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Old 14-09-2006, 05:44 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Default "collateral included deaths in organic rice production [faq]"

On 10 Sep 2006 18:48:29 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 9 Sep 2006 17:58:37 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 6 Sep 2006 17:21:31 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 5 Sep 2006 15:49:49 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 4 Sep 2006 19:36:31 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:

I hope people will make a sincere effort to find out the truth of the
matter. Diderot's account may or may not be correct.

"- every farming environment has a different mix of animals and the
largest number and largest variety, both, will be found in
semi-tropical, mixed ecology lands like we have. monocultures will have
the smallest numbers and the smallest numbers of species. the numbers i
have presented hold true in the gulf-coastal plains for machine-farmed
organic rice and may well vary in california and arkansas." - diderot

Ethical vegetarians usually do think there is some sort of presumption
against killing sentient animals. You have no reason to think anyone
here is opposed to people pointing out that sentient animals are killed
in the course of rice production.

So far I have reason to believe that veg*ns are opposed to seeing
it pointed out. Damn good reason in fact.


What reason?

The opposition you people have presented to seeing it pointed out.
Duh.


No-one's opposed to anything being pointed out. Some people believe
Diderot's account of the matter distorts the truth, so they respond
accordingly.

They don't correct him.

They have taken issue with certain things he said.

No one has even tried to correct him and tell us how many animals
are actually killed in rice production,

That's because they don't know. You can criticize what he says without
coming up with estimates of your own.

You don't want to believe what he has learned from first hand
experience, so you just say it isn't true.

No, I do not say this. I do not know whether it is true or not. Others
who have denied some of the things he said have argued for their
position.

What reason would a
man who farms organic rice have for lying and saying there are
MORE deaths involved than there really are? We know why
Lunberg and "pearl" would lie and say there are fewer, but why
would diderot lie and say there are more?

Someone concerned to undermine the ethical vegetarian position might
deliberately exaggerate the harm involved in rice farming.

People point out facts that "ethical" vegetarians hate and deny,
but they remain facts none the less.

People make claims, which some ethical vegetarians dispute.

Here's another fact that "ethical" veg*ns hate: Some livestock
have lives of positive value. Here's another: The lives of animals
raised for food should be given as much or more consideration
than their deaths.


Yes, well we've discussed this before. The argument that if livestock
have sufficiently good lives, this justifies bringing them into
existence, inflicting painful mutilations on them without anaesthetic,
and killing them for food, is not a "fact" that ethical vegans hate, it
is a highly contentious and disputed argument. An important point to
address is: would it be permissible to do the same thing to humans, and
if not, what's the morally relevant difference?


In the case of most human slavery, humans are aware of their
situation and often suffer mentally as well as physically from the
fact. That's one thing that would make a huge difference in
quality of life for humans instead of animals. Then if the humans
knew they would be killed and eaten that would make another
big difference, since animals have no idea. Also the animals
we generally raise for food are much tougher and able to thrive
naked in environments that would kill most humans eventually.
Then there's the fact that the animals we raise for food have
offspring who are much easier to care for and provide with
lives that are of positive value for them. Those are some
differences which I can't help but take into consideration.


What if the slaves had good lives, and weren't aware of their
situation?


So far it appears there would be nothing wrong with it, so now
it's up to you to explain what would be.

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.


I hope I asked what the conditions would be. Quality of life
would be what determines that, imo. I saw a documentary on
slavery where men were *trying* to become slaves so they could
better care for their families. They were getting whipped on their
bare backs to prove themselves somehow. So life is of significance
sometimes even when it seems like it should not be, and vice versa.

I think most people would find this pretty difficult to swallow. You're
entitled to your opinion, but you should be upfront about what your
claims are.


We might be in that position right now. You don't know...no one does.
We certainly all get killed by something, and often suffer a lot longer
than animals we raise for food. But there are things on the plus side
for us that animals don't get. But thinking on all of humanity, how much
of it would we have wanted to live through? Most of human existence
has been spent without civilization or agriculture as we know it. Would
you rather live however humans managed to survive 20 thousand years
before the development of agricultural society, or would you rather just
pass on that?


Is it safe to conclude you have no idea about that?

It really says a lot about them
that "ethical" vegetarians appear to be the only people who are
opposed to seeing such aspects of human influence on animals
being pointed out, even though everyone is involved with them.


What does it say about them that they are not convinced?

That they will eat rice regardless of the deaths involved with it,

The fact that they are not convinced of Diderot's claims certainly does
not prove that they will eat rice regardless of how much harm they
think it causes.


I'm sure they'd just deny it.


Why?


LOL! So they could keep eating rice, like they do, and like they
contribute to most things everyone else does that cause death to
animals. Don't forget that the only deaths vegans avoid, are those
to animals who would have no life at all were it not for their consumers.
Any animals who are simply killed but not deliberately provided with
life are okay with vegans, which is one reason I can't respect them.

They are not convinced that rice production causes a
lot of harm, and in any case you don't know whether they eat rice or
not. If you think there are good ethical reasons to eat less or no rice
and you want to advocate that, go ahead.

and that they will deny the deaths in order to cling to their belief
that they are the ethical champions of the world.


Any opinion they express is not an attempt to cling to a belief, it is
a sincerely held opinion.


Same thing.


No.


Okay, in a way I can agree, but probably not the way you mean it.
I can believe that even "pearl" is not too stupid to understand that lots
of frogs die in rice production. She may truly deny it to herself and have
worked out some way of thinking which allows her to feel that she's being
somehow honest by denying things she knows deep down are true, IF
she supresses thinking about it and denies the truth within her brain to her
required extent. That doesn't mean she is *really* honestly too stupid to
understand, it just means that she's worked out some mental dishonesty
that she uses when it's convenient for supporting what she WANTS to
believe or not believe. It doesn't make it a bit better though.

If you present an argument and someone's not convinced, the rational
thing to do is defend the argument, not say that this reflects poorly
on them as a person.


The dishonesty and absurdity is what reflects poorly on them.


I see no evidence of dishonesty. The alleged absurdity is something
that's up to you to argue.


"pearl's" "explanation" of how she thinks frogs she claims don't
exist survive the draining of rice fields is a clear example with no need
of any argument. Her "explanation" of how the frogs she claims don't
exist enter and exit the rice fields is another.

Or Diderot
might have presented an exaggerated, distorted, picture without
deliberately intending to. Just because Diderot claims he is an organic
rice former is no reason why this single individual's testimony should
be taken as the final word on the matter, and cannot rationally be the
object of skepticism or criticism. I do not know whether Diderot's
account of the matter is correct or not. It is quite possible that it
is, but there is also plenty of room for reasonable doubt, for all
sorts of reasons.

There are none. There is much reason to believe he's correct,
no reason to believe he's not, and no apparent reason why anyone
selling organic rice would lie and say it's worse than it is.

Nonsense.

Then why would anyone selling organic rice lie and say it's worse
than it is?


You said there is not the slightest reason to doubt that his testimony
is the gospel truth. That is nonsense. He is a stranger who made a post
to the internet a few years ago. You have absolutely no way of knowing
whether his estimates are reasonable or not. You don't even know
whether he is a rice farmer. He has a desire to convince people that
the arguments in favour of ethical vegetarianism are flawed.


It has flaws.


So you say. You are welcome to argue that point if you want.

If it is
possible that Pearl might lie in order to persuade people of her
position, then it is possible that Diderot might intentionally or
unintentionally distort the truth in order to persuade people of his
position.


What would be his reason? The only reason would be to point out
a flaw, and the only reason it would bother him would be that it is a
flaw. If it wasn't, then he'd have no reason to point it out. He has no
reason to be dishonest, where "pearl" certainly does if she or her
buddies eat rice.


If Pearl might be dishonest in order to feel better about eating rice,


It's certainly easy to see why she would do that, and certainly appears
that's exactly what she's doing.

Diderot might be dishonest in order to feel better about eating meat.


May be. How would telling people about frogs etc getting killed in
rice production, make someone who is proud of going to a different
country just to kill wildlife feel any better about eating meat?

. . .
the majority of organic rice consumers don't care enough about
human influence on animals to even take such facts into consideration,
and this ng experience has certainly suggested that is the case.

How would you know whether it's the case or not?

Because of the absurd reactions by veg*ns--and ONLY by veg*ns--to
wildlife deaths associated with rice production.


I see no reason to think they're not prepared to take the facts into
consideration, just that they have a sincere doubt that they are indeed
facts. If you think they're facts it's your job to argue your case.


diderot did it from first hand experience and veg*ns deny it so they
can keep eating rice. Duh.


Diderot claims to be a rice farmer and claims to have made certain
observations. It might or might not be true.


We have absolutely no reason be believe it's not true...well, I have
no reason to believe it's not true. The fact that dishonesty is such a
big part of "ar" would make you people suspect everyone else of
such dishonesty too I suppose, but I'm not in that position like you are.

The testimony of one
stranger on the Internet is not a very strong reason to be convinced.


Then YOU tell us how many frogs are killed, since YOU feel that
diderot was exaggerating. How many do YOU want people to believe
are killed, and why should we believe YOU over diderot? Get "pearl"
to help you, since you both feel you know better than diderot between
the two of you you SHOULD be able to set everybody straight on it.

There are some people
posting here who are not yet convinced that what Diderot says is
entirely true. That doesn't mean they don't care about human influence
on animals. You have no reason for thinking anyone here lacks concern
about human influence on animals.

I have ONLY reason to believe that no veg*n I've ever encountered
online cares anywhere near as much about human influence on animals
as they do about promoting veg*nism.

They want to promote veganism *because* they care about human influence
on animals. Why else would they do it?


Because they don't like meat, and the thought of humans raising animals
to eat disturbs them personally. That's the only reason.


I can't think of a reason to be disturbed by humans raising animals to
eat apart from a concern about human influence on animals. I don't
think too many vegans had an aversion to the taste of meat before they
went vegan. I didn't.

Factory-farming causes enormous
suffering, and most animal products have large crop inputs and would
therefore have far more CDs per serving than rice.


I believe rice would have by far the most cds the majority of the
time, so if rice is okay everything else is as good or better, including
grain fed animal products.


Well, I seriously doubt that and I'd like to see you argue your case.
But in any case I never said rice was okay.


Well if it is, then things less harmful are too.

Vegans want to
reduce the amount of harm caused by agriculture. Maybe some of them
have a blind spot about certain types of agriculture, if so, that's
unfortunate. But it's ridiculous to suggest they don't care about human
influence on animals. Reducing human influence on animals is the whole
point.


Not in cases where animal products cause fewer cds than vegetable
products.


It's your job to argue that that is sometimes the case.


We raised our own cattle never feeding them grain. They only ate
grass. We got many meals from the death of one animal. If we had
raised soy and made our own tofu instead, it would have resulted in
many more animal deaths per serving of food, even though fewer
animals would have been able to live in the area than when it was
pasture.

If you
succeeded, the vegans would be rationally required to concede that the
consumption of those animal products was permissible as well.


They never would because they're too dishonest. Rick Etter almost
certainly contributes to fewer wildlife deaths than the average veg*n,
but we NEVER see veg*ns even acknowledge that because of the
dishonest nature of such people.

It wouldn't in any way change the fact that their motivation for going
vegan is to reduce the impact their diet has on animals.

Even when animal products
contribute to fewer deaths than vegetable products AND provide decent
lives for livestock veg*ns still promote the vegetable products over the
animal products....and usually if not always they do it dishonestly....in fact
I can't recall a veg*n EVER being honest about doing so.

The issue of bringing livestock into existence who have tolerably good
lives, if marred by unanaesthetized branding and surgical mutilations,
is a red herring.


It's an aspect "aras" hate because it suggests that decent AW could
be ethically equivalent or superior to "ar".


No-one hates it.


Goo hates it. Dutchy hates it. And so does every other "ara" I've
discussed it with.

No-one finds the argument plausible. It's flawed, for
reasons that have been pointed out to you countless times.


LOL!!! Like what? Other than the lies some people pretend
are "reasons", I can really only recall three "reasons" given
why we should not consider the animals' lives as well as their
deaths, all three suck, and they were all presented by Dutchy.
They a

1. he and other "aras" say we should not.
2. he says we should think of raising animals for food and
child prostition in the same way.
3. he says we lose imaginary moral browny points if we do so.

As I said those reasons suck, but so far they are the "best"
you people have been able to come up with. If you think you
can think of better ones, I'd like to see them.

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Old 14-09-2006, 06:32 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Default "collateral included deaths in organic rice production [faq]"

On Mon, 11 Sep 2006 13:04:26 +0100, "pearl" wrote:

[email protected] wrote in message ...
On Sat, 9 Sep 2006 16:23:11 +0100, "pearl" wrote:

[email protected] wrote in message ...
On Wed, 6 Sep 2006 22:37:52 +0100, "pearl" wrote:

[email protected] wrote in message ...
On Tue, 5 Sep 2006 13:54:22 +0100, "pearl" wrote:
..
A few might hop in from the field margins.. same as they can hop out.

LOL. I mean: Why would they be in "the field margins", and how
would they get there?

Why wouldn't they? They like humid areas with still shallow pools.
Margins left untouched would provide permanent habitat for frogs.

yes, but diderot led me to believe that most of them were
tree frogs who could survive in the stalks until the harverster came
along.

Where did all these frogs come from, after supposedly being
slaughtered year in, year out?

diderot was nice enough to exchange some emails with me,

I bet! - you're a ready sucker,

LOL! That coming from someone who believes there are
superior beings living in the center of the Earth is pretty
damn funny.

I've plenty of reason to believe that.

Like what?

I've posted a link to a well-researched site before, just for you.

I don't believe you, but would like to see you try.

I'm not giving it to you again.

You lied to begin with, and are now desperately though pathetically
trying to support your lying.

Unlike you, I don't lie.


There are no decent sites about the Inner Earth fantasy.


Really? What research have you done on the subject?


I've asked you who consider yourself knowledgeable about the
subject, and you can't provide any so I take that to mean there
are none even though you lie about it. Actions speak louder than
words as they say, and that's especially true in your case. The
fact that you CAN NOT perform the simple act of supplying links
to decent sites, "speaks" much more clearly and honestly than
your apparently dishonest claim of being able to do so. Duh.

If your search "grass fed cow milk Inner Earth Beings kill" is
any indication, you really need to work on your search strings.

You dis-believe without reason.

I have good reason. If it were true, I have good reason to believe
people in general would have learned about it because research
teams would have found the entrances, gone in, studied it, made
videos, and made money by presenting what they learned to the
public like they do with other things of interest.

That has happened.

You're the only person I've ever known of to think so. Do you
always believe that btw, or do you sometimes think they don't
exist like you sometimes think there are no frogs in rice fields?

You mean, like you believe in a biblical plague of frogs in rice fields.

That's because of a number of people who have reported them,

In Texas? Show us.


Helloooooo....


We've seen that there are plenty of frogs in rice fields, and so have
no reason to believe they aren't in rice fields in Texas. We have a first
hand report of them from a Texas rice farmer, and absolutely NO reason
not to believe him. It's about time for YOU to do something other than
just deny it. We have NO reason to believe YOU, so now it's time for
YOU to try to provide one. Explain why you want us to believe there
are frogs in rice fields, but not in Texas. Go:

plus having seen many frogs in different environments similar to
rice fields.

Areas that are allowed to dry, and harvested twice a year?


Which harvest would have less frogs? Explain the difference
between the two.


The one allowed to dry. One supports frogs, the other doesn't.

The only thing I've seen trying to oppose the occurrence
is you who have no clue wtf you're trying to talk about, and one or
two other "aras".

Let's see your documentation of hundreds of thousands in Texas rice fields.


10,000 killed on a road in Florida one night certainly suggests
it's more than likely. In opposition to it, all we have is an "ara" from
a completely different country and environment, who can't imagine
how it could be true.


Frogs migrate - a fact that seems to have escaped you in the past.

Roads have lots of cars speeding along them.. Give it up, david.


Not yet. Now I'm curious why you think these frogs you claim don't
exist are killed by cars, but not by harvesters and predators after harvest.
Explain:

There are many written accounts by explorers, researchers and others.

No there are not.

Yes, there are.


They most likely never even left the opium den.


diderot probably had his vision of "green waterfalls" in texan rice fields there.

No video that I'm aware of, sorry, but I did link to an unusual photo.

Nope.

More than once.


LOL! I mean: Do it "again"...lol...but there is no such thing, so
you can't.


I could,


Apparently not...

but I choose not to.


....LOL, and your lying about it doesn't fool anyone, or even make you
look any better.

. . .
You emphatically stated that you "don't think that 'they' are there!"
Now you're amusingly trying to pretend differently.

'they', as in the hundreds of thousands alleged - "the green waterfall".

Not the hundreds of thousands you claim.

How many? How could you possibly have any clue? Present some
info from a reliable source to back up your absurd sounding claim.

I have backed up logical common sense

Maybe, but not about this topic.

About this topic.

with an email from a bona fide
organic rice-farmer. -You- have yet to support your fantastical claim.

The email you presented turned out to back up diderot's claim.

Quote?


Straight away I can see that this is not from Lundberg's email.
__________________________________________________ _______
A collection of articles by scientists who are experts in
their field, AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES: STATUS AND CONSERVATION
IN FLORIDA speaks openly of "persecution" and "extirpation,"
of some reptiles, particularly Box Turtles, Gopher Tortoises
and Common Kingsnakes. Scientific abbreviations like "DOR"
stand for "Dead on Road," and mean the myriad squashings of
frogs, lizards, turtles and snakes beneath our chariot wheels.
Some roads, like U.S. 441 across Payne's Prairie in Alachua
County, and the Tamiami Trail that runs across Florida from
Miami to Tampa, are virtual abattoirs, greased with the gory
little bodies of "anurans," as frogs and toads are called
scientifically. "On Aug. 5, 1991 I stopped counting after
10,000," biologist Jim Weimer said in a 1996 interview,
describing a single night on U.S. 441 across Payne's Prairie.
"This was just one night. On May 2, 1991, there were over
5,000 Southern Leopard Frogs killed."

http://www.cnah.org/news.asp
ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ ŻŻŻŻŻŻŻ


No mention of rice fields there. Why aren't there?


Because it's not about rice fields, but it is about frogs getting
killed on a highway. Are you now going to claim Lunberg and
the authors of the above are lying about frogs getting killed on
highways too?

.......

Your turn.


diderot did explain that chemicals kill frogs, and that that is a significant
aspect of the issue:

"- conventional agriculture results in many more, but more 'invisible'
deaths. our conventional plot is across the road from our organic plot,
it started out with the same millions and billions of amphibian eggs.
only a few thousand frogs are harvested on the conventional side - they
were all killed off as eggs or tadpoles by agricultural chemicals.

- we manage the whole area (larger than just the farms) is a pretty
natural fashion and we have a lot of wildlife. the number of deaths is,
at least, partially a function of total area population. we could
reduce the number of visible deaths by flogging the ecology, but we
prefer life and cycle-of-life over a sterile monoculture."

and it's easy enough to find evidence of that. Unless pesticides
somehow don't kill frogs in rice fields, the following gives us reason
to believe that they do:

Results 1 - 10 of about 301,000 for pesticides frogs kill.

Corn Pesticides in Combination Kill Frogs & Threaten Public Health
Organic Consumers Association is a consumer advocate for labeling of genetically engineered food. We
promote organic food and sustainable agriculture.
http://www.organicconsumers.org/food...rogs060208.cfm - 19k - Cached - Similar pages

Mixtures of pesticides kill tadpoles.
This paper demonstrates that environmentally-relevant exposures to mixtures of pesticides undermine
the immune system of developing leopard frogs, ...
http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/NewSc...hayesetal.html - 35k - Cached - Similar
pages

Our Stolen Futu Frog tadpoles much more vulnerable to carbaryl ...
It is highly likely, therefore, that current regulatory science even in its simplest form (does
a pesticide kill) has dramatically underestimated the ...
http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/NewSc...eaandmills.htm - 24k - Cached -
Similar pages

news @ nature.com - Pesticide cocktail kills US frogs ...
Pesticides used by US corn growers are combining to kill off the country's native frogs. Research
shows that commonly used pesticides, fairly harmless by ...
http://www.nature.com/news/2006/0602.../060206-4.html - Similar pages

ScienceDaily: Pesticide Combinations Imperil Frogs, Probably ...
The pesticide brew in many ponds bordering Midwestern cornfields is not only affecting ... Some
chytrid species are known to kill frogs in large numbers by ...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0202180830.htm - 76k - Cached - Similar pages

Nature Canada • Spring 2005
It could kill developing frogs, slow metamorphosis, and create abnormal sex organs. Formulations of
other brand name glyphosate pesticides were less toxic. ...
www.cnf.ca/magazine/spring05/sentinnels.html - 13k - Cached - Similar pages

Pesticides, Worms May Gang Up on Frogs -- Kaiser 2002 (712): 2 ...
Since 1995, frogs with missing, malformed, or extra limbs have been spotted ... the frog
deformities, suggests that pesticides would also weaken or kill the ...
sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2002/712/2 - Similar pages

[PDF] Pesticide Threats to Endangered Species: Case Studies
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
Disruption of Habitat: Minute amounts of many pesticides kill aquatic ... Pesticides Contaminate
Frog Tissues: Even frogs collected from high in the Sierra ...
www.pesticide.org/counterpartflyer.pdf - Similar pages

High Country News -- March 29, 2004: Pesticides are killing frogs
Poppycock" (HCN, 7/7/03: Pesticides killing Frogs? ... affects sexual development and behavior in
frogs, at levels far below those that kill frogs outright. ...
http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Arti...ticle_id=14661 - 271k - Cached - Similar pages

Study offers clues to loss of state
Most of the pesticides found in the frogs and their adjacent waters are short-acting and break down
within a week. The pesticides do not necessarily kill ...
http://www.mindfully.org/Heritage/CA...Amphibians.htm - 10k - Cached - Similar pages
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Old 14-09-2006, 10:08 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Default "collateral included deaths in organic rice production [faq]"

"Rupert" wrote

Dutch wrote:


[..]
I disagree.

You're wrong.


Well, that's as may be. But you've introduced an undefined and
unexplained notion - "essential ability to hold those characteristics"
- and twice asserted without the slightest argument that all humans
have this ability and no nonhumans do. With all respect, I don't think
you're doing a very good job of defending your position.


That may be, I thought it obvious, but ok I'll connect the dots. It's simple
observation.
1. Aside from expected rare exceptions, all humans hold these
characteristics, but more importantly..
2. Without exception, no non-humans hold or have ever held the
characteristics, therefore one can conclude that if any animal does, humans
alone possess the "essential ability to hold those characteristics".

To address an expected objection... You will say that the existence of some
humans without those characteristics negates the proposition of a set of
essential human characteristics. Referring to physical abilities, one might
state the rule that humans, as a species, possess the "essential ability" to
walk upright on two legs. This is true despite exceptions to the rule, such
as Spina Bifida sufferers. Just as mosquitoes and chickens have an
"essential set of characteristics". so do humans.

even if they are impaired due to misfortune. No animals of any other
species
have the potential to have such abilities, ZERO.


The reality is it is a continuum.


No it's not a continuum, it's black and white.


This flies in the face of the evolutionary facts. We know that our
cognitive capacities developed incrementally during evolutionary
history, and hence that they are matter of degree.


We share a lot of similiarlities with bananas on a cellular level also, that
does not make a relevant fact.

Perhaps you are
claiming that there is some non-arbitrary threshold we can stipulate
that will draw a clear line between humans and some nonhuman species
such as great apes and all the other species. Well, it's your job to
specify that threshold and argue that it's non-arbitrary.


What do mean by "arbitrary"? We possess cognitive powers that no other
species possesses, there is nothing arbitrary about it.

Nonhumans share these characteristics
with us to varying degrees.


No they don't.


Ridiculous and in blatant contradiction of the evolutionary facts.


Evolution is irrelevant, we evolved from plenaria, should they be granted
human rights?

You
agree below that some nonhumans do have enough of the characteristics
to have some basic moral rights, so you contradict yourself.


I'm not contradicting myself, you are not grasping my position.

Your
position is totally untenable anyway.


ROTFL! That is hilarious coming from you. AR is completely untenable in the
real world, the only place that it can exist is in the misanthropic human
imagination.


You can, if you want, pick a certain
threshold and say "most humans are above this threshold, all nonhumans
are below it." But you'll have to set the threshold pretty high.


Nonsense

Consider the following individual:

"She communicates in sign language, using a vocabulary of over 1000
words. She also understands spoken English, and often carries on
'bilingual' conversations, responding in sign to questions asked in
English. She is learning the letters of the alphabet, and can read some
printed words, including her own name. She has achieved scored between
85 and 95 on the Standford-Binet Intelligence Test. She demonstrates a
clear self-awareness by engaging in self-directed behaviours in front
of a mirror, such as making faces or examining her teeth, and by her
appropriate use of self-descriptive language. She lies to avoid the
consequences of her own misbehaviour, and anticipates others' resopnses
to her actions. She engages in imaginary play, both alone and with
others. She has produced paintings and drawings which are
representational. She remembers and can talk about past events in her
life. She understands and has used appropriately time-related words
like 'before', 'after', 'later' and 'yesterday'. She laughs at her own
jokes and those of others. She cries when hurt or left alone, screams
when frightened or angered. She talks about her feelings, using words
like 'happy', 'sad', 'afraid', 'enjoy', 'eager', 'frustrate', 'made'
and, quite frequently, 'love'. She grieves for those she has lost - a
favourite cat who has died, a friend who has gone away. She can talk
about what happens when one dies, but she becomes fidgety and
uncomfortable when asked to discuss her own death or the death of her
companions. She displays a wonderful gentleness with kittens and other
small animals. She has even expressed empathy for others seen only in
pictures."

That's a description of a nonhuman. You can set the threshold higher
than that if you want, but many would like to see some kind of
justification for doing so.


I am not at all convinced that a lot of what is reported there is not
projection on the part of over-zealous handlers.


It's hard to see how it could be. The report almost entirely concerns
itself with objective matters of fact which it would be hard to be
mistaken about.


I have seen this gorilla "Jojo" on several documentaries, one in particular
took a skeptical approach and it was evident that the handlers saw what they
wanted to see on many occasions. In any case I am not disputing the
intelligence of apes, or even of dogs and cats.

[..]

Nonhumans do have similar capabilities to SOME humans.


You're still approaching the question backwards.


What's that supposed to mean?


It means that the test of inherent capabilities does not hinge on a few
impaired individuals. Humans have the inherent capability of speech, "humans
can talk" is a true statement, even though a few people are born deaf-mute.

Do you have any argument with what I say
below? If not, you'll have to come to terms with the consequences.


You say a number of things below, but I am confident that I have an argument
with it. The person here having difficulty coming to terms with the
consequences of his position is you.

Whatever we
decide about these beings, they should be treated the same way. It's
not true that these humans have the "essential ability" or the
"potential" to have these characteristics you're so excited about. It's
irrational to treat beings on the basis of what is typical for their
species, rather than their individual characteristics.


The regime of rights attempts with limited success to view the human
species
as a family or a tribe. It is not irrational to view one's family
favorably.


But most people would see a problem with exploiting people just because
they happen not to be members of your family.


"Exploit" is a charged word, My employer exploits my talents, as do my
personal computer clients. I exploit the great variety of entertainment
options in my area. Maybe you could come up with something less prejudicial
and more descriptive. Do you mean to "treat unfairly"? I say that to say we
treat animals unfairly when we use them for food flies in the face of the
very nature of life. You may as well call a rainstorm unjust.

The analogy with
partiality based on family relationships doesn't justify the status
quo.


I wasn't trying to "justify" it, I was attempting to create a context that
would allow you to understand how I view it.

Instead you are attempting to drag all humans down to the
level of other animals by pointing to rare humans who's human
abilities
are
impaired. That is not a logical approach, because impairment of
abilities
is
ad hoc, arbitrary and meaningless, it can occur by injury, accident,
disease
or fluke of genetics, it does not exist by nature.

I can't distinguish between the condition of being born a permanently
radically cognitively impaired human and being born a nonhuman. They
both seem to be "by nature" to me.


I think you could if you tried, but you don't want to. The nature of
humans
is not to have single-digit IQs, it is to have IQs of 100.


Not all humans. Ultimately all you can say to justify your conclusion
is "a being's moral status should be based on what's typical for his or
her species."


Assuming that NO member of that species has EVER demonstrated significantly
greater capabilities, like mosquitoes.

That's a statement standing in need of an argument.


Since as I have shown, it is precisely how we all think, YOU need to present
a counter-argument.

It
also has some counter-intuitive consequences, as discussed below.


Probably based on a misunderstanding on your part..

The question is asked,
"What if a race of beings came to the earth with powers equal to or
greater
than humans?" They would be accorded rights, just as any animal
species
would who demonstrated capacities equivalent to humans.

Very few defenders of animal
agriculture are actually prepared to come out and say that. If they
want to say it, fine, then the matter can be debated. But if they
hold
that it's permissible to do it to the nonhumans, but not the
relevantly
similar humans,

There are no animals relevantly similar to humans.

then the characteristics we identified aren't what
count after all, but rather species membership.

Species membership identifies all beings who either have, have the
potential
to have, or have in their essence human abilities, or humanness.

Don't agree with "have in their essence". It's hand-waving.


No it's not, it's descriptive. No monkey has in it's essence a poet,
philosopher or musician.


No radically cognitively impaired human has either.


Idiot savant

So what?


So everything Rupert. The existence of a few people with no legs does not
change the essential physical nature of the human race. But no snake can
stand up and walk.



If the
permanently radically cognitively impaired humans have it in their
essence, why not the nonhumans too?


Cognitively impaired humans are exceptional cases usually a result of
accident or misfortune, exceptions to not make a rule.


But why should the rule be based on what's typical for the species,
rather than on individual characteristics?


Because it's impossible and implausible to look at it that way. Show me an
example of ONE individual of any of the species we "exploit" or kill in
agriculture that has ever demonstrated a cognitive functioning set
approaching that of a human? Are you going to administer an intelligence
test every time you decide to swat a mosquito, or are you going to treat
mosquitoes as a species? Are we going to grant rights to cockroaches because
there are humans in comas with no cognitive functions? Talk about an
untenable position.


Suppose we encountered a chimpanzee who had the same level of
intelligence as a highly intelligent human adult. What would we say
about this chimpanzee? Would we say that "in essence" he has the same
characteristics as ordinary chimpanzees and should be treated
accordingly, or would we say that all the chimpanzees have his
characteristics "in essence" and should be raised to his level? It's
irrational to judge on the basis of what's typical for an individual's
species. The individual characteristics should be what count.


You raise a valid question in theory but in reality there is no need for
an
answer, since no chimpanzee will ever be as intelligent as a functional
human.


The thought-experiment is meant to bring attention to the
counter-intuitive consequences of maintaining that beings should be
granted a moral status based on what's typical for their species. If
this is what you are maintaining, you need to indicate how you will
deal with the challenge posed by this thought-experiment.


The "thought experiment" did not present a real challenge, therefore does
not require a real solution. If ONE chimp ever demonstrated human abilities
in my opinion all chimps should immediately be elevated in moral status, but
that's irrelevant for a number of reasons. 1. I already think chimps ought
to enjoy elevated moral status, 2. If given human status, many chimps would
immediately qualify as murderers, since in an AR world, that's what most
chimps are, they kill young, assault and kill members of other troupes and
hunt baby monkeys for food, and lastly, 3. No chimp will ever demonstrate
such abilities, so the point is meaningless anyway. The real world does not
have to react to hypothetical conundrums that have no chance of occurring.

But the question is unnecessary, because chimpanzees are close enough
cousins of humans that in my view they ought to be protected anyway.

Someone can advocate
that species membership is the crucial characteristic too, but then
they have to confront the arguments against speciesism in the
literature.

There are no valid arguments against speciesism.

There are no valid arguments *for* speciesism.


There don't need to be,


Yes, there do.


No, there don't, period.

Treating cases differently when a morally relevant
difference is not apparent requires justification.


Those are just words that have you all tied up in knots. We ALL treat animal
species and humans differently in various ways, according to a whole variety
of largely subjective criteria. There is no other rational way to address
the real world.


it is the way nature is. You give no thought
whatsoever to other species until they appear all furry tails and big
eyes
on some quasi-political bandwagon.

Philosophers have been
trying to find one for a long time, and have failed. We should treat
individuals on the basis of their individual characteristics, not what
is typical for their species. If you are uncomfortable with treating
permanently radically cognitively impaired humans in a certain way, you
shouldn't treat nonhumans in that way, either.


That's your silly quasi-political bandwagon. Nobody treats non-humans as
they treat humans,


Nobody is suggesting they should.


You are. We already treat them differently, you claim that is wrong because
it is "speciesist", that implies you think they should not be judged based
on species.

What is being advocated is equal
consideration. Some people advocate equal consideration and practice
what they preach.


High-sounding words that mean nothing. Instead of mouthing vague
catch-phrases propose something specific and consistent.



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Old 14-09-2006, 10:38 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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"Rupert" wrote
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.
=====================
But the main difference still remains. Within each person is the
seed of what being human is.
No such seed exists in ANY animal.

I don't know what "the seed of being human" is. It's just empty
hand-waving. There is no property which all humans have in common and
all nonhumans lack


Your reasoning is backwards. That is not the test. There is no animal of
another species that can demonstrate the equivalent of human abilities.


If that is a sufficient reasno to exploit animals in the way we do, it
should also be a sufficient reason to exploit radically cognitively
impaired humans. If you're not comfortable with doing this, but you
still want to defend exploiting nonhumans, you've got to identify a
morally relevant difference and argue that it is morally relevant.


Your reasoning is completely backwards. We have an inherent right and
capability as animals to exploit our environments in order to succeed as all
organisms do. These rights and freedoms are curtailed in specific and
limited ways by an evolved social network that protects us and other
indivduals within that network. Every "right" we introduce into this system
is actually a further limitation on our freedom, so we do so with caution.
There is nothing in the paragraph above that tells me that you remotely
understand this process.

except certain genetic characteristics, which
cannot be plausibly held to be morally relevant.


Sure it can.


In what way is it morally relevant, and why?


The species an animal belongs to is an accurate descriptor of the upper
limit of it's cognitive abilities and characteristics.

Genetics, species membership, is an accurate catch-all
categorization that delineates all the attributes of members within it.

The person you claim now
doesn't have the differences from animals has the potential to
achieve those differences. No matter how much hand-waving, and
how many strawmen you prop up, NO animals will ever achive the
difference. Again, your ignorance and stupidity blind you to
reality.

It's quite funny to see you talking about "ignorance and stupidity".
The philosophical community has been debating this issue for the last
thirty years and everyone agrees that there is a serious problem with
defending speciesism. I really don't think you are competent to judge
all these professional philosophers to be ignorant and stupid. Why
don't you try and publish the argument you just came up with, see how
you go. If you really think you can defend speciesism I'm sure everyone
would be very excited to hear about it.


I seriously question your word that "everyone agrees" that speciesism
cannot
be defended.


I did not say this. I said everyone acknowledges that there is a
serious problem with doing it.


"everyone agrees that there is a serious problem with defending speciesism".

Some people think they can do it, such
as Carl Cohen.


Then he does not agree that there is a serious problem, therefore you were
lying when you said everyone agrees that there is a serious problem with
defending speciesism.

If you doubt my word, read the philosophical literature
and form your own conclusions.


Why would I NOT doubt your word after that?

You don't speak for "everyone" in the ahem philosophical
community,


Your disparagement of the philosophical community is out of place.


I wasn't disparging the philosophical community, I was disparging your
appeal to authority. You have already demonstrated that you are incapable of
honestly portraying the opinion of the philosophical community.

You're not familiar with the philosophical literature, and if you were
you could learn something about how to construct a good argument.

and in fact Cohen defends it quite nicely in "Regan vs Cohen".


No, that's a very poor defence of speciesism.


In your highly biased opinion.

He doesn't address the
argument from marginal cases.


That is not a valid argument as I have demonstrated. Again, the AR community
turns reality on it's ear then demands that everyone else prove them wrong.

Neil Levy has kindly helped him out by
elaborating his argument into the "natural kinds" argument, which has
some credibility, but there are still important challenges to it, one
of which I have mentioned on this thread (the thought-experiment of the
nonhuman with abnormally good cognitive abilities).


An argument which I shattered, not that you could have noticed..

"Speciesism", the rational worldview, is not to be confused with terms
like
"racism" and "sexism" which carry a pjorative "unfair" connotation.
Everyone
is a speciesist,


No.


Yes

the only question is at what point do you begin to allow
non-human animals into your sphere of consideration and for what reasons.
You dismiss animals too small for your normal perception to distinguish,


Because they are not sentient.


How the hell do you know? By what definition?

That is not speciesist.


Where is "sentience" whatever you mean by that, implied in the word
"species"? If I dismiss an entire species because I define them all as not
sentient, how am I not being speciesist?

too
ubiquitous to avoid destroying,


That is justified by limitations on the presumption against causing
harm, which are necessary for human civilization to survive.


Who says the human species must survive at the cost of harming others? How
are you defining "survival"? What happened to equal consideration, to
dealing on an individual basis?

These
limitations must be formulated in non-speciesist ways.


By holding intelligence tests on an indivdual-by-indivdual basis?

too inconvenient to preserve, therefore it
is the default reality,


No. These considerations are no argument against equal consideration.


"Equal consideration" is a meaningless buzz-phrase.

and the onus falls on so-called "non-speciesism
advocates" to argue where that line should be and why there should be
only
one place for everyone.


Everyone has to draw a line somewhere and argue for why that is the
place the line should be drawn. You have indicated where you draw the
line, now it is your job to defend that.


You have not indicated where you think the line should be drawn,
conveniently avoiding the need to defend it.

My criticism of it is that
there is no good reason to judge a being's moral status on the basis of
what is typical for his or her species.


We don't, ALL individuals of all species we kill in agriculture for example
fall below a threshold of cognitive ability that most humans would find
unacceptable in animals we use for food or harm regularly.

You display the typically arrogant approach of the ARA. You attack and
presume to sit in judgment, but when asked to give real alternatives you
hide behind vague, lofty sounding catch-phrases.


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Old 14-09-2006, 10:45 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Dutch wrote:
"Rupert" wrote

Dutch wrote:


[..]
I disagree.

You're wrong.


Well, that's as may be. But you've introduced an undefined and
unexplained notion - "essential ability to hold those characteristics"
- and twice asserted without the slightest argument that all humans
have this ability and no nonhumans do. With all respect, I don't think
you're doing a very good job of defending your position.


That may be, I thought it obvious, but ok I'll connect the dots. It's simple
observation.
1. Aside from expected rare exceptions, all humans hold these
characteristics, but more importantly..
2. Without exception, no non-humans hold or have ever held the
characteristics, therefore one can conclude that if any animal does, humans
alone possess the "essential ability to hold those characteristics".

To address an expected objection... You will say that the existence of some
humans without those characteristics negates the proposition of a set of
essential human characteristics. Referring to physical abilities, one might
state the rule that humans, as a species, possess the "essential ability" to
walk upright on two legs. This is true despite exceptions to the rule, such
as Spina Bifida sufferers. Just as mosquitoes and chickens have an
"essential set of characteristics". so do humans.


So you're saying an individual's moral status should be judged on the
basis of what's typical for his or her species. I want you to explain
why this should be, and to address the fact that it has
counter-intuitive consequences for a hypothetical thought-experiment
which I presented.

even if they are impaired due to misfortune. No animals of any other
species
have the potential to have such abilities, ZERO.


The reality is it is a continuum.

No it's not a continuum, it's black and white.


This flies in the face of the evolutionary facts. We know that our
cognitive capacities developed incrementally during evolutionary
history, and hence that they are matter of degree.


We share a lot of similiarlities with bananas on a cellular level also, that
does not make a relevant fact.


Irrelevant. You said there is a sharp dividing line between humans and
nonhumans. I was simply pointing out that all species are the product
of a continuous process of development. Given any two species, there
once existed a set of evolutionary intermediaries between them such
that the process of developing from one species into the other via the
intermediaries was gradual and incremental. You may say we can draw a
threshold which distinguishes all existing humans from all existing
nonhumans today. But the question is where do we draw the threshold,
and why? You'll have to answer this if you want to credibly claim that
"it's black and white". You've already admitted that you'd want to draw
the threshold so that a few nonhuman species fall above it.

Perhaps you are
claiming that there is some non-arbitrary threshold we can stipulate
that will draw a clear line between humans and some nonhuman species
such as great apes and all the other species. Well, it's your job to
specify that threshold and argue that it's non-arbitrary.


What do mean by "arbitrary"? We possess cognitive powers that no other
species possesses, there is nothing arbitrary about it.


I thought you agreed that some nonhuman species should be allowed into
the protected circle. The way we divide up the animals of the world
into species today is just an artifact of the accidents of evolutionary
history. If all the evolutionary intermediaries had survived, any two
species would form one "ring species" - a group of individuals such
that two individuals within the group sufficiently like one another can
interbreed, two individuals not sufficiently like one another cannot,
and any two individuals in the group can be connected by a series such
that each adjacent pair is a pair that can interbreed.

Nonhumans share these characteristics
with us to varying degrees.

No they don't.


Ridiculous and in blatant contradiction of the evolutionary facts.


Evolution is irrelevant, we evolved from plenaria, should they be granted
human rights?


Straw man. You claimed that nonhumans do not share our cognitive
characteristics with us in the slightest degree. That is totally
untenable. And you contradicted it when you agreed that nonhuman great
apes should be granted basic rights.

You
agree below that some nonhumans do have enough of the characteristics
to have some basic moral rights, so you contradict yourself.


I'm not contradicting myself, you are not grasping my position.


So, you maintain they should have the rights despite the fact that they
don't have the characteristics in the slightest degree? Why should they
have the rights, then?

Your
position is totally untenable anyway.


ROTFL! That is hilarious coming from you. AR is completely untenable in the
real world, the only place that it can exist is in the misanthropic human
imagination.


There is nothing misanthropic or untenable about it.


You can, if you want, pick a certain
threshold and say "most humans are above this threshold, all nonhumans
are below it." But you'll have to set the threshold pretty high.

Nonsense

Consider the following individual:

"She communicates in sign language, using a vocabulary of over 1000
words. She also understands spoken English, and often carries on
'bilingual' conversations, responding in sign to questions asked in
English. She is learning the letters of the alphabet, and can read some
printed words, including her own name. She has achieved scored between
85 and 95 on the Standford-Binet Intelligence Test. She demonstrates a
clear self-awareness by engaging in self-directed behaviours in front
of a mirror, such as making faces or examining her teeth, and by her
appropriate use of self-descriptive language. She lies to avoid the
consequences of her own misbehaviour, and anticipates others' resopnses
to her actions. She engages in imaginary play, both alone and with
others. She has produced paintings and drawings which are
representational. She remembers and can talk about past events in her
life. She understands and has used appropriately time-related words
like 'before', 'after', 'later' and 'yesterday'. She laughs at her own
jokes and those of others. She cries when hurt or left alone, screams
when frightened or angered. She talks about her feelings, using words
like 'happy', 'sad', 'afraid', 'enjoy', 'eager', 'frustrate', 'made'
and, quite frequently, 'love'. She grieves for those she has lost - a
favourite cat who has died, a friend who has gone away. She can talk
about what happens when one dies, but she becomes fidgety and
uncomfortable when asked to discuss her own death or the death of her
companions. She displays a wonderful gentleness with kittens and other
small animals. She has even expressed empathy for others seen only in
pictures."

That's a description of a nonhuman. You can set the threshold higher
than that if you want, but many would like to see some kind of
justification for doing so.

I am not at all convinced that a lot of what is reported there is not
projection on the part of over-zealous handlers.


It's hard to see how it could be. The report almost entirely concerns
itself with objective matters of fact which it would be hard to be
mistaken about.


I have seen this gorilla "Jojo"


Koko.

on several documentaries, one in particular
took a skeptical approach and it was evident that the handlers saw what they
wanted to see on many occasions. In any case I am not disputing the
intelligence of apes, or even of dogs and cats.


I thought no nonhuman shared our cognitive characteristics in the
slightest degree. So how do we go about deciding which species have
moral status, then?

[..]

Nonhumans do have similar capabilities to SOME humans.

You're still approaching the question backwards.


What's that supposed to mean?


It means that the test of inherent capabilities does not hinge on a few
impaired individuals. Humans have the inherent capability of speech, "humans
can talk" is a true statement, even though a few people are born deaf-mute.


Yes, well you're assuming that an individual's moral status should be
judged on the basis of what's typical for his or her species, I want
you to defend that, and address my thought-experiment.

Do you have any argument with what I say
below? If not, you'll have to come to terms with the consequences.


You say a number of things below, but I am confident that I have an argument
with it. The person here having difficulty coming to terms with the
consequences of his position is you.

Whatever we
decide about these beings, they should be treated the same way. It's
not true that these humans have the "essential ability" or the
"potential" to have these characteristics you're so excited about. It's
irrational to treat beings on the basis of what is typical for their
species, rather than their individual characteristics.

The regime of rights attempts with limited success to view the human
species
as a family or a tribe. It is not irrational to view one's family
favorably.


But most people would see a problem with exploiting people just because
they happen not to be members of your family.


"Exploit" is a charged word, My employer exploits my talents, as do my
personal computer clients. I exploit the great variety of entertainment
options in my area. Maybe you could come up with something less prejudicial
and more descriptive. Do you mean to "treat unfairly"? I say that to say we
treat animals unfairly when we use them for food flies in the face of the
very nature of life. You may as well call a rainstorm unjust.


How about "inflict serious harm in order to serve your own purposes"?

The analogy with
partiality based on family relationships doesn't justify the status
quo.


I wasn't trying to "justify" it, I was attempting to create a context that
would allow you to understand how I view it.

Instead you are attempting to drag all humans down to the
level of other animals by pointing to rare humans who's human
abilities
are
impaired. That is not a logical approach, because impairment of
abilities
is
ad hoc, arbitrary and meaningless, it can occur by injury, accident,
disease
or fluke of genetics, it does not exist by nature.

I can't distinguish between the condition of being born a permanently
radically cognitively impaired human and being born a nonhuman. They
both seem to be "by nature" to me.

I think you could if you tried, but you don't want to. The nature of
humans
is not to have single-digit IQs, it is to have IQs of 100.


Not all humans. Ultimately all you can say to justify your conclusion
is "a being's moral status should be based on what's typical for his or
her species."


Assuming that NO member of that species has EVER demonstrated significantly
greater capabilities, like mosquitoes.


Then each individual should be granted the moral status appropriate for
his or her characteristics.

That's a statement standing in need of an argument.


Since as I have shown, it is precisely how we all think, YOU need to present
a counter-argument.


No, it's not how we all think. Most people haven't thought about it to
that extent. Moral philosophers have tried to come up with a way of
defending our intuitions about how we should treat other species
against the argument from marginal cases, and this is the best we have
come up with so far. It's a principle that's being invoked to justify a
set of intuitions. But when it comes to our intuitions about
principles, many people find it more plausible that individuals should
be judged on their own characteristics rather than what's typical for
their species. The fact that the latter approach yields results more in
harmony with our intuitions about particular cases is not enough. The
principle needs more defence. We need to have it explained why that
should be so. A moral theory needs to do more than just yield the
correct results, it needs to have explanatory power.

Furthermore I have presented a counter-argument, which you have not
addressed.


It
also has some counter-intuitive consequences, as discussed below.


Probably based on a misunderstanding on your part..


Argue the point.

The question is asked,
"What if a race of beings came to the earth with powers equal to or
greater
than humans?" They would be accorded rights, just as any animal
species
would who demonstrated capacities equivalent to humans.

Very few defenders of animal
agriculture are actually prepared to come out and say that. If they
want to say it, fine, then the matter can be debated. But if they
hold
that it's permissible to do it to the nonhumans, but not the
relevantly
similar humans,

There are no animals relevantly similar to humans.

then the characteristics we identified aren't what
count after all, but rather species membership.

Species membership identifies all beings who either have, have the
potential
to have, or have in their essence human abilities, or humanness.

Don't agree with "have in their essence". It's hand-waving.

No it's not, it's descriptive. No monkey has in it's essence a poet,
philosopher or musician.


No radically cognitively impaired human has either.


Idiot savant


That's not what I mean by "radically cognitively impaired human".

So what?


So everything Rupert. The existence of a few people with no legs does not
change the essential physical nature of the human race. But no snake can
stand up and walk.


But the principle that an individual should be judged on the basis of
what's typical for his or her species needs defending. I've also
presented a counter-argument which you haven't addressed.




If the
permanently radically cognitively impaired humans have it in their
essence, why not the nonhumans too?

Cognitively impaired humans are exceptional cases usually a result of
accident or misfortune, exceptions to not make a rule.


But why should the rule be based on what's typical for the species,
rather than on individual characteristics?


Because it's impossible and implausible to look at it that way. Show me an
example of ONE individual of any of the species we "exploit" or kill in
agriculture that has ever demonstrated a cognitive functioning set
approaching that of a human?


They do have cognitive functions similar to some humans whom we think
should have some moral status. We have to revise either our beliefs
about the livestock or about the humans.

Are you going to administer an intelligence
test every time you decide to swat a mosquito, or are you going to treat
mosquitoes as a species?


I will treat each individual mosquito on the basis of what I reasonably
believe about his or her mental characteristics.

Are we going to grant rights to cockroaches because
there are humans in comas with no cognitive functions?


If a human has permanently lost all capacity for consciousness, then
the only things relevant are his or her past wishes and the wishes of
those close to him or her.

Talk about an
untenable position.


Suppose we encountered a chimpanzee who had the same level of
intelligence as a highly intelligent human adult. What would we say
about this chimpanzee? Would we say that "in essence" he has the same
characteristics as ordinary chimpanzees and should be treated
accordingly, or would we say that all the chimpanzees have his
characteristics "in essence" and should be raised to his level? It's
irrational to judge on the basis of what's typical for an individual's
species. The individual characteristics should be what count.

You raise a valid question in theory but in reality there is no need for
an
answer, since no chimpanzee will ever be as intelligent as a functional
human.


The thought-experiment is meant to bring attention to the
counter-intuitive consequences of maintaining that beings should be
granted a moral status based on what's typical for their species. If
this is what you are maintaining, you need to indicate how you will
deal with the challenge posed by this thought-experiment.


The "thought experiment" did not present a real challenge, therefore does
not require a real solution. If ONE chimp ever demonstrated human abilities
in my opinion all chimps should immediately be elevated in moral status,


Thank you. I finally got a response.

So now it's no longer that an individual should be judged on the basis
of what's typical for his or her species, but he or she should be
judged on the basis of the most cognitively sophisticated member of his
or her species. *Why?* The species boundaries that exist today are just
an arbitrary product of evolutionary history. If all the evolutionary
intermediaries existed there would be no sharply defined species
boundaries. You can't just say "This position is what everyone thinks".
It's a position you tailor-made to produce results in harmony with your
beliefs about other species and so as to give an acceptable answer to
my thought-experiment. It's hardly an intuitively obvious moral
principle. You need to justify it.

but
that's irrelevant for a number of reasons. 1. I already think chimps ought
to enjoy elevated moral status, 2. If given human status, many chimps would
immediately qualify as murderers, since in an AR world, that's what most
chimps are, they kill young, assault and kill members of other troupes and
hunt baby monkeys for food, and lastly, 3. No chimp will ever demonstrate
such abilities, so the point is meaningless anyway. The real world does not
have to react to hypothetical conundrums that have no chance of occurring.

But the question is unnecessary, because chimpanzees are close enough
cousins of humans that in my view they ought to be protected anyway.

Someone can advocate
that species membership is the crucial characteristic too, but then
they have to confront the arguments against speciesism in the
literature.

There are no valid arguments against speciesism.

There are no valid arguments *for* speciesism.

There don't need to be,


Yes, there do.


No, there don't, period.

Treating cases differently when a morally relevant
difference is not apparent requires justification.


Those are just words that have you all tied up in knots. We ALL treat animal
species and humans differently in various ways,


Because there are relevant differences. But we should treat nonhumans
in the same way we would treat relevantly similar humans.

according to a whole variety
of largely subjective criteria. There is no other rational way to address
the real world.


it is the way nature is. You give no thought
whatsoever to other species until they appear all furry tails and big
eyes
on some quasi-political bandwagon.

Philosophers have been
trying to find one for a long time, and have failed. We should treat
individuals on the basis of their individual characteristics, not what
is typical for their species. If you are uncomfortable with treating
permanently radically cognitively impaired humans in a certain way, you
shouldn't treat nonhumans in that way, either.

That's your silly quasi-political bandwagon. Nobody treats non-humans as
they treat humans,


Nobody is suggesting they should.


You are. We already treat them differently, you claim that is wrong because
it is "speciesist", that implies you think they should not be judged based
on species.


I claim a moral theory which implies it is morally permissible to
inflict a certain harm on a nonhuman for a certain purpose, but not on
a relevantly similar human for the same purpose, cannot be acceptable.

What is being advocated is equal
consideration. Some people advocate equal consideration and practice
what they preach.


High-sounding words that mean nothing. Instead of mouthing vague
catch-phrases propose something specific and consistent.


"Equal consideration" does mean something. It doesn't resolve every
question that can be raised about animal ethics. I'm not going to set
forth for you a complete theory that resolves every difficult question
that can be asked. You know what changes the animal movement wants. If
you want to argue against them, either argue that they are not required
by equal consideration, or come up with a decent argument against equal
consideration.



  #111 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 14-09-2006, 11:04 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Default "collateral included deaths in organic rice production [faq]"


Dutch wrote:
"Rupert" wrote
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.
=====================
But the main difference still remains. Within each person is the
seed of what being human is.
No such seed exists in ANY animal.

I don't know what "the seed of being human" is. It's just empty
hand-waving. There is no property which all humans have in common and
all nonhumans lack

Your reasoning is backwards. That is not the test. There is no animal of
another species that can demonstrate the equivalent of human abilities.


If that is a sufficient reasno to exploit animals in the way we do, it
should also be a sufficient reason to exploit radically cognitively
impaired humans. If you're not comfortable with doing this, but you
still want to defend exploiting nonhumans, you've got to identify a
morally relevant difference and argue that it is morally relevant.


Your reasoning is completely backwards. We have an inherent right and
capability as animals to exploit our environments in order to succeed as all
organisms do. These rights and freedoms are curtailed in specific and
limited ways by an evolved social network that protects us and other
indivduals within that network.


On what basis do we decide which individuals are in the network?

Every "right" we introduce into this system
is actually a further limitation on our freedom, so we do so with caution.


Whose freedom are we interested in protecting, and why?

There is nothing in the paragraph above that tells me that you remotely
understand this process.


Cases that are similar in morally relevant ways should be treated
similarly. That goes back to Aristotle. I don't think you've made a
decent case against it.

except certain genetic characteristics, which
cannot be plausibly held to be morally relevant.

Sure it can.


In what way is it morally relevant, and why?


The species an animal belongs to is an accurate descriptor of the upper
limit of it's cognitive abilities and characteristics.


No, it's not. It just has the cognitive abilities that it has. Whether
or not there might be an animal wandering around somewhere who can
interbreed with it who's a bit smarter is irrelevant. That's a
characteristic of the ecosystem to which the animal belongs, not the
animal itself.

Genetics, species membership, is an accurate catch-all
categorization that delineates all the attributes of members within it.

The person you claim now
doesn't have the differences from animals has the potential to
achieve those differences. No matter how much hand-waving, and
how many strawmen you prop up, NO animals will ever achive the
difference. Again, your ignorance and stupidity blind you to
reality.

It's quite funny to see you talking about "ignorance and stupidity".
The philosophical community has been debating this issue for the last
thirty years and everyone agrees that there is a serious problem with
defending speciesism. I really don't think you are competent to judge
all these professional philosophers to be ignorant and stupid. Why
don't you try and publish the argument you just came up with, see how
you go. If you really think you can defend speciesism I'm sure everyone
would be very excited to hear about it.

I seriously question your word that "everyone agrees" that speciesism
cannot
be defended.


I did not say this. I said everyone acknowledges that there is a
serious problem with doing it.


"everyone agrees that there is a serious problem with defending speciesism".


Uh-huh.

Some people think they can do it, such
as Carl Cohen.


Then he does not agree that there is a serious problem,


False.

therefore you were
lying when you said everyone agrees that there is a serious problem with
defending speciesism.


No, I am not.

If you doubt my word, read the philosophical literature
and form your own conclusions.


Why would I NOT doubt your word after that?

You don't speak for "everyone" in the ahem philosophical
community,


Your disparagement of the philosophical community is out of place.


I wasn't disparging the philosophical community, I was disparging your
appeal to authority.


There's no appeal to authority since it was not meant to have any
argumentative force. The point of the exercise was to make fun of Rick
when he said that anyone who couldn't see the truth of his position was
"ignorant and stupid". His argument is very weak, and I don't think he
can plausibly claim the entire philosophical community is more
"ignorant and stupid" than him.

You have already demonstrated that you are incapable of
honestly portraying the opinion of the philosophical community.


False.

You're not familiar with the philosophical literature, and if you were
you could learn something about how to construct a good argument.

and in fact Cohen defends it quite nicely in "Regan vs Cohen".


No, that's a very poor defence of speciesism.


In your highly biased opinion.


My opinion is not biased. I am good at assessing the strength of an
argument. If I came across a good defence of speciesism I would
acknowledge it. For example, I acknowledge that Neil Levy's elaboration
of the argument is an improvement.

He doesn't address the
argument from marginal cases.


That is not a valid argument as I have demonstrated.


Whether or not *you* have come up with a good response to it, Cohen
still has to address it. Your response is essentially the same as
Levy's "natural kinds" argument, except that you have modified it in
response to my thought-experiment. The underlying principle is one that
needs defending.

Again, the AR community
turns reality on it's ear then demands that everyone else prove them wrong.

Neil Levy has kindly helped him out by
elaborating his argument into the "natural kinds" argument, which has
some credibility, but there are still important challenges to it, one
of which I have mentioned on this thread (the thought-experiment of the
nonhuman with abnormally good cognitive abilities).


An argument which I shattered, not that you could have noticed..


You modified your underlying principle in response to it. The question
is why anyone should think that this principle has the least
plausibility.

"Speciesism", the rational worldview, is not to be confused with terms
like
"racism" and "sexism" which carry a pjorative "unfair" connotation.
Everyone
is a speciesist,


No.


Yes

the only question is at what point do you begin to allow
non-human animals into your sphere of consideration and for what reasons.
You dismiss animals too small for your normal perception to distinguish,


Because they are not sentient.


How the hell do you know? By what definition?


Sentience is the capacity for conscious experience. An animal without a
nervous system can reasonably be assumed to be insentient.

That is not speciesist.


Where is "sentience" whatever you mean by that, implied in the word
"species"? If I dismiss an entire species because I define them all as not
sentient, how am I not being speciesist?


If you observe that all members of a certain species have
characteristics such that you can reasonably presume them not to be
sentient, and treat them accordingly, you are treating individuals on
the basis of their individual characteristics, not what is typical for
their species or on the basis of the best representative of their
species. You are not being speciesist if you do that.

too
ubiquitous to avoid destroying,


That is justified by limitations on the presumption against causing
harm, which are necessary for human civilization to survive.


Who says the human species must survive at the cost of harming others?


You and I. When we find someone who disagrees, we can argue the point.

How
are you defining "survival"? What happened to equal consideration, to
dealing on an individual basis?


It's still there. The limitations on the presumption against causing
harm, if they take into account any characteristics of the affected
beings at all, must only take into account their individual
characteristics, not the characteristics that are typical for their
species or displayed by the best representative of their species.

These
limitations must be formulated in non-speciesist ways.


By holding intelligence tests on an indivdual-by-indivdual basis?


On the basis of what we reasonably know about the individuals.

too inconvenient to preserve, therefore it
is the default reality,


No. These considerations are no argument against equal consideration.


"Equal consideration" is a meaningless buzz-phrase.


No, it is not. You have read a detailed discussion of what it means.

and the onus falls on so-called "non-speciesism
advocates" to argue where that line should be and why there should be
only
one place for everyone.


Everyone has to draw a line somewhere and argue for why that is the
place the line should be drawn. You have indicated where you draw the
line, now it is your job to defend that.


You have not indicated where you think the line should be drawn,
conveniently avoiding the need to defend it.


I have given just as many details about where the line should be drawn
as you have about where you think it should be drawn.

My criticism of it is that
there is no good reason to judge a being's moral status on the basis of
what is typical for his or her species.


We don't, ALL individuals of all species we kill in agriculture for example
fall below a threshold of cognitive ability that most humans would find
unacceptable in animals we use for food or harm regularly.


Most humans would not be prepared to inflict similar harms on humans
with similar characteristics. If you want to revise that judgement,
fine. If you want to keep the judgement *and* you want to keep the
judgement about the animals harmed by agriculture, you're being
speciesist and you have to come up with a good argument against equal
consideration.

You display the typically arrogant approach of the ARA. You attack and
presume to sit in judgment, but when asked to give real alternatives you
hide behind vague, lofty sounding catch-phrases.


I have explained my position in at least as much detail as you have
explained yours.

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Old 15-09-2006, 01:13 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Default "collateral included deaths in organic rice production [faq]"


[email protected] wrote:
On 10 Sep 2006 18:48:29 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 9 Sep 2006 17:58:37 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 6 Sep 2006 17:21:31 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 5 Sep 2006 15:49:49 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 4 Sep 2006 19:36:31 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:

I hope people will make a sincere effort to find out the truth of the
matter. Diderot's account may or may not be correct.

"- every farming environment has a different mix of animals and the
largest number and largest variety, both, will be found in
semi-tropical, mixed ecology lands like we have. monocultures will have
the smallest numbers and the smallest numbers of species. the numbers i
have presented hold true in the gulf-coastal plains for machine-farmed
organic rice and may well vary in california and arkansas." - diderot

Ethical vegetarians usually do think there is some sort of presumption
against killing sentient animals. You have no reason to think anyone
here is opposed to people pointing out that sentient animals are killed
in the course of rice production.

So far I have reason to believe that veg*ns are opposed to seeing
it pointed out. Damn good reason in fact.


What reason?

The opposition you people have presented to seeing it pointed out.
Duh.


No-one's opposed to anything being pointed out. Some people believe
Diderot's account of the matter distorts the truth, so they respond
accordingly.

They don't correct him.

They have taken issue with certain things he said.

No one has even tried to correct him and tell us how many animals
are actually killed in rice production,

That's because they don't know. You can criticize what he says without
coming up with estimates of your own.

You don't want to believe what he has learned from first hand
experience, so you just say it isn't true.

No, I do not say this. I do not know whether it is true or not. Others
who have denied some of the things he said have argued for their
position.

What reason would a
man who farms organic rice have for lying and saying there are
MORE deaths involved than there really are? We know why
Lunberg and "pearl" would lie and say there are fewer, but why
would diderot lie and say there are more?

Someone concerned to undermine the ethical vegetarian position might
deliberately exaggerate the harm involved in rice farming.

People point out facts that "ethical" vegetarians hate and deny,
but they remain facts none the less.

People make claims, which some ethical vegetarians dispute.

Here's another fact that "ethical" veg*ns hate: Some livestock
have lives of positive value. Here's another: The lives of animals
raised for food should be given as much or more consideration
than their deaths.


Yes, well we've discussed this before. The argument that if livestock
have sufficiently good lives, this justifies bringing them into
existence, inflicting painful mutilations on them without anaesthetic,
and killing them for food, is not a "fact" that ethical vegans hate, it
is a highly contentious and disputed argument. An important point to
address is: would it be permissible to do the same thing to humans, and
if not, what's the morally relevant difference?

In the case of most human slavery, humans are aware of their
situation and often suffer mentally as well as physically from the
fact. That's one thing that would make a huge difference in
quality of life for humans instead of animals. Then if the humans
knew they would be killed and eaten that would make another
big difference, since animals have no idea. Also the animals
we generally raise for food are much tougher and able to thrive
naked in environments that would kill most humans eventually.
Then there's the fact that the animals we raise for food have
offspring who are much easier to care for and provide with
lives that are of positive value for them. Those are some
differences which I can't help but take into consideration.


What if the slaves had good lives, and weren't aware of their
situation?


So far it appears there would be nothing wrong with it, so now
it's up to you to explain what would be.


Well, if that's your position, fine, as long as you're upfront about
what you're committed to. Most people would find that contention
absolutely appalling. They would believe that it would be wrong because
the rights of the slaves were violated.

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.

I hope I asked what the conditions would be. Quality of life
would be what determines that, imo. I saw a documentary on
slavery where men were *trying* to become slaves so they could
better care for their families. They were getting whipped on their
bare backs to prove themselves somehow. So life is of significance
sometimes even when it seems like it should not be, and vice versa.

I think most people would find this pretty difficult to swallow. You're
entitled to your opinion, but you should be upfront about what your
claims are.

We might be in that position right now. You don't know...no one does.
We certainly all get killed by something, and often suffer a lot longer
than animals we raise for food. But there are things on the plus side
for us that animals don't get. But thinking on all of humanity, how much
of it would we have wanted to live through? Most of human existence
has been spent without civilization or agriculture as we know it. Would
you rather live however humans managed to survive 20 thousand years
before the development of agricultural society, or would you rather just
pass on that?


Is it safe to conclude you have no idea about that?


I really don't understand what the relevance of this is supposed to be.
Obviously, life 20 thousand years ago would be pretty hard. So what?

It really says a lot about them
that "ethical" vegetarians appear to be the only people who are
opposed to seeing such aspects of human influence on animals
being pointed out, even though everyone is involved with them.


What does it say about them that they are not convinced?

That they will eat rice regardless of the deaths involved with it,

The fact that they are not convinced of Diderot's claims certainly does
not prove that they will eat rice regardless of how much harm they
think it causes.

I'm sure they'd just deny it.


Why?


LOL! So they could keep eating rice, like they do, and like they
contribute to most things everyone else does that cause death to
animals. Don't forget that the only deaths vegans avoid, are those
to animals who would have no life at all were it not for their consumers.
Any animals who are simply killed but not deliberately provided with
life are okay with vegans, which is one reason I can't respect them.


What makes you think vegans would not be prepared to sacrifice eating
rice if they genuinely thought it significantly contributed to
unnecessary harm? They've already shown willingness to modify their
diet to a fair extent in order to avoid unnecessary harm, why wouldn't
they avoid rice as well if they thought there were a reasonable case
for doing so?

They are not convinced that rice production causes a
lot of harm, and in any case you don't know whether they eat rice or
not. If you think there are good ethical reasons to eat less or no rice
and you want to advocate that, go ahead.

and that they will deny the deaths in order to cling to their belief
that they are the ethical champions of the world.


Any opinion they express is not an attempt to cling to a belief, it is
a sincerely held opinion.

Same thing.


No.


Okay, in a way I can agree, but probably not the way you mean it.
I can believe that even "pearl" is not too stupid to understand that lots
of frogs die in rice production. She may truly deny it to herself and have
worked out some way of thinking which allows her to feel that she's being
somehow honest by denying things she knows deep down are true, IF
she supresses thinking about it and denies the truth within her brain to her
required extent. That doesn't mean she is *really* honestly too stupid to
understand, it just means that she's worked out some mental dishonesty
that she uses when it's convenient for supporting what she WANTS to
believe or not believe. It doesn't make it a bit better though.


Well, this is all speculation on your part. Whatever. That's your
argument with Pearl. I suggest you argue the point with her, rather
than indulge in speculations that she's being dishonest with herself
which you can't confirm.

If you present an argument and someone's not convinced, the rational
thing to do is defend the argument, not say that this reflects poorly
on them as a person.

The dishonesty and absurdity is what reflects poorly on them.


I see no evidence of dishonesty. The alleged absurdity is something
that's up to you to argue.


"pearl's" "explanation" of how she thinks frogs she claims don't
exist survive the draining of rice fields is a clear example with no need
of any argument. Her "explanation" of how the frogs she claims don't
exist enter and exit the rice fields is another.


Doesn't seem so absurd to me. It may or may not be true. It's up to you
to argue the point.

Or Diderot
might have presented an exaggerated, distorted, picture without
deliberately intending to. Just because Diderot claims he is an organic
rice former is no reason why this single individual's testimony should
be taken as the final word on the matter, and cannot rationally be the
object of skepticism or criticism. I do not know whether Diderot's
account of the matter is correct or not. It is quite possible that it
is, but there is also plenty of room for reasonable doubt, for all
sorts of reasons.

There are none. There is much reason to believe he's correct,
no reason to believe he's not, and no apparent reason why anyone
selling organic rice would lie and say it's worse than it is.

Nonsense.

Then why would anyone selling organic rice lie and say it's worse
than it is?


You said there is not the slightest reason to doubt that his testimony
is the gospel truth. That is nonsense. He is a stranger who made a post
to the internet a few years ago. You have absolutely no way of knowing
whether his estimates are reasonable or not. You don't even know
whether he is a rice farmer. He has a desire to convince people that
the arguments in favour of ethical vegetarianism are flawed.

It has flaws.


So you say. You are welcome to argue that point if you want.

If it is
possible that Pearl might lie in order to persuade people of her
position, then it is possible that Diderot might intentionally or
unintentionally distort the truth in order to persuade people of his
position.

What would be his reason? The only reason would be to point out
a flaw, and the only reason it would bother him would be that it is a
flaw. If it wasn't, then he'd have no reason to point it out. He has no
reason to be dishonest, where "pearl" certainly does if she or her
buddies eat rice.


If Pearl might be dishonest in order to feel better about eating rice,


It's certainly easy to see why she would do that, and certainly appears
that's exactly what she's doing.

Diderot might be dishonest in order to feel better about eating meat.


May be. How would telling people about frogs etc getting killed in
rice production, make someone who is proud of going to a different
country just to kill wildlife feel any better about eating meat?


He wants to discredit the ethical vegetarian position, just as Pearl
wants to defend it. There is no reason to think Pearl would have any
more motive to be dishonest in order to defend it than Diderot would in
order to discredit it.


. . .
the majority of organic rice consumers don't care enough about
human influence on animals to even take such facts into consideration,
and this ng experience has certainly suggested that is the case.

How would you know whether it's the case or not?

Because of the absurd reactions by veg*ns--and ONLY by veg*ns--to
wildlife deaths associated with rice production.


I see no reason to think they're not prepared to take the facts into
consideration, just that they have a sincere doubt that they are indeed
facts. If you think they're facts it's your job to argue your case.

diderot did it from first hand experience and veg*ns deny it so they
can keep eating rice. Duh.


Diderot claims to be a rice farmer and claims to have made certain
observations. It might or might not be true.


We have absolutely no reason be believe it's not true...well, I have
no reason to believe it's not true. The fact that dishonesty is such a
big part of "ar" would make you people suspect everyone else of
such dishonesty too I suppose, but I'm not in that position like you are.


I never accused anyone of dishonesty. I simply pointed out the obvious:
it might or might not be true. Neither you nor I have any idea. I am
not dishonest, thank you, and I won't continue conversing with you if
you continue to make unfounded accusations of dishonesty.

The testimony of one
stranger on the Internet is not a very strong reason to be convinced.


Then YOU tell us how many frogs are killed, since YOU feel that
diderot was exaggerating.


I have not claimed that.

How many do YOU want people to believe
are killed, and why should we believe YOU over diderot? Get "pearl"
to help you, since you both feel you know better than diderot between
the two of you you SHOULD be able to set everybody straight on it.

There are some people
posting here who are not yet convinced that what Diderot says is
entirely true. That doesn't mean they don't care about human influence
on animals. You have no reason for thinking anyone here lacks concern
about human influence on animals.

I have ONLY reason to believe that no veg*n I've ever encountered
online cares anywhere near as much about human influence on animals
as they do about promoting veg*nism.

They want to promote veganism *because* they care about human influence
on animals. Why else would they do it?

Because they don't like meat, and the thought of humans raising animals
to eat disturbs them personally. That's the only reason.


I can't think of a reason to be disturbed by humans raising animals to
eat apart from a concern about human influence on animals. I don't
think too many vegans had an aversion to the taste of meat before they
went vegan. I didn't.

Factory-farming causes enormous
suffering, and most animal products have large crop inputs and would
therefore have far more CDs per serving than rice.

I believe rice would have by far the most cds the majority of the
time, so if rice is okay everything else is as good or better, including
grain fed animal products.


Well, I seriously doubt that and I'd like to see you argue your case.
But in any case I never said rice was okay.


Well if it is, then things less harmful are too.

Vegans want to
reduce the amount of harm caused by agriculture. Maybe some of them
have a blind spot about certain types of agriculture, if so, that's
unfortunate. But it's ridiculous to suggest they don't care about human
influence on animals. Reducing human influence on animals is the whole
point.

Not in cases where animal products cause fewer cds than vegetable
products.


It's your job to argue that that is sometimes the case.


We raised our own cattle never feeding them grain. They only ate
grass. We got many meals from the death of one animal. If we had
raised soy and made our own tofu instead, it would have resulted in
many more animal deaths per serving of food, even though fewer
animals would have been able to live in the area than when it was
pasture.


If you say so. What about the forage? Have you worked out the CDs that
arose from that?

If you
succeeded, the vegans would be rationally required to concede that the
consumption of those animal products was permissible as well.


They never would because they're too dishonest. Rick Etter almost
certainly contributes to fewer wildlife deaths than the average veg*n,
but we NEVER see veg*ns even acknowledge that because of the
dishonest nature of such people.


Well, I wouldn't know, I don't know what Rick Etter eats. I would
imagine the reason we don't see vegans acknowledge it is because it
hasn't been established. It may be the case.

It wouldn't in any way change the fact that their motivation for going
vegan is to reduce the impact their diet has on animals.

Even when animal products
contribute to fewer deaths than vegetable products AND provide decent
lives for livestock veg*ns still promote the vegetable products over the
animal products....and usually if not always they do it dishonestly....in fact
I can't recall a veg*n EVER being honest about doing so.

The issue of bringing livestock into existence who have tolerably good
lives, if marred by unanaesthetized branding and surgical mutilations,
is a red herring.

It's an aspect "aras" hate because it suggests that decent AW could
be ethically equivalent or superior to "ar".


No-one hates it.


Goo hates it. Dutchy hates it. And so does every other "ara" I've
discussed it with.


Not me. I doubt Leif or Dutch hate it either. It's just not a very good
argument.

No-one finds the argument plausible. It's flawed, for
reasons that have been pointed out to you countless times.


LOL!!! Like what?


There may be some merit in bringing an animal into existence that has a
good life. That does not entitle you to inflict painful mutilations on
the animal without anaesthetic, or to kill it prematurely.

Other than the lies some people pretend
are "reasons", I can really only recall three "reasons" given
why we should not consider the animals' lives as well as their
deaths, all three suck, and they were all presented by Dutchy.
They a

1. he and other "aras" say we should not.
2. he says we should think of raising animals for food and
child prostition in the same way.
3. he says we lose imaginary moral browny points if we do so.

As I said those reasons suck, but so far they are the "best"
you people have been able to come up with. If you think you
can think of better ones, I'd like to see them.


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Old 15-09-2006, 01:24 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Dutch wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message
ps.com...

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

snip

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.

=====================
But the main difference still remains. Within each person is the seed
of
what being human is.

Which is what? How are you defining "human"?

Member of the human species.

And, as
important, why is it morally relevant?

It's morally relevant because we say it is. Everyone believes it's
morally
relevant, including you, questioning it is simply disinformation.


Nonsense. It's *not* obvious to a lot of people when they think about
it. Most people who read Chapter 1 of Peter Singer's "Animal
Liberation" either agree that species membership as such is not morally
relevant, or see that there's a serious question there about how to
defend it. You're saying it needs no defence and it's not legitimate
even to question it. A racist might have said similar things about
discrimination on the basis of race back in the nineteenth century.


Playing the race card in this discussion is on a level with the Hitler card,
or arguing the rights of plants.


There was nothing wrong with the analogy I drew.

Of
course it can be legitimately questioned, it needs defending. A lot of
smart people have tried to defend it for the last thirty years and
failed. You are doing no better.


I am doing relatively fine,


You are not. You can't even make up your mind what your position is.
First you said we should judge individuals on the basis of what's
typical for their species, then you said we should judge individuals on
the basis of the best representative of their species. *You need to
argue this point*.


the fact that an avowed ARA can't see it is no
measure of success or failure. Your worldview will not allow you to see it.


Instead of coming up with an argument, you impugn my ability to
rationally assess arguments. It's not going to convince any rational
person.

No such seed exists in ANY animal.

Depends on what your definition is.

There is only one definition.

The person you claim now doesn't have the differences from animals has
the potential to achieve those differences.

That is not true for all biological members of the human species.
Pick any characteristic which is morally relevant, and you will
find at least some biological humans who lack it from birth and/or
are completely incapable of developing it.

A few animals lack the inherent abilities of other members of their
species,
they are still members of that species. Failure to possess the qualities
of
one's species is ad hoc, arbitrary or accidental, not a logical approach.
The proper measure is qualities which members of a species possess by
default, not qualities which rare individuals are missing.

Speciesism is simply
a prejudice, like racism or sexism.

That's a perverse view which nobody actually holds. Even ARAs and vegans
dismiss whole species of animals based on dissimilarity to humans.


That's discrimination on the basis of individual characteristics which
are held to be morally relevant, not discrimination on the basis of
species. It's not speciesism.


Bullshit, it's not individual, it can't possibly be, you can't interview
every fly, snail, or cockroach. It is dismissal of entire species based on
the knowledge that NONE of them can possibly possess capabilities beyond a
particular rudimentary level. People who dismiss mosquitos as irrelevant do
so using the exact same kind of speciesist logic as those who dismiss
chickens. We do so because we correctly ascertain that NO CHICKEN can
possibly exist beyond a certain level of "sentience".


It is on the basis of individual characteristics, rather than on the
basis of what is typical for their species or the characteristics the
best representative of their species has.

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Old 15-09-2006, 03:48 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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"Rupert" wrote in message
ups.com...

Dutch wrote:
"Rupert" wrote

Dutch wrote:


[..]
I disagree.

You're wrong.


Well, that's as may be. But you've introduced an undefined and
unexplained notion - "essential ability to hold those characteristics"
- and twice asserted without the slightest argument that all humans
have this ability and no nonhumans do. With all respect, I don't think
you're doing a very good job of defending your position.


That may be, I thought it obvious, but ok I'll connect the dots. It's
simple
observation.
1. Aside from expected rare exceptions, all humans hold these
characteristics, but more importantly..
2. Without exception, no non-humans hold or have ever held the
characteristics, therefore one can conclude that if any animal does,
humans
alone possess the "essential ability to hold those characteristics".

To address an expected objection... You will say that the existence of
some
humans without those characteristics negates the proposition of a set of
essential human characteristics. Referring to physical abilities, one
might
state the rule that humans, as a species, possess the "essential ability"
to
walk upright on two legs. This is true despite exceptions to the rule,
such
as Spina Bifida sufferers. Just as mosquitoes and chickens have an
"essential set of characteristics". so do humans.


So you're saying an individual's moral status should be judged on the
basis of what's typical for his or her species.


No, a species' moral status should be judged on the basis of the high-water
mark of capabilities for indivduals of that species. It's implausible to to
suggest that we should or could judge every single individual of every
species.

I want you to explain
why this should be,


Show me a better way, that would work, and no buzz-phrases.

and to address the fact that it has
counter-intuitive consequences for a hypothetical thought-experiment
which I presented.


Bloody hell you're dense, we can't base our actions on hypothetical
thought-experiments. What if we discovered a talking plant?

even if they are impaired due to misfortune. No animals of any
other
species
have the potential to have such abilities, ZERO.


The reality is it is a continuum.

No it's not a continuum, it's black and white.


This flies in the face of the evolutionary facts. We know that our
cognitive capacities developed incrementally during evolutionary
history, and hence that they are matter of degree.


We share a lot of similiarlities with bananas on a cellular level also,
that
does not make a relevant fact.


Irrelevant.


Correct, and so is "our evolutionary history". We are living in the world
NOW, not 10's of thousands of years ago.

You said there is a sharp dividing line between humans and
nonhumans.


There is, on some levels, on others there is very little.

I was simply pointing out that all species are the product
of a continuous process of development. Given any two species, there
once existed a set of evolutionary intermediaries between them such
that the process of developing from one species into the other via the
intermediaries was gradual and incremental. You may say we can draw a
threshold which distinguishes all existing humans from all existing
nonhumans today. But the question is where do we draw the threshold,
and why?


I have already told you what I think, when are you going to present an
opinion?

You'll have to answer this if you want to credibly claim that
"it's black and white".


I have already supported that claim. No non-human species possesses or ever
have possessed the attributes which I am saying make humans special.

You've already admitted that you'd want to draw
the threshold so that a few nonhuman species fall above it.


There is no one threshold, every species is different, every circumstance
warrants consideration. Great apes are not humans, but they are near enough
relatives to us that they deserve "special status" in my opinion.

Perhaps you are
claiming that there is some non-arbitrary threshold we can stipulate
that will draw a clear line between humans and some nonhuman species
such as great apes and all the other species. Well, it's your job to
specify that threshold and argue that it's non-arbitrary.


What do mean by "arbitrary"? We possess cognitive powers that no other
species possesses, there is nothing arbitrary about it.


I thought you agreed that some nonhuman species should be allowed into
the protected circle.


Yes, so? That doesn't make them human, or mean they possess the
characteristics of humans. Pets are in a protected circle also, for
different reasons.

The way we divide up the animals of the world
into species today is just an artifact of the accidents of evolutionary
history.


Our very existence as a species is a result of a series of accidents of
evolutionary history. so what?

If all the evolutionary intermediaries had survived, any two
species would form one "ring species" - a group of individuals such
that two individuals within the group sufficiently like one another can
interbreed, two individuals not sufficiently like one another cannot,
and any two individuals in the group can be connected by a series such
that each adjacent pair is a pair that can interbreed.


So you're saying that if history had been radically different and there were
these other sub-species now that don't exist that we would view the world
differently? OK, probably. Why can't you argue your position based on the
real world instead of talking chimps and non-existent missing links?


Nonhumans share these characteristics
with us to varying degrees.

No they don't.


Ridiculous and in blatant contradiction of the evolutionary facts.


Evolution is irrelevant, we evolved from plenaria, should they be granted
human rights?


Straw man.


No it's not.

You claimed that nonhumans do not share our cognitive
characteristics with us in the slightest degree.


There's a strawman.

That is totally
untenable.


Except I didn't say it.

And you contradicted it when you agreed that nonhuman great
apes should be granted basic rights.


Even if I had said it, saying that great apes should granted rights would
not have contradicted it.


You
agree below that some nonhumans do have enough of the characteristics
to have some basic moral rights, so you contradict yourself.


I'm not contradicting myself, you are not grasping my position.


So, you maintain they should have the rights despite the fact that they
don't have the characteristics in the slightest degree?


There's that strawman again, why are you introducing phrases like "the
slightest degree" to characterise my position?

Why should they
have the rights, then?


Because they are highly intelligent mammals, closely related to humans, and
are threatened.

Your
position is totally untenable anyway.


ROTFL! That is hilarious coming from you. AR is completely untenable in
the
real world, the only place that it can exist is in the misanthropic human
imagination.


There is nothing misanthropic or untenable about it.


Yes on both counts. It's a rhetorical club used to attack "normal" people
who you feel rejected by, and it is completely irrational, evidenced by the
fact that it never takes actual form, it remains as catchy buzz-phrases.

You can, if you want, pick a certain
threshold and say "most humans are above this threshold, all
nonhumans
are below it." But you'll have to set the threshold pretty high.

Nonsense

Consider the following individual:

"She communicates in sign language, using a vocabulary of over 1000
words. She also understands spoken English, and often carries on
'bilingual' conversations, responding in sign to questions asked in
English. She is learning the letters of the alphabet, and can read
some
printed words, including her own name. She has achieved scored
between
85 and 95 on the Standford-Binet Intelligence Test. She demonstrates
a
clear self-awareness by engaging in self-directed behaviours in
front
of a mirror, such as making faces or examining her teeth, and by her
appropriate use of self-descriptive language. She lies to avoid the
consequences of her own misbehaviour, and anticipates others'
resopnses
to her actions. She engages in imaginary play, both alone and with
others. She has produced paintings and drawings which are
representational. She remembers and can talk about past events in
her
life. She understands and has used appropriately time-related words
like 'before', 'after', 'later' and 'yesterday'. She laughs at her
own
jokes and those of others. She cries when hurt or left alone,
screams
when frightened or angered. She talks about her feelings, using
words
like 'happy', 'sad', 'afraid', 'enjoy', 'eager', 'frustrate', 'made'
and, quite frequently, 'love'. She grieves for those she has lost -
a
favourite cat who has died, a friend who has gone away. She can talk
about what happens when one dies, but she becomes fidgety and
uncomfortable when asked to discuss her own death or the death of
her
companions. She displays a wonderful gentleness with kittens and
other
small animals. She has even expressed empathy for others seen only
in
pictures."

That's a description of a nonhuman. You can set the threshold higher
than that if you want, but many would like to see some kind of
justification for doing so.

I am not at all convinced that a lot of what is reported there is not
projection on the part of over-zealous handlers.

It's hard to see how it could be. The report almost entirely concerns
itself with objective matters of fact which it would be hard to be
mistaken about.


I have seen this gorilla "Jojo"


Koko.


Right, sorry.

on several documentaries, one in particular
took a skeptical approach and it was evident that the handlers saw what
they
wanted to see on many occasions. In any case I am not disputing the
intelligence of apes, or even of dogs and cats.


I thought no nonhuman shared our cognitive characteristics in the
slightest degree.


You thought wrong, many cognitive characteristics are common to all animals,
a certain set are unique to humans.

So how do we go about deciding which species have
moral status, then?


Using a set of clear and reasonable criteria.


[..]

Nonhumans do have similar capabilities to SOME humans.

You're still approaching the question backwards.


What's that supposed to mean?


It means that the test of inherent capabilities does not hinge on a few
impaired individuals. Humans have the inherent capability of speech,
"humans
can talk" is a true statement, even though a few people are born
deaf-mute.


Yes, well you're assuming that an individual's moral status should be
judged on the basis of what's typical for his or her species, I want
you to defend that, and address my thought-experiment.


I have done so.


Do you have any argument with what I say
below? If not, you'll have to come to terms with the consequences.


You say a number of things below, but I am confident that I have an
argument
with it. The person here having difficulty coming to terms with the
consequences of his position is you.

Whatever we
decide about these beings, they should be treated the same way. It's
not true that these humans have the "essential ability" or the
"potential" to have these characteristics you're so excited about.
It's
irrational to treat beings on the basis of what is typical for their
species, rather than their individual characteristics.

The regime of rights attempts with limited success to view the human
species
as a family or a tribe. It is not irrational to view one's family
favorably.


But most people would see a problem with exploiting people just because
they happen not to be members of your family.


"Exploit" is a charged word, My employer exploits my talents, as do my
personal computer clients. I exploit the great variety of entertainment
options in my area. Maybe you could come up with something less
prejudicial
and more descriptive. Do you mean to "treat unfairly"? I say that to say
we
treat animals unfairly when we use them for food flies in the face of the
very nature of life. You may as well call a rainstorm unjust.


How about "inflict serious harm in order to serve your own purposes"?


That's clearer, now show why we should not do so, and how. Every other
living organism does it. It is almost a definitive description of the
biosphere in which we live.

The analogy with
partiality based on family relationships doesn't justify the status
quo.


I wasn't trying to "justify" it, I was attempting to create a context
that
would allow you to understand how I view it.

Instead you are attempting to drag all humans down to the
level of other animals by pointing to rare humans who's human
abilities
are
impaired. That is not a logical approach, because impairment of
abilities
is
ad hoc, arbitrary and meaningless, it can occur by injury,
accident,
disease
or fluke of genetics, it does not exist by nature.

I can't distinguish between the condition of being born a
permanently
radically cognitively impaired human and being born a nonhuman. They
both seem to be "by nature" to me.

I think you could if you tried, but you don't want to. The nature of
humans
is not to have single-digit IQs, it is to have IQs of 100.


Not all humans. Ultimately all you can say to justify your conclusion
is "a being's moral status should be based on what's typical for his or
her species."


Assuming that NO member of that species has EVER demonstrated
significantly
greater capabilities, like mosquitoes.


Then each individual should be granted the moral status appropriate for
his or her characteristics.


It's impossible and unecessary, since no non-human has ever, or can ever
exhibit the extrordinary capabilities of a human.

That's a statement standing in need of an argument.


Since as I have shown, it is precisely how we all think, YOU need to
present
a counter-argument.


No, it's not how we all think.


Yes it is. As I said in a previous post, the person who dismisses mosquitoes
as less than important is using the same kind of "speciesist" rationale as
the person who dismisses chickens, except they have a different threshold.

Most people haven't thought about it to
that extent.


They don't have to consciously think about it, their beliefs and actions are
evidence.

Moral philosophers have tried to come up with a way of
defending our intuitions about how we should treat other species
against the argument from marginal cases, and this is the best we have
come up with so far.


The argument from marginal cases is phony, I already explained why.

It's a principle that's being invoked to justify a
set of intuitions. But when it comes to our intuitions about
principles, many people find it more plausible that individuals should
be judged on their own characteristics rather than what's typical for
their species. The fact that the latter approach yields results more in
harmony with our intuitions about particular cases is not enough. The
principle needs more defence. We need to have it explained why that
should be so. A moral theory needs to do more than just yield the
correct results, it needs to have explanatory power.


A moral theory needs to exist within a real framework, a context, not just
rely on intuitive-sounding buzz-phrases. You create pjorative sounding words
like "speciesist" and extrapolate social principles which we hold dear then
announce that we must automatically apply them to animals, you are setting
yourself up as requiring to support such actions.

Furthermore I have presented a counter-argument, which you have not
addressed.


I didn't notice.


It
also has some counter-intuitive consequences, as discussed below.


Probably based on a misunderstanding on your part..


Argue the point.


What point?

The question is asked,
"What if a race of beings came to the earth with powers equal to or
greater
than humans?" They would be accorded rights, just as any animal
species
would who demonstrated capacities equivalent to humans.

Very few defenders of animal
agriculture are actually prepared to come out and say that. If
they
want to say it, fine, then the matter can be debated. But if they
hold
that it's permissible to do it to the nonhumans, but not the
relevantly
similar humans,

There are no animals relevantly similar to humans.

then the characteristics we identified aren't what
count after all, but rather species membership.

Species membership identifies all beings who either have, have the
potential
to have, or have in their essence human abilities, or humanness.

Don't agree with "have in their essence". It's hand-waving.

No it's not, it's descriptive. No monkey has in it's essence a poet,
philosopher or musician.


No radically cognitively impaired human has either.


Idiot savant


That's not what I mean by "radically cognitively impaired human".


It's an invalid and ad hoc argument. Humans are defined by what humans are,
not by what they are after a car crash.

So what?


So everything Rupert. The existence of a few people with no legs does not
change the essential physical nature of the human race. But no snake can
stand up and walk.


But the principle that an individual should be judged on the basis of
what's typical for his or her species needs defending.


That's a strawman, the wording is yours and reveals a misunderstanding of
rights.

I've also
presented a counter-argument which you haven't addressed.


I don't know what youre talking about.


If the
permanently radically cognitively impaired humans have it in their
essence, why not the nonhumans too?

Cognitively impaired humans are exceptional cases usually a result of
accident or misfortune, exceptions to not make a rule.


But why should the rule be based on what's typical for the species,
rather than on individual characteristics?


Because it's impossible and implausible to look at it that way. Show me
an
example of ONE individual of any of the species we "exploit" or kill in
agriculture that has ever demonstrated a cognitive functioning set
approaching that of a human?


They do have cognitive functions similar to some humans whom we think
should have some moral status. We have to revise either our beliefs
about the livestock or about the humans.


Wrong, we have to do neither, the rights the humans enjoy they enjoy
*despite* their impairment.

Are you going to administer an intelligence
test every time you decide to swat a mosquito, or are you going to treat
mosquitoes as a species?


I will treat each individual mosquito on the basis of what I reasonably
believe about his or her mental characteristics.


How do know what that is? Species.

Are we going to grant rights to cockroaches because
there are humans in comas with no cognitive functions?


If a human has permanently lost all capacity for consciousness, then
the only things relevant are his or her past wishes and the wishes of
those close to him or her.


Yes, but that wasn't my question. The existence a brain damaged person who's
humanity we respect despite his handicap has nothing to do with cockroaches.


Talk about an
untenable position.


Suppose we encountered a chimpanzee who had the same level of
intelligence as a highly intelligent human adult. What would we say
about this chimpanzee? Would we say that "in essence" he has the
same
characteristics as ordinary chimpanzees and should be treated
accordingly, or would we say that all the chimpanzees have his
characteristics "in essence" and should be raised to his level? It's
irrational to judge on the basis of what's typical for an
individual's
species. The individual characteristics should be what count.

You raise a valid question in theory but in reality there is no need
for
an
answer, since no chimpanzee will ever be as intelligent as a
functional
human.

The thought-experiment is meant to bring attention to the
counter-intuitive consequences of maintaining that beings should be
granted a moral status based on what's typical for their species. If
this is what you are maintaining, you need to indicate how you will
deal with the challenge posed by this thought-experiment.


The "thought experiment" did not present a real challenge, therefore does
not require a real solution. If ONE chimp ever demonstrated human
abilities
in my opinion all chimps should immediately be elevated in moral status,


Thank you. I finally got a response.

So now it's no longer that an individual should be judged on the basis
of what's typical for his or her species, but he or she should be
judged on the basis of the most cognitively sophisticated member of his
or her species.


Species can be defined by the most cognitively sophisticated member of that
species.

*Why?*


For lack of a better way.

The species boundaries that exist today are just
an arbitrary product of evolutionary history. If all the evolutionary
intermediaries existed there would be no sharply defined species
boundaries.


That's a different world than the one we live in.

You can't just say "This position is what everyone thinks".


I didn't say that, stop putting quotes on sentences you make up.

It's a position you tailor-made to produce results in harmony with your
beliefs about other species


Your position is tailor-made to remain in harmony with your beliefs about
other species.

and so as to give an acceptable answer to
my thought-experiment.


I'm glad you found it acceptable, so did I.

It's hardly an intuitively obvious moral
principle.


It is to me, but I perceive moral principles as existing within the context
of the actual world, you see them as existing in arcane philosophy books.

You need to justify it.


I have done.

but
that's irrelevant for a number of reasons. 1. I already think chimps
ought
to enjoy elevated moral status, 2. If given human status, many chimps
would
immediately qualify as murderers, since in an AR world, that's what most
chimps are, they kill young, assault and kill members of other troupes
and
hunt baby monkeys for food, and lastly, 3. No chimp will ever demonstrate
such abilities, so the point is meaningless anyway. The real world does
not
have to react to hypothetical conundrums that have no chance of
occurring.


There's the answer to your hypothetical scenario.

But the question is unnecessary, because chimpanzees are close enough
cousins of humans that in my view they ought to be protected anyway.

Someone can advocate
that species membership is the crucial characteristic too, but
then
they have to confront the arguments against speciesism in the
literature.

There are no valid arguments against speciesism.

There are no valid arguments *for* speciesism.

There don't need to be,

Yes, there do.


No, there don't, period.

Treating cases differently when a morally relevant
difference is not apparent requires justification.


Those are just words that have you all tied up in knots. We ALL treat
animal
species and humans differently in various ways,


Because there are relevant differences.


Animals all have a drive to survive, thrive and participate in their species
communities, regardless of whether or not we call them "sentient".

But we should treat nonhumans
in the same way we would treat relevantly similar humans.


There's that buzz-phrase again. That really hooked you didn't it?

according to a whole variety
of largely subjective criteria. There is no other rational way to address
the real world.


it is the way nature is. You give no thought
whatsoever to other species until they appear all furry tails and big
eyes
on some quasi-political bandwagon.

Philosophers have been
trying to find one for a long time, and have failed. We should treat
individuals on the basis of their individual characteristics, not
what
is typical for their species. If you are uncomfortable with treating
permanently radically cognitively impaired humans in a certain way,
you
shouldn't treat nonhumans in that way, either.

That's your silly quasi-political bandwagon. Nobody treats non-humans
as
they treat humans,

Nobody is suggesting they should.


You are. We already treat them differently, you claim that is wrong
because
it is "speciesist", that implies you think they should not be judged
based
on species.


I claim a moral theory which implies it is morally permissible to
inflict a certain harm on a nonhuman for a certain purpose, but not on
a relevantly similar human for the same purpose, cannot be acceptable.


"Relevantly similar" is meaningless.

What is being advocated is equal
consideration. Some people advocate equal consideration and practice
what they preach.


High-sounding words that mean nothing. Instead of mouthing vague
catch-phrases propose something specific and consistent.


"Equal consideration" does mean something.


Then define it without using more buzz-phrases.

It doesn't resolve every
question that can be raised about animal ethics.


No, it creates imaginary ones.

I'm not going to set
forth for you a complete theory that resolves every difficult question
that can be asked.


I know you're not.

You know what changes the animal movement wants


I sure do, and they're irrational.

If
you want to argue against them, either argue that they are not required
by equal consideration,


Define it without more buzz-phrases.

or come up with a decent argument against equal
consideration.


That would be like trapping a wisp of smoke. "Equal consideration" can't be
argued against, it's an undefined feelgood buzz-phrase.


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Old 15-09-2006, 06:08 AM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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"Rupert" wrote in message
ups.com...

Dutch wrote:
"Rupert" wrote
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.
=====================
But the main difference still remains. Within each person is the
seed of what being human is.
No such seed exists in ANY animal.

I don't know what "the seed of being human" is. It's just empty
hand-waving. There is no property which all humans have in common
and
all nonhumans lack

Your reasoning is backwards. That is not the test. There is no animal
of
another species that can demonstrate the equivalent of human
abilities.


If that is a sufficient reasno to exploit animals in the way we do, it
should also be a sufficient reason to exploit radically cognitively
impaired humans. If you're not comfortable with doing this, but you
still want to defend exploiting nonhumans, you've got to identify a
morally relevant difference and argue that it is morally relevant.


Your reasoning is completely backwards. We have an inherent right and
capability as animals to exploit our environments in order to succeed as
all
organisms do. These rights and freedoms are curtailed in specific and
limited ways by an evolved social network that protects us and other
indivduals within that network.


On what basis do we decide which individuals are in the network?


You know what the bases are.

Every "right" we introduce into this system
is actually a further limitation on our freedom, so we do so with
caution.


Whose freedom are we interested in protecting, and why?


We are protecting those we wish to protect, because we want to protect them.

There is nothing in the paragraph above that tells me that you remotely
understand this process.


Cases that are similar in morally relevant ways should be treated
similarly. That goes back to Aristotle. I don't think you've made a
decent case against it.


You haven't expressed that idea in a coherent way, it's just talk.

except certain genetic characteristics, which
cannot be plausibly held to be morally relevant.

Sure it can.

In what way is it morally relevant, and why?


The species an animal belongs to is an accurate descriptor of the upper
limit of it's cognitive abilities and characteristics.


No, it's not.


Of course it is. There is absolutely no doubt about the cognitive abilities
of a specific animal within a narrow range once you know for example that it
is a chicken, a frog, or a mosquito.

It just has the cognitive abilities that it has.


And you know what they are within a narrow range by it's species.

Whether
or not there might be an animal wandering around somewhere who can
interbreed with it who's a bit smarter is irrelevant. That's a
characteristic of the ecosystem to which the animal belongs, not the
animal itself.


We are all components of an ecosystem with specific characteristics defined
by our species.

Genetics, species membership, is an accurate catch-all
categorization that delineates all the attributes of members within
it.

The person you claim now
doesn't have the differences from animals has the potential to
achieve those differences. No matter how much hand-waving, and
how many strawmen you prop up, NO animals will ever achive the
difference. Again, your ignorance and stupidity blind you to
reality.

It's quite funny to see you talking about "ignorance and stupidity".
The philosophical community has been debating this issue for the
last
thirty years and everyone agrees that there is a serious problem
with
defending speciesism. I really don't think you are competent to
judge
all these professional philosophers to be ignorant and stupid. Why
don't you try and publish the argument you just came up with, see
how
you go. If you really think you can defend speciesism I'm sure
everyone
would be very excited to hear about it.

I seriously question your word that "everyone agrees" that speciesism
cannot
be defended.

I did not say this. I said everyone acknowledges that there is a
serious problem with doing it.


"everyone agrees that there is a serious problem with defending
speciesism".


Uh-huh.


Cohen doesn't agree, and I guarantee he's not the only one.

Some people think they can do it, such
as Carl Cohen.


Then he does not agree that there is a serious problem,


False.


True

therefore you were
lying when you said everyone agrees that there is a serious problem with
defending speciesism.


No, I am not.


Where does Cohen say that there is a serious problem defending speciesism?

If you doubt my word, read the philosophical literature
and form your own conclusions.


Why would I NOT doubt your word after that?

You don't speak for "everyone" in the ahem philosophical
community,

Your disparagement of the philosophical community is out of place.


I wasn't disparging the philosophical community, I was disparging your
appeal to authority.


There's no appeal to authority since it was not meant to have any
argumentative force. The point of the exercise was to make fun of Rick
when he said that anyone who couldn't see the truth of his position was
"ignorant and stupid". His argument is very weak, and I don't think he
can plausibly claim the entire philosophical community is more
"ignorant and stupid" than him.

You have already demonstrated that you are incapable of
honestly portraying the opinion of the philosophical community.


False.

You're not familiar with the philosophical literature, and if you were
you could learn something about how to construct a good argument.

and in fact Cohen defends it quite nicely in "Regan vs Cohen".

No, that's a very poor defence of speciesism.


In your highly biased opinion.


My opinion is not biased.


Oh come off it!

I am good at assessing the strength of an
argument.


No you aren't, you don't even listen to my arguments, you repeat them back
to me in terms that reveal your bias, discarding the essence of my aguments.

If I came across a good defence of speciesism I would
acknowledge it.


How do you know that you are capable of judging a good defense? I would
recognize a rational critique of it if I saw it, I have not heard one yet.

For example, I acknowledge that Neil Levy's elaboration
of the argument is an improvement.

He doesn't address the
argument from marginal cases.


That is not a valid argument as I have demonstrated.


Whether or not *you* have come up with a good response to it, Cohen
still has to address it. Your response is essentially the same as
Levy's "natural kinds" argument, except that you have modified it in
response to my thought-experiment. The underlying principle is one that
needs defending.


The underlying principle that we all use when viewing animals is essentially
the same. The difference is that ARAs have this poorly contructed slant on
it that they insist is morally more evolved but they have yet to clearly
formulate why others views are wrong, and they fail to recognize how theirs
are essentially the same.

Again, the AR community
turns reality on it's ear then demands that everyone else prove them
wrong.

Neil Levy has kindly helped him out by
elaborating his argument into the "natural kinds" argument, which has
some credibility, but there are still important challenges to it, one
of which I have mentioned on this thread (the thought-experiment of the
nonhuman with abnormally good cognitive abilities).


An argument which I shattered, not that you could have noticed..


You modified your underlying principle in response to it. The question
is why anyone should think that this principle has the least
plausibility.


What do you think my response was?

"Speciesism", the rational worldview, is not to be confused with terms
like
"racism" and "sexism" which carry a pjorative "unfair" connotation.
Everyone
is a speciesist,

No.


Yes

the only question is at what point do you begin to allow
non-human animals into your sphere of consideration and for what
reasons.
You dismiss animals too small for your normal perception to
distinguish,

Because they are not sentient.


How the hell do you know? By what definition?


Sentience is the capacity for conscious experience. An animal without a
nervous system can reasonably be assumed to be insentient.


By human standards, but just applying that standard to non-human animals is
speciesist.

That is not speciesist.


Where is "sentience" whatever you mean by that, implied in the word
"species"? If I dismiss an entire species because I define them all as
not
sentient, how am I not being speciesist?


If you observe that all members of a certain species have
characteristics such that you can reasonably presume them not to be
sentient, and treat them accordingly, you are treating individuals on
the basis of their individual characteristics, not what is typical for
their species or on the basis of the best representative of their
species. You are not being speciesist if you do that.


You can never observe "all members" of a species, you can only observe a
relatively very small number of them, then extrapolate that onservation to
the whole species. Species offers a simple and accurate means to determine
the characteristics of the members of that species. That is what you call
speciesism, and it's a rational approach to animals that we all use.

too
ubiquitous to avoid destroying,

That is justified by limitations on the presumption against causing
harm, which are necessary for human civilization to survive.


Who says the human species must survive at the cost of harming others?


You and I. When we find someone who disagrees, we can argue the point.


That's speciesist too.

How
are you defining "survival"? What happened to equal consideration, to
dealing on an individual basis?


It's still there. The limitations on the presumption against causing
harm, if they take into account any characteristics of the affected
beings at all, must only take into account their individual
characteristics, not the characteristics that are typical for their
species or displayed by the best representative of their species.


It's impractical (impossible actually) and unecessary. A series of
observations of a few indivduals over time gives an accurate picture of all
the indivduals of a species.

These
limitations must be formulated in non-speciesist ways.


By holding intelligence tests on an indivdual-by-indivdual basis?


On the basis of what we reasonably know about the individuals.


By observing theespecies to which they belong.


too inconvenient to preserve, therefore it
is the default reality,

No. These considerations are no argument against equal consideration.


"Equal consideration" is a meaningless buzz-phrase.


No, it is not. You have read a detailed discussion of what it means.


I read a bunch of circular rhetoric that relied on more buzz-phrases.

and the onus falls on so-called "non-speciesism
advocates" to argue where that line should be and why there should be
only
one place for everyone.

Everyone has to draw a line somewhere and argue for why that is the
place the line should be drawn. You have indicated where you draw the
line, now it is your job to defend that.


You have not indicated where you think the line should be drawn,
conveniently avoiding the need to defend it.


I have given just as many details about where the line should be drawn
as you have about where you think it should be drawn.

My criticism of it is that
there is no good reason to judge a being's moral status on the basis of
what is typical for his or her species.


We don't, ALL individuals of all species we kill in agriculture for
example
fall below a threshold of cognitive ability that most humans would find
unacceptable in animals we use for food or harm regularly.


Most humans would not be prepared to inflict similar harms on humans
with similar characteristics.


There you go with the backwards reasoning again.

If you want to revise that judgement,
fine.


There's no need to revise it, there is no problem with it.

If you want to keep the judgement *and* you want to keep the
judgement about the animals harmed by agriculture, you're being
speciesist


There's nothing wrong with being speciesist.

and you have to come up with a good argument against equal
consideration.


Why? It has no rational definition.

You display the typically arrogant approach of the ARA. You attack and
presume to sit in judgment, but when asked to give real alternatives you
hide behind vague, lofty sounding catch-phrases.


I have explained my position in at least as much detail as you have
explained yours.


Your position completely lacks details, it is comprised of misbegotten
ideals and poorly defined buzz-phrases. I have absolutely no idea how this
so-called moral evolution could possibly work.




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"Rupert" wrote

Dutch wrote:


That's discrimination on the basis of individual characteristics which
are held to be morally relevant, not discrimination on the basis of
species. It's not speciesism.


Bullshit, it's not individual, it can't possibly be, you can't interview
every fly, snail, or cockroach. It is dismissal of entire species based
on
the knowledge that NONE of them can possibly possess capabilities beyond
a
particular rudimentary level. People who dismiss mosquitos as irrelevant
do
so using the exact same kind of speciesist logic as those who dismiss
chickens. We do so because we correctly ascertain that NO CHICKEN can
possibly exist beyond a certain level of "sentience".


It is on the basis of individual characteristics, rather than on the
basis of what is typical for their species or the characteristics the
best representative of their species has.


Have you ever examined an individual of any of the above animal species to
determine what it's *individual capacities* are? Of course not, there is no
possible means or ability to do it to one, much less all. The only way, and
it is a very accurate one, is to determine the species and attribute the
characteristics generally of that species to each individual.


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Dutch wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message
ups.com...

Dutch wrote:
"Rupert" wrote

Dutch wrote:

[..]
I disagree.

You're wrong.


Well, that's as may be. But you've introduced an undefined and
unexplained notion - "essential ability to hold those characteristics"
- and twice asserted without the slightest argument that all humans
have this ability and no nonhumans do. With all respect, I don't think
you're doing a very good job of defending your position.

That may be, I thought it obvious, but ok I'll connect the dots. It's
simple
observation.
1. Aside from expected rare exceptions, all humans hold these
characteristics, but more importantly..
2. Without exception, no non-humans hold or have ever held the
characteristics, therefore one can conclude that if any animal does,
humans
alone possess the "essential ability to hold those characteristics".

To address an expected objection... You will say that the existence of
some
humans without those characteristics negates the proposition of a set of
essential human characteristics. Referring to physical abilities, one
might
state the rule that humans, as a species, possess the "essential ability"
to
walk upright on two legs. This is true despite exceptions to the rule,
such
as Spina Bifida sufferers. Just as mosquitoes and chickens have an
"essential set of characteristics". so do humans.


So you're saying an individual's moral status should be judged on the
basis of what's typical for his or her species.


No, a species' moral status should be judged on the basis of the high-water
mark of capabilities for indivduals of that species. It's implausible to to
suggest that we should or could judge every single individual of every
species.


Why?

I want you to explain
why this should be,


Show me a better way, that would work, and no buzz-phrases.


"Equal consideration" is not a buzz-phrase. You have read a detailed
discussion of what it means and doesn't mean. A number of different
theories are consistent with equal consideration. I believe that if you
want to deny equal consideration, you have a burden of proof to meet,
which you haven't met. You haven't given me a reason to think your
position is rationally preferable to accepting equal consideration.

and to address the fact that it has
counter-intuitive consequences for a hypothetical thought-experiment
which I presented.


Bloody hell you're dense, we can't base our actions on hypothetical
thought-experiments. What if we discovered a talking plant?


Then we'd have to consider giving it some moral status. Hypothetical
thought-experiments are relevant in moral philosophy, there was nothing
objectionable about the use to which I put this one.

I'm not dense. I don't think I can be bothered talking to you if that's
going to be your level of courtesy.

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"Rupert" wrote in message
ups.com...

Dutch wrote:
"Rupert" wrote in message
ups.com...

Dutch wrote:
"Rupert" wrote

Dutch wrote:

[..]
I disagree.

You're wrong.


Well, that's as may be. But you've introduced an undefined and
unexplained notion - "essential ability to hold those
characteristics"
- and twice asserted without the slightest argument that all humans
have this ability and no nonhumans do. With all respect, I don't
think
you're doing a very good job of defending your position.

That may be, I thought it obvious, but ok I'll connect the dots. It's
simple
observation.
1. Aside from expected rare exceptions, all humans hold these
characteristics, but more importantly..
2. Without exception, no non-humans hold or have ever held the
characteristics, therefore one can conclude that if any animal does,
humans
alone possess the "essential ability to hold those characteristics".

To address an expected objection... You will say that the existence of
some
humans without those characteristics negates the proposition of a set
of
essential human characteristics. Referring to physical abilities, one
might
state the rule that humans, as a species, possess the "essential
ability"
to
walk upright on two legs. This is true despite exceptions to the rule,
such
as Spina Bifida sufferers. Just as mosquitoes and chickens have an
"essential set of characteristics". so do humans.


So you're saying an individual's moral status should be judged on the
basis of what's typical for his or her species.


No, a species' moral status should be judged on the basis of the
high-water
mark of capabilities for indivduals of that species. It's implausible to
suggest that we should or could judge every single individual of every
species.


Why?


First of all, it would be physically impossible, second, it would be
pointless, history tells us that no matter how many chickens we interview,
the outcome will be exactly the same.

I want you to explain
why this should be,


Show me a better way, that would work, and no buzz-phrases.


"Equal consideration" is not a buzz-phrase. You have read a detailed
discussion of what it means and doesn't mean.


That detailed discussion ended with an admission that even he, the person
who coined the phrase, really had no idea what it means. In other words it's
a phrase that has a nice ring to it but has no solid meaning.

A number of different
theories are consistent with equal consideration. I believe that if you
want to deny equal consideration, you have a burden of proof to meet,
which you haven't met. You haven't given me a reason to think your
position is rationally preferable to accepting equal consideration.


I have no burden of proof to refute vague concepts that other people dream
up. The burden is on people who advocate them to flesh them out and support
them.

and to address the fact that it has
counter-intuitive consequences for a hypothetical thought-experiment
which I presented.


Bloody hell you're dense, we can't base our actions on hypothetical
thought-experiments. What if we discovered a talking plant?


Then we'd have to consider giving it some moral status.


Right, but until then we don't really need to give it much thought, I mean
what are the chances?

Hypothetical
thought-experiments are relevant in moral philosophy, there was nothing
objectionable about the use to which I put this one.


If you mean the talking chimp, it has roughly the same value as the talking
plant. If the world were a different place than it is then we might think
and act differently, I agree.

I'm not dense. I don't think I can be bothered talking to you if that's
going to be your level of courtesy.


Don't be so thin-skinned, we can all be dense at given times, and can also
lose patience.



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Old 15-09-2006, 05:42 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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On 14 Sep 2006 17:13:11 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 10 Sep 2006 18:48:29 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 9 Sep 2006 17:58:37 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 6 Sep 2006 17:21:31 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 5 Sep 2006 15:49:49 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:


[email protected] wrote:
On 4 Sep 2006 19:36:31 -0700, "Rupert" wrote:

I hope people will make a sincere effort to find out the truth of the
matter. Diderot's account may or may not be correct.

"- every farming environment has a different mix of animals and the
largest number and largest variety, both, will be found in
semi-tropical, mixed ecology lands like we have. monocultures will have
the smallest numbers and the smallest numbers of species. the numbers i
have presented hold true in the gulf-coastal plains for machine-farmed
organic rice and may well vary in california and arkansas." - diderot

Ethical vegetarians usually do think there is some sort of presumption
against killing sentient animals. You have no reason to think anyone
here is opposed to people pointing out that sentient animals are killed
in the course of rice production.

So far I have reason to believe that veg*ns are opposed to seeing
it pointed out. Damn good reason in fact.


What reason?

The opposition you people have presented to seeing it pointed out.
Duh.


No-one's opposed to anything being pointed out. Some people believe
Diderot's account of the matter distorts the truth, so they respond
accordingly.

They don't correct him.

They have taken issue with certain things he said.

No one has even tried to correct him and tell us how many animals
are actually killed in rice production,

That's because they don't know. You can criticize what he says without
coming up with estimates of your own.

You don't want to believe what he has learned from first hand
experience, so you just say it isn't true.

No, I do not say this. I do not know whether it is true or not. Others
who have denied some of the things he said have argued for their
position.

What reason would a
man who farms organic rice have for lying and saying there are
MORE deaths involved than there really are? We know why
Lunberg and "pearl" would lie and say there are fewer, but why
would diderot lie and say there are more?

Someone concerned to undermine the ethical vegetarian position might
deliberately exaggerate the harm involved in rice farming.

People point out facts that "ethical" vegetarians hate and deny,
but they remain facts none the less.

People make claims, which some ethical vegetarians dispute.

Here's another fact that "ethical" veg*ns hate: Some livestock
have lives of positive value. Here's another: The lives of animals
raised for food should be given as much or more consideration
than their deaths.


Yes, well we've discussed this before. The argument that if livestock
have sufficiently good lives, this justifies bringing them into
existence, inflicting painful mutilations on them without anaesthetic,
and killing them for food, is not a "fact" that ethical vegans hate, it
is a highly contentious and disputed argument. An important point to
address is: would it be permissible to do the same thing to humans, and
if not, what's the morally relevant difference?

In the case of most human slavery, humans are aware of their
situation and often suffer mentally as well as physically from the
fact. That's one thing that would make a huge difference in
quality of life for humans instead of animals. Then if the humans
knew they would be killed and eaten that would make another
big difference, since animals have no idea. Also the animals
we generally raise for food are much tougher and able to thrive
naked in environments that would kill most humans eventually.
Then there's the fact that the animals we raise for food have
offspring who are much easier to care for and provide with
lives that are of positive value for them. Those are some
differences which I can't help but take into consideration.


What if the slaves had good lives, and weren't aware of their
situation?


So far it appears there would be nothing wrong with it, so now
it's up to you to explain what would be.


Well, if that's your position, fine, as long as you're upfront about
what you're committed to.


Nothing yet. You need to explain what would be wrong with it, but
so far there doesn't appear to be anything.

Most people would find that contention
absolutely appalling. They would believe that it would be wrong because
the rights of the slaves were violated.


You have yet to explain how. Just do it!

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.

I hope I asked what the conditions would be. Quality of life
would be what determines that, imo. I saw a documentary on
slavery where men were *trying* to become slaves so they could
better care for their families. They were getting whipped on their
bare backs to prove themselves somehow. So life is of significance
sometimes even when it seems like it should not be, and vice versa.

I think most people would find this pretty difficult to swallow. You're
entitled to your opinion, but you should be upfront about what your
claims are.

We might be in that position right now. You don't know...no one does.
We certainly all get killed by something, and often suffer a lot longer
than animals we raise for food. But there are things on the plus side
for us that animals don't get. But thinking on all of humanity, how much
of it would we have wanted to live through? Most of human existence
has been spent without civilization or agriculture as we know it. Would
you rather live however humans managed to survive 20 thousand years
before the development of agricultural society, or would you rather just
pass on that?


Is it safe to conclude you have no idea about that?


I really don't understand what the relevance of this is supposed to be.
Obviously, life 20 thousand years ago would be pretty hard. So what?


So even though human life is something that most of us would not want
to experience for most of human existence, humans still went on through
it and didn't all kill themselves off, or refuse to bring children into it. It was
worse than many slave situations were, but still people apparently wanted
to live anyway because that's all they knew. Things like that *should* be
taken into consideration when we consider the "big picture", since they are
all part of it.

It really says a lot about them
that "ethical" vegetarians appear to be the only people who are
opposed to seeing such aspects of human influence on animals
being pointed out, even though everyone is involved with them.


What does it say about them that they are not convinced?

That they will eat rice regardless of the deaths involved with it,

The fact that they are not convinced of Diderot's claims certainly does
not prove that they will eat rice regardless of how much harm they
think it causes.

I'm sure they'd just deny it.


Why?


LOL! So they could keep eating rice, like they do, and like they
contribute to most things everyone else does that cause death to
animals. Don't forget that the only deaths vegans avoid, are those
to animals who would have no life at all were it not for their consumers.
Any animals who are simply killed but not deliberately provided with
life are okay with vegans, which is one reason I can't respect them.


What makes you think vegans would not be prepared to sacrifice eating
rice if they genuinely thought it significantly contributed to
unnecessary harm?


If they wanted to eat rice--which apparently they do--they would
lie about the cds involved with it--which apparently they do.

They've already shown willingness to modify their
diet to a fair extent in order to avoid unnecessary harm,


They contribute to all the wildlife deaths that most people contribute
to by their use of roads and buildings, wood and paper products,
electricity, their own diets, products which have been mined, etc.
All that vegans try to avoid, are products which deliberately provide
life for some of the animals who are killed in their production.

.. . .
How would telling people about frogs etc getting killed in
rice production, make someone who is proud of going to a different
country just to kill wildlife feel any better about eating meat?


He wants to discredit the ethical vegetarian position,


No, that wouldn't do it. There's no reason it would have any influence
on how he feels about eating meat.

just as Pearl
wants to defend it. There is no reason to think Pearl would have any
more motive to be dishonest in order to defend it than Diderot would in
order to discredit it.


Yes there is. "pearl" obviously wants to maintain the idea that there's
nothing wrong with eating rice regardless of how many animals are killed
in its production. diderot obviously wants people to be aware of the
deaths involved with it because he feels they are significant. Duh!!!
.. . .
How many do YOU want people to believe
are killed, and why should we believe YOU over diderot? Get "pearl"
to help you, since you both feel you know better than diderot between
the two of you you SHOULD be able to set everybody straight on it.


I really wish you "aras" would work out what you want everyone to think,
and let us know what it is.

.. . .
We raised our own cattle never feeding them grain. They only ate
grass. We got many meals from the death of one animal. If we had
raised soy and made our own tofu instead, it would have resulted in
many more animal deaths per serving of food, even though fewer
animals would have been able to live in the area than when it was
pasture.


If you say so. What about the forage? Have you worked out the CDs that
arose from that?


Like what? How many flies they happened to kill with their tails?

If you
succeeded, the vegans would be rationally required to concede that the
consumption of those animal products was permissible as well.


They never would because they're too dishonest. Rick Etter almost
certainly contributes to fewer wildlife deaths than the average veg*n,
but we NEVER see veg*ns even acknowledge that because of the
dishonest nature of such people.


Well, I wouldn't know, I don't know what Rick Etter eats. I would
imagine the reason we don't see vegans acknowledge it is because it
hasn't been established. It may be the case.


I believe it is the case, and that vegans will never even acknowledge
it much less show him the appreciation he deserves. Vegans just aren't
that way.

It wouldn't in any way change the fact that their motivation for going
vegan is to reduce the impact their diet has on animals.

Even when animal products
contribute to fewer deaths than vegetable products AND provide decent
lives for livestock veg*ns still promote the vegetable products over the
animal products....and usually if not always they do it dishonestly....in fact
I can't recall a veg*n EVER being honest about doing so.

The issue of bringing livestock into existence who have tolerably good
lives, if marred by unanaesthetized branding and surgical mutilations,
is a red herring.

It's an aspect "aras" hate because it suggests that decent AW could
be ethically equivalent or superior to "ar".


No-one hates it.


Goo hates it. Dutchy hates it. And so does every other "ara" I've
discussed it with.


Not me. I doubt Leif or Dutch hate it either. It's just not a very good
argument.


It's an aspect of human influence on animals. It's quite obviously an
aspect that you "aras" hate, or you wouldn't be OPPOSED to seeing
it taken into consideration. DUH!!!!

No-one finds the argument plausible. It's flawed, for
reasons that have been pointed out to you countless times.


LOL!!! Like what?


There may be some merit in bringing an animal into existence that has a
good life. That does not entitle you to inflict painful mutilations on
the animal without anaesthetic,


I am in favor of apply anaesthetic before performing otherwise
very painful acts on animals.

or to kill it prematurely.


Animals raised to be killed are not killed prematurely when the
length of their life was decided in advance, and they are raised
for the predetermined period of time. They are not cheated out
of what would have been a longer life if they hadn't been raised
for food, but instead experience whatever life they do only
because they are.
In contrast to that, the wildlife who die so we can eat crops,
use wood and paper, live and work in buidlings etc ARE killed
prematurely since the length of their lives was not predetermined
before their birth, and they would live longer lives if humans didn't
happen to kill them when we take their homes and food.

Other than the lies some people pretend
are "reasons", I can really only recall three "reasons" given
why we should not consider the animals' lives as well as their
deaths, all three suck, and they were all presented by Dutchy.
They a

1. he and other "aras" say we should not.
2. he says we should think of raising animals for food and
child prostition in the same way.
3. he says we lose imaginary moral browny points if we do so.

As I said those reasons suck, but so far they are the "best"
you people have been able to come up with. If you think you
can think of better ones, I'd like to see them.


So far the list remains in the same pitiful and worthless condition
it has been in for years and years.
  #120 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-09-2006, 05:42 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Default "collateral included deaths in organic rice production [faq]"

On Thu, 14 Sep 2006 22:08:01 -0700, "Dutch" wrote:

"Rupert" wrote in message
oups.com...

I am good at assessing the strength of an
argument.


No you aren't, you don't even listen to my arguments, you repeat them back
to me in terms that reveal your bias, discarding the essence of my aguments.


Have you "explained" to him why you believe we should think of child
prostitution and raising animals for food in the same way yet?


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