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Old 29th November 2012, 06:01 PM   #281
Segnosaur
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Originally Posted by Merton View Post
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From a quick look at the dictionary and various definitions, I can't really see any reason why a "deontologist" must automatically side with "animal rights". From what I've seen, it involves mostly how rules that are to be followed to be "good/moral", but there is nothing there that says what creatures must be included when developing the rules.
Correct, animal rights is not inherently part of deontological ethics
Then why are you claiming that being a Deontologist means you must be a supporter of "animal rights"?

Quote:
however, if one identifies sentience as the quality that creates these rules (or at least some of them), then he or she would have to support AR for consistency.
But there is no defined reason that sentients HAS to be the quality behind the rules.

Heck, you could still be a Dentionologist and base your moral code on "What species was capable of appreciating the TV show Jersey Shore".
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Old 29th November 2012, 06:09 PM   #282
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If sentience creates the rules, then what about my friends artificially intelligent horse? Sure, it was only pixels, but it acted just like a real horse; to the extent she became attached and mourned its passing. So.... Is letting a virtual animal get sick and die an act of animal cruelty?
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Old 29th November 2012, 06:16 PM   #283
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Then why are you claiming that being a Deontologist means you must be a supporter of "animal rights"?
I don't recall claiming that. If that's how it appeared, it was not intentional.

Quote:
But there is no defined reason that sentients HAS to be the quality behind the rules.

Heck, you could still be a Dentionologist and base your moral code on "What species was capable of appreciating the TV show Jersey Shore".
Correct. I think that when one deliberates on this issue, however, natural rights can be well explained by referencing sentience.
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Old 29th November 2012, 06:18 PM   #284
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
If sentience creates the rules, then what about my friends artificially intelligent horse? Sure, it was only pixels, but it acted just like a real horse; to the extent she became attached and mourned its passing. So.... Is letting a virtual animal get sick and die an act of animal cruelty?
There may be a time when AI advances to such a state that we can talk about the morality of machines. I don't think anyone would claim that AI has achieved sentience though.
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Old 29th November 2012, 06:26 PM   #285
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Originally Posted by Merton View Post
Correct. I think that when one deliberates on this issue, however, natural rights can be well explained by referencing sentience.
Natural rights? Natural rights are basically the "lex talonis". !?!?
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Old 29th November 2012, 06:32 PM   #286
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
Natural rights? Natural rights are basically the "lex talonis". !?!?
No, not at all, actually.
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Old 29th November 2012, 06:52 PM   #287
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I would say no, as well..

Natural rights are those rights that do not require external intervention to uphold.
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Old 29th November 2012, 06:54 PM   #288
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Thankfully albumen used in vaccines comes from chickens raised in Amish communities, rather than factory farms. That helps a little. Ideally, compassionate egg suppliers could raise happy, healthy chickens to their natural end, selling high-quality eggs for use in vaccinations and other areas.
I don't know where you obtained this little "factoid" from. Given that billions of eggs are required annually for influenza vaccine production worldwide, do you really think the Amish have that kind of production capability?

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I think animal experimentation is acceptable in all the areas where it would be appropriate to substitute a mentally similar human in it's place.
I'd ask you to give an example but you made me retch enough.

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<3 ALF, those guys are heroes. Releasing animals from mink farms has caused those places to close and never re-open, undercover videos have resulted in the direct shutdown of animal labs. I don't necessarily endorse the everything people do in the name of ALF, but I generally hold the opinion that direct action works (hence why I give generous donations to Sea Shepard Society every year).
Yea yea we get it; they do so much good you are willing to overlook the horrible acts they commit. To paraphrase a term used to describe "integrative medicine", 'If you mix apple pie with cow pie you don't make the cow pie taste better, you just make the apple pie taste worse.' At least have the ovaries to embrace the overt acts of terrorism PETA supports and condones because you and they aren't fooling anyone.

Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
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)
Emphasis mine. Up until this statement I thought you were just clueless, decent but hopelessly misguided. This is beneath contempt and as far as I'm concerned; any valid point you may have made with regards to animals has evaporated and replaced with seeing you as only a truly deranged, callous individual that could possibly think this let alone say it out loud.

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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.
What's this gobbledygook?

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 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.
No we don't have the "infrastructure" because it doesn't exist outside of lettting them out into the wild. Which leaves the rather monumental quandry of egg collection and oh, that pesky detail of ensuring that the eggs are quality-controlled suitable for growing virii that will ultimately be jabbed into or inhaled by people. But humans don't matter right?
And PETA does have a problem with this and even with your imaginary hatchery infrastructure.
Quote:
I don't really support setting things on fire, physically harming people. I do support financially bleeding dry organizations like animal agriculture and vivisection.
Except that you do support the violence; the two are inextricable. And making such vapid statements whilst throwing money at know terrorist groups and their pipelines does not absolve you of blithely supporting terrorism.
Quote:
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.
Given your previous comments about using humans for testing, there is simply no taking you seriously on any level.

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Old 29th November 2012, 08:31 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
I would say no, as well..

Natural rights are those rights that do not require external intervention to uphold.
That makes "lex talonis" the only right, then.
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Old 29th November 2012, 11:41 PM   #290
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Dessi and I had the sentience/consciousness exchange a few years back.

Background: I am actually a former vegan. Not just vegan but militant vegan. I have the paw/raised fist tattooed on my left wrist (covering with a MST3K tattoo soon yay!) and I may have taken part in several actions that would have landed me in prison for years. I have worked at broilers and farms for the purposes of obtaining footage for propaganda videos. I viewed the meat industry as no less evil than the holocaust.

About 8 years ago I came to the conclusion humans possess a sentience and consciousness that is not of a only a higher degree than most other animals but also of a different kind. These are difficult terms to define but to my knowledge humans are the only animals that are aware of their own mortality,

Cain and Dessi pointed out that infant humans and deer possess the same level of sentience which I found an extremely tenuous position to maintain because it assumes that the infant's overall sentience is limited to it's current level. A deer will never have the same level as a human.

I pointed out that humans are omnivores. Dessi pointed out the Naturalist Fallacy. I did not forget that but thinking about it more now I believe that just because it is fallacy does not as a rule make it untrue. For instance: "They say one out of 10 people is Chinese but I know hundreds of people and none of them is Chinese." This is fallacy but it may be true for the speaker.

While maybe the fact that humans are omnivores and eat meat strictly is fallacy, in this case the naturalistic fallacy that does not make it untrue.


A few pages ago I stated half jokingly that if we are to remove all useful differences between species when it comes to the morality of killing them for protein than baleen whales are perhaps the worst mass murderers in the history of life.

Several here have called for the abolition of something they call speciesism... But where do we draw the line? I generally draw the line between humans and everything else on the morality point because no animal has the same level of sentience of a human. On other grounds I would draw the line around animals that are not practical as a food source or those that I just would not care to eat.

Your line seems to exclude animals based on their capacity for human emotions. So does mine.

Dessi has also defended and given funding to Sea Shephard... Wow...

I find it hard to believe that someone on a generally skeptical message board would support an organisation that uses so much misinformation. Paul Watson seems capable of any lie which may garner any public sympathy or support.

Their operations risk the lives of humans to protect whales. They have attempted to foul the props of boats in rough seas, they have utilized hull damaging ramming devices to sink boats wtih crew members on board. How is this also not specisism? Am I letting the perfect be the enemy of the good?

I agree in general that whaling should be halted. I agree on the grounds that whales breed slowly and populations take a long time to rebound. Not for the hippy woo reason Paul Watson claims.

In March of 2008 Paul Watson claims that he was shot during anti-whaling operations in the Southern Ocean. If you watch the video and if you've ever actually seen someone shot wearing body armor this is not how it would play out.

Such hyprocracy, in the video a crew member states that 1:09 "They're aiming straight at us and they're throwing flashbangs. They are trying to physically hurt us with flashbangs". Ponce. This is after you threw unknown substances on their boat after approaching dangerously close to their vessel. I believe the Japanese were perfectly justified in defending themselves.

This is only what I have gleaned about them through their TV program. If this is the case they are presenting and they are showing the edited best possible footage to make them appear heroic than they are a lost cause.
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Old 30th November 2012, 12:40 AM   #291
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So aware are humans of their own mortality that a vast majority believe they will continue on an after-life. Anyway, it'd be interesting if a violent but cognitively and technologically superior race of aliens descended on this planet. I'm sure that on the pain of logical self-contradiction the meat-eaters would just throw their hands up and say, "such is the circle of life."

The central argument at hand is that most animals, not unlike most humans, are worthy of our moral consideration. If you're going to use force or violence against humans or animals, you need to generate compelling reasons. Is it OK to shoot animals its fun? Wear animals because they feel nice? Eat them because they taste good? Intellectually, the rationalizations people produce are in all likelihood flawed and doomed. They're ruled by natural, inborn emotions. That can be seen above and throughout.

But whatever. Before I was a species traitor, I was a race traitor.
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Old 30th November 2012, 07:49 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
So aware are humans of their own mortality that a vast majority believe they will continue on an after-life.
Not sure what point your making is. Is it "because some falsely believe in an afterlife we don't really understand mortality"?

If so, its not a relevant point, for a number of reasons:
- Even most believers in an afterlife recognize the difference between the physical and the spiritual when it comes to death
- In the past I've used the term "potential". Even if some people believe in the afterlife, we have the intellectual potential/Ability to view mortality in a totally non-spiritual way.
- There are other reasons why we differ from animals... our ability to plan long-term, our ability to show empathy for other creatures

Quote:
Anyway, it'd be interesting if a violent but cognitively and technologically superior race of aliens descended on this planet. I'm sure that on the pain of logical self-contradiction the meat-eaters would just throw their hands up and say, "such is the circle of life."
Errr.... not really.

The criteria that have been discussed for defining a minimal level of intellectual level of self-awareness/sentience/conciousness (or whatever you want to label it) that separates humans from other animals is like crossing the Rubicon. No other species has crossed it. Even if a "superior" race came down that had not only crossed that threshold but far surpassed it, it would not deduct from our own level of awareness.

Quote:
The central argument at hand is that most animals, not unlike most humans, are worthy of our moral consideration.
Nope. Because most anti-PETA people probably still think animals are worthy of moral consideration in that they shouldn't (for example) be tortured.

The central argument is "should other animals be given exactly the same moral consideration as humans."

I've asked this of Dessi, but she seems to have avoided the question by feigning ignorance. So maybe I'll ask it of you:

- Since you are against "specism", are you willing to host a colony of cockroaches or head lice, knowing that while arthropods don't have exactly the type of mental experiences that vertibrates do, some have shown some remarkable abilities (memory, identification, reasoning, response to stimulus) so that we cannot immediately ignore their ability to "think"?
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Old 30th November 2012, 07:58 AM   #293
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http://www.newser.com/story/158514/e...de-on-run.html

This is about an ALF person, and as we recall, PETA has aided and abetted ALF. I think this by itself is a telling reason to shun PETA.
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Old 30th November 2012, 08:02 AM   #294
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
So aware are humans of their own mortality that a vast majority believe they will continue on an after-life. Anyway, it'd be interesting if a violent but cognitively and technologically superior race of aliens descended on this planet. I'm sure that on the pain of logical self-contradiction the meat-eaters would just throw their hands up and say, "such is the circle of life."

The central argument at hand is that most animals, not unlike most humans, are worthy of our moral consideration. If you're going to use force or violence against humans or animals, you need to generate compelling reasons. Is it OK to shoot animals its fun? Wear animals because they feel nice? Eat them because they taste good? Intellectually, the rationalizations people produce are in all likelihood flawed and doomed. They're ruled by natural, inborn emotions. That can be seen above and throughout.

But whatever. Before I was a species traitor, I was a race traitor.
The amount of false equivelences, straw men, unproven claims, and suborned conclusions in the above is amazing, it must actually be hard to write like that.

Your final comment, of course, is arguing that humans are just animals with no cognative ability, too. I'm not surprised, having seen the contempt you have previously expressed.
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Old 30th November 2012, 08:19 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
http://www.newser.com/story/158514/e...de-on-run.html

This is about an ALF person, and as we recall, PETA has aided and abetted ALF. I think this by itself is a telling reason to shun PETA.
Remember, ALF are heroes for destroying local ecosystems with their blithely stupid actions freeing poor American mink from fur farms.
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Old 30th November 2012, 08:55 AM   #296
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Anyway, it'd be interesting if a violent but cognitively and technologically superior race of aliens descended on this planet. I'm sure that on the pain of logical self-contradiction the meat-eaters would just throw their hands up and say, "such is the circle of life."

The central argument at hand is that most animals, not unlike most humans, are worthy of our moral consideration. If you're going to use force or violence against humans or animals, you need to generate compelling reasons. Is it OK to shoot animals its fun? Wear animals because they feel nice? Eat them because they taste good? Intellectually, the rationalizations people produce are in all likelihood flawed and doomed. They're ruled by natural, inborn emotions. That can be seen above and throughout.

But whatever. Before I was a species traitor, I was a race traitor.
I'd be like any other animal and run or fight back. I'd personally fight back. This is what animals do as well.

How are all of us meat eaters acting like prey contradictory at all?


The desire to save cuddly animals is ruled by natural, inborn emotions as well. It's based on the evolutionary desire to save your own kind or that which looks close enough. Mammals look close enough for us to develop an emotional attachment.

Never seen PETA or any vegan complain about escargot. Are they in Thai markets complaining about the harvesting of various edible insects? Nope.

I do remember them trying to call fish sea kittens once. That was good for a laugh. Awwww look at the cuddly sea kitten.



Edit: There is also no biological classification for race. There is for species. There was another topic about that though. So if you want to argue a species traitor and race traitor are the same thing, that'd be where you can attempt to make that false claim.

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Old 30th November 2012, 09:02 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by jj View Post
http://www.newser.com/story/158514/e...de-on-run.html

This is about an ALF person, and as we recall, PETA has aided and abetted ALF. I think this by itself is a telling reason to shun PETA.
Here's the ironic part...

One of the crimes that that ALF person was involved in was firebombing an SUV dealership. Ok, he was an idiot, but you could at least understand the warped thinking.... SUV=gas guzzler=hard on the planet.

Yet in another thread, Dessi pointed out that she drives a Ford F150. Her claim was that she needed it to tow a camper. (Although why she needs to drive the F150 all the time, rather than just rent one when needed, was never brought up.) Her F150 is more of a gas guzzler than most SUVs.

So, the people she is considering as "heroes" would probably feel just as justified in torching her pickup truck.
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Old 30th November 2012, 09:13 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Quote:
Oh, forgot to remind people: We're still waiting to hear about whether you'd be willing to host a nest of cockroaches or head lice, to prevent them from being killed.
No, I would not, there's just not an incentive to do so. It's not clear whether they experience their lives from a first person point of view, whether responses to harm are accompanied by agony.
You know, I got a little curious and did some research.

Here is what a PETA spokesman said about insects:
“We support compassion for the even the smallest animals," says Bruce Friedrich, VP for Policy at PETA. “We support giving insects the benefit of the doubt."
- http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics...e-fly-catcher/

So, PETA, the group that you give your hard-earned money to, thinks that insects should not be killed.
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Old 30th November 2012, 09:35 AM   #299
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Originally Posted by Kahalachan View Post
Never seen PETA or any vegan complain about escargot. Are they in Thai markets complaining about the harvesting of various edible insects? Nope.
Actually they did complain about Obama killing a fly...

Quote:
I do remember them trying to call fish sea kittens once. That was good for a laugh. Awwww look at the cuddly sea kitten.

http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explor.../fig3b_600.jpg
Now that's just ridiculous to call that a 'sea kitten'...

Where would you put the helicopter blades?


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...e-tenfold.html
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Old 30th November 2012, 10:55 AM   #300
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
I've asked this of Dessi, but she seems to have avoided the question by feigning ignorance. So maybe I'll ask it of you:

- Since you are against "specism", are you willing to host a colony of cockroaches or head lice, knowing that while arthropods don't have exactly the type of mental experiences that vertibrates do, some have shown some remarkable abilities (memory, identification, reasoning, response to stimulus) so that we cannot immediately ignore their ability to "think"?
Avoisioning the questioning:
Originally Posted by Dessi
No, I would not, there's just not an incentive to do so. It's not clear whether they experience their lives from a first person point of view, whether responses to harm are accompanied by agony.

Are you familiar ketamine as a dissociative anesthetic? It has an interesting effect on humans that it doesn't really shut off nociception, but shuts off the emotional response to nociception. Depending on the dose, patient's simultaneously "feel" things happening happening to their bodies, but detached with not emotional response. That might be superficially analogous to the first-person perspective, however minute, of lice. It's just not clear that their intensity of their emotional lives is at urgent as their vertebrate and cephalopod counterparts.

That said, I have a serious question for you: is there actually any disagreement between us on the subject on plant, bacterial, or lice consciousness? Because, never, not one time have I ever seen skeptics argue that lice, euglena, and plants have substantial conscious experiences on par with a horse or even a rodent with a straight face. I distinctly remember around 2002-2003ish, a woman came to the forum, stated a personal belief that plants are conscious, and was laughed off the forum by dozens of skeptics lobbing literally hundreds of insulting remarks at her. I get the feeling when people ask the what about insects! "stumper", the question is facetious. There's no disagreement on facts, more a desire to get under my skin than anything else.
Let's go back to your comments on the subject:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dessi
No, I would not, there's just not an incentive to do so. It's not clear whether they experience their lives from a first person point of view...
But if its "not clear", should you not err on the side of caution, until you can truly confirm that those cockroaches you are willing to exterminate don't have at least a rudimentary "first person point of view"?
The Pascal's Wager for athropod rights, right?

I'm erring on the side of the most probable and reasonable claims, and being skeptical of the more speculative claims. I don't think you actually disagree with me on this point, at least in your own words insect experiences are "far less" than a rodent, and are in all likelihood very minute if they exist at all.

Seriously, that's a very reasonable perspective to hold on insects. I've commented several times on this forum that, while I personally don't eat honey/crab/lobster, I don't generally have a strong objection to other people doing so. Even if we do err on the side of caution and avoid those products out of principle, there's just no reason to believe that avoiding insect/arthropod derived products has the same urgency as what we're seeing in slaughter houses and animal labs.

I have absolutely no problems giving my hard-earned money to PETA whatever the small differences in opinion we might hold on arthropods. Kind of the same reason people kept giving money to JREF even when it jumped in the widely criticized "Brights Movement" bandwagon a few years ago.

Quote:
And why exactly are you considering "first person point of view" to be the dividing line between worthy of "full rights" and not worthy of full rights?
Because it's kind of a big deal in the area of having experiences, preferring the outcome of one event over another, suffering. It's probably the best reason why kicking a rock or a dandelion != kicking a nun in the face.

Quote:
I also don't think that horses and rodents have conscious experiences on par with humans either. We do have superior mental capacities to those animals. But if we are going to say "A mouse has at least some similarities with humans and must be given full rights", then you also have to assume an insect also has at least some similarities with mice, and thus also with humans, and must be protected.
No, only a subset of humans have those superior mental capacities. In relative mental capacity, newborn infants rank lower than mice, and are absolutely incomparable to cephalopods, horses, elephants, pigs, chimpanzees. I don't think you hold the belief that we have a stronger incentive to protect the lives of those organisms than newborns, even though its consistent with your argument.

That's the rub with arguments against animal rights: if I make an argument that animals have no rights because they aren't rational moral agents, I must concede that mentally similar humans are no more advantaged; if I argue that non-rational humans have rights, I must concede that rationality is not a prerequisite for moral consideration, and such a principle logically carries over to non-human animals.

Non-rational humans are humans, but not persons in the conventional sense of the word: they can't consent to social contracts, have no concept justice, can't demand or defend their rights. Morally speaking, they don't have a lot going for them, except they can suffer, and we can take that in consideration when we make moral decisions about those humans.

It take's some pretty impressive mental acrobatics to justify horrific levels of suffering to "mentally inferior" animals, then double back in revulsion at the very thought of a "mentally inferior" humans being treated in the exact same way.

Here's what I think: it's only possible to rationalize your perspective if you concede that a requisite mental level is not a prerequisite to be free from suffering. I think you'd agree, even if you aren't an animal rights activist, that it's sensible to avoid causing harm to others in the areas where its reasonably easy for us to do so.
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Old 30th November 2012, 11:17 AM   #301
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Here's what I think: it's only possible to rationalize your perspective if you concede that a requisite mental level is not a prerequisite to be free from suffering. That's pretty agreeable, even if you aren't an animal rights activist.
Well, let's see, first you define the opponent as espousing suffering, and then seem to go about in a circle of vagueness.

You can believe what you want, but let's admit it's a religion. Non-deist, perhaps, but a belief system, not science, not philosophy, even.
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Old 30th November 2012, 12:05 PM   #302
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Not sure what point your making is.
See the post above mine.

Quote:
The criteria that have been discussed for defining a minimal level of intellectual level of self-awareness/sentience/conciousness (or whatever you want to label it) that separates humans from other animals is like crossing the Rubicon. No other species has crossed it. Even if a "superior" race came down that had not only crossed that threshold but far surpassed it, it would not deduct from our own level of awareness.
You're inadvertently undermining your own position. One of the key arguments is that for a being to be worthy of moral consideration, it must possess some level of self-awareness/sentience/consciousness, but the problem for the non-rights crowd is that they arbitrarily draw a line at human-level ability. This is the same problem for the bleeding-karth, species-traitor Zantarians urging its leaders to spare earth.

Quote:
Nope. Because most anti-PETA people probably still think animals are worthy of moral consideration in that they shouldn't (for example) be tortured.
And that's one of the pains of self-contradiction for those who support certain kinds of exploitation but not others. See for instance a thread created by a wonderful poster on this forum titled "Admit It, You Believe in Animal Rights." I think torture was his first example. Why should we prohibit people from torturing animals? If I buy a dog, and decide to get my jollies beating it, then what's the harm to anyone else?

Here's a link to that thread: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=120058

Quote:
The central argument is "should other animals be given exactly the same moral consideration as humans."
No, that's quite mistaken. Given the option of saving a human or dog, I would not be surprised if everyone here chose the primate. Hypothetical thought experiments and actual behavior are two different things, however. We have self-described "animal-lover" omnivores who spend billions of dollars on pet food while human beings starve to death (and something like one third of our "pets" are overweight!).

Quote:
- Since you are against [speciesism] are you willing to host a colony of cockroaches or head lice, knowing that while arthropods don't have exactly the type of mental experiences that vertibrates do, some have shown some remarkable abilities (memory, identification, reasoning, response to stimulus) so that we cannot immediately ignore their ability to "think"?
No. Cats and dogs are not welcome either.

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Quote:
I'd be like any other animal and run or fight back. I'd personally fight back. This is what animals do as well.
Well, that's expected. But resistance is futile. Instead of fighting back like everyone else, you'd be better off ingratiating yourself with the might overlords. Maybe they'll make you one of their pets. It's not unusual for people in these threads to think themselves clever for "observing" that cows are using US. After all, they get to live, if only for a short while.

Quote:
Never seen PETA or any vegan complain about escargot. Are they in Thai markets complaining about the harvesting of various edible insects? Nope.

I do remember them trying to call fish sea kittens once. That was good for a laugh. Awwww look at the cuddly sea kitten.
PeTA's attempting to appeal to non-vegetarians and vegans with those campaigns. Vegans -- most of us -- are already prepared to accept organisms regardless of their appearance or stupid frames. Unfortunately, this kind of thing probably works because humans are surprisingly limited in their ability to think. Call cockroaches "Palmetto Bugs," the estate tax the "death" tax, and you elicit different kinds of responses.

Quote:
Edit: There is also no biological classification for race. There is for species. There was another topic about that though. So if you want to argue a species traitor and race traitor are the same thing, that'd be where you can attempt to make that false claim.
Races are basically extended, inbred families. If you want to believe there is no such thing, then I'll leave you to your delusions. The point is that it doesn't matter if there is a "biological classification" because the differences are morally insignificant.
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Old 30th November 2012, 12:22 PM   #303
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Originally Posted by Cain View Post
Races are basically extended, inbred families. If you want to believe there is no such thing, then I'll leave you to your delusions. The point is that it doesn't matter if there is a "biological classification" because the differences are morally insignificant.
Biological differences mean everything. I have green eyes, it's in my DNA. There's a DNA difference between me and non-green eyed people, and that gives me privilege to slaughter the lot of them. I'm no traitor to my own kind.
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Old 30th November 2012, 01:37 PM   #304
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It take's some pretty impressive mental acrobatics to justify horrific levels of suffering to "mentally inferior" animals, then double back in revulsion at the very thought of a "mentally inferior" humans being treated in the exact same way.
Who here is arguing FOR horrific levels of suffering for any creature or any person?

No one.

There are those of us who say "USING animals in medical testing is neccesary" but even we do not -as a rule- agree that "abusing animals is okay". We -I- draw a line between "use" and "abuse". They are two different things.
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Old 30th November 2012, 01:44 PM   #305
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
There are those of us who say "USING animals in medical testing is neccesary" but even we do not -as a rule- agree that "abusing animals is okay". We -I- draw a line between "use" and "abuse". They are two different things.
Is that a rule which applies to non-rational humans?
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Old 30th November 2012, 01:48 PM   #306
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Quote:
No, only a subset of humans have those superior mental capacities. In relative mental capacity, newborn infants rank lower than mice, and are absolutely incomparable to cephalopods, horses, elephants, pigs, chimpanzees. I don't think you hold the belief that we have a stronger incentive to protect the lives of those organisms than newborns, even though its consistent with your argument.

An animal, with no human interference, is almost completely trapped by in space by it's biology. That is,
African elephants cannot walk out of Africa. They may be big, and they may have all the muscle they need for
the job, but they can't learn to survive outside of the environment they're adapted to. Only humans are able to
change the landscape to accomodate our needs. So even if my IQ is exactly the same as the elephant's, the
fact I'm human makes me superior. Of the two, I'm the only one able to build a fire, catch a fish, and keep
myself alive in a place I've never seen before. The elephant simply cannot. Maybe I could teach him, and
maybe he could teach other elephants...maybe...but according to PETA simply trying that "experiment" would
be harmful.

AFAIK, the same applies to all higher-functioning animals. They are confined to their own place and unable to
adapt to a wholly different environment, or change that environment to meet their own needs. A dolphin cannot
leave the water. A human can build a boat or a bathysphere and live in the ocean the rest of his life. But a
dolphin will never create an apparatus to allow him to rent an urban apartment.

The newborn human infant is just as trapped for a while. But s/he has the potential to grow into an adult that will be able to do accomplish far more than all the elephants and dolphins combined.

Therefore, the newborn human infant is more valuable, and should be given consideration before other animals, mentally similiar or not.


As an aside.... if it's okay to start human trials on otherwise untested drugs...Dessi, are you willing to step up and be the human gunea pig for the next vial of goo that just *might* cure cancer or the next AIDs vaccine?
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Old 30th November 2012, 01:49 PM   #307
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Is that a rule which applies to non-rational humans?
??? Has anyone here suggested that it's okay to torture (or do tests on, or eat) non-rational humans?
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:12 PM   #308
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
??? Has anyone here suggested that it's okay to torture (or do tests on, or eat) non-rational humans?
I don't know what to make that non-response. I didn't ask anything unreasonable, so let's try again with that exchange:

There are those of us who say "USING animals in medical testing is neccesary" but even we do not -as a rule- agree that "abusing animals is okay". We -I- draw a line between "use" and "abuse". They are two different things.

Is that a rule which applies to non-rational humans?
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:29 PM   #309
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Quote:
There are those of us who say "USING animals in medical testing is neccesary" but even we do not -as a rule- agree that "abusing animals is okay". We -I- draw a line between "use" and "abuse". They are two different things.

Is that a rule which applies to non-rational humans?
Okay; let me try again.

We don't tend to see ourselves as "using" humans much in any way at all. Since most of us don't eat them, or see our neighbors as a source of warm skins for the winter we draw very wide chasms between ourselves and animals.

And regards the medical testing, many humans do sign up for all kinds of experiements, and I *assume* we have various safeguards in place to ensure they know what they are doing, and are making informed choices. Whether or not it's rational to decide to be a test subject for a vaccine or a new transplant procedure is probably an argument for another thread.

But either way, we don't condone "abuse" of people, even if they're irrational or even downright nuts.

/*not to say we don't occasionally fantasize about such...daydreams of torture against those we consider deserving of such are certainly common. But we (generally) control our urges and let the justice system or other official procedures take precedence....
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:33 PM   #310
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
I don't know what to make that non-response. I didn't ask anything unreasonable, so let's try again with that exchange:

There are those of us who say "USING animals in medical testing is neccesary" but even we do not -as a rule- agree that "abusing animals is okay". We -I- draw a line between "use" and "abuse". They are two different things.

Is that a rule which applies to non-rational humans?
What rule are you referring to..


Do you understand what a ' figure of speech ' is ?
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:36 PM   #311
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
The newborn human infant is just as trapped for a while. But s/he has the potential to grow into an adult that will be able to do accomplish far more than all the elephants and dolphins combined.

Therefore, the newborn human infant is more valuable, and should be given consideration before other animals, mentally similiar or nt.
Potential person arguments are really great argument to exclude the entire population of humans who will never be rational, not generally a great argument for anything else.

The "greater intellect, greater consideration" argument is turns on its head if you've ever worked with adults with profound mental handicaps. Many people hold the view that we have a greater (rather than lesser) obligation of paternalistic care to protect people with profound mental disabilities than rational able-bodied adults. Why? Because that class of people can suffer, are generally less able to care for themselves, and we have every good reason to take that suffering into consideration.

Let's talk about potential person arguments. Cain get's it:

Originally Posted by Cain
Quote:
I used the phrase "potential to do great things" to indicate that humans have, for the most part, abilities not seen in other species of the animal kingdom... we have culture, we can make plans for the future, we can engage in empathy, and we have an understanding of the world that other animals lack. (While some species have shown a few of these characteristics, none have it to the degree that we do.) That is what I meant by the term 'great things'.
Ah. So what you meant by "great things" was that humans can do things non-humans cannot, and therefore humans can freely prey on non-humans. The abilities you mention strike me as not only morally arbitrary, but fail to apply to all humans, hence the inclusion this round of the dependent clause "for the most part" and the ad hoc distinction that animals do not possess these arbitrarily chosen abilities "to the degree" we do.

Quote:
I used the word "potential" preemptively, in case someone tried bringing the argument "But what about babies"? A baby may not be able to "plan for the future", or to "engage in empathy" (or any of the other things that make human intellect different), but it will.
But this is a distinction without a difference. The nine million dead sperm on my girlfriend's chin had the potential to one day become ne'erdowell potheads. This "potentiality" stuff gets routinely brought up and it's chickens and eggs, oak trees and acorns.
No one really takes potential person arguments seriously. My sister's 4-year-old is a potential president, but he has none of the rights of an actual president. He's a potential criminal, but it'd be wrong to put him in jail. He's a potential random joe schmoe, but has none of the rights of joe schmoe. I don't think its unreasonable to treat him in a manner consistent with his actual capacities, just like every other parent treats their child.

More generally, potential person arguments are a rat's nest. On the one hand, you can say potential perosns have the same rights as actual persons, on the other that potential persons have potential rights. On the one hand, potential person's should be considered as equal to future adult self, on the other equal to their future corpse self. On the one hand we treat newborns as equal to adults when talking about their right to life and freedom from suffering equal to their future selfs, on the other we treat them as irrational newborns when talking about their right to consent to sexual relationships or prosecuting them as adults in court.

Quote:
As an aside.... if it's okay to start human trials on otherwise untested drugs...Dessi, are you willing to step up and be the human gunea pig for the next vial of goo that just *might* cure cancer or the next AIDs vaccine?
It's absolutely incredible how you managed to use, almost verbatim, the exact same argument Henry Salt used to satirize vivisection double-think all the way back in 1892:
Quote:
If there be one bright spot, one refreshing oasis, in the discussion of this dreary subject, it is the humorous recurrence of the old threadbare fallacy of "better for the animals themselves." Yes, even here, in the laboratory of the vivisector, amidst the baking and sawing and dissection, we are sometimes met by that familiar friend—the proud plea of a single-hearted regard for the interests of the suffering animals! Who knows but what some beneficent experimentalist, if only he be permitted to cut up a sufficient number of victims, may discover some potent remedy for all the lamented ills of the [79] as well as of the human creation? Can we doubt that the victims themselves, if once they could realize the noble object of their martyrdom, would vie with each other in rushing eagerly on the knife? The only marvel is that, where the cause is so meritorious, no human volunteer has as yet come forward to die under the hands of the vivisector!
I have a pretty consistent point of view on experimentation: I whole-heartedly support animal experimentation in all the areas where it would be acceptable to use a mentally similar human. Remember, in your own words, use is not abuse.
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:49 PM   #312
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Do these irrational and/or potential people taste good? What if brined overnight first?
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:54 PM   #313
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
Do these irrational and/or potential people taste good? What if brined overnight first?
I'm sure they taste fabulous:
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Prior to 1931, New York Times reporter William Buehler Seabrook, allegedly in the interests of research, obtained from a hospital intern at the Sorbonne a chunk of human meat from the body of a healthy human killed in an accident, then cooked and ate it. He reported, "It was like good, fully-developed veal, not young, but not yet beef. It was very definitely like that, and it was not like any other meat I had ever tasted. It was so nearly like good, fully developed veal that I think no person with a palate of ordinary, normal sensitiveness could distinguish it from veal. It was mild, good meat with no other sharply defined or highly characteristic taste such as for instance, goat, high game, and pork have. The steak was slightly tougher than prime veal, a little stringy, but not too tough or stringy to be agreeably edible. The roast, from which I cut and ate a central slice, was tender, and in color, texture, smell as well as taste, strengthened my certainty that of all the meats we habitually know, veal is the one meat to which this meat is accurately comparable."
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Old 30th November 2012, 02:58 PM   #314
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
Do these irrational and/or potential people taste good? What if brined overnight first?
Tastes like chicken.

Which brings up the question....If you call someone who eats only vegetables a 'vegetarian', would that not mean that you'd call a Cannibal a "humanitarian"?
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Old 30th November 2012, 03:14 PM   #315
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
??? Has anyone here suggested that it's okay to torture (or do tests on, or eat) non-rational humans?
Well it would be a lot easier to field dress that nun after she's been kicked in the face.
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Old 30th November 2012, 03:36 PM   #316
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
...

I have a pretty consistent point of view on experimentation: I whole-heartedly support animal experimentation in all the areas where it would be acceptable to use a mentally similar human.
Acceptable to who?
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Old 30th November 2012, 03:37 PM   #317
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Which brings up the question....If you call someone who eats only vegetables a 'vegetarian', would that not mean that you'd call a Cannibal a "humanitarian"?
Olive oil is made from olives, corn oil is made from oil. baby oil is made from what again?

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Old 30th November 2012, 04:12 PM   #318
Estellea
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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
I have a pretty consistent point of view on experimentation: I whole-heartedly support animal experimentation in all the areas where it would be acceptable to use a mentally similar human. Remember, in your own words, use is not abuse.
Excellent and by your mighty leaders' philosophy there are no moral or mental distinctions between a rat a pig a dog and a boy; you are therefore a "mentally-simailar human". So when are you and your ideologues going to volunteer since you are considered to be no different than a rat? Think of how many animals you could save and how much more quickly new drugs could come to market given the generalisability of the test subjects to the target population. It's your moral imperative.

And PETA's VP is absolutely a hypocrite; she has deemed her life more important than the animals she purports to save. She is benefitting from animal testing and product use but wants to deny everyone else the same benefits.

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Old 30th November 2012, 04:17 PM   #319
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Use Vs. Abuse

This is actually a useful frame to understand our interactions with animals. I tentatively submit the following continuum, which is by no means complete:

Torturing animals for fun ----- Wearing them for Fashion ---- Eating them for Pleasure ---- Experimenting on them to cure diseases ----- Keeping them as companions

So far the discussion has focused more on the right end of the spectrum, "PeTA doesn't want you to have pets!" "PeTA opposes a cure for AIDS!" These are actually fuzzier areas because, as we've seen, an animal rights advocate might be in favor of testing, provided it's done in a manner that does not senselessly discriminate on the basis of species. My only objection to keeping animal companions is that the most popular kinds -- cats and dogs -- eat animals.

But who cares because the other end of the spectrum is far more interesting. Supposing there are sadists who enjoy harming animals, and film it for people who want to watch (why let the animal's awesome death go to waste?? Share it with millions!!) Is it OK to violently hurt animals for entertainment purposes?

The unstated moral principle running through this post is that power is not self-justifying. Coercive power requires rational justification.

And I don't think violence against animals, for entertainment purposes, can be justified. The animal's interest in its own well-being, its one and only life, far outweighs the pleasure derived from slipping a knife into its belly.There's no important need to harm animals for fun, and besides, there are lots of other things you can do for fun. I'm pretty sure most people agree. Disagreement comes in the other stages where the reasoning is not much different.

While clothes are often necessary, I do not need to wear fur. While I must eat, I do not need to eat meat. It's also true I do not need to destroy a stuffed animal on my bed. Does that mean the government can create a law? Well, it shouldn't, because I'm not harming a morally significant being (sorry Mr. Potts!).

The problem for the non-rights crowd is that they basically accept these premises but want to escape the conclusions that logically follow. (Unless you think we should have laws against torturing animals because sadism "coarsens the human spirit," or because you fear the aggressor will turn into a serial killer, or because dog-fighting almost always involves gambling (a social disease), or some other ad hoc nonsense that has frightening implications for the civil libertarianism that generally prevails on this forum).

Animal testing -- human and non-human -- is a dicier proposition because there are no useful substitutes. Here someone must exercise incredible self-discipline: I do not need to live 10 years longer. But unchecked power rarely exercises self-restraint, as evidenced by empires and dictators.


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Originally Posted by Dessi View Post
Biological differences mean everything. I have green eyes, it's in my DNA. There's a DNA difference between me and non-green eyed people, and that gives me privilege to slaughter the lot of them. I'm no traitor to my own kind.
Aw... good point. You're now my sworn enemy.
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Old 30th November 2012, 04:30 PM   #320
Dessi
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
Originally Posted by Dessi
There are those of us who say "USING animals in medical testing is neccesary" but even we do not -as a rule- agree that "abusing animals is okay". We -I- draw a line between "use" and "abuse". They are two different things.

Is that a rule which applies to non-rational humans?
We don't tend to see ourselves as "using" humans much in any way at all. Since most of us don't eat them, or see our neighbors as a source of warm skins for the winter we draw very wide chasms between ourselves and animals.
Even Segnosaur, jj, and the guys would call this out as a non-response. I'm not interested in harping on it, because I think you already realized how your own principle unavoidably raises animals to the status of humans, or lowers humans to the status of animals. At least of subset of them
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