• Jake
    841
    The anti-progress misanthropekarl stone

    Chatterbears is talking about progress, as am I in my concerns. We can't help it that you're stuck in the 19th century, and you think that's progress.
  • BrianW
    493
    This is often a weird discussion. Personally, I don't feed on carcasses but I drink milk and very rarely eat eggs. I don't know what that makes me but, I feed my cats meat and meat products.

    My answer for this discussion is that our dominion (or any dominion for that matter) is a product of nature. Is natural law unethical?

    I think, in the same way nature regulates mating in animals, if it determined to assign a different hierarchy or mode of interaction, it would have. That said, the fact that human beings have the capacity to determine most of their actions does raise the question of whether they should persist with carnivorism. So far, it's a matter of personal choice.

    A better question would be whether it is more compassionate (or humane) to alleviate suffering in animals, as much as we can, considering we now know that animals experience emotions and, consequently, not only pain but also suffering.
  • chatterbears
    305
    Re this, I explained this in detail in the post you're responding to. Again, trying to make sense of a "justification for action in relation to a moral stance," "I feel that x is moral" would be sufficient for me to feel that doing x is justified (or validly or reasonably justified to use your term), because that's what it means, basically, for me to feel that x is moral--that it's acceptable to do x.Terrapin Station

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

    Example: Terrapin kills dogs for furr clothing because he feels like it.

    And to be even more clear. Do you (Terrapin) believe that "feeling" is a reasonable justification to base your moral actions on? If yes, do you also believe that someone else is reasonably justified to base their moral actions on what they feel is right?

    Example: Jack kills old people for fun because he feels like it.

    Lastly, to be the most clear. I am not asking whether or not you think Jack is reasonably justified to himself. I am asking you whether not YOU (Terrapin) believe Jack is reasonably justified to base his moral actions on what he "feels" like is the right thing to do.

    This is where logically consistency comes into play.

    That's not the same thing as "If Jack feels that y is moral then I feel that y is justified (validly justified)," because what it means for Jack to feel that y is moral is NOT that I feel that it's acceptable to do x. Rather, Jack would feel that it's acceptable to do x.Terrapin Station

    This is my point, but you still haven't really addressed it. What Jack "feels" may be different from how you feel. Which is why 'feeling' is never a good reason to justify a moral action. But aside from that, if you believe that your reasoning (of how you feel) is good enough to justify a belief, it seems contradictory to then say "I may not accept Jack's reasoning of how feels when committing a moral action."

    Either "feeling" is a reasonable justification for moral actions, or it is not. It doesn't matter which person is initiating the feeling. Whether that is the pope or hitler, do you think "feeling" is what they should base their moral actions on?

    Or in other words, I certainly don't have a view that any x is justified--that it's acceptable to do--just in case some person feels that x is moral. I could say that I feel that x is justified, or x is acceptable to do in other words, just in case I feel that x is moral.Terrapin Station

    It seems like you do though, because you believe that a person can reasonably justify their moral actions based on feeling, correct?
  • chatterbears
    305
    Can you honestly be saying at this stage of debate - that if people were vegetarians, animals would not be farmed? There's a difference between simple and simplistic. Constantly seeking to bias the argument by needlessly introducing terms like needlessly - demonstrates that your argument is a prejudiced opinion. Prejudice obscures the truth.karl stone

    Vegans, not vegetarians. Animals are factory farmed because we eat them. If we stopped eating them, they wouldn't be farmed. If you want to say they would be farmed for clothing (such as a leather), that's a separate issue. But Vegans do not buy any animal products, including leather. So that would go away as well. You talk about bias and prejudice, yet you can't understand simple supply and demand?


    But is't also a fact that animals are not needlessly killed. They're killed for food, and the vast majority of people eat meat. They are not likely to stop doing so - and you have not established, morally speaking, that they should.karl stone

    And black people were bred for slavery in the US. And the vast majority of people owned slaved. And they were not likely to stop doing so. Should that be a reason to continue doing it, because it is a demand and the majority supports it?

    Also, morally, it's quite simple. Veganism is a logically consistent extension of whatever moral system you already have in place for yourself. You cannot be logically consistent without being Vegan.

    For example. A person could give these reasons:

    "I eat meat because I like the taste."
    "I eat meat because it is convenient to do so."
    "I eat meat because animals are not as intelligent as I am."

    If we take just those 3 justifications for the action committed, we can apply logically consistency to their position and see if they would still accept it.

    "I eat new born babies because I like the taste."
    "I am a cannibal because it is convenient to do so."
    "I eat new born babies because they are not as intelligent as I am."

    If you wouldn't accept the second set of claims, then you are not logically consistent. Since this clearly demonstrates that these reasons are not sufficient justifications to commit an action.

    I'm not a farmer. I don't know anything about raising pigs. I don't have a dog either. I imagine there are reasons that pigs are farmed, and dogs are not. But it's not universal, is it? In China and Korea dogs are farmed and eaten. And there were cannibals in New Guinea that ate human flesh. Interestingly, I understand - eating human brains gave them the equivalent of mad cow disease.karl stone

    And you still haven't answered.... I think at this point it is clear you are being either dishonest and/or purposely evasive. I don't know how to raise a child, but I would never condone killing one. You don't need to know anything about raising pigs or dogs, to understand why you would eat one but not the other. And instead of answering my question, of why you would support the killing of pigs but not of dogs, you constantly evade the question.

    I was going to respond to the rest of your post, but I think it is pointless at this point. If you cannot answer a simple question, after I have asked it 3 times, this isn't a discussion. This is you failing to understand my position and basic questions you are being asked. Or as I am more convinced of, you're being dishonest.
  • chatterbears
    305
    it stands to reason that if a large number of people in a population are alcoholic, then perhaps alcoholic products are too cheap, too affordable, and too available. Prohibition isn't necessary, but some control is.

    Similarly with animal vs. plant diets: the best strategy to achieve higher rates of vegetarianism is to make high quality vegetarian foods readily available to population who isn't familiar with them. The "market" can do this, but the government may need to 'prime the pump'.
    Bitter Crank

    Would you be saying the same thing if alcohol was solely produced on the back of tortured children? That the only way alcohol could be produced was child slave labor, would you still say "prohibition isn't necessary, we just need some control of it." - Meaning, child slave labor would still exist, but we should just lessen it, correct?

    Because that is what is happening in the case of farm animals. Lessening it doens't make it better, in the fact that unnecessary suffering is still occurring. As of right now, when people buy alcohol, they are usually just harming themselves (aside from drunk drivers). When people buy animal products, they are ALWAYS harming the animal, as well as harming the environment AND themselves (health wise). That is not even comparable to alcohol or smoking.
  • Mentalusion
    76
    Would you be saying the same thing if alcohol was solely produced on the back of tortured children? That the only way alcohol could be produced was child slave labor, would you still say "prohibition isn't necessary, we just need some control of it." - Meaning, child slave labor would still exist, but we should just lessen it, correct?chatterbears

    You keep making analogies to immoral acts committed on people to those committed on animals in the context of animal consumption. I suggested in another post that while it may be true that animals are moral agents to some extent - such that they are not completely irrelevant w/re to our moral calculations - they are by no means moral agents to the same extent people are. As a result, I think you need to give some explanation about why you think there is a one-to-one equivalence between people and animals that justifies these analogies. The examples you give of extreme human exploitation are immoral. More moderate examples of human exploitation are not necessarily going to be unacceptably immoral (an inefficient labor market, for example, where people are not able to get a fair wage in exchange for their labor). Similarly, if animals are not of the same moral equivalence as people, then exploitation of them may be totally justifiable, even to the point of consuming them in some way or to some degree.

    Also, I think it would be helpful to the discussion to take the environment and health risks from over-consumption of meat off the table. If you don't, then your argument is going to depend on industrial animal consumption producing these externalities. Even assuming you are correct about them and that they are significant, it is possible that we could find ways to harvest animals that did not produce significant environmental damage. People could also moderate their animal consumption so it was not detrimental to their health. If both of these things happened, then they would no longer provide a justification for abstaining from animal consumption. in other words, what is the argument for abstinence if you don't make these consequentialist assumptions?
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    It is very common in socialist circles to dismiss everything short of revolution (and just the right kind of revolution at that) as "reformism", "improving the servitude of wage slaves", "helping the ruling class stay in power", and so on. Most socialists aver that it's either revolution or nothing.

    There is a large advantage in the all or nothing approach: Since actual revolution is extraordinarily difficult to impossible (in the industrialized western countries), one can safely call for revolution without having to actually do anything except repeat stale (even if 'correct') rhetoric. Everybody knows it isn't going to happen in the near future.

    So too activists like you who want a revolution in diet: They can safely take the all-or-nothing approach because "reform" or incremental change, or slow change (which still takes a lot of work to achieve) leaves one, some, or many animals still being used for meat production, which is totally morally unacceptable in your thinking. Reducing animal suffering by 3% a year just isn't worth doing.

    Changing diet is essentially a public health project. What I suggested above (making vegetarian food available and convenient) is an "environmental intervention". Environmental interventions are a standard approach, that works better than all or nothing arguments.

    For example, in the AIDS epidemic, messaging evolved from avoidance, to safe sex, to harm reduction to effective chemical prevention. "Harm reduction" acknowledges that some people (quite a few, actually) will have anonymous or promiscuous sex, will have unprotected sex, will use recreational drugs, and so on. So, what can be done within the framework of what people actually do? Well, we first made condoms ubiquitous. We gave them away by the millions. The product (the condom) is a message: sex can be safer. We distributed clean needles and bleach kits to drug users, then we started to exchange new needles for old needles. More recently we started advising people to take a daily low dose of Truvada, a combination of two dissimilar anti-HIV medications, which practically eliminates the risk of transmission or new infection when taken daily without interruption.

    These messages and interventions evolved over a 25 year period, and have made a significant difference. While they have significantly reduced, they have not eliminated HIV transmission. Elimination of HIV transmission will require an effective vaccine, something we have not, so far, been able to develop.

    I submit that most of the people who are not already vegetarians will ignore your guilt trip rhetoric. If you want to change people's behavior (and not just convince them that you are right and they are wrong) you will have to come up with a strategy that makes a vegetarian diet convenient, attractive, and even "trendy".

    So shut up with the guilt tripping and come up with something that will actually WORK.
  • chatterbears
    305
    My answer for this discussion is that our dominion (or any dominion for that matter) is a product of nature. Is natural law unethical?BrianW

    Factory farming isn't a product of nature. It is a product of humans who abuse their power in immoral ways.

    A better question would be whether it is more compassionate (or humane) to alleviate suffering in animals, as much as we can, considering we now know that animals experience emotions and, consequently, not only pain but also suffering.BrianW

    This is the same question, because an unethical dominion over animals would imply the lack of compassion. It is unethical, since we lack the compassion to alleviate the suffering these animals endure.
  • Mentalusion
    76
    Factory farming isn't a product of nature. It is a product of humans who abuse their power in immoral ways.chatterbears

    1. Anything that a product of nature produces, is itself a product of nature.
    2. Humans are a product of nature.
    3. Humans produce factory farms.
    4. Therefore factory farms are a product of nature
  • chatterbears
    305
    You keep making analogies to immoral acts committed on people to those committed on animals in the context of animal consumption. I suggested in another post that while it may be true that animals are moral agents to some extent - such that they are not completely irrelevant w/re to our moral calculations - they are by no means moral agents to the same extent people are. As a result, I think you need to give some explanation about why you think there is a one-to-one equivalence between people and animals that justifies these analogies.Mentalusion

    Cows/chickens/pigs are sentient. Humans are sentient. We have the ability to suffer and experience pain, as well as pleasure. To commit an unnecessary amount of pain to another sentient being, would mean we would need a valid justification to continue that action.

    I never said there is a one-to-one equivalence between humans and animals, as humans can understand things far greater and also obtain more rights (such as the right to vote, or the right to drive). The part I am saying we are equal to animals, is the fact that we both can suffer and feel pain. As a more intelligent species, why would we not use that knowledge to become more compassionate instead of more cruel? In the U.S., we have plenty of animal cruelty laws that prevent animals from being harmed, but they are more geared toward pets (such as dogs or cats). People already understand that dogs have the ability to feel, as well as the ability to experience joy. Animals are not objects who don't think, as they have a far greater sense of understanding than we treat them for. You see mother cows chase the trucks that take away their new born calf moments after birth. Dogs and pigs mourn for their lost family members or loved ones, just as we would. Just because they do not vocalize their pain into words, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

    Aside from the fact that they can experience pain and suffering as we do, it is also logically consistent to grant these animals the same right we would grant for ourselves. Which is the right to life, and the right to be free from pain. If you think that animals do not deserve to live a natural life, you'd have to make a case for why that it is.

    The examples you give of extreme human exploitation are immoral. More moderate examples of human exploitation are not necessarily going to be unacceptably immoral (an inefficient labor market, for example, where people are not able to get a fair wage in exchange for their labor). Similarly, if animals are not of the same moral equivalence as people, then exploitation of them may be totally justifiable, even to the point of consuming them in some way or to some degree.Mentalusion

    Could you explain why 'extreme' human exploitation is immoral, but extreme animal exploitation is not immoral?

    Also, I think it would be helpful to the discussion to take the environment and health risks from over-consumption of meat off the table. If you don't, then your argument is going to depend on industrial animal consumption producing these externalities. Even assuming you are correct about them and that they are significant, it is possible that we could find ways to harvest animals that did not produce significant environmental damage. People could also moderate their animal consumption so it was not detrimental to their health. If both of these things happened, then they would no longer provide a justification for abstaining from animal consumption. in other words, what is the argument for abstinence if you don't make these consequentialist assumptions?Mentalusion

    The health and environmental aspects are icing on the cake. The core problem is killing a sentient being that doesn't want to die, against their will. Enslaving a species and exploiting them, against their will. That's the main issue.
  • chatterbears
    305
    1. Anything that a product of nature produces, is itself a product of nature.
    2. Humans are a product of nature.
    3. Humans produce factory farms.
    4. Therefore factory farms are a product of nature
    Mentalusion

    Then that by logic, everything is a product of nature. Which makes the term useless, and it shouldn't be something we point to as a way to live our lives.

    Rape is a product of nature. Is it now ok to rape people?
  • Mentalusion
    76
    Then that by logic, everything is a product of nature. Which makes the term useless, and it shouldn't be something we point to as a way to live our lives.chatterbears

    at least we agree on this
  • chatterbears
    305
    I submit that most of the people who are not already vegetarians will ignore your guilt trip rhetoric. If you want to change people's behavior (and not just convince them that you are right and they are wrong) you will have to come up with a strategy that makes a vegetarian diet convenient, attractive, and even "trendy".

    So shut up with the guilt tripping and come up with something that will actually WORK.
    Bitter Crank

    There's no guilt trip rhetoric. Unless you want to claim that people who were against slavery 200 years ago, were guilt tripping slave owners into abolishing slavery?

    You want to talk about convenient, attractive and trendy?

    Was it convenient for slave owners to stop owning slaves? No.
    Was it attractive to let slaves go and start doing hard work yourself? No.
    Was it trendy to stop owning slaves, even though the majority was doing it? No.

    Your points are weak, and I don't need some elaborate or fancy reason to convince you to be a compassionate human being. It's fairly simple. You can call it a guilt trip, but I call it a logically consistent step in the right direction.
  • BrianW
    493
    Factory farming isn't a product of nature. It is a product of humans who abuse their power in immoral ways.chatterbears

    Factory farming is human activity. Humans (including their activities) are a part of nature.

    This is the same question, because an unethical dominion over animals would imply the lack of compassion. It is unethical, since we lack the compassion to alleviate the suffering these animals endure.chatterbears

    Do we lack the compassion or the capacity? Should we and can we domesticate all animals? If we leave others to the wild, then don't we allow them to suffer from conditions which we would otherwise protect ourselves from?

    Personally, I think causing harm to animals is wrong. But, it would be more unfair to constrain others by our own restrictions. Is it wrong for the lion to kill the gazelle? If so, how would you inform it?
  • karl stone
    203
    Vegans, not vegetarians. Animals are factory farmed because we eat them. If we stopped eating them, they wouldn't be farmed. If you want to say they would be farmed for clothing (such as a leather), that's a separate issue. But Vegans do not buy any animal products, including leather. So that would go away as well. You talk about bias and prejudice, yet you can't understand simple supply and demand?chatterbears

    Of course I understand such a simplistic concept. I just don't accept the implications you draw from it - nor the assumptions you smuggle into the argument under its rubric.

    And black people were bred for slavery in the US. And the vast majority of people owned slaved. And they were not likely to stop doing so. Should that be a reason to continue doing it, because it is a demand and the majority supports it?chatterbears

    But they're people - you concept smuggler you. Animals are not people. They're dinner!

    Also, morally, it's quite simple. Veganism is a logically consistent extension of whatever moral system you already have in place for yourself. You cannot be logically consistent without being Vegan.chatterbears

    Well therein may lay your problem - moralism to the exclusion of fact.

    For example. A person could give these reasons:

    "I eat meat because I like the taste."
    "I eat meat because it is convenient to do so."
    "I eat meat because animals are not as intelligent as I am."

    If we take just those 3 justifications for the action committed, we can apply logically consistency to their position and see if they would still accept it.

    "I eat new born babies because I like the taste."
    "I am a cannibal because it is convenient to do so."
    "I eat new born babies because they are not as intelligent as I am."

    If you wouldn't accept the second set of claims, then you are not logically consistent. Since this clearly demonstrates that these reasons are not sufficient justifications to commit an action.
    chatterbears

    Again, animals are not people.

    And you still haven't answered.... I think at this point it is clear you are being either dishonest and/or purposely evasive. I don't know how to raise a child, but I would never condone killing one. You don't need to know anything about raising pigs or dogs, to understand why you would eat one but not the other. And instead of answering my question, of why you would support the killing of pigs but not of dogs, you constantly evade the question.chatterbears

    As you keep raising the same points, I answered the point toward the end of my post. Shame you missed it. I seem to recall establishing the natural pecking order. Animals are not human beings. They are not worthy of the same moral consideration. They are worthy of some moral consideration - regarding unnecessary suffering, but subject to the pecking order as manifest, in this instance, in the food chain.

    Bearing in mind that the fate of animals in nature is suffering and death - often quite a horrible death, with another animal tearing them open and eating them alive, farming, by contrast - is relatively humane. Why pigs and not dogs? It's clearly a cultural preference, because some people eat dogs.

    It's all very well you saying that it's unnecessary - because humans can live on vegetables alone, but we don't. And that's a natural fact - that given the natural pecking order and the fate of animals in nature - you cannot maintain is unethical without engaging in weepy moralism based on false equivalence.
  • chatterbears
    305
    Factory farming is human activity. Humans (including their activities) are a part of nature.BrianW

    And is nature is a good indicator of how we should live our lives? Animals rape in nature. Should we then start raping each other since it is 'natural'?

    Do we lack the compassion or the capacity? Should we and can we domesticate all animals? If we leave others to the wild, then don't we allow them to suffer from conditions which we would otherwise protect ourselves from?BrianW

    If we have the capacity to show compassion to some animals (such as cats or dogs), then we have the capacity to extend that compassion to other animals. We don't need to domesticate all animals. We need to stop breeding animals into existence that we are going to torture, exploit and slaughter. The chickens/cows/pigs/sheep/goats/etc... that we have bred into existence, would and does not exist in the wild. The simple idea is, stop breeding these animals into existence. The current ones that already exist, we can let them die off naturally, while keeping a small percentage in animal sanctuaries.

    Personally, I think causing harm to animals is wrong. But, it would be unfair to constrain others by our own restrictions. Is it wrong for the lion to kill the gazelle? If so, how would you inform it?BrianW

    You think causing harm to animals is wrong, so does that mean you're vegan? It is not wrong for the lion to kill the gazelle because the lion NEEDS to kill to survive. We do not need to kill farm animals to survive.

    Also, why are you looking to the lion for how you should act? Lions commit infanticide. If I killed my child, and you condemned me for it, could I just point to lions and say, "Hey, Lions kill their own children, why can't I do the same thing?"
  • chatterbears
    305
    Here's the conversation.

    Chatterbears: It is wrong to kill animals and people unnecessarily.
    Karl: But animals are not people.
    Chatterbears: Why does that matter? They both can feel and suffer.
    Karl: Animals are not people, they are dinner.
    Chatterbears: Ok. That doesn't answer anything. Why should we cause harm to animals unnecessarily?
    Karl: Because animals are not worthy of the same moral consideration.
    Chatterbears: Still haven't answered. Why aren't they worthy of the same moral consideration in regards to unnecessary suffering?
    Karl: Because animals are not human beings. They are lower on the food chain.

    Smh...
  • karl stone
    203
    Here's the conversation.

    Chatterbears: It is wrong to kill animals and people unnecessarily.
    Karl: But animals are not people.
    Chatterbears: Why does that matter? They both can feel and suffer.
    Karl: Animals are not people, they are dinner.
    Chatterbears: Ok. That doesn't answer anything. Why should we cause harm to animals unnecessarily?
    Karl: Because animals are not worthy of the same moral consideration.
    Chatterbears: Still haven't answered. Why aren't they worthy of the same moral consideration in regards to unnecessary suffering?
    Karl: Because animals are not human beings. They are lower on the food chain.

    Smh...
    chatterbears

    No. Here's the conversation:

    Chatterbears: Is our dominion over animals unethical?
    Karl: No, because, you know...reality!
    Chatterbears: It is, it is, it is, it is!
    Karl: Why?
    Chatterbears: Boo hoo hoo, animals are people too!
    Karl: No, they're not!
    Chatterbears: Go eat a new born baby!
    Karl: I'll just have the lasagne, thanks!
  • chatterbears
    305
    Have fun on another thread. I'm going to stop responding to you now.
  • BrianW
    493
    And is nature is a good indicator of how we should live our lives? Animals rape in nature. Should we then start raping each other since it is 'natural'?chatterbears

    Do the animals know what rape is or an alternative to rape? Humans decide that rape is wrong, therefore, humans determine alternative actions.
    Animals have their own moral codes. They commit acts that we would not and they're no less for it because of what and how they are.

    The current ones that already exist, we can let them die off naturally, while keeping a small percentage in animal sanctuaries.chatterbears

    If we let them die off, isn't that lack of compassion? Is the compassion for animals born out of a sense of equality or out of self-gratification. If animals are equal to us, shouldn't we treat all of them alike. Would you suggest letting humans die out for the sake of achieving a more pleasing equilibrium?
    And, if it's a matter of perspective, then consider animals bred for food only know the life they've been given. In such instances most suffering occurs in fear of impending death which humans are increasingly alleviating by diminishing such awareness.

    This argument is largely dependent on human acceptance of the idea of indisputable equality between humans and animals. However, if such a perspective were forced, it would defeat the case for compassion. Are humans and animals equal? For most people, they are not. Why should such people conform to your perspective?
  • Πετροκότσυφας
    969


    What does "unnecessarily" mean here? What is it that makes suffering necessary or not?
  • karl stone
    203
    Have fun on another thread. I'm going to stop responding to you now. Tychatterbears

    Okay, but before I leave you to it - you should really look up the term 'ethics' and consider it as a system of moral values - in relation to the real world. Because even if, eating meat causes suffering, it's not therefore unethical. Claiming it's unethical requires you consider other things, off the top of my head - like the amount of land necessary to feed 7 billion on vegetables alone, and the consequence of using artificial fertilizers if animal dung were not available, like the livelihoods of farmers, and so on and on right down to denying people a right to make their own choices. Your sympathy for animals is but one tiny, and relatively inconsequential factor to be taken into account.
  • chatterbears
    305
    Do the animals know what rape is or an alternative to rape? Humans decide that rape is wrong, therefore, humans determine alternative actions.
    Animals have their own moral codes. They commit acts that we would not and they're no less for it because of what and how they are.
    BrianW

    You seem to have side-tracked. The original line of statements were as follows:

    You: Factory farming is natural. Why is natural law unethical?
    Me: Just because something occurs in nature, doesn't make it morally acceptable. Rape occurs in nature, and is therefore natural. Does that mean it is morally acceptable to rape?
    You: Animals may not know what rape is, but humans do know. Animals have their own moral codes.

    If your original statement stands of, "Why is natural law unethical?", you would understand why natural law is not something you want to base your moral actions on. Animals are part of natural law. The actions of animals, are part of natural law. Yes, humans decided rape is wrong, but not because of natural law. We decided it was wrong because it goes against universal human rights, which is irrelevant to natural law.

    If we let them die off, isn't that lack of compassion?BrianW

    No. The way they are being bred into existence is via rape (forced artificial insemination). Is it more compassionate to rape or not rape?

    Is the compassion for animals born out of a sense of equality or out of self-gratification. If animals are equal to us, shouldn't we treat all of them alike. Would you suggest letting humans die out for the sake of achieving a more pleasing equilibrium?BrianW

    They are not equal in every way possible. They shouldn't be allowed to drive cars or vote. But they do deserve basic rights, such as the right to live, or the right to freedom. Some "special" animals are granted these rights, in which people are not allowed to own them as pets or kill them. Instead of only granting those rights to specific animals (such as owls), we should grant them to all animals.

    And, if it's a matter of perspective, then consider animals bred for food only know the life they've been given. In such instances most suffering occurs in fear of impending death which humans are increasingly alleviating by diminishing such awareness.BrianW

    Just because a sentient being doesn't know any better, doesn't mean we should continue breeding those sentient beings into existence.

    This argument is largely dependent on human acceptance of the idea of indisputable equality between humans and animals. However, if such a perspective were forced, it would defeat the case for compassion. Are humans and animals equal? For most people, they are not. Why should such people conform to your perspective?BrianW

    Again, I never said they are equal in all aspects of life. They should be treated equally in the sense of not causing them unnecessary suffering. That is all...
  • Jake
    841
    I was going to respond to the rest of your post, but I think it is pointless at this point.chatterbears

    Hey, you figured it out! :smile:
  • chatterbears
    305
    What does "unnecessarily" mean here? What is it that makes suffering necessary or not?Πετροκότσυφας

    You may define the term "unnecessary" differently than I do, but in this context, I define it as such:

    Unnecessary = Not need for our survival. We can pursue alternative methods.
    Necessary = Needed for our survival. No alternative method was available.

    Example of unnecessary: Fox fur coats, vs, fake fur coats. One causes unnecessary suffering (to the fox), while the other is made in a lab (or some other way that doesn't cause suffering to a sentient being).

    Example of necessary: Self-defense. If I am out in the wilderness and an animal (or person) attacks me, I may need to hurt that animal (or human) to help my own survival.
  • karl stone
    203
    I was going to respond to the rest of your post, but I think it is pointless at this point.
    — chatterbears

    Hey, you figured it out!
    Jake

    It's pointless if you don't agree!

    :lol:
  • chatterbears
    305
    Hey, you figured it out!Jake

    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...
  • Πετροκότσυφας
    969


    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?
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    If your goal was achieving a behavior change from carnivory to vegetarianism you would describe a program for achieving it.

    People change their behavior when there is a concrete advantage to making a particular change. Most people quit smoking because of cost, negative consequences of smoking, and better health from not smoking. Peer pressure has some effect, but peers have influence because there is a significant relationship.

    I repeat: If you want to change behavior, come up with a plan that has a chance of producing concrete results. Otherwise, you are merely another voice howling in the wilderness heard by no ears that care.

    No one will demand that you personally execute the plan you come up with, so be creative.
  • BrianW
    493
    If your original statement stands of, "Why is natural law unethical?", you would understand why natural law is not something you want to base your moral actions on.chatterbears

    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?
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