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.