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Thread: Animal Rights

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Default Animal Rights

    How can you determine an animal's will? Or whether it consents or does not? Are animals even capable of volition? Common sense tells us you can not, and that animals probably do not possess the mental faculties to understand their situation and to give or decline consent to something a human does to it. Animals, after all, are not humans; and while it can be argued that humans are merely animals, too, we are the only sentient animals that we are aware of.

    Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, this fact gives us a special rank in the food chain and I daresay affords us dominance over this planet and any other we may inhabit (unless, of course, another sentient species had happened to populate it first).

    Just why should animals be granted the same rights that are reserved for man? They can not petition for rights, they do not voluntarily contribute to our society and our continued survival as a species, nor do they make any attempt to integrate with our culture. Animal rights, therefore, are a preposterous notion worthy of nothing but its immediate dismissal as an attempted mockery of mankind.

    If you're still not convinced, then follow me to the logical conclusion of the line of thought that leads one to believe in such a silly thing as "animal rights."

    Why is it that proponents of animal rights never stop to consider the rights of bugs, insects, plants, bacteria, viruses, and parasites alongside those of animals? Plants, insects, bacteria, viruses, and parasites, after all, are living things, too. Obviously they must possess some kind of inherent will to live, just as they purport animals to have. Why should we not respect their rights as well?

    What, pray tell, differentiates the grain farmer from the pig farmer? Does the grain farmer not senselessly slaughter millions of crops every harvest for the manufacture into foodstuffs to feed the greedy, starving human masses? Or how about the microbiologist? Does he not conduct his horrid experiments on viral strains to find new and better ways of murdering them before they can infect another human soul? The virus is only exercising its right to live, even if its mode of living is at the expense of another living organism.

    Think of it this way: if animals are allowed to become the property of humans, they may never become extinct. Why, you ask? Because so long as there is a demand for animals, people will do their best to ensure those particular animal populations never become extinct. Cows are in no danger of extinction, because we breed them specifically for industrial purposes: their milk for dairy products, their meat for food and sustenance, their hides for fashioning into coats and other miscellaneous uses. We will probably never see the extinction of deer, because so many people enjoy consuming venison and hunters love to hang them from their mantles. The same applies to fishermen, zoos, wildlife preserves, and so fourth.

    Conservation, therefore, is a direct offset from peoples' desires to consume animals! Even if that consumption is restricted to merely owning an animal as a pet.
    I originally posted this earlier today on another forum. It's actually part of a post I made in response to the topic of beastiality. The only ommission was the final paragraph, however the rant about animal rights was provoked by the OP's insinuation that animals, somehow, possess rights, or at least ought to. I thought this would make an excellent discussion, as I believe there are a few PETA types lurking around here.

    Further reading on animal rights and why they are ridiculous is available here.

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    We don't kill animals and eat meat out of cruelty, we do it cause we like the way it tastes. Just like an animal out in the jungle hunting a more passive animal is doing it to survive, they're not doing it because they get a thrill out of torture.

    It's energy balance. If there was nothing stronger and meaner to eat the cute stuff, the cute stuff would overpopulate the earth and you wouldn't be able to walk anywhere.....the earth wouldn't be able to sustain itself. So therefore, nature created things to eat the cute stuff we like. But, it did it very intelligently: The cute things are always going to be more plentiful and outnumber the predators. Applying human traits to carnivorous animals is quite dumb.

    They tried to do this in a Buffy episode and I cringed. They tried to compare bullies in high school to a pack of hyenas. It sort of worked, but it was just off. Human bullies are....human bullies. They're not hyenas.

    I agree with you mostly, but I still think most people eat too much meat in their diets and not enough fruits and veggies to balance everything out. Human beings are quite interesting cause we really are the cute fluffy bunny and the raging wolf, all in the same body.

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    I think we should eat homeless people who don't contribute anything to society.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletsAndDoves View Post
    I agree with you mostly, but I still think most people eat too much meat in their diets and not enough fruits and veggies to balance everything out.
    Possibly true. We are omnivores, after all, and the bulk of our early diet was what we could gather from foraging.

    Quote Originally Posted by GGustavus View Post
    I think we should eat homeless people who don't contribute anything to society.
    I would argue that homeless people still voluntarily contribute more to society than animals do, even if its chiefly the liquor and narcotic industry they patronize.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa33 View Post
    You are ESE?
    get out

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    Haikus Beautiful sky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    get out
    GO FUCKING EAT WHAT YOU LIKE. YOU HAVEN'T EVOLVED ONE BIT; THERE'S PLENTY OF A-1 SAUCE FOR YOU TOO.

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    Yeah, CP, you need to watch more interviews.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    I would argue that homeless people still voluntarily contribute more to society than animals do, even if its chiefly the liquor and narcotic industry they patronize.
    I'd argue that cattle contribute more than homeless people because they support the cattle feed industry, cattle regulation industry and bestiality porn industry.

    Alright, can we at least eat homeless people who aren't voluntarily homeless, like drop-outs and refugees from war zones?

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    I eat animals because I don't care about them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    I eat animals because I don't care about them.
    then eat your dogs
    why should you care about them?

    purchase one less steak this month and start chopping those dogs for food.

    are you going to share the meat?
    *if so, do it with CP and GG*
    Last edited by Beautiful sky; 07-25-2010 at 05:37 PM.

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    It's somewhat irrelevant how you determine an animal's will....at least compared to a human's. In a court of law during a murder case, the unprovoked killing of another is murder.

    It's hard for me to place the life of an average animal over that of an average human...and yet it is clear to me that there are too many humans on this planet than it can sustain.

    I think that preventing any kind of suffering is generally considered a "good thing", and that it therefore makes more sense to talk of "animal rights" than "vegetable rights".

    Saying that species with a greater level of intelligence should have a greater level of rights is a little bit of a shady area - especially if you draw with the human population (it isn't really considered acceptable to say that people with less "intelligence" have less rights). But things should be seen more in terms of self-consciousness and the ability to endure pain and so on.

    I don't think a brilliant argument for continuing to breed and eat cows is "by doing so, we ensure they don't go extinct". I think each cow is probably more concerned about not becoming extinct itself, not on the future of its 'species'. As it happens, the species of cow that is eaten around the world is a domesticated species with a fairly narrow genepool which may do so well in the wild compared to a wild species. ...Although the wild species that domesicated cattle originate from became extinct a few centuries ago, ultimately because of human intervention.

    Not wiping out species is generally a Good Thing...but continuing the breeding of cattle and the growing of domesticated crops is almost the opposite of that.

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    Haikus Beautiful sky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    ::
    Do you have any pets?

    *Well, try not to have them*

    How do you pose such a shallow argument in the 21st century?
    We justify our actions no matter what corner we turn. If we eat meat, then we're at the top of the food chain. If we kill, then we do it rightfully so. Let's abandon all of our efforts, in science and just lead nomadic lives. If we run out of food, let's start killing each other.

    We came up with an agricultural society to sustain a steady flow of food. We don't need to rape the sea and the land for food. We don't need to kill the homeless either. We need to think smart, like when we started to think when we developed ways to have food without eating everything up. In that I hope is where our humanity is, and where we can evolve.
    Last edited by Beautiful sky; 07-25-2010 at 05:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa33 View Post
    then eat your dogs
    why should you care about them?

    purchase one less steak this month and start chopping those dogs for food.

    are you going to share the meat?
    *if so, do it with CP and GG*
    I care about my dogs only because they are mine.

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    I think we should eat homeless people who don't contribute anything to society.
    Why the hell would you do that? They wouldn't even taste good. A spoiled san francisco limosuine liberal vegan hippie who earns a lot of money and is well groomed is going to taste a whole lot better.

    lol I know you're just trolling and saying shocking things for attention but still: the thought of eating some dirty hobo. YUCK. Stanky!

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    I don't kill people because I don't want to go to prison.

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    Quote Originally Posted by discojoe View Post
    I care about my dogs only because they are mine.
    Great argument:

    I don't eat it because I own it. Lots of people eat their sheep and their cows and they own them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean View Post
    I don't kill people because I don't want to go to prison.
    How do you suppose that law came into effect?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa33 View Post
    How do you suppose that law came into effect?
    There was some general consensus that killing your neighbours without their permission is not generally a good thing

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    Here's a better argument DJ

    I eat cows because they are not as energetic as dogs, they don't follow me around begging me for food and give me the "kind of attention" that I feel my dog gives me. So I eat it.

    New rights; those who have less feelings can eat the humans who have more feelings. Hopefully, you'll take me first and be humane about it, as in give me a sedative before you chop me up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean View Post
    There was some general consensus that killing your neighbours without their permission is not generally a good thing
    Because people started to have feelings and feelings are generally a product of evolution. Wailing after the loss of your loved one becomes annoying after a few days.
    Last edited by Beautiful sky; 07-25-2010 at 06:08 PM.

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    I eat other animals out of physical craving, and it feels 100 % right for my body to do. It's not something I'd even bother to justify rationally.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGustavus View Post
    I'd argue that cattle contribute more than homeless people because they support the cattle feed industry, cattle regulation industry and bestiality porn industry.
    Well you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by GGustavus View Post
    Alright, can we at least eat homeless people who aren't voluntarily homeless, like drop-outs and refugees from war zones?
    Only if they consent to being eaten first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa33 View Post
    Do you have any pets?

    *Well, try not to have them*
    Too late, I've owned cats, dogs, guinea pigs, hamsters, an iguana once, and I've even nutured squirrels and a fallen nest of birds. I've even had a bird house. I love animals and I am fascinated by them in the wild. I just don't believe they deserve rights on par with humans.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa33 View Post
    We came up with an agricultural society to sustain a steady flow of food. We don't need to rape the sea and the land for food. We don't need to kill the homeless either. We need to think smart, like when we started to think when we developed ways to have food without eating everything up. In that I hope is where our humanity is, and where we can evolve.
    I think you missed the whole point. We're not raping the land and the sea when we permit hunters, anglers, and farmers to conduct their business as usual. These people have a vested interest in protecting their respective ecosystems for their prey so that their prey will continue to flourish and their livelihoods remain secure for generations to come. Their livelihoods, after all, are linked to the survival of animals, not their extinction. If there were no more salmon to catch, there would be no more salmon to sell, and thus no more money to make from the sale of salmon.

    Further, as others have pointed out, most livestock are domesticated on farms and bred solely for the purpose of being slaughtered and rendered into food and whatever other utility their carcasses may hold. Wild animals remain unthreatened by these practices.

    I'm not saying people shouldn't have the choice to be vegetarian, or to abstain from eating certain foods. That is entirely a matter of personal choice and bravo to you for standing up for your principles. The only exception I take is when you begin to suggest in public that animals deserve a special consideration alongside humans. They do not.
    Last edited by Capitalist Pig; 07-26-2010 at 06:29 PM. Reason: Birds' nest? WTF? I meant something else, obviously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Well you are certainly entitled to your opinion.
    How can you determine this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    I think you missed the whole point. We're not raping the land and the sea when we permit hunters, anglers, and farmers to conduct their business as usual. These people have a vested interest in protecting their respective ecosystems for their prey so that their prey will continue to flourish and their livelihoods remain secure for generations to come. Their livelihoods, after all, are linked to the survival of animals, not their extinction. If there were no more salmon to catch, there would be no more salmon to sell, and thus no more money to make from the sale of salmon.

    Further, as others have pointed out, most livestock are domesticated on farms and bred solely for the purpose of being slaughtered and rendered into food and whatever other utility their carcasses may hold. Wild animals remain unthreatened by these practices.

    I'm not saying people shouldn't have the choice to be vegetarian, or to abstain from eating certain foods. That is entirely a matter of personal choice and bravo to you for standing up for your principles. The only exception I take is when you begin to suggest in public that animals deserve a special consideration alongside humans. They do not.
    If you engineer ecosystems so that they produce the desired yield in greater quantities, it may be good for you in the short term, but in the long term, you increase the risk of the ecosystem failing rather badly due to some negative event and taking a longer time to recover (if at all). Wild animals and species as a whole ARE being affected by such practices, it's perfectly clear.
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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    I wasn't referring specifically to engineered ecosystems, merely the preservation of existing ones. I don't see it as an easy task to manage an entire forest of animals, of course my failure of imagination does not mean it isn't possible.

    But that is beside the point.

    My question is, how much of those ecosystems are being destroyed by the practices of conservationists and how much of it is due to misguided environmental regulation?

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    The fastest mass extinction of species was the result of human activity, and is still ongoing.


    I doubt conservatinism and environmental regulation were really around when the whole process started.

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    99% of all life that has ever existed on Earth is extinct. Who fucking cares.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean View Post
    The fastest mass extinction of species was the result of human activity, and is still ongoing.
    Whoa, buddy. I don't know about the fastest. Last I heard, the background extinction rate is not an easily agreed upon figure and is hardly a constant, and comparing it to the extinction rate during our current epoch is sketchy at best. While it is undeniable that humans have played some kind of role in the extent of the Holocene extinction, it is uncertain and improbable that we had anything to do with the Pleistocene-Holocene extinction event which immediately preceeded our present ELE, and may even be connected to the ongoing extinction.

    Moreover, this is hardly the most deadly of extinction-level events. The extinction at the Permian-Triassic boundary wiped out over 90% of Earth's biodiversity, and life obviously triumphed. I'm not suggesting this will happen again, but nature has a funny way of recycling itself.

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    Until we as a species hold a meeting with the rest of the non-herbivore species and make them agree to stop eating meat, I'm going to continue eating meat. If we can't ALL agree and make such an important decision for our planet, we will have civil war until the remaining species agree.

    This particular war has gone on for as long as we found out animals refused to talk back to us.
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    Why would anyone care about animal rights when there are more important things to focus on? Finding solutions to more important problems trump making sure the cute animals are running free, as the doom of both existing and future animals are at risk if dire problems are left unchecked...

    With that said, conditions in raising and slaughtering animals are absurd and are a health risk to humans as well as the animals. i.e. a rains wash mishandled waste into the streams/groundwater, lack of healthy conditions leads to consumption of unhealthy meat, etc.

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    Dying to animals which are superior to you is an honorable way to die. Imagine if a super advanced alien race came and harvested our brains. It would suck, yes; but wouldn't there also be a dash of servitude to the universe mixed in there? I think so
    INTp

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Whoa, buddy. I don't know about the fastest. Last I heard, the background extinction rate is not an easily agreed upon figure and is hardly a constant, and comparing it to the extinction rate during our current epoch is sketchy at best. While it is undeniable that humans have played some kind of role in the extent of the Holocene extinction, it is uncertain and improbable that we had anything to do with the Pleistocene-Holocene extinction event which immediately preceeded our present ELE, and may even be connected to the ongoing extinction.

    Moreover, this is hardly the most deadly of extinction-level events. The extinction at the Permian-Triassic boundary wiped out over 90% of Earth's biodiversity, and life obviously triumphed. I'm not suggesting this will happen again, but nature has a funny way of recycling itself.
    That mass extinction occured over a much longer period of time, and simply does not compare to the ever-increasing rate in the last few hundred years. My issue isn't really whether 'life' will survive a even greater mass extinction - I just more concerned with the immediate future and with the current situation not getting any worse. Maybe a 'better' species than homo sapiens sapiens will arise after such a mass extinction, it's true...maybe you don't care about the balance of life on this planet, the continued existence of humanity, or even your own life. I suppose if you're happy with things the way they are, then all's well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    How can you determine an animal's will? Or whether it consents or does not? Are animals even capable of volition? Common sense tells us you can not, and that animals probably do not possess the mental faculties to understand their situation and to give or decline consent to something a human does to it. Animals, after all, are not humans; and while it can be argued that humans are merely animals, too, we are the only sentient animals that we are aware of.
    The lower animals, even though they have a nervous system, are operating primarily on instinct. I doubt they have any level of consciousness. The higher animals, are aware of pain and can probably reason some but it would be on a very primitive level compared to humans.

    I was reading this article about how animals like cows are slaughtered for food. Cows do sense pain, they wince when they sense it but in the slaughterhouse are they thinking about how they are about to be killed? Or is it more the case of just some instinct to avoid pain. My bet is its closer to the latter. Still, even if the cows are operating more on instinct than reason, I find the whole process of slaughtering the cows brutal and feel some compassion for them.

    Yet, I still eat meat just about everyday and will continue to do so. I had a hamburger tonight and it was delicious. I didn't think about the cows being slaughtered so I could have a good meal. I know this sounds hypocritical.

    I do think humans are meant to eat meat. It's a good source of protein and other nutrients. Of course you need other foods too. Eating only meat is not healthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Why is it that proponents of animal rights never stop to consider the rights of bugs, insects, plants, bacteria, viruses, and parasites alongside those of animals? Plants, insects, bacteria, viruses, and parasites, after all, are living things, too. Obviously they must possess some kind of inherent will to live, just as they purport animals to have. Why should we not respect their rights as well?
    Well I think its primarily because non-animal species do not have a nervous system and hence no kind of awareness of pain or being threatened. So in that sense, its not 'brutal' to kill these other living things, unlike animals. A sense of awareness is not required to be a living thing. Plants, bacteria, etc. are living things because they naturally reproduce and pass their genetic material onto their offspring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Crispy View Post
    Until we as a species hold a meeting with the rest of the non-herbivore species and make them agree to stop eating meat, I'm going to continue eating meat. If we can't ALL agree and make such an important decision for our planet, we will have civil war until the remaining species agree.

    This particular war has gone on for as long as we found out animals refused to talk back to us.
    Exactly right. Other animal species don't stop and think about the fate of other living things before killing it for food. Humans are technically animals too. Because our brains are so much more sophisticated compared to other species, we can anticipate the consequences of our actions and have a sense of ethics and compassion. Use humans can think before killing animals. Other animals are operating primarily on instinct and don't do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
    Why would anyone care about animal rights when there are more important things to focus on? Finding solutions to more important problems trump making sure the cute animals are running free, as the doom of both existing and future animals are at risk if dire problems are left unchecked...
    I agree. Many of the important discoveries and science and technology have been largely because we have utilized animals to our advantage. The alternative would be not to use animals at all for science purposes. Sure we might find some alternative cures for diseases or find ways to make products that don't require use of animals at all but I doubt we'd be as progressive as we are today.
    LII-Ne with strong EII tendencies, 6w7-9w1-3w4 so/sp/sx, INxP



  33. #33
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    Capitalist Pig: It appears you don't understand the word "sentient". It means to have perception by means of the senses. In other words, it means having subjective awareness, which commonly includes the capacity to experience pain or pleasure. Many animals (e.g., dogs, cats, pigs, cows, wolves, mice) are sentient. Rene Descartes denied this, but his views are considered several hundred years out of date.

    You ask, "Why is it that proponents of animal rights never stop to consider the rights of bugs, insects, plants, bacteria, viruses, and parasites alongside those of animals?" The simple answer is that these creatures are not sentient. If a being is not sentient, then nothing done to it can make any difference to it subjectively, because it has no subjectivity. A pig is a "someone" -- there is "someone home", so to speak; what happens to the pig matters to the pig. A plant is no one; there's no one there. This is not rocket science.

    Most humans exhibit greater mental capacities than animals, but not all humans do (infants, the severely mentally handicapped, the senile). Many animals are more intelligent than many humans. Many animals exhibit more autonomy than many humans. Many humans cannot petition for rights and indeed have no conception of rights and responsibilities. Wherever we decide to draw the line for entry to the moral community (i.e., those whose interests count significantly and who must be accorded respect), either some humans will fail to make the cut or else some animals will make the cut. (This is called the argument from marginal cases.)

    Capitalist Pig, you seem to be a libertarian of some sort. Libertarians ought to support animal rights, as this article makes clear.

    If anyone is serious about finding out whether the notion of animal rights makes sense, they might consider either this book or this one.

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    I've been waiting for you Satan's Avatar
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    Beast - you're trying to have a conversation with a pig.

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    wants to be a writer. silverchris9's Avatar
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    Assuming that animals have a measure of sentience and a measure of inherent value (I'm thinking of a gradation of sentience, great chain of being-style), then I think we should avoid unnecessary cruelty to animals. But there is a sort of calculus involved in saying how much pain to a human is worth how much suffering to an animal. Certainly a human is worth more than an animal. But how much more? Is it like, we should slaughter 500 cows in the most painful way possible so that Bob can make an extra fifty cents that he doesn't need, or is it like, we should slaughter 500 cows in the most painful way possible so that one human life can be spared, or is it like, we should slaughter 500 cows in the most painful way possible only to avoid the like fate to human beings? I don't think there's a neat answer to that. So my position on the matter is, while animals may or may not have inherent rights, certainly humans have inherent responsibilities to use all resources of the natural world intelligently and responsibly. We know that certainly human beings (all of them) are of more value than animals (all of them). I hold that to be categorically true. We also know that we have some degree of responsibility to animals. I think the whole issue of "animal rights" is working out the balance between those two ideas.

    Capitalist Pig: It appears you don't understand the word "sentient". It means to have perception by means of the senses. In other words, it means having subjective awareness, which commonly includes the capacity to experience pain or pleasure. Many animals (e.g., dogs, cats, pigs, cows, wolves, mice) are sentient.
    That may be one definition, or the "original" definition of the word (insofar as words have original definitions), but the word is commonly used nowadays to mean "possessing consciousness or rational faculties in some way similar or comparable to cognition as it is experienced by human beings." Words mean how they are used (yes, I know that sentence is grammatically terrible, but you get the idea).

    Also, beast, what is your self-typing, if you have one/don't mind me asking? You remind me of a teacher I had once.
    Not a rule, just a trend.

    IEI. Probably Fe subtype. Pretty sure I'm E4, sexual instinctual type, fairly confident that I'm a 3 wing now, so: IEI-Fe E4w3 sx/so. Considering 3w4 now, but pretty sure that 4 fits the best.

    Yes 'a ma'am that's pretty music...

    I am grateful for the mystery of the soul, because without it, there could be no contemplation, except of the mysteries of divinity, which are far more dangerous to get wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beast Man View Post
    Most humans exhibit greater mental capacities than animals, but not all humans do (infants, the severely mentally handicapped, the senile)
    With the exception of the severely mentally handicapped this is a horrible argument. Infants DO (read: have the potential to) have much greater mental capacities than animals in the long term (which is what matters). The average infant will grow into a being with much greater mental capabilities and the average senile individual WAS a being with much greater mental capabilities. You are focusing on a momentary phase of an individuals life and not looking at the beings full potential. In the case of the mentally handicapped, they probably shouldn't hold the same rights, but do so because they belong to a species that is empathetic towards it's own species.

    If other animals can kill lesser species guilt-free, we should be entitled to the same, until of course the animal kingdom comes together and bans it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beast Man View Post
    EDIT: Just read most of this link.
    I totally agree with The Argument for Species Normality. I also find there's a major hole in the rebuttal to this argument.

    This idea'that how individuals should be treated is determined by what is normal for their species'has a certain appeal, because it does seem to express our moral intuition about defective humans. 'We should not treat a person worse merely because he has been so unfortunate,' we might say about someone who has suffered brain damage. But the idea will not bear close inspection. Suppose (what is probably impossible) that a chimpanzee learned to read and speak English. And suppose he eventually was able to converse about science, literature, and morals. Finally he wants to attend university classes. Now there might be various arguments about whether to permit this, but suppose someone argued as follows: Only humans should be allowed to attend these classes. Humans can read, talk, and understand science. Chimps cannot.' But this chimp can do those things. 'Yes, but normal chimps cannot, and that is what matters.' Is this a good argument? Regardless of what other arguments might be persuasive, this one is weak. It assumes that we should determine how an individual is to be treated, not on the basis of its qualities, but on the basis of other individuals' qualities. This chimp is not permitted to do something that requires reading, despite the fact that he can read, because other chimps cannot. That seems not only unfair, but irrational. (p. 100, Animal Rights and Human Obligations, Tom Regan and Peter Singer, eds.).
    In order for there to be a chimp that crossed the threshold into smartville, his species would have to be on an evolutionary chain to produce MORE smart chimps. Since we would recognize the potential for OTHER chimps to become smart like this one did, we would then place chimps on equal grounds with humans, and Species Normality still works.

    Therefore, according to the Argument from Species Normality, we should punish even marginal humans for their bad actions. If, for example, a man suffering from the advanced stages of Alzheimer's escapes from a nursing home, steals a car, and runs over a child, we should convict him of manslaughter and throw him in the clink.
    Yes in this case, if a senile old man runs over a young child, we SHOULD convict him. Species Normality holds.
    Last edited by Crispy; 07-26-2010 at 09:23 AM.
    ILI (FINAL ANSWER)

  38. #38
    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Subterranean View Post
    My issue isn't really whether 'life' will survive a even greater mass extinction - I just more concerned with the immediate future and with the current situation not getting any worse. Maybe a 'better' species than homo sapiens sapiens will arise after such a mass extinction, it's true...maybe you don't care about the balance of life on this planet, the continued existence of humanity, or even your own life. I suppose if you're happy with things the way they are, then all's well.
    The balance of life? Nothing has ever been in balance on this planet. Species of plant and animal are created and destroyed all the time, the continents rarely have a moment where they sit still, glacial ice thousands of feet high spread out across the hemispheres and reshape the landscape every few hundred thousand years, volcanoes erupt and spew all sorts of debris and toxic gas into the atmosphere, asteroids and meteors come bearing down upon the planet and every some odd millions of years a big one comes along that threatens the complex life, the atmosphere fluctuates with all of these variables and more, the magnetic poles reverse themselves; the planet is constantly in motion, in a state of flux. We just don't see it because of our extremely short lifespans. We can see it in the fossil and geological records, however.

    I'm very concerned with the future of our species, but if nature ever decided to get rid of us, there really won't be a whole hell of a lot we can do about it. Maybe we'll have evolutionary descendants who can carry the proverbial torch, but if not then, it was fun while it lasted. I do certainly hope we will survive whatever this planet and space throw at us. I'd like to see us live to become a space-faring race. But I know none of this will happen in my lifetime, so I can't really spend a whole lot of time worrying about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by warrior-librarian View Post
    Well I think its primarily because non-animal species do not have a nervous system and hence no kind of awareness of pain or being threatened.
    How do you know plants do not have an awareness of pain or threat? Just because they do not have a nervous system does not mean plants have not evolved some other mechanism for communicating to itself, and thus feel pain in their own plant way.

    What is pain, anyway? Well, for us, it's merely an electrical signal sent to our brain which is then interpreted as an unpleasant sensation. Plants do not have this kind of system, but they can signal via hormones and other chemicals from one part of the plant to another.

    For example, if a plant is attacked by bacteria, fungus, or any other type of pathogen, it can recognize this threat and act accordingly. Usually this will involve the synthesis of antimicrobial compounds like phytoalexins to combat the infection. It tells the other, non-infected parts of the plant of the invasion so that the rest of the plant is prepared when or if the infection migrates. Plants can also produce ethylene, which readily evaporates in the open air, and signals surrounding plants of pathogens, a grazing animal, or insect infestation.

    This is known as systemic acquired resistance. I think you'd find it interesting to know that salicyclic acid is also produced by this defense mechanism, which we know more commonly by the brand name Aspirin. Now, there's no telling if plants produce Aspirin because they have a headache, and I would say probably not. But who are we to say, really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Beast Man View Post
    You ask, "Why is it that proponents of animal rights never stop to consider the rights of bugs, insects, plants, bacteria, viruses, and parasites alongside those of animals?" The simple answer is that these creatures are not sentient. If a being is not sentient, then nothing done to it can make any difference to it subjectively, because it has no subjectivity. A pig is a "someone" -- there is "someone home", so to speak; what happens to the pig matters to the pig. A plant is no one; there's no one there. This is not rocket science.
    I think by your own definition of sentience and my previous response, I have proved that plants are, indeed, sentient to some extent. My point in extending rights to all living things, and not just animals, was because we can not determine what level of sentience, if any, might exist in these "lower" organisms. You can not convince me beyond a reasonable doubt that plants are not aware, nor can you convince me of the same regarding bugs, insects, etc. A lack of evidence is no evidence, not evidence one way or another. Therefore, we should extend animal rights to all living things, even if it's just for the benefit of the doubt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beast Man View Post
    Most humans exhibit greater mental capacities than animals, but not all humans do (infants, the severely mentally handicapped, the senile).
    So? Humans are humans, whether they are children, mentally impaired, or suffering from dementia. I don't determine rights on the basis of mental faculty alone, there's other criteria involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by Beast Man View Post
    Capitalist Pig, you seem to be a libertarian of some sort.
    No.
    Last edited by Capitalist Pig; 07-27-2010 at 06:03 AM. Reason: Consolidated posts.

  39. #39
    Landlord of the Dog and Duck Subteigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    The balance of life? Nothing has ever been in balance on this planet. Species of plant and animal are created and destroyed all the time, the continents rarely have a moment where they sit still, glacial ice thousands of feet high spread out across the hemispheres and reshape the landscape every few hundred thousand years, volcanoes erupt and spew all sorts of debris and toxic gas into the atmosphere, asteroids and meteors come bearing down upon the planet and every some odd millions of years a big one comes along that threatens the complex life, the atmosphere fluctuates with all of these variables and more, the magnetic poles reverse themselves; the planet is constantly in motion, in a state of flux. We just don't see it because of our extremely short lifespans. We can see it in the fossil and geological records, however.

    I'm very concerned with the future of our species, but if nature ever decided to get rid of us, there really won't be a whole hell of a lot we can do about it. Maybe we'll have evolutionary descendants who can carry the proverbial torch, but if not then, it was fun while it lasted. I do certainly hope we will survive whatever this planet and space throw at us. I'd like to see us live to become a space-faring race. But I know none of this will happen in my lifetime, so I can't really spend a whole lot of time worrying about it.
    I said you didn't care about the balance of life of this planet - I didn't say that the "balance of life" had always been the same. I personally think it's good for humans to try and maintain the balance of life and to not have a detrimental effect - yes, humans may ultimately do something 'bad' while attempting 'good' - but if they do something 'bad' even according to their present understanding, this doesn't seem like a very intuitive approach.

  40. #40
    Poster Nutbag The Exception's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crispy View Post
    With the exception of the severely mentally handicapped this is a horrible argument. Infants DO (read: have the potential to) have much greater mental capacities than animals in the long term (which is what matters). The average infant will grow into a being with much greater mental capabilities and the average senile individual WAS a being with much greater mental capabilities. You are focusing on a momentary phase of an individuals life and not looking at the beings full potential. In the case of the mentally handicapped, they probably shouldn't hold the same rights, but do so because they belong to a species that is empathetic towards it's own species.
    Also want to add that the mentally handicapped are not completely useless! The mentally handicapped can still think, reason, and feel just like the rest of us. Some of them can hold simple jobs. People with normal intelligence would probably think of them as menial tasks, but these jobs do serve some purpose to society. Also, some of the mentally handicapped people are kind, generous, and loving and bring joy to the others around them.
    LII-Ne with strong EII tendencies, 6w7-9w1-3w4 so/sp/sx, INxP



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