Would it be moral to starve, hypothetical question.
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29-03-2012, 04:40 PM (This post was last modified: 31-03-2012 09:14 PM by NotSoVacuous.)
Would it be moral to starve, hypothetical question.
So I have went full vegetarian. I have done a tremendous amount of reading, and discussions with my philosophy board and ethics class has prompted my change. The strongest argument I find with abstaining from eating meat is the well-being and happiness it retracts from animals. Considering I can be perfectly fine with eating vegetables the rest of my life, I see no problem with removing meat from my diet.

Now, to bring about a hypothetical question from the viewpoint of my previous statements. IF, one day we are to discover that plants can feel pain when killed and/or somehow are aware of their existence, and we operate on the morality concerning well-being/autonomy & respect, would it not then be moral to starve to death?

Trivial comments displayed with no more than an impulse thought directed by your adrenaline glands and shrunken cerebral cortices will be met with no more than a request to go educate yourself, and to get fucked. I want a serious inquiry into the moral implications of well being/autonomy, and our status if our only source of food would require use to ignore the morality of the previous given criteria.

"We Humans are capable of greatness." -Carl Sagan
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29-03-2012, 05:12 PM
RE: Would it be moral to starve, hypothetical question.
It really depend how you define morality.

There is no such thing as objective morality, otherwise everyone would agree.
Subjective morality, to me, seems to be an oxymoron. I have personal values, they help me to survive, but I don't refer to them as morality, I dislike the term, but that is just me.

Would you consider it as moral for a cat to eat a bird, or is that simply what cats do?

Why aren't people the same? Why can't people simply do what people do?

If you want to go vegetarian, then that is fine, I have no problems with you making your own choices (not that you would care if I did have problems with it), if you decide to starve yourself to death because you are worried about hurting vegetables, then that is also your choice.

To me, eating just seems to be a part of nature. If we didn't do it then we would die, if our species didn't do it then we would cease to exist. All animals do it. It seems they naturally agree with the whole food chain system.
Evolution requires the life/death cycle, are you saying that evolution is immoral, are you saying that life is immoral due to its reliance on food? Would you prefer an existance of just barren rocks, burning stars, gas planets, but no life to experience it or utilise it? Would this be your moral universal existance?
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29-03-2012, 05:29 PM (This post was last modified: 29-03-2012 05:32 PM by NotSoVacuous.)
RE: Would it be moral to starve, hypothetical question.
I think there are such things as objective morality. Maximizing well-being is one of them. (Of course I could be wrong, this is philosophy)

Quote: Would you consider it as moral for a cat to eat a bird

I see nothing wrong with a cat eating a bird. The cat is not a moral agent.

Quote: To me, eating just seems to be a part of nature.
This doesn't answer the question of right and wrong. People obtain diseases, diseases are natural, does that mean we should accept our disease, or cure it? Well of course, cure it. Claiming things are nature has no bearing on whether we ought to do something or not. Simply put, claims to the nature order are irrelevant.

Quote: All animals do it.
Animals are no moral agents, so this is a moot point. Animals eat their own feces, they can be cannibals, they don't wear clothes. Claims that animals do it, again, does not have any ties with it being right. If you looked out your window to find me shitting on your lawn, I highly doubt you would find comfort in the statement, "Animals do it."

Quote: Would you prefer an existance of just barren rocks, burning stars, gas planets, but no life to experience it or utilise it? Would this be your moral universal existance?
Obviously a universe with 0% suffering would be the most ideal moral universe. Would it be the most favorable? No. Am I saying that I would not accept sacrifices? No, I much rather would be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. So I am willing to sacrifice. I am not saying that I would starve myself to death solely on the grounds of morality. My question was simple, would it be moral to do so. Not should we. Morality isn't always synonymous for "ought".

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29-03-2012, 05:40 PM
RE: Would it be moral to starve, hypothetical question.
Re plants:



Quote: The Secret Life of Plants was written by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. It is described as “A fascinating account of the physical, emotional, and spiritual relations between plants and man.” Essentially, the subject of the book is the idea that plants may be sentient, despite their lack of a nervous system and a brain. This sentience is observed primarily through changes in the plant’s conductivity, as through a polygraph, as pioneered by Cleve Backster.
You can watch a film here:

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-secre...of-plants/

Personally I think there is a lot of hocus pokus there, with some interesting kernels of truth.

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29-03-2012, 05:54 PM
RE: Would it be moral to starve, hypothetical question.
(29-03-2012 05:29 PM)NotSoVacuous Wrote:  I think there are such things as objective morality. Maximizing well-being is one of them. (Of course I could be wrong, this is philosophy)
So in your eyes, all moral agents of the world ought to agree that it is immoral to be overweight, underweight, unfit, tired, stressed, lacking certain vital vitamins and minerals. And that it would be immoral not to work towards getting oneself into the maximal well-being state?
Quote:I see nothing wrong with a cat eating a bird. The cat is not a moral agent.

Animals
are no moral agents, so this is a moot point. Animals eat their own
feces, they can be cannibals, they don't wear clothes. Claims that
animals do it, again, does not have any ties with it being right. If you
looked out your window to find me shitting on your lawn, I highly doubt
you would find comfort in the statement, "Animals do it."
Please define the difference between being a moral agent or a non moral agent.
I'd be interested to understand where the accountability lies to behave morally? Are we held accountable during life or after life? Who holds us accountable?
Quote:
Quote: To me, eating just seems to be a part of nature.
This
doesn't answer the question of right and wrong. People obtain diseases,
diseases are natural, does that mean we should accept our disease, or
cure it? Well of course, cure it. Claiming things are nature has no
bearing on whether we ought to do something or not. Simply put, claims
to the nature order are irrelevant.
In what context are you defining right and wrong?
Are you stating that there is an absolute right and wrong which applies to ever moral agent?
How are we made accountable for transgressing this?
Who makes us accountable?
Quote:My question was simple, would it be moral to do so. Not should we. Morality isn't always synonymous for "ought".
Questions regarding morality are never simple. People don't agree on moral standards.
Even if there was a morality, why would you care? Is it your purpose to uphold morality? Will you be held accountable? Do you think you are bound to enforce morality onto others? Do you think others are justified in enforcing morality onto you?
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29-03-2012, 06:04 PM
RE: Would it be moral to starve, hypothetical question.
I need to eat. I need to eat to survive. Forget that I enjoy eating.

To me it all boils down to survival. In reality I should only eat what I need to survive and nothing more, but I don`t.
Morality within the confines of survival is sketchy at best. I wouldn't want to be eaten really, especially alive. But if I were eaten by a lion or something and there was a heaven somehow, I don't think I would hate the lion for having eaten me, because I understand that it needed to eat me.

Now if the lion had eaten me even though it was full, and it was just eating me for the sake of it, then I would be pretty mad.
Lions don't have a tendency to do that, but I think you understand what I'm saying.

I like to think that the rest of nature gets this. It might not be true, but to me it seems that way.
You watch a video of those Zebras that always drink water at the same part of the river ever year on their trek across the land, knowing full well that there are gators waiting for them. I wonder why. Is it because they know the gators are hungry and if the Zebras don't get eaten the gators might not survive?
I don't know.

It all boils down to I think within the confines of survival it would still be moral to kill for food. Almost in the same way I believe it to be moral to kill someone trying to kill you or someone you love.

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29-03-2012, 06:10 PM
RE: Would it be moral to starve, hypothetical question.
What's immoral in my eyes is not that we eat animals, but how we make them live and how we make them die.

Instead of going vegetarian, you would do a lot more good in supporting farms that allow animals a rich, natural life and a humane kill.

There are a lot of these around that need support.

Going vegeatarian isn't the solution IMO, people are omnivores. The majority will always eat meat. If you want to help animals, do something for them. Support ethical husbandry.

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29-03-2012, 06:18 PM
RE: Would it be moral to starve, hypothetical question.
(29-03-2012 04:40 PM)NotSoVacuous Wrote:  Now, to bring about a hypothetical question from the viewpoint of my previous statements. IF, one day we are to discover that plants can feel pain when killed and/or somehow are aware of their existence

Not to worry. No neural tube, no brain, no nerves and no conduction system. Pain requires chemical mediation.

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29-03-2012, 06:24 PM (This post was last modified: 29-03-2012 06:28 PM by NotSoVacuous.)
RE: Would it be moral to starve, hypothetical question.
(29-03-2012 05:54 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(29-03-2012 05:29 PM)NotSoVacuous Wrote:  I think there are such things as objective morality. Maximizing well-being is one of them. (Of course I could be wrong, this is philosophy)
So in your eyes, all moral agents of the world ought to agree that it is immoral to be overweight, underweight, unfit, tired, stressed, lacking certain vital vitamins and minerals. And that it would be immoral not to work towards getting oneself into the maximal well-being state?
Quote:I see nothing wrong with a cat eating a bird. The cat is not a moral agent.

Animals
are no moral agents, so this is a moot point. Animals eat their own
feces, they can be cannibals, they don't wear clothes. Claims that
animals do it, again, does not have any ties with it being right. If you
looked out your window to find me shitting on your lawn, I highly doubt
you would find comfort in the statement, "Animals do it."
Please define the difference between being a moral agent or a non moral agent.
I'd be interested to understand where the accountability lies to behave morally? Are we held accountable during life or after life? Who holds us accountable?
Quote:This
doesn't answer the question of right and wrong. People obtain diseases,
diseases are natural, does that mean we should accept our disease, or
cure it? Well of course, cure it. Claiming things are nature has no
bearing on whether we ought to do something or not. Simply put, claims
to the nature order are irrelevant.
In what context are you defining right and wrong?
Are you stating that there is an absolute right and wrong which applies to ever moral agent?
How are we made accountable for transgressing this?
Who makes us accountable?
Quote:My question was simple, would it be moral to do so. Not should we. Morality isn't always synonymous for "ought".
Questions regarding morality are never simple. People don't agree on moral standards.
Even if there was a morality, why would you care? Is it your purpose to uphold morality? Will you be held accountable? Do you think you are bound to enforce morality onto others? Do you think others are justified in enforcing morality onto you?
In the order presented:

All of those examples would be addressed with "Yes" if the person is not doing it autonomously and/or it is affecting others.

Moral Agency. The ability to rationally think abstractly about how we should treat something or someone defines us as moral agents. We are accountable alive and through death. If you morally had an obligation to do and you escaped this through suicide, you still had/have that obligation despite your ability to fulfill it. The responsibility that comes with the power of being a moral agent holds us accountable. Our dignity holds us accountable. Our integrity holds us accountable.

My comment on what was right and wrong in the light of nature was me acknowledging what you thought was right and wrong. I was merely addressing that your comment was fallacious. Just because it is natural doesn't make it right. We decide what is right and wrong though centuries of fine tuning the philosophy of ethics. In the light of this discussion, solely limited to--at the moment--what we eat, am I referring right and wrong as well-being.

Your last comment I assume is addressing the assumption that I think morality exists as itself. I do not think that; we created it. It does not mean that it is faulty in anyway, or cannot have an absolute truth that evolves with our species. I care because I do, and from what many philosophers have demonstrated, I should. Nothing will really hold me accountable, I guess? I do not see why this matters. I do what is right because it is right, not because I fear the lash(Metaphorically). I do think morality can and should be forced onto others, only whence it is demonstrated logically, scientifically, and surpasses all other moralities given specific criteria.

For example, we can clearly see something wrong with beating children. We enforce it by law on the basis of well-being. I can't help but think your question was being addressed in the tone that the forceful action of applying morality is and will always be wrong. Correct me if that wasn't your intentions.

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29-03-2012, 06:46 PM
RE: Would it be moral to starve, hypothetical question.
Quote: NotSoVacuous:
IF, one day we are to discover that plants can feel pain when killed
and/or somehow are aware of their existence, and we operate on the
morality concerning well-being/autonomy & respect, would it not then
be moral to starve to death?

You do have to choose a degree of morality - between feline and angel - because that's where we are.
Animals, with all the physical needs and limitations this planet imposes on its inhabitants; yet also moral agents with aspirations to rise above the merely physical. This creates a great many problems in our relations with the environment, other creatures and our own kind - conflicts that the thoughtful among us have to resolve every day.

Ironically, the same big brain which conceives this aspiration and this morality, also invents ways of dealing with the world that are far more destructive (and inhumane!) than any other animal is capable of. So, we need to use the same brain to solve the dilemmas it creates.
One approach might be to eat domestic animals, but change the way we breed, raise, keep and kill them. Another is to eat only wild animals and devise 'kinder' or 'fairer' methods of hunting. Another is eating such animal products as milk, honey and eggs, from domestic creatures, treat then well in return. Another is to avoid eating whatever creature we consider similar enough to ourselves to deserve exemption. That's not an arbitrary classification: vegetarians of each degree usually can explain their criteria.

Plants don't come under any of the currently used classifications, so it's generally considered okay to eat them - though some purists eat only the parts that don't kill the plant - fruits, seeds, leaves and flowers.
Now, if plants are sentient, that last approach might still be valid: to eat only the parts of a plant that are surplus to the plant's own survival - much as we can use domestic animals for wool and eggs - also the corpses, when they've died of natural causes.
Of course, in order to subsist on such meager fare, there would need to a lot fewer of us, and we could enhance the food-plants and domestic animals to yield more surplus product.

Starving might be the moral choice of some rare individuals, as other kinds of self-sacrifice is the moral choice of some people in various problematic situations.

My personal preference is to reduce the human population, reduce the consumption of each human....
and manufacture non-living food for ourselves.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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