Where do we draw the line?
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15-03-2015, 04:45 PM
RE: Where do we draw the line?
(15-03-2015 08:09 AM)WillHopp Wrote:  
(15-03-2015 02:03 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  As a guy who builds guns with the expressed purpose of killing animals, gutting them out, butchering and eating them, I don't bother drawing lines.

I'm just happy carnivore.

And like I said, I'm not turning into someone who is against these things, but do you draw a line? For instance, you hunt, likely for deer and the like. Would you hunt chimps for sport? Would you fish for dolphin? Would you club a baby seal? Shoot a puppy? Or an endangered tiger?

Is there a line? Or because we are the smartest, most advanced species it gives us dominion over every living thing, just like the babble says?

1. I don't hunt for sport. Although - some animals do. Watch a cat, "play" with a mouse.. It's the very definition of "sport".

2. Dolphin?? Sure... Does it taste like fish, or chicken??

3. Club a seal? Absolutely -- the hides are worth far less with a bullet hole in them.

4. Shoot a puppy?? Sure - if it is in need. I've shot my own dogs when they were too sick to enjoy life. I won't get maudlin simply because it's a puppy..

5. An endangered tiger??? Sure - if it's hunting ME - it's definitely "endangered".....


..........

"Animal rights" people are simply deluded - with a conflict between maternal instinct and inability to separate cartoons (Bambi and the like) from reality.......

The reality? Every animal eats living things. That's just the way it is.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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15-03-2015, 06:37 PM
RE: Where do we draw the line?
I have had dealings with the Animal Liberation Front. I became very disillusioned when certain people in the group I was with spoke about bringing harm to people and/or their families. I also knew that animal testing, as horrendous as it may be, helps science move foward with research. Its not a job I could do.

If it doesnt need to be killed I wont kill it. I release any insects in my house and if I see anybody harming an animal it upsets me and I will stop it, even if that means putting myself in danger.

Its all pretty pointless though as my worldview is a Nihilistic one. When I attempt to remove myself from the equasion I see empathy as a weakness.

I feel so much, and yet I feel nothing.
I am a rock, I am the sky, the birds and the trees and everything beyond.
I am the wind, in the fields in which I roar. I am the water, in which I drown.
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15-03-2015, 06:42 PM
RE: Where do we draw the line?
I realize I could be construed as a hypocrite by protecting a turtle but eating a burger. But then again,why is eating a salad any more acceptable? It was a living thing once. Just because it doesn't have a face? What a conundrum.

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15-03-2015, 07:39 PM
RE: Where do we draw the line?
(15-03-2015 06:42 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  I realize I could be construed as a hypocrite by protecting a turtle but eating a burger. But then again,why is eating a salad any more acceptable? It was a living thing once. Just because it doesn't have a face? What a conundrum.

Ever had a houseplant meet you at the back door cause it's so damned happy that you are home from work? We develop relationships with animals. Plants are nice and some people think they grow better if talked to...but I would rather walk my dogs then talk a plant for a stroll around the neighborhood.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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15-03-2015, 07:54 PM
RE: Where do we draw the line?
So possible relationships are where you draw the line? If a reciprocal relationship is possible then you don't eat or kill it? Does this have to be a particularly engaging relationship or the mere fact that the other member of this relationship moves and eats your food is enough?

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15-03-2015, 07:57 PM
RE: Where do we draw the line?
(15-03-2015 07:54 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  So possible relationships are where you draw the line? If a reciprocal relationship is possible then you don't eat or kill it? Does this have to be a particularly engaging relationship or the mere fact that the other member of this relationship moves and eats your food is enough?

I think this is a darn good place to start.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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16-03-2015, 04:32 AM (This post was last modified: 16-03-2015 07:51 AM by The Polyglot Atheist.)
RE: Where do we draw the line?
I understand your respect for animals and I don't kill ants or bees "for fun" like I used to do when I was a little kid. I was just too immature to understand the whole context of my actions, or even understand life and death. But then I grew up and upon realizing it, I stopped. I was still a believer then.

Like you, I try to "save" animals if possible. But if you happen to kill one, like a bug, spiders, because they're in your house... well, don't get depressed about it. Don't be a sadistic asshole killing any animal, but also don't stress yourself over such a thing if it happens.

About eating meat: I'm not a vegetarian and I don't plan to be one. I like eating meat now and then, I just don't eat from fast food chains (ever), and prefer to buy locally. I think that's a nice way of "countering" indiscriminate mass production of meat, while still eating it.

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16-03-2015, 06:19 AM
RE: Where do we draw the line?
I am a compassionate and empathetic person, to a fault. And paradoxically, that can overwhelm me and at times make me disconnect / turn my back / ignore suffering. I feel sometimes that, e.g., animal rights activists expect me to take on the whole friggin' planet. I can't save the world. Some days I feel like I can barely save myself, much less my immediate family, much less all comers. And in any event, as others have pointed out, some of it is just "circle of life" stuff anyway ... some things must die for others to live. And, when it comes to humanity, a lot of it is a clown car parade of self-inflicted misery. I have the ability for instance to make all my adult son's financial pressures vanish, but natural consequences connect him to his personal responsibilities and healthy boundaries keep him focused. Too much compassion deprives him of important life lessons.

So to the point of the OP, I guess I do draw lines and those lines are mostly defined by the fact that my time, resources and energy are finite whereas the suffering in the world (human and otherwise) is basically infinite. I try to focus on what is doable so that I can at least accomplish SOMETHING to make the world a less bad place. And even where I have ability to influence things, I try to stay mindful of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
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28-03-2015, 10:10 AM (This post was last modified: 28-03-2015 10:19 AM by pitar.)
RE: Where do we draw the line?
(14-03-2015 09:45 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  My appreciation for living things has grown exponentially over the years, especially as a proud atheist. I never was much into science when I was a kid, though I enjoyed math, so the formulaic side of science did appeal to me. These days, I very much appreciate science, even if my math skills have eroded.

Anyway, now that I have this appreciation for science and for learning as much as I can, I start to wonder about things critically. For instance, we are all related if we go back far enough, and for that matter, EVERY living thing is related if you go back far enough, including bugs and plants.

When we discuss morality on here, we use our empathy to gauge what we feel is moral as a society. I wholeheartedly agree with this barometer. And I have started to using my empathy for all living things.

In fact, IRL I have started saving turtles who are abandoned, lost or abused. When I hear of turtles that have been victims if poor husbandry or just plain cruelty, I tell the owners or friends of the owners that they are being cruel and need to either improve the situation or give them to me. My wife and I power-walk 3-4 miles pretty much daily, and living in Florida, we see stray baby turtles (juveniles) that have lost their way or have been dropped by a still-hungry bird. I have picked these turtles up and carried them either to the closest true water source or sometimes three miles to a huge pond near my home or my own pond. Generally, you should return turtles to their environment when they are wild. And if they were pets, then I save them in my pond or aquariums because they would likely die in the wild.

Anyway, before I became a full-fledged atheist, I used to never even think about this sort of thing. I would kill bugs, bees, whatever. Now, if I find something in my house, I let it out. If I see a snake outside, I leave it alone. It used to be Shovel City and I was mayor when I saw a snake, but no more.

This is a really long way about saying, where do we draw the line with our empathy? The bible makes it easy for believers because there's that line about having dominion over everything on the planet. But, when I know we are all related, I almost start to feel bad about mowing my lawn and using Roundup on weeds.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not some super-sensitive hippie who is going off the deep end. I will mow my lawn and I will spray for bugs in my house, but where do we draw the line? Do we feel bad for snipping flowers? Cutting down trees? Squashing spiders? And, for that matter, every time we eat something natural, we are literally eating a relative. How does that sit with you?

I'm being totally serious.

I do not think you are strong enough to be totally serious and that's being benevolent towards your sentient side. Therefore, I cannot speak any more to the gravity you profess on the subject. I will speak of my own instead and maybe you can see yourself somewhere in it. Deal?

Kill'em all and let god sort'em out.

Okay, maybe that's a battle cry of old and we are now expected to be good husbands of all things, politics and feigned respect in good order and accounting, of course.

I'm an atheist. Therefore I do not share the spiritual soul-thing that theists feign...err...espouse. That would be my god-slip showing. If I did align myself with the god-side of husbandry I'd be comfortable knowing I could not make a dire mistake as long as forgiveness and repentance was the salving grace. I could kill all my life and remain a devout servant. Moreover, I could kill in a god's name and be considered a soldier of the belief system with possible canonization my posthumous reward. Yippie...oh...disqualified...nuts.

I do not have a problem killing in any compass heading or elevation if it serves to advantage a greater good. If a person, agent, army, nation of murderous intent exists to further its own agenda I would engage them enmasse with a suitable weapon, or weapons, that burdens me with the least effort and loss of life. Be it a nuclear device then they will receive it upon such invitation. That would describe my solution to a problem. Likewise, I would expect nothing but a similar response from a more sentient population should I have murderous intent upon them. The ethical burden would then be equally shared and the strongest will survive. This is the correct response to humans getting too big for their britches because words have never moved anyone to action outside of singing songs and imbuing the ignorant masses with bad intent.

In the case of bugs, however, there is a food chain to consider. It is the ecosystem that must be preserved at the expense of humanity, the latter being the lesser consideration given the role played within that system.

So, your line must be drawn without human presence on either side of it. Kill yourself and the problem goes away.

You see, theism would put humanity on one side of that line. Atheism removes that need. Purpose versus purposeless.

You need to be strong to be an atheist. Buck up and squash those bugs. They'll make more.
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29-03-2015, 12:04 PM
RE: Where do we draw the line?
I've thought about this same topic countless times. Am I a better person if I become vegetarian/vegan? I wouldn't think so. I really think it comes down to simply respecting the living things around you. You can respect living things and still kill them. Even though it's a children's movie, I think it's explained quite simply and beautifully in The Lion King. lol.

The way I see it though, as long as you're not killing things just for the sake of killing them, there's not really anything to be concerned about. We have enough power as a species to either destroy everything around us or help the earth blossom. I wouldn't think it as too far to say that we even have a great influence on the balance of everything living.

I think it's great when others start to see things from a different perspective and learn to appreciate living things on a new level. I've been going through the same transformation and I feel like I see things much brighter than I have before coming to the conclusion that I'm an atheist.

We are eternal beings. Endings are not in our destiny.
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