ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 9th July 2017, 06:55 AM   #1
Jerrymander
Thinker
 
Jerrymander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 226
Are animal rights impossible?

So, as an animal lover, I can definitely get behind the idea of animal welfare. However the concept of animals having rights seems like a nice slogan but when you think about it, it’s impossible to truly implement.

For one, in order for our civilization to grow and maintain some animals have to die, even if you eliminate the meat industry and animal testing. The homes, cities, roads and agriculture we’ve built led to the deaths of tens of millions of animals. Didn’t they have rights?

Also, doesn’t giving non-human animals rights create an imbalance. If a human kills a bear, it’s a rights violation, but if a bear kills a human, its not.
Jerrymander is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th July 2017, 07:46 AM   #2
Red Baron Farms
Illuminator
 
Red Baron Farms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 3,966
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
So, as an animal lover, I can definitely get behind the idea of animal welfare. However the concept of animals having rights seems like a nice slogan but when you think about it, it’s impossible to truly implement.

For one, in order for our civilization to grow and maintain some animals have to die, even if you eliminate the meat industry and animal testing. The homes, cities, roads and agriculture we’ve built led to the deaths of tens of millions of animals. Didn’t they have rights?

Also, doesn’t giving non-human animals rights create an imbalance. If a human kills a bear, it’s a rights violation, but if a bear kills a human, its not.
It depends entirely on what rights you are proposing to "give them". It's pretty useful to have basic laws against torture and animal abuse. Trying to give animals rights equal to humans is really sort of naive.
__________________
Scott
"Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; & of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system." Bill Mollison
Biome Carbon Cycle Management
Red Baron Farms is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th July 2017, 07:58 AM   #3
The Great Zaganza
Master Poster
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,644
Republicans could give cows the right to vote to help them in some close elections...
__________________
"eventually we will get something done."
- Donald J. Trump
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th July 2017, 08:20 AM   #4
Wolrab
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,021
Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Republicans could give cows the right to vote to help them in some close elections...
Seems like they don't need any help.

As for animal rights, animals need to petition the UN or at least start a dialogue.
__________________
"Such reports are usually based on the sighting of something the sighters cannot explain and that they (or someone else on their behalf) explain as representing an interstellar spaceship-often by saying "But what else can it be?" as though thier own ignorance is a decisive factor." Isaac Asimov
Wolrab is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th July 2017, 12:29 PM   #5
Oystein
Penultimate Amazing
 
Oystein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 14,629
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
...
Also, doesn’t giving non-human animals rights create an imbalance. If a human kills a bear, it’s a rights violation, but if a bear kills a human, its not.
"If a adult kills a small child, it’s a rights violation, but if a small child kills an adult, its not."

(Not literally true - a small child is not guilty of a crime, and not civilly liable, that's the correct way to put it; but a rights violation it is still. But the same applies to the bear: A human has the right to life, so a bear killing a human violates that right - but the bear is not responsible and not guilty).
__________________
Thermodynamics hates conspiracy theorists. (Foster Zygote)
Oystein is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th July 2017, 04:06 PM   #6
Jerrymander
Thinker
 
Jerrymander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 226
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
"If a adult kills a small child, it’s a rights violation, but if a small child kills an adult, its not."

(Not literally true - a small child is not guilty of a crime, and not civilly liable, that's the correct way to put it; but a rights violation it is still. But the same applies to the bear: A human has the right to life, so a bear killing a human violates that right - but the bear is not responsible and not guilty).
Yeah, but for the most part, a small child is not capable of killing an adult. So ultimately there is no power imbalance. The same can be said for severely disabled people.

Older children and teenagers are capable and they can be held responsible, at least to an extent.
Jerrymander is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th July 2017, 06:04 PM   #7
Jodie
Philosopher
 
Jodie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5,918
I guess you never saw The Bad Seed.

https://www.youtubhttps://www.youtub...?v=23tNAiZReo8
__________________
"When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look but it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now. The child is grown, the dream is gone. I have become comfortably numb. " Pink Floyd
Jodie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th July 2017, 06:34 PM   #8
applecorped
Rotten to the Core
 
applecorped's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 17,049
Humans gave themselves rights if other animals want rights they're going to have to get them themselves.
__________________
All You Need Is Love.
applecorped is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 9th July 2017, 06:43 PM   #9
Jodie
Philosopher
 
Jodie's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5,918
I think greater apes, cetaceans, and African Grey parrots should have rights.
__________________
"When I was a child I caught a fleeting glimpse out of the corner of my eye. I turned to look but it was gone, I cannot put my finger on it now. The child is grown, the dream is gone. I have become comfortably numb. " Pink Floyd
Jodie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 12:53 AM   #10
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,796
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
So, as an animal lover, I can definitely get behind the idea of animal welfare. However the concept of animals having rights seems like a nice slogan but when you think about it, it’s impossible to truly implement.

For one, in order for our civilization to grow and maintain some animals have to die, even if you eliminate the meat industry and animal testing. The homes, cities, roads and agriculture we’ve built led to the deaths of tens of millions of animals. Didn’t they have rights?

Also, doesn’t giving non-human animals rights create an imbalance. If a human kills a bear, it’s a rights violation, but if a bear kills a human, its not.

Humans don't have any inherent rights either. The only reason we have rights, either for humans or for animals (or anything), is because we (humans) create laws to provide the rights.

Laws are different in each different country, but so far no countries have created entirely equal laws for humans and for any other animal. However, in many countries the legal rights given to both domestic pet animals and wild animals may be more than your post suggests.

For example, in the UK, not only do we have laws against any form of cruelty or neglect for domestic pets and of course for farm animals, but we also have legally protected habitats for many different wild species … so developers in the construction industry can't just destroy natural habitats wherever they like … and I just mention that because it was a point you raised about the building of homes and cities etc.

But that does not mean we have given all wildlife every possible right imaginable in law, such that no housing could ever be built for humans, and no farming could ever be done in case it destroys important habitats. It's not an “all or nothing” situation.

Personally as an “animal lover” I'd like to see as many rights as reasonably possible given to all conscious sentient animals. But nothing in this universe is absolute in the sense of ever being 100% certain to be “right” or certain to be “wrong”. And that's also true for the laws we make, whether it's to protect the rights that want to give to any living things, or the legal rights that we decide to give to ourselves as a species; there are always compromises, neither humans or animals get 100% of every legal right that everyone would like. And although I mention the UK as a nation that is often said to be full of animal lovers, we have only quite recently banned fox hunting .. and in the very recent General Election the Conservative party was actually campaigning for a vote amongst MP's to see if they could bring back fox hunting.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 03:07 AM   #11
The Great Zaganza
Master Poster
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,644
I thought the 2nd Amendment guaranteed the Right to Arm Bears.
__________________
"eventually we will get something done."
- Donald J. Trump
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 04:10 AM   #12
smartcooky
Philosopher
 
smartcooky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 6,226
Humans only have rights because we claim them, but they have no basis in anything beyond us. If the next planet-killer asteroid comes along before we have a chance to colonize another planet, human rights will end abruptly, violently and permanently.
__________________
► 9/11 was a terrorist attack by Islamic extremists; 12 Apollo astronauts really did walk on the Moon; JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald,who acted alone.
► Never underestimate the power of the Internet to lend unwarranted credibility to the colossally misinformed. - Jay Utah
► Heisenberg's Law - The weirdness of the Universe is inversely proportional to the scale at which you observe it, or not.

Last edited by smartcooky; 10th July 2017 at 04:47 AM.
smartcooky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 04:48 AM   #13
smartcooky
Philosopher
 
smartcooky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Nelson, New Zealand
Posts: 6,226
Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I thought the 2nd Amendment guaranteed the Right to Arm Bears.
Priceless!!
__________________
► 9/11 was a terrorist attack by Islamic extremists; 12 Apollo astronauts really did walk on the Moon; JFK was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald,who acted alone.
► Never underestimate the power of the Internet to lend unwarranted credibility to the colossally misinformed. - Jay Utah
► Heisenberg's Law - The weirdness of the Universe is inversely proportional to the scale at which you observe it, or not.
smartcooky is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 04:59 AM   #14
Beerina
Sarcastic Conqueror of Notions
 
Beerina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 28,835
It seems reasonable that animals have a low level of consciousness, and therefore to cause needless pain would be something to be avoided, out of the golden rule if nothing else.

But that's a pretty low bar in no way suggesting farming of animals or animal products is wrong, or that hunting is wrong for that matter.
__________________
"Great innovations should not be forced [by way of] slender majorities." - Thomas Jefferson

The government should nationalize it! Socialized, single-payer video game development and sales now! More, cheaper, better games, right? Right?
Beerina is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 05:05 AM   #15
The Great Zaganza
Master Poster
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,644
Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
It seems reasonable that animals have a low level of consciousness, and therefore to cause needless pain would be something to be avoided, out of the golden rule if nothing else.

But that's a pretty low bar in no way suggesting farming of animals or animal products is wrong, or that hunting is wrong for that matter.

Not sure I agree (though this might be a bit of a derail).

The point of the Golden Rule is that reciprocity between two parties is, at least in theory, possible.
But while milking a cow each day might cause it great discomfort, I can't see any scenario in which a cow would milk me against my will.
__________________
"eventually we will get something done."
- Donald J. Trump
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 05:14 AM   #16
Hlafordlaes
Disorder of Kilopi
 
Hlafordlaes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: State of Flux
Posts: 5,678
If theory of mind is the basis for interactions among higher social animals, it is possible to base one's preferences around rights on it.1 If so, there are some logical extensions to some animals; all always based on consensus around preferences.

1Hard to avoid if taking a non-religious approach and seeking some behaviors on which to elaborate ethics, rights, etc.
__________________
Driftwood on an empty shore of the sea of meaninglessness. Irrelevant, weightless, inconsequential moment of existential hubris on the fast track to oblivion. Spends that time videogaming.
Hlafordlaes is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 05:18 AM   #17
Argumemnon
World Maker
 
Argumemnon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the thick of things
Posts: 66,123
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
So, as an animal lover, I can definitely get behind the idea of animal welfare. However the concept of animals having rights seems like a nice slogan but when you think about it, it’s impossible to truly implement.
It's also nonsensical. The idea of rights requires a certain form of cognition that no other animal but us has.

I love animals, too, but the concept is just bonkers. Humane treatment is enough for me.
__________________
<Roar!>
Argumemnon is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 05:19 AM   #18
Argumemnon
World Maker
 
Argumemnon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the thick of things
Posts: 66,123
Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Priceless!!
Overused.
__________________
<Roar!>
Argumemnon is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 06:00 AM   #19
jrhowell
Thinker
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 222
Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The point of the Golden Rule is that reciprocity between two parties is, at least in theory, possible.
But while milking a cow each day might cause it great discomfort, I can't see any scenario in which a cow would milk me against my will.
I disagree. The essence of the golden rule is treating others as you wish to be treated. That includes not taking advantage of your power to cause harm to those weaker than yourself lest someone more powerful does the same to you.

The Twilight Zone episode "To Serve Man" could be seen as an example of this. I hope that if a powerful alien race finds us tasty that they observe the golden rule better than we do.

Last edited by jrhowell; 10th July 2017 at 06:10 AM.
jrhowell is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 06:30 AM   #20
bruto
Penultimate Amazing
 
bruto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Way way north of Diddy Wah Diddy
Posts: 21,290
Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Not sure I agree (though this might be a bit of a derail).

The point of the Golden Rule is that reciprocity between two parties is, at least in theory, possible.
But while milking a cow each day might cause it great discomfort, I can't see any scenario in which a cow would milk me against my will.
I rather doubt that animal rights were in play when the golden rule was first expounded.

The example of cows is likely misplaced, in any case, because cows are domestic animals. It's rather too late to figure out the rights of cows, because there is no such thing as a wild cow. As for the discomfort of milking, while it's difficult to know just how the cow feels about it, it's pretty clear that milk cows that are not milked are very unhappy, and , creatures of habit and herd that they are, they submit to the procedure with what appears, at any rate, to be willingness and relief.

I think if you're going to take the idea of animal rights beyond the basic idea that we, as humans, ought to be humane, you're going to end up with some great complications that compromise what we have, generally, considered the rights of humans, including that of survival. Nature is pretty casual about rights. A lion survives by running down animals, killing them and eating them raw. A hawk swoops down and grabs a creature, which dies bleeding, screaming and squirming in its talons. Insects survive, at times, by parasitizing the brains of their victims and turning them into zombies whom their young eat from the inside out. And so on. We, as humans, have assumed a certain moral superiority which includes minimizing pain to the animals we farm and eat, but if you take rights beyond that, what do we farm, and what do we eat? Must every slice of bacon first have its day in court?
__________________
Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding. (Samuel Johnson)

I love this world, but not for its answers. (Mary Oliver)
bruto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 06:39 AM   #21
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 22,201
Rights are for adults.

Protections are for animals and children.

This also means there is a problem with countries that trumpet their "protected minorities".
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 06:42 AM   #22
NoahFence
Psycho Kitty
 
NoahFence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Patriot Nation
Posts: 20,804
Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Republicans could give cows the right to vote to help them in some close elections...
Sounds like a plan! They've already given snakes the right to vote.
__________________
you to the ignorant, uneducated portion ofAmerica too short sighted to see what's right in front of your cheeto loving faces.
NoahFence is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 07:12 AM   #23
Argumemnon
World Maker
 
Argumemnon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the thick of things
Posts: 66,123
Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
I disagree. The essence of the golden rule is treating others as you wish to be treated. That includes not taking advantage of your power to cause harm to those weaker than yourself lest someone more powerful does the same to you.
That's quite different, though. It's not like bears can understand the golden rule. It just doesn't apply to animals.
__________________
<Roar!>
Argumemnon is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 07:36 AM   #24
Chanakya
Punditry Unlimited
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 253
Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
That's quite different, though. It's not like bears can understand the golden rule. It just doesn't apply to animals.

It won't apply to animals if you yourself won't apply it to them. It's up to you entirely, isn't it? (I mean "you" generically, and could just as well have said "us".) I think that's what OP is asking, and what this thread is about : should we have the concept of rights apply to animals, and if so to what extent?

And I realize that your personal answer to that question seems to be that it shouldn't. At least not to bears. Would you say the same about dogs and cats as well?
Chanakya is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 07:40 AM   #25
The Great Zaganza
Master Poster
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,644
The Golden Rule includes a reference to the various parties implicitly: we way I want to treat and be treated by a women might be quite different from the way I want to treat and be treated by a man.
__________________
"eventually we will get something done."
- Donald J. Trump
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 07:48 AM   #26
sphenisc
Illuminator
 
sphenisc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,617
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
...Also, doesn’t giving non-human animals rights create an imbalance. If a human kills a bear, it’s a rights violation, but if a bear kills a human, its not.
That's because it has a right to bear arms.
__________________
"The cure for everything is salt water - tears, sweat or the sea." Isak Dinesen
sphenisc is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 07:53 AM   #27
Argumemnon
World Maker
 
Argumemnon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the thick of things
Posts: 66,123
Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
It won't apply to animals if you yourself won't apply it to them. It's up to you entirely, isn't it?
Actually, no. Animals cannot have rights by definition.

Quote:
And I realize that your personal answer to that question seems to be that it shouldn't. At least not to bears. Would you say the same about dogs and cats as well?
I didn't specify a species or genus, did I?
__________________
<Roar!>
Argumemnon is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 07:54 AM   #28
Argumemnon
World Maker
 
Argumemnon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the thick of things
Posts: 66,123
Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
That's because it has a right to bear arms.
Still overused.
__________________
<Roar!>
Argumemnon is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 07:56 AM   #29
Chanakya
Punditry Unlimited
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 253
Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Actually, no. Animals cannot have rights by definition.
(...)

Surely not "by definition"? It may turn out that they don't, or shouldn't, but why would we assume that starting out?


Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
(...)I didn't specify a species or genus, did I?

You did mention bears.
Chanakya is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 08:36 AM   #30
Oystein
Penultimate Amazing
 
Oystein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 14,629
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Yeah, but for the most part, a small child is not capable of killing an adult. So ultimately there is no power imbalance. The same can be said for severely disabled people.

Older children and teenagers are capable and they can be held responsible, at least to an extent.
The highlighted is untrue.
They may be much less able than adults, but it does happen occasionally that a child kills another human.

This thread is about rights, and you argue that there is a power imbalance - created by differential legal status. I don't think your argument hinges on the greater physical prowess of a bear.
As a matter of fact, humans are FAR more capable of killing bears than vice versa, because humans have weapons. So there already IS a huge power imbalance, which equal right to life would largely close. You give bears the legal status of a child - legally not responsible - and assigne the responsibility that neither children nor bears are allowed to get into a situation where there is a real danger they might kill a human. That means: Keep guns far from kids, and humans far from bears.
__________________
Thermodynamics hates conspiracy theorists. (Foster Zygote)
Oystein is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 08:45 AM   #31
Oystein
Penultimate Amazing
 
Oystein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 14,629
Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Actually, no. Animals cannot have rights by definition.
Can you cite that definition, please?
__________________
Thermodynamics hates conspiracy theorists. (Foster Zygote)
Oystein is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 08:45 AM   #32
Chanakya
Punditry Unlimited
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 253
Originally Posted by Jerrymander View Post
Yeah, but for the most part, a small child is not capable of killing an adult. So ultimately there is no power imbalance. The same can be said for severely disabled people.

Older children and teenagers are capable and they can be held responsible, at least to an extent.

Severely disabled people? How do they figure in this discussion?

Are there laws that treat the disabled differently from regular people if they commit some crime?
Chanakya is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 08:53 AM   #33
Oystein
Penultimate Amazing
 
Oystein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 14,629
Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Severely disabled people? How do they figure in this discussion?

Are there laws that treat the disabled differently from regular people if they commit some crime?
Depends on the disability. Certain forms of mental disability certainly figure into the way guilt and sentence are measured.
__________________
Thermodynamics hates conspiracy theorists. (Foster Zygote)
Oystein is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 12:11 PM   #34
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,796
Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Actually, no. Animals cannot have rights by definition.

Well that's obviously wrong.

Animals do have "rights" which, in civilised educated countries, are part of the nations laws.

Unless you are just trying to argue semantics over whether the correct term should be "protection" rather than "rights"? Though I think that would probably be wrong anyway, because laws that are said to be designed to "protect" animals or people, are "protecting” whatever the law has decided to be their basic "rights".

But as I said earlier - those rights are not inherent, as if ordained by God. They are simply law which has been agreed by governments and the law courts. The reason that humans, inc. children, have "rights", is because that is what has been accepted as law.

And for exactly that same reason of law, all sorts of animals have rights too ... it's essentially the same process of legal protection that we apply to humans.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 04:32 PM   #35
Oystein
Penultimate Amazing
 
Oystein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 14,629
It hasn't been mentioned yet, but we are sure to get into a loooot of trouble when also start granting plants basic rights, or even equal rights. Looooots of trouble!
So there is a slippery-slope risk.
What if bacteria are granted a right to their residence?
__________________
Thermodynamics hates conspiracy theorists. (Foster Zygote)
Oystein is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 07:14 PM   #36
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22,226
Originally Posted by NoahFence View Post
Sounds like a plan! They've already given snakes the right to vote.
Don't tread on me.

This signature is intended to irradiate people.
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th July 2017, 11:59 PM   #37
The Great Zaganza
Master Poster
 
The Great Zaganza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,644
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
It hasn't been mentioned yet, but we are sure to get into a loooot of trouble when also start granting plants basic rights, or even equal rights. Looooots of trouble!
So there is a slippery-slope risk.
What if bacteria are granted a right to their residence?
class-actions suits would have billions of members.
__________________
"eventually we will get something done."
- Donald J. Trump
The Great Zaganza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th July 2017, 12:11 AM   #38
IanS
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,796
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
It hasn't been mentioned yet, but we are sure to get into a loooot of trouble when also start granting plants basic rights, or even equal rights. Looooots of trouble!
So there is a slippery-slope risk.
What if bacteria are granted a right to their residence?

Perhaps the above highlights the problem of semantics and whether the word "rights" is the best word to use. For example - there are many species of plants which are "protected", but the word "rights" might seem to be more specifically applied to individuals, i.e. each individual person, or to an individual animal ... I think that's probably because we think a word like "rights", or "legal right", should only apply to conscious sentient "higher" animals ... it's perhaps implying that each individual in that class has such rights ... so for example if there was a court case against someone who had been especially cruel to a particular pet dog, then the legal case against that person would revolve around what happened to that specific individual dog ...

... whereas if a farmer destroyed a field of protected plant species, any legal case against the farmer would not centre around one individual plant that was said to have it's own "rights" infringed ... the difference is that a plant is not regarded as a sentient conscious individual that has a legal right to "enjoy" it's life ...

... whereas, more advanced mammals such as pet cats and dogs clearly do have individual conscious recognition and enjoyment of their daily lives.

That's really all taking us off into semantics though, i.e. whether we should use word A or word B. But perhaps that's the nature of this thread … perhaps it's really just a rather trivial discussion about whether “rights” is the correct term to use. Though cruelty to animals and the exploitation of animals etc., is very definitely not just an issue of semantics and mere words, that is a very serious issue, which rightly does have repercussions in law.
IanS is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th July 2017, 12:32 AM   #39
Fudbucker
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 6,342
Human "rights" are a useful fiction, so extending "rights" to animals would only add another fictitious layer.
Fudbucker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 11th July 2017, 07:27 AM   #40
bruto
Penultimate Amazing
 
bruto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Way way north of Diddy Wah Diddy
Posts: 21,290
Originally Posted by Fudbucker View Post
Human "rights" are a useful fiction, so extending "rights" to animals would only add another fictitious layer.
That is likely true, though one might well remember that "useful"is important, and might dispute the use of "only"which implies that such a fiction is not necessary or important. We make up the rules by which we live. That said, perhaps the basic question raised in the original post is answered, because nothing is impossible, however far out or impractical, contrary to established norms, or for that matter self destructive.

We could, after all, all become Jains and change radically how we live. I suspect that such ideas, while practicable at a certain level, would be impracticable globally, and if enforced would result in very great disasters, but that is not to say it's impossible.

I think a large part of the issue is not whether such rights are theoretically possible, but whether they are practical in the word as it actually exists. Some time back in the dim recesses of prehistory perhaps people could have established a different relationship to the rest of nature than nature itself requires. But now, millennia down the road, we depend on a certain relationship to the animal world, and change is likely to be very messy and slow. What do you do with the cows and chickens? What do you feed your dog?
__________________
Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding. (Samuel Johnson)

I love this world, but not for its answers. (Mary Oliver)
bruto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:53 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 2014, TribeTech AB. All Rights Reserved.
This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.