is dissecting an animal right? - Page 5
Old 11-26-2010, 09:05 AM   #81 (permalink)
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what about killing animals for food? we don't need to eat meat to survive. is that somehow different?
Killing an animal or killing a human for food?

No, I don't think it is morally any different, it is still killing.

I believe the OP was asking for the difference between dissecting a human vs. animal and I see no difference there.

While I think the concept of cannabalism is disgusting, morally I do not see a difference.

Now if we are to talk about if different types of killing and what is morally acceptable and what is not we are in a whole new ballgame.

Killing for food if you can eat oher things is certainly less moral than killing for food if it is all you can eat.

To me anyways and it's all relative (or is it? *creepy twilight zone philosophy version)
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:18 AM   #82 (permalink)
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Killing an animal or killing a human for food?

No, I don't think it is morally any different, it is still killing.

I believe the OP was asking for the difference between dissecting a human vs. animal and I see no difference there.

While I think the concept of cannabalism is disgusting, morally I do not see a difference.

Now if we are to talk about if different types of killing and what is morally acceptable and what is not we are in a whole new ballgame.

Killing for food if you can eat oher things is certainly less moral than killing for food if it is all you can eat.

To me anyways and it's all relative (or is it? *creepy twilight zone philosophy version)
i guess i just put a lot more value in humans than in non-human animals. if i can kill it for food, i have no problem killing it for science. both should be done in a sustainable way, but i don't see them as morally wrong.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:23 AM   #83 (permalink)
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As for the education point, again you guys are terrible.

Math is undoubtedly the most important thing to have a grasp on because it is the root of so many areas of study:

- Chemistry
- Physics
- Engineering
- Math (yeah no shit haha)
- Economics
- Accounting
- Computing

There are no other subjects that have as far reaching consequences as math.

Communication skills and english are not one and the same although spoken and written language is a subset of communication skills.

As for SJ's comments about "ruling the the world" with sociology, history and science that is complete horseshit. While they are important on a global scale, to an individual sociology and history have virtually no value to an individual.

I'd love to see someone argue it without just saying "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it". It has no value in the day to day world and neither does sociology. If you want proof go talk to your unemployed friends or people working a field COMPLETELY different than the degree they paid money for. While there are exceptions, it is virtually impossible to find jobs using those degrees. Unfortunately, money controls out society so how you will rule the world with no job/money is beyond me.

To break down what subjects are important you need to understand what is valuable to an individual so that they can do the kind of work they choose to do.

Most of those areas will rely on math so it's important to excel at it if you are unsure what you want to do.

I would argue comminication is more important than math, but it can't really be taught in the classroom. That is why I will always put a high value on extra-curricular team oriented activites for my kids.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:28 AM   #84 (permalink)
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i don't think the point of a university education is to make you job-ready. it's about developing critical thinking skills, as cg pointed out earlier in this thread, and about a quest for learning. if you want to study math, go ahead. there are lots of great jobs you can get with that skill set, and it is fundamentally important in many areas. but if you have a passion for other types of knowledge, go out and chase that passion. you can worry about finding work later. and i think this world would be a miserable place if all of our art curators, political thinkers, lawyers, writers, etc skipped history and sociology in order to focus solely on math.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:30 AM   #85 (permalink)
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i guess i just put a lot more value in humans than in non-human animals. if i can kill it for food, i have no problem killing it for science. both should be done in a sustainable way, but i don't see them as morally wrong.
I believe intentionally killing for any reason other than survival is immoral. You can argue what is and is not "survivial" based killing but makes no difference to me what the animal is.

Human or not, it makes no difference, killing is killing.

Putting humans above other life is something many are guilty of (myself included at times) is egotistical.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:36 AM   #86 (permalink)
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i don't think the point of a university education is to make you job-ready. it's about developing critical thinking skills, as cg pointed out earlier in this thread, and about a quest for learning. if you want to study math, go ahead. there are lots of great jobs you can get with that skill set, and it is fundamentally important in many areas. but if you have a passion for other types of knowledge, go out and chase that passion. you can worry about finding work later. and i think this world would be a miserable place if all of our art curators, political thinkers, lawyers, writers, etc skipped history and sociology in order to focus solely on math.
That's what I meant with the "kind of work you want to do", I think that may have been confused with the previous rant about when I was discussing jobs and "ruling the world"

In that instance, when I said "work" I was referring to the application of one's effort and time.

To try and just "pick up" math in university after not taking an advanced math in high school because you want to be a physicist is a MASSIVE undertaking.

You don't need any pre-requisite skills because you decide to become art curators, political thinkers, lawyers, writers etc. The required skills are developed within those environments.

Not knowing math will stop your path to knowledge in many areas, moreso than lack of knowledge in any other subject area.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:37 AM   #87 (permalink)
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I do not make the human animals vs non-human animals distinction.

They are all individual animals, with varying levels of sentience. What matters is not "Are they human?" but "Can they suffer?"

For the sake of clarity, all my earlier posts assume that financial success is not the penultimate value to pursue.
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Old 11-26-2010, 09:47 AM   #88 (permalink)
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I do not make the human animals vs non-human animals distinction.

They are all individual animals, with varying levels of sentience. What matters is not "Are they human?" but "Can they suffer?"

For the sake of clarity, all my earlier posts assume that financial success is not the penultimate value to pursue.
are you vegan? no judgement, just curious how far you take this.

i absolutely make that distinction. i don't go out of my way to kill animals with any fervour, but i have no problem with them dying purely for the sake of science or sustenance. i can't say i feel that way about humans.
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:08 AM   #89 (permalink)
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are you vegan? no judgement, just curious how far you take this.

i absolutely make that distinction. i don't go out of my way to kill animals with any fervour, but i have no problem with them dying purely for the sake of science or sustenance. i can't say i feel that way about humans.
On what grounds do you make that distinction? What is it about humans that privileges them?

To answer your question, I am vegetarian bordering on vegan. It's irrelevant, though, as whether or not I were to adhere to a position says nothing about the truth of that position (unless it is a position regarding, say, realization).
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Old 11-26-2010, 10:42 AM   #90 (permalink)
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On what grounds do you make that distinction? What is it about humans that privileges them?

To answer your question, I am vegetarian bordering on vegan. It's irrelevant, though, as whether or not I were to adhere to a position says nothing about the truth of that position (unless it is a position regarding, say, realization).
i don't think there is any truth to any of this. these are opinions and have no basis in objective fact. your opinion is precisely what matters. i only asked because i see you as one of the people on this board that would bother to think that position through.
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:16 AM   #91 (permalink)
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i don't think there is any truth to any of this. these are opinions and have no basis in objective fact. your opinion is precisely what matters. i only asked because i see you as one of the people on this board that would bother to think that position through.
I am a moral realist once we accept certain initial conditions. For example, if you accept it as axiomatic that we must aim to reduce suffering, then there are clearly some ways to realize those moral goals that are better than other ways.

The question here is that of our starting point. I begin with the premise that to act morally is to act in a way that you justifiably believe will reduce suffering. If that is your initial premise, I can see no reason to limit your moral circle to encompass humans only; the only justification you could produce would ultimately be speciesist or religious.

To give you a rough sketch of the path I took to arrive at this position:

1) Identify why I would want people to be moral to me (I don't want to suffer)
2) Identify why I would apply that same behaviour to others (mutually beneficial, reciprocation, etc.)
3) Identify what qualifies another object to receive moral consideration (knowing #1, it is the ability to suffer)
4) Identify what objects meet those qualifications (anything that is capable of suffering)
5) It follows from the above 4 that we should proportion an objects worthiness of moral consideration to its ability to suffer. Accordingly, there are some non-human animals that are more worthy of moral consideration than some human animals, and vice versa. No one gets special privilege.

Perhaps, however, your conception of what is moral is different. I'd be interested in hearing it. If it is emotivism, like that practiced by Russell and other logical empiricists (which is what I would suspect based on previous posts) then we'll agree that it is right on a descriptive level but may not be so on a normative (prescriptive) level.
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:21 AM   #92 (permalink)
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All this philosopy is great but i think you all are just giving a poor HS student who anly wanted to know if its right to cut a frog or not a big headache.: mischief:
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:24 AM   #93 (permalink)
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All this philosopy is great but i think you all are just giving a poor HS student who anly wanted to know if its right to cut a frog or not a big headache.: mischief:
If you want an answer, sometimes you have to think about it a little bit. The original question has been answered several times and the posts now are an attempt to explain why he received those answers.
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:29 AM   #94 (permalink)
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sometimes it seems to me that Ligeia is just trying to demonstrate his erudition (which he actually has), but mostly that he likes the discussion in itself no matter the argument. I just want to be clear, i'm not saying this to blame on Ligeia (absit iniuria verbis), but only saying that he his a real philosopher and, sometimes, is just more stimulated by the discussion more than the subject.
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:43 AM   #95 (permalink)
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sometimes it seems to me that Ligeia is just trying to demonstrate his erudition (which he actually has), but mostly that he likes the discussion in itself no matter the argument. I just want to be clear, i'm not saying this to blame on Ligeia (absit iniuria verbis), but only saying that he his a real philosopher and, sometimes, is just more stimulated by the discussion more than the subject.
Is that based on what you're reading, or are you importing certain received preconceptions about what a philosopher is like?

Don't get me wrong: I love discussion, but it matters not if the subject is of no importance. Your assertion is way off the mark in this thread in particular: as a vegetarian, animal rights have a profound personal relevance to me (and moral philosophy is another distinct passion, again making this subject, not just the discussion, very important).

Now why is this even relevant in this thread? Is your comment anything but a distraction from the real questions at hand? Would you have preferred that I said "Yes" and just left the thread?
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Old 11-26-2010, 11:52 AM   #96 (permalink)
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Didn't mean to offend, and my comment was about your posts in general. and for the records I really like your posts (generally speaking) even if sometimes i disagree (not a great matter for sure) and besides in my first post i just wanted to make a joke. But I like when discussion are take at that level. sometimes i just try to be witty...and you're too serious. I like you Ligeia
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Old 11-26-2010, 12:28 PM   #97 (permalink)
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I am a moral realist once we accept certain initial conditions. For example, if you accept it as axiomatic that we must aim to reduce suffering, then there are clearly some ways to realize those moral goals that are better than other ways.

The question here is that of our starting point. I begin with the premise that to act morally is to act in a way that you justifiably believe will reduce suffering. If that is your initial premise, I can see no reason to limit your moral circle to encompass humans only; the only justification you could produce would ultimately be speciesist or religious.

To give you a rough sketch of the path I took to arrive at this position:

1) Identify why I would want people to be moral to me (I don't want to suffer)
2) Identify why I would apply that same behaviour to others (mutually beneficial, reciprocation, etc.)
3) Identify what qualifies another object to receive moral consideration (knowing #1, it is the ability to suffer)
4) Identify what objects meet those qualifications (anything that is capable of suffering)
5) It follows from the above 4 that we should proportion an objects worthiness of moral consideration to its ability to suffer. Accordingly, there are some non-human animals that are more worthy of moral consideration than some human animals, and vice versa. No one gets special privilege.

Perhaps, however, your conception of what is moral is different. I'd be interested in hearing it. If it is emotivism, like that practiced by Russell and other logical empiricists (which is what I would suspect based on previous posts) then we'll agree that it is right on a descriptive level but may not be so on a normative (prescriptive) level.
your last point is pretty much right on, although i am quite fine with being a species-ist. morality is, in my view, a human construct. it is entirely up to our opinions of what we find right and wrong, and we debate these things to come to political solutions. historically we have used force or coercion instead, but these are clearly poor alternatives if we aim to decrease suffering. that said, my primary concern is with decreasing, or limiting, human suffering. as i said, i make a distinction between animals and humans. this is partially because i don't believe animals make moral choices.
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Old 11-26-2010, 12:54 PM   #98 (permalink)
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I'll ignore the complications of what it means to "make a moral choice" and skip to this objection (which I'm sure you've already considered):

Are young children capable of making moral choices in a way that exceeds the moral decision making of most adult primates?

I agree that morality is a human construct, but that doesn't mean that the internal logic of any particular moral position is thus valid or cogent. Any person who says the goal of morality is to decrease suffering, but then says that the suffering in question is restricted to humans, either lacks valid internal logic or they arrived at that position through some other line of reasoning which has not yet been made explicit. Again, I'd be interested in hearing how you determine whether or not something is worthy of moral consideration, rather than just an a priori assumption that only human animals matter.

I guess my point is this: if you start off wondering "Who deserves moral consideration and why?", you will almost always end at a point that requires you including at least some non-human animals in your circle of moral sentiments. I don't see how that can be avoided.

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Old 11-26-2010, 01:23 PM   #99 (permalink)
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I'll ignore the complications of what it means to "make a moral choice" and skip to this objection (which I'm sure you've already considered):

Are young children capable of making moral choices in a way that exceeds the moral decision making of most adult primates?

I agree that morality is a human construct, but that doesn't mean that the internal logic of any particular moral position is thus valid or cogent. Any person who says the goal of morality is to decrease suffering, but then says that the suffering in question is restricted to humans, either lacks valid internal logic or they arrived at that position through some other line of reasoning which has not yet been made explicit. Again, I'd be interested in hearing how you determine whether or not something is worthy of moral consideration, rather than just an a priori assumption that only human animals matter.

I guess my point is this: if you start off wondering "Who deserves moral consideration and why?", you will almost always end at a point that requires you including at least some non-human animals in your circle of moral sentiments. I don't see how that can be avoided.
Your reasoning is correct but if , has you say "moral" is a human construction throught the century (and it changed a lot in between) is a little captious saying that no position is valid or cogent, because this run to discuss every position, and if this is right in itself, means that there isn't a position that can be shared. So maybe someone thinks that is moral to rape kids, and on a theoretical level you can't disagree or better you can argue but assuming that there's no cogent position what can you say if not trying to convince him? i mean there's a common moral based on common principles, that can for sure be changed, and it allways happened as the humanity goes on, but to those principles you have to base your behaviour more or less. 100 years ago very few people were vegs while nowadays a lot of people are and it doesn't appear a strange thing.
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Old 11-26-2010, 01:41 PM   #100 (permalink)
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I'll ignore the complications of what it means to "make a moral choice" and skip to this objection (which I'm sure you've already considered):

Are young children capable of making moral choices in a way that exceeds the moral decision making of most adult primates?

I agree that morality is a human construct, but that doesn't mean that the internal logic of any particular moral position is thus valid or cogent. Any person who says the goal of morality is to decrease suffering, but then says that the suffering in question is restricted to humans, either lacks valid internal logic or they arrived at that position through some other line of reasoning which has not yet been made explicit. Again, I'd be interested in hearing how you determine whether or not something is worthy of moral consideration, rather than just an a priori assumption that only human animals matter.

I guess my point is this: if you start off wondering "Who deserves moral consideration and why?", you will almost always end at a point that requires you including at least some non-human animals in your circle of moral sentiments. I don't see how that can be avoided.
i am being selfish, and extending that selfishness to other humans. i hold it as important (along with many other important things) to decrease overall suffering, but my desire to eat roast beef and foie gras trumps whether or not i care about cows and ducks. it's as simple as that. i actually don't think i need to have a logical proof to have that opinion. i don't think humans are better from any objective or even subjective standpoint, but what i do know is that we have the power to do so, an i have no problem with making that choice.

and ultimately, i don't think most humans have fully rounded moral landscapes that have an internal logic or even a cohesive worldview. this is precisely why i switched from moral philosophy to political theory as my academic field, back when i had one. i know that it is very rare to find people that have thought through it as much as you have, and given the randomness of moral opinion, i am much more interested in praxis. that is to say, i am much more interested in how we turn those fragmented moral landscapes into political reality.

human children are underdeveloped intellectually and definitely don't have the ability to make fully reasoned moral choices. at an early age they don't even have the capacity to make partially reasoned moral choices. as they develop they become more and more capable, but they are certainly not born with a moral compass of any kind, and many barely develop it at all. but their potential as adults who can/will make moral choices separates them from animals.

and yes, i am willing to extend compassion towards primates and some other animals, but i am quite fine with using them, under complex regulations and with some intent to ultimately reduce human suffering, in some scientific testing. we are more important. that is my opinion and i don't think it needs proof, since i don't claim it to be objectively true.

i would eat pretty much anything as long as it won't make me sick.
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