• karl stone
    203
    lol yeah. It took me a while... Karl doesn't understand the concept of answering a question. Maybe you can try to ask him in another thread. This is what you may encounter.

    Why are animals not worth of moral consideration if we cause them unnecessary suffering?
    "Because they aren't on top of the food chain."
    Why is the food chain an indicator of how to treat sentient beings?
    "Because.... dinner."

    If you want to talk about food chains, how about you ask Karl to fight a tiger or bear with what he was naturally born with (hands and feet and teeth). That food chain will get resolved real fast, lol...
    chatterbears

    I'm going to stop replying to you now (then bitch about you behind your back!) Real mature. The mature thing to do would be to respond to the post above, and explain how not eating meat would be ethical in its effects on other people, animals and the wider environment. There are whole ecosystems and landscapes dependent on grazing animals, not to mention a significant part of the economy. If your only premise is the 'unnecessary suffering of animals' killed for food - then it's not unethical. Indeed, you haven't even established it's unnecessary!
  • BrianW
    493


    I've reviewed my arguments and I think I will stick to my personal opinion rather than attempt to include perspectives I don't fully understand.
    Personally, I agree that it's cruel to kill animals for food. As to whether it's ethical or not, I don't know. I think it depends on one's basis for ethics and whether it applies to animals as well. However, as far as I know, there is no such world-wide ethical acceptance.
    Now, please allow me to bow out of this discussion, thanks.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.2k
    Just to be clear, the reasoning you use to justify a moral action, is "feeling". Correct?chatterbears

    No. You're not understanding what I'm saying. Let's do this one step at a time: first, just to be clear, a justification for a moral action can't be something that's just factual; it would have to itself be a value judgment the person is making.

    Do you understand/agree with that part?
  • Jake
    841
    I repeat: If you want to change behavior, come up with a plan that has a chance of producing concrete results.Bitter Crank

    I thought Mr. Crank had the best plan, manipulating behavior through the price. As example, taxes on animal products with the proceeds being used to subsidize alternatives. I'll admit I really have no plan for implementing that politically, but maybe somebody else can offer some suggestions.

    By the way, there are increasingly plant based products engineered to taste quite a bit like meat. I'm addicted to vegie sausage myself.
  • Jake
    841
    The mature thing to do would be to respond to the post above,karl stone

    The logical thing to do would be to not invest time in trying to explain such things to those who show no evidence of being capable of ever getting it. Such a procedure is a waste of everybody's time, and accomplishes little more than generating pointless conflict.

    A better approach would be to try to identify those who have already decided to move towards a plant based diet, but are new to the subject and need some assistance with their transition. For example, a website with a title something like "How To Become A Vegetarian".
  • chatterbears
    305
    I see. Why were you out in the wilderness? Was it necessary for your survival? Furthermore, human settlements, like cities, exclude "wild life" but all take up vital space and resources from "wild life". Are they necessary or unnecessary?Πετροκότσυφας

    I wasn't out in the wilderness, as I was merely giving an example. Cities/towns/villages are necessary for survival, but not in the types of excess as we have it today. 10,000 sq ft. homes for 2 people, should not exist. Golf courses (which take up unnecessary amounts of land) shouldn't exist. Funeral homes and cemeteries, shouldn't exist. There are a lot of things that humans have created, in which they are completely unnecessary, and most of the time, useless.
  • chatterbears
    305
    You want me to give you a program for achieving Veganism? How about you try this: https://www.challenge22.com/challenge22/

    They will assign you a mentor to you help you along the way if you have any questions. You will also get guides/recipes on veganism. Is this what you are looking for?

    Also, I don't need to come up with a plan in order to change people's minds. I am here to spread awareness and allow people to realize their ethical inconsistency. This comes before the plan is put into place. Nobody will follow a plan if they believe what they are currently doing is right or correct. People on this thread have not even stated in the slightest that they will stop eating animal products, let alone ask me what the best plan is to do so.

    There are plenty of resources out there, in regards to following a plan for veganism. I am here to put you in the correct mindset, so you are able to pursue that plan on your own without feeling obligated or guilt-tripped in some way. Slave owners who release their slaves shouldn't need to feel guilt in order to do the morally right thing. You evaluate your beliefs and actions, see if they line up, and if they don't, you correct them and change your perspective. If you care to be a moral agent, then it requires a constant evaluation of your beliefs and actions. If you don't care to be a moral agent, continue living on the way you have, while conforming to societal norms and common law.
  • chatterbears
    305
    My original query is,

    Is natural law unethical?

    I'm investigating, not assuming that it already is. I'm trying to understand it from as comprehensive a perspective as I can.

    What about the wild animals? How do we deal with them?

    Do animals have the right to free-will?
    BrianW

    My mistake. I thought you were assuming that natural law is ethical.

    Wild animals (+ALL animals) should be left alone, as much as possible. Yes, they should have the right to freedom and the ability to express their free-will. If you don't think they deserve the right to life and freedom, you'd need to present a case for that. Why don't animals deserve the right to life and freedom?
  • chatterbears
    305
    I've reviewed my arguments and I think I will stick to my personal opinion rather than attempt to include perspectives I don't fully understand.
    Personally, I agree that it's cruel to kill animals for food. As to whether it's ethical or not, I don't know. I think it depends on one's basis for ethics and whether it applies to animals as well. However, as far as I know, there is no such world-wide ethical acceptance.
    Now, please allow me to bow out of this discussion, thanks.
    BrianW

    Saying that something is cruel, means you are deploying ethics. So if you say something is cruel, you are saying it is unethical. Ethics and Morals are synonyms, which essentially mean the same thing.

    This thread was for people to explore this topic and ask questions for which they may not fully understand. I'd encourage you to stay in this thread and chat a bit more before you leave.

    If we forget about other people for now, may I ask you this. What is your basis for ethical/moral decisions? Meaning, how do you differentiate a good action from a bad action?
  • chatterbears
    305
    No. You're not understanding what I'm saying. Let's do this one step at a time: first, just to be clear, a justification for a moral action can't be something that's just factual; it would have to itself be a value judgment the person is making.

    Do you understand/agree with that part?
    Terrapin Station

    I have no idea what you just wrote. How about we start over. I said this:

    "the reasoning you use to justify a moral action, is "feeling". Correct?"

    Let me try to rephrase.

    Do you believe how you "feel" is a sensible reason to base your moral actions on? If so, do you believe how someone else "feels" is a sensible reason for them to base their moral actions on? If not, you have a logical contradiction in place. Where you accept "feeling" as a sensible reason for your actions, but do not accept "feeling" as a sensible reason for someone else's actions.

    Do you understand this?
  • BrianW
    493
    If we forget about other people for now, may I ask you this. What is your basis for ethical/moral decisions? Meaning, how do you differentiate a good action from a bad action?chatterbears

    My ethics/morality is derived partly from previous precedence and partly from my own analysis. The idea that killing animals for food is unethical has no long-standing precedence in most of the world. In fact, it's quite the opposite. And, where there's precedence, it is expressed primarily through religious/spiritual dictates instead of some kind of empiricism (like we now have knowing that animals express emotions and they can suffer).
    On the flip-side, there are long-standing traditions based on ideas such as humans are decidedly superior to animals, or that animals exist to serve humans, etc. In terms of empiricism, the superiority of humans over animals is obvious. Also, concerning suffering from fear of death, a lot of progress has been made to alleviate that. As to suffering due to inhumane conditions, it has not yet been established whether animals have the capacity to realise an unexperienced alternate lifestyle over which they could yearn for. Once animals are fed regularly, are sheltered well enough and have the company, especially, of their kind, it is difficult to prove substantially that they are in any further need, the lack of which, results in suffering.
    Therefore, I think it would be unfair to suppose an ethical/moral superiority over those who act different from me when it is not based on any absolute system of qualification.

    For example, personally, I think all animals should be under partial or complete domestication. This means that, even wild animals should be regulated through family planning methods until their numbers are greatly reduced and manageable. Also, we should tag all animals (if possible) so that we know where and how they are at all times for the sake of regulating their activities, like in times of natural crises or to protect them from human activities that may harm them.
    However, all that is my opinion. It can be compassionate, intelligent, or any other positive adjective but cannot be superior to others' opinions, unless relatively. And, I can't argue that relative ethics/morality must hold for others because that would be plain wrong.

    On the bright side, through persistence and insistence, it is possible to turn around the current status quo and possibly have a future where humans are more caring of animals. Current trends already show an increase in plant-based diets, which I fully support.
  • Terrapin Station
    5.2k
    Do you believe how you "feel" is a sensible reason to base your moral actions on? If so, do you believe how someone else "feels" is a sensible reason for them to base their moral actions on?chatterbears

    I don't know if I think it's "sensible," but it doesn't matter. It's a fact that (foundational) moral stances are how an individual feels about interpersonal behavior, and that's all they can be.
  • chatterbears
    305
    I don't know if I think it's "sensible," but it doesn't matter. It's a fact that (foundational) moral stances are how an individual feels about interpersonal behavior, and that's all they can be.Terrapin Station

    It does matter to me, because I want to understand how you determine right from wrong. What mechanism do you use to differentiate a wrong action from a bad action?

    I'll try one different way of looking at this.

    If you were raising a child, how would you teach that child to make assessments regarding good and bad behavior?

    Examples:

    - A religious person may point to the bible and say, "Follow these 10 commandments and they will teach you what is good and bad."

    - A person who derives his morals from the law, may tell their children, "Whatever the law says, is how you should decide what is right from wrong."

    - You (Terrapin) would seem to tell your child, "Whatever you feel is right, just go with that."

    Correct me if I am wrong. But I still am not fully clear on your position, and I think this question of "how would you teach your children right from wrong" could help create some clarity.

    **As a side note: A person can "feel" something is wrong, but go against it because they put more importance on the law. So to say that people base their moral stances on how they feel, isn't always the case. People will conform to societal pressure or the law, versus abide by their own personal feelings.
  • chatterbears
    305
    My ethics/morality is derived partly from previous precedence and partly from my own analysis. The idea that killing animals for food is unethical has no long-standing precedence in most of the world. In fact, it's quite the opposite. And, where there's precedence, it is expressed primarily through religious/spiritual dictates instead of some kind of empiricism (like we now have knowing that animals express emotions and they can suffer).
    On the flip-side, there are long-standing traditions based on ideas such as humans are decidedly superior to animals, or that animals exist to serve humans, etc. In terms of empiricism, the superiority of humans over animals is obvious. Also, concerning suffering from fear of death, a lot of progress has been made to alleviate that.
    BrianW

    Hehe. I originally said, "If we forget about other people for now, may I ask you this. What is your basis for ethical/moral decisions? Meaning, how do you differentiate a good action from a bad action?".

    The main sentence being, "If we forget about other people for now." - You then explained how the rest of the world perceives morality, instead of explaining your own position. I understand that you derive your moral stances on previous precedence and your own analysis, but I wanted specifics.

    As I told Terrapin, how would you teach your children to assess a good action from a bad action? Or my original question, how do you differentiate a good action from a bad action? What specific thought process do you use to make that determination.

    As to suffering due to inhumane conditions, it has not yet been established whether animals have the capacity to realise an unexperienced alternate lifestyle over which they could yearn for. Once animals are fed regularly, are sheltered well enough and have the company, especially, of their kind, it is difficult to prove substantially that they are in any further need, the lack of which, results in suffering.
    Therefore, I think it would be unfair to suppose an ethical/moral superiority over those who act different from me when it is not based on any absolute system of qualification.
    BrianW

    We could raise a human in isolation, in which that human knows no differently. We could force that human to live in its own waste, while confined to a 4x4 cell block. We could forcefully artificially inseminate that human (rape) without their consent. Would you then justify these actions by saying, once this human is fed regularly, sheltered well enough and has company of its own kind, it is difficult to prove substantially that they are in any further need? If your response is going to be, "A human understands suffering to a greater degree than a pig, so it would be immoral to treat a human the same way." - I could get around that by making the human we raise in isolation, a mentally retarded human. And the mentally retarded human would be of the same consciousness of a pig, and had same communication skills. Is it ok now?

    For example, personally, I think all animals should be under partial or complete domestication. This means that, even wild animals should be regulated through family planning methods until their numbers are greatly reduced and manageable. Also, we should tag all animals (if possible) so that we know where and how they are at all times for the sake of regulating their activities, like in times of natural crises or to protect them from human activities that may harm them.BrianW

    Factory farming industries harm animals. Is factory farming something you would want to protect animals from, since that qualifies as a human activity that harms animals.

    However, all that is my opinion. It can be compassionate, intelligent, or any other positive adjective but cannot be superior to others' opinions, unless relatively. And, I can't argue that relative ethics/morality must hold for others because that would be plain wrong.BrianW

    You don't think one moral stance can be superior to another? Let me ask you this:

    - Jack thinks rape is morally good.
    - Peter thinks rape is morally bad.

    Are you saying that Jack and Peter both have moral opinions of equal value, in regards to rape?

    On the bright side, through persistence and insistence, it is possible to turn around the current status quo and possibly have a future where humans are more caring of animals. Current trends already show an increase in plant-based diets, which I fully support.BrianW

    Agreed.
  • Πετροκότσυφας
    969
    I wasn't out in the wilderness, as I was merely giving an example. Cities/towns/villages are necessary for survival, but not in the types of excess as we have it today. 10,000 sq ft. homes for 2 people, should not exist. Golf courses (which take up unnecessary amounts of land) shouldn't exist. Funeral homes and cemeteries, shouldn't exist. There are a lot of things that humans have created, in which they are completely unnecessary, and most of the time, useless.chatterbears

    I know it was an example. That's not the issue. The point is that you brought it up as an unproblematic case of necessary harm. But it's not at all clear that it is indeed unproblematic. Since there are cities, most probably you weren't in the wilderness because you needed to survive. So, you ended up harming a wild animal in self-defense, when you didn't need to be there in the first place. In reality, the animal was in self-defense, since you were invading its natural habitat, despite the fact that more wilderness had already been taken up, so that we can build the city, which more or less makes our visiting to the wilderness unnecessary for matters of survival. Yet you say it was necessary (thus moral, I presume).

    While keeping in mind that discussion about survival is ambiguous when survival is not clearly conceptualised and demarcated, I'll adopt the conception of it that you seem to assume and argue that cities were not necessary for human survival in the first place. Human species managed to survive without them for quite long (much longer than our city days). Cities, even towns and villages, are necessary for our pleasure and convenience, not survival. And they were possible only through agriculture, which you appear to reject. Your whole argumentation takes us back to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle (where animals are exploited too).

    Either way, there are more fundamental problems than the ones I pointed out above. So, to get to the bottom of it, your view is such that it can't allow survival to function as the basis of morality, even though this is what it tries to do. You can't use survival that way because there's nothing necessary about survival. Ultimately, it can only be deemed as necessary on the grounds that you try to deny. The necessity of survival rests on the view that survival is the natural way things are. That's the way it is folks, we must survive, it's natural for us to want to survive (and maybe harm and exploit other life-forms in the process of surviving). In fact, every appeal to necessity, for things that are otherwise physically possible, leads to that. If you appeal to necessity, you open the door to the naturalistic fallacy you accuse others of. If you don't appeal to necessity, there's nothing necessary about survival. So, there's a contradiction here.

    You can get out of this contradiction if, for example, you let survival function as an axiom. But, if it's an axiom, you must change your mode of arguing. Before you judge others based on it, you must first convince them to adopt it. And if they don't share a foundationalist conception of ethics, you must first convince them to adopt such a conception before you convince them to adopt survival as the foundation from which moral inferences will be derived.
  • BrianW
    493
    how do you differentiate a good action from a bad action?".

    ...I understand that you derive your moral stances on previous precedence and your own analysis, but I wanted specifics.
    chatterbears

    Also, there's the question of whether someone would be ok to suffer a particular influence. If not, then it would be immoral to cause others to suffer through such. Though, this depends on equality. For example, stealing. There's previous precedence that makes stealing a unanimous no no. Also, personally, I'm against it due to the negative effects it has. And, since I would not like to be stolen from, I think it would be wrong to steal from others.

    You don't think one moral stance can be superior to another?chatterbears

    Only with respect to relative opinions. Rape is unanimously frowned upon, therefore, it's determined as unethical/immoral by everyone.
  • BrianW
    493
    Factory farming industries harm animals.chatterbears

    In what way?

    (I mean, is it clearly defined harmful activity or is it relative harm. Most of what I've seen is, to a large part, relative harm from the point of view of the difference between a human and an animal. This is because animals may not have the same rights, knowledge and awareness as humans. However, if one considered animals to be equal to humans, then, I agree that farming industries do harm animals.)
  • Terrapin Station
    5.2k
    Let's just focus on one bit at a time a la chatting:

    It does matter to me, because I want to understand how you determine right from wrong. What mechanism do you use to differentiate a wrong action from a bad action?chatterbears

    So it's not just me, what I'm saying here is what everyone does. Because of ontological facts, all that anyone can be doing, per their foundations, at least, is determining right and wrong via personal "feeling"--their intuitive, emotional response to (the idea of) interpersonal behavior that they consider to be more significant than etiquette.

    Once you have some foundational stance (which can be one of many), you can reason from there--so, for example, if it's a foundational stance for you that "one shouldn't nonconsensually initiate violence" it would likely follow for you that "one shouldn't murder," but the foundational stance can't be anything other than a way that you feel.
  • Jake
    841
    In an attempt to finally get to the bottom of this subject I found the following video on YouTube which clearly explains the debate between Chatterbears and Karl Stone.

  • Pattern-chaser
    629
    Why is it okay to needlessly kill non-human animals for food, but not humans?chatterbears

    The selfish view says that we don't eat humans because they're poisonous. We eat such crap.... :vomit:
  • karl stone
    203
    The mature thing to do would be to respond to the post above,
    — karl stone

    The logical thing to do would be to not invest time in trying to explain such things to those who show no evidence of being capable of ever getting it. Such a procedure is a waste of everybody's time, and accomplishes little more than generating pointless conflict.

    A better approach would be to try to identify those who have already decided to move towards a plant based diet, but are new to the subject and need some assistance with their transition. For example, a website with a title something like "How To Become A Vegetarian".
    Jake

    I have no objection to people who want to be vegetarian making their own decisions. Nor to you creating a website. It's vegetarians who have an objection to my decisions - and they apparently feel compelled to communicate that objection at every juncture. I have never met a vegetarian - I only later discovered was a vegetarian. And when you discuss it in depth, as we have here - I've often found that it's not so much a love of animals, but a dislike of people - coupled with post-material values.

    Not eating meat gives them a cheaply purchased sense of moral superiority they cannot help but flaunt; and the reason you don't like me digging down - is that, it puts that moralism at risk. You want me shut and be preached to. Well that's not going to happen. Chatterbears asked a question - he can't even answer himself. He thinks suffering and death are conclusive of unethical behavior - but they're not. Nature is red in tooth and claw. Farming is less cruel than nature - while providing sustenance and industry, that in turn lends value to the land and the environment. All this is part of any question of ethics, and a failure to examine those things - reduces vegetarianism to a misanthropic, weepy moral pretense of the privileged few.
  • DingoJones
    233


    Lol, mic drop. Well said.
  • Jake
    841
    And when you discuss it in depth, as we have here - I've often found that it's not so much a love of animals, but a dislike of peoplekarl stone

    It's not dislike of people to wish that we be kinder and gentler people who aren't inflicting suffering and trashing our environment for no good reason.

    Not eating meat gives them a cheaply purchased sense of moral superiority they cannot help but flaunt; and the reason you don't like me digging down - is that, it puts that moralism at risk.karl stone

    We don't like you digging down because you're just repeating misunderstandings that some of us escaped 50 years ago. All that's at risk in rehashing such misunderstanding is our time, which I must admit we ourselves are guilty of wasting in such conversations.
  • S
    6.2k
    If I said I tortured a dog, and used the dog's skin to make shoes, most people would call me an immoral monster. But what if I paid someone else to torture a dog, so I can get shoes made of dog skin. Does it make me less immoral, just because I am not doing the dirty work myself? I am still contributing to the torture of that dog, so I am partially responsible for what happens to that dog. This is simple supply and demand. The same thing happens within the animal industry. You (the consumer) pays (demands) for an animal (the supply) to be killed, whether that is for food, clothing, etc...chatterbears

    Firstly, why would it be necessary to torture the dog? And secondly, if it was the same thing happening in each scenario, then there would be torture in the second scenario as there was in the first, but, for some reason, you left that out of the second scenario. So no, on the face of it, it's not the same thing. (Did you forget to mention that the second time around or was that intentional?).

    The main point here is, the killing of these animals is unnecessary. We do not need to exploit animals for our survival. We do it for pleasure and convenience. But is pleasure and convenience worth the torture and death of innocent sentient beings?chatterbears

    It's a narrower category than innocent sentient beings, as you well know. We're talking about a category that includes farmyard animals, but doesn't include humans. (Otherwise the answer would be yes and no).

    But to answer your question, judging by our actions, we, for the most part, think that it is. (Again, as you probably already know). In a sense, it doesn't really matter what you or I think about the morality of it. There'll be mixed views, and it'll fill pages of discussion with a back-and-forth exchange of views consisting of those in favour and those against, because it's just one of those hot topics, like abortion, but it won't be as productive as focusing on what is, in my opinion, a better question: what, realistically, can be done about that? What actions, with the greatest chance of success, do you propose to rectify this situation?
  • chatterbears
    305
    So, you ended up harming a wild animal in self-defense, when you didn't need to be there in the first place. In reality, the animal was in self-defense, since you were invading its natural habitat, despite the fact that more wilderness had already been taken up, so that we can build the city, which more or less makes our visiting to the wilderness unnecessary for matters of survival. Yet you say it was necessary (thus moral, I presume).Πετροκότσυφας

    Technically, every place on earth has wild life within it. But since humans have built over natural habitats of other species, the wildlife has become minimal, such as squirrels and birds.

    But I can give a better/different example. A person who lives in a forest area, where their backyard is the actual forest. If they walk outside their house, they may encounter a bear or jaguar of some sort. They are both in their own habitat. You may say, "the human built a house over the bears habitat, so it's the humans fault." - You have to look at it from an evolutionary perspective. Even when we were living in the trees, hundreds of thousands of years ago, humans and bears were still sharing the same area of land. But instead of using living in trees near a bear, we are now living in houses near a bear. So when that person walks out of their house in the forest, and they encounter a bear, both (the human and the bear) are going to be in self-defense mode. Obviously, I would want the human to take the least damaging action as possible, in which the bear is not severely harmed. I think some people use horns or pepper spray to deter animals such as bears, rather than just shooting it.

    But back to my original point. This is the type of 'necessary harm' a human would be deploying to another sentient being. It would be necessary to cause the bear harm, just as it would be necessary for the bear to cause the human harm. Both are acting out of survival, not pleasure or convenience.

    Cities, even towns and villages, are necessary for our pleasure and convenience, not survival. And they were possible only through agriculture, which you appear to reject. Your whole argumentation takes us back to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle (where animals are exploited too).Πετροκότσυφας

    My argumentation allows for people to recognize the harm their actions are causing other life. It is impossible to eliminate all suffering throughout the globe, but we should reduce the amount of suffering as much as we can.

    Also, I am not against all types of agriculture. As plant agriculture is much less damaging than animal agriculture. You can keep trying to reduce my position all the way back to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, but I am not advocating for that. I am advocating for a moral consideration of other animals that we torture and slaughter needlessly.

    Either way, there are more fundamental problems than the ones I pointed out above. So, to get to the bottom of it, your view is such that it can't allow survival to function as the basis of morality, even though this is what it tries to do. You can't use survival that way because there's nothing necessary about survival. Ultimately, it can only be deemed as necessary on the grounds that you try to deny. The necessity of survival rests on the view that survival is the natural way things are. That's the way it is folks, we must survive, it's natural for us to want to survive (and maybe harm and exploit other life-forms in the process of surviving). In fact, every appeal to necessity, for things that are otherwise physically possible, leads to that. If you appeal to necessity, you open the door to the naturalistic fallacy you accuse others of. If you don't appeal to necessity, there's nothing necessary about survival. So, there's a contradiction here.Πετροκότσυφας

    My moral axiom is not survival, and it definitely is not about what is natural. If you want my fundamental base axioms, they are rights and well-being. My metaethical stance is to maximize the rights and well-being of sentient creatures. I've never said, what is naturally is what is right. Nor have I stated, what is unnecessary is what is wrong. I also have not stated, what is not needed to survive, is morally wrong. An example. Music is not necessary for my survival, but I wouldn't call somebody immoral for listening to it. The "unnecessary" part comes into play, when those "unnecessary" actions cause harm to sentient beings. Listening to music doesn't cause harm. Eating animal products causes harm. Although both of those actions (listening to music and eating animal products) are not necessary for our survival, only one of those actions is known to cause torture and death to sentient life. Which comes back to my moral axiom, which is to maximize the rights and well-being of sentient life.

    Aside from that, what I believe is completely irrelevant. Because most people I argue with, already have a moral system in place. They already have some axioms in place, along with normative principles (such as utilitarianism). 99% of these systems include the push for human rights. Veganism is a logical extension of human rights, and you cannot believe in human rights without extending that animals, unless create a contradiction within your moral system. And for the very small percentage who do not have a contradiction within their moral system, their systems will lead to absurdities. Such as, it is better to exist in torture than to not exist at all.

    You can get out of this contradiction if, for example, you let survival function as an axiom. But, if it's an axiom, you must change your mode of arguing. Before you judge others based on it, you must first convince them to adopt it. And if they don't share a foundationalist conception of ethics, you must first convince them to adopt such a conception before you convince them to adopt survival as the foundation from which moral inferences will be derived.Πετροκότσυφας

    As I explained above, survival is not my axiom. The terms survival and unnecessary only come into play when they are causing harm to other life on this planet. As I said, I can initiate actions (such as playing music) that are unnecessary for my survival, but I wouldn't say those actions are immoral. They become immoral when they cause harm.
  • chatterbears
    305
    Also, there's the question of whether someone would be ok to suffer a particular influence. If not, then it would be immoral to cause others to suffer through such. Though, this depends on equality. For example, stealing. There's previous precedence that makes stealing a unanimous no no. Also, personally, I'm against it due to the negative effects it has. And, since I would not like to be stolen from, I think it would be wrong to steal from others.BrianW

    I still don't understand what mechanism you use to determine a good action from a bad action?

    Only with respect to relative opinions. Rape is unanimously frowned upon, therefore, it's determined as unethical/immoral by everyone.BrianW

    At one point, Slavery was NOT frowned up on, and it was determined as morally acceptable by everyone. Is the societal norm how you determine what is immoral? 100 years ago, homosexuality was unanimously frowned upon, and it was determined as unethical/immoral by everyone. But nowadays, people are changing their view, and many people were wrong in their ethical assessment.
  • chatterbears
    305
    In what way?

    (I mean, is it clearly defined harmful activity or is it relative harm. Most of what I've seen is, to a large part, relative harm from the point of view of the difference between a human and an animal. This is because animals may not have the same rights, knowledge and awareness as humans. However, if one considered animals to be equal to humans, then, I agree that farming industries do harm animals.)
    BrianW

    Watch the Documentary (Dominion) I linked in my original post of this thread, and you will see how harmful it actually is.

    And from what you are saying, is it ok to torture/kill something, just because it doesn't have the same rights / knowledge / awareness as a human? How about a dog/cat? How about the severely mentally disabled human who has the same awareness and knowledge as a cow?
  • S
    6.2k
    And from what you are saying, is it ok to torture/kill something, just because it doesn't have the same rights / knowledge / awareness as a human? How about a dog/cat? How about the severely mentally disabled human who has the same awareness and knowledge as a cow?chatterbears

    These questions ought to be put into an appropriate context. If there was a mass demand for turning cats, dogs, and severely mentally disabled humans into produce for consumption, as there is for the animal produce already on the market, then who knows what we'd find acceptable enough to put up with? But that's another reality, a hypothetical reality. It's a counterfactual. So it's difficult to judge.

    If chickens were a man's best friend and dog burgers tasted good...

    If pigs could fly...

    Who knows? But, minimally, I predict that if things were different, then we'd probably view things differently.
  • BrianW
    493


    There's personal views and general views.

    How I determine ethics/morality is a combination of:
    1. Precedence.
    2. Personal analysis.
    3. Reciprocity.

    This doesn't mean I follow any precedence, just that I take it into consideration.


    Generally, slavery was ethical/moral in those communities which it was accepted. Homosexuality was unethical/immoral in those communities which outlawed it. Now, they are unethical/immoral and ethical/moral respectively. Nothing prevents conditions of ethics/morality from changing. We determine the laws of our society, they work for us not vice versa.

    In general, humans (no matter their capacities) have been designated as superior to animals. Therefore, they are treated differently.
    Humans treat animals according to their designated rules of conduct. For example, humans predominantly believe animals are supposed to serve them. This includes providing food for them. In view of that, humans consume animals for food and they see it as ok.
    If, humans thought animals deserved better, then they would offer better treatment.

    Those humans who you claim mistreat animals may not share the same views as you. To them, what they do is just the normal order of things. Those who disagree, e.g. you, act different.

    All I'm saying is, before you label people as ethical/moral or unethical/immoral, you might want to take a moment and understand them first. If not, you might find you're the immoral one for degrading humans to the level of animals and for denying them a source of nutrition which is rightfully theirs.
  • BrianW
    493


    Instead of wanting humans to stop mistreating animals, you should want them to learn what mistreatment is and why it is. This means the information should be given in such a way that it is acceptable. In that way, they act out of knowledge not coercion.

    Currently, it is too early for humans to cease mistreating animals completely. But, considerable efforts have been exerted to diminish the cruelty that has been realised as such. So, it stands to reason that there will come a time, in the future, when all such mistreatment will be a thing of the past. As it stands, presently, there isn't enough justification for it. So the best we can have is some people being vegans while the rest persist with the carnivorism.
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