Animal Rights?
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23-10-2015, 02:08 PM
RE: Animal Rights?
(22-10-2015 06:06 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Surely the real question is what fish have to do with setting our laws?

Leave my mother out of it... Wink

(22-10-2015 06:06 PM)cjlr Wrote:  I don't think there's a meaningful semantic difference. What, after all, is a human right, but a protected behavioural norm?

I think the difference is meaningful. However, I am struggling to make a compelling case in that regard. Bear with me...

Let's examine theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights which provides not only a list of basic human rights, but the purpose and value of establishing such a definition of human rights in the first place.

Quote:WHEREAS recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

WHEREAS disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

WHEREAS it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

WHEREAS it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Essentially, the basic human rights are those that most humans require in order to function without going insane and that, if withheld by a governing body will likely result in people revolting or a breakdown in society. Without them, people simply can't get along. It is the minimum allowance of what one individual human or group of humans must afford to another individual human or group of humans to achieve the lasting equilibrium required for a function society to form and thrive.

In other words, these are the basic rights we demand of one another, and if not granted then we will be driven by our human nature to take it, by force if necessary.

I do not think that this is what we would be granting to animals. The animals will not revolt to ensure that they are entitled to the right to a speedy and painless death. They can not demand it. They can not expect it. They can not fight for it. I'm not sure they would really even know the difference. In the wild, it is likely that many animals would die a slow, painful and terrible death as a result of predators, freak accidents, sickness/disease, or natural disaster. The only intrinsic right they have is that which is already provided by nature. A chance to compete, with the hope of surviving and reproducing.

My cat has no sense of empathy. She will joyfully play with a chipmunk for hours, slowly tormenting it and intentionally keeping it alive for sport before she becomes bored or hungry and finally eats it. Nature has not programmed her to give a single flying f*** about how the chipmunk feels about the process of its death. Why? There was no value in doing so. A cat that feels sorry for the food upon which it depends wouldn't survive long. Playing with their food probably helped them become better hunters and gives them a mechanism to train their kittens how to fend for themselves. These are good things if you are the cat.

As a benevolent species, endowed with reason and conscience, humans would be remiss if we didn't grant certain protections, direct aid even, to other species. Given our understanding of the interdependence of all the world's ecosystems, we now realize the folly of reckless elimination of even seemingly useless creatures. But what does it matter if, like the cat, we happen to have a bit of sport with our food before we kill it? To be clear, it is my opinion that it is wrong to do so and that those who do are cruel people.

But, is there is any real value in protecting animals from senseless abuse? I think there is, but what is it? What reasoned argument can we make that laws should be passed to grant rights to animals, or at least protection from senseless abuse? I think the answer lies not in some intrinsic set of rights of the animals, but in what the lack of some minimal degree of human empathy says about a person. A species with such power as we have over the rest of nature but lacking in an equivalent measure of empathy would certainly be doomed to eventually destroy the world around it because it would be too callous to care until it was too late. It could be argued that we humans are already well on our way to such a fate.

I just wanted to let you know that I love you even though you aren't naked right now. Heart
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24-10-2015, 04:47 AM
RE: Animal Rights?
(23-10-2015 02:08 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  But, is there is any real value in protecting animals from senseless abuse? I think there is, but what is it? What reasoned argument can we make that laws should be passed to grant rights to animals, or at least protection from senseless abuse? I think the answer lies not in some intrinsic set of rights of the animals, but in what the lack of some minimal degree of human empathy says about a person. A species with such power as we have over the rest of nature but lacking in an equivalent measure of empathy would certainly be doomed to eventually destroy the world around it because it would be too callous to care until it was too late. It could be argued that we humans are already well on our way to such a fate.

Why do I need to make a reasoned argument? Politics is not about reason. Nor is empathy really. It's all about expedience. Empathy is evolved to help us bond together which makes family groups and tribes successful. Coincidentally there's a spill over into inter-species empathy. There's no *reason* to have empathy.

Also you are incorrect. Even the concept of human rights, social contracts etc is recent. Many people lived without freedom of religion, expression, speech etc for millenia without a problem (well, maybe a problem for them, but they certainly didn't take those rights by force). Do you think it impossible that your rights can be taken away? They most definitely can. Do you think it's impossible for rights to be taken away from a whole class of people living in a society? They most definitely can, and there won't be any revolution.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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24-10-2015, 07:40 PM
RE: Animal Rights?
(24-10-2015 04:47 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(23-10-2015 02:08 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  But, is there is any real value in protecting animals from senseless abuse? I think there is, but what is it? What reasoned argument can we make that laws should be passed to grant rights to animals, or at least protection from senseless abuse? I think the answer lies not in some intrinsic set of rights of the animals, but in what the lack of some minimal degree of human empathy says about a person. A species with such power as we have over the rest of nature but lacking in an equivalent measure of empathy would certainly be doomed to eventually destroy the world around it because it would be too callous to care until it was too late. It could be argued that we humans are already well on our way to such a fate.

Why do I need to make a reasoned argument? Politics is not about reason. Nor is empathy really. It's all about expedience. Empathy is evolved to help us bond together which makes family groups and tribes successful. Coincidentally there's a spill over into inter-species empathy. There's no *reason* to have empathy.
There is a reason for empathy and you stated it yourself: "to help us bond together which makes family groups and tribes successful".

And, politics, while not always guided by reason, could use a healthy dose of it from time to time. Do you really mean to suggest that we should systematically create laws based solely on emotional responses with no consideration for logic and reason?

I just wanted to let you know that I love you even though you aren't naked right now. Heart
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25-10-2015, 12:03 AM
RE: Animal Rights?
(24-10-2015 07:40 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  There is a reason for empathy and you stated it yourself: "to help us bond together which makes family groups and tribes successful".
Rolleyes And I also said empathy was about expedience, since my words apparently carry such weight. If killing our young made more sense for survival than empathy, we'd make laws based on that. So no, empathy does not count as reason. The most you can say is that laws are ultimately based on survival and empathy happens to be a good survival trait. And you are aware that our survival situation has changed? We no longer have competition from other apex predators. What then is empathy but a hold-over from before?

Quote:And, politics, while not always guided by reason, could use a healthy dose of it from time to time. Do you really mean to suggest that we should systematically create laws based solely on emotional responses with no consideration for logic and reason?
Don't be daft. Of course not. But your definition of logic and reason isn't mine. Also, while it's very nice to talk about how we *should* make laws, do you really think they *ever* get made other than when there's emotion involved?

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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25-10-2015, 12:49 AM
RE: Animal Rights?
(21-10-2015 04:31 PM)TurkeyBurner Wrote:  Why should we give them "rights"? We definitely should ensure their continued survival for the reasons you state. But beyond that, why do we owe livestock a "humane" life and death? Why do we owe other humans a humane existence? Does the same line of reasoning for humane treatment of humans apply to animals?

For the record, I am not taking the position that we do not owe humans or animals humane treatment. Rather, I am seeking to understand why it is that some humans (and possibly some other species) have this sense of obligation where others do not.

Probably in order to sleep easily. And I won't argue with that.
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02-11-2015, 04:24 PM
RE: Animal Rights?
Yeah I know this threads a little old but...why do Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins agree that there is no moral defense for eating meat? I'm kind of having an existential crisis about my carnivorousness here. If morality, as Harris has said, is basically trying to get as far from the worst possible misery for everyone, and animals are capable of some emotions and certainly pain...how do you justify factory farming? Why would we make laws to make FF more "humane", but still slaughter the animals?

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03-11-2015, 12:55 AM
RE: Animal Rights?
(02-11-2015 04:24 PM)Imathinker Wrote:  Yeah I know this threads a little old but...why do Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins agree that there is no moral defense for eating meat? I'm kind of having an existential crisis about my carnivorousness here. If morality, as Harris has said, is basically trying to get as far from the worst possible misery for everyone, and animals are capable of some emotions and certainly pain...how do you justify factory farming? Why would we make laws to make FF more "humane", but still slaughter the animals?

I don't want "more humane" factory farming. I want it ended, personally. The reason it exists in the first place is profit. Normal farming though, e.g. keeping cows for milk, meat and other products, that I don't mind. The cows get a nice life and protection, they reproduce and so forth, and in exchange we require them to die when we determine it necessary. It's a decent deal. It's when they're kept in shitty conditions that I'm anti.

I have zero problem with eating meat myself, although I do limit my consumption 'cos I feel healthier with more veg, there's even the possibility at some point that I might go fully veggie just for shits and giggles.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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03-11-2015, 12:59 AM
RE: Animal Rights?
(03-11-2015 12:55 AM)morondog Wrote:  I have zero problem with eating meat myself, although I do limit my consumption 'cos I feel healthier with more veg, there's even the possibility at some point that I might go fully veggie just for shits and giggles.

I also have zero qualms about eating meat. But I have noticed that over time I have lost my taste for it. Nothing ethical or anything, just lost my taste for it. Dafuq's up with that?

#sigh
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03-11-2015, 01:25 AM
RE: Animal Rights?
(03-11-2015 12:59 AM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(03-11-2015 12:55 AM)morondog Wrote:  I have zero problem with eating meat myself, although I do limit my consumption 'cos I feel healthier with more veg, there's even the possibility at some point that I might go fully veggie just for shits and giggles.

I also have zero qualms about eating meat. But I have noticed that over time I have lost my taste for it. Nothing ethical or anything, just lost my taste for it. Dafuq's up with that?

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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03-11-2015, 06:51 AM
RE: Animal Rights?
(03-11-2015 12:55 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(02-11-2015 04:24 PM)Imathinker Wrote:  Yeah I know this threads a little old but...why do Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins agree that there is no moral defense for eating meat? I'm kind of having an existential crisis about my carnivorousness here. If morality, as Harris has said, is basically trying to get as far from the worst possible misery for everyone, and animals are capable of some emotions and certainly pain...how do you justify factory farming? Why would we make laws to make FF more "humane", but still slaughter the animals?

I don't want "more humane" factory farming. I want it ended, personally. The reason it exists in the first place is profit. Normal farming though, e.g. keeping cows for milk, meat and other products, that I don't mind. The cows get a nice life and protection, they reproduce and so forth, and in exchange we require them to die when we determine it necessary. It's a decent deal. It's when they're kept in shitty conditions that I'm anti.

I have zero problem with eating meat myself, although I do limit my consumption 'cos I feel healthier with more veg, there's even the possibility at some point that I might go fully veggie just for shits and giggles.

If it wasn't for factory farming -- there would be a whole bunch of people busy starving to death right now.

As overpopulated as the world is -- factory farming will only go away when about 90 percent of the people do.

As far as "shitty conditions" --- I suspect that domesticated animals in almost ALL cases live a more stress free life than if they were living in the wild --- for if they were -- there would be far more predators on the planet than there are now.

So the typical cow, chicken or pig has the "choice" of a reasonably peaceful (albeit short) existence living under "factory farm" conditions -- or, the could live equally short - but more stressful existence trying to avoid cougars, bobcats, wolves and coyotes who are intent on tearing them apart and eating them....

We're on the top of the food chain, because we choose to be there..

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