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Old 10-09-2006, 09:33 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
Dutch Dutch is offline
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Default "collateral included deaths in organic rice production [faq]"


"Glorfindel" wrote in message
...
Dutch wrote:
"Rupert" wrote


Well written, Rupert.


Poorly written, he keeps making the exact same mistake.

Dutch wrote:


[..]


The morally relevant difference lies in the essential difference between
humans and the animal species we use as food, or kill in crop fields, or
what-have-you.


You can identify some differences which hold between most humans and
most nonhumans and claim that they are morally relevant, but there will
always be some humans who don't have these differences from nonhuman
animals.


I have explained this before.


You have tap-danced around it before, but never successfully.


Because you keep making the same mistake. You don't want to see the real
nature and origin of rights.

Human rights are designed to protect humans


Animal rights are designed to protect animals


Yes, they are. You're learning.

because of what we are by nature,


because of what they are by nature -- beings having moral
standing and inherent value.


Sure.

and those rights cover all humans, including those whose nature is not
yet developed or diminished by age or injury.


But only if based on arbitrary speciesism,


There's nothing arbitrary about it.

which is a prejudice only,
not a reasonable moral criterion.


It is a reasonable moral criterion.

We always hold by default to the hope that our human potential will be
realized.


Irrationally, in the case of many humans who are obviously
incapable of realizing it.


When all hope of humanity is gone we often allow life to end.

I really had a tough
time getting an answer out of you on this one, but at one point you
seemed to say it would be permissible to do the same thing to humans.


There's no reason to say that because we accept the killing and/or use
of
animals in agriculture that we must implicitly approve of the killing of
humans. There are relevant differences between animal species, in their
intelligence and level of awareness. The argument that a few humans have
little intelligence (like ****wit) can be dismissed,


It can't be dismissed. It has to be come to terms with.


That is coming to terms with it, it is the rational conclusion.


Rupert is correct; it is NOT coming to terms with it. It is
evading the issue.


No it's not, I have clearly answered the false conundrum that he posed. It
is NOT relevant that accident or infirmity can rob individuals of some of
their human powers, it is relevant that no other species can ever attain
them.

If we hold that
it is permissible to do these things to nonhuman animals because they
lack certain characteristics, then we must also hold that it would be
permissible to do the same things to humans who lack the
characteristics.


No, because it is the essential ability to hold these characteristics
that is the deciding factor, not actual possession of the
characteristics. All humans have the essential ability to hold the
characteristics of humanness, even if they are impaired due to
misfortune. No animals of any other species have the potential to have
such abilities, ZERO.


Species prejudice -- and complete illogic.


It's not species "prejudice", it's species fact.

Because Dr. X has the
ability to do high-level math research, *I* should get a scholarship
to Harvard....


Getting a scholarship is irrelevant, it is a reward earned on an individual
level.

OTOH, if Alex the parrot can identify categories on
an abstract level equivalent to a normal human five-year-old,


Highly speculative

then
he deserves the same consideration -- if intelligence and awareness
are the relevant characteristics.


The relevant consideration would be admission to primary school, but the
parrot would soon fail, because his abilties were only apparent, they did
not make him equivalent to a human infant.


Most people would find this counter-intuitive. The
position may be right, but someone who wants to advocate it should be
upfront about it, and say "I hold that it is permissible to do these
things to nonhuman animals because they lack these characteristics -
and I also hold that it would be permissible to do these things to
humans who lack the characteristics."


You're approaching the problem backwards in order to artificially reach
the conclusion you wish to reach. In order to raise other animal species
to the level of humans, which is what you are trying to do, you must find
at least one example of a member of a non-human species with capabilities
equal or similar to humans.


True of most abilities of humans. The more we learn, the more it becomes
obvious that some animals show the same qualities as humans
in most situations. The differences are small, and morally
irrelevant.


The differences are morally relevant, everyone sees them that way in real
life. It's only in intellectualizing the issue that people like you argue
otherwise.

snip

the issue is that no animals we use as food or kill in agriculture
have anything remotely like human characteristics.


That is clearly not true.


It's true, I am not referring to "animal charcateristics", I am talking
about higher human abilities like development of abstract consciousness.
Only higher primates have been shown to have anything approaching these
abilities.