• chatterbears
    240
    I base my moral foundation on something similar to Sam Harris, which is the consideration of the well-being of conscious creatures. This includes humans and animals. But I'd also say it is impossible to accept these 3 moral pillars while simultaneously eating animals. And these 3 pillars are: Empathy, compassion and ethical consistency.

    Empathy refers more generally to our ability to take the perspective of and feel the emotions of another living being. Compassion is when those feelings and thoughts include the desire to help. (Can be substituted for Altruism). Ethical Consistency is being logically consistent within a belief. Primarily regarding the consistency of the justification being used.

    Does anyone here eat animals, while also adhering to the moral trifecta (Empathy, compassion and ethical consistency)? If so, I'd like to know how?

    Scientific Research for plant-based diets: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1REgp2VreWfgHhatxycdk0GN6P9HyXID6UTzuNb4f7sY/edit?usp=sharing
  • Michael
    7.3k
    Empathy refers more generally to our ability to take the perspective of and feel the emotions of another living being. Compassion is when those feelings and thoughts include the desire to help. (Can be substituted for Altruism). Ethical Consistency is being logically consistent within a belief. Primarily regarding the consistency of the justification being used.

    Does anyone here eat animals, while also adhering to the moral trifecta (Empathy, compassion and ethical consistency)? If so, I'd like to know how?
    chatterbears

    What is it like to be a bat?

    A case could be made (and is made) that there's nothing like being a bat (or other animal), or at least that it's not anything that we can understand, and so that empathy for animals is impossible. Claims of empathy for animals is actually mistaken anthropomorphism.

    So I can be empathetic towards humans, but not animals, and so can adhere to this "moral trifecta" whilst also eating meat.
  • TheMadFool
    2.4k
    While some like to think of the perfect clockwork universe where every cog in the great machine fits perfectly, I see a lot of imperfections (from a human standpoint of course).

    We may have empathy, compassion and the desire to be consistent but alas all is not well with our world. Look at our biology - we're designed to be meat-eaters. At least that's what I think. We lack the basic bio-machinery to be completely vegetarian. One evidence for this is our tendency to develop anemia on a vegan diet. Of course this can be compensated for but does nothing to diminsh the truth - we're omnivores (meat+veggies). Put this basic biological fact in the context of our more evolved brain. We think of all sorts of things and this includes empathy, compassion the desire to be consistent and we have the asynchrony that puts us in this mess. Our brains are far too evolved than our guts.

    I don't know if that's a good thing or not.
  • chatterbears
    240
    The most important factors of what it is like to be an animal, are the abilities to feel pain and suffering. They also share similar qualities of showing empathy within their own species. So if an animal feels pain and suffering, why would we kill it when we don't need to?
  • TheMadFool
    2.4k
    So I can be empathetic towards humans, but not animals, and so can adhere to this "moral trifecta" whilst also eating meatMichael

    Don't worry. Irrationality and hypocrisy, strangely, are not crimes...yet!
  • chatterbears
    240
    Even if we were "designed" to be meat-eaters, as you put it, we currently live in a world where a plant-based diet can be sufficient enough to survive on. We don't 'need' to eat meat to survive, as many scientific journals actually state the opposite. That plant based diets are more healthy and more nutritious. So again, if we don't need to eat meat (and make animals suffer), why do we do it?
  • TheMadFool
    2.4k
    So again, if we don't need to eat meat (and make animals suffer), why do we do it?chatterbears

    Let's take this vegetarian point of view to its logical conclusion. Plants are living things too. Right?

    Of course a vegetarian would respond that plants don't feel pain but isn't that the wrong reason to be a vegetarian in the first place.

    I'd like to be a vegetarian because of a positive reason like valuing life and not because of a negative one based on pain. I know these (valuing life-not wanting to cause pain) are two sides of the same coin but that's exactly what I'm getting at. We don't want to kill because we value life and plants are living things too.
  • Michael
    7.3k
    So if an animal feels pain and suffering, why would we kill it when we don't need to?chatterbears

    Someone who eats meat but adheres to your "moral trifecta" would reject the antecedent. Animals don't feel pain; or at least the kind of pain that they feel is nothing like the kind of pain that we feel, and so we are incapable of empathising with them.
  • Michael
    7.3k
    Don't worry. Irrationality and hypocrisy, strangely, are not crimes...yet!TheMadFool

    What irrationality and hypocrisy?
  • chatterbears
    240
    Plants are living things but cannot feel pain or suffering, because they do not have a nervous system or a brain. You value life and avoid pain and suffering. Every living creature on this planet (humans included) adheres to that basic level of wanting to live and wanting to avoid pain or suffering. Therefore, we shouldn't be causing pain to others.
  • chatterbears
    240
    Saying animals don't feel pain is just wrong. They can reject it, but they would be in fact wrong. Animals feel pain. What are the signs of pain? Distress. Moving yourself out of the way of the thing that is causing pain. Blood. Etc... Animals and humans both share this basic trait. Saying we are incapable of empathizing with animals is just a false statement.
  • chatterbears
    240
    If you put a human's head over a hot flame, the human will try to move their head out of the way of the fire. If you put a pig's head over a hot flame, the pig will try to move their head out of the way of the fire. Both scenarios display the same basic experience for pain, and wanting to avoid it. Rejecting the idea that animals feel pain is absurd, IMO.
  • S
    6.2k
    In considering the well-being of conscious creatures, wouldn't the degree to which a creature is conscious be of importance? Certainly, other animals are not conscious to the same degree as humans.
  • Harry Hindu
    1.3k
    Animals don't feel painMichael
    It looks like your whole argument is based on very shaky ground. How do you know animals do not feel pain and other humans do? Are not humans animals?

    Does anyone here eat animals, while also adhering to the moral trifecta (Empathy, compassion and ethical consistency)? If so, I'd like to know how?chatterbears
    If lions, tigers, and alligators do it, then why would it be wrong? Here we go into another thread asking a subjective question as if it had an objective answer.
  • chatterbears
    240
    Certainly, other animals are not conscious to the same degree as humans.Sapientia
    agreed, but for the sake of argument, let's talk about our factory farmed animals (cows / chickens / pigs)
  • Harry Hindu
    1.3k
    Certainly, other animals are not conscious to the same degree as humans.Sapientia
    And some humans are not conscious to the same degree as other humans - therefore the degree of consciousness should not be a measuring stick for deciding who lives and who dies.
  • chatterbears
    240
    If lions, tigers, and alligators do it, then why would it be wrong?Harry Hindu

    Lions, tigers and alligators cannot moral assess actions and conform to ethical consistency. They don't have the capacity for moral evaluation like we do.
  • Michael
    7.3k
    Saying animals don't feel pain is just wrong. They can reject it, but they would be in fact wrong. Animals feel pain. What are the signs of pain? Distress. Moving yourself out of the way of the thing that is causing pain. Blood. Etc... Animals and humans both share this basic trait. Saying we are incapable of empathizing with animals is just a false statement.chatterbears

    Again, what is it like to be a bat? As Nagel argued, consciousness cannot be reduced to physicalism or behaviourism. A case can be made that brains and biological responses to stimulation are not identical to (and do not entail) qualia, and so it is invalid to infer from the available evidence that animals feel pain (or at least that the pain they feel is like the pain that we feel).
  • Harry Hindu
    1.3k
    Ethics are simply rules for behaving within certain social structures, of which lions, tigers and alligators are part of, and are arbitrary.
  • chatterbears
    240
    Ethics are simply rules for behaving within certain social structures and are arbitrary.Harry Hindu

    They can be arbitrary, but people can be inconsistent within their own arbitrary ethics. Which is part of the problem.
  • S
    6.2k
    Okay, go ahead. They are not conscious to the same degree as humans, so how do you justify the suggestion that one should be just as empathic or compassionate towards factory farmed animals, like cows, chickens, and pigs, as towards humans?
  • chatterbears
    240
    it is invalid to infer from the available evidence that animals feel pain (or at least that the pain they feel is like the pain that we feel).Michael
    They may not feel identical pain to the pain we experience, but they still do in fact feel pain. That is just a fact.
  • Michael
    7.3k
    It looks like your whole argument is based on very shaky ground. How do you know animals do not feel pain and other humans do?Harry Hindu

    I don't. I'm not arguing that animals don't feel pain. I'm arguing that a meat-eater can "accept the 3 moral pillars while simultaneously eating animals" by rejecting the claim that animals feel pain (or at least the claim that animal pain is like human pain).
  • S
    6.2k
    And some humans are not conscious to the same degree as other humans.Harry Hindu

    Yes. I was waiting for that one. But what's your point? We don't factory farm humans. They wouldn't taste as good.
  • chatterbears
    240
    so how do you justify the suggestion that one should be just as empathic or compassionate towards factory farmed animals, like cows, chickens, and pigs, as towards humans?Sapientia

    Because they feel pain and suffering. And we should not cause needless pain and suffering to another living being. But to be more clear, why do you eat animals?
  • Michael
    7.3k
    They may not feel identical pain to the pain we experience, but they still do in fact feel pain. That is just a fact.chatterbears

    If they don't feel pain in the same way that we do then we can't empathise with them. If, when I try to imagine their pain, I'm actually imagining human-pain, then I'm not actually imagining their pain. So it isn't actual empathy; it's false anthropomorphism.
  • chatterbears
    240
    If they don't feel pain in the same way that we do then we can't empathise with themMichael
    By that logic, you can use the same reasoning between two humans. Each person has a different capacity and tolerance for pain, and therefore does not feel pain in the same way another person does. You could get hit on the hand with a stick and feel pain differently than me, but this doesn't mean I cannot empathize with you just because our pain is not identical.
  • TheMadFool
    2.4k
    Plants are living things but cannot feel pain or suffering, because they do not have a nervous system or a brain. You value life and avoid pain and suffering. Every living creature on this planet (humans included) adheres to that basic level of wanting to live and wanting to avoid pain or suffering. Therefore, we shouldn't be causing pain to others.chatterbears

    This is a valid point. I overlooked the important point that animals feel pain and plants don't.

    Now that you ask, I don't know why we eat meat. It's probably the taste.

    Anyway remember that we were hunter gatherers before we settled down to till the land. Perhaps meat eating is just a remnant behavior of our ancient forefathers.

    Hopefully, we'll begin to see sense and give up killing animals for food or fun.
  • TheMadFool
    2.4k
    What irrationality and hypocrisy?Michael

    We can't adhere to the ''trifecta'' and continue to eat meat as empathy and compassion are based on not causing pain. Am I right?
  • Michael
    7.3k
    By that logic, you can use the same reasoning between two humans. Each person has a different capacity and tolerance for pain, and therefore does not feel pain in the same way another person does. You could get hit on the hand with a stick and feel pain differently than me, but this doesn't mean I cannot empathize with you just because our pain is not identical.chatterbears

    If we don't feel pain the same way then we can't empathise with each other. To empathise with someone is to understand and share someone else's feelings.

    We can't adhere to the ''trifecta'' and continue to eat meat as empathy and compassion are based on not causing pain. Am I right?TheMadFool

    The meat-eater can claim that animals don't feel pain, so their position is consistent (even if factually wrong).
  • chatterbears
    240
    The meat-eater claims that animals don't feel pain, so there position is consistent (even if factually wrong).Michael

    Being factually wrong is a big problem, don't you think?

    Also, I am unclear of your position. Are you just defending the position that you do not hold. Are you, yourself, a meat eater? And do you believe we can empathize with animals in the context of feeling ANY pain or suffering.
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