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Old 15th July 2017, 08:08 PM   #161
mumblethrax
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Really? I was told in no uncertain terms here a few years ago that US law made a very clear distinction between the two. That the first are things the government can't do and the second are things they allow you to do. Sounds about right to me.
If an anonymous someone tells you something, and you elect to believe it, you should probably consider abandoning that belief after it's been shown to be false.

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Well, I was asked what _I_ mean by "rights" and the two have important differences, as far as I'm concerned
Then you should acknowledge that your meaning is highly idiosyncratic, and that in the sense that almost everyone else uses the word, animals can certainly have rights.

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That would be consistent, yes.
Stubbornly consistent with your own peculiar, ad hoc, conclusionary definition, but inconsistent with how anyone else actually uses the word. That's not the kind of consistency that makes you seem reasonable.

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Why do you always _start_ conversations with me like this? Have I killed one of your relatives at some point?
I don't think "you're out on a limb" is such a terrible thing to say, but it's because you have a habit of coming up with eye-poppingly bad arguments and then digging in your heels when it's pointed out why they don't work.
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Old 16th July 2017, 02:27 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
If an anonymous someone tells you something, and you elect to believe it, you should probably consider abandoning that belief after it's been shown to be false.
Great. Can you, as an anonymous someone, show this to be false? So far you've only made a claim.

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Then you should acknowledge that your meaning is highly idiosyncratic, and that in the sense that almost everyone else uses the word, animals can certainly have rights.
Why would I acknowledge something that isn't true? I find it ironic that you're asking me to do this when so far all you've provided is your own opinion.

Quote:
Stubbornly consistent with your own peculiar, ad hoc, conclusionary definition, but inconsistent with how anyone else actually uses the word. That's not the kind of consistency that makes you seem reasonable.

I don't think "you're out on a limb" is such a terrible thing to say, but it's because you have a habit of coming up with eye-poppingly bad arguments and then digging in your heels when it's pointed out why they don't work.
See, that's what I mean by personalising, and you know it. This is completely irrelevant to the discussion, but you put it there because it strokes your ego and gives you the impression of superiority.
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Old 16th July 2017, 03:03 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
We give babies and children rights became they grow up and learn to understand rights.
Most, but not all.
Some are born with severe genetic or birth defects which prevent them from every growing up and gaining an understanding of abstract concepts like "rights" (because they'll die first, or retain an IQ below what would be required). They still have rights.

The ability of rights thus cannot possibly hinge of the current or future or past ability to understand one's rights.

Or else, those who believe only entities with a sufficient level of cognitions can have rights, such as the right to life: Please demonstrate your conviction by shooting the nearest brain-damaged baby for sports, and see what the judge says to you! Will you be convicted for property damage, cruelty to a mammal - or for murder?

It is quite obvious, that, before animal rights, rights have been bestowed unto entities based on their being humans - regardless of cognition. And before that, only some humans were bestowed with rights, based on other, entirely arbitrary properties.
And equally obvious it is that in the future, other entities, beyond humans, can and will be granted rights.
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Old 16th July 2017, 03:12 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
This is why the problem with calling protections rights in the first place. While it is true that we humans could all agree to have some sort of redefinition of rights to include other animals, we haven't yet.
Two comments:
1. I frankly haven't seen any definition of "rights" in this thread yet, despite Argumemnon's futile attempt to make us believe some dictionary definitions fit his private concept (which they clearly don't).
2. You have been told that in some jurisdictions, some animals enjoy some rights, so appartently that redefinition has already taken place.
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Old 16th July 2017, 03:24 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Thinking about this, ... it seems to me a lot of this depends not only on what you think rights actually are, and who gets them, but where you think they come from.

...

Those of us who have no faith must decide what a right is, and what differentiates it from a privilege or something else. I've always sort of presumed that rights are defined by belonging to a group or class, to which one belongs by definition and that the rights themselves are conferred without qualification other than the qualification they themselves demand. Thus, for example, a baby has whatever rights are considered "human rights," because the baby is human, whether it knows or not. ...
You're onto something good.
The idea of universal human rights hinges on the conviction that all humans are essentially equal. What is that essence? Argumemnon claims its the ability to form abstract concepts like "rights" using cognition, but we have already seen that a small subset of humans clearly lack this "essence". I think this essence is much more about the most basic needs and emotions that even (and especially!) those possess who lack the higher mental capacities.

And this is exactly where animals enter in (in the minds of animal rights proponents): We have come to recognize more and more that some, many, most animals also share those needs and emotions! This excludes bacteria and plants, includes bonobos, dogs and dolphins - and somewhere between those two groups, we struggle to draw a line. This line would depend at least on a) the specific set of needs and emotions to be considered and b) our ability to figure out which animals have them, and how they recognize them.
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Old 16th July 2017, 03:45 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
I wouldn't say that I'm "deliberately" alive at the moment. Yet I tend to think that a rights violation would occur if, say, the police were to storm into my home right now and shoot me in the head. I guess you want to say, "No, no, no. That's just a protections violation."
You don't get it.
Because you understand ought to be able to understand what a right is, though you don't, it's a rights violation. When the same police shoot the baby next to you in the same ambush, it is, however, indeed NOT a rights violation - in the words of Argumemnon, who says to him, that's only a protections violation.

There is thus, says Argumemnon, a fundamental difference between destroying a baby and murdering an adult.

An opinion that, I think, Argumemnon holds very alone.
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Old 16th July 2017, 03:51 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Great. Can you, as an anonymous someone, show this to be false? So far you've only made a claim.
"This" clearly proves to you that your private opinion, that babies enjoy not rights but privileges, is perfectly WRONG, and the precise opposite is true:
"By contrast, a right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all citizens or all human beings from the moment of birth. "
Babies are born only with rights, and zero privileges (in an society that prescribes equality of the sexes, races and social classes).
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Old 16th July 2017, 04:35 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
"This" clearly proves to you that your private opinion, that babies enjoy not rights but privileges, is perfectly WRONG, and the precise opposite is true:
"By contrast, a right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all citizens or all human beings from the moment of birth. "
Babies are born only with rights, and zero privileges (in an society that prescribes equality of the sexes, races and social classes).
You know, just because you agree (or disagree) with one part of an argument doesn't mean you have to agree (or disagree) with all of it. I know it's a hard concept to grasp by a lot of people, but trust me, it's a thing.

Do you have anything to say about the point of my post (the distinction between rights and privilegeS) or not?
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Old 16th July 2017, 05:03 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
You not understanding what I said despite being able to read the words does not change what I meant. The problem here is that, as usual, you see your intepretation as the only possible truth. There is no possible discussion because of this.


Re. the highlight, I'm pretty sure that I don't do that any more than anyone else. And on the contrary, my long background in science research probably makes me less prone to bias of that sort than other people outside of science research.

Apart from that I think we have all said as much as needs to be said here on all sides.

One thing I would point out though, is that the entire ideas of peoples “rights” is probably bound up with religious beliefs from very ancient times, when people thought that God created humans as his special specific aim (created in his own image). People believed that the only true law was the law handed down by God. And any “rights” that true believers had, were rights bestowed upon them by God.

People did not believe that humans were animals. They had no understanding of that. They thought animals were just creatures placed here to provide food & other benefits for unique humans. So obviously animals had no rights from God, and the rights that humans did have from God meant that they could do whatever they wished to animals.

It's really only very recently that the world has realised how wrong that view has always been. It's only since 1858 when Darwin published “On the Origin of Species” that most educated people very slowly began to accept that humans are just a more evolved species of ape. Though of course even today many millions of Christians and Muslims around the world still insist that we are not apes and that humans are fundamentally different by definition from God.

OK, well I won't bother continuing with the rest of that explanation/suggestion, because I expect most people here can see where that leads. But just in case they can't see where that line of reasoning (if it is “reason”) concludes – it leads to the position we have today where in most advanced civilised countries the courts have now accepted that scientific evidence undoubtedly does show that many other animals as well as humans, do have very significant levels of conscious awareness (i.e. “cognition”) and do feel pain, fear and distress in much that same way that we/humans do, and hence the courts have agreed to pass laws which recognise the right of animals to be free from criminal cruelty of that kind.

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Old 16th July 2017, 05:22 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Re. the highlight, I'm pretty sure that I don't do that any more than anyone else. And on the contrary, my long background in science research probably makes me less prone to bias of that sort than other people outside of science research.

Apart from that I think we have all said as much as needs to be said here on all sides.

One thing I would point out though, is that the entire ideas of peoples “rights” is probably bound up with religious beliefs from very ancient times, when people thought that God created humans as his special specific aim (created in his own image). People believed that the only true law was the law handed down by God. And any “rights” that true believers had, were rights bestowed upon them by God.

People did not believe that humans were animals. They had no understanding of that. They thought animals were just creatures placed here to provide food & other benefits for unique humans. So obviously animals had no rights from God, and the rights that humans did have from God meant that they could do whatever they wished to animals.

It's really only very recently that the world has realised how wrong that view has always been. It's only since 1858 when Darwin published “On the Origin of Species” that most educated people very slowly began to accept that humans are just a more evolved species of ape. Though of course even today many millions of Christians and Muslims around the world still insist that we are not apes and that humans are fundamentally different by definition from God.

OK, well I won't bother continuing with the rest of that explanation/suggestion, because I expect most people here can see where that leads. But just in case they can't see where that line of reasoning (if it is “reason”) concludes – it leads to the position we have today where in most advanced civilised countries the courts have now accepted that scientific evidence undoubtedly does show that many other animals as well as humans, do have very significant levels of conscious awareness (i.e. “cognition”) and do feel pain, fear and distress in much that same way that we/humans do, and hence the courts have agreed to pass laws which recognise the right of animals to be free from criminal cruelty of that kind.
1859 [/nitpick]
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Old 16th July 2017, 05:26 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
Re. the highlight, I'm pretty sure that I don't do that any more than anyone else.
Yeah, that's bias talking.

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And on the contrary, my long background in science research probably makes me less prone to bias of that sort than other people outside of science research.
In your field, perhaps. But we're discussing philosophy and ethics, here, not science.
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Old 16th July 2017, 06:40 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Yeah, that's bias talking. .

You are trying to personalize things with derogatory remarks in almost every post now.


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
In your field, perhaps. But we're discussing philosophy and ethics, here, not science.

Of course we are talking about science. For at least the 5th time - the reason why courts have given a right of legal redress in cases of animal cruelty, is precisely and entirely because science has made it impossible to deny that animals do have sufficient "cognition".
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Old 16th July 2017, 06:46 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
Humans gave themselves rights if other animals want rights they're going to have to get them themselves.
That sounds fair. Let the unimaginable atrocities continue!
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Old 16th July 2017, 07:30 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Two comments:
1. I frankly haven't seen any definition of "rights" in this thread yet, despite Argumemnon's futile attempt to make us believe some dictionary definitions fit his private concept (which they clearly don't).
2. You have been told that in some jurisdictions, some animals enjoy some rights, so appartently that redefinition has already taken place.
Presumably even this exception is the one aleCcowaN linked to, but didn't comment on.

Not really no. In one case, a clear outlier, in a different country that doesn't speak English as it's primary language, does not a redefinition make. (except potentially in that jurisdiction if the precedent holds and expands.)

There may even be other exceptions too. In no way did I mean to imply that there is not a small minority of people in society attempting to give rights to animals by both redefining English and the laws. Clearly we haven't even come close to all agreeing on this course of action. Look around and see how we actually treat animals and it becomes obvious that what you just claimed "so apparently that redefinition has already taken place." is completely and unequivocally false.
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Old 16th July 2017, 08:40 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
You are trying to personalize things with derogatory remarks in almost every post now.
Dude, I put a smiley in there to make sure you knew I was joking! What the hell? I'm trying to tone things down, here.

As to my earlier comments, perhaps if you didn't make an appeal to law as some sort of demonstration for your claim we'd get somewhere. Imagine if there were a law that gave rights of existence to inanimate objects. It'd be pretty stupid, wouldn't it? You wouldn't expect a "it's the law, ergo objects can have rights! It makes perfect sense!" to be a convincing argument.

Quote:
Of course we are talking about science. For at least the 5th time - the reason why courts have given a right of legal redress in cases of animal cruelty, is precisely and entirely because science has made it impossible to deny that animals do have sufficient "cognition".
Well, once apes make treatises on ethics, let me know. I've been very explicit about how much cognition is required. I wasn't arguing that animals don't feel pain, for instance.

No, we're talking about philosophy, not science. You might say that we're using science to inform philosophy, but that's like saying that using a computer means you're doing quantum physics.
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Old 16th July 2017, 09:59 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
You know, just because you agree (or disagree) with one part of an argument doesn't mean you have to agree (or disagree) with all of it. I know it's a hard concept to grasp by a lot of people, but trust me, it's a thing.

Do you have anything to say about the point of my post (the distinction between rights and privilegeS) or not?
Yes. You are wrong.
You cherry-pick your evidence, obviously, to suit your preconceived and highly private and (I liked that word) idiosynchratic opinions.
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Old 16th July 2017, 10:04 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Presumably even this exception is the one aleCcowaN linked to, but didn't comment on.

Not really no. In one case, a clear outlier, in a different country that doesn't speak English as it's primary language, does not a redefinition make. (except potentially in that jurisdiction if the precedent holds and expands.)

There may even be other exceptions too. In no way did I mean to imply that there is not a small minority of people in society attempting to give rights to animals by both redefining English and the laws. Clearly we haven't even come close to all agreeing on this course of action. Look around and see how we actually treat animals and it becomes obvious that what you just claimed "so apparently that redefinition has already taken place." is completely and unequivocally false.
It has been pointed out by others that the United Kingdom (of Britain and Northern Ireland) has put animals rights legislation on her books, as has the EU.
I have not actually checked out that claim.
But there you have it - with English law books that way, it would appear that you are trying to redefine words, by reverting to an old status quo.
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Old 16th July 2017, 10:06 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
... if you didn't make an appeal to law as some sort of demonstration for your claim we'd get somewhere. ...
Priceless.

In a discussion of a legal concept, do not mention law, and do not mention what the courts say! I guess next, current textbooks on the basics and the philosophy of law will be off-limits - provided they refute your own, indiosynchratic, cherry-picked private concept.


Really, what DOES it take to figure out you have nothing to stand on? If even your own sources refute what you say, in which case you reprimand me for reading and using your own sources!
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Old 16th July 2017, 10:14 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Dude, I put a smiley in there to make sure you knew I was joking! What the hell? I'm trying to tone things down, here.

"Dude" - you'd do better if you avoided the personal insults then .


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
As to my earlier comments, perhaps if you didn't make an appeal to law as some sort of demonstration for your claim we'd get somewhere. Imagine if there were a law that gave rights of existence to inanimate objects. It'd be pretty stupid, wouldn't it? You wouldn't expect a "it's the law, ergo objects can have rights! It makes perfect sense!" to be a convincing argument.

The law is the only thing that gives us any so called "rights". Humans have no other "rights".

There is no law giving rights to inanimate objects? Or had you not noticed that?


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Well, once apes make treatises on ethics, let me know. I've been very explicit about how much cognition is required. I wasn't arguing that animals don't feel pain, for instance.

Apes do "make treatises on ethics"! In fact all law is made by apes!

You are sounding more like a confused creationist with every Freudian Slip you make by the way .


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
No, we're talking about philosophy, not science. You might say that we're using science to inform philosophy, but that's like saying that using a computer means you're doing quantum physics.

No we are certainly not talking about philosophy. The law courts do not use philosophy to decide whether or not animals have conscious awareness ("cognition") and feel fear and pain etc. ... philosophy has precisely zero to do with that.
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Old 16th July 2017, 10:46 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Yes. You are wrong.
Well, I'm convinced!
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Old 16th July 2017, 10:48 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
"Dude" - you'd do better if you avoided the personal insults then .
Since I already explained that it was a joke to lighten the mood, that you still take it as an insult just shows that taking offense is just part of your strategy here. Fine, have fun with that.

Quote:
The law is the only thing that gives us any so called "rights". Humans have no other "rights".

There is no law giving rights to inanimate objects? Or had you not noticed that?
Could you treat the hypothetical as such rather than dodge the question?

Quote:
Apes do "make treatises on ethics"! In fact all law is made by apes!
Deliberately missing the point, again and again.

It's just about winning an imaginary game to you. So what's the point.
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Old 16th July 2017, 11:29 AM   #182
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Drifting sideways a bit for the moment, as one presumably knows, how we relate to an animal depends on a lot of factors, and the balance between kindred and consumer can be a delicate one. I ran across this little article from 1848 by E.B. White, and, aside from of course enjoying the way Mr. White wrote, was reminded of this thread:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...th-pig/309203/
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Old 16th July 2017, 11:33 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Most, but not all.
Some are born with severe genetic or birth defects which prevent them from every growing up and gaining an understanding of abstract concepts like "rights" (because they'll die first, or retain an IQ below what would be required). They still have rights.

The ability of rights thus cannot possibly hinge of the current or future or past ability to understand one's rights.

Or else, those who believe only entities with a sufficient level of cognitions can have rights, such as the right to life: Please demonstrate your conviction by shooting the nearest brain-damaged baby for sports, and see what the judge says to you! Will you be convicted for property damage, cruelty to a mammal - or for murder?

It is quite obvious, that, before animal rights, rights have been bestowed unto entities based on their being humans - regardless of cognition. And before that, only some humans were bestowed with rights, based on other, entirely arbitrary properties.
And equally obvious it is that in the future, other entities, beyond humans, can and will be granted rights.
Actually, mentally handicapped people can understand rights and abstract concepts. Also, giving rights to children and mentally handicapped people is easily enforceable, while enforcing rights for non-human animals is pretty much impossible. Like I said, what about the animals who lose their homes and lives with agriculture and cities? Why didn't they have rights?
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Old 16th July 2017, 11:33 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
...
The law is the only thing that gives us any so called "rights". Humans have no other "rights".
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This can and will be disputed by many. In the absence of law, there can still be such a thing as common sense and mutual understanding culminating in what the people feel are "natural rights" and indeed the formal laws can be said to be nothing but an elaboration of such natural rights.

You are correct however to observe that laws are an important source of de-facto rights. A secondary source perhaps, but an undeniable one.
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Old 16th July 2017, 11:37 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by trustbutverify View Post
That sounds fair. Let the unimaginable atrocities continue!
Or not
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Old 16th July 2017, 12:03 PM   #186
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
Or not
Can't see how not. Maybe if a virus spreads where non-human animals develop super-intellect, gain access to weapons and organise a revolution. Unlikely though.
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Old 16th July 2017, 12:29 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
This can and will be disputed by many. In the absence of law, there can still be such a thing as common sense and mutual understanding culminating in what the people feel are "natural rights" and indeed the formal laws can be said to be nothing but an elaboration of such natural rights.
That is a very good observation.

I think Ian's argument, which essentially boils down to "well, there are laws giving animals rights so obviously animal rights make sense" is a bit silly, since there can be and have been plenty of nonsensical laws.
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Old 16th July 2017, 01:15 PM   #188
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
That is a very good observation.

I think Ian's argument, which essentially boils down to "well, there are laws giving animals rights so obviously animal rights make sense" is a bit silly, since there can be and have been plenty of nonsensical laws.
I agree, and I would even agree that, "animal rights laws" were created now, they would easily and likely turn out nonsensical - if you claimed such.

However, as soon as common sense and mutual understanding culminate in what the people feel are "natural rights for animals", then laws can be created that formalize this, and they will then make sense to society.
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Last edited by Oystein; 16th July 2017 at 01:17 PM. Reason: Changed the first sentence's order of phrases for better comprehension
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Old 16th July 2017, 01:23 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
I agree, and I would even agree that, "animal rights laws" were created now, they would easily and likely turn out nonsensical - if you claimed such.

However, as soon as common sense and mutual understanding culminate in what the people feel are "natural rights for animals", then laws can be created that formalize this, and they will then make sense to society.
You're refering to a completely separate class of "rights" for non-humans, then?
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Old 16th July 2017, 03:46 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
You're refering to a completely separate class of "rights" for non-humans, then?
No.
Overlapping.
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Old 16th July 2017, 11:31 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
You're refering to a completely separate class of "rights" for non-humans, then?
Why "completely"? Animal rights can be different from human rights in some aspects and equal in others. Children rights are not identical to adult rights, but are not completely separate. Someone has defined the basis for animal rights in the sense of companionship. I like this.

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Old 16th July 2017, 11:42 PM   #192
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
This can and will be disputed by many. In the absence of law, there can still be such a thing as common sense and mutual understanding culminating in what the people feel are "natural rights" and indeed the formal laws can be said to be nothing but an elaboration of such natural rights.

You are correct however to observe that laws are an important source of de-facto rights. A secondary source perhaps, but an undeniable one.
If the law were the only source of rights there would be not the right of disidence or resistance to laws.
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Old 17th July 2017, 02:09 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Since I already explained that it was a joke to lighten the mood, that you still take it as an insult just shows that taking offense is just part of your strategy here. Fine, have fun with that.

No, honestly, I do not feel insulted, and I am not taking offence. OK?

And I do not have any “strategy of taking offence”. I'm not offended. I'm just trying to explain clearly & in some detail why I disagreed with your initial quite sweeping statement when you abruptly dismissed any notion of animals being said to have “rights” in the way that humans are said to have “rights”.


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Could you treat the hypothetical as such rather than dodge the question?

Could you explain how that was dodging the question?

What I said was that humans actually have no “rights” either – the only so-called “rights” that any of us have are what exists as redress in law. And that is very clearly the absolute heart of the issue … it could not be further from a “dodge”.


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Deliberately missing the point, again and again.

No, not at all. You tried to make a derisory dismissal of the animals position by saying that apes could never make law, and I just pointed out to you that in fact ALL law is made by apes!

Instead of dismissing that true observation, it would have been better if you gracefully conceded the point, because the point is unarguably correct. And you were wrong ... and wrong in quite a fundamental & revealing way which is actually at the heart of this discussion – our laws are in fact all made by “animals”.

That was rather a give-away (Freudian Slip) revealing a bias here on your part, because it showed that you were not at that moment regarding people as “animals”. And that is something that many of us have pointed out to you earlier in the thread where you write as if you think humans are quite different from “animals” in some absolutely fundamental way (it's looks similar to the beliefs of religious people who feel sure that there is a very fundamental difference).


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
It's just about winning an imaginary game to you. So what's the point.

Not at all. First, I don't think it's a game. Animal “rights” is a very serious matter (and that's just a fact of law). And it's not about “winning” (there is no “game” to win). It's simply a matter of making clear that other animals as well as humans do have a right of redress in law for illegal offences such as cruelty and neglect.
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Old 17th July 2017, 02:27 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Why "completely"?
I don't know; I was asking for clarification.
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Old 17th July 2017, 04:45 AM   #195
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
This can and will be disputed by many. In the absence of law, there can still be such a thing as common sense and mutual understanding culminating in what the people feel are "natural rights" and indeed the formal laws can be said to be nothing but an elaboration of such natural rights.

You are correct however to observe that laws are an important source of de-facto rights. A secondary source perhaps, but an undeniable one.

That is a very good observation.

I think Ian's argument, which essentially boils down to "well, there are laws giving animals rights so obviously animal rights make sense" is a bit silly, since there can be and have been plenty of nonsensical laws.

The reason for me (and others) concentrating on the legal position, is that the law is the bottom line – it's the end of the argument on any issue like this.

That's inevitably true because it is the law alone that has the right to decide such issues.

You may think that all sorts of laws are “nonsensical”, but you are not in any position to decide that.

That's precisely why we have courts of law; to decide what truly should be judged as right vs wrong, regardless of what any individuals may believe to the contrary.

We could talk about it on other grounds, such as grounds of moral responsibility as others have suggested, but in the end it must always come to down to what is said to be right or wrong in law.

Though by the way, I don't think Oystein is agreeing with you when you say these laws are “nonsensical” (though you are writing as if he is agreeing with you).
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Old 17th July 2017, 04:50 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
The reason for me (and others) concentrating on the legal position, is that the law is the bottom line – it's the end of the argument on any issue like this.
Well, apparently you didn't read what I wrote -- again. I said that if you have a nonsensical law, it doesn't mean that the law makes sense. Your argument essentially means that a law that makes homosexuality illegal means that homosexuality is wrong. QED.
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Old 17th July 2017, 08:16 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Well, apparently you didn't read what I wrote -- again. I said that if you have a nonsensical law, it doesn't mean that the law makes sense. Your argument essentially means that a law that makes homosexuality illegal means that homosexuality is wrong. QED.


No, not at all. We are not talking about "right vs wrong" as if there were some absolute sense of right & wrong ordained by a higher all-knowing godly power.

There really is no fundamental "right" or "wrong". That again shows that you are trying to make a religious type of argument where you subconsciously (or consciously?) think that "right" and "wrong" exist as absolute facts … as if ordained by some God from the beginning of time.

Homosexuality is neither right or wrong. Heterosexuality is neither right or wrong. And there are no actual "rights" that animals or people have from any automatic time immemorial fundamental decree.

In matters like these, the only way that we now decide what should be accepted as right or wrong, is by a process of independent democratic law. That's what defines right vs wrong in the sort of issues that can be brought before the courts.

The issue of whether or not animals should be said to have a right of redress in law against acts of cruelty, is one that has been decided by the courts. And the legal decision is that animals do have that right of legal redress, just as humans do.


I'd like to ask you a quite different question on all of this (well several related questions, actually) - (1) do you live in the USA, and has that been your home since childhood? And (2) have you ever been on a hunting trip with a weapon such as a loaded gun? Have you ever shot animals on a trip like that?
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Old 17th July 2017, 08:32 AM   #198
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Originally Posted by IanS View Post
No, not at all. We are not talking about "right vs wrong" as if there were some absolute sense of right & wrong ordained by a higher all-knowing godly power.

There really is no fundamental "right" or "wrong". That again shows that you are trying to make a religious type of argument where you subconsciously (or consciously?) think that "right" and "wrong" exist as absolute facts … as if ordained by some God from the beginning of time.


Are you deliberately missing the point by using these misdirections? It's the logic of the arguments that is the same, not the fact that they are about a moral wrong. Do you even understand the point of analogies?
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Old 17th July 2017, 08:42 AM   #199
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post


Are you deliberately missing the point by using these misdirections? It's the logic of the arguments that is the same, not the fact that they are about a moral wrong. Do you even understand the point of analogies?
I think you will find that analogies are far more effective at explaining concepts to people who are basically in agreement but struggling to understand better.

Every time I used an analogy here at ISF (and JREF before that) while discussing something people were vehemently in disagreement, they always always always would find a way to undermine the analogy or use it in a different way than intended.

Honestly I don't even think it was always purposeful when it happened. I just think a certain level of agreed upon common understanding is required for analogies to make sense. ie "be analogous"
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Old 17th July 2017, 08:54 AM   #200
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
I think you will find that analogies are far more effective at explaining concepts to people who are basically in agreement but struggling to understand better.

Every time I used an analogy here at ISF (and JREF before that) while discussing something people were vehemently in disagreement, they always always always would find a way to undermine the analogy or use it in a different way than intended.

Honestly I don't even think it was always purposeful when it happened. I just think a certain level of agreed upon common understanding is required for analogies to make sense. ie "be analogous"
"What do you mean, it's like comparing apples to oranges? We're not even discussing fruits!"
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