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Animals, Eating Meat and Moral Standing

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 09:28 am
@bigstew,
bigstew wrote:
First, I don't see why that it is unreasonable- it may just be intuition that animals should be directly considerable in a morally relevant sense, but a strongly held intuition nonetheless that needs to be accounted for by any ethical theory in order to be coherent.

That's correct, and I have no problem with you saying "to me, this is intuitively wrong" without first deciding on some ethical theory to confirm your intuition. What you can't do, however, is to say "this is wrong" without some ethical theory to back it up.

bigstew wrote:
Second, I think you should supply a moral rule against animal cruelty that you find persuasive, since you require me to go into greater depth regarding the justification for my position.

You're the one who said that you'll be "defending the view that animals ought to obtain direct moral standing." I've seen very little of that. You're arguing against the status quo, it's your job to convince me that you're right, not the other way around.

bigstew wrote:
Oh and excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is the difference you mean between moral rules and a system of morality? I think this is related to my confusion regarding the above.

A system of morality is the system. Moral rules are the rules formulated pursuant to that system. It's the difference between the rules of baseball and the infield fly rule.

bigstew wrote:
What moral rules (and how) can adequately account for direct, moral considerability regarding animals?

I have no clue what "direct moral considerability" means.

bigstew wrote:
I do (for the moment, perhaps I'm wrong). I don't think consensually based custom can give rise to universal moral norms. Something other than consent and custom is needed.

What is that extra something?
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 10:49 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
What you can't do, however, is to say "this is wrong" without some ethical theory to back it up.

What would change? I mean, even with a fully developed ethical theory, how does one get to assert something is wrong. It seems like a good idea to build a ethical theory, but in the end I was unaware a person gets to declare something in such a manner. More to the point, even if he did create said theory, I think you'd still find an objection. Either to the theory not being developed enough, or to some other new criteria.

If vegetarians observe animals to have moral standing, it does not require them to base it on a long industrious effort to craft some complex moral theory. Certainly the moral standing we grant to other humans does not require each of us to develop such a thing.

A
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Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 12:00 pm
@failures art,
...well you hit the nerve there...moral intuition its innate !
(precisely why some believe its Universal, not because, it truly is coherent on a large scale)
...of course humans, being all the same species, have more or less the same biological intuitions upon the beliefs they find useful as a group upon Moral)

To my personal perspective, Moral is about Neo-Darwinism, or why cooperation may be of interest to Human development...but in a larger , not specifically bio-human approach, further one´s interests may well consist in doing harm, just as long as the species finds an advantage in it...Moral can well at that stance, easily go to defend violence. So I look at it, from a System versus System point of view...
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 12:06 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
It's interesting how so many vegetarians get lumped together. About a month ago we got a trainee at work and she was put on my team. She's a vegetarian, but for religious reasons. She is Hindu. So many people think that we must think alike or have the same reasons? We've talked. We don't really.

A
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Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 12:22 pm
@failures art,
I respect Vegans just as much I respect meat consumers...to each its right to its belief just as long you keep it as a personal choice...
I also believe in an healthy debate upon the matter to reconcile some perspectives...the thing is, the world today is made of extreme approaches the type "us" versus "them" style...a general wide spread "skitzo" attitude in the sea of information we have to cope these days...

PS- personally I could n´t live without a nice juice beef stake at meal time... Wink

Regards>FILIPE DE ALBUQUERQUE
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2011 12:45 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
I must ad with or without " factory farms" norms in place or whatever else you want to call them, I don´t support the way animals are treated these days (and its not just about physical abuse or suffering)...although clearly I fully comprehend we would have a serious feeding problem if we would go about it otherwise in a straight line...overpopulation is the issue we must sort out with all its side effects...but then again that raises an Economic bigger problem in the short medium term...
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Mar, 2011 09:44 am
@failures art,
failures art wrote:
What would change? I mean, even with a fully developed ethical theory, how does one get to assert something is wrong.

It's really quite easy. You just say "that's wrong." I'm sure you do it all the time.

failures art wrote:
It seems like a good idea to build a ethical theory, but in the end I was unaware a person gets to declare something in such a manner.

Now you are aware.

failures art wrote:
More to the point, even if he did create said theory, I think you'd still find an objection. Either to the theory not being developed enough, or to some other new criteria.

There's always that possibility. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

failures art wrote:
If vegetarians observe animals to have moral standing, it does not require them to base it on a long industrious effort to craft some complex moral theory. Certainly the moral standing we grant to other humans does not require each of us to develop such a thing.

You can always say "that's wrong" without backing it up with any kind of ethical theory. People do it all the time. If you do that, though, there's little to distinguish the statement "that's wrong" from the statement "I don't like that." And if those two statements are interchangeable, then the statement "that's wrong" is not an expression of moral disapprobation, it's merely a statement of esthetic disapproval.
Night Ripper
 
  2  
Reply Mon 7 Mar, 2011 10:51 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
You can always say "that's wrong" without backing it up with any kind of ethical theory. People do it all the time. If you do that, though, there's little to distinguish the statement "that's wrong" from the statement "I don't like that." And if those two statements are interchangeable, then the statement "that's wrong" is not an expression of moral disapprobation, it's merely a statement of esthetic disapproval.



Ding, ding ding. We have a winner, even making the connection that it's aesthetic. I'm impressed. You've just described the correct meta-ethical theory.
Fil Albuquerque
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Mar, 2011 10:59 am
@Night Ripper,
...these days you pop up rarely around the place, but you come up with a good point !...nevertheless it was a cynical way of going about the subject don´t you think...hardcore approach was not necessary...
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Mar, 2011 11:10 am
@Night Ripper,
Night Ripper wrote:
Ding, ding ding. We have a winner, even making the connection that it's aesthetic. I'm impressed. You've just described the correct meta-ethical theory.

Well, now I'll have to reevaluate my position.

And aren't you ignoring me?
0 Replies
 
failures art
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Mar, 2011 03:13 pm
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

failures art wrote:
What would change? I mean, even with a fully developed ethical theory, how does one get to assert something is wrong.

It's really quite easy. You just say "that's wrong." I'm sure you do it all the time.

Sure. It's called sharing an opinion. It is not a declaration of moral authority.

joefromchicago wrote:

failures art wrote:
It seems like a good idea to build a ethical theory, but in the end I was unaware a person gets to declare something in such a manner.

Now you are aware.

I guess you get to choose when to recognize this and when not to.

joefromchicago wrote:

failures art wrote:
More to the point, even if he did create said theory, I think you'd still find an objection. Either to the theory not being developed enough, or to some other new criteria.

There's always that possibility. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I think we've been venturing. So far, you've been outright dismissive of any of his assertions on this level. I don't think you really care for this idea unless it's you who gets to assert things.

joefromchicago wrote:

failures art wrote:
If vegetarians observe animals to have moral standing, it does not require them to base it on a long industrious effort to craft some complex moral theory. Certainly the moral standing we grant to other humans does not require each of us to develop such a thing.

You can always say "that's wrong" without backing it up with any kind of ethical theory. People do it all the time. If you do that, though, there's little to distinguish the statement "that's wrong" from the statement "I don't like that." And if those two statements are interchangeable, then the statement "that's wrong" is not an expression of moral disapprobation, it's merely a statement of esthetic disapproval.

So when people "don't like" the inconvenience of something, they can simply refuse to recognize any moral arguments. Hell, they might even declare something is outside of the scope of morality. That's awfully easy.

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joefromchicago
 
  0  
Reply Mon 7 Mar, 2011 06:21 pm
@failures art,
failures art wrote:
Sure. It's called sharing an opinion. It is not a declaration of moral authority.

If your opinion isn't a statement of moral principle, why bother sharing it?

failures art wrote:
I guess you get to choose when to recognize this and when not to.

This what?

failures art wrote:
I think we've been venturing. So far, you've been outright dismissive of any of his assertions on this level. I don't think you really care for this idea unless it's you who gets to assert things.

Dismissive? Of bigstew or or of you? Bigstew has admitted to having no moral theory. You haven't said much of anything that could be construed as a moral statement here, unless I missed something. Lately you've just been kinda' pissy.

failures art wrote:
So when people "don't like" the inconvenience of something, they can simply refuse to recognize any moral arguments. Hell, they might even declare something is outside of the scope of morality. That's awfully easy.

It is awfully easy when your moral principle amounts to saying "I don't much care for that."
0 Replies
 
bigstew
 
  1  
Reply Mon 7 Mar, 2011 11:09 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:

That's correct, and I have no problem with you saying "to me, this is intuitively wrong" without first deciding on some ethical theory to confirm your intuition. What you can't do, however, is to say "this is wrong" without some ethical theory to back it up


My only concern is that direct moral standing for animals is a requirement any ethical theory should account for. Must I choose one theory to account for that? At the moment I dont think so, besides, a few have already been laid out. Do I agree with any one in particular? Not yet.

Quote:

You're the one who said that you'll be "defending the view that animals ought to obtain direct moral standing." I've seen very little of that. You're arguing against the status quo, it's your job to convince me that you're right, not the other way around.


It is not a difficult proposition to reason out. When an animal is lit on fire, is it the harm that the animal itself suffers which matters, or is it something else? Ive already mentioned a number of times why indirect arguments seem lacking in this regard.

Quote:
I have no clue what "direct moral considerability" means.


If I punch you in the face, it is wrong because you suffer. The reasons for the wrongness of that action pertain directly to your well being, not something else. Ethical theories will reason that out in different ways, but you get the picture.

Quote:

What is that extra something?


Non consent, non customary justification.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Mar, 2011 08:15 am
@bigstew,
bigstew wrote:
My only concern is that direct moral standing for animals is a requirement any ethical theory should account for.

Can an animal have "direct moral standing" without having rights?

bigstew wrote:
If I punch you in the face, it is wrong because you suffer. The reasons for the wrongness of that action pertain directly to your well being, not something else. Ethical theories will reason that out in different ways, but you get the picture.

When a veterinarian spays or neuters a cat or dog, the animal surely suffers. Would you therefore conclude that the veterinarian has committed a wrongful act toward the animal?

If I kept a human indoors in my home and prevented him from leaving, I'm sure you'd agree that I'd be committing a wrongful act toward him. On the other hand, I keep my cats indoors in my home all day, every day, and prevent them from leaving. Am I committing a wrongful act toward my cats?
parados
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Mar, 2011 08:24 am
@joefromchicago,
I bet you force the cat to use a different bathroom and don't let it use your dishes....


You.. You... wrongful actist.
Night Ripper
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Mar, 2011 08:28 am
@bigstew,
bigstew wrote:
If I punch you in the face, it is wrong because you suffer.


What about in the case that you punch someone in the face thinking that they will suffer but by chance they don't suffer, say, because they have an extra strong face or diminished pain sensitivity?

I don't think the consequences entirely matter. If you throw a knife at me but I duck in time for the knife to miss me but kill the bear behind me about to attack, have you saved my life?
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Mar, 2011 09:43 am
@parados,
parados wrote:

I bet you force the cat to use a different bathroom and don't let it use your dishes....

Guilty on both counts. On the other hand, I don't eat or drink out of their bowls and I have, so far, successfully resisted the urge to take a huge dump in their litterbox, so I suppose it all evens out.
0 Replies
 
bigstew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Mar, 2011 02:13 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:

Can an animal have "direct moral standing" without having rights?


Any 'interest' theor can account for the interests animals have, albeit in different ways. Perhaps we can have moral obligations that take into account the standing of animals, without a notion of rights.

Quote:
When a veterinarian spays or neuters a cat or dog, the animal surely suffers. Would you therefore conclude that the veterinarian has committed a wrongful act toward the animal?


There are interests that definitely conflict here, just like when you mentioned what shoe to put on. It becomes a situation of which interests are more important, and for what purpose. Normative debate will have to be applied here.

Quote:

If I kept a human indoors in my home and prevented him from leaving, I'm sure you'd agree that I'd be committing a wrongful act toward him. On the other hand, I keep my cats indoors in my home all day, every day, and prevent them from leaving. Am I committing a wrongful act toward my cats?


Depends on the interests. If you look at dog owners who keep their dogs on a leash in the backyard all day, regardless of the weather, that is animal cruelty. There is no reason necessary to make a dog suffer like that. But if you lived in a apartment, and had to keep your cats in, but they were able to adjust, I don't see any cruelty there, provided their other important interests are met. If the cats were not able to adjust, that is they suffered greatly, and you are concerned about your cats well being, perhaps you would think about what needs to change (or at least should).
bigstew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Mar, 2011 02:18 pm
@Night Ripper,
Quote:
What about in the case that you punch someone in the face thinking that they will suffer but by chance they don't suffer, say, because they have an extra strong face or diminished pain sensitivity?


Sure, if someone lacked a capacity for pain then no interest may be impinged on. But if you punched them in the face and that prevented them from being able to move freely, that might harm an interest they have.

Quote:

I don't think the consequences entirely matter. If you throw a knife at me but I duck in time for the knife to miss me but kill the bear behind me about to attack, have you saved my life?


Sure, I think you make a reasonable point. Maybe the consequences of an action arn't all that matter. I havn't committed to consequentialism either just so you know.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Mar, 2011 02:32 pm
@bigstew,
bigstew wrote:
Any 'interest' theor can account for the interests animals have, albeit in different ways. Perhaps we can have moral obligations that take into account the standing of animals, without a notion of rights.

What do you think?

bigstew wrote:
There are interests that definitely conflict here, just like when you mentioned what shoe to put on. It becomes a situation of which interests are more important, and for what purpose. Normative debate will have to be applied here.

What interests are in conflict here? On the one hand, humans just don't want a whole lot of cats and dogs around. On the other hand, cats and dogs would probably prefer to remain intact, all other things being equal. So why does the balance tip in favor of human convenience? We wouldn't reach the same conclusion if it were a human rather than a dog or a cat. If it were a question of my balls or your convenience, I think the equities would all align on the side of my balls.

bigstew wrote:
Depends on the interests.

True, but when it comes time to weigh those interests, humans always seem to have their thumb on the scales. Even you would permit me to keep cats in a condition that would be intolerable for a human.
 

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