PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Darth Wong »

Ryan Thunder wrote:
Alyrium Denryle wrote:What reason do you have to preferentially treat members of your species, versus a species with identical intelligence?
Because it's my fucking species? What's wrong with that? :wtf:
And why is it ethically important that it's your species? I'll tell you: it's because you have more physical features in common with them than with other species, right?

Now ask yourself what makes this philosophically different from racism, which is all about identifying with those with whom you have most in common.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

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MRDOD wrote:As long as I take care of the things and kill them cleanly, I don't see why it's a massive sin on the order of raping a baby to kill a pet and eat it, as PETA and some posters seem to be implying. I could still put them in a little wheel or give them cheese or something and make them happy if I wanted, since they're kinda cute. I'd just eat them too. 'Twouldn't be like a factory farm. Hell, it's probably nicer than a factory farm.
MRDOD wrote:Well, true, I guess. I was just wondering why the default was treated that you can't treat an animal nicely and eat it at different times (well, the latter last for obvious reasons) and that you can either have 'animals as pets' or 'animals as factory farm slaughterfest' which is the dichotomy PETA seems to be pushing on there.
Well I think you've struck at why PETA is so ineffective at actually reducing the suffering of animals -- they're more interested in scoring ridiculous political "points" than actually doing anything practical. A good example is the story (posted on this board in fact) about the appalling euthanasia rates at PETA animal shelters. The hard work of improving the lot of animals isn't in the cards for them.

One could easily make the argument that we as consumers have leverage to dramatically improve the treatment of food animals by buying our meat from butchers who stock local, organic, free-range products*. If I can look the Chicken Lady (the woman I buy my chicken and eggs from) in the eye and talk to her about the treatment of her animals and support her product with my buying dollars, I've done more for animals than anyone from PETA will probably ever do with all the noise they make. But to hear it from PETA, I've committed some horrible act by eating an animal or "raped" the chickens by "stealing" their eggs.


* Let me preempt the argument I've seen made before on this board that spending your money like this is a luxury. First, doing the ethical thing quite often means making a sacrifice, and the degree to which you're willing and able to commit to that sacrifice is simply a matter of judgment. Second, that eating the amount of meat consumed by the typical westerner (esp. Americans) simply isn't environmentally sustainable or healthy. I probably pay a 30-50% premium on my meat products, but I only eat meat a couple times a week. I also purchase larger cuts (or whole birds) and freeze what I don't use because you pay extra every time the butcher's knife touches your meat. And well-treated meat is way better tasting than factory-farmed crap -- you wouldn't believe the difference. So it's good for me, it's better for the animals, and it's better for the environment. Win-win-win.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Darth Wong »

Yes, but arguments about environmental sustainability are complex. They're multi-layered, and they often lead to conclusions that people don't want to hear, like "Americans and other wealthy nations should cut back on their luxurious lifestyle" or "The world needs human population control" or "Obese people are immoral because they over-consume agricultural products and therefore have a much larger environmental footprint".

That's why it's so much easier to simplify it into a purely rights-based argument, where animals have rights and we are violating them, which is why PETA has adopted that tactic.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Ryan Thunder »

Alyrium Denryle wrote:
Well, aside from it being our species. You're thinking too abstractly; think practically. We want to survive. That comes first.
Then you are committing yourself to an inconsistent view of ethics. At least you admit your blatant intellectual dishonesty.
My view is very consistent. There are people (humans, alive or dead) and then there's everything else. Robots, playing cards, animals, etc.

Of course, if harming something under the "everything else" category would be harmful to us, that's obviously unethical.
It might seem harsh, but frankly, who gives a shit about the aliens anyway? If we can both survive together, great! If not, fuck them.
Oh, it would be very very easy for everything needs to be met. The problem is idiots who refuse to even consider limits on human reproduction, or decreases in their ridiculous levels of consumption (these two groups might well be partially separate groups). Survival and Zerg-Like exponential growth and are two very very different things. And if we continue on the path we are headed, we will end up with a Malthusian collapse anyway.
Well, for the record, I agree. If for entirely selfish reasons. :|
Darth Wong wrote:
Ryan Thunder wrote:
Alyrium Denryle wrote:What reason do you have to preferentially treat members of your species, versus a species with identical intelligence?
Because it's my fucking species? What's wrong with that? :wtf:
And why is it ethically important that it's your species? I'll tell you: it's because you have more physical features in common with them than with other species, right?
That's probably part of it. I happen to be a member of that species. There's also the element of mutual understanding that is unlikely to develop between two wildly different species.

Can you imagine relating to an ant, even if it were somehow as intelligent as you?
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Alyrium Denryle »

My view is very consistent. There are people (humans, alive or dead) and then there's everything else. Robots, playing cards, animals, etc.

Of course, if harming something under the "everything else" category would be harmful to us, that's obviously unethical.
No, it is not. I have told you why it is not. Because it is a non-sequitur. No better than a duck claiming to be of special moral worth because of its webbed feet. The idea that human intelligence is so unique that it is the only thing that warrants direct moral consideration is laughable. Why? Because it is only special by a matter of degree from other organisms.

Does this need to be beaten into your head with a brick?

In the end your argumen boils down to "We should only care about humans, because they are human and everything else is not" the argument you are putting forth is circular as well as a non-sequitur.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Alyrium Denryle »

Can you imagine relating to an ant, even if it were somehow as intelligent as you?
Who said same? I have not said same, neither has he. The point is, you have to give them SOME. Or do you have some sort of learning disability that keeps you from distinguishing between O and A?

Your argument entails that whenever we have ANY conflict over the interests of another organism and the interests of a human that the other organism always lose. IE. It is OK for a kid to torture dogs because he gets off on it, because we owe absolutely nothing to the dog. Or that Penn and Tellers moronic grandstanding about killing every chimp on the planet to save a single AIDS ridden junky.

How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Turin »

Darth Wong wrote:That's why it's so much easier to simplify it into a purely rights-based argument, where animals have rights and we are violating them, which is why PETA has adopted that tactic.
It doesn't seem to be working so hot for them. If you're going to oversimplify an argument, you want it to be one that people are already looking to easily accept. Compare with the tactics of creationists: lots of Americans want to hear that scientific elites have it wrong, that their religious beliefs are more valid. It's not like lots of Americans want to give up their Big Macs. Which is why PETA just ends up looking ridiculous most of the time.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Alyrium Denryle »

Turin wrote:
Darth Wong wrote:That's why it's so much easier to simplify it into a purely rights-based argument, where animals have rights and we are violating them, which is why PETA has adopted that tactic.
It doesn't seem to be working so hot for them. If you're going to oversimplify an argument, you want it to be one that people are already looking to easily accept. Compare with the tactics of creationists: lots of Americans want to hear that scientific elites have it wrong, that their religious beliefs are more valid. It's not like lots of Americans want to give up their Big Macs. Which is why PETA just ends up looking ridiculous most of the time.
Well, also as Amy said, they are not willing to do any work. Rights based arguments are easy to make, especially when you dont have to make any sacrifices. It is hard to tell people that they have to sacrifice in order to do the right thing, it is hard to make those sacrifices. These PETA people dont sacrifice anything.

Ghetto Edit of prior post

Or that Penn and Tellers moronic grandstanding about killing every chimp on the planet to save a single AIDS ridden junky is acceptable.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Graeme Dice »

Alyrium Denryle wrote:No better than a duck claiming to be of special moral worth because of its webbed feet.
A duck cannot make that claim since a duck lacks the ability to make that claim. A duck has moral worth because other intelligent beings give it moral value. Or are you going to extend your argument to bacteria? Should we also balance the suffering of the bacteria that are killed whenever you wash your hands? Or do they not matter? After all, you would tell us that they must be included in any ethical system. We must also factor in the suffering of the grass that is stepped on by billions of feet every single day. What about the wooden articles you certainly own. At some point, any ethical system that allows humans to take any action requires us to place a significant value on sapience.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

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A duck cannot make that claim since a duck lacks the ability to make that claim. A duck has moral worth because other intelligent beings give it moral value. Or are you going to extend your argument to bacteria? Should we also balance the suffering of the bacteria that are killed whenever you wash your hands? Or do they not matter? After all, you would tell us that they must be included in any ethical system. We must also factor in the suffering of the grass that is stepped on by billions of feet every single day. What about the wooden articles you certainly own. At some point, any ethical system that allows humans to take any action requires us to place a significant value on sapience.
Your first sentence is the point sailing over your head. Your argument that we give them value presupposes that they exist metaphysically for our use, and exist for our sake, not their own.

If you are going to use suffering and pleasure as the measures of your ethical system, you cannot arbitrarily exclude any category of said suffering or pleasure. There is nothing about our particular degree of intelligence that makes us special, other than our increased capacity to experience suffering and pleasure, which slots in nicely to a graded scale. That is the point of the duck analogy. Our intelligence is a phenotype just like a duck's webbed feet. The degree to which we have it does not elevate us above any other organism or give us special status in the universe. If we are going to have an internally consistent ethical system based upon intelligence we must extend some degree of direct moral concern to other organisms, which exist for their own sake and have their own held interests that are independent from our own.

I am not defending a rights based ethical system where we are paralyzed from acting because we might step on a blade of grass. So extinguish your strawman right now.

I am arguing to make utilitarianism logically consistent.

One way of doing this is to place a weight on the suffering and pain of organisms based upon a ranking of intelligence. Note: this is an abstraction

1.-humans
.9-Cetaceans, Apes, Possibly Crows and Octopi
.8-monkeys

etc. Down the line until you hit organisms which cannot suffer, such as bacteria which have no nervous system and have a ranking of zero. Though you still might need to evaluate the consequences of cleansing the earth of bacteria because of cascading effects.

In this way, you can still take meaningful actions, you just have to *gasp* weigh the net utility from certain actions and refrain from doing certain things, and might actually have to make *shock* sacrifices to behave ethically. Oh no! The Horror! No longer can you boil ant hills for fun, or go out and pour gasoline down a snake den! The horrible injustice of it all!

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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

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Isn't the use of intelligence as the determining factor of worth arbitrary, and really just a symptom of humans conveniently choosing a quality which automatically places us at the top of the heap, with regard to other species?

Whales assigning value to other organisms based upon physical mass, or octopi valuating other organisms based upon their number of appendages seems to be about the same thing.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

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Kanastrous wrote:Isn't the use of intelligence as the determining factor of worth arbitrary, and really just a symptom of humans conveniently choosing a quality which automatically places us at the top of the heap, with regard to other species?

Whales assigning value to other organisms based upon physical mass, or octopi valuating other organisms based upon their number of appendages seems to be about the same thing.
In this case intelligence is a proxy measure.

Our morality is based upon things like suffering and pleasure because of our sense of empathy, which really forms the basis of how our societies are capable of functioning. But in order to be logically consistent, we have to extend the circle of our ethical consideration. Hell, originally we did not even consider humans outside our own family a beings worthy of ethical deliberation.

As we expand the circle, we realize that humans are not the only things that fall under the umbrela.

Intelligence is a proxy measure for the capacity to experience pleasure and pain. For example, we can experience suffering on a level different from what a lizard can. We can anticipate, and even imagine pain. A lizard cannot. Nor does a lizard suffer existential distress or worry about being embarrassed. A human can. They also dont form social connections like we do, and thus the effects of killing one lizard are not bemoaned by others. As a result, they occupy a lower spot on the chain, because their capacity to suffer is less by nature of their lower mental capability.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

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Apart from intellectual apprehension, don't all mammals basically experience pain and pleasure in the same way? Aren't we all similar at the level of the brain structures that process sensory/somatic data?

I was always of the impression - and it's just an impression - that sticking a cat or dog with a knife, is about the same experience for them, that it would be for me (in terms of the pain and shock, setting aside differences in gross physiology).
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

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Kanastrous wrote:Apart from intellectual apprehension, don't all mammals basically experience pain and pleasure in the same way? Aren't we all similar at the level of the brain structures that process sensory/somatic data?

I was always of the impression - and it's just an impression - that sticking a cat or dog with a knife, is about the same experience for them, that it would be for me (in terms of the pain and shock, setting aside differences in gross physiology).

Yes, the physical pain is the same. Which is why if one must kill a mammal (or anything vertebrate really, for whatever reason) it should be done painlessly, or not at all if you can avoid it.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

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Alyrium Denryle wrote:Who said same? I have not said same, neither has he. The point is, you have to give them SOME. Or do you have some sort of learning disability that keeps you from distinguishing between O and A?

Your argument entails that whenever we have ANY conflict over the interests of another organism and the interests of a human that the other organism always lose. IE. It is OK for a kid to torture dogs because he gets off on it, because we owe absolutely nothing to the dog. Or that Penn and Tellers moronic grandstanding about killing every chimp on the planet to save a single AIDS ridden junky.
Well... uh, your examples are just a tad extreme (:P), but uh, you pretty much pegged it in the first sentence there.

I don't believe in killing or destroying things if there's no tangible benefit to be had from doing so, though.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Alyrium Denryle »

Ryan Thunder wrote:
Alyrium Denryle wrote:Who said same? I have not said same, neither has he. The point is, you have to give them SOME. Or do you have some sort of learning disability that keeps you from distinguishing between O and A?

Your argument entails that whenever we have ANY conflict over the interests of another organism and the interests of a human that the other organism always lose. IE. It is OK for a kid to torture dogs because he gets off on it, because we owe absolutely nothing to the dog. Or that Penn and Tellers moronic grandstanding about killing every chimp on the planet to save a single AIDS ridden junky.
Well... uh, your examples are just a tad extreme (:P), but uh, you pretty much pegged it in the first sentence there.

I don't believe in killing or destroying things if there's no tangible benefit to be had from doing so, though.
And if you were literate and capable of understanding basic logic, you would realize that your position is circular and a non sequitur. But let us not allow reason to get in your way.

I dont give a flying fuck if the examples are extreme, it is exactly what your argument entails. There is a tangle benefit for torturing dogs, the sadistic little fucker gets his proverbial rocks off. You owe nothing to the dog, so why not kill them wantonly? You cant even be consistent with your own position. Congratufuckinglations.

You have indeed gone down the rabbit hole. I wonder if you will go far enough to get an audience with the queen.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

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Alyrium Denryle wrote:
Ryan Thunder wrote:Well... uh, your examples are just a tad extreme (:P), but uh, you pretty much pegged it in the first sentence there.

I don't believe in killing or destroying things if there's no tangible benefit to be had from doing so, though.
And if you were literate and capable of understanding basic logic, you would realize that your position is circular and a non sequitur. But let us not allow reason to get in your way.
I assume you believe that your own ethical position is not circular and non sequitur at a fundamental level? :banghead:
I dont give a flying fuck if the examples are extreme, it is exactly what your argument entails.
It is clearly not, because I believe that would be unethical. We don't owe the dog anything, but there's no point in making it suffer. We could kill all the monkeys, but that would have other ecological effects that we might regret, so we don't.

On the other hand, destroying a nature preserve to get at a much-needed natural resource might be justified.
You cant even be consistent with your own position. Congratufuckinglations.
Hey, fuck you. I suppose you dislike my concept of ethics because it doesn't require me to give a shit about animals. Why should I give a shit about them, anyways?

What makes your ethics any more arbitrary than mine?
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

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Ryan Thunder wrote: Well... uh, your examples are just a tad extreme (:P), but uh, you pretty much pegged it in the first sentence there.

I don't believe in killing or destroying things if there's no tangible benefit to be had from doing so, though.
By this insane reasoning, murder is perfectly justifiable so long as there's something tangible to be gained from doing so. Which means every thug who ever killed someone over $20 was perfectly justified by your logic.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

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Alyrium Denryle wrote:Your first sentence is the point sailing over your head. Your argument that we give them value presupposes that they exist metaphysically for our use, and exist for our sake, not their own.
You are making the argument that the worth of anything exists anywhere but inside of the brains of other humans. There is no universal arbiter or worth.
If you are going to use suffering and pleasure as the measures of your ethical system, you cannot arbitrarily exclude any category of said suffering or pleasure.
Why not? Just because you say so? Please let me know when you are given the authority to make such unsupported blanket assertions.
There is nothing about our particular degree of intelligence that makes us special, other than our increased capacity to experience suffering and pleasure, which slots in nicely to a graded scale. That is the point of the duck analogy. Our intelligence is a phenotype just like a duck's webbed feet.
And of course, intelligence is far more rare and useful in the vast majority of situations than webbed feet. But then, you actually agree with me as you show later in your very own post. Or else you wouldn't try and use intelligence as a way of placing worth on various entities.
The degree to which we have it does not elevate us above any other organism or give us special status in the universe.
Why, because you say so? Do you plan to supply _any_ evidence to support your assertions, or are we simply supposed to accept them as "truth" from your sermons?
I am not defending a rights based ethical system where we are paralyzed from acting because we might step on a blade of grass. So extinguish your strawman right now.
If you aren't defending such an ethical system, then you should learn to write competently so that people don't think that's what you're defending.
One way of doing this is to place a weight on the suffering and pain of organisms based upon a ranking of intelligence. Note: this is an abstraction
You've already stated that intelligence is no different than the phenotype for webbed feet. You're being a hypocrite by giving it greater value here.
In this way, you can still take meaningful actions, you just have to *gasp* weigh the net utility from certain actions and refrain from doing certain things, and might actually have to make *shock* sacrifices to behave ethically. Oh no! The Horror! No longer can you boil ant hills for fun, or go out and pour gasoline down a snake den! The horrible injustice of it all!
Did I ever claim to want to do such things Alyrium? Nope. In fact, I was arguing that all creatures had value back when you were still pretending that global warming didn't exist. Please try and avoid poisoning the well if you want me to actually debate with you instead of wishing that you were still banned for being an immature asshole.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Coyote »

Ryan Thunder wrote:My view is very consistent. There are people (humans, alive or dead) and then there's everything else. Robots, playing cards, animals, etc.
So if I buy a pack of playing cards, and go home and set them on fire for kicks, and then go to the pound and adopt a puppy, and take it home and set in on fire for kicks, it's all the same to you, huh?

You have a wierd, warped sense of values.
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Alyrium Denryle »

I assume you believe that your own ethical position is not circular and non sequitur at a fundamental level? :banghead:
No. It is not. Why? Because I proceed from first principles and each step in my chain of reasoning flows from the ones prior. Your argument, functions like this.

"X is the only entity worthy of moral consideration, because they are X" X in this case being humans. You have not established the reason WHY HUMANS ARE SPECIAL in this regard.

It is clearly not, because I believe that would be unethical. We don't owe the dog anything, but there's no point in making it suffer.
So it is not practical. Why is it unethical? What makes the action morally wrong. Why would you, if you do, care if someone neglects or abuses their pets? There is no LOSS of utility under your homesick abortion of a position.
Hey, fuck you.
Sorry, I only fuck guy who are not effectively retards.
I suppose you dislike my concept of ethics because it doesn't require me to give a shit about animals.
Partly. And partly because it is an internally inconsistent, circular mess.
Why should I give a shit about them, anyways?
For the same reasons you give a shit about people. They suffer, they feel pleasure, and they hold interests other than the ones you give them.
What makes your ethics any more arbitrary than mine?
They proceed from first principles and flow logically from the premises. Pretty simple. Hell, even the first principles used make sense.
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Kanastrous
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Kanastrous »

Alyrium Denryle wrote: "X is the only entity worthy of moral consideration, because they are X" X in this case being humans. You have not established the reason WHY HUMANS ARE SPECIAL in this regard.
I'm just throwing the idea out there to be savaged, but is not each species (or whatever the most appropriate category is, now) primarily concerned with and sympathetic, to itself? There's room for individual variation, but don't dogs naturally occupy a special place in the scheme of things for their fellow dogs, cats for cats, horses for horses, humans for humans, etc? Does membership in a given species not automatically imply a special and unique relationship, between that individual and other members of the same species? Doesn't that relationship grant primacy to one's own species, for one's own purposes?
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Darth Wong »

What Ryan Thunder does not seem to get is that he's saying humans are the only beings who deserve consideration, and we're asking WHY. You can't answer the question "why" by simply repeating the statement over and over.

Alyrium also has a built-in premise, which is that suffering is bad. Ryan seems to think that this makes Aly's position just as circular as his own, but nobody has asked him to justify the premise that suffering is bad, because it is largely universally accepted. Once one accepts the premise that suffering is bad, then all sorts of other conclusions can be drawn from it; suffering is, after all, a mental state, hence a function of intelligence. A creature needs a certain amount of intelligence in order to experience pain and fear, hence it follows that intelligence is a critical factor.

Ryan's position contains no such universally accepted premise (the mere fact that it's been challenged repeatedly by many different people shows that it is not so accepted), and no logical deductions from that premise; his premise is exactly the same as his conclusion.
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Alyrium Denryle
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Alyrium Denryle »

You are making the argument that the worth of anything exists anywhere but inside of the brains of other humans. There is no universal arbiter or worth.
Value is capable of existing without there being a human there to perceive it. The value in this case is the value that the organisms I refer to give to themselves. Even if they have no sense of self their held interests still exist, they still try to preserve themselves, avoid pain, experience pleasure (indicating that they value themselves even if they cannot conceive it as such)

I would recommend picking up the works of the philosopher Holmes Rolston III

Now if you arguing conscious perception of value (something akin to economic value), that I will concede.
Why not? Just because you say so? Please let me know when you are given the authority to make such unsupported blanket assertions.
No. It is just logical consistency. If pain and suffering are bad then it is bad no matter what is experiencing it. Unless you have a reason why a turtle's pain should count for nothing while the pain experience by a human infant should... Because all I am doing is arguing against that sort of ridiculousness.
And of course, intelligence is far more rare and useful in the vast majority of situations than webbed feet.
That does not make it special. And define usfullness. A duck does not need a high IQ in order to function as a duck. All a human intellect would do is create an energy expenditure it does not need. As for rareness, rareness being of value is an artifact of human economic systems not of nature and not in ethics. If that were the case, we would become extra upset when someone killed someone with blue eyes vs brown, because blue eyes are comparatively rare.
Why, because you say so? Do you plan to supply _any_ evidence to support your assertions, or are we simply supposed to accept them as "truth" from your sermons?
We are dealing with a teleological argument (or in my case and anti-teleological argument) . I dont know what empirical data can be collected that would show anything one way or the other. I will try to give a reasoned argument though.

Natural Selection acts in a system. Over time organisms evolve from the same common ancestor, and evolve to collect resources, avoid predation, and reproduce. The do this by evolving phenotypes which are useful in the niche inhabited by the organism. Fully webbed feet in the case of ducks and aquatic turtles, increasing degrees of abstract reasoning ability in humans. The same ultimate mechanisms apply in either case. There is no outside entity placing extra significance on one or the other (hence, teleological arguments relating to the cosmic significance of human intellect and specialness fall apart) As a result neither intelligence or webbed feet are cosmically special. The intelligence might be Unique, but that does not make it special to the point that were you to base an ethical system around it (or something the value of which is affected by), that the worth of a human in moral terms would be 1 and everything else 0. Unless you start with the implicit or explicit premise that humans are the only beings worthy of moral value.

In the case of a utilitarian ethic which is what I am using and have explicitly stated I am using, it is not the intelligence that actually matters. What matters is the balance between pleasure and pain (or the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of held interests if you want to read the works of Peter Singer, I could go either way). Intelligence is not what has moral significance, but it has an affect that which does.
If you aren't defending such an ethical system, then you should learn to write competently so that people don't think that's what you're defending.
Gee, I have only expressly stated that I am using utilitarianism, and have been using the language of utilitarianism. I find it difficult to believe that someone could have mistaken this for a rights based position.
You've already stated that intelligence is no different than the phenotype for webbed feet. You're being a hypocrite by giving it greater value here.
As I explained later, it is not what is valued. It is a proxy measure for the capacity of an organism to experience what is. Namely pleasure, and pain.
Did I ever claim to want to do such things Alyrium? Nope. In fact, I was arguing that all creatures had value back when you were still pretending that global warming didn't exist. Please try and avoid poisoning the well if you want me to actually debate with you instead of wishing that you were still banned for being an immature asshole.
I apologize. I took my frustration with dealing with Thunder's thick headedness out on you. I should not have done that.
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Alyrium Denryle
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Re: PETA's idea: Call fish 'Sea Kittens'

Post by Alyrium Denryle »

Kanastrous wrote:
Alyrium Denryle wrote: "X is the only entity worthy of moral consideration, because they are X" X in this case being humans. You have not established the reason WHY HUMANS ARE SPECIAL in this regard.
I'm just throwing the idea out there to be savaged, but is not each species (or whatever the most appropriate category is, now) primarily concerned with and sympathetic, to itself? There's room for individual variation, but don't dogs naturally occupy a special place in the scheme of things for their fellow dogs, cats for cats, horses for horses, humans for humans, etc? Does membership in a given species not automatically imply a special and unique relationship, between that individual and other members of the same species? Doesn't that relationship grant primacy to one's own species, for one's own purposes?
Not especially. First off, utilitarianism does not recognize special relationships, beyond the cascading effect of suffering. This is because suffering and pain are suffering and pain. So if someone gave you the Sadistic Choice between allowing 100 people to die, and either killing your kid, or someone else's kid, you would be obligated to kill the child of whoever has the smaller extended family...

This applies the same way with animals and people. Barring intelligence being used as a proxy measure for the capacity to suffer itself.
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