other animals. Babies have been mentioned; however, even if you tried to quantify a point at which babies are "mentally similar to animals", it wouldn't work because the fact that the baby is actively developing beyond that phase even at that very moment is enough all by itself to set him/her immediately apart from any other animal and would necessarily make the baby not-mentally-similar to the animal after all.


Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
In as much as you advocate the right to benefit from human slavery so long as you're the one benefiting in specific situations.
Stuff and balderdash; see above.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:23 AM   #211
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Quote:
PETA wants to end all animal testing.
So do I. So should everyone--it's a nasty business. As long as there are no realistic alternatives, credible arguments can be made from necessity.
Here's the problem... While I think it would be good to end animal testing when it is feasible, it will not be possible to do so for decades if not centuries. However, PETA incorrectly claims that that can be done now. For all medical research.

Quote:
Quote:
Since they have never given any sort of time frame I think its safe to assume they'd be happy if it were done immediately.
That doesn't follow, and is inconsistent with the common sense meaning of the word "goal" (we have short term goals and long term goals, but we never talk about "right now goals"). I think you just invented the "right now" stipulation to create hypothetical problems that have no connection to reality...
Well, here's some quotes from PETA's own web site:

(See: http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-u...d-science.aspx)

The only reason people are under the misconception that animal experiments help humans is because the media, experimenters, universities and lobbying groups exaggerate the potential of animal experiments

So, no "animal testing can help but sometimes its unnecessary." They've outright stated that its a "misconception" that animal tests can help humans.

...there are modern in vitro (test tube) and safe human-based methods available to accurately test the safety and effectiveness of a drug on the human body.. (They make other claims about how we can do everything we need "without animals" right now.)

Again, this is a false claim. Yes we can do some work without animal experiments, but our ability to work just with "test tubes" is limited.

Also missing is a discussion of things like vaccine manufacture, which cannot be done using our current technology without animal products (something that would be forbidden under PETA rules.)
Quote:
I want an impact right now. There's plenty of animal research being conducted right now which is strictly unnecessary.
You see, here's the problem...

You're taking a completely reasonable position (along the lines of "hey, lets not do useless tests") and falsely assuming that that is all PETA wants to stop. Its not. They not only want to stop what even I would consider unnecessary research, but also things that actually save lives and cannot be done using alternative methods.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:37 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
Plancton is not a vertebrate animal
So? Some plankton are animal. You said "animal". Why stop there? How about streptococcus? HIV virus?

Why do you draw an artificial dividing line at vertibrates? Octopii are not vertibrates, but can use their tentacles like hands, and act in fashions that indicate awareness of self and external entities.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:39 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by Merton View Post
And as to the dividing line about which you and DragonLady inquired, I believe most AR supporters would say sentience is the quality that engenders animal rights. Obviously, then, plants and plankton would be excluded.
Ok, now define "sentience", please. Euglena demonstrate rudimentary survival skills.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:41 AM   #214
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
I'm curious, too. Where do we draw the line? Some creatures are both plant and animal. Do we have to give them "rights"?

Is anyone here willing to host a colony of headlice to save the bugs?

You're willing to bankrupt people to "save" the mink...what about brown algae? Rabies? Houseflies?

Or is all your love and sympathy just reserved for fluffy stuff?
A small improvement at least in this post: at least you're trying to ask questions rather than rather than criticizing groups for holding views you've just made up for them.

The stereotype that animal rights activists actually value life, for its own sake, is incorrect. It's not so biological life, but biographical life that AR people care about. A first-person point of view, actually experiencing one's environment, having memories, having wants or interests, suffering when those wants or interests aren't satisfied. I think Peter Singer gets it right when he says "so long as a being suffers, there's no reason not to take that suffering into consideration". I think that's a really good starting point, generally agreeable between people with a serious interest in human and non-human animal rights.

Rocks, plants, bacteria, virii, fungi, characters in video games don't have any mental life whatsoever, it's not obvious whether they actually experience stimuli, or whether those organisms perceive those experiences are positive or negative. I can't think of any obvious way to account for those organisms in our decisions effecting them when they don't prefer the outcome of any action over another. If you can identify reasons why we consider those organisms rights, I'd like to hear it.

There's good evidence that vertebrates and cephalopods have a mental life to some extent. I'm not 100% sure about arthropods, I personally don't get quite as worked up about eating honey or lobster as, say, sticking a knife into a cat's belly.

I'm strictly not interested in "line drawing", because that almost always leads to "well, you can't do X with absolute perfection, so why even try doing Y, Z, whatever?" [1] A good, reasonable starting point is to avoid purposefully causing suffering when its reasonably easy to avoid.

[1] No, "line-drawing" is not a problem unique to animal rights. There are tons of issues involving end-of-life treatment for humans, whether to continue futile care that prolongs suffering, or prolongs the life of a person who'll never experience their lives, or saves a life while bankrupting an entire hospital wing. If people spoke about human rights the same way they talk about animal rights, you'd hear the argument "where do you draw the line, how far do we go to save human life? Don't know? Well obviously it's fine to kill people totally willy-nilly! [trollface trollface skeet skeet skeet]".
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:42 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by John Mekki View Post
[pedantic]
Few will argue that animals are not suffering when they get killed
[/pedantic]
Please show evidence for both of the claims implicit in that sentence.

Have you ever been to a stockyard? I don't think so.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:45 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
I think PETA holds opinions similar to mine: animal experimentation is absolutely permissible in all the areas where it would be acceptable to experiment on mentally similar humans.
Wrong. PETA is opposed to all animal testing. Period.

Also wrong "mentally similar humans".

What's more, PETA makes it clear that it regards the human race as inferior to all other species by making their claim of absolutely no animal testing. By doing so, they argue that human beings are not yet fully animals.

This is in total controversion to any basic biological understanding, as well as representing species treason.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:47 AM   #217
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
Ok, now define "sentience", please. Euglena demonstrate rudimentary survival skills.
Gary Francione most closely represents my opinion on the matter of animal rights. His blog entry entitled "Sentience" begins:

Originally Posted by Gary Francione
A sentient being is a being who is subjectively aware; a being who has interests; that is, a being who prefers, desires, or wants. Those interests do not have to be anything like human interests. If a being has some kind of mind that can experience frustration or satisfaction of whatever interests that being has, then the being is sentient.
Source: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/.../#.ULY_L4bXufc

An euglena does not have a brain, and brains are necessary for the level of awareness we associate with sentience.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:49 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
What's more, PETA makes it clear that it regards the human race as inferior to all other species by making their claim of absolutely no animal testing. By doing so, they argue that human beings are not yet fully animals.

This is in total controversion to any basic biological understanding, as well as representing species treason.
This is a joke, right?
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:51 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by Merton View Post
An euglena does not have a brain, and brains are necessary for the level of awareness we associate with sentience.
Please prove that a "brain" is necessary. A brain is nothing more than a collection of chemicals. Euglena demonstrate survival skills that respond to light, temperature, and pressure. They do not have a brain. QED

In other words, your definition is utterly faulty, and is offered as an attempt to stifle discussion.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:52 AM   #220
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
characters in video games don't have any mental life whatsoever

http://features.peta.org/mario-kills-tanooki/


http://features.peta.org/CookingMama/


Kind of funny you say that when PETA campaigns against fictional game characters.

Or where is the link that playing certain games will kill more animals? Is PETA now the thought police where you can't even think about harming an animal in a fictitious sense?
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:55 AM   #221
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Originally Posted by Merton View Post
This is a joke, right?
No, it's not. PETA policies make all animals more important ethically (or morally, take your choice) than human beings.

PETA is a group that endorses and attempts to enforce species treason.

I would suggest that you learn about the role of meat in the evolution of the human brain. Yes, it is possible, with sufficient care, to manage without meat. It is not what the organism is designed to do, and as such constitutes abuse of the organism.

When done by an individual, it's a choice, just like starting to drink alcohol, or starting to smoke, etc.

When enforced by a group of species traitors, it's an attempt to destroy the species.

There is nothing whatsoever funny about that.

And that's without even starting in on the issues related to economics and how PETA policies would put poor people even farther into poverty.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:55 AM   #222
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
Please prove that a "brain" is necessary. A brain is nothing more than a collection of chemicals. Euglena demonstrate survival skills that respond to light, temperature, and pressure. They do not have a brain. QED

In other words, your definition is utterly faulty, and is offered as an attempt to stifle discussion.
Did you even read the definition?

Originally Posted by Gary Francione
If a being has some kind of mind that can experience frustration or satisfaction of whatever interests that being has, then the being is sentient.
An euglena doesn't have a mind, cannot experience frustration nor satisfaction, and has no interests. QED.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:56 AM   #223
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Rocks, plants, bacteria, virii, fungi, characters in video games don't have any mental life whatsoever, it's not obvious whether they actually experience stimuli, or whether those organisms perceive those experiences are positive or negative.
Actually, many microorganisms do experience stimuli, and will actively react to either light or other types of stimuli. For example, the amoeba (a single celled organism.)

Amoebas can also cause disease and death. By your reasoning, any attempt to treat said disease in humans will result in the destruction of multitudes of organisms which are capable of "experiencing stimuli".

http://www.ehow.com/info_8517923_way...-responds.html
http://news.discovery.com/human/brai...ba-110818.html

Quote:
There's good evidence that vertebrates and cephalopods have a mental life to some extent. I'm not 100% sure about arthropods...
Cockroaches are able to not only respond to stimuli, but also to form memories.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0927132543.htm

So, if someone has a house infested with Cockroaches, are you willing to go over and transport them all to your house to save these beings capable of learning and responding to stimuli from being killed by the exterminator?

And again, I find it a strange distinction... we can't separate humans from non-humans because its "arbitrary", but you are able to do your own arbitrary distinction based on assumptions about what microbes, arthropods and other creapy-crawlies feel?
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:58 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
No, it's not. PETA policies make all animals more important ethically (or morally, take your choice) than human beings.
BS. Where's your evidence?

Quote:
I would suggest that you learn about the role of meat in the evolution of the human brain. Yes, it is possible, with sufficient care, to manage without meat. It is not what the organism is designed to do, and as such constitutes abuse of the organism.
Naturalist fallacy.
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Old 28th November 2012, 08:58 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
What's more, PETA makes it clear that it regards the human race as inferior to all other species by making their claim of absolutely no animal testing. By doing so, they argue that human beings are not yet fully animals.

This is in total controversion to any basic biological understanding, as well as representing species treason.


Originally Posted by jj View Post
No, it's not. PETA policies make all animals more important ethically (or morally, take your choice) than human beings.
Evidence? No, there's no point asking, let's skip straight to the chase: PETA does not hold the view you accuse them of having, there's no point criticizing PETA based on views that they don't hold in the first place.

If they're anything like me, they views human rights and animal rights as two sides of the exact same coin.

Quote:
PETA is a group that endorses and attempts to enforce species treason.
Species treason? That's a lot like a race traitor, right?
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Old 28th November 2012, 09:00 AM   #226
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Making fun of people who disagree with you by posting funny pictures in defense of an animal is a perfect example of putting an animal ahead of a human being. QED.
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Old 28th November 2012, 09:22 AM   #227
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I was going to respond to this in an earlier post, but messed up. Rather than going back and editing my post, I thought I'd do a separate response...

Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
A small improvement at least in this post: at least you're trying to ask questions rather than rather than criticizing groups for holding views you've just made up for them.
Actually, there have been a lot of questions asked of you. You just keep avoiding them. Why is that?

Here are some of the questions that have been asked:

- Given that PETA wants an end to all use of animal products (including eggs used in vaccine), that policy will result in the deaths of thousands of humans a year. Do you consider that a fair tradeoff in the name of "animal rights"?

(And before you claim that "I don't think PETA wants that", go back and look at my earlier reference... they clearly label all animal testing as "unnnecessary")

- You have praised the ALF for being "heroes", yet I have posted a list of various crimes they have committed (arson, grave robbery, death threats against children, etc.) How much of their activities do you support, and at what point will you find that such a group is "distasteful"?

- I referred to the use of PETA funds to support an ALF member convicted of arson. Do you consider the support of an arsonist to be a proper use of your donations (as opposed to giving money to shelters to prevent animals from being euthanized)

- I pointed out that some arthropods/microbes/etc. are capable of responding to stimuli and forming memories. Because of that, are you willing to host a colony of cockroaches in your home, or have head lice go unchecked?
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Old 28th November 2012, 09:24 AM   #228
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I'm not so sure you can draw the distinction against video games. I know a person who cried when her Second Life horse died. After spending a fortune to buy it, buying land to keep it, feeding it everyday, riding it all over the place and making a thousand memories...the horse was "alive" to her. Should we shut down the horse's creator for programming in a life span? After all, they KILLED it for no reason other than the sake of realism and profit (hoping she will buy another horse).
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Old 28th November 2012, 09:41 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by Merton View Post
BS. Where's your evidence?
On their web site.

As to your anti-scientific quackery about "naturist fallacy", well, if you reject what science concludes as"fallacy", there's not much dialog to be had.

I prefer to deal in reality than fantasy, myself.
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Old 28th November 2012, 09:46 AM   #230
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Species treason? That's a lot like a race traitor, right?
First, nice job changing your article after I responded to it. If I needed evidence of malice, now I don't. You just demonstrated as much.

Second, what we see in the quote above is an utterly dishonest, obviously defamatory insult based on pure, intentional, dishonest emotional manipulation.

Your equating an understanding of evolution (which is what species treason comes down to) with racist behavior is utterly vile, dishonest, and purely ad-hominem. It's similar,but worse than the disgused, defamatory behavior by merton who attempts to dismiss science as a "naturist fallacy".

There is no point in a dialog here, you've just demonstrated what's wrong with PETA right here and right now.
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Old 28th November 2012, 09:54 AM   #231
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
On their web site.
Please reproduce here the statement from their site that claims that animals are more important than humans. I looked... I found nothing.

Quote:
As to your anti-scientific quackery about "naturist fallacy", well, if you reject what science concludes as"fallacy", there's not much dialog to be had.

I prefer to deal in reality than fantasy, myself.
What scientific conclusion did I reject? You said:

Quote:
I would suggest that you learn about the role of meat in the evolution of the human brain. Yes, it is possible, with sufficient care, to manage without meat. It is not what the organism is designed to do, and as such constitutes abuse of the organism.
Yes, I'm aware of the role meat played in human evolution. So? Unless you're saying that its previous role is justification for continued meat consumption, despite the fact that you admit it is possible to manage otherwise, this fact doesn't matter. If you are using it to justify meat consumption, you are committing the naturalist fallacy.

Your final statement in this quote is downright absurd. 1) Humans weren't designed, and 2) you have a grossly exaggerated idea of what constitutes abuse.
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Old 28th November 2012, 09:57 AM   #232
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Originally Posted by Merton View Post
Your final statement in this quote is downright absurd. 1) Humans weren't designed, and 2) you have a grossly exaggerated idea of what constitutes abuse.
I agree that "designed" was a bad choice of words, obviously I meant "evolved".

But you still can't explain why you hate science.

G'day.
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Old 28th November 2012, 10:34 AM   #233
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
I agree that "designed" was a bad choice of words, obviously I meant "evolved".

But you still can't explain why you hate science.

G'day.
Obviously reading comprehension isn't your strong suit. If you don't wish to continue the conversation, that's fine... but I've not made any disparaging comments toward science.
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Old 28th November 2012, 10:35 AM   #234
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Actually, there have been a lot of questions asked of you. You just keep avoiding them. Why is that?
Time. It huge investment to write a good post, and I just don't have the time to respond to everyone when I'm outnumbered dozens to one.

Three members of my dev team were laid off unexpectedly (bad financial year at my company), I inherited their work, which also eats into my time. In any case, I have exactly zero obligation to respond to anyone if I'm not available or not interested.

I have a boatload of things to take care of after my lunch break, so I'll keep this brief...

Quote:
- Given that PETA wants an end to all use of animal products (including eggs used in vaccine), that policy will result in the deaths of thousands of humans a year. Do you consider that a fair tradeoff in the name of "animal rights"?
So we're voting based on what minimizes suffering? Really? Congrats, you're animal rights activist too. 14-15 million non-consenting animal victims are used in animal vivisection every year (at least here in the US), the argument is already so lopsidedly in favor of eliminating animal vivisection that its actually a pretty fantastic tradeoff. Honestly, if you had a sincere interest in actually developing medicines as fast as possible, with the least financial cost, least suffering, lowest uncertainty, we'd already be using human subjects a long long time ago (trust me, they aren't exactly short in supply)

In the best case scenario that animal-derived vaccinations are eliminated, I believe in the healing power of the invisible hand would fill a need for life-saving vaccinations without non-consenting animal victims.

I believe we already have the infrastructure in place to do exactly that, by raising happy, healthy chickens to their natural ends, and collecting their eggs for use in vaccines. I don't believe even PETA would have a problem with that. Most animal rights activists don't care so much where products come from, but how their obtained.

Quote:
- You have praised the ALF for being "heroes", yet I have posted a list of various crimes they have committed (arson, grave robbery, death threats against children, etc.) How much of their activities do you support, and at what point will you find that such a group is "distasteful"?
I don't really support setting things on fire, physically harming people. I do support financially bleeding dry organizations like animal agriculture and vivisection.

There's no serious distinction between animal rights and human rights, and no basis to cause purposeful harm to others who belong to other taxonomic classifications. I doubt you'd react much differently if humans were being treated as property like their non-human animal counterparts.

Quote:
- I referred to the use of PETA funds to support an ALF member convicted of arson. Do you consider the support of an arsonist to be a proper use of your donations (as opposed to giving money to shelters to prevent animals from being euthanized)
I don't know how I feel about that. (I'm allowed to say that, right? Right.)

Quote:
- I pointed out that some arthropods/microbes/etc. are capable of responding to stimuli and forming memories. Because of that, are you willing to host a colony of cockroaches in your home, or have head lice go unchecked?
Do those organisms suffer? If so, is there a plausible case that we can defend our property and bodies from parasites?

Let's take a step back for a moment: are you familiar with the expression that perfect is the enemy of good? Insisting that everything be absolutely perfect prevents any progress from being made at all. A lot of arguments against animal rights come from that: "oh, but what single-celled organisms, if you can't protect them, why bothered protecting ANYTHING? Hahaha, I guess its ok to stab dogs in the kidneys."

Imagine if, instead of talking about animal rights, we were talking about more banal human activities: "police are supposed to eliminate crime, but some crimes are never solved at all! So criminals never spend a day in jail! Why do we even have police in the first place?" -- anyone will agree that there are unsolved crimes, but jumping the conclusion that we shouldn't bother fighting crime at all? Absolutely not.

There are strong parallels between the example above, and the reality that, simply existing (or choosing not to exist for that matter) may harm other people or animals. However, there's no reason to treat that fact like a self-justifying argument that we actually should harm others. I generally believe we should avoid causing harm to others when we have the reasonable ability to do so, a good starting point is adopting a vegan diet, avoiding leather, choosing not to hunt, putting continued pressure on vivisectionists to eliminate the use animals.
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Old 28th November 2012, 11:03 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
Your equating an understanding of evolution (which is what species treason comes down to) with racist behavior is utterly vile, dishonest, and purely ad-hominem.
Nevermind that evolution isn't a normative moral theory. Nevermind that even if it were, it'd be a pretty lousy human rights moral theory at that (hint: its wholly consistent with evolution to compete against members of your own species).

In any case, there's no credible distinction between racism and speciesism, its the exact same irrational prejudice, exact same tribalism passed off like a self-justifying state of affairs. There's an enormous overlap between the two prejudices, so much that arguments for or against one are substantially the same as arguments for or against the other.
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Old 28th November 2012, 11:25 AM   #236
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Quote:
Actually, there have been a lot of questions asked of you. You just keep avoiding them. Why is that?
Time. It huge investment to write a good post...
Actually, given the fact that you had the 'time' to respond to this post, but still did a lot of question avoidance suggests the problem is not with your available time.

Quote:
I have exactly zero obligation to respond to anyone if I'm not available or not interested.
You're right... you are under no legal or moral obligation to respond to anyone. You have the right to post here as you see fit (within the forum guidelines), and to ignore any questions asked of you for whatever reason.

However, I also have the right to post how I see fit, including the right to remind people of your previous statements.

Quote:
Quote:
- Given that PETA wants an end to all use of animal products (including eggs used in vaccine), that policy will result in the deaths of thousands of humans a year. Do you consider that a fair tradeoff in the name of "animal rights"?
So we're voting based on what minimizes suffering?
Uhhh... no. I specifically asked: Do you consider the human deaths that would result from an end to animal usage to be a fair trade off in the name of "animal rights".

I never mentioned or asked about "minimizing suffering".

Quote:
Really? Congrats, you're animal rights activist too. 14-15 million non-consenting animal victims are used in animal vivisection every year (at least here in the US), the argument is already so lopsidedly in favor of eliminating animal vivisection that its actually a pretty fantastic tradeoff.
I see...

So, I guess that's sort of an answer. But let me make sure I understaind:

You, Desi, are quite happy seeing hundreds of AIDS-infected babies in Africa die, to see thousands of children dying from Influenza, because the lives of animals are "just as important" as those of humans. Am I understanding that?

And if Edward Jenner (who developed the first smallpox vaccine) or Pasteur (Rabbies vaccine) were around today, you would want them to stop their work because their vaccines involved the use of animal products.

Quote:
Honestly, if you had a sincere interest in actually developing medicines as fast as possible, with the least financial cost, least suffering, lowest uncertainty, we'd already be using human subjects a long long time ago
I already pointed out several reasons why developing medicines "as fast as possible" would not work if humans were the only test subjects.

Quote:
I believe we already have the infrastructure in place to do exactly that, by raising happy, healthy chickens to their natural ends, and collecting their eggs for use in vaccines.
I think I see the problem with your understanding of the issue.

The fact that you "believe" we could raise chickens "naturally" does not make it so. The rather large number of eggs required to make vaccines would make methods like "free range" farming impossible.

Oh, and its also an irrellevant issue.... even a "free range" chicken has human-made restrictions placed on it that would make it a "slave" in the eyes of PETA.

Quote:
I don't believe even PETA would have a problem with that.
Then you'd be wrong then, wouldn't you.

Perhaps you should do a little more research into what PETA actually believes.

Quote:
Quote:
- You have praised the ALF for being "heroes", yet I have posted a list of various crimes they have committed (arson, grave robbery, death threats against children, etc.) How much of their activities do you support, and at what point will you find that such a group is "distasteful"?
I don't really support setting things on fire, physically harming people. I do support financially bleeding dry organizations like animal agriculture and vivisection.
Which again, wasn't the question.

The questions were: How much of their activites DO you support, and at what point do you consider an organization's activities to be "distasteful". (e.g. 1 arson? 2 arsons? a dozen?)

Quote:
Quote:
- I referred to the use of PETA funds to support an ALF member convicted of arson. Do you consider the support of an arsonist to be a proper use of your donations (as opposed to giving money to shelters to prevent animals from being euthanized)
I don't know how I feel about that. (I'm allowed to say that, right? Right.)
Sure, why not. You seem to be avoiding a lot of other stuff.

Quote:
Quote:
- I pointed out that some arthropods/microbes/etc. are capable of responding to stimuli and forming memories. Because of that, are you willing to host a colony of cockroaches in your home, or have head lice go unchecked?
Do those organisms suffer?
Given the fact that those animals attempt to survive then yes, i'd say they do indeed 'suffer'.

Quote:
If so, is there a plausible case that we can defend our property and bodies from parasites?
We can kill/exterminate/eliminate them with pesticides. That's often the only method for eliminating them.

So once again... given the fact that arthorpods are often "thinking animals", capable of thought and memory, would you willingly offer to host a nest of cockroaches or head lice?

Quote:
Let's take a step back for a moment: are you familiar with the expression that perfect is the enemy of good? Insisting that everything be absolutely perfect prevents any progress from being made at all.
Never claimed to be searching for perfection. Its a red herring.

On the other hand, PETA claims "all animal testing is bad". All of it. Not "some that is done poorly/unnecessarily" but all.
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Old 28th November 2012, 11:57 AM   #237
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
I don't know how I feel about that. (I'm allowed to say that, right? Right.)
You are allowed, at least as far as I'm concerned; and I'm glad that you're willing to admit that you're conflicted about it, rather than rationalizing it away defensively.

I, however, do know how I feel about that; which is why I choose to support alternate animal welfare groups that don't entangle their mission or message with this kind of fringiness.
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Old 28th November 2012, 12:02 PM   #238
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post
How do you know that plants don't suffer?
We currently have laws against torturing animals; laws supported by vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Would you be in favor of laws against torturing plants?

ETA: Earlier I said these threads turn generally reasonable people into Republicans. Here's JJ's post:

Quote:
PETA policies make all animals more important ethically (or morally, take your choice) than human beings.
Which is not unlike the hoary old claim that liberals love foreigners more than Americans.

Quote:
PETA is a group that endorses and attempts to enforce species treason.
Species treason. That's a new one. The psychologist Jonathan Haidt identifies six "moral channels". The only channels liberals really care about are Harm/Care, Fairness/Cheating, and Liberty/Oppression. Conservatives accord far more value to things like Sanctity, Authority, and In-Group Loyalty, which are things we've seen on display here. Granted, those arguments never fly on this board in the case of things like marriage equality, but they crop up in threads such as this.
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Old 28th November 2012, 12:03 PM   #239
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Originally Posted by Merton View Post
I know you're being facetious here, but that's a valid question. If you had the ability to live without killing other creatures, would it be moral to do so?

And as to the dividing line about which you and DragonLady inquired, I believe most AR supporters would say sentience is the quality that engenders animal rights. Obviously, then, plants and plankton would be excluded.

Why would you think I'm being factitious?

Cain says suffering is the dividing line, you say sentience is the line but in either case you'd have to show that plants can't suffer and don't show a rudimentary awareness of their environment that could be classed as sentience.
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Old 28th November 2012, 12:04 PM   #240
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
You are allowed, at least as far as I'm concerned; and I'm glad that you're willing to admit that you're conflicted about it, rather than rationalizing it away defensively.

I, however, do know how I feel about that; which is why I choose to support alternate animal welfare groups that don't entangle their mission or message with this kind of fringiness.
Same here: I don't support PETA despite my support for animal rights because I cannot condone the violent actions they fund.
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