• Isaac
    3.7k
    I do nothing of the sort.Tzeentch

    I see. So why does the question "why?" get raised with regards to such cherry-picking, as you stated in the quote I cited? Surely the answer is abundantly clear - it reduces harm. What remains to be explained?

    And what does...

    I noted that this should be discussed without attitudes of moral superiority;Tzeentch

    ...mean?
  • LuckyR
    46
    If you (like I do) feel that factory farming is immoral you won't support it. This is separate from the issue of random employees of a factory farm abusing animals, which is not a practice of legitimate farming of any kind.
  • Tzeentch
    903
    So why does the question "why?" get raised with regards to such cherry-picking, as you stated in the quote I cited?Isaac

    Isn't that obvious? Why would I allow myself luxuries when I know that they cause harm? Would this make sense from an ethical standpoint? Doesn't a luxury imply that I do not need it? And what does this mean for almost everything I own? These should be quite humbling questions, which should help you make sense of that quote.

    This is why I noted that this should be discussed without attitudes of moral superiorityTzeentch
  • Isaac
    3.7k
    Why would I allow myself luxuries when I know that they cause harm? Would this make sense from an ethical standpoint? Doesn't a luxury imply that I do not need it? And what does this mean for almost everything I own? These should be quite humbling questions, which should help you make sense of that quote.Tzeentch

    Not really, no. The context was the moral superiority of those cherry-picking. If we cherry-pick one of our luxuries for exclusion, that's an improvement on not having done so, so there doesn't seem to be a question of dubious moral superiority to answer. Obviously, someone relinquishing all luxuries has some superiority over someone relinquishing only some, but your "if one allows themselves to cherry pick, then shouldn't others be allowed to cherry pick as well?" made it clear we weren't talking about comparing quantities of luxuries sacrificed, but rather types. In such a case, if the amount of harm done is acting as a measure of worth, then the amount of harm reduced by each choice can act similarly as a measure, no?

    So I'm still not seeing the link to attitudes of moral superiority. A person sacrificing a luxury which causes significant harm is (by the definition used here) morally superior to someone sacrificing a luxury of much lesser impact. Maybe I've just not been privy to the conversations you're referring to, but most veganism/organic/whatever arguments seem to at least attempt to quantify the harm done, not simply declare that the value is non-zero.
  • Count Timothy von Icarus
    66

    I suppose it's the difference between deontological and pragmatic ethics. Yes, any consumption of factory farm meat or use of automobiles can be seen as unethical. Cars are a more interesting topic. There is nothing ethically wrong with a single person, or even a few hundred thousand driving cars, provided the production isn't exploitive. However, when the number of vehicles climbs into the hundreds of millions, you end up with major externalities in terms of global warming, ocean acidification, etc.

    In terms of the effects on people's live and human cost of outright doing away with vehicles, you end up with a moral quandary trying to do away with cars too. Smaller more fuel efficient vehicles seems like an obvious way to mitigate the economic and social impact of removing access to transportation, while also drastically reducing emissions.

    Again, I like the market idea. Make gas reflect the true cost of global warming and military intervention to stabilize prices. If gas is allowed to slowly rise to $10 a gallon, you'll see most households switch to more efficient vehicles. Truck and SUV production did fall dramatically in the mid-2000s. Now we're back at 69%.
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