Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Kernl Sandrs, Nov 17, 2010.
Nice one Tiassa. I think poor James has gone into meat withdrawal...maybe that explains it. ??
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Depends on which argument you're referring to - if it's the assertion that you're presenting me with vacuous personal sniping in lieu of substantive response, then I find unadorned response in kind to be highly effective.
You seriously think that dressing up your shit-flinging as some kind of politesse makes you look better than expressing hostility directly? I don't. And I don't think that many others do.
Nope - I made a point of only responding that way to the vacuous personal bullshit in your post. Read the post in question: there's a distinct segregation between the "fuck you" responses and the substantive ones, and this was done on purpose, to make a point. I even included one little aside early on, illustrating the process of categorization, to make this clear.
Yeah, that was the point. You came with rude evasions, I responded in kind. At that point you either get the object lesson, or - better - try a weak dodge like this and produce a surfeit of LULZ. Win-win, for me.
Fuck you, too.
Fuck you, too.
Fuck you, too.
Was there supposed to be some argument in there, or just naked condescension?
Fuck you, too.
Never said that, and don't believe it. That animals rank below people doesn't mean that they don't rank anywhere, or don't merit certain considerations. Animals also possess will and power, for one thing - that's why it's an honor to rule over them.
No delusion required - absent undue suffering, it is humane. And, yes, any exercise of will is empowering - just as you are gratified by your own exercises of power and will in your dietary choices.
Imposing suffering on animals without due cause is bad. Humanely breeding, raising and slaughtering food animals in order to advance humans is not. A cessation in food animal cultivation would deprive animals of their existence just as surely as slaughtering them does, and without replacing them with other animals.
There is no "next step." Causing unjustified suffering is bad. Eating animals, as such, is not. Get rid of the undue suffering, and there's no problem.
Fuck you, too.
There are many species of the animals you list that are, in fact, endangered. And those that are not (like other non-endangered animals) are such because they happen to inhabit ecosystems wherein they do not compete much with humans - which pointedly does not apply to food animals.
But you are again being obtuse. The point was not that cows and pigs will go extinct, but that their populations will be radically reduced. There is not going to be any conversion of large tracts of agricultural lands into free wild ranges for feral cows and pigs and chickens, nor provision of grains to feed them. The land and resources currently consumed by them will simply be re-tasked to human uses (agriculture, mostly). If animal life is valuable on its own, then why should we prefer a set-up that results in, literally, hundreds of millions fewer animal lives? Because we won't be slaughtering food animals?
And then there's the fact that vegetarian diets don't result in fewer animals being killed - it just shifts them from food animals to "pest" animals and others displaced by agriculture. So, again, not seeing how the principles translate into the dietary recommendations.
Even upon review, not seeing it. I'm not sure what you think you said about what, but I don't see anything directly addressing the question of plant rights vs. animal rights in this thread. So unless you can point me to something I've missed, I'm going to call "weak dodge" on this as well.
The only thing I can see that comes close is a later part of your exchange with Raithiere (posted after your last response to me, so this can't be what you think you're referring to), but that is, again, just the same nervous system argument. So, the complaint stands - if your only grounds for animal morals is the ability to feel pain (i.e., nervous system like ours), then you're just dressing up animal welfare as animal rights. Come up with a food production system that doesn't inflict pain or suffering, and the objections disappear. I simply don't buy the "ability to suffer = inherent right to life" leap, and I don't see where it's really been argued as such. "Ability to suffer = right not to endure undue suffering" is all I'm really getting out of it.
In threads like this I skim quite a bit - especially your posts, since they're around 85% condescending gasbaggery. But, even upon review, I'm not seeing it anywhere in your exchange with AlexG. Mostly I'm seeing you project your favorite Evil Meat Eater philosphy onto him (and most other participants) and attack that with stilted, canned rhetoric instead.
Likewise, I don't expect that anybody is actually reading much of these exchanges between yourself and me. Just look at the format - why would anybody have any interest in wading out into the middle of that? It's all heavily referential, and barely seems to touch the topic at all. So it is possible I missed something somewhere - I can't be bothered to read your pro-forma denunciations of AlexG in sufficient detail to ensure I've caught every possible bit of substance that might be buried in there.
Don't be such a fucking baby. I'm not telling you what you're argument is. I'm telling you what I think is wrong with it. And I've repeatedly invited you to respond to such substantively, which you're consistently refused to do. Instead you produce post after post of infantile flames.
This from somebody that forgoes arguing at all in favor of mockery and overwrought denunciations. I mean, get real: you approach anyone who disagrees with you with overt disrespect. You aren't in the good-faith debate game, and so I'm wondering who, exactly, you imagine thinks that you are (since you keep premising snipes on such). Not me, certainly.
But, oh well, just more LULZ.
There are quite a few lengthy replies here, and it appears I'm on my own against an army of meat eaters. So excuse me if I take a while to reply. It may take me a few days, since I do have other things to do.
Mod Hat - F@¢% you very much
Mod Hat — F@¢% you very much
I think it's about time we put away the fuck yous.
From a policy standpoint, it necessarily must. In the colloquial perspective, however, I think it's a matter of where one thinks the other stands.
Like there's this old commercial, well over a decade gone, for the Oregon Lottery, in which a formal-sounding instructor advises that since you are now rich, you need to sound the part. And he starts with the basics: Toh-MAY-toe. And then this backwater hick responds, "T'mater."
Often, when it's the backwater hick, we say yes, the direct hostility does sound worse. And when it's the college professor, we make the excuse that he is simply cutting to the chase.
The merit of this bias is not a question I intend to resolve.
Presently, the fuck yous flinging around this thread sound more like an attempt to cut to the chase, and while the humor of my sympathy might find some cause or justification about them, policy is a different matter entirely.
Thus, it is time to put away the fuck yous.
Why is is acceptable to eat animals that have been killed in a halal fashion? Just because Allah said so? Or is there an arguable moral basis to it?
It seems to me that most of your post consists of you saying that you blindly follow the teachings of your religion. I'm more interested in having a discussion of ethics here than I am in discussing arbitrary religious rules.
But perhaps the Qur'an gives a reason for its rules regarding the eating of animals. Does it?
You're telling me what you do and don't do, but not why. "Cultural differences" is just a catch-all term as far as I can tell at this point. Why the cultural differences? And to which other culture are you comparing, anyway?
I undoubtedly use some products that have been tested on animals. Those products include ones that have been shown to have permanent benefits to human beings. In other words, the research has been done, some animals died, and there has been a net ongoing benefit as a result. I do not use products such as cosmetics tested on animals that are unnecessary and service no need other than human desire and vanity.
As a general principle, I think testing on animals or on humans is justifiable if the benefits of doing so outweigh the harms of doing so. It's a consequentialist ethics, with the caveat that the intrinsic value of the test subjects must always be considered, too.
I must say it's hard to write down a general rule for all testing on animals. Each individual case is potentially different.
I have pets. Many animal rights proponents perfer to call them "companion animals", because they feel that the word "pet" implies ownership and thus treatment of the animals as property. They prefer to characterise the relationship as a guardianship or a mutual arrangement.
For example, I have a cat that was tossed out of a car into my front garden. I offered her food and shelter, and she has stayed with me even though she is free to leave any time if she wishes. Obviously she chooses to stay.
I would use the animal product. I have trouble thinking of a real-world example, though. Can you think of one?
I should say, by the way, that I have nothing against using animal products that do not result in harm to or the death of the animal.
If we know so little about food components, then presumably we know just as little about meat, so this seems to be a neutral issue.
I would allow it. It is not for me to force my beliefs onto my children. It is up to me to convince them of the morality of my beliefs.
Which animals was it tested on? There is a lot of evidence that shows that animal testing is no guarantee of safety or efficacy for human beings. That's why all drugs go through human trials as well as animal trials.
So once again, it comes down to 'This is what James believes, and everyone else should believe the same. If they don't, they're immoral."
The Problems of Equal Consideration
On a more personal note ....
Well, we do have a longstanding policy of encouraging people to put a modicum of effort into their insults.
But in more particular terms, having gone rounds with James on this subject before, I can tell you that the fuck yous don't work because he actually seems to belive what he's saying.
This is a peculiar area of James' conscience; I'm not sure he understands to any great degree the implications of the shif taking place.
He has attached himself to a moral and philosophical assertion, this Principle of Equal Consideration. And even to someone like me, it sounds nice and all. But the problem is that it seems arbitrary; there is no real system to it.
I mean, think about it: Why not strike the word "human" from human rights? Why not extend equality to animals?
And set aside the whole moral issue for a moment. That's essential to the question, so we can come back to it ... well, later.
As an analogy, think of the abortion argument. Very well: The child is fully human and alive from conception. Now, what happens to mothers? Do they collect rent for the forty weeks? Do they need to file eviction papers and go through proceedings to get an abortion? Oh, right. No abortions. Okay, now for every miscarriage, we need to conduct a homicide investigation to determine culpability. Did she fall at work? Well, why was she at work in the first place? Did she fall down the stairs? Why did she take such an irresponsible risk in the first place? Was it a car accident? Did she expose herself to noxious fumes like cigarette smoke or automobile exhaust? What's that? A spontaneous miscarriage? Oh, Rh imbalance? Well, who do we prosecute for that? The father, since it's usually off his gene that this occurs? Now then, what about those miscarriages where she didn't even know she was pregnant? What kind of irresponsibility is that? What we need, of course, is a regulatory agency with arrest power to investigate every menstruating woman, in order to check for irregularities and make sure no in vitro humans ever perished accidentally. Did her period come late? Did she fail to report that to the local authorities? Jail time? Maybe just a fine? Perhaps we can start stacking sentences on presumption, just like we do with drugs (e.g., more than one simultaneous possession conviction equals automatic distribution conviction), and just file murder charges against the women who don't properly report their menstrual cycle to the public authority.
We can do the same thing with the PEC. Like I said: Fine, then let's put the damn cougar on trial; I'll acquit. Let's file the lawsuit for the cows and pigs and fish. Oh, and don't forget the bees. You know, like that horrible film with Jerry Seinfeld? Oh, right. Bees don't qualify. Their nervous system doesn't meet the arbitrary standard.
The Honeymakers' Union? The Cheese-Cow Union? What are the dues? The wages? The health benefit allocation? The Precarders' Wool Producers Union?
How much should we spend prosecuting assault charges against a mosquito? Oh, right. Insufficient nervous system.
Four years ago, James wrote, "nobody (or at least not me) is arguing that animals ought to have the same rights as humans."
But that's not the same as how the PEC works in practical application. What is the cut-off? Now this is what James can't answer. Start with everything being equal, and scale back if you have a good reason. Well, what's a good reason?
Right now the only "good reason" we have is a not-quite arbitrary (e.g., convenient) standard pertaining to nervous systems, though even that is easily questioned by the data. Even so, the implications of that standard aren't clear.
You know, I remember being, like, ten years old when I first saw cattle fucking. We were driving through the dairy country in the valley on the way to my grandmother's. I remember it because it is the start of a particular, quaint habit of my mother's: denial. You know, like, "Oh my God! Those cows are doing it!" And she says, No, they're not. Well, actually, Mom ....
But now, these years later, I wonder if the cow can file rape charges against the bull? Or if not cattle, what about cats? I'm sorry, but it takes barbs on your penis to stay in long enough to complete the deed? And, hell, can I file a noise complaint against the raccoons? Or, at least, public indecency? I mean, if you ain't heard 'coons fuckin', you ain't heard shit. I mean, trees rattlin', the whole neighborhood's awake, and everyone's trying to lend you a shotgun since the damn things are in the tree in your backyard.
Now, normally, I would just go inside and get high and laugh about the caprices of nature. But with this whole PEC thing?
Or the neighbor's dog? I was talking with a guy about it today. I mean, I get what dogs are for when raised and kept in that context, but these things go off if you raise or lower your blinds, if you turn on a light inside your home. Hell, it might have been coincidence, but I farted once while outside, and it seems to have set the dog off.
It wasn't that loud a fart.
Should frustrated neighbors file a complaint against the dogs, or the owner? Current outlooks would hold the owner accountable. But why? It's just species bias. Let the dogs be responsible for their own behavior. Oh, right—and stop hitting them with rolled up newspaper when they chew your slippers, or piss on the rug.
But this is where we're at. It sounds like a kids' movie. Don't get me wrong; if the rat knows how to wash itself, and can cook, I say let the little guy cook.
Or there's the joke: Support your right to arm bears! And yes, there was a cute Aussie joke about it that made one of the highlights of Australian cultural achievement, a Crocodile Dundee film. I don't know, maybe you remember—when the poachers thought the kangaroos were shooting back at them?
Hell, we're already tapping into monkey, cat, and mouse brains (O! the humanity!) as part of cybernetic interface and integration research. Why not attach guns to the critters? That way, when the hunters come to shoot the cougar for mauling someone who was trespassing on its property, the big cat can shoot back. The PEC/PAS (Principle of Equal Consideration Point And Shoot) 7.62mm automatic personal defense mechanism.
And what about nature shows on television? Pornography, I tell you! I remember the first time I ever saw an elephantine erection—I mean, by the Goddess! All huge and dripping and primed and ready. Won't someone please think of the children?
Of course, there are good reasons for avoiding these conflicts. Like, "Oh, come on! It's naure! What the hell is wrong with documentary footage of elephants fucking?"
Or perhaps something more practical: "Do we really trust gibbons with handguns?" Well, why not? Oh, right. PEC. The fact that it's a gibbon does not qualify as a good reason. So ... um ... yeah.
I think part of what needs to happen is that PEC advocates need to start formalizing their argument a little. Right now the whole concept seems to be customized specifically to promote the moral superiority of vegetarians.
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Gilbert Gibbon sez: "Gimme a gun! Why are you punishing responsible gun owners by denying us gibbons our Second Amendment rights?"
The result of this apparent fanaticism is that the PEC is very vague. Sure, any individual adherent to the faith can tell you much about where he or she draws the line, but it's all individualized.
Over the last four years, James hasn't done much to refine this argument; he presents it here with the same fanatical zeal as he did then. It's an identity politic, much like religion has become, a means of separating himself from the humanity he loathes by the establishment of his select moral superiority. So, yes, there's a reason why the details of the PEC are so vague. There is a reason why he sticks with moral condemnation and supremacism instead of rational argument. Which, of course, means there's a reason the fuck yous slip right by him.
He doesn't know what they mean. He doesn't care. All you're doing is reinforcing his supremacist delusion.
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Didn't you already say that? You're just as wrong this time as the other three times you've said that. Why repeat yourself? Why are you still in this thread at all?
I'll get to your lengthy tracts in good time. I fear I'll be covering old ground, though.
Sniping at me in the guise of moderating is not a good look, though. So please stop it.
They aren't really intended to "work" on him in the sense of getting him to behave better. They're supposed to be flags planted to mark at which points interactions have gone off the rails, and to demonstrate that I will not play along with the whole subversion of having a flame war while pretending it's a respectful discussion. I like my flame wars above-board, thank you very much. To that extent, they're intended as much for a general audience as the actual posters they're directed at.
And note that, as flames, they are boring. The point is not to stoke a flame war, as such.
Sure, I've noticed this before, and not only on this particular issue.
Right, I know. The point is not so much to reform him (silly, presumptuous idea, that), but to impose costs to his reputation and standing commiserate with his violations and disrespect. Playing along with the pretense of respect doesn't accomplish that - an overt declaration is required. Hence the short, profane responses.
So to the extent that it drives him to ever-greater dick-wavings and raging displays of insecurity, so much the better. He can wise up or not - what I care about is that he can't have his cake and eat it too (or, anyway, not expect me to play along with such a pretext). Hence the repeated references to LULZ - if he's going to act like that, I'm going to troll him. What else is a person who acts like that on a message board good for? How else can they possibly be deterred/disempowered (short of moderator action, which is of course outside of my purvey).
Why take the time to submit a post that does nothing but browbeat somebody? What does it accomplish that silence would not?
Nothing good, as far as I can see.
Mod Hat - Brief response
Mod Hat — Brief response
Hop on the trolley if you want; maybe it will grow up to be a bandwagon.
If you care to explain your perception of sniping, I'm happy to give it consideration. However, please do it elsewhere than this thread. Cluluss' thread, linked above, for instance. Or private message. Or the back room; you do, after all, have more venues than most by which to seek redress.
James, your rejoinder to any argument appears to be the statement 'you are wrong'.
Let me say, You are wrong. You equate animals with humans, and insist that the world agree with you.
Since my posts are now being censored by a moderator who is participating in the discussion, I am withdrawing from this thread as of now.
This moderator has taken a position against mine and is removing and editing replies of mine in response to others who hold the same position as he does.
It would be one thing to simply delete my posts. As an administrator, I can review and recover the important content. But when my posts are edited such that material is deleted, it is gone forever.
If I am to be censored for my views while action is not taken against others who continue to insult me and not address the topic, then I'm out.
Army of One (Wingnut)
Sometimes the best comfort we have is knowing that other people are laughing their asses off, too.
Make a tangled mess out of it. That's what I do, and it's not malice; rather, these are the questions the PEC shines the light on. Normally, I'd just say, "Gibbons with guns? I'll worry about that when it comes up." But this is the discussion a supremacist wants to have. So let's have it. In excruciating detail, if necessary.
Beneath the particular details of any given outcome—leather jackets, gunslinging gibbons, charging dogs with sexual assault for humping your leg, &c.—is a structure of more general principles. That structure is largely hidden behind the façade of the Principle of Equal Consideration.
Beyond that, take an example from earlier in the thread:
Tiassa: People can eat meat or not according to their inclination. Meanwhile, comparing omnivores to Nazis, as PETA does, or child killers, as others have, just doesn't make much of an argument in favor of moral vegetarianism. Rather, the correlation of moral vegetarianism and the stupid insanity of its advocacy is exactly the kind of thing that tells people they're better off just having a bacon burger, turducken, or bacon explosion. (#16; italic accent denotes portion quoted for reply)
James: So what you're saying is that this kind of ad makes meat eaters so defensive that they react in the opposite way to what PETA hopes. Is that how you react to the ad?
It reminds me of when madanthonywayne said he was going to turn on all the electrical appliances in his house during Earth hour, out of the same kind of spite. (#21)
The idea that the conduct of advocates might affect people's perceptions of the issue under consideration is apparently beyond his calculation. I tried explaining it to him—
I think it's much like Christianity, James. When one watches a televangelist weep for money and God's will, or Christine O'Donnell expound on the evils of masturbation while relegating women to the status of sex toys, or listening to the moralists forsake sexual consent in order to tell us why gay sex is the equivalent of raping children, animals, or dead things, one wonders about the stupidity of it all. And when one considers whether or not to join them in the cause, well, they're going to pause to wonder if that's how they want to be seen. One of the effects of such religious clowning is that smart people see no reason to join them, and every reason to avoid them.
It's a one-way ride to the end of the universe
Please leave your mind at the back of the plane ....
(Screaming Trees, "End of the Universe")
Really, when the message is, "Be as moral and stupid and pathetic as us", why would anyone want to join?
(#23; italic accent denotes portion quoted for reply)
I mean, this idea ordinarily doesn't puzzle him: If advocates of an issue behave in a problematic manner, it reduces people's desire to emulate the advocates.
So, clearly, at some point, we can expect him to start understanding. Right?
Anyway, what was his response?
I thought you said you weren't one for the name calling, but then here you are. Hmm...
Most days, James will fight against such rhetorical slights as taking a sentence out of context and trying to build a smarmy dodge out of it. But this is his pet of all pet issues, it seems, so we get a truckload of zealotry, condescenscion, and supremacism.
The cost to him is his own diminished reputation. There is nothing you or anyone can do to pile that on more than he does himself. This is one of those issues where you can simply sit back and let an advocate embarrass the hell out of himself.
But the fuck yous, regardless of your intent, or anyone's sympathy, only have the effect of inflating his martyr complex: "... it appears I'm on my own against an army of meat eaters."
For some people it's Christ. For others, Allah. And for still others yet, it's a cheeseburger.
And always remember: This brand of contempt is reserved at Sciforums strictly for theists, armchair scientists who think they're smarter than Einstein, and other assorted crackpots on James' list. It should never be shown toward his own brand of crackpottery. Skepticism and objectivity are not valid concepts this time around. After all, it's James, and if you don't understand why that's important, you're morally inferior.
James, I just had a bunch of shrimp cocktail. Do they qualify as meat? Do you equate shrimp with humans? Since the shrimp cocktail with horseradish sauce was quite tastey, does that mean I'm ready to eat people with horseradish sauce?
Don't wimp out now James. Fight for your right to tell everyone what to eat.
Much of our "ethics" are derived from religion. If your argument is that only systems of ethics not derived from religion are acceptable then I'll have to return the favour and only consider systems of ethics based on religion as acceptable (to me).
Obviously, one where eating dogs is the status quo.
Because culture is a determinant in our food habits. Currently its a food fad to be a vegetarian and you'll note that its restricted (apart from those who are vegetarian for religious reasons) to educated western liberals of Anglo-Saxon origin.
Whats your moral justification for using these products? Would you use the same products if human beings had been treated the way animals were treated for the same research ie injected with carcinogens or toxins, tested at prenatal, natal and post natal stages etc?
Benefits to whom? The animals or the humans? Would you apply the same moral justifications to newborn humans being used for the testing that newborn animals are routinely used for?
In general, all animal tests require animals to be tested by substances to which the outcome on the animal is completely unknown. By this general rule, what is your opinion of the "intrinsic value" of the test "subject"?
Have you made pets of any of the human children also discarded by society? If not, why not?
Sure. For example, in kidney disease, patients are given only high BV protein, which is almost exclusively of animal origin.
So you are okay with breeding animals for milk or eggs or wool. Its only when they are bred for meat that you have a problem. Are you alright with breeding people for milk or eggs or hair? Would you be okay with people being put in pens for their milk or eggs to be harvested without harm or death to them?
True, but giving milk formula to newborns has a precedent and history, while soy formula is a new fad. What is your opinion of parents subjecting children to their fads due to such moral reservations?
So you would be willing to cook, clean and feed meat products to your children if they wanted them? Just to be clear?
Usually all products which are eventually meant for human medication or consumption go the gamut of petridish tests usually on yeast -->animal experimentation ---> human clinical trials. It is true that animal experimentation is no guarantee of safety or efficacy. So given that being tested on an animal does not guarantee safety/efficacy and that animal experimentation leads to hundreds of animals suffering or dying [perhaps pointlessly] which of the two drugs would you choose? One that had only been tested on a petridish of yeast or one which had been tested on an animal as well?
In that case, how? Would you change your stance to include meat in your diet or exclude sentient vegetables as well?
I wish I'd read this before anwering the post :bawl:
SAM, I think James was trying to say that it is simple for someone to explain away their actions by claiming their religious book told them what to do. Could you expand upon your own moral choices with regards to only eating certain meats? Do you consider the moral implications or are you satisfied that your religion is infallable?
As a note to all meat eaters, fur wearers etc, it might help to understand the opposing views if you took time to read up on the subject:
And my point is that I am perfectly justified in having my ethics derived from any source I choose. Be it fashion, a book, a person or a philosophy. I don't think one needs to expand on the "morality" of why they pick and choose between a certain species or subspecies as a source of energy. Life feeds on life, excluding things like cola and extruded proteins made from artificially produced amino acids.
Separate names with a comma.