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Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 107
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...Page 5 of 43    (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43)
>>> I think you'll find that you have generally been rather dismisive and vituperative in the majority of your posts, nevermind me.

Thats a logical fallacy- spefically, "Tu quoque"- basically, its an attempt to justify a wrong action by claiming that someone else is doing it.

Nonetheless, my stance is very clear, although different from Raz's- my stance is animals do not have rights because they are incapible of conprehending the responsiblities that comes with rights. I am aware that there are equally people who are incapible of conprehending rights- but these people do not share the same rights as you or me- if a Mentally Handicapped person runs off and rapes a woman, its their guardian who is held responsible- the same is true with animals.

>>>so the slippery slope argument the OTHER way, would be, if it's OK to eat the flesh of mammals, why exclude the flesh of homo sapiens, on some arbitrary basis?

In order to agree with that, we would have to agree with your interpretations. The massive flaw in this logic- that an argument against speciest beliefs- makes the distinction between animals and plants- and I gotta say- theres very little to be argued for animal rights that cannot equally be applied for the argument of plant rights
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 108
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/6/2009 4:02:58 PM
Just for fun for me, too, but your quotes don't support your assertion.

Genesis 1:29
29: And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Genesis 1:30
30: And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

Then Isaiah seems to contradict your theory of God...
11 "The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?" says the LORD.
"I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. ....

The Genesis quotes say the we and the animals can eat the greens for meat, but it does not say we MUST only eat greens. And does it suggest that lions and other predators ate greens? I don't think this says God wanted us to only eat greens for meat.

Able raised sheep. For what purpose? I would guess for wool and meat, and he sacrificed his best to God. God did not object. God was pleased.

The Isaiah quote is out of context if you want to support that God didn't want meat or fat for sacrifice. He was speaking to Sodom and Gomorrha. The meaning, in context, as best as I can read it, is that even the best sacrifice of meat and fat is of no use when your behavior is so unacceptable.

God refused to be swayed by the best sacrifice, because the sacrificers didn't deserve favor even when they prayed or sacrificed. Of itself, it does give the impression that God didn't like meat sacrifice anymore, but I don't believe that is the meaning in context.
It does not mention or imply that men should not eat meat.

I'm still open to more arguments on this, but for now, I still think the Bible's God liked when we killed animals for His sacrifices and had no problem and probably designed it that we kill animals for our consumption.

I still think a Christian can have personal objections to killing animals, but not a Biblical objection.
Joined: 9/23/2007
Msg: 109
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/6/2009 4:25:33 PM

"This was not my point. I was trying to make it clear that as an animal, my behavior is largely subject to my genes, and I refuse to let vegitarians make me feel guilty for something that is just a natural function of my biology."

The original question of this thread was posted by a meat eater, not a vegetarian trying to make people feel guilty. It was a set-up to get people like me to try to show our methods of "conversion." However, over the many years I was a vegetarian, I met not a single one who was trying to convert anyone else to vegetarianism. Each of the one's I met had come to their own conclusions on their own.

Morality is voluntary. Coersion is antithetical to that. Conversion is close to coersion. Enforcing morality with laws is just a way to create standards of behavior we all can agree to live by so that we can be in a community together. You can't punish a person into being moral. Nor does guilt work that way.


Guilt doesn't convert people. It doesn't change people. Guilt happens when you break your own version of morality that you have previously decided upon.

Jeffery Dahlmer was from my hometown. He kept people's heads in his refrigerator. He treated people and animals the same way. He had no empathy for people's suffering, and also had no empathy for animal's suffering. A lot of crime profilers say that the way a person or a group treats animals is a sign of how they will or could treat humans. Its not a "slippery slope." It is an indication of the ability to have empathy for another sentient being.

I believe that most people come to vegetarianism by personal choice, not because of being made to feel "guilty" or because they were coerced or converted. Meat eaters who observe vegetarians or talk with them about this, put the guilt on themselves.

As for rights. A dog who bites a human is held responsible by generally being "put down." This consequence is part of responsibility, in that even a dog should know not to break "the rules" of his enslavement or the rules of living with humans.

Animals that cannot cohabitate with humans peacefully are not allowed to. Is that the responsibility of the animal or of the humans who have decided what peaceful cohabitation means to them?

Many, many disabled and mentally ill persons populate our overcrowded prisons. Is this just because we can't "put them down?" Do they retain the right to be alive because they can feel suffering, or because they have "rights?"
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 110
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/6/2009 4:53:10 PM
>>>but why is it that because of this, you conclude that animals should not have rights?

Alright, lets assume that society accepts that animals have the same legal standing as humans- in less than 24 hours time, Tens of thousands, if not millions of animals that suddenly have freedom will equally be arrested for stealing, for murdering, and for raping.

This is something I've never seen conclusionly proven by any animal rights advocates- that animals can comprehend the rights they have been given and understand that there are consquences to actions. Animals are completely unable to live in a society as equals.

>>>Clearly a mentally handicapped person is still entitled to rights under the law; protection from harm, assigned a guardian or caregiver if that person is not capable of taking care of themselves; basic rights of food, shelter, clothing, and all that goes with living as comfortable a life as any other individual.

And I believe animals share, to a degree, some of those rights. There are numerous of laws on the books protecting animals from cruelity- if you own a pet and do not feed it, you are breaking the law- if you own a pet and leave it outside to die, you are breaking the law.

I do not view animals as equals- thats not to say I view animals as unworthy of protection, simply that they do not have the compacity to live as equals, to either humans or to other animals.

>>> The most basic rights of life for animals should include adequate housing, proper food, and protection from suffering.

For ALL animals? How does that make sense?

If a human takes it upon themselves to raise or support an animal, then yes, they should have basic rights- but that doesn't mean they should have rights as we define them for humans. They're simply unable.

I think we're arguing two different things- when you say animals should have rights, it seems you are talking about moreso protection- protection from cruelity, spefically- and for that, I agree.

What I'm arguing is that animals are not equal to man- that when I say animals should not have rights, I mean it should not be a homocide charge if you accidently run over your neighbours cat- that they should not be free to own land, to vote- that it should not be illegal to kill an animal, but it should be illegal to torture it.

Other users use such phrases as "Animal Liberation"- the one in particular I was responding to stated his claims were inspired by the book called "Animal Liberation"- they are the ones who are arguing that animals should be equals-that it should be illegal to own, to protect, or to profit or kill an animal, and that all animals should be free to live out their lives as humans are- and that stance is why I oppose that animals should have "rights"

>>>empathy for another sentient being.

Define Sentient.
Joined: 11/19/2008
Msg: 111
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/6/2009 7:53:31 PM
i wont call it a hypothetical dilemma for vegans of peta that use it as a political platform (some vegans dont,thats just their preference-which is alright ,petans are a different story-their all whako's) ill call it a hypocritical dilemma because anybody with a brain would and if they say they wouldnt their either lying or they would change their mind about 4 days into it.theyre hippos just like most of the other left-wing nuts that tell us what we need to do but they dont practice what they preach .perfect ex-al gore tell us to not leave our footprint on the earth and what not to do and hes off globetrotting ,polluting the earth-i guess his footprint doesnt count. if youre going to be stupid,dont put them on us-please. the last time i checked most of these people live in houses -they eat those veggies-they drive to those treehugger rallies (just to name a few)what does all those have in common-materials.and i guarantee you killed quite a few of your precious bambis cutting down your trees for your house .and digging up that metal for your car and all those poor rats and rodents when they plowed for your that corn and potatoes.did i say hippos!oh but you didnt do it so its alright.kind of like being anti-war or anti-gun-until you need protection and then you cower down like a little kid-oh mister soldier protect me!cowards!!!and another thing that yall left-wing nuts havent thought about for us people that dont eat anything -what about the poor broccolis and carrots ?they have feelings too.oh by the way GOD made our bodies to be able to digest meat or we couldnt eat it . just like a tiger is made to eat meat and cows are made to eat grass ,we were made to be able to eat both or we couldnt digest it-morons.thats where yall need to be is out trying the lions and tigers that they should be vegans.hippos. the philosopher of all philosophers has spoke so that means that this debate is over.and if you disagree with me that can mean only one thing-youre wrong.because there is three definates in this world-death ,taxes,and im always right.:::
Joined: 9/23/2007
Msg: 112
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/6/2009 8:39:30 PM

"I KILL MY FOOD and I consume as much meat off the animal as my tools and teeth allow. The blood gets used in soups, the organs get eaten and I boil the bones for extra flavoring. In years past I've eaten the brains and eaten the meat RAW, especially when it's fresh and warm. ...I'm an omnivore and I kill rabbits, chickens and small game with my bare hands. Then the really, really sharp knives come out to properly butcher the carcass. All you styrofoam and saran wrapped hypocrites of meat eating can go suck on the drippings of the meat grinders in the slaughterhouses if you dare."

^^^^^ You do know that these forum postings appear on your profile?

Guilt is a powerful emotion.
I think that it is wrong to make any moral standard that people follow, a method to make others that don't follow it feel guilty.

When you know better, you do better. You can't feel guilty about the entire human condition. Being an aware, conscious being brings with it a natural sense of guilt from knowing the many ways in which we can affect the world and cause pain or suffering or great joy and well-being. This is what religions tend to help with. Religion provides a framework for discussing these awarenesses and measuring our responses to the things we see as we go out into the world and affect things. Christianity provides the concepts of mercy, of redemption, of forgiveness of both self and others.

Just because some people see morality in an aspect of their lives that others give no special thought to, should not make anyone else need to feel guilty.

If you see the same thing, however, then here is a path that others have taken before you should you choose to follow it. Or you can create your own path, develop your own awareness of the world, and find your own place in it among all kinds of sentient beings.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 113
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/6/2009 10:13:18 PM
See, I don't think you can truly base morality off of universal precepts because there always seems to be exceptions - this is the fundamental flaw with religious morality - too many black and whites and not enough shades of grey.

However to address the main idea here, its the uber long post about being specist. I've a question to propose, would it not be immoral for humans to no be specist? While some animals do cannibalize each other,and others do not, ultimately what benefits a species as a whole is its ability to be able to propagate the species. To skip a few steps, this is where a lot of our moral precepts come from; I think remembering the source is valuable at times like this.

Evolution...its powerful. Those cows which everyone are so fond of protecting are products of human beings guiding evolution - they have found a very effective way of propagating the species - they are delicious so we make sure they breed and are kept healthy enough to be eaten. Not a bad deal, especially when you consider that a male praying mantis is willing to have his head eaten by his mate just for passing on his genes.

Its things like this that make the argument of being specist seem irrelevant to me. We are morally obligated not to induce needless suffering in other entities...but then where is the metric for needless? When it comes to the survival of a species, OUR species, where do you draw the line at what is necessary? Not eating meat? While we do have alternatives, decreasing the diversity of our diet is not an objectively beneficial move. Animal testing? Yeah, that saves countless human lives.
Joined: 1/17/2009
Msg: 114
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/7/2009 8:32:31 AM
The massive flaw in this logic- that an argument against speciest beliefs- makes the distinction between animals and plants- and I gotta say- theres very little to be argued for animal rights that cannot equally be applied for the argument of plant rights

humans -homo sapiens ..ARE animals.. review Biology 101 ? species-genus, etc. ?

the fact that you believe them to be the most 'superior' of animals doesn't change that fact.

also I could easily show you that there are many 'homo sapiens' -the mentally ill and mentally 'challenged' - who are not really 'sentient' in the sense of being aware of themselves..many are less sentient that some of the 'lower' animals.

therefore it makes logical sense that we could clean out out insane asylums and home sfor the disabled.these people are useless as they are.

perhaps some of them could make good hamburger, or choice cuts of meat and thsu do something for the rest of us?
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 115
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/7/2009 10:35:55 AM
>>>the fact that you believe them to be the most 'superior' of animals doesn't change that fact.

I believe it? There are differences between humanity and the rest of the animal kingdom- massive differences. And at the end of the day, thats all you really have- the desire to whitewash our understanding to equate that a slug has the same moral standing as a human being, because we both share biological similarities. I'm not talking about that- I'm talking about mental capacity.

Are animals able to handle and comprehend rights as humans are- yes or no?

>>>therefore it makes logical sense that we could clean out out insane asylums and home sfor the disabled.these people are useless as they are.

You're putting words in my mouth- I never said animals were useless and worthless because they are not self-aware. In fact, I said quite the opposite. What I did say was that animals are incapable of understanding rights, and, as of such, if allowed to become equals, could not survive in society. They are worthy of protection, but they are not worthy of rights.
Joined: 1/17/2009
Msg: 116
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/7/2009 10:40:32 AM

I never said animals were useless and worthless because they are not self-aware. In fact, I said quite the opposite. What I did say was that animals are incapable of understanding rights, and, as of such, if allowed to become equals, could not survive in society. They are worthy of protection, but they are not worthy of rights.

I was not putting words in anyone's mouth

what I said was, there are thousands, or millions, worldwide, for all I know, of humans or homo sapiens, that are basically non-sentient..that are incapable of understanding rights.

by you logic shouldn't they become food?

take all the Alzheimer's patients, those with severe mental retardation, Down's syndrome, etc...

They are worthy of protection, but they are not worthy of rights.

sorry, by 'protection' you mean becoming your food?

I have a hard time understanding how that is 'protection'? seriously, if you could explain, rationally?
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 117
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/7/2009 10:53:16 AM
>>>by you logic shouldn't they become food?

No, they simply should not have rights, and should have responsible people who understand rights protecting and watching over them and, if need be, taking responsibility for them.

>>>sorry, by 'protection' you mean becoming your food?

No, by protect I mean protection from cruelty- protection from torture. I find nothing wrong with slaughter, so long as it is done humanely.

And I noticed you completely side stepped an essential question if we are to discuss animal rights, so maybe if I make it in bold, you'll notice it more so;

Are animals able to handle and comprehend rights as humans are- yes or no?
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 118
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/7/2009 1:43:01 PM

Ideoform Posted: 2/6/2009 433 PM
The original question of this thread was posted by a meat eater, not a vegetarian trying to make people feel guilty. It was a set-up to get people like me to try to show our methods of "conversion."

I think it is unfair to decide and declare the original post's INTENT. I didn't read anything in the original question that seemed a set-up or to make anyone feel guilty.
I wondered why this thread went so far afield and I guess it is because over-sensitivity to this topic made many see similar intent and react as though attacked.

To me it was a simple and interesting philosophical question. I was glad to hear from a few vegetarians who answered the question and moved on.
A couple said their diet was a personal preference, but not one they were so tied to that they would sacrifice themselves to in an emergency.
Others said they felt so strongly that they would rather die than breach that moral line.

If I chose to be vegan I would take the first position. I can't find a moral argument that makes animals equal to humans and thus, if I have no choice, I would kill to survive. (Not surprising, I suppose, since I am now a meat eater. )
I have some moral ambiguity about cannibalism. I'm still not clear what I would do in extreme circumstances when it came to eating humans. And even more unclear if it came to killing humans. I don't see a problem with killing in self defense, but is this the same?
Let's hope we don't ever need to find out.

It seems there is lots of history concerning cannibalism in extreme situations. Shipwreck survivors often had to resort to cannibalism to survive. It seems there was some kind of law that said you could kill a man and eat him if everyone drew lots to determine the 'victim' in a fair way. Otherwise it was murder.
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 119
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/7/2009 1:56:41 PM

wonderful, somebodyPosted: 2/3/2009 845 PM
Just because we can, doesn't mean we should. For being such a superior species, we're doing a fabulous job of killing ourselves, killing each other, and wreaking havoc on Earth.

Humans have completely lost what is natural.

I think you have a fairy tale vision of 'natural'. Nature is pretty brutal.

For all the 'evils' that you mention about what we humans have brought to the planet, I doubt you would choose to go back 1000 years and live a more 'natural' life. The way we produce food, use natural resources, fight disease by technology and medicine, arrange our society to give us police and legal protections from those that are bigger and stronger than us, etc.. creates a world where you get to drive to work and shop in a grocery store, and use your washing machine and other luxuries.
Those unnatural things make your life as nice as it is. Human life is better, longer, and less dangerous than at any time in history. I think you miss the greatness of what we have when you complain about the very things that make it great.
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 120
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/8/2009 11:37:07 AM
I am a specieist.

The argument against specieism is valid only in Kantian ethics.
Kant says ethical decisions cannot consider the consequences of that moral decision.
Killing is wrong, therefore it is wrong ALWAYS. If you don't consider the consequences of that moral decision and apply it Universally, as Kant would have you do, then there is no logical argument for specieism. Killing is wrong, no matter the life that you take. One species is equal to any other in the wrongness of taking that life.

I think Kant is full of shit. How can you not consider the consequences of a moral problem? Kant is very clear that consequences cannot be considered and therefoe things like lying is wrong and you can Never lie, even if lying would save a life. That's crazy.

The consequences of a Kantian solution to this debate is that we would have to come to the conclusion that ALL species are equal in their right to life and immediately upon making that position universal, we would have NOTHING to eat. Of course we would be the only species starving to death, because all the other species have no moral problem with going on, in natural fashion, consuming each other.

Kant won't allow for making adjustments for the fact that we would starve to death. Killing is wrong. So you can't make adjustments for which living things you can't kill. ALL living things can't be killed. Not even plants. That's crazy.

I am a specieist, and I make no apology.
Rules that make us treat ourselves as special protect us from ourselves and allow us to 'use' other species for our survival. I have no ethical problem with that.

I can make the argument that man deserves to kill lower species because he is on top. I do think that man is superior to the other species on this planet. No other species is having this debate. Only man is capable of this debate. But even that is not the issue. Even intelligence is not the issue.

I would stand up for my species even in the face of a intellectually superior species threatening us. In an Independence Day attack by a superior extraterrestrial species, I'd fight, and kill the invaders to protect my species. I want my species to survive.

In another sci-fi-like scenario, if there were only 2 living species on the planet, humans and gorts, and both are intelligent species, I would want humans to be the species that used gorts for food rather than the other way around.

I'm a specieist.
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 121
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/8/2009 12:18:53 PM
>>>And, I don't see where I committed any ad hominem fallacy...

I never said you did an Ad Hominem("Against the Man", or personal attack)- I said you did a Tu quoque("You Too"), where you say that since another person fails in logic, you should be granted equally a failure in logic- which is, of course, illogical. One user said that you are being dismissive, claiming that you act as though all other thoughts other than your own couldn't possibly be right- you responded by saying that he, too, was being dismissive. Thats the logical fallacy- that you agreed it was what you are doing is a negative, but believed that since other people do it, it is a positive.

Nonetheless, I'm still waiting- all this talk about animals having rights is moot unless we can be certain they would even be able to conprehend it. And why does Singer/Kant state that killing animals is wrong, but plants okay? Why is the distinction between plants and animals okay, but man and animals not?
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 122
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/8/2009 12:55:11 PM
I think you're right H20- it seems that any questions about his massive thesis is being redirected to re-reading his massive thesis- he's not answering any actual questions or critisims- simply restating the infallibly of his thesis.

Doesn't seem to be any point in discussing further with him.

>>>By extension then, anyone that is incapable of asnwering your questions in English is forthwith precluded from having any rights and entitlements???

And do Pigs have a word for "rights" that we can properly translate it into?

Again, the question- can animals comprehend the rights if we were to give it to them?
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 123
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/8/2009 1:32:44 PM
>>>Again...what about all the human beings who don't comprehend the same rights you insist we all comprehend?

Anyone else notice he quoted the question he didn't answer?

I've already answered that one- I believe humans who cannot comprehend rights deserve protection, but not rights. I find nothing wrong with the slaughter of livestock, but I do oppose torture and cruelity towards animals. Equally, I do not support the slaughter of ALL animals, and this includes man.

Now, if you please; Can animals comprehend rights?

>>>...but if you prefer...I will just copy and paste the relevant pieces for you if you're too lazy to scan back yourself!

Because explaining yourself in terms everyone can easily understand, and addressing actual statements with actual responses is too hard, I suppose.

Nonetheless, I look forward to the copy and paste of why killing animals is wrong, but killing plants is perfectly moral.
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 124
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/8/2009 2:05:17 PM
>>>The ability to understand what the word "right" means is not a morally significant criteria?

From a moral stance, no- but a practical stance, it is an essiential topic not to simply be scofted at as vulgar and ignored. A mentally handicapped person isn't simply left to their own devices and allowed to live- although morally they have should have that freedom, its impractical, and thus, our society does not work like that- they are protected and raised, either by family or by social workers- the severity depending on how powerful the mental illness.

It is impractical to allow beings who cannot understand concepts like "consequences for your actions" to have rights- hell, its cruel and immoral to punish someone for breaking the law when they cannot even conceive such concepts as laws, rights, freedoms, responsiblities and consquences. The same reasoning is why we do not afford children the same rights as we afford adults.

You wish us to embrace a morality that cannot work in a practical sense, based on a falsely held belief that we treat all humans equally- we don't. It seems it really is a black or white world for you- either we embrace that all life is sacred and all has rights- except plants, for some unexplained reason- or we embrace complete and total anarchy, where no rights exists for anyone- either we all have rights, or nothing has rights, no exceptions.

mfreemo is right- the flaw in your logic is that it refuses to account for the numerous exceptions that appear once your morality is applied to actual life- shouldn't childrens be given complete rights from birth? Why is a tiger allowed to kill to eat, but not man? Why aren't plants and their right to life included in your morality?
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 125
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/8/2009 2:17:57 PM
>>>while we cannot be sure where to draw the line with respect to the class of sentient beings, why don’t we at least stop eating the ones that we are all fairly sure have significant interests and can feel pain, sorrow, fear and so on?

There are those(of whom I disagree with, but still) that would argue that plants do indeed feel pain, only on a level we are not able to understand.

And if we cannot be certain that plants cannot feel pain, then your morality would demand we allow them to live, just as your morality demands that if we cannot be certain if animals are sentient, then we must allow them to live.

And why are you drawning a line in the sand at all? Your entire thesis is about speciesism- that drawing a line in the sand and saying "everyone on this side is edible, everyone on this side is not" is immoral, and arbitary- thats your entire argument- you are drawing a line in the sand while still claiming that drawing a line in the sand is immoral. That killing anything in the Kingdom Animalia is wrong, but killing anything in the Kingdom Plantae is right.
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 126
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/8/2009 2:51:53 PM
I am a specieist.

The logical argument below is clever.

1. There are no morally relevant differences between A(human rational agents) and B(human non-rational agents).
2. There are no morally relevant differences between B and C (non-human non rational agents).
Therefore: There are no morally relevant differences between A and C.

The problem in the argument is the the part that says 'morally relevant'. Morally relevant is a human construct. You're using a moral construct to define that moral construct.

This argument does not protect us from going even further and deciding that there is no morally relevant difference between ALL species, because 'morally relevant' is what we are trying to determine.

In the beginning there is only natural law. Man is an animal and subject to natural laws. The main one being that we MUST eat to survive. All other animals are subject to this law too. We can wish that we didn't have to eat to survive, but we are still subject to that law.
Animals don't care about the feelings of their food. They don't care about the suffering of their food, they simply eat it.

Specieism IS arbitrary, but it has survival benefits that have helped us, as a species, to survive. I don't know if other species have specieist feelings or not, but some have similar survival responses. They protect their own offspring, perhaps defend their own herd, but I'm not certain that they ever consider the species as a whole.

Philosophy of Ethics is filled with many schools of thought. Therefore, apparently, there is no real way to determine morality. It is choosing a favorite way. But even then, they are only preferences. I have no problem with you preferring a particular morality, but in the end you can't prefer away natural laws.

As in religious discussions, I don't care what your religious ideas are and you are welcome to them, but when you try to convince me that I should believe what you believe, I will argue why I don't.

I think my specieist religion is more true to natural laws than your vegan religion's beliefs. As long as the world is safe enough for you to practice yours, go for it. When and if the world becomes unsafe, natural laws will override our preferences.

If you have convinced yourself that you shouldn't kill to eat, and it becomes necessary to kill to eat, but you can't bring yourself to do it, then your speicies would die out.
I make my decisions, base my morality, on protecting my family, my tribe, AND my species. I would give my life if necessary for each of those. I would take the life of another species to forward my own. That's natural law. It seems to me that a morality that accepts natural law, instead of denying it, is more . . . moral.

I do have preferences of humane treatment of animals and I don't enjoy the idea of killing them. but I'm a realist. My preferences would go to the wayside if the world went to hell and natural laws were all that was left.

In this original question about the island? I don't know. If we were trapped on an island but the human species is flourishing elsewhere, then I don't have an obligation to survive for my species, it would be simply a matter of survival for myself and my family that hopes I return to them at some point. Eating each other only allows some of us to survive longer, and possibly be rescued. It is not a strategy for long term survival. It seems to me that in that situation it still boils down to personal preference. There's no specieist obligation to eat or starve. Either way, the species goes on.
Joined: 8/30/2006
Msg: 127
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/8/2009 2:58:29 PM
>>>I am not interested in anything else.

Exactly- either the world follows your code of morality to the key, or it is immoral. That either the world commits itself to total animal libertation, or the world is a place devoid of morals.

That been said, I find your morals perplexing- if all animals were liberated, and granted freedom, then a large number of them would go extinct- Domesticated Cows, Pigs, Chickens, Dogs, Gerbils, ect- alot of these animals would not survive in the wild at all- all their liberation would do is give predators something to swell off of, at which point we have a large predator population that, once all the cows and pigs are dead, would either starve or attack cities(at which point, it is immoral to kill animals)

And you call that moral.

>>>If one is to visit the Supermarket, one can find a whole host of foods currently available which do not require the suffering or death of any animal and which collectively constitute a perfectly adequate and wholesome diet.

Well, lets see- no meat, obviously- no eggs, no milk, no cheese, no honey, no sponges- no wool or leather or any other kinds of animal furs- no insulian(I'm sure the millions suffering from Diabetes would thank you for taking such a strong moral stance) or blood transfusions or further animal testing- if we are talking about, as you said, "do not require the suffering or death of any animal", then we can effectively cut out any farmed foods, since millions of field mice are murdered every year by farming equipment, and thats no even touching the insect poison we put on our foods- so no bread, no fruits, no vegatables- many products we use day to day come from animal by-products- so no car tires, no food dyes, no gelatin, or no manure for crops.

And how do you define suffering? Is removal of their habitat suffering? If so, no homes, no wooden or steel anything- no computers or highways or wires- no plastics, no electricity, and no trade or even transportation of goods(of which there would be very few, if any, goods to trade or transport.

I don't believe you plan to fight for all these things to be removed- but if you do not agree that practicality doesn't have anything to do with anything, then your morality dictates you must.

>>>If the only requirement is that we not upset the status quo, then it seems that whether or not we believe that anything is actually wrong does not warrant consideration.

Do you honestly believe that completely RAPING the status quo has no place in discussing morality? To the Billions of people who would have to go without jobs, and hope to god they grow enough food to survive the winter, you wish to tell them that their deaths are in defense of morality? How is it moral to completely wipe out industries, leaving people who dedicated their life to a skillset that they and their families now have to defend for themselves?

>>>we would not be entitled to coerce them to put an end to their systematic form of persecution since it would have deleterious effects on their economic well being.

We could transfer them to other industries- your morality places no hope that any industries would survive - I cannot stress this enough- your morality will ensure that any moral man will die within a year.

>>>If someone wants to make the case for plants, let them proceed.

Maybe if I type it slowly, you'll read it slowly;

I am not making the argument that people should not eat plants- I'm making the argument that your own morality is contradictory. You wish the world would hold the morality that it is wrong to kill something because it is a different species, and thus in society there should be no killing of things from different speices- while in the same breathe, you state that killing plants are okay, because they are in an entirely different Kingdom from animals. I find this to be a blantant contradiction- if saying "killing an animal is wrong because they have sentiance, although we cannot prove it for complete certainity" is moral, you cannot then turn around and say "killing a plant is right because they don't have sentience, although we cannot prove it for complete certainity"- because under the same moral standard, what you said is immoral.

>>> I don't think they meet the criteria we might all look for such as the ability to feel pain or be sentient etc

They already have, although, as I've said earlier, I do not agree- but the fact that there is a belief casts doubt in your assertions that they do not.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 128
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/8/2009 11:40:44 PM
*Sigh* Kirk, you never bothered to address my point that being specieist is actually moral but irrelevant to the topic of animal rights.

While I think Freemo has made some EXCELLENT points about the arbitrary nature of specieism, I'm going to again bring up the point that even if you talk about the moral imperative to avoid causing the unnecessary suffering of other "entities" (which could mean anything), you still have to draw an arbitrary line between necessary and unnecessary. Hmm, went back and rechecked your wording, you said "unmerited"..., meh, second verse, same as the first. That is still a judgment call, and an arbitrary line still has to be drawn.

More importantly we ARE all equals in terms of the moral right to life, and for all life everything in the world is a resource. We are a resource to other species just as other species are a resource to us. We have a responsibility to the reproductive fitness of our species, which means managing our resources as effectively as possible. In terms of exploiting resources, how do you deem what is "deserved" or "not deserved". Does the baby "deserve" to get eaten by the dingo because its so plump and delicious? Is the dingo being "speceist because it didn't eat a readily available dingo cub instead? Of course not, and its not because the dingo didn't have an option of a Snicker bar available.

Its because following the dictates of your specific biology isn't a question of morality, its about reproductive fitness. I'd like to take this moment to point out that I'm not stepping over your caveat that your argument is only applicable to claimants of a moral code. Rather I'm saying that claiming specieism is a category error. It is not the same as racism or bigotry because these concepts are prejudices which are not fundamental to life. Specieism however is biologically how we operate...we are not by nature a cannibalistic species, we are a communal species. That is why we have the moral values that we have, we recognize the benefits of cooperation, but that implies two parties, not just one.

Driving the point home then, we are not "arbitrarily" designating which animals we eat, which we study, and which we keep as companions but rather we are cooperating with them all equally based on their own biology. It is perfectly moral for us to cause suffering to another "moral agent" because that moral agent reproductively benefits from our interaction with it. While we are using it as a resource (this is a given), we aren't arbitrarily causing it to suffer, the suffering is a byproduct of either research, food, etc, which is a direct result of how we are able to "cooperate" with that species.

I'm fairly certain I've confabulated some points here, but the basic reasoning is sound as far as I can see. Let me know Kirk, Jip, Raz, et all!
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 129
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/9/2009 6:33:29 AM
Here's an interesting note on perspective: While our actions are not always "morally" perfect, as a species we strive towards improvement. Animal testing in cosmetics is an excellent case in point. Just because improvement CAN be made doesn't mean that steps forward AREN'T being made. This is merely a way of "moving the goalpost".

The fact of the matter is that there is always going to be "one more thing" which can improve the quality of lives for those animals that "cooperate" with us for their own selfish reproductive fitness. This idea that there is a "perfect balance" is silly - there is no such thing as perfect. If you feel that we AREN'T making steps forward, you might want to think about those animals in cosmetics companies again, and remember that "the now" is not always indicative of things to come, but merely a transitional form. The future is constantly evolving.
Joined: 4/19/2007
Msg: 130
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Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/9/2009 10:46:40 AM
Again, you use a moral construct (ok several) to prove a moral point.

I believe that as an objection it fails completely because, formally, species membership, that is to say, the mere fact of belonging to that particular group is not significantly relevant under contractarianism, Kantianism, utilitarianism or direct duty views. Iam not using any moral construct at all, I am simply pointing out that under any variant of a moral system, if one subscribes to one, it is impossible to justify the current treatment of a great many non-human animals.

contractarianism, Kantianism, utilitarianism or direct duty are all schools of thought that have distinct differences or they wouldn't be separated. Which is correct? It is a preference, not a universal fact.
Something that is much closer to a universal fact is the laws of nature, and I think specieism is much more aligned with the laws of nature than the human inventions you listed.
Apparently you are wrong to say that there is no variant. I am a speiciest. It is a moral system that allows me to draw the moral line between my species and all others. It is immoral in my system to put other species in equal or greater status to humans.

In my mind the laws of nature trump all human inventions, and specieism (also a human invention) trumps all other schools. I love animals and hate to see them suffer, and feel we can do more to improve their treatment, and you can use your moral systems to justify those efforts. I have no problem with that.
But in the end, when the choice is them or us.... it's us.

Animals eat animals. That's the law. It's not immoral to follow the law. (It's also not immoral to choose to eat only some animals or no animals, until that diet endangers humanity. It would be immoral to force animal rights on humanity.)

Animals in nature suffer. That's the law. We can't change that.
We have some power over the amount of suffering we cause to the animals, and I applaud efforts to make gains in that area. But we have to include the reality that suffering is something we can't avoid.
Joined: 1/13/2009
Msg: 131
view profile
Hypothetical dilemma for Vegans/PETA...
Posted: 2/9/2009 12:00:09 PM

All that any of you have shown is that ultimately it's because they're not human and NOTHING further. And that is a form of discrimination on the basis of an arbitrary distinction,

Actually Kirk, I specifically addressed this twice, but you have failed to acknowledge my point. So let's try this one more time.

Speciesism is not amoral, if anything it is actually a moral way to behave. However, it is fundamentally different from racism and other forms of bigotry because it does not belong in this category of social prejudice. Speciesism is a function of biology, so using this in an argument about morality is a false comparison. It's like trying to moralize "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey".

So to sum up, specieism is an invalid argument because it is not a moral or immoral action but a function of biology and evolution.
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