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Attack my argument: morality of eating meat

 
 
L1n1o
 
Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 12:47 pm
So this is my argument as to why raising and eating and animals is not morally wrong.



1. Rights are not dependent of biological factor (If it were so and that rights were dependent on the most simple biological factor -- alive, and sentient --then every living entity from bacteria to plants to humans will be protected by the laws that apply to humans such as the Constitution, if such entities were in America)
2. Rights are simply a mutual and joint responsibility. (This simply means that if one believes in a particular right then such a person who holds the right is held responsible for respecting that particular right of others who has the capability of respecting your rights. So for example if a human has the right to free religion, and then by mutual responsibility such a right holder must respect another human being’s right to free religion, and must not breach that right against another by religious discrimination, for example. A human has the right to free speech, and by mutual responsibility such a right holder must respect both another's right to free speech, and must not misuse the right of free speech against another, such as slander. A human has the right to keep and bear arms, therefore by mutual responsibility such a right holder must not infringe on another's right to bear arms, and violation, such as using arms in unjustified force against another human being. A human has the right of equality under the equal treatment of sexes, and race, and so under mutual responsibility such a holder of right must not breach on such right of others and take discriminatory actions based on sexual or racial differences.)
3. An infringement of joint mutual responsibility leads to accountability whether it is criminal liability or civil liability.
4. Nonhumans do not have rights because nonhumans do not have the mental capacity to identify and respect mutual responsibility. (If nonhumans did have rights, then dogs can be put in jail for vandalizing public property after it excretes its waste on any public space. If nonhumans did have rights, then a bear or a lion can get life sentence if it kills –murder, since nonhumans have rights in the scenario mentioned-- a human or a deer.)
5. Then, humans do not have any moral duties (specifically moral duties that stem from ethics between humans; interhuman ethics) towards nonhumans.
6. If raising up and killing nonhumans for food is morally wrong, then it implies that nonhumans do have rights, and humans have interhuman moral duties towards nonhumans.
7. From premise 2 and premise 4, nonhumans don’t have the rights and humans does not have any inter-human moral duties (moral duties that apply to humans) towards nonhumans.
8. Then, it can be said that nonhumans does not have a claim to be spared of being killed for consumption, despite the fact that pointless killing must be spared because it is wasteful, which is an evil of selfishness in that others (humans and nonhumans) are deficient of such resources elsewhere, and could have utilized such resources for survival.
9. Conclusively, humans do not have moral obligation towards nonhumans, and since humans have no interhuman moral duties towards nonhumans, then killing nonhumans for consumption does not violate any rights or ethics, and therefore it is not morally wrong; furthermore, raising and killing nonhumans for consumption is not morally wrong.

(It must be pointed out that while raising animals is permissible under this argument, it is not all right to cause suffering or torture in the process of raising the animal, because humans, by moral standards, have an inherent duty to be not cruel -- torture is inherently evil. Killing animals must also be regulated to minimize suffering as much as possible.)

by L_n_o // K_l_m_a_n_ // RVC
 
joefromchicago
 
  4  
Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 01:37 pm
All of your steps, aside from 4 and 9, are largely unnecessary. Step 2, which, if I understand it correctly, sets forth a system of rights that is analogous to moral relativism, is both unnecessary and incoherent. A simpler version of your argument would be:

1. Only rational beings have rights
2. Only humans are rational beings
3. Therefore, no animal has any rights that a human is bound to respect
L1n1o
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 02:59 pm
@joefromchicago,
Maybe so, however, I added such premises for in depth explanation, as well as being non-ambiguous.

I hope that morality is independent of moral relativism. If such were the case, then a tribe having similar cultures of the Aztec people could sacrifice people without a problem. It is best that morality be independent of culture, tradition, and customs.

So from the short argument you stated, a valid question to ask would be why should only rational beings have rights, why not animals? why not plants?
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Apr, 2012 03:02 pm
@L1n1o,
L1n1o wrote:
So from the short argument you stated, a valid question to ask would be why should only rational beings have rights, why not animals? why not plants?

Your step 4 suggests the answer.
JLNobody
 
  2  
Reply Sat 28 Apr, 2012 02:08 pm
@joefromchicago,
I feel that we humans have no right to domesticate animals for food. But "rights" are something we invent and use for our purposes. Objectively speaking, we kill and eat animals in the same moral spirit as the apple falls from the tree. Lions have no "right" to kill and eat zebras; they just do it. It was in that spirit that I ate large grilled scallops with bacon last night. Such a delicious and unjust meal! I'm such a bad man! Mr. Green
0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Apr, 2012 04:41 pm
@L1n1o,
IMO Morality is founded on "empathy" not "rights". This position is epitomized by some vegetarians as "we don't eat our friends". (There is a good scene in the film "King Rat", where the inmates in a POW camp are mesmerized by the smell of a "real meat stew" which turns out to made from Hawkin's dog which went "missing").
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b5TNAzVFFSQ
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Apr, 2012 04:51 pm
@fresco,
I don't remember that, but I did read the book. It was a good 'un, by James Clavell.
vikorr
 
  2  
Reply Sat 28 Apr, 2012 05:51 pm
@L1n1o,
Quote:
1. Rights are not dependent of biological factor
Rights are a purely human concept.
Quote:
2. Rights are simply a mutual and joint responsibility.
Rights are a purely human concept
Quote:
This simply means that if one believes in a particular right then such a person who holds the right is held responsible for respecting that particular right of others who has the capability of respecting your rights
Really? And here I thought people screaming about their 'rights' were the ones who had those 'rights' trampled on by others who couldn't care less about their 'rights'.

So if you don't hold to a particular 'right', then it's okay to disregard what other people consider their 'rights'?

And if two people can't agree on what is a right - then are rights really 'rights'? Or simply figments of peoples imaginations regarding what they believe constitutes a utopian world?

Quote:
4. Nonhumans do not have rights because nonhumans do not have the mental capacity to identify and respect mutual responsibility.
You're kidding aren't you?

Do you not see animals behaving in social groups?

Perhaps you don't notice how so many species of animals recognise how to keep their food sources stocked? (some by moving nomadically, some by spreading out their population, and most all by only eating what they need)

Or perhaps you are talking about the greater picture - the entire ecosystem? In that case, I would hold humans to have the least mutual responsibility to it, consider how much habitat we destroy, how many species of animals we wipe out, etc.

Quote:
5. Then, humans do not have any moral duties (specifically moral duties that stem from ethics between humans; interhuman ethics) towards nonhumans.
Morals are a purely human concept - and they can exten to any concept they like - including non humans, should they choose to do so

I don't think I'll worry about replying to rest.

The problem was - you thought we had 'rights'

And you thought that morality is limited to how we interact with others.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Apr, 2012 06:25 pm
@roger,
I believe Clavell was in the Changi Road prison camp.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Apr, 2012 07:35 pm
@vikorr,
Of course, most of the "rights" people claim are their legal rights.
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Apr, 2012 08:27 pm
@JLNobody,
Most - though not all...privacy for example, is often a contractual agreement (NDA's, Privacy policies etc). The concept of privacy many people think is a right, sometimes exists is law, and sometimes doesn't. In numerous instances - what one person thinks should be private, another person couldn't give a stuff about it being private.

Another 'right' that many people seem to think exists is the right to be treated perfectly. Look at the number of law suits caused by pure human weakness or error (doctors/surgery/diagnosiis for example). Or obnoxious people who are downright rude to customer service people, and then complain when the person they are rude to is rude back? Or the many people think it's a right for them not to be delayed by anyone else. I'm sure there is an absolute plethora of other rather subject 'rights' that people claim.

...and laws vary from country to country - meaning 'rights' vary from country to country. In different countries, there are sometimes completely conflicting legal 'rights'...so what really is a 'right'? (most people see 'rights' as an inalienable concept)

The existance of 'rights' (and their specific content) is purely dependant on the existance of power and the people behind the power.

Power of course, can come from enough people agreeing in the existance of a 'right'. Or it can come from other means (military dictatorships as one example)
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Apr, 2012 03:10 am
@vikorr,
Would you say "power" tends to be the antithesis of "empathy" ? It is based on hierarchical "status" which puts boundaries around the exercise of empathy.
When the bible (divine power) grants man domain over all other life (possibly including woman !) this can be seen removing empathy from its application to animals, and also removing it from non-believers who would usurp that "divine" power. ( Secular power such as that of Nazism was of course involved the de-humanization of "non-Aryans" and hence was viewed by followers as "quasi-divine").
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Apr, 2012 04:41 am
@fresco,
Quote:
Would you say "power" tends to be the antithesis of "empathy" ? It is based on hierarchical "status" which puts boundaries around the exercise of empathy.

Hi Fresco - Heirarchial power is only one form of power.

At its heart there are two forms of power :
- Individual power : including physical, mental, and skill based power
- Social power : social power is your power to influence others influence.

The two can of course, overlap - for much (though not all) of our social power finds it's foundation in our individual power (though social power is still more than that)

For the most part, 'rights' exist in the social realm.

Within social power, there is formal/heirachial power, there is expert power, there is financial power, there is charismatic power, there is physiological power, group power etc

Heirachial power I would think, lends itself to paradigms that 'may' affect empathy - but you can be in charge of subordinates and care for them, and view things from their angle while still leading with vision and focus.

Charismatic power can occur in the presence of deep empathy (but does not have, for of course, it is much more than just empathy)

Quote:
When the bible (divine power) grants man domain over all other life (possibly including woman !) this can be seen removing empathy from its application to animals

Well, if we were to argue God based empathy for animals - I would point out that none of us enjoy seeing animals in pain - most of would wince (empathy) and feel sorry for the animal (sympathy)...and the only kids who enjoy torturing animals seem to have a decent chance of growing up to become serial killers.
........

Why don't we eat our pet dogs?

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Apr, 2012 04:57 am
@vikorr,
Quote:
Why don't we eat our pet dogs?


Some cultures do. It's stringy, but if they use very young dogs, it's not bad. They are raised just like any other livestock. They may be petted while small, but only the best male and female of any litter are kept--the rest are slaughtered.
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Apr, 2012 07:52 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:

All of your steps, aside from 4 and 9, are largely unnecessary. Step 2, which, if I understand it correctly, sets forth a system of rights that is analogous to moral relativism, is both unnecessary and incoherent. A simpler version of your argument would be:

1. Only rational beings have rights
2. Only humans are rational beings
3. Therefore, no animal has any rights that a human is bound to respect


One could, IMHO, apply that to Democrats (rational beings) and Republicans Mr. Green
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Apr, 2012 08:33 am
the latin root of "moral" is that which is considered "customary". So its easily deduced.
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Apr, 2012 09:06 am
the only argument I have for the idea that eating meat is either right OR wrong is that it is only in an over fed, over privileged society you will find people who are bored enough with their own lives to actually spend the time and energy trying to promote their self inflated ego over something as simple as a diet choice. When you have TOO much of something you become pompous about it. Food in this country is over flowing so not you have people nit picking everything and attempting to define themselves by what they WONT eat and judging others by what they DO eat.

kinda sad really..
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Apr, 2012 11:11 am
@farmerman,
So, moral behavior can be reduced to conventional behavior.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Apr, 2012 11:12 am
@shewolfnm,
Right, I don't think anyone in the campes of Darfur are concerned about their levels of cholesterol.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Apr, 2012 01:33 pm
@JLNobody,
"customary behavior" is what I think I said. Morality is an issue that has been raised by the vegematarians who think they have some kind of special path to enlightenment and are busy trying to convince as many people as they can about their lifestyle choice.

I have canine teeth and my species has a history (CUSTOM if you will ) of eating meat. I dont try to push my bekliefs on anyone else. Leave me alone to enjoy my St Louis ribs
 

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