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Question for vegetarians

vegatarian meat free run animals vegan

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#61    White Crane Feather

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 04:29 PM

View Postredhen, on 18 May 2013 - 03:22 PM, said:



That may be fine for economics but I don't think it is applicable to moral matters.



Well opinions are just that opinions, and verifiability is not the goal, I'm just echoing a certain school of philosophical thought, professor Gary Francione calls it abolitionism, which is borrowed from the anti-slavery movement. As for HSUS animal euthanasia, I disagree with several or their policies, euthanasia is one of them. Justin Bieber had to surrender his pet monkey in Germany recently. When he asked how long he had before they euthanized it they informed him that they don't euthanize pets in Germany. So it can be done, we're just not as compassionate or efficient as the Germans.



“To say that a being who is sentient has no interest in continuing to live is like saying that a being with eyes has no interest in continuing to see. Death—however “humane”—is a harm for humans and nonhumans alike.” ― Gary Francione



I submit that there is a difference in our interactions with wildlife and animals that we have domesticated. By doing so we bear some responsibility towards them.



There you go again with your imaginary measurement scale of moral good and bad. Anyways, you are leaving out intention again. I'll say it again, there is a big difference between killing an animal specifically for its flesh or fur and the accidental killing of an insect. This idea is expressed in our laws by the two criteria for convicting someone of a crime. You need two criteria; an actus reus (guilty act) and a mens rea (guilty mind)



I already stated that vegetation can grow without any fertilizer, neither chemical or manure. Our ancestors have been doing this for thousands of years.
Incorrect, moral matters are about human choices. Economics is the study of choice. People think economics is about money, money is a good measure of choice. This entire topic is an economics topic because we are discussing choices and the utility gained from such choices weather it be moral utility or caloric.

We are not quote mineing or using apeals to authority to make points now are we? ;)

We bear responsibility for our actions period, weather it's dusting an ecosystem with insecticides that find its way into the entire food chain or dumping round up on huge corn fields and destroying the creyfish populations in the nearby slews or scalding a live chicken in boiling water with a mechanical claw.

The moral quantification is not imaginary. There is a point of marginal utility gained or not gained by each decision that we make in which we will not make or make that decision. When talk about a unit of utility or in my example good and bad which is really just positive and negative utility, we are talking about an average of something gained or not gained. It cannot be quantified in the sense of a measurement because it exists in our minds, but it is certainly still there. When you really think about it even a meter is an arbitrary measure of space. Being arbitrary dosnt make it imaginary. It's a way to discuss something in a quantitative terms so that we can critically analyze them with graphs and equations. I'm not makeing any of this up, this is the way human choice is discussed in universities. I have a BA in economics.

Example:  if you are a vegitarian  for moral reasons, you gain more utilty from not consuming meat than you do from the pleasure of eating it.

Utility from eating meat (EM) < (NEM). All this says is that you gain more satisfaction from avoiding meat than you do from eating it. If you did not, you would not be a vegitarian. In fact it may be that your guilt would cause you negative utility if you ate meat, but it's really the same thing.

But let's use this to analyze a choice you might have to make. Let's keep it simple.

Eating 1 unit of meat gives you -1utility.

However..... You are in a situation where you have to eat meat or starve to death.

The satisfaction of living gives you 100U. You will without out a doubt eat 99 units of meat despite the negative utility it gives you. Unless of course eating a unit of meat gives you -101U. This means you would rather die before you ate any meat at all.

You see the measurements are arbitrary ( all measurements are) but they are not imaginary. The point behind any large policy should be to maximize the utility in our society. This is the ultimate goal behind economic theory, though unfortunately human beings are very good at pushing their moral judgments onto others, and the very concept of self interest puts utility seeking ahead of utility averaging for large groups. It's a constant struggle and the foundation of the struggle for freedom... Anyway im drifting off here, but I hope you understand that it's not imaginary at all.

There are many crimes that happen without intentions. It's called neglect.---- I did not mean to leave my kid in the hot car while grabbing a couple shots at the bar, I just forgot---  ---- we don't mean to destroy massive amounts of wild life and ecosystems through agriculture and profit seeking, it just happens----

Our ancestors used a very limited supply of flood plains to grow things in which fields were refertilized with anual floods or crops that were natural to that particular environment ( this is the basis for permaculture). Modern agriculture requires organic matter or chemical fertilizers to operate.

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#62    redhen

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 05:36 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 19 May 2013 - 04:29 PM, said:

Incorrect, moral matters are about human choices.

From what I understand (I don't have a degree in moral philosophy) ethics is concerned with actions which are either right or wrong. Morality is concerned with judgements, either good or bad. I know morals and ethics get interchanged all the time but I try to keep them separate. So technically morals are not about choices or actions.

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Economics is the study of choice. People think economics is about money, money is a good measure of choice. This entire topic is an economics topic because we are discussing choices and the utility gained from such choices weather it be moral utility or caloric.

Again you are assuming we need to consume animal flesh to stay alive, but that's not the case.

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We are not quote mineing or using apeals to authority to make points now are we? ;)

Well I'd rather directly attribute a quote rather than plagiarize. Anyways, appeals to authority can certainly be a valid argument as long as the expert authority is in a position to know.

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We bear responsibility for our actions period, weather it's dusting an ecosystem with insecticides that find its way into the entire food chain or dumping round up on huge corn fields and destroying the creyfish populations in the nearby slews or scalding a live chicken in boiling water with a mechanical claw.

Granted.

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The moral quantification is not imaginary. There is a point of marginal utility gained or not gained by each decision that we make in which we will not make or make that decision. When talk about a unit of utility or in my example good and bad which is really just positive and negative utility, we are talking about an average of something gained or not gained. It cannot be quantified in the sense of a measurement because it exists in our minds, but it is certainly still there. When you really think about it even a meter is an arbitrary measure of space. Being arbitrary dosnt make it imaginary. It's a way to discuss something in a quantitative terms so that we can critically analyze them with graphs and equations. I'm not makeing any of this up, this is the way human choice is discussed in universities. I have a BA in economics.

I don't have an indepth knowledge of utilitarianism, but I generally agree with its premises and so I agree with you here. What I find most interesting though is that the father of utilitarianism, Jeremy Bentham, is also credited with being one of the early modern philosophers who championed animal rights. His most quoted phrase is "The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"

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Example:  if you are a vegitarian  for moral reasons, you gain more utilty from not consuming meat than you do from the pleasure of eating it.

Refraining from eating meat is not a sacrifice, so I do not grant the rest of your thought experiment about imaginary units of measuring good and evil.

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However..... You are in a situation where you have to eat meat or starve to death.

The moral argument for veganism starts with the basic assumption; all things being equal. We are not talking about Inuit in the Arctic, whose soles source of food is meat. We are talking about people who live in a modern agricultural society where there are healthy alternatives.

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There are many crimes that happen without intentions. It's called neglect.---- I did not mean to leave my kid in the hot car while grabbing a couple shots at the bar, I just forgot---  ---- we don't mean to destroy massive amounts of wild life and ecosystems through agriculture and profit seeking, it just happens----

While the accidental and incidental harm done to wildlife in the course of agricultural practices is not negligible, my point is these animals are not killed specifically for their meat, unlike cattle. That remains a categorical difference in my books.

Quote

Our ancestors used a very limited supply of flood plains to grow things in which fields were refertilized with anual floods or crops that were natural to that particular environment ( this is the basis for permaculture). Modern agriculture requires organic matter or chemical fertilizers to operate.

Here you are stating what is the case, and claiming therefore it should be the case. That's a logical fallacy.

Thanks for the conversion, you made think. I like thinking. :)


#63    ReaperS_ParadoX

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 05:48 PM

Im not a vegetarian but my girlfriend is,  so we can coexist :tu:

COME WITH ME. OVERWHELMING POWER AND MADNESS AWAIT

THAT IS NOT DEAD WHICH CAN ETERNAL LIE AND WITH STRANGE AEONS EVEN DEATH MAY DIE

#64    trancelikestate

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 06:10 PM

View Postredhen, on 19 May 2013 - 12:48 AM, said:

Mosquitos can carry some deadly diseases and viruses. But more to the point, I don't believe insects such as mosquitos, fruit flies, etc. can experience pain. First, they don't have a brain which is necessary for the crucial emotional, subjective experience of pain. What they have is a ganglia, which is just a cluster of neurons. Of course we will never know the subjective experience (qualia) of a mosquito or any other animal for that matter. Hell, we can't even know what it's like to be another person.

Perhaps it might be useful to observe how insects react to trauma. Insects can carry out many normal functions while critically incapacitated, including feeding and mating, right up to the point of death. From what I understand, some insects have observed to live for days without a head !


But they are still alive and still have a nervous system of sorts, we can't prove 100% that they don't have feelings.

I believe your right though, I think they are beings of pure instinct. But I also believe fish and other "lower" life forms are as well. Some scientists agree ( Link to "Fish don't feel pain article.")

Is it ok by your moral standards to than eat insects and fish?

Edited by trancelikestate, 19 May 2013 - 06:18 PM.


#65    redhen

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 06:16 PM

View PostSeeker79, on 19 May 2013 - 04:29 PM, said:

You see the measurements are arbitrary ( all measurements are) but they are not imaginary. The point behind any large policy should be to maximize the utility in our society. This is the ultimate goal behind economic theory, though unfortunately human beings are very good at pushing their moral judgments onto others, and the very concept of self interest puts utility seeking ahead of utility averaging for large groups. It's a constant struggle and the foundation of the struggle for freedom... Anyway im drifting off here, but I hope you understand that it's not imaginary at all.

Ok, I grant that these numbers are not imaginary, but as you say they are arbitrary. I agree it is a struggle. While I generally agree with utilitarian logic that seeks the greatest good for the greatest number, the Devil is in the details as they say. I understand the necessity of cost-benefit analysis; where I disagree is with putting a dollar value on life, not just human life but non-human as well.

I came across this Harvard lecture on utilitarianism with specific examples of it in practice; a Philip-Morris cost-benefit analysis about the the cost of smoking (dollar on human life) versus the tax revenue gained. The second example is the infamous Ford PInto case where the company weighed the cost of lawsuits for wrongful deaths (after their cars exploded which they knew they had a tendency to do) versus adding a $11 part to fix the problem. I remember this case from 35 years ago, Ford decided not to add the part and let people burn to death. Nice.



It's a 55 min lecture, but the two cases are presented in the first 15 min.


#66    redhen

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 06:24 PM

View Posttrancelikestate, on 19 May 2013 - 06:10 PM, said:

But they are still alive and still have a nervous system of sorts, we can't prove 100% that they don't have feelings.

Yes they are alive. So are the thousands of bacteria organisms that I kill every day when I brush my teeth. But they don't feel pain or suffer so I don't feel guilty.

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I believe your right though, I think they are beings of pure instinct. But I also believe fish and other "lower" life forms are as well. Some scientists agree ( Link to "Fish don't feel pain article.")

Is it ok by your moral standards to than eat insects and fish?

I believe fish feel pain, so does the European Parliament, based on credible scientific studies. The Treaty of Lisbon “recognises fish as sentient beings” and commits the EU to paying “full regard to the welfare requirements of the animals”.

As a general rule when it comes to lower forms of life, I tend to err on the side of caution.





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